Bi Monthly Column with the Nassau Guardian
Cultivating a desire for learning
When last have you been asked to learn something new? Have you had to learn to type, to text or to use an automatic teller machine? Learning is not a fixed or finite thing that we do today and then refuse to do tomorrow. A refusal to learn is a refusal to adapt. To stay engaged and relevant in our world, it is vital that we keep learning and flowing with change.
Self-help magazine and blog headlines constantly bait us with the five, 10 or 20 steps toward some commonly sought-after goals, such as losing weight, finding love or creating wealth. Yet there is rarely a candid discussion about how to cultivate a desire for learning. [read more]
Leadership is more than talk
The word “leadership” has become increasingly popular within the last 30 years. People are realizing the need for effective leadership in all spheres. Leadership is defined in different ways, but one thing remains constant, and that is impacting the lives of others. A leader can be anyone who uplifts, inspires and pushes another into his or her purpose.
There are several myths about what makes a leader. The biggest myth is that just because someone is in a leadership position they are a leader. Leadership isn’t based on position, but really the value a person brings to the position. [read more]
Investing in human resources
CFO asks CEO: “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?”
CEO: “What happens if we don’t, and they stay?” (peterbeeklund.com)
When it comes to the training and development of employees, too many organizations are reluctant to make the investment for fear that employees will gain the experience and expertise and other organizations will benefit from their investment. Some organizations are also deterred by various factors like giving time off from work to facilitate training as well as being able to measure returns on their investments when employees return to the workplace. Ultimately, employees are the key that drives the success or failure of an organization, and with lack of training, they can become your biggest failure. It is critical, therefore, that today’s organizations look beyond the dollars and cents and focus on the immediate positive effects that training and development of employees has on the organization. [read more]
Me? A Volunteer?
I grew up in the small settlement of The Current, on the tip of North Eleuthera. My early memories of church, school and community are filled with images of adults volunteering to help, coach, guide and support the children and young people of the community.
Images from my memories include a couple in the settlement who opened their home every Tuesday night to welcome young people in for bible study, discussion and refreshments. Another image is of men offering their trucks to take young people to the beach for swimming or a camp fire. Other images are of women working with summer vacation bible school programs, and men coaching volleyball in the hot summer evenings.[read more]
Embracing an intentional life
To be intentional is to be deliberate about every thought, word and action. Our thoughts translate to our words and our words to our actions. Anyone who has ever achieved anything in life was intentional. Each of us should desire to leave our mark on this earth in some way.
Many times people see age, gender, race and/or financial status as barriers in making a real difference. Although these factors may bring limitations they do not mean one can’t have an impact. It’s always better to do something than nothing. Aesop once said, “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” [read more]
Are Leaders Born or Made?
My colleagues and I recently debated the question “Are leaders born or are leaders made?”
I was strong in my conviction and debated confidently that leaders are born, as everyone does not have the characteristics or ability to become a leader. My stance was that no matter how much you train an individual, if he or she does not have that innate ability to lead, that person would never become an effective leader. Conversely, I believed that individuals who possess this innate ability require no training, yet always emerge as leaders. [read more]
The case for lifelong learning
My grandfather, the late Captain Julius Symonette, was a sea captain all his life. He operated the mail boat between Nassau and North Eleuthera for decades; his name was synonymous with integrity and service. When he retired, in his early 80’s, his life was dominated by reading. He read as many books as the local library could provide. My love for reading came through him. Some years ago, a good friend of mine asked me a personal question, with a certain amount of attitude attached, “Are you going to ever stop taking courses and spending money on more and more books?” He followed that up with another question, “Will you still be taking courses and classes when you reach 90?” My answer was a simple three words, “I hope so!” We cannot grow and mature in our inward lives without a corresponding outward growth and development as well.
“Lifelong learning” means simply that! At every phase of our lives, we continue to learn. A simple and amusing example of this is when parents and grandparents call their five-year-olds to help them sort out their cell phones. I fall into this category, and can often be observed handing my Samsung over to a younger person to get a particular app reinstalled on my phone after I uninstalled it without knowing what I had done. We cannot depend on what we were taught 20 years ago to properly equip us for the 21st century Bahamas or the 21st century world. [read more]