As the U.S. presidential election goes into full swing following both major conventions, voters will be considering which candidate will serve best as the nation’s leader. This decision is not an easy one, as both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have some of the worst favorability ratings in history. Ideally, voters should be thinking about candidates’ character traits, but most will prioritize self-interest and vote based on their pocketbooks. Media pundits will analyze every insignificant point as if it is…well, significant. In the face of global terrorism and financial uncertainty, what character trait genuinely sets a successful leader apart? Problems will arise. Trouble will come, and leaders who possess intrinsic drive will have the highest chance of overcoming obstacles and external factors in their environment. We will examines the nature of grit for leaders caught in today’s chaotic world.
Effective leaders have a special quality called “grit,” which refers to a drive to overcome all sorts of hurdles. People define grit in various ways: according to Gostrengths.com, grit is “a personality trait possessed by individuals who demonstrate passion and perseverance toward a goal despite being confronted by significant obstacles and distractions.” Along similar lines, blogger AJ Julian wrote an article on grit in education in which he shared an outstanding acronym: Guts, Resilience, Integrity, Tenacity.
Amidst turmoil across the world, there is still good among us. Living in Tennessee, I had the opportunity to witness the exemplary character of Coach Pat Head Summitt, former head coach of University of Tennessee Lady Vols. I would like to pay my own tribute to this special leader in our community. Most people affectionately called her ‘Coach Pat.’
Coach Summitt lived a life of purpose from a humble beginning. Her success in life was incredible: Coach Summitt achieved 1,098 career wins, the most in NCAA basketball history. She won 8 NCCA championships – and the Lady Vols never missed an NCAA tournament under Coach Summitt. In one NCAA tournament, Summitt posted a 112-23 record, achieving a Division I record with the 112 wins. Additionally, she won two Olympic medals: one as a coach and one as a player, alongside numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.  Continue reading
In 2012, Desmond Hatchett, a Knoxville resident, made a big impression in the news. At the time, the 33 year old man was requesting relieve from his child support payments. According to news sources, Hatchett had 30 children by 11 different women. However, Hatchett struggled with his financial commitments with his children due to his low paying minimum wage job. For many people across the nation, this story struck a moral cord. Continue reading
Line of multi-ethnic mothers holding their babies
Here’s a tribute to all good mothers this month! I want to especially thank my mother, Annette Green Elias, and my wife, Estraletta Andrews Green, for being two godly women in my life. [I want to share an excerpt from one of my 2012 columns.]
With the media bombards us with unrealistic expectations for mothers, it is any wonder that today’s mothers feel under huge pressures to be perfect. Stay-at-home mothers feel guilt of not provides financially as it takes two people to make ends meet. Working mothers feel the guilt of attempting to balance a career and a family at the same time. Any person worth any salt would recognize that mothers are often the glue that holds families together. Continue reading
Are you fearful about your career future? Good people can’t find jobs. College graduates are losing Hope. Our world is filled with uncertainty. My co-author William Bailey and I wrote our latest book, Job Strategies for the 21st Century: How to Assist Today’s College Students during Economic Turbulence. Through our research, we found that there is a huge disconnect between what organizations are looking for in potential employees, and what today’s job seeker are providing. I will share some of the key insights from our undertaking. Continue reading
EXECUTIVE PRESENCE—YOUR LEADERSHIP “IT” FACTOR
George Washington had it.
As did Lincoln.
Vince Lombardi too.
So also have countless leaders over the centuries.
It’s the elusive secret of successful leadership: leaders with presence radiate a magnetic effect that comes from being authentic and inspires people to trust them. Continue reading
Global affairs are often unstable. This month, Japanese stock market falters again, capping its worst single-week performance since the global financial crisis in 2008. Japan is not alone in its underperforming markets. Yet, globalization has connected countries through various elements. Financial markets are not an exception. This article explores issues of change in a global environment and discusses the merits of change agents in today’s organizations. Continue reading
Today’s employees expect managers to model corporate values. Sadly, some managers do not take this invisible code seriously. Hypocrisy is the rule of the day. When I was sitting in my Sunday lecture, the instructor brought home what it meant to be hypocritical when discussing Jesus’ interaction with the leaders of his time, The Pharisees. Jesus openly criticized their actions to his followers in Matthew 23:2: “Therefore, whatever they [Pharisees] tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do their works. For they speak, but do nothing. They fasten heavy loads that are hard to carry and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves will not move them with their finger.” Sadly, many workers face some less than genuine managers that fail to inspire them for greater performance. In this post, we will examine the concept of authentic leadership in today’s society. Continue reading
Helen was a highly successful career woman. Her star shined bright in her corporation. Yet, in spite of these corporate accomplishments, Helen had no meaningful relationships. Her husband was distanced due to Helen’s businesslike approaches to her. Helen’s three children resent her because she was emotional absent in their lives. On the dark days when Helen was alone and uninterrupted, she longed for more meaningful relationships.
During a Christmas banquet, Pastor Nathan Wilson was the keynote speaker and led a lively topic on All I Want for Christmas Is You. In his speech, Pastor Wilson harked on the true meaning of Christmas as the birth of Jesus Christmas instead of the commercialization of the holidays. Continue reading
Has our society forgotten how to be appreciative? Many people are too busy running the rat race to say, “Thank you.” I remember sitting in a Sunday school class of young students during my college experience at Southern University. One student was saying how ungrateful he had been toward his parents. I also felt guilty. My parents bought me my first car while I was in high school; most students did not have cars. I had envisioned receiving a brand new car. Well, I did not.
I got an old 1973 Dodge Charger. I was disappointed. But, I ended up falling in love with that old car which I later called “The New Wave Cruisemobile.” My car was far more dependable than most automobiles. I remember never having said “Thank you” for my car – I had also taken my parents for granted. Our society does not teach us that being appreciative is a virtue. We will examines the importance of developing a spirit of gratitude as a competitive advantage toward employability. Continue reading