By default, gritty women famous for their accomplishments are highlighted throughout Women’s History Month. Society looks to prominent women as role models exemplifying idealistic aspirations of achievement. Often, their humble beginnings are overlooked as emphasis is placed on successes and outcomes. With few exceptions, famous women did not begin their lives as famous people. Their experiences, family upbringing, life-learnings, challenges, and accomplishments cultivated into opportunities at the right time. Famous women made history by taking action. One should never assume history is past tense. History continues evolving and growing organically, providing new opportunities to add accomplishments.
Angela Duckworth, author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, explains extremely successful individuals demonstrate unusually high levels of resiliency and hard work. These individuals have an intrinsic understanding of their desired goals and are determined to achieve them. Gritty people combine hard work, resiliency, and drive with a sense of direction.
Continue reading Gritty Women – by Dr. Deborah Levin
Somewhere in the City was a hoop of steel
With a tattered net of strings;
On a battered board weathered by time
Where young boys flirted with visions of rings.
An old ball, weathered and smooth,
Cover scuffed by the concrete street;
Yet pumped up for a lively bounce,
Teases those who dare to compete.
Continue reading String Music – Poem by Stanley E. Long
Ordinary women with extraordinary backgrounds have a diverse lifestyle to achieve astonishing things in life. Women’s History Month pay tribute to these illustrious, ordinary women. Most ordinary women intentionally seek everyday activities and experiences that are diverse and have impactful outcomes. I am an ordinary woman with extraordinary accomplishments. I grew up in the slum area of inner-city Houston, Texas, but still had the determination and resilience to graduate high school with honors, the top 10 of my class. Thereafter, I pursued and obtained my Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Houston. I was the first member of my entire family to attend college.
I enlisted into the military as an active duty Army soldier, truck driver (18-wheelers and 5-ton vehicles). While on active duty, I pursued and obtained my Master of Arts in Education and Doctor of Educational Leadership. After transitioning from the military, I became a Department of Defense high school physics and chemistry teacher, while obtaining a Master of Divinity degree in Biblical Studies. I have a diverse educational and professional background, as an ordinary woman, accomplishing extraordinary things in life.
Continue reading Ordinary Women Accomplishing Extraordinary Things – by Dr. Cynthia R. Jackson
It’s Time for A Paradigm Shift
Diversity is increasingly becoming a powerful force in the determination of an organization’s success. Everyone has talents, some of which are recognized and used, and others never identified and thus never put into use. Organizations that engage diverse teams can draw on the synergy associate with it to innovate and subsequently achieve unprecedented success. It is evidenced in Harvard Business Review article, titled, “How diversity can drive innovation.” In that piece, (Hewlett, Marshall & Sherbin) assert, “Employees of firms with 2-D diversity are 45% likelier to report a growth in market share over the previous year and 70% likelier to report that the firm captured a new market.”
Considering various research showing the correlation between diversity and business success, many organizations are now, for good reasons, calling for greater diversity in the board room and significant areas of leadership in our global market place. There is clearly ubiquitous evidence demonstrating that diversity correlates with business success. McKinsey and company assert “New research makes it increasingly clear that companies with more diverse workforces perform better financially.” According to Deloitte, “Diversity and inclusion at the workplace are now CEO-level issues, but they continue to be frustrating and challenging for many companies.”
Continue reading The Era of Diversity Talk and No Action Is Over – by Joseph Nwoye
Would my fellow Americans like to take a nap? We Americans value hard work and when we stop working we feel guilty. We believe that we’re falling behind while others are getting ahead. And we don’t want to be viewed as lazy or lacking drive and ambition. However, there are many benefits to a nap.
Continue reading Take a Cross-Cultural Nap – by Julian Kaufman
Winter is about loss
of light. You’d think
our planet is closer
to the sun in the summer,
but no, Earth’s at perihelion
in winter. It’s the slant of light
and shorter length of time
the sun blazes across horizons
that accounts for the coldness.
Continue reading Winter – Poem by John C. Mannone
Global Leadership today: The modern workplace brims with activity as people dart from meeting to meeting. Sometimes our communication is too brief. At times our messages are not well thought out. Even when the communication is crystal clear, the message can get lost in a wave of workload. But because our organizations tend to rely on best practices, people have a common frame-of-reference when there are misunderstandings. Best practices are a common denominator that allow us to understand and predict behavior, and serve as “true north” as we navigate the complexity of modern organizational life.
As organizations expand internationally and multi-cultural communications between employees, vendors, suppliers, and customers become more frequent, we are finding that the common denominator of best practices begins to unravel. And once we can no longer fall back on best practices, our inner compass can go haywire.
Continue reading Global Leadership: Five Steps to Calibrating your Cultural Compass — by Dr. Richard Griffith
Four Contemporaneous Scenes
I. The Inn
Torchlights singe the late night air and the kicked-up dust glows on the path to the inn. A man in a brown robe leads the donkey, each step measured. His wife, wrapped in a wool shawl, stays the autumn chill. For a moment, she must stop, grips the nape of the donkey’s neck, and winces, as before, bracing for the next contraction. He steadies her, wonders if Mary’s okay. She relaxes her hold and smiles, but the harvest moon glinting off her eyes belies her calm assurance. As sure as ebb and flow, the next wave of pain cannot be quelled—her hands pressing her belly as if to stem the tide. Joseph’s feet, no longer downtrodden by fatigue, rush him to the inn. He raps on the oaken door as if his fists were made of brass. But his own would have him not. Go Away! A gruff voice rumbles through the wood. There are no more rooms. Those words echo in the desperate air with Mary’s cries. Yet, there is a shuffle of shoes. A clenched-jaw voice on the other side of the door seeps through, Jacob. Let them in! The innkeeper’s eyes wedge, Yes, Eliana. She stokes the fire, pots clacking on the coals. Water boils. He shows them to the straw-crib behind the house, where the sheep lay.
Continue reading A Christmas Drama – by John C. Mannone
I just love the U.S. I have no desire to visit there, but I am thrilled by their homeland history where feudalism was eclipsed by the American struggle for independence, where from slavery there was an elevation, to a capitalist economy which paved the way to become an epitome of Justice, Liberty and Fraternity.
But, of late, the essence of feudal vices being emanated from their very core of social life is a grave concern for all who love freedom and liberty. I am worried that it may lose their pristine essence of the land of liberty, for which many aspire to embark upon.
Continue reading Freedom and Feudalism in the U.S. – by Debasish Majumdar
Chart your own professional future. Because where you work can make all the difference in the world in your job satisfaction. Why not? Now is the right time. Unemployment is low and there is a labor shortage, so you have choices in jobs!
This means that you should act with purpose in choosing where you work. Figure out what is important to you and then, while interviewing, ask questions that help you learn about the company and if it is a place where your needs and values will be met. If diversity is a critical value for you, it should be as well for the organization at which you work. How can you determine how important diversity is to an organization just from an interview? You will want a sense of this before deciding whether or not to accept an offer of employment. You can acquire this information during an interview by asking questions like the following, observing, and listening.