Category Archives: Authors R-Z

ADR authors listed by last name R-Z

Why Inspirational Leaders Follow A Path Of Gratitude – by Andrew Scharf

When innovative thinking is at the helm, you can be sure that at its core is inspirational leaders. Real leaders have our back, and stand up for doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do. At a time when we are surrounded by the forces of darkness and authoritarian strong men, we owe to ourselves, our communities, our countries and the world to stand shoulder to shoulder in the fight to preserve the freedoms many of us have come to take for granted. Make your voices heard. Democracy dies in silence.

Innovative leaders shape positive behavior, communitarianism as well as business practices. Under this form of stewardship, optimism and gratitude prevail.

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Breast Cancer: Fight the Fight – by Lisa Scuderi-Burkimsher

For Breast Cancer Month

A dear friend of mine passed away from breast cancer and I’d like to write about her experience and how we became friends.

My husband and I met Maggie and her husband Ray at a neighbor’s barbecue in 2005. We immediately clicked. I don’t know what it was about Maggie, but I found myself confiding in her. Concerned about my horrible experience on September 11, 2001, she understood my fear of driving and not mingling much with people. Twenty-four-years older than me and she offered to do my grocery shopping. Of course, I couldn’t accept. This was truly a kindhearted person. I’m sorry after that barbecue we didn’t speak again until 2011.

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Soldier’s Last Letter – by Wesley Sims

Nearly unreadable now, paper wrinkled
as her hands, veins of ink blurred by tears.
But she had the words imprinted in her
mind to recall when memories surged.

She need not know that a fellow soldier
likely persuaded him, loaned him paper
to write an apology of sorts—I wish
I’d not enlisted,

yet she perceived his special gift,
a declaration of affection, the only way
he could voice it, I miss you all,
tell the children hello.

He mentioned shrapnel in his shoulder,
minor wound he claimed. She clutched
the letter to her heart, transmitted warmth
of her body, like a bird hovering her eggs,

as though, like a Holy Eucharist,
its ink might turn to blood, transform
the paper to pulsing tissue,
grow lungs and start to breathe,

become a living presence nurtured,
resting safe against her breast.

 

Image: A Letter from Pvt. Charles H. Austin, Civil War soldier

An American Discovers Small Talk –  by Jacquelyn Reeves

Small talk delights and confounds us, and it is worth asking why.  In this short humorous piece I will confine myself to American small talk, as there appear to be different variations on this tune, as Mark Twain might also have pointed out if he had written more about American English and less about the German language. 

On the one hand, it can feel overly factual and too easy, (are they making fun of me?) on the other hand, it is full of ambiguity and hidden meaning.  But do you KNOW what that meaning is?  It is also a way of getting to know you quickly, whatever the circumstances, sharing information, getting the real information fast or just having some fun in a bored moment.

Hence I share with you a “Small Talk Vignette” from one of my trips in the US.  Although I am American, I have felt like a foreigner in the US at various times, and this was one of them:

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INTENT versus IMPACT – by Mauricio Velásquez

Introduction

Mauricio Velasquez
Mauricio Velasquez

This fundamental concept is one of the core principles of my work and integral to DTG’s approach to dealing with diversity issues in the workplace and marketplace.  Diversity issues or employee relation issues (among people who are different) typically involve two people.  The perpetrator or the initiator of the behavior is one party and the target or the receiver of the behavior is the second party. 

The diversity issue or incident (sometimes it is one “moment of truth”) is defined as a behavior, an action, or a series of behaviors (a pathology or trend) that one party (the target) feels or concludes based on the behavior(s) was wrong, inappropriate, disrespectful, discriminatory or illegal.

First – We Don’t Know the Intentions of Others

We all mean well.  I never question the intent of any person’s actions.  We actually don’t know the intentions of the other person but we assume their intentions based on the behavior we see, how we react (our feelings) or the kind of relationship we have with the perpetrator.  This is the first mistake.   We should look at the behavior(s) in question and only the behavior(s).  Looking just at the face value of the behavior is a good start.

I tend to focus on the actual behavior and how that behavior might affect or influence other people.  In other words, I focus on the impact said behavior(s) has on other people.  The consequences of any action, how the behavior might be received or perceived or experienced is what I tend to scrutinize. 

Second – “I didn’t Mean It”

I find too many people will get defensive when the target confronts the perpetrator about the behavior(s).  The perpetrator typically responds with, “I didn’t mean it the way you took it.”  Often, in my travels, people don’t want to be held accountable for their actions.  Unfortunately, this does not take the “sting” out of the behavior(s).  What matters is what you said, not what you meant.

What Is Appropriate

Don’t take it personally – apologize for your comment.  Don’t try to avoid your responsibility – step up to the plate.  Don’t focus on your intentions – no one knows your intentions.  Try to put yourself in the target’s shoes and understand their feelings.  Put your feelings aside.  This is not about you – the perpetrator – this is about the target.  Try to empathize with the target.  Apologize and ask the target to always come and share with this person their feelings whenever they feel wronged.  You want to be perceived as humble, approachable and “bigger” than any one incident.  What you don’t want to do is seem defensive, stubborn, or stubborn.  Reach out!  This is a wake up call that you need to improve this relationship.  Misunderstandings are more likely to arise among strangers or people who have strained or weak relationships.

Most Common Mistakes

“You people!  What do your people think?  You are so articulate for a (blank); I don’t see you as a (blank).  Men/women, you can’t….” These are some of the most common mistakes people make.   Stay away from these behaviors.  Never see people as members of a group but rather focus on the person, the individual.  If you do go here, apologize immediately and reach out and ask for help and coaching from the other person.

Effect Change in One Brief Conversation – by Keith Weedman

Unexpected Introduction

Keith Weedman
Keith Weedman

When I provided an introductory session for highly skilled Toastmaster Ant Blair, my goal was to earn the privilege of providing him a program that blends training on how to effect change in one, brief conversation with coaching. Ant was quite engaged during his training. I was feeling optimistic about the outcome. Then at the end of his session, something totally unexpected happened. Ant was the one to effect change in one, brief conversation.

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Culture Shock in Generation Y – by A. K. Ward-Bartlett

CULTURE ABROAD

Five days ago, I was on the other side of the globe. Exhausted from twelve weeks of attempting to keep up with this fast-paced Mecca of the international business world, I was still not ready to extract myself from the extrovert’s haven that is Shanghai. This is the land of business cards and alcohol, where the networking maniacs of the West flock to jump into the Eastern financial “boom”, assuming that the “bust” is nowhere in sight. For one brief summer, I was a part of this cultural mish-mash, ecstatic to surround myself with the expats, entrepreneurs, and “students of life” that are so enthusiastic to be exposed to the challenges of living in such a foreign, yet increasingly Westernized, environment. Being a student of psychology, the best way for me to summarize my experience in China is to describe the mental processes I used to adapt. Looking back on my little adventure, I can easily identify the points at which I hit the various stages of Culture Shock, and it is through this cycle that I feel others can catch a better glimpse of my path of growth.

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The Pond in Winter – Poem by Ann Thornfield-Long

The Pond in Winter

            After Henry David Thoreau

 

The winter of ’19, it rained nearly every day,

water gushed from sky, no windshield wiper

equal to it. A slough swelled in the low spot

of the yard, lapped the steps, like a wolf

 

at the door. It was the wolf supermoon that

reflected off the surface one rare, naked night—

quicksilver eerie and lovely as icy solitude,

consoling, clear. A sorrow-voiced owl cried

 

in the pre-dawn, foreshadowing death,

as owls can. Loss spilled over the wall

of my soul and into the crevices where I hid

my treasures, floated them out of their deep

 

secret places onto the banks from underearth

where bluets and bloodroots drank to the dregs

as I would after I saw the land open its mouth

and swallow my love whole, leaving me to choke

 

on the hemlock of grief. I’ll carry the disfigurement

of this flood, a high-water scar the rest of my days.

Not everything, nor everyone survives. Winter

cannot last forever.

SiberiaCyberHaiku – Poem by George Simons

SiberiaCyberHaiku

Silently passing through Fargo…
the indiscriminate Fargo of my mind,
I am cruising up the Lena.
I leave the city limits of my head
for what is…now…here…
flowing once before the windows of my eyes.

Morning, she appears,
changeling today, soft and cloudy
where the river flows.

As the clouds thicken
I become confused and ask,
“Will sunlight return?”

Endless flow of green,
sandy shore, then white birch trees,
life without landmarks.

Then houses, a church,
its onion dome an anchor,
faith in solitude.

I peek at a map,
explore the territory,
mind at home again.

Tell me what I am,
where I am, I have forgot
Tell me how, how, how…