Taking a Loss

Yesterday, a divided nation decided that it would, in part, continue to go down a path that leads toward its demise. But, just because you’re going down the wrong path doesn’t mean you can’t pause, reflect, and commit to bettering yourself.

It’s time for us to demand more of our leaders. As I continue to prepare myself for elevated levels of leadership by taking on more roles and remaining a lifelong learner, I am adding more best practices to my arsenal. Today, as I was reading some of John Maxwell’s work, I was reminded that “(l)eaders lose the right to be selfish.”

We have to start holding our leaders, elected and otherwise, to a higher standard. Sometimes that means turning down campaign dollars from sources that lack integrity. Other times, it means foregoing a raise or rejecting a bonus so your support staff maintains its morale. Paying bills and engaging in self-care are not selfish. Shoot, even getting a bonus when everyone’s doing well is ok. But when, as a leader, you look out for yourself at the expense of those around you, you’re doing damage to the culture and community you’re suppose to be protecting.

Think of it like this: As a leader, if you do something selfish and stupid that jeopardizes your community’s reputation, you’re not only risking your job but also the jobs of everyone that supports you. Let’s look at all the companies that have gone down the drain because of poor leadership. The leaders were not the only ones affected. Their employees weren’t only affected. The employees’ families were affected. The generations that follow that employee are affected. Our decisions, as leaders, will have everlasting impacts on the world.

Yesterday’s election results, though some positive change took place, disappointed me on a large scale. The battle may be a wash but the war is far from over. Over the next two years (and long after that), let us, as follower-leaders, pledge to change the culture across political, economic, and social arenas. We have to get to a point where we can disagree without being mean-spirited and that starts with requiring our leaders to model that. We influence them by demanding more of them so that they can influence us. It’s a simple cycle.

 

Make selfless leadership a requirement.

Advertisements

Breaking Down Walls

Right now, there are opportunities for women who want to be entrepreneurs. There are small business loans specifically for women and, before that changes, you have to take advantage of these grants.

This generation is the generation that can change the status quo. Women have never been lesser beings than men but, for too much of history, they’ve been seen as such. Change is possible, but I don’t know how long that’s going to last with our current federal government.

You are capable. It’s just about taking that risk. (And, minorities men, that applies for us as well. Let’s capitalize on these crooked capitalists.)

Make shifting the culture a priority .

I Got The Keys (DMix)

“(People) always asking me the key. ‘Til you own your own, you can’t be free.” — Jay Z

This line is powerful. As an entrepreneur who is working to reach a point of success, I realize that freedom, for me, is setting my own grind schedule. Sometimes, I don’t feel like working and I don’t need to but, as an employee, I am required to in order to fulfill my obligations as an employee of a greater system. As a business owner, I don’t expect to work any less. In fact, I expect to work much harder. The difference is, I will be working for myself and my family as opposed to for someone else and his/her family.

If you caught my post last week about meeting Walter Latham, you saw this quote: “You can go work for 25 years for a company and make decent money and, in 25 years, they give you your watch and your pension and find a 25-year younger version of you.” That statement is my motivation put into words. That, baby boomers and Gen Xers, is why you see millennials making moves so frequently. We see that this is a game we cannot win unless we play by different rules. So we do. We come, we learn, and we contribute. Then we move on, all the while, building our own brands.

I do not dare speculate on what business will look like 20, 10, or even 3 years from now. But I do know that, with increased access to information, our generation has the potential to be the greatest, most philanthropic generation ever to touch the earth. We just have to embrace the fact that security has died and instead has been replaced by a reward to risk ratio.

Ironically, I will end this post with a quotation from one of my favorite business men, Mr. Damon Dash.

“I hustle for my last name. I don’t hustle for my first.”

 

Make professional development a priority.

Stacking Your Hand

When you go to conferences, the minute you get back to your room, write down characteristics on the business cards you’ve collected that will make you remember who you you met. Shoot, don’t just do it for conferences. Do it every time you get a new business card. And, then, use the card.

Short lesson but a critical one.
Make professional development a priority.

Giving Back: National Suit Drive

As much as I love business, I love giving back to those in need even more.  I got this email last week and decided today is the day to share it with you all.  I hope you have the opportunity to either donate or tell someone who could benefit from this program.


****************************************
Men's Wearhouse(R) National Suit Drive
Suit Karma | Pass it on | June 22-July 31
****************************************

The National Suit Drive benefits at-risk men and women transitioning into the workforce by providing them with professional clothing.
DONATE  
Bring your gently used items  to any Men's Wearhouse location thru July 31. As a thank you, receive 50% OFF YOUR NEXT PURCHASE.*

SPREAD THE WORD
Share our #giveasuit post on Facebook and we'll donate $1 (up to $25,000) for each share to local nonprofits!

Styling A Sport Coat

So, I love wearing a nice sport coat and you can find a good one anywhere from a thrift store to Nordstrom.  Over the years, I’ve shopped the gamut and found some good deals on them.  I used to be a firm believer in wearing them only with slacks, khakis, or something else dressy but that is adding such limitation to a jacket that is intended to be versatile.  Check out the infographic below and allow it to inspire you.  You never know when you’ll try something new and be named the best dressed in the room.

5 ways to wear a sport coat, men's style inspiration from Style Girlfriend