Ozone Layer Parenting Principles

The ozone layer is a natural phenomenon; like gravity. It surrounds the Earth and prevents us from being destroyed by the harmful rays of the sun. It serves as a force field, a buffer and a filter to ensure that ultra-violet light is converted to a form that is useful for creating a pleasant habitat for inhabitants of this planet.

The Ozone layer can serve as a metaphor to help explain and remember systems that affect our daily lives. For example, we can emulate its attributes to enable us to develop a means to creatively raise our young.

Living in the 21st Century, confronts us with challenges that affect our quality of life. We need to be actively engaged in our environment to train and develop those who are under our care.

The Ozone Layer Training and Development Program draws from the atmosphere. It contains a model that seeks to inspire us to naturally cultivate our instincts to parent to impact the world through creating stronger families and well-adjusted children. The model was introduced in the book, Unlock the Secrets of Ozone Leadership; OrlandoCeaser.com and amazon.com,

The Ozone Layer Parenting Principles emulates characteristics of the ozone layer and applies them to raising children. These principles have been around for thousands of years but may not have been categorized this way. For example, my parents used these principles in raising eleven children and my wife and I used them to raise our son and daughter. We did not refer to them as Ozone Layer Parenting Principles, but the concepts were embedded in our philosophies and actions.

Ozone Layer Parenting has 5 guiding principles. You will recognize them and identify with their purpose. I am hopeful, they can help you structure your actions. The Ozone Layer Parenting Principles can stimulate individual and group decisions to customize and individualize instinctive means to parent more effectively.

ozone_layer_landp

The 5 principles of Ozone Layer Parenting are:

  1. Directive
  2. Protective
  3. Selective
  4. Corrective
  5. Effective

Directive 

Directive is a quality assigned to leadership, parenting, training and coaching. This attribute confirms there is a vision, a mission, strategy, values and a belief system to reach goals. You will apply the directive principle to your family. You are the person or persons accountable for bringing the children into the world and steering them along the right path. You have rules and regulations to implement and enforce in your home. Also, you will ensure that everyone is educated about the rules and consequences of disobedience.

People may draw upon the way they were raised to decide what to do and what not to do in raising their children. Many families may have different laws, but in their home, they will decide on the operating laws and principles.

Protective 

When I looked into my newborn daughter’s eyes, this bundle of joy, initiated feelings of love and protection. I promised to do everything in my power to ensure that she was happy and safe. This pledge magnified as she grew older through the various stages of her life. My son generated the same emotions at his birth.

A parent’s desire, the instinct to give life and protect life is like a lion and lioness, as they approach their cubs. The lion family unit is called a pride, which seems aptly named to signify their attachment to their group. I remember the many ways we child proofed our homes, told our children to beware of strangers and searched for safe neighborhoods when we chose to relocate for my job.

Our hearts are broken when we hear about school shootings and the demand for gun control and measures to help parents ensure they can exercise their protective mandate in the development of their children. Many schools have safe passage zones which are protected routes where children can walk back and forth from school to home.

The abuse of prescription and recreational drugs traumatize our minds and sense of security. You add to this the increase in crime and reduction in morality and you see why the protective principle is so important.

Selective

The Ozone Layer will filter ultra-violet light to prevent dangerous light from entering our atmosphere. As parents, we must make sure that everything that looks enticing is not consumed by our families. We limit the exposure to certain stimuli, whether it is cell-phones, television, people and questionable activities. We establish boundaries, restrictions, and acceptable practices through rules and regulations.

We know the importance of diet and exercise, whether we stick to them or not. We read about proper quantities of the correct nutrients for good health.

Initially, we are very involved in their friendships. We constantly speak on the value of running with the right crowd and to stay away from unsavory people. The selective principle can cause friction as children enter the teenage years and want more independence.

Corrective

The Ozone Layer will correct itself. A hole in the natural ozone layer was noted many years ago. This opening is becoming smaller because we put practices in place to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. When we change our behavior, we can change our results and rectify bad decisions. Parents provide feedback and encouragement to children about their performance and possibilities. We have an obligation to institute disciple and enforcement when behavior is sub-par, and rules are broken.

It is also a sound practice to apologize, and show we are human and make mistakes. This teaches a very valuable lesson when we are wrong and must correct our actions. Course corrections are necessary when actions, programs and behavior have deviated from your desired path and you are not achieving the desirable result.

Effective

Parenting is one of those professions where you are always learning on the job. Many of us did not receive training and an instructional manual or app when we became parents. There does not seem to be any guarantees, however when we show children the right path, although they may occasionally stray from it, they will return, because they have seen the path.

We can increase our effectiveness as we connect and coordinate with individuals charged with training and developing our offspring. Parents involved in raising their children in partnership with other members of the child care and development team will ensure there are coordinated strategies to enrich and enlighten us to encourage students and enforce the 5 principles.

It is important to incorporate the 5 principles into your parenting strategy. These principles advise us about the value of celebrating success, building self esteem through words of encouragement, giving them chores to help build responsibilities, follow through on discipline and should lead to well-adjusted children.

We are surrounded by natural systems and models which could give us helpful metaphors. These metaphors could be a road map to lead us to information that can help us devise innovative strategies to direct, protect, select, and correct our children and increase our child rearing effectiveness.

Copyright © 2018 Orlando Ceaser

 

 

 

Communication Excellence – A Competitive Advantage

We should help our young people become better communicators as a part of their educational development, while helping ourselves improve in this area. This should begin in our homes, and shift to the schools, work, community, places of worship and other organizations.

There are statistics that indicate that 85% of success will be attributed to communication skills. Correct speech builds confidence and youth won’t feel self-conscious in the presence of individuals with strong verbal skills. Leadership qualities blossom in the portfolio of a strong communicator. If communication skills are solid, youth can concentrate on the content of their conversations, articulating their dreams and the ideas they want to present. If communication skills are solid, adults can broaden their career opportunities.

Improving communication skills is a phenomenal benefit and competitive advantage. Improved speech at an early age actually making life easier for everyone. Students don’t have to think as much about choosing the right words for speaking clearly will come naturally for them. It is easier to have excellent speech and shift to colloquialisms, then to always speak in colloquialisms and try to shift to excellent speech.

People will jump to conclusions, make snap judgments and make decisions about someone based on their speech. They will rightfully or wrongfully gauge intellect, display bias about where someone were born and raised, gauge economic status, and achievement potential. Companies will hire, promote or allow employees to speak for the company in a meeting or to the media, based on their ability to communicate. These subjective and objective reactions may not be fair, but are indicative of the power of communication skills.

People are resistant to broach the subject of speech correction. This tendency has to change, so that we can radically assist our youth on their path to excellence. I don’t know if this reluctance is due to a lack of confidence, individuals discomfort and knowledge about what is correct speech or if they feel it is not important enough to address. Clearly the data suggests that communication is an area where improvement could be emotionally and financially beneficial.

There are several skill areas essential to master. They are conversations, group presentations, punctuation and written communications. As youth grow older they will get into the intricacies of verbal and non-verbal indication (body language). Mastering these areas will contribute to other parts of their intellectual endeavor such as improving math, science and reading skills. Focusing on these areas early in life will help children form habits that will make communicating easier.

More people should pay attention to individuals whose professions rely on effective speaking. If children use them as a mirror, they could elevate the quality of their communications. Youth would make their career choices and competitively pursue more promotional opportunities. Adults will grow in confidence, credibility and grow in their organizations as communication excellence contributes to their leadership abilities.

Athletes are a prime example of individuals receiving different careers options because of their competence in communicating. Effective communications through their fluid speaking ability could lead to a career in broadcasting. Here are a few examples of athletes who combined athletic excellence with effective communication skills to add another source of income and another career.

  1. Michael Jordan as a pitchman for several products
  2. Michael Strahan, a professional football player who became a sports announcer. His personality and communication skills enabled him to be a co-host on a talk show and opened the doors for numerous commercials
  3. The Rock, a famous actor, at one point in his career was a college football champion and a professional wrestler. His personality and indication skills enabled him to take on many roles due to his ability to communicate.

We should be impressed by people who immigrate to another country unable to speak the language. Many come to the United States and assume English as their second language. Many of the older generation would listen to the radio and watch television, using these as venues to practice and learn English. I admired their persistence and dedication and the quality of their speech after working tirelessly to master the language. We would use them as motivation to improve communication skills.

What is wrong with communication excellence?

Some people feel it is the duty to attack communication excellence. Youth should beware of people who ridicule them because of their dedication to speak a language in the way it was designed to be spoken. Speaking right should not be given a derogatory label. Youth should not have to fight for their freedom to pursue excellence in speech. Youth should not apologize for achievement (excellence does not deserve sympathy or ridicule). Unlocking their leadership greatness will give them the necessary perspective, drive and credibility to lead their peers to share their commitment to excellence.

Effective communication should be seen as a vehicle to achieve goals and fulfill dreams. Achieving their dreams is the objective for youth and adults. Being able to communicate at a high level will work to their advantage. It is therefore, helpful to emulate the articulation of professional communicators, i.e. teachers, actors, newscasters, television and radio personalities, lawyers, spokespersons and politicians to help improve communication skills. There is also value in joining speaking organizations such as Toastmasters International to gain real world speaking experience and coaching in a nurturing environment. Additionally, Local schools and junior colleges also have speech classes which can help students and aspiring professionals.

As adults, we should not abandon the practice of improving our speech. It is never too late to speak better. We will serve as a model for people who watch and listen to us. Diligence in communication can have a powerful effect on the job. People in leadership position will select people they feel have the power to communicate corporate messages to employees. We noted that statistics have indicated that 85% of the skills necessary to be promoted on the job are related to your communication skills. This statistic alone underscores the importance of communicating with excellence and its value as a competitive advantage.

Copyright © 2015 Orlando Ceaser

Motherhood and Leadership

Mothermirrorlion1

You and I are probably very similar. My early exposure to leadership principles came from my Mother. I would imagine that I am not alone. Usually we tend to think of leadership as a masculine trait, but the seeds of leadership in many homes were actually planted by the Mother.

Mother initiated our leadership education. She was the driving force behind our early physical, mental, educational and spiritual development. Mother planted the seeds of leadership by modeling behavior, holding us accountable, introducing us to new experiences, coaching and encouraging us, cultivating gifts and pushing us out of the nest to participate and get involved in our surroundings.

Mother allowed us to explore different activities to find our talents. We were creative around her and she celebrated our ingenuity. Many of us have memories of our Mom taking us to the park, shopping and various school and church programs. She was eager to compliment us when we did something well and quick to discipline us when we were out of line. She was so proud of us. By supporting our interests she identified our gifts and bolstered our confidence.

We were her team. The climate in her leadership environment allowed us to blossom as we outwardly and subliminally listened to the valuable messages. We were constantly infiltrated by leadership qualities that emerged as she navigated the parenting process.

  1. Setting the vision for a possible future
  2. Establishing values and beliefs
  3. Providing direction, opportunities and resources
  4. Encouragement and reinforcement
  5. Discipline, feedback and developing healthy habits

Setting the vision for the future

We were told we could be anything we wanted to be. We were challenged to be and do our best. If we were going to be a janitor, we were told to be the best janitor. Education was strongly touted as the key to our future, as something no one could take from us. When I finished 8th grade, Mother asked, “What is next?” High school was the correct response. After high school, she asked, “What is next? I responded college, as we had discussed so many times since 8th grade. It was drilled into me at an early age that I was someone special and she saw me reaching my God given potential.

Establishing values and beliefs

The rules and regulations of life, the values and beliefs to guide our behavior and understanding of the world, were initially from our Mother. The stories she read, the lessons we learned in her presence and the experiences we received during playtime. She was the moral and religious center of the home. She showed what was important by how she spent her time and through the chores she distributed and the discipline she delivered. She practiced what she preached and walked the talk. My Mother was a continuous learner and went back to school and became a Registered Nurse. Additionally she gained a BS degree after all of the children finished school. She was always active in community, school and church affairs.

Providing direction, opportunities and resources

We were instructed in the ways of approved and acceptable behavior. We were warned about actions that would not be tolerated. We were not going to embarrass and shame her or the family. My Mother was a stickler on manners and polite behavior. We had standards of good conduct which was anchored in the Golden Rule.

Mother gave us opportunities to express our opinions and grow our talents. I had a number of jobs through the years. I worked as a shoe shine boy, a paper boy, shoe salesman and shoveled snow to make extra money. I learned the value of hard work and how to handle money. I also benefitted from collecting money from her Avon customers. I could always count on her doing anything to see that I had what I needed. She paid for my art supplies, new clothes to march in a parade and prepared me for many other school projects.

Encouragement and reinforcement

When we fell she picked us up and made us feel better. She always knew what to say when we were hurting. She was our biggest fan. She had confidence in us. My Mother had many children and she treated us all differently and there were no favorites among the children. If she was leaning toward one of the others, she was open to talk about it. My Mother told me I was the Chosen One. My response was chosen by whom to do what? It was her way of letting me know there was a purpose for my life and I had to find out what it was. When others seemed to abandon us, Mother was always in our corner offering words of support, guidance and forgiveness.

Discipline, feedback and developing healthy habits

Mother was known for providing simulations to prepare us for life in the real world, although we did not call them simulations. She gave us positive and reasonably realistic feedback when we did well. She checked our homework to make sure it was done and done correctly. She did not let us off the hook. She held us accountable for our actions and helped lay down the law and maintain the order.

When we broke the rules, the punishment usually fit the offense. She wanted us to get in the habit of doing our best and acting properly. There was a saying and a television program that said, “Father knows best.” If that was true Mother knew that and all the rest.

My Mother challenged me to learn and present a very long drama poem when I was ten years old. The Creation by James Weldon Johnson was in her English literature text book when she was in night school. She worked with me and checked with me until I mastered the piece. I began performing it in church services all over the city for many years. She brought out my gift of public speaking and made me comfortable in front of crowds.

I realize that some may have a different opinion of their Mother’s role in sowing and demonstrating leadership principles into their lives. Some may have received examples of how a leader should not perform. Nevertheless, we know the value of strong leadership in altering the course of lives and organizations.

When we search our memories and review the books, theories, seminars and the performance of actual leaders, let us not forget where many were first exposed to lessons on leadership. We should recognize and celebrate the awesome contributions of Mothers. They should be honored for the role they play in developing leaders of today and leaders of tomorrow. During the time we spent on our Mother’s knee, in her lap or at her feet, we were overtly or covertly immersed in the relationship between Motherhood and leadership.

Copyright © 2010 Orlando Ceaser

Success despite Misfortune tellers and Prophets of doom

You may not have experienced this personally, but you have heard people say they lack confidence because people verbally doubted their ability. Their abilities and value were challenged at an early age. They would never accomplish something. When they were older, they were told they were not qualified to do something or lacked the capacity or skill to achieve an objective. Their failure would be due to their socio-economic status, background, gender, race, culture, appearance or interests. These individuals were devastated and believed the negative remarks, hook line and sinker.

You may share my curiosity about people who go out of their way to predict a negative future about someone. They will not hesitate to tell a person that they will never earn a college degree, get into a particular college or program, and achieve a dream or a job, because of a limited vision of an individual’s potential. These misfortune tellers will frequently volunteer their assessment of a friends potential, as if it was a foregone conclusion. People are told that they will never be a leader, were not bright enough, tall enough, thin enough or good-looking enough to make it in this world.

Lack-of-Vision

I walked into a room of new district managers after a merger. I was struck by the number of individuals present who were never supposed to be promoted. They wore the label of being unfit for management from their previous organization. Hell was to freeze over before some of them became managers. I looked around the room and arrived at the conclusion that the weather forecast for hell called for an ice storm of momentous proportions.

We look at these negative prognosticators, misfortune tellers, prophets of doom and dream killers, and wonder;

• Are they clairvoyant, bona fide, certified Palm readers?
• What is their success rate or track record of predicting events?
• Are they famous because of their success with the lottery, betting on horses or investing in the stock market?
• Do they have the best grades in school?
• Are they the highest performers on the job?
• Are they independently wealthy because of their ability to select winners?

The absence of such data, should disqualify people from seeing into your future and making judgments on what you can or will not be able to do. Why should we listen to these questionable, nonsensical projections without proof of their credibility? We seldom subject people to this kind of questioning. We take their word and grant them the influence to affect our lives. I wonder how they would answer these questions. A

Personal achievement and productivity in many segments of our lives are influenced by what people have said about us. The words of misfortune tellers have stunted the professional and personal growth of countless individuals. The words are devastating, but we give them added power by believing the words must be true. This belief increases the predictive power of words uttered by people who are mean-spirited enough to attack our dreams without offering any constructive criticism to help us grow. Their motives should disqualify them for conflict of interest. It may not be that they believed we would, but they wanted us to fail. Somehow our success might make them look bad, as they take it personally.

We have to be careful around misfortune tellers, prophets of doom and dream killers. Words have power and should not be used to predict a negative future unless they are used to instruct someone in a positive manner. Granted, some people may have unrealistic expectations of their potential and you may feel it necessary to bring them down to reality. This can be accomplished in a positive manner by directing them to an area where you feel their strengths are more appropriate. This of course should be done if you have the right experience, skills and credentials. If you don’t feel someone can do something and it’s just your opinion, you must evaluate the reason for bursting their balloon. You may need to show wisdom by being silent and keeping your opinions to yourself.

The prophets of doom, live in the world of the worst case scenarios. They can be destructive if they only and always paint a picture of the worst case happening to you. Frequently, they point to personal characteristic or circumstance that you cannot overcome. They can depress you and cause you to give up trying, if they consistently fill your head with negative expectations.

The following chart should be helpful when faced with naysayers who are running around with sharp objects, leaping in the air to burst your balloons. The balloons represent your goals, dreams, positive intentions and lofty expectations.

canbelieve
If people say you can’t do something and you believe them, chances are you will prove them right. You will be discouraged and doubt your ability to go against their predictions. You give them the ability to influence personal perceptions and actions.

If someone says you can’t do something and you do not believe them, you will do everything within your power to prove them wrong. Their perception of you will drive you to higher levels of performance. You ask yourself, what gives them the right to say that about you, they don’t know you. You will show them how wrong they are about you.

If someone says you can do something and their belief is consistent with your perception, you will work in concert with their expectations. Your performance will more than likely be inspired, as you validate your personal convictions.

However, if someone says you can do something and you do not believe them, the result would be as if they said you couldn’t do it. Your lack of confidence and weak belief in yourself would undermine your success. There are instances when someone’s belief in you is greater than your belief in yourself. If they are persistent, you may eventually see what they see in you. It is important for you to keep an open mind and consider them a good judge of character. It is very difficult to achieve something if you do not believe it is possible. If you cannot see yourself performing in a certain role, it is difficult to achieve it or succeed in it.

Your belief system is a central part of performing to meet your expectations. There may be instances where outside forces will try to derail your progress, but a healthy self image, positive encouragement from others and a persistent drive to excel, will work to your advantage. In a competitive world where misfortune tellers, prophets of doom and dream killers work to stifle your achievement, you must be vigilant in growing skills, protecting and projecting confidence in your abilities.

Copyright © 2014 Orlando Ceaser

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer – lessons in handling differences

We are often started with the commercialization of Christmas. We are reminded to not lose sight of the reason for the season. This is valuable advice for Christians and others during this reverent time of year.

We grew up with Gene Autry Christmas classic of Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. It is a delightful song, but also delivers a powerful message about encountering and handling differences. This song could start meaningful conversations about accepting others.

The song begins with a reference to the reindeer popularized in Clement Clarke Moore’s, “The night before Christmas”, also known as “A visit from St. Nicholas.” It begins with a roll call of Santa Claus’ reindeer that of course omits the name of Rudolph. As you recall, Rudolph was different from the other reindeer because of the luminescent quality of his nose. His nose was so shiny that it had either reflective qualities or it glowed like a light. This was enough to make him the object of ridicule and ultimately ostracism by the other reindeer.

This lack of acceptance is seen when children and adults are confronted with someone who is different from them. Our initial response is to make fun of the person and then to isolate them because of their characteristics, traits, heredity or idiosyncrasies. Many of us recall when we were young and begged for approval. Even to this day, there is something about us that makes us stand out from the crowd and the crowd lets us know it.

At work or is school, simply being the new person, the new kid on the block, the person who is an unknown, becomes a source for teasing or isolation. We often wondered,” if they would only get to know me, they would see that I’m just like them. “Rudolph was a reindeer, so he surely had a similar appearance, except for his nasal peculiarity. But suppose he was of a different color, from a different region of the country or had a different ability. He would have manifested a difference that would have caused him difficulty until he was accepted. We usually ask the different party to fit in, when the real focus should be on them being accepted by the group.

Bullying is also a response shown toward those who are different. The song the does not indicate that Rudolph was bullied, but we can only assume that preventing him from “playing in any reindeer games” was not always accomplished in the most delicate manner.

The song does not tell us what Santa Claus was doing during the hazing or if he even knew about it. But, as a good leader, he engineered a very strategic response. He knew the talent and value of all of his reindeer. He evaluated the weather system for his next journey and realized he was going to encounter numerous blizzards. He knew that the solution to his problem existed among the ranks of his reindeer. He knew he had one reindeer that could help navigate the wintry delivery of toys to boys and girls around the world. This opportunity would be well received it if every reindeer benefited from his gift.

We can give Santa credit for waiting for the appropriate time to unveil strategy. He could have given the reindeer the opportunity to work it out amongst themselves, as so many people do in similar situations. They say such things as,” kids are just being kids, learning to navigate difficult situations will only make the recipient stronger and teach them valuable life skills and that which does not kill them will make them stronger, to paraphrase Friedrich Nietzsche the philosopher. Maybe the reindeer performed similar initiation rites to others in the group that had other distinctions from their peers. Maybe they solve their treatment of Rudolph as being harmless and natural.

The defining moment came,” one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say: Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?” Many managers, leaders and parents look for the opportune moment to use the skills of their people. The right moment to show the world and the individual, that they recognize their true value and wish to share this value with every member on the team. We can only assume that in the fictitious conversation, Santa’s encouraged Rudolph and told him about the value of his difference. He made him feel that he was something special and should never feel that he was not important and did not have a place. I’m sure he made him feel like an important member of the team. He validated his value by asking him to lead the team by moving up to the front of the line.

You remember the happy ending to the song. “Then all the reindeer loved him, as they shouted out with glee, Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, you’ll go down in history! We know that in real life, responses to differences may not always lead to a happy ending. Sometimes the individuals have lingering insecurity, damage to their self-esteem and underlying resentment from the initial exclusion. But, so often when the difference that is ridiculed or denied is used for the benefit of the group, the organization, institution, group or community becomes stronger. The people learn a valuable lesson about inclusion. We are hopeful that when the person is accepted they don’t become complicit and act in the same manner when they encounter other people who are different.

If we remember the Rudolph days of our lives and commit ourselves to prevent them from happening to others, we will maximize their future contributions to our teams, families, organizations and communities. We will perform a noble act when leading by example with the lessons learned from Rudolph the red nose reindeer.

Copyright © 2013 Orlando Ceaser

Reading to children can make you a better leader

I was told of the benefits of reading to children. It would aid in their development, help them acquire a love for learning and strengthen the bond between parent and child. But I did not count on the collateral or ancillary advantages I would receive. Of course, I was excited and encouraged by the interaction and the way I was able to connect to my children. But, with each story, nursery rhyme or fable I began to associate their content with the people I managed in the workplace. Their content gave me new insights into executing my role as a leader.

When I returned to work I found that I began to incorporate some of the very language and concepts from the literature I read to my kids the night before. Aesop’s Fables were always good with life lessons. Androcles and the lion taught me the value of helping everyone no matter how small because you never knew when they could help you. The story was about a mouse who returned a favor by saving a lion that was caught in a hunter’s net. The Emperor’s new clothes by Hans Christian Andersen had many applications to corporate culture. The failure to speak to power brought on by fear and ego was a natural metaphor. The practice of using children literature to clarify leadership principles is widespread today with articles and books about the Goldilocks Leadership Style. There are books such as, The Oz Principle by Roger Connors, Tom Smith and Craig Hickman, and Our Emperor’s have no clothes by Alan Weiss and Emperor’s Clothes by Catherine Mc Guinness. They use the aforementioned classic as inspiration for their works.

Reading children stories make managerial principles fresh and exciting. Many people can relate to them and feel connected to the subject. It takes us back to our childhood and the rich and often forgotten lessons from our youth. I read the classic fable of the hare and the tortoise. I walked into work with a new perspective. The morale of the story is that “plodding wins the race,” emphasizing the value of persistence. But when I arrived at work, I placed a different spin on the classic story. I asked my managers, “Who would you rather be the hare or the tortoise?” After a light discussion, I announced that I would rather be a hare that did not sleep. In our fast paced world, a company could seldom afford to hire a large number of workers who always started and finished slowly. We needed people to get out of the starting blocks quickly, master the information around their jobs and get up the learning curve in record time. We needed speed merchants who were confident, with stamina and awareness of the danger of underestimating their competition and the needs of their customers.

Another principle that was reinforced was the idea of performing with a winning attitude, while may have involved faking it until making it was a reality. My daughter was nearly 3 years old and was at the swimming pool with my wife and her mother. She was reciting a book out loud. It was the book I read to her before bed. As she moved to the bottom of each page, she moved her eyes to the top of the next page or turned the page as appropriate. “The man was flabbergasted,” she said. A woman next to her was astonished by her apparent reading skills at such a young age. She did not realize that my daughter had merely memorized every word on every page in the book and turned the pages appropriately, on her way to learning how to read. As leaders we must sometimes show courage and strength in a positive outcome even when we are not 100% certain, until the result is achieved.

I found the following benefits from my bonding moments with my children that I used with my teams that had leadership implications.

1. I listened better because they gave me their undivided attention and asked questions. They wanted to know the why, the back story behind the story. This is similar to the teams we manage. People want to know the content and the context.
2. Children enjoy when you are enthusiastic when reading a story. I was animated and displayed passion in my delivery and interpretation of the story.
3. I had to adapt a reading style that brought each child into the moment. If one child was quiet and the other easily distracted, I had to individualize and customize my reading style, make stronger eye contact and gestures to ensure that both were engaged in the story.
4. I selected stories for them which were my favorites from childhood. This helped reinforce messages that I had forgotten. Some of the fairytales and nursery rhymes were originally written as political satire which helped explain the appeal to some adults. Looking for other ways to use the information helped broaden my perspective.
5. Reading taught me the value of play and including humor in my conversation and interactions with my children and my people.
6. The value of discipline and a set routine, along with the value of commitment to my promises by reading every night I was in town. If I was traveling out of town, I read to them over the telephone to keep my word. When there are challenges there are always ways to improvise to fulfill promises made on the important things in life.

We should look forward to reading to our children or to any children who could benefit from our time and attention. There are organizations such as Real Men Read which place adults in local schools to read to children. The men participating are receiving some of the same benefits I outlined above. The benefits are achieved whether you are reading to your children or any willing child sitting in front of you to hear your passionate delivery of a new book or a childhood classic

Additionally, we know that, “Children are born ready to learn and reading to them stimulates and satisfies their thirst for information. Children cultivate 85% of their intellect, personality and skills by age five. The first months and years of life set the stage for lifelong development,” according the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, 2000. Reading to them at an early age is a tremendous advantage for them. However, the returns to the adults are exceptionally stimulating. When we think of the input into the creative process that is triggered when we read and visualize the images; the reinforcement of key values and the lessons to help illustrate leadership principles, reading to children should be a consistent and mandatory part of our lives.

Copyright © 2013 Orlando Ceaser

What matters most / Precious little angels

We are often reminded of the priorities in your lives. We have an awakening that relationships and God give true meaning to our existence. What matters most and Precious little angels are two poems that put our priorities and purpose into perspective.

What matters most

What matters most,
Competes for time on our schedules
Like a client who makes an appointment.
They jockey for position
And request private audiences,
Primacy and priority status.

What matters most,
Believes in the seniority of faith,
The value of the home
And intermittently,
Issues demands to be moved
To the front of the line.

What matters most,
Is discontent with quality time,
For it serves to rationalize
The crumbs of attention
Thrown in their direction.
The left over morsels of time
Are insufficient,
For they do not meet the minimum
Daily requirements
Of our obligations.

What matters most,
Views a pedestal
And questions what occupies
The place which was reserved
For the critical elements
In our lives.

What matters most,
Tugs at our conscience,
Looks at us with solemn eyes,
Begs us to come home early,
To love God,
And treat our neighbors
As we wish to be treated.

What matters most,
Addresses our hearts,
Awakens feelings of responsibility,
For they know,
It is character over credentials,
And fulfillment of potential,
That grows our spirit.

What matters most,
Knows it is not power or possessions,
But the heartfelt confessions
To a Holy God that secures our eternity;
That relationships give us strength
And add seasoning and significance
To the caliber of our lives.

Copyright © 2001 Orlando Ceaser

Precious little angels               

Precious little angels

We’ll miss you tonight.

We were not prepared for your flight.

Our routine was to read and recite,

Say your prayers and kiss you good night.

Handsome and lovely ones don’t be afraid,

For Heaven will stage a parade.

We asked for assistance and when we prayed,

For the favorite games you played.

Precious little angels know that we feel,

The pain of the carnage is real.

You are a bright light that some tried to steal;

And the hurt will take time to heal.

The horror tries to exceed our faith;

Fear leaves us stunned in our tracks;

In very hard times we need our faith;

To gain strength when bad things attack.

Precious little angels, the last embrace

The memories of games of chase,

Must comfort us until we can replace

Your picture with your smiling face.

Copyright © 2012 Orlando Ceaser

www.watchwellinc.com