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Turkeys and Eagles

Turkeys and Eagles

Did you know that Benjamin Franklin was not all that thrilled having the Bald Eagle as our national symbol? He much preferred…TADA…the Turkey!! So as you are celebrating this day of Thanksgiving think about the noble bird that could have been on our currency instead of on the table!!! Here is a letter that Franklin wrote to his daughter about the bird debate. Enjoy. Franklin’s Letter to His Daughter, Sally, a.k.a. Mrs. Sarah Bache (excerpt) “For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him. “With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country… “I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a...
Women Leaders: We Do NOT have More Time to be Silent

Women Leaders: We Do NOT have More Time to be Silent

Rachel Carson who wrote a book of major importance “The Silent Spring” was a GUTSY woman who spoke out about the level of toxins in our world 50 years ago. Those numbers are higher and the risk more deadly. Someone recently commented that with all the toxins in the world we are living longer so why worry. Interesting point of view. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of Carson’s book. It is as relevant, actually more so, than 5 decades ago. Please read the following blog and my response. And remember, those who remain silent are guilty too.   She Was Right By: Arianna Huffington (originally posted on www.huffingtonpost.com) Fifty years ago, a marine biologist named Rachel Carson began publishing a series of articles in The New Yorker, sounding the alarm about the dangers of exposure to chemicals and the failure of the chemical industry and government regulators to protect people from those dangers. Later collected in the book Silent Spring, Carson’s prescient insights are the subject of an anniversary feature this week by HuffPost’s environmental reporter Lynne Peeples. She delivers not only a tribute to Carson but a reminder that her work is more relevant than ever. Despite Carson’s warnings, our leaders are still not doing nearly enough to regulate the potentially harmful chemicals we’re exposed to every day. As Lynne notes, more than 80,000 chemicals currently used in our country have never been fully tested, so we don’t even know how damaging they might be to humans or to the environment. And as Harvard Medical School’s Eric Chivian explains, when it comes to determining if...

The Whole Enchilada

This is a country founded on freedom of speech. Often it seems to go too far in disrespect, even wanting to destroy the credibility of others (just watch the Presidential campaign)! However, the peaceful protest at the Rose Parade brings in a dimension that has excellent possibilities for healthy change in our society. I’d love to hear your comments to my comment at the end of the HuffPost article. Click Here to Read:  Protesters Occupy The Rose Parade By, Anna Almendrala and Kathleen Miles, both reporters of Huffington...

Battling Women and Windmills

In our Total Leadership Connections program we teach participants to go beyond the obvious, that leadership in any field requires deep thought; superficial considerations are merely not enough. Recently asked what I thought about all the brouhaha around actor/director Mel Gibson’s racist and venomous comments to ex-girlfriend and mother of his child I decided to do some research. Based on what I teach, how we either stand on the shoulders of the past or repeat it, I have a whole new understanding of what I think may be going on with this famous celebrity. Stay with me for a minute while I take you back to Mel’s ancestry, no not as far back as Bravehart, just to his father Hutton. Mel’s father, a devout Catholic has his own website where he tackles what he sees as the hypocrisy of his church in modern times. He also is a conspiracy theorist and a holocaust denier. I began to wonder how this man became so polarized in his thinking; we have to be taught to hate, it is not our natural state of being. I decided to dig deeper. You may have a hard time tying together what I am saying; it is counter-intuitive in the world we live in, which is fraught with dichotomies. If so, please find more information in “Don’t Bring It to Work” or you may contact me at Sylvia@ceoptions.com. Okay, here we go. One of the most vital aspects of our development has to do with crises; what I call hardening of the emotions. In Hutton Gibson’s life there were many. His mother died when he...

Leadership and Change: Ready on a Moment’s Notice

I must really be getting old! I remember when tornadoes were only meant to happen in Kansas. In past years most of us watched “The Wizard of Oz” and went along with Dorothy on her journey, yet it was just a story, right? While tornadoes indicate sudden change and danger they were “out there” in pockets of the country. They were meant to be in Kansas, not Connecticut. Well, not until this week anyway. The weather patterns of the world have changed, the world has changed, and we all need to be more adept at adaptation. Change in the blink of an eye is required by all of us, and leaders need to have the tools of change in their back pockets. Here is an example: Yesterday we finished the second session of Total Leadership Connections and sent the group on its way. Lots of stops and blocks happened once this group left the “Magic Kingdom” of The Country Place. Someone called to tell me about a tire that blew while he was driving, fortunately on a back road just off the highway. There were plane delays, sitting on a runway for hours without even water, even a tree from a quick yet busy thunder storm blocking a road to his house. What impressed me was the balanced manner in which these momentary unplanned changes were handled. NO victims in this group. No crabbing and blaming, no anger and upset. Well, maybe some upset; after all it is okay to be human. However, whether it was nature showing its strength, or a people problem, there was calm behind the...

Leadership and “It’s All About Me”

  Think about a moment when someone is judging a situation that seems untenable and you think “What did I do to make this so awful?”   Happens to the best of us; happens to all of us. What is the best way to handle the emotions that bubble up? Many become “the stuffers” and let the unpleasant feelings gurgle and gnaw at the solar plexus right above the stomach. That is why anti-acids are such great over the counter sellers.   Others of us point the finger of blame at the situation. “The blamers” always have a chorus of “It’s the weather, it’s the economy, it’s the government, it’s the product”, and, when all else fails, “it’s my mother.”   Then there are “the yellers” who will attack and defend in loud voices to stop the conversation. No one can get a word in edgewise or otherwise and the situation stays stagnant for lack of real dialogue.   One of my colleagues, a woman I greatly respect who is a core a leader to follow, shared with me what had happened earlier that day. The project she headed was stalled. It really was not “her fault”, although she was the project leader. The outsource company had too many silos and the communication route was blocked at every turn.   She called and called. She emailed and emailed. Weeks were going by and there was no resolution. She contacted the vice president, the CEO, nada.    Her boss was frustrated. They had a pow- wow. Nerves were frayed. Yet, they were able to push through and come up with...