June 8, 2015

Feelings vs. Facts

Feelings can be a challenge to prove in the workplace. They’re challenging because some feelings aren’t based on current realities, but on experiences that can cloud the truth.

If you’ve experienced an offence at work, think before you respond or react. And if you want an apology or resolve from the offender, here are a few things to consider:

  • Was the offence intentional? If so, can you prove it?
  • What was your emotional state when the offence occurred?
  • Are you viewing the current offence through the lens of your past?
  • What impact does the offence have on you and the company as a whole if it’s not addressed and resolved?
Telling someone how we feel in the workplace may be impossible to validate without tangible proof. One sure way to get heard is to measure offensive behaviors against the company’s mission and core values which should be outlined in the company’s employee handbook. Also, make sure you have the ability to show your value to the company as a problem-solver, not a complainer or whiner. You can do so when you speak more about what your company does and less about how you feel.

May 14, 2015

Pursue Your Greatest Self

In 1996, The SOFEI Group started in the apartment living room of its current Chief Empowerment Officer (CEO) under the umbrella of Virtuous Enterprises, Inc. The organization’s foundation was spiritually and biblically-based because the CEO discovered the challenges many women faced stemmed from how they viewed themselves and their lack of faith and belief in a Being higher than themselves; not because of limited access to resources.

We set our heights to empower women to transform their lives by transforming their minds through biblically-based fellowships and our quarterly newsletter - Inspirational Expressions. As we evolved, we realized we lost focus on our spiritual core.

What was true at our origin stands true today; women cannot achieve or be their greatest without knowing their true power. Unfortunately, this power has been decreased to sexuality and looks, and this power isn’t sustainable like our innate power during seasonal challenges.

Oprah Winfrey states, “Everyone is trying to pursue their greatest being of their true selves.” If this is true for you, here are a few things to consider:

  • Seek God first and His wisdom (Matthew 6:13; James 1:5).
  • Pray and give thanks always (I Thessalonians 5:17-18).
  • See yourself as God does because we were fearfully and wonderfully made in His image (Genesis 1:26; Psalm 139:14).
  • Get rid of limited beliefs about God and your potential because through Him all things are possible and we can do any and every thing through His power and strength (Matthew 19:26; Philippians 4:13).
  • Govern your life according to God’s will because He will not withhold things that are good from people that walk upright (Psalm 84:11).
  • Live life with abundance filled with joy, hope, love, and contentment (John 10:10).
  • Trust God with your heart, mind, and soul (Proverbs 3:5).
We are three-dimensional beings and in order to be our true selves we have to connect to our spirit. Our spirit is like our heart, we can’t live without it. If we attempt to live without an ignited spirit, we’re existing and not living the life God intended.

April 23, 2015

Fret Not

Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked. – Psalm 24:19

Fretting is energy that can leave you stagnant. Quite frankly, it’s wasted energy. Whether your co-worker gets your dream job without much effort, a friend with a promiscuous past gets married during your season of singleness, a surprise break-up, or a family member moves into their luxury abode while you struggle to pay rent, envy will leave you powerless.

The hurt or disappointment does not entitle you to live a life looking through the lens of anger, rage, or worry. It does give you an opportunity to learn how to accept and deal with the growing prevalence of evil, ill-treatment, and personal deficiencies. Critic Samuel Johnson advised, "He who has so little knowledge of human nature to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief which he purposes to remove."

Thinking, talking, and hoarding envy, keeps it alive and seeking revenge can rob you of positive creativity and internal peace.

According to Roman 12:19, “vengeance belongs to God and He will repay.” So, turn every negative situation and person over to God and put envy to rest.

March 2, 2015

Giving: An Antedote to Poverty?

God instructed The Prophet Elijah to travel to Zarephath (a city of Sidon) and dwell with a poor widow to escape drought and a grievous famine in Israel. When Elijah arrived in the city, he saw a widow woman gathering sticks and he asked her, “Please bring me a little water in a cup that I may drink.” And while she was going to get the water, he asked her to bring him a morsel of bread. Her response, “As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin and little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”

Elijah’s response, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. For thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth.’” The poor widow woman fulfilled Elijah’s request. As a result, she and her household ate for many days without running out of flour and oil. And, life was restored to her sick son.

When people are in need, some tend to their needs first before others. This is especially true for women and families living without basic necessities for an extended period of time. However, the widow woman did not allow her extremities to prevent her from making provisions for Elijah. Following are a few characteristics the widow woman exuded that changed her impoverished stance:

  • She was not a complainer.
  • She was very humble and industrious.
  • She was charitable and generous.
  • She had strong faith and confidence in God and His word.
There are different levels and types of poverty – situational, generational, and extreme. The solution for each need different strategies, but a simple way out of many struggles could be tied to how we give. This view doesn’t minimize or trivialize the seriousness of poverty and its impact, but it does demonstrate the impact of giving. Just as poverty have different levels and types, so does giving.

Matthew 10:8b states, “Freely you have received, freely give.” Galatians 6:7b, states, “For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” And, Luke 6:38 states, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

The measure of our lives will be determined by how we give, not how we receive. How does your life measure up?

Note: Bible verses are from The King James Version of the Bible.

February 2, 2015

Twelve ways to ‘C’ your way through 2015

  1. Clarity – Get clear on who you want to become and what you want to achieve.
  2. Completion – What will be the positive or negative result if you achieve or don’t achieve your desired outcome?
  3. Confide – Tell at least one person that will hold you accountable to creating change in your life.
  4. Commitment – Create a plan and system to be steadfast and unmovable.
  5. Chase – Pursue only your dreams; not the dreams of others.
  6. Control – Take control of the forces (e.g., habits, people, or substances) that can create barriers to achieving your inner-most desires.
  7. Confidence – You have everything within you to succeed. Do not base your success on external conditions.
  8. Condition – We are what we think. Defeated thoughts will lead to a defeated life. Train your mind to win.
  9. Courage – Be audacious and create your own path for success.
  10. Contentment – Be satisfied with what you have and don’t compare yourself to others.
  11. Character – Who are you or who will you become as a result of you reaching your goal(s)?
  12. Contribute – Sow into the lives of others as you strive for success. You will be amazed of what you will reap.

December 2, 2014

Invest in yourself

"I only take classes my job pays for."

"If my company wants me to stay, they should pay for my training."

"As soon as I get my MBA, I’m out of here!"

"I only enroll in workshops or classes that are free."

If your company pays for training, who’s investing in your professional development, you or your company? If your company pays, what do they get in return? If you pay, what’s the ROI (Return on Investment) for your growth and development?

Imagine hiring a contracting company that specializes in home renovations showing up at your doorstep without the skills, tools, or resources to perform the job. Would you pay for the training and resources the contracting company needs to complete the job? Or, would you hire another contracting company equipped with resources and expertise to meet your requirements and deadline to renovate?

Corporations are discovering better ways to yield returns on their resources and investments. And unfortunately, this doesn’t include ‘human’ capital because too many corporations have witnessed and experienced their education and training investments walk out the door.

If your career has come to a screeching halt, evaluate where you invest most of your time and money. If you plan to excel in your current or future place of employment, you have to transition to self-directed and life-long learners. The library is replete with ‘free’ resources for professional or career development and some organizations are replete with ‘fee-based’ resources. The resource you choose would be based on what you’re trying to achieve and why?

Education has been recognized as an integral path to economic empowerment and wealth. Not designer bags, shoes, or acrylic nails. If you’ve been blessed with these things great! But, if you invest more in these things than yourself, evaluate how these things have positioned you to create the foundation to your financial independence and stability?

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, “We buy what we want and beg for what we need”. Education is a needed commodity to evolve and thrive in today’s society and your growth will be measured by what you endow to yourself.

November 12, 2014

Don't Die with Your Baton

‘The greatest tragedy in life is not death, but a life without a purpose.” – Dr. Myles Munroe

On Sunday, November 9, Dr. Myles Munroe – a prominent pastor, prolific author, and transformational leader perished in a deadly plane crash. Dr. Munroe expressed his concern about his generation of leaders not passing on the legacy of leadership. He described this as – a person dying with a baton in their hand. And if someone wanted that baton, they would have to pry it from the hands of the person who was dead.

Exodus 32:9 states, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people!” This is the depiction of people with hardened hearts and ears unwilling to listen or heed to the voice of God. Pride is the culprit of a stiff-necked generation and this generational type is growing from the strength of pride.

Individuals unwilling to learn are unwilling to lead. And, if we’re unwilling to lead, then why question or complain about the demise of our communities or society? We weren't created to receive and keep, but to receive and bless! Dr. Munroe used his life to teach people how to discover and live with purpose and he died in route to pass the baton of transformational leadership.

In his book entitled, Understanding Your Potential, Dr. Munroe states, "You must decide if you are going to rob the world or bless it with the rich, valuable, potent, untapped resources locked away within you.” If you do, then you've chosen to die with your baton.