365 Days of Leadership: International Guide Dog Day

April 29th is International Guide Dog Day, the day we celebrate the love, patience and service that guide dogs provide to millions of persons all over the world. One of my favorite Guide Dog organization is Leader Dogs for the Blind. Working in association with Lions Clubs International and other agencies, Leader Dogs for the Blind invests an average of $35,000 into the training of service animal who is paired with a visually impaired person. This animal is paired with the visually impaired person at no charge.

Locally, Norma Campbell works at the state representative for Leader Dogs for the Blind. Read Norma’s full story at Western Kentucky Life Magazine.

Be thankful for the work of people like those at Leader Dogs for their dedication to helping others. If you want information about donating to the organization or becoming a puppy raiser, visit the organization’s Facebook page.

Cheers

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Connie Hanner is a PhD student in non-profit organizational leadership and a veteran of both non-profit and for-profit organizations. Visit her leadership website at http://www.conniehanner.com. Find her on Face Book, Linked In and follow her on Twitter.

365 Days of Leadership: Tell a Story Day

April 28th is Tell a Story Day.

“Tell a Story Day is celebrated in the United States, Scotland and the United Kingdom. The aim of the day to get participants telling, sharing and listening to each others stories. It is a celebration of the art of oral storytelling in all of its many forms, whether it be fiction or non-fiction, a tall tale, or folklore. The stories may be told from memory or from a book. Events can be held in community centers, churches, homes and gardens, hospitals, libraries, schools or more unusual venues!” (https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/tell-a-story-day/)

Story telling is as old as humankind. History was celebrated through oral tradition. In fact, some books in the Bible came from the oral traditions of the tribes of Israel, handed down from orator to orator. With the advent of the internet, we have forgotten that story telling isn’t necessarily about reading, but about the personal connection we get when we engage the story-teller her/himself. We feel the emotion. We understand the context. We can infer emotion from pronunciation, body language and emphasis. A story comes alive when orated or read aloud.

We share a bit of our souls when we tell stories. We see a bit of the soul when we hear them. Tell a story to someone you love. They will appreciate it.

Cheers

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Connie Hanner is a PhD student in non-profit organizational leadership and a veteran of both non-profit and for-profit organizations. Visit her leadership website at http://www.conniehanner.com. Find her on Face Book, Linked In and follow her on Twitter.

365 Days of Leadership: Pretzel Day

April 26th is Pretzel Day. Personally, I am a fan of the big soft, chewy, toasty, salty goodness that is only a jumbo pretzel. I’m not a fan of the little crunchy ones…too much salt, too dry and weird. It is a good thing that we have variety, but too much variety can tempt us. Just because we can do something, or we can have something, doesn’t mean we should.

Being an adult means learning when to resist temptation. It isn’t easy with all the choices that one has. I can attest to my own weaknesses, especially when I walk into a Whole Foods Market! Perhaps that is why we indulge when we get older. Our children are grown and we can indulge our temptations. As long as what you covet doesn’t hurt yourself, your family or others, I say… go for it! A little indulgence never hurt anyone, just be cautious of the line between indulgence and excess.

Cheers!

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Connie Hanner is a PhD student in non-profit organizational leadership and a veteran of both non-profit and for-profit organizations. Visit her leadership website at http://www.conniehanner.com. Find her on Face Book, Linked In and follow her on Twitter.

365 Days of Leadership: World Health Day

April 7th is World Health Day. Today we celebrate the founding of the World Health Organization. The purpose of the organization is to research and monitor pathogens or environments which put populations at risk for disease or death. As an agency of the United Nations, the World Health Organization is responsible for the public health of the world at large.

Leadership also involved managing on a global level. Whether a leader’s world terminates at the boundaries of their shop or factory, or their boundaries are endless, all leaders must learn to monitor and research that which puts their employees, the company and the consumers at risk. Responsible leaders follow the basic premises of normative ethics, just because one CAN do something, doesn’t give them license to do it. This is the primary difference between ethical thinking and basing decision purely on logic.

Making choices that honor the human condition first is, in my humble opinion, the mark of a true leader. You can always make more money, in the end, people matter most.

Cheers!

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Connie Hanner is a PhD student in non-profit organizational leadership and a veteran of both non-profit and for-profit organizations. Visit her leadership website at http://www.conniehanner.com. Find her on Face Book, Linked In and follow her on Twitter.

365 Days of Leadership: Tangible Karma Day

April 4th is Tangible Karma Day: a day to reduce the clutter of your life and repurpose it to benefit others.

The purpose of Tangible Karma Day is for people celebrating the event to de-clutter their lives and to give to other people who are in need. Tangible Karma is a company founded by Amber Nicole Dilger in 2005 and her idea was to recycle and reuse. One way is for individuals or groups to spend an hour of their day de-cluttering their lives and giving any unwanted items to those in need. Similarly, you can invite people to your home and gather together items to give to charity collectively. You can visit their website to donate goods and track how they are used to help others. From this company came the inspiration for Tangible Karma Day. (www.daysoftheyear.com)

The leadership lesson is simple, ones age is not an indicator of value. Cathy Davidson, author of Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live (2011) states:

Not a single one of these cutting-edge thinkers I found in the work world is a ‘millennial’. All were born considerably before 1985. They may have mastered many of the principles of the digital world, but not because there were born in a particular historical moment. Instead, they saw a need to change. They wanted to change. And they took advantage not just of the Internet as a tool, but of the Internet as an opportunity think about working together differently and better” (Davison 2011, p.243).

The age of a leader is not as important as the value of the program being executed. An eight year old collecting money to purchase a bullet proof vest for a canine officer is as valid as a 55 year old leader who donates her salary to charity as a means of corporate social responsibility. It is the willingness of a leader to make room for differences, to de-clutter their thinking and make way for new ideas. Leaders must adapt to stay relevant or find themselves re-purposed.

Cheers!

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Reference: Davidson, C. N. (2011). Now you see it: How the brain science of attention will transform the way we live. New York: Penguin Books.

Connie Hanner is a “vintage” PhD student in non-profit organizational leadership and a veteran of both non-profit and for-profit organizations. Visit her leadership website at http://www.conniehanner.com. Find her on Face Book, Linked In and follow her on Twitter.

365 Days of Leadership: World Autism Day

April 2 is World Autism Day. The leadership lesson is that of social responsibility. The ethics of care (Held, 2006) holds that, “Close attention to the feelings, needs, desires and thoughts of those cared for, and a skill in understanding a situation from that person’s point of view, are central to caring for someone” (p. 31). When we care for others, we serve the greater good.

World Autism Day provides us with the opportunity to learn more about a condition which affects millions of children worldwide. According to the Autism awareness website, www.autismspeaks.org

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. With the May 2013 publication of the DSM-5 diagnostic manual, all autism disorders were merged into one umbrella diagnosis of ASD. Previously, they were recognized as distinct subtypes, including autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome.

ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math and art.

Autism appears to have its roots in very early brain development. However, the most obvious signs of autism and symptoms of autism tend to emerge between 2 and 3 years of age. Autism Speaks continues to fund research on effective methods for earlier diagnosis, as early intervention with proven behavioral therapies can improve outcomes. Increasing autism awareness is a key aspect of this work and one in which our families and volunteers play an invaluable role.

Our sense of social and moral justice moves us to action. There are any number of excellent social causes which would benefit from your help. Let the light shine blue today for Autism awareness, and let your own light shine through to help an organization of your choosing.

Cheers!

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Connie Hanner is a PhD student in non-profit organizational leadership and a veteran of both non-profit and for-profit organizations. Visit her leadership website at http://www.conniehanner.com. Find her on Face Book, Linked In and follow her on Twitter @HannerConnie.

References:

Autism Speaks, Inc. (2015, April 2). What is Autism? Retrieved from Autism Speaks: https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism

Held, V. (2006). The ethics of Care: Personal, political and global. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc.