365 Days of Leadership: Mother Ocean Day

May 10 is Mother Ocean Day.

Water is essential to human life. In fact, it is essential to all of the forms of life known to humankind in general, as there are no known species that can survive without it. Though marine biologists are unsure just how many kinds of creatures reside in our planet’s 5 oceans, it is estimated that about one-quarter of all of the Earth’s species do. (https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/mother-ocean-day/)

As we celebrate Mother’s Day, it is appropriate that we celebrate Mother Ocean Day. Depending upon your view, humankind emerged and evolved from the primordial soup of the oceans. It doesn’t really matter where we come from, what matters is what we do while we are here. As a species we are unique and beautiful, each in its own way. No one race of human is dominant over another. No culture is superior over another. We are all one body and spirit in the creator, whether you believe that origin is mother ocean or God.

Cheers and Happy Mother’s Day to all

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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 website at http://www.conniehanner.com. Find her on Face Book, Linked In and follow her on Twitter.

365 Days of Leadership: Iris Day

May 8 is Iris Day. The day that we appreciate one of the first flowers of spring.

 The name comes from the Greek word for ‘rainbow’ and most mythology adepts will tell you Iris was the messenger of the gods, the link between sea and sky, the rainbow glider, if you will. (https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/iris-day/)

Iris love the swampy areas of ditches and spring up in the most unusual places. They can make the most unsightly areas beautiful. The lesson here is to look for beauty everywhere. It can be found in most unusual places; if you take the time to look. All it takes is a willingness to see 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 website at http://www.conniehanner.com. Find her on Face Book, Linked In and follow her on Twitter.

365 Days of Leadership: Roast Leg of Lamb Day

May 7 is Roast Leg of Lamb Day. Lamb is a heartier dish with a stronger taste than most American palettes are accustomed to. Lamb is an acquired taste and like working in a diverse environment requires that one does not judge the dish by that which makes it unique.

Being unique is part of what makes working globally so much fun. It requires that one look beyond their own culture and welcome another’s for all that makes it wonderful. When we are visiting or engaging another culture, it is important to remember that our experiences and biases are not the model which others should follow. The simplest gesture or comment can be misconstrued as rude and insensitive. In fact, in some cases a misplaced gesture can ruin an entire business deal, and you will never know it.

The lesson in leadership is to never presume that your cultures or customs are dominant over another’s. When working with multi-cultural teams, take time to know and embrace what makes other cultures unique. You will find it enlightening.

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 website at http://www.conniehanner.com. Find her on Face Book, Linked In and follow her on Twitter.

365 Days of Leadership: No Diet Day

May 6 is No Diet Day….it’s not what you think. No Diet Day focuses on making people aware of the dangers of dieting.

No Diet Day aims to help to teach people to have a healthy relationship with food, and to ditch restrictive diets and the harmful results they often have, such as anorexia and body-type perceptions in the media.

Too much of a good thing can be bad. Too little of a good thing can be bad. Our relationship with food, family and friends is about balance. We hear a lot about “work/life balance”. Yea, it’s a crock, there is no such thing as “work/life balance”. There can be no balance when the first two hours of the morning is spent getting ready to go to work and the last 4 hours of the evening is spent trying to recover from work.

Typically, I don’t agree with the laissez-faire attitude of Millennials and Gen Nexters, however I must admit that our current working paradigm is not conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Tyrannical bosses, being made to feel bad if you DON’T work 80 hour weeks, putting your personal safety on the line because your boss is afraid of missing a quarterly goal; these unreasonable demands are destructive to a person’s physical and mental health. It can jeopardize a person’s relationships and their life.

Perhaps the Millennials and Gen Nexters have the right idea; they are shifting the paradigm to focus on a true work/life balance and not an unbalanced life which revolves around work.

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 website at http://www.conniehanner.com. Find her on Face Book, Linked In and follow her on Twitter.

365 Days of Leadership: Oyster Day

May 5 is Oyster Day.

The history of Oyster Day is unknown, but the history of human’s relationship with oysters is very long, since Roman times there is evidence of people in the United Kingdom and France farming oysters. In the 19th century New York harbour was the largest producer of oysters in the world and provided nutritious food for thousands of people. (https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/oyster-day/)

Oysters are an acquired taste. People on the east coast go straight from the bottle or breast to oyster liquor. Folks who are land locked may get their oyster on visa vie the smoked variety. Some choose not to imbibe in the glorious fresh, briny taste that is a freshly harvested oyster perfectly chilled on champagne ice with a side of cilantro infused hot sauce. Of course, others may describe oysters in a different way, but this is how I see it. Therein lay the leadership lesson.

Groups with common perceptions  (avoiding groupthink), make the difference between good teams and … well … a group of folks trying to get something done. We don’t always have the luxury of building our own teams. Sometimes, we have to achieve corporate goals and objectives with the collection of folks that are in place. Leadership is one of the most difficult characteristics to identify in a person, however it is the most important characteristic that a person can have. As leaders, we cannot wait for the right team to come alone, we should lead where we stand.

We don’t know whether our oysters will have pearls or simply be a succulent bit of tastiness. That is part of the fun of leadership, building something from the unknown secrets which lay beneath the surface of an organization.

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 website at http://www.conniehanner.com. Find her on Face Book, Linked In and follow her on Twitter.

365 Days of Leadership: Petite and Proud Day

May 4 is Petite and Proud Day. While I typically don’t comment on a day that identifies a specific element of a physique, I love my petite and powerful friends. Short and sassy….they are amazing.

There are several great correlations which we can draw from this appreciation day. Keep on track so you don’t miss anything. Don’t get in over your head. Keep your focus. Keep your communication brief. The best communications are short and sweet.

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 website at http://www.conniehanner.com. Find her on Face Book, Linked In and follow her on Twitter.

365 Days of Leadership: Garden Meditation Day

May 3 is Garden Meditation Day. Why wouldn’t you want to meditate in a garden? Quiet, serene, preferably no bugs (which means you are meditating in a domed garden) and the solitude of self. I didn’t realize how much I appreciated quiet until my life became noisy. I had a relatively quiet (and I mean noiseless) life. I permitted what noise I wanted to invade my space.

Now I have noise everywhere. Noise from life, noise from grandchildren, noise from the neighborhood, noise from the city. It isn’t a bad thing. I just have to look harder for my garden. Don’t ever outgrow your need for solitude and peace. A peaceful soul is a way to rejuvenate. Whether its kayaking on a quiet river, walking through a park path or fishing on a quiet lake, find a place where you can simply…be. You will be amazed at what it does for your soul and how it benefits those around you.

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 website at http://www.conniehanner.com. Find her on Face Book, Linked In and follow her on Twitter.

365 Days of Leadership: Baby Day

May 2 is Baby Day. Babies represent all that is new and hopeful in the world. I love a new project. The free flow of thoughts, the ability to think outside the box; it’s an endless opportunity for new beginnings.

Baby Day reminds me to discover the newness of my surroundings. I have recently moved to a new city; a large metropolitan area in the Mid-south region of the US. It has been a while since I lived in a large city/metro area. I am reminded just how small I am and sometimes, that’s good. It keeps us humble.

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 website at http://www.conniehanner.com. Find her on Face Book, Linked In and follow her on Twitter.

365 Days of Leadership: Batman Day

May 1 is Batman Day. I was a fan of Batman comics as a child. I wasn’t hip enough to follow the comic book culture with all the variations of Batman and the back stories to the various comic book themes. I was raised in a rural area, so the ability to obtain comic books was severely limited….but I digress. Suffice to say, I am a Bat follower of the standard variety.

With that being said, who wouldn’t want to be Bruce Wayne/Batman? International philanthropist by day and crime fighter by night; he had the best of both worlds. He influenced his surroundings positively during the day and mitigated the effects of the negative during the night. What if Bruce Wayne was all we needed to fix the negativity of the world? That would be lovely, however it is a fantasy. Thankfully, there are heroes who work to make the world a better place.

To make real change requires a grass roots approach at changing the world generationally. This is why programs, such as drug abuse prevention, begin with children in second grade. Non-profit organizations such at the United Way, focus programming on childhood development. The logic of this approach is to help children grow to thrive as responsible adults within the community. This is the one way to effect permanent systematic change within a culture.

We will always need the United Way’s of the world. While they might not fight crime in a bat suit and drive a most excellent car, these folks do make the world a better place.

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 website at http://www.conniehanner.com. Find her on Face Book, Linked In and follow her on Twitter.

365 Days of Leadership: Honesty Day

April 30th is Honesty Day. I really struggled with this topic, not because of the topic, but how to write about it without being hypocritical. I would be surprised to find any place of employment where one could be completely honest. Quite frankly, as Jack Nicholson put it, “You can’t handle the truth!” (A Few Good Men, 1992).

Honestly is a funny and fickle trait. We want everyone to be honest with us, and in fact are very angry when they are not, but how honest are we with others? Sometimes, honesty can cause hurt feelings. Do the feelings need hurting? Sometimes the honesty gets someone in trouble. Did they need to be in trouble?

Honesty requires one to look at a situation and then search their heart for the answer. Unless the motivation is simply to be mean or hateful, honesty is still the best policy. There are two things in life I know for certain, when you have the ability to do so, honesty and following the rules will never get you into trouble.

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 website at http://www.conniehanner.com. Find her on Face Book, Linked In and follow her on Twitter.