With all of the tension and divisiveness in this country over the past few years, working virtually was probably the best-case scenario for a lot of individuals, teams and organizations in 2020. But at some point soon people will start returning to their offices in mass and we need to be prepared to manage the environment that awaits. One of the most important responsibilities of a leader is creating an environment where people can perform at their best. On December 15th I led a webinar for the Training Officer’s Consortium on how leaders can Create a Culture of Civility and Respect. I provided 5 strategies for leaders to consider as they work to refine their organizational cultures. Here is a link to the presentation with the audio and slides. https://trainingofficers.org/portfolio-item/webinar-creating-a-culture-of-respect-and-civility/
A few weeks ago I joined Dr.
Katherine Marshall-Woods (@psychmindedmedia ) on A Healthy Mind to discuss resiliency, self-care and how to bounce back from adversity.
A Healthy Mind is a television series produced by the University of the District of Columbia. It’s purpose is to educate and inform the community about mental health; from public policy and environmental factors to the various disorders that affect healthy minds.
Check out this conversation and many other important conversations on the UDC-TV channel on YouTube.
To understand where we are, and know where we are going we have to remember where we’ve been. Join me and the @trainingofficersconsortium on Wednesday, 8.19.2020 from 12pm to 1:30 for a provocative conversation about the evolution of diversity thought and how organizations can create cultures of equity and belonging.
FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO REGISTER
“…because he understood that something as simple as a little haircut could change the way a man feels inside.”
These #COVID19 quarantine weekends have been tough for me to deal with lately. I’m not sure if its been #FOMO, boredom, sadness or just the blahs – but whatever it is I know the weekends have felt distinctly different than the week days. Yesterday (Sunday) I decided to do something different to change my energy. I tried a new workout, walked a new trail, ate crab legs, watched a good movie, video chatted with mom and scheduled a haircut with my barber. ((Boom)) #InstantEnergyChanger. I don’t know, maybe I just kept myself active & busy, but what I do know is that I felt better by bedtime and I slept good last night.
Over the years I’ve learned that the ebbs and flows of life will likely leave us more out of balance than in balance. The is learning how to manage those moments. Instead of beating ourselves up, blaming others, the situation or sulking about it, find healthy outlets that help you deal. Usually its something simple.
#Selfcare #selfawareness and #mentalhealth are more than just theories and ideas espoused by talking heads. They are meaningful concepts that can be defined differently by all of us. Make sure you know what they mean for YOU. Then go find ways to put those definitions into practice. Take care of yourself, be safe and cheers to the (next) freakin’ weekend. – MP
Can you believe it? The year of 2020 is almost here! Bring in the new year PREPARED with a PLAN to manifest the dreams, visions, and goals for your future. Consultant and Success Coach Mike Powell will lead you in an afternoon of goal setting, vision mapping, and networking that will empower you to step into your PURPOSE in 2020.
Maybe you’ve heard of or attended vision board events. While they can be helpful and fun, this promises to be a different kind of experience. More than just cutting out magazine pictures and pasting them on a poster board, you will learn how to set practical goals, how to prioritize your resources (time & money), how to set goals for the people you are leading, and ultimately how to create a unique plan for success that is tailored to YOUR life or YOUR organization.
WHAT WILL BE PROVIDED
- Lunch catered by Bus Boys and Poets
- Complimentary Beverages (cash bar also available)
- Goal Setting Worksheets
- Vision Mapping Materials
WHAT TO EXPECT
- A Hands-On Workshop Facilitated by Consultant and Success Coach Mike Powell ~IG: @mpconsults of The Powell Consulting Group (www.pcgconsults.com)
- Guest Speakers
- Q & A Session
- Mindfulness Activities to Increase Self-Awareness
- GoodVibes Provided by Supa Scotty the DJ
- And Much More….
WHAT TO BRING
Come to connect with and be inspired by a group of highly motivated individuals who are serious about making 2020 their best year ever. Come to discover how to align yourself with your PASSION and PURPOSE. Come to reaffirm what is most important in your life. And, come to learn how to experience the happiness, freedom, and joy you deserve in 2020 – we will see you there! #2020Vision
It’s been almost one month since I welcomed my first child into the world. On October 25th, after what felt like an eternity, my daughter, Cali Jolie Holland Powell was born – nearly 7 weeks ahead of schedule. As a result of her early ‘grand entrance’ she had to spend the first week of her life in the NICU (Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit). While I wouldn’t wish the NICU on any parent or child because it can be very stressful and overwhelming, for us it was a blessing in disguise.
As they are with all families of babies who are born premature, the doctors were very cautious about giving us a solid timeline to bring Cali Jolie home. The dates were wide-ranging. We heard discharge dates from Halloween to Thanksgiving and everything in between. To say we were concerned would obviously be an extreme understatement. After a few days, the doctors were comfortable enough with her progress to give us specifics about when she could go home. Then, they gave us a checklist of three things she needed to accomplish before being discharged: 1) She needed to be able to regulate her own body temperature outside of her incubator, 2) She needed to consistently finish 40ml of milk/formula, and 3) She had to pass a car seat test, which required her to sit in her car seat uninterrupted for 90 minutes without any complications.
After a relatively short stay in the NICU (8 days) we were so excited when the doctors told us we could bring Cali Jolie home! Most new parents experience a “now what?!” moment after bringing their newborns home for the first time. But for us, this wasn’t the case. Working closely with the doctors, nurse practitioners, and nurses in the NICU we established goals, plans, and a routine for her while she was still in the hospital. So, upon her arrival at home, our new life was less complicated. All we needed to do was follow and execute the plan. We knew her feeding schedule, her sleep schedule, and we had metrics for how much she should be eating and using the bathroom. We also had established a pretty good system of communicating with Cali Jolie and each other.
We had a goal but more importantly we had a plan. For two first time parents that was EVERYTHING! It made a stressful situation much easier to manage. We knew what we were looking for, we knew how to support her, we knew when to ask for help, what to ask for and we knew what milestones to track and celebrate as we were on the road to achieving our goal.
As a consultant and success coach I work with individuals and teams every day to help them achieve their goals. I always emphasize the importance of not just having goals, but to have a plan, metrics, and timelines that support meeting those goals. The birth of our baby girl was a live case study of what happens when a team works together, has a goal and has a plan.
Now don’t get me wrong. Having a goal and a plan doesn’t mean that things will be easy. This situation was still difficult, scary, challenging and full of angst. However, having a goal and a plan did make it more manageable. It helped us manage our energy, our emotions, and our expectations.
We are so thankful for our team. So thankful for our plan. And so thankful that we achieved our goal – getting baby girl home. She is doing great. Growing every day. And thankfully letting Mom and Dad get some rest at night. Just like we planned it. Now the fun begins 😊.
It was a crucial moment in Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, Julius Caesar, when a soothsayer alerted Caesar, the Roman Leader, that his life was in imminent danger. “Beware the Ides of March!!!” he shouted in warning to Caesar as he passed him on a busy street. But Caesar not heeding the warning, continued on his path and was eventually killed by his colleagues in a heinous act of conspiracy. His death was a turning point in Roman history and today, the date of March 15th remains a significant date on the Roman calendar and the Ides of March serves as an annual symbol of caution.
As the first quarter of 2018 comes to an end, allow me to share with the you same words of advice that Julius Caesar received that day – “Beware the Ides of March”.
Many of us raced into the new year with a list of new goals we planned to achieve this year. We took our time. Thought them out. And even mapped out our #GoalDiggerAlerts! Although our plans to execute were sincere, many people (self-included) find ourselves already off schedule.
I realized this a few weeks ago as I was leading one of my goal setting workshops. While helping a young lady refine her goals for 2018, I realized I wasn’t even on track to reach my own. Later that evening, I looked at my vision map and discovered that of the five goals I established for myself for 2018, I’ve only made progress on a few. Of course, I have “good reasons” why I’m off-track, but the bottom line is that I’m off track. No need to sugar coat it. I have to hold myself accountable.
At that moment, I realized that like Caesar’s life, my 2018 goals were in imminent danger. But, since I know about Caesar’s tragic ending, I’m going to take proactive action to make sure my goals stay alive.
So, here’s what I did. Anytime I find myself off schedule or missing milestones, I use this process to help me figure out how to get back on track:
- Pause – Slow down. Life happens fast. Most of the time we are moving so fast and are inundated with so much data that we don’t take time to process. Take a moment. Catch your breath. Relax. Clear your mind. Give yourself an opportunity to think. To breath. Let your mind be still. This is one of the many reasons I enjoy exercise, meditation, prayer, and yoga because if I don’t intentionally take time to slow down. I probably won’t. My mind is always moving.
- Reflect – After you’ve slowed yourself down, go back and revisit your goals. Think about your why. Why you set them. Were they important? Why are they worth your time? Do you really own the goals or did they just sound good in the moment when you created them? When you created your goals, did you factor in resources? Do you need to adjust your timelines? What options do you have to get back on track? Be honest with yourself.
- Choose – Once you have paused to slow down. Reflected on your options. Now, it’s time to TAKE ACTION. Make a choice. Do something. Be thoughtful about what you do, but be intentional about doing it. Dive in. You will never learn to swim by sitting at the edge of the pool.
Time is moving fast. March 15th is here. Some of our goals are in danger. Now is the time for a progress check. The days are getting longer and the seasons are changing. Soon it will be summer. Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner. Don’t go into 2019 without making any progress on your 2018 goals. The time is now. Be proactive.
What you do for the next 30 days is critical. If you are off track on your goals it’s not too late to change course. Not too late to refocus. Not late to make a change. Now is the time for an honest conversation. Take the time you need. Get the clarity you need. Take the action you need. Pause, reflect, and choose. Beware… the Ides of March. The warning has been given, the next move is yours.
With just a few more hours left until the NFL kicks off a new season with a rematch of Super Bowl 50, let’s take a look back on what happened the last time these two teams met and two of the League’s best Quarterbacks and leaders squared off!
With the buzz surrounding Cam’s post-game interview, Beyoncé’s halftime performance, and the best and worst commercials finally over, reviewing Super Bowl 50 from a different perspective provides a few good lessons on leadership. Observing the performance of Peyton Manning and Cam Newton I was reminded of the wide range of leadership styles that can influence a team’s success. I was also reminded that the best teams have leaders who are able to adjust their styles to adapt to their environment and their teams’ needs at the time.
Reflecting on the game I can’t remember a Super Bowl between two opposing quarterbacks who contrasted more in both substance and style than Cam Newton and Peyton Manning. At one end of the field was Cam Newton, a charismatic leader who had been a lightning rod for controversy all season. Scrutinized for his attitude, his dancing (dab on ’em!), his choices of clothing and his off-the field relationships Cam garnered an enormous amount of attention each week. Although his athletic, play-making abilities were obvious, his leadership abilities were decried by most analysts and critics across the sport.
At the other end was Peyton Manning a 5-time NFL MVP, a Super Bowl MVP, and a 14-time Pro Bowl selection. Hailed as one of greatest quarterbacks of all time Manning was a celebrated leader. He was a proven winner. For many Manning was a model of how a quarterback should carry himself both on and off the field. Even his demanding style of leadership which earned him the nickname ‘The Sheriff’- was praised by many.
The 2015-2016 season was memorable for both quarterbacks. Hampered by multiple injuries Manning suffered through the worst statistical season of his career. He played in only 9 games and many questioned whether he should be the starting quarterback as his team advanced into the playoffs. While Manning struggled, Newton delivered his best season ever. The eventual league MVP, he combined his physical talent with his charismatic leadership style to orchestrate one of greatest seasons for a team and a quarterback in NFL history.
Two quarterbacks two different styles of leadership. Both leading their teams in the Super Bowl. That’s why I love sports! Regardless of the environment, the type of competition or the industry here are some lessons about leadership we can take from Peyton and Cam that can help each of us during our leadership journey.
- Be aware of your preferred style – Like Cam and Peyton each of us of has a “default” style. That is the style of leadership that we have relied on in the past, one that we are comfortable with and that has worked for us previously. While this style may have worked in the past, not every situation is the same. In different ways throughout the season Peyton and Cam had to adjust. Adjusting your style is part of what makes a good leader. It is important that your style is appropriate for the people around you and the situation. Remember the saying “if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail”. Analyze the situation and adjust your leadership appropriately.
- Get feedback on your leadership – Being in the public eye on a national stage the two quarterbacks never had to search too long or hard to get feedback. Feedback is critical to your leadership effectiveness. While you may not agree with what you hear or read, at least be open to it. The people around you have a perspective that you do not have and it may helpful to increase your awareness by hearing from them and deciding if you need to adjust.
- Surround yourself with the right people – The success of your leadership depends on people around you who complement your style and help you execute your vision. Both Peyton and Cam were surrounded by teammates, coaches, assistants, and managers who were available to help improve the performance of the individuals and the team. Make sure that your leadership style leaves enough space for people to support you and challenge you. While you may not like or agree with everyone make sure that they feel comfortable giving input and sharing their points of view. Remember the goal is to win so find people who can help you!
Leadership will always be a challenge. Relying on a style that has made you successful in the past may not be enough to create success in the future. Take stock of your leadership style. Decide whether it is helping or hurting our ability to reach your goals. Recognize that leadership intent does not equal leadership impact. Take time to understand the stand difference.
Looking at the leadership of Cam Newton and Peyton Manning reminds us that leaders have a wide range of styles that can lead to success. If you are willing to take an honest assessment of your style, your impact and your environment to you may discover new opportunities for improvement. And improvement is what leads to success. Try to improve your leadership every day. Although incremental improvements might not be enough get you to the Super Bowl, at least they can help you get to the playoffs. And that’s not a bad place to start. Let the games begin!!!
I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a hot Saturday afternoon in southern Virginia, my sophomore year of college was just kicking off and I was sitting in my car staring at the rearview mirror in disbelief. I’d just left the barbershop and much to my dismay the barber had completely butchered my haircut. My lines were uneven, my fade was too high, and I didn’t look or feel good about walking on campus later that day. At that moment I decided it was time for a change. It was 1997, Allen Iverson and Latrell Sprewell were ripping up the NBA, and a couple guys from Atlanta taught me that it was kind of cool to be an Outkast. I made up my mind. I was going to grow my hair out and get cornrows.
It was a curious decision. I’d never grown my hair out long before, and I was pretty sure that when I returned home for Christmas break my parents would be less than thrilled about my new look. I was certain I’d have to deal with some stern lectures, but at least I wouldn’t have to deal with any more bad haircuts!
Two months into the semester I felt good about my decision. My hair was growing. I was saving money as I didn’t have to pay to get a cut every week, but most importantly some of my “co-ed” classmates had begun to notice my curls that were growing. After about 3 months I began to get to frustrated. My hair was becoming long and unmanageable. It was too long to try to brush or style, but not long enough to put into cornrows. After talking to a few friends I discovered that I’d reached the dreaded “in-between” stage.
Anybody who has ever attempted to grow their hair is familiar with the in-between stage. That is the point when your hair is most difficult. During this stage it is the hardest to manage, and it may be the most “unattractive” to look at. A lot of times the in-between stage is when people give up on the new look they were seeking to achieve.
Lately, I’ve noticed a lot people and groups of people who are frustrated with the in-between stages of change in this country. Current events have created an intense desire for change. The energy to do something different to make a difference is strong. And now more than time in my life I’ve seen people all across the country willing to invest their time, energy and other resources in order to make a positive change in their communities. Economically. Legally. Politically. Socially. But many of us are frustrated because we feel like change isn’t happening fast enough.
I can appreciate the frustration. When I want change and its taking too long I get upset. I get tired. I get fed up. I want it now! Not soon. Not tomorrow, not next week, not next month, or next year. I want it NOW! Unfortunately most change doesn’t happen overnight. We have to deal with the in-between stage. The stage where we don’t look good. We don’t feel good. Nothing seems to work, and giving up feels easier then pushing through. But those are the times when it is MOST important for us to persevere. If we are ever going to achieve the goals that we desire we have to stick with it. We have to get through the in-between stage.
Giving up is easy. Pushing through is the hard part. But pushing through is where the magic happens. Pushing through is what makes us stronger. There is strength in the struggle. There is joy during the journey. The planning is more important than the plan.
A good friend recently reminded me of the struggle that people of Montgomery Alabama endured during the 1950’s Bus Boycotts. It took 381 days to achieve change. It took a lot of people, with tired feet, and legs. It took a lot of talking, a lot of thinking, a lot of sacrifice, a lot of sweat, a lot of disappointments, and a lot of hard work – until one day something happened. And laws were changed. But it didn’t happen overnight.
So remember, if you are change agent – in your home, your community, your city, your job or wherever else you spend your time don’t give up at the in-between stage. Keep pushing. It takes two to tango, but only one to start the music. It’s easy to start to music, but much harder to keep it going. Take on the challenge to make sure the music of change never stops! Never stop singing. Never stop dancing. Never stop growing. Have faith in and trust the process because it will all be worth it. Never let anyone or anything stop you from putting in the work to achieve your goals. Not even a bad barber or a bad haircut. Keep pushing.