Collaboration

Technology has provided an almost infinite number of ways for people to collaborate. However, the methods of collaboration are only as useful as the collaborators willingness to and agreement on how they will interact.

The most important key to collaborating successfully is an understanding among the collaborators about what collaboration looks like. If one person is doing the most and dictating the terms of engagement and the rest of the team feels left out of the process, collaboration is not taking place.

Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Inhale Collaboration, Exhale Competition…
Inhale Creation, Exhale Limitation…
Inhale Coordination, Exhale Disengagement…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

Consensus

When I work with teams, I often see confusion about the concept of consensus. They think consensus will get them to a course of action that everyone can support. That might work at a football game. But sometimes when a group is pursuing a vision, trying to achieve consensus dilutes the passion and diverts the energy and focus from the original idea, leaving something NO one supports.

To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects.” ~ Margaret Thatcher

Inhale Passion, Exhale Consensus…
Inhale Principles, Exhale Consensus…
Inhale Decisiveness, Exhale Consensus…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

Why + How = What

At one point in my previous life, I was a logistics planner for the US European Command in Stuttgart Germany. Sometimes plans had to be scrapped because the operator types (pilots…) had left the logisticians out of the initial discussions for a contingency operation only to discover there was no clarity around the objective, or the action chosen was not executable.

Involving all the expertise on a team can help bring clarity to why you’re doing what you’re doing and ensure you find the most executable way to do it. At the intersection of why and how is what.

Inhale Why, Exhale Unclear…
Inhale How, Exhale Un-executable…
Inhale What, Exhale Undone…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

The ROE of COAs

ROE and COA are two of the acronyms from my previous life I use frequently in my current life. At the beginning of any workshop I lead, I spend time establishing the Rules of Engagement (ROE) that will govern our conduct. Course(s) of Action (COA) are the alternate ways to get to a desired result; it’s a phrase I use when coaching clients trying to reach their goals.

I think about these concepts when I see the disparate, disjointed efforts of activists, especially in the Chicago area. I wonder…”Is it possible to engage for the purpose of coming up with objectives everyone can support?”

If you can’t even RECONCILE with your BROTHERS AND SISTERS, in the same line of work, HOW will you RECONCILE A CITY and a NATION?” ~ Apostle David A. Rodgers

Inhale Collaboration, Exhale Competition…
Inhale Engagement, Exhale Estrangement…
Inhale Reconciliation, Exhale Revolution …
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

Running on Empty

There are a lot of leaders leading from a place of lack…using the fact that people follow them on social media as a way to fill up…using their charisma to deceive…using their talents to attract attention.

If you are leading from a place of lack, the only thing you can offer is emptiness.

If you listen obediently to the Voice of God, your God, and heartily obey all His commandments that I command you today, God, your God, will place you on high, high above all the nations of the world. All these blessings will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the Voice of God, your God.” Deuteronomy 28:1-2, MSG

Inhale Obedience, Exhale Lack…
Inhale Surrender, Exhale Lack…
Inhale Abundance, Exhale lack…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

Hopeful

Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space. Invite one to stay.” ~ Maya Angelou.

I’m trying to stay awake and aware to all the chaos in our country…yet not get distracted by the destruction of the façade of freedom…so I can focus on the hope that real freedom is coming…

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrew 11:1 NIV

Inhale Aware, Exhale Distracted…
Inhale Purposeful, Exhale Unfocused…
Inhale Hopeful, Exhale Fearful…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

Hope

A passive hope is not effective.” ~ Deepak Chopra.

I heard this and I had to think about it…isn’t hope by its definition passive? So I actually looked up the word and what I realized is that having hope is not just wanting something to happen…having hope is expecting something to happen.

In fact, hope is a lot like faith…

Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?” James 2: 14-17 MSG

Inhale Hope, Exhale Despair…
Inhale Faith, Exhale Inaction…
Inhale Expectation, Exhale Inertia…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflection With Renita

Unstoppable Indeed

Amid the stories of black girls in detention for wearing their hair in styles that black girls wear…after the reading the tone deaf comments about the GOAT Serena Williams from Maria Sharapova’s memoir Unstoppable (?)… after seeing suspicious commentary about the suspicious death of yet another black girl…I decided to go find the image that made me smile this weekend and focus on what it represents.

US Open Women’s Singles Champion, Sloane Stephens receives a $3.7M check and a hug from Thasunda Duckett, the CEO of Consumer Banking at JP Morgan Chase.

It was the 2017 US Open women’s singles trophy presentation featuring runner-up Madison Keys, winner, Sloane Stephens, USTA president and CEO, Katrina Adams and “that lady” with the check, CEO of Consumer Banking at JP Morgan Chase Thasunda Duckett. All women of color (even though Madison might not identify as such), overcoming obstacles to achieve excellence.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.” ~ Maya Angelou, from I Rise

Inhale Staying Focused, Exhale Giving Up…
Inhale Big Dreams, Exhale Playing Small…
Inhale Achieving Excellence, Exhale Being Average…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

Sins of the Father

You would think a career criminal turned crusading Christian might have some compassion for the children brought here illegally by parents seeking a better life…but you would be wrong. As I recently discovered, like many evangelicals, this former drug dealer is practicing the religion of white supremacy.

A young man displays his DACA work permit.

I wonder how he would feel if his children had to bear the consequences of HIS criminal activity…

Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?” Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” Matthew 22: 36-40

Inhale Compassion, Exhale Accusations…
Inhale Compassion, Exhale Criminalization …
Inhale Compassion, Exhale Scapegoating…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

Empathy Gap

Empathy: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Many Americans seem to only be capable of empathy toward family or people who look like them… like the anti-LGTBQ politician who softens his stance when his daughter reveals her homosexuality or the white suburban mom crusading against drug addiction who suddenly calls for treatment versus incarceration when the heroin addicts look like her kids.

Those Americans have been unable to empathize with the black and brown bodies videoed being brutalized so it was interesting to see their reaction to the violent arrest of a white nurse for upholding her hospital policy and protecting an unconscious patient.

Maybe they are waking up the realization that in a militarized police state, the brutality will eventually impact everyone…

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” ~ Martin Niemöller

Inhale Empathy, Exhale Exclusion…
Inhale Empathy, Exhale Judgment…
Inhale Empathy, Exhale Apathy…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita