Influence is Relational

Leadership is influence. But influence outside of relationship is almost impossible. So this mission-oriented, borderline introvert had to step out of my comfort zone to find the relationship approach that authentically worked for my personality and allowed me to connect with the folks I was privileged to lead.

That meant one-on-one, or small group interactions, which allowed me to be really engaged with each individual.

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” ~ John Maxwell

Inhale Relationship, Exhale Isolation…
Inhale Influence, Exhale Intimidation…
Inhale Leadership, Exhale Incompetence…
Just Breathe

#Leadership
#JustBreathe

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Broken Trust

It sometimes seems that those who have been the most marginalized in this country seem afraid to trust positive change, afraid to loose the little bit they have, afraid to believe in plans that could improve their housing, their communities, even their way of life.

But is it fair to expect those who have been intentionally prevented access to the wealth of one of the richest countries in the world, to suddenly trust people offering help without asking what is needed, people making promises when previous promises have been perverted, or people making plans for a community without including the community in the planning process?

“The Obama Foundation’s plans to build the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park have sparked a complicated, and at times emotional, conversation about race, class, segregation, privilege and power on the South Side.

The conversation has raised delicate and fragile issues: who gets a voice in the discussion, who gets heard, who gets action, and how the history of racial and class segregation shapes expectations.” ~ Lolly Bowean, Contact Reporter, Chicago Tribune

Inhale Agreement, Exhale Alienation…
Inhale Inclusion, Exhale Isolation…
Inhale Negotiation, Exhale Segregation…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe

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Traveler

My daughter always attributes her love of travel to the nomadic life she endured (maybe retrospectively even enjoyed) as the child of a military member. And because we didn’t usually live close to relatives, summer always included several long visits in the South. She usually managed to achieve her goal of being gone all summer long!

Now, she uses the perks of working in the airline industry (of course) to fly to all the places she’s never visited. And sometimes invites me to come along. I always say YES!

“Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.” ~ Francis Bacon

Inhale Experience, Exhale Inaction…
Inhale Adventure, Exhale Inertia…
Inhale Participation, Exhale Isolation…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
#Wholeness

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Training Superwoman

I get a lot of “you’re so strong” comments, mostly from white women, occasionally from other women of color…almost never from other black women. Our Black Girl Magic, SuperWoman training starts early. Be Strong…Be Tough…Don’t Cry…are lessons we are taught to prepare us for a world that doesn’t permit black girls to just be girls.

I sometimes wonder if we are responding to reality or creating our reality…

He told me not to cry…He taught me to be strong…Tough girl is what I had to be…” ~ Beyonce, Daddy Lessons

Inhale Strength, Exhale Isolation…
Inhale Resilience, Exhale Loneliness…
Inhale Boundaries, Exhale Barriers…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflection With Renita

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We’re All We Got

Everyday there seems to be a new executive action designed to divide, separate and isolate Americans from each other and from a suffering world. While our reality president is focused on ratings, I’m focusing on the Americans offering their talents, their time, their treasure…their love to those who need it most.

We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.” 1 John 4: 19, The Message

Inhale Humanity, Exhale Isolation…
Inhale Kindness, Exhale Indifference…
Inhale Connection, Exhale Division…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
#Love

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