Category Archives: Honor Role

Memorial Day – Let Their Sacrifice Not Be in Vain. Gettysburg Address

'Flags-In' at Arlington National Cemetery for ...
Image by Army.mil via Flickr

Greetings Leaders…

I saw a tweet on Twitter by Pam Slim that led me to her blog where she reflected on her friend Amy’s recent loss of a son in Iraq. I hadn’t planned to blog about this again, but… today is Memorial Day and Pam’s blog reminded me how easy it is, to be thankful for a day… and then to move on… as if one day of thanks is sufficient tribute to those that paid for our freedom.

Well, perhaps one day isn’t enough… perhaps not even a lifetime would be enough. Yet …we don’t want to go around with heavy hearts every day. Let us instead, go around with joy in our hearts, knowing that someone had the courage and conviction to fight for our freedoms. Let us also live everyday with purposeful hearts, so that the work of our fallen heroes does not go unfinished. What work is this? I think Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address sums it up best.

All the best,
All the time,
JT

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Honor Role – Katie Kemple – Leading With A Positive Attitude

Leadership Principles

  1. A leader must have perseverance and a willingness to press on… no matter what.
  2. Attitude is everything!

Event
Katie was working in PR/Marketing during 2007 when she went on maternity leave after giving birth to her daughter. When she returned to work in January 2008, all was well. The future looked great… until, like many others in today’s economy, she was pulled into an office just three weeks after returning to work, and was told she was being let go. Katie was not to be deterred, and set about immediately looking for opportunities and landed another job as the Chief Operating Officer at a start-up. She was thrilled, more responsibility, more pay. What could be better? One year later, in March 2009, Katie found herself again a casualty of the economy, once more looking for work.

Background
I first noticed Katie Kemple on Twitter after she made a comment about a tweet. I went to check out her blog and was impressed with her style and her attitude. I thought to myself, “Katie gets it!” Although a casualty of the economy, it was obvious that Katie had the heart of a leader. Despite being on the job market for the second time in two years, she was upbeat, positive, and trying to help others at the same time.

I asked Katie for an interview, because she exemplifies the true heroes that surround us, that surround me. In the face of adversity, she is standing tall and movin on. Isn’t that what leaders do?

Katie’s Reflections

On Looking For Work

  1. If you have young children and can afford it, keep their daycare arrangements in place. Looking for employment is a full-time endeavor and you will be able to focus on getting things done if your children are being care for.
  2. If you keep a positive attitude, people will be more likely to offer to help you. I (Katie) received calls from many old work acquaintances, some who I barely knew, that offered to help me network.
  3. Be willing to try something different. Moving from PR to being a COO was a great move and I learned a lot of new things.

On Staying Positive

  1. Savor time and routine (Link to Katie’s Blog)
  2. Do something creative with any spare time you have. Use this time to do the things you couldn’t while working. You could write, paint, sing or do whatever hobby helps you to relax.
  3. Organize your week. Act like you’re at work, even though you’re at home. Some of the tasks might be different… like doing the laundry, but being organized will help you feel productive.
  4. Take care of your body, and your mental state will be much better. I always found myself feeling better after I exercised.
  5. Remember to appreciate the things in life that we sometimes take for granted.

On Giving Back – even though you’re out of a job

  1. If you have time on your hands, try volunteering. It is a good way to contribute to society, and you never know who you might meet.
  2. I started a blog to share my first layoff in February 2009. Little did I know that I was going to be unemployed again come March. The blog was meant to encourage others who are looking for work also. I found it refreshing to be able to share my experiences with others, hoping it would help them in some way.

After I finished interviewing Katie, I asked her if she needed anything. She paused, not able to readily answer my question. I smiled to myself as I realized I was right about Katie. Although looking for work, and in a position that none of us would enjoy being in, she hadn’t thought much about what she needed. She was just doing what needed to be done, and trying to help others. A true leader.

If you have any opportunities that might be helpful to Katie, feel free to contact her on Twitter (@kkemple) or check out her blog.

Honor Role – McKay Hatch – 16 Year Old Leader

Event

In 2007, McKay Hatch was a 14 year old Freshman just starting High School. He was tired of listening to the constant cussing by most of his friends and challenged them to stop. The result? The No Cussing Club which now has over 20,000 member around the world.

Leadership Principle

There are two principles here… 1) You have to stand up for what you believe. 2) Leaders don’t let things get in their way (in this case McKay’s age).

Reflections

  1. I am surprised by both the positive and negative reaction that McKay has generated. On the plus side, it is encouraging to know that kids and teens are willing to stand up for what is right. On the negative side, McKay and his family have received death threats over the No Cussing Club. I find it hard to fathom, that someone feels so strongly about cussing that they threaten a young teen to stop trying to bring civility to the world.
  2. I have a confession. At one point in my life, I cussed… a lot. They didn’t come up with the phrase “cuss like a sailor” without cause. Having been a Naval Aviator… nuff said. However, at some point along life’s journey, I started to realize that cussing wasn’t such a good thing. That it made people uncomfortable and just showed immaturity and a lack of class.
  3. I have run into cussing in the workplace, and it was never a good thing. It always reflected a cocky attitude that prevented others from speaking their minds. Groupthink or a hostile work environment come to mind.

Challenge

Is there cussing in your organization? Is it appropriate? If you think the answer is yes, why do we teach our kids that it is wrong? Stop the cussing in your organization – only good things will come of it. At one client, we started a cussing jar and anyone who cussed during a meeting had to fork over some cash. We used the cash for a pizza party.

McKay and Dr. Phil
McKay and Dr. Phil

All the best,
All the time
JT

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