Diane A-B’s Dialogue

Welcome to Diane A-B’s Dialogue! I invite you to join me on this exciting journey as we share our thoughts, experiences, and commentaries on a variety of topics. Here we go…

ESSENCE OF LEADERSHIP

I have been thinking a lot about the term leadership! Maybe, this is because I believe we are living in an era of chaotic leadership, or could it be because I believe the leadership compass has shifted greatly in a direction that I find troubling.  I am not sure what the reason for my  constant thought is; however, as Maria Shriver states “I have been thinking.”

The term leadership has many definitions; however, the one that continues to stand out to me is “leadership involves the ability the inspire others to participate in a common goal.”  I don’t remember where I heard this definition; however, it remained with me. The keyword for me in this definition is the word inspire. When I think of leaders who have inspired me the most, one person stands out, “Mother Teresa.”  Here, we have a fragile-looking woman, who without the luxury of positional power, a beautifully decorated office, .jetliner, or other such accolades inspired a movement that today goes into one of the poorest areas of the world, Calcutta, India.  The primary goal behind the creation of this movement was to make a difference in the lives of the individuals who many of us would be quick to cross the busiest thoroughfare to avoid.  Many of us who sow into this movement never met this BOLD and DARING WOMAN and might never visit Calcutta, India; however, we consider it our obligation to contribute to the mission and goal of the Missionaries of Charity.  Now that is what I call leadership, and for me, Mother Teresa continues to be an “Essence of Leadership.”

For me, an individual, who is the “Essence of Leadership,” DAREs to be that person who, through their actions and words, inspire others to participate in something that is bigger than themselves.  He or she chooses to be innovative, creative, non-conventional, genuine, kind, vulnerable when necessary, willing to support the dreams and goals of others, unapologetic of who they are and what they aspire to become, willing to apologize when necessary, and are definitely unafraid to fail.  They are by no means eccentric enigmas, because, I meet and interact with them daily. You see, they are our strong, unsung family members, colleagues, and friends who lead by example, blaze new trails for others to excel, and choose daily to unselfishly contribute to the well-being of others. Some do it boldly, others do it behind the scenes, and others do it unconsciously; however, they all continue to leave their proverbial “footprints on the sands of time.”  I DARE you to follow their example – DARE to be an “Essence of Leadership.”


 

REFLECTING ON THE PAST 40 DAYS

(February 9, 2020)

We are already 40 days into 2020, and during this period, we have witnessed an impeachment trial of a president that leaves you questioning the strength of our democracy and the values of many of our leaders, lost a sports icon/legend, author, leader in Kobe Bean Bryant (Black Mamba), and some of us have probably realized that we are off track on the goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year.  This is LIFE, and if like me, you try each day to be the best version of yourself, make a difference in the lives of others, and express gratitude for the blessings- minute or great- in your life, the past 40 days have been very overwhelming and typifies a mosaic of anger, frustrations, numerous questions, some restated resolutions, and a lot of gratitude.

As I reflect on the past first 40 days of 2020, I am reminded of one of my mom’s favorite biblical verse, Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8;

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

We all have experienced or will experience one of these seasons because it’s part of that beautiful and complex thing called LIFE.  During the rough seasons; those of us who have the privilege to lead must choose to inspire others – through our words and actions – to press on and become the best of themselves, to never settle for any form of mediocrity, to be kind and sensitive to the needs of others, and more importantly, to demonstrate integrity in everything we do and say.


CHARTING A DARING PATH FOR 2020

(January 1, 2020)   

Each new year inspires us to continue working on ourselves – to set new goals and/or revisit the goals we previously set for ourselves. For a long while, I was that “happy go lucky” person who never took the process of goal setting seriously. Needless to say, this habit was counterproductive to me becoming the best of myself.

Over the past 10 years, I have come to realize that setting goals provides me with a sense of direction (Archer-Banks, 2019) and helps me to better navigate the various aspects of my busy life.  It also provides me with a valuable tool that I can use to measure my successes and identify ways in which I can improve how I execute the various activities in my daily life.  Much of the successes, I have experienced over the past 10 years was achieved because I DAREd to set some DARING goals for myself and to actively pursue them.  The various journeys toward achieving these goals were sometimes frustrating, however; the ultimate failures and successes along the way made me more knowledgeable, open-minded, and fearless. Les Brown, a renowned author and speaker, reminds us “life takes on new meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner.”  Experience taught me we are only able to do so when we have clearly delineated the goals we seek to achieve. 

As you embrace 2020, and all the wonderful opportunities it has to offer you, I strongly encourage you to spend some time to set some DARING goals for yourself, and then, fearlessly “charge after them in an unstoppable manner.” The journey will be rocky at times, there will be falls along the way, and the naysayers will offer their unsolicited negative viewpoints. However; I encourage you to surround yourself with an inner circle of positive and forthright individuals, get up after each fall and mend the resulting bruises, and more importantly, STAY THE COURSE.

May 2020 be the year in which you DARE to become the best of yourself. 

 

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