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Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

Sign Petition to Eliminate “Hair-Length” Rule for Athletes

In Leadership, Malavenda, Pablo Malavenda, parenting on October 26, 2013 at 6:53 pm

HairLength Petition Flyer


Before his high school career officially began, our son was prohibited by the school principal from joining the Cross Country team or any athletic team just because of the length of his hair.

He tried out for the Marching Band, was accepted, loved it, and was awarded freshman marching band member of the year. But as his parents we were heartbroken about him not being allowed to participate on the Cross Country (Fall) or Track (Spring) teams, and had to do something about it — not just for our son but for all students with long hair today and in the future.

Our journey began on June 13, 2013 — two months before our son’s official first day of high school — when the coach  during summer conditioning informed our son that he would have to cut his hair to join the team. When we questioned the rule, the coach sent us to the athletic director who sent us to the assistant superintendent who sent us to the superintendent who send us to the principal who sent us back to the athletic director. This “finger-pointing” took about three months. Finally the principal informed us that our son was prohibited from being an athlete, the rule would stand, and the rule would not be review again until April 2014 for the 2014-15 academic year.

Since then we have started a Petition to “Eliminate the Hair-Length Rule for Athletes” and spoke at the first “Parent/Teacher Organization” meeting of the year in October 2013. Here is what we plan on doing until April:

  • Attend each PTO meeting and speak during “open discussion” to keep the issue alive.
  • Attend PTO meeting featuring the Principal — have a few parents attend to ask questions about the “hair length” rule
  • Attend PTO meeting featuring the Superintendent — have a few parents attend to ask questions about the “hair length” rule
  • Attend all meetings of the Athletic Council where they discuss next years “rules”
  • Meet with the superintendent if the 2014-15 handbook is submitted with the “hair-length” rule still included
  • Meet with the Board of Trustees if the 2014-15 handbook is submitted with the “hair-length” rule still included
  • Attend the Board of Trustees meeting when the 2014-15 handbook is up for approval — and have several parents speak against it

Here are ways you can help us:

Our son’s biggest battles should be on the Cross Country trail and the track not with the superintendent and Board of Trustees. Please join us in this cause and stand with our son.


“Be the change you wish to see” ~Mahatma Gandhi


Stay tuned. Thanks.


Additional Information:

  • Tippecanoe School Corporation, click HERE
    •  Address: 
      21 Elston Rd
       LafayetteIN 47909
    • Phone: 765-474-2481
  • TSC Board of Trustees, click HERE
  • TSC Superintendent, Dr. Scott Hanback, click HERE to email
  • TSC Assistant Superintendent, Dr. David Notary, click HERE to email
  • Harrison High School, click HERE
    • Address:
      5701 North 50 West
      West Lafayette, IN, USA 47906-9736
    • Phone: 765-463-3511
  • HHS Principal, Dr. Alan Remaly, click HERE to email
  • HHS Director of Athletics, Jerry Galema, click HERE to email

To view a photo gallery of professional male athletes with long hair, click HERE.


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LUM Achieve Students “March on Washington”

In Education, History, Lafayette Indiana, Leadership, Malavenda, Pablo Malavenda, social media, Uncategorized on August 26, 2013 at 3:48 pm

PCPopSocialMediaLogoAs a part of PC Pop Social Media, I was asked to travel to Washington DC with a youth group to participate in the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.

The students on the LUM Youth Trip to Washington are enrolled at an academic enrichment program at the Lafayette Urban Ministry (Indiana) called Achieve! Stay-in-School Program. Achieve recruits middle school students who are at-risk academically and qualify for the 21st Century Scholars program, which entitled them to free tuition in any Indiana state university, if they continue to meet certain award criteria. These student committed in writing to a rigorous learning enrichment program meant to ensure that they succeed. LUM decided that these students would get a tremendous experience by traveling to Washington and experiencing first hand a significant part of our nation’s history.

My role in this trip was to document the students’ experience. I jumped at the chance to travel with these students to Washington for two reasons: first – I personally wanted to “March on Washington” for the 50th; second – I was excited about the opportunity to see it through the eyes of these young Americans. I took hundreds of photos, interviewed the students with each conversation, observed their actions and reactions, coached them on visiting a major event in a big US city, and wrote about their collective journey. I was posting and blogging as it was happening — trying to capture the excitement, the awe, the history and the transformation of each participant in our group.

Although it was only a three day trip — it changed my life. It is a trip I will remember fondly the rest of my life. I believe it had the same, if not greater, impact on the seven LUM-Achieve students who were brave enough and wise enough to take advantage of this once in a lifetime experience. I have a dream that I will travel back to DC for the 100th anniversary with this very same group of students in 2063!

Enjoy this travel blog — and let me know what you think.

Lafayette Urban Ministry

youth trip to washington dc



Travel Blog — LUM Youth Trip to Washington


Friday, August 23, 2013


7 a.m.


Anthony, Lourdes, Makaylah, TK, Cassandra, Noah and Fatima arrived — excited — for the bus ride to Washington DC. They loaded the bus quickly; they were loud for a bit; then, they were all asleep shortly there after.


2013-08-22 LUM Youth Trip to Washington 001 (2)


Left to Right:
(Front Row) Sandra Dunn-El, Makaylah Douglas (Jefferson High School), Fatima Sanchez (Jefferson High School), Lourdes Sanchez (Jefferson High School);
(Back Row) – Joe Tylenda, Joe Micon, TK Young (Jefferson High School), Anthony Hicks (West Lafayette High School), Noah Ortiz (Wea Ridge Middle School), Cassandra Ortiz (McCutcheon High School)


NOON


Their first stop was a quick potty-break at a rest stop off the highway in Ohio.

The next stop was McDonald’s in Licking, Ohio near Buckeye Lake. Quick lunch — recharge devices — and then back on the road.


2013-08-22 LUM Youth Trip to Washington 005 (2)


2013-08-22 LUM Youth Trip to Washington 004 (2)


2013-08-22 LUM Youth Trip to Washington 003 (2)


The road trip east to Washington DC…

View original post 1,503 more words

Purdue Student Leaders attend ESTEEM Capstone Conference

In ESTEEM, Faith & Leadership, Leader, Leadership, Malavenda, Pablo Malavenda, Purdue, Uncategorized on May 19, 2013 at 10:50 am

 


esteem logo


May 19, 2013 (New Haven) Purdue students enrolled in the Boiler ESTEEM program at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center at Purdue attended a national leadership conference at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

During a three-day weekend in April, the future leaders of the Catholic Church gathered to share ideas, learn new skills, network, IMG_6443develop professionally, grow spiritually, and create a shared vision for engaging in the Church as leaders now and forever. The event was the 2013 ESTEEM Capstone Conference, a three-day Catholic student leader gathering at the Saint Thomas More Center at Yale.

ESTEEM Capstone Conference is an annual opportunity for Catholic college student leaders who participate all year long in their campus ESTEEM programs to meet each other and reaffirm the vision of this innovative initiative. The three-day conference began with the students from each school presenting the highlights of their yearlong ESTEEM programs. This created an environment of sharing best practices that carried over into the evening.

On the second day, the conversation continued with two alumni from past ESTEEM programs sharing stories of their personal journeys of getting engaged as leaders in the church after graduation. Next, Kerry Robinson, the executive director of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management shared the history and vision of ESTEEM. After an inspiring morning, the students participated in IMG_6462a participatory exercise of discovering their own gifts through taking and discussing the DiSC Evaluation.

The afternoon also included a keynote by author and Catholic TV commentator, Matt Weber. Matt Weber, through personal stories and humor, connected with the students and gave them strategies to stay excited and engaged in the issues and advancements of the Catholic Church. The rest of the afternoon allowed student leaders to meet in small groups to develop new ideas for the national ESTEEM initiative as well as the ESTEEM programs on their own campuses. The second day of the conference ended in celebration. Bishop Peter A. Rosazza led the delegation in Mass in the Saint Thomas More Chapel followed by formal dinner. Following dinner, most delegates took advantage of being on the Yale campus by attending a ballet performance. Networking and fellowship continued after the performance and into the evening.


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During the final morning of the conference on Sunday, the delegates participated in a lively brainstorming session on the key elements of the ESTEEM curriculum. By the end of the conference, the young Catholic leaders were even more equipped to strengthen their campus’ ESTEEM program and more confident to become true leaders in their Church. The ESTEEM advisory committee announced that there are plans to expand ESTEEM to more schools, to create a means for ESTEEM alumni to stay connected with each other and another Capstone Conference at Yale would be scheduled for next spring. A couple of examples that the conference was a success are students from Michigan State and Purdue have arranged to collaborate on a service project next year and the ESTEEM Facebook page exploded with posts shortly after the conference ended from conference delegates from the various schools.


ESTEEM is a nationwide program to develop the leadership skills of young Catholic students at private, Catholic, and secular colleges and universities across the nation. An initiative of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management and Saint Thomas More Catholic Chapel & Center at Yale, ESTEEM (Engaging Students to Enliven the Ecclesial Mission) focuses on the core competencies of spirituality, education, community and service. Employing a multifaceted approach, ESTEEM provides college students with the inspiration and tools for deeper engagement in the life and witness of the Church.


The ESTEEM campuses are as follows:

  • Michigan State University
  • Ohio State University
  • Purdue University
  • Robert Morris University
  • Stanford University
  • Texas Technical University
  • University of California at Berkeley
  • University of California at Los Angeles
  • Yale University

St. Thomas Aquinas - PurdueThese future leaders of the Church from St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center at Purdue were sent home from the ESTEEM Capstone Conference with renewed focus and determination that will surely have an impact on the Catholic world. They are not only committed to becoming Church leaders after graduation but also to sharing their experiences with Boiler ESTEEM with the current parishioners in hopes that the program will grow at Purdue.

The Boiler ESTEEM students are as follows:

  • Maria Lina Andvik (graduate student in Psychology from Bergen, Norway)
  • Tim Brown (senior in Computer Engineering from Kokomo, Indiana)
  • Hannah R Burgess (senior in General Health Sciences/Pre-Medicine from Jasper, Indiana)
  • Juan A. Crespo (senior in Atmospheric Science from South Bend, Indiana)
  • Marie-Catherine Dube (junior in Industrial Design from Goose Creek, South Carolina)
  • Mark Hiew (doctorate student in Veterinary medicine from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
  • Benjamin J Horstman (senior in Nuclear Engineering from Lafayette, Indiana)
  • Heather E Keegan (first-year Pharmacy doctorate student from Eldersburg, Maryland)
  • Alexander Kosiak (junior in Biochemistry from Westfield, Indiana)
  • Anne E Krasniak (first-year Pharmacy doctorate student from Owego, New York)


Contacts:


Fr. Patrick Baikauskas, OP
Pastor, Director of Campus Ministry
E-mail: fatherpatrick@boilercatholics.org
St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center at Purdue
Tel: 765-743-0426
 



Katie McKenna
E-mail: katie.mckenna@nlrcm.org
Communications and Development Officer & Program Coordinator for ESTEEM (Engaging Students to Enliven the Ecclesial Mission)


Kerry Robinson
E-mail: kerry.robinson@nlrcm.org
Executive Director


National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management
1350 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 825
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 202-223-8962
Fax: 202-296-9295


####


This post was recently published in current issue (May 19, 2013) of The Catholic Moment – Serving the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana.

To view a PDF of the article in The Catholic Moment, click HERE.

To view more photos of the Boiler ESTEEM students at the ESTEEM Capstone Conference, click HERE.



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Cadbury Creme Egg – Personality Test

In Cadbury, Candy, College Students, Creme Egg, Easter, Group Dynamics, Leader, Leadership, Malavenda, MBTI, Pablo Malavenda, personality, Pop Culture on April 2, 2013 at 8:39 am


Attention — Leadership Consultants and Educators!

A new and innovative method for developing a dynamic team — the Cadbury Creme Egg – Personality Test


This is one of my favorite weeks of the year — the week that Easter Candy goes on sale! In every department store, grocery store and pharmacy around the country — Easter candy has been drastically reduced in price for quick sale. This, to my delight, includes Cadbury Creme Eggs — for purely professional reasons.

If you are a leadership consultant or leadership educator who works in organizational development, staff development or leadership develop initiatives — NOW is the time to stock up on Cadbury Creme Eggs. Why?

Because Cadbury Creme Eggs are a highly effective (and unique) method to explore team building, team effectiveness, and collaboration.

This is a valuable post for anyone looking for something beyond True Colors, DiSC, Strength Quest, or MBTI — the Cadbury Creme Egg – Personality Test. In this post, you will learn how “Cadbury Creme Eggs may hold the secret for putting together the most dynamic team and getting the most out of your team members.”

This blog post gives step-by-step instruction on how you too may become a Cadbury Creme Egg Personality Test Trained Facilitator.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

“Harold and the Purple Crayon” — Story Book Leadership

In Books, Children, Children's Literature, College Students, Education, Harold & the Purple Crayon, Leadership, Malavenda, Pablo Malavenda, Story Book Leadership, Uncategorized on November 12, 2012 at 7:33 am

Story Book Leadership -- Harold & the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnsonby Crockett Johnson (1955, Harper & Row, New York)


{First Read PC Pop post: Story Book Leadership — Getting Started — 8 Steps to Powerful Presentations, which you will give you more specific information on how to use children’s literature in teaching leadership to college students and adults.}


Topics:

  • Controlling your Destiny
  • Crisis Management
  • Creativity
  • Goal Setting
  • Problem Solving

Plot (in six words):

Harold takes adventures with his crayon.


Plot Summary:

The story begins with Harold wanting to take a walk and explore with his purple crayon. Soon Harold is fighting dragons, feeding pie to porcupines and falling off a mountain ledge. Harold uses his purple crayon throughout the story to draw his way out of each of his dilemmas and life threatening accidents. After a while Harold just wants to go home but he is a bit lost. Again he uses his quick wit and his purple crayon and finds his way back to his room and drifts off to sleep.

Despite all of Harold’s adventures, it is an easy paced story. The artwork is simple and so is the story. But the lessons for Leaders are powerful and inspiring.


Getting Started

When I use children’s literature to teach Leadership to college students — I like to surprise them. I keep the book hidden until we are ready to begin. I ask them to take it seriously and be ready to discuss the book and its leadership lessons. I also like to use props like real purple Crayola crayons or a big (3 foot) purple crayon bank. I have also led the students to our room by having them follow a purple line on the floor — made by using colored duct tape.

Once the students are settled and I have selected someone to show the pictures from the story book, I read the book to the students and then begin the reflection. For the reflection discussion I basically use a three step process asking: WHAT?, SO WHAT?, and NOW WHAT? Ask the question and wait for a response. Be ready for creative and insightful answers. As the facilitator you should encourage a lively and meaningful discussion by not being too judgmental but keeping them on track. Practice active listening and clarify and summarize their comments when necessary. For more specific information on the Story Book Leadership method, read the PC Pop post: Story Book Leadership — Getting Started — 8 Steps to Powerful Presentations.

Below are suggestions on specifics questions to direct your discussion and some answers to expect after reading Harold & the Purple Crayon to your group of student leaders.


WHAT.

Question: What was this story about?

  • This is a story about an adventurous and imaginative boy name Harold who has a magic Purple Crayon. When Harold gets in trouble he uses his crayon to draw.

SO WHAT.Story Book Leadership -- Harold & the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Now that you know the story — So what? Why do you think the story was chosen for you at this stage in your leadership with this organization.

  • Question: Who is Harold?
    • Person with authority, with titles, with power
    • Leaders, student leaders, bosses, organization officers
    • Team members, committee chairs
  • Student Leaders need to be…
    • Adventurous, Risk takers, daring
    • Innovative, creative
    • Forward thinking, visionary, moving forward
    • Confident, decisive
  • Attitude — Remain positive, calm, and be able to Make the Best of each situation
  • Problem Solving/Dealing with Crises
    • Be able to deal with problems
    • Don’t blame others
    • Focus on solving the problem not who’s at fault
    • Make sound and quick decisions — decisive
    • Be able to Act
    • Use all of your resources and experience
  • Question: What is represented by the Purple Crayon?
    • Your “wits”
    • Resources
    • Decisions, problem solving
  • Question: How did Harold react to the Police Officer? How did Harold react to each dilemma or crisis?
    • Harold kept calm
    • Harold used his Purple Crayon, his resources and experience, to take action and solve problems
    • Harold remained polite — even when others like the police officer were not helpful
    • Harold remained positive — never wasting his time or energy trying to find out “who is to blame”
    • Harold focused on solving the problem
  • Question: What is the meaning of the Moon, the Bedroom Window, Bedroom? What is special about Home?
    • There are things that guide us morally in life — the Moon, Window — and we must always keep them in view
    • Home is a comfort — and we all eventually want to and need to go Home
    • Home represents family and community focused values
    • Even the most adventurous leader must “go Home” and rest — get renewed

NOW WHAT?

Now that the students are aware of the lessons learned from the adventures of Harold and his Purple Crayon — Now what?

  • Question: As leaders, how can you use this information and new insight to make a positive impact on your organization and environment?
    • Encourage the participants to use “I” statements like “In the future I will be more patient when problems arise and focus on the problem and not on who to blame.”
    • As a leader, I will take more risks and use all of my resources and experience to persevere even when times get tough or things don’t go my way.

CLOSING THE SESSION

  • Lastly, ask the group a few closing questions like:
    • How did this exercise make you feel?
    • Did you enjoy learning in this manner?
  • Encourage the student leaders to use Story Book Leadership in their workshops, meetings and retreats.

The information above is merely to give the presenter a better idea of what to expect during the discussion of Harold and the Purple Story Book Leadership -- Harold & the Purple Crayon by Crockett JohnsonCrayon. The key to making this a successful exercise is allowing and encouraging the participants to engage in a meaningful conversation about the Leadership Lessons in the book, how it relates to their current leadership experience, and what they can do NOW to use the ideas from this book to improve their organization and their environment.

College students and adults love to regress with a quality children’s book. If you select a well-written, well illustrated book that is relevant to the leaders — you will get a wonderful response from your participants. They will laugh, learn, and gain new insights while enjoying every minute — what more could you hope for?


For more information on Story Book Leadership, read the PC Pop posts as follows:


NPO Social Media and Marketing – Unique Culture of Non Profits

In Leadership, Malavenda, marketing, Pablo Malavenda, social media, Uncategorized on September 5, 2012 at 5:04 pm


I have recently become the first ever Director of Social Media and Marketing at a very well respected Non-Profit Organization in our region – which is an exciting new opportunity for me that taps into decades of experience. But how different is the world of NPO’s versus the corporate and education environments? Quick answer – Very; long answer – it’s exactly the same only really different.

As a higher education professional with an interest in technology I was one of few social networking “experts” among my peers. Since 2004, I have presented dozens of workshops and keynotes on Facebook, Twitter, Web 2.0 and social media in general mostly to educators, education administrators, coaches, and students. As an officer of an NPO, I soon began consulting with many agencies in our city, region and state.

This new Social Media position combines my experiences with nonprofits, my many years of marketing and promoting events and services within higher education, and my knowledge and experiences with social media. In many ways this position is perfect for me. My first task, even before starting the job officially, was to plan my first 5 steps in achieving the marketing goals of the nonprofit. I pulled out my Social Media Marketing Plan and was tempted to jump right in with stage one – Awareness. But upon further reflection, I decided in order to succeed I needed to remember that although the work would be familiar, the rules of working within an NPO would be very different. I also needed to know a lot more about the culture of this particular NPO.

So before jumping in the social media pool feet first, I needed a reality check. One of the most important differences with NPO’s is the organizational structure. Who has the authority? What’s the responsibility of the Board? What’s the responsibility of the executive director? What is the actual chain of command? This is important because as a marketing professional you must build Awareness first and then Educate next – but in this case the Board (not you) is the authority on WHAT you are going to promote. This chain of command giving the Board supreme control over the purpose, scope, and mission of the NPO are dictated for the most part by the IRS who grants their tax-exempt, nonprofit status. Another important responsibility of the Board is the hiring and oversight of the Executive Director. That being said, the Board should NOT get involved in the hiring and supervision of the rest of the staff and the day to day execution of the NPO’s services, programs and general operation.  The rest of the staff reports to and is the responsibility of the Executive Director. As the Social Media specialist it is critical to your success to know how you fit in and accept the role of the Board and the Executive Director.

This structure may sound very restrictive but in practice it is quite dynamic. The structure of the Board is such that you will see great passion and commitment in the long term success of the NPO. The Board and the executive director typically communicate regularly and establish an ambitious vision – which always includes marketing and outreach. The great news is if they have the insight to create YOUR position focusing on social media, you can be certain that they will support you and your ideas. They realize that the ways NPO’s have been using to communicate need to evolve with technology. Soon you will be breaking new ground for your NPO using social media to build Awareness about your agency, to Educate your community on the program and services and eventually to Engage your community until individuals become compelled to take Action by volunteering and giving of their time, treasure and talent.

Now take the plunge.


Read other PC Pop blog posts about Social Media & Marketing:


Superheroes — Lessons about Power and Leadership

In Avengers, Batman, Comic Books, Dark Knight, Exploring Leadership, Harry Potter, Justice League of America, Komives, Leader, Malavenda, Movies, Nance Lucas, Pablo Malavenda, Pop Culture, Robert Greenleaf, Servant Leadership, Spider-Man, Timothy McMahon, Tuckman Stages, Uncategorized on July 3, 2012 at 7:22 pm


This summer you can’t escape Superheroes. From the Avengers movie which is smashing all box office records to The Amazing Spider-Man (reboot) to The Dark Knight Rises (big screen’s 7th Batman actor so far) — not to mention Dredd (Judge Dredd reboot) and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance — superheroes are saving the world in teams, with side-kicks, and alone on multiple, multiplex screens.  Even Broadway in New York City is currently smitten with a superhero — Spider-Man — Turn Off the Dark.

Leadership and Power — there is no better example than Superheroes.  According to J.W. Gardner (1990), Power is a social dimension; it is the capacity to ensure the outcomes one wishes and to prevent those one does not wish. Gardner (1990) also explains that Leadership and Power are two different things but are intertwined in many fascinating ways. The important questions are — What do you do with Power when you get it? How did you get the Power? How and when do you use it? Why do you use your Power — toward what ends?

Over the past 25 years, I have led many discussions about Leadership. Everyone has an idea of what Leadership is and what defines a Leader. Since I am more interested in engaging individuals I developed a highly interactive session. My goal is to give the participants an opportunity to think rather than be told what to think. I start the conversation about Leadership and Power with a simple yet important question —


Why Be a Leader?


What are the benefits? Why do individuals aspire, work, lobby, and fight to become the leaders of their groups or communities. Being the “Leader” is often not easy. Being the Leader means taking on responsibility, working harder than others, and not getting much recognition or praise. Being the Leader is often unfair. Leaders rarely get credit for the successes and almost always get blamed for the failures. In many cases, the Leaders are hated just because they’ve been given the title or position of authority. Take for instance the President of the United States. As soon as they win the election, they are hated and disrespected by a large portion of their constituents. Often even Superheroes like Batman, Spider-Man, Green Hornet, Blue Beetle and Green Arrow are misunderstood by the public they are serving and vilified in the media. So why would anyone want to be a Leader? What are the benefits and rewards? The audience thinks and begins to offer answers.

  • Because I could do it better than everyone else
  • To Make things better
  • To have a say in what happens
  • To control what is done
  • To learn and grow personally and professionally
  • To determine your own destiny
  • To give back
  • To serve others
  • To make a difference
  • Because no one else will

When the participants start running out of answers, I usually stop and tell them there are two answers they have missed.  I also share that I am not surprised that neither of these answers have been mentioned yet — because for as long as I have been asking this question, these two answers rarely come up.  They usually look at me dumbfounded.  With a few more hints — they finally realize the two mysteriously missing answers to the question, Why Be a Leader? are: MONEY and POWER. In an academic or intellectual setting, it just isn’t appropriate to share that your goal in life is to be a Leader to get a better position with a better salary, incredible benefits and retirement plan. Emile Henry Gauvreay gives an insightful description of our attitude of Money today in this observation:


I was part of that strange race of people aptly described as spending their lives doing things they detest to make money they don’t want to buy things they don’t need to impress people they dislike.


Pursuing money as a benefit to being a Leader is not all bad unless it is your only motivation.  After all we must live, support our families and feel that we are being compensated appropriately for our work and effort.

And POWER also has a very bad name — individuals in our discussion talked about “control,” “determining the destiny,” and “having a say” — but they won’t use the “P” word for fear of appearing greedy, corrupt and immoral. Power is typically used in a negative context thanks to powerful political leaders and powerful corporate CEO’s who have behaved badly. This quote from Lord Acton in an opinion piece from 1887 says it all:


Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.


As for POWER, again, if it is the sole reason for being a Leader it will most likely bring trouble. But I would argue that POWER is actually quite necessary to make any positive change as a Leader.  Without POWER what really can be accomplished? The key is how you use the power — for good or for evil.

Everyone is with the Justice League. Each member of the Justice League has great power. But unlike the Super Villains, Superheroes use their Power for good not evil. Another example — a bit more obscure — is the Disney movie, Sky High (2005). In looking at Power and Leadership, I love Sky High. The storyline in Sky High is similar to Harry Potter. This 14 year old finds out his parents are very famous Superheroes (The Commander and Jetstream), and he now must attend a special school for Super Heroes kids called Sky High.  The first day of school, the gym teacher has all of the new kids gather in the gym and one at a time they have to show him their super power.  Based on their demonstrated super power, the gym teacher identifies them as Superheroes, Villains, and Side-kicks.  The concept of a side-kick I think is fascinating.  The role is to support and complement the Superhero without ever being in the spotlight. I like this idea because I can definitely see myself more as a side-kick than a Superhero or Villain. Superheroes use their Power for Good — Villains for Evil.

Leaders typically have some degree of Power; but Power can exist without Leadership.  The person who puts a parking ticket on your car’s windshield has Power but not the permission to lead. Parents have Power; School teachers have Power; Mid-managers have Power. Some have power because of their title and position — but they may not be Leaders.  Others get Power because of more intrinsic reasons like their physical appearance and attractiveness, their leadership skills, or ability to persuade others (Gardner, 2003). Superheroes are not Leaders until they can harness and control their Power, understand how their Power may be used for Good, and must commit to using their Power only when necessary and always for the good of others.

Power is essential.  If you read the essays by Robert K. Greenleaf (2002) about Servant Leadership — you see that he acknowledges that indeed little may be accomplished in a community without Power. A wonderful example of an individual whose means and ends were so admirable and so well respected that seeking Power is justified.  The leader is Green Arrow who gained power and used the power to fight crime in his home town. Loki on the other hand used Power to an end that was horrifyingly destructive and despicable. The Justice League of America (JLA) and the Avengers are similar in that each Superhero and Villain acquired their super powers in different ways.  Most gained their super powers because of an accident — like being blasted off their home planet (Superman, Wonder Woman), falling into a vat of toxic goo (The Joker, Poison Ivy), exposed to alien technology (Green Lantern, Blue Beetle, The Thing, Invisible Woman), being exposed to radiation (The Hulk, Captain America), being bitten by a bug (Spider-man), morphed with an animal (The Penguin, Beast Boy), struck by lightning (The Flash), using themselves as  test subjects in an experiment that goes really wrong (Green Goblin).  Others chose to find or create their power like the billionaires who have different identities by day (Ant-Man, Batman, Green Arrow, Iron Man, Wasp).

In Exploring Leadership, Komives et al (2003) affirm that Leaders must have the power to get results. Leaders though must be held accountable. Leaders also must be careful not to hoard power; hence their emphasis on Empowering as a key element of their Relational Leadership Model (Komives, 2008).  Power can be indeed shared and amplified but Leaders should be hesitant to merely give it away (Gardner, 2003). Most of the time Superheroes act alone or with their sidekicks. But this summer with the wildly popular movie The Avengers, we see Superheroes needing to figure out how to work together. Like any group of Leaders who are put together in a team to focus on one task, they progress through a series of stages of group development (Tuckman, 1965).  This is seen in the Avengers — and the success of the movie is that they eventually pass through the “storming” stage, begin to “norm” and ultimately “perform.”  You even see some evidence of them saying goodbye or “adjourning” (Tuckman, 1977).  During the performing stage you can see all of the Superheroes sharing power and in effect amplifying the overall power of the group — of Avengers, who defeated Loki and his alien army. And the DC folks are working on a Justice League of America movie; so, we’ll get a chance to see shared Power and Leadership among Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Cyborg, Flash, and Aquaman soon in a theater near you.

Lastly, J.W. Gardner (2003) cautioned that Leaders must always be accountable. To avoid Leaders hoarding power or using Power for their own benefit, there must be a system of checks and balances.  More importantly, Leaders who are given extraordinary Power must be able to use the Power well. As Spider-Man recalled from his last moments with his surrogate dad, Uncle Ben:


Whatever life holds in store for me, I will never forget these words:

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

This is my gift, my curse. Who am I? I’m Spider-man.


So next time someone asks you “Why Be a Leader?” — don’t be afraid to say for POWER. But don’t forget to explain that like Superman, Batman, Spider-man, and all of the Avengers — YOU will choose to use your POWER for Good not Evil.


References:

  • Gardner, John W. (1990). On Leadership. New York: The Free Press.
  • Gardner, John W. (2003). Living, leading, and the American dream. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Greenleaf, Robert K. (2002). Servant Leadership: A Journey Into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness – 25th Anniversary Edition. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press.
  • Komives, Susan R., Lucas, Nance, & McMahon, Timothy R. (2007) 2nd Edition. Exploring Leadership for College Students Who Want to Make a DifferenceSan Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
  • Tuckman, B. W. (1965). Development sequence in small groups. Psychological Bulletin, 63, 384-399.
  • Tuckman, B.W. & Jensen, M.A.C. (1977) Stages of small group development revisitedGroup and Organizational Studies, 2, 419-427.

My New BFF, Diane Rehm

In Diane Rehm, Howard Gardner, Kouzes, Leadership, Malavenda, NPR, Pablo Malavenda, Posner, Purdue, Uncategorized, WBAA on June 7, 2012 at 3:47 pm


DR = NBFF


Authentic & Incredibly Credible – Leader & Voice


We all love certain celebrities and have expectations for what they’re really like.  Occasionally we get the chance to meet these celebs and our expectations are tested.  I recently met one of my favorite National Public Radio personalities, and she far exceeded all of my expectations. The experience from beginning to end was such a joy! Diane Rehm is my NBFF.

Days after declaring Diane Rehm my new BFF — I was driven to figure this out.  How did she do it?  How do some people have the power to give us hope, make us comfortable and make us feel loved and valued — so deeply, so quickly? I immediately thought of Diane Rehm as our leader, our savior in a sense; someone who is authentic, smart, and forward thinking.


Background


Diane Rehm, popular radio host of the daily NPR program, the Diane Rehm Show, came to town last week to be a part of the 90th anniversary celebration of our public radio station, WBAA, public radio at Purdue University-West Lafayette, Indiana.

WBAA Staff with Diane Rehm

WBAA Staff with Diane Rehm

Diane Rehm was the keynote at the hoity-toity Gala evening event and at the Women in Leadership breakfast. At both events, Diane Rehm shared stories of her life and career and then entertained questions from the audience. I was lucky enough to be able to attend both events — and was able to meet her both times. Diane Rehm is charming, gracious, witty, inspiring, visionary, passionate, honest, and very smart. Diane Rehm confided in and trusted us like friends. She shared stories of her personal journey, her worries, and gave us much to ponder on a local, national and global level. Diane is one of us; she understands our fears and gives us hope; and we are ready to march with her to fight for a better future for all. Diane is a charismatic, developed leader. Diane Rehm has Incredible Credibility. Diane Rehm is genuine and authentic. After a short time, everyone fell in love and truly felt like her new BFF. If you liked her before the event, you loved her like a dear friend after these events. 

After 25 years of hosting speakers and keynotes, I assure you this is not always the case — in fact, it is rare. When hosting a celebrity, I would meet with them before they hit the stage. Most of the time, I was unimpressed and found the pre-show conversation difficult and awkward. Often times the speaker was demanding, rude, and hard to please. I once had a speaker show up two hours late — missing the VIP dinner with student leaders before the show and making the audience wait an hour before starting their presentation. I have experienced and seen so much that I have become a bit cynical and often have very low expectations. That’s why when you meet someone like Diane Rehm it is worth shouting about (or at least blogging about).


Credibility


I am not surprised.  The characteristics we admire in our leaders are embodied in Diane Rehm.  My theory for how Diane Rehm so successfully won us over has to do with her Incredible Credibility.

Diane Rehm & Kristin Malavenda, WBAA news producer

Diane Rehm & Kristin Malavenda, WBAA news producer

Credibility is complex because it  includes a variety of different characteristics like being honest, inspiring, visionary, and competent, to name a few. DR exudes trustworthiness, is dynamic, progressive, and knows her stuff. When you trust the messenger, you will believe in the message. We believe in Diane Rehm. If you are a regular listener of the DR Show, you know you can count on Diane Rehm being prepared with great knowledge and skill. Diane Rehm is genuinely excited personally and optimistic about the future of her show, her message, and our nation. Today, to be perceived as being Credible is rare; however, according to the research of James Kouzes & Barry Posner (2008), Credibility is a concept that every Leader must acknowledge.  Kouzes & Posner (2011) refer to this as The First Law of Leadership.


The First Law of Leadership: If we don’t believe in the messenger, we won’t believe the message.


If you don’t trust the messenger, the message is irrelevant.


Developed Leader


I loved hearing from and meeting Diane Rehm. Days after her visit I kept referring back to things she shared about her philosophy and values. At one point I felt compelled to listen to her Women in Leadership breakfast keynote again online — which I never have done before. If DR fans or more generally NPR fans are a community then Diane is our leader, and she epitomizes a Developed Leader. From her opening remarks it was clear Diane Rehm was a legitimate part of our community and she immediately connected with everyone.  Diane spoke about WBAA’s 90 anniversary and the importance of giving to public radio as if we had known each other and struggled together for a long time.  Her story of how she ended up in public radio and how she approaches producing a daily, two-hour show demonstrates congruence between her message and her values and philosophy.  Diane Rehm’s credibility is enhanced by the fact that she has chosen to be in public radio, hosting the DR Show, and being a vehicle for the rest of us to get engaged in the important conversations of our time. Consistent with Howard Gardner’s research (1995), Diane Rehm is a leader of a society — albeit a society of NPR nerds, but a community just the same.  She has chosen our cause and we have chosen her as our leader.  Howard Gardner in his text, Leading Minds, refers to this as a Developed Leader. A Developed Leader has a tie to the community and relates stories that are consistent with the values and vision of the community (Gardner, 1995).


Her Stories


The real power behind Diane Rehm and her presentation in celebration of the 90th anniversary of WBBA is her stories. There were a few themes in her remarks and in her answer to the audience’s questions.  A few of the more powerful insights, sage advice and wisdom from Diane Rehm’s remarks are as follows:


  • One of my complaints I have about my station is that communication, even important communications, are done via e-mail. I don’t think that helps for cohesiveness, for the kind of creation of a strong team effort. We all need to be together in some way, in some form, in order to help each other — sending out that message orally, verbally — ’cause that’s the way you help people.
  • During these times we have been caught up in a plethora of sources of information and focused to the next thing – the next message – the next tweet – the next message on Facebook. We are forgetting about the importance of conversation. Conversation enriches life — it is important to sit and talk and to really engage. Conversation creates meaning and depth.  Conversation is what keeps us human — is what keeps us relating with each other.  And that’s my worry that we are so focused on these gadgets and so focused on the illusory connection that these gadgets provide that we will forget how important it is to relate on a human level.
  • The most interesting dinner parties are those where people are willing to engage — where real conversations begin by asking each other questions and listening to the answers with genuine interest.
  • Media today is often designed to tell you what to think.  At the DR Show our goal is to give you enough information to engage in the interview. The DR Show will not tell you how to think but rather will all you to think for yourself. This is true for public radio in general and why we all need to support public radio and advocate for funding.  Stations like WBAA send out messages of hope, of encouragement, of good news, of good conversation around the Indiana area.  And the message is coming from a local personality that you trust and with who you are most comfortable. A person who allows you to think rather than tell you how to think or what to think.
  • Young professionals must follow their passion — especially women. When you are starting out, don’t hesitate to volunteer.  While volunteering you are learning and being trained.  This is how I, Diane Rehm, learned about public radio. People would ask me why are you volunteering without pay.  My answer was and remains — I was learning. Any opportunity to learn is a gateway to a new career.  If you love that volunteer work, want to pursue it more, and are willing to put in the time and effort to pursue it — it becomes a dream.  I can tell you from experience that it doesn’t come easy.  I carried my own equipment; I had to report to work at 3 a.m. — and these were two part-time jobs. You have to work your bottom off.  Too many young professionals have dreams but are not yet realizing how much effort they have to put into the work part – the self training part – the relationship part — in order to achieve those dreams.

As you can see, Diane Rehm’s message is consistent with the vision for her show and her role in public radio.  Diane Rehm is a leader with credibility and a talented interviewer.  Diane Rehm is excited about her work, intelligent, authentic, inspiring and forward thinking. When Diane Rehm made her entrance at the WBAA Gala Dinner and Leadership Breakfast, we all wanted to be her friend; when we left the event, we all felt comforted, filled with hope, re-energized, and ready to face the future — what ever it may bring.

Diane Rehm is our new BFF — and everything in the world is going to be fine.


References


  • Gardner, Howard (1995). Leading Minds: An Anatomy of Leadership. New York: Basic Books.
  • Kouzes, James M. & Posner, Barry Z. (2011). Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
  • Kouzes, James M. & Posner, Barry Z. (2008). 4th Edition. The Leadership Challenge. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
  • Rehm, Diane (2012, May 17 & 18). WBAA 90th Anniversary Keynote at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.

For more suggestions on must-read LEADERSHIP books, check out this PCPop blog post:


Survivor Leadership: 4 Powerful Lessons from Reality TV

In CBS, College Students, diversity, Exploring Leadership, Group Dynamics, Interaction Process Analysis, Komives, Leader, Leadership, life, Malavenda, Nance Lucas, Pablo Malavenda, Pop Culture, Reality TV, Robert Bales, self-fulfilling prophecy, Survivor, Survivor Cook Island, survivor women, Timothy McMahon, TV, TV shows on May 12, 2012 at 8:22 pm

The Complete Guide



The Complete Guide to Survivor Leadership contains 4 Powerful Lessons.  Studying LEADERSHIP by watching the CBS reality TV show, Survivor will give you powerful insights into how leadership develops in teams AKA tribes. I have taught leadership for close to 25 years.  I have used various techniques to make learning leadership meaningful and topical.  As long as Survivor has been on the air, I have been using the reality TV show to emphasis and highlight the various aspects of several leadership models, practices, and theories.  From the first episode through the live Finale show, Leadership is present, can be observed, predicted and studied. The 4 Survivor Leadership Lessons are as follows:


Survivor Leadership


Lesson 1 — The Leadership Primer


This PC Pop blog post is the quintessential Survivor Leadership primer. In this post you will learn about the basic LEADERSHIP models that give the framework for being able to study leadership and how leadership emerges among tribe members. Using Leadership models and theories that emphasize relationships as much as task completion, you begin to understand how Leadership develops among tribe members.  If you love studying leadership you will love finding out how LEADERSHIP is an integral part of the group dynamics on Survivor.  If you read this before watching Survivor, you will begin to see the relationships and interactions on Survivor in a much different way. It makes watching Survivor a much more exciting experience. READ more…


Lesson 2 — Self-Fulfilling Prophecy


This PC Pop blog post discusses a concept called “self-fulfilling prophecy.” In order to study LEADERSHIP among the castaways on Survivor you must examine some of the variables that will impact the group dynamics.  In this post we look at how casting affects the group development and the tone of the tribe communities. Read this post and learn about how casting can reinforce negative stereotypes and complicate the natural development of teams.  If you are interested in how important diversity and inclusion are in Leadership, you will find this post very interesting. READ more…


Lesson 3 — Family First


This PC Pop blog post focuses on what the members of the tribe must be concerned about if they wish to be a LEADER. The tribes within Survivor resemble in many ways a “family.”  This post explores the concept of LEADERS first know who they are before they may be effective.  Leaders must first must know them-SELVES, then their FAMILY, then OTHERS. Once you become self aware of your own talents and issues, have the love, support and coaching from your family — you then impact your community and change the world. LEADERSHIP is about community and family; and this blog post explores that within Survivor.  As you will see sometimes it works and (like this season) sometimes it doesn’t.  You will enjoy the analysis of the men’s tribe; and it will give you more to think about the next time you tune into Survivor. READ more…


Lesson 4 — Serving Your Community


This PC Pop blog post focuses on the importance of Leaders developing a sense of Community. In order to understand others, you must first understand yourself.  You cannot lead a team or tribe unless you understand others enough to include and empower them.  Once they are empowered they must be coached, challenged, and encouraged. In Survivor, your immediate tribe is your core community (small c) or family.  The entire group of castaways regardless of their tribe affiliation and their alliances is the Community (Big C).  Unfortunately, the castaways become so focused on Leading their tribe and playing the game they fail to become great Community Leaders. To examine this further we must look at various LEADERSHIP models particularly Robert Greenleaf’s Servant Leadership. This season there are some clear examples of castaways completely disregarding their community — and getting eliminated. READ more…


Survivor: One Worldthe twenty-fourth season of the American CBS competitive reality television series, premiered on February 15, 2012. I triple love Survivor for many reasons — but mostly because of the LEADERSHIP lessons learned by observing the group development, teamwork and relationships among the castaways. As a self-proclaimed, cultural anthropologist with a specialization in Pop culture — Survivor gives me great joy.  Tune in and let me know what you think.  If you already planned on watching, I hope these four Survivor Leadership blog posts give you something more to observe and reflect upon.  I hope I’ve convinced you it may be worth tuning into Survivor in future. You might find some value in studying Survivor — some value in studying Pop Culture — some value in studying Reality TV.


To understand more about Survivor Leadership, please read each of the PC Pop blog posts 1, 2, 3, 4. Please check back here often because this list will be updated regularly.


CBS Survivor episodes and videos can be viewed online.


Saying Goodbye: You’re Off to Great Places

In Adjourning, Books, College Students, Dr. Seuss, Exploring Leadership, Group Dynamics, Komives, Kouzes, Leader, Leadership, Malavenda, Nance Lucas, Oh the places you'll go, Pablo Malavenda, Posner, Timothy McMahon, Tuckman Stages, Uncategorized on May 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm


Congratulations!

Today is your day.

You’re off to Great Places!

You’re off and away.


Saying Goodbye can be a powerful and transforming action that many Leaders overlook. Leaders spent a tremendous amount of time and energy building a hardworking, cohesive team and often see great results. But Leaders fail to give appropriate praise and recognition which should include some type of ceremony at the end of the year. In many team situations there is a clear and definitive “end” of the year, completion of the work and inevitable dissolution of the relationships. This is especially true in organizations in which the leader, chairperson, or president must be elected (or re-elected) each year — like student organizations and societies in college and high school. It is that time of year when some students are getting ready to graduate and for life after college, and all of the other students are preparing to move on to the next level of leadership. Leaders often let the outgoing members of student organizations just fade away though and allow the incoming  Leaders and the formal graduation ceremonies take precedence. What Leaders must do however is give formal recognition to the accomplishments of the team which has been together for the entire year and most likely has many wonderful things on which to reflect and of which to be proud.

Great Leaders spend part of their tenure recognizing accomplishments, rewarding good work, working on team building and trust among group members, and empowering and encouraging their team members to work hard, take risks and make history. Ironically these same Leaders often leave office and fade away without properly “Saying Goodbye” and more importantly without allowing the team members to say Goodbye to each other. When Kouzes and Posner talked about “Encouraging the Heart” they were not only referring to recognizing individuals throughout the entire year but also having an upbeat year-end celebration to give closure to the entire team (Kouzes & Posner, 2008).

Encouraging the Heart is based on two commitments: recognizing contributions by showing appreciation for individual excellence and celebrating the values and victories by creating a spirit of community (Kouzes & Posner, 2003).  For some leaders Encouraging the Heart comes naturally but for most it is not their strongest trait. Believe it or not it is easier for many Leaders to “Challenge the Process” but Encouraging the Heart frightens them. Yet is it so important that Kouzes and Posner dedicated an entire textbook to this one behavior of their Leadership Challenge — Encouraging the Heart. Now there’s a book, Encouraging the Heart workshops, and the Encouragement Index. So don’t blow it by not coordinating an end of the year celebration. According to Kouzes and Posner the importance of Encouraging the Heart is backed up by research that reports that approximately one-third of North American workers say they NEVER are recognized for a job well done, a little more (44 percent) say they receive little recognition for a job well done, and only 50 percent of Leaders say they give recognition for high performance  (Kouzes & Posner, 2003). Great Leaders know that people matter, and Leader must make people feel in their hearts that they are valued and appreciated — and we’re not necessarily talking about money or salary.


You’ll be on your way up!

You’ll be seeing great sights!

You’ll join the high fliers

Who soar to high heights.


Also remember that every group, team or organization goes through developmental stages explained well by Bruce Tuckman’s Group Development Model. Tuckman’s original stages of development, as you will recall, are as follows: Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing (Tuckman, 1965).  In 1977, Tuckman with Mary Ann C. Jensen added a fifth stage: Adjourning. Adjourning has also been referred to as the De-Forming or Mourning stage.  Tuckman and Jensen (1977) realized the function or design of many groups is to complete a series of tasks and to dissolve.  Even if the group continues to exist the members of the group will be different and the developmental stage would revert to the Forming stage also know as Re-Forming and Re-Storming.  Adjourning allows for the group to continue on with new members, new leadership and a new set of goals and tasks to complete.  According to Tuckman and Jensen (1977): When it is time to end or change the group in some way, managers can be perplexed by the blind refusal to change or contemplate a future that is different from today. This requires the skills of “Change Management” Leaders to be deployed, for example in celebrating the successes of the past whilst steadily revealing the inevitability of the future (Tuckman & Jansen, 1977). As with beginnings, rituals help people cope with the changes of ending. If properly implemented the Adjourning stage which includes Encouraging the Heart behaviors can be transforming for all members including outgoing members and new incoming members as well.

The 3-steps to a successful “Goodbye” are as follows:

  • Celebrate
    • Bring all members together
    • Have a meal
    • Dress up
  • Recognize
    • Say Thank you
    • Recognize major accomplishments
    • Honor members – leaders, staff, volunteers, advisors
    • Give a Keepsake
  • Leave a Legacy
    • Pass the Gavel
    • Introduce New Leadership
    • Share Vision for Future — finances, services, programs, and leadership


On and on you will hike.

And I know you’ll hike far

And face up to your problems

Whatever they are.


From an organizational perspective, plan the ceremony and pick a date as soon as possible.  Get the event in everyone’s calendar and make it an expectation to attend.  Assign the planning of the event to someone on the executive team.  I prefer the event to be coordinated and planned by the vice president.  The VP has enough knowledge and connection to the entire organization to plan something appropriate and special.  Make sure the event is within the budget and communicated as an expectation as well as a priority.  Most of your budget will be needed for food and beverages and the gift to all members.  That being said focus on the objectives of the event which represents the Heart of the organization — the people, relationships, memories, and the personal growth of each member; therefore, don’t let the lack of funds prevent you from planning something creative and special.  Everyone should attend. Everyone who attends should feel very special at the event.  Everyone should be acknowledged, thanked and recognized — EVERYONE.  This is consistent with the principles of the Relational Leadership Model concerning Empowerment and Inclusion (Komives, Lucas, McMahon, 2007). Be careful not to plan one of those banquets that makes a few people feel great and most feel ignored and under-appreciated (again).  A proper Goodbye is wonderful and uplifting for EVERYONE!


And will you succeed?

Yes! You will, indeed!

(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)


How you Say Goodbye is up to you and should be appropriate for the culture and consistent with the values of the organization.  Here are some ideas that may work for you.

  • Thank You — A thank you gift that each member may take away. It may be engraved with the “year” or term of office or something that can be personalized like a picture frame.
    • Flowers — a flower for each outgoing member
    • Gift — glass, mug, picture frame (for the group photo mentioned below)
  • Recognition
    • Plaque – may include photo, name, year or term of office
    • Certificate of Achievement/Excellence — this is most inexpensive recognition item you can give but it will be treasured by the members.  They look great if you use multi-colored certificate paper, and they can be personalized and signed by the VIPs of the organization.  For a few more cents, you purchase certificate covers and fancy stickers and ribbons to make the presentation even more dazzling.  Check with your national/international office for pre-printed certificate paper.
    • Photo of Group — the photo may be distributed electronically or made available online; the photo should include a “key” with names of everyone pictured and not pictured.
    • Logo Item — a lapel pin, patch, medal, hat, fancy pen, coaster, etc.  If the organization is a national/international or has a specific logo, there may be items for sale from the national office.
  • Program
    • Emcee, Keynote, Presenters — decide who will be hosting and emceeing, select and invite a keynote, and select presenters
    • Keynote Remarks — should focus on Leadership and leaving a legacy for the future. Considering using creative, leadership focused quotes and books like Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss. {More information on how to use Story Books in Leadership may be found in this PCPop post: Story Book Leadership: Getting Started.}
    • Script — Write a script. Do not ad lib or “wing it.”  Don’t deviate from the script once it is written because it was developed to give everyone equal recognition and assures that no one is singled out as extra special (unless that is part of the original plan).  We have all witnessed this disaster — when the emcee calls up each member to receive their certificate and offers personal remarks about one particular member and then has to come up with something equally impressive for everyone else.  It never works out well, and it makes the program awkward for everyone.
    • Awards — are optional.  If you choose to give awards like best program, best committee, best chairperson, best senior, best alumnus/a, etc — make sure they don’t do more harm than good.
    • Special Recognition — decide if you wish to honor specific groups or categories of members like all graduating seniors, all executive team members, advisors, staff, or committee chairs.
    • Creative Presentations: Superlatives, Limericks, Funny Awards for each member.  With these creative presentations you must make sure there is one for each member.  A small group of officers or committee members may create these presentations or they can create the awards and superlatives and have the members vote (like “Most Likely to Succeed”).
    • Passing the Gavel: Give the outgoing president an opportunity to give remarks about the year’s accomplishments and highlights.  The outgoing presidents then presents an engraved gavel to the new president for the upcoming year.  The new president shares his/her vision for the next year building on the success and hard work of the outgoing members.
    • Photo/View Slideshow — Every organization should have a director of communications who is responsible for taking pictures and video at all events.  Their ultimate goal is to have enough photos to create a meaningful slideshow for the end of the year banquet.  The slideshow can then be shared online with all members — another gift for all members — as well as alumni and friends of the organization.
    • Music/dancing:
      • Dinner music –if you have the funds, during dinner it is a nice touch to have live music featuring a piano player, jazz combo, violinist, or harpist.
      • Dancing — After the formal presentation, some group may enjoy dancing to a DJ, who will also play “dinner” music and supply you with a microphone and sound system for your keynote and presentations.
  • Food & Beverages — Dinner, Lunch or Breakfast
    • Plated — served, sit-down meal; must coordinate special dietary meals in advance
    • Buffet — hot meal, easier to accommodate special dietary needs
    • Picnic – variety of menus will work: burgers/dogs, steak/potatoes, shish kabobs, bbq (ribs, chicken), clam bake
    • Hors d’oeuvres — this is a great option if your budget will not allow for a full meal but make sure the food is hot and plentiful.
    • Desserts — this is another great low(er)-budget option but make sure you have healthy options too like fruit smoothies, yogurt, granola, fruit salad or fresh fruit platters.
      • Buffet with a chocolate fountain (Yum!)
      • Ice Cream Sundaes — make your own — make sure you have lactose-free (soy) and lower fat options like sherbet.
  • Beverages
    • Cash Bar — general rule of thumb is that if more than half of your honorees and guests are of legal drinking age a cash bar would be appropriate.  You may disagree but I don’t think using organizational funds to pay for an open bar is appropriate.
    • Coffee — if dessert is a part of the event, coffee would be a nice addition.
  • Venue— once you decide on the program and the food you would like to serve, you have a few options for venue.  Remember to ask about catering options, food charges, vegetarian options, tax charge, service fee, tip/gratuity, bar fee, bar minimum, security requirements and any other costs.  Make sure you ask about specific requirements and the cost, if any, for a microphone, lectern, video projector, screen, dance floor, linens, flatware, centerpieces, table for awards, etc. Options for your venue are as follows:
    • Banquet hall
    • Hotel banquet room (tend to charge extra for everything — so, get a quote!)
    • Private home (obviously technology challenges)
    • Park, beach, golf course club house, country club, pavilion, outdoor plaza/patio, neighborhood clubhouse
    • Restaurant — private room
    • Museum, gallery

So…

Be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray

Or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,

You’re off to Great Places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So…get on your way!

(Dr. Seuss, 1990)


It sounds like a lot of work, but the rewards are tremendous.  Each one of your members will feel wonderful about their experience with the organization, be proud of what they were able to accomplish, and be confident that their contributions are appreciated and valued. New incoming members and officers will be inspired to continue to work hard toward accomplishing the mission and vision of the organization.  You will have started a meaningful tradition that members will look forward to attending each year. You will have become a great Leader who is comfortable Encouraging the Heart and understands the importance and significance of the Adjourning phase of group development. “You’re off to Great Places – Today is Your Day – Your Mountain is Waiting – So, Get on Your Way!”


References:

  • Komives, Susan R., Lucas, Nance, & McMahon, Timothy R. (2007) 2nd Edition. Exploring Leadership for College Students Who Want to Make a DifferenceSan Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
  • Kouzes, James M. & Posner, Barry Z. (2003). 2nd Edition. Encouraging the Heart: A Leader’s Guide to Rewarding and Recognizing Others. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
  • Kouzes, James M. & Posner, Barry Z. (2008). 4th Edition. The Leadership Challenge. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
  • Seuss, Dr. (1990). Oh, The Places You’ll Go! New York, New York: Random House.
  • Tuckman, B. W. (1965). Development sequence in small groups. Psychological Bulletin, 63, 384-399.
  • Tuckman, B.W. & Jensen, M.A.C. (1977) Stages of small group development revisitedGroup and Organizational Studies, 2, 419-427.

For more suggestions on must-read LEADERSHIP books, check out this PCPop blog post:


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