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Posts Tagged ‘Easter’

Faith and Leadership – Action is the Answer not Pity

In Faith & Leadership, Malavenda, Pablo Malavenda, Philosophy on March 9, 2014 at 12:20 pm

My Lenten Reflection


I am blessed to be in a position to serve others through my work with St. Thomas Aquinas Center and with the Lafayette Urban Ministry. I am also blessed with a close and loving family who I adore and work very hard every moment of every day to be a worthy husband, a devoted father, and a caring son. A day does not go by that I do not reflect on Matthew 25:31-46 and the parable of the sheep and goats.

And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

At St. Tom’s my work behind the scenes is quite fulfilling. One aspect of my role at St. Tom’s is overseeing the Mother Teresa Fund. The Mother Teresa Fund is an emergency financial assistance program that offers a safety net for families in crisis. Each day I listen to stories of hard working families who need a small bit of assistance. I am humbled by their strength and persistence in a time of great crisis in their lives. Such a little bit of kindness and a small amount of money from St. Tom’s is saving lives, enriching spirits, and giving hope.

In my work with LUM, my primary role is to promote the various services and programs offered by LUM through social media and traditional marketing. Whether it is offering safe housing for the homeless, emergency financial assistance through the LUM Good Samaritan Fund, educational enrichment programs for children through LUM Camp, the After School Program, the Achieve high school program or the 5th Quarter Summer Learning program; or food assistance through the St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry – LUM gives me an opportunity to serve families in our community in transition or crisis. Promoting such worthy initiatives is a joy.

Who am I to judge? How may I serve more? Am I really worthy enough?

I am reminded every day that I am merely a sinner but I have been given gifts from the Holy Spirit and called to serve others. AndThe_Inspiration_of_Saint_Matthew_by_Caravaggio when I serve, I must not judge and I must always try to do more – to be more worthy and more grateful for how “rich” I am. I can and do pray for others less fortunate than I – but my prayers must be followed by action – otherwise I am only offering sympathy and pity to others which is not helpful to anyone. God wants us to serve others as Jesus was called to do. Forgive others as God has and stop punishing others for their past or current mistakes or misfortunes.

On a broader level, we must not judge other “nations” – we must not just hope and pray that the world will get better – we must stand up for others, speak up when we see injustices, advocate for those who are marginalized or disenfranchised, fight for peace, and take action to make positive change for EACH member of our communities not just the majority.

He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did NOT do for one of these least ones, you did NOT do for me.’

Every day I strive to be a good role model for others especially my children. Modeling that we must not only pray for others but we must also be servants – serving and giving without fear, without judgment, without hesitation. We must not let our prejudice and ignorance stop us from serving others. We have all needed the help of others – and seen friends and family members struggle due to unemployment, addiction, incarceration, relationship problems, death, and illness. If we turn our back on those in the most desperate need – it is neither neighborly nor Christian. We must give of our time, give from our gifts and talents, and give monetary gifts and from our material possessions – our tithing. And when we serve we must do so with grace, empathy, and humility — giving others hope and offering love and dignity.

Matthew 25 gives me a guidepost to live my life – and I might get it right 75% of the time. The important thing is that I am reflecting each day on how I can be a servant in some way, to someone each and every day.

And in reality – if I am honest with myself – my service is saving and enriching my soul as much as it is assisting others.

Matthew 25:31-46

The Judgment of the Nations. *31f “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, 32g and all the nations* will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35h For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous* will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ 40i And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 41*j Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42k For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ 44* Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ 45 He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ 46l And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

About the author

For those of you who know me — I must explain why I, of all people, am writing a Lenten Reflection. I have been a Catholic my entire life and love it. But I have never considered myself a pious or even slightly religious person. A couple of years ago when my pastor asked me to use my “gifts” to serve the church, I was honored. Subsequently I have facilitated several parish staff retreats, presented workshops on leadership for parishioners, and developed a capstone leadership program for college Catholic seniors. My pastor must have been pleased with my work and confident in my leadership training, organizational development skills, and work ethic — because three months ago he offered me a job (paid) with the church as their “parish administrator.” I have enjoyed serving my church and assisting my pastor in advancing the ministries, improving the operations, and creating a healthy work environment. What I was not looking forward to or at all comfortable with was the “religious” part of the job. Our weekly staff meeting often consist of reflecting on the readings and Gospel for the upcoming weekend — yikes. This was the epitome of being “outside of my comfort zone.” To my surprise, I get it — and more importantly no one chuckles when I offer my opinion. Then I found out that every church staff member must contribute to the daily Lenten Reflection Booklet. I reached a new level of anxiety — but I faced my fear, was the first one to sign up, and submitted my reflection early. Part of my strategy for signing up first was that I was able to select Matthew 25 — a reading that I have come to know through my work over the past couple of years with the Lafayette Urban Ministry. So — that is my story. I hope this helps put the above reflection into some perspective — and gives you something meaningful to ponder during the Lenten season.

Please let me know what you think. Thanks.

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.

Cadbury Creme Egg – Personality Test

In Cadbury, Candy, Carl Jung, Creme Egg, Easter, Food, Leadership, life, Malavenda, MBTI, personality, True Colors, Uncategorized on April 17, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Cadbury Creme Egg

Cadbury Creme Eggs may hold the secret for putting together the most dynamic team and getting the most out of your team members.

Soon after Easter, we inevitably try to figure out what to do with all of our Easter candy. After a great deal of research (eating Easter candy, that is), I have discovered several ways to eat a Cadbury Creme Egg – and realized that the secret for great team-oriented leadership lie in the variety of eating methods.  More importantly than “how” one eats the Cadbury Creme EggCadbury Creme Egg is how one “approaches” or thinks about eating it.  For some, very little thought is put into how, but for others it is an extremely well planned out affair. For some it must be orderly, yet others enjoy a bit of spontaneity and messiness. Of course if you love candy, you are able to eat the Cadbury Creme Egg in any of the various ways. What the leader must observe though is others’ “preferred” method of eating.  When given a choice, there is bound to be an eating method one prefers to use which gives the most joy. This is the eating method that will give the leader a glimpse into each member’s personality and behavior.  The leader will then be able to assemble any team or group with diversity including different eating-style-individuals within each group. Inclusiveness is an important aspect of leadership (Komives, 2007).  When leaders include diversity of personalities and behavioral approaches, their teams will be creative, productive and filled with positive interactions among members.  In order to accomplish this leaders must first know their team members.  The Cadbury Creme Egg Personality Test will also assist the team members in understanding and appreciating each other as well as themselves within their organizations. Using the 3 Steps of assembling a team according the Cadbury Creme Egg Personality Test, the leader must Identify, Observe and Assign.

3 Steps – Cadbury Creme Egg – Personality Test

  1. Identify the “ways people eat” a Cadbury Creme Egg
  2. Observe your team members eating Cadbury Creme Eggs
  3. Assign members to teams and projects based on how they eat their Cadbury Creme Eggs

Some of the Eating Methods I have discovered through my research (eating lots of candy) and the characteristics associated with each method are as follows:

Cadbury Creme Egg – Eating Methods

  • Center First— Bite off the tip of the egg and eat the creme filling and yolk first either by scooping it out (with their fingers or spoon, edible or not) saving the chocolate shell for last. These individuals want to see the creme filling and yolk because they are curious and seeking.  They approach this task in a complex, philosophical way pondering the manufacturing process and the Cadbury Creme Eggsinventive people who created this wonderful Easter treat.  They are principled and rational but not overly obsessed with being neat and orderly.  They enjoy opening the egg up, marveling at the creme center and yolk, eating the center first, and lastly enjoying the chocolate shell.

  • Big Bites — Bite the egg straight through eating it in one or two big bites combining the chocolate shell and the creme filling and yolk in each bite. These individuals pride themselves in being straightforward, realistic and active.  They don’t see any point in wasting valuable time being philosophical or neat or methodical.  They came to eat a Cadbury Creme Egg and that is what they will do.  Their method is daring, unpredictable, and risky, but they are up for the challenge.  They are generally realistic, opportunistic, adventuresome and spontaneous — so, don’t be surprised if they eat more than one, change their method often, and eat your egg, too.

  • Orderly — Split the egg length-wise in two pieces along the crease, open carefully (like a surgeon), enjoy how perfect the yoke is, and take small bites. As soon as they get their Cadbury Creme Egg they get a bit anxious.  They are anxious because they have a specific method and are worried that something might go wrong.  They are organized, orderly and conventional, approaching the task carefully. They are only relieved when the split along the crease is done and the egg opens into two equal-sized pieces with clean edges.  They’re in no rush because it only happens once a year and they realize how special this experience is — it is a tradition to which they are loyal. They marvel at the perfection of the filling and the yolk.  They then eat each half savoring every moment of the taste, feeling, and experience. They feel a sense of responsibility to the procedure of eating the Cadbury Creme Egg in the only acceptable manner — theirs.

  • Social— For this person it is more important to share the experience rather than be concerned about a particular method for Cadbury Creme Eggthemselves.  This is a unique and warm person who gathers friends, shares their Cadbury Creme Eggs and loves to observe how others eat them.  They are communicative; and therefore, they love hearing others’ Cadbury Creme Egg stories and memories. Their eating method will not outshine that of others or interfere with what’s more in line with their values — relationships and friendships. They are compassionate, supportive and authentic.  They view this as a means to create and maintain harmonious relationships by eating Cadbury Creme Eggs as a social experience.  Sharing is a must. They will describe the experience as inspirational and might even wrote a poem about it.

  • Extreme Eating Methods: Freeze It or Smash It.
    • Freeze it takes the commitment and patience of planning ahead and waiting almost an entire day for the egg to freeze completely. A frozen Cadbury Creme Egg when split maintains its yolk and is even more marvelous to see.  Regardless of your eating method, you would enjoy a frozen Cadbury Creme Egg, but it takes a special person to plan ahead and put them in the freezer, and wait.
    • Smash It is a high risk method. They may or may not even unwrap the Cadbury Creme Egg, and they crush it between two fingers.  They then dig in eating it as quickly as they need to without losing any. These daredevils are not concerned about getting a bit messy but the experience will be thrilling, attention-getting, and potentially hazardous.

Now that you have identified the Eating Methods (and characteristics) you may use a number of different ways to observe your Cadbury Creme Eggsteam member’s preferred-eating-method.  I would suggest distributing the Cadbury Creme Eggs to each individual in a large group setting with little direction.  Make sure you have a few people observing and taking note of how each person unwraps and eats their eggs.  After they have enjoyed their eggs, let them know what’s up.  Hand out the descriptions if you wish and allow individuals to get into small groups based on their eating method.  Allow each group to discuss what they have in common and how this explains their unique behavior in and value they bring to groups.

The final step is to put together diverse team which include one person from each of the eating method categories.  Explain to the teams that you expect there to be a healthy amount of conflict in the process of the group becoming a highly functioning team.  As the leader you should assist them in their group dynamics process of forming, storming, norming and performing; but otherwise step back and watch the magic happen (Tuckman, 1977).

You will become a Cadbury Creme Egg Personality Test believer.  You will know through this experience that Cadbury Creme Eggs indeed do hold the secret for putting together the most dynamic groups and getting the most out of your team members. What a delicious way to take your team to the next level.

References and acknowledgments:

Carl JungCarl Jung’s Psychological Types, True Colors™ Personality Assessment, Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator, Bruce Tuckman’s Group Development Model, and Exploring Leadership (Komives, Lucas, McMahon)  were used in developing the Cadbury Creme Egg Personality Test.

Quick Facts from Cadbury Website:

  • 53% of people bite off the top, lick out the ‘creme’ then eat the chocolate
  • 20% just bite straight throughCadbury Creme Egg
  • 16% use their finger to scoop out the ‘creme’
  • How people unwrap their eggs can also reflect their Creme Egg eating style, we have…
    • Delicate Peelers – To achieve a considered, methodical & subtle eat
    • Stage Peelers – Who unwrap just enough to keep the ‘creme’ off their fingers
    • Quick Discarders – Who rip off the foil as they just can’t wait to eat their Creme Egg