Wednesday, October 30, 2013

How skipping class today can negatively affect your future

I experienced a great lesson of humility today.  We are in the final days of the selection process of the 2014 class of L.E.A.D. Ambassadors.  One of our aspiring Ambassadors is now suspended from school for two days because he skipped one of his classes yesterday.  Since he can't attend school for the next two days, I asked his mother to bring him to me.  I had to make a choice to handle him with wrath or grace.  I prayed about it and chose grace and feel in my heart that he will be a better person for it.

He has been along for the ride with me today experiencing my life for a day. I'm proud of the position of service that God has me in. He uses me to make His appeal to others through some pretty cool activities. I'm prayerful that if I can show him what he will miss out on by making bad decisions, it will cause him to make the right decisions.  By no means am I perfect though.  I can guarantee that he will see me do several things wrong today. Today is about getting him back on the right path because his coach loves him and is willing to demonstrate it.  He will be charged to show grace and love to others in his household, school, team and community.  How about that?

Here is his blog detailing how skipping school today can negatively affect your future.  Feel free to make comments.

Skipping class can negatively affect my future because I can miss out on important lectures and advice from my teachers that could help me on something that I need help on in the future. If I'm not in class, I won't be able to hear those lectures and the advice.  If I don't hear them, I will make more mistakes in life than I would've if I was in class.

Skipping class is just like skipping breakfast. If you skip class you won't learn anything and won't gain any knowledge. In the future you will realize that you should have been in class so you can learn all the things that you can learn in that time period. If you skip breakfast you will be hungry for a long time then you will realize that you should have ate breakfast because now you will be hungry until you can get somewhere to eat.

Another example why you shouldn't skip class is because when you get older that's just like you skipping a business meeting that you should have attended so you can get all the information that you need for the next project you're working on or you might get the wrong information. Those are examples on how skipping class can negatively affect my future and why I shouldn't do it.

Ten years from today, I will be a major league baseball player. The team that I would like to play for is The Texas Rangers. I want to play for the Rangers because they always have a good team and mostly everybody on the team knows how to hit the ball well. I also want to play for that team because one of my favorite players Josh Hamilton plays for that them. Josh Hamilton is my favorite player because he makes good plays in the field and he also knows how to hit the ball far. Josh Hamilton made a lot of mistakes in his life like doing a lot of different drugs but he took it upon himself to stop and change his ways. Now he's clean and plays for the Rangers with a high batting average. I also admire Josh for the way that he supports his community through education.

L.E.A.D. Today...Change Tomorrow!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Effective Service

Whether we choose to admit it, we all need help. There is nothing more frustrating than being on the receiving end of "help" only to find that the need hasn't actually been met. To that degree, I'm proposing there is a right and a wrong way to help people. You can be sincere with serving others yet sincerely wrong. Real help should ultimately yield positive outcomes.

L.E.A.D. supporter Angela King with a LEADers from J. E. Brown Middle School for Hats Off 2013 at GA Tech
In my efforts to help other service minded folks out there, I'm sharing my checklist for authentic service. I hope you find it helpful. 

What specific core help does the individual need?
Often times I try to be the answer to the problem only to realize that I'm treating the symptoms and not the illness. In order to treat the illness, establishing a trusting relationship is a must. That obviously doesn't happen overnight but it needs to happen in order for the right questions to be asked and answered so all can get to the core of the problem. If we can solve the cause, we can surely solve the effect. We spend way too much time solving effects and not causes. That's a problem for everyone.

Do I have the capacity to help?
An empty glass won't refresh anyone. Before you can influence others to change, you need to contain something worth offering to others. A skill set combined with an emotional connection is powerful. Without both, the problem can become larger. I have a skill of baseball development that I use everyday to provide hope through my businesses, Diamond Directors and L.E.A.D., Inc. Ever wonder why I don't have a pilot mentoring program? You guessed it, I don't know how to fly a plane.

Am I willing to be available for a long period of time?
When we enter into relationships, we enter with our whole self. All of the disappointments and fears that we've experienced from the past are along for the ride. In order to effectively help someone, there must be consistent, empowering interaction to break down the walls of failed past relationships. This part of the process is hard and it takes more time for some than others. This is the foundation upon which your future engagement with your mentees will be laid. Be intentional and consistent; set the expectation from the beginning so you won't join the ranks of do-gooders who've let them down before. 
Is this about me feeling good or the person in need?
A man always has two reasons for doing anything - a good reason and the real reason. Now it's time to get all the liars to the table. This point is one of the main reasons why people that need help ALWAYS end up needing help and never reach their next level. If my help is about getting my name/photo in the media or increasing my status in the community then I'm only helping myself. On the flip side, if my help is about moving my mentee from a state of need to a state of self sufficiency then I have to be willing and able to remove my ambition. If not, more harm will be done than good.

Honored to hang out with the L.E.A.D. Ambassadors at the Cobb Galleria for Sports Champions Of Greater Atlanta Awards Banguet
If you want to truly help people, set S.M.A.R.T. goals with them and you will know two very important things: 1) how to measure your impact in their lives and 2) are they even ready to receive help and act on it. 

S-Specific Goal...what are we doing?
M-Measurable Goal...what are the steps to doing it?
A-Attainable Goal...can we really do this?
R-Relevant Activities towards the do list and a not to do list
T-Time Measured long will this take to reap what was sowed?
Remember, time is a non-renewable resource. Use it wisely. Be intentional. And for the love of Almighty God - be real.

Monday, October 14, 2013

From the Mouths of Our Youth...What Humility Means To Ellis Prigge

Thank you Ellis for agreeing to participate in this interview. My goal is to gain a better understanding of what humility means so that I can be more humble and mentor others to be humble as well. I spend 80% of my day everyday developing youth. Your answers have really helped me.

Ellis Prigge raised over $100 at his school to donate to L.E.A.D.
C.J.: What does humility mean to you?
E.P.: Humility to me means someone who admits their mistakes and is not full of themselves.

C.J.: What is the opposite of humility?
E.P.: The opposite of humility is someone that brags about themselves all the time.

C.J.: Who is the most humble person that you know? What makes them humble?
E.P.: The most humble person I know is my mom because she always doing nice things for me and barely for herself.

C.J.: Why is it important to be humble?
E.P.: It is important to me to be humble (not everyone thinks it is important though) because it gives me confidence and confidence makes me better. I want people to be surprised when I do something great.

C.J.: Complete this sentence. If everyone in the world was humble, the world would be...
E.P.: Less showy, not trying to act like people they are not.

C.J.: How do you feel when people aren't acting with humility around you?
E.P.: It makes me feel frustrated.

C.J.: Describe a situation that required you to be humble?
E.P.: When I was playing baseball in the summer and I hit a walk off it was hard not to brag.

C.J.: Describe a situation that requires you to be humble and you weren't?
E.P.: I wasn't humble when I had hit an inside the park home run and I was bragging and was full of myself.

C.J.: What percentage of people in the world are humble?
E.P.: I would say about 45%.

C.J.: What can schools do to help students be more humble?
E.P.: Schools can help by counseling, and teaching their is a lot more to life than just sports.

C.J.: What can parents do to help their children be more humble?
E.P.: Parents could help by maybe giving more discipline. Not focusing so much on winning, focus more about playing the game the right way. Act like you have been there before.

C.J.: Who's the most humble MLB athlete?
E.P.: The most humble MLB player is Jason Heyward. But could a player be great and also be humble? Can entertainers be humble and still be successful?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Being humble isn't easy yet I'm trying

Humility is a spiritual and mental muscle that must be exercised for strength. My humility muscles are extremely weak. I lose so many opportunities to exercise humility in the moment of interaction everyday. I often apologize for my mistakes later because I had an opportunity to realize that I was wrong. Humility is also about being willing to be wrong even when you are right for the sake of the other person? I would like to hear your feedback.

The L.E.A.D. Ambassadors along with Major General Ronald Johnson, Taz Anderson and C.J. Stewart
"Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less." ~Rick Warren

I was having a conversation with my wife trying to come up with a clear definition of humility. One that would allow me to exercise humility because I clearly know what it means and also have the awareness to do it when it is necessary.

I like Rick Warren's quote above because my problem with being humble at times is the thought that I have to "lessen" myself. If any perfect people are reading this, they won't understand how "lessening" yourself can be difficult. Rick Warren is teaching that instead of "lessening" yourself, think less of yourself. That's not easy to do either but I am willing to do that to make someone else feel good. I want others to feel good around me. That brings me joy.

"Life is a long lesson in humility." James M. Barrie

We also discussed a couple stages of development that must occur before you can achieve the fullness of humility.

Exposure to life experiences can harden and soften us as people. If you were raised by people that didn't own up to their mistakes, it makes it difficult for to be humble.

Purpose in life provides much needed accountability and leads to humility. I'm more willing to think less of myself now that I know my purpose in life. My purpose in life is to glorify God through the empowerment of others.  I'm fortunate to serve the world with excellence through L.E.A.D., Inc. and Diamond Directors.

Humility is the result of good and bad life experiences and realizing your life purpose.

Your thoughts?