John Serpa

John Serpa, speaker and author that wants to help you and your organization thrive!

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February 24, 2013

Letters to Abigail: Life Lessons from Dad

As I pondered what to write about in my next book a whirlwind of titles and topics came to mind. After writing LiNK, a book about organizational effectiveness, I had planned a sequel that took the concepts a bit deeper, but that’s all changed now. My next book will be the subject of my blog for the next 52 weeks. The blog will be posted every Sunday morning, and will highlight a theme from my new book, which will be out by November. It’s title? Letters to Abigail, (subtitle) Life Lessons from Dad. It’s essentially a fiction book with non-fiction overtones. It’ll be dedicated to my daughter Abigail, currently age five. Abby and I share a bond that’s closer than earth to root, and this book is a fictional culmination of letters I write throughout her life.

The book opens with me on my deathbed, writing my last letter to Abigail. We’ve shared a beautiful life together as father and daughter and now my end is near. It’s a summation letter, sharing the last bits of wisdom and experience for her to carry. The remaining chapters take the reader to letters written sequentially from her birth to adulthood. While a fiction book, the tenants of the letters are meant to serve as guideposts to inspire other dads and moms to touch the lives of their children in a more profound way. It’s a book that will make you laugh, ponder, cry, giggle, be inspired, and think. Hence, I look forward to sharing with you—via this blog—the vignettes from Letters to Abigail.

So, without further adieu, I’d like you to meet Abigail.

In a nutshell, she’s a bubbly little girl that loves ballet, playing Candyland, planting marigolds, eating popcorn, hula hooping, and exploring the world around her. Her favorite color is purple, favorite movie is The Wizard of Oz, and she enjoys classical music. She also loves to read and science is her favorite subject. Abigail and I share many traditions and as you read this blog over the next few months, my hope is that you’ll find answers to this question: What can I do to etch lasting memories that will guide my children long after my life’s curtain draws to a close?

June 29, 2012

Quantum Beasties!

The Law of Entanglements

en·tan·gle (n-tnggl)

tr.v. en·tan·gled, en·tan·gling, en·tan·gles

1. To involve in or as if in a tangle.

Have you ever stopped for a moment to consider the entanglements you encounter on a given day merely by being an observer? Have you ever felt by watching, you ‘somehow’ mysteriously got involved in the action?

In quantum physics and in neuroscience, this paradigm gets downright peculiar.

First, the quantum view:

Quantum entanglement occurs when sub-atomic particles such as photons and electrons, interact physically with larger molecules and then become separated; the type of interaction is such that once entangled, one object cannot be fully described without considering the other. In other words, they are viewed as a whole and not as singular.

Wow, that’s heavy!

Neuroscience entanglement occurs when mirror neurons fire upon observing another person’s actions. Mirror neurons are a special breed. Unlike other neurons in the brain, they don’t respond to conventional motor stimuli. Research suggests they spring into action when an individual observes tasks performed by another person. The mirror-neuron effect also enables the observer to adopt the point of view and intent of the person he observes.

Even more astonishing, while studying mirror neurons, researchers noticed that when mirror neurons fire, neurons controlling basic motor functions start to resonate. This implies that for the observer, mirror neurons act as a primer for the motor response, which can lead to imitation.

How do I know?

While writing my book LiNK: The Fascinating Ways Our Minds Connect, I discovered that over 140 years of neuroscience and behavioral psychology research proves outcomes are bolstered when we connect our minds to the beneficial vibrations of those we observe, whether it’s the endearing smile of a best friend, the flight of a butterfly, or a wild horse galloping across a prairie.

Do you see the significance of this? We’re designed to link to others, from the time we’re conceived, throughout childhood, during courtship, into old age, and the myriad of relationships that come in between. In aggregate, this array of linking stitches a finely woven fabric called—life. It’s up to us to determine how wildly exciting that life can be.

Each one of us is unique—born with an array of talent and potential. The choice becomes whether to link our minds with the beauty around us or cower under a protective shell. I prefer the former. I want to interface with people who motivate me to become a better person. And conversely, I want to do the same with others. The greatest wonder of linking to the minds of others is that life becomes a fanfare.

That’s downright Beastie!

Did I say beastie? It appears within the realms of nature, replicating action and grasping the intention of those in our world can yield valuable results. Specifically, ‘beastie’ refers to taking on the attributes of any insect, reptile, bird, mammal, that has ever existed, from salmon to wooly mammoths to dragonflies.

How do I know? From my dear friend Sarah Seidelmann. She recently wrote a book titled, What The Walrus Knows: An Eccentric’s Field Guide to Working with Beastie Energies, and in this finely crafted prose she guides us to discover a vibrant way of connecting ourselves to the essence of creatures in nature.

It’s primal message? To learn appreciation, intention, and what we can do to bolster the law of attraction. That is, to pause each day and—as she says—Follow Your Feel Good. Upon doing so, you’ll discover a richness about yourself and those around you that has been missed. And…like in physics and neuroscience, entanglements will not result in confusion and difference, but rather you’ll relish in the shared state of positive feelings, cohesion, and a higher state of mind than you ever imagined.

So…are you ready to discover that beastie that resides within you? It all starts with turning a page. (Sarah’s breakthrough book can be purchased here: http://tinyurl.com/7r4mc8x .) Her website is http://followyourfeelgood.com/

The available evidence is clear—when we chose to link with those around us we’ll reap bountiful rewards that cannot be measured by bean counters. But to the watchful eye of the seed planter, life becomes a great adventure!

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May 20, 2012

Do You See What I See?

Binocularity is the ability for both eyes to work in unison. It entails bringing unified focus on an object as it approaches, capturing the image, and sending signals back to the brain. This allows us to “see” clearly. This pivotal aspect of depth perception requires the two eyes to work in harmony as a team. If this process fails, the image in the mind will appear blurred or double.

David Marr, a British neuroscientist and psychologist, generated an astronomic amount of research that integrated neurophysiology, visual processing, psychology, and artificial intelligence. Just before his death, he stated: “Vision, the process that produces, from images of the external world, a description that’s useful to the viewer and not cluttered with irrelevant information.” Can you think back to the last time you sat through a mediocre presentation [cluttered with irrelevant information] that left you without a clear line of sight?

When crafting a vision for an organization, a duality frequently gets lost in the morass of PowerPoint slide decks and executive speeches. When you consider the diversity of skill-sets and roles within an organization, it’s imperative that every associate understands the information needed to grasp the vision and what it represents.

In 1971, two renowned cognitive scientists at Stanford University conducted an experiment that illustrates this point. Roger Shepard and Jacqueline Metzler designed a study in which participants were shown two objects in different orientations, and then measured (with a stopwatch) the time it took for them to determine if the objects were the same. The objects were either rotated in the picture plane so that the two-dimensional image didn’t change (top left image). Or around a vertical axis (top right image). Or where the two-dimensional object appeared completely different (bottom middle image).

Using a tachistoscope, (a viewing box with a shutter that allows for precise measurement of image recognition), participants pulled specific handles to make their choices. Though half the objects were identical and half were different, Shepard and Metzler were only interested in the results when objects were the same, but oriented in more complex ways. The results?

As the objects were rotated at greater degrees (an eighty-degree versus a forty-degree turn), it took the person twice as long to make a decision.

The results were linear, for every degree of rotation, time increased proportionately. This implies that when communicating complicated information, one can’t assume that the receiver can readily decipher its meaning. Hence, complex data requires greater simplicity when conveying it. Placing such information into a simple, well-illustrated visual can make the difference.

This experiment indicated that, when presented with illustrations, the brain (generally) functions with marksman accuracy and predictability. Prior to this experiment, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis prevailed as the explanation of how we cognitively think and tackle problems. It stated that language explicitly (spoken or in text) shapes thinking patterns and thoughts. The Shepard and Metzler experiment demonstrated that some aspects of cognition don’t involve language.

For example, imagine trying to explain the differences found with each shape using text and oral explanations. Not easy. It would take more time, especially as the objects became more convoluted. A picture let’s the mind engage its cognitive workings to make the connection and yield a response.

The DNA of transformational organizations scripts them with a compendious ability to craft a vision, engage people in the mission, and navigate change—while simultaneously moving the participants closer to the intended targets. They do this with well-designed visuals that depict the information needed to garnish engagement.

So…ask yourself. What are you doing in your organizations to ensure all participants can clearly “see” where you are going?

Please take a moment and view the video below from my friend Nancy Duarte as she unveils proven ways to help people “see” the cast vision.

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April 3, 2012

Someone’s Watching . . .

How often have you heard the expression, “The eyes are the [window] to the soul?” Many? Me too. In continuing our understanding of nonverbal blinkers, the following are a few suggestions to improve the linking process using eye contact. But with one caveat—sometimes the ‘windows’ are shut or foggy, so tread carefully.

Nonverbal communication expert Desmond Morris reckons eighty percent of the information we take in comes through the visual passageway. Surprisingly, the eyes can also reveal a tapestry of feelings. We’ll learn them with the mnemonic; SADFISH:

  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Disgust
  • Fear
  • Interest
  • Surprise
  • Happiness

Believe it or not, practicing one simple eye-related behavior increases the effectiveness of organizations and personal success.

Studies show that between two people, the one with higher “status” will differ in his visual behavior toward the person with lower status. Rarely does he maintain direct eye contact and flash radiant smiles. On the contrary, when you show interest in another, (with direct eye contact and authentic smiling), the pupils of the recipient dilate. This releases chemicals in the body (dopamine and serotonin) that help us feel better.

For example, tilt your head slightly, maintain direct eye contact, and wear an inviting smile—and watch what happens. Then, nod as your companion speaks—never glance at the floor, or ceiling. By keeping your eyes focused on her, she feels valued. When we feel valued, it makes us buoyant. The happier we are, the more creative and innovative we become.

The explanation? Dream-weaver leaders know they must drop their egos at the door and engage in eye contact with everyone, which in turn, helps drive the engine of success in their organizations. The diverse leaders profiled in this book never ignore people. Remember, as Ann Morrow Lindbergh once said, “Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.” With a little help from the eyes, you can make a person’s day by using them to spirit the conversation.

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March 9, 2012

It’s Time To LiNK Minds!

Why LiNK?

This book will change how you connect with people. Your professional life will become more productive, your personal life more fulfilling. LiNK will change how you communicate.

Why should you consider reading LiNK? The answer is threefold:

1) People are more isolated than ever. Isolation fractures organizations. Fractured organizations are not scalable or sustainable. And…any entity where two or more people get together to accomplish something is an organization. LiNK will teach you, with proven scientific evidence, how to break the isolation cycle.

2) LiNK will teach you the “why” of how we best connect one mind to another. John Serpa backs this claim with proven neuroscience and behavioral psychology from the world’s experts.

3) Serpa brings you real-life examples from all facets of human existence.

LiNK is not a book about big business or a “seven step” plan to improving the bottom line. Rather, it’s a holistic primer that will engage your mind to think differently the next time you connect with another human being. By doing so, you will improve the effectiveness of your organization which in turn, improves the top and bottom line. For example:

Have you ever considered the possibility that by observing the actions of others, your brain responds (with mirror neurons) as if you were performing them yourself? In addition, what if you knew that advances in neuroscience and behavioral psychology were discovering that this process within our brain, along with the non-verbal cues that result, function as a catalyst that alters outcomes within organizational and social settings?

In this intriguing book, John Serpa presents a fresh look into eighty years of scientific research that gives us the reasons “why” organizations can be transformed with little expense and how relationships can evolve

With this knowledge in hand, organizational and personal development can be taken to a whole new level by leveraging the unique communication functions of our mind.

This book stemmed from a simple sentence that changed his life. Serpa’s 8th grade English teacher, Mrs Hoyle, linked her mind to his when in 1980 she wrote in his yearbook, “John, you’re quite a writer, I’ll look for a book from you in the future.” As wonderful gifts have a way of continuing to give, now that one sentence will serve to change yours.

Hence, on March 11, John’s launching a nationwide “A-MOB-AZON” to bring attention to this book. If enough folks purchase the book on March 11, it could propel LiNK into a best-seller list (see the Amazon URL below with preliminary reviews).

Amazon LiNK Book Listing Hyperlink

Serpa’s  intent was to write a book that will benefit every reader, whether you’re a cab driver, CEO, PhD, musician, teacher, nurse, coalminer, student, or a stay-at-home mom. The people I met in writing the book range from bartenders, celebrities, neuroscientists, Ivy League professors, economists, NCAA coaches, students, medical professionals, behavioral psychologists, authors, clergy, neonates, toddlers, teenagers, stormchasers, and hard working every-day folks that understand how minds—LiNK.

Please consider passing this along to friends and family you think would benefit from LiNK and join the “A-MOB-AZON” on Sunday March 11th. (click image to enlarge).

Thank You!

“Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.”

—Marcus Aurelius

 

March 5, 2012

LiNK Book Release! The Sentence That Changed My Life

Why LiNK?

This book will change how you connect with people. Your professional life will become more productive, your personal life more fulfilling. LiNK will change how you communicate.

Why should you consider reading LiNK? The answer is threefold:

1) People are more isolated than ever. Isolation fractures organizations. Fractured organizations are not scalable or sustainable. And…any entity where two or more people get together to accomplish something is an organization. LiNK will teach you, with proven scientific evidence, how to break the isolation cycle.

2) LiNK will teach you the “why” of how we best connect one mind to another. John Serpa backs this claim with proven neuroscience and behavioral psychology from the world’s experts.

3) Serpa brings you real-life examples from all facets of human existence.

LiNK is not a book about big business or a “seven step” plan to improving the bottom line. Rather, it’s a holistic primer that will engage your mind to think differently the next time you connect with another human being. By doing so, you will improve the effectiveness of your organization which in turn, improves the top and bottom line. For example:

Have you ever considered the possibility that by observing the actions of others, your brain responds (with mirror neurons) as if you were performing them yourself? In addition, what if you knew that advances in neuroscience and behavioral psychology were discovering that this process within our brain, along with the non-verbal cues that result, function as a catalyst that alters outcomes within organizational and social settings?

In this intriguing book, John Serpa presents a fresh look into eighty years of scientific research that gives us the reasons “why” organizations can be transformed with little expense and how relationships can evolve

With this knowledge in hand, organizational and personal development can be taken to a whole new level by leveraging the unique communication functions of our mind.

This book stemmed from a simple sentence that changed his life. Serpa’s 8th grade English teacher, Mrs Hoyle, linked her mind to his when in 1980 she wrote in his yearbook, “John, you’re quite a writer, I’ll look for a book from you in the future.” As wonderful gifts have a way of continuing to give, now that one sentence will serve to change yours.

Hence, on March 11, John’s launching a nationwide “A-MOB-AZON” to bring attention to this book. If enough folks purchase the book on March 11, it could propel LiNK into a best-seller list (see the Amazon URL below with preliminary reviews).

Amazon LiNK Book Listing Hyperlink

Serpa’s  intent was to write a book that will benefit every reader, whether you’re a cab driver, CEO, PhD, musician, teacher, nurse, coalminer, student, or a stay-at-home mom. The people I met in writing the book range from bartenders, celebrities, neuroscientists, Ivy League professors, economists, NCAA coaches, students, medical professionals, behavioral psychologists, authors, clergy, neonates, toddlers, teenagers, stormchasers, and hard working every-day folks that understand how minds—LiNK.

Please consider passing this along to friends and family you think would benefit from LiNK and join the “A-MOB-AZON” on Sunday March 11th. (click image to enlarge).

Thank You!

 

“Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.”

—Marcus Aurelius

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 25, 2012

The Meeting!

The date is January 19th, 1915, and you’re aboard the sailing vessel Endurance on a scientific excursion to Antarctica. Suddenly, pack ice halts the ship, immobilizing it like a bear in a trap. For the next ten months, you and twenty-seven of your coworkers remain stuck on this helpless vessel, jammed in the ice floe. Uncrating the limited provisions creates a crude, frozen camp on the surrounding icy shelf.

Finally, in November, the crushing forces of the ice sink the ship. Fortunately, everyone unloaded the cargo and lifeboats before the sinking. The nearest help lies 650 miles away at a whaling station on South Georgia Island, and the mean surface temperature hovers near -20˚F. Facing a near hopeless situation, your leader calls a meeting.

A meeting? Your heart pounds. You’ve been there—in organizations back home—the dreaded meeting. A cluster of disengaged people gathered at predetermined intervals for circular conversations. With no definitive agenda or specific factors to discuss, and little in the way of defined objectives, meetings often ended where they began, with undocumented decisions.

Furthermore, corporate meetings were the hallmark obituary of active listening. Rarely did you share an opinion (because the loud mouths usually did the talking) and when you could mutter a few morsels of dialogue, inevitably, someone would cut you off mid-sentence . . . retorting, “I know what you’re trying to say . . .”

Trudging slowly to the meeting tent, your boots pushing deep into the snow with the frigid wind buffeting you like tumbleweed, you ponder the fact you’ll likely die on this barren wasteland. You come through the entrance with your head hung low and seat yourself at the table. Eyes shift as nervousness increases. The good news? This won’t be a typical meeting because the facilitator is no ordinary leader—he’s Sir Ernest Shackleton.

It’s a grandiose saga. Shackleton, an intrepid leader, was known for a myriad of shining qualities. The one most noted in the crew’s journals? He practiced attentiveness during meetings.

Throughout this harrowing ordeal, he inherently knew that survival rests in a delicate balance of physical and emotional well-being. His level of attention to the crew’s condition would greatly improve their chances.

How’s attentiveness cultivated?

By the skill of active listening, something Shackleton practiced religiously.

So…consider the following questions. How would you rate the quality of meetings in your organization? And what changes do you think are needed to increase the level if involvement and contribution from all participants?

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February 4, 2012

Black and White Movies Cause a Stir!

Herbert Blumer, a pioneering sociologist, spent his entire life studying human interactions, including the theory that what we see, shapes the mind.

Blumer determined that people behave according to three influences. One, the meaning that things and events have for you (example: a peace sign, education, & cultural holidays). Two, the meaning of things and events comes from you’re interactions with other people, (example: ancestry research, interracial marriage, & the Million Man March). Three, that the meanings we ascribe to things and events are derived from self-interpretations, (not because someone told us what the meaning should be).

Now suppose someone told you the following: “According to opinion polls, the ‘American Dream’ implies owning a house.” But your interpretation—based on the aforementioned examples (noted above)—doesn’t agree. For you, the ‘American Dream’ might mean, “Equality for every citizen within its borders.” Blumer described this process as symbolic interactionism.

Blumer identified symbolic interactionism as an activity unique to humans. It’s a process where social interaction and interpretation forge meanings we have for things around us. Outside influences such as the media, the body language of others, stereotyping, and the amount of empathy we receive (micro-scale social interactions) all play a role. Blumer opted to prove his case by evaluating people after they watched a wide assortment of movies.

From 1929 to 1932, the Payne Fund enacted a series of research studies to examine movies and their effects on a population set of 1,500 young people, aged thirteen to twenty-four. The researchers identified several observable outcomes on the young moviegoers, from learning and attitude change to emotional stimulation and behavior influence.

At the time of this study, movies were a relatively new technology. Therefore, limited information existed about their impact on viewers. The researchers wanted to determine if movies influenced young people to adopt behaviors they viewed onscreen. The analysts used detailed questionnaires, personal interviews, and sound experimental design to buttress their findings. Their extrapolations came from the movie attendance of fifty communities in Ohio.

Ten categories of movie content were examined: crime, sex, love, mystery, war, children, history, travel, comedy, and social propaganda.

Considered ground breaking in 1932, the results of the study aren’t that surprising today. The research determined that a whole range of emotional, racial, and social behaviors morphed after the subjects watched movies. Blumer noted (paraphrased):

“Emotions were stimulated, especially those related to fear and tension. Health effects were measured by looking at the sleep patterns of children after watching movies, and certain movies disturbed healthy sleep. Children who attended movies regularly were found to behave poorly in school compared to those who attended less frequently. Children imitated favorable behavior they saw in movies, but movies also appeared to play a direct role in delinquent careers. Overall, researchers found that movies influenced both children’s attitudes and behaviors. These effects were cumulative and persistent over time.”

After perusing several transcribed interviews from the study, one from a nineteen-year-old college sophomore caught my attention:

“About two years ago I saw a movie in which the heroine coyly, when conversing with a young man, would close her eyes, slightly nod her head and smile. And when she closed her eyes, her eyelashes were shown off to their best advantage. So I decided this was ‘cute’, and having always been vain about my eyes, I adopted the trick. It so happened that within about a week I attended a formal dance. During the evening I used my charms, but to my dismay they weren’t appreciated; but rather criticized! After several closings of the eyes and noddings of the head, my friend asked me if I was tired and wished to start home. You’re assured that I didn’t continue my newly acquired trick. And my coquette career came to an end.” 20

Imitating movie stars doesn’t always lead to glamorous endings, as this young lady discovered.

The mind is a marvelous piece of machinery. It can be primed in different ways, from our own internal perceptions, to the automatic switching functions embedded in neurological circuits—allowing priming by other people, and via symbolic interactionism. So…what’s your thoughts on how our minds are forged by what we take in?

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January 19, 2012

What Will Be Our Legacy?

Often at funerals, easels display photos of the departed as a reminder of their life’s experiences. Keeping in step with our modern age, a friend of mine took a different approach. Encapsulated in a PowerPoint obituary, pictures of her deceased father transitioned from one to the next—finely coupled with a soothing violin-laden soundtrack. As each picture emerged, he could be seen with a variety of people: from artisans to academics, to average folks—the people on the margins. Evidence that her father’s mind linked with a broad portion of humanity. In nearly every photo, he smiled so big it brought a sense of his presence to the room. People with similar traits as this man provide a much-needed reprieve in our world of self-indulgence and hurried lifestyles.

In business, we can intermittently ignore so many people that it becomes difficult to leave a legacy like this man’s—where the stairs climbed weren’t to outpace others up the corporate rock wall, but rather, to keep a promise, leave an enduring connection, and a keepsake memory.

Do you see the significance of this? We’re designed to link to others, from the time we’re conceived, throughout childhood, during courtship, into old age, and the myriad of relationships that come in between. In aggregate, this array of linking stitches a finely woven fabric called—life. It’s up to us to determine how wildly exciting that life can be.

Each one of us is unique—born with an array of talent and potential. The choice becomes whether to link with people or cower under a protective shell. I prefer the former. I want to interface with people who motivate me to become a better person. And conversely, I want to do the same with others.

The example of this man’s life draws attention to what matters most and what matters least. Absent from the photographs were his material possessions. The pictures captured him interacting with others, whether with his assemblage of beautiful daughters, friends in the community, neighbors, and strangers—his life song spoke of interaction.

The greatest wonder of linking to the minds of others is that life becomes a fanfare. In business, the dividends are the same.

Need proof?

Just watch a keynote speech by Steve Jobs, co-founder, of Apple, Inc. His leadership team prided itself on cohering every mind within its walls. Apple’s 6,754 percent appreciation of its stock price during Job’s tenure as CEO demonstrates how crazily effective this approach can be.

On October 5, 2011, Steve Jobs succumbed to the cancer he fought so bravely. In my humble opinion, Steve linked more minds to innovation and meteoric greatness than any leader in modern times. My iPhone, iPod, and computer I wrote this blog with, all originated from his vision. His legacy of connecting humanity will not soon be surpassed.

The available evidence is clear—management personnel who fail to link with those they’re leading won’t reach the pinnacle of long-term success.

Are you with me now? Do we want organizations to wind up like Enron and Circuit City? At the top of their game one day and bankrupt the next? On a personal level, do we want to leave a PowerPoint obituary that inspires people like that of my friend’s father? These are rhetorical questions—we all know the answers.

So . . . what will you do today to bolster your legacy?

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January 3, 2012

We Choose…

The following is a ‘guest blog’ post I did for Britt  Michaelian. She’s an entreprenuer, thought promoter, and host of “The Work Smart Lifestyle” blog and community.

Please visit her website @ http://worksmartlifestyle.com or follow her on Twitter @MamaBritt. Britt offers keen advice, insight, and savvy social media expertise that will help you succeed in all areas of life. And, she’s a really kewl person to banter with!

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Flashback <<<<

Rice University, September 12, 1962. Where were you on that date? I wouldn’t be born until four more years would pass and yet it was then, that John F. Kennedy would deliver a message so powerful, it would inspire millions of people and change the course of history. What was it about?

Putting a human being on the moon.

This two minute clip captures his speech in its finest moments:

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So . . . why talk about this at the onset of a new year?

Because our nation is at a turning point.

Like many of you, I’ve grown dismayed and disgusted with the political landscape. Mud-slinging and the constant barrage of ‘blame-game antics’ does not solve problems or foster innovation. Hence, it’s time for a makeover from a new breed of change-agents that see the unseen and seek one thing—to change the world by uniting people.

That my friends, is the catalyst needed to turn our economy around.

The salient truth is that that when we attempt to build a legacy and enact change on the shifting sand of rhetoric, it won’t survive the onslaught of social, economic, and political waves that crash against its jetty. Furthermore, the latest technology, a rich history, and a pile of cash aren’t enough to hold back the raging surf. Rather, dynamic and dream-weaver leaders are the pylons that’ll keep it intact.

Our primal nature is to seek out others and share in community. This necessitates a cadre of organizational leaders who obliterate dogma and choose the following:

Choose to grant empathy and attentiveness to everyone.

Choose to pump human minds with stimuli that improves our influence and ability to solve problems.

Choose to remove the stagnant waiting room organizational cultures, and usher in the fever-pitched biome of a jazzy sports bar.

Choose to create motivational moments.

Choose to ensure mechanisms are in place so that everyone can become involved and be active contributors, and not passive observers.

Choose to listen and ask questions of everyone, especially the people on the margins (those not popular, the ones ignored because they don’t meet the criteria of the “in” crowd).

Choose to transform their surroundings by linking the hearts and minds of people toward a “Call to Action.”

Choose to take the role of a dream-weaver.

A bold challenge? Yes.

But here’s the takeaway. There’s a tectonic shift afoot within social and economic frameworks around the globe. Barriers that stood cemented in place for centuries are crashing down, becoming relics of a time since past. Therefore, let’s sandblast bravado off the walls of organizations and replace it with—unity.

The surprising truth is we’re all fashioned to link our minds in ways we never deemed possible. And as the sun rises on this new year, I leave you with this profound axiom.

Becoming a vanguard leader means tapping into the deep reservoir of the human minds around you to promote the exchange of information and experience. If we do this, we’ll—with certainty—find ourselves basking in the vision that John F. Kennedy spoke so eloquently of.

Not because it is easy—but because it is hard.

What will you choose?