A Leader’s Commitment is the Glue To Success…A Story

“Nothing resists a human will that stakes its very existence upon the achievement of its purpose.”
Benjamin Disraeli, Former Prime Minister Of England

Four year old Francisca was frightened. She liked the man with the kind face. But her swollen hand hurt and she did not understand why she had to leave her parents. When her father kissed her good-by she clung to him tearfully. As Senor Pena held her he prayed that God would be good to his little daughter. She had been through so much for one so young.

As Ray Gatchalian gently took Francisca from her father he had to hold back his own tears. He knew how hard it would be if he had to turn his daughter over to someone, even if it were to get her the medical attention that would save her life. This was a difficult moment for everyone. But Ray knew that if the surgery was successful Francisca would be back soon–a healthy happy little girl.

Ray met Francisca and her father on one of his frequent visits to El Salvador. “I fell in love with her,” Ray says. “It was so sad to see her small hand swollen with cancer. There were no medical facilities in El Salvador that could help her. I thought of my daughter and how lucky we are to live in America. I had to do something!”

Ray made a commitment to bring Francisca to the United states for the highly specialized surgery she needed. As he began his mission of mercy his passion attracted other people who wanted to help.

First, he worked with government officials and social workers to cut through red tape. His energy and dedication inspired them to make the extra effort necessary to get the job done quickly. He found someone who would donate transportation. Another provided a home for Francisca before and after the operation. A doctor and staff of six at Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto, California, agreed to perform the surgery without charge.

When all the arrangements were made Ray returned to El Salvador to get Francisca. He carried the tearful child on the plane and flew with her to San Francisco. The story has a very happy ending. The surgery was successful. The useless, bloated, appendage became a healthy, fully functioning hand. Francisca is back home with her family, laughing and playing thanks to the deep personal commitment of Ray Gatchalian.

Ray earns his living as a fire fighter in Oakland, California. He is a fourteen year veteran and is captain of a fire station in the downtown area. In his “spare time” Ray works with young people, speaks for civic and business groups,writes and makes award-winning films. His moving short film, Survival Run has won 32 national and international awards. It is about two runners, one blind and one sighted. In No One’s Shadow, describes the history of Filipinos in America. His film, Unheard Voices, is about the children of El Salvador.
In 1985 the Kellogg Foundation awarded Ray a three year fellowship in leadership. Recipients of this prestigious grant participate in intensive study groups on world problems and go on fact collecting expeditions all over the globe. Recently he decided to concentrate his efforts on the problems of Central America.

The first time I met Ray I was immediately struck by his quiet confidence. His deep personal power shows in his walk, his handshake and his voice. With a boyish grin and a sprinkling of gray hair, 43 year old Ray Gatchalian looks like a born leader. If you told him that, he’d laugh, he is a very humble man Ray believes that few people are born leaders. He says “People think you have to be anointed in some way, or you have to be born into a particular situation to be a leader. Let’s face it most of us learn to be leaders, we learn to make a difference.”

“I have found that a large percentage of the population operates under a dangerous illusion,” he told me, ” the illusion that the world’s problems are too big and too complex for one individual to make a difference. But I believe one person can make a difference. My Dad always told me, ‘We’re here to inspire each other, to bring out the best in each other, and the only way we can do that is to care about each other.”

Can the commitment of just one person really make a difference? Can it inspire others? Ray says, “You have to act on what you believe. When you do that, then people respond. Sometimes I wonder, ‘what am I doing this for? Shouldn’t I just be making money, getting a big house and a better car?’ But the more I get involved with Francisca and the other children we’ve brought from Central America the more I know that I have riches beyond anything I could buy. I hope other people will lend a hand and become involved too.”

Ray’s commitment has touched many hands: the hands that applaud and wipe away tears at showings of his films; the hands of teen aged audiences, eagerly raised to ask hard and searching questions; the hands that reach out to his, seeking rescue from war and from the desperation of an existence without purpose or hope.

In his own strong hands Ray Gatchalian holds a small photo. It shows a beautiful little girl from El Salvador, a healthy child with two hands of her own two hands that prove what just one leader’s commitment can do.

2016 update: My friend Ray died in a truck accident in the mountains of El Salvador. He was doing what he loved doing, helping children. Ray Gatchalian was a committed leader who made a huge difference in this world.  “A life well lived.” is what I would say to my friend if I could see him one more time. We are all diminished by his passing. But we can all be better people by emulating his example of commitment. I dedicate this year of 2016 to Ray.  SMB 1-16

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Questions Make A Leader

“One good question can be more explosive than a thousand answers.”  —Anonymous

We are living with the most complex issues since time began. There are no simple answers. It is critical to draw on well thought out questions.

Having all the answers is far less important to you than knowing what to ask. Both the questions and answers will be invaluable guides for new leadership effort and results.
Insightful questions open doors and throw light on unresolved problems. They give you an astute understanding of how to be a better leader. They free you from entrenched ideas and outdated procedures.

A four-year-old child may drive a parent crazy asking questions. But if you take a clue from the little ones and apply that same kind of inquisitiveness in your leadership quest, you will be greatly expanding as a New Breed Leader.

The 5 W’s
Use the “5 W’s” we learned in school (who, what, when, where and why) and add the question “how?” But of the six questions, why is most powerful. Many organizations and individuals have gone completely off course because they first asked how to do something instead of first asking why they should to do it.

Truly successful leaders have the courage to pause and ask “why”. They understand that why comes first because it’s the foundation for making things happen.

They understand:

Why competence—intellectual, emotional, strategic and instinctive—tops the list of effective leadership, giving birth to powerful visions and purpose.

Why being accountable for your actions and all that happens on your watch is the key to building credibility and trust.

Why openness, being direct and truthful, is the finest way to build leadership integrity.

Why humility builds authenticity and why arrogance destroys it.

Why language can tear down a person or an organization or build bridges as strong as steel between people and groups.

Why values bind us together in our shared purpose and common ideals.

Why perspective, the ability to help people keep life and business in balance, in times of great change, is a critical leadership skill for moving into the future.

Why the power inherent in the charter between the leader and the led must be protected against all of our basest human instincts.

Asking why is one of the most significant contributions you can make to your organization.

The person who knows how will always find a place in life. The person who knows why will inevitably be the leader.

Questions reveal the why’s of any organization, project or leaders vision! To lead ask Why!

© 2015, Dr. Sheila. All rights reserved. On republishing this post you must provide link to original post.

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Are You A Leader Who Makes A Difference?

Building A Better You..Are you a leader who makes a difference?

“Learning you get from school. Education you get from life.” —Mark Twain

It is never too early or too late to become better educated, to consider a new type or style of leadership to help you be as effective as possible.

At age 92 legendary Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes was ill and in the hospital. His friend President Roosevelt came to visit him. When Roosevelt entered the room he saw Justice Holmes reading a Greek primer. “What are you doing Mr. Justice?” asked the President, “Reading.” answered Holmes, “I can see that” said the President, “But why a Greek primer?” Holmes answered, “Why Mr. President, to improve my mind.”

Regardless of your experience, you will be better able to fulfill your position as leader with the eight qualities that matter most. (See Sept. post for list of the 8 qualities, or buy the book A New Breed Of Leaders.)

As a beginning leader, you’ll have a clear set of guideposts on which to base your growth.

If you are a supervisor or mid-level manager you will be more adept at identifying your current strengths and weaknesses.

As an upper-level manager or executive the benefit is the insight to reassess the leadership qualities that brought you to that position.

When to begin being a better leader?  Right now……..the world is hungry for true leadership.

Why me? Why not you? There is no shortage of places you can step in and lead or an hour, a day, a week, a month. a year!!!!!

Will it matter? Absolutely! Have no doubt that even the smallest attempt to lead will combine with all the other efforts to create a wave of improvement.

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A Leadership Gift For You!!!

A leadership gift for you! The fastest way we can develop and benefit from great leaders is to share ideas and information about what leadership really is! Here is a scroll I give to my clients to share with whomever they want.

YOU can do the same, with my blessings and hopes for A New Breed of Leaders at every level. …….Dr. Sheila

A New Breed of Leader Scroll.…. Dr. Sheila Murray Bethel

We are living in a transformational era with limitless possibilities. No generation of leaders has had such an opportunity to solve our greatest problems, bringing people together to work and live in a safe and harmonious planet.

1. Competence Matters…Building Purpose
Competence is doing the right thing, the right way, at the right time. Vision backed by competence can move mountains and turn dreams into realities.

2. Accountability Matters…Fostering Trust
Accountability is about doing what’s right even when no one is looking. Leading is Primarily about the relationship between the leader and the led, and trust is at its core.

3. Openness Matters…Generating Integrity
Openness involves candor and frankness. It’s most important byproduct is integrity. When your words and actions match you earn trust and the right to be called a leader.

4. Language Matters…Connecting Relationships
Words inspire or discourage, hurt or help, divide or connect, cause fear or give hope. Used artistically and sensitively they build bridges of steel between you and your followers.

5. Values Matter…Forging Community
Strong values are like a fixed beacon giving direction and purpose to the other seven qualities. Your moral compass guides others as they navigate the issues of our new century.

6. Perspective Matters…Establishing Balance
Perspective and the balance it generates, yields a sense of promise that builds community and connectedness. The counterpoint of past and present guides your transition into the future.

7. Power Matters…Mastering Influence
Power is the prime mover of people and events. The wise use of humble power gives you an aura of dignity and your influence is increased a thousand fold.

8. Humility Matters…Inspiring Authenticity
Authentic leaders know that humility is not weakness and arrogance is not strength. The greatest leaders are servant leaders who unite others in a set of shared goals and a common purpose.

You can stand and be counted as one who will do his or her part. Knowing that in combination with millions of other leaders, you will leave a legacy of deep footprints forming a global path to a better world for all generations that follow.

Dr. Sheila Murray Bethel  www.bethelinstitue.com  www.drsheilasblog.com

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The Age of Questions Is Here….If You Wish To Lead

“One good question can be more explosive than a thousand answers.”
—Anonymous

We are living with the most complex issues since time began. There are no simple answers. It is critical to draw on well th

Having all the answers is far less important to you than knowing what to ask. Both the questions and answers will be invaluable guides for new leadership effort and results.

Insightful questions open doors and throw light on unresolved problems. They give you an astute understanding of how to be a better leader. They free you from entrenched ideas and outdated procedures.

A four-year-old child may drive a parent crazy asking questions. But if you take a clue from the little ones and apply that same kind of inquisitiveness in your leadership quest, you will be greatly expanding as a New Breed Leader.

The 5 W’s

Use the “5 W’s” we learned in school (who, what, when, where and why) and add the question “how?” But of the six questions, why is most powerful. Many organizations and individuals have gone completely off course because they first asked how to do something instead of first asking why they should to do it.

Truly successful leaders have the courage to pause and ask “why”. They understand that why comes first because it’s the foundation for making things happen.

They understand:

Why competence—intellectual, emotional, strategic and instinctive—tops the list of effective leadership, giving birth to powerful visions and purpose.

Why being accountable for your actions and all that happens on your watch is the key to building credibility and trust.

Why openness, being direct and truthful, is the finest way to build leadership integrity.

Why humility builds authenticity and why arrogance destroys it.

Why language can tear down a person or an organization or build bridges as strong as steel between people and groups.
Why values bind us together in our shared purpose and common ideals.

Why perspective, the ability to help people keep life and business in balance, in times of great change, is a critical leadership skill for moving into the future.

Why the power inherent in the charter between the leader and the led must be protected against all of our basest human instincts.

Asking why is one of the most significant contributions you can make to your organization.

The person who knows how will always find a place in life. The person who knows why will inevitably be the leader.

Questions reveal the why’s of any organization, project or leaders vision! To lead ask Why!

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Decision Making: Guideposts for Committees and Groups

“Nothing is ever accomplished by a committee unless it consists of three members– one of whom happens to be sick and the other absent.”….Hendrick Von Loon

Decision: “What a man (person ed.) makes when he can’t find anybody to serve on a committee.”
Fletcher Knebel

We have all heard the numerous jokes about committees and group decisions. Unfortunately, like many social comments, they are true. As leaders, we recognize that individuals, not committees, have vision, courage, and insight. You don’t want your people to use committees or groups as excuses to hedge their bets and diminish their responsibilities. You want them to be courageous in both decision making and implementation.

Studies show that the pride and social attitudes of workers who have a part in decision making have improved productivity. It is worthwhile to include them in group decision making because they have more “ownership” in the results.

Simple Guideposts:

If you need to have a group involved here are some simple guide posts to help:

* Keep the group small.
When it comes to decision making small is “better”. If the group is large, create sub groups.

* Have your facts ready.
The group decision will be shaped by what the group accepts as truth, so be prepared with accurate facts and information. Do your homework.

* Encourage the free exchange of ideas and feelings.
Be sure that everyone participates in the discussion of issues and the assignment of tasks. This improves productivity.

* Seek opinions.
Don’t go in with preconceived ideas about what you think is “best.” Stay open. As Frank Herbert wrote in Chapter House Dune: “The more people on the committee, the more preconceptions applied to the problem.”

* Keep clarifying.
Keep sight of the objective so you don’t create new problems.

* Keep summarizing.
You will keep everyone on track if you summarize as you go. Summarize both the decision you make and your plans for implementation.

* Use the right people.
Include group members that are appropriate to the decision, otherwise you risk wasting time, money, and resources. If you include the wrong people, you will put them in an uncomfortable position because they will not be equipped to participate in the decision making process. That is a sure way to foster bet-hedging and the unwillingness to be responsible and accountable.

Different Levels of Skills 

Not everyone has the same level of decision-making skills. You must measure the readiness of your followers carefully before asking them to make decisions. When they measure up, be sure to give credit where credit is due. It is easy to overrate the importance of a decision while underrating the work that follows.

The best leaders help others learn to be decisive!

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How To Judge A Nation’s Value

“A nation should not be judged by its wealth, but by how it treats it poor.”

It’s beginning to get dark. You can hear the evening rush-hour traffic overhead. The band of people living under the overpass are getting ready for another night. Some have a few personal possessions to guard; others arrange newspapers and cardboard boxes for shelter. A homeless woman searches through her bag for part of a sandwich she found that morning. A drug addict lies on the ground, his eyes glassy and blank. His right hand is cut and badly needs attention, but he is oblivious.

A young man with broad shoulders and neatly cut black hair leans over him and examines the injured hand. He reaches into his medicine bag and takes out a disinfectant puts some on a bandage and wraps it around the injured hand. He walks among the others, stopping to talk. He checks an eye here, an ear there. The people trust him. He’s been there several times before.

Cuban born Pedro “Joe” Greer lives in Miami. His father was the first member of his family to finish high school. He became a doctor and treated the poor. Young Joe learned about helping the needy at an early age-he too, would become a doctor like his father.

When Joe took the Hippocratic Oath he vowed to treat people wherever they were. Today, he doesn’t reserve his skills for those who can pay of those who have insurance. He says the inner city is like a third-world nation. The public health system is not working. Joe says, “I want to help the homeless, they don’t have the breaks I did.”

In the beginning he served food to gain the confidence of those who needed help. The power of his message spread. Joe soon had over two hundred volunteers, sixty physicians, fifty nurses and medical students helping him.

He found ways to make a bigger impact on the problems of the homeless. He wrote a course for medical students on treating the poor and homeless. He built a seven-room clinic here he treats anyone who comes. He solicited free drugs samples from the pharmaceutical companies.

Joe looks at the Freedom Tower, one block from his clinic, he says, “there is something wrong when I have to step over people in the streets. In this society we have so much and we have to give back.”

Dr. Joe Greer’s actions speak louder than his words. But when he does talk about the clinic or the people he treats, he communicates powerful and poignant message. Joe says, “A nation should not be judged by its wealth, but by how it treats it poor.”

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8 Critical Qualities of a “New Breed” of Leader

(Based on Dr. Sheila’s latest book: A New Breed Of Leader)

Can you clearly identify the eight critical qualities of  a “New Breed” 21st century authentic leader?

We are living in a transformational era with limitless possibilities. No generation of leaders has had such an opportunity to solve our greatest problems, bringing people together to work and live in a safe and harmonious planet.

Here are the eight critical qualities you need to build for effective 21st century leadership!

1. Competence Matters…Building Purpose
Competence is doing the right thing, the right way, at the right time. Vision backed by competence can move mountains and turn dreams into realities.

2. Accountability Matters…Fostering Trust
Accountability is about doing what’s right even when no one is looking. Leading is
Primarily about the relationship between the leader and the led, and trust is at its core.

3. Openness Matters…Generating Integrity
Openness involves candor and frankness. It’s most important byproduct is integrity.
When your words and actions match you earn trust and the right to be called a leader.

4. Language Matters…Connecting Relationships
Words inspire or discourage, hurt or help, divide or connect, cause fear or give hope.
Used artistically and sensitively they build bridges of steel between you and your
followers.

5. Values Matter…Forging Community
Strong values are like a fixed beacon giving direction and purpose to the other seven
qualities. Your moral compass guides others as they navigate the issues of our new century.

6. Perspective Matters…Establishing Balance
Perspective and the balance it generates, yields a sense of promise that builds community and connectedness. The counterpoint of past and present guides your transition into the future.

7. Power Matters…Mastering Influence
Power is the prime mover of people and events. The wise use of humble power gives you an aura of dignity and your influence is increased a thousand fold.

8. Humility Matters…Inspiring Authenticity
Authentic leaders know that humility is not weakness and arrogance is not strength.
The greatest leaders are servant leaders who unite others in a set of shared goals and
a common purpose.

You can stand and be counted as one who will do his or her part. Knowing that in combination with millions of other leaders, you will leave a legacy of deep footprints forming a global path to a better world for all generations that follow.

Check out Sr. Sheila’s book: A New Breed Of Leader on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/New-Breed-Leader-Leadership-Qualities/dp/0425225909/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1434063100&sr=8-1&keywords=A+New+Breed+Of+Leader

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Ethics: Profit Motive and Social Responsibility

I’m sure you’d agree that the prime purpose of business is to make a profit.

The Only Motive?

But when profits become the only measure of success, we have lost sight of our shared values. When unethical business practices create unfair situations that go beyond a healthy competitive environment, we are in deep trouble. When we read about huge economic problems our eyes tend to glaze over. We lose sight of what they really mean. It is hard to imagine a billion or trillion dollars. We cannot lose sight of the fact that people are involved in these economics.

Economic problems are human problems, and so human values must be applied to their solutions. These human values and solutions come from you and me. Our economic problems will affect your son or daughters hopes of going to college and someday buying a home. They affect your right to equal opportunity in the market place. They affect my 81 year old mother’s right to health care. Numbers are not just figures on a page, they are people!

The good news is that profit motive and social responsibility can co exist and prosper when we operate with high ethical standards and compassion.

Ethics Are Not Easy

No one ever said that being ethical is easy. Living a life of high ethics is hard. Circumstance pull at us every day, urging us to take the easy way out, to twist something just a little or close our eyes for just a second. Unethical actions are committed all around us every day. We can see them, identify them, and make decisions and judgments about them.

Acts of Omission

Acts of omission can be just unethical. Saying and doing nothing can be just as unethical as the committed act, and often much more destructive. The distinction between what is illegal and what is unethical has become blurred.

We live in a world with more and more gray areas. Abortion and euthanasia are perfect examples of the blurring of what’s legal and what’s ethical. Both abortion and euthanasia are legal in many parts of the world. But it’s not that simple. Both issues involve ethics too. There are strong arguments on both sides. How do you feel about them? Are you sure you are right in your opinions? Can anyone be completely sure that their stand is correct? Correct for whom? According to what standards?

Take A Stand

To make a difference we must take a stand on difficult, complex issues. We can’t lead if we are wishy washy and indecisive. That doesn’t mean we should never change our minds or that we shouldn’t be open to new arguments (if for no other reason than to test our principles.)

You and I may have completely different views, but we can’t let that stand in the way of respecting each other’s differences. We can’t be judgmental or we cease to lead and without followers we are alone in our effort to make a difference.

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Six Critical Leadership Questions

Have you challenged your leadership effectiveness lately?

Do you have the courage to take a hard look at how your words and actions affect your followers?

Here are six leadership questions to ask yourself every single day. They will keep you on track to accomplishing your personal and organizational goals. Why? Because they build community, core values and shared visions.

Six Leadership Challenge Questions:

1. What message is my example sending today? Continue reading

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