Lessons in leadership

Today I write from my leadership standpoint. I run two organizations that are at times overwhelming. As such, I’ve made a deliberate decision to swim through the murky waters until I reach the shore- then take a well deserved bath.

Today, I will not be defeated!

“You may encounter many defeats but you must not be defeated”- Maya Angelou

As a leader (on a personal note):

Some say I have lived a full life- one that is to be envied. I say, ‘I’ve accomplished much and I’ve failed miserably at many things’. I joke with my husband/ friend and say, ‘They just don’t know!’ We laugh.

What I do know:

  1. I somehow keep rising to the occasion of the challenge
  2. I know defeat is temporary
  3. I know happiness is not sustainable but JOY is
  4. I know happiness is an amazing rainbow- if you are fortunate to catch and seize the ‘happiness is’ moments
  5. Failure leads to accomplished lives “Success and Service”
  6. I am grateful for both my accomplishments and my failures

Today, I am overwhelmed and a bit lonely in my work. That is what Leaders mean when they say,  “It’s lonely at the top”.

Leadership is a journey that only us crack-pots venture into.  The term ‘crack-pot’ is meant to be interpreted as an endearing term that only visionaries and those who are offered an explanation truly understand. It is not meant to be offensive or cunning in an way.

Some great characteristics of Leaders:

  1. You go where others dare not enter
  2. You take on more risk because there is a dire need or a significant problem to be solved
  3. You become thick skinned and spine straight
  4. You somehow find in your loneliness, there is Joy and Peace
  5. You inspire others to Dream and to become accomplished in their gift(s)

As a leader you’ll come to understand and realize that stagnation will never Grow anything and YOU must challenge yourself and others around you (near and far) to dream in color, be innovative and to become positive change agents.

So today choose to be a Leader that is:

  • Chocked full of IDEAS
  • Able to Solve Problems
  • Inclusive
  • Kind – (kindness is not synonymous with weakness)

In doing so, the World will be better and individuals will come into their true Growth Opportunities (and perhaps seize them). There is a certain Joy and Peace to that extent. That J&P is almost ethereal and surreal to the average individuals’ comprehension and that’s okay;)

Cheers to your journey~ Go and be Great!

Never be Defeated.

With Love,

Bridgette

Health is vital to success.

Recently, it was reported that three things are vitally important to our health and I believe can attribute to great success in some challenging endeavors.

They are:

  1. Laugh often- Listen, I get really silly sometimes (heck-I crack myself up sometimes, which may not be good). It (laughter) just makes life easier for me. I don’t take me or others too serious. When my family shouts, “Mom!” or “Bridgette!” yet they have tears in their eyes from laughing…I keep going. They ask me- when they are expecting guests at our home- “Mom” or “Bridgette” don’t be all serious. This means they want me to laugh and make others laugh. I guess this is why so may travel through our doors, they feel at home and know Laughter Abounds- along with some good food!

Laughter might not really be the best medicine. But it’s got a long list of amazing benefits for your physical and emotional health.

For instance, it also causes your brain and nervous system to release a flood of endorphins — powerful opioid-like hormones that can help relieve depression and stress, boost your immune system, and provide pain relief. –you will not leave my presence “depressed” No Way! Not if you’re a friend of mine.

But researchers at the University of Maryland discovered something else remarkable: hearty laughter expands your blood vessels and provides heart benefits similar to those you’d get from aerobic exercise or statin drugs.1

As Dr. Michael Miller, the lead researcher, told an American Heart Association conference:

“We know that exercising, not smoking, and eating foods low in saturated fat will reduce the risk of heart disease. Perhaps regular, hearty laughter should be added to the list.”
2.   Sing a few songs (who cares if your not great at it!)- I stink at singing, but I do it anyway…even when people are watching! I just happen to like putting melody with words. It’s that Creative in me- “Oh Well”- Literally!  Lol

” I love to sing — especially in my car. Now, I’m not saying I’m good, but I have to admit, it really makes me feel good.

And there’s a reason for that:

Singing stimulates the release of feel-good hormones like endorphins and oxytocin, and reduces cortisol (the ‘stress’ hormone) — which gives you an immediate overall sense of well-being.

And those endorphins can also help you find some relief from common aches and pains. (TIP: Put on some of your favorite music and then sing along with it for a half hour or so.)”- Dr. Smith

3.  Spend time with loved ones (can be friends who love on you and you them- as some families are dysfunctional – and not in a good loving way- it’s OK!) as much as you can

… ” You see, being in a safe and familiar setting helps lower your blood pressure, which is good for your heart.

And while you’re enjoying this quality family time, grab as many hugs as you can…

Because hugging someone you care about causes your brain to release oxytocin, the ‘love hormone.’ And in addition to making you feel a stronger emotional closeness, oxytocin also helps lower your blood pressure, stress, and anxiety levels — which contribute to a healthier heart.

Well, as you can see, sometimes you can get big rewards with just a little effort. And the combined benefits you get by making all these tips part of your daily routine could add years to your life.

So if you don’t already do all three of these simple things every day, I want you to start — today.

And if you ARE doing them every day — keep up the good work! I’m proud of you!

For your health,

Cary Nelson, MD
Director of Science & Nutrition”

Told you so… Live, Love Laugh! How Healthy it is!

and you may become more successful at various endeavors overall…Go ahead,try it. It costs nothing 😉

Cheers my friends, Cheers!

Bridgette

 

Our Global Youth…

Let’s define Youth:

youth- dictionary.com  

1.

the condition of being young.
2.

the appearance, freshness, vigor, spirit, etc., characteristic of one who is young.
3.

the time of being young; early life:

His youth was spent on the farm.
4.

the period of life from puberty to the attainment of full growth; adolescence.

I work with Youth Every single day of my life and I always have. Even though I am swamped with Business Strategy work, I make sure I CONNECT™ with OUR Youth.

Because OUR Youth Matters! You don’t have to be a majority or minority to understand this. What is paramount to understand – Youth is comprised of 20-30% of our global population of seven (7) billion people. If OUR Youth is disenfranchised and underserved, our world will suffer greatly.

There is a significant disconnect relative to skill set and job readiness. We as adults must prepare them for innovation, work/life and more important, we must engage their passion. NOONE wants to spend a lifetime of struggle and unhappiness. If we do not engage OUR Youth to that extent we all lose.

I started engaging Youth at a very young age, 23 to be exact. At that age it could have easily become ALL about ‘ME’. However, I made a decision to not ignore me, but share with OUR Youth as I had learned a lot- being an old soul growing up with ten siblings (10). As such, I adopted my nephew after my mother passed away in an effort to give him a great chance and start at life. There I was 23, no mom no dad- on my own with a young son (7years old) having a ball with life! As if that weren’t enough, I began mentoring and organized a Youth Mentorship Program at the fortune 500 I worked for at that time and was very active with OUR Youth throughout a local school district in a very stable upper middle class community. I emphasize upper middle class because most think mentorship is only for the poor, disenfranchised and underserved. Not so. Youth are hurting in two parent traditional homes, Single family homes, affluent communities, poor rural communities and highly urbanized communities. The take away is, Youth and their respective diverse trajectories Matter and we should engage!

Please take a look at this:

http://www.un.org/youthenvoy/2016/08/global-youth-unemployment-rise/

The numbers and the prospective of Global Youth unemployment is daunting.

One initiative that our firm has embarked on is Smart Five Pillar Programming. The Five Pillar© program is a holistic approach to engaging youth and training in the highly specialized Technology and Entrepreneurship space. Additionally, Social and Emotional Learning, Health and Fitness and Careers is a part of the Five Pillar Program© for youth.

We have a 5K Run Walk ( EGI Thrive It takes a village) coming up June 17, 2017 and we are looking for YOU. The 5K Run Walk will benefit the Five Pillar Program©. You can sponsor Youth, donate or participate as an individual or as a team.

Register or donate at:

www.egithrive.org

I implore you to get involved. Call us or email us to find out how…You will be enlightened and amazed at your accomplishments and how grateful and kind the world can be. Together we make each other better.

Thank you and all the best,

Bridgette

 

 

Socio Economics, Political Discourse and the Disenfranchised (published article based on empirical research)

The Sociology of Economics, Political Discourse and Disenfranchisement

This article is available for $5.00 at: info@chatmalewisconsulting.com

Please email for purchase details.

Thank you,

B. Lewis EMBA

Youth Ambassadors and Global Youth Forums

 

Our firm regularly hosts Global Youth Forums. Some forums we have represented in the past included:

  • A Big Ten University
  • A Historical Black University (HBCU)
  • Corporate Global Business Forum- Youth Think Tank
  • Community Youth Business Forum- Entrepreneurship and Innovation Summit

This year we will truly go GLOBAL. We will host a Forum in Switzerland and the UK!

Additionally, we will plan to host  forums in India and Africa 2017/2018.

We are excited and look to receive valuable feedback relative to improving Global Youth Unemployment which hovers around 12-13%.

Our goal is to model new strategies that will have a global impact in right sizing skill set and employment opportunities. Further, we look to train youth to become LEADERS and the next big “Entrepreneurs” in an effort to “Make the world better one community at a time.”- EGI The Economic Growth Initiative

Cheers!

Pictured below- two Global Youth Ambassadors Tiffany and Evan

Cheers,

B. Lewis EMBA

Why MANUFACTURING in the States is imperative

While I’d like to think manufacturing is a fiduciary (held in trust) duty of The United States relative to its people and growing our economy’s GDP- it seems as though profit has become associated with greed and all it’s moral implications. None the less the American Worker has been left holding the bag of poverty, disenfranchisement and our communities are in tatters.

Please understand, I care much more about folks making a decent income in exchange for a great skill and hard work than Greed beyond Gross Profit and all it moral baggage. When did it become fashionable for companies to disengage from their respective countries and help other people in other countries make it to the middle class?

Answer: Somewhere between the 1980’s-today’s 21st Century.

Some may say:

Fat Labor Unions played a part
Rising US Labor Costs
International Trade Agreements
Lack of Skill Set
Greed
Iknow and understand some or all may have played a part in the dynamic.

I believe the simple truth is:

It is easier to take advantage of penny wages versus dollar wages and profit at a greater margin.

It is easier to not have to deal with any UNION

and besides gross profit (which is what a company should do- PROFIT) gross Greed(is not good) took a hold of our Multi-National Corporate and Banking systems and became a dis-eased pandemic! It was the Wild Wild West- kill or be killed. Everyone that participates or have participated in Greed Schemes (metaphorically speaking) have/had become amoral THUGS.

The bottom line is many communities in the US suffered and widespread use of alcohol, drugs and crime rose exponentially.

The truth-

After-which, corporations, politicians and lobbyists pounced on the media to highlight said problems of alcohol, drugs and crime as the primary problem plaguing the US. All in an effort to keep the spotlight off their egregious behavior of Greed and amoral behavior.

Remember ENRON and WorldCom?
How about Bernie Madoff
How about XEROX cooking the books?

Hmmmm…Where are they now?- In jail, struggling or dead.

I full well realize the goal of any corporation or company is to Profit.
I run a company and I believe in free enterprise and profit. I believe in the Capitalist system and democracy and I love my country. I especially understand and acknowledge- if a company does not profit, it will soon cease to exist. However, the corporation or company has a Fiduciary responsibility to not only it’s good employees that perform value add tasks for said company or corporation but there is an inherent fiduciary responsibility to the very country that facilitates and helps grow the profit. For example in layman’s terms- Cornell law states:

Fiduciary Duty
A fiduciary duty is the highest standard of care. The person who has a fiduciary duty is called the fiduciary, and the person to whom he owes the duty, is typically referred to as the principal or the beneficiary. If an individual breaches the fiduciary duties, he or she would need to account for the ill-gotten profit. His or her beneficiaries are entitled to damages, even if they suffered no harm.

Fiduciary duties exist to encourage specialization and induce people to enter into a fiduciary relationship. By imposing these duties, the law reduces the risk of abuse of a beneficiary by the fiduciary. As a result, potential beneficiaries can have greater confidence in seeking out a fiduciary.

Thus, workers here in the US (relative to manufacturing) are READY to forgive and give the best they’ve got to Manufacturers who are wiling to come back or start manufacturing on US soil again.

I have long researched (over 6years now) the feasibility and scales of economy to know, It- Manufacturing here in the US is possible. Don’t let us get caught unprepared as Manufacturers from other countries figure this out and make us look REALLY Bad economically. Our GDP must continue to grow.

Remember Japanese technology in the copier, computer and television space in the 1990’s? It took the US a long time to recover from that disaster if we have at all. If manufacturers from other countries come here to manufacture, why are US manufacturers not doing so? And don’t dare say it is lack of skill. One can no longer use that excuse.

 

Ourshutterstock_393496705 firm has developed numerous models that work.
Call us…

Let’s manufacture together.

Cheers to greater success!

Bridgette M. Lewis EMBA
630.613.7210 office
www.chatmanlewisflaggs.com

Manufacturing product in the States

 

When one considers the cost of operations outside of manufacturing- one can clearly see what is left for actually making said product. This chart is very telling.

I am almost certain, Apple will not shift manufacturing to the States unless they layoff many people throughout the corporation and realign strategic intent. That is simply unrealistic at this point in the game. The company has much more ground to cover as dominant innovators.

Flipping the script as it relates to strategic intent and business planning may be unnecessary and is difficult to do when the model is working and a business is profiting from said model.

What I believe Apple should do is, open its logistics and distribution to underserved areas and scale much like they have done in China. Albeit on a different logistics model for sure- as our labor cost is vastly different here in the States.

It can be done. It’s just a matter of fortitude and willingness.

Tim Cook if you’re out there listening, I want you to know:

I am a new convert- from Blackberry to Android to IPhone- and I love the ease of use… and the iPhone6s design/color.
I am proud of the accomplishments Apple has made
I knew Xerox was crazy when they did not listen to Apple’s founders (I was at the company then)
I wish you continued success
I want you to call me and hear a great story of winning in underserved areas.

Truly-
All the best,
Bridgette

Violence in small neighborhood areas in Chicago

murders-n-chicago

Violence in Chicago compared to Iraq and Afghanistan

It is widely reported, there are more murders in Chicago than there are in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I am appalled and utterly concerned at the lack of progression as it relates decreasing the gross number of murders in Chicago.

The solution to this problem is not rocket science folks.

What is happening?

The gangs are not organized to any great extent in certain small neighborhood areas in Chicago.

The small areas that have been impacted, lack economic progress and they are in dire need of Social and Emotional Learning inclusion.

The small areas are concentrated with very dense populations of cyclical poverty and lack of access to sustainable jobs/careers

The youth are in full on survival mode

What does this mean?

The youth have become the very fiber of their environment and it has become a vicious cycle whereas there’s a lack of decorum, respect and a dire state of hopelessness!
There is absolutely nothing to look forward to besides the day they have and the territory they gain in light of survival.

Who understands this?

I know of a man who a very competent authority and is willing to curtail the violence to the extent he did up to 2013- whereas the violence was at an all- time low- Decrease by 25%! (Mr. Tio Hardiman with Violence Interrupters)

He is not lacking people resources at all- He is LACKING Funding!
He is COMPETENT
He is a man of INTEGRITY
He is Fearless
He is an Altruistic person
He stands for what is Right
He is very good at what he does
He has a great acumen as it relates to organization and change management
He is Educated
He is Street Savvy
He is well Respected in all communities

The city of Chicago had not seen such low numbers in violence achieved year over year (up to 2013 under his leadership) since 1965!!!

Who is calling on this man and his organization to STOP the violence?

I encourage everyone to put a stop to this and immediately work toward the greater good…or I can almost guarantee you, it will be in a neighborhood near you soon.
It’s just a matter of time.

Common sense should tell us- as areas become increasingly more crime ridden, oversaturated, and overwhelmingly dense, the leakage spills over into other areas.

The leakage can be likened to a catastrophic flood zone where people are displaced and force to leave their residence. The leakage causes people to relocate to other areas.

That area could be near you soon…where norm conformity does not reign.
This is not to say all peoples in said areas are bad people. Surely all peoples are not. However, the disrespectful serial criminals and hopeless people who would like to extend territory and wreak havoc in new environments may be part of the relocation package.

Let’s be clear:

The murders are concentrated and occurring in particular small neighborhoods in the city of Chicago, not all of Chicago.
However, the chases on the expressways to include but not limited to North Lakeshore Drive, The Dan Ryan, The Eisenhower expressways, The Kennedy and The Stevenson are ALL pathways to the more stable and affluent communities.

Therefore, we should put a bit of pressure on the City of Chicago to call on the expert who has the means and access to resolve this issue. The problem has now become Out Of Control- The ENTIRE WORLD/GLOBE is commenting (BBC, Al Jazeera etc.).
Further, the city’s police force cannot solve the psychological and social impact that creates the cycle of violence. They are to Serve and Protect in the short time span they are on the streets- with the hope to return home to their families intact. While police officers are sworn in to serve and protect, they are not the DEA, the CIA, Sociologists or Psychologists. They are Police Officers. Thus, it is almost a conflict of interest for the force to enter deep into the fabric and fiber of the violence interruption dynamism. No blame there. Albeit, there has to be a new and innovative training of sorts for the entire force. The force is dealing with a new day and a new complex problem and they are ill equipped to handle such issues and problems. This is why we see so many unjust police shootings around the country in similar said areas. The police force is in war zones much like Iraq and Afghanistan or better yet Vietnam- whereas most soldiers did not know who the real enemy was nor did they know why they were there fighting that battle everyday-all the while hoping to see a new day. None the less, the dynamic remains the same- it is a battle and it is a war. However, the dynamism is vastly different. The game has changed and no one informed the players of the new rules.

What is unclear too me?

Are we letting Politics and Bureaucracy work against the greater good to STOP the shootings and the killings?

I often wonder if this is the case. And if so, I am deeply saddened and a bit mortified by the matter at large.

Some would say- “hire more police officers”, that is indeed a temporary fix to a more perplexing matter.

While there may be legitimate cause to add more officers to the force, it will only offer a temporary fix to a complex issue.

This is what I mean:

It does not matter if another 100 police officers are hired. That is window dressing. Further ATTRITION tells us that the 100 number in additional police officers hired will serve mostly to backfill officers who are retiring, being terminated and such. Moreover, while it is a nice gesture to add more feet on the street to go to battle in these illusive yet dangerously combative war zones- it is imperative that new and innovative training protocols and SEL is directly woven into said training. I am afraid, due to the nature of not knowing what one is working with- the officers that have been sworn to serve and protect are at a distinct disadvantage and have been leaning toward their own understanding. And that is and has not been working out so well.

What happens if our forces of authority are at a disadvantage?
What happens when unjust shootings continue to happen daily?
What happens when the public openly distrusts a system of corruption?
What happens when the public dishonors members of the system that have sworn and taken an oath to serve and protect?
What happens when the police force becomes frightened and turns that fear into an unjustified murder?
What happens when unorganized infectious systems reach a swelling and the bubble bursts?

Answer:

That society is at a Dis-ease
and
We lose the battle and the war.

We cannot afford that- This country has a great civility infrastructure and can be made better. Someone in authority has to put on their thinking cap(s) and figure this out. As I’ve stated- this is not rocket science.

I do hope someone is out there listening. I am available and willing to help in any way I can.

I welcome your comments.

All my love for a greater humanity and all the best,
Bridgette
www.chatmanlewisflaggs.com

Shrink…Are We On The Couch?

There have been times where I have felt the need to relax on the sofa in light of regrouping and maintaining my composure. There have been times where I have laid for a while, napped a while and admittingly- wallowed for a while.

I’m curious though-
My curiosity is related to:

Pressure and stress : wealth

Pressure and stress : poverty

…and the accessibility to a psychiatrist or at least a good couch.
When I say a good couch- I mean…a good place to go that is unencumbered with triggers or stressors. A place where one can recuperate without nuance, impediments or triggers.

I welcome your thoughts.

My thought is:

If one can afford to sit and have someone listen to all their issues and problems- then take a pill for the said issue or problem, they may have a better chance at coping/ moving through life with success (as defined by society).
If one is unable to do so, they will be less likely to be able to cope with life in a functional way and they won’t have access to receive the help and guidance they need in light of achieving success.

That said, those who are impoverished are at a greater disadvantage as it relates to achieving “success” according to societies definition.

This is not rocket science or highly vague. It is clear.

However, the correlation to wealth and the fact that per capita : psychiatrists in wealthy nations is high becomes a story that is very telling.

Take a look below…

What are your thoughts?

 

All the best,
Bridgette

Ebook or Hard Copy ink on paper?

DID you know?…

collateral damage

According to a new report on book reading published by the Pew Research Center, not only did 73 percent of U.S. adults read a book in the past 12 months, but the vast majority did so using actual ink on paper. Compare the 65 percent of Americans who read a print book to the 28 percent who read an e-book during the same period
Statista

I love a good book in hand!
I appreciate the Ebook version only when traveling in car and listening to it via Bluetooth
or
at the gym while on the bike

That’s about it. I love the touch and feel of a good read and I love the way books smell. Weird enough? Books ignite my senses and I learn oodles.

All the best and cheers to good book reads- whatever your preference.

Bridgette