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It is that time of year when we are all shopping for that perfect gift for our families and friends.  When it comes to gift giving, many of us love to shop and buy things that we like.  Very few of us make a conscious effort to shop and buy things that others like.  The old saying, “it is the thought that counts” is true when the “thought” for what the recipient of the gift likes is present.  This year, let’s be the gracious giver and really gift gifts that others will love.

The perfect gift should show that you spent some time and energy in selecting it.  When shopping for a gift for another person, make sure you think about what that person needs and what that person likes. Sit down and really think about the person you are buying a gift for.  What does that person like, dislike, etc?  Think about the things you have in common with this person.  For example, if you both listen to the same kind of music, it would be safe to purchase a nice CD that you like.  Once you have decided what the person likes, then you can narrow down the shops in which you will look for the gift.

When buying a gift for someone else, you must not just buy the things you like.  If your friend loves the ugly brown coat with polka dots, buy her that.  As ugly as you think it is, your friend will love you for buying it for her.  Knowing that you made your friend happy is better than giving her a gift that you would like instead of her.

If you want to give a gift that is remembered for months to come, a little imagination is required.  Listen to your family and friends and pay special attention to what they talk about most.  Really pay attention to the things they say they need.  If your friends rarely talk about what they need or want, then select a gift that reflects their personality.  You will show them that you pay attention to and remember what they say.

Remember that gifts do not always have to be purchased at the store.  Maybe your friend has wanted to spend more time with you.  Or, perhaps, your friend loves your cooking.  These friends would be happy to receive an invitation to coffee and catching up or a home cooked dinner much more than they would like a store bought scarf or shirt.

Giving a gift is an act of kindness.  When a gift is given, it is expected that the receiver respond with a heartfelt thank you in return.  It matters not if that thank you is a written card that is mailed, an email, or a telephone call.  What does matter is that the gift is acknowledged.

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Thanks for reading and sharing! Big Blessings to You!

 

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Servant Leaders have a different way of looking at how people work together.  These leaders create a community with a sense that all are part of a team working toward an agreed upon vision.  A truly effective leader has learned how to serve and be served.  Through this process of serving, the servant leader seeks to find a way of building community, resisting the temptation to just get the job done.  In addition, the Servant Leaders strives at creating a community of leaders through the generation of a shared vision.  Using effective communication and partnerships, the leader will build a community that will contribute to the success of the organization.  Servant Leaders intentionally work to build a community that works together and learns to serve.

Because Servant Leaders are best prepared to bring about large-scale and lasting change, these leaders listen closely to those they work and live with.  Some ways to building community can include giving back to the community through service, financially investing in the community, and caring about the community.  Such simple steps are ways in which a leader can build the community in which he/she lives and works.  Active participation in community life can promote happiness and fulfillment of both personal and professional goals. Volunteering in communities emphasizes the sense of belonging.  This sense of belonging comes from a shared sense of purpose.

This is our last of the ten lessons on Servant Leadership.  Hopefully, during these past ten weeks, you have found some lessons helpful in your quest to be a more servant leader.  The following tips are designed to further develop the skill of building community.

Lesson #1 – Communicate the Vision

~Clearly articulate the vision to others

~Position the vision by picturing success

~Be confident

Lesson #2 – Establish Commitment

~Define expectations

~Remove all doubt from the organization

~Provide support

Lesson #3 – Establish Trust

~Make known your commitment to the vision

~List the unknowns

~Assess worst case scenarios and their survivability

Lesson #4 – Include Others

~Listen, don’t judge

~Demonstrate responsiveness by responding directly

~Create an environment in which others feel safe and confident

*Pictured here are all 10 Servant Leader Traits*

Lesson #5 – Reflect, “Are You a 10?”

~Take the “Are You a 10?” Survey found in the Are You a Ten? The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader Workbook.


Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa is a mother, educator, and wife living in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.  She is a PhD student with Our Lady of the Lake University in Leadership Studies.  Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is currently researching the relationship between the leadership of the high school principal and the high school drop out rate.  This article is an excerpt from the self published book, Are You A Ten?  The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader. For ordering information, please contact Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa at Barb313679@aol.com.

Week 9 – Growth of People:  Are You Nurturing?

Growth can be personal or professional.  It just isn’t enough these days that organizations are providing employees with paychecks and vacations. People have intrinsic value and expect that they will be fulfilled both personally and professionally at their job.  The Servant Leader knows this and is committed to the growth of people.  Being interested in a person’s growth will usually result in more respect, dedication, and loyalty.  More importantly, it will develop a more productive, fulfilled, and effective contributor to the organization and society.

The Servant Leader is committed to the individual growth of others and will work intentionally to nurture them.  We should be reminded that the signs of outstanding leadership can be seen in the followers.  Are the followers reaching their potential?  Are the followers learning? Are the followers serving?  The Servant Leader actually serves as a follower who leads by modeling, teaching, and helping others to become better followers.  This process creates leadership based on stewardship and service as opposed to a direct leadership based on rules and hierarchy.

Nurturing and educating others is an ongoing process that promotes growth in people and organizations.  Fostering leadership at many levels is one of the Servant Leader’s main roles because the effective Servant Leader recognizes the responsibility to do everything possible to nurture the growth of employees and others.  Being committed to the growth of each individual within an institution will lead to the growth of the institution.  In addition, a leader’s own growth is facilitated by the growth of others.

A servant leader views leadership not as a position or status, but as an opportunity to serve others, to develop them to their full potential. We all have some growing to do, don’t you agree?  This week, let’s work on promoting growth in others.  Try some of the tips that follow and see how you can help others today.

Monday’s Lesson #1 – Motivate Your Staff

~a) Establish an Open Door Policy where anyone can meet with you to discuss issues

~b) Offer flexible scheduling to motivate employees to participate in growth activities

~c) Offer tuition reimbursement, if possible

Tuesday’s Lesson #2 – Create Opportunities to Learn

~a) Make written resources available to staff

~b) Encourage employees to use free time to read

~c) Sign up for mailing lists of organizations

Wednesday’s Lesson #3 – Set Goals

~a ) Make a finish line – then move it

~b) Set daily, weekly, and yearly goals

~c) Once a goal has been achieved, set a new one

Thursday’s Lesson #4 – Find the Silver Lining

~a) Realize and accept setbacks

~b) Help your staff learn from setbacks

~c) Recognize that setbacks are opportunities to improve

Friday’s Lesson #5 – Reflect

~a) Provide reflection time daily for your staff

~b) Reflection time should be focused on personal growth

~c) Review your goals and your timelines for accomplishing them

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Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa is a mother, educator, and wife living in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.  She is a PhD student with Our Lady of the Lake University in Leadership Studies.  Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is currently researching the relationship between the leadership of the high school principal and the high school drop out rate.  This article is an excerpt from the self published book, Are You A Ten?  The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader. For ordering information, please contact Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa at Barb313679@aol.com.

Most American schoolchildren can recount the tale of the first Thanksgiving, describing a lovely turkey dinner between some friendly Wampanoag “Indians” and well-meaning English colonists. The narrative always ends with heaping helpings of peace and harmony and pumpkin pie. That’s our story and we’re sticking with it.

Most of what is really known about that fateful dinner has been gleaned from two accounts written by colonists Edward Winslow, in 1621 and William Bradford in 1641. Both missives prove that the traditional vision of pilgrims and Native Americans, sitting around a long table, adorned with turkey, dressing and cranberry sauce is largely a myth. Apparently, the original feasters were merely thankful to be alive, relatively disease-free and lunching on whatever they happened to catch in the bushes on that particular day.

For Complete Article, Click Here * Thanks for Reading and Sharing!

Sharon is a community college administrator, former special education teacher, wife of 17 years and mother of two school-age children in northwest Houston. Her primary interests are family-inclusive culture and arts, travel, politics, historical literature, Texas Longhorns and all things Disney.  She writes for the Houston Examiner as a featured columnist.  We have been friends since ‘the crib days.’

 

Week 8 – Stewardship

How do we care for those things that matter most?  Stewardship is described as holding something in trust for another.  We all are stewards of those around us.  We are stewards of our family, our colleagues, our friends, and our organizations.  The art of Servant Leadership requires us to be stewards not only in terms of assets and legacies, but also of momentum, effectiveness, civility, and values.

Most people struggle with what stewardship actually means.  To some, it means budgeting and saving money.  To others it means developing financial independence.  However, stewardship simply means holding something in trust for another.   All members of an institution or organization should play significant roles in holding their institutions in trust. The Servant Leader cares for the well being of the institution by serving the needs of others in the institution for the greater good of society.  These leaders use collaboration, trust, and empathy in order to better serve others with the objective of enhancing the growth of those within the organization and increase teamwork and personal involvement.

The Servant Leader understands and embraces the need to make a contribution to society.  Through service, these leaders have the capacity to be a steward of the public good. Stewardship involves the leader’s personal responsibility to manage her/his life and affairs with proper regard for the rights of other people and for the common welfare of the organization and society.  Stewardship describes a commitment to serving the needs of others utilizing the use of openness and persuasion, rather than control.

You are invited to begin a new journey to stewardship by practicing the tips below this week.   We should all be asking ourselves what our role is in making the changes necessary to improve our organizations and ourselves.

Monday’s Lesson #1 – Work Smart

~Research opportunities for volunteers to contribute to your organization

~Treat employees like adults

~Write less, talk more

Tuesday’s Lesson #2 – Explore Nontraditional Funding

~Attend as many networking events as possible

~Plan cause oriented events

~Develop partnerships with service clubs

Wednesday’s Lesson #3 – Exploit Technology

~Rethink your business model for the 21st century

~Explore transitioning to eBusiness

~Investigate the importance of intangible assets

Thursday’s Lesson #4 – Save, Save, Save

~Anticipate future needs and save for them

~Don’t spend on short term indulgences with no thought of saving for upcoming needs

~Look for ways to save without reducing your giving

Friday’s Lesson #5 – Give, Give, Give

~Clean out your offices and donate old furniture and supplies that are no longer used

~Give wisely

~Select worthy causes that are directly related to your company’s mission and vision

Week 7 – Foresight

To have foresight means to have the ability to understand lessons from the past.  A Servant Leader must have the ability to foresee or know the likely outcome of a given situation.    Hopefully, you are not just guessing your way through life and hoping for the best.  Leaders can develop the skill of foresight through their experiences on the job and in life.  All of us have foresight; we just need to develop the skill of recognizing it in order to solve problems that are creative, emotional, intellectual, or practical.

Foresight means looking at what is happening right now and comparing it to what has happened in the past and the result that came of it.  At the same time, the leader has to project what will happen in the future.  It is essential that leaders develop this skill as it has the power to transform organizations and lives.

A forward-looking person has the ability to analyze any situation with the foresight necessary to make decisions.  Foresight is a characteristic that enables the Servant Leader to understand the lessons from the past, the realities of the present, and the likely consequence of a decision for the future.  To get really good at foresight, one must develop the intuitive mind.  There are many ways in which you can develop your skill of foresight.  Some may work for you and some may not.  The key is to try as many of them as you can in order to find the ones with which you are the most comfortable.

Follow some of the suggestions in this week’s lesson and you will begin to develop your intuitive mind to enhance your ability to use the skill of foresight.

Monday’s Lesson #1 – Focus on the Issue

~Identify the issue(s)

~Prioritize the issues

~Review the organization’s mission

Tuesday’s Lesson #2 – Scan the Environment

~Try to determine the POSSIBLE future

~Try to determine the PROBABLE future

~Try to determine the PREFERRED future

Wednesday’s Lesson #3 – Set the Vision

~Envision the future

~Jot down the images that come to mind

~Tell people what your specific vision is

Thursday’s Lesson #4 – Develop the Plan

~Consider the range of possible futures – what is the best for the organization?

~Develop specific goals and strategies to move in the direction of the desired future

~Organize and implement a planning development session

Friday’s Lesson #5 – Put the Plan into Action

~Define what processes will be changed

~Determine how progress will be evaluated

~Indicate who will be responsible for which strategies

Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa is a mother, educator, and wife living in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.  She is a PhD student with Our Lady of the Lake University in Leadership Studies.  Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is currently researching the relationship between the leadership of the high school principal and the high school drop out rate.  This article is an excerpt from the self published book, Are You A Ten?  The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader. For ordering information, please contact Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa at Barb313679@aol.com.

Today was a complete blast! It was my second commercial for a local hospital’s affiliate clinic and third for this agency. What a wonderful hobby and big fun, too. (Thanks, God!)

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One thing was certain about today’s shoot: everyone was a great sport about the pictures.  Thank you! For that reason, I was able to capture a nice reel of pictures to photo journal my fantastic day! (If it’s not, don’t tell me!) We had a ball!

The Cast and Crew On Our Set… Notice the actors and their varied facial expressions.  Some do commercials all of the time, some sing, some are puppeteers. The production company, Pollaro Media, is family owned and it’s always very cool to work with these guys.   RadioVision’s, Deborah Gerard takes great care of her actors and for that we thank you!

Last take…Now—> LUNCH

Louie directs this second shoot on another set on campus. 

Deborah Gerard, MVP and keeper/distributor of the checks!

Robert and most of the cast live in Dallas. It’s a WRAP!

 

1. Do not ever put them down or make fun of them. Try not to raise your voice excessively. It’s disrespectful and will defeat your purpose, not to mention over time, it’s completely ineffective.

2. Listen attentively to what they tell you and pay attention to the body language of what they are not saying.  If you don’t, over time they won’t be as likely to share with you.

3. Take their ideas, dreams, suggestions and opinions seriously.  Then respond accordingly.

4. Respect their feelings and each child’s unique personality and identity.

5. Insist that they show respect to others.  This is most often taught by your own actions.

6. Be patient – whatever that looks like for you, make an effort to improve by being even more understanding.

7. Show appreciation by being generous with genuine compliments.

8. Focus on strengths by commenting often on what is done well.  Once you know the challenges of this young person, make an effort to help him or her get the support they need to be a success.

9. Show confidence in the young person by encouraging him or her often.

10. Be authentic and be consistent!

(Caution: All of these suggestions may prove useful with adults, too!)

Conceptualization is the ability to nurture others to dream great dreams.  The ability to conceptualize allows Servant Leaders to create the vision in which to lead their organizations effectively towards a goal.  The people who can conceptualize are those who have refined skills in persuasion and relationship building.

Conceptualization is a process of thinking and organizing ideas.  This process begins with the learning of facts and progresses to concepts that contribute to the development of theory.  The Servant Leader must be able to set goals that consider future possibilities.  In order to fully develop the skill of conceptualization, the Servant Leader must remain positive and realistic all at the same time.  That takes some skill.  It is easy for us to create outrageous goals, but are we ever really going to achieve them?  It is also easy for us to dream small and make simple goals that we can achieve immediately.  Those short term goals are good but effective leaders are able to make long term goals that are difficult but not impossible to achieve.  In order to set this type of goal, the leader must be able to use a variety of skills.  This week, we will work toward developing all the necessary skills to become a great Servant Leader who can conceptualize.

 

 

Monday’s Lesson #1 – Set Goals

~Set personal and professional goals

~Create the “big pictures” of what you want to do with your life

~Establish targets for reaching your goals

 


Tuesday’s Lesson #2 – Get Organized

~Set up a filing system

~Color code your files

~Use a calendar and/or planner

 


Wednesday’s Lesson #3 – Analyze the Situation

~Analyze those that work and live with you

~Formulate goals and objectives

~Research the history of the situation

 


Thursday’s Lesson #4 – Monitor Progress

~Schedule periodic check-up meetings

~Review data

~Conduct site visits

Friday’s Lesson #5 – Plan and Evaluate

~Review the goals

~Evaluate your efforts in order to improve and promote effectiveness

~Use questionnaires, surveys, and interviews

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Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa is a mother, educator, and wife living in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.  She is a PhD student with Our Lady of the Lake University in Leadership Studies.  Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is currently researching the relationship between the leadership of the high school principal and the high school drop out rate.  This article is an excerpt from the self published book, Are You A Ten?  The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader. For ordering information, please contact Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa at Barb313679@aol.com.

So…Beyonce’s little sister, Solange, cut her hair off, revealing a teeny-weeny afro. Fabulous, right? No?  Why not?

Solange’s bold new look was the #3 trending topic on Twitter for several days after she first was photographed with it. Some comments on Twitter and various blogs were complimentary, but the overwhelming majority was painfully critical of Solange’s natural mane. Samplings of comments from the blogosphere include:

For Complete Article, Click Here * Thanks for reading!

Sharon is a community college administrator, former special education teacher, wife of 17 years and mother of two school-age children in northwest Houston. Her primary interests are family-inclusive culture and arts, travel, politics, historical literature, Texas Longhorns and all things Disney.  She writes for the Houston Examiner as a featured columnist.  We have been friends since ‘the crib days.’