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The One Simple Thing I Wish The Voting Public Would Do

one-thingThis election is absolutely crazy. It’s not the first time we’ve had a crazy election; however it’s the odds on favorite to go down in history as the craziest ever.

Many say this is the craziest ever because we have two really flawed political candidates and feel like it’s a “lesser of two evils” election. A political system with flawed candidates is nothing new; however the 24 hour uninterrupted access to digital media accentuating their flaws is new. Social media, print media, television and conversations. We wake up we see it, we go to sleep we see it, we try to avoid it and an unexpected conversations pops up and there it is again.

I honestly could care less that people disagree, let me rephrase that: it’s a beautiful thing that in America we are allowed to disagree. I wish that we could embrace the notion that we can disagree and still be agreeable. Let’s face it, we live in a world that is more moved by scandal, tabloid, gotcha and pointing out flaws than we are anything of substance, good will and kindness.

I wish we could do this one simple thing.

My voting friends, if there was one simple thing that I wish the voting public would do, that’s focus on what you are for instead of what you are against. It doesn’t require much effort to point out flaws, disagreements and how much of an idiot candidate A&B are… those sound bites are readily available to you all day long. On the other hand, focusing on what you are for, rather than what you are against requires some critical thinking, some research, some inner-dialogue and personal belief wrestling.

As a leadership consultant one of the easiest areas to uncover as it relates to culture and organizational flaws is an organization filled with people, especially at the leadership level who always know the problems but rarely or never bring solutions. I like to say it this way, for every one problem you bring to the table, I want to see three solutions. That’s where the magic happens, complaints begin to diminish and solutions begin to take front and center stage. 

The next time you find your self in political debate and you or the person you are talking to begins to go off about their dislike of their opposing candidate preference. Ask them one simple question, “What is it that you like about your candidate?” crickets

I wish the voting public would do one simple thing and that’s focus on what they are for instead of what they are against. If you personally commit to doing this, it may just change your perspective and even better it may encourage and change the minds of those around you. 

45 Retweetable and Shareable #MLK Quotes

Only in the darkness can you see the stars. ~MLK

Just imagine if Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had Twitter or other social networking applications at his disposal, his message would have been even more world changing.  He was known as one of the best orators of his day and one of the top in the history of the country.  The exponential impact of his sound bites and oratory skills would have been extremely powerful with a tool like Twitter. I believe we take for granted the fact that our message, story, voice and thoughts can literally be globally shared at our leisure and by the push of a button.  

This year in the United States we set aside Monday, January 18th. to honor the life of a civil rights leader, pastor and social justice martyr.  MLK positively impacted the US and the world in so many ways, I think it’s great the US has an official holiday in his honor. A few years ago, my wife and I were in Atlanta during the MLK Holiday. We visited the Atlanta Memorial and the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church that Dr. King pastored. This summer we took our sons and visited the MLK  Memorial at the National Mall in Washington DC and stood at the very place he delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial. This year I’m sharing 45 of Dr. King’s memorable quotes that could have easily been tweets. Not only are they tweetable (at 140 characters or less), they are all short enough to be retweetable (122 characters or less).  Quotes can have such power, as a matter of fact I used a number of Dr. King’s quotes to illustrate some power points in my book. 45 Retweetable #MLK Quotes

  • 1. Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or darkness of destructive selfishness. #MLK
  • 2. A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus. #MLK
  • 3. To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing. #MLK
  • 4. Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. #MLK
  • 5. I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. #MLK
  • 6. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. #MLK
  • 7. The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict. #MLK
  • 8. We are not makers of history. We are made by history. #MLK
  • 9. We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now. #MLK
  • 10. We must face the sad fact that Sunday morning when we stand 2 sing, we stand in the most segregated hour in America. #MLK
  • 11. In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. #MLK
  • 12. We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. #MLK
  • 13. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?” #MLK
  • 14. The measure of a man isn’t whr he stands in moments of comfort, but whr he stands @ times of challenge & controversy. #MLK
  • 15. If a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live. #MLK
  • 16. Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.  #MLK
  • 17. We must use time creatively — and forever realize that the time is always hope to do great things. #MLK
  • 18. The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be.  #MLK
  • 19. The time is always right to do what is right. #MLK
  • 20. I have a dream my 4 little children will 1 day liv in a nation whr they will not B judged by the color of their skin. #MLK
  • 21. Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see. #MLK
  • 22. Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. #MLK
  • 23. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. #MLK
  • 24. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. #MLK
  • 25. When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. #MLK
  • 26. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. #MLK
  • 27. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. #MLK
  • 28. Lightning makes no sound until it strikes. #MLK
  • 29. There is no gain without struggle. #MLK
  • 30. A right delayed is a right denied. #MLK
  • 31. It may be true that the law can’t make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me; that’s pretty important. #MLK
  • 32. If we do an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, we will be a blind and toothless nation. #MLK
  • 33. One day we will learn that the heart can never be totally right when the head is totally wrong. #MLK
  • 34. Quietly endure, silently suffer and patiently wait. #MLK
  • 35. Hate destroys the hater… #MLK
  • 36. True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice. #MLK
  • 37. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. #MLK
  • 38. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. #MLK
  • 39. Carve a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment. #MLK
  • 40. We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear. #MLK
  • 41. Science investigates religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge (power), religion gives man wisdom (control). #MLK
  • 42. We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. #MLK
  • 43. Seeing is not always believing. #MLK
  • 44. I Have A Dream! #MLK
  • 45. Only in the darkness can you see the stars. #MLK

There are so many more tremendous quotes by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  These are just 44 retweetable quotes that have stood out to me over the years.  Please share your favorites from the above list or any other #MLK quotes that you like.  If you can share them in 120 characters or less, please do so. This will allow them to be retweetable. Happy #MLK Holiday!  Please take a few moments on #MLK Holiday to share some quotes, watch a speech, serve in the community, attend the parade, talk to your family about his impact over dinner, communicate to your team that you value the holiday and what Dr. King stood for…  Do something!

Oklahoma City Pastor Preaches A Candid Sermon About Racism and The Gospel

Religion is Dead: The Gospel & Racism from Frontline Church on Vimeo.

Oklahoma City Pastor Josh Kouri (Frontline Church) speaks very candidly about race, racial IQ, the system, justice, peace, racism and The Gospel.

Real Talk… Definitely worth your while.

Everything Doesn’t Require A Response

no response
I see people get themselves in trouble more times than not by responding to and addressing things that don’t require a response. Not only do most things not require a response, often times they don’t even deserve a response.

Okay, so your naysayers have something negative to say about you, sometimes your best response is simply no response. You may find yourself in a back and forth argument, you can actually choose not be be the forth in the back and forth conversation; therefore the argument ceases.

In the world of social media and the day and age of everyone constantly trying to prove themselves, you are probably wasting way to much time, energy and breath on things that don’t deserve either of the three.

There is a time to speak and at time to listen. The less you respond to things that don’t deserve a response, the more peaceful your life will be.

Everything Doesn’t Require A Response.

There Is Value In Being An Underdog

underdogUnderdog – a participant in a fight, conflict, contest, or game who is not expected to win

The Oklahoma Sooners were a 17 point underdog last night against arguably one of the greatest college football teams and football coaches of all time – Alabama and Nick Saban. 17 points is the largest underdog that Bob Stoops has been since becoming the head coach at OU. Well we know how the story played out, the underdog OU beat Alabama 45-31 in one of the biggest upsets of the BCS Era. Not to mention, OU pulled off the upset with an underdog Freshman QB at the helm.

There are so many underdog stories of success and they should be motivation for everyone to keep an underdog mindset. There Is Value In Being An Underdog. With the right influences, leadership and coaching – underdogs seem to work harder, try harder and compete with “We don’t have anything to lose and everything to win mentality.” One of the major contributors to the success of an underdog is having little wins along the way and beginning to believe.

“If there’s one cultural quality we have, it’s that we always see ourselves as an underdog.” ~Bill Gates

The truth of the matter is that we all have some underdog in us from one situation or another. The key is to view your life and your situation as that of an underdog. Is life beating you down? Fight harder. Are you expected to fail? Prove them wrong. Does your boss think you don’t have what it takes? Keep working. Do you find yourself in a slump? Keep swinging. Are you having success? Prepare more and work harder because you can always get better. So you stay at the top of the mountain? Keep climbing.

Take on the mantra of the old cartoon Underdog.  “There’s no need to fear–Underdog is here!”

No Fear!

If I Were The Devil

“If I were the devil” ~ A prophetic essay written and recorded by radio commentator Paul Harvey in 1965.

Condoleeza Rice – Willow Creek Association Global Leadership Summit (Session 2)

Condoleezza Rice @condoleezzarice – Session 2

No Higher Honor: A Life of Leadership

Bio: Former U.S. Secretary of State, Professor of Political Science at the Stanford Graduate School of Business

  • Former Stanford University Provost—responsible for a $1.5 billion annual budget and the academic program for 1,400 faculty members and 14,000 students
  • Author and co-author of numerous books, including: No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington (2011); bestseller Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family (2010)

Session 2 opens up with crazy applause for the Former Secretary of State. Condi is so awesome, poised, humble and just a class act. She is a brilliant mind and reminds of of was can be accomplished with determination and hard work. Below are quotes, thoughts and snippets form her talk

  • I’d like to thank each and every one of you for bringing the transformative message of the Lord.
  • Authoritarianism is not stable.
  • Freedom is not the same as democracy… Democracy is the institutionalization of those freedoms.
  • When our founding fathers said “We the people… they didn’t mean me.” (Be Patient)
  • Governments cannot put into the heart of every person and every citizen that there should be no weak links.
  • The strong cannot exploit the weak and every life is worthy…
  • Every life has the potential for greatness…
  • Our Lord Jesus Christ Died For Each And Every One Of Us! (Applause)
  • There is a lot that government can do… but it cannot deliver compassion.
  • Moment of being at aids orphanage and President Bush said “God is Good” and the aids orphan said “All the time”
  • If u r fortunate enough to lead in challenging times – remember there r also many opportunities.
  • The most important characteristic of a leader is being an irrepressible optimist.
  • Condoleezza Rice is trending on Twitter… people that don’t know about #wcagls probably think she’s a VP Candidate. 🙂
  • Today’s headlines & history’s judgment are rarely the same.
  • In difficult times… very often I reverted to reading Romans 5. (it’s a privilege to struggle)
  • “How could a little girl who grows up in Birmingham, AL – be President if she wanted to be and Sec. of State?”
  •  I apologize for not being able share everything from Condoleezza Rice, because I can’t spell all of the words. 🙂 (need to step up my vocabulary)
  • The most dangerous people are those who are oppressors.
  • I’m not a shrinking violet about these things… (nice phrase)
  • Talking abt Working w/ Difficult Leaders: We never lost the ability 2 be be civil w/ one another.
  • None of our disagreements became so personal… I’m still friends w/ all of them today.
  • You should never play the “I’m going to resign” card unless you plan on carrying it through.
  • Use the relationship you have with your leader to be a “truth teller” for the leader.
  • Develop a level of trust with your leader where your friendship can be an asset.
  • I have never been a great planner, because I’ve allowed for guidance through ambiguity.
  • Question abt Presidency: I love policy, I don’t love politics. I’m called to do public service…

Share your thoughts!

We Have A Black President!

As the pages of history are being so eloquently written, we get the opportunity to take a first-hand look over the authors shoulder.  As we look over the shoulder of the author we have the opportunity to inspire, affect, create, manipulate, lead… what’s being written on the pages ahead.  The title of the book is a reflection of the past, and an understanding that we’ve made a leap over the precipice of history… “We Have A Black President!”

  • My mom used to have to go to the back door of a restaurant, she was called a n$#@*%, attended segregated schools, was not allowed to vote, she had dreams for her children’s lives to be different… “We Have A Black President!”
  • A nation disagreed, fought like two battling heavy-weights, can’t agree on all the issues, wanted their candidate to win, disagreements crossed racial and party lines… “We Have A Black President!”
  • Sunday is still the most segregated day of the week, diversity in the church is an after-thought, not many people want to talk about it nor address it… “We Have a Black President!”
  • A good man of God ran for the highest office in the land, he was voted in for two terms, he led out of his convictions, he stands at the exit doors of the white house facing a nation in which the majority of the people disapproves of his work… “We Have A Black President!”
  • I can look my two boys in the eyes, whom BTW will never know this country without a Black President and say without question you can be whatever you want to be… “We Have A Black President!”

My friends, those of you who have read my blog for some time know where I stand on The Issues; however that is not important… What’s important is that our nation has and will continue to make history.  Let’s embrace where our nation has come from to the fact that “We Have A Black President!” We have work to do; let’s work hard, lead out of convictions and imagine what could be.  Win or Loose, Our God is So Good!

I’ll close with a quote from President-Elect Obama’s speech: “Our stories are singular, but our destinies are shared.”

Share Your Thoughts… Transcend The Isms’

Free Starbucks and a Free Election

Starbucks is giving away a Free Cup of Starbucks Coffee for everyone who exercises their constitutional right to vote today.  My friends today is the day; November 4th… the day that we will remember for the rest of our lives.  I am a traditional guy when it comes to voting: I like to go to my polling place, talk with the little old volunteers who know me by name, cast my vote and get my “I Voted” sticker.

My 9yo son Wesley got the opportunity to go to the polls with me for the very first time at the age of 5; and today is that special day for my 5yo son Jayden.  He will get to check the boxes with his daddy and get an official “I Voted” sticker.  I take these moments as opportunities to remind and teach my boys about the Civil Rights Movement and the fact that Black People didn’t have the right to vote, just a little over 40 years ago.

Today is a day that I don’t take lightly and tomorrow will be a new day, a new time and a historic moment for our Country to embrace.  When I check those boxes this morning, I will do so based on my firm beliefs, my values and not based on popularity or status quo.  Voting is not an act of futility; but rather one of the most significant acts granted to us under the Constitution.  Go Vote; becasue It’s Your Duty, It Matters and It Counts!

I will share my voting experience as it relates to: the line, the mood, the ambiance, the experience…  I encourage you to stop by and do the same, by posting a comment and saying “I Voted!” and my experience was ______________.  Follow me on Twitter {here} to get my thoughts all day!

Go grab some Free Starbucks, Participate in a Free Election and watch the 60 sec. Starbucks video below… 

I Told You So!

obama.jpgI am not the type of person who likes to say “I Told You So!”  well maybe I am… who knows.  There was a little blog post that I wrote exactly 10 months and one day ago today entitled “The First Black President” and it was about President Elect Obama.  I know, I Know, “It’s not over until the Pleasantly Plump Lady Sings” (there is political correctness for everything) & “The Mac is Back” yada yada yada!

I am turning off the comments on this post and instead I would like for you to read and comment on the original post “The First Black President.”  Below is a comment sampling from the original post:

  • “I’d say that’s a pretty bold assertion to make, especially at such an early stage of the campaign. Who knows what will happen between now and November? So, unless you’re omniscient, or have an inside track to some information that the rest of us don’t, I’m really curious to understand why you are so certain that Barack Obama will be the next US President.”
  • Mark it down: There’s no chance Obama gets elected.

Barack Obama will be the next President and “The First Black President” and uhhh well “I Told You So!”

Go check out the Original Post “The First Black President” Sound off on your current election thoughts, thoughts on the original post, thoughts on the comments…  Be sure and exercise your right and Vote!

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