A coward is a hilarious yet pitiful sight to see and experience. A coward hides behind aliases, anonymity, avatars, masks, lies, and other people. A coward yells loudly behind mommy’s dress and daddy’s coat, but never stands out and speaks up for the world to see. A coward spits venom like a serpent but is too scared to face those they attack. A coward has little to no self-esteem, self-worth, dignity, or grace, so lacking a spine they sneak around trying to drag others to their level. A coward will hide behind a title but never live up to it. A coward is never dependable, reliable, or consistent…except in their cowardice. They simply exist, but never live, and even in their existence they don’t leave much of an impression.

I’m not too sure if I should feel sorry for the cowards of the world, sympathy, or nothing at all. They are a sad group of people. They can never stand on their own, they can never fight their own battles, they can never truly lead, they always make excuses for their inadequacies, and blame others for their shortcomings. Cowards are always the victim, always the damsel in distress, always the ones needing saving, always the ones complaining about what’s wrong and why they can’t do something. The words, ‘can’t’ and ‘impossible’ begin and end their sentences, and sometimes their days.

Cowards live for revenge, wanting to pay back those who hurt them, but they don’t have the courage to actually face this person head on. Cowards like to pick fights, but never stick around for combat, or they find a way for others to join the fight so their weaknesses are never revealed. They are the ones who spread rumors and cause drama, but in a sneaky, cleaver kind of way–that always make them look innocent. They pretend to be someone they aren’t because they don’t have the courage to be who they were created to be. They are weak-minded, weak physically, weak morally, and weak spiritually. They live in constant darkness; for only in light can one find true strength. It’s no wonder why cowards always prefer playing devil’s advocate, because for them it is too great a mountain to climb reaching up towards hope, possibility, and excellence, when they can use less effort kneeling down towards mediocrity.

I have encountered many cowards in my time, some as recently as today, and I am amazed at how much time they have on their hands to focus their energy on doing absolutely nothing of relevance in our world–except in their minds. It is pitiful that these insecure people spend so many hours of their day thinking about me, plotting and planning against me, and envious of what I have that they wish they had. We all have had our run-ins with cowards like this. See, cowards have plenty of time and energy to spread lies and hate, try to destroy other people’s reputations, families and businesses,  yet they don’t invest the time and energy to bring goodness and love into our world. They don’t have the time and energy to make a positive contribution to society, yet they can waste all of their resources trying to drain someone else and destroy their dreams. They don’t have the time and energy to build, create, innovate, inspire, embrace, uplift, and shine. Yet they have the time and energy to tear things apart, destroy, manipulate, deceive, and play childish games. They have time to send stupid messages and make phone calls to others hoping to make them feel as miserable as they do; post idiotic things on the Internet for even the tiniest bit of attention; make claims without supporting evidence; and just take up much-needed space in the world. They eventually leave this world as they entered it and lived it…clueless!

I have more respect for the person who tries and fails, than the one who never tries. I have more respect for the person with bumps, bruises, cuts and burns from falling down in life, because in their walk I see that they found a way to get back up. I have more respect for the person who comes to me directly, without masks, anonymity and code names, and just speaks their mind. I have more respect for the person who comes right out and confronts me with the goal to fight, than sucker-punch me in the dark. I have no respect for a person who isn’t brave enough to stand up and speak their mind. I say what I want to say, and clearly say my name when I’m speaking. I don’t post to my blogs or anywhere else as “anonymous” or with some made up alias, or using a picture not mine, because I have the courage to speak up, speak out, and back up what I say. My parents didn’t raise a punk, so I don’t cower over like one. I’m no bully and I won’t be bullied–never have and never will!

So I have one last thing to say to the cowards of the world…you can say what you want and do what you want, because just like your anonymity, you really don’t exist!

 

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved. First Published on The Paradigm Life

by Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

Employers are quick to provide assessments to new hires, and sometimes invest in the administration of these learning tools periodically for certain key employees; but how many business owners and entrepreneurs are also investing in self-assessments for themselves, and then concentrating efforts on assessing every employee regardless of position or title? I would say very few.

It is extremely important to pull out the metaphoric mirror and look closely at yourself, your skills, interests, abilities, and strengths. It is important to know your and your employees insights surrounding personality, values and attitudes, motivation, decision making, productivity, emotional intelligence, communication skills, leadership and team skills, power and conflict skills, and how well you (and they) do in and with certain organizational structures, change, stress, and work-life balance.

Taking assessments frequently, learning from the results, and applying what you have learned both in your career and personal life, help you to become and remain a balanced individual. Your focus should not just be on changing others and the world, you must first look at your personal change through growth- for positive results only come through change.

At Foreman & Associates, LLC we help entrepreneurs and their team work through and learn from the assessments we administer. Organizational behavior concerns arise when you don’t truly know those individuals who make up your company, and when they don’t truly understand you and their value in your organization. Crafting and executing strategy within an organization is pointless if you do not have the complementary variables and assets (employees and leaders) to help your organization get where you desire most.

If you don’t know how to properly engage, motivate, inspire, work with, communicate, and lead your employees effectively, guess what? They will model what they see and hear. If you (or a manager) are like a canon ball exploding in a crystal shop, but you need someone who has the finesse of a feather, how else will you initially filter through your team to find this person without using an assessment tool?

As a prospective or new business owner you have to ask yourself what type of decision maker, leader, delegator, manager, discipliner, and team builder you are. You have to know your strengths and weaknesses, and then build your strengths as you delegate in areas of weakness. An assessment can help with this. It will also help an existing entrepreneur who may be struggling with team alignment and organizational behavior concerns.

Think about the boss or manager that you had (before you became self-employed) who drove you batty, was stressed out, ornery, and ruled through fear and not care. What if he or she had been given an assessment to see which type of environment and position that fit best with their personality? What if an assessment was used to weigh their ability to lead with the type of respect and care that the organization expected? By highlighting that this person is a brute, narcissist, unethical, or has poor communication skills the manager has the option to change through growth and application of skills taught through a training program, or they can leave and go to a company willing to put up with their bulldozer mentality.

When building teams you need to see each member’s strengths and weaknesses and line them up accordingly. There has to be a well-blended and balanced mix that is mutually rewarding for all parties and stakeholders. An unmotivated person will only give partial effort…how does this affect your relationship with customers, vendors, and investors?

When considering the cost of investing in assessments for yourself, your leadership team, or your entire company, consider how much you will lose because you did not take the time to invest in those that make up your company. Consider how much you will lose because you didn’t take time to invest in making sure that all of the components and parts needed to make your dream a reality were present and aligned with your mission.

How much time and money do you have to lose? What are you willing to invest in your and your organization’s future? Contact Foreman & Associates, LLC today! http://foremanandassociates.info

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. Foreman & Associates, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

By Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

I just read a very interesting article by Sabina Nawaz, written for the Harvard Business Review that encourages executives, managers, and other professionals to take two hours per week out of our insanely busy schedules to create our own personal ‘white noise space’, separate from the ‘noise’ of mobile devices, iPads, iPods, tablets, video games, laptops, computers, telephones, television, radio, and the like. Instead, Nawaz suggests that for two hours each and every week we should be taking a relaxing walk, drive or bike ride; or sitting in a comfortable location and doing absolutely nothing but thinking and reflecting; allowing our minds to totally dump all thoughts and ideas where we can quickly write them down in a journal or notepad (plain ole’ pen/pencil and paper, no electronic devices).

This is similar to a method that I have used over the years and have suggested to my clients and mentees; but I use ‘alone time’ to ‘idea-dump’ or ‘stress-dump’ on paper everything that is in my head; but it has never been a requirement to do so in the absolute silence of non-silence, and without any distractions from electronic devices, etc. Nawaz’s method expands upon my thinking, eliminates all possible distractions (except whatever could pop up while driving in our car or riding a bike) and measures the results from doing so on a regular and consistent basis. She has shown the positive outcomes of creating and building our our white noise space.

Nawaz suggests that in our constantly moving and changing lives we can be so overly consumed with deadlines, projects, and closing deals that we may miss or overlook a great idea or concept that can be used strategically in our business, simply because we don’t take a few moments consistently each week to take in the non-silence of silence, and allow our minds to do what they were created to do…process, strategize, and create. She also suggests that by building this white noise space to think, we can also find ways to creatively free ourselves for our personal lives so that we can spend this time with family and friends, whom we oftentimes neglect because of work commitments.

She makes note of when in 2004, the BBC Symphony Orchestra gave a performance of the modern classic 4′ 33″ by John Cage, a composition that was made famous for “its counterintuitive focus on the sounds of music not being played.” John Cage, “…believed that true silence did not exist; he wanted people to pay attention to what was all around them, to recalibrate their perceptions of sound and silence. He wanted them to hear in a new way,” Nawaz wrote.

I agree with Nawaz that in business we rarely take time out to let our minds wander and breathe. We think that the only time we can ‘allow’ ourselves this moment of freedom is when we sleep, and if you’re only sleeping 3-5 hours per day yet up ripping and running 19-21 hours, that’s a great portion of your day being spent in high stress, high intensity environments where you don’t make the time to “wander around the edges of seemingly intractable problems.” Nawaz suggests that, “Building white space in your week lets you hear and think in a new way.”

I believe that it is something worth trying, especially since it has been proven effective with other managers, executives, and business leaders Nawaz highlighted in her article. So I’m going to give it a try for several weeks and see what changes I notice in my stress levels, clarity, business, and in my personal life. It takes my idea and stress ‘dumping’ to a higher level of thinking. So I’m inspired.

I recommend that you read Nawaz’s article in its entirety then share your thoughts: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/07/this_space_intentionally_left.html

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman and Foreman & Associates, LLC. Some Rights Reserved.

By Natasha L. Foreman

Operation HOPE Founder, CEO and Chairman John Hope Bryant spoke at my alma mater, Kaplan University in April about his vision for leadership in today’s fear-based society. John’s visit to Kaplan University and his discussion was featured during the university’s Visionary Voices webinar,” and highlighted the principal arguments in his best-selling business leadership book: “LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World.”

I had the chance to view the webinar live but for those of you who missed out or simply want to see and hear again what my friend John had to say click on the link below and enjoy:

natashaforeman.com
paradigmlife.blogspot.com
theparadigmlife.wordpress.com

“…our adversity isn’t an excuse to let life pass us by or a crutch to coast through life doing and expecting the bare minimum, but a reason and motivation to excel and succeed.”

-Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

Speaking to 9th grade girls at the Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy on April 15, 2011

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.
natashaforeman.com                                         natashaforeman.info
paradigmlife.blogspot.com                              theparadigmlife.wordpress.com