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“No Room For Mediocre”

by Wendy Gladney on 11/12/18

Madeleine Albright said, “There is plenty of room in the world for mediocre men, but there is no room for mediocre women.” History will show 2018 as the year of the woman. Whether we look at what came from the #MeToo Movement or the results from the midterm elections where a record number of women around the country were voted to various positions.  People have fallen in love with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and when she fell and broke several ribs, we were even willing to give up our own to help her heal.  We have examples all around us every day of women who are anything but mediocre. Even when we fall, we get right back up.

There are many women whose shoulders I stand on that exemplified mediocrity was not acceptable. The roll call would be too extensive to list here, but I must shine the light on a few.  At the top of my list would be my paternal grandmother Rebecca Ruth Reed Harris, aka “Mother Dear.”  She was the first born free in our family at the turn of the century and she left the South in the early 1940’s to head West in hopes for a better life.  She attended an Historical Black College (HBCU) in Texas and after graduation and marrying my grandfather they moved to California with their children. She taught her entire legacy to honor God, family and commitment to making the world a better place. She was my first example and teacher.  There have been several other women that I have looked up to and took note including, Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks, Dr. Dorothy Height, Eleanor Roosevelt and Ambassador Diane Watson to name a few. Each of these women knew to accomplish what they set out to do there was no room for mediocrity. 

When I looked up the meaning of mediocre it was defined as, “of only moderate quality, not very good.” When you stop and think about it when was the last time you said, I will take if even if it isn’t good? Whether we are talking about the food we eat, the products we buy or the people we invite into our lives, we should want the best.  To be our best we must strive to do the things that will help us rise to the occasion.  This means we must know what we want, know where we want to go and what we want to achieve or accomplish. What I have learned from various conversations with women is that sometimes we don’t think we even deserve the best.  We must change our self-talk and incorporate the necessary discipline to become our best.  When we put in the work it is amazing what we can accomplish.  When women do well everyone around her rises.

The question we must ask ourselves is what are we doing with our lives to be an example for the generation of young girls and women coming behind us that would encourage them to be and do their best?  Some of us talk a good game, but are we truly walking the walk?  When I was younger, I heard a saying that has stayed with me over the years, “I can’t hear what you are saying because I see what you are doing.”  Do your words and actions line up with one another?  Do you take time to give back and mentor?  Even if you only have time to help one young girl or woman you can make an impact.  You may not think so, but someone may be watching you and you may be the only example in their life. Don’t let the dash between the day you were born and the day you lay your head to rest be one of mediocrity.  Your legacy depends on it.

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. 

Are You Making Your Time Count?

by Wendy Gladney on 11/07/18

This past week we went back to standard time by turning our clocks back an hour with the hope to make better use of time.  In other words, having an extra hour of daylight should help us be more productive with our days. The real question is what are we doing with the time we are given no matter what?  Twenty-four hours is the same whether there is light or darkness.  Are we walking in the light or sleeping in the dark? Now is not the time for any of us to be “sleeping on the job” when there’s much work to be done.

Just because the election is over does not mean our work is done.  We must find the area(s) that speak to us and get involved. To make her time count during the last few weeks of the campaign season Oprah went to Georgia to support governor candidate Stacey Abrams.  Oprah made it clear that she is a registered Independent and not a Democrat or Republican. She wants to have the freedom to vote her values and conscious and she challenged all of us to do the same verses following a party affiliation.  Oprah supported Stacey Abrams not because she is a Democrat, or because she is a woman, or because she is an African American, but because she believes she will truly make a difference and make her time count.  Stacey Abrams put in the time to show she cares and has demonstrated that she will make a difference no matter where or what she is doing.

There are so many issues that face us today.  The list is exhaustive. Whether we talk about police officers killing black and brown boys, government accountability, income and gender inequality, poverty, the #MeToo Movement, climate change, food security, education disparity, health care, anti-Semitism, the rise of white supremacy, or even black on black crime there are issues that need our attention and time.  When we look at everything it can be overwhelming, so how do we do something and really make a difference?  There is only so much time in a day and we have so much that we must do to take care of our families and personal responsibilities, but that still cannot be an excuse for why we are not doing our part. It is a simple choice we can make time to help remedy these problems.

How do we make our time count? We can start by volunteering our time and resources locally with an organization that addresses an issue that touches our heart. Sometimes we may feel powerless, but we all have the power to make a difference.  Abraham Lincoln said, “My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth.”  America is in a difficult place, but it is not too late to turn things around not only for America, but to help make the world a better place for all mankind. Will you make a conscious choice to give your time, talent and resources to make a difference?

Whether we are in standard time or daylight savings time the choice is up to us how we will use our time.  Will we make each second and minute count? If we don’t it might cost us more than just our time to make this a better world today and for future generations.  It’s not too late to start and it is up to us.  Personal balance is important, but we must also consider what is important for the greater good to our agenda and not just think about ourselves. Let’s get started together today.

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. 

Your Vote Can Make America Great Now!

by Wendy Gladney on 10/29/18

When I think about the climate in America today, being unified as a nation is not where we stand.  History has a way of repeating itself. Looking back there are many examples of when society has experienced upheaval, hate, lack of civility, and outright cruelty towards humanity. I recently had a conversation with my aunt (my biological mother’s twin sister that I call my “Auntie Mom”) and she said she fears that America could face another civil war if we are not careful.  I believe there are many things we can do to help bring peace and healing, but one thing that must be done is for all of us to VOTE and make sure our voices are heard.

We are in a season where our country needs healing. I am a strong proponent of the power of forgiveness and that forgiving others or situations are part of the process of healing. However, it is just as important for truth, justice, conversation, understanding and love to prevail for lasting forgiveness and healing to take place.  Oftentimes when we get comfortable, we fall asleep. It is time for all of us to wake up and stay “woke.”  Part of being woke is to research and understand the issues and the candidates for the upcoming election and vote to make your voice be heard.  We can’t allow ourselves to sit on the sidelines and not participate in the process and then complain when things don’t turn out the way we hope. 

We must not give in, we must fight and remember our fundamental and core values as a country and as a people. America was founded on the principle that all men (women) were created equal.  We are made up of immigrants that came here either by force or choice, but as citizens we believe we have inherent rights and should be protected under the provisions of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  For these rights to continue we must make sure our voices are heard in the halls of Congress and in the voting booth.  I feel in my heart of hearts the world is made up with more people that have good hearts and compassion for others than those filled with hate.  Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “For evil to succeed, all it needs is for good men to do nothing.”   

There’s much debate around the slogan, “Make America Great Again.”  Was America ever great?  There is no doubt that America has come a long way since 1776, but it still has a way to go to be considered great by the masses.  Part of the process includes all of us going to the polls and voting for what is best for our country and all its citizens.   Don’t buy the lie that your vote doesn’t matter or count because it does.  Don’t take the midterm elections lightly.  “Make America Great” could be considered a contradiction in terms, but “Make America Great Now” is something we can achieve together if we are willing to take a stand. Historically when things turned around for the good it happened when people united together for the common good.

Many before us laid their lives on the line for us to have the opportunity and right to vote.  How dare we let their lives be given in vain. The Fifteenth Amendment adopted in 1870 was outlined to give everyone the right to vote, but it would take the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to overcome legal barriers at the state and local levels that prevented African Americans from exercising their right to vote. Let’s not allow the clocks to be rolled back. There are no excuses vote! Thank you, Mr. Lomba for your insight.

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. 

Have People Totally Thrown Out Protocol & Etiquette?

by Wendy Gladney on 10/22/18

I have owned my own company for over a quarter of a century and during that time I have had the privilege of working with people from all walks of life who encompass every station imaginable on the ladder of leadership and responsibility. Experience has taught me that no matter where you may stand on the ladder, showing respect and common courtesies to another human being is not only the right thing to do, but also the best thing to do. My grandmother would say, if you were to fall down the ladder, you better have been kind to others so the person below you will catch you. 

Growing up, most people were taught what is called, “home training.”  Once again, my grandmother was on it.  She may not have known all of the dos and don’ts when it came to which fork to use or where certain glasses were placed on the table, but she made sure we knew things such as how to be respectful, polite and the art of writing the handwritten thank you note. A very dear friend of mine by the name of Karen Elyse Hudson, along with her colleague Karen Grigsby Bates, wrote a book called, “The New Basic Black:  Home Training for Modern Times.”  The book serves as a guide for gracious living that covers the essentials of Black American traditions with updates for the new millennium.  One of the quotes they share that really touched me was, “…if we choose to live our lives without genuine respect for morality, character, kindness and other people…” where will we end up as a society?

 I recently had the opportunity to attend and graduate from the accredited Protocol School of Washington (PSOW) in Washington DC.  It was something I was working towards and anticipating for over seven months.  The school was originally founded by Dorothea Johnson and the current president and owner is Pamela Eyring.  PSOW provides good training in various areas, but especially focuses on the need to understand civility and cross-cultural understanding, as well as the basics of protocol and etiquette.  Teaching personal leadership skills to enhance professional development and to treat others with dignity and respect is important to them. I personally feel many people would benefit from taking this course and learn how to go back to the basics.  We should all practice treating others not just how we want to be treated, but also understand what is the right and proper way to treat others. 

Etiquette is defined as “the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group.”  Protocol is defined as “the official procedure or system of rules governing affairs of state or diplomatic occasions.”  Oftentimes I stay clear of being too vocal about political matters, but according to an upcoming event hosted by the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, they are posing the question, “Has America abdicated its vital leadership role?” It is my opinion, along with many others, that America is not looked upon with the type of respect and leadership it once held because many of our leaders have not been practicing good etiquette and protocol.   We must get our manners back!

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. 

Turning Stumbling Blocks Into Stepping Stones That Leads to Great Leadership!

by Wendy Gladney on 10/15/18

Leadership expert John Maxwell said, “a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”  When we are given the responsibility to lead others there’s a special calling on our lives.  I have learned that oftentimes it is through our mistakes, and the times we fall, that we actually grow the most. What we may often see as a stumbling block; in our life, or in our career, or even in our relationships, can really be positioned as a stepping-stone to something bigger and better. It is during these times that we learn what we are truly made of.

The question has often been posed: are leaders born or made?  Most theorists believe that leaders are made.  If this is true, all of us have the potential to be a leader.  I believe that people become leaders based on exposure, experience and education. We are all made up of a combination of what we’ve been exposed to in life, what we’ve experienced, and what we make the effort to learn.  Leaders are constantly stretching their boundaries and they are always in a mode of learning as much as they can and perfecting their craft in their field of operation. Ultimately, if we are going to know the way, go the way and show others the way, we must be on top of our game.

Over the years, my personal experience has shown me that true leaders also know how to bring out the best in the people around them.  Queen Elizabeth II said, “some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together.” It is the job of a good leader to help make those in his or her care the best they can be, even if we have to take less credit for something in order to build up the self esteem and confidence of others. Real leadership is not necessarily a destination, but rather the journey (the road) we travel day to day, in spite of the stumbling blocks that are placed in our way, to not only be our best, but to bring out the best in others. 

When I think back on my life and I look at the people I would consider good leaders (whether they are famous or people from my own community), I noticed they all have some similar traits.  They are often seasoned and have been through a few things in life; they’ve weathered storms; they’ve learned from their mistakes; they care about others; they continue to try to be their best self; their roots go deep and they are anchored.  Leaders know how to turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones that can be lessons for those who come behind them. They also learn how to make the best of any situation.

We are in a time when people are longing for and looking for leaders.  I’ve spoken to so many people who are feeling lost, lonely, discouraged, and even defeated.  This is when we must encourage people not to give up and to dig deep to find their best self.  Generations before us have experienced trials and tribulations and lived in times where they, too, felt defeated but they didn’t give up.  As my grandmother would say, “this too shall pass, but we can’t stand still or accept defeat.” We must find the leader that exists inside of us and rise to the calling on our lives.

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is an international coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com.