Change in our everyday lives brings new opportunities to dismantle archaic systems, to reinvent and recharge ourselves. The 2020 COVID-19 crisis triggered an urgent need to examine yet again, how people can interact successfully in organizations. For this reason, the expanded third edition focuses on how leaders and employees in a diverse and global working environment can cooperate harmoniously; especially, during crisis situations. Knowledge, organizational skills, and behavior need to be developed. Communication and teamwork skills, necessary to reach a common goal, must be improved. To this end, cooperation between co-workers, supervisors, and management within organizations is the method for success – the very method to survive, thrive, and stay competitive during times of crisis.
I intend this book to be a catalyst to understand situational challenges, to successfully navigate teams, and to communicate within organizational structures, not only under normal circumstances but also under the pressures and uncertainties of a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic.
I have been disappointed for some time from what I’ve read, watched in the media and heard through the chatter amongst peers as this crisis unfolds. I have seen everything from calm to stupid. After work on Wednesday I decided to stop by the grocery store and get a few things for the weekend; such as hand wipes, some Lysol spray and maybe some fruit and other little knickknacks. However, when I arrived at the grocery store and began shopping for my few items I notice to my surprise that the shelves were empty, of meats, of fruits, seafood and the other paper products that I was seeking for. I overheard a shopper asked one the store personnel about toilet paper, I thought for a minute in a humorous way that was strange. So I decided to go to the aisle to help the shopper out finding toilet paper. I didn’t really need any toilet paper but to my astonishment to was gone. The fully stocked shelves of paper products including toilet paper were gone. Go figure!!! No one sensible enough to believe that just a few weeks ago before this surge of panic hit the airwaves people would be fighting over toilet paper and paper products, so reality began unfolding. Then capture this moment in your imagination that other people with families were walking up and down the food aisles in a daze wondering like me where all the paper products, fruit and meats disappear to. I could see the look in the people eyes and in their expressions of disbelief; I missed out and thought in mind of when the shelves will be stocked again. The sad part of this experience is that I didn’t need food for the month or for the week. All I needed was a few things. However, looking at some of the families in disbelief of what they were witnessing walking up and down the food isles trying to find that needed food item perhaps dinner for that night; was sad to observe.
I guess people went stir crazy, when they saw that our Government at all levels didn’t have a handle on what was going on, held and back vital information to the people. This caused skepticism, cynicism and uncertainty amongst the general public. This causes psychological negative behaviors that were displayed such as fear, panic and stress. Those who took matters into their own hands panic and began buying in large quantities of essential items. Therefore, negative display of behaviors manifests themselves by shoppers raiding the supermarket stores shelves during the worst time in this world’s history. These were very selfish acts committed against our fellow men.
Another way of looking at the committed selfishness is the disruption on the supply chain just out of fear. Disruption in an already fragile supply chain, according to Steve Culp of Forbes magazine can reduce the share pricing as much as 7% of affected companies, and cause slowdowns in the market place in response to the disruption. This previous run on the supermarkets sent a jolt in the supply chain which was behavior driven. This false negative can cause bottlenecks within those effected companies.
From an economic scale the disruptive behavior disturbed an already complex and fragile supply chain. This behavior sent false negatives in the market place and distorted the prices of the commodity the law of supply and demand was not implemented. We live in free market system, the law of supply and demand says that when the price of a commodity will net demand goes up in the supply of that commodity is down in the price is higher. On the flipside when the demand for those commodities is down in the price or supply that entire commodity is up in the price is lower. The distortion comes in when the price of a commodity doesn’t follow the law of supply and demand.
While people made a run on the supermarkets just hoard it for them instead of buying what they need for right now. Instead people had no regard for others such as those families that were in shock and unable to find the flexibility of buying those needed items for that day or the week. People were out for self, these actions were based out of fear driven behaviors and this selfish acts happen across the nation. People were literally fighting for these essential commodities. This is a defining moment not only for leaders in organizations in the community but also leaders in Washington DC. I will save the politics for later but right now we have an elephant in the room and we got to get it out.
So I appeal to leaders at all levels, first must display calmness and control especially at the local levels and restore trust in the public. Leaders must display behaviors free from agitation, disorientation and anger, instead show strong tranquility free from anxiety and fear. As John Maxwell would say , “leaders must not lead and moan at the same time.” When people see that their leaders display behaviors of strength, the people with begin to trust and take on these transmittable behaviors. People are influenced by what they see not what they are told. To quote John Maxwell leadership is influence nothing more and nothing less.
James Allen, said “the more tranquil a man becomes, the greater it is his success, he’s a influence , his powers for good, calmness of mine is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.“
This past few weeks were crazy there were no, this was so wherever totally took everybody by surprise, preparedness wasn’t our strong point and calmness was not present amongst the chaos. Therefore it triggered the behavior of total selfishness within individuals that did not care for their fellow man.
What happens in the United States was a trust problem which displays negative behavioral problems. Leaders need to,
1. Restore the trust of the people. Right now their don’t trust the government to make the right decision and have a handle on this epidemic.
2. Show people that their leaders are in control of their of the issues surrounding this epidemic and a willingness to share information regardless if it’s good or bad. People want to know about the progress of the virus.
3. Restore the people’s trust back in the government as leading the way in sharing information, keep them up to date on the cure and be upfront and sensible about the true picture of the looming crisis.
The solution is to control the chaos by the display of confidence and strength. The restoration of trust of the public. A control on issuing the essential items and a willingness to share information at State and Local levels on how to obtain essential items need to get through this crisis. This is the bottom-line of Mark Weitzman, paper of “Price distortion and shortage deformation, or what happened to the Soap” written in 1991.
So my story doesn’t end there I’m still waiting for the abundance of supplies to fill the shelves to me that will take another week or so while these control measures are being implemented. Not saying that this will eradicate the shortage problem but at least the shelves won’t be as bare as I saw them a few weeks ago. What are your thoughts and comments on this matter? Am I far off?
Your employees have a lot of thoughts. Most of those thoughts they don’t share, especially with you.
At times their silence can be a good thing, especially where your ego — or their employment status — is concerned. But their silence also may keep you from understanding what your employees really think — and what they really need from you.
Especially if they’re thinking the following:
1. “You say you respect me, so give me something important to do.”
Assigning an employee a critical task is a definite sign of respect. Do it as often as you can.
2. “You say you trust me, so give me something important to do — and let me decide the best way to do it.”
It’s only natural to tell your employees how to do their jobs. Still, when you assign a project without providing a lot of direction your employees instantly know you respect their abilities and trust their judgment. People appreciate respect; they love trust.
3. “Please don’t tell me all about your personal life . . .”
Talking about subjects that aren’t work related helps build a personal relationship, but many bosses fall back on talking about themselves when they don’t know the other person well. Employees, especially new employees, have no interest in hearing about your go-to topics like your last vacation or your antique collection or your beach house.
New employees want to feel like they belong, but more importantly they want to know how they are doing.
Long-term employees want to know you care about them; talking about yourself only shows you care about yourself.
4. “. . . because it’s obvious you don’t really care about my personal life.”
Walking up and asking an employee a generic question like, “Hey, how are your, um, kids?” or, “Are you doing anything fun after work?” or, “Hey, who do you think will win the NBA championship this year?” comes across as forced and insincere, at least to your employees.
Either take the time to get to know your employees well enough so you can have a decent conversation or just stick to work-related subjects. (Employees definitely prefer “all business” to “pseudo-personal.”)
One way to show employees you care about them as people is to follow the 20 percent rule: When you’re talking to employees, never talk more than 20 percent of the time.
The single best way to show you care is to listen.
5. “Can’t you see I’m really busy?”
Here’s what happens. You stop by to talk, the employee stops what they’re doing to chat with you, and when you walk away they’re behind and have to catch up.
Employees want to talk to you, but they have work to do, too. Sometimes there’s an easy answer, especially if the employee’s job involves physical tasks: Help out while you talk. Not only will your employee appreciate a little help, your conversation will be less forced. In other settings, pick your spots carefully.
Never interrupt an employee who is busy simply because today is the day you decided to “check in with the troops.”
6. “Actually, I would like to work here a long time.”
The average person switches jobs a number of times before they’re 30. Some leave for money, but many leave because they can’t stand their boss.
No matter what your industry, high employee turnover doesn’t have to be a fact of employment life. Find out why employees leave and address the causes. It’s stressful to change jobs, so most employees won’t start job searching until you give them a reason to.
Watch, listen, take smart actions. Do your job right, and most of your employees will want stay.
7. “That gift card is nice, but a simple ‘thanks’ goes a really long way.”
Sure, every time you hand out paychecks you’re implicitly saying thanks, but not really.
Find reasons to thank your employees as often as you can. Look for an accomplishment, however small or fleeting, and express your appreciation. “Thanks for taking care of that difficult customer.” “Thanks for jumping in and helping Mike.” “Thanks for letting me know we have a problem in the warehouse; I hadn’t realized orders were consistently shipping late.”
Saying thanks benefits both of you: The employee feels appreciated, and you get a great way to start a meaningful conversation.
Why aren’t people successful in life? I can tell you it’s because of habitual habits that diminish their probability of sustainable success. “Depending on what they are, our habits will either make us or break us. We become what we repeatedly do.” ―Sean Covey
The dictionary points out that a habit is a routine of behavior; it’s a fixed way of thinking more or less about something. So if I have a habit of running every morning, exercising, and eating healthy meals every day to keep my body and mind healthy and sharp, then those are good habits. On the other hand, if I smoke cigarettes or vape everyday, which causes harm and many diseases to my body and diminishes my health, then smoking is a bad habit.
I have a saying that “it’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are not that holds you back.” We have total control over our destiny, yet don’t pursue it. The start of a habit is what you digest in your mind every minute of the day. Those thoughts, dreams, or visions become part of your subconscious that forms these habits. “We become what we think about” day in and day out. Your mind is the sum total of the habits and thoughts that get into your subconscious. Those thoughts are put into actions, and those actions became habits. Sounds simple, yet why aren’t people successful in life?
John Dryden says, “We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.”
“If you don’t like the results you see every day, then change it. Your habits will determine your future.” – Jack Canfield
So, if you like where you are going, then stay on the path. If not, then change your direction. I have three suggestions.
Read books that will inspire you, that will motivate you, and that will give you purpose. For example, read the Bible (chapters in Proverbs and/or the book Psalm). Read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and/or The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John C. Maxwell. Digest these materials day and night. We must be intentional about pouring into your subconscious the pure, the powerful, and the purposeful. Lastly, listen to successful people and study how they form successful habits.
Surround yourself with successful people. There’s a saying, “You are the average of the five people you associate with.” If you hang around highly motivated and successful people, then it will rub off on you. “Remember, your association determines your destination.” – Myles Monroe.
If you are unable to change your habits, then join a men’s or women’s group that not only uplift you but will hold you accountable.
Success comes with deliberate actions and behaviors. These actions and behaviors form habits and routines. When we fail, many times it’s easy to lose confidence within ourselves. You must visualize and believe that you can change bad habits into good habits. Remember, success comes with deliberate actions. Derrick Darden, PhD
Please write a comment, if article is helpful. I will write more to help others get through the hurdles of life.
Why can’t people see potential in themselves? Why can’t people believe in themselves? Why don’t people add value to their life on a consistent basis?
The main problem is that people don’t see value in themselves. Therefore, they don’t add value to themselves. People will never go beyond their belief system in themselves. No matter what you may think you are capable of doing, if you don’t invest in your growth, you will not go beyond those limiting beliefs. Another way of looking at this is in the area of self-image. On a scale 1-10, if your self-image is three, you will never raise above two.
In his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John Maxwell explains in “The Law of the Lid in order to be effective in leadership, you must raise above the lid – those limiting beliefs to be effective.”
With my own story, I should’ve been a negative statistic—a black kid in the ghetto. Born one of ten children in the great city of Newark, N.J., I lived in abject poverty and was raised by a single parent who worked multiple jobs to keep her family afloat. Statistics said I should’ve been in jail, on drugs, or dead, but I’m not because one day I took a hard look at myself in the mirror and asked myself, am I’m worth it? You’re damn right, I am! That self-talk did me good, and my life changed. I became the first in my family to graduate college with a Ph.D. and the first to finish a career in the military and retire honorably. Now, I’m a senior Department of Defense civilian in the areas of logistics, acquisition, and contracting along with my entrepreneurial ventures—speaking coaching, and training. All of this didn’t happen overnight. It happened because I believed in me and in my self-worth. Wayne Dyer says it best, “Self-worth comes from one thing- thinking that you are worthy.”
I needed to change my direction. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see.” I took an assessment of myself and saw a few areas of weakness. I wanted to change my direction and destiny. Like John Maxwell said, “Tomorrow’s destiny becomes today’s direction.” I did what it took to succeed – increased my learning power by taking classes. I got around the right crowd of people. I fed my mind with pure and powerful thoughts along with reading those books that outline the destiny I wanted. How did I change my direction?
Change my thinking towards my self-worth. I reprogrammed my thoughts towards pure and powerful thoughts, and I guarded what I read and listened to. One of my favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 23:7, “As a man think in his heart so is he.” In James Allen’s famous book “ As a Man Thinketh, he says, “The soul attracts that which it secretly harbors; that which it loves, and that which it fears. It reaches the height of its cherished aspirations. It falls to the level of its uncharted desires- and circumstances are the means by which the soul receives its own.” You are the master of your thoughts. You are the planter of the seeds you have sown in your mind, and you are the harvester of the fruits your mind will reap.
Stop comparing myself to others. This is your journey and no one else. When this became a reality to me, I didn’t have to be like Johnnie, Billy, or anyone else. I had to be myself, which took a lot of weight off of me. “Your life is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life,” Steve Jobs once said.
Go beyond my limiting beliefs. The Bible verse in Romans 8:37 says, “But in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who love us.” God doesn’t see us as defeated. Why should we see ourselves as defeated? Get rid of the negative thoughts and fill your mind with pure and powerful ones.
Add value to others as you are adding value to yourself. If you want to lift your spirits, make a difference in someone else’s life. John Maxwell said, “It’s hard to feel bad about yourself when you’re doing something good for someone else.”
Practice consistently and persistently small disciplines in your life on a daily basis. If your life is overwhelming with health, work, family, or something not mentioned, try tackling those overwhelming circumstances a little at a time daily. How do you get rid of the elephant in the room? A little at a time. Be consistent in your efforts. Be determined, motivated, and focused. Be disciplined.
If you want to change your life, you must take control of your life and make positive changes. Yes, I was born in the ghetto, but it wasn’t born in me. I changed my thought patterns daily. Now, I am successful in everything I do. You can do this, too.
So, in 2020 take a look in a mirror, see value in yourself, add value to yourself, and then add value to others. I am a true believer that whatever you sow into others you will reap. If you want value and self-worth to become your reality, invest in someone else’s life the same way.
Derrick Darden, PhD
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