An intentional conversation with blogger, and singer Tara McLeod: A pleasure!


I walked in the Barnes & Nobles in Plantation, Florida, last Saturday morning, thinking in my mind, I am here for a couple of minutes, after missing an earlier appointment with a business acquaintance to discuss about leadership, life issues, and  community building to help people live the life they’ve always wanted. I would be there to take my time, and recompose myself after a glimpse of disappointment.

tara

I rushed in the magazines section in the back, picked up a couple of recent magazines, and walked through the aisles, looking for a comfortable sitting place. Two lazy boy chairs were available, I avoided them preferring a chair by a table where it would be more comfortable to take notes.

It was Christmas eve. The book store was full with last minutes shoppers looking for gifts for their loved ones.

I sat by the Sociology and Cultural Studies bookshelves where was pulling books, after books.

I said “Hi.”

She replied with a direct eye contact “Good morning.”

“Are you in Sociology?”

“No,” she answered shortly.

“What are you looking for,” I asked.

She said she was looking for the book “Women that run with the wolves.”

A customer representative helped her out to find this book. I asked her about the book and her type of reading.

She mentioned personal development, and self-help materials which lead to growth and becoming the best she can be.

She told me she’s very active in her church as a member of the choir, and the women ministry group.

She  blogs and speaks on relationships issues.

I told her what I do as a global connector for Life Leadership in South Florida and the Caribbean.

We agree to continue our conversation, link our communities to reach millions of people, and spread more light in a very dark world.

A pleasure to have met you Tara!

Roosevelt

 

 

Advertisements

Hell: ‘Whatever you fear most…’ an oustanding Edwidge Danticat’s folk story!


I am reading Edwige Danticat. Her recent memoir “Brother, I’m dying” is amazing. She tells her family story in poignant way. She combines her story with the story of her dad, her uncle, her countries, her travels, her neighborhood, her grandmas.to free herself, and to free us as well to tell our own story, and to live the life we want.

She used the power of words to include  folktales, stories that she heard from her parents to make good learning lessons from life.

“Hell” is one of those stories told by Danticat’s Granmè Melina.

12501577_114057308995588_315286960_n(1)Here is the story. Enjoy… And share with friends, fans, and family.

A man, one day fell asleep and woke up in a foreign land where he knew no one and no one knew him. Finding himself on his back in the middle of a dirt road, filled with strangers, he looked up at the blurry faces around him, which were framed by a gloomy gray sky, and asked, “Where am I?”

“You’re where you are,” answered a booming voice.

“Where’s that?” he asked.

“Where you need to be,” replied the voice.

“I din’t ask to be here,” the man said, “wherever it is.”

“No matter how you ended up here,” said the voice, “here you are.”

Tired about the roundabout conversation, the man said, “I want you to tell me right now where I am. If you don’t, I’m going to be angry.”

“Who cares about your anger?” answered the voice. “No one is scared of you here.”

Truly upset now, the man said, “Tell me where I am right now!”

“You are in Hell,” replied the voice.

And since these were long time ago, the man didn’t know what hell was, even though he could already see that it was not a happy place.

“What is hell?” he asked.

“Hell”, replied the voice, “is whatever you fear most.”


A story told by Edwige Dandicat in “Brother, I’m dying.” Thanks again Edwige to share with us the power of words and storytelling.

Roosevelt Jean-Francois

Fulbright Scholar, Connector, Speaker

 

 

 

Leadership & the power of a few: Every body can. Only a few will.


Last Tuesday, I was speaking at a leadership meeting in Fort-Lauderdale, and I quoted best-selling author Malcom Gladwell, a New Yorker reporter, who published the book The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.

Rjf-pic-123

I am a great fan of Gladwell. I read most of his work. And I encourage you to do your own work by digging dipper yourself in his literature. As a community builder, I am sharing with you some of the thoughts I picked from Gladwell‘s book which I used in my speaking engagement last Tuesday.

The Tipping Point describes How ideas, products, messages, and behaviors can spread as fast as viruses do.

The very same way we can have a flu, measles, or HIV contagion, we can also create a positive contagious effect with a small group of people.

Everything can change all at once. This is like an epidemic. Gladwell coined the concept of “contagiousness”. This is what is called in mathematics a geometric progression.

A virus doubles , and doubles, and creates a huge effect, a tipping point, a sudden change.

The Tipping Point, Gladwell said, is the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point of any endeavor.

3 rules of Epidemics

Epidemics are a function of the people who transmit infectious agents, the infectious agent itself, and the environment in which the infectious agent is operating. When something happens in 1, 2, or 3 of these ares, an epidemic tips, Gladwell acknowledged.

1.- The Law of the Few (People)

2.- The Stickiness Factor (Infectous Fator)

3.- The Power of Context (Environment)

Thetippingpoint

Gladwell taught an American history lesson to illustrate his point on #1 The Power of the Few.He named John Hancock, and Samuel Adams as the two original men who stood up against the British soldiers in the colony of Massachusetts. Their actions were followed by Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, and 56 other men who organized the First Continental Congress which led to the Declaration of Independence.

He also wrote about the courage of Paul Revere who spread the message for the community to wake up and be ready to fight for freedom. Paul revere spread this message thru word of mouth: the most important form of communication.

Gladwell questioned: “Why some ideas and trends and messages tip and others don’t?”

“The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts,”  Gladwell said mentioning that these few people are around us. They are:

1.- Connectors. Those who develop the skill to know  lost of people. They have a natural gift to make social connections. They develop curiosity, self-confidence, sociability, and energy. Connectors  are in the habit of making introductions.They are the equivalent of a computer network hub. They are people who “link us up with the world…people with a special gift for bringing the world together”. They are “a handful of people with a truly extraordinary knack [… for] making friends and acquaintances”

2.- Mavens. Those who accumulate knowledge and want to tell you about what they know.They are avid readers, lecturers, teachers. They are “information specialists”, or “people we rely upon to connect us with new information”. They accumulate knowledge, and know how to share it with others. They  want to solve other people’s problems, generally by solving their own”. As Malcolm Gladwell states, “Mavens are really information brokers, sharing and trading what they know”

3.- Salesmen. Those who master the art of communication and persuasion. Those who can spread an emotional contagion. They  are “persuaders”, charismatic people with powerful negotiation skills. They tend to have an indefinable trait that goes beyond what they say, which makes others want to agree with them.

As I told my audience last Tuesday, I am glad to be part of Life Leadership Compensated Community, a premier leadership media and education company aiming at setting people free to live the life they’ve always wanted.

We have a message worth spreading which gives us the #2 Stickiness Factor. People are addictive to TV likes zombies which entice them, and seduce them to live in debt, Life Leadership is creating a new media addiction, by providing content and association to escape what best selling author and leadership guru, Orrin Woodward called the Financial Matrix.

Life Leadership has #3 The Power of Context. Context matters. Life Leadership CEO and best-selling author Chris Brady delivered a recent talk he names THE Shift of a Life Time. The environment today is ready for a new message of hope and truth to set people free.

harriet-tubman-pictures-1

It was 1:00 am, today, I, with some other friends, were leaving the woods of Immokalee, South West Florida. Under the cover of darkness, thru word of mouth, we were spreading the message of self-directed leadership education, entrepreneurship, inviting some families to join us in the underground railroad to escape the matrix. We are the new conductors like abolitionist Harriet Tubman, who led hundreds of enslaved people to freedom along the route of the Underground Railroad.

Here are some poignant quotes fro Harriet Tubman:

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.
I grew up like a neglected weed – ignorant of liberty, having no experience of it.
financialmatrix
We  want to do the same thing. We want to free thousand of families from the matrix, which is a web of debt, and enslave people. We hope to bring them our Financial Matrix night pack of messages  which include information to read, to listen,  and to associate with like minded connectors, wavens, and salesmen. We want them to be aware, to have consciousness of their being a new modern slave of consumption, and to be part of a community of learners, earners, who dare to dream, to set their aim high, and to not wish to win the power ball, but to work as hard as they can to become Power Players, and to live the life they’ve always wanted.
This is not for every body. But every body can. Only a few will.
God bless,
#rooseveltjeanfrancois

 

A leadership platform for you in a crowded, noisy world!


“A leadership platform for you,” has been my tagline for this blog since its inception in 2011. I  wanted this blog to be a place where I connect with you on topics  that matter, above all about leadership and personal development. A place where you can follow me on what I read, what I listen, and with whom I associate.

rjf-1This is what I do: read, listen, and associate. I also speak, ask questions, and write.

I also represent Life Leadership, a premier global leadership company,   which just joined forces with Success Magazine to offer a leadership platform for you where you can have Total Access to writers, speakers, content creators on leadership, success; professional, and personal development.

Blogger Michael Hyatt  recently published a book called “Platform” in which he invites us to create our own stage to “get noticed in a noisy world.”

This is a must read content  which offers a step-by-step guide for you if you have something to say or to sell.

I just went over this book. And I like it. Very practical.

platform

Hyatt quoted William  Shakespeare who, more than four centuries ago, considered  “All the world ‘s a stage”. Each and every one of us, If we have something to say, to sing, to write, to share, we are  on stage.

The stage today is new and crowded. More and more people want to attract audience, and bring the light on themselves. That brings more competition for minds control.

“If you want to achieve success in your field, you need a platform,” said Michael Hyatt, whose blog has close to a million visitors a month.

You platform is your stage. It’s built of people, contacts, connections, and followers.

Your platform is also the means you connect with your existing tribe via social media and live events.

Success today is more about who you know. It’s not enough to be good, or to have a good product, you need a significant platform to face the competition, and to attract people’s attention in a world with more and more medias.

Below are three main benefits to build and nurture a platform, according to Michael Hyatt:

1.- A platform provides visibility . As a stage, it elevated you above the crowd. It makes it possible for people to see you.

2.- A platform provides amplification. It projects your voice, and your reach further.

3.- A platform provides connection. It provides engagement, intimacy which leads to more connections to your fans, customers, and supporters.

As I wrote above, Life Leadership just added a leadership platform to its library of informational and educational contents in both physical and digital formats.

I invite you to take advantage of this service and have Total Access to this unique platform to live the life you’ve always wanted.

 

 

Leadership: the next revolution to stop the decline and start a 180 degrees turnaround in Haiti


I enjoy reading several books at once. I let my internal feeling guide me to which one should I pick  at specific moments. A biography is ongoing must. I enjoyed learning from great minds and accomplishers both alive and dead, national and international. The great source of learning is universal, it has no boundary, no time constraint.

And for these days, I’m all in Napoleon Bonaparte’s life. I’m reading Vincent Cronin’s Napoleon Bonaparte, an intimate biography.

I just re-read for a second time Florence Littaeur’s Personality Plus, how to understand others by understanding yourself. And I’m halfway Orrin Woodward’s And Justice for All, a quest for concord. An amazing book for which New York Times best selling author Orrin Woodward holds the Guinness book record having signed on one spot more than 6000 books last June in Columbus, Ohio.

I am blessed to be part of The Life Leadership compensated community led by Orrin Woodward, and I am glad to have been in his book signing moment which is part of history.

I’m studying Woodward’s Leadershift Five Laws of Decline (FLD), Six Duties of Society (SDS), and Pendulum of Power (PP) theory, and to apply them to my native country Haiti. This will lead to my new book. How to have a turnaround, a180 degrees shift in Haiti, by understanding the FLD, and by applying the SDS.

My studies start with history. The more I read history the more I understand we don’t learn from history.  Philosopher George Santayana is known for his famous saying, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

Haiti’s story is not inspiring. The elite’s greed,  the masses’ ignorance and the middle class’ s neglect give control to state power and atrophy our social power. Our state is totally dependent and most of the time a parasite. We choose plunder over responsibility of creative work. We have become a society addicted to various kinds of plunder.

Government spending consistently increases. As long as our system encourages various types of plunder rather than making work the easiest way to succeed, we’ll continue to decline.

In their New York Times best selling book LeaderShift, co-authors Orrin Woodward and Oliver DeMille call for American Social Power to finally stand up and lead.

The leadership revolution should also be a call for Haitians to finally stand up and stop the decline in our Society, and lead our turnaround to a complete 180 degrees shift.

Woodward and DeMille said it best: ¨We need a nation of citizens who are leaders” to get out of the “coma of complacency”.

Woodward coined his first law of decline  as Sturgeon law (For specifics read Leadershift). This concept is crucial in helping Haiti turn around. 90% of the alleged leaders are producing cruddy results. Understanding Sturgeon’s law helps us study the leadership teams honestly and not be fooled by the endless talking with no results. “When all is said and done, much more is said than ever done.The 10% percent walk while while the 90% talk”, Woodward & DeMille said in their Leadershift book.

One of our first tasks in Haiti’s turnaround is to develop a scoreboard that helps separate the 10% from the 90%. Who are the 10%? And how can we find them? “Only hard-core results reveal the truth”, Woodward said.

As stated in the Leadershift book “10% of the people are going to lead the nation and take it in whatever direction they end up choosing. So we’ve got to find a way to get the right 10% of the population leading our nation.”

As I said, my studies start with history. reading Napoleon’s biography helps me better understand what the haitian founders had to face to frame their freedom revolution and start a nation. This nation is in decline and we need a new revolution. This will be the leadership revolution.

God bless,

Roosevelt

Leadership, acceptance, & appreciation: I accept you the way you are, and I appreciate you for who you become


I accept you the way you are, and I appreciate you for who you become. This is the title of a speech I will present today at VOICE Toastmasters club in Fort-Lauderdale, Florida. I have the pleasure to share with you the content of my upcoming speech. Enjoy.

Last Thursday, I went to the dentist. I entered the office, put my name on the waiting list. The secretary, with a nice smile, asked me for my insurance information and ID card. I pulled them from my wallet and handed them to her. She made copies, handed them back to me, and invited me to have a sit while waiting for my turn.

I shared the space with other 8 people.  Some were watching TV, others were skimming at magazine pictures. I prefer reading my own book.  I usually carry a book with me wherever I go.

I had Les Giblin’s book “How to have confidence and power in dealing with people¨. I discovered his triple-A formula for making and keeping friends. This is my pleasure to share with you this triple-A formula which is resumed as follow:

1.- Accept

2.- Approve

3.- Appreciate

Acceptance is lesson # 1 learned from Les Giblin. You are who are. I  accept you the way you are. I want you to continue to be yourself around me. I accept you as a human being with your mistakes, flaws, and your shortcomings.

Reading this reminds me a story reported by best selling author Orrin Woodward in his book “Resolved: 13 resolutions for LIFE” which displays the power of acceptance.

A water bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One of the pot had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot was only half-full. For a full two years, this went on daily with the bearer delivering  only one and a half pots of water to his house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for what it was made to do. The poor cracked pot was ashamed of its imperfection. It was miserable to accomplish only half of what it was made to do.

After two years of feeling a bitter failure, the poor cracked pot spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. Ï am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you. I have been able to deliver only half of my load because this crack on my side causes water to leak as you walk the way back to your house. Because of my flaw, you have to do all this work, and you don’t get the full value of your efforts”, the pot said.

The bearer said to the pot , ” Did you notice there are only flowers on the side of your path, but not on the other side? That’s because I have always known your flaw. So, I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day, when we walk back, you water them.  for two years, I have been able to pick up these beautiful flowers, to decorate the table. Without you being, just the way you are , there will not be this beauty to grace the house¨.

Thinking about this story while I was reading Giblin’s book brought a bright smile in my face in the dentist room. My neighbor look at me wondering what am I wondering about.

I continued my self-directed education to lesson 2 which is approval. Acceptance doesn’t mean approval. I accept you the way you are doesn’t mean I approve everything you do. If acceptance is withholding criticisms, then approval is releasing compliments.  Approval moves beyond acceptance and extends to acclaim for your specific gifts, talents, abilities, and actions. I invest the time to look for your good qualities, your positive attributes, and I approve you by sharing what I admire about you.

Orrin Woodward said “regretfully , many times, these good words are spoken only at a deceased friend’s funeral, but why wait for the funeral to tell a friend what is admirable about him?”

“Approval is the shining of one’s light into another’s darkness; although the words cost little, their value to others is priceless¨, the leadership guru wrote.

Lesson # 3 is Appreciation. This triple-A formula is like a buffet. Acceptance is the appetizer, approval is the main dish, and appreciation is the dessert.

I accept you the way you are, I approve you for your special talents, and I appreciate you for who you can become. You are unique, not just another face in the crowd. I appreciate you. I value you.

When something depreciates, it loses value; but when something appreciates, it gains value. What gives value to you is your rarity, your uniqueness. My appreciation for you helps you gain value.

I learned to really appreciate you, I should share all the good I can find in you with others. I should help you to turn up your positive voice  while simultaneously reducing your negative voice. I want you to believe in yourself and live the life you’ve always wanted.

The secretary called my name. I got into the dentist room, laid on the dental chair, opened my mouth for the cleaning session, with this poem I just read on my mind:

“A friend is someone who knows you as you are, understand where you have been, accepts who you have become, and still gently invites you to grow”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ban Baldanza, Spirit Airlines ‘ CEO, talks about business and leadership


I attended a recent lecture presented by Spirit Airlines President and CEO Ben Baldanza at the Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova SouthEastern University in Davie, Florida.

Roosevelt Jean-Francois and Ben Baldanza at Nova University
Roosevelt Jean-Francois and Ben Baldanza at Nova University
Baldanza shared his business acumen and day to day experience at Spirit Airlines with hungry listeners composed mostly with Nova business students and professors, some Spirit Airlines employees, and a few guests including myself.
Preston Jones, D.B.A. (doctorate in business administration), dean of Nova Southeastern  University called Baldanza ¨Professor, Professor Baldanza¨ because he  was eloquent, fluent, inspiring, and expressive on a various of topics including culture, business, leadership, strategy, and education.
His prepared power-point presentation included content, data, and pictures about Spirit Airlines which, he said, is one of the leading ultra low-cost carriers in the United States.
Headquartered in Miramar, Florida. Spirit operates scheduled flights throughout the U.S. as well as Latin America, the Caribbean, and Haiti where I’m originally from.
I travel regularly back and forth to Haiti and the Caribbean for my consulting and leadership education business. And most of the time, Spirit Air is my carrier. It fits well my needs.
I buy my tickets on line, preferably 15-22 days in advance searching the least cost as possible. I travel light with my heavy backpack, no carry on, no bag unless my wife urges me to bring stuff to our loved ones back home and to come here with her homeland food. I make sure I pay online and I always have some empty space in my backpack in case of my bag is over 40 pounds.
But, every time I’m at the Fort-Lauderdale counter airport for an early flight to Port-au-Prince, it’s always a nightmare.  A very difficult situation to see some old Haitian ladies and sometimes some younger men as well who only speak Creole to be in emotional discussions with cool headed Spirit Air ticketing agents who only speak English pleading for fees for an unchecked carry on, or a bag which would go up to U$100 a piece.

Lecture
Lecture
I asked Baldanza an open question about his company diversity culture in general and Haitian Creole cultural competence in particular, he responded  that there are upcoming initiatives to educate his customers, including Haitians, at the counter about the services. He also mentioned that Spirit ‘s presence on the market has brought more competitive choices for Haitians to travel.
I totally agree with this. This is good. Nonetheless, I’ll be more confortable to see ¨Professor, Professor Baldanza”, and Spirit Airlines move “from good to great”, by providing culturally competent and related educational customer services to the Haitian community.
This  will be coming, he said, announcing some marketing initiatives.  That’s some good news  and I’ll witness it with my very next trip back to Haiti.
Roosevelt Jean-Francois