Leadership in the ocean of life: drifters, surfers, drowners, and sailers!


What a great pleasure I had this last week end in Silver Spring, Maryland, to teach and to learn leadership and life issues with the Bread of Life Bible Fellowship Ministries led by Senior Pastor David Faustin and his spouse First Lady Yolaine Faustin and their outstanding team.

I shared with them the following insight, reported by New York Times Bestselling author, Chris Brady, in his Life Leadership Essential Series’s book “Wavemakers: how small acts of courage can change the world.”

Brady quoted Roy H. Williams about the four kind of people you meet on the vast and tumultuous ocean of life.

rjf

1.- Drifters. Those who drift just go with the flow. The wind and the waves control their speed and their direction. The drifter quietly floats along and says, “Whatever”. In our Haitian Creole we would say ¨JPP¨(Jan’l Pase l’Pase).

2.- Surfers. Those who surf are always riding a wave, the next big thing. They stay excited until the wave fades away, then they scan the horizon for something new. Surfers don’t usually get anywhere, but they make a lot of noise and put on a good show.

3.- Drowners. Those who drown seem to stay in the center of a storm. It doesn’t matter how often you rescue them, they’ll soon be in another crisis, crying, “Help me, save me.¨

4.- Sailers. Those who sail are navigating toward a fixed point. They counteract the wind and the waves by adjusting the rudder and shifting the sails to stay on course.

Having your immovable fixed point in life is detecting your purpose, your reason why, your sense of meaning. Sailers know why their destination.I told the group there are two important days in their life: the day you were born, and the day you discover why you were born.

We had a conversation on defining leadership, the difference between leadership and leaders. We shared contents on vision, mission, and values, as well as the concepts of being dependent, independent, and interdependent in building communities.

During the break, I had some time to interact with some of them. Drinking coffee, and eating fruits, I had some one on one short conversations and gathered some feedback on the first part of my presentation.

Then Carline Brice, a seasoned professional with the OAS, who chairs the Public Relations Ministry at Bread Of Life Bible Fellowship Ministries, told me what she wanted to do for  the second part of the event. She did well. First, she congratulated me for the presentation, she mentioned one chapter of my book ¨Leadership Sur Le Vif: des idéés pour le changement et la création de Richesse¨. Then, she asked me to engage each one  present in the audience in a conversation about their commitment in the church, their strengths, and their weaknesses.

It was fun to listen to each and every one lowering their guards and to talk freely about who they are, their strenghts, and weaknesses.

As I told Senior Pastor David Faustin, I have been meeting a lot of groups in our community, this is one of the best I met so far. This also bears a responsibility, not to lower the bar and move forward.

God bless,

Roosevelt

Leadership, Culture, & Values!


I am scheduled to speak this week-end at a leadership conference in Washington DC at a 100 + members faith-based organization. My core speech will be about leadership development, corporate culture, and values. My goal is to inspire members of this organization to engage themselves and other members in continuing self-directed leadership education, and to passionately create a culture of added values to the benefit of their community.

I am indebted to the Life Leadership Company to have included authors Randy Ross, and David Salyers’ book Remarkable! as part of my recent leadership subscription. I will be using their ideas on cultural transformation as well as New York Times best selling authors Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady’s book Launching a Leadership Revolution to define leadership.

What can we do to craft a culture where we believe the very best in our people and call out the very best from our people? That’s the question the authors are asking in their remarkable book understanding trust as a key factor for progress.

¨Where trust is high, resistance is low. Therefore, change and progress come quickly. Conversely, where trust is low, resistance is high. Therefore, change and progress come slowly¨, they said.

Our values define us. They find expressions in our daily decisions. We see the world through our unique lens, which are crafted by the prioritization of certain values.

What we need to do reach our full potential is to allow our values to drive our business. We need to define, articulate, and embody our values. The more our values are in alignment as a team, the more value we can create for everyone. Unity is a powerful in driving productivity.

Serving is about creating value for and not simply seeking to extract value from every encounter, endeavor, and relationship.

Relationship implies a desire to stay engaged with others. Nothing of long-lasting positive value ever happens by force.

Ross & Salyers define culture as “the collective expression of the values, thoughts and behaviors that individuals bring to the organization.”

Every teams or organizations have a culture. We can have a culture by design or by default. The only real competitive advantage any organization has is the culture that it fosters.

Culture is the single most important factor in the success of any organization and must be the highest priority of leadership

A company’s culture is its greatest competitive advantage, and will either multiply a company efforts, or divide both its performance and its people.

Ross & Salyers said “the most important issue facing any business it to intentionally craft a Remarkable! Culture of value creation. Everything else is secondary. “

We develop a sense of satisfaction when we understand who we are and how we can best bring value to every relationship and every endeavor we invest ourselves in.

The authors argue that “strong organizations always put people ahead of profits because they know that if you do right by your people – internally and externally – then the profits will follow.”

Great organizations create powerful relationships through the superior value they bring to the marketplace.

Each time we make a decision; there is a short term and a long term dimension that must be considered. Many decisions have a short term gain but carry a long term loss; while other decisions may have a short term loss, but ensure a long term gain. (Rooss & Salyers)

The impact of culture in any organization cannot be overstated. The culture is the single most important factor in the success of any organization and must be the highest priority of leadership.

I am glad to be invited to add value and to invest my talents and speaking ability in this faith-based organization leadership retreat in Washington DC. As discussed with the event planner, leadership is not acquired in a day, but is developed daily.

This will be a commencement. My call for action is to have potential leaders of this organization engaged in our self-directed continuing corporate leadership education system for the upcoming 6 months.

 

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

Florida Centurions having fun through Life Leadership conversations, & Club 180 bonding!


I love Life Leadership and the compensated community we are building around it. We are a FUN Club, making money, striving for excellence, bonding together to make a difference, and helping people to live the life they’ve always wanted. We market information around 8F’s: Faith, Family, Finance, Friends, Freedom, Fitness, Following, and Fun. And we are excited about it. Fired up!

 

Club 180 party
Club 180 partWe just had our very first Club 180 party in Fort-Lauderdale Florida. It was fun, inspiring.

 

It was fun to have what best author Orrin Woodward called “Great conversations”. It was also inspiring to  listen to some stories our friends were telling to themselves.

We shared some jokes, and humorous stories about ourselves eating Chinese and Spanish omelettes, pancakes, coffee, juice etc… Good food. very good food.

But, the food I loved the most, in our breakfast Club 180 party, this morning was some “food for thought”. It was moving from “good to great”.

Luc & Nathalie, Centurions power players, casted  the vision to have South East Florida, and its affiliated regions on the Life Leadership map.

I was amazed to see Yolaine and Jon driving more than 2 hours from Fort-Myers to Fort Lauderdale. She told us “I wanted to be with you. And I do not regret to do it”.

Yolaine also said that “people at work complimented me for my upbeat  attitude. The information made a difference. I am more patient, I feel less stressed”.

Linda was not happy with her husband Frank prior to the meeting. “I know we were going to church, and he decided to come here without telling me. I was unhappy. But, now I feel a lot better listening to you. What you do, putting people together in our community matters”, said Linda with a “sorry honey” to her husband who replied with a big smile.

It was a great joy listening to Luna about her learning experience through the CD’s and the open meetings.”I thought I would be by myself, I discover I have a new family. I like it”, she said.

Smith was also outstanding about the compensated model and the message we are sharing. “I feel more confident, I gave out Cd’s, and I like when people are calling me for more, and I invite them to have their owns”, Smith said.

Jon is reading  RASCAL from best selling author Chris Brady. He told us :”I want to make a difference by becoming an original character”.

We left with some goals, some commitments to build our Open Meeting numbers in Fort-Lauderdale . We also dream to have Fort-Lauderdale on the monthly Live Life Event map, and to reach thousands and thousands of people in SouthEast Florida, the Caribbean, and Latin-America.

I enjoyed the moment building and bonding with our friends in our  Life leadership compensated community. This is definitely our “best shot to live the life we’ve always wanted”.

We are Centurions. We lead from the front.

God bless,

Roosevelt

 

 

 

 

Leadership education through conversations


My most pleasurable moments  are when I have conversations with friends I just met. I enjoy asking questions, nodding to their answers, smiling to their jokes, sharing their successes, and empathizing with their challenges to discover and connect with the human being I have in front of me.

This is very rewarding. Having conversations is my continuing education, my lifelong learning experience. I learn from anyone, anywhere. And I also teach to anyone, anywhere. It’s a never ending process.

I also learn to grow myself and develop others from handling confrontations trough crucial conversations. Although, I have a tendency to avoid difficult conversations, I find them  very gratifying when they are well prepared emotionally.

I think private speaking is a lot more difficult and challenging than public speaking.

I will concentrate on serious conversations for this post. Let me share with you some general rules applied to serious, playful, and social conversations I pick from Mortimer J. Adler’s book “How to speak, how to listen”.

I understand from Adler’s teaching that conversations should be pleasure and profitable if we apply the following rules:

1- Pick the right place and occasion for a conversation. “There are times for small talks and times, so to speak, for big talk”, he said.

2.- Know in advance what kind of conversation you are trying to have.

3.- Select the right people with whom to have it.  He advised: “Never engage in the discussion of a problem with someone you know in advance has a closed mind on that subject”.

4.- A conversation is not an interrogation. Don’t ask one question after another without any connection between the questions asked in sequence.

5.- Don’t be rude by engaging in a side conversation while someone to whom you should be listening is talking.

6.- Don’t be too polite. If you think you have something to say, say it.

I also learn that a conversation should be organized with a beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning should set the stage for the conversation by focussing on the subject to be discussed. The middle should be devoted to the development of the theme being discussed. The end is the conclusion.

Roosevelt Jean-Francois

 

Leadership Education: Read to Succeed and live a life of significance


Best-selling author Chris Brady just released a talk on the importance of reading to succeed in life.  I am glad to share the content of his talk with you which is available through our Life Leadership program, a community of self-directed students on leadership, community building, and foundational issues of life such as: faith, family, finances, following, fitness, freedom, and fun.

Reading is the basic foundation to bring success, significance, and legacy. It’s the shortcut to excellence in knowledge economy. Books can be as nearly as important as oxygen, Brady said.

J W. Marriott, Chairman of Marriott International, said he started living when he found books. He manages by asking people, ‘ What do you think?…, a lesson he learned from President Eisenhower for whom, the four most important words in the English language are, ‘What do you think?

Marriott has a reading development program for its employees to help them teach themselves and be ready to think on their own two feet.

Abraham Lincoln, born in a one roomed cabin and his formal schooling added up to a year, was a voracious reader. He read and reread Aesop’s fable many times. He gave himself a first-rate college degree by reading. He understood that reading was the best tool of advancing in the world.

Harry Truman never attended college but said,” Not every reader is a leader, but every leader must be a reader.

Napoleon Bonaparte called people ¨fools” if they slept more than 3 hours at night because they could have been reading.

Teddy Roosevelt read at every type of condition.

Thomas Jefferson said if he has any money he buys book and if there is any left he will buy food.

Oprah Winfrey was only allowed one hour of TV per day by her grandmother.

How to read

Make reading a habit. Read many genres as once. Highlight, underline as you read. Make notations. Write in the margins. Argue with the author.

Outline, and Summarize the book. Read all the underlines and highlights. Keep your books organized for future references. Discuss them with others.

Where to read 

EVERYWHERE. If we’re prepared, you can always redeem the time. Have your books everywhere to redeem the time. Always, carry a book with you.

When to read a book

ALWAYS. Every now and then set some time apart and read.Develop a habitual time to read. The habits in your life determines what your life is.

What to read

ONLY READ THE BEST THINGS. You don’t have to read a bad book.Only put good books in front of your eyes.

Choose wisely of what to read. Read wide, strong, and deep.The choice of books like that of friends is a serious duty. We are as responsible of what we read as what we do.

Andrew Carnegie said,” A man’s reading program should be as carefully planned as his daily diet.”

Get the top 5 books we recommend in the website. Go through different subscriptions we offer. (email me for details)

As you read, so will you lead your life. Make it a good foundation so you can make it a great life.

Brady and his wife Terri have a Great Conversation on how to develop kids who love to read. This is a must listened audio available on RASCAL Radio. You can listen to this content and more now by having a Life Leadership Library subscription. Just leave me a comment below  and I’ll help you get tuned and live the life you’ve always wanted.

Rooseveltjeanfrancois.com