Archive for February, 2013

By Jonathan Capehart,  The Washington Post

All of this is an investment in the future of this country and striving generations to come.

Read excerpt below.

President Obama went to Georgia to push his State of the Union proposal to work with the states “to make high-quality preschool available to every single child in America.” He cited a statistic from the National Institute for Early Education Research that “fewer than three in 10” 4-year-olds are enrolled in this vital early education program. Just how vital was summed up in three charts from the White House.

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(The White House)

One of them I showed you yesterday. At-risk children who don’t go to preschool are 25 percent more likely to drop out of school, 60 percent more likely not to attend college and 70 percent more likely to be arrested for a violent crime. As one Alabama business leader said in a New York Times story today, “The evidence is, if we don’t make this investment and we don’t make it wisely, we’re going to pay for it later.”

Click here Obama’s plan: Into preschool, out of poverty  for the full story.

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Everyone has the ability to take charge, step up and make things happen.  Providing leadership or guidance to others is not exclusive to those who possess a tile of authority. We are brought up to believe that only certain people can be charged with the responsibility of leadership. We are programmed to believe that the captain of the team will show leadership for the entire team, when we know that at any given time an obscure player can rise up and show greatness.  We often believe that only the CEO or manager can make sound decisions for the store or the office.  Only to realistically know that the idea to change and improve a business practice or increase revenue can be introduced by a veteran or new employee.  Fortunately, exclusive leadership and greatness from the top down is a false assumption. God has given us all the innate ability and authority to lead if we so choose to do so. John Maxwell tells us that, “A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.”  We have to learn and know when to take the chance to take charge.

What you think about yourself is much more important than what others think of you.” Marcus Annaeus Seneca

One of the most important examples of leadership comes from within our homes. We learn from our family role models how to navigate through those critical and modest life experiences. It doesn’t matter if it is within the construct of an intact or extended family. How we lead and provide guidance for our children and direct them towards a path of success is critical. Learning the nuances of life can be the difference between triumph and disaster. (‘If ‘by Rudyard Kipling) Leadership through a variety of positive adult examples, actions, deeds and what children see are very powerful. They help to paint a moral visual picture of what is right and wrong. Shared leadership within the family is an important ingredient for success. When we allow all members of the family to take on responsibility it helps to nurture leadership qualities. It also helps to foster decision-making skills, confidence, sound calculated risk taking and a better sense of the world around us.

“Fix your eyes forward on what you can do, not back on what you cannot change.”

Contrary to popular belief, leadership is not always making the right decision, we can learn from our mistakes. And it teaches us how to rebound from our errors, faults, shortcomings and disastrous circumstances. Unfortunately, we often see images and chronic examples of poor decision-making within some families plagued by the grips of poverty. The outcome can lead to a familial cyclical and generational pattern of chronic dependency on welfare, teen pregnancies, drug and alcohol abuse, lack or training and education, drop-out, incarceration, along with under and unemployment. Poor leadership at any level is disastrous, planning and preparing is crucial because failure to plan is a plan for failure. In order for a pattern of unproductive circumstances to reverse someone must step up, take a chance and take charge. Any victim can turn a seemingly lost situation into a victory.

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Everyone is gifted, but some people never open their package”

Whether it is making positive well thought-out decisions or improving your personal finances, educational opportunities and future employment circumstances, positive role models and leadership in all venues are important. But if you really want long-term change and an opportunity to reproduce leadership, the home is where the seed of hope is planted and the foundation of success must begin. Don’t be afraid to step out, step up, take a chance and take charge!

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