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Newsletter Dated: 9/9/2005 12:30:39 PM
Subject: Your Take Charge Success Strategies Newsletters
Here is your September issue of Take Charge Success
Volume 5, Number 5 September 2005 Publisher: GoalMinds, Inc.
Copyright 2005 Jo Condrill
All rights reserved
'My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a
slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the
only thing to do was keep swinging.' - Hank Aaron
Welcome to our many new subscribers. We are delighted that you have joined us. Thank you to our continuing subscribers. You are receiving this newsletter either because you signed up for
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"Still the question recurs 'can we do better?' The dogmas
of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The
occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise to
the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and
- -Abraham Lincoln in his Annual Message to Congress,
December 1, 1862 "Lincoln on Leadership" by Donald T.
IN THIS ISSUE
1. 3 Essentials of Leadership
2. Remedy for a Communication Meltdown
3. My Experiences in a Disaster Relief Center
1. 3 Essentials of Leadership
In the days following the disastrous results of Katrina and Lake
Pontchartrain's subsequent breach of the levees in New
Orleans, the US has focused on failures in leadership.
Lessons Learned are part of an After Action report that is
developed after the heat of the battle, not during it.
Every available resource, including brain power, should be
focused on solving the problems at hand and anticipating
those upcoming in the near future.
Let's look at three key ingredients of leadership:
Decisiveness; Objectiviey--Hire the right person for the
job; and Confidence--Count on self-leadership.
1. Decisiveness. Be decisive. Seldom are we presented with
ALL the facts, especially in an emergency. Get help to
gather all the information you can from varying perspectives
given the time available. You will need to determine what
is fact and what is opinion. Be aware of hidden agendas.
Refer to existing plans. Think. Ask questions; drill down,
ask more questions. When you get conflicting information,
and you will, choose which to believe. If you have a
mastermind group, confer with them. Refer to your past
experience and personal knowledge. Say a prayer and
announce your decision.
Of course, there are risks. As more information becomes
available, the decision may need to be adjusted. Stay
involved. In her new book "Leadership on Trial: Lessons
from the Apprentice," Ann Vanino states "If you strive for
absolute certainty or safety, you are doomed."
2. Objectivity. Hire the right person for the job--not your
friend, son, daughter, or wealthiest supporter. Surround
yourself with competent, experienced people. Know what you
want. Have a job description before advertising or
announcing the vacancy. Select critical success factors.
During the interview, focus on capabilities you are looking
for and past experience. Listen carefully. Provide 'what
if' scenarios and allow the job candidate to use their
analytical skills in the process if that's a job
requirement. Check references and listen to what is not
said as well as what is said. If you need to hone your
listening skills, do it now.
Http://www.goalminds.com/perlistprof.html Be objective and
select the best person for the job.
Political appointees are part of our political process.
That will not change. The key is to place experienced
career public servants in high-level supporting roles and
give them a voice in the decision-making process. They are
The challenge for career public servants is to sway with
political changes; their promise is to be apolitical. When
all parties are focused on the good of the country and
willing to collaborate in solving problems, their task is
3. Confidence. Lead Yourself. Don't wait to be led by
others. Develop personal leadership skills. Take time to
reflect on your inner being and your strengths. Who are
you? What are your core values? What inspires you? What
makes life work for you? List your skills and abilities.
Learn all you can about leadership and influencing people
and situations around you. Collaborate with others and
improve your communication skills.
In the disaster relief center at Kelly USA where I
volunteered on Friday after the disaster, I saw many men
leading their families, babies in arms, to their designated
cots. They were dirty and unshaven, some without shoes, but
they were in charge. Early arrivals with children in tow
were in search of clean clothes and showers. Some were
alone, dazed and exhausted. By Tuesday people were arriving
from the hospital, eager to begin putting their lives back
together again. The Red Cross had done an admirable job of
organizing the center, based on plans, rehearsals, and past
Kudos to the thousands of unsung heroes who rose to the
enormous challenges to help their countrymen and women.
Shame on the hard-core politicians who seek political gain
from the disaster. We need to all put our shoulders to the
task and work together as Americans.
'Leadership is one of the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth.'
--James MacGregor Burns 'Leadership'
See my master mind article following 9/11 in 'Intelligence and Warning America'
2. Remedy for a Communication Meltdown
The phones are dead. Television is dark. There is no
electricity. How do you communicate? Wave a white sheet or
any other large cloth if not a sheet. Write HELP in large
dark letters on a large piece of cardboard or other stable
object and hold it where people in boats or flying in
helicopters overhead can see it. Muster your courage and
keep panic at bay so that your vocal cords will work when
you are rescued. You may be able to save other lives.
During the past few days we have discovered means of
communication we have not had to use before. Grammar and
vocal variety were not important. The urgency of the
situation compelled those stranded to use whatever means
they could to send a plea for help. The would-be rescuers
strained their senses to connect with them. Time will tell
how many pleas were unheard and unanswered.
When, at last, the active duty military forces came onto the
scene with Lieutenant General Honore, there was hope. They
could communicate with each other.
How would you communicate with loved ones in an emergency
Situation? The Homeland Security web site offers a "Family
Communication Plan." I recommend that you download it and
add a caution to remain calm. Modify it to suit your
purposes, including what to do when telephones and
electricity are not available. Fill in the blanks and print
out the forms. Then exercise the plan--practice to be sure
that family members know what to do. Review the plan and
keep it current. It could save days of searching after an
"As our own case is new, so we must think anew."
- -Abraham Lincoln
To our friends in India: Pentagon Press in New Delhi
publishes and distributes our book 101 Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills Instantly. MailTo:firstname.lastname@example.org
Take a confidential Communications self-assessment with no cost at
3. My Experiences in a Disaster Relief Center
"I'm not lost. I'm just homeless," said one young woman
cheerily as she was finding her way to the showers. That's
the kind of resilience that brought these weary, sometimes
dazed, people so far from what used to be home in New
Orleans, LA. I had to fight back tears when I said,
"Welcome to San Antonio." Most people seemed grateful to
have a clean, dry, air-conditioned place to be. I heard
several acknowledgments of thanks to the Good Lord and saw
no anger. The people were polite and orderly for the most
part, though the long line for clean clothes sometimes got
Young military troops took down thousands of square feet of
office space and dividers so that cots could be put up for
the evacuees before their arrival. There were many families
and some children without parents. The Red Cross had a very
orderly process--Intake Center, medical screening, and
immunizations. The evacuees wore arm bands similar to
hospital "bracelets" with their bed numbers on them. In the
sea of beds, it was relatively easy to find someone if you
knew their bed number and they were in the vicinity of that
bed. It was obvious that at Kelly USA there had been time
to put systems in place that other centers were unable to
Once the displaced persons had showers and were given clean
clothes, which there was not enough of (some were wearing
plastic 'scrubbies' until they could get clothes), the main
concern for most was connecting with relatives and friends.
SBC provided two rooms of phones so people could make calls,
but incoming phone calls to individuals were impossible
except by personal cell phones. Another need of the
evacuees was to find out where they were so they could tell
relatives and friends where they could be picked up. One
woman asked me to give directions to a relative on her cell
phone. I ended up offering my own phone number in case they
got lost. When the phone rang at 3:00 AM the next morning,
it didn't occur to me that it was one of those lost
relatives! In the end, two sets of relatives came to the
rescue from different cities. I put them in touch with each
other and at last was assured that the woman was safely on
her way. The disaster relief center is just the beginning
of a long road to recovery.
On Tuesday, with donations in hand, I headed back to the
Kelly USA Disaster Relief Center. The Red Cross is well
organized--volunteer sign in lists--sign out lists--
locations to be staffed and with how many volunteers posted
on a white board. They offered me the children's room or
linens. I'm a coward; I took linens. I couldn't even talk
with the adults without tearing up; I'd never be able to
handle the children. Perhaps that was the wrong decision.
A toddler of about three approached me in the hallway and
said that she could not find her grandmother. As
frightening as it must be to everyone who was uprooted and
placed in a new and different environment, imagine a small
child lost again. Since I was the lone volunteer in the
linen room, I enrolled the help of an evacuee to find the
grandmother. Many volunteers had returned to their jobs
after the Labor Day weekend and we were stretched thin.
The Center had about a third more people than it had when I
left on Friday. People seemed to have settled in as much as
possible with cots, sheets, pillows, and blankets. I was
surprised the linen room was so busy. There were never
enough blankets for all who wanted them. Pillows ran out
before everyone had one. Most people were orderly and
grateful, though a few were greedy or in search of matched
sets. One man who came in alone, was stooped over and
walking with a cane. The cap he was wearing indicated that
he was a veteran: World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. I
quickly spoke with him, confirmed the information, and
thanked him for his service to our country. He smiled and
nodded. He was looking for the housing office, which was
farther down the hall. He should have been given an escort!
Volunteers will be needed for a long time. Find out how you
can help. God bless America.
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