• Blood Is Thicker Than Water

    By Mike Jones |

    Recently I coached a young executive, and she spent the entire hour speaking of the challenges she faced being positive because of the relationship she had with her two siblings, their children and her mother. She lamented over and over about how difficult it was to be positive around these people. She told me story after story about how they found the negative in almost everything and saw themselves as victims of circumstances. They constantly chose to blame others for everything going wrong in their lives.

    This young woman had recently completed our fully immersive, intense, 4 day, off the grid, experiential Master Graduate Leadership Program and decided to enroll in the group coaching after the class to sustain the positive breakthroughs she had experienced during the program.

    These family members mocked her for being positive and found a way every day to create something negative and asked her, “Is it still a great day to be alive?”

    After the group coaching series ended, she continued the effort to sustain her benefits and enrolled in our “1:1” coaching. Anyone that has completed our training will agree that sustainability is the key after completing one of our programs. Unless you deliberately choose to practice new behaviors, you are destined to return to the land of the familiar, better known as your comfort zone.

    Sometimes the sustainability and the growth to your next level is made more difficult or even prevented at times due to the unnecessary baggage we refuse to let go of and consequently choose to drag along on our journey to change. This unnecessary baggage can be people, old outdated beliefs, or circumstances that happened.

    My coaching to this young woman was that in order to live a purposeful, happy, joyous, rewarding, invigorating, stimulating, enthusiastically positive life we have to allow relationships that have passed their expiration date, to move on. Some people feel obligated to remain in the decaying or dead relationship because of the expectations of what others think they should do. I assure you, there is a huge difference between doing things right and doing the right thing. It is possible to do the wrong thing right as you sit and wait for someone else to change in order

    for the relationship to improve. And when the relationship does not improve, you feel like a victim.

    Once you have experienced our Master Graduate Leadership Program, you are crystal clear that in the context of this conversation there are NO victims, only volunteers.

    You will be crystal clear that positive and negative is a choice and the one you are choosing in that moment is the one you are the most committed to. Going back into those relationships where you may have been part of the negativity and now choosing to focus on creating a positive relationship can be a daunting challenge. The other individuals in the relationship gets to choose if they want to be positive or negative. If they do not choose to be positive, I recommend you request they write down the benefits of being negative and the benefits of being positive.

    In the many years I have conducted this exercise, the only reason I heard for why a person will choose to be negative is “because it is easier to be negative”.

    The reason it is easier to be negative is because you have practiced being negative and now mastered that behavior, which means it is your normal tendency or habit to choose to be negative. At this point you will need to make a choice: Tough or Suffering?

    Tough means not allowing that person to live in your space, however, it is ok to allow them to exist outside your space. Which means that you will need to redefine this relationship based on your outcome of being a more positive person. Suffering means that you allow these relationships to live in your space and you complain about their choice to negatively affect your world which leads you to see yourself as a victim and you blame them for the negativity you are experiencing.

    Well, she accepted my coaching and asked the negative relatives to write down the benefits of being negative and yes you guessed correctly, those that replied stated it was easier to be negative than positive because there were fewer disappointments.

    My coaching to her was that she needed to redefine these relationships to get to her outcome of a happy, positive life. Her response was that she would have to choose suffering because “blood was thicker than water”.

    I heard that cliché years ago and as a result examined my own relationships regarding that very self-defeating, victim’s mentality. Some of the people that are the closest to me have no blood relation to me at all. I realized that if I lived that truth, that “blood is thicker than water”, my life would have taken an entirely different course.

    As I made the choice to grow as a person focused on positive outcomes and committed to accept personal responsibility for everything going on in my life, I made the choice to be committed to Just do WIT (Whatever it Takes) to get to my outcomes.

    I have out grown many of my relationships from blood relatives to life-long friends because of my choice to live a positive, purposeful life. Every one of us has a choice to the course our life will take. Just because someone is your brother, sister or even your mother or father, it does not determine if they will be a value add to your choice to live the purpose God put you on the planet to do.

    If those relationships are more important than your choice to fulfill your purpose, or more important than your happiness, or finding joy and enthusiasm in your life, then I say shame on you, not shame on them.

    It takes a tremendous amount of courage to live your life outside of the expectations of others, however, when you do, you create new possibilities for others as well. They get to choose their fate. However, if their fate becomes yours, that is the result of your choice – not theirs.

    Blood may be thicker than water, however, that will not determine if I allow an individual to live in my space no matter what their relationship is to me.

    I am committed to live a purposeful, happy, joyous, rewarding, invigorating, stimulating, enthusiastically positive life and I am committed to be courageous enough to make the choice to surround myself with individuals who add value to my life in that context.

    I submit that one of the greatest gifts that you have is the gift of choice. Be aware in this moment that the reality you are experiencing is based on your choices and not the choices of anyone else. What choice will you make today to create the life that you want?

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  • Developing a Smokin’ Hottt Relationship

    By Mike Jones |

    This article is focused on developing the most positive, supportive, intimate, effectively communicative relationship ever. This does not submit that there is something wrong with your relationship. This article does not submit that your relationship is broken or that anything in the relationship needs to be fixed.

    Quite often we wait until there is something broken in our relationship before we see the need to work on it. Then we head off to therapy to fix what went wrong. I believe the only way to experience a Smokin’ Hottt Relationship is to work on it continuously.

    We, as individuals, occupy the largest room in the house and that is the room for improvement. So if we are not in a state of continuous growth as a person, then our relationship is not improving.

    Whether you have been in a relationship with your partner for 40 years or for 1 day, you will benefit from the awareness uncovered in this article. My request is that you read it like a rookie; hungry, focused, determined to win, committed to take your relationship to the next level, willing to Just do WIT (Whatever it Takes) to create the most Smokin’ Hottt Relationship ever.

    Here is an awareness you must embrace: if you are waiting for your partner to change in order for your relationship to improve, the relationship will likely end in a divorce. You have NO control over whether your partner will change, however, you do have 100% control over changing yourself.

    The only question I believe you should be asking regarding change in your relationship is “What am I committed to do to continuously change my approach to change my results in this relationship?”

    In America, a divorce occurs approximately every 36 seconds. Everyday approximately 2,400 divorces happen. Over a seven-day period of time 16,800 people decide they no longer want to be married to each other and approximately 876,000 people make the choice to divorce their partner each year.

    I titled this article “Developing a Smokin’ Hottt Relationship” because that relationship did not exist the moment you made a decision to be with that person. Yeah, I know, there is great chemistry between the two of you. Heaven made this person especially for you. This is your “soulmate”. Would you like to guess how many of the 876,000 people that got a divorce last year said the same thing at the genesis of their relationship?

    Finding what you identify as a Smokin’ Hottt partner does not insure a Smokin’ Hottt Relationship. Unless you go to work and develop the relationship, the initial connection based on appearance or chemistry will fade to nothing. There will come a day where you will be wondering what you ever saw in this person.

    I have said it many times and I will say it again, the best way to predict the future is by creating it. Let’s take out our trusty crystal ball. I refer to my crystal ball often in my own life.

    Now let’s create a picture of the most positive, supportive, intimate, effectively communicative relationship ever. This is the relationship that would make you the happiest person on earth. In order to develop this relationship, you must know what it looks like.
    The next step is to communicate this outcome to your partner and gain an agreement from them that this is what they also want. Without an agreement from your partner to develop this relationship, it will not happen with this partner.

    Once you have gained agreement from your partner, it will be very important to communicate to them what you mean by most positive, supportive, intimate, effectively communicative relationship ever. Don’t be surprised or alarmed if their definitions of these things are different from yours.

    In order for us to develop this relationship we must know how these things are defined by our partner. Quite often we treat our partner the way we want to be treated, the proverbial “Golden Rule”. In order to develop a Smokin’ Hottt Relationship you are going to need to live by the “Platinum Rule” which says treat me the way I want to be treated.

    We sometimes cannot understand why someone is not accepting our definition of positive, supportive, intimate, effectively communicative relationship ever. Well, each of us has different perspectives of the same things. Relationships have a tremendous amount of conflict because individuals believe they are looking at everything the same way, from the same perspective, until conflict evolves. There is a tremendous amount of ambiguity in the world and it will create conflict if you do not ask your partner what these things mean to them. You should listen to them without judgement of what you think is right or wrong.

    There is no way for you to authentically know what I need from you if I have not effectively communicated my desires to you. Rather than you loving me the way you want to love me, I want you to love me the way I want to be loved.

    If you are loving me the way you want to love me it is coming from some generic picture in your subconscious that says this is how you love someone in an intimate relationship. Unless I have effectively communicated to you how I want to be loved and treated as a partner, then you will love and treat me the way you have loved and treated others or how you think I need to be loved and treated.

    If we are going to develop this Smokin’ Hottt Relationship we will need to effectively communicate what we need from each other in order to successfully create it.

    Most of the conflict we experience in our relationship is because we manage our expectations of how others want to be loved and treated.

    Let’s examine where these expectations come from. Every one of us has a lens and a filter that we view and assess the world through. Our lens and our filter were created as a result of everything we were taught and as a result of every experience we had in our life.

    The things that we have been taught and our life’s experiences also created our BS (Belief System) and what we see as reality and the truth. Therefore, managing our relationship through this lens and filter produces predictable futures, conflict and right fighting.

    Right Fighting is when we go toe to toe with our partner to defend what we believe the truth is.

    Our assessments through our lens and filter are being based on historical data, all of the things we have been taught and our past experiences.

    So, when people say and do things that look, taste, feel, sound or smell like something we have experienced before, we assess it as if it was the truth, right and realistic, hence producing a predictable future and right fighting to defend it as if it was a fact.

    Quite often we treat our assessments or interpretations as if they are facts and then the conflict begins.

    My coaching to you if you would like to minimize ambiguity (grey areas) and conflict from your personal relationships is to set positive outcomes and get clarity of the outcome with the other person in the relationship.
    Seek and obtain a commitment to the outcome the two of you are agreeing on and stay focused on delivering and receiving a positive return on the promise.

    A personal example would be if you and I were focused on creating the most positive, powerful, supportive, intimate, respectful, effectively communicative Smokin’ Hottt Relationship either of us had ever experienced we would both need to effectively communicate what that means to us.

    We often believe our assessment of things is the same for everyone. Let me be crystal clear about this, THEY ARE NOT.

    Another big mistake we make is in the belief that if a person can figure us out without us telling them what we need then they must be the chosen one, our “soulmate”. Well, how is that working for you?

    Here is a fact I have learned over the many years of teaching and coaching humans: most of us do not know ourselves and yet we expect others to know what we need from them.

    I submit the best way to improve the relationship and get more of what you want and need from your partner is to tell them what you want and need. What a novel idea!

    Once we identify for each other how we want to be loved and what we need from each other in order to have the most positive, powerful, supportive, intimate, respectful, effectively communicative Smokin’ Hottt Relationship either of us has ever experienced, then we can make some promises to deliver those things.

    I highly recommend that you not make a promise to deliver until you fully understand what that person is asking you for and you are committed to deliver it. Remember, you are still assessing what they are saying through your personal lens and filter.

    Now let’s be clear that a return on those promises will produce a positive result and conversely if we do not have integrity with the promise it will produce a negative result.

    Here is what you need to do if you are experiencing internal conflict after you have established your relationship based on promises versus expectations.

    The first question to ask YOURSELF when conflict shows up for you is WTO? (What’s The Outcome?).

    The reason I suggest you ask yourself that question is because as I have stated, if you are waiting for your partner to change in order for your relationship to improve, then the relationship will likely end in a divorce. I recommend that you check your thinking, choices and behavior to the agreed upon “Outcome”.

    If you begin blaming others for what you are feeling or experiencing, the game is already over. When you look internally for where the conflict may be coming from, asking yourself the question, “What am I committed to do to have this turn out the way I want it to?” you are accepting personal responsibility to resolve the conflict and it is game on.

    I suggest if the other person needs to be confronted about being out of integrity with the promise, the sooner you address it, the less emotion will be involved.
    When we allow something that needs to be addressed in our relationship to marinate too long, it is filled with frustration and anger.

    If you are still experiencing conflict regarding this issue, then I suggest you and your partner engage in this process:

    You pretend you are the person you are having the conflict with and allow your partner to pretend they are you.

    Now you defend their point of view and they must defend yours, both still focused on the agreed upon “Outcome”. Be sure to defend their perspective as passionately as you were defending yours.

    This exercise has produced incredible results for individuals who are willing to understand your truth is not “the truth”, it is just your truth. There are many different perspectives, however, the outcome will contextualize what the right choice is for both of you in this situation.
    However, individuals who are committed to “right fighting” will always get to the “Outcome” they are committed to, they get to be right.

    In order to develop the most positive, supportive, intimate, effectively communicative relationship ever, you are going to have to work on it.

    What are you committed to do today to take your relationship to the next level?

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  • Girls Will Change The World

    By Mike Jones |

    I believe that you have to be absolutely insane if you truly believe that girls are going to change the world. If you approach the imminent change that is going to occur with your sane mind, you will be an individual that will be fighting a losing battle. I am inviting you to become insane in the context of this conversation, however, I further invite you to not wait for this change to occur, but to deliberately drive it, welcome it and embrace that change.

    As women begin to further close the gender gap in economics, education, politics, health and breakthrough glass ceilings and limitations placed on them by men in positions of power, you will become aware that the true insanity is in the sanity.  The sanity, or normal thinking, would say that men are superior, stronger, smarter, the head of the house. When I am pointed to the source of these beliefs, my awareness is who the author is.  Just like when I am told that I should drink more milk because it builds stronger bones and does a body good, all I need to do is check the author to figure out who is pushing the message and whether there is any bias.

    One day my 9-year stepdaughter Sophia came downstairs with a t-shirt on that said, “Girls will Change the World” and my mind immediately started churning. Why is there a need for women to fight for equality? Who are they fighting against? Whose permission do they need for that equality to be a reality? Why do those individuals have that power? What is the keeper of this power and permission afraid of?

    Girls are indeed changing the world and it is a change that is long over-due, and it is occurring too slowly. The reality that we are experiencing needs to switch from “changing” to “changed” the world. As long as there is an “ing” the change remains a “someday” conversation. It is time for that change to occur today.

    We don’t need a presidential edict or laws from some legislative body to make this change happen. We do not need a miracle from a supernatural being. We do not need to sign-off on some check list that says X, Y and Z need to be done first. This is simply a matter of doing the right thing.

    Many of us grew up learning and embracing the “Golden Rule” which says, “Treat me the way you want to be treated”. I am not sure how healthy that is because I have no idea how you want to be treated. I can tell you in my 30-year career of working with and coaching human beings, I would not like to be treated the way some folks want to be treated.

    As we make a stronger commitment to do the right thing and eliminate the gender gap, I believe we should embrace the “Platinum Rule”, “Treat me the way I want to be treated”.

    It is time for us to stop pontificating about this change. It is time for us to stop making excuses. It is time for us to lose “wait”, delaying change based on a false need to do things the “right” way. Clearly it is possible to do the wrong thing right because it is what we have done and continue to do as we:

    • Wait for the Right time
    • Wait for the Right resources
    • Wait for the Right person
    • Wait for the Right reason
    • Wait for the Right process

    As we wait, a persistent global gap continues to exist. In fact, 36% of U.S. companies have zero women on their board of directors. In Canada, women have only 5.7% of the CEO positions; however, evidence has revealed that gender mixed leadership teams actually produce higher profits.

    According to one study that compared similar sized businesses, those companies with women on their boards outperformed those with all-male boards by 26%.

    Men believe themselves to be good providers; well our best role model of an excellent provider is a woman.

    A woman provided you:

    • with your first home
    • with your first meal
    • your first unconditional love
    • your first nurturing relationship
    • your first hug
    • your first kiss
    • your first safe place

    Now it is time we provide women with a fair opportunity to a level playing field without a glass ceiling or other limitations and excuses. The world will be a better place as a result.

    Regardless of your position, title, GENDER, education level, or socio-economic status, what will you do today to bridge the gap?

    Please give me your feed-forward in the comment section below!

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  • I Can’t Afford It

    By Mike Jones |

    Many of us, if asked, would say that “anything is possible”, however, when we are faced with something that we do not have the full capacity or resources for, we often resign to a belief that we can’t have that thing or we settle for something less than what we really, really wanted.

    Now I know, “anything is possible” was taught to you; however if you authentically believed it, you would never say “I Can’t Afford It”.

    In my book, Unreasonable Possibilities I talk about how much the conversation that we are having with ourselves leads to our behaviors, because your energy and actions will follow your thoughts and as a “human doing”, you behave in accordance to what you authentically believe to be true.

    When you create a conversation that says “I Can’t Afford It” you are saying that impossible exists and you really do not feel that what you want is available to you. If you were committed to and believe you really wanted it, then you are saying you are not worth having it. If you really believe that you are worth having it, then you are saying that you are not committed to make it happen, which ultimately means that you really do not believe you can have it and therefore, you are not worth it.

    When you are having a conversation with yourself that you can’t afford it, you narrow your vision. As you view what is possible through this tunnel vision, the resources available to you cannot be seen.

    In chapter 3 of my book entitled Change Your Mind, Change Your World, I talk about the difference between the flag and the wind. The flag is passive, it sits around waiting for an energy to show up to give it direction. The flag always moves in the direction of the biggest energy, the flag is waiting for permission to take action.

    The wind is deliberate, it is purposeful. The wind provides the energy that determines direction, speed and the ebbs and flows. The wind makes a statement and it is bold.

    When you say, “I Can’t Afford It”, you are being the flag, waiting for something to happen to you in order for you to receive the things in life that you say you want. When you are being this flag even if something or someone shows up and provides you with the resources you need, you will not be able to replicate that success, unless your winning strategy of having someone else do it for you is manifested every time.

    Whatever you want is available to you, no matter how large or small.

    Anything really is possible, however, you must believe it before you see it. Your wins and losses are occurring in your thinking before you take any action, so take a moment to check the conversation you are having with yourself.

    If you have a conversation with yourself that says “keep your outcome realistic”, be aware that where your definition of realistic begins is where your belief in what is possible ends. When you identify something as unrealistic, the only thing you have authentically identified is your capacity to believe beyond what you can see or what you presently possess the resources to obtain. It does not matter how many resources you have, what matters most is how resourceful you are.

    As soon as you say “I Can’t Afford It”, you give ALL of the negative forces in the universe permission to work against you. Permission to bring every barrier and obstacle in your way to prove that you are right.

    An “I Can’t Afford It” attitude is not just about money. It is a belief that permeates throughout a person’s entire belief system. I had a young high school client that was a swimmer. He had been taught that because of his height he would never be able to swim certain times in his events. He believed this coach who basically taught him that he could not afford it. This coach basically was saying that this young man did not have the resources, talents, gifts or the possibility of being an amazingly successful swimmer because of his size.

    Well, he was not likely going to grow another inch and quite frankly that was outside of his control, however, there were a few very powerful things within his control that were game changers. I believe that game changers are those things and people that alter a predicted future in a positive way. I further believe, that most of the things that fit into this category are within your control.

    As a result of him believing that he did not have the resources to swim those times, he behaved in accordance to that erroneous truth and therefore empowered every negative force that was available to keep him from reaching that outcome. When you do this you make “Murphy’s Law” a reality, anything that could possibly go wrong, will.

    After he attend our breakthrough leadership training, I began coaching him at his dad’s request. He had a tough time believing he could afford it, that he could swim faster times with the body he had.

    I taught him how to set a very specific outcome he was committed to, and then he developed a list of meaningful benefits he would receive after reaching that outcome. We determined the time frame to reach his outcome and decided who his accountability partner would be.

    Our next focus was to take the first step necessary to get a quick win, with the understanding that every coin has two sides. I informed him that I did not embrace Murphy’s Law, instead Discover Leadership Training had established our own law that anything that could possibly go right, will go right. This young man became aware that both of these beliefs were available to him and he could choose either of them in every given moment.

    Quite often individuals attempt to go from A directly to Z without taking the steps necessary to get there. Taking the step necessary to get to “B” successfully helps you develop behaviors that can be replicated as you get a quick win. That quick win will also allow you to build the self-confidence needed to take the next step and incrementally get to a big win.

    He continued living these principles and following this process and as a result, improved his times and his successes. He was able to get a full scholarship to a prestigious university, which was his outcome and additionally, he became the captain of the university’s swim team. I have taught these same principles and processes to students, business owners and executives from all over the world.

    Here are the 5 simple, small steps you need to take to get ANYTHING that you want in your life when you understand that you indeed can afford it.

    1. Identify what you want by setting an outcome and make a commitment to that outcome. Buy a business, increase sales, improve your relationship, get physically healthier, get a promotion, improve your grades, get a better job.
    2. Develop 5-7 very meaningful benefits you will receive when you reach your outcome. These benefits should have some emotion attached to them. The benefits should be things that will make a positive, significant impact on your life and on the lives of others.
    3. Determine what your time frame will be. Once you have determined your time frame to reach your outcome, I recommend that you establish some shorter time frames or milestones to be able to observe your trending and to give yourself something to hold you accountable.
    4. Identify someone you have a trusting relationship with and share your outcome with them. It will be important to give them permission to hold you accountable to do what you said you would do.
    5. Have the courage to take the first step to make the outcome your reality. Once you understand what you want, ask yourself repeatedly, what am I committed to do today to get to my outcome. As soon as you identify this step, you may find it to be a very scary step! I want you to know that courage is not absent of fear, real courage is acknowledging the fear, remaining focused on your outcome and your meaningful benefits and take the step in spite of the fear.

    If my outcome is to get a promotion this year, as soon as I establish the outcome, I contextualize the appropriate positive conversation that I will create with myself. The appropriate, positive energy and actions will follow that conversation.

    The first thing I would do at that point is go to the person that would ultimately determine my state of readiness for the position that I am focused on obtaining and have that person make me aware of all of the skills and attributes they are looking for in the person that will fill the position. Then I believe it is critical for you to determine how they feel you stack up in this moment and what areas they believe you need to work on to be the person selected for the position. It is important for you to be able to see you through their eyes.

    Once you are armed with this information, if you are still focused on the outcome of being promoted to that position, then it is time to make a commitment to Just do WIT (Whatever it Takes) to make it happen. As soon as you make that commitment the resources you need will come into view as you realize that all that you need to do today is 100% of what is available to you. You must realize that every journey begins with the first step and the appropriateness of every step is authenticated based on the outcome that you set.

    Now, at this point most people would sit down and craft out a plan. If that is your choice then go for it, however, I believe that crafting a plan in this situation will bring in limitations to what is available to you. If you come up with a plan, it will be historical in nature, based on things that you have done in the past or someone else’s opinion of how you should approach it based on their past successes. I am of the opinion this approach is playing not to lose and will not distinguish you from the crowd, because most of them will use this same safe approach.

    If you want to potentially create something really special, then I recommend that the only plan that you have is to “be in the moment”. You know what your outcome is, you have made a commitment to make it happen. I suggest you craft five to seven very meaningful benefits you will receive from obtaining this promotion. And then continually live every moment asking yourself what am I committed to do today to take the next step to get to my outcome?

    I recommend that you do what I refer to as a “mental rep” where you project yourself to the outcome, create in your mind what it will feel like to arrive at that outcome. See yourself experiencing the benefits of the outcome. What you have now done is empowered all of the powers of the universe to help you see all of the incredible opportunities and resources available to you to make your outcome a reality. You will literally be able to see yourself trending to your outcome as you become aware that everything in the universe is conspiring for your success and anything that can possibly go right, will go right.

    When you choose to approach the things you want using these powerful principles and processes, you will experience greater successes in both your personal and professional life.

    Please give me your feed-forward in the comment section below!

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  • The Answer Is In The Silence

    By Mike Jones |

    I am by definition a “Black man”. Because of the context of “Black” in America, I reject this identity. In almost every context that I explored the meaning of “Black”, I found it to have a negative connotation. Why is that important you ask? Because it identifies how you see me, and if I believed the reference, how I see myself. Let’s “Fact Check” my submission:

    • Blackball
    • Blackmail
    • Black Cat
    • Blacklist
    • Black Magic
    • Black Market
    • Blackout
    • Black Heart
    • Black Eye

    People size me up as a Black man in seconds. The lens that I am viewed through was developed from the lens of the people that taught them. So what exactly are they evaluating in those seconds?

    Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy has studied first impressions with fellow psychologists Peter Glick and Susan Fiske for over 15 years. What they discovered, and is chronicled in Cuddy’s book, is that in those seconds that I am being summed up, the average person is answering two questions about me: can he be trusted and can I respect this person? The immediate answer to both questions for the average person is “no”. Their assessment is based on the color of my skin which identifies me as Black.

    They arrive at this answer based on their belief system and the evidence that has been provided for them in an effort to prove this assessment is true.

    During my 14 years on the Houston Police Department, when I was observed in my police uniform in a predominately White neighborhood, the assessment was that I could be trusted and respected. In that same neighborhood when I was not in uniform, I was treated quite differently and it was clear that the answer to the two questions posed above was “no”.

    Now you may think that this article is about the injustice of racism or how so called “Black people” are unjustly treated in America; well that narrative has been told many times and it is true, however, that is not the purpose of this paper.

    Viktor Frankl said, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

    Shhhhh, wait a minute, do you hear that? What is it? It is an audible silence coming from the Black Community. There has not been a recent situation of a White Police Officer shooting an unarmed Black man (at least not that has been publicized in the last month). But wait, does that mean that ALL is well in the Black Community?

    Far from it my friends. I could get very technical here and give you a ton of statistics, however I won’t bore you.

    I grew up in a low income Government Project home until I was 9 years old. My mother, Bobbie N. Jones decided to go to war. What was different about her approach was she fought for what she wanted and not against what she did not want. She did not wait for an event to push her to demonstrate negative emotions to highlight injustice. She demonstrated that the same energy could be used to highlight the greatest injustice in the Black Community and that is the silence you hear right now.

    Why aren’t Black Leaders, politicians, and clergy raging about Black on Black crime? Why can’t I hear their loud, passionate voices on the apathy of the Black Community on the value of education? Why aren’t we out cleaning and beautifying our communities, rather than piling up junk in our driveways, yards and street corners? Why does our spending habits say that we are more concerned about the price of everything and the value of nothing?

    Will we continue to wait for a handout? I believe that Government Assistance Programs should be a hand up, not a hand out. I believe these programs should lead to independence, not dependence. When I hear “Make America Great Again”, when was it great for Black America? What is the true meaning of that for me?

    My mother armed herself for this battle with more education and a great work ethic. This single mother of four decided to go back to school and become a nurse. She taught us to do what we could do to make life happen because of us and not wait for someone else to change. She taught us to always pursue our ambitions and dreams and to never blame things or circumstances on our failures or other people.

    The answer is in the silence. It is in this silence that we can arm ourselves with the arsenal of a great education. It is in this silence that we can clean up our communities. It is in this silence that we can rid communities of poison pills and loose cannons who refuse to be a healthy part of a positive movement forward. It is in this silence that we can learn how to positively communicate with each other and consolidate the churches in our communities. It is in this silence that we can start new businesses that positively support the growth of the community.

    What is the REAL Injustice in the Black Community? It is the silence that appears when there is seemingly nothing to fight against.

    If progress is to be made, it will come from within the Black community and within each individual in the community. When we accept personal responsibility for that truth we will find the answer which resides in the silence. If we choose to step up and advance the Black community into one that is a positive, constructive, contributing community that benefits Black people, it will also be positive and constructive for our society as a whole.

    Please give me your feed-forward in the comment section below!

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  • Burn The Bridge

    By Mike Jones |

    In 1519, Hernán Cortés, a Spanish conquistador, famously ordered burning the boats as his troops prepared for the seemingly impossible conquest of the Aztec Empire.  What he knew was that having a Plan B or a back-up plan would prevent his troops from having laser focus and an absolute commitment to the outcome they were moving toward.

    When I decided to leave the Houston Police Helicopter Division twenty years ago and start Discover Leadership Training, I completely burned the bridge with HPD.  Flying helicopters for the HPD was my childhood dream. When I decided to move on, I was more in love with flying helicopters for the Police Department than I was the first day I stepped into the Helicopter Division.  I was told during my exit interview most Police Officers that leave the department before retirement almost always came back.

    Despite my deep love for flying, I knew I had an even greater calling to serve my society than working for the HPD.  I created my vision for DLT and made a commitment to only move forward.  I burned every bridge that led back to the Police Department.

    Let me be clear, those first couple of years of forming Discover Leadership Training from the ground up was tough, however there was never a consideration of retreating.

    Leaving the bridge intact in your professional and personal life might seem like a great strategy just in case things don’t work out. However, if that is your attitude, you are demonstrating a lack of commitment to where you are going, a lack of belief that you will get there and a lack of confidence in yourself.

    To not Burn the Bridge means you are focused on everything that could possibly go wrong as you move forward taking steps in fear and apprehension.

    Burning the Bridge means you believe that success is imminent. It means that you realize that failure must be an option, because when you take the risk of venturing out of your comfort zone you will fall down a few times.  Burning the Bridge means you understand that falling down after taking a risk to go for what you want is a gift of authentication. You must realize that failure is not fatal. You may lose a few battles, however it does not mean you will lose the war.

    My coaching to you would be to constantly move towards creating a better life for yourself personally or professionally.  Most of you will not cross a bridge until there is some pain to run away from. Waiting until something is wrong or broken verses focusing on your next level is running from pain, instead of running to gain.

    I am encouraging you to find a bridge in your professional, academic, personal or financial situations and cross that bridge deliberately focused on a positive outcome. An outcome that improves your business, or makes you a better team member, or one that advances your knowledge and pushes you out of your comfort zone is an outcome worthy of burning bridges.

    I encourage you to choose to cross a bridge that takes you to a more positive place in every one of your relationships.

    Here are my top 5 reasons why you should Burn the Bridge:

    1. The bridge will create a distraction that will lessen your chance of greater success
    2. You will move forward and create new possibilities
    3. You will “Hold Nothing Back” in your relationships
    4. You will reinvent yourself to be a more positive person
    5. You will accomplish something you have never done before

    “Not Over”

    What bridges will you burn today and how will you and those around you benefit from you doing so? Please give me your feed-forward in the comment section below!

    11 comments
  • Annual BBQ Event

    By Discover Leadership Training |

    Once again, our Annual Appreciation BBQ was a smashing success! We enjoyed seeing many graduates, friends, and family at Running Cougar Ranch on Saturday, October 22nd. Thank you for coming out to celebrate with us and we appreciate the volunteers who donated their time and helped make this such a great experience for all who attended.

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  • Building Power and Influence Webinar

    By Discover Leadership Training |

    BuildingPower-Influence-webinar

    Don’t miss your chance to attend another impactful webinar hosted by Mike Jones, President of Discover Leadership Training as he discusses the topic, “Building Power & Influence”. If you are ready to go next level, this is the perfect webinar for you to attend. This webinar will take place on December 15, 2015 at 1 p.m. Central Time. If you haven’t registered already, take action now and click the following link. Limited seating is available and registration is FREE.

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  • Giving Thanks this Thanksgiving

    By Discover Leadership Training |

    Thanksgiving

    The Thanksgiving Holiday is a time for families to reunite, have great meals, and to give thanks to those that have made a difference. Discover Leadership Training would like to take the opportunity to give thanks to all the nominators that have given the gift of our training to their nominees throughout the years, all the Givers Gain attendees who have continued to volunteer for our programs, and even the family members who have supported their loved ones during each program. With all of you, we continue to help those who attend our programs awaken their untapped potential and focus on the powerful outcomes they set. We love hearing the stories from our attendees as to how they have become a better spouse, parent, employee and business owner and we are glad to have been a part of the process. Thank you for putting your trust in us and we are always on your team.

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  • Black Friday is around the Corner!

    By Discover Leadership Training |

    BlackFriday

    Thanksgiving is right around the corner and you know what that means!  Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are headed our way and we are about to get some sweet deals.  This year, Discover Leadership Training will offer sweet deals of its own for those who have been wanting to create a better version of themselves or their teams.

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