Archives For Women

This week Leadership Johns Creek hosted its second event for The Leadership Johns Creek Speaker Series. Our intent is to increase the value of our Alumni’s continued membership in the organization. One of the ways to add value to each member is to weigh in to their education, inspiration of their personal leadership journey.

 

Mrs. Lisa Eason shared with our group her compelling story of overcoming the worst of childhood scenarios. Her story of rising to a position of leadership within the State of Georgia’s Purchasing Agency but only after overcoming a series of life events that could have crippled someone to a life of addiction, self-pity or worst case complacency.  I have “roughly” detailed her story below for those who were not in attendance.

 

Mrs. Eason began by sharing the three traits that she believes separates “good” leaders from “great” leaders:

  • Determination

  • Strong work ethics

  • Compassion

 

She began by sharing her family dynamics and history. Lisa being the oldest of 4 children in a family that went through a divorce prior to her 5th birthday.  She was left to care for her younger siblings at only her age of 11 years old. Preparing meals and being the general caretaker while her mother was absorbed in dating.

By the age of 15, she was pregnant and refused to give up the child to abortion or adoption. Dropping out of school during the 9th grade to care for her own child, yet made it clear that she never accepted aid from the government in any manner. Her job at a sewing factory provided for and her responsibilities.
She escaped an abusive relationship by picking up her children one afternoon from their school or respective places of care to drive to Newnan, Georgia where a friend had offered refuge.

While in Georgia she later became married to a person who she described as “someone who didn’t like to work….”

Desiring to improve her life; she applied for an advanced position in management at the sewing factory, but realized that a high school education was needed. So being the overcomer that she is she studied and passed the test for a GED Diploma.

 

Continuing to pursue higher dreams and a better life she continued to find new opportunities, one with the organization that helped promote young people in getting their GED.

One of the positions which she desired required a college degree. So naturally, she enrolled in college and began classes with her 4 year old sitting in her lap throughout numerous classes. Resisting giving up her educational dreams after failing Calculus she continued to study and ultimately passed Calculus with a 110 grade in the class.

Continuing on she took 7 ½ years but she ultimately finished college!

It was during this time that she shared her husband; the one who didn’t care to work was revealed to have sexually abused her daughter. Before the trial ever happened he committed suicide while in prison. Dealing with the turmoil and grief associated with all of these events she forged ahead never in self-pity but always with an eye towards improving herself and her families’ outcome.

The element of compassion and giving back approach that Mrs. Eason exhibits stems from her boss for a number of years that played an important role in her advancement. Lisa was ashamed to share her background and life story with anyone until Ron Jackson, her boss, caught wind of her story and set up an opportunity for her to share it with her local paper.

 

Between Ron Jackson and her Mother-In-Law years prior they were the few people who ever encouraged her with their actions and words which made such a difference in her life. Still today she values encouragement expressing that you never know how your kindness and words of encouragement can make a difference.

After her story was “out of the bag” so to speak, she was afforded numerous opportunities to share her message of overcoming circumstances and pursuing higher education. She now will often be heard giving commencement speeches at high schools and schools that specialize in GED programs.

Her career has continued to move forward due to her determination, work ethic and compassion for others. She stated that her first action item after being promoted to Assistant Deputy of Purchasing with the State of Georgia was to look for someone to mentor.

 

tweet-graphic-1

To Tweet This Message Click Here: Because as a leader you always have to look for ways to give back.

 

Her most recent efforts to giving back has led to the purchasing which she is mentoring just last week received their GED diploma and is looking to go higher with their career and education.

She ended by sharing some vision that she hopes to “run a college” someday. I personally have no doubt that she will get there. I encouraged her as we closed the Speaker Series event that her story was valuable, as is everyone’s, but her story would make for a great book. We can probably look for that soon considering her determination, work ethic and compassion for helping others.

End of Speaker Notes

 

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Your Civil Rights

January 26, 2016 — Leave a comment

When you think of your civil rights do you think of the basics? Likely in this era we think of how we are treated. Possibly even the luxuries that we enjoy as Americans.

 

This past week, during the celebration of Dr. King’s birthday, I was reminded of the difficult fight that he willingly engaged. Jackie and I were in Birmingham, Alabama and visited Ingram Park. Ingram Park is dedicated to those who fought for their Civil Rights. It was a beautiful display of artwork which depicted the struggle that so many faced. You can see some of our pictures here.

The Martin Luther King’s, Rosa Parks, Johns Lewis’ and so many others weren’t fighting for frivolous wants, but the basics of humanity. They were fighting for the Golden Rule, which is really what we all want.

 

“Do to others as you would have them do to you”

                                       – Jesus,  Luke 6:31

 

 

Your Civil Rights landscape blog

 

 

Do you, each day, treat others as you would wish to be treated? Business Owners, are you treating your employees the way that you would would want to be treated? 

 

I am not suggesting that there aren’t differences or advantages to being in charge. Taking the initiative and risks associated with business is admirable and comes with its rewards and difficulties. However, I want you to ask yourself are you simply providing the basics? Or would you suggest that you are going above and beyond for those that serve you and your business each day?

 

Far too often I see businesses that aren’t investing or even adequately rewarding their team. In today’s society and generally in business people aren’t going to take such a stand, like eluded to above, they usually react with poor performance or just getting by enough to keep their job, until another opportunity appears.

 

This article isn’t meant to imply that any business environment equates to the struggle that was addressed during the Civil Rights movement. The parallel is that we should treat others the way that we desire to be treated whether it’s with friends, co-workers, clients, neighbors or those that serve our businesses. Allow me to encourage you to not stop at someone’s basic Civil Rights, go above and beyond in how you treat them.

 

tweet-graphic-1Employers; It is a cop-out to state, “well I pay them each week.”   –  Click to tweet

 

That falls under the auspice of basic civil rights as an employee. If you want to create a culture of excellence try treating them the way that you desire to be treated. Another verse from the book of Luke comes to mind, From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much more will be asked. Luke 12:48

So I Ask You To Consider:

Your Vacation policies

Sick Day Policies

Benefits Packages

Investing in Employees Personal Growth

Your Office Environment

Adequate Pay for Those Who Excel

How You Speak to One Another

And the list continues on and on…..

 

It is the right thing to do and you will be glad that you did!

 

Do you love where you work? Does your employer go above and beyond your basic civil rights?

 

 

Let me here your thoughts around this subject. Comment to me on Facebook, twitter or LinkedIn

Have you ever wondered how some people accomplish so much? Even, how some people make life look easy?

 

Individuals or even couples that succeed in life do not just leave it to chance. Most often they have a mission in mind and the steps to achieve the mission laid out in front of them. I personally call that Being Intentional. People who aren’t intentional often times can skate through life and get by, however eventually that lack of purpose or attention to the details that matter can catch up to them. When certain life events happen at the wrong time or if it occurs in a large enough way the consequences can be tremendous, possibly even insurmountable. When people have life circumstances that impact them in a large way they appear to have been battered and abused by life, like an old flag that is worn from being pushed around by the wind for too long. If that is you there is hope! If you don’t recognize these traits congratulations, but take greater control now.

 

I would like to encourage everyone to take charge of your life! Become that person that lives with great purpose and is on task towards being the best person that they can be; for those who are married to become the couple that you wanted to be when you were first married. Recently, I have redesigned my business to help individuals and couples live with greater intention.

 

Nobody sets out on any particular day to wreck their life. It is generally a slow slide with consistent apathy which allows it to ultimately be lost. I have chosen to establish a program that creates a very intentional process for three of the most important areas of anyone’s life. The primary areas that we focus on are Health, Relationships and Personal Finances. To many these three areas of focus may seem unrelated, however I would suggest that when each of these three areas of life are thriving, you are at your best. Let’s take a closer look:

 

Health

 

The busy nature of life and the demands on our time often force the attention on our health to the backburner. The demands on our time allows us the excuse that we don’t have time to exercise. However, eating properly or improperly is a choice that we make about 3 to 4 times each day. The fact is that many do make time to exercise daily. There are even small things that we can do to change our daily routines to increase our overall activity level. Everyone is capable of choosing to eat well just like everyone is capable of making time to exercise or simply become more active as a part of their daily routine. These things are a choice and when treated with intention and we are motivated and held accountable they will typically improve.

From my point of view, as a financial planner, I would like to point out the correlation between exercising and earning. A Cleveland State University study, The Effect of Exercise on Earnings, goes into great detail (34 pages of great detail) to conclude that there is a correlation between those that exercise earn more. The most simplistic portion of the study states that those who exercise typically have more energy throughout the day, greater job satisfaction and a higher promotion rate. It continues to parallel the impact that these traits have on being far less likely to become unemployed. The higher promotion rate had a direct correlation between those that were not overweight attributing to the highest percentage of the workforce that received promotions. From personal experience with my clients over the past 19+ years of working with their personal finances, healthier individuals generally have a larger amount of discretionary income due to lower healthcare costs.

 

Relationally, the idea mentioned above that those who exercise have more energy and are more positive throughout the day is quite significant. Imagine the impact that couples would experience if everyone had more energy at the end of the day. Imagine the relationship change if you were able to exhibit more patience with your children due to having a better outlook and more energy. To me, this seems like one of the areas that will be impacted first and foremost.

 

Take charge of your health!

 

Relationships

 

My pastor often states that Love is a Verb! Obviously if it is a verb it requires action. What type of action? An action that is designed specifically for the person that you love, whether your spouse, child, boyfriend or girlfriend. You must meet them where they are!

 

As a part of the Being Intentional process I would like to introduce a bit of a scientific approach to understanding how to communicate with and how to better understand the person that you love. We use several testing methods that uncover that exact communication styles that your spouse/partner, even children desire from you. Once you have gained a new level of understanding of these techniques we encourage that you both (Spouse/Partner/Child) team up to establish common goals and bonds like you have never done before. An American Express study, related to couples finances, indicated that 78% of couples who actively plan their life together stay together. That’s Huge!

 

Once we have developed an intentional approach to communicating and planning…. next comes the fun part, Implementing! We create reminder systems and goals for being intentional about staying engaged in the relationships that are most important.

 

I don’t believe that I have to go very deep into the explanation that it is far more financially rewarding to stay together. If you aren’t certain about what I mean, Google It!

 

Personal Finances

 

Life isn’t just about making money, but it is important. It is most important when you have someone to enjoy and share it with for a long time. However, we inherently know that it is important but many people don’t have the time or knowledge to continually investigate the right financial moves to make and when to make them. As a result many people make very few decisions or are at best reactionary, making decisions only when forced. Being intentional as it relates to your personal finances means establishing financial goals and action items that are both in line spiritually and with your future hopes and dreams.

 

First it is important to understand where you are financially. You can’t get to where you are going without knowing where you are! This is best accomplished with an easy to understand financial model which provides you the clarity that you desire. Next, it is important to eliminate areas where you are wasting money, but you must also maximize all of the areas where you spend money. Lastly, create action items that are monitored and that you are held accountable to achieve. This is a process that allows you to achieve a level of success that goes far beyond most peoples expectations.

 

The American Express study that I mentioned earlier shared these facts about couples and their financial lives.

 

  • 61% of couples say that discussions about household finances lead to arguments.
  • 50% of couples say the financial habits of their spouse drive them crazy.
  • 75% of couples have financial secrets they’ve kept from their spouse.

Take control! You don’t have to be like the couples in this study. Be intentional with your personal financial decisions so that it doesn’t undermine your relationships and your health.

 

Being intentional in the areas of your health, relationships and personal finances will create an impact on your family, friends and certainly you and that is worth it!

 

Hope that you will allow Drive Planning to help.