This year’s Oscar winner for best actor Matthew McConaughey said during his acceptance speech, “There’s three things, to my account, that I need each day: One of them is something to look up to, another is something to look forward to, and another is someone to chase.”
According to Inc. its not always someone would find leadership lesson during the Oscar ceremony, but three lessons could be found from McCogaughey’s speech; something to look up to I would put it as all leaders has to be accountable to someone, something to look forward to, I would interpret it as motivation and someone to chase, in my opinion it is to have a bigger goal for someone you care.
The movie Captain Philips is based on a true story of Captain Richard Philips, whose ship was seized by Somalian pirates. There are two characters, Captain Philips who is the captain of the U.S. cargo ship and Muse the leader of the Somalian Pirate group who seized the ship to kidnap its crew to earn ransom money. Both Philips and Muse had strong motivation to pursue their goals. One wanted money by keeping hostage the crews, and the other one wanted to save the money, cargo and his crews.
At one point in the movie Muse says, “I have come too far, I can’t give up,” it shows his determination as a leader. Captain Philips showed his determination to save the ship and his crews when he selflessly went with the pirates as hostage and saved his team in return.
They were also chasing something but of course their purpose was different. Philip was trying to chase away the armed pirates to save his unarmed crew and bring the ship and cargo to safety, while Muse was desperate to get into the ship and take the crews hostage for ransom.
“They don’t know the ship, but you do,” this says how strategic planner Philips. The Captain guided his team and kept them motivated. He was able to keep the team united, whereas Muse had to manage constant fight among his team mates.
Muse was not so much strategic and he underestimated the power of his enemy. It shows when at the end he said, “I thought it was easy,” which obviously was not.
The entire U.S. Navy was after the life boat to save Philips. In the end Muse lost all his friends and was caught by the U.S. Navy.
The movie displayed two different dynamism of leadership, sometimes Muse’s leadership style seemed to overpower Philips but in the end it was Phillips who outwitted Muse.
Please note that this post includes spoilers.
The Guardian is not a movie about ships, it is the story of an experienced top rescue swimmer (Ben Randall) and his best student ever (Jake Fischer). While the main characters are dedicated to save people from sinking ships, they face to the dangers of the sea on a daily basis as a team very much like a ship crew. During the movie, we learn about Ben and Jake and how they invent themselves as great servant leaders and legends.
Released in 2006, the Guardian stars Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher. Ben Randall, played by Costner in the film teaches a survival and rescue program for the United States Coast Guard at a “A” School, an elite training program for Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers. Ben is a veteran and well-respected rescue swimmer. He teaches the course in a very strict and rules-based manner. He is relentless to his students, one of whom is Jack Fischer, played by Kutcher.
Both find a mutual understanding because both have been the only ones who have survived dangerous situations and must cope with the emotional repercussions. Jake succeeds at his training in the end and becomes a member of the Coast Guard. On a mission he becomes trapped in an sinking boat. When Ben tries to rescue him, the rope that they are both hanging on to begins to break. Ben sacrifices himself to save Jake. While Ben becomes a legend as “The Guardian” helping people to survive, the story ends happily.
Ben and Jake start their relationship as teacher and student and end up as two friends. They have a lot in common: they are both ambitious, dedicated, very good in what they do, and persistent.* In addition, they have both similar kind of trauma in their past. In the beginning, they do not get along very well. Jake’s ambition is directed to Ben who is the best rescue swimmer ever with many records. On the other hand, Jake has a lot to learn from Ben. The first lesson he learns is about the teamwork. Ben teaches the students the importance of teamwork. He advises them to stay together all the time and says “Whatever decision you make, you make as a team.” When Jake arrives late to the class, Ben do not just punish Jake but the whole team for his action. When they are supposed to work in teams and Jake shows off by staying under the water for so long after his teammate fails to accomplish the task, Ben reminds him that it takes much more than his individual effort to become a good rescue swimmer. He later says Jake that “I want you to start being a member of this team. The team you have now.’
The leadership styles of Ben and Jake, the main two characters of the movie, can be best explained by the following quote about servant leadership by Roy Lessin: “A Godly Leader finds strength by realizing his weakness, finds authority by being under authority, finds direction by laying down his own plans, finds vision by seeing the needs of others, finds credibility by being an example, finds loyalty by expressing compassion, finds honor by being faithful, finds greatness by being a servant.” **
As Lessin indicates, we see both Ben and Jake realizing their weaknesses in the movie. Their traumas make them both more vulnerable and dedicated for their mission. They face with their traumas and direct it into helping others and saving lives. We also understand the nature of heroism and the source of their hard-core courages through their stories.***
Ben also appears as a charismatic but modest leader although his bright career. Nevertheless, Ben only keeps score of the people he could not save instead of the ones that he saved. He does not just do it for the sake of being humble but this is also how he motivates himself and persuades his students and “finds loyalty by expressing compassion”. Ben and Jake show a great example of stewardship as well. Ben sacrifices his life for Jake and Jake does not let Ben to drown although he knows that it is hard for them to both survive.
“That others may live”
Ben Randall teaches Jake the Coast Guard’s motto “That others may live”, by being an example. The movie starts with only one leader but ends up having two leaders. Through motivation, stewardship, listening, and healing, Ben helps Jake to develop his leadership although it takes him to lose his own life and “find greatness by being a servant”.
Posted by Derya Kaya on behalf of Group 3 (Derya Kaya, Domenico Nicosia, Shirin Ahmadpour and Javaria Tareen)
By Domenico Nicosia
Edited by Steven Kapoloma
One of my daily tasks when I work at The Arizona Republic is to create a photo gallery of the top AP photos that are taken each day.
I use my basic news judgement to select photos that I think are compelling, timely and relevant. But sometimes the Associated Press does not make this easy for me.
As the situation in Ukraine picks up, I found myself wondering, “what took so long?” Not that the issue in Ukraine was taking so long, but rather why it took so long for many American media organizations to bring the issue into the forefront of their newscasts and publications.
Protest in Ukraine
The issue is a grave one, but it is not new by any means. This specific conflict has been going on for months and today was the first day I saw it given significant coverage on CNN.
Anderson Cooper: CNN Journalist
The photos of protests showed up in AP photos months ago, but as the Winter Olympics began, they were being overpowered by photos of bobsledders and ice skaters. It became increasingly difficult to select from a wide variety of topics simply because of the influx of sports photos.
Unfortunately this is not the only example of America focusing on lighter topics when the rest of the world is focusing on a serious news story.
Take TIME magazine’s cover photos for example. An article comparing U.S. and world covers showed that on multiple occasions the magazine’s international issues feature a serious news topic and the America edition emphasized a fluff piece.
I think that it is both journalists and the readers’ responsibility to demand serious news coverage of world events.
Is the rest of the world more knowledgeable regarding these events? Do American media not cover such events enough?
Please comment below with your thoughts.
Written by Issa Napon
Edited by Caitlin Cruz
Arizona Senate Bill 1062 was on the lips of everyone in last week. It was another controversial state bill, which “would allow parties in lawsuits” to use religion as a defense for their actions even if the other party isn’t the government.
”To me at this point it was about what is good and what is right but also what our background. Days before Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the bill passed by the State Senate, Anderson cooper litteraly demolished a lawmaker with only a yes-or-no question: IF somebody is fired in Arizona because of his sexual orientation, gay or lesbian, is that discrimination or not? Republican Arizona State Sen. Al Melvin lost face with no clear response. But in fact it was clearly a discrimination to me since it was targeting LGBT people as an old law has been targeting Hispanic people who can be arrested for simple presumption by law enforcement because of their dark skin.
The defenders of the SB-1062 just raised to me a problem of intolerance since on a federal level gays rights issues has getting solved under President Obama and his administration. It is a junction between the fear of extreme Republicans-conservatives- who are not open to change, and human rights, shortly. This junction raises several questions and points to consider:
- It is not a new data, hearing about gays in the United States. So a way to bypass the clear rights of those people, was the good weapon of “religious freedom”.
- If religion belief has nothing to do with sexual orientation, then it seems to be a pure political miscalculation that led to a huge and unpopular -as seen in Phoenix- discrimination of a component of the people.
And like I said, the background is important as in many of African countries. LGBT people are just getting in little by little but are still hiding since they know that many of African tribes’ culture totally and hardly forbid a same-sex relationship. People who get caught may suffer from tribe punishment, let alone legal punishment on the federal level. Examples in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe or Museveni’s Uganda are here to teach us our traditional and embedded belief can stand against trends of life.
At the end, it is universally clear that everybody should have the right to go the way that fits his need, and do not go across the law or having something dangerous or threatening to their kind life. But human beings are some one that nothing can ever satisfy. This powerful African saying to conclude and keep up reflecting: “The one who rows in a river current makes crocodiles laugh.”
Motivation causes us to act and react towards desired goals. Said or written like that, sounds incredibly simple. So, why than so many people have a problem with motivation or self-motivation? I can only speak for myself. My motivation is always decreased if I cannot see the clear goal in an action.
I’ll share several tips that I find useful that boosts up my motivation:
- Keep positive attitude – negative thoughts about your job, homework, work environment take more energy than it seems. Energy takes time, and time is all we have. Time spent in negative thinking, is time we could have used to get the job done. One of the ways to motivate your positive attitude is using quotes. For instance I keep a sticker of this Chinese proverb on my wall:
Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
- Find your goal – many of us are facing challenges in self-motivation as goals are lacking. Once you have a clear understanding what is your goal, break it into smaller, as our mind will not be “scared” of great expectations. For instance, if the goal is to write a paper, read a book and complete your presentation in a week, if you break it into small goals per day – read a chapter, do a presentation research and write one page for a paper, the goal is easier to compete. Step by step, takes you to the first goal set.
- Fight for your cause – we have often heard that having a pure desire it’s not enough for our dreams to become a reality and it’s definitely not enough to keep us motivated. What boosts a motivation is an animal instinct to fight for your cause. That doesn’t mean to use immoral actions towards other people, but to beam your energy into your cause until is done!
- Visualize your dream – for dream not to remain a dream you need to visualize it. That means see it, feel it, know it. To keep yourself motivated, the dream needs to be inspirational, challenging and feasible.
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale shares how to visualize a dream – “Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Hold this picture tenaciously and never permit it to fade. Your mind will seek to develop this picture!”
How important visualization is knew Albert Einstein saying that “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.”
For inspiriting motivational lecture I encourage you to listen Dan Pink’s lecture on Ted Talks.
By Rhonda Jaipaul-O’Garro
Last Wednesday I participated in one of the most life-changing experiences when I logged in to the livestream of the Take The Lead Launch. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a ticket to the sold-out event at The ASU Gammage, which meant that I had to resort to viewing it online.
I wasn’t the only one. The event’s hashtag #takeleadlaunch quickly became a trending topic on twitter as women all across the US and worldwide tuned in. Co-sponsored by Arizona State University, the intention of the Take the Lead initiative is to “prepare, develop, inspire, and propel women to take their fair share of leadership positions by 2025.” Without begin privy to the analytics, I think it’s safe to assume that the organizers exceeded their participation targets just by the fact that the sheer volume of traffic to the closethegap site (unveiled at the event) caused the site to crash mere minutes after launch.
The impressive line-up of speakers included Gloria Feldt, Co-founder and President, Take The Lead; Carla Harris, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley and Author of Expect to Win; Panelists speaking on the Impact of Media on Women’s Leadership - Julie Burton, President, Women’s Media Center; Karen Finney, MSNBC Host, “Disrupt”; Kristin Gilger, Associate Dean, ASU Cronkite School of Journalism; Erica Gonzalez, Editor-In-Chief, ElDiario/LaPrensa; Aminatou Sow, Founder, Tech Lady Mafia, Digital Director, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America; Pat Mitchell, President, Paley Center for Media; Ambassador Barbara Barrett; and of course, headline speaker, Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook and Author of Lean In.
Throughout the evening, I had some pivotal “ah-ha moments”, both about persuading others and persuading myself.
Own your power
- The Power of Authenticity: To be able to persuade others requires that you bring your authentic self to the table. This authenticity will not only win people’s trust, but provide your own competitive advantage and naturally differentiate you from others. Being comfortable with who you are will cause people to remember you and gravitate towards you.
- Fear & Risk-taking: A leader in the 21st century needs to be comfortable taking risks and is not persuaded by fear. Fear has no place in your success equation. F.E.A.R is really False Evidence of things Appearing Real. Never fear failure as failure always gives you a gift – the gift of experience.
- Perception is the co-pilot to reality: Even if you have the requisite skills, if people don’t perceive you as competent, you’ll never get to the seat that you aspire to sit in. But, you have the power to train others to think about you in the way you’d like them to. Harris’s proven 90-day plan is to start with three adjectives that you’d like people to use to describe you when you are not in the room. (She reminds that most important decisions about you and your career are made when you are not in the room). Deliberately use those adjectives in your conversations and display behavior that consistently endorses those characteristics. Soon enough, you’ll succeed in persuading others to perceive you as having those qualities that you identified.
We are held back by things within ourselves
Sandberg made a powerful point that a lack of self confidence is a major reason why women don’t envision themselves at the highest levels of leadership. “We are held back by things within ourselves”. She skillfully dissected the three main reasons why:
- Our uncertainty about our own competence to do the job: Systematically, we underestimate our own value. Men ascribe their success to their skills. Women on the other hand, tend to attribute their success to a combination of help from others, working hard and luck. If we wait for feeling self confident, we will never take our seat at the table. Persuade yourself to take the seat! Over time, you’ll know that you belong there.
- Society conditions us to resent being overly ambitious: We ascribe leadership as male, and from an early age, we place negative labels on the little girl on the playground who tries to assume a leadership position – bossy, pushy aggressive. “She’s not bossy. She has executive leadership skills.”
- We have kids and we want to be a good parent and so we think that we cannot be both: Another societal norm is that women cannot effectively manage both a family and a high-level leadership position. But the truth is, we have already been successfully doing both without realizing it. Studies show that even in cases where the woman earns more money in the family, she is more likely to also share a higher percentage of the responsibility for the household and child care than her partner.
The advice from these phenomenal ladies persuaded me that I have everything I need to lead successfully. I’m making a commitment:
- to decide on your own terms.
- to not let fear hold me back.
- to reach high, believe in myself, take the lead.
I hope that you too, regardless of being man or woman will be persuaded to make a commitment to do something that you were afraid to do. For information about Take The Lead go to www.taketheleadwomen.com. Stay tuned for the link to the recording of the launch event.
I love television, just ask my friends. I’m always up for a Netflix marathon, although lately I just don’t have time. When I have time, I watch everything from dramas to comedies to documentaries. I love it all.
I think watching television has been a big motivator in my life, but maybe not in the most traditional way. When I was in my junior and senior years of high school, I had no idea what I wanted to go to school for. When everybody else seemed like they knew exactly what they wanted to do with their lives, I had no idea. Forget the five year plan, I had no plan. Then one day when I was watching television, I realized that I did know what I wanted to do. I wanted to work in television. After that moment of clarity, I decided to pursue broadcast journalism.
Every time I watch a new show or see a great video story on television or online, I am more motivated to reach my goals. Besides watching television, I love learning about the business and technology side of television. How we watch content is changing, and more technology is giving people new ways to watch and receive content. All of that excites me and makes me want to work harder to achieve my goal of working in the television industry.
I think we all have something that motivates us professionally and personally. And sometimes we don’t even realize that we have something motivating us.
Written By Issa Napon
Edited by Caitlin Cruz
The word persuade is linked to the art of influencing someone to do or go the way we want, it is way to reach our goals with the help of other people. That means to possess features that can help you to get the attention of the people whose help is needed. Of course, to me, being able to influence people requires you to be charismatic, trustworthy, honest, show evidence of courage, and have good body language in addition to one’s art of speaking. Getting people to do what we want requires these skills and there are numerous examples to support this thesis.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a very good speaker – charismatic, and all the qualities cited earlier. So was Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela and so on. People need to be confident of the fact that they won’t be betrayed, that they can really rely on the speaker or leader to be supportive in any case, for what they could even sacrifice their life to fulfill the task. That requires persuasion as well some leadership skills. When you are in a ship in distress, if a commandant cabin crew or a one of his sailors do not trust him to do right things, they might take different decision on they own to their loss. But at once the commandant takes care of his delivering, in his way of speaking to his men, behaving on right ways no matter the relentless issues occurring on the sea, showing evidence of knowledge and authority being inventive, he is likely to get all his request fulfilled by any one he addresses. That means to me, a long life habit of doing things on right ways and working to stay as honest and trustworthy as possible, so that, from your background and daily life anyone cannot deny your leadership and abilities of achieving goals no matter the issues encountered.
Here is motivation failure
When you work on your character and have the feeling that it’s all your best you do to move forward, you are likely to be successful every time because all the issues you will be facing will be solved by that strength. The same goes for when it comes to convincing people to do things: Your character-based principle and your rhetoric makes your charisma and trustworthiness shine on people you are talking to, and of course they will be more likely to listen and more to act in your favor.
It is a matter of who you are.
As said John Wooden in his book WOODEN ON LEADERSHIP, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what other think you are.”
Aristotle seals that principle by the powerful following statement: “Character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion” in his “RHETORIC”. That is what I believe in the most.
for more information about character ethics:http://http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1995858,00.html
You are likely to see more people in the middle of the desert on a hiking trail than downtown Phoenix on a Sunday afternoon.
It is a place where you can’t see any raindrops on the ground when it is raining. Evaporation is in light speed.
You can see at least 3 tattoo shops in 3 minutes walk in Downtown but reaching to the closest grocery store takes at least 20 minutes by walk. In other words, it can be easier to get a tomato tattoo than a real tomato.
The spring and fall seem to coexist in Phoenix. You can see a tree full of yellow leaves next to a blooming one.
Any basketball or baseball game you would go probably will make you feel as if you are in a different city. The supporters of the rival team are almost as many as (or sometimes more than) the supporters of Phoenix team.
The best jokes about Phoenix are the ones you hear when you are out of Phoenix. Key words include hell and heat.
Who would have thought that Phoenix used to have a more expansive “light rail” system 100 years ago?
While a deserted looking building can actually be a cool art gallery or coffee shop, a mall looking building is always a car park.
The grass in a garden means more than grass in Phoenix. It means wealth.
If you are driving your car at speed limit, you are likely to be the slowest.
PS. Yes, the blog post is not about persuasion. I persuaded myself that this post would be more interesting to the audience than sharing my limited knowledge on persuasion. I hope you will be persuaded too after reading it!
by Derya Kaya
edited by Sophia Mayberry
Music has the power to motivate and persuade me more than almost anything else.
What music I am listening to can reflect my mood or influence it. This comes as no surprise given its effectiveness in the film industry. Soundtracks are crucial to emphasize a certain feeling or emotion that the scene is supposed to evoke.
There are many film soundtracks that are fantastic examples of this, but the one that came to mind is for the movie Garden State. The tunes are so perfectly synched with the film to create the intended reaction and the turning point in the movie.
There is usually some sort of music playing in the background,
whether I am relaxing or studying, to fit with my current task or emotional state.
For example, in the morning I am usually a bit sluggish and I have began to alter my morning music choices to help me to prepare for a busy day at work or school. As of right now, it is a mix of 90s punk and post punk music (a lot of Weezer and the like). On my way to school this morning I played Wilco, which is a bit more down tempo and on the way home I played some Arctic Monkeys, which is British punk/pop.
It is quite varied.
When I need to relax or focus I usually opt for some post rock (El Ten Eleven as of late). When it’s really time to buckle down and get work done, I put on some industrial noise-cancelling headphones and zone out to the white noise.
By changing the type of music I am playing, I can motivate myself to get more work done or to persuade my mood to change.
What kind of music do you listen to in different situations?
What was the most recent band that you listened to?
I’d love to hear your input in the comments!
Edited by Steven Kapoloma
Written by Shirin Ahmadpour
Edited by Maja Cakarun
Getting the opportunity to be a part of the Humphrey Seminar at ASU has an impact unlike any other academic class. So far, there has been one piece of enlightenment that has lingered in my mind. A speech given by my classmate, Steven Kapoloma, a Humphrey Fellow from Malawi sparked my wheels of motivation. He said, “Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get.”
One of my New Year’s Resolutions, as it is every year is to “be fit”. The more I want to be fit and work out, the more I realize that only by staying motivated can I ever reach my goal. It’s a mental task, not just physical. Although, Steven’s quote can be used metaphorically toward any goal, I’ve taken it literally. Lucky people are not born fit and aesthetically built to perfection. It is those people I see sweating in the gym, taking it one exercise at a time.
But why is this healthy and fit kick society seems to want to be on such a difficult one? We see transformation and fitness model pictures all over social media and magazine stands and are surrounded by influences to workout. Are visuals enough to keep us motivated?
Last year my mom lost 30 pounds. Her motivation: being fed up. She was tired of feeling sluggish and she wanted to feel confident and have the strength to explore the world. Now, as an avid gym goer and healthy eater, she’s never felt better.
A good friend of mine took working out seriously and is now able to compete in aesthetic competitions. His motivation: he wanted his life to change. From needing a trainer to becoming one, he pushed himself to have a new life.
For most of my life, I focused on being skinny. I come from a petite family; so that mostly came easy, and if I skipped some meals I would be relatively skinny. However, going with the new societal trends; it is not about being skinny anymore, it is about being strong. And strong I will be. My motivation: I have to know my body’s full capabilities. When I watch the Olympics, I don’t dream of becoming an Olympic athlete, but how fun would it be if I could be as agile, as strong, and as capable of surpassing the physical capabilities of the average human? The more I sweat the luckier I may get, but I’ll definitely get closer to reaching my body’s full potential.
Some people are naturally gifted in expressing their voice, unfortunately not all of us are. I feel that finding your voice has a lot do with how an individual is raised during childhood. I believe that it is very important to encourage children and respect their opinion. In my view that is the first step to developing their confidence to speak their mind as they become adults.
During the time I grew up, no matter how privileged an upbringing a child received, the fact that a child has their opinion was not given much consideration. I still remember, when I started my professional career, what an effort it was for me to even speak during a regular meeting in the office. As Stephen R.Covy said, “The power to discover your voice lies in the potential that was bequeathed you at birth.”*
Covy also said that voice is a combination of our body, our mind, our heart and our spirit. It is an evolving process over time, as people get exposed to more experience and knowledge.
To achieve synergy of our body, mind, heart and spirit to find our true voice, I believe that we need to be honest with ourselves as well as people around us. Respect others so that people find our voice equally respectful. Most importantly overcome any negative inner soul within yourself, to find your true voice.
by Sophia Mayberry
edited by Derya Kaya and Samantha Davis
I was a complete theatre nerd in high school. I did it all! I took the classes, I competed in the competitions and I was in all the plays. Motivation is one of the things you are judged or graded on in high school theatre.
In order to get a high score or grade in the motivation category you must convince the audience of the motivation behind all of your actions. This can be tricky because it is often the subtext or the story behind every aspect of the scene.
For example, if in a scene a character avoids shaking hands with everyone every time that situation comes up that actor needs to make it clear the reason he/she is doing that. It might not come up in a scene that you are nervous about germs or have a broken hand you have yet to bandage but the audience still needs to know that.
Maybe that actor choses to rub his/her hands together or hold one hand limp in the other; there are choices the actor can make that could show the audience the motivation behind the character avoiding hand shakes.
What does this have to do with leadership?
As a leader, being transparent about your motivations with the people you lead is important. If you can convey the motivation behind your actions to the people you lead they have a greater understanding of the leaders and their purpose within the organization as a whole.
This is not as much about big decisions but smaller things like the reason behind meetings and/or being personal and personable with the people you lead.
If you call a weekly meeting and you insist on the meeting having the same structure every week tell the people you lead why. If you are overly organized, or insist on being copied on every email, or prefer to have an office of organized chaos, tell the people you lead why!
When the people you lead can see your motivations as a leader, then they understand you and their purpose in the workplace better.
Written by Issa Napon
Edited by Caitlin Cruz
I used to say that the 15 first years of a human being is critical. It’s indeed a time where his fragility could be affected if he has not been cared enough by his entourage or mentored to find what he would like his future to be. My vision started earlier around age 12. I was really very strong in French language (grammar and vocabulary) but I was not that impressive in mathematics. My teacher at that time, Mr. Daniel Dipama, taught me something I had practiced and realized lately with the Humphrey seminar and my leadership book, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective people” from Dr. Stephen Covey.
What Mr Dipama let me know is this: I have to remember my strengths and keep an eye on my weaknesses. Because I can never be good at all things, as everyone has a unique talent or skill in something. It has sometimes led to small punishment by him because he wanted me to keep on working on my strengths and use it to balance what can be seen as my weaknesses in class, but I was just dropping some skills in French in my willing to be good at everything.
One day during a class while he was assuming where each one could end up in the future according to his skills, he took example on me, saying this gentleman could be a writer, a journalist or a communication specialist. He let me know that I must not just a number among people, I have to be myself – to raise my voice, to be part of the decision making, be the one who people must remember for my unicity.
He tough me then, the earlier you think about your future, the more you give yourself enough chances to meet your goal, and the more accurate you will be about your own skills, talents and abilities to work on, for those purposes. I listened to him and I worked on myself for years. As I earlier mentioned that reminded me some powerful statements of Dr. Stephen Covey: working on our circle of influence, beginning with the end in mind, and do your best upon what you are the most skilled. And here I am today, a journalist continuously brought under spotlight, getting my pathway, thanks to my journalism activities. He did not forget to mention that, as long as your live, you still have plenty things to learn out there, so go improve your knowledge learn from the others, their culture and language, go beyond French, beyond your city, beyond your country and learn to do what can add value to your work and pay you off but… Never rest on your laurels.
Traveling makes you learn and question. Whenever I am outside of Turkey, I can’t stop myself comparing just everything and anything: the way people greet each other, the width of sidewalks, the weather, etc. but the things I compare the most are related to my work.
The United States and Turkey are completely different when it comes to the nonprofit sector. The conditions that created and expanded the nonprofit sector in the U.S. have been either non-existent, inconsistent or immature in Turkey.
Let’s start with the terminology. Firstly, we do not use the term “nonprofit”; we use “civil society organization” or “non-governmental organization” instead. Secondly, we do not use the term “sector”, we use words such as area, arena, and field. Why? While the nonprofit sector is not so different from private sector in the U.S. in terms of professionalism and organizational structures, it is very much detached in Turkey and nonprofit organizations avoid using any term that will associate them with the for-profit sector such as “sector”, “client” and “marketing”. The Turkish “nonprofit sector” has its own terminology.
According to the Charities Aid Foundation’s (CAF) Global Giving Index 2013, the U.S. ranks first, and Turkey ranks 128th out of 135 countries.*
|CAF 2013||Ranking||Helping a stranger||Donating money to charity||Volunteering time|
|United States of America||1||77%||62%||45%|
Even that small chart above says a lot about the significant difference between two countries but here are some other points that I have observed:
- Although U.S. society is portrayed as very individualistic and pragmatic in the media in my country, the results indicates that Americans are much more eager to help others. In my opinion, the gap in volunteering and donations can be explained by the size and accessibility of the sectors. For example, there are not as many organizations in Turkey as U.S. who asks individual donations or provide volunteering opportunities. In other words, the lack of supply due to low operational capacity and resources explains the lack of demand. The individual giving to nonprofits is lower in Turkey but people tend to give their neighbors, relatives, etc. informally.
- In both countries, religious giving is the common type of giving. It is the largest share of the charitable giving with 32% in the U.S.** and 36% in Turkey. ***
- Barriers to freedom of assembly and freedom of thought are a major challenge for the development of the nonprofit sector in Turkey. The restrictions related to fundraising is an important obstacle for the nonprofits in Turkey in the lack of enabling tax system.
- The small sized nonprofit organizations face with similar difficulties in both countries: They can not fundraise because they do not have resources to invest in fundraising. Or they can not have resources because they do not fundraise.
- It also surprised me to see so much media coverage about corruption in the nonprofit sector in the U.S. despite the fact that there are many tools of accountability and transparency.
As you can understand, my inner voice does not just compare but also keeps asking why. I try to understand the similarities and differences because the more I analyze, the more it is likely for me to find ways for improvement and development.
by Derya Kaya
Edited by Sophia Mayberry
With this week’s blogging topic being “Finding Your Voice”, I couldn’t help contemplating on the true voice of America, in the wake of all the criticisms against Coca Cola for its Super bowl Ad. The 60-sec big game commercial features an iconic American song with verses sung in seven foreign languages.
This was my first ever Super bowl, and I quite enjoyed the ads, with one of my favorites being “America The Beautiful”. What’s your opinion? Did Coke represent the voice of America?
Here’s Coca Cola’s response to its critics.
Written by Sophia Mayberry
Edited by Derya Kaya
When I was a younger I was always the kid that adults said had an “old soul”. I never had a problem finding my voice. I was that confident kid who had no problem talking to adult and even preferred it to playing with other kids.
I believe that this “old soul” trait from when I was younger had translated into an ease meeting new people and networking as an adult. I can walk up I came off so adult in conversations when I was a kid, but now, I’m more casual when I am meeting new people.
That is the point of this story. Many people think that it is so important to be professional when meeting people and networking but, I think that the key to successful networking is to make a genuine connection with people. Let down the professional guard, be yourself, be honest and connect with whomever you are talking to on a human level.
The Boston Business Journal put out a list of networking tips and the first one is very similar to my tip:
“Many people think the purpose for going to a business networking event is to meet potential clients. This is no longer the case. Networking is about building trust and relationships. This is not to say you will not meet prospects at networking events because you very well may. However, meeting someone at a networking event is typically the beginning of the relationship.”
I think one doesn’t need to find her or his voice. The voice is always there. I think during one’s youth something either suppresses it for good or explodes it in the most violent way, psychologically.
I experienced the latter.
My world didn’t prepare me to have my own voice. Asking a question meant disrespect and asking too many questions could lead to scolding or punishment or both. For someone like me, it was ok to have a voice as long as I did not speak.
For some time I didn’t know that I had a voice. I would blurt out my opinions, sometimes unintentionally and uncontrollably, interrupting elders or teachers. I must confess that sometimes I knew the wrath was called for, but one thing I did not know was that I had a voice.
Sometimes I would talk to myself for hours; it was my coping mechanism. Sometimes I would talk to friends, who would disregard my monologues, declaring them as mere babbles.
For a long time, even to myself, my voice seemed nothing but ceaseless babbling with few intervals of understandable thoughts. But something kept it going. No matter how stupid and dejected I felt I couldn’t stop that train of thought.
As a woman you are expected not to voice your opinions, especially about decisions that may or may not impact your life. Even in cases where you are consulted, a male voice is always there to guide your thought process to make sure you do not disturb the status quo, or the equilibrium, of your male-dominated world.
At times you end up questioning your own faculties. You may even end up growing with a peculiar sense of inferiority. You always believe you are less than other people, that your thoughts are not good enough to be expressed. Your mind is in a perpetual state of turmoil and, no matter how much you detest, you end up consulting with men, always looking for approving nods and encouraging gestures.
And while you live in this state of being a lesser person it does not even cross your mind that if you could scoop an ounce of confidence, if you could push a little harder to assert yourself, if you for once could come to terms with the fact that it is OK to be wrong, even to be stupid once in a while, and if you believe that you are not a lesser person compared to other people it could change.
You could break yourself free.
Written by Hina Ali, Twitter: @uzaam
Edited by Tayllor Lillestol
“This is a year of action,” said president Obama during the State of the Union speech. When he spoke of equal pay for women, I expected him to speak of more action plans rather than give general statements. He mentioned that a woman has the right to take care of her sick children on a day off and asked all forces to join hands to give “every woman the opportunity she deserves,” but nothing specific on what or how.
Representative Cathy McMorries Rodgers said, “The president made promises that sound good, but it will not actually solve problems facing the Americans,” she also said her party wants to close the gaps in terms of increasing opportunities in inequality, and not income inequality, but the republican house also didn’t mention how.
Democratic Senator Mike Lee also criticized Obama’s speech but he also did not state any specific action plans as to how to make things better.
“I believe that when women succeed, America succeeds,” says Obama, but no specific strategy is mentioned. I believe that instead of general comments or promises, more action oriented strategies are necessary to yield the changes women deserve.
Edited by Aimee Cash
The President of United States address to the nation reminded me of the situation of my people back in Pakistan. Though I missed the first half of the speech, the second half didn’t convince me. The President spoke about women’s rights and emphasized equal payouts to both men and women. Such statements from a Pakistani Prime Prime Minister make sense to me since Pakistan remains far behind the United Sates in regards.
When it came to Republican representative, Ms. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, her speech was all over the map. Sto gender equality. Also, the United States is providing aid to Pakistan to support the emancipation of women which is appreciated, however, I was not expecting there to be a similar issue within the United States. In fact, I thought the United States would be worried about the rights of men by saying that 70% of jobs are being occupied by women.
She sounded more like a first grade teacher instructing her students about how to kiss your children good night and how to pay the bills, etc. I considered the best part of her speech to be about the immigrants from all over the World that rush towards the United States for better opportunities and to live in a place where no challenge is too great and no dream is impossible.
Later, she concluded her speech by praying “with the guidance of God we may prove our selves worthy of his blessings of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for when we embrace these gifts we are each doing our part to form a more perfect union, may God guide you and our President and may God continue to bless the United States of America.”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qkaay1P7Ar8
The question that remained with me after watching her speech is whether the United States is turning into a “Religious State”?
We may declare ourselves worthy of God’s blessings i.e. life, liberty and pursuit of happiness but we shouldn’t forget our own responsibilities. Each one of us has to play the part to form a more perfect union. While these political dialogues can be of assistance for my future political career, can they really justify wasting public money on war and destruction? It is time to cut back on war spending and utilize that budget to provide relief in the health and education sectors.
Written by Javaria Tareen
Edited by Emily Fritcke
Written by Issa Napon
Edited by Caitlin Cruz
Obama: a strong hope speech at audience magnifying glass
Tuesday was one of the most awaited day since the eve of the last government shutdown in the U.S. awaited because President Obama would be giving his state of the Union address after the difficult moments and bad faith he went through those last months as the results of the shutdown.
Awaited by the people who dropped their confidence of the present hurt by the shutdown and the laborious launching of the new health care law. And of course my focus was on what audiences think about the sixth Obama’s State of the Union speech. Would they be wiling to give him back trust and confidence lost these last months?
For his first time in the office the president was indeed more disliked by Americans. According to the Guardian, Obama hit a net -7 rate approval while the president had an approval rate between 8 and 9 before the 2011 debt ceiling debate. With the people distrust following the implementing Affordable Care Act and the government shutdown, it was a matter of “double or crash” story for the president at a few months for the mid-term elections for democrats. Obama showed an iron will to get job numbers improved, get people back to work with the commitment of 300 bigger U.S. companies, improve American workers’ skills and education, equality between men and women in jobs wages and especially to bypass the congress with executive actions on initiatives that does not need congress to accomplish.
Let’s take a look at some leaders’s reactions:
The official response to the president address came from the Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington who instead of finding something to denounce in Obama’s speech preferred to take her own example life to explain to Americans why she as chose to join the Republican Party. She criticized the healthcare law, saying it might not be the government’s right to choose for people but for people themselves to choose their own health care. According to the Washington Post, she also added: “Right now, the president’s policies are making people’s lives harder. Republicans have plans to close the gap.” Other responses to State of the Union, especially Sens. Mike Lee (Utah) and Rand Paul (Ky.) who are seeking presidential nominations, were two tea party favorites who reflected party’s ideological rivalries.
Few republican were furious over much of the speech, reported the Guardian: “You don’t make laws, or pronounce laws, without going through the United States Congress,” said Michelle Bachmann, the conservative congresswoman from Minnesota. “That’s not our system of government and he needs to be held to account for that.” Dean Robert and Paul Lewis quoted one of them. Lawmakers from both parties criticized President Obama’s minimal comments on the violence in Syria in his State of the Union address, while reaction to the president’s praise for the Iran interim nuclear deal fell more along party lines.
According to the BuzzFeed Politics, lawmakers have differently praised the address, speaking out about the president minimal comments on Iran or Syria. “The president really was disconnected from the serious dangers in the Mideast,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, calling the interim nuclear deal with Iran “terrible.” Graham said he was “shocked” that Obama didn’t devote more of his speech to Syria, which he called a “contagion” that would destabilize the region. Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat, said, “I’ve been pretty blunt with regard to the administration in the respect that they need to very clearly spell out what our strategy is going to be going forward” in Syria as reported by Rosie Gray.
Critics also pointed out that Obama’s push for executive action showed diminished expectations. But the president stressed key accomplishments achieved through Congress during his five years in office, like education and health care. To republican senator Paul Ryan in an interview for CNN, argued that the Obama “appears to be circumventing the Constitution with an “end run” around Congress”. To him the president can still call for a new law to changes the ones, which prevent him for accomplishing his goals, then going through the congress. Seems not to be enthusiastic after president’s speech; not surprising from a republican.
But union leaders praised the president address to dean and Robert and Paul Lewis who reported that to Damon Silvers policy director of the AFL-CIO: “[It was] a very good speech… Flaws, failures of will and courage, and a few bits of wrongheadedness considered, still a very fine speech.”
To Newt Gingrich host representing the right on CNN’s CROSSFIRE who positively appreciated: “His (Obama) close with the young Ranger was extraordinarily powerful. And most people, if they stayed through the speech, would have been impressed. Doesn’t mean he’s going to move the country dramatically, but for this evening, he gave a very solid speech that I think had real power to it.” Thumb’s up.
To Alex Castellanos a Republican strategist on CNN: “he (Obama) was willing himself to demonstrate strength and confidence, but he did it with optimism. That is the rare gift a president has. The President is the only guy who can say, ‘We’re going to some place better, follow me.’ I think it’s going to help him and the Democrats”
The look from media perspective:
To Cindy Crowley from CNN “what struck me the most was none of these are new issues: job trainings, universal Pre-K, equal pay for equal work, on and on, gun control, more money for research and development. So this is definitely the President’s agenda and has been for some time now.” For the tv anchor. Not impressed by the speech-average feeling.
Gloria Borger chief political analyst were less amazed when she noticed about Obama’s offense when it came to the health care law: “If the website were not up and working, I guarantee you that the President would not be doing that. But he went on offense and said ‘we don’t need 40 more votes, right? We’re done with that. Let’s just move on. “Little bit optimistic we could assume.
Dean Robert and Paul Lewis from the Guardian noticed the only moment when Republican and Democrats stood up together for a round applause:” Members of the US congress, usually divided along party lines in their response to the State of the Union address, rose to their feet for more than a minute to recognize Cory Remsburg (army ranger), a Purple Heart recipient and sole survivor of the 2010 attack, now spends 6 hours of his day in occupational, physical and speech therapy.
President Obama acknowledging Sergeant Cory Remsburg courage during SOTU
For the New York Times, a little bit interrogative is half-half towards Obama’s speech. The magazine noticed about the growth that the 4.1 percent pace of expansion in the last summer months provided the white house “with a rare bit of good news despite dismal public approval ratings” continuing on scrutinizing the president address, the NYT added that “ even if 2014 turns out to be what the president called the breakout year, the country will still have a lot of catching up to do before the gains recorded under Mr. Obama match those of his two predecessors in the white house”. Mostly in a kind of uncertainty when in a recent a recent -Jan.15th to 26th surveys-a CNN pooling about Obama handling his job as president showed 43% of people approval and 51% of people disapproving.
As we can finally assume lines have not moved that much among politicians and they followers, however, president Obama who really showed a great sense of fighting spirit and optimisms will be awaited on the ground, to see if his willing will be followed by concrete actions to reach out the defined goals.
In Turkey, it is very common to see politicians trying to legitimize their actions -mostly- with some irrelevant examples from Western countries. When I heard President Obama’s State of the Union speech, I felt very disappointed and concerned by his following words: “So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.”
The USA presents a model for the developing countries and emerging democracies in the world as a champion of freedoms and democracy. The unique political system of the US is based on the separation of powers and checks and balances that assures the accountability and the survival of democracy. In the past, the US presidential system was adopted by many countries especially in Latin America. Each time, those countries ended up with authoritarianism since the checks and balances were not there. In my country, the Prime Minister Erdogan has been presenting the idea of presidential system instead of existing semi-presidential system for some time. Very much like the former attempts in the Latin America, the system Erdogan suggests gives extraordinary authority to the president. In his speech on 18 December 2013, while defending presidential system and attacking judiciary; Erdogan has described the separation of powers as the government’s main obstacle, saying it was preventing them from introducing “further services.” * I am sure Erdogan and his government who have been acting both as legislative and executive for some time were pleased to hear that Obama might by-pass the Congress.
This is not the only example that the policies and politics in the USA affect policies in other parts of the world. From LGBT rights to reproductive rights, the conservatism of the USA has a direct impact on many other countries and the lives of people. Can we really say that the recent setbacks in women’s and LGBT’s human rights from Nigeria to India and Uganda have nothing to do with the conservative lobbies in the USA? Thus, all politicians in the USA need to be aware of huge impact and the responsibility of their actions in emerging democracies.
The State of the Union speech of Obama targets mainly the Congress, though its indirect global impact is huge . The possibility to ignore separation of powers is not only a threat to the democracy in the USA, but also a threat to all emerging democracies where the basic human rights and democratic values are not consolidated.
by Derya Kaya
edited by Sophia Mayberry
I heard my first ever state of the union address this year. I am not a fan of speeches because they put me to sleep, but Obama’s SOTU address was not one of them.
As a broadcaster, I have seen firsthand how various moments captured during a big speech create distraction by diverting the discussion from the actual speech to what happened while the speech was delivered. Netizens overwhelming reaction to Biden’s uncontrolled camera moment was a déjà vu.
Like most people, my most memorable moment of SOTU is Sergeant Cory Remsburg receiving a standing ovation, and rightly so.
My most startling moment was when the president made the boldest promise a president could ever make to Congress – to bypass it.
Does the president feel that the government has become dysfunctional and he is entitled to take radical actions to change the current situation? Or does he feel that his programs are met with unfair opposition in Congress, especially with Republicans who have been demonstrating extraordinary firmness (remember that government shutdown)?
Maybe he believes that he (and his party) alone can bring the most needed change in America? Or maybe it means he has lost faith in the democratic process that has been the foundation of great American society.
The biggest question is: If the president keeps his promise, what will happen then?
Is he on his way to becoming a dictator in a democracy? His actions might lead him to face impeachment. Or he is going to change history by setting an unprecedented example of leadership.
Only time will tell.
Edited by Tayllor Lillestol