It is not about winners or losers, It is all about attitude.

            The dreadful election for the President of the United States of America has finally culminated. As expected, an elected head of state of this wonderful country will start his duties shortly after the arrival of the New Year. The presidency journey has been challenging, divided and controversial from both candidates. Despite of what has happened up to this point, this is indeed our reality for the next four years.

As I think of ways to cope with new beginnings, I am reminded of the paradox of change. Change is difficult, but at the same time change may also open up many opportunities that we must embrace in order to move forward.

It is not about winners and losers since that mentality overshadows the realities that we currently face in our country. It is about taking a stand for what you believe and follow through because it is the right thing to do.

It is all about attitude; it is about constantly thinking and re-thinking our possibilities and being agents of our own destinies.

We will define who we are, what we do , and together we will continue tell our own stories and struggles in our journeys towards social justice.

Winners or losers will not define our future, our actions and attitude will.

Struggle of Possibilities: Finding your voice

Fear for what is coming

Fear for what is becoming

Hope for what is coming

Hope for what is becoming

There is a place for me

There is no place for me.

 create a wall

create a door

 hide in a wall

 break a wall

break all doors

You are on your own. The answer is already within yourself.

(Ramirez,2016)

La Teoria del Camaleón (Chameleon Theory)

Much has been written on the topic of leadership. In fact, if you google it. There are approximately 733,000,000 results.

I have read some of those results. Some better than others but the basic premises of leadership are pretty clear to me. I was and have been intrigued by this topic.

In the spirit to learn more about it, I enrolled in a master’s program that focused on leadership. My program was geared towards strategic leadership. In other words, how to get people on your side to accomplish a specific task or reach a specific goal.  In order to lead, you need people that are willing to follow (shared vision).

My experience was quite fascinating. I learned different leadership theories, success stories and lessons from those that failed. Furthermore, had interesting conversations with my professors about my own leadership style and those areas that I needed to work on in order to incorporate them to my leadership toolbox.  All in all, I learn a lot, but no enough.

Leadership is multiphase, complexed and ever-changing just as a camaleón. Books are unable to prepare you to deal with situations. You just do! Call them survival, preparation, intuition, etc.

While not comprehensive. I have selected few lessons of what have learned about the discipline of Leadership simplified by using a camaleón as an example.

  • Leaders don’t need fancy titles to lead. In fact, leadership can and will happen at any level.
  • Leadership is not glamorous. You will need to make hard decisions, even if there are unpopular.
  • Leaders are aware of their strengths and imperfections. Leaders constantly work on their flaws.
  • Leaders are able to shift according to the situation and context. Leadership is situational.
  • Leaders learned from the past, attend the present while keeping an eye on the future.
  • Leaders have a purpose and understand all the players and their roles.
  • Leaders are able to serve from within, out, or in-between.
  • Leaders get things done.

Camaleón

What qualities do you see or not see on a camaleón that can be explored for your leadership toolbox?

Roller Coaster of Life that Keeps Going UP

image

I have been wanting to get in a roller coaster for a while.

Is it because i want to make a point to my 16 year old brother that i still can be cool and enjoy roller coasters without his formal invitation to roller coaster land? Maybe.

Is it because my journey has been a roller coaster of experiences that course throughout my body increasing the adrenaline and cortisol that makes me feel like a fool. Probably Yes!

The sensations of intensity throughout ones life are important and must be attended kindly to move forward. We all experience excitement as we go up. The expectation of the new, the unknown, the known- all of them contribute to the rush of excitement that makes us feel free, in or out control, and alive.

As planned the roller coaster also come down- a moment of pure freedom, where there is a combination of being in panic while knowing that there is a predestined
ending and that this experience will soon culminate.

Getting in a roller coaster is a unique experience can be both exciting and uncomfortable. Just like our journeys and life experiences, takes us to moments of excitement and crushing low moments when we want a warm blanket,mommy and a cookie.

Would it be possible to enjoy going up as we enjoy going down?- I think so.

Be kind to yourself and allow the experience of going up and down fulfill you in whatever way is needed. At the end of the day, roller coasters always go up.

Grieving with Theory

Last month I grieved the departure of a special one. Chloe.

The profound lessons she left us allowed me to think with theory. This is my way of escaping the realities and constrains that i negotiate in daily basis with our world.

Chloe came to us as a surprise, very much like theory. I have heard about the importance of theory as i also have heard the tremendous love that someone could bring to the world. I tried to run away from the commitments but in fact what i discover was among chaos, confusion and lack of making senses that things start to make even more sense. It was in an apocalyptic way, uncovering the veil and breaking up the chains that have control my life, thoughts and my reality for a long time.

i knew that taking care of someone else is a big responsibility, just as theory and post-qualitative paradigms provide us the responsibility to see things differently. For so long, breaking up the chains, structures, systems and oppressive conditions that we have been conditioned to accept as reality, where not longer constrains but instead liberating.

Barrad reminded me that i was not longer dog-owner/dog-dad but i was entangled with a human/animal/dog/daughter/chloe that demanded my love, attention and commitment. All the boxes, stereotypes, were eliminating and all the boxes that could include chloe were not longer important. She was Chloe and she was as entangled in my life as i was with her. My subjectivity, multiple-roles would shift often between the care giver,love taker / love receiver and a father. Perhaps my idea of family might be very different from yours but in the assemblage we needed each other to make it work. It could not be separated, it was mutual.

Somekh and Lewin(2011),we can only begin to understand how people behave as they do, and the stories they tell, if we see these actions and words as entangled with many other “worlds” and words that we likely cannot see or hear, but we need to gain inside into (p.34).

Chloe became an essential part of my life. She showed unconditional love and kindness for strangers. She displayed qualities of happiness and sorrow. She suffered in her own ways never complaining. She was silenced. Just as many people that we know. Nevertheless, she loved every single person that came through my door. For her, they were not strangers, they were family.

On April 29th at 4:17pm i saw her depart in my arms. She slowly left earth leaving a great hole in my heart. However, I knew that she left us with great lessons, including care, compassion and love for others. Her departure has not being easy but I accepted her new entanglement with earth. Chloe Sofia Ramirez is among the living, the dead, among the dirt, and air. Her spirit is not bounded or constrains by a home, laws and rules. Her soul and spirit are not longer constrained. She is free.

10366134_752533198176796_418415319381980577_n

Descanza en paz!

Being Thankful

As i wrap up a leadership audit for one of my leadership (big monster paper, over 60 pages on organizations and culture) i had the opportunity to stop everything that i was doing, read the project, criticize it and celebrate my progress.

Oh boy! Oh Boy! I wondered…. Who wrote this? This is good!!! I know that there are tons of little adjustments to make, but i am feeling pretty accomplished for my work thus far. I never imagined that i would feel good about my academic writing. Think about it, a shy writer, non-native English Speaker in a doctoral program sustaining and maintaining with Directors, Deans, School Principals, etc. Pretty intimidating group for sure!

As i celebrate my progress (Good Practice, try it!) i am extremely thankful for the people that have guided me, watched me cried, supported me through good and bad times, to those that would call and ask how i am doing, to those that would lift my spirit up regardless of how bad i felt.

My family, the hubs for taking care of the furry babies, my mom that would call and text almost daily for no reason other than to tell me that she love me. To God for his kindness love even if undeserved. To my friend and gym buddy for encouraging to take care of my self, to eat well, and stay healthy. To the strangers that pray for me. To my teachers and mentors for pushing me beyond my limits.

I AM THANKFUL FOR YOU! Thanks for being part of my journey.