Charlotte Byndas

Inspiring Success in Many


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Vandals, Opportunity and Solutions

This summer something great happened in Detroit, the SPLASH PAD at Palmer Park opened. It is a great story that started when vandals (scrapers) stole the plumbing from the pool closing it for good. But as interesting stories go this was only the first chapter.

PalmerParkSplash

Chapter One: Vandals steal the plumbing closing the pool
Chapter Two: Palmer Park is neglected and ignored
Chapter Three: The People for Palmer Park, 501c3 is formed to take care of the park
Chapter Four: Everyday heroes (citizen volunteers) clean, rake, mow, repair fences, start baseball teams, run events, classes, BBQ’s to rally the community around Palmer Park. Many think the volunteers are fighting a losing battle and that saving the park is too big a problem to solve, but others see the promise and the park starts to turn around.
Chapter Five: The LEAR corporation decides to support Detroit families by supporting Detroit parks with a large financial donation.
Chapter Six: Palmer Park is chosen and the opportunity to solve the pool problem becomes the Splash Pad. The Splash Pad, turns on remotely, it can be used by young and old alike and it does not require the upkeep and staff that a pool requires. A great solution that gives families a place to gather and kids a safe place to play.

This is only one of hundreds of stories happening in Detroit. Too many are started by criminals. But many have positive endings due to the efforts of everyday people who care enough (are crazy enough) to cut that first path of grass or pick up that first bag of trash. It is reported that over 30% of the current residents of Detroit are children each one deserves a safe places to play.

Bravo to the LEAR corporation for taking action and being a part of a creative solution. Props to the People of Palmer Park for meeting the need and loving and supporting the community by showing the park some tender loving care. Without you the SPLASH PAD would have never happened. Small acts lead to bigger and better things.

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Interviewing- Drummer Wanted

Take a minute, click on the video below and meet a guy that answered a job ad and was willing to climb (hands and knees) a flight of stairs to get to his first interview. Dean Zimmer can teach us a lot about the power of showing up and having the passion to do great work.


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Less rules more character…key to growth?

Nathan Mellor has some advice for corporate America and how they treat their employees: less rules, more character. In this Talk, Nathan looks at companies whose people show up to work and know that their work is a part of who they are.


Highlights:
5:53 Discussion on continual goals: A different way of doing things
7:22 Your job should not define you, but the way you do your job reveals who you are.
7:42 Grandfathers lesson on building a legacy
9:16 Discussion on terminal goals
10:02 Story from Uganda, planning on doing good
10:48 Integrating character into the hiring and promotion process
10:58 People hire for competence and fire for character
11:51 This is what character is and lets catch people doing it right
12:06 36.1 percent of people leave their jobs for lack of appreciation
14:40 Actions reveal beliefs if you desire to change actions you must change beliefs

Nathan Mellor is the president of Strata Leadership, LLC (Strata) based in Oklahoma City. Resources and programs offered through Strata are used in all 50 States and in over 25 Countries. Strata serves an audience of over 400,000 individuals each month. Nathan holds the B.A. and the M.S.E. degrees from Harding University. He earned the M.D.R degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law and the Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University.Nathan and his wife Christie were married in 1997 and have two daughters. You can read articles from Dr. Mellor each month in Character First the Magazine. He serves on the Board of Directors of Wishing Well and the 111 Project.


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Workplace Danger

Have you ever considered that the number one health risk you are facing right now is sitting in your chair? It may look innocent but if you spend too much time using it you could be on the path to a heart attack. Think you are dodging the bullet by working out before or after work, or doing TRI’s on the weekend? Think again, research shows that you still run the risk.

In our office we fight back against the “chair” by setting a reminder alarm at 50 minutes past every hour. When the alarm goes off we get up stretch, take a short walk and get the blood flowing again. Whoever invented the 7th inning stretch had a great idea!


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Work involves boredom

Working Fun Into the Day

Scary Thought.

You will spend more of your adult life at the office than anywhere else. This fact popped into my mind as I was cleaning out some old files and came across a 2008 WSJ article on David Foster Wallace.

David Foster Wallace on Life and Work
Adapted from a commencement speech given by David Foster Wallace to the 2005 graduating class at Kenyon College. Mr. Wallace, 46, died last Friday.

In this too long for my taste article, Wallace makes a great observation and then a great point. His observation:

“At some point work involves boredom, routine and petty frustration”

Yes, no matter your job or the company you work for some of your days will be blah. (Not when you should call a recruiter BTW) The challenge is in keeping in touch with the things in your life that balance it out so that these “blah” days don’t cramp your ability to perform at a high level.

I think this is what attracts so many to social media during the work day. Facebook, Google + , Twitter, etcetera are filled with the stories of what matters. Babies, weddings, funerals, pets, vacations, new…cars, boats, rings, girl/boy friends, if it is fun and makes someone happy you are sure to find it posted!

Top performers surround themselves with little reminders of what motivates, excites, inspires them outside of work. It is these little reminders that keep us sane. It may be a photo, a trinket from a trip, framed tickets from the big game, or a trophy or award, but the reminder of who you are past your job needs to be with you at all times.

Wallace last point was a great one.

“It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive, day in and day out”

Is there room on your desk for what makes you happy? Yes? Good job! No? Clean out that in box and make some room, it will be good for you!


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The Age of Melancholy?

Picture 954Have you ever realized that when you reach your birthday, lets say 50, that you have actually started your 51st year. Yep, I can thank my dad for that sobering realization. When you hit your birthday you are celebrating the anniversary of that year.

AGE HAPPENS

Don’t you think this would make a great T-Shirt? So why if we all share in this human experience are we not better at the aging process? So many are so sad over the fact that life is changing and will never be what it once was. Is a melancholy tone the tone we want to create for our children, our children’s children. I think not. With the aging Baby Boomers population we are running this risk.

A little skill development would come in handy here. What skill you ask? Let’s start with the ability to learn new things. Many people have lost this ability. When this happens the world starts to close in around them. If this is you, stop now and pick something new to learn. It could be anything just needs to be new. If your life “practice” is continually learning new things there is always something to look forward toward. And if what you have falls apart you will be well equipped emotionally to move on to the next great thing, albeit a new job, house, dog, area, or relationship.


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The Cough Drop Lady

Food Prep

Food Prep for PBJ Outreach 6am

About a year ago I was invited to help out with an Eagle Project. The task at hand, clothing distribution at a lot in Downtown Detroit, would begin my first year of service at PBJ Outreach.

Every Saturday for 11 years this group of volunteers deliver food, clothing and human dignity to anyone that shows up at barren lot in the Case Corridor of Detroit. To participate is to experience the best and worst of the human experience. This is true of the people on both sides of the “table”. The table and the “take line” require a bit of explanation. As the group arrives there are 2-300 people waiting in line. Like a well choreographed play, a half-dozen pick up trucks arrive at the lot. Tables are unloaded and set in neat and tidy rows, posts are pounded into the ground and a line similar to what you find at Disney is set up. Organization is created.

For an hour the world stops and the lot becomes a welcoming, warm place. The affluent from the suburbs mix and mingle with those that call the streets of the city their home. Food, clothing, smiles, hugs, conversation, and eye contact is exchanged.

To share in this experience once is moving. Returning for most Saturdays over a year the experience has enriched my life in ways I would never of imagined. The lessons have come in so many forms.

My role with PBJ would not be behind the comfort of a table, but instead out on the lot interacting. Handing out cough drops would be my conversation starter. As I walked the line, week after week, handing out cough drops and Kleenex,  my lessons began.

The first came in the form of the cough drop pocket. It is hard to take a cough drop when you have several bags in your hand. But where do you really want your cough drops? The front pocket of your coat ,right? So it started, each chance I got I asked “can I slide a few cough drops and Kleenex in your pocket for later? ” I can not put words to the reaction this simple gesture received, many could not believe I would be willing to reach over open the flap to their pocket to drop in a cough drop or two.   First lesson received. The willingness to do something as small as sliding a cough drop in someone’s pocket can make their day, never underestimate the power of small acts of kindness.

The next lesson… kindness like water will flow into all cracks. Building trust and rapport takes time and effort on the “lot”. I knew I had become a regular when the guys in line started to call me the “cough drop lady”, a title I am quite proud of. Many in the line started to ask for more than their share of cough drops. My first reaction was to resist, but instead I reached back into my stash and gave them a second handful along with a request. I asked that they take the extra andthat find someone I had not met and share one. What I never expected is that I would actually start to hear the stories of where the cough drops would end up. Week after week I would be brought the stories. A cough drop given to a buddy at the Veterans hospital that was not doing so well. On another occasion, a cough drop taken home to a sick wife that had been in bed for week. With no prompting the stories came back of where those cough drops had gone. BTW, I learned that a cough drop in a cup of hot tea is nice. A group of the guys use them this way when they hit a food kitchen at night for a hot meal. No matter how bad our situation gets, most of us have the desire to help each other out and share what we have.

The most important lesson has been how strong faith is on the lot. The demographic of the group are depressing, a third are addicted to something, a third suffering from mental illness, and the last third have slipped into a series of negative circumstances. In spite of any or all of this, there is a great eagerness to share in prayer, extend well wishes, and connect on a personally uplifting level.
I read the paper, listen to the news, ect. I know there are many reasons to not get up and go on a Saturday morning.

Blessed am I for pushing through the fear and reservation and sharing in the PBJ experience.
Want to join me on Saturday morning? Find out more at www.facebook.com/PBJOutreach