Small Community Development Institutes

“The significant problems that we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”  Albert Einstein

Effective measures of every rural economic development effort should be: 

  • What we are doing to increase our population?
  • What are we doing to decrease poverty? 

Since rural counties across the country have lost more population than gained, this quote and goal should be in every conversation of every rural board, organization, and business if there is to be growth in rural America.

Gil Gillespie, retired professor of sociology at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, points out, “population and poverty are complex issues with many causes. Population is important, but having a citizenry with a good balance of ages, a high rate of good livelihoods from their own businesses and employers, and interest in and commitment to the locality, are also needed."

    This pyramid shows where new jobs are created, but most economic development programs are geared to recruit “that” business to town so we can create “good” jobs. If we attract “that” business, it may be good for the community, but a loss for the community “that” business left. We’ve just shifted location, and perpetuated a win-lose game plan.

    Small business is the backbone of this country, creating 98 percent of all jobs on Main Street, in our neighborhoods, and countryside. Rural communities must undergo cultural transition in their economic development mentality that recruiting businesses will be our saving grace for jobs, because rural communities don’t have the workforce and can’t afford to give away the taxes required to compete to get corporations to locate in their town.

    Small communities must work differently – together – to grow, and may have to work around “good ol’ boys” clubs. Leaders may say, “We don’t have to do anything different, we're already doing this.” Recruitment approaches and decades-old methods of attraction worked then, but if still the primary form of economic development, communities lose population, schools, hospitals, and youth.

    What's needed: a systematic process for small community development

    Communities need a systemic, organized entrepreneurial process that allows people to explore business creation, ownership, and succession. There are resources to create pieces of the system such as business plans, financial statements, goal-setting, and pots of revolving loan funds. However, the best approach is a complete ecosystem that instructs, supports, and nourishes business owners AND a community who buys their goods and services.

    Processes that begin steady, consistent, long-term cultural transition to increase new leadership, address long-term, cultural issues and bring historically "warring" communities together see lasting success. Using bottoms-up, relationship-building, image-changing, sustainable approaches to grow rural areas, these Institutes build civility and have great growth benefits through building and strengthening relationships within and between communities.

    What can I do?

    Think of your community. Are any of these issues being addressed at your city council/board of supervisors/economic development team/school board meeting or coffee shop?

    • Do you have young people that are engaging in leadership positions and new ideas being promoted?
    • How do does your community get along with neighboring towns? Collaborate or resent? Why? Is it beneficial to either of you?
    • Are elected officials talking about population decline and increasing poverty? More importantly, what is being done about it?
    • Is economic development being done the same way as it has for the last 100 years? What's happening?
    • How are attitudes? What is said of each community and the county? What do you say about it? Your youth? If asked by a stranger, “What is great about living here?” and the answer is, “There’s nothing to do here, I can’t wait to get out,” is that the message to send guests who could be looking to bring a family and/or business?
    • What about income opportunities? Not everyone is cut out to work for someone else. Do you encourage and support people starting or own businesses?

    Rural economic development must address people and poverty. Approaches must change if rural America is to grow. 

    Learn how with Global Horizons' Small Community Development Institutes. 

    Cultural Transition Institutes

    Cultural Transition Institutes

    Never Give In, Never, Never, Never, Never!

    Churchill famously said, "…never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense."

    Churchill said this on the 29th of October, 1941, in a speech at the school he attended as a boy, Harrow School just outside of Central London.

    Churchill went on to say: "Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."

    What does that mean to "Never give in?"  It means never give up, and don't quit! It means to not listen to those who say you can't.

    It means not to listen to that small voice in your head that tells you all of the things you can't do because of the people in your life who told you you weren't worthy. 

    It means not to defeat yourself even before you start. It means to never picture a failed outcome even before you start. 

    Success means persistence and to persevere! It means to listen to those who cheer you on and see in you talents and abilities that you don't see in yourself. It's to turn a deaf ear to those who tell you "it won't work, it will never work," or "you have never been able to do anything like this!" 

    So, what do you need to be successful? 

    You need someone by your side that will cheer you on. Someone that will present possibilities, Someone that sees more in you than you see in yourself.

    When you have someone to encourage you, to motivate you to push yourself beyond what you can see, you will be the success you only dream about. 

    And you will be much happier because you became what you were created to do.

    WUCA! coaching makes sense for you because you surround yourself with people that cheer you on. People that help you find your passion and purpose. People that help you succeed by giving you the courage and perseverance to achieve your vision of where you want to go. 

    Relationships are in all growth. Communities, businesses, families, churches, and even you grow through relationships. Don't give up on your relationships.  Be WUCA! Coaching is a great process to build relationships that create growth. 

    Let us help you keep moving forward and building your relationships. Contact us now! kim@ghorizons.com 

    Fund Early Care and Education for a Better Workforce

    Why should businesses, communities, and states be concerned about creating family-friendly policies for their workforce and citizens?

    • Communities are concerned with keeping their youth and attracting young people and families to live, work, and play.
    • Communities across the country are pursuing the same families, so special attention is needed to stand above the rest.
    • U.S. companies lose $3 BILLION annually as a consequence of childcare-related absences and 85% of employers report providing childcare services improves employee recruitment. 

    Here's how: inject money into making sure yours is a Be WUCA! family-friendly business and community with a quality, fully-funded early care and education environment. Every decision your community makes, asks: "how will this decision affect children?" Look at all your policies and ask if they are family-friendly. 

    Issues with childcare often affect the job performance of working parents by increasing absenteeism, tardiness, turnover rates, recruitment, and training costs. In turn, these issues affect productivity and work quality and, ultimately, the competitiveness of the businesses that employ these workers.

    An average business with 250 employees can save $75,000 per year in lost work time by subsidizing care for employees' sick children. Employers surveyed report that childcare services decrease employee absences by 20-30 percent and reduce turnover by 37-60 percent. If it's your own business, it impacts your bottom line.

    Research shows that work-family benefits have a direct impact on employee recruitment and retention. For example, a small textile manufacturing company in the Southwest experienced a 40 percent turnover rate that dramatically dropped to seven percent after beginning a childcare program.

    It's critical employers attract and retain good, productive workers to stay competitive in the market. Given the changing composition of America’s labor force and the impact childcare has on worker productivity, businesses with employer-assisted childcare implement a cost-effective way to control labor costs, enhance worker productivity, and engage your workforce. Employees will be loyal to and productive for a company who helps care for their children!

    Investing when the brain is developing is good policy.

    The following chart shows the relationship of brain development to public expenditures.

    The brain develops 80% by the age of three and 90% by school age. In fact, the brain is connecting new neurons in the first 2000 days of a child's life at a rate of 700 connections per second. Every connection is a thought, belief, or a new learned experience. These first 2000 days are when school and work habits are being formed. We need to spend dollars when they will do the most good. 

    Think back to your first thought. How old were you when you have your first memory? For most, our first memories average at three or four years old. As that is true, what is being taught to children during this critical phase of lifetime brain development is crucial to a child's - and society's - welfare.

    But, as the diagram shows, public expenditures increase in the preschool and kindergarten years when a child begins school, near the end of early significant brain connections. In fact, the Federal Reserve has documented that for every $1 invested in early care and education, communities save between $4 - $14 in future costs of remedial and special education, the juvenile crime system, and welfare support.

    The labor market today and into the foreseeable future is radically different than it used to be. New jobs that we will need have not even been thought of or invented. The old problem of finding enough work for rising numbers of workers is replaced by the new problem of locating enough workers to fill new jobs requiring technical skills generated by an expanding economy. 

    Every experience we have had shapes who we are, including our school and work habits. Good early care and education is critical to the students and workers of the future. 

    When you invest in and create a family-friendly WUCA! community with a quality, fully-funded early care and education environment, families will look for you and choose your community to call home.

    When you implement these recommendations in your community and state, you will stand above the rest and grow! 

     How does this decision affect children? Is it FAMILY-FRIENDLY?

    Relationship is Everything

    When examining the talent at any organization look at the culture, not the rhetoric – look at the results, not the commentary about potential. Here’s what an article in Forbes magazine reports:

    ·         More than 30% believe they’ll be working someplace else inside of 12 months.

    ·         More than 40% don’t respect the person they report to.

    ·         More than 50% say they have different values than their employer.

    ·         More than 60% don’t feel their career goals are aligned with the plans their employers have for them.

    ·         More than 70% don’t feel appreciated or valued by their employer.

    So, for all those employers who have everything under control, you better start re-evaluating. There is an old saying that goes; “Employees don’t leave companies, they leave people." Regardless of tenure, position, title, etc., employees who voluntarily leave, generally do so out of some type of relationship disconnect with leadership and co-workers.

    Every moment of every day you are in a relationship. Whether you are with another person, in traffic, at work, or alone in a room with just yourself, you are in a relationship.

    Getting along in that relationship is an intentional act that begins only with you and has nothing to do with the other person. Only you create the result that you experience from that relationship.

    How do I know this? By me changing my actions and doing everything that I write about and experience. Living WUCA! has changed every relationship in my life.

    Relationships thrive when you intentionally:

    Welcome
    •    Words matter. Use words that build and heal. 
    •    Accept responsibility for the results you are receiving and living.
    Understand
    •    Listen actively to what is being said by others; don’t just wait to talk. 
    •    Deliberately create space for civil dialogue. Circles are best.
    Comfort
    •    Live your purpose through your passion. It is the best way others can live theirs. 
    •    Achieve your vision with goals as stepping stones. Move toward the future you wish to create.
    Appreciate
    •    Express gratitude daily. Unexpressed gratitude is ingratitude.
    •    Eulogize others while they are still alive. Let them hear their praises. 

    If the nature of any relationship you are in is not going the way you want, you can be certain you are compounding the problem by continuing to give energy to the actions that you dislike or don’t want. When someone says they don’t get along with their parent or spouse or someone they work with, they are defining the relationship in terms of what they dislike. When your thoughts and words are on what you don’t want, it will continue to be the story of the relationship. If you want the relationship to improve, focus your energy on what you love about it and what you want it to be like.

    What keeps you stuck in bad relationships boils down to two factors - which will change immediately - when you decide to act differently:

    1.    How you decide to view your relationship.
    2.   The actions you take that change you.

    Your environment will change when you change your actions: all your thoughts, beliefs, and habits. 
    When you stop blaming others for your past and your circumstances, you will start building the relationship that you have always wanted. Even with yourself.

    When you learn the WUCA! Way, you will act the WUCA! Way, then you will teach others the WUCA! Way.

    Living WUCA! improves your relationships so you can experience the world intended for you!

    Make 2015 your Best Year yet! Take care, be well, Be WUCA!

     

    Learn WUCA!      Act WUCA!      Teach WUCA!

    Stop the Drain - Stop Teaching Students to Work for Others

    Save our schools and communities. Grow our economy. What are we to do?

    The best way to accelerate our job creation rate is to embrace and support policies in all levels of the political spectrum that encourage entrepreneurs. We believe rural schools and communities can be saved and economies can grow by teaching young people they don’t have to work for a big company or for other people. Teach students that owning their own business is a great win-win strategy to grow the local economy! 

    This isn't just a school’s issue. For rural towns and cities, it's an issue of community survival.

    Our country is really run and dominated by small- and medium-sized businesses. Ninety-eight percent of your community’s new jobs are created by businesses you see on your Main Street, home- based businesses that are a part of your town’s hidden economy, and all your existing businesses you count on to meet your needs. Only 2% of all new jobs are created by companies recruited to your community.

    For more than 30 years, I have worked with communities on many different levels, much of that time in very rural areas. I've watched communities spend many thousands of dollars to “steal” companies from other towns, creating a neutral net gain of jobs in the economy. Many of those companies, after they have used up their tax advantages from relocating, will look elsewhere to gain more tax advantages and their loyalty to that community ends as soon as they receive a better deal.

    Our focus is teaching our young people from a very early age that an alternative of working for someone else is creating your own business and products.

    The bottom line is that if we really want to make a difference in our economy and grow our towns, we should focus on entrepreneurship in our schools. 

    Encourage people to dream and help talented individuals start companies that create business models that grow small-, medium-, big-sized, sustainable organizations. We need to encourage students to create local jobs by owning local businesses. And support them to grow regionally and globally.

    We need entrepreneurship schools that give students alternative curriculum that teaches the components of business planning and use their youthful creativity to design the future.

    Create curriculum that engages youth to develop as local leaders, energizes them through entrepreneurship and business growth, and teaches the importance of giving back through local charitable giving.

     We have a culture of taking inventions to market,. That takes an entrepreneur.

    It appears to me that we have been losing that part of our creative business cycle. Many community businesses are third-generation owners, passed down in families, leading to many of our communities and leaders losing their entrepreneurial culture, innovation, and drive.

    Entrepreneurs are those who usually start businesses, but another benefit of teaching entrepreneurship in school is teaching the concept of “intrapreneurship.” Intrapreneurs work inside companies and are the brains and energy behind creating customers.

    An entrepreneur/intrapreneur will create business models that will identify more customers and create innovative ways to address commercial and social concerns.

    Many of our towns are losing population. Schools are losing enrollment, and budgets are shrinking. We can turn around this trend by giving our youth an alternative to working for others and an alternative of having to move away to get a good job. That alternative is owning their own business and locating in the town where they are educated. Imagine a school in your town that incubates business ideas and business models that will spin out to locate on Main Street or can be run from a home using the community’s local technology, contributing to and growing your local tax base! You need to take responsibility in your community to create the environment for jobs to be created. Government can assist but cannot do it alone.

    Gallup identified the reason students drop out of school and disengage in education, they have lost all hope in graduating. They cannot see how the education they are getting will lead them to where they want to go. Students will engage in their education when they see how it will provide them with a good job and a chance for a good life. For many, it is giving them hope that their good job will be created by their own creativity and the realization that they can own their own business.

    Innovation itself doesn't create sales. The entrepreneur is the connector, the person who envisions a valuable product or concept and its customer, and then creates a business model and strategy that creates sales and profit.

    Entrepreneurship is a long-term commitment that needs the support of the local community, local school district, coupled with state policy support. Clifton states, “If you were to ask me, from all of Gallup’s data and research on entrepreneurship, what will most likely tell you if you are winning or losing your city, my answer would be, ‘5th-12th-graders’ image of and relationship to free enterprise and entrepreneurship.’ If your city doesn't have growing economic energy in your 5th-12th-graders, you will experience neither job creation, nor city GDP growth.”

    Entrepreneurship schools in our education system is a must and needs to be a supported strategy by leadership on all policy levels for our healthy, growing, successful future.

    Civility?

    Name calling! Finger-pointing! Backbiting!

    Blaming others seems to be the norm these days. Should it be?

    Tear down this wall!

    Years ago, East and West Germany became one nation. A wall was torn down. It is time our walls between differing ideologies, values and opinions come down.

    Effective leaders cultivate a safe and supportive climate in which relationships are based on inclusivity, trust, and mutual respect. Only in a supportive environment can people feel safe to express differences of opinions and work toward “win-win” solutions.

    This country and so many communities, groups, and political organizations need to listen to each other. Not just not talk and take positions, but to listen to why people hold a particular view. The environment we create teaches generations of individuals how to think about, talk about, talk to, and treat one another.

    Listening is an action!

    Listening is a skill that requires intentional development. Just as you needed to learn how to walk correctly, relationships require the skill to actively listen because much of the time when an issue arises, the problem on the surface usually has a problem behind it where the true issue lies.

    We each view life and the issues we encounter through our own filters. Unique opinions and values form through our environment: the people we grew up with. Live and work around. Our experiences, thoughts, and perceptions about them. The values we have formed throughout our lives. We create environments everywhere. Family. Friends. Work. Worship. The grocery store. The car. Play.

    Inherent in every relationship, conflict is a difference in perspectives. The diversity of perspectives within relationships helps generate ideas and facilitate change. If it is managed wisely, conflict is an opportunity. Listen for values to identify the issue.

    Don't just talk about an issue, talk through it

    The search for common ground on tough issues is more productive using a technique called "deliberative dialogue," seeking "why" people hold their position. Dialogue talks through an issue, not just takes a stand about - for or against - an issue. When you seek to understand the "why" others act the way they do, you discover a person's values. From there, you can work together to identify a positive outcome in a safe space. People can come together, talk through perspectives on issues, and find common ground that will create a better environment.

    Consider these questions when identifying the "problem behind the problem." Be sure to intentionally involve all affected parties in the dialogue.

    Naming the issue: What do you think is the problem? What bothers you?

    Framing the issue: What can/should we do about the problem?

    Deliberating to understand values: If we do what you suggest, what do you think would happen?

    What would be fair? Effective?

    Why would we be better off? How would we be better off?

    What is the downside?

    If there is a downside, would we change our minds? What different course could we pursue?

    Acting together to find common ground: What would you and the affected parties be willing to do about the problem? What are you willing to give up to do what you want to do?

    Are you seeking civility? Check your environment. See if people listen to and respect one another. If you need a technique, try deliberative dialogue.

    "The Be WUCA! Way" teaches civility.

    Learn - Do - Teach.

    Responsible Citizenship and Change

    WUCA!-led communities are more open-minded, approachable, tend to have more newcomers, and they allow new people to make new ideas happen. Studies show U.S. state populations seeing growth have a higher percentage of newcomers than native-borns. A rural community that I once worked with told about a person who had moved to that community within the last two years. With three children enrolled in the district, she was at a school board meeting, and stood up to share her opinions on the issue at hand.

    When she sat down, the lady next to her turned and told her that she had no right to talk at this meeting. The shocked woman asked why not. The woman replied that “she hadn’t lived here long enough.” Though she had children in the school, she'd only lived in the community a brief amount of time which, apparently, equaled her value and ability to contribute. In our town, we know people who moved to our community 30 years ago who still don’t feel they belong because their grandparents aren’t buried in the local cemetery.

    As a leader, you need to look at your policies. Are they welcoming? As communities, counties, and states, do you allow newcomers to move in and do you embrace them? Yes, leaders love it when new companies come to town. There’s a ribbon-cutting for a new business,  a rousing welcome to all the new people to town, then, in a month, the excitement dies down and the new people that the community was excited about become  “those” new people with all those “strange” new ideas. Or sometimes you hear comments when they become successful, they must have done something “wrong” and “underhanded” to gain that accomplishment. Communities and people in general, have a habit of trying to pull successful people down to their level because there is a tendency to not like people who are doing better than they are because they have such low self-esteem.

    Really, we often only like change if the change doesn’t affect us.

    The result is that the future remains the same because people often refuse to take their role as responsible citizens to make change that is necessary. It’s hard work. It is messy. It requires talking to people. It requires acknowledging the world is not as black and white as we thought. Change requires slogging through the “gray” of an issue to see it through the eyes of another’s experience. Change requires that we may have to give up our way and do it someone else’s.

    Remember that for every result that you want, there is a certain way of thinking, believing, and acting. You can change without improving, but you cannot improve without changing.

    For your community, school, workplace, and organization to become "WUCA!-ized" contact kim@ghorizons.com

    Frank and Kimberlee Spillers are the co-authors of "The Be WUCA! Way, The ART of getting along." Available at www.bewuca.com

     

    Use a Different Set of Eyes

    The new book, The Be WUCA! Way, The ART of getting along, uses grounded, research-based, take-charge "I can affect my future" techniques in an easy-to-understand format that will work. Using the exercises and ideas from its pages, you will change the way you look at things and, because you do, the things you look at will change. When you use a different set of eyes and create environments that create growth and productivity, you will live a Be WUCA! life.

    A young boy, about seven, was racing his bike along a country road near his home.

    As he approached an overpass, he braked hard, and came to a stop. There sat a huge truck with its trailer jammed tightly underneath the bridge.

    Rescue vehicles, with lights flashing, blocked the only remaining open lane. A very large tow truck sat with engine idled, the driver puzzled at his repeated, failed attempts to dislodge the trailer.

    Firefighters, policemen, truck driver, and several adult passersby gathered around the truck, all trying desperately to figure out how to free it from the bridge.

    The young boy walked his bike up to the crowd. He caught the attention of a policeman. “What’s the matter, Officer?” he asked.

    “The truck driver jammed his rig up under that bridge,” the patrol officer explained. “It’s stuck pretty tight. Tried several ways, but can’t seem to get it out.”

    The young boy looked at the truck… then at the officer… and said matter-of-factly, “Why don’t they just let the air out of the tires?”

    The officer was dumbfounded. He just shook his head, smiled at the boy, and said,

    “Thanks kid!”

    Have you ever looked for a way to solve a problem - maybe for days on end - turning it over and over to look at it different ways?

    The successful way to solve any problem is to stop looking for the answer. When you relax and allow the problem to be solved, you find the solution that you never ever thought you would find and in a way that is all-of-a-sudden-obvious.

    It's that way with your life. When you stop searching for the exact way that you think it should go and live your passion, a way will open to you. Live for today and tomorrow will open new doors that you did not see before.

    Be WUCA! for Schools - Coaching in the Classroom

    Our experiences hiring high school and young adult workers chime in with the frustration of other business owners and heads of corporations: the quality of worker coming out of the high schools is not up to standard. Workers need to show up on time and be ready to work. They need to be able to get along and work well with others. There is often an air of entitlement with younger employees. They think that their mere presence is a gift to the business without hard work. So we took the requests for a stronger worker to the classroom to see if WUCA! would make a difference. Coaching in the Classroom (CIC) was created and began as a pilot project in 2009, focusing on 7th – 12th-graders in a rural Iowa school district and a metro alternative school, capitalizing on our more than 28 years’ expertise in rural business and economic development. CIC identifies student's passions, and uses positive self-talk and goal-setting utilized by championship athletes to develop championship students in the classroom.

    CIC morphed after its first year in the rural district into a process that addresses students’ behaviors that put them “at-risk” of not graduating on time with their class, as defined by the Iowa Department of Education.

    The Four Criteria

    1. Not being proficient in numeracy and literacy on Iowa Assessments;
    2. Failing at least one class;
    3. Not participating in any school activity; and
    4. Poor attendance and/or habitual tardiness.

    If a student has a “check” in two of the four categories, they are considered “at-risk.” This designation doesn’t mean the child has substance abuse problems, any mental deficiencies, or other issues that could label them “at-risk.” It simply means that these behaviors are red flags – indicators that a student is developing habits that aren’t good for their academic and personal success in life.

    Recognizing that these students will likely remain in their communities as employees and business owners after graduation, CIC connects these “at-risk” criteria to the behaviors employers require in employees that impact a workforce: show up on time. Be a lifelong learner and remember your lessons. Participate with others. Do “A”-quality work and turn it in on time.

    The reality of our classrooms today is that our students are being taught core fundamentals, but our educational system, government mandates, and lack of solid parenting don’t allow time or staff to help them bridge the gap between school learning and applicability to the workforce once they leave school.

    Coaching in the Classroom believes that all students will succeed when their passions, purpose, and goals align with their personal and occupational visions. CIC seeks to be the bridge that keeps all students in school through graduation and encourages self-motivation and drive for success in today’s global workforce.

    CIC Goals

    • Improve scores of standardized assessments and other examinations.
    • Instill entrepreneurial spirit and skills to help students see the possibility of being local business owners and leaders.
    • Strengthen the local workforce by reinforcing the relevance of classroom instruction material to their futures.
    • Improve self-esteem of students when they achieve personal success raising scores and feel more hopeful about their future options.
    • Experience positive movement from students on youth surveys that measure students’ sense of security, belonging, and other less tangible but extremely important indicators for success.
    • Improve behavior of students in the community.
    • Improve relationships between students, staff, and faculty in school.
    • Improve relationships between the school, students, and the community.

    Due to many factors, rural communities are being forced to look for new ways to sustain their towns and school districts. In this ever-evolving environment, the area workforce is changing from a blend of white- and blue-collar workers to a more dominant blue collar workforce, often resulting in more college-educated children choosing to look in metropolitan areas for work. The students who remain in their home area are more likely students for whom school was a more challenging and less satisfying experience.

    These are the fine, bright people who, sooner or later, will likely become mayors and run the communities, city councils, school boards, churches, and civic organizations, owning businesses within the community.

    In addition to in-class presentations, discussions, and field trips, CIC can specifically link students with businesses of interest to their identified passions. Communities, especially those in rural areas, need to aggressively integrate these students to pursue business succession and workforce improvement strategies in the area to increase population and school enrollment.

    CIC includes real-life stories about roles and expectations as employees compared to how their employers view them. For example, students learn that tattoos, piercings, and texting on the job they feel are personal expressions and rights can affect their hirability and longevity at a business.

    We set in place individual academic, extracurricular, and work-related steps to identify how to make life vision become reality. Sometimes this includes self-reflection and that is really, really tough for this population of students. Heck, most people don’t reflect because we often don’t like what we see, but it’s necessary for growth. It’s a valuable tool. So we include exercises that require them to glimpse into themselves and what they want. We encourage that they deserve what they dream. And that often requires changing their behaviors.

    Involvement of the local businesses to strengthen the workforce can take place through relevant speakers to the classes, identifying gaps in businesses needed by the community, how students can look to fill the gaps, and understand how their high school learning will impact their future goals. It also takes the community to want to reach out to the students to welcome, engage, and recognize the talents they have to offer. Plus, community members need enthusiasm and patience to teach students the skills they need to learn.

    In addition to all the activities and exercises included in CIC, we have encouraged students by

    • Telling them the criteria by which they have been measured since kindergarten. The mere knowledge of this “list” has been a revelation.
    • Telling them how to get off “the list” and that the ability to do so is completely within their power.
    • Helping them understand that their school attendance, classroom performance, attitude, and how they apply themselves at school matters to their ability to graduate and to future employment.
    • Ending every single class, and calling often through the halls, the single most important message from Coaching in the Classroom: make good choices. It hasn’t made us popular, but we’re known for it!

    Results

    • Within months of CIC’s inception, students sent to the principal’s office for misbehavior was down more than 50 percent.
    • Students recognize that classroom work in core areas has direct impact on their future either in further education, enlisting in the military, or by remaining in or near their hometown and joining the workforce.
    • Student population considered “at-risk” has decreased from 41 to 12.3 percent.
    • The 2009 Freshman class set a goal for 100% of them to graduate on time and together. In 2013, they achieved the goal.

    By identifying passions and aspirations with all students early in their school careers and helping them determine the steps to make their goals reality, students are more focused, better-behaved, and satisfied in high school, and better prepared whether they pursue a military career, go to college, or join the workforce upon graduation.

    Be WUCA! Communities Create Civility for Young People!

    At a time when many people feel overwhelmed by the problems and challenges facing children and adolescents, communities across the country need to discover new energy in working together, building civility toward a positive vision for young people. Instead of focusing only on problems of young people, communities need to build and support a foundation of development all young people need.

    Uniting a community to nurture the positive development of youth and build civility is much like playing in a jazz ensemble. Each musician (community member) must know the tune and listen to the other ensemble members; all players must improvise together–sometimes taking the lead and sometimes blending into the background. To create a community-wide commitment to youth, all the “players” need to be an ensemble working toward a common vision of what is needed to promote the healthy development of young people.

    Healthy Be WUCA! communities that build civility and family friendly supports need to act:

    • All residents take personal responsibility for the efforts to build civility in relationships.
    • The community thinks and acts intergenerational.
    • All children and teenagers frequently have opportunity to by in service to others.
    • Families are supported, educated, and equipped.
    • All children and teenagers receive support in both informal settings and in places where youth gather.
    • Neighborhoods and schools are places of caring, support, and safety.
    • Schools mobilize to promote caring, clear boundaries and sustained relationships with adults.
    • Businesses establish family-friendly policies for all employees.
    • Virtually all 10-to-18 year-olds are involved in one or more clubs, teams, or other youth-serving organizations that promote community building as a central part of their mission.
    • The media (print, radio, television) repeatedly communicate the community’s vision, support local mobilization efforts, and provide forums for sharing innovative actions taken by individuals and organizations.
    • Youth have opportunities to serve, lead, and make decisions in community government and service organizations.
    • Religious institutions mobilize their resources to build civility both within their own programs and in the community.
    • The community-wide commitment to building civility is long-term and sustained by business and industry and the public sector.

    Communities utilizing Be WUCA! strategies will stem their population decline and attract new families. If you had a choice to live in a community that did not care about its youth or live in a community that engaged youth, into which community would you want to move your family? Think about it: all communities think they have great schools but I believe all parts of the community are needed to assist youth in education and to recognize as this is the place they wish to live or return with their families because of the importance that is placed on youth.

    We Live in a Vibrational Cloud

    As you think, you become.

    Our bodies are a complex of thoughts, actions, beliefs, chemicals, and electrical energy. We live in a big world with much that happens around us and through us.

    It is our response, thoughts, and actions to what is happening in our environment that determines who we are and what happens to us.

    Let me explain.

    When something happens in our environment, we experience it through any of our five senses. The mind then affects our body through our cells, releasing a multitude of proteins in our bodies. We determine what it means and if we accept it or not in our minds.

    Our cells and bodies create energy from each thought, action, or experience that happens to us. This energy sends a vibration into the environment that attracts more of the actions or experiences of the same vibration and the cycle starts all over.

    Only it goes with intensity as our emotions enter.

    We call this a “vibration cloud.”

    Vibration Cloud

    This is why “like attracts like” and “as you think you become.”

    Your vibration cloud is all around you. It is always working and where your thoughts and attitude affects your health. In fact, it affects everything about you every single day.

    The great news is that you can affect it in the way that you want your world to look like and what attitude you will have. For example, if you wake up and decide it is going to be a bad day, your experiences line up to prove you right. But if you say “It’s going to be a great day!”you look for things that will make it great.

    Every smell you have, everything you feel, see, hear, or taste, influences your attitude, arranging your response to arrange for you to enjoy your experience.

    No matter what you do during the day, at any time you are creating energy.

    • Ideas are energy.
    • Mp3 devices are energy. You experience energy in everything you hear.
    • Inventions are energy before they become structure.
    • Food is energy.
    • Magazines are energy
    • The books on your bookshelf are energy.
    • Television shows are energy.
    • Drinks are energy.
    • Your computer content is energy.
    • What you hang on your walls is energy.
    • Thoughts are energy.
    • Feelings are energy.

    Everything is energy. You cannot get away from it. It affects everything you do your life.

    So to make your day the way you want it, review your thoughts and create your environment. Your internal environment reinforces your external environment.

    It begins within you! The world without will not change for you unless the world within changes.

    What will you become today?

    Habits Form Early. Living Them Is A Choice.

    What do you do that reminds you of your parents? Do you ever remember saying, “I will never do this to my kids” or “I will never be like my mom or my dad!”

    If you said those things, I want you to do something right now. 

    Look around you. How you have decorated? Remind you of someone?

    How about disciplining your kids? Remind you of someone?

    Now go through the list and compare:

    • Work/Career
    • Where you live
    • Recreation
    • What you eat.
    • What time you eat
    • Hobbies
    • Social graces (or lack of)
    • Education
    • Cultural discrimination
    • Spirituality
    • Attitude about money
    • Spending habits
    • Appearance
    • Books/music/literature
    • Relationships

    The habits of your parents or the people that raised you, make an impact on you whether you like it or not. It is neither good or bad unless you want it to be.

    Some traditions are good. They provide an anchor and stability. However, traditions just for the sake of "we have always done it, but it has no meaning" are not good.

    What you have to do is go through each of the habits and see where they are getting you. Is the habit getting you closer to your goals or is it creating a barrier between where you are and where you want to be?

    You either do something and like it or you make up your mind to make a conscious decision to change what you are doing.

    It is up to you. It is not your parent's fault, it is not your grandparent's fault. It is not the politician’s, or your spouse’s fault. Nor is your teacher to blame.

    You are who you are because you chose to respond in certain ways.

    Life happens because of our responses to events. We create our world.

    Do you like yours? Take responsibility for who you are, where you are, and why you live the way you live.

    Live what you like and change what you don’t. It is up to you.

    Creating a Be WUCA! Student to be Successful

    Creating a Be WUCA! Student

    5 Ways to “A’s”

    From Average to Outstanding

     Students come in all different sizes, personalities, abilities, and interests. There is not a person on this planet that learns the same way and gets the same results. We should treat each student as an individual and help them create the life of their dreams.

    In the business world, where many students end up, there are certain things that you can do that will help you be successful. But we don't teach them in school.

    Why not. If certain elements are discovered that assist people to be successful, wouldn't you think that schools would want to practice the same thing to make their students successful.As in life, we have laid-out five areas and steps for creating a Be WUCA! student. Steps that will assist your student to strive from average to outstanding.

    Goal-Setting for Motivation and Self-Confidence

    • Decide your goals
    • Set your goals effectively
    • Achieve your goals and feedback
    • Build self-confidence

    Imagery and Simulation – Practice in Your Mind

    • How you should use visioning
    • Make your efforts better with visioning
    • Learn to use visioning
    • Improve through observation

    Focus – How to Achieve Concentration

    • How to practice to concentrate in performance
    • Improve your focus
    • How to improve your moods
    • Learn to control distractions
    • How to manage stress
      • Symptoms of stress
      • “Psyching Up”
      • Stress management techniques

    Bring it all Together

    • Decide what you want
    • Your pre-event routine
    • Perform at your best
    • Your refocusing plan

    Evaluate your efforts

    Checking progress and adjusting all along the way. Doing what works for the student not the teacher is all about the student learning how they personally work to become successful.

    The traits that they will learn using this process will be the traits that they will use for the rest of their lives in whatever they do.

    If you have a student that is having some trouble or want to become a better student, contact us. We would love to help.

    Nobody should have to struggle to be successful. Learn early and learn in a exciting environment.

    Learn how to become a Be WUCA! student, from average to outstanding.

     

    Understand and Nurture the Wounded

    The circle of life can be cruel. Is it necessary with humans as it is with wildlife?This morning, our neighbors found a wounded fox cub. One of eight born this spring behind our house, we have been watching them play and grow as a family for the last month or so. It has been a high point of the day when we look out the kitchen window and see them jumping around mom and chasing each other as siblings.

    Wounded baby fox

    Wounded baby fox

    That all ended sometime this week for one of the cubs. Something caught this little guy and took a bite out of its leg; a bite so big that the bone showed and was broken. When our neighbor found it early in the morning, it was lying in the driveway. It then dragged itself to the bushes on the other side of the driveway under our clematis bush so it could be out of sight.

    With love though, my big-hearted wife and neighbor brought water and shelter as we waited for the wildlife specialist to come and pick it up. We were hopeful that the little life could be saved by our neighbor’s father who is a very compassionate veterinarian.

    Taking care of the fox

    Taking care of the fox

    This morning’s experience brought to mind that nature can be cruel to its own. We wondered, “Did the mother fox abandon the little one because it was wounded and did not take the time to nurse it back to health? Do we just chalk it up to the ‘Circle of Life’ and go on?”

    It reminds me of how we treat some individuals who are wounded. Maybe they have made a choice that we would not have made or have done something that goes against our values.

    How do we treat them? Do we abandon them and leave them to suffer a slow and painful death? Or do we offer them water and comfort and hope?

    Think about how you view people who are in your church, community, business, or organization. What is your voice in your head telling you about them when you look at them?

    Do you say, “I know what you believe or I know what you did, so I don’t want to associate with you?” “You got a divorce and I don’t agree with divorce.” “You are gay and I don’t believe that is right.” “You are different from me and I don’t agree with what you believe.” Do we turn our backs to people different from us and not accept, love, and nurture them? Do we only like and help people who are just like us and who see things as we do?

    Sound familiar? Look around in church and listen how you describe people you see.

    We can often be a society that shoots our wounded. We often don’t take the time to understand where the person is coming from, why they think the way they think, or discover what has happened in their life.  

    As a society, we need to take the time to understand another person’s point of view, take a step toward learning about another human being, and not simply discount them and call them names.

    Everybody hurts at some time in their life. Really taking the time to inquire and understand can nurture the wounded back to being a healthy person.

    The way to grow people is to treat them as we would want to be treated. Accept them as we want to be accepted, and help them as we want to be helped.

    The circle of life can be cruel to wildlife but it is not how we were intended to behave. Don’t abandon those who have been wounded.

    Be WUCA! to others. Nurture them back to health. It is the right thing to do.

    Who Packed Your Parachute?

    Do you honor and appreciate others? Do you stop to thank and recognize the members of your team? Do you consistently show appreciation to others, have an attitude of gratitude?

    The story of Charles Plumb is inspiring and emphasizes the value of each individual of a team. Captain Charles Plumb, a graduate of the Naval Academy, whose plane, after 74 successful combat missions over North Vietnam, was shot down. He parachuted to safety, but was captured, tortured and spent 2,103 days in a small box-like cell.

    Plumb tells the story, in his book, “ I’m No Hero”, that other people are helping you get to where you want to be, even though you don’t realize they are there.

    After surviving the ordeal, Captain Plumb received the Silver Star, Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit and two Purple Hearts, and returned to America and spoke to many groups about his experience and how it compared to the challenges of everyday life.

    Shortly after coming home, Charlie and his wife were sitting in a restaurant. A man rose from a nearby table, walked over and said, "You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!"

    Surprised that he was recognized, Charlie responded, "How in the world did you know that?" The man replied, "I packed your parachute." Charlie looked up with surprise. The man pumped his hand, gave a thumbs-up, and said, "I guess it worked!"

    Charlie stood to shake the man's hand, and assured him, "It most certainly did work. If it had not worked, I would not be here today."

    Charlie could not sleep that night, thinking about the man. He wondered if he might have seen him and not even said, "Good morning, how are you?" He thought of the many hours the sailor had spent bending over a long wooden table in the bottom of the ship, carefully folding the silks and weaving the shrouds of each chute, each time holding in his hands the fate of someone he didn't know.

    Plumb then began to realize that along with the physical parachute, he needed mental, emotional and spiritual parachutes. He had called on all these supports during his long and painful ordeal. Even though at the time, he did not know that he would need to call on what someone taught him, what parachute he was going to need at a specific time.

    Who might be packing your parachute? Or better yet, are you packing parachutes for other people? Appreciate the opportunity to make someone’s life better.