For all those who love peace and justice, you must watch this. There are those who are making cases for why we should keep people in poverty and should expect less from some people. This is scary, because of the level of rationale they are able to use to espouse hate. It is smooth like butter.
The Truth about Building a Learning Organization
Think about this: Organizations are always ready to invest in infrastructure,
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Nobody can deny the fact that investment in education, learning and practicing,
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Working in a team or team work is very common discussion of every workplace.
But, believe it or not, very few organizations know the secret of developing an
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Learning is the foundation of winning business. Learning and exercising new
trends improves efficiency and productivity. Enthusiastic organizations always
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any magic, this is professionalism.
Smart Business people are those who are eager to research and get involved in
new concepts of their betterment. They use this model to reach the goals.
Organizations that value learning, awareness and knowledge are flexible and
adaptable. Workforce of such group, deals changes more willingly and
We at AM Horizons know the secret of how to develop a learning organization
which expands and plays an important role in the growth of the
TO Be or not to Be
Anybody out there been around teenagers? Anyone been a teenager? Attitude, tons of it. I remember as a kid growing up, my parents would say, "Go to your room and fix your attitude. Go to your room to learn how to act." And I go to my room and I'd be there for a while and then I step out to the hallway and say, "To be or not to be". Yeah, I spent a lot of time in my room. Attitude. That obviously was not what they were talking about. But oftentimes, when we talk about attitude, we don't give a really good definition of what it means to have an attitude or how to change an attitude. So, here are some things that I've learned. So, in 19.
I think it was in 1983, I went to New York for the first time and on our. I was going to NCWP convention and so, this was like one of my first airplane ride and I was just so excited to take this trip.
And so, we're approaching New York and the pilot gets on the loud speaker and says, "If you look out your left side window, at 17, 000 feet, you will see the Statue of Liberty." And so, I looked out of the window and I don't see the Statue of Liberty. But that's OK because I know that we are going to come back so on the way back I will be able to see.
So, I go to New York. I had a great time at the convention, just learn lots of folks, lot of things and meet lots of new folks and all sorts of stuff. And on the way back, I make sure that I get a seat on the plane so I can sit by the window so this time, as we were leaving,
I could see the Statue of Liberty. And the pilot gets on the loudspeaker, we are leaving and he says, "If you look out your right side window, you'll see the Statue of Liberty."
And so, I look out my window and I don't see the Statue of Liberty. I have a bad attitude. OK. We'll come back to this story in just a second. So, let's talk about this attitude thing. What is this attitude thing and why is this important? All right? So, my father was my pastor.
Growing up, church was a big part of our lives and I remember an instance where I would ask to borrow the car from my father and it would be Friday night and I said, "Dad, can I borrow the car?"
And because my dad loves me, what would my father say to my request? He would say yes. And so, he would say yes and I would say that my father had what kind of an attitude? A good or a positive attitude, right? And consequently, what kind of attitude would my father say that I have?
He would say that I also have a good or a positive attitude. Now, I mentioned that my father was my pastor and so on Sunday, we would go to church from seven a.m. for Sunday school to about 11:30 p.m. at the end of night service.
We'd stop at three o'clock for chicken not because we are black but because we thought chicken was delicious. So, we went to church all day and I recall a particular time when one of my friends, my friend Dexter, called and said "Andre, we are going to go to the movies, can you come pick me up?"
Now, I know we have church all day but this was a special movie. It was the Two Jakes featuring Jack Nicholson. Don't go see it.
And anyway, so I sheepishly walk into my dad and I say, "Dad, can I use the car?" And what does my father say? "No. You know we have church." Yeah, I know we have church but I thought it was worth a chance. But I say my dad has what kind of an attitude? A bad or negative attitude. And consequently, I respond to him and he would say that I also have a bad or negative attitude.
So, what is it that determines the attitude? Now, most popularly, people would say that an attitude is some kind of an emotional response. That an attitude is the way you interpret the emotional environment to your pleasure or not, right? That's what typically people would say.
What I like to offer you two ways to think about an attitude. First of all, when we talk about aeronautics, right? The study of flight.
There are two concepts that are extremely important to understand. The first is how high things are from the ground is called the what? Altitude. Now, altitude has a cousin. And the cousin's name is attitude. So, altitude is how high you are from the ground and attitude is the pitch at which a plane is directed. So, that's the first concept. So, it's the direction that you lean.
Two will form something so an attitude is the direction you lean. Now, the second part of a new way of thinking about an attitude is the fact that when I ask my father for the car, he said yes, I had a good attitude. When my father said no, I had a bad attitude.
So, what is the second part of the definition of an attitude? It is whether you get what you want or not.
So, the first part is the direction that you lean to something or away from something according to your goal. When you get what you want, when you reach your goal, you have a good or positive attitude.
When you don't get what you want, you have a negative or bad attitude leaning to or from what your goal is. So, all the time that I was growing up and my parents said and teachers would say, "Boy, you need to fix your attitude."
What they were really saying to me was that I need to change my goal. When you change your goal, you change your attitude. How many times have you been in situations where you couldn't change the situation you are in?
You couldn't change your family. You couldn't change your job. You couldn't change even your physical body. The one thing that you can change, that changes your whole outlook on life is to change your goals. So, what are your goals?.
How many of you have had bird poop in your hair?
Yeah, I have. When has thathappened?
When did you experience the bird poop... pooping in your hair?
I have only experienced it when I'm walking under trees.
It'shappened maybe two or three times, but it's only happened when I'm walkingunder trees.
When I'm just randomly walking around and birds are flyingoverhead I've never gotten bird pooped on.
So why do youthink that happened to me only under trees? Well, before birds take off one ofthe things that they do is they want to be as light as possible so they can getto their destination. Right?
And so what birds do is that they poop before theyfly. They get all that stuff that they don't need, that extra weight, theyrelease it so that they can make it to their destination. The lesson for me isreal simple: that sometimes, and I don't know about you, but for me sometimes Ihold on to things that keep me way too heavy. Sometimes I've held on to oldrelationships or old hurts or guilt. And those things, they just weigh youdown.
Andso, as you go through your day today, what I want you to think about is: whatare those things that you hold onto that could stop you from making you it toyour destination, to your goal, achieving the things and having the life thatyou deserve and that you want and that you're working for? What are thosethings? Write them down, think about them, say them, even whisper them toyourselves and then dump them.
We would go to this new place called Applebees. I know. And, we
would do that, I think, if I'm not mistaken, Dexter, we would go every... was it
Wednesday or Thursday. The whole concept was that we would meet once a week at
Applebees and we would have these breaded mozzarella sticks, breaded mozzarella
sticks and root beer because we weren't old enough to drink.
made the experience, the experience was at that point in time you could still
smoke inside. And so, Dexter and I kind of wanted to be like his cousin, Ceasar,
who smoked a tobacco pipe, right?
And so, Dexter and I, now I want you to
picture this. We had these high top fades and wire rimmed glasses with little
sweater vests and I said, not the wire rims, but the ones with the butterfly
wings kind of thing so we looked like bugs. And, we're also, we're 18 and we're
smoking tobacco pipes in a restaurant. Kind of crazy looking.
thought it was cool, right, because Ceasar was doing it. So, we wanted to be
kind of like Ceasar. And so, we were following kind of Ceasar's
And so, we would go to Applebees and we'd meet there once a
week and we would bring our tobacco pipes. And, it was really funny because
Dexter would call me and say, "Andre, remember your pipe." And so, you know, I
had a little pipe bag and I packed it in there. And so, I'd take that with me as
we went different places. But, every other time I wouldn't remember to bring it.
I kept forgetting to bring it.
Now, if I'm not mistaken, and Ceasar,
correct me if I'm wrong, you still use your tobacco pipe, if I'm not mistaken.
I, however, do not. Now, this isn't a moral judgment on anyone, but it is a
conversation about our pattern of behavior.
I don't smoke a tobacco pipe
today mostly because it did not become a habit. I also don't go to Applebees
every Wednesday or Thursday either. That's not a habit either.
is a habit? I mean, anybody know, are smokers born with Marlboro Lights hanging
off the end of the lip as a baby and they go, whaaaa, and a little cigarette and
the ash is falling off? Does that happen? Are smokers born smokers? My answer is
no. They have what, learned to be smokers.
So, what is a habit? A habit
is a learned pattern of behavior that has become automatic. Now, I hear tell of,
you know, if you do something for 30 days or 31 days or for a number of hours
that that thing becomes a habit. And, what I like to say is that anything that
you do on a regular basis that becomes important to you becomes a
Thinking a certain way can become a habit. Acting a certain way
can be a habit. It's those things that you find value in that you do on a
regular basis that become habits.
Now, I think habits are very
interesting, and I like that definition of it being a learned pattern of
behavior that becomes automatic. And why, as a teacher, am I excited when I
think about habits being learned patterns of behavior? Because if it's a learned
pattern of behavior, then it's something that you can unlearn and relearn a new
Now, the interesting thing about habits and why it's difficult
to change habits is that people forget one of the basic premises of a habit,
right? Habits are designed to make your life easier. They're designed to make
your life easier. And, the interesting thing is that people will stop doing a
habit but won't replace that habit with something else.
I often tell this
story or ask this question in my class, what is in a hole that's three feet
deep? The answer is nothing or it wouldn't be a hole. The other part of that,
though, is if you have a hole that's open and you don't fill it with something,
the universe will fill it with whatever is available.
I mean, have you
ever looked in a pothole, for example, right? We're in one of those seasons
where potholes are pretty prevalent. And, what is supposed to be in a pothole?
It' supposed to be filled with cement or tar or asphalt. Those are the things
that are supposed to be in the pothole. But, often times what you find is water
and rocks and Doritos bags and cigarette butts and all of these things because
there's a gaping hole that has not been filled. The universe finds ways and
things to fill it with.
So, when we talk about your habits and changing
your habits, we know that it's a learned pattern of behavior that's become
automatic. And, that if we want to change our habits, we have to replace that
habit with something else.
My Uncle Rick quit smoking. And, the way he
quit smoking was that he said I'm not going to buy any more cigarettes, this is
not something I want to do. And so, what he did was he replaced cigarettes with
toothpicks. You will never catch my uncle without a toothpick because he's given
up smoking. So, he replaced an old habit with a new and better habit, something
that's helping him to reach his goal. Now, he's not quite delivered, but we'll
get to that part later, all right?
So, to change a habit, to replace it
with something, you have to start with something even more basic than that. And,
you have to start with a routine. Your routines make good habits. We'll talk
about routines in just a bit.
I do have to say, that the Hulk got me into a lot of trouble. I was
on punishment quite a bit. The Incredible Hulk, he gets mad and what does he do? He breaks out of his clothes,
And so, for a number of years I thought that I was the Incredible
Hulk and anytime I got on punishment, that's right, buttons flying everywhere,
bah, bah, bah, bah, bah, intensity.
It's funny, I was interacting with
someone via email and they make a comment. They said, "Andre, you know, you're
really, you're really intense." And, it didn't quite come off like a compliment,
more like a judgment of sorts, you know, like the Incredible Hulk, he's intense,
So, my question back to them was this very simple question. I may,
in fact, be intense. I may be full of lots of energy and purposeful movement and
all of that stuff, but my real question is, "Why aren't you as intense as I
I mean, if you see what I see in the world which is I see brown
babies and yellow babies and red babies being persecuted by a system, being
undereducated, being made to be a permanent underclass, if you saw that, if you
see that the lies that have been propagated against people, for example, there
are more black men in prison that there are in college, I mean, if you say those
things, if you saw that people get different treatment based on how they look,
be it their size or their ethnicity or what we think is their sexual
orientation, you might be intense, too.
So, my question to you is yes, I
may be intense. I may still be that Incredible Hulk popping buttons and getting
excited about something. But, what excites you? If I'm intense, if I speak out
and I stand up for what I believe, why don't you?
I mean, it's really
interesting that when there is a still water and the status quo is being met and
people are frolicking and enjoying their so called freedom and waters are still,
the kid with the rock is the one that gets blamed for the
It's the intense people like me that create space so that
people who aren't so intense can exist.
Oh, and this day I hope that you
find something, that you discover something that you get excited about something
that you can be intense about. Go out there and Hulk out. Yaaaaaa.
I remember when I was 13 and I was really kind of getting into myself. I was really proud of growing up and being independent and able to do things on my own, and all sorts of stuff. And this is going to sound kind of nasty, but I had an ingrown hair in my thigh, right? And it was really kind of concerning me because it was just horrible.
And I remember I went to my mom and I asked her, "Mom, I got this thing on my leg and it's...aagh!" And all that kind of stuff. We were standing in the kitchen and she said "Show me." And I looked at her and I dropped my pants. I mean my pants and my underwear. I mean I just dropped them. All of the self pride and dignity that I had as a 13 year old, being proud of being independent and on my own and able to do things, went out the window when I needed help.
I didn't really care that I was standing in the kitchen. I didn't care that I had dropped my pants and my underwear. I didn't care that I was showing my mom some of my most intimate parts, because I needed help. Sometimes, we get so caught up in ourselves and being proud and being boastful in who we've become and what we've done. But sometimes, we are not able to humble ourselves enough to get the help that we need.
On that day, I learned a lesson. That I should never get too big or too proud not to drop my pants.
I'm at the grocery store and I'm standing in line. It's one of those just kind of typical days at the grocery store, and just running in to grab something at the deli. So I'm standing in line and there's a woman in front of me. Who is, what my grandmother would call, acting ugly. Right? So this woman is huffing and puffing, she's folding her arms [makes huffing sound] and kind of mumbling under her breath a little bit. Because in front of her there was a woman who had a basket full of groceries. A cart full of groceries she had four kids she spoke limited english. And I want to say her predominant language was spanish, right.
So she's trying to negotiate with the cashier and getting her groceries in. And these four kids are just kind of all over the place and they're in the candy aisle. So they're trying to sneak stuff into the cart she's trying to put it back. She's trying to get her stuff taken care of. And the woman behind her, which is the woman in front of me, is just acting ugly. But it's quite embarrassing, right? So I'm standing there, and I'm like ooh, I'm a diversity trainer. I've got my PowerPoint in the car. I can do my presentation because I know what this situation's about. This is a diversity moment!
No. That doesn't make sense. So I scrap that idea. And then something occurs to me. Bing, and I think about when I was a classroom teacher. One of the things that my students taught me, because they taught me way more than I think I ever taught them. The one thing that I learned from my students was this. And so I went and used this tactic. So the woman is huffing and puffing and folding her arms and tapping her feet and mumbling under her breath.
And all of a sudden I do this: [exasperation sound] . Now what happens when I do that? Her behavior stops. Why? Well, it's very clear, as much as people want to be on America's Top Idol, model whatever. Nobody wants to be watched. When she realized that someone was watching her, she became conscious of herself. We call that cognitive dissonance. I offered her a different way to analyze herself. To look at herself, and say is this the kind of behavior that I want to exhibit.
Now, did this woman, will she do this ever again, I don't know. But what I was able to give her was a gift, that all too often we don't give people. Which is cognitive dissonance. I stopped her in her tracks and allowed her space to think about her behavior. Well it's very interesting. We get that same kind of cognitive dissonance when we look in the mirror. Right? We look in the mirror and when things on the outside don't align with things that we think about ourselves. Have you ever looked in the mirror and go, oh my goodness, I've been looking like this all day? Cognitive dissonance. The mirror isn't talking to you, it's showing you who you are and what you are.
All too often we don't create enough cognitive dissonance for ourselves and we certainly don't provide it for other people. Now I'm not talking about telling people about themselves. But I'm offering that we need to show people in an injective way. The kinds of things and ways in which they show themselves and the world.
Did that woman's parents teach her how to act ugly? I would say no. So how did she get that way? She became less aware of herself, of others and hated herself. And so we have to offer cognitive dissonance. Just like the mirror, just like the coughing. So that people can stop and think. We don't think enough, we don't think enough.
Andre's purpose is to reconnect people to their Dignity and Honor in Being Human.