Blessings Counted

Hope each of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving…

If you would like to print and have a paper copy of this, click here: Blessings Counted

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To view previous year’s Thanksgiving thoughts, download here:

2018 – Thanksgiving Grace

2019 – Home

2020 – Pause and Reflect

2021 – Nature’s Touch of Time

Let’s go fight the good fight of leadership. Someone has to…

Go be a great educator and leader today… Our future needs it…

Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others…

©2022 J Clay Norton

Want more Leadership Thoughts? Follow me on… Twitter @thebookchamber or follow the blog directly.

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“Looney Tunes” Thanksgiving Leadership…

To begin with, let me say that I am a huge Looney Tunes fan. Saturday morning, growing up, a bowl of cereal sitting in front of the TV. One solid hour of pure, free, clean comedy. The funny thing is that now as an adult, you realize how much of an adult overtone the cartoons had. Every once in a while, I’ll see one again, and I find them as funny, if not funnier than when I was a kid. I enjoyed the main characters, Buggs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote, and the Tasmanian Devil. In some way or another, I can identify with each of their personalities.

So, for today’s blog, a Looney Tunes Thanksgiving leadership theme…

For those who can remember, these episodes were called Merrie Melodies. One of the episodes was Holiday for Drumsticks, starring Daffy Duck.  If you have time for a 6:42 laugh, click to watch, Holiday for Drumsticks – Daffy Duck

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Here’s the plot synopsis (taken from fandom.com)…

A hillbilly husband brings home a turkey. After shooting back at their feuding neighbor, the wife prepares some food to fatten up the turkey for Thanksgiving. The turkey is thrown into the animal pen. Daffy Duck, who happens to be one of the farm animals, is jealous of all of the food that the turkey is receiving. Once he sees a feast for the turkey, Daffy rushes to the turkey and tells him to stop eating. Daffy explains that the hillbillies want to fatten up the turkey then eat him, so Daffy says that the turkey should reduce his weight so the hillbillies won’t eat the skinny turkey.

In a montage, the turkey exercises day by day, while Daffy eats up the entire feast that was supposed to be for the turkey. On Thanksgiving Day, the turkey is now extremely slim, while Daffy is fat. Pa finds the turkey and states that it’s too bony for him to eat. However, the tables turn when Daffy brags that he is a healthy duck himself and that the hillbillies can’t eat duck for Thanksgiving. Pa finds Daffy a suitable alternative and attempts to axe and shoot him. Daffy frantically tries to lose his weight, but he nearly gets shot in all attempts. Daffy begs the turkey to save him, and the turkey hides him in various areas, before admitting that Daffy can’t be saved aside from moving to a country that doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. The turkey tells Daffy to take an airplane to Rio de Janeiro, which is a trick to get Daffy into the oven. However, the hillbillies are unable to cook Daffy, as Daffy keeps blowing the matches out.

So, where’s the leadership, you might be asking? How many times have we tried to help others, and it backfired? How often have we, like Daffy Duck, found ourselves having to constantly blow out the match? But… did Daffy Duck know what he was doing? The turkey even tried to trick Daffy in the end. Go figure…

Sometimes it’s a no-win situation. We have all been there before. I’m all about helping others; we should be. It should be in our nature as servant-leaders. I figure if we just do right by people, trust our instincts, and, as my grandfather said, “Make the most of whatever comes, and the least of whatever goes,” then our leadership will turn out alright. Even when it backfires…

Now, go enjoy your Thanksgiving Season with turkey or duck… Next week will be our annual Thanksgiving Thoughts.

Let’s go fight the good fight of leadership. Someone has to…

Go be a great educator and leader today… Our future needs it…

Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others…

©2022 J Clay Norton

Want more Leadership Thoughts? Follow me on… Twitter @thebookchamber or follow the blog directly.

Want to share this leadership thought with others? Click on one of the social media sharing buttons below and help spread the good…

Intentionality of Leadership: Acknowledging Others…

The intentionality of leadership… Where has it gone? Better yet, why is it important? I guess we can answer the first question with it’s here, but we are “oh, so busy, I don’t have time to be intentional.” An answer to the second question might answer the first… why is it important? Well, I have found that intentional leaders usually help create an environment of confidence, helping others to develop and succeed. Their purpose, if we want to say that, is to put others first with support. So, if intentional leadership is here but not practiced, it would seem that time is more focused on themselves than others. Yep, that will keep you, “oh, so busy.” 

I’ve written a few blogs in the past on intentional leadership, but the topic came back to mind the other day when a friend and I were talking. So, here’s a different spin on it… 

Tricia Manning of Be Intentional says, “When you lead with intention, you foster an environment that teaches your employees that their work matters. You help them feel the importance of their contribution, build their self-confidence, and connect their work to their own core values. But this doesn’t just happen.”

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Leaders who are out and about have a better pulse on the culture than those who stay behind a closed door of an office… But it’s more than that… Just because you are out and about, being seen is not enough. It’s speaking to and allowing others to speak to you as well. Ok, bad grammar time –  Ain’t nothing is worse than a leader who walks by and sees you but doesn’t speak. You don’t have to stop and carry on a monologue; just say hello. You don’t even have to ask how they are doing. Just acknowledge, but do it without the “head nod;” take the time to speak.

While this might seem simple and little, another “foundism” I have is that the simple, little things of leadership matter. This defines us more than what we do on a larger stage. When we only serve others when convenient, our intentionality becomes inward-centered. 

As I write this, I realize that we are as much defined by what we don’t do as we are by what we do. As leaders, we provide enormous influence without having to say it. If we ever, really want people to work “with you” instead of “for you,” our leadership intentionality needs to acknowledge others. We could really use this in our classrooms as teachers with our students in education, by the way… 

Let’s go fight the good fight of leadership. Someone has to…

Go be a great educator and leader today… Our future needs it…

Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others…

©2022 J Clay Norton

Want more Leadership Thoughts? Follow me on… Twitter @thebookchamber or follow the blog directly.

Want to share this leadership thought with others? Click on one of the social media sharing buttons below and help spread the good…

Are you annoyed at what others say?

Do you ever get annoyed with what others say? Maybe it’s even those “one-liners.” Yep, that’s me. I get annoyed, but I have great “one-liners.” Anyway… Hopefully a little levity today and a side of seriousness.

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This past Monday, I was listening to This Morning – America’s First News with Gordan Deal on the way to school. He and Mike Gavin were talking about an article titled, ‘Annoying’ people say these 75 things, according to Reddit users. Well, I can tell you, I turned up the volume because I know a lot of annoying people and wanted to hear what the sayings were…

Here are ten that I pulled from the list…

“I don’t mean to be rude, but …”

“Let’s agree to disagree.”

“No offense, but …”

“It is what it is.”

“Here’s the deal.”

“If I were you …”

“Must be nice.”

“Nobody cares.”

“I’m the type of person …”

“It’s all good.”

A few of my favorites I did not see on the list were…

“Can I be honest with you?” (Wait, that means you have lied to me before?)

“Let me be frank with you…” (No, don’t be frank, just be you)

“Fake it til you make it.” (For those of you who know me, this is the worst of all annoying sayings, especially in a leadership position.)

In 2020, I wrote a blog on Things Leaders Should Not Say… As I read the entire list in the article, I thought about that blog, and yes, when leaders say certain things, it can be very annoying. There are even a few annoying sayings on the 75-list that are included in the blog.

The list of 75 will make you think of what you and others often say. Yes, there are a few on the list that I have said and say as well (I counted ten). I laughed when I read some of them because I immediately thought of certain people who are notorious for saying one, if not more, of them. And, yes… depending on the person, it can be very annoying.

I guess that is the determining factor; who it is and what type of relationship you have with them. What some see as annoying, others see as funny. It seems that I’m guilty of both, but I’m ok with it.

If nothing else, as with all things in life, time is too short. Perception is not reality; rose-colored glasses only tint stuff as we want it to be. Society gets annoyed when we do not think and act like it wants us to, and there lies the problem; relativism at work… Respect is not, but should be, a two-way street. It gets annoying when it is not.

What I cannot do is control what others say. I don’t have to let what others say impact my feelings. Do I get annoyed with what others say? You bet I do. It wears me out mentally, but ultimately, it’s my decision. So… stop saying annoying statements or quit being annoyed? What am I to do?

Let’s go fight the good fight of leadership. Someone has to…

Go be a great educator and leader today… Our future needs it…

Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others…

©2022 J Clay Norton

Want more Leadership Thoughts? Follow me on… Twitter @thebookchamber or follow the blog directly.

Want to share this leadership thought with others? Click on one of the social media sharing buttons below and help spread the good…