Crucible Experiences

Crucible Experiences 

Because illness, disability, or other adversity “resides” with an individual, it is easy to assign “ownership” to that family member. Too often, we do not think of these as family ailments or adversities.

What is a Crucible?

Crucibles are furnace-like vessels that can endure intense heat and chemical reactions. That results in the refinement and transfiguration of raw materials. Crucibles facilitate a catalytic process that purges away impurities and creates a qualitatively different final product. In industry, crucibles are used to create high-grade steel and alloys of unusual strength that differ in quality from the original ingredients.

The Oxford English Dictionary provides two definitions of a crucible: (i) a container in which metals or other substances may be melted or subjected to very high temperatures, and (ii) a severe trial or in which different elements interact to produce something new. Every family undergoes some family crucible experiences at one time or another. During these times, it is often easy for family members to become discouraged and overwhelmed, and difficult for family members to recognize ways that it might strengthen and bless their family. As family members, we have the power to work through, learn from, and successfully adapt to family crucible experiences.

Types of Family Crucibles:

Here are several examples of family crucibles:

  • Inability to find a mate and marry; broken engagement; bad start to marriage; entering a blended family.
  • Spouse of another religion, husband or wife becomes inactive; spouse undermines testimony of children, extreme marital conflict, marital abuse, addiction, infidelity, depression, husband or wife deserts the family, suicide, separation, divorce, or death.
  • Disability, Infertility, pregnancy problem, miscarriage or stillborn child, premature delivery, multiple births, S.I.D.S., a baby with colic, a baby with disabilities, etc.
  • Hyperactive child, abuse, adolescent in family prematurely pregnant, the child loses testimony, child attempts or succeeds at suicide, teenagers or wayward child, runaway children, adult children returning home, adult children who never marry or never leave home.
  • Financial problems: the husband refuses to work, an unexpected financial windfall, the job requires relocation to a new city, very long work hours or travel, and a poor relationship with the boss.
  • Relative moves in, severe problems with in-laws, elder care.
  • Natural disasters, legal problems, extremely demanding religious or community involvement, war, terrorism, civil unrest

Facing Family Crucible Experiences:

Here are some family crucible experiences to learn one or more lessons. 

  1. Mary’s daughter was born with Down syndrome; 
  2. Justin has grappled with significant depression off and on since he was a teenager. 
  3. Shortly after his birth, Ilene’s son was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and died before his 25th birthday. 

People don’t plan to have a child with a disability or deal with the challenges of a mental or chronic illness or the untimely death of a family member. These experiences can be considered family “crucibles” because they have the potential to trigger changes in how we view ourselves and our relationships with others. Even when only one family member experiences some adversity, the effects “ripple across” the entire family. Because illness, disability, or other adversity “resides” with an individual, it is easy to assign “ownership” to that family member. Too often, we do not think of these as family ailments or adversities. When a mother “has” cancer, all family members experience the disease and the personal losses associated with it.

Some years ago, a wife walked out on her marriage, leaving the husband with their four children, all under ten years of age. When this catastrophe struck, he had just completed his Ph.D. and embarked upon a promising teaching career at a prestigious university. Desperate now for help raising his children, he found it necessary to relinquish his position and return to the city of his parents to enlist their assistance.

His pain was evident to his friend, who observed that he was deeply crushed by the desertion of his wife and the uncertain future awaiting him. Eight years later, this man was appointed the head of his department in a respected institution of higher learning. With the sparkle back in his eyes, it is apparent that he is experiencing God’s promise that “HOPE does not disappoint us.

So, what do you do when the bottom falls out of your life?

  • Allow that within you to die while you are still alive? Or 
  • Choose to place your HOPE in the character and promises of God. 

The choice is yours; please do not let HOPE down!


Regardless of the family crucible, you are facing, some general strategies can help you deal with them.

  • Be prepared. Be financially prepared; have an emergency supply of
  • Food; have adequate insurance, etc.
  • Connect with othersEvery family has problems and challenges.
  • Sometimes family members suffer in isolation. But successful families try to work together toward solutions. They pray for each other, discuss, support, and encourage each other.
  • Talk together openly and frequentlyCommunicate one-on-one.
  • Ask for ideas for better dealing with the situation and coping as a family. Fast and pray together for specific blessings. Express and share feelings. Exhibit empathy for family members. Be sensitive to the capacity of each family member to deal with strong feelings. 
  • Focus on the essential parts of family life. Amid family
  • Trials, we may become so disoriented that we stop doing the everyday things that have fortified our families in the past. We must make an effort to continue our everyday life. 
  • Search for meaning in your experiences. Many find meaning by putting their trust in God and praying often. Some trials are so hard that the goal is to endure. Some difficulties are not resolved in this life, and the learning is to “endure it well.”
  • Know that some experiences are for purposeful life changes.

Religious writer C. S. Lewis asks us to imagine ourselves as living houses. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. God is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently, He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is God doing? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you would be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace.

Crucible experiences may be the setting for this kind of transformation to take place:

  • Seek soul-soothing environments. We are more likely to feel peace in trying times when we put ourselves and our families into calm and serene environments, especially those where we can appreciate the beauties of nature.
  • Be flexible and creative in adapting to new roles and routines. 
  • Be careful to avoid making the crucible event the center of the family. 
  • Use resources that are available to youResources and Information from both within and outside the family can assist family members in coping and adaptation. 
  • Foster family strengths that will strengthen families before they encounter family crucible experiences and act as protective factors for families during the crucible experience. 

Reframe your situation. How the family “frames” or interprets and responds to the experience often influences how they cope and adapt. Illness, disability, suffering, and death can refine family members’ experiences. The family’s interpretation and perception of their experience are essential in how these experiences affect their lives. With the proper perspective, families have the potential to grow and learn from the crisis. We don’t want to “get through” or “survive” these experiences but recognize that there is value in trials and benefits from them. With the proper perspective, families have the potential to grow and learn from the crisis. This growth could come from developing skills or closer relationships; individual family members might learn to become more sympathetic, humane, and benevolent through crucible family experiences. Growth in family members may come because of the pain, not despite it. By successfully passing through the heat and pressure of family crucibles, family members may become more humble, more sincere, more united in prayer, more dependent upon God, and more faithful. They may also become more charitable, more service-oriented, and more compassionate to the needs and suffering of others.

In some cases, support groups may be helpful. Community organizations often play a role, as do family members and friends. It’s important to realize that God notices us and watches over us. But it is usually through another person that God meets our needs. So often, our acts of service consist of simple encouragement or giving mundane help with mundane tasks, but what glorious consequences can flow from mundane acts and small but deliberate deeds? We must learn to use spiritual resources such as faith, prayer, and other devotions.

I know you have experiences to share with others. Please communicate these experiences to me (, and we shall publish them for others to learn lessons. I pray that family members should be well-knitted to embrace any crucible experience and come out victorious. AMEN.




Leadership & Human Behaviour 5

Leadership & Human Behaviour 5:

The tragedy of man is not that he dies, but what dies within him while he still lives.– Albert Schweitzer.

I am concluding on Leadership and human behavior. I started on the attributes of leaders and enumerated some points on Leadership’s framework; the remaining guides are enumerated here:

  •    KNOW human nature: A leader must know human needs, emotions, and how people respond to stress.
  •    KNOW your job: A leader must be proficient and be able to train others in their tasks.
  •    KNOW your organization: A leader must know where to seek help, its climate and culture, and who the unofficial leaders and followers are.
  •    DO provide direction: goal setting, problem-solving, decision-making, and planning.
  •    DO implement: communicate, coordinate, supervise, and evaluate.
  •    DO motivate: develop morale and esprit de corps in the group or organization, train, coach, and counsel.

 Roles and Relationships:

Roles are the positions defined by a set of expectations about the behavior of any job incumbent. Each role has a set of tasks and responsibilities that may or may not be spelled out. Roles have a powerful effect on behavior for several reasons, including money being paid for the performance of the role, there is prestige attached to a role, and a sense of accomplishment or challenge. A role’s tasks determine relationships. While some tasks are performed alone, most are carried out in relationships with others.

The tasks will determine who the role-holder must interact with, how often, and towards what end. The greater the interaction, the greater the relationship, which leads to more frequent interaction. In human behavior, it is hard to like someone we have no contact with, and we tend to seek out those we like. People tend to do what they are rewarded for, and friendship is a mighty reward. These relationships bring about many tasks and behaviors associated with a role. New tasks and behaviors are expected of the present role-holder because a strong relationship was developed in the past, either by that role-holder or a prior role-holder.

 Culture and Climate:

The two distinct forces that dictate how to act within an organization are Culture and Climate. Each organization has its own distinctive culture. It combines the founders, past Leadership, current Leadership, crises, events, history, and size (Newstrom, Davis, 1993). These results in rites: the routines, rituals, and the “way we do things.” These rites impact individual behavior on what it takes to be in good standing (the norm) and direct the appropriate behavior for each circumstance.

The climate is the feel of the organization, the individual, and the members’ shared perceptions and attitudes (Ivancevich, Konopaske, Matteson, 2007). While culture is the deeply rooted nature of the organization as a result of long-held formal and informal systems, rules, traditions, and customs, the climate is a short-term phenomenon created by the current Leadership. Climate represents the beliefs about the “feel of the organization” by its members. The individual perception of the “feel of the organization” comes from people’s beliefs about the organization’s activities. These activities influence both individual and team motivation and satisfaction.

Organizational climate is directly related to the leadership and management style of the leader, based on the values, attributes, skills, and actions, as well as the leader’s priorities. Compare this to “ethical climate” — the “feel of the organization” about the activities with ethical content or those aspects of the work environment that constitute ethical behavior. The ethical climate is the feeling about whether we do things right; or whether we behave the way we ought to. The behavior (character) of the leader is the most critical factor that impacts the climate. On the other hand, culture is a long-term, complex phenomenon.

Culture represents the shared expectations and self-image of the organization. The mature values that create “tradition” or the “way we do things here.” Things are done differently in every organization. The collective vision and common folklore that define the institution reflect culture. Individual leaders cannot easily create or change the culture because culture is a part of the organization. Culture influences the characteristics of the climate by its effect on the actions and thought processes of the leader. But everything you do as a leader will affect the climate of your group or organization.

 The Process of Great Leadership:

The roads to outstanding Leadership that is common to successful leaders, as espoused by Kouzes & Posner, 1987 are:

  • Challenging the process– First, find a process that you believe needs improvement.
  • Inspiring a shared vision– Next, share your vision in words your followers can understand.
  • Enabling others to act– Give them the tools and methods to solve the problem.
  • Model the way– Get your hands dirty when the process gets tricky. A boss tells others what to do; a leader shows that it can be done.
  • Encouraging the hearts– Share the glory with your followers’ hearts while keeping the pains within your own.

Human nature is one of those things no one can define precisely. Every time we fall in love, fight with our spouses or get upset about anything, we are, in part, behaving as a human animal with our unique evolved nature – human nature. They are two interpretations to this; first, our thoughts, feelings, and behavior are produced not only by our individual experiences and environment in our lifetime but also by what happened to our ancestors millions of years ago, at least for Africans. Second, our thoughts, feelings, and behavior are shared, to a large extent, by all men and women, despite seemingly significant cultural differences.

Human behavior is a product of our innate human nature and our individual experiences and environment. Evolutionary psychologists see human nature as a collection of psychological adaptations that often operate beneath conscious thinking to solve problems of survival and reproduction by predisposing us to think or feel in specific ways. Our preference for sweets and fats is an evolved psychological mechanism. We do not consciously choose to like sweets and fats; they taste good.

Talent On-the-Bubble: Addressing Human Behavior at Work:

Bring Out Achievement Behavior (Emmett C. Murphy, Ph.D.)

Talent IQ is the baby of Dr. Murphy. One of the great lessons from Talent IQ is that the performance of Talent gone awry is very seriously under-addressed in organizational life. Called “Talent On the Bubble,” Talent on the bubble can mock organizational values, sap creative energy, and drive highly talented top performers out. To the extent that positive energies from high achievers create a magnet of hope. And achievement, talent on-the-bubble behavior constitutes an anchor of negativism, irresponsibility, and contempt. While leaders want to get to the positive side of the performance equation, to the extent they avoid taking responsibility to address the talent on-the-bubble challenge, they drop an anchor on progress and an evidentiary path of their on-the-bubble behavior.

What Is On-the-Bubble Human Behavior?

On-the-bubble human behavior is the mirror opposite of achievement behavior. Achievement is moving up the ladder of responsibility for one’s behavior from achievement to partnership, commitment, optimism, and responsibility. On-the-bubble behavior, on the other hand, moves an employee down a treacherous slope from fence-sitting to avoidance, hostility, contempt, and irresponsibility. And, where achievement is expressed through the positive paths of service, innovation, and management, on-the-bubble human behavior plants weapons of explosive treachery. Instead of engagement, empathy, generosity, benevolence, guidance, and responsibility in service, the on-the-bubble person, plays the procrastinator, martyr, critical gossip, manipulator, and backstabber.

Played down this path, the on-the-bubble person systematically destabilizes a group or the workplace, leaving a path of chaos in their wake. And, where the Innovator moves up the ladder from seeker to knowledge leader, empowerer, discoverer, and break-through thinker, the on-the-bubble human sinkhole moves from narcissist to deer-in-the-headlights to black hole, fatalist and suicide, sucking the creative energy out of the organization in an ultimately futile act of personal sabotage.

The fiduciary manager sometimes moves from organizing and prioritizing to bringing order from confusion to building relationship clusters. Act on those priorities and serve as a mission and values guardian. To direct problem-solving in the front lines to infuse hope and resolve. In heroic Leadership, where vision is translated into comprehensive practice, the on-the-bubble human moves from stonewalling progress to curmudgeonly avoidance, sadistic bullying, calculated bombing, and, ultimately, sociopathic predation.

We shall never know how many acts of cowardice have been motivated by the fear of appearing not sufficiently progressive. –  Charles Peguy, French Poet.

Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Please do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity. – W. Clement Stone. 


Leadership & Human Behavior 4

Leadership & Human Behavior 4:

Abraham Lincoln used to say that the test of one’s Americanism was not one’s family tree; the test was how much one believed in America.

Patriotism is the only way to show your belief in your country. Let me recommence on Leadership, and I will start with the Blake and Mouton Managerial Grid; most of these leadership points were obtained from my research. If anyone is interested in the sources, I will gladly supply them. Please make use of my feedback contact e-mail addresses. Also, I am available at the Ministry of women’s affairs and social development to serve you.

Managerial Grid:

The Blake and Mouton Managerial Grid, also known as the Leadership Grid (1985), uses two axes:

  1. “Concern for people” (plotted using the vertical axis)
  2. “Concern for task or results” (plotted along the horizontal axis).

Most people fall near the middle of the two axes — The middle of the Road. But, by going to the extremes, that is, people who score on the far end of the scale make four types of leaders:

  •              Authoritarian— strong on tasks, weak on people skills
  •              Country Club— strong on people skills, weak on tasks
  •              Impoverished— weak on tasks, weak on people skills
  •              Team Leader— strong on tasks, strong on people skills

Authoritarian Leader: (high task, low relationship):

People who get this rating are very task-oriented and are hard on their workers (autocratic). There is little or no allowance for cooperation or collaboration. Heavily task-oriented people display these characteristics: they are solid on schedules; they expect people to do what is told without question or debate; when something goes wrong, people tend to focus on who is to blame rather than concentrate on precisely what is wrong and how to prevent it. People are intolerant of what they see as dissent (it may just be someone’s creativity), so it is difficult for their subordinates to contribute or develop.

Country Club Leader: (low task, high relationship):

This person uses predominantly reward power to maintain discipline and to encourage the team to accomplish its goals. Conversely, they are almost incapable of employing the more punitive, coercive, and legitimate powers. This inability results from fear that using such powers could jeopardize relationships with other team members.

Impoverished Leader: (low task, low relationship):

That is a leader who uses a “delegate and disappears” management style. Since they are not committed to either task accomplishment or maintenance, they essentially allow their team to do whatever it wishes and prefer to detach themselves from the team process by allowing the team to suffer from a series of power struggles.

Team Leader:  (high task, high relationship):

This type of person leads by positive example and endeavors to foster a team environment in which all team members can reach their highest potential, both as team members and as people. They encourage the team to reach team goals as effectively as possible while working tirelessly to strengthen the bonds among the various members. They usually form and lead some of the most productive teams.

What makes a person want to follow a leader? 

People want to be guided by those they respect who have a clear sense of direction. To gain respect, one must be ethical. A sense of direction is achieved by conveying a robust future vision. When a person decides if he respects you as a leader, he does not think about your attributes; instead, he observes what you do to know who you are. He uses this observation to tell if you are an honorable and trusted leader or a self-serving person who misuses authority to look good and get promoted. Self-serving leaders are not as effective because their employees only obey them, not follow them. They succeed in many areas because they present an excellent image to their seniors at the expense of their workers. The basis of good Leadership is honorable character and selfless service to your organization. In your employees’ eyes, your Leadership is everything you do that affects the organization’s objectives and well-being. Respected leaders concentrate on (U.S. Army, 1983):

  • what they are [be](such as beliefs and character)
  • what they know(such as jobs, tasks, and human nature)
  • What they do(such as implementing, motivating, and providing direction). People want to be guided by those they respect who have a clear sense of direction. To gain respect, they must be ethical. A sense of direction is achieved by conveying a robust future vision.

The Two Most Important Keys to Effective Leadership:

According to a study by the Hay Group, a global management consultancy, there are 75 critical components of employee satisfaction (Lamb, McKee, 2004). They found that:

  • Trust and confidence in top Leadership was the most reliable predictor of employee satisfaction in an organization.
  • Effective communication by Leadership in three critical areas was the key to winning organizational trust and confidence:
  1. Helping employees understand the company’s overall business strategy.
  2. Helping employees understand how they contribute to achieving key business objectives.
  3. Sharing information with employees on how the company is doing and how an employee’s division is doing — relative to strategic business objectives.

So, in a nutshell — you must be trustworthy, and you have to be able to communicate a vision of where the organization needs to go.

The “Principles of Leadership” ties in closely with this crucial concept.

Principles of Leadership:

The eleven principles of Leadership (by U.S. Army, 1983) are:

  1. Know yourself and seek self-improvement– To know yourself, you must understand who you are – be, know, and do, attributes. Seeking self-improvement means continually strengthening your attributes, which can be accomplished through self-study, formal classes, reflection, and interaction.
  2. Be technically proficient– As a leader, you must know your job and be familiar with your employees’ tasks.
  3. Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions– Search for ways to guide your organization to new heights. And when things go wrong, they always do sooner or later — do not blame others. Analyze the situation, take corrective action, and move on to the next challenge.
  4. Make sound and timely decisions– Use good problem-solving, decision-making, and planning tools.
  5. Set an example– Be a good employee role model. They must hear what they are expected to do and see, and we must become the change we want to see (Mahatma Gandhi).
  6.  Know your people and look out for their well-being-Know human nature and the importance of sincerely caring for your workers.
  7. Keep your workers informed– Know how to communicate with not only them but also seniors and other key people.
  8. Develop a sense of responsibility in your workers– Help to develop good character traits that will help them carry out their professional responsibilities.
  9. Ensure that tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished– Communication is the key to this responsibility.
  10. Train as a team– Although many so-called leaders call their organization, department, section, etc., a team, they are not teams; they are just a group of people doing their jobs.
  11. Use the full capabilities of your organization– By developing a team spirit, you will be able to employ your organization, department, section, etc., to its full capabilities.

Attributes of Leadership:

If you are a leader who can be trusted, then those around you will grow to respect you. To be such a leader, there is a Leadership Framework to guide you:

  • B.E. a professional: Be loyal to the organization, perform selfless service, and take personal responsibility.
  • B.E. is a professional with good character traits: Honesty, competence, sincerity, commitment, integrity, courage, straightforwardness, and imagination.
  •  KNOW the four factors of Leadership — follower, Leader, communication, and situation.
  • KNOW yourself: strengths and weakness of your character, knowledge, and skills.



Leadership & Human Behavior 3

Leadership & Human Behavior 3:

Leadership advice is easy to find these days: workshops, conferences, and private coaching sessions, often for a hefty price, on how to leap from executive to leader. Yet those who have proved their ability to inspire rarely say they were guided by formal instruction. Instead, they point to life experiences that were pivotal in helping them recognize a capacity to make things happen and to get others behind them.

In the last edition, I discussed two of the four types of frameworks: Structural and Human Resources. Today I am highlighting the remaining two; Political and Symbolic.

Political Framework:

In a practical leadership situation, the leader is an advocate whose leadership style is coalition and building. While in an ineffective leadership situation, the leader is a hustler whose leadership style is manipulation. Political leaders clarify what they want and can get; assess the distribution of power and interests; build linkages to other stakeholders, use persuasion first, and then use negotiation and coercion only if necessary.

Symbolic Framework:

In a practical leadership situation, the leader is a prophet whose leadership style is an inspiration. While in an ineffective leadership situation, is the leader a fanatic or fool whose leadership style is smoke and mirrors? Symbolic leaders view organizations as a stage or theater to play specific roles and give impressions; these leaders use symbols to capture attention; they try to frame experiences by providing plausible interpretations of experiences; they discover and communicate a vision.

Late David L. Dawson, a former Navigator, a first-class Disciple-maker, and the founder of the Equipping the Saints, gave an acrostic P. O. L. E. to the tools a leader uses. P. O. L. E means:

  •    Planning
  •    Organizing
  •    Leading
  •    Evaluating

Each tool of a leader shall be briefly discussed here:

Planning is our work to determine what we must do to accomplish our objective. It is the vital first step of any accomplishment. It involves deciding what to do, how to do it, when, and who is to do it. It is how we get from where we are to where we want to go. There are skills involved in planning. These skills are:

  • Estimating
  • Establishing Objectives
  • Developing Policies
  • Programming
  • Scheduling
  • Budgeting and
  • Establishing Procedures.

Each of these skills is basic to planning. The best planners tend to be men of vision with the ability to think conceptually and analytically. The following tool used in leading people to accomplish the objective is organizing.

Organizing is the work of effectively relating the people on the team to the jobs necessary to fulfill the objective. Organizing is essential both to the leader and his followers for the following reasons:

  • It increases Efficiency
  • It helps the entire team
  • It establishes lines of authority and communication.

The two activities that are basic to organizing are:

  1. Developing an Organization Structure, and
  2. Delegating to Subordinates

The three keywords in the delegation are:

  1. Responsibility
  2. Authority, and
  3. Accountability

The five Basic aspects of Good Leadership are:

  1. Decision-making
  2. Communication
  3. Motivating
  4. Staffing
  5. Training

Another tool of a leader is Evaluation.

Evaluation is the work of appraising performance to see that the maximum progress is being made in the pre-arranged plan. There are three elements of Evaluation and Performance Standards, Quantitative and Qualitative. The “L” in the acrostic P. O. L. E. stands for Leading and deals with one of its subcomponents, motivating.

Motivation inspires others to wholeheartedly employ resources and exchange their lives to fulfill the objective.

Motivation is at the very heartbeat of leadership, for unless a leader can reproduce incentive toward the objective so that his followers live by it and reproduce it in others, he cannot ensure the ongoing of the vision.

All leaders can recant crucible experiences. Crucible experiences have a way of testing us. They bring out aspects of our personality that we do not know exists. We can think of them in other words (for example, adversity). In each case, they help build our character, whether as individuals or in the workplace. All in all, the crucible experiences are character-building. While going through these experiences, we may wonder why it is happening to us. Each of our lives is the sum of our experiences. As Albert Einstein said, the only source of knowledge is experience. When we add to that Benjamin Disraeli’s quote, “There is no education like adversity.” When we take them together, then crucible experiences are life’s step functions: each taking us to a new, higher level, as long as we are willing to learn.

Ten years of research by Emmett C. Murphy, Ph.D., the author of Talent IQ (Adams Media; March 2007). provided these 15 areas of dysfunctional behavior and how they manifest in organizations:

  1. Procrastinator – fence sitter; dislikes investing own energy; avoids commitment.
  2. Martyr – avoider; accusatory; self-righteous; blames others for own inadequacies.
  3. Gossip – hostile; critical of others; spreads lies; intends to harm others.
  4. Manipulator – contemptuous; deceives others by inventing/distorting information; convinces others to shun those they wish to harm.
  5. Backstabber – irresponsible; fakes relationships and deceives others for a slanderous and surprise attack.
  6. Narcissist – fence sitter; outwardly arrogant and self-absorbed; inwardly insecure and anxious.
  7. Deer in the Headlights – avoider who appears to be in a state of paralysis or shock; unwilling/unable to engage others or respond to requests.
  8. Black Hole – hostile, unresponsive, unproductive.
  9. Fetalist – inwardly contemptuous; severely withdrawn; displays zombie-like demeanor.
  10. Suicide – irresponsible and self-destructible; often resigns from a position either formally or by failing to show up; may express repressed anger.
  11. Stonewaller – fence sitter; obstructionist; challenges legitimacy or need of another party for info or support.
  12. Curmudgeon – an avoider; makes others pay for every encounter.
  13. Bully – hostile, attacks someone’s character or the quality of their work; threatens employees with dismissal if they don’t comply with demands.
  14. Bomber – contemptuous; destroys others’ self-confidence; publicly assaults others; undermines others’ value in the eyes of the team.
  15. Predator – irresponsible; feeds off others’ securities; uses or destroys others to increase personal power; feels confident that they can hunt and destroy at will.

I will like to end this piece with some exciting Quotes:

George Washington Carver: 

“How far you go depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong; because someday in life, you will have been all of these.”

Albert Einstein:

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and his feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our desires and affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and


 “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

William Sloane Coffin: Senior Minister, Riverside Church, NYC:

“In life, you can either follow your fears or be led by your values and passions.”

Harvey Fierstein, 1992 Bennington Commencement: 

“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”

Patrick Overton:

“When you come to the edge of all the light you have and must take a step into the darkness of the unknown, believe that one of two things will happen to you: either there will be something solid for you to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.”

Leadership & Human Behavior 2

Leadership & Human Behavior 2:

Vision is at the very core of leadership. Take vision away from a leader, and you cut out their heart; It’s the fire that ignites the passion of followers – (Bill Hybels, Courageous Leadership [Zondervan, 2002])

Human needs are an essential part of human nature. Values, Beliefs, and Customs differ from country to country and even from group to group, but in general, all people have a few basic needs. To inspire others into higher levels of teamwork, there are certain things you must be, know, and do. These do not come naturally but are acquired through continual work and study. Good leaders continually work and study to improve their leadership skills; they are NOT resting on their laurels.

Character development has a role to play in leadership. Character is the total of personal traits an individual possesses that make him what he is; Character has particular reference to moral qualities, ethical standards, and principles that guide a person’s conduct and cause him to choose one course of action over another. A good leader must exhibit Integrity. One vital aspect of a good leader is honesty and Integrity. The dictionary defines Integrity as the Soundness of moral principles and character, uprightness, and honesty. Integrity means living by the laws – both God’s laws and that of Society. A person who lives by Integrity will aim to do right and to wrong no one; His conscience will be evident both God-ward and manward.

Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs in a way that makes an organization or a group more cohesive and coherent. This definition is similar to Northouse’s (2007, p3) definition — Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal. Leaders carry out this process by applying their leadership knowledge and skills. It is called Process Leadership (Jago, 1982).

However, we know that we have traits that can influence our actions. That is called Trait Leadership (Jago, 1982), in that it was once common to believe that leaders were born rather than made. These two leadership types are shown in the Northouse, 2007, p5 chart below:

While leadership is learned, the skills and knowledge processed by the leader are influenced by his or her attributes or traits: such as beliefs, values, ethics, and character. Knowledge and skills contribute directly to the leadership process, while the other attributes give the leader specific characteristics that make him or her unique. There are four significant factors in leadership (U.S. Army, 1983):


You must honestly understand who you are, what you know, and what you can do. Also, note that the followers, not the leader or someone else, determine if the leader is successful. They will be uninspired if they do not trust or lack confidence in their leader. To be successful, you must convince your followers, not yourself or your superiors, that you are worthy of being followed. 


Different people require different styles of leadership. For example, a new hire requires more supervision than an experienced employee. A person who lacks motivation requires a different approach than one with a high degree of motivation. You must know your people! The fundamental starting point is understanding human nature well, such as needs, emotions, and motivation.


You lead through two-way communication. Much of it is non-verbal. For instance, when you “set the example,” that communicates to your people that you would not ask them to perform anything you would not be willing to do. How you communicate either builds or harms the relationship between you and your employees.


All situations are different. What you do in one situation will not always work in another. You must use your judgment to decide the best action and the leadership style needed for each situation. For example, you may need to confront an employee for inappropriate behavior. Still, if the confrontation is too late or too early, too harsh or too weak, the results may prove ineffective. Also, note that the situation typically affects a leader’s actions more than his or her traits. That is because while traits may have impressive stability over some time, they have little consistency across situations (Mischel, 1968). That is why several leadership scholars think the Process Theory of Leadership is more accurate than the Trait Theory of Leadership. Various forces will affect these four factors. Examples of forces are your relationship with your seniors, the skill of your followers, the informal leaders within your organization, and how your organization is organized.

Sometimes you need to examine yourself or ask if you are a Boss or a Leader.

Although your position gives you the authority to accomplish specific tasks and objectives in a group or organization (called Assigned Leadership), this power does not make you a leader; it simply makes you the boss (Rowe, 2007). Leadership differs in that it makes the followers want to achieve high goals (called Emergent Leadership) rather than simply bossing people around (Rowe, 2007). Thus you get Assigned Leadership by your position, and you display Emergent Leadership by influencing people to do great things.

Bass’ Theory of Leadership: 

Bass’ theory of leadership states three basic ways to explain how people become leaders (Stogdill, 1989; Bass, 1990). The first two explain leadership development for a small number of people. These theories are:

  • Some personality traits may lead people naturally into leadership roles. That is the Trait Theory.
  • A crisis or important event may cause a person to rise to the occasion, which brings out extraordinary leadership qualities in an ordinary person. That is the Great Events Theory.
  • People can choose to become leaders. People can learn leadership skills. That is the Transformational or Process Leadership Theory. It is the most widely accepted theory today and the premise on which this guide is based.

Leadership Models:

Leadership models help us to understand what makes leaders act the way they do. The ideal is not to lock yourself into a behavior discussed in the model but to realize that every situation requires a different approach or behavior. Two models will be discussed, the Four Framework Approach and the Managerial Grid.

Four Framework Approach:

In the Four Framework Approach, Bolman and Deal (1991) suggest that leaders display leadership behaviors in one of four frameworks: Structural, Human Resource, Political, or Symbolic.

This model suggests that leaders can be put into one of these four categories, and there are times when one approach is appropriate and times when it would not be. Any style can be effective or ineffective, depending on the situation. Relying on only one of these approaches would be inadequate. Thus we should strive to be conscious of all four approaches and not just depend on one or two. For example, during a significant organizational change, a Structural leadership style may be more effective than a Symbolic leadership style; when substantial growth is needed, the Symbolic approach may be better. We also need to understand ourselves, as each of us tends to have a preferred approach. We must be conscious of this at all times and aware of the limitations of favoring one approach. 


Structural Framework:

In a practical leadership situation, the leader is a social architect whose leadership style is analysis and design. While in an ineffective leadership situation, the leader is a petty tyrant whose leadership style details. Structural Leaders focus on structure, strategy, environment, implementation, experimentation, and adaptation. 


Human Resource Framework:

In an effective leadership situation, the leader is a catalyst and servant whose leadership style is support, advocating and empowerment. While in an ineffective leadership situation, the leader is a pushover whose leadership style is abdication and fraud. Human Resource Leaders believe in people and communicate that belief; they are visible and accessible; they empower, increase participation, support, share information, and move decision-making down into the organization. 

Leadership & Human Behavior 1

Leadership & Human Behavior 1:

Good leaders are made, not born. If you have the desire and willpower, you can become an effective leader. Good leaders develop through a never-ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience (Jago, 1982).

Abraham Maslow based his theory of human needs on creative people who used all their talents, potential, and capabilities (Bootzin, Loftus, Zajonc, Hall, 1983). His methodology differed from other psychological researchers in that these researchers mainly observed mentally unhealthy people. Maslow (1970) felt that human needs were arranged in a hierarchical order that could be divided into two major groups: basic needs and meta needs (higher order needs):

(1)  Basic Needs: 

These are physiological, such as food, water, and sleep, and psychological, such as affection, security, and self-esteem. These basic needs are also called “deficiency needs” because if an individual does not meet them, that person will strive to make up for them.

(2)  Meta needs or Being needs (growth needs):

These include justice, goodness, beauty, order, unity, etc. Basic needs typically take priority over meta needs. For example, a person who lacks food or water will not usually attend to justice or beauty needs.

These needs are usually listed in a hierarchical order in the form of a pyramid to show that the basic needs (bottom ones) must be met before the higher-order needs:

Maslow described the five hierarchy of Needs as follows:

  1. Self-actualization — knowing exactly who you are, where you are going, and what you want to accomplish—a state of well-being.
  2. Esteem — the feeling of moving up in the world, recognition, and few doubts about self.
  3. Belongingness and love — belong to a group, close friends with whom to confide.
  4. Safety — feel free from immediate danger.
  5. Physiological — food, water, shelter, sex.

Maslow also posited that people want and are forever striving to meet various goals. Because the lower-level needs are more immediate and urgent, they come into play as the source and direction of a person’s goal if they are not satisfied. A need higher in the hierarchy will become a motive of behavior so long as the needs below it have been satisfied. Unsatisfied lower needs will dominate unsatisfied higher needs and must be satisfied before the person can climb up the hierarchy. They know where a person is located on the pyramid aids in determining effective motivators. For example, motivating a middle-class person (who is in range 4 of the hierarchy) with a certificate will have a far more significant impact than using the same motivator to affect a minimum-wage person from the ghetto who is desperately struggling to meet the first couple of needs. It should be noted that almost no one stays in one particular hierarchy for an extended period.

Human Beings constantly strive to move up, while at the same time, various forces outside our control try to push us down. Those on top get pushed down for short periods, while those on the bottom get pushed up. People who have their basic needs met become much better workers as they can concentrate on fulfilling the visions put forth to them rather than consistently struggling to make ends meet. Maslow’s self-transcendence level recognizes the human need for ethics, creativity, compassion, and spirituality. Without this spiritual or transgenic sense, we are simply animals or machines. This expansion of the higher-order needs is shown here:

These later years’ Needs, as explained by Maslow, are:

  • Self-transcendence — a transgenic level that emphasizes visionary intuition, altruism, and unity consciousness.
  • Self-actualization — knowing exactly who you are, where you are going, and what you want to accomplish; A state of well-being.
  • Aesthetic — to do things not simply for the outcome but because it’s the reason you are here on earth — at peace, more curious about the inner workings of all things.
  • Cognitive — to be free of the reasonable opinion of others — learning for learning alone, contributing knowledge.
  • Esteem — the feeling of moving up in the world, recognition, and few doubts about self.
  • Belongingness and love — belong to a group, close friends with whom to confide.
  • Safety — feel free from immediate danger.
  • Physiological — food, water, shelter, sex.

Characteristics of self-actualizing people are:

  • They have better perceptions of reality and are comfortable with it.
  • They accept themselves and their natures.
  • They Lack artificiality.
  • They focus on problems outside themselves and are concerned with fundamental issues and eternal questions.
  • They like privacy and tend to be detached.
  • They rely on their personal development and continued growth.
  • They appreciate the basic pleasures of life (e.g., do not take blessings for granted).
  • They have a deep feeling of kinship with others.
  • They are profoundly democratic and are not aware of differences.
  • They have strong ethical and moral standards and
  • They are original, inventive, less constricted, and fresher than others.

Herzberg’s Hygiene and Motivational Factors:

Frederick Herzberg was considered one of the most influential management consultants and professors of the modern postwar era. Herzberg was probably best known for his challenging thinking on work and motivation. He was considered an icon and legend among visionaries such as Abraham Maslow, Peter Drucker, and Douglas MacGregor.

Herzberg (1966) is best known for his list of factors that are based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, except his version is more closely related to the working environment; they include:

Hygiene or Dissatisfiers: 

  • Working conditions
  • Policies & administrative practices
  • Salary and Benefits
  • Supervision
  • Status
  • Job security
  • Co-workers
  • Personal life

Motivators or Satisfiers: 

  • Recognition 
  • Achievement 
  • Advancement 
  • Growth 
  • Responsibility 
  • Job challenge 

Gender Debris

Gender Debris:

There is no doubt about it. The fear of the Lord leads to virtuous habits, preventing the waste of life from sin and vice.—Faith’s Checkbook.

God created male & female in the image & likeness of Himself, and God declared “Very Good” at creation. You may then wonder who is in the category of Gender Debris. Or what is Gender Debris? Let us remember that God gave us the Free Will to make choices. Gender Debris can come about with some people selling their souls to the Devil and some out of personal choices. Some, out of no choice of theirs, do become Gender Debris.

 Those classified as Gender Debris include misfits, riff-raffs, Drug Addicts, Runaways, Destitute, Mentally Deranged, and Hoodlums. These are the people on the roads that pollute the environment. The synonyms for Debris include, amongst others: wreckage, remains, fragments, rubble, rubbish, garbage, trash, and waste. Yet we have human beings fitting into these titles. We know what we do with trash, garbage, and waste; we throw them away or burn them. What can we do to human debris that exists in the genders of male, female, and neuter?

My findings discovered external and internal dynamics operational in gender depending on choices, prerogatives, or paradigms. Human Debris cannot be dumped like garbage or waste; dumping gender debris like garbage negates God’s Law of Love and Charity. Why would a man or woman deliberately turn himself or herself into Debris? Honestly, it baffles me.

These Gender Debris have their rights and deserve pity, charity, and rehabilitation. When a baby is born into a family, it is a thing of joy and happiness, a true gift from God. Except for a few born on the streets, like children of lunatics and unwanted children thrown away by their teenage mothers, the birth of a newborn generates immense joy in a home. Yet these do not become gender debris automatically because there are numerous orphanages and motherless homes that adequately care for this group. More often, such children are well-catered for and become good citizens. That is the duty of those concerned to ensure a promising future for such children through adoption into perfect homes.

 The classified gender debris live below the poverty level. In 1995, a World Summit for Human Development was held in Copenhagen (Denmark). The final declaration and Action program ratified at this Summit made poverty reduction a priority of development. The United Nations General Assembly followed this by declaring the 1996 International Year for Eradication of Poverty and the decade of 1997 – 2006 as the ‘First United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty.

In 1996 the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) decided to focus its attention on poverty and drafted the International Development Goals (MDGs) by the United Nations in 2000. The first of the MDG’s aims is to reduce the proportion of the world’s population living in extreme poverty by half between 1990 and 2015. Poverty Reduction is now being recognized as the basis for developing strategies in developing countries.

Yet I genuinely wonder about the cause or causes of Gender Debris. Can we blame the problems on poverty alone? I do not think so; there are others born in comfortable homes of wealthy parentage yet become gender debris out of wrong choices. Some indeed get into this category because of poverty. Some are in the category by accident of birth, and the inability of their parents to care for particular types of birth accidents. Those who get into the category due to wrong choices are drug addicts, self-made hoodlums, loafers, cultists, etc. My question is, what should Society do to rehabilitate the people in the Gender debris category?

I am aware that in some Countries like the United States of America, they have shelter homes for the homeless. A shelter home can be described as a place to take refuge or a temporary arrangement if you are in urgent need or emergency. These shelter homes also serve as government-aided hostels. People who are vulnerable, homeless, or in an emergency can approach their nearest shelter homes. The government’s responsibility is to protect the homeless and neglected members of society. The Juvenile Justice Act empowers state governments to recognize organizations and provide them assistance to set up and shelter homes for children, women, and other people, who need care and protection. These shelter homes also function as drop-in-centers and night shelters for people in urgent need of support. But some still find themselves leaving these homes to roam the streets.

To transform and empower Gender Debris people for the benefit of the State, we must use the following Tools:

  1. Education/Training;
  2. Re-Engineering Tools;
  3. Make-Over; 
  4. Non-Violent method to Scare Straight;
  5. Endearment;
  6. Encouragement;
  7. Passion for development and progress;
  8. Medical information and Application;
  9. Welfare Packages;
  10. Interactive Café Sessions and Workshops;
  11. Feedback Information System;
  12. Transformational Tools.

 To scare straight criminal-minded cultists/loafers and provide opportunities for them to have a total make-over, we must provide them with something to do, i.e., gainful employment or self-sustainability. Restore to them Human Dignity; Design and implement multifaceted programs that use innovative means to reframe issues and channel conflicts toward constructive, win-win outcomes. Provision must also be made for the tough boys/girls, unemployed and unsheltered youths, and opportunities that will transform their lives from static to activity. We must help transform the Gender Debris deals with conflict (Personal or Corporate) away from adversarial approaches and self-destruction toward collaborative solutions: facing Violence, Justice, Religion, and Conflict Resolution peacefully. It is a rare opportunity to develop quality and helpful Human Resources for the Nation. Gender Debris people need moral guidance, discipline, and encouragement for a positive paradigm shift to eradicate crime, poverty, and riff-raffs from Society.

The Core Principles of Change:

  • Transformation 
  • Total Make-Over
  • Scaring Straight to prevent crime
  • Common Ground Approach
  • Human Interdependency
  • Employment Opportunities
  • Empowerment for Self-Sustainability
  • Restoration of Human Dignity
  • Opportunity for Training and Re-training for Competence

Modus Operandi:

We must redefine a tough guy/girl as someone who knows how to handle a situation with their hands and does not brag about being a tough guy/girl in a nasty way on the street. Anyone can bring fear when they are armed. Arms do not make tough guys. Arms that are used in a way to get power and fear are a sign of weakness. To this extent, the modus operandi can be as listed:

  1. Scared Straight

Some people don’t respond to kindness and need exposure to hardened convicts in prisons to change their behavioral patterns. Good kids don’t go into someone’s prison; they need awareness of the result of their choices to make a good choice in life. The Army, The Police, Prison Officials, and other Para-military personnel are needed to assist in this program. The state prison can help to handle out-of-control gender debris and take them into the depths of hell in each city Prison and show them the actual situation of men that are doing life in prison as a way out for a better choice. This wayward Debris will be exposed to the dark sorrow of prisoners and victims of crime to choose better lives. 

  1. Voluntary Registration

A process can be set up for the voluntary registration of unemployed and homeless youths. The list will be computerized to form a database for training, education, gainful employment or self-employment options, and others.

  1. Forced Registration

They will force the Gender Debris found on the streets after the closing of voluntary registration to leave the streets with the aid of the Police Force and register for any available options.

  1. Medical Care 

Most gender debris will need medical attention after being forced out of the street, and psychiatrists and Psychologists will need to assess their states of mind and well-being. Collaboration with the hospitals and psychiatry units is expected to provide necessary medical care for these sets of people.

  1. Improved Personality

There is a need to restore dignity and improve the self-esteem of these sets of people. The arrangement would be made with beauty parlors to clean them up and fix them with clean vestments to restore human dignity.