March truly was a pivotal, transformational month for both my business, Live 4 Change, LLC and ministry, ExousiaPower Ministries. From speaking in Los Angeles, CA to speaking and ministering in Johannesburg, South Africa, I can unequivocally say I have been stretched and I have experienced accelerated growth unlike anything I've experienced before.
The Los Angeles/Long Beach Experience: Lessons Learned
I make it a habit of intentionally looking for leadership lessons everyday in every event. There were many takeaways from the Long Beach encounter:
1. Be prepared for change - must choose to have the right mindset
2. Learn to be flexible - things don't always happen as planned. How will this impact your behavior?
3. Integrity is everything- honor your word, own mistakes, offer explanation, offer solutions. Leaders must be reminded that integrity defines who we are authentically.
4. Clear communication is vital to building trust
5. Make your moments matter - don't waste time on things that cannot be changed. Shift your focus and maximize your time. Diversify your purpose when traveling to different events. Network, go to meet ups, schedule meet ups, learn about the city.
One of the things I did to maximize my time in Los Angeles was to find some people in my industry to connect with and have discussions about business growth and industry changes as well as working together. I was truly blessed to meet Tana Session of TanaMSession.com during this trip. We connected and shared valuable information. I am an introvert, but I love meeting people and spending time with them in an intimate setting. Yes, Tana has my book, When Purpose Exceeds Profits. If you would like to purchase your copy just click the book link. One of many things Tana and I agreed on was the importance of providing solutions to problems. My book offers solutions for emerging and established leaders looking for quick principles that are easy to apply and proven to be effective.
My presentations have been focused on identifying and eliminating the F.U.D.S. (fear, uncertainty, doubt syndrome). I realize that from a leadership perspective specifically, this syndrome is a hinderance to acceleration and performance personally and professionally. I share my personal testimony of how specific negative seeds planted in me as a child actually was a noose around my neck until I was able to identify the lie and remove it. The affect of those seeds lingered and would often cause me not to aim higher and accomplish more because I was full of fear, uncertainty, and doubt.
Not only do I speak about this issue but I have created a digital audio download and workbook with a journal, designed for leaders to help get you unstuck and to help get your organization unstuck. Click the F.U.D.S. link above for more information.
The Johannesburg, South Africa Experience
In one week my dream of going to South Africa became a reality! Arriving on a Friday, the next day, Saturday, we hit the ground at the speed of light as 5 of us presented at a business conference. I spoke on Transformational & Servant leadership. I covered elements of the FUDS but focused on how transformational leaders guide their teams to take possession, occupy, and seize their inheirtance while still creating a work environment that is beneficial for employees individually and beneficial for the organization whena high level of attention & care about their wellbeing is displayed. The audience was given an opportunity to receive a free ebook, Global Ethics: Making Hard Choices. I'm extending the same offer to you.
I was part of an amazing intimate group of women and a man selected by our leader, Dr. Patricia Bailey. From the poorest of the poor to the most affluential communities, we ministered, networked, served, donated and recieved a wealth of history about our heritage and God's plan for our lives and how important it is to live humbly yet live fully.
My South Africa Leadership Takeaways:
Here again were so many leadership lessons. I was reminded of this:
Acculturation, communication, and connection are three (3) vital and fundamental traits global leaders should have to effectively do business and ministry abroad.
Culture is king! Cross-cultural experience are the best. However, I noticed this when I went to Ghana many years ago and see it is the same in South Africa, the influence of Western culture is so strong that it permeates grocery stores, shopping malls, from the poorest to the most wealthiest communities. The churches and the orphanages, however, openly displayed cultural praise and worship through song and dance.
A millennial explained church culture in South Africa and said:
there are 4 types of culture in the church
type 1 - extremely traditional- resistent to anything that is different or new
type 2 - less restrictive but holds dearly to traditional views and practices
type 3 -more lenient; less conservative
and type 4 - nontraditionalist - they are FREE
This conversation took place after I preached on a Wednesday about Clear Vision. I mentioned a few things that can impede clear vision such as.... F.U.D.S. and this topic sparked a conversation in the sanctuary. I learned that the church where I ministered has a Q & A session after the sermon on Wednesday. The pastor asked the congregation to feel free to ask anything. Slowly the women began to share about some of their own fears and hinderances to realizing their vision. Domestic violence, brought up by the pastor, became the focus of conversation and a few bold women who asked their questions, were not addressed properly because, as the young millennial explained to me, "our church is between a type 1 and type 2..." My roomate who also accompanied me agreed that we would continuously pray for revelation and chains to be broken concern domestic violence and other traditional strongholds that prevent healing and deliverance.
If I could replay the month of March for you I would. The speaking experiences, new friendships, connections, kingdom-building opportunities were truly transformational for me. For the 2nd quarter,my focus will be onconsulting and coaching, however, 3rd quarter I have a few speaking opportunities,one in Atlanta in July. Stay tuned for more information on upcoming events and leadership matters and moments.
Dr. E. Michelle Mickens, DSL, is CEO of Live 4 Change, LLC , a Christian-based, global strategic corporate social responsibility (CSR) and leadership development consultancy that brings transformational change in the lives of leaders and their organization through using a holistic approach to serve leaders, assessments to identify gaps in leadership development processes and through the creation of leadership and organizational development solutions.
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