Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What makes a great Leader?

What makes someone a great leader? Leadership can vary in style. For example, are you someone who dictates the group & doesn't listen to anyone else's opinion? Or do you lead with a more bureaucratic or democratic style?
"Every leader has a particular style of leadership that is innate…" says Michael Burke, account supervisor, MSR Communications, a public relations firm. From the books I have read on leadership they all refer to how one leads and that leadership is an influence, nothing more, nothing less.
Being a leader is not something that comes overnight; it is developed daily and over a lifetime. To think one can become a true leader overnight is a false hope. Another thing that makes a great leader is not to be afraid to say, “I don’t know” and ask others below you for advice and help. So often people who are placed in higher levels of leadership feel they know it all and will not ask for help or admit they need it.
There are five traits that help make up a good leader1:
1.      Character – Who they are
2.      Relationships – Who they know
3.      Knowledge – What they know
4.      Intuition – What they feel
5.      Experience – Where they’ve been
6.      Past Success – What they’ve done
7.      Ability – What they can do

One of the biggest things one needs to be a great leader, is the ability to acknowledge mistakes. Sometimes it is a good thing to see that someone in leadership has made a lot of mistakes, as long as they have acknowledged them because it shows how much they know. Making mistakes is never a bad thing, as long as we learn from them.

Until next time!

Joey McIntosh

“How do leaders earn respect? By making sound decisions, admitting their mistakes, and putting what’s best for their followers and the organization ahead of their personal agendas.”

1The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John C. Maxwell

Monday, March 25, 2013


Nobody ever likes change; many do everything in their power to stop from having to change. Whether it is physically, living situations, friendships or a mix of a variety of other things; no matter what it is we almost always do what we can to resist it. Why is this?

What makes people so afraid of change? It is the question that has been asked and sought after for centuries. For me personally, I do not like change for the simple reason of the unknown. Change means taking a chance where there is no guarantee that it will work out or whether I shall fail or succeed. So often I hear that without risk there can be no chance for greatness, yet in taking the risk; which means changing, there is a possibility of failing or losing everything.

Over the years I have learned to take minor risks and changes in my life, which despite being uncomfortable it has always been for the better. I still have many decisions to make in life and learning to accept and embrace change has made life much more enjoyable.

Not everyone in our lives will agree with the decision made in regards to the changes in our lives. Some may feel a wrong decision was made; others will criticize you for the change. Despite this one must stand firm on their decision to step out of their comfort zone and make the change. I think of this saying often when determining if I will make a change in my life, “We can only make decisions based on the information we have, in the moment it must be made.” That is a paraphrase I heard from a movie, but it always gives me support when I have to make tough choices that will cause a change in my life.

Until next time!

Joey McIntosh

“Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.” - Arnold Bennett 

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” - Steve Jobs

Monday, March 18, 2013

What would you do?

In the event of an emergency what would you do? Would you panic, freeze up, remain calm and assess the situation? These are questions we should ask ourselves. Some may be thinking, “Oh he has to be talking about a major disaster, there is no way he means basic first aid” and that is not the case at all. I am in fact referring to all scenarios, minor, moderate, major/critical and life threatening situations; where some may require a decision on who receives care even though it means the other person could die.

I talk about this because I just finished taking PE 235 - First Aid CPR and Safety Education. Over the years I have taken the basic CPR course which really doesn’t educate people, in my opinion based on the companies I’ve used in the past. Where this course taught me not only CPR, it expanded my knowledge on how to react in a variety of situations and how to prioritize.

Roughly about five years ago I was trained and became a part of a local nationally recognized organization, C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team). The training received was similar to the recent course I took here at FC [PE 235] yet with more focus on how to triage situations, as well as first aid and basic search and rescue.

So now back to the question…how would you respond to an emergency situation and are you prepared? If a young infant were chocking what is the first thing one should do? You witness an accident, three people are injured; one has an open fracture, second has a laceration to the head that is bleeding with glass in their eye, third victim is unconscious and not breathing. Who would you treat first? Realize once you begin CPR you cannot stop unless you are too exhausted or first responders arrive to take over.

Until next time!

Joey McIntosh

“Be Prepared... the meaning of the motto is that a scout must prepare himself by previous thinking out and practicing how to act on any accident or emergency so that he is never taken by surprise.” – Robert Baden-Powell

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Do things really happen for a reason?

Life is full of unexpected events. None are the same and range from excellent to fair to life altering. All of which can happen in an instant, the question is how will a person handle one or multiple situation(s) that occur over a lifetime?

There are so many things that happen to people everyday and sometimes what happens is not what we intended or had planned on happening; usually when it is against our plans. It makes me wonder, does one have control over their lives as some believe? Is there a higher power that uses situations or allows for things to happen for a greater purpose? Or is it karma for what one has done in the past? So many different questions yet so few answers for people; all I ever hear is everything happens for a reason.

This is something I’ve had to face this semester, something that happened that was beyond my control and the repercussions have required me to alter or modify if you will my plans for the future. I went through many phases, of course the denial I can still do everything I did before; then making minor modifications that I thought would help. Ultimately I had to make some additional modifications on top of everything and still may need to make more, only time will tell.

Maybe things do happen for a reason, it kind of makes me think of the survivors from 9/11 who for one reason or another did not arrive to work on time and were spared. Then again what about those who didn’t?

For those of you who may be struggling with certain issues or need to make tough decisions, I can only say listen to your heart and if you have someone you can trust (family, friend, co-worker, etc.) and ask them for their perspective and thoughts. I know for me I was fortunate to have my best friend and a couple others to talk with and ensure me that the decisions I needed to make were in my best interest.

Until next time!

Joey McIntosh

“There's always a reason behind everything that has happened... It changes you into better a person.” – Author Unknown

Monday, March 4, 2013

Marching for education…does it have an impact?

Today is a day where thousands of students from community colleges, Cal States and UC’s, faculty, classified personnel and members from the state Chancellor’s office marched in Sacramento from Raley field in west Sacramento to the State Capitol’s west lawn to voice their opinion and dissatisfaction with how legislatures are handling funding of higher education. Last year there were close to ten thousand people; the numbers have not been released, but I would anticipate a similar number again this year.
A question is raised every year and I think it would be interesting to hear what you have to say about this form of lobbying versus meeting with a local legislature in person. In my personal opinion I see the impact of each side, hosting a march or protest with thousands of people; as well as meeting with a local Assembly or Senate member.
Having thousands of individuals, such as students and faculty unite and march to the State Capitol says a lot. It allows for people to see that there are a large number of individuals who disagree with how our state government is handling funding of higher education and not making it a priority. Not to mention the media attention something of this magnitude will be receiving.
On the other side, I believe that although a march with thousands of people is great; follow-up with a student’s local Assembly or Senate member is a must. Many of the legislatures go about their daily routine while the march is taking place, yet when students take the time to meet with them that is where the true impact lies.
These are just my opinions, now I want to know what you think about the two scenarios. Which has a more significant impact, a march/protest or a personal visit?
Until next time!
Joey McIntosh
“There are many ways of showing your protest and discontent…” – Garry Kasparov