Monday, March 14, 2011

Spreading the News

One of the commitments that was required as a part of the CCA coaching program was to share the experience. Although I love to speak in public, I was wondering on what angle would people be interested in hearing about this experience. First I was caught up in the topic, Africa. The topic alone would obviously limit the captive audience that I could appeal to, or would it? I questioned if a group like the Chamber of Commerce would be interested in this story when it involves travel and not related to any core business fundamentals. This is where I was wrong!! The topic yes is Africa, but the experience relates to many more topics. Topics like leadership, career development, economics, social studies, empowerment, respect for others, religion, and many more.
My very first captive audience was some of my staff who I could show how this experience was work related. How it developed me personally to become a better leader and learn the basics of coaching and mentoring. How these options are available as a personal development tool, and how we can assist others in the credit union system. Next I presented to a small group of friends with the intent of displaying how the people in this area live, and the challenges they face daily. There was also a history component thrown in and a general overview of the "travel experience".
My first true public experience was the fun grade 5 class where I turned the trip into a social studies story. I wanted to impress on the kids that despite the hardship this society encountered in their history, there is hope and prosperity. The importance of education, family and respect for each other. Bulling now is such a troubling issue that we can all learn from the people of Ghana and respect each other. It is important that kids learn there is a big world out there and opportunities will present to them  as their life advances. Following that presentation I was invited to the high school to present to three career education classes. The theme again was changed to focus on my career and how it provided me an opportunity to work abroad. I highlighted the importance of an education and key personal fundamental principles that I use for my own employment.
  1. Diversity- The ability to go beyond your job description.
  2. Attitude- A positive attitude that screams with passion.
  3. Knowledge- They don't say knowledge is power for no reason, it is critical to success!
  4. Commitment- All to often employees do not display commitment as it should be displayed, those that do, survive!
The kids at the high school had the opportunity to witness during my presentation that anything is possible with a little hard work. I was an average student to say the least, without any career aspirations. It was simply by fluke that I even made the attempt to get a university degree. However, once I realized what was at stake, I used the above principles to assist me in reaching my goals.
The most recent presentation was today to a class of grade nine social studies students. The message was very similar to the ones I outlined to the grade 5 class with a stronger focus on the social components of Ghana, and how they can make a difference. I remember my former teacher Miss Noreen Saunders coming into our class room, way back, and I mean way back, and telling us about her traveling experiences around the world. I was fascinated with the fact that you could visit Egypt, Australia, and other foreign lands. She inherently taught us that anything is possible, you simply have to make it happen. I hope in these presentation that some of the kids remember to think about ways they can achieve their own dreams. I hope they not only think about their own welfare, but the welfare of others.
Until next time..
Teaching the Ghanian Handshake

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