Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ethical Leadership Expert Comes to Grand Rapids

                                             


Conflict, bullying, and unethical leadership is rampant in today's society. We see this all around us, it's in our government, at our jobs and in our schools. Many people are upset and angry. We often feel helpless and don't know what to do, so most don't do anything except complain. Sometimes we believe that our hands are tied, thinking that there is no way we can help. Or worse, you feel that there is something that you would like to do, but you don't have the resources to do it. Well, Jack Hoban, Resolution Group International and Ronin Empowerment Group are trying to help make a difference by offering a FREE Ethical Leadership Presentation and book signing on Saturday, August 25th from 10am until 11:30am here in Grand Rapids, MI. *Registration is required to attend (see below).


Jack will be sharing ideas from his new book The Ethical Warrior. He will explain revolutionary concepts regarding cross cultural conflict management and leadership that can change the way you look at conflict in your life and your career. These methodologies are currently being embraced by leading professionals all over the world.

Jack's presentation will be of great value to those interested in living a balanced, happy and ethical life and creating a safer, more fulfilling career. He addresses important questions such as:

~ Is there a "true north" on the moral compass?

~ Is there an objective value that can be used to qualify our relative values as moral or immoral?

~ How do we reject our tendency to dehumanize others not of our "in-group"- including our enemies & respect true human equality?

~ How do we do "the right thing" under the stresses of everyday life?

Jack's will also be signing and selling his newly released book "The Ethical Warrior" for those who are interested in learning more about the Universal Life Value, what this revolutionary perspective is, how it works and how it can positively impact your own career and life.

 Ethical Warrior Book

Jack was shaped by service in the U.S. Marine Corps, a life-changing epiphany at a Cold War bar, and mentorship under two masters: The 34th generation grandmaster of the shadowy art of the Ninja and a sage of the Natural Law who may just have deciphered the meaning of life. He now delivers a revolutionary view of moral values for our time epitomized by the Ethical Warrior - protector of self and others as equal human beings. Hoban's methodology reaches from the Greek ancients to the counterinsurgency efforts of today's Marines to provide ethical clarity and confidence in our moral actions.


What people are saying about Jacks presentations:

"I recently listened to Jack Hoban's talk about the "Ethical Warrior/Protector" for one hour and 15 minutes. I honestly learned more about values, morals and ethics and their application, especially to law enforcement, in that 75 minutes than in my entire almost two decades of study. I highly recommend that all true leaders invest time in learning more about what Mr. Hoban has to say."

 - Police Officer Survival Instructor

"Life changing." 

- U.S. Marine Martial Arts Instructor Trainer 


Jack's brief bio:

Jack Hoban served as a U.S. Marine Corps officer and is a long time practitioner of martial arts. He assisted in the creation of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program and remains a subject matter expert for the program. Hoban has led more than 500 workshops and seminars around the world addressing universities, government and private organizations on ethics and martial arts, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the New York Police Department (NYPD). He was a longtime associate of the late Robert L. Humphrey, noted conflict resolution specialist and author of "Values for a New Millennium." Hoban is also a master instructor in the Japanese Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu martial arts system.


*Jack Hoban's morning presentation (10am - 11:30am) is FREE, but you MUST be registered. Hurry, because space is limited and the presentation is filling up fast! For registration, email Craig Gray the names of those who are attending, I will then email you the address: roninkravmaga@gmail.com to reserve your seat.

I hope to see you there.

All the best,
~Craig

Conflict is Your Choice




Is there an argument if only one person chooses to argue, rant and rave? We have to remember that conflict is more about deciding what YOU are going to do, how YOU choose to respond and less about what the other person is doing. Yes, a conflict involves a relationship of sorts, however how you choose to engage has more to do with the outcome than most people realize. Too often we enter into a conflict in a heightened state of emotion that tries to make our decision for us regarding how to address the situation. In order to be tactical we have to be in control of our emotions. Be the "eye of the storm" so to speak. Although it is natural to feel emotion, it does not benefit us to let our emotions control us to the point that we are allowing them to make unhealthy or unsafe decisions on our behalf.

Some tips when it comes to conflict:

See Conflict as an Opportunity to learn. At the very least learn from a tactical perspective; learn who or what you are dealing with.

Know what True North is. In order to have the proverbial "moral compass" you have to know where the magnetic North is in order for your "Compass" to work. What is it? In the case of a PeaceWalker, Ethical Warrior or a professional that True North is Life. Period. Choose Life over death. Choose Respect over disrespect. Choose professionalism over not being professional. This is non-conditional. This does not mean let the other person dictate to you what True North is by their actions. True North doesn't change. It remains the same regardless of external events. This also doesn't mean that I will condone or not deal with the negative behavior. It means that I will deal with the negative behavior WHILE keeping True North of choosing life and respecting the person. Simple NOT easy! As a North Dakota Police Officer said, "We treat people like ladies and gentlemen not because THEY always are, but because WE always are."

Be the Eye of the Storm - Control your emotions rather than being controlled by them. Tactical grounding (being grounded now, in the moment) and foundational grounding (keeping your life in balance) are essential. As Charles Swindoll said, "Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we respond to it!"

Work toward Most Good / Least Harm for everyone involved. Most good / least harm doesn't always mean no harm. Sometimes casualties are inevitable (emotional, verbal, physical), however doing our best to minimize the damage to the least possible degree and do what is best for all in the big picture, will help to build allies rather than enemies and reduce regrets later.

Share through inspiration: This is a fancy term for walking the walk so to speak. Don't bully people to do what you want. People have a better chance of changing their behavior if they choose to do so, not by you forcing them to change. So, if you are able, share through inspiration, lead by example the best that you can.  This will also help you to create Allies Rather than Enemies which will lend itself to being able to manage people, or groups more effectively with much less effort. In effect, you will help to build a foundation for people being able to manage themselves.

Compliance is better than Chaos - Cooperation is better than Compliance - Collaboration is better than Cooperation - Cohesion is better than Collaboration - Camaraderie is better than Cohesion. The closer the group gets to camaraderie the less management is needed to change the person's behavior, however respect is also needed to move that person along the continuum as well. Without respect cooperation and/or compliance will be the best case scenario regarding changing someones behavior. This takes the most amount of management.

"The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”

Viktor E. Frankl


All the best,
~Craig



Friday, August 10, 2012

Between Self & Others



I observed an interesting phenomenon recently. It all started when I received an email from Franklin Fudail. Mr. Fudail was inquiring about a women's assault prevention workshop that I teach called Her Survival Guide.  (HSG is a program that I've been teaching all over the United States for more than two decades now.) 

Franklin introduced his organization and explained what and why they were doing what they were doing. He said that he had been following me and my organizations for some time and liked what I was up to. Then he asked how much I charged to teach the workshop. Although now that I teach conflict management for a living I do charge for my services, however I still think it is important to donate time to those in need, it helps them and it helps me too. So, I dedicate a certain amount of hours to serve my fellow brothers and sisters out there. I try to pay it forward a little when I can. Most of it goes unseen by many, which is good, because as NYFD hero Capt. Pat Brown said true service is done in silence. (Pat tragically lost his life saving others in the attack on the World Trade Building in New York on 9/11). But once in a while an opportunity is given like this one and even though I don't make decisions based on getting a bunch of publicity, it is nice when I get some and I gladly take it when it comes. Thus the facebook post and this blog post.

I try to give to those people who need it, but honestly can't afford it. This is not to be confused with those people and organizations who can afford it, but try to get it discounted or donated even though they have the resources. To those folks I would like to remind you that there are people out there that really need financial help and when you don't contribute it hurts those who really don't have the means. Too many "non-profit" organizations sit up on their high horses looking down on others just before driving away in their BMW's, taking vacations in their $300k summer homes, touting about their lofty altruistic goals as they do more to take advantage of and provide tax shelters than support the cause. I'll gladly compare accounting records with you regarding how much of the money coming in goes to the actual cause of helping people! What can each of us do to contribute to the betterment of humanity?! What are YOU doing? Go get another latte' and think about it. When it comes to helping: Lead, follow, or get out of our way!

Sorry about that little rant. I am human so, sometimes I get a little frustrated with some organizations and people out there.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yea...

If you haven't been keeping up with the news, you may not know that Muskegon has been struggling. There have also been numerous girls disappearing either through being abducted or running away.  Franklin's Muskegon Heights Boxing Club and the Barbara J. Matthews Summer Empowerment Program for Girls is trying to do something about it. They are down in the trenches helping out kids and families who need it. Franklin and his staff are making a difference in those young people's lives in a community that is struggling. 

I saw that there are good people who need help in something that I have some expertise in. And since I believe that we are all in this together, I asked Franklin if it would be alright to just donate my time to do the workshop at no cost to their organization. 

Now you may be wondering to yourself why I am blabbing about this in my blog? Didn't I just quote Capt. Pat Brown about real service being in silence? You're right, I did, but let me go on with my story...

It is interesting how the universe works. As Joseph Campbell says, "Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls." I am finding this to be true. Scary, but true. It takes a lot of hard work and faith to open those doors. Most quit before they give themselves (or the universe) a chance.

Anyway, after I asked to donate the HSG program, Franklin was very appreciative.He said that he owned the Muskegon Tribune Newspaper and that he was going to have one of his reporters call me to do an article on me. I wasn't expecting him to do something like that, but I thought that it was nice of him to put "a little blurb" in the back of the paper or something (which is what I usually get). I wasn't expecting being on the FRONT COVER! I was stunned and a bit humbled. To say that it was very generous would be an understatement! (Franklin, if you are reading this, thanks brother. I really appreciate it!)

I made a few changes to the curriculum to accommodate the age group and called on a friend and student of mine, Todd Hendricks to lend a hand if he could. Todd is the assistant dean at Timberland Charter School in Muskegon. He has been training with me in Krav Maga for a couple years as well as a graduate of my PeaceWalker conflict management/leadership program. Between that and his experience working with kids, I thought he would be a great addition to the event. And he was. Todd is an inspiring leader. We need more people like Todd in our education system out there. He is also in the trenches every day making a difference in peoples lives.

The ride out to Muskegon was beautiful, especially if you take the back roads (which I did). I wove Westward around Leonard Street. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, the trees were tall and green, there was little breeze, jammin' to some old school Sammy Hagar on the stereo, doing what I love to do, train with people while maybe even make the world a little better place! =) Beats the hell out of a cubicle in corporate America. Life doesn't get much better than this!

In about 50 minutes I arrived in Muskegon and met Franklin for the first time. He is a wonderful, humble, respectful man. I can tell by the way he holds himself that he is sincere. We are lucky to have him as a mentor to our kids who need some guidance in their lives. Thanks Franklin.

I got the gym a little early to set up, so Franklin helped me unload my car. A little later Todd showed up, followed by the girls. Once 4pm rolled around we had about fifteen young ladies waiting to learn, share and grow. And that is what we did for the next hour and a half! We talked about the 6 A's of safety  we worked on controlling our tactical space, as well as some wrist releases. The most important things we covered is having the right Attitude! Don't play the victim. As Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl once said, "You can't always control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it."

After the workshop I felt as I always feel after a training session: Reconnected, energized and excited! 

Once home I decided to share the newspaper article on my facebook page and was overwhelmed by all of the "likes" and comments! I received over 70 likes on my personal page and dozens on the other pages that I have (Ronin Empowerment Group, The PeaceWalker Project & Ronin Krav Maga). Now I've have posted messages that have received numerous "likes" and comments, but none compare to this post. 

Why was this one so different? Was it because I was on the front cover of a periodical? Nope, I've posted about being in other magazines, like Rapid Growth Media, Grand Rapids Magazine, Grand Rapids Business Journal, even on Nationally Syndicated Frontlines of Freedom or ABC TV13 and nothing compared to this article. WHY?! Well, I think because it dealt with helping OTHERS! Yes, that's right folks. I think people connected with this post so much because I was helping other people who needed it. This is what Dr. Robert Humphrey's Dual Life Values talks about. Self preservation is respected, we all want to survive and we like to learn skills that help us to do that, however we connect even more deeply with protecting others. I think knowingly or not, when everyone heard about the girls getting training in how to protect themselves it was accessing their own protector mindset at a deeper level because it was helping SOMEONE ELSE.  Now please don't confuse my message, I am NOT saying that I am any sort of hero for doing this, I am simply pointing out that we connect more deeply with protecting others more so than ourselves. I think that all the facebook "Likes" and comments support that protector perspective. Who doesn't want their young daughter to be protected? We are all protectors at heart, sometime we need only activate it! My friend and training brother Jack Hoban goes into great detail on this in his new book The Ethical Warrior. If you haven't read it you should! It really sheds light on this.  As a matter of fact, I'm having Jack come in and do both a presentation and workshop this month, so if you are interested click for more info.

So there are my thoughts for the day! Now it's off to Frontlines of Freedom to record Denny Gillem and my latest segment regarding safety tactics during domestic or international terrorism! 

All the best,
~Craig