Spillers on the HiMama Podcast for Early Care and Education

Episode 64: Be "WUCA": Welcome, Understand, Comfort, Appreciate

Frank Spillers wants you to create a classroom environment where people (children, administrators, educators) can be engaged. "Be WUCA to yourself and the people you work with". Spillers works with different childcare providers to help them identify engagement techniques and helps them to be happy in the work they do. He often asks "Are you passionate about kids?" - if the answer is no, then Spillers says they're doing more damage to the sector than you are helping. When we have engaged people working with children, their impact is far reaching. "People will stay where they are appreciated and where they feel welcome".


The Preschool Podcast by HiMama

2017 Social Media Distribution

The Preschool Podcast is a platform for leaders in early childhood education to share their experiences, thoughts and insights in the world of early learning.  If you work in a daycare, child care or preschool setting, the show will provide you with practical advice on managing your organization, center or classroom, as well as thought provoking discussions about the field of early childhood education.  Our goal with The Preschool Podcast is to provide knowledge and inspiration for the leaders of tomorrow by engaging in conversation with the leaders of today!

We are Looking for Committed Communities - Are you one of them?

Are you a rural region looking to grow your small community population and create wealth? Are you a rural region that will do whatever it takes to transition into a growth mindset? We are searching for committed small communities willing to do what it takes to grow, engage, and welcome people, their ideas, and businesses from all over the world. Here is what we are looking for:

Committed Small Community Guidelines

A region of three to six communities commits to:

 1.   Grow population and decrease area poverty.

 2.   Implementing the Small Community Institute process for five (5) years to allow cultural change for growth.

 3.   Change decision-making from a top-down to bottom-up approach using participatory,       community-driven engagement.

 4.   Change economic development philosophy from recruiting companies to recruiting, welcoming, and integrating people.

 5.   Adopt civility resolutions at city, county, school boards.

 6.   Strong telecommunications support and access with active participation by Internet providers.

 7.   Three of the region’s larger businesses are willing to implement the Small Community processes within their company.

 8.   The school district as an active participant that allows student and staff professional development through Global Horizons.

 9.   The hospital/healthcare system as an active participant that allows staff development through Global Horizons.

10.   Invest time, energy, and resources to develop a cooperative, collaborative community spirit.

Communities need to be committed, not just interested in growing. That means doing whatever it takes, whatever is necessary to change. 

Communities that want to grow need to take a risk and find out what all of their community members think. I am not talking about just sending out a survey. I am talking about designing very specific public sessions so all people can come and voice their values-based opinions and then create processes that address community perceptions to turn around your decline. 

It is not easy for chamber of commerce, economic development leaders, or public officials to admit that their town is not a perfect place to live. But, if your community is brave enough to dig into your culture and find out the reasons why your community is not growing, you can turn around your trends to grow your population and create wealth. 

If you are committed to growing wealth in your community, we look forward to talking with you. Contact us now at kim@ghorizons.com!  Let's grow!

Small Community Leadership Development Institute

Small Community logo2.pub.jpg

Small Community Leadership Development Institute (SCLDI) relies on individual development enhancing small community capacity. SCLDI equips people with tools and understanding of small community decision-making and allows their views to be expressed and incorporated into development and planning. New skills enhance effectiveness in addressing issues affecting small communities, strengthening community capacity to identify opportunities and approach issues in innovative ways.

The Institute is a 24-hour, face-to-face course in groups up to 25 people, that takes an honest look at ourselves and communities. Using the book, "The Be WUCA! Way, the ART of getting along," authored and led by Frank and Kimberlee Spillers, the timeframe of the 24 hours is flexible to the group.

Read on for curriculum elements, intended participants, what you'll learn, and why you should take this course.

Bring Small Community Leadership DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE home

The Small Community Leadership Development Institute is ideally suited if you are a/an:

Young leader. A person who wants to get involved. Government employee. Business owner.  Manager. New resident. Student. Positional leader, like a school superintendent, physician. Non-profit board member. Chamber of commerce member. Economic development board member. Elected official. Anyone who is:

  • intent on living both a successful and meaningful life.
  • committed to lifelong learning and personal growth.
  • hungry to make a significant positive impact in your community and the world.
  • anxious to discover and further develop your natural leadership strengths.
  • ready to take responsibility for the impact you have on others as a leader.
  • willing to share your leadership journey with your community.

Benefits. By the end of this Institute, you will:

  • recognize your personal leadership strengths and how to use them most effectively.
  • perceive and build on strengths in others to create powerful alliances and achieve mutual goals. 
  • identify and break through self-perceived limits. 
  • understand and appreciate your unique personal abilities to lead.
  • learn to draw on your abilities to influence, inspire and develop collaborative relationships.
  • learn to respond effectively to dynamically changing conditions in the world and how your community fits into that dynamic.
  • become aware of your impact on others, create your desired impact, and take responsibility for that impact in all aspects of your life.
  • possess an enhanced view of yourself as a leader, ready to assume new responsibilities and leadership roles.

Participants will learn to:

  • recognize and utilize deliberation as a tool to bring positive discussion to community issues.
  • motivate individuals to become enthusiastic volunteers who participate in community organizations.
  • develop a vision for the future.
  • understand relationships and what they mean to growing communities, organizations, and businesses.
  • be an effective board member.
  • identify community, organizational, and business assets in people.
  • identify resources for entrepreneurs.
  • develop an understanding of leadership fundamentals.
  • create opportunity for peer networking.
  • develop knowledge of local, formal leadership structure.
  • create opportunity for participants’ short- and long-term involvement in community.

Global Horizons will:

  • have class members identify community leaders. 
  • utilize an appropriate curriculum to guide discussions regarding leadership.
  • recruit a variety of leaders to present on their leadership style.
  • encourage interaction to meet new people through a meal each gathering.
  • schedule social events within and between communities to build trust and foster business.
  • have each class member share their background and current involvement in the community. 
  • help participants list various groups and leaders of the community, looking for potential new.
  • invite community members as speakers to share their story and respond to questions about their experiences.
  • have class members interview one person not participating in the class and make those interviews available to the whole class to learn tips and gain knowledge and understanding.
  • have the class identify a community project to complete.
  • make a list of class members available to local groups and organizations who may benefit from a pool of new trainees.
  • have class members make a one-year commitment to a group/organization.

Curriculum elements in lecture, reflection/implementation worksheets, presentation formats

  • Understand your personality
  • Develop a positive leadership style
  • Develop a personal, positive image
  • Work with others in a positive manner
  • Trustful relationship-building
  • Develop a positive team in your community
  • Create positive change and address issues your community faces
  • Motivate volunteers
  • Civilly address public issues in safe public space
  • Involve the public in decision-making
  • Be an effective board member
  • Develop and include your youth
  • Encourage entrepreneurs/help existing businesses succeed/business succession
  • Create positive visions and develop strategic steps to attain your vision
  • Develop a tool chest of resources
  • Learn how to fail
  • Identify a community project

Keep in mind

Vision, collaborative planning, and collaborative partnerships are the essence of effective community leadership. Though it can be learned, community leadership is not a science, and no one set of practices ensures effective leadership. Community leadership needs to be flexible to suit different situations. Leaders need sound knowledge of people and resources to act as creative problem-solvers.

Leadership involves commitment, not just interest.  Commitment is most effective combined with purpose, passion, shared vision and goals to get you where you want to be. Shared vision works best  when community-centered, not self-serving.

Trust is a major indicator of effective leadership, with a number of sources. It may come from the personal integrity of a leader, from his/her hard work or from previous engagement with the community. An important outcome of such engagement should be the willingness and ability to listen and recognize that no one has a monopoly of truth. Trust may develop when leaders, through their attitudes, approaches and actions, indicate they recognize that responsibility is owed to people as well as the bottom line of the project.

Ready to start? This is a wonderful opportunity for individuals to apply new learning in your personal, workplace, community life to provide clarity. Unity. Collaboration. New energy that generates wealth. 

The future of small communities is determined by the development of great leaders! 

Contact Kim, 712-250-0275 or kim@ghorizons.com.

Let's go!

Small Community Development Institutes

“The significant problems that we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”  Albert Einstein

Effective measures of every rural economic development effort should be: 

  • What we are doing to increase our population?
  • What are we doing to decrease poverty? 

Since rural counties across the country have lost more population than gained, this quote and goal should be in every conversation of every rural board, organization, and business if there is to be growth in rural America.

Gil Gillespie, retired professor of sociology at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, points out, “population and poverty are complex issues with many causes. Population is important, but having a citizenry with a good balance of ages, a high rate of good livelihoods from their own businesses and employers, and interest in and commitment to the locality, are also needed."

    This pyramid shows where new jobs are created, but most economic development programs are geared to recruit “that” business to town so we can create “good” jobs. If we attract “that” business, it may be good for the community, but a loss for the community “that” business left. We’ve just shifted location, and perpetuated a win-lose game plan.

    Small business is the backbone of this country, creating 98 percent of all jobs on Main Street, in our neighborhoods, and countryside. Rural communities must undergo cultural transition in their economic development mentality that recruiting businesses will be our saving grace for jobs, because rural communities don’t have the workforce and can’t afford to give away the taxes required to compete to get corporations to locate in their town.

    Small communities must work differently – together – to grow, and may have to work around “good ol’ boys” clubs. Leaders may say, “We don’t have to do anything different, we're already doing this.” Recruitment approaches and decades-old methods of attraction worked then, but if still the primary form of economic development, communities lose population, schools, hospitals, and youth.

    What's needed: a systematic process for small community development

    Communities need a systemic, organized entrepreneurial process that allows people to explore business creation, ownership, and succession. There are resources to create pieces of the system such as business plans, financial statements, goal-setting, and pots of revolving loan funds. However, the best approach is a complete ecosystem that instructs, supports, and nourishes business owners AND a community who buys their goods and services.

    Processes that begin steady, consistent, long-term cultural transition to increase new leadership, address long-term, cultural issues and bring historically "warring" communities together see lasting success. Using bottoms-up, relationship-building, image-changing, sustainable approaches to grow rural areas, these Institutes build civility and have great growth benefits through building and strengthening relationships within and between communities.

    What can I do?

    Think of your community. Are any of these issues being addressed at your city council/board of supervisors/economic development team/school board meeting or coffee shop?

    • Do you have young people that are engaging in leadership positions and new ideas being promoted?
    • How do does your community get along with neighboring towns? Collaborate or resent? Why? Is it beneficial to either of you?
    • Are elected officials talking about population decline and increasing poverty? More importantly, what is being done about it?
    • Is economic development being done the same way as it has for the last 100 years? What's happening?
    • How are attitudes? What is said of each community and the county? What do you say about it? Your youth? If asked by a stranger, “What is great about living here?” and the answer is, “There’s nothing to do here, I can’t wait to get out,” is that the message to send guests who could be looking to bring a family and/or business?
    • What about income opportunities? Not everyone is cut out to work for someone else. Do you encourage and support people starting or own businesses?

    Rural economic development must address people and poverty. Approaches must change if rural America is to grow. 

    Learn how with Global Horizons' Small Community Development Institutes. 

    Cultural Transition Institutes

    Cultural Transition Institutes

    The Key to Success: Relationships

    Starting a new school year? Job? Awesome career transition? Move to a new town? 

    Let me give you some helpful hints.

    Everything you do for the rest of your life will involve relationships in every aspect or your life: family, work, teachers, volunteer, and even with yourself. The relationships you build will determine ALL your successes and ALL your failures.

    I only teach attitude and how to create and build great relationships. I don't teach reading, writing, or math. Those are skills you can learn from YouTube.

    If any relationship you are in is not going the way you want, you can be certain you are compounding the problem by continuing to give energy, focus and attention to the actions you dislike or don’t want. When you say, "I don’t get along with my parents," or teachers, or someone with whom you work, you define the relationship in terms of what you dislike. When your thoughts and words are on what you don’t want, it will continue to be the story of the relationship. If you want the relationship to improve, focus your energy on what you love about it and what you want it to be like.

    So, as you head back to school or a great new career move, or your newest job, try these to create meaning in your life.


    • All your actions determine your results. Don’t blame others for what happens in your life or how your life ends up. It is how you respond to others that create your circumstances. The words you use govern how you perceive the world you live in and how the world perceives you.


    • Actively listen to understand the other person, not just wait to talkListen to their stories. Look them in the eyes. Listen for their experience and wisdom. You don't know it all.  Ask more questions about others and tell less about yourself.

    Be True to Who You Really Are.

    • Explore your passions. Don’t allow others to dictate who you should be and what you should do.
    • Find your purpose and determine your “Why.” You were put on this Earth for a reason, so keep true to yourself. Create in your mind a clear picture of the future you wish to live. A vision is a strong force to allow you to become who you are.
    • Make clear, SMART goals as stepping stones to your vision- goals that are specific, manageable, attainable, realistic, and timely. When you follow your dream, have a passion/desire, and you embed it in your heart, you create a happy, satisfying life worth living.

    Express Gratitude.

    • Appreciate everybody who comes into your life - good or bad. They're with you for a reason, so be thankful for the lessons you learn from them.
    • Forgive anybody who has harmed you in any way. Hanging on to "what they did," and trying to "get back at them" only gives them power and control over you.
    • Write a Living Eulogy for those in your life you love and hate. Let go of the past and always take the opportunity to tell someone what they mean to you when you can. "Someday" may be too late.

    Live a life where you keep learning. 

    Live a life so when people ask you how you are, you can say, “I am better than I used to be.”

    Above all else, live a life that builds people up.

    Go make a great life.

    Bullying in the Schools Will End When the Adults Stop Bullying Each Other.

    To Be WUCA! is to Welcome, by having a great attitude; Understand, by listening and being open to other’s ideas; being Comfortable in knowing your own passion, purpose, vision, and goals; and Appreciating by expressing gratitude. It is a simple idea. Maybe too simple, because this is not what I see people living.

    This is why I am more than a little perplexed at blaming youth for bullying.

    Yes, they do need to take responsibility for their actions and yes, we do have a problem with bullying.

    But are we focusing on the root cause?

    Look around!

    All I have to do is look in my email inbox or on my Facebook page to see each political party calling people in the other party names, or women telling men and men telling women that each other’s opinion does not matter, signs and sayings that people post inferring that when people think a certain way, they are somehow un-American or un-Christian, or that if you are not born in this country you are not paying taxes and using all of our services for free.

    Have you been watching the presidential campaigns? It is no wonder that we have kids that bully.

    We have grown men, who want to be President of this nation and represent all of us, calling each other “liar” and pointing fingers telling them that what they think and what they do is wrong. Politicians shout on television and radio waves saying others are “stupid” for stopping “this idea” from going forward.

    And people send money to support this type of behavior.

    When adults in communities gossip in coffee shops or in beauty parlors about how so-and-so got to the top by lying and cheating, are they simply jealous of someone’s success? The message is they want to see other people fail.

    Or radio talk show hosts and writers hiding behind "free speech" call others derogatory names.

    What kind of modeling are we doing as adults? Do we say, “If your values are not like mine, you are wrong?”

    Back to students.

    Our schools are reflections of our communities: test scores, people on free and reduced lunch, bullying, lack of motivation, and lack of respect for teachers are examples of community life.

    Kids are blamed on how big a problem bullying is in schools with when all you may have to do is look within the families and the community.

    What is the matter with kids today? Look to the adults that model behavior.

    What is the answer to bullying?

    Adopt a Be WUCA! strategy in your family, community, church, and school - in all areas of your life! Live to

     Welcome, Understand, Comfort, and Appreciate others.

    We’ll be amazed at the turnaround this country will see.

    Never Give In, Never, Never, Never, Never!

    Churchill famously said, "…never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense."

    Churchill said this on the 29th of October, 1941, in a speech at the school he attended as a boy, Harrow School just outside of Central London.

    Churchill went on to say: "Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."

    What does that mean to "Never give in?"  It means never give up, and don't quit! It means to not listen to those who say you can't.

    It means not to listen to that small voice in your head that tells you all of the things you can't do because of the people in your life who told you you weren't worthy. 

    It means not to defeat yourself even before you start. It means to never picture a failed outcome even before you start. 

    Success means persistence and to persevere! It means to listen to those who cheer you on and see in you talents and abilities that you don't see in yourself. It's to turn a deaf ear to those who tell you "it won't work, it will never work," or "you have never been able to do anything like this!" 

    So, what do you need to be successful? 

    You need someone by your side that will cheer you on. Someone that will present possibilities, Someone that sees more in you than you see in yourself.

    When you have someone to encourage you, to motivate you to push yourself beyond what you can see, you will be the success you only dream about. 

    And you will be much happier because you became what you were created to do.

    WUCA! coaching makes sense for you because you surround yourself with people that cheer you on. People that help you find your passion and purpose. People that help you succeed by giving you the courage and perseverance to achieve your vision of where you want to go. 

    Relationships are in all growth. Communities, businesses, families, churches, and even you grow through relationships. Don't give up on your relationships.  Be WUCA! Coaching is a great process to build relationships that create growth. 

    Let us help you keep moving forward and building your relationships. Contact us now! kim@ghorizons.com 

    Disengaged Workers are Robbing Your Business.

    In your workplace, if the environment is not right, your workforce is not productive and it is your managers who are the likely productivity killers. Not because they are wasteful with your product; it's because they are wasteful with your people.

    American businesses are spending more than $300 billion on stress-related health issues. Your business can increase profit margins when you WUCA! 'ize your workplace environment.

    In his book, The Coming Jobs War, Jim Clifton writes “Gallup has determined that 28% of the American workforce is ‘engaged,’ another 53% is ‘not engaged,’ and a staggering 19% is ‘actively disengaged.’"

    He defines “engaged” workers as the best colleagues. "They cooperate to build your organization. They are the creative force behind everything good that happens in an organization. They are the only people in your organization who create new customers.

    "Disengaged workers are just there, killing time with little or no concern about customers, productivity, profitability, waste, safety, mission and purpose of the teams, or developing customers. They’re thinking about lunch or their next break. They are essentially checked out. Most importantly, these people may not just be part of your support staff or sales team, they may sit on your executive committee.

    "Actively disengaged workers are hostile, disruptive, troublemakers who are there to dismantle and destroy your company. They exhaust managers, have more on-the-job accidents and cause more quality defects. They contribute to ‘shrinkage’ – as theft is politely called. They are sick more often, miss more days, and quit at a higher rate than do engaged employees.

    "Whatever the engaged do, the actively disengaged seek to undo, and that includes problem-solving, innovation, and finding new customers. When you’re in a meeting with nine other people, odds are that two of them are taking notes to make sure whatever you’re planning doesn't see the light of day."

    Businesses, organizations, schools, communities, and families all need an environment that engages - and is enjoyable! We know how: learn the Be WUCA! Way. 

    You can hire the best talent in the world, but if they aren't working to make you and your organization profitable, you have wasted your time and money.

    Give us a call at 712-250-0275 and let's talk about how to increase your bottom line and build a more productive, enjoyable environment!

    Some Places Just Don't Want to Grow!

    C.A.V.E. people - Citizens Against Virtually Everything.   

    W.A.V.E. people - Workers Against Virtually Everything.  

    P.A.V.E. people - Parishioners Against Virtually Everything.  

    N.I.M.B.Y. people - Not In My Back Yard! 

    Every state, community, organization has people like these folks, but we tend to discount them or say, “They will always look at the negative.”

    If you have issues in your community, where you just can't get moving because of some people or other obstacle, and you want to grow, it is time to get your head out of the sand and take an honest look at the issues that keep your community/ies "stuck." 

    Look at your community culture.

    I have served in chamber of commerce and economic development organizations my entire professional career and I know those organizations are paid to promote all the good the community has to offer.

    However, communities that thrive are those who will publicly look for the bad, as well as promote the good. Thriving communities commit to being better.

    If you are committed, you will do whatever it takes. You stop blaming other people and circumstances for your situations. You learn what you need to learn. You practice what you need to practice. You put all attention / focus on how you will achieve your goals.

    How do you know what needs to be addressed if you don’t look at the downside of your community?

    Here are two pain points:

    • Are you increasing population?  and
    • Are you decreasing poverty?

    If you are not making headway on those two goals, you are not as welcoming as you think.

    In my research, states with a higher population of non-native-born citizens - people who were not born in, but are living in your state - are growing at a faster rate and have higher incomes than states with a higher population of native-born; those born in and living in the state.

    Ask those who moved into your community - people who do not have grandparents buried in the local cemetery - if they feel welcome and have a sense of belonging. Even if they've lived there 20+ years.

    Ask those who come to your church and sit in somebody else’s pew.

    Ask your youth in your high school if they want to stay and raise their children there. 

    Look at your culture. How your community "grew up."

    To address these issues, you need to start with Why? Why does your community exist?

    Do you know “why?" Are you asking? 

    Are you digging to find the "problem behind the problem" when the community disagrees? Do you ask for value-based opinions from your citizens on issues your community needs to solve?

    Convene a Community Engagement Institute to find your culture.  http://www.bewuca.com/blog/community-engagement-institute

    Neighboring Towns and Growth

    Why do we not like the community down the road? Is it because of athletics? A school merger? Because they stole our county charter 120 years ago? Or maybe, more than 100 years ago, our community had a competition who could hate their neighbor the most. One did. Understanding and breaking down the walls of conflict, perceptions, and hate is the first step toward growth as a region.

    How Issues Become "Issues"

    Whether in a family, church, school, business, organization or government, an issue goes through stages. When an issue is emerging, those involved and affected perceive their choices and choose their "sides" in resolving the matter.  The more involved we keep people and include as many choices as possible to solve the issue, the less disruptive the issue.

    If we take away choices, voice, and input from those involved and affected, the issue becomes increasingly disruptive. People who do not know how an issue is decided, and are not a part of how the decision is made, do not trust the outcome.

    So, the more disruptive the issue, the higher the cost that issue is to resolve in time, manpower, and/or money.

    Some communities do not want to know other people’s opinions. It is like they want their deep, dark, secrets to stay hidden, thinking, "if we don't talk about it, it doesn't exist." 

    Are you like that? Or do you want to change so you can grow with new people, ideas, energy?

    You go to the doctor's office to find out why you are not well. You want that doctor to be honest with you and tell you how to get better. 

    The "doctor" is in.

    Global Horizons has championed civility-building, community growth processes for more than 15 years.

    Building relationships builds civility to address motivation and community issues that keep you "stuck." 

    Give us a call. 


    Native Born per state 25+ -  http://www.governing.com/gov-data/census-migration-homegrown-populations-for-cities-states.html
    Growth rate per state - http://www.usa.com/rank/us--population-growth-rate--state-rank.htm?tag=Fastest+Growing+States+in+U.S.
    Richest States by income - http://www.usa.com/rank/us--median-household-income--state-rank.htm?yr=3000&tag=Richest+States+by+Income+in+U.S.

    Sow and Reap - What Would You Do?

    Author Unknown

    A successful businessman was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business. Instead of choosing one of his directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together.

    He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you.” The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued, “I am going to give each one of you a seed today – one very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO.”

    One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil, and compost and he planted the seed. Every day, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

    Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure.

    Six months went by — still nothing in Jim’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn’t say anything to his colleagues, however, he just kept watering and fertilizing the soil. He so wanted the seed to grow.

    A year went by and the CEO asked the young executives to bring their plants to work for inspection.

    When Jim told his wife that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot, she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his stomach. It was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room.

    When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful – in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed; a few felt sorry for him!

    When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives. Jim just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown,” said the CEO. “Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!”

    All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He asked Jim to come to the front of the room. Jim was terrified.  He thought, “The CEO knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!”

    When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed. Jim told him the story. The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, “Behold your next Chief Executive Officer — Jim!”

    Jim couldn’t believe it. "Jim couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new CEO?” the others said.

    Then the CEO said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead – it was not possible for them to grow.

    “All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!”

    • If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.
    • If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.
    • If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
    • If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment.
    • If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective.
    • If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
    • If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.

    Be careful what you plant now. It will determine what you will reap later.

    Change: With a Hammer or With Time

    People love change, they just don’t like transition!  https://youtu.be/pgVVsr8Q49w

    If it wasn’t for change, we would not have electricity, running water, or indoor plumbing. We would still be using the teletype, drums, or fire as our form of communication.

    But what is it about change that people do not like? It is the part of change that makes them uncomfortable. 

    Good leadership is all about scanning the landscape and looking toward the future to help make circumstances better for all involved. Great leadership is all about helping people make the transition through the change that needs to take place.

    That is why change cannot happen quickly. People need timie to get ready for the change to take place. People don’t resist change, their programming does.

    Great leaders help people transition from one habit to another. The period of transition, is when you make the best out of the new!

    Think of the change you want as an ice cube. Frozen in a particular, solid shape. There are only two ways to change an ice cube! A hammer or time!

    Change .jpg

    Change happens all the time. It is the great leaders and managers that create an environment where the transition from one habit to the other is meaningful.

    High Schools - Rural Community Job Creators

    Growing our economy and saving our schools and communities can be done by creating high schools that teach young people they don’t have to work for a big company or for other people. Teach them that owning their own business is a possibility and, in fact, is a local strategy that will grow the economy. The best way to accelerate our job creation rate is to embrace and support policies in all levels of the political spectrum that create entrepreneurs. This is especially critical in today's job market, where change is taking place so rapidly, it's challenging to know what "jobs" will be available in the next three to five years. Especially in rural communities, business creation and succession are easier to determine and execute.

    If we really want to make a difference in our economy and grow our towns, we must focus on entrepreneurship in our schools and towns. Don’t just create an entrepreneurship "class." Create a holistic entrepreneurship school that incorporates entrepreneurship practices into the core curriculum and an ecosystem in the community to support entrepreneurship.

    We need:

    • to encourage people to dream.
    • to help talented individuals start companies that create business models that grow big-, medium-, small-sized, sustainable organizations.
    • to encourage students to create local jobs by owning local businesses.
    • to support them to grow regionally and globally.
    • entrepreneurship schools that give students alternative curriculum that teaches the components of business planning and use their youthful creativity to design the future.
    • holistic schools that engage youth to develop as local leaders, energizing them through entrepreneurship and business growth.
    • policies and new traditions that include youth in decision making for family-friendly communities.
    • to teach the importance of philanthropy and giving back locally.

    Many of our towns are losing population. Schools are losing enrollment, and budgets are shrinking. We can turn around this trend by giving our youth an alternative to working for others and an alternative of having to move away to get a good job. That alternative is owning their own business and locating in the town where they are educated. 

    Imagine a school in your town that incubates business ideas and business models that will spin out to locate on Main Street or can be run from a home using the community’s local technology, contributing to and growing your local tax base!

    Do your students see a future for themselves?

    Gallup identified the reason students drop out of school and disengage in education: they have lost all hope in graduating. They cannot see how the education they are getting will lead them to where they want to go. Students will engage in their education when they see how it will provide them with a good job and a chance for a good life. For many, it is giving them hope that their “good job” will be created by their own creativity and the realization that they can own their own business.

    Innovation itself doesn’t create sales. The entrepreneur is the connector, the person who envisions a valuable product or concept and its customer, and then creates a business model and strategy that creates sales and profit.

    This isn’t just a school’s issue. For many towns and cities, it is a community survival issue.

    Entrepreneurship is a long-term commitment that needs the support of the local community, local school district, coupled with state policy support. From his book, The Coming Jobs War, Jim Clifton, chairman of Gallup, states, “If you were to ask me, from all of Gallup’s data and research on entrepreneurship, what will most likely tell you if you are winning or losing your city, my answer would be, ‘5th-12th-graders’ image of and relationship to free enterprise and entrepreneurship.’ If your city doesn’t have growing economic energy in your 5th-12th-graders, you will experience neither job creation, nor city GDP growth.”

     Entrepreneurship schools in our education system is a must and needs to be a supported strategy by leadership on all policy levels for our healthy, growing, successful future.

    Who powers your town?

    The dominant theme on any news is how “bad” big business is and how many employees “they” have added or taken away. Many people think that this country is run by “big business,” but actually, our country is really run and dominated by small- and medium-sized businesses. Ninety-eight percent of a community’s new jobs are created by businesses you see on your Main Street, home- based businesses that are a part of your town’s hidden economy, and many other of your existing businesses that you count on to meet your needs.

    Clifton continues, “as of 2007, there were about six million businesses in the United States with at least one employee; businesses with 500 or fewer employees represent more than 99% of these six million. There are slightly more than 88,000 companies with 100 to 500 employees and about 18,000 with 500 to 10,000 workers – and only about 1,000 companies with more than 10,000 employees.”

    Math says, of six million U.S. companies, only 107,000 of them have more than 100 employees. That leaves 5,893,000 businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

    We work with communities on many different levels time in very rural areas. We’ve watched communities spend many thousands of dollars to “steal” companies from other towns, thus creating a neutral net gain of jobs in the economy. Many of those companies, after they have used up their tax advantages from relocating, will look elsewhere to gain more tax advantages and their loyalty to that community ends as soon as they receive a better deal, if there was any loyalty to begin with.

    This is not just about taxes or regulations, though those are important components to the economy. Our focus is about teaching young people from a very early age that there is an alternative to working for someone else and that is creating your own business and products and working for yourself.

      According to Clifton, “the United States has successfully invented and commercialized between 30% and 40% of all breakthroughs worldwide, throughout virtually all categories, in the last 200+ years.”

      That is a startling statistic when you really think about what that means.  We have a culture of creativity and invention. We also have a culture of taking those inventions to market.

      That takes an entrepreneur.

      Who are your entrepreneurs?

      It appears to us we have been losing "entrepreneurial spirit" in our creative business cycle. Many community businesses are third-generation owners, passed down in families, leading to many of our communities and leaders losing their entrepreneurial culture, innovation, and drive.

      Entrepreneurs are the bridge to the innovations and those customers that will use the products, and the business model is everything! You can have all the inventions and innovative products in the world, but without the business model the entrepreneur creates to bring a product to market, new inventions and innovations sit on the shelf.

      Entrepreneurs are those who usually start businesses, but teaching entrepreneurship in school also introduces the concept of “intrapreneurship.” Intrapreneurs work inside companies and are the brains and energy behind creating customers.

      An entrepreneur/intrapreneur will create business models that will identify more customers and create innovative ways to address local, commercial, and social concerns.

      Who do YOU see has a great idea that can become a successful business for your community?

      If you'd like to explore ideas for your school and community, we're here!

      WUCA! and Politics

      We were told that WUCA! should stay out of politics. That we should focus on doing WUCA! and not get into the "mud" with the others. 

      If new to WUCA!, the acronym is to Welcome, Understand, Comfort and Appreciate yourself and others for great relationships. bewuca.com

      Actually, in part, WUCA! was created in response to politics. Politics where one side bullies the other and people don't get along in business, community, organizations, school, family, church - you name the entity. 

      WUCA! asks how do you value other people? How do you value yourself? Do you look for ways to be offended and strike back or do you try to understand the "why" of the other person's thinking and build a relationship with them?

      WUCA! has the power to elevate and improve politics when you look inside yourself and take responsibility for the way you react to the outside environment. No one else can make you feel angry, sad, mad, glad, offended, or any feeling, only you can. You allow your feelings by the choice of the response you make. 

      The Welcome in WUCA! is about self-responsibility and how you choose to feel. In each situation, determine the outcome you want and act to achieve it. Welcome frames your ability to respond in the way, with the words and actions, you choose, for the outcome you want.

      Understand is to listen. Do you really listen or just wait to talk? Listening involves all your senses because only seven percent of what is said is heard through the words spoken. Body language and tone make up the other 93 percent of what we say.

      Listening also involves the values and history of the receiver and speaker of the communication. How did they grow up? What were their parents like? What happened to them when their brain was developing during the first five years life, when the brain makes more than 80 percent of its neuron connections? Do you know the why behind the words? 

      Comfort in WUCA! is to know your passion, have a purpose in life, with a clear vision of the future and goals to reach your vision. It is being comfortable in your own skin with who you are and where you are going. 

      Appreciate yourself and others, as unexpressed gratitude is ingratitude. Appreciate people for who they are, while they are living. If you wait until their funeral to give their eulogy; it's too late for them to hear.

      From what we experience and observe, WUCA! belongs FIRMLY planted in politics and in life, for relationships - and politics - are all around us. How we behave and treat others is a constant and creates the world in which we live.

      When you Learn WUCA!, Act WUCA!, and Teach others to Be WUCA!, you will change the world.

      We know how to help people get along in all settings. If you'd like to know more, reach out to Kim, kim@ghorizons.com.


      Immigration Dialogues

      Is your community wrestling with immigration?  Are you unsure or fearful about how to proceed? Do you see approaches that are ineffective and polarizing for your community?

      Bring the Community Engagement Institute to help you talk through, not just about issues around immigration in non-threatening conversations. This on-site community engagement process uses value-seeking conversation called deliberative dialogue. Deliberative dialogue builds relationships that allow respectful understanding of, and appreciation for, the viewpoints of all people.

      This dialogue setting creates an atmosphere where people can participate and understand why another person holds a view on an issue – to hear what has happened in their life to cause them to think the way they do. The result of deliberative dialogue is that relationships are built and common ground is discovered to move forward in non-violent ways.

       Global Horizons specializes in processes that engage people to work through issues, not simply discuss them. The philosophy generates relationships that stimulate any community of people to become the best they can be to work creatively and productively together. Healthy, respectful relationships must be in place for a community to move ahead. 

      Change Your Response to Change Your Circumstances

      We teach in our workshops that everyone loves change, they just don't like transition. Change is nothing more than creating new habits, taking some people longer to adapt to new ways of doing and thinking about things. 

      Habits are merely reactions and responses we have learned to perform automatically without having to think or decide, most by our subconscious. Fully 95 percent of our behaviors, feelings, and responses are habitual.

      All of our attitudes, emotions, and beliefs tend to become habitual. In our lives, we've learned that certain attitudes and ways of feeling and thinking are appropriate to certain situations, so we tend to think, feel, and act the same way whenever we encounter what we interpret as the same sort of situation.

      For example, over time, arguments between spouse, business partners, or communities, become habitual. People learn to “push buttons.” You say this to me, I say this to you, and back and forth, acting out the identical script and responding in exactly the same way as you have done many times before.

      The great news is that these habits can be modified, changed, and reversed, simply by taking the trouble to make a conscious decision, and then practice and act out the new response or behavior. It requires constant watchfulness and practice until the new behavior pattern is learned, but it can be accomplished!

      In "The Be WUCA! Way," we call this "driving your WUCA! CAR," for C (Circumstances) + A (Actions) = R (Results.) To change your circumstances, you have to change your actions to get the results you want. This is the only way to achieve what you want.

      Seven pledges to change your habitual response:

      Raise your right hand and repeat after me! 

      1. I will be as cheerful as possible.
      2. I will act friendlier toward people.
      3. I will be less critical and more tolerant of other people, their opinions, failings, and mistakes. I will place the best possible interpretation on their actions.
      4. I will not judge other people. I will not let my own opinion color facts in a pessimistic or negative way.
      5. I will practice smiling at least three times during the day.
      6. I will react as calmly and as intelligently as possible.
      7. I will ignore completely and close my mind to all those pessimistic and negative comments that I can do nothing to change.

      Simple? No. But each of these habits of acting, feeling, and thinking has an influence on your self-image. Commit to these seven pledges for 30 days, then teach them to somebody else. See if worry, guilt, hostility have been decreased and if confidence and a better outlook on life and your situation has increased. 

      Learn to drive your WUCA! CAR to get different results in your life. The Be WUCA! Way is a great book to begin the process to change your habits. www.bewuca.com

      What if Congress and State Legislatures were Split 50/50

      I was told once by an Iowa state senator that the only time she remembered getting "real" work done is when the legislature was split 50 percent Republican and 50 percent Democrat.

      This got me to thinking, what if there was a constitutional amendment that required Congress and State Legislatures to be 50/50 by the parties?

      You could still hold party affiliations, still elect by party in the primary, but the determining factor of governing would be the requirement of equal party/power balance in state and federal Capitols.

      One of the moves that helped in Iowa was to have shared leadership and co-chairs of committees.

      If we had equal weight and balance, there would be no more "blaming the other party" for not doing anything, since whatever was done would be passed by bipartisan compromise. If the matter at hand was vetoed, all responsibility would fall to the chief executive of the state/country and there would be override opportunity by a 2/3 vote.

      It might even take out the need to sign executive privilege declarations.

      Here is what the National Conference of State Legislatures says about the issue:


      In Case of a Tie......

      (Legislative Deadlock, Tied Chambers)

      Every even-year election from 1984 through 2010 produced at least one deadlocked legislative chamber. Here is what legislatures suggest to make a 50/50 work.

      ·      View the situation as a challenge, not a dilemma.  Have the attitude that you are going to make it a success.

      ·      Use organizations such as NCSL to find out what other states have done who have faced deadlock. Then open up lines of communications with those states.

       ·      If possible, get a mentor in one of them—someone who is willing to help you through the details.

      ·      Begin negotiating as soon as possible. The negotiations will take time because this is a very stressful and often traumatic period. Have more than one person from each caucus on the negotiation team; this helps generate broader support for the final agreement. Negotiate carefully over the make-up of your committees because they play a very important role in the legislative process.

      ·      Put people who aren’t intensely partisan or ideological in leadership positions. Cooperation and productivity are more important than who gets the credit for each individual issue.

      ·      Establish and maintain good communication; it is the key to avoiding problems.

      ·      Don’t forget a mechanism or an "escape valve" to keep the process moving ahead.  You might need it in case important or critical legislation gets bogged down.

      ·      Let the public know what’s happening.

      50/50. Shared power. Working toward common ground on every issue that comes before the governing body. Might be worth a thought. 

      The biggest gap in growth is the gap between knowing and doing. In other words, you cannot grow if you do not do something toward growing. 

       Just as Martin Luther King said, "You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."

      Rural Communities: Stuck and Spinning Wheels

      In this blog, the context of “communities” is perceived as any group of individuals

      who work to make life better for all people in all groups.

      Is your community growing in population and new business, or does it feel you are “stuck” and spinning your wheels?

      Do the "good ol' boys" want you to believe they know what’s best to develop the community, even when you are skeptical they are self-motivated, rather than looking out for the good of the whole?

      If you are growing, great! Keep doing what you are doing!

      If you could use some help, here’s a technique to help your community move forward in the best way possible: deliberative dialogue.

      In a Be WUCA! community, all people work on public problems together, like what to do if the school is struggling, or your population is dwindling away. What sets a Be WUCA! community apart is its focus to talk through, not just about its issues using a technique called "deliberative dialogue.”

      This type of conversation gives amazing results because community members talk with each other for mutual understanding, not decision making, to find common ground. You get to hear why an issue is important to your neighbor from their values and experiences, not just venting.

      Be WUCA! community work creates the environment where all people thrive and feel part of their future. It’s a place where all feel WUCA!: Welcome. Understand. Comfort. Appreciate.

      Community members are the experts, so public deliberation begins as citizens - not the good ol' boys or experts - name a problem and identify potential approaches toward it. Through dialogues in a safe, neutral space, people take time to carefully consider advantages and drawbacks of the approaches, leading to new understandings and shared directions or decisions.

      A Be WUCA! community opens the door for all sectors to work together to enhance community life, where old relationships can change and new ones develop. You’ll even find that individuals or organizations who have a history of arguing or never talking can begin to work together!

      Growing your population and businesses using this Be WUCA! process creates a place for all people to be involved, because growing a community is up to each person to talk well of and promote your town, not because it’s someone’s “job.” 

      Communities that want to grow need to create opportunities for all people to get involved and then individuals need to take the opportunity and do it.

      Make growing your Be WUCA! community your responsibility.

      To learn about how these questions can help you grow, check out http://www.bewuca.com/blog/relationship-economic-development-wuca-ize-your-community?rq=WUCA!-ize

      Rural America, You Have So Much Potential

      Growing up, my mother was told by my teachers that “I had so much potential!” The problem was I did not see my potential because I had such a limited view of myself and my teachers did nothing to pull what potential they saw out of me.  

      It's the same with our communities. We cannot see from the inside what others see from the outside. We must draw out potential. 

      I have a passion to build rural America because for more than 30 years, I have seen the innovation, passion, drive, business sense, and heart of people who love where they live and want others to love it. I have seen and know the potential of rural America - it's vastly more than agriculture! 

      The result about potential is that rural America’s counties are losing more population than gaining.  The problem is not lack of buildings or industrial parks, bike paths, or lack of jobs.

      The key to building rural America is relationships.

      Communities must recognize and knock down the "walls" built through many years being jealous of other communities. For holding grudges from long-ago athletic competitions or school mergers where one community did not “get the building.” For family feuds created from generations of animosity toward each other. I know of one community who festered for 100 years before they realized how to grow.

      You can draw out potential in your community by including new people who bring new ideas, new directions, and creative approaches to old problems. 

      People will stay when they:

      • feel they belong. 
      • know that they belong to something bigger, with a vision for a better future.
      • see themselves as equal participants in community growth. 
      • know why the community is a good fit for them.
      • know that the community has a sense of purpose.

      The role of community leaders is not to come up with the great idea, but to create an environment in which great ideas can happen, are encouraged, and are supported.

      Ask these questions of your "newer" citizens to help your community see itself through the eyes of another, perhaps one whose grandparents aren't buried in the cemetery.
      •    How long have you lived in this community?
      •    Why do you think we continue to exist as a community?
      •    For whom do you think we are a good community?
      •    Tell me a time when you did not feel you belonged/were welcome in this community.

      When you open your environment to Welcome, Understand, Comfort, and Appreciate new people, new ideas and creative approaches to old problems, your school will increase enrollment, your tax base will increase, and you will have more volunteers. 

      Want to draw out potential in your community? Check here for more ideas and call us to grow, 712-250-0275; kim@ghorizons.com.  http://www.bewuca.com/blog/relationship-economic-development-wuca-ize-your-community


      Questions to Understand Another's Viewpoint

      The news environment is throwing sound bites of information. Politicians spew carefully crafted words, even defining new phrases.

      When faced with sound bites, try these questions to help you with your position and understand another’s: 
      •    Do I believe what I’ve heard?
      •    I don’t like what I’ve heard, but for those who feel that way, what do they deeply care about?
      •    Is what’s being said based on a fact, an assumption, a false conclusion?
      •    What might happen to others from my ideas?
      •    What are the trade-offs I am, or not, willing to make about what’s being said?
      •    What is valuable to me or those who support this way of thinking?
      •    Could it be I am mistaken in my belief?
      •    Would I come to the same conclusion about some other person in a similar situation?
      •    Why should I continue to act and feel as if this were true if there is no good reason to believe it?

      Questioning and verifying what we hear is good for ourselves, our businesses, communities, and country.

      It’s the Be WUCA! Way.

      These questions can grow your community! Check it out at http://www.bewuca.com/blog/community-engagement-institute