A wonderful family man, friend and public servant.
Even though the recent recession postponed retirement for many Baby Boomers, it didn’t eliminate it; and now many of them are exiting the workforce stage left.
Because of this reality, many innovative organizations in both the private and public sectors are developing creative ways to develop effective leaders. Here’s a quick look at three unique approaches that could help prepare your team for the future:
Toyota has modeled this with great success. They created a diverse team of young (and I mean young!) leaders and provided some advanced leadership training. However, they also reached out to other organizations in their community and “loaned” this team of leaders to these organizations, many of which were non-profit groups. The purpose was to have the emerging leaders help these organizations solve problems they were facing. It was a win-win in more than one way. The organizations benefitted from receiving input from a different set of eyes. Toyota not only had a public relations win, but their leaders received some hands-on experience. It provided both learning and evaluation opportunities. This is something that many local governments could explore.
- Cross-Departmental Training
In The Southwest Airlines Way, author Jody Gittell describes the practices of Southwest Airlines in developing employees. Due in part to their aggressive cross-departmental training programs, employees are likely to know how their work relates to the work of the entire organization. They know how their work impacts other departments. Gittell argues that this is not typically true for other airlines. This may not seem like a quick fix for developing future leaders, and it’s not, but it may be an important foundational issue. John Kotter, distinguished business professor at Harvard, suggests that creating ways for employees to reach outside the boundaries of their own silos will facilitate innovation because it spreads operational knowledge and builds relationships. No leader is prepared for the future without those two things, no matter how many classes he/she has attended.
- Executive Assistants
This idea, sometimes used in the military, involves taking a young leader and re-assigning him/her for a period as an executive assistant to a department head. The key word is to have them serve as an “executive” assistant not an “administrative” assistant. This is not the next step to being the “assistant department head.” It is one step in the process of developing a future leader who will be much better equipped because of the opportunity to see things from a higher level for a period of time. It may seem like a luxury that you can’t afford to have, but if you are serious about developing leaders, it may be a necessity that you can’t afford to be without.
It was around 1981-1982 that I decided to quit my job and pursue the full-time ministry of an Evangelist. I had been taught by my Pastor that you never make major changes without prayer and fasting. I had a wife and two children at this time (my youngest was not yet born), and making this decision was serious because it would affect their lives greatly. I had to know it was God directing me.
I took a few days off from my job and went on a prayer and fast retreat to the Bogalusa Bible Conference. Back in those days they would let young ministers sleep in the basement to save from a Hotel bill. My mind was pretty made up, but I needed to be sure.
During a break, an elder Minister that barely knew me called me over to him. He told me, “Bro.Ronnie, a mushroom comes up over-night and is practically full grown, but it’s a mushroom. In no time it will be gone. But an oak tree takes years to grow. You go back to Thibodaux and be an oak tree.”
I knew immediately the Lord was answering my question. It was not His will for me to travel around this nation Evangelizing at this time. I listened, but I must admit somewhat reluctantly.
I have Pastored now for many years here in my hometown. I am a blessed man and all my children and their families are in church serving the Lord with my wife and I. I am convinced that my pursuit for His perfect will has blessed our lives.
I encourage you to seek God in your decisions of life. Don’t be hasty and wind up a mushroom. Pursue God’s will for you, accept it, and be an Oak.
Chaplain Ronnie Melancon
It is such a joy when someone saves a place for us. We walk into a crowded room wondering how we’re going to find a seat, and someone across the way waves us over; pointing to a chair they’ve held especially for us. For a moment we feel a sense of relief, a taste of being on the inside.
Now consider Jesus’ words in John 14:2—”I am going . . . to prepare a place for you.”
Christ promises that He is saving a place in heaven especially for each of us. When we walk into the crowded excitement of the wedding feast of Jesus Christ with the sound of thousands of conversations, clinking glasses, laughter and music, we will once again feel that excitement of being let into the inner circle.
We’ll be welcomed to the table by our Lord Himself. No one will have to scramble to find another chair, to make room for us at the end of the table, or rustle up a place setting. There will be a seat with our name on it, held open at Jesus’ command for us and no other (From the book The Sacred Romance , 182-183).
That will not be by chance. It will only be for those that have prepared their lives to attend. Put your main hope in that special day to come.
Chaplain Ronnie Melancon
Why don’t you ever see the headline “Psychic Wins Lottery”?
Why is “abbreviated” such a long word?
Why is it that doctors call what they do “practice”?
Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?
Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?
Why didn’t Noah swat those two mosquitoes?
You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes? Why don’t they make the whole plane out of that stuff?!
Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains?
Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?
If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?
If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?
God put the “wonder” in our hearts to search for Him. We were created to know Him and serve Him. Until we find and give ourselves to Him, there will always be some kind of “wonder” to fill the void.
A seashell held to the ear makes a sound like the ocean. If we go 100 miles away from the ocean, it will still make that distinct ocean sound. That is because it was created for the ocean.
We can go as far away from God as humanly possible and our heart will still produce a cry to know God, because we were created for Him.
If you sense something missing in your life, begin your pursuit of God today.
Chaplain Ronnie Melancon
If you want to live a life that matters and has the Peace of God in it, learn to know what to bury and what to remember. This Poem I often read at funerals says much about what is important.
A time has come when my life on earth has ceased.
I ask you my family and friends, remember these special things:
Bury my body, but don’t bury my beliefs.
Bury my heart, but don’t bury my love.
Bury my eyes, but not my vision.
Bury my feet, but not the path of my life.
Bury my hands, but don’t bury my diligent efforts.
Bury my shoulders, but not the concerns I carried.
Bury my voice, but not my message.
Bury my mind, don’t bury my dreams.
Bury me, don’t bury my life.
If you must bury something:
Let it be my faults and weaknesses,
My shortcomings and limitations,
My imperfections and failures.
But let my life continue on, in each and every one of you.
Chaplain Ronnie Melancon
The more women I talk to, the more I realize that the gentleman is a rare breed. The mission of the New Chivalry Movement is to bring men (and women) together who strive to be the best versions of themselves and love and respect those around them.
As the gentleman has become less prominent, so have the respectful acts that define him. Here are 8 acts of chivalry we often overlook and should work to bring back.
Giving up your seat.
Whether on a bus or on a crowded subway, giving up your seat to another is a rare but great sign of respect. I always cringe a bit when I see a woman or elderly person forced to stand while young men remain distracted by their phones. It all comes down to being aware of your surroundings and acting accordingly.
Only one in seven men will offer their seat to a woman on a train or bus.
Pulling out a woman’s chair.
This one, as many others, is simple but rare. You don’t have to run around to your date’s side of the table to make sure you pull out her chair each time, but when convenient, it’s a nice extra touch.
Less than one in five men will regularly pull out a chair for a woman to sit down. That’s under 20%.
Open doors for her.
I have countless articles with this point already in them, but it’s one of the staples of chivalrous respect and probably the easiest to perform, as we all walk through doors every day. I don’t want to make any assumptions, but something tells me the extra few seconds it takes to open a door or let someone walk through first won’t ruin your day.
The same goes for car doors, a woman will appreciate you getting out of the car to open the door for her, or walking around to her side first. It’s amazing to me how many men don’t do this. I do it literally every single time my girlfriend (or any woman) gets into my car.
Call, don’t text a date invite.
Just the fact that you would take the time to actually call a woman to ask her out on a date will put you light years ahead of your competition (of which there is a lot). Plus, you’ll be able to tell how excited or enthusiastic she is (or isn’t) about accepting your offer by actually hearing her voice.
Compliments, compliments, compliments.
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that it’s a rare occasion for a woman to be complimented in her relationship?
Every guy in a relationship should take the time every day to let his woman know how beautiful he thinks she is.
Walking on the street-side of the sidewalk.
The purpose of this lost art is to show your willingness to be splashed instead of a woman should a passing car run through a puddle. Furthermore, in some countries people would throw trash out of windows, and the person walking closer to the building, was less likely to be hit.
It’s an effortless way to show her that you care.
Walking her to her door.
At the end of your date, especially early on in the relationship, walk her safely to her door. This is especially important if she lives in a city. It shows you’re willing to put effort into protecting her and makes her feel safe – two important aspects of building her trust and comfort.
Parking far away? Drop her off first.
If you’re having a hard time finding a parking space close to her destination, offer to drop her off at the door while you go and look for a spot. She may be fine with walking the distance, but it’s a nice gesture to save her the effort, especially if she’s wearing heels.
As gentlemen in modern times, you automatically stand out from the crowd. These points above are easy and free, but one would be surprised how rarely they actually occur. For those of us who naturally make it part of our daily lives, it’s difficult to picture how someone else couldn’t. But – it happens.
The new era of chivalry is not rooted in the chauvinistic mindset of the past. We have evolved past performing these acts for women because “they can’t do it themselves.”
The new gentleman performs these acts for the right reasons – love, caring, and respect.