How to Be a Leader During COVID-19

Since early March 2020, the world has undergone a scary and unprecedented change unlike anything most people have ever seen. COVID-19 has brought a wave of stress to everyone—male and female, young and old, rich and poor. The pandemic has forced us to adapt to a strange new lifestyle full of hand scrubbing, mask wearing, and social distancing.

At flightunit, we’ve always said that the world needs more leaders. And now, in the wake of COVID-19, we need leaders more than ever.

Here’s how to be a leader during COVID-19:

Set a Good Example

One of the best ways to be a leader is to set a good example. Follow the rules, be courteous to everyone you meet, and always work as hard as you can. If you set a good example, others will naturally follow.

Since the “rules” of the world have changed because of COVID-19, setting a good example involves some things you may not have thought of before:

  • Wear a mask as much as you can. If someone who is forgetful or neglectful simply sees you wearing one, they may just remember for next time. If you see someone without a mask who should be wearing one, don’t be afraid to speak up, but make sure to be polite!
  • Do your best to distance from everybody. If you’re on a collision-course in a tight area, stop and let the other person go with a friendly wave and nod.
  • Carry disinfecting wipes and use them on surfaces you’ve touched. If you’ve just piled your groceries onto the counter or entered your PIN on a payment machine, give it a wipe for the person behind you.
  • Offer (safe) help however you can. Right now, everyone is struggling in some way. Don’t hesitate to help anyone who needs it, as long as you can engage safely.

Whenever you go out in public, whether to shop for groceries or to visit a friend, constantly remind yourself to set a good example. Be a leader by acting in a safe and positive manner so that those around you will do the same.

Bring Positivity to Everyone (Including Yourself)

Optimism is an immensely powerful and often underrated tool. One of the best things that we can do during a time of crisis like COVID-19 is to stay positive.

To spread positivity to yourself, start every morning by making a short list of things that you’re grateful for. You can include everything from “your life” to “the delicious salad you’re going to have for dinner.” The focus on gratitude will remind you that life is valuable and to be positive about getting to live another beautiful day.

Next, plan out your activities for the day and explain to yourself exactly how and why you’re going to excel at them. The focus on your skills and specific activities will help you stay in the present and be more positive about the individual experiences that fill your beautiful day.

To spread positivity to others, try not to talk about the virus. Conversations that involve death tolls, vaccine wait-times, and infection numbers are sure to bring everyone down. Be a leader by keeping everyone’s mind off the pandemic and instead filling their heads with happy thoughts. Compliment their outfit, talk about the weather, play a game—whatever it takes to keep your family and your flightunit happy and motivated.

Encourage Others

A little encouragement can go a long way, especially during a time where everyone is feeling down.

Although COVID-19 is an immense challenge for everyone, the world is still pressing on. Kids still need to go to school and adults still need to work. Unfortunately, the thick raincloud that is the pandemic can make it hard to find the drive to get work done.

Be a leader by encouraging others to carry on and keep doing great things. Whether you’re with your family, your flightunit, or someone on the street who seems a little depressed, always look for ways to encourage people. Compliment your mom on how she was able to do all her reports from home in the same amount of time. Remind your friend that he has incredible artistic talent and that you can’t wait to see his next painting.

Who knows? Your encouragement might be exactly what someone needs to get through these tough times with a smile.

Communicate as Much as Possible

In life, communication is crucial. Now that COVID-19 has put a stop to most social interaction, communication is more important than ever.

Humans are social creatures. We use communication to exchange information, make each other laugh, help each other cope, relate to one another, and much more. Communication makes us all feel good. Talking to our friends and family is like nourishment for the mind and the soul. Be a leader by making sure that everyone in your social circle is getting that nourishment—communicate as much as possible.

Take some time to call your dad and ask him about his favorite show. Text your friends and let them know that if they need anything, you’ll be there for them. The simple act of checking in on someone to ask, “how’s it going?” can often make their entire day.

Be Honest and Clear

Right now, the world is full of confusion. People don’t know the nature of the virus, they don’t know whether they’ll be able to keep their job, and they don’t know when the pandemic is going to end.

Since COVID-19 is causing so much confusion, be a leader by being honest and clear with everyone that you deal with—create as little confusion as you can. Being honest and transparent is about making your own life and everyone else’s lives easier. If you’re straightforward with people, whether your mom, your sister, your best friend, or your boss, it will save everyone time and energy.

As humans, we need to be facing the world’s problems as a team (a team that you can lead!). Being honest and keeping everyone on the same page is the first step toward making that team strong. 

Leaders stare uncertainty in the face with confidence and act when nobody else will. Leaders inspire and encourage those around them to stay motivated and follow their dreams. Most importantly, leaders squash fear for themselves and others to make sure their team will be victorious in the face of any challenge.

Right now, there’s plenty of fear to go around. That’s why the world needs more leaders—to squash the fear of COVID-19 and make sure everyone stays happy, healthy, and motivated to take down the virus as a community.

The 5 Feathers of Kobe Bryant’s Legacy

In the early hours of Sunday, January 26th, 2020 NBA Legend Kobe Bryant was involved in a fatal helicopter crash that claimed his life and that of seven other passengers, including Kobe’s daughter, Gianna.

It was only a week prior to the accident that a clip was released showing Kobe and Gianna sitting courtside at a basketball game enjoying quality father-daughter time. In the clip, Kobe is leaning in and explaining different plays and elements of the sport he excelled at for so long. The day before his passing, Kobe congratulated fellow athlete Lebron James on Twitter for taking the 3rd spot to surpass his scoring record – a rare feat due to the competitive nature of basketball.

When news broke of the helicopter crash, the world exploded with an outcry of shock and grief.

Kobe was a legend in the basketball community and an example of excellence on the world stage. Few athletes see career longevity and success the way that Kobe did. After his illustrious 20-season career, Kobe retired at age 37 and even went on to film an Oscar-winning documentary. He founded multiple youth sports foundations and a sports academy where he coached, all while remaining a loving, devoted family man to his daughters and wife. He lived a full life.

The countless conversations following Kobe’s death illustrate the immense impact that his life had on the world. His sudden death reminds us of the fragility of life and to use now as the perfect time to work toward actualizing our capabilities.

While the media coverage and tributes have faded, we at Flightunit are able to gather what we call the five feathers, or what Kobe would call the “Mamba Mentality,” to soar above obstacles and challenges.

Feather #1: Passion

Kobe always had the DNA and the mindset of an elite basketball player. Being born to a father who was a successful NBA player, it’s no surprise that he physically excelled at the sport. But, physical prowess isn’t all it takes – passion is also crucial to success.

Kobe loved basketball and cultivated passion for it from the tender age of 2.  In his early years, he would feel uncomfortable and insufficient if he went too long without holding a basketball. While in school, Kobe would arrive early to practice drills with his coach. Sometimes he would even practice alone, with only the school janitor watching. Kobe never needed to be forced to practice – there was a natural pull toward basketball. This “natural pull” is important when discovering the direction of our passion. We must remember to listen to it.

Feather #2: Obsession

Passion isn’t always enough to rise to the top. Kobe was obsessed with basketball. His obsession was evident in how he studied the intricate and ever-changing details of the game to become an icon of the sport. From knowing the smell and sound of dribbling a basketball to understanding different players’ signature moves, Kobe was truly intrigued by every facet of the game.

Passion combined with obsession is required to achieve outstanding levels of greatness. Although Kobe’s obsessive nature sometimes rubbed competitors and teammates the wrong way, it also led to him being the youngest player in NBA history to reach 30,000 career points.

Feather #3: Relentlessness

Kobe’s early years in basketball took place in Italy, where he was taller and faster than most other boys his age. At 11, Kobe moved to the United States to continue his dream, but quickly realized that he lost his physical advantage – his competitors in the U.S. were much taller and stronger than him. Though he suffered some initial embarrassment, Kobe used his disadvantages to fuel his motivation to train. He wanted to be better. He wanted to be the best. His unyielding approach led him to practice to the point of excellence. He was drafted into the NBA straight out of high school at age 18, the youngest player in history at the time, and had a spectacular career as an athlete with 5 NBA championships, 2 Olympic gold medals, and as an 18-time NBA All-Star.

To be the best version of yourself, you need to be relentless in the face of challenges. Every day, you must commit to the quest relentlessly and not succumb to shortcomings.

Feather #4: Resilience

Despite his skills and successes, Kobe didn’t have a perfect slate. His career was complicated by instances of conflict – whether with coaches, teammates, competitors, or the greater public. Kobe’s most notable incident was in 2003, when he was charged with sexual assault. Kobe proclaimed himself innocent and the charges were later dropped as he and the accuser reached a civil settlement. After that, a dark cloud hung over him. He faced endless media backlash and a tarnished reputation. This motivated Kobe to brand himself with the nickname “Black Mamba” to separate the personal negative media coverage from his basketball efforts. He continued to step onto the court with a resilient, stone-cold “Mamba” attitude.

Relentlessness applied in times of challenge or hardship gives one the ability to push forward and recover, regardless of how heavy, dark, or difficult the situation. This practice builds resiliency and is crucial towards self-actualization.

Feather #5: Fearlessness

Kobe’s entire life is a demonstration of fearlessness. From an early age, Kobe was aware of his dream and chased it – he wanted to be the best basketball player in the world. He fearlessly pursued his goal, not knowing whether he would achieve it or fail. By the time he retired at 37, he had undoubtedly achieved that goal, considering the legacy he created. Following Kobe’s passing, it was announced that he would be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in late August of 2020.

Recognizing and claiming our desires is something that most of people are afraid of. The uncertainty of achievement often plants seeds of fear that overgrow and overwhelm. When we focus on the distance between our position and our goals, it’s easy to get discouraged and deny our desires. However, it’s the process and steps to achieving goals through cultivating the ethics outlined above that we should focus on.

Although Kobe retired in 2016, his core ethics continue to help and thrive in the development of players, both young and old, at his Mamba Foundation Legacy. Moreover, as one career ended for Kobe new ones grew. Prior to his passing, he had undertaken new endeavours of storytelling, and was more engaged in his primary role as a father and a husband.

Implementing all five of these feathers can be a huge challenge. However, if they’re effectively applied, we will see an incredible outcome. We can start by fearlessly accepting our passion for our dreams, obsessing over the journey, relentlessly applying ourselves in pursuit of growth, and remaining resilient in the face of challenges or shortcomings.

Though, for Kobe Bryant, we mourn the death of a passionate life, we can leverage the teaching and practices found within these five feathers to carry on the legacy and fuel our journey to soar to our highest potential.

Drake’s “God Plan” Is More Than Just a Song

On Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, Drake uploaded his highly anticipated “God’s Plan” music video to YouTube, taking the near-million-dollar budget and giving it all to people in need in Miami. Drizzy documented his numerous philanthropic efforts, which benefited people of various ages, backgrounds, and situations. Drake’s clever inspirational video and life-changing generosity is going to be tough for any artist to surpass.

Drake has inspired and warmed the hearts of many fans, showcasing the importance of helping others and the joy you get from doing so.

We all have the power to help those in need, regardless of how much money or time we have. Helping someone can be as simple as being an attentive ear for a friend or making a donation to a good cause. When we do a good deed, we create more happiness in the world.

Do your best to continue to spread Drake’s message and do something nice for someone today – you never know who’s life you’re going to change! We all have a responsibility to make the world a better place!

Here’s everything you need to see about the monumental visual for the Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 song:

2018 Toronto Black Film Festival

After last year’s success, the 6th annual Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF) has returned! If you’re looking for an event to celebrate black history month, the TBFF is a wonderful way to appreciate the works of black directors from across the globe.

From February 14th to 19th, 2018, you will have the chance to view over 60 films from 20 different countries. Don’t miss this event – it might be your only chance to see some of these films!

Created by the Fabienne Colas Foundation, the TBFF promotes diversity on- and off-screen and gives minorities a voice.  For more information on this special event, visit www.TorontoBlackFilm.com

The Growth Mindset: Practical Tips You May Not Have Tried Yet

Teachers and institutions across the world have embraced Carol Dweck’s theory of the “growth mindset” in hopes of helping students to fulfill their potential. These “growth mindset” teaching strategies include changing the way teachers give feedback, encouraging self-reflection through questioning, and, crucially, praising processes instead of natural ability.

Although, many educators feel they could be doing more. A recent survey found that 98% of teachers believe that if their students have a growth mindset, it will lead to improved learning. However, only 20% of those teachers believe they can successfully foster a growth mindset, and 85% of those teachers want more training and practical strategies.

Thankfully, a growing body of research is providing better insight into how to best create a growth mindset – here are some techniques you may not have used yet.

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5 Ways to Avoid Cell Phone Addiction

An addiction is when something begins to control your life and interfere with your daily activities, work, and relationships. For example, an alcoholic might wakes up to a glass of vodka instead of a cup of coffee. But with the boom of technology, the signs of addiction can be found in places besides the bottom of a glass – it can also be found in the form of cell phones.

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5 Easy Ways to Get (and Stay) Healthy

1. Act Like You Live in a Desert: Drink a TON of Water

I know, you’ve heard this before. Then why haven’t you started doing it?

Drinking water not only keeps you hydrated, it also keeps your skin looking healthier, aids in digestion, and gives you more energy. Do your best to cut out soda, juice, and alcohol – try to stick to water (and the occasional glass of milk). For the best results, drink at least five glasses of water a day.

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Feather #1: Me, Myself, and I

We are seldom aware of the power of our own presence. The presence of a single person can alter conversations and drastically change the overall mood. It is important to understand what type of influence we currently have and want to have on others.

Me, Myself, and I is the foundation principle of our “Feather” system. We have chosen this as our first Feather to emphasize the importance of self, self-awareness, and self-development. We believe that in order to advance in life, one must commit to their personal growth. Our daily choices dictate the boundaries of our growth – they can be our road to success or our path to failure. Discovering who we are is no simple task, but when we do, we unlock the keys to our success.

Questions for Reflection:
1) What motivates me?

2) What are my thoughts and beliefs?
a) Am I confident in them?

3) Who do I surround myself with?
a) What impact are they having on me?
b) What do we have in common?

4) Where do my thoughts take me when my mind wanders?
a) Are these thoughts positive and allow me to grow or are they negative and are harmful?

5) What are the major influences on my decision-making process? (e.g. personal success, public opinion, time commitments, ego, media, etc.)
a) Does how I spend my time reflect this?
b) How do these influences enrich me as a person?

Bonus Questions:
This Feather is so important for growth and success, we have provided bonus questions that will allow for a thorough self-examination.

6) Am I honest with myself and others?
a) Can others be brutally honest with me?

7) Am I aware of my mistakes?
a) Am I learning from them?

8) Which has a greater impact on my decisions, fear or courage?

9) Am I able to forgive others?
a) Am I able to forgive myself for my thoughts and actions?
b) Can I face conflict with the goal of reaching a resolution and learning from it?

10) What do I want people to say about me when I am not around them?

Benefits of Feather #1:
There’s an English writer named John Brown who said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” Everything begins and ends with us. The choice to be phenomenal or to live a disappointing life lies within our hands. We are creatures of habit – it is crucial that we develop the right habits and a growth mindset for success. With the right mindset we can become unstoppable!

Set 2 goals for yourself to aid in your growth for the current month:

Tips for success:
1) Allocate time to reflect everyday
2) Do not limit yourself

Feather #2: Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Health

Our physical, mental, and spiritual health play a significant role in shaping our ability to live life to the fullest. Although we are complex creatures, we are a single mind, body, and soul, and therefore everything we do impacts every aspect of our well-being. It is important to have balance to ensure that we are creating greater opportunities for growth, health, and happiness.

Questions for Reflection:
1) How physically active am I?

2) Do I take the time to learn what I am putting into my body?

3) Do I have faith in a higher power?
a) If so, how am I developing and strengthening my faith?

4) Am I aware of what causes me stress?
a) What do I do to de-stress?

5) Do I have a support system?
a) If so, who is a member of my support system?

Benefits of Feather #2:
When we acknowledge the different aspects of ourselves, we enhance our ability to live enriched lives. Other benefits of being balanced include increased self-confidence, energy levels, and happiness.

Set 2 goals for yourself to aid in your growth for the current month:

Tips for success:
1) Clarify what mind, body, and soul mean to you
2) Surround yourself with people that align with your definition of mind, body, and soul

Feather #3: My World

Our greatest life experiences are usually made by the people that we are with or the challenges that we face. Every day, we have the ability to be better people and to expand our view of the world. What we focus on is what we see. This is why all of our worlds are uniquely different. The people that we interact with can give our lives greater perspective, and the challenges that we conquer can give our lives greater meaning.

Questions for Reflection:
1) Am I making my world a better place? If so, in what way(s)?
a) If not, what should I do differently?

2) What elements make up my world (e.g. social media, music, people, culture, religion, etc.)?
a) How does each element impact my reality?

3) Are the things and people that I devote my time to helping me grow into a better person?

4) What does my ideal world look like?

5) What things do I care most about (e.g. house, people, school, environment, countries, justice, electronic devices, etc.)?
a) Do my actions and interests reflect what I care most about?

Benefits of Feather #3:
Many times in life we miss exciting opportunities and experiences because we have created too small of a world for ourselves to live in. When we expand our world, we create new opportunities and chances for greater levels of growth and gratification.

Set 2 goals for yourself to aid in your growth for the current month:

Tips for success:
1) Take on the responsibility of making your world a better place
2) Be open-minded to new ideas so that you can expand your world

Feather #4: Passion and Purpose

Passion can take a long time to discover but it is worth the pursuit. Passion is one of life’s greatest compasses. It is the driving force behind our purpose in life and has the ability to light up our soul. Passion pushes us and sparks creativity, excitement, ingenuity, and problem-solving. Passion takes on different forms and can be found in many areas of life including relationships, health, dreams, aspirations, interests, and hobbies.

Questions for Reflection:
1) What does passion mean to me?

2) What things am I most passionate about?
a) How do I show that passion?

3) Do my decisions take me out or keep me in my comfort zone?
a) Are my decisions spontaneous or planned?

4) Am I doing enough exploring to discover new passion(s)?

5) Is my passion making me happy?

Benefits of Feather #4:
When we understand what we are passionate about, we can reach greater levels of achievement. Passion gives us the strength to make the impossible possible.

Set 2 goals for yourself to aid in your growth for the current month:

Tips for success:
1) Explore and discover new areas of interests and passion
2) Work to overcome your fears in order to expand your comfort zone

Feather #5: Enlightenment

The human brain is one of the most spectacular things within the universe. When this 3 pound object is on, it has the ‘power to move mountains’ and change the world. When we open our minds to learn our ability to grow as people is limitless. When we embrace a growth mindset it permits us, and those around us to have greater capacity to achieve or as Nelson Mandela put it, “as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same”.

1) Do I allow myself to step outside my comfort zone and try new things?

2) Am I surrounding myself with new ideas and interests/concepts?

3) Am I allowing stereotypes to define who I am? My interests?

4) On a daily basis, am I training myself for success or failure?

5) Do I have the courage to partake in conversations on new topics with my friends and/or new people?
a) In what ways might my conversations be limited?

Benefits of Feather #5:
The power of our minds is remarkable, the mind is responsible for our navigational & our breathing systems and so much more. Many leading medical journals (including the National Institute on Aging) have touched on the numerous benefits of learning and mental stimulation including renewing us and starving off diseases such Alzheimer and dementia. There are several ways to stimulate our mind such as; engaging conversation, playing a challenging game, learning to play a new instrument or learning to speak a new language, etc. These acts provide us with immeasurable returns on our lives. Below we have provided a diagram of the circle of healthy living.

The Circle of Healthy Living

Set 2 goals for yourself to aid in your growth for the current month


Tips for success:
1)Keep your mind sharp by learning something new each day

2)Constantly challenge yourself