Servant Leadership

Leadership is described as “the ability of an individual or a group of individuals to influence and guide followers or other members of an organization.” There are many forms of leadership and it can be seen all around us. Politicians, CEO’s, managers, athletes, teachers, community volunteers, are all just some of the many different forms of leaders we have in everyday society. Usually, we think of leaders and think of them as holding power and being the ones that have control over others, but there is a form of leadership that bucks this traditional thinking.

Servant leadership is a form of leadership that is the opposite of traditional leadership. In servant leadership, the leader supports and serves their team/community. They listen to people and try to make changes to better suit the needs of the people, rather than creating a judgement and assuming what is best for the people. True leaders want to see their people grow as human beings, they are not only committed to production or outcomes to define their success. This form of leadership is known to create better teams, a positive environment, reduced turnover, inspire a strong culture, and help prepare future leaders. In some cases, traditional leadership is needed, as it helps to reduce the time it takes to make a decision, and keeps things clear while assigning roles and responsibilities, especially in times of crisis. Striking a healthy balance between the two forms of leadership is ideal, and will have the most positive outcomes for everyone involved.

Leader of the Month

The NFL has had its fair share of great head coaches. Bill Belichick, John Madden, Vince Lombardi, and Don Shula to name a few. That said I would like to shed more light on  one man who doesn’t get enough credit,  this is the Pittsburgh Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin. Tomlin has been with the organization since 2007 and is one of the longest tenured coaches in the NFL. He has been a foundation of stability for the Steelers organization.

Tomlin has never had a losing season as a head coach in the NFL, a streak running 15 years long, the oldest currently in the league. He does this by being a coach that practices traditional leadership, while also incorporating servant leadership in his tactics. He is a demanding voice in the organization and locker room, but he does so all while listening to the needs of his players and adapting to the multiple personalities that play for him. There have been many great players that have played for Mike Tomlin, and all of them have good things to say about the man. In interviews with his former players they have consistently mentioned how he treated them with respect, and patience, something not all NFL coaches have done. He tries to understand each player as a human being and not merely as a pawn he can use in a physical game like football. Players that have played for him have even mentioned he is like a father figure to them as he provides solid advice on and off the field.

Mike Tomlin is slowly being recognized as one of the best and has made a lasting impact on many lives. When he was first hired, Steelers fans were up in arms, but now he is one of the most beloved coaches not only in the fanbase but throughout the league. He is an exemplary role model and leader, he has won a Super Bowl, Coach of the Year and has a career record of 162-92-2. Today we are very proud to honor Coach Mike Tomlin, an individual who has been able to cultivate a perfect blend of traditional and servant leadership styles to create an inclusive culture of growth and success.

6 Ways to Prepare Your Students & Staff for an Amazing Summer

I think it is fair to say that we all know the importance of having a summer vacation. The combination of amazing weather and carefree days makes for lovely times ahead. This past school year has provided many obstacles and at the same time much ingenuity. Every school year we are competing in a winnable race that requires our full effort. When we hear the first school bell of the year ring, we should be hitting the ground running, and conversely, after we hit the finish line we should be slowing down and celebrating.

To add to this train of thought there has been much research done on the strong correlation between student success and summertime. With summertime quickly approaching we as an organization feel that it is imperative that we create awareness around this strong correlation. Several studies have shown that what students do during their summer holidays carries over into their school year. You may ask why is this piece of information very valuable? Well because when we acknowledge this it brings more light to the need to examine and apply transition periods. Although many people are aware of transitional periods there is a lack of focus paid to them even though we are all going through them at one point or another. In sports, athletes jog and stretch before they compete so that they can reduce their transitional period till they hit their peak, we should view everyone in academia the same way.

Summertime is a valley of opportunity in every direction and having the right conversations at the right time can make a huge difference. Summertime can serve as a springboard to some or quicksand to others. To ensure that we are doing our part to help cultivate bright and dynamic leaders during their newfound freedom we would like to bring the following to your attention. One of the conversations that we need to discuss with our students and staff is about comfort zones. Our comfort zone is a safe place to be but if we stay there too long, we reduce our confidence, willingness and capacity. Social media and Netflix are great sources of entertainment but they can keep us in our comfort zone. Unfortunately the more we watch, the more we get addicted. Furthermore this behavior makes our minds go inactive which impacts our ability to think and more importantly solve problems. Thinking is a skill set that we cannot go without. If you want to get out of your comfort zones, here are 6 things that you can do to elevate your mindset while enhancing your summer experience.  

1. Set a Weekly Challenge that will push you to be uncomfortable.

This can look like many different things from taking a cold shower to having a difficult conversation. Don’t be afraid to be creative and bold with your weekly challenge. If you are consistent with your weekly challenge, you will be able to build momentum and witness your growth as an individual and a leader. If you need some ideas to challenge yourself be sure to check out flightunit’s 7 Day Leadership Challenge.

2. Have new conversations on new topics.

We are very fortunate to live in a world filled with millions of millions of things that are dying for our attention. Don’t be a victim of limiting your interests to what you are exposed to, be hands-on! There are many treasures out there waiting to be discovered and explored.

3. Travel to a destination that you have not been to before.

One of the greatest senses that has been given to humankind is the Power of Sight. While we are on planet earth one of our goals should be to see as many colors, shapes, and sizes as possible. Always remember that when our eyes are stimulated so is our mind. Challenge yourself to find interesting things to look at, don’t be afraid to get curious, enjoy and learn something new.

4. Look to establish some new friendships.

Meeting new people is a fantastic thing!! Whenever we meet new people we create a new life experience for ourselves. Don’t miss out on a chance that could change your life forever! Don’t be too shy to say hello and find out how someone day is going. Set a goal to be intentional about meeting new people.

5. Be proactive in finding ways to improve yourself and how you can have a positive impact on the environments that you enter.

This is a very important one because the more beautiful environments we can be a part of, the happier we will become. We are influenced by so many things, places and people so it is important that we do our part to improve our daily ripple effect. Allow your voice and actions to be a positive difference maker.

6. Sign up for at least one of flightunit’s: 7 Pillars of Leadership Workshops.

Our workshops are designed to enhance your perspective on life to improve your decision-making and problem-solving capabilities. Leadership is a mindset that everyone can possess if they are willing to be more mindful and purposeful. Furthermore, how we see things correlates back to how we think and this ultimately determines our actions and, in some cases, lack thereof. That said, we would love to support you on your amazing life journey so that you can create more inclusive, positive and vibrate environments.

As the saying goes “teamwork makes the dream work” and at flightunit we believe that dreams can and do come true. We also know that the unit that you keep around you has a huge impact on your well-being and growth. Today we would like to challenge you & all those around you to take 1 if not all of our 6 challenges, great luck! We hope that our tips helped to prepare you to come back in September renew, refreshed, and ready to set this world on fire!!   

Refugee to World Star: Alphonso Davies

Alphonso Davies is one of the world’s best soccer players. Currently he is playing for Bayern Munich in the German Bundesliga, he is recognized as one of the world’s greatest at his position. He is just 22 years old but has one of the brightest futures in the sport.

Davies was born in Ghana in a refugee camp as his parents fled Liberia due to a civil war. Growing up was difficult for Davies as the family had to search for food and clean water to simply stay alive. Luckily, his parents applied to immigrate to Canada where the family settled in Edmonton, Alberta. His parents worked long hours to provide for Alphonso and his two younger siblings.

In grade 6 it was apparent to his teachers that he was a gifted athlete. He starred in soccer, basketball, and even track and field and eventually was enrolled in an after-school program for soccer. It was this decision to enroll that put him on the path to becoming one of the biggest soccer stars in the world. He would go on to debut in the MLS for the Vancouver Whitecaps at the age of 15 years and eight months old. He has also suited up for the Men’s Canadian Soccer Team, becoming one of the youngest Canadian players to ever play for the team. He has been an incredible voice for the North American bid for the 2026 World Cup and continues to excel on the field with his incredible skill. He joined the German super team, Bayern Munich in 2019.

It is incredible to see how a refugee from a different country, who for a long period of time didn’t even have Canadian citizenship excels at such a high level. He was able to put his head down and grind to create a better life not only for himself but for his entire family. Just because someone is of a different color or a different background this doesn’t mean they should not be given a chance, people are capable of incredible feats when provided with the right opportunities and support. Let’s all play a better role in giving people more a chance by being more encouraging and open-minded.

Social Responsibility Article of the Month: Back to School Drive For Students in Africa

flightunit’s:

1st Annual Back-to-School Drive

for Students in Africa

I remember being super enthused to watch the TV show The Reading Rainbow with host Levar Burton as a child. I can still remember the words from the theme song , which goes as follows, “I can go anywhere,… I can be anything…take a look, it’s in a book”. These words are inspiring because they are true. Books afford us many opportunities and raise our ability to learn, think, grow, experience, create and feel. Books are indeed a great unifier in a world where access means everything. Books offer a chance for anyone to succeed no matter their situation. As a huge proponent of education, I recognize how critical they are in inspiring and elevating our young leaders to become great problem solvers.  

On that note, I would like to request your support for flightunit’s: 1st Annual Back -to- School Drive for Students in Africa. We would love to have you be a part of this incredible leadership initiative to bring joy, knowledge and resources to the students of rural Ghana, Africa. To help change lives, we ask for the following items; educational activity books, coloring books, pencils, crayons, backpacks, and school utensils (i.e.: rulers, scissors, erasers, etc.). Additionally, we would also ask for your support to help cover the shipping cost of $5000.00 to distribute these items to and across rural Ghana, Africa. With your support, we know we can make a significant impact and bring about a brighter future this September and for future generations to come. If you, your class, school or organization would like to make a positive contribution to improve the lives of others, please get in touch with us today. For more info on how you can be a part of positive change, you can email us at info@flightunit.com. That said we would like to thank you in advance for your time and any support that you can provide. Stay blessed!

Sincerely

Christoff Kyere

Founder of flightunit

Jim Egan: Are you Ready for Change? 

Jim Egan was an important part of the history of human rights in Canadian history. Born in Toronto, Ontario, he is considered Canada’s very first LGBTQ activist. He met his life partner, Jack Nesbit in 1948.

Starting in the late 1940s, Jim Egan proceeded to write hundreds of letters and articles for magazines and newspapers. His content focused on the portrayal of gay and lesbian in the media and their inaccuracies of them. He also advocated for equal rights and fair treatment of gays and lesbians under the law.

In 1986, Egan was retired and was able to collect from the Canada Pension Plan and applied for spousal benefits for his partner. After the request was denied, the pair took the case to the courts, and the case even reached the Supreme Court of Canada in 1994. They would lose the case, but the courts did rule unanimously to add sexual orientation as a prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which was a gigantic win for the LGBTQ community.

One man took up a stand against injustice and wanted better for the world. He strove to break barriers and create awareness about the struggles of gay and lesbian people in a time it was dangerous to be who you are. The incredible strength shown by these two men has paved the way for millions not only in Canada but also the world!

Work Ethics

What is a great work ethic?

It is an inherent attitude that an individual possesses. It allows one to make decisions based on performance that includes elements like integrity, responsibility, high quality, discipline, humility, and teamwork. When we think about successful individuals (ie: athletes, actors, CEO) there is usually one thing that they all have in common, a great work ethic.

Kobe Bryant, the great basketball player used to arrive at practice at 5 a.m in high school and he would practice in the dark on occasion, according to sources. In his professional life, he was known to push himself to exceptional levels. Kobe would spend countless hours in the gym, exercising on his own, consistently going above and beyond even practicing after games. Much of Bryant’s accomplishments and accolades were connected to his undeniable commitment to improving.

Elon Musk worked like a dog. “To accomplish a dream, you have to put in 80 to 100 hours of work a week. If other people are putting in 40 hours a week and you are putting in 100 hours a week, even if you are doing the same thing you will accomplish something in 4 months while it will take them a year.” The next time you look at Musk’s phenomenal success & wealth be sure to reflect on his endless and tireless effort to reach the top of the mountain.

Denzel’s advice to aspiring people or any young person going for their dreams; reject fear and thrust yourself headfirst towards your goals, be completely unconcerned about falling backward, if you are going to fail, fail forward. If we can embrace and embody this mentality, we will always be champions.

With all these inspiring examples we at the flight unit would like to ask you, how hard are you willing are work to accomplish your goals and dreams? If your motivation is low be sure to connect to one of these individuals’ stories or find someone’s story that will drive you. Always remember the amazing thing about work ethic, it is something that can be developed in any person. Furthermore, a proper work ethic is a game-changer and when it is applied to any area of one’s life it can produce extraordinary results.

Make a commitment to yourself to grow and take flight!

By Deklon Roberts

Integrity

Integrity. It’s a word that we hear often when we refer to quality people but what does it really mean? Integrity is “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.” Integrity is one of the easiest character traits to have, but it is one of the hardest to maintain. There are ways to develop more integrity in your life. The best way to increase your level of integrity is to follow these suggestions.

The best way to increase your level of integrity is to follow these suggestions:

  1. Live with Greater Integrity
  2. Live with honesty and keep promises; be truthful and honest towards others and yourself.
  3. Show compassion, sympathy, and empathy towards others; try to understand how others may be impacted by your actions. See where they are coming from and help others.
  4. Create a personal mission statement for your life; empower yourself to be awesome!
  5. Write out your goals, commit to personal development and growth, and list your goals every day so that you can consistently be moving in the right direction.
  6. Remain dedicated to your values; values can change throughout different stages of your life, make sure whatever they are you don’t give them up. Let your values improve those around you!
  7. Stand for Something
  8. Find what is most important to you; community, your faith, your values.
  9. Support causes that you believe in; for example: donate, volunteer, or create an organization for your cause if one doesn’t exist.
  10. Make your values count; don’t sacrifice your values for a quick gain, live with purpose and dedication.
  11. Find a Moral Purpose in Life
  12. Search for a greater meaning of life; spirituality or religion is a great place to start to tap into a greater you, YOU are in charge of creating meaning in YOUR life.
  13. Connect with people that bring more joy and life to you; Our conversations with people have a huge impact on who we are and how we see life.
  14. Live with greater mindfulness; focus on your senses and what you are taking notice of, meditation can help with this as well.

Enacting these three steps in your life will help create more integrity within your life and help develop your character, helping to take you to the next level. It’s not hard to develop integrity, but maintaining it can be difficult if you are not ready to change your life and habits for the better. Those around you will appreciate you putting in the effort to having integrity, as it is a trait within society that seems to be rapidly fading. Get out there and make a difference by being kind, honest, and trustworthy!

Being kind

How nice are you being to others? Do you think covid has created a disconnect among human beings?

Since Covid hit 2 years ago we as humans have struggled to interact with one another. Covid has changed the way we think and has allowed fear to have a dominant presence in our lives. Many of us have forgotten about the important role greeting each other plays in building community. This brings us to the focus of this article; why it is vital to treat others well.

Being nice to others can be one of the easiest, quickest, and most inexpensive ways to keep our anxiety at bay. Kindness calms the mood and takes the focus off of ourselves. There are several ways to reduce anxiety, such as medication, natural remedies, meditation, and exercise but the most natural way is to be kind.

Kindness is an amazing boomerang that comes back. Furthermore, when we exhibited kindness we are releasing positive energy into the stratosphere. Positive acts not only improve our state of mind but it also elevates everyone’s mindset and entire being. The is a reason why they say if you are down to do something nice for someone.  We all must be aware that our interactions and lack thereof create a ripple effect on us and our environments. On that note what type of ripple effect do you wish to have on your community? When people associate you with positive things it increases your frequency, vibration level & connection to the world. We are all sources of energy and our words and actions can prevent bad things from happening and conversely can raise people’s spirits, regardless if we are present or not. There are very limited if any negative side-effects from being too kind!        

To take things a step further, how often do you smile or bring smiles to other’s people’s faces? Neuroscience proposes that seeing someone else show an emotion automatically activates the same areas of the brain as if we experienced that emotion for ourselves. This could range from smiling at someone to giving them a compliment. This information gives new meaning to the famous line “giving is receiving”. On that note do yourself the favor by being kinder to others.

By Deklon Roberts

Leader of the month

According to Webster’s dictionary, the definition of a leader is a person who leads. Throughout history, the world has been blessed to have many great leaders including Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela to Winston Churchill, and many more. These exceptional human beings have done remarkable things which have allowed their legend to live on. Today we are going to look at another amazing leader but in a different realm, this leader understood the importance of self-leadership and taking responsibility for his successes and failures. The leader we are going to be focusing on today is former NBA superstar and TV personality Shaquille O’Neal.

Shaquille commonly known as Shaq is a 4-time NBA champion and one of the most dominant big men in NBA history. But what many people don’t know about Shaq is that he is an amazing businessman. Shaquille is worth more now through his investments and businesses than he was during his whole NBA career. Here are just some of the businesses that Shaquille owns; 155 Five Guys Burgers restaurants, 17 Auntie Annie’s Pretzels restaurants, 150 car washes, 40 24-hour fitness centers, a shopping center, a movie theater, and several Las Vegas nightclubs. The way he became a very successful businessman was through hard lessons. Early in Shaq’s NBA career, he secured a 1 million dollars endorsement deal and he spent the whole 1 million dollars in ONE day. He bought 3 cars for over 500 thousand dollars and his mom a house, all these purchases ended up putting him 80 thousand dollars in debt. Shaquille made the mistake of not understanding that he had to pay taxes. He thought once he was given one million dollars that meant he had one million dollars. Shaq had to learn that after taxes you really only have 700 thousand. Shaq was embarrassed and vowed not to make the same mistake again. What did he do to right his wrong, Shaq ended up going back to school to get a master’s degree in business administration. He wanted to make sure that he never became a broke athlete and he acknowledge upgrading his education was the solution.

Shaquille allowed his mistakes to empower himself to be a better person and leader. He recognized that he didn’t have the knowledge to handle his own money matters. But instead of paying others to handle his money, he took it upon himself to go back to school to learn about finances. Although Shaq could have paid someone to be in charge of his financial affairs he took a leadership approach to his life and has multiplied his expertise, wealth, and success.

So today we ask you, what areas in your life do you need to take greater responsibility in to become a better self-leader?

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