LeadU presents Happy Holidays

LeaderW@RE

Happy Holidays

Most of you know that I’m not the kind of person to do things on a “regular” basis, but this idea of a holiday letter has intrigued me as I’ve watched a few others do them over the years.

Of course, upfront, mine has a special holiday purpose, so please read on.

As most of you know, 8 years ago I came to visit the Philippines before setting off to start a second residence in Kuala Lumpur — I really liked that place and it’s well located, because like some of you, I realized the world’s center is tilting to Asia — and I wanted a front row seat for at least part of that groundswell.

What you may not know, is that in 1972, I was a US Marine finishing up “legal school” in Camp Pendleton, CA. Having the choice of duty station, everyone I talked to said SUBIC, which meant Subic Bay, Philippines, a rearward logistics base for what was then, the Vietnam War; the place to choose.

Days after that choice, and before I got my orders to ship, the All-Marine Football Team Recruiting Circus came to Pendleton, and before you know it, no SUBIC.  It was the QUANTICO MARINES for me, playing football again, after Hiram Scott College in fall of 1970, and in January of 1971, a transfer to the University of Wyoming; I never looked back until I decided to start visiting Asia in 2004.

So, 40 years later before setting up my tent in KL, I jumped on a flight to Manila with eyes wide open, and after a day or two, I realized that I had found the backdoor to Heaven. The weather, once you get used to the humidity, is great.  Even as I write this, we are experiencing “#32” (Typhoon KAI-TAK) and what will be most likely a final Tropical Storm for the year — most typhoons went north this year, but we are in the middle of one now, it’s la nina, pre-Christmas, and I just heard we have another forming that Santa will ride in, no less. smiley  Taking care of a beat-up body is a LOT easier in the Philippines, assuming I don’t get some rare disease that requires special care, or euthanasia. smiley

Now, the Philippines is a STARK contrast — possibly as wide a gap between normal and “a.b.normal” as you could get, which makes things interesting for a person like me. I discovered in midlife that novelty and independence were strong motivators for me and they keeps things real interesting to feed my curiosity, I suspect. So, for me, here was this developmental laboratory of which I could only imagine… and it would be the next phase of my personal development — it has been… hard!


Philippinw land   the Philippines


The kids are both in Elk Grove, California, now.  Both doing so well, and their mom is also there in support — God Bless Her.  I couldn’t do it. smiley  Ali is 37 and Katy 36, and relatively newly married with a new son called IAN, whose 1 year old.

James, Katy’s first son, is 9, and has adjusted as well as anyone can with a new baby brother stealing the show. John, Ali’s son, who is 4, was diagnosed with Autism.  He is just a great guy and lately gives Grandpa lots of hugs. As you might know, hugs are something Grandpa doesn’t want too much of; yet from those boys, I’ll take all I can get.


Grandpa and James    John and Santa  Ian  Ian-1,John-4,James-9


During my time here in the Philippines, which is becoming more regular as I look to retire here someday, I’ve learned so many hard lessons. Many of those lessons are about poverty and its ugly face for children. So, this time every year I try to recruit some of you to ‘help me, help them’ with some rice.


boy and rice    girl with bear   girl and rice


It’s easy to do, just open your PayPal account at www.paypal.com; click “send money” to a friend, so they don’t take out a fee, and send to “paypal@leadwise.com” as everything I get goes directly to purchase and distribute rice to all of our “MyPALs” who are usually single mom’s or students who are doing everything possible to lift themselves and their families out of an unlucky hole they may have been born into.

$25 buys 1/2 sack, and $50 buys a whole sack of rice. I hope you could spare more, as we NEVER have rice leftover! We will accept any amount, in case you’re wondering how much is too much. smiley

Here’s why it’s so important during the holidays:

In the Philippines, it’s a cultural practice, especially among the poor to purchase clothes for their children at Christmas — imagine the thought of your kids getting “clothes” and being happy, here in the west! 

Well, needless to say, if you have to choose between clothes and rice, here most Filipina go for clothes and hope for providence to feed their families… even though rice is more pragmatic and rational.  We, like them, are irrational when it comes to things like this, but you can’t eat hope.

So, back in 2009, I saw a need to find and give rice to fill the gap during the holidays (Christmas and Easter), because that’s about all I found out I could do. Of course, we’ve tried everything the past 8 years to lift people out of poverty, but it’s not easy to do, as poverty has its own durable nature, and thus requires more than a village, although that’s a good place to start.

We are basically trying to give them something to eat during the holidays, when most contract (majority of work in Philippines is contract work, so employers bypass paying benefits) work ceases and since most of the country is pay for work, no work aggravates the whole deal around the holidays — it’s really a conundrum, that’s hard to solve.

My kids will tell you that I load up with clothes every time I come home; and believe me I have learned to travel light being on the “road” the last 15 years globally. I still have clothes in Leon, Mexico, Moscow, Russia, Istanbul, Mumbai, and places scattered in-between because I’m not a luggage person.  So, if you see me, outside of western work, I’ll be wearing the same thing everywhere it’s warm — and it’s hard to get this old football body into the cold these days… kind of like the TIN MAN in Wizard of Oz, I need oilsmiley  If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself (maybe). smiley

Shifting gears…

I’ve got a new book almost finished on DYNAMIC INQUIRY, which is the culmination of what I’ve learned in 30 years of professional coaching inquiry. It’s probably too dry for anyone not in the helping fields, but I wanted to share my experience and mark my 30th year in coaching, so it’s about done, so to speak. I’m going to write at least one more book on ValuDYNAMICS to show how I have looked at values and how they evolve over time — something I started doing back in the 80s, when my own values were tested, the day my son Ryan died.

I’m headed back to India to speak in January, on a topic called CONSCIOUS IT, and I think I’ll probably get back to Russia next year, also.  I’ll also be making my regular pilgrimages to San Antonio, TX, where I’ve had the opportunity to work with a visionary CEO, and his mission for how banking might be, do, have, become and contribute, in the future — really exciting times for sure, wrapped up in what might be a pretty cynical world around us.

Laura and I are no longer married for those of you who haven’t heard, and that’s all of you, because we didn’t announce. But I’ll say this, I have never met a better person than Laura, whose loyal to her family and is a very good friend to me, even as our relationship has changed over the years.

Here’s the purpose of my letter:

If you have a few dollars you want to share with the poor in Philippines, all of it goes to buy rice, no administrative fees, no delivery costs, no anything, but rice… to a lot of needy people whose holiday will be a lot brighter if we reach down and are thankful for how lucky we all have it in our busy lives.

Please send a holiday donation through PayPal to paypal@leadwise.com and mark it for a friend, so we don’t lose fees.  PayPal is good about not charging for kindness, and I’m happy to have had an account there since day 1 or 2.  smiley

The donation goes through LEADERSHIP UNIVERSITY, just in case you’re wondering, that’s me and some others scattered around the world, making Leadership Jazz. Especially my business partner who has to weigh all the ups and downs of working with a crazy person — Gary Gile — I love you man, you’re always there when we need you here!

Maybe someday, he and some of you will visit us here in the Philippines, and I’m happy to show you around these 7641 islands!

That’s my update for now, hope all of you have a wonderful holiday season, and may the wind be at your back!

In gratitude,

Mike

PS: This is Gary. When you donate to help Mike bring a little Christmas joy to others, I will do the following – donate $25 or more and you will be given access to Mike’s latest book, @F-L-O-W: Find, Design, Use TALENT to Emerge Happiness & Success in a PostModern World [in .pdf format]. 

If you donate $50 or more you will also have access to the workbook that accompanies the book.  They make a great combination to help you experience greater happiness and success [as defined by you, not the media].  

Currently we do have 3 paperback copies left.  If you want one of them visit https://livingatflow.com/book/.



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Mike R. Jay is a developmentalist utilizing consulting, coaching, mentoring and advising as methods to offer developmental scaffolding for aspiring leaders who are interested in being, doing, having, becoming, and contributing… to helping people have lives.

Mike R. Jay
Leadership University


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