Posts in "Leadership" tag

Is Duty Calling?

Be original and unique, the little voice said.

A bigger voice said, “I wrote this here for you to follow.”

“Will you answer My call?”

There is no greater calling for me than advocating for others and for my children. Sometimes it comes with an uncomfortable price tag and maybe at the expense of some relationships, but it’s a duty that can’t be denied. Not everyone wants this kind of challenge, and that’s ok; God calls us all to serve in different ways.

When I’m asked, which is at least once per week, why I work as much as I do and why I won’t stand down in reporting on critical issues like I did on case involving a hedge fund  using kids from Newnan, and on cases in Fulton County involving exploitation and child trafficking, I often reply with one of two answers.

Someone has to. And, I don’t see why I should not…or why I shouldn’t ask you to engage as well. We’re in excellent company on this issue of protecting others, especially our youth and anyone who is vulnerable to exploitation.

Last year we passed the Safe Harbor Bill in Georgia – and this is just the beginning  – not a final achievement.

And God did more than just hint at what we’re supposed to do with our time and gifts.

Psalm 82:3-4  “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

Romans 13:4 “For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.”

Do you know this one?

“Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

Yes, this was the founding principle for investing everything to broadcast Pro Advocate Radio beginning in January of 2015, the hashtag we launched #UseYourVoice, and why we are gearing up for another important series after the election!  This is when our hardest work begins…after the sensational, divisive news reports and debates die down, when the majority want to detox from discussing “issues” and move on…

When you’re ready, please help me keep the conversation going?

“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” Bring it…we have the data and the tools needed to make this possible.

Where in Ephesians is this verse found? “For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”

I haven’t quite figured this one out: “Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.” Proverbs 25:26 …I’d appreciate hearing your interpretation or what this means to you.

Deb Beacham Driving Change

Do you have a favorite?  Send it to me by private message or email, please!

We have a lot more work to do, and I promise you it will be rewarding if you decide to lend a hand or devote some time.

 

Thank you!

Deb

 

Please watch and share to keep the conversation going about exploitation:

Know Your Own Mind

A reminder to self…to keep it simple.

When you know your own mind, no one else can make it up for you or force you off course for lack of resolve or clarity.

Know Your Own Mind_Deb Beacham_My Advocate Center

Consequences of Standing Your Ground

My title here should be, The Rewards of Standing Your Ground, but I’ll save that for my next post.

When least expected you may face an attack on your character, on your business and reputation; or the attack may come at you as a parent, or even on all of the above.  Yes, unfortunately I know this personally and can attest to the uncomfortable consequences, but I also expect to demonstrate the rewards of learning and growing from the experience.

It’s a choice to stay in the experience rather than running from it, and it’s a choice – sometimes an hourly one – to grow from it and seek the purpose in the lesson. Some people wonder why I don’t take their advice and just let it go and move on to something else, but more of those who know me or those who can see why I stand my ground so often (which means more litigation than I care to discuss here), express admiration and encouragement for staying the course. I’m grateful and very blessed to have more new friends and signs of support than I can count. Fortunately I’m also not alone in being bull-headed about righting wrongs and addressing foul play.

I draw strength from seeing how others handle these attacks, especially when someone stands their ground  when the cost is very high. Even better is when others join forces because they know the person’s work and character are compelling, meaningful to society and worth fighting for. If you see some of my posts on LinkedIn, Twitter and occasionally on Facebook about a fight going on, about creating transparency over professional misconduct or about child abuse, I hope you’ll remember this explanation here on my personal blog.

I want more people to realize they can overcome retaliation and improve personally and at work from dealing with the consequences of standing up to those who willfully steal, lie and litigate to cause harm. And as I’m frequently told, if someone is retaliating against you and trying to bring you down, it’s likely because you’re doing something right, something of value for society.

Two people I am proud to know and cheer for in their ongoing battles against wrongdoing and false allegations are Michael J. Daugherty and Mark Thomason, both from Georgia. Both were just doing their jobs, diligently and with integrity, contributing to society by building their own businesses and giving back when they were ambushed.

One owns a medical testing lab and the other is a publisher of a small, rural newspaper.  Not much in common and they would probably never cross paths except they are both now in the news – in the spotlight because they are standing up to corrupted behavior and attempted cover-ups by government officials and/or agencies.

Both are duking it out with the bad actors in litigation and in social media, and both on principle…because someone has to so that more innocent people and upstanding businesses are not harmed. Daugherty, now an author and spokesman on cybersecurity and government overreach, has been calling out the witch hunt on the federal agency level, while Thomason’s open records requests were made on a hyper-local level (Blue Ridge, Georgia, in the Appalachian Judicial Circuit) but leading to national recognition and support from news media.

Fact Check Time with Mike Daugherty

Watching the events unfold in their respective fights is somewhat like looking in a mirror, and when you learn more about what sparked their fights, you may be able to relate on some level. If that’s the case, I hope that you are inspired and find something to draw strength from as I have. When someone does harm to you or to a person or place you care about, and you feel called to do something about it, prepare for and expect the blowback!

I believe both Michael and Mark will affirm that it will worsen before it gets better and relief arrives, but there is no greater satisfaction (outside of parenting, personally) than showing you have what it takes, including a network of support, to prevail in the end.

Please check out their stories – Mike Daugherty and Mark Thomason – and follow the updates on these cases. The retaliation against these good men is alarming, blatant and clearly meant to destroy, but I expect both will prevail and that our society will be better off for the stands they are taking.

Mark’s updates can be seen on the Fannin Focus Facebook page when other news media report on the situation, so this is the easiest way to keep up with Mark.

Twitter is my favorite way to keep up with Mike and the banter about data security, privacy, and the hacking done by Tiversa to create profits from false allegations against his business. Unreal! [This reminds of a couple other Georgia cases involving computer security experts being used to create false criminal claims, which were turned into profits for a few attorneys and their experts; one of these cases involves a story of national interest, so you’ll see more coming out on this one].

Your story, I am guessing, is also worth telling and I’m glad to read or listen, and to invite you to talk about it when Pro Advocate Radio returns for its next season!

Watch this WSB-TV report to go deeper into the saga exposing judicial impropriety, retaliation against reporters who ask too many questions and to see how our news media are responding.

Thinning the Thin Blue Line for Political Gain

A candidate spoke of the positives coming out of the violence at his political rally. Yes, he did.

No mention of the injured officer or of the waste of our tax dollars caused by his inciting of violence and intentionally divisive, inflammatory words and conduct. But he did speculate it could be good for his vote count while talking to media and even went on to talk about himself and his supporters as being the victims for having their first amendment rights denied.

This could be the thinning of what is already a thin blue line.

What does #ThinBlueLine mean?

The Thin Blue Line is a symbol used by law enforcement, originating in the United Kingdom but now prevalent in the United States and Canada to commemorate fallen officers and to symbolize the relationship of the police in the community as the protectors of the citizenry from the criminal element. In my opinion this line gets thinner when people treat law enforcement with disrespect and make their jobs harder, and integrity – or the lack of it – has everything to do with this problem.

Think. When we unnecessarily make police work harder by inciting violence we – candidates who activate hate, racism, fear, anti-semitism, and more – undermine our officers’ ability to protect and to serve as they are trying to do.

Poor judgment by candidates increases the risk to our officers, to families and children, to businesses, and, yes, to reporters as well. When you put down women, minorities and lie about what you’re doing, you’re inviting in abuse…but this candidate then rewards it with more fanfare.

When we create situations that cause law enforcement to have to react – and these are avoidable situations – we are wasting our resources, taking officers away from areas where others are truly in need of protection.

This candidate said about a protestor, “I was ready for him,” Trump said. “But it’s much easier if the cops do it.” This says he knows what he’s doing, escalating fear and hate, but that it’s not his problem, it’s law enforcement’s problem. And…it’s OUR problem as taxpayers, as parents, as business owners, etc. This doesn’t help us – – it hurts us.

Consider these statements in this CNN report:

Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski added, “We don’t make decisions in a vacuum. We coordinate with all the appropriate law enforcement.”

But Anthony Guglielmi, a Chicago police spokesman, told CNN that Trump’s claim that he informed a police commander before making the decision to cancel the rally was “absolutely untrue.”

“No one from the campaign contacted the Chicago Police Department and we were not involved at all in canceling the event,” Guglielmi told CNN. [So this candidate’s going to subject our officers to greater risk, and our citizens, and then lie about his campaign’s conduct while blaming police.]

“I was literally standing next to the superintendent when we were notified by the university that the event had been canceled. I think a lot of people were surprised, including the Secret Service officer standing next to us who was notified at the same time.”

Guglielmi added that police then dispatched an additional 100 police officers to the University of Illinois arena, where the event was being held, to assist with crowd control.

What if, Mr. Presidential Candidate, instead of stirring up violent protests for the sake of attention, media ratings and to distract from your own misconduct, you managed in a way that encourages law enforcement to use their time and energy to rescue victims of child trafficking and to pursue the predators in each area you visit?

That is what honoring law enforcement and protecting our vulnerable citizens looks like, when you choose what is right for them over what your ego demands.

If enough people say the truth over and over again maybe it will start to resonate with voters who still have integrity and empathy for people.

To the millions who are struggling, losing children, homes, health and jobs, I hope you’ll consider the attitude and example of candidates and watch how they treat others. If someone is cavalier about risking the lives of our officers, retaliates against a victim of violence for speaking out, threatens anyone who speaks out against him and rewards those who put profits over facts, what chance do you think we’ll have of getting him to care about the plight of families and children? Where on his list of priorities do you think your family will fall?

Respond to me on Twitter @DebBeachamATL or @MyAdvocateCentr, or via MyAdvocateCenter.com.

Deb Beacham

Deb Beacham, My Advocate Center
Deb Beacham, My Advocate Center

 

Where Do You Find Hope? Part One

What I’m supposed to say is that I find my hope in God’s word and while that is true, I’m also like many of my peers (and I don’t fake it well!). We relate in wanting something or someone we can see with our own eyes, and we want clear plans and promises we can wrap our minds around. We want to see and know that someone we trust will follow through and deliver on what we need and expect.

No, that isn’t faith but it is a part of being human, of being real and normal.

As long as we can keep the perspective that politicians are just as human as we are, and as long as we don’t displace our hope and faith by leaving it in their hands instead of in God’s hands, then we can find peace. Then we can more effectively use our voices – and our votes – in the political process.

During this intense and uncertain time of a hotly contested presidential election we monitor, judge, compare notes and spar with each other because we want to be heard, and heard over others. We probably even want to be validated by others in our choices. But most of all we want to know that our hope in someone or in certain ideals will manifest into reality, meaning a better life and more certainty and stability. Of course it’s a slippery slope if we are betting on / believing in someone who just talks a good game…as opposed to having game.

IMG_0129Rather than share more of my own thoughts I wanted to give others a chance to think out loud and to express their hopes, dreams, feelings, questions and to even show enthusiasm if they felt inspired to do so.

When the opportunity came to join the press ranks at the campaign event for Senator Marco Rubio this final weekend of February, I realized as I stepped into the crowd what I was supposed to do. We’re in the final days leading up to the Georgia Republican Primary on Tuesday, March 1st, I’m just happy to be here, but also grateful we live where we don’t have to fear retaliation for speaking our minds. So I decided to make the most of it for the people who came out to learn more and to support someone who gives them hope. They were pleased – enthusiastic is a better word – to share their opinions and to use their voices this way.

I’m also grateful for the Georgia college student who joined me in giving others a voice on this day, so if you meet Christina, please congratulate her on a job well done! I could not have covered the turf (or the stands holding thousands) like we did today without her help.

Christina Wants To Know Why Rubio for

Just watch…and listen.

Christina’s First Interview

Listen Carefully to Those Who Want Your Vote

My advice? Don’t just listen to what is being said now but also go back in time. And it’s about so much more than words; it’s about actions and how you treat others while going after what you want for yourself.

I’m doing my best to stay positive, to avoid getting caught up in anti anything talks or name-calling – – that serves no purpose. If we are going to protect our citizens, give children what they need to thrive, improve our systems – including legal immigration, healthcare, education and more – we have to stand up to divisiveness of all kinds.  On the flip side we have to search for integrity and for those who will follow through on solutions that will help our families and children and lead us out of danger.

Show me what you stand for and how you use your resources and connections to back up what you say, and you might get my vote.

 

Family Stability

Is it good for you to know what’s coming?  What you can expect, or better yet, what you can or cannot control? I believe so, and I believe informing families improves stability.

Of course.  So that means it is true for your children as well.   Most of the concepts I’m exploring here have to do with helping us do better for ourselves but especially for our children.  If you are not a parent, but support children or parents in your community, you may learn about concepts or resources that you’ll want to share.

In my own journey I realized there was a lot of information and guidance missing that I needed at a critical time, so I set out to have questions answered and to identify the best resources that others might need as well.

If you would like to contribute to the public education now available through My Advocate Center to help more families avoid the pitfalls seen in our court system, please consider donating here. This method is not yet tax-deductible, so let me know if you prefer to use a method that will allow you to receive the deduction through one of our partner organizations.


What I learned is worth sharing.  The issues I address are meant to invite debate about more positive ways to resolve conflict and overcome challenges – or challenging people – with a central focus on the needs of children.

Just knowing the right questions to ask, knowing that accountability is possible, finding honest and trustworthy support…can make all the difference in how we function in life, how we protect our health and finances, and especially around how we care for and nurture our children.

When we are informed and well supported, we can properly set and follow through on expectations.  That benefits our children because we all have greater peace of mind.  With the right expectations, support, know-how, peace of mind…we can perform better, make better decisions, and ideally deliver what is needed.

So the conversation here is about empowering, creating new solutions and building toward better peace of mind, better health, greater productivity…and, yes, more laughter and joy.

Keeping it simple:  when we are at our best, we can serve God, each other and our children better.

Many of my topics come from daily life, as well as from being provoked in social media by friends I agree with and others I don’t.   My posts have less to do with what is reported in the news, and more to do with how I see us treating each other – and how that affects our children.

Many of the questions I raise also grow out of my observations of my own children and of other children & families:

When you learn to read the faces of children, you’ll see that they are telling you a lot about yourself.

Just know that if I call you out, I’m calling myself out as well.  Being transparent seems to work for me so I’m going with it.  None of us are perfect, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep learning and striving to do more with what we have, and to help our kids do better than we’ve done in the past.

What you can expect from me is candor, challenge, spirit (sometimes becoming “fight” when called for) and a genuine desire to both learn from my own mistakes and to help others do the same.

This desire gave birth to Connect | Inform | Empower and the warehouse of solutions and resources now called My Advocate Center.

On this blog and on My Advocate Center’s blog you’ll see a broad range of discussions, from children’s interests and parenting issues, including legal advocacy for parents and children, to issues that go to the heart of both social and business relationships.  I’ll probably get Global and Political and Spiritual at times – but always practical, always balanced and quick to consider perspectives other than my own.

What I ask of you as a reader is to please consider different sides of issues, and to help me Stand in the Gap that exists around many of the problems we face in this Community of ours.  Let’s set a better example: one we want our children to model after and carry forward with our help.

Your constructive feedback is always welcome here, and positive contributions are a great thing!

Thank you,

Deb Beacham

Deb Beacham, My Advocate Center
Deb Beacham, My Advocate Center

 

Calling All Golfers: Save the Date

Save the date, golf-loving friends!

March 28, 2016 at Heritage Links – Stay tuned for prize details & sponsorship news.

Heritage Links 3_DC Trip for Students

Challenging course, great company and food, and all for a good cause.

We are sending kids to Washington D.C. to learn more about our government and country’s history.  This is the kind of trip every middle school and high school student should have a chance to enjoy, and we expect it will create even more enthusiasm for young minds to turn their energy and talent into something that will brighten the future for America and our citizens.

Heritage Links A_DC Trip for Students

Please send me a note on LinkedIn or through ProAdvocateRadio.com if you’d like to learn more, and of course I’ll be posting updates here!

Heritage Links 2_DC Trip for Students

 

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