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Early Intervention and Better Judgment

That’s what we all want as parents, grandparents, teachers and coaches for our kids.

To ask for help early on to troubleshoot  any challenges, including emotional burdens.

To use better judgment when choosing which company you keep, where you spend free time and how you treat your family, as a few examples. Each act of wisdom and each show of empathy and kindness may help prevent breakdowns and crimes as revealed in the news story below about a man who could not cope with the consequences of his addiction — set in East Cobb County, Marietta, Georgia.

After studying parent/child relationships for decades, analyzing hundreds of cases involving family conflict, I can say for certain that a parent’s judgment in how he or she guides children to treat other family members has a lot to do with preventing ongoing dysfunction, including addiction, family violence, abuse in relationships, etc.

Several cases in Georgia involve someone taking a life, their own or a family member’s life, committing arson and other crimes, because that person doesn’t have the coping mechanisms needed in relationships and in deciding how to handle uncertainty and disappointment.

A Marietta, Georgia, man turned suicidal, burned down his family home, ran from police and put many other lives at risk.

This story could have turned into a much greater tragedy, but fortunately no lives were lost and the perpetrator of arson and drug use is behind bars.

 

Below: traumatized father and neighbor talks about the scene. Other neighbors led from smoke-filled, burning homes adjacent to Matt Olson’s unit. We do not yet know the total damages caused by his addiction, suicidal behavior, arson and the police chase.

 

Photography and video credit: Fox 5 News, Atlanta, Georgia

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:

Our September 11, 2001

We were on our last piece of furniture, just me and my twins. One newborn in each arm, and not expecting a war – acts of terror – on our home front.

I was already in survival mode, sleep-deprived and scared. And I was alone except for my babies, born almost two months early, Jack in my right arm and his twin sister, Chloe, in my left. Other than what I saw in front of me on the television, that is my most clear memory. They were all I could really focus on and that was because it was still life and death for my daughter.

There were movers coming and going from our house in Colorado, outside of Boulder where we had incredible, peaceful views and where I had amazing friends and support as a new mother. It was so hard to leave the best friends I’d ever had, three pregnant at the same time and going through the same emotions…saying goodbye in a hospital room because I was admitted early with toxemia.

September 11_2001_Deb Beacham_Boulder Colorado

This was not my exact view that morning, but pretty close. If I could paint, this is how I would express my memories of this view. These were the kind of vivid sunrises we had, with other amazing views out of the back of our house showing wild animals and horses roaming open fields, and hot air balloons drifting by.  A stark contrast to what followed.

On that morning I was debating whether or not to make another emergency room visit to our our hospital because of my daughter’s health issues and we were keeping a close eye on my son because we were weaning him off of the oxygen tank and tubes in preparation for flying on the GPC corporate jet to Atlanta, where daddy was already working. I don’t even remember where he was that morning, on September 11, 2001, but he was not home with us. I felt so alone except for the movers.

The next vivid memory I have is of the guys who were finishing up our packing (I couldn’t do much because of the constant needs of preemie twins who had not been home long from a month-long stay in the NICU). They had come into the room and seen the billowing smoke from the Towers after hearing the outcries coming from the television. They all stood in shock around me, unable to speak. I’m not sure if the sounds were coming from me or from our television.

I felt like screaming because this could just not be true, what I was seeing before me. Tears were pouring down my face and I was muffling my sounds into a baby blanket because I could not traumatize my frail infants who were already so hyper-sensitive, and with Chloe in and out of the hospital multiple times per week. I did not yet know the term Failure to Thrive, just that it was touch and go with her.  We were preparing to move to Georgia, and I was silently grieving the move on top of what we had just been through with our dramatic labor and delivery in Denver. I also wasn’t aware that I was suffering from severe postpartum depression. The fear, sleep-deprivation and grief over leaving my best friends were not things I had the luxury of thinking about at that point.

As I watched the second Tower get hit on live television, noting that the ever-calm and decisive Katie Couric sounded like she was trying herself not to falter while taking in the choking sobs of callers, I found another gear. I decided to let go of that gear today and give in to my tears that I’ve held back all of this time, for the last 15 years.

When you have no choice but to hold it together to protect your children, your own emotions and grief take a back seat. Until now I could not let myself watch any of the footage, read most posts or reports about the attack or feel what I felt that day. That is what happens when things just do not let it up. Not that it’s letting up now…I’m just stronger.

This post is updated – today is not September 11th as when I created the post in 2016. It is June 25th, my twins’ birthday. They are 16 today!

The only person I remember speaking to that day, and barely, is my neighbor Janette, who came over to drive us to a friend’s house where we were to stay overnight until the plane sent by Genuine Parts Company was to carry us, our nurse for the twins, our nanny and our dog Copper to Atlanta. Janette was amazing. She knew I just could not speak and we were both trying not to give in to the emotions caused by what we had seen and were beginning to learn of the terrorist attacks. I don’t know how I would have managed that day without her. It was hard enough that I was having to leave her and other wonderful friends from our neighborhood and Colorado. The support I felt from her, the strength I drew, the calm response to trauma…it was something I could only get from another mother who knew without being told that I was hanging on by a thread and for the sake of keeping these infants peaceful. Reaching for healthy.

At this point I was unsure about flying with preemies but had no choice as the Company would not wait any longer. Every little disturbance, internally or externally, experienced by my daughter would make her very ill and send me racing with her to the emergency room. I didn’t know what each day would hold for us. But I coordinated with packers and movers, following instructions because that was all I could manage.

It was only when my babies were sleeping that I could attempt to get through to their father to make sure he was ok. He was safe, thank God, but was busy as every other executive/manager was while they were doing damage control over the impact on their employees and businesses.  Some of his office products / office furniture employees had been inside the Pentagon and only stepped outside for a break from meetings when it was hit by one of the planes under terrorist control. It was a miracle that they had gone outside when they did. News kept coming in like this about who was where, what they were experiencing, and about the mounting losses. It was almost impossible to look away from the images, the shocking live videos and reports streaming in. As you recall, there was virtually no good news to be found on any channel. Lots of heroism but way too much grief.

When I was finally able to get through to friends I had worked with in the financial district in NYC, the grief started to set in. The people I knew from Dean Witter (Morgan Stanley) had made it out, except for the guard who never left his post at the elevators at the top of that Tower to make sure that everyone got out, including people coming up the stairs and onto the floor where he held his post. He turned everyone around to get them out, while not thinking of himself. This man’s service and sacrifice is written about and posted at the memorial to 9/11 in the City of Atlanta. Yes, I fell apart when I came upon his story in Atlanta, not expecting to read what is posted there. For the month or so I spent working on those top floors there, he was always the first face I saw when heading for the trading desk of my department. And the last at the end of the day.

There is a documentary that depicts what it was like inside the buildings, using transcribed calls with the emergency service centers. From all I remember of my time in those buildings, it is accurate, and also chilling.

When someone you care about experiences something worse than your own grief, it gives you the chance to detach from your own thoughts and sadness. That is what happened when talking with my dear friend who worked in another building there, with another investment banking firm. I watched the same footage that she did, as one of her friends jumped from the smoldering building. We held our hands over our mouths, experiencing horror none of us could have ever fathomed before. There is still so much grief in our world, but none worse than for those families and children who witnessed that and lost their loved ones that way. On this day, this morning, 15+ years ago.

Time to allow this emotion to surface, and to move forward.

By God’s grace we are doing well, and we are together, my twins and our family. We get to join in with others spending time today to honor and support veterans, especially those wounded in service to our country and to the values we stand for.

Our Freedom and our ability to be together, to work and play together, are still at risk and being threatened in different ways each day. But we have each other and we have something in us that those terrorists and others who want to tear us down do not have.

Respect. Honor. Integrity. Courage. And Love.

Note: as I update and share this post, I am no longer allowed to be with my children due to the same terroristic acts which I study and report on. It is my turn to feel this pain, to bear down…and stand up. We are not done here.

Brad, if you make it this far please know there is a war at home which is not being fought as it needs to be, with the same resources and willpower with which we take on ISIS.  This is where I’m supposed to be. When I rejected the CIA, almost out of college, I couldn’t fathom what the future would bring, but now I understand.

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

Build a Bridge of Support

Asking for what you need is one of the hardest things to do, but it’s worth the effort.

Start now!

Bridge of Support_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

 

Keeping Your Sense of Humor

Each day this call to action becomes more important as we are inundated with negativity messages and personal attacks, because we dared to speak our mind and take a stand about something important.

As you filter out the negative political attacks and the biased news media reports, preserve your health and sanity by either not responding, or responding with a sense of humor. What is most effective is the short and sweet, positive / above the fray type of message.

One of my favorite recently heart remarks is from Governor Nikki Halley when she came back at Donald with, “Bless your heart,” to one of his blustering and bullying put-downs.

Don’t just smile, create some of your own and save them up since you don’t know when you might need to have one or two handy to deal with people who want to slow your work down (because it makes them look bad or feel inferior), or people who say untrue or cruel things about you because they want to escape consequences for their own actions. Don’t worry about what is wrong with them, just focus on lifting yourself, or someone you support, up and over the scoundrels who want you to go off the cliff with them.

Charm school or the funny papers you read with grandpa may just pay off!

Deb Beacham

Deb Beacham Driving Change

 

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