July Blog

July Blog

 

Here is what we will go over this month:

 

  1. An opinion piece on, what else, dealing with the effects of the virus.
  2. Some quotes.
  3. Progress on the book
  4. Some Chesapeake Consulting news and a commercial.

 

As Hard as It is – Stay Focused

 

Each Tuesday morning about ten of us get together on a zoom call to discuss issues at the prison.  Most of us are volunteers and when everything is “normal” there are:

 

  • Worship services each Sunday with volunteer participation and interaction with the inmates.
  • Small group studies, mostly in the evenings almost every evening with interaction.
  • An ongoing “college like” environment where volunteers and paid professionals help prepare inmates for eventual re-entry into society.  There is a lot of inmate and “free world people” interaction.  It is not only educational but also social.
  • In addition, when things are normal there are family visitations and special events where outside food brought in. 

 

Prison is not pleasant as you can imagine – however some of the above help alleviate some of the pain of being incarcerated.  Since March, the beginning of the virus, all of that has gone away.  No one can enter the prison other than guards, administrators and necessary state employees.  We have not been there to educate, encourage and just love on these guys.

 

The leader of our group, Gil, talks on the phone with some of our inmates and the reports that he has been getting have been progressively worse.  Morale is down, drug use is up, violence is up, and many are giving up hope.  That is a volatile and dangerous situation.  We were all sort of down in the dumps after listening to our current state from Gil.  We want to get back in and see our guys.  We love those guys and want to be with them and help them.  One of the things we have been doing is after our normal meeting is over, Gil starts to record the zoom call for all of us to say a word of encouragement.  Then Gil puts that on a thumb drive and sends it to the prison so the guys can hear from us via video. 

 

My words of encouragement centered around some of the internal leaders stepping it up.  Times like these do not “make” leaders.  Times like this expose leaders – who is a leader and who has a lot of work to do on their skills.  In my book “Cow’s Don’t Stay Milked,” I make the statement that one will never reach their leadership potential unless they have the Holy Spirit dwelling within them.  If that is the case, then they will in at least some degree reflect the nine fruits of the Spirit which essentially are the elements of character.  Staying focused and standing in the gap for others during this time is essential for leaders. 

 

John Wesley, the famous theologian and founder of what we know as the Methodist church had a name for this focus – “the means of grace.”  They include:

 

  • Worship
  • Daily prayer and Bible study
  • Meeting and talking with others concerning your spiritual development (small groups)
  • Engaging in acts of mercy.
  • Engaging in acts of justice

 

It is easy to get distracted and to let the ongoing “clutter” have an impact on your emotions and thus the emotions of those around you.  Be the one who offers words of encouragement and executes acts of kindness and adds value to others.  Stay focused on what’s important.

 

 

Quotes

 

  1. Fail early, fail often, but always fall forward.  John Maxwell
  2. Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.  Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” Proverbs 31:8-9
  3. By a pup and your money will buy Love, unflinching that cannot lie.  Rudyard Kipling
  4. A man can never be the same after hearing God’s truth spoken in the power of God’s Holy Spirit; he will either obey and go forward or ignore and die a little.  Richard Halverson
  5. You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.  CS Lewis
  6. Lord, help me meet a need for someone today.
  7. Image is what people thank we are; integrity is what we really are.  John Maxwell
  8. Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.  Proverbs 15:22
  9. Based on Proverbs 15:22 it is Biblical to use the services of Chesapeake Consulting. 
  10. Knowledge is horizontal but wisdom is vertical—it comes down from above.
  11. We don’t just need something to live on.  We need something to live for.
  12. One man cannot do it all, but one man with a lifetime can be enough of an example to have someone follow in his footsteps.  Bob Pierce
  13. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.  Ephesians 3:20
  14. Life is an accumulation of all the results of how you handle life’s “ifs.”
  15. God give us men.  A time like this demands strong minds, great hearts, true faith, and ready hands.  Men whom the lust for office does not kill; Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy; Men who posses opinions and a will; Men who love honor; Men who will not lie.  Josiah Holland

 

Progress on the Book

 

Progress has been amazing on this book.  I first got nudged to write in on May 8th and had it written in 40 days.  Within the next 40 days the publisher did the editing and re-writing and I am confident we will have it launched within these next 40 days.  All that is needed now is endorsements and someone to write the foreword.  Other than that, the book is essentially complete.   A large shout out to my publisher, Chris McKinney who owns Called Writers that is in Tuscaloosa.  He is extremely talented and has been wonderful to work with. 

 

We have changed the title to “Don’t Do Anything Stupid – A White Man’s Guide to Racial Harmony.” 

 

If you would like to read the final copy (less endorsements and design work) give me a shout and I will send it to you.  Also, if you would like to give it an endorsement would love that also. 

 

What is going on at Chesapeake Consulting?

 

Like many other small businesses (and not so small for that matter), we are struggling.  For over three decades that has always been a trait of our business – when sour things happen the first to go and the last to come back are services provided by consulting companies including training, and any effort that pours into and adds value to employees.   Companies and individuals “hunker down.”  Intellectually folks know that is not the thing to do but I have found over the years that many times inertia wins out – especially when times are rough.   We have been fortunate to retain some of our government work with the FAA – thank heavens. 

 

However, we have not been sitting around wringing our hands.  We are doing our best to be in tune with the market regarding product and how to deliver our services.  Here are a few things going on:

 

  • We are continuing to work closely with the needs of “Alabama Works” developing a supervisor training program.  We are continuing to work with AIDT to take care of clients they need to offload.
  • We are continuing to improve our service of being able to link up a qualified job candidate with a specific job.  Using ACT Job Profiling and WorkKeys is only part of what we are offering.  Most jobs require a behavior element and we can help with that assessment.  An example – the police officer that killed the man in Minnesota probably would not have passed a robust assessment of behavior for the job of patrolman.  Had that been done in filling his position more than likely a life would have been saved.  
  • We have gotten a lot of positive feedback on my new book and we have a workshop on racism that goes with the book. 

 

We would love to help and service you and your organization.  Give us a shout! 

 

John Covington