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Common Sense for Uncommon Times By Calvin Mackie, Ph.D. “In essence, in servant leadership, who you are matters as much as what you can do.” M ake no mistake about it: We are now living in “Uncommon Times.” The financial markets are on life support, people are losing their homes, retirement accounts are disappearing, the economy is teetering toward a deep recession at best, and companies are laying off workers on a daily basis. The unmitigated greed rampant on Wall Street and the narcissistic hyperconsumerism raging on Main Street that have brought us to this point have come to a screeching halt. It is over, gone, no mas. NSBE, the world as we thought we knew it is over. Our organization and our lives will never be the same. As President Barack Obama declared on the monumental and historic night of his election as the first African-American president of the United States: “Change has come to America”! However, the change is deeper than an Obama administration; this change will impact all of our lives and our children’s lives. These uncommon times will require a new type of leadership: common sense leadership, what some people have dubbed “servant leadership.” Servant leadership is characterized by the desire to make a difference in and a positive impact on the lives of others, sacrificing self-interest for the greater good of the group or organization. Servant leaders realize that leaders are the stewards of institutional resources, as well as institutional values. In essence, in servant leadership, who you are matters as much as what you can do. In choosing leaders, people are often focused on the ability to carry out a task and very seldom consider the ability to inspire others to carry out that task for the greater good. In the past presidential campaign, many questioned President Obama’s experience. But President Obama exemplifies “transformative servant leadership.” Leadership is about all of us and not the one, and a servant leader reminds us of that. It was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ability to challenge our “way of being” that brought about a great change in American society. It was Nelson Mandela’s “way of being” — who he was, his character and his values — that ushered him into the leadership of South Africa and the dismantling of apartheid. “Servant leadership,” “way of being leadership” or “ethical leadership” is an imperative now, as many people have lost faith in public servants due to the lack of ethics that’s pervasive in today’s society. An organization must be a living organism that grows and adapts to the changes in society and the challenges of the day. Thus, servant leadership is characterized by leadership development that is an ongoing, lifelong learning process. In their article, “Becoming a Servant Leader: Do You Have What It Takes?” John E. Barbuto Jr. and Daniel W. Wheeler of the University of Nebraska list the 11 characteristics that a servant leader must commit to developing continuously. I urge you to find their article or read their list in the online version of this column on NSBE.org. As we celebrate President Obama during these uncommon times, we can’t just look to the president for solutions. He is calling on all of us to commit to servant leadership in all aspects of our lives. We must find our callings, empathize, show compassion, commit to continuous growth and development, listen, and build and improve all of the communities we touch. With such a commitment, we will not only change ourselves and NSBE, we will truly change the world for the better! ■ NSBE Lifetime Member Calvin Mackie, Ph.D. — speaker, author, professor and inventor — is a former associate professor of mechanical engineering at Tulane University. He is president of the Channel ZerO Group, an organization committed to maximizing the effectiveness and potential of individuals and organizations. http://www.calvinmackie.com www.nsbe.org 6• march/april 2009 •

NSBE - March/April 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NSBE - March/April 2009

NSBE - March/April 2009
Contents
Common Sense for Uncommon Times
Men of Influence
Love and Time
International News
Aris Freeman and Kyrra Mosley of Jacobs
Daniel Grant of NAVAIR
Re Kenebrew of Schlumberger
Shakti Davis of MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Philip Ryan of Toyota
Engineering Las Vegas
Show Time! NSBE's 35th Annual National Convention: Celebrating "Exponential Growth" in the "Entertainment Capital of the World"
Celebrating Academic Excellence
Company Profile
Finding Career Fair Success
CE Cover - Choosing Entrepreneurship
Help for Small Tech Businesses
AE Members on the Move
Advertisers Index
NSBE - March/April 2009 - NSBE - March/April 2009
NSBE - March/April 2009 - Cover2
NSBE - March/April 2009 - 1
NSBE - March/April 2009 - Contents
NSBE - March/April 2009 - 3
NSBE - March/April 2009 - 4
NSBE - March/April 2009 - 5
NSBE - March/April 2009 - Common Sense for Uncommon Times
NSBE - March/April 2009 - 7
NSBE - March/April 2009 - Men of Influence
NSBE - March/April 2009 - 9
NSBE - March/April 2009 - Love and Time
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - 12
NSBE - March/April 2009 - International News
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - Aris Freeman and Kyrra Mosley of Jacobs
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - Daniel Grant of NAVAIR
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - Re Kenebrew of Schlumberger
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - Shakti Davis of MIT Lincoln Laboratory
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - Philip Ryan of Toyota
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - Engineering Las Vegas
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - Show Time! NSBE's 35th Annual National Convention: Celebrating "Exponential Growth" in the "Entertainment Capital of the World"
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - Celebrating Academic Excellence
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - Company Profile
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - Finding Career Fair Success
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - CE Cover - Choosing Entrepreneurship
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - 131
NSBE - March/April 2009 - Help for Small Tech Businesses
NSBE - March/April 2009 - AE Members on the Move
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NSBE - March/April 2009 - Advertisers Index
NSBE - March/April 2009 - Cover3
NSBE - March/April 2009 - Cover4
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nsbe/20090304
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http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com