A Football Player’s Metamorphosis

My son was an outstanding football player who played first-string positions in offense, defense and special teams during two of his High School prep football seasons. He played so often that he rarely got a break on the sidelines to catch a breath of fresh air. The joke around our house posed in question form was, “Man, are they ever going to allow you a breather between plays?” 

His genesis in football, however, was dismal at best and I wondered if he would ever play the game well, until one day he had a metamorphosis of his own. Prior to his high school years he played in the Nevada Youth Football League. He had never played the game before but wanted to passionately play. He had one small problem; he was timid when it came to tackling others, which is a major part of playing the game. Whenever he would tackle a player he would grab on and wait for some of his teammates to join in on the tackle. It was obvious he was fearful of hurting someone or being hurt himself. This was a personal constraint line he imposed on himself, perhaps for his lack of experience playing in an actual game. In my best estimation, the line of resistance in his life was fear due to a lack of knowledge and experience.

One day there was an option play that took the running back around the side and down the sidelines. My son was playing the defensive end position and followed the play well. He ran toward the sidelines and gained so much momentum running that he just happened to meet the running back on the sideline at the right angle, at the right time with the right amount of speed and force. He had no other option but to plow him over by his shear momentum. It was a great site for any father to witness, as both of them went crashing down, kicking up dirt and grass as they tumbled upon the ground. As soon as he got off the ground I knew something had happened to him on the inside; there was a monumental change in his stride as he strutted back to the huddle. I discerned his fear had lifted as he had gained a new level of confidence as a gridiron man. He had crossed over the line of demarcation; from operating in fear to playing the game with confidence. When he got back into the huddle, his team members celebrated with him as they smacked his helmet with their hands, a sign of acceptance into an elite fraternity of gridiron men. I also noticed, in the plays that followed, he was not intimidated anymore. For him tackling was not a bad thing after all. He had tasted the experience of a tackle and liked it; therefore, crossing his personal line of demarcation, thus, distinguishing himself from his fear of tackling others by himself. My son had broken through fear, and went on to have many more successful prep football seasons as an all around, first string player.

How have you broken through the line of fear in your life?


Rendición de Cuentas: Cultivando Un Excelente Ambiente de Trabajo

Como líder tienes dificultad de enfrentar a los miembros de tu equipo y que haya una responsabilidad de dar cuentas entre los miembros de este? Muchos de nosotros la tenemos. Cómo puede un líder conseguir esto sin lastimar la relación que él o ella ha construido por mucho tiempo? Permítame que le recomiende una estrategia de tres puntos:

1. Enfoque: En primer lugar tenemos que tomar el tiempo para pensar en nuestro enfoque, nuestro calendario y los resultados. Su tiempo es crucial asi que espere el momento adecuado para hacer frente a los miembros de su equipo, con un carácter firme esta el jacke mate entonces usted estará en mejores condiciones de discernir el momento adecuado para hacer frente a alguien. El tiempo lo es todo cuando se enfrenta a alguien. En segundo lugar, ten en cuenta tu estilo personalLe recomiendo que utilice tacto y aplique la sabiduría. Por ejemplo, cuando usted confronte a alguien hágalo en la gracia de Dios, lo que significa que esta “para la” persona en lugar de estar  “en contra” de la persona. Al hacerlo, ponga a la persona tranquila, sabiendo que tienen sus mejores intereses en mente. Usted hace esto escuchando primero la parte de “su” historia de la persona en lugar de “asumir” esa parte de la historia y pensar que se hizo algo incorrecto. Y esto se puede iniciar preguntando: “Que paso?” o “Ayúdame a entender por qué tomó esta decisión”. Su estilo de comunicación también entra en juego, así que tome nota de su comunicación no-verbal. Recuerde que debe inclinarse hacia la persona como de que usted está interesado en la discusión, sonreír, escuchar con atención y mostar preocupación. La clave para la rendición de cuentas es obtener las respuestas correctas para una honorable solución “positiva”.

2. Respuestas: Uno de los propósitos de mantener responsable al dar cuentas a los miembros de su equipo es recopilar información mediante la búsqueda de respuestas, eliminando la ambigüedad. Las respuestas correctas conducen a la transparencia, la responsabilidad de dar cuentas es incompleta sin este componente. Se logra esto haciendo preguntas y  encontrándose con las partes implicadas. No suponga nada ni tome partido. En su lugar, reúna los datos reales antes de hacer un juicio. Recuerde que su imagen de liderazgo está en juego. Los mismos errores durante mucho tiempo reducirán su confianza y capacidad para dirigir a otros.

3. Alineamiento: El propósito de la responsabilidad de dar cuentas es alinear las personas con la visión, misión, valores y expectativas de la organización. -Una forma de lograr esto es preguntarse: “¿Usted entiende hacia dónde vamos?”, “¿Estas con nosotros?” La responsabilidad de dar cuentas es  alinear a la persona con el diseño original y el propósito de la organización, la filosofía y las normas. Una vez que un empleado se ajusta,  a continuación, usted puede moverse en un espíritu de unidad y cooperación para llevar a cabo tareas como un equipo adherente.

El objetivo final de la rendición de cuentas es ayudar a los miembros de su equipo a completar las responsabilidades asignadas para producir los mejores resultados posibles, lo que aumentará personalmente y grupalmente la efectividad organizacional. Las organizaciones que producen mejores resultados suelen ser organizaciones que tienen líderes que entienden la importancia de hacer frente con los malos resultados. Si la rendición de cuentas se administra correctamente, crea una cultura de excelencia. Como líder no puede evitar la rendición de cuentas, es parte de la vida pero puede hacerlo más agradable para usted y los miembros de su equipo.

¿Tienen sentido para usted estos puntos? Si es así, cuales de estos puntos usted ha aplicado en su organización para mantener a sus miembros responsables?

Raising Healthy Kids: Tell Them “Who” They Are Before Someone Else Does

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. –Proverbs 22:6 NIV

My wife and I were privileged to raise three wonderful children; two daughters and a son. As a matter of fact, when I look back at those formative years, I simply sum them up as my “Golden Years” of parenting. My wife and I created wonderful memories, and had a great time interacting with them through all vital phases of their development. One of the things I am very proud of as a father was being able to reveal my kids identity before anyone else injected a false identity upon them. What I mean is, my wife and I were able to discern their gifts, talents and passions early on in life, and parented them with their own personal flow in mind. What I mean is, instead of injecting our own personal ambitions upon them, which wasn’t easy since I wanted my son to play baseball (Baseball was not a “fit” for him but football sure made up for it), we took note of what was threaded within each one, and went with what they had.

My younger daughter’s gifts were extremely evident early on. By these giftings I understood her better; who she was becoming, and where she was going in life. Here’s a good example on how much I knew her, and the gifts she possessed within herself. One day my daughter while studying at a Southern California university called me and said, “Daddy, I took a strengths based test and….” Before she could get another word out… I gently cut in, “Is it Gallup’s StrengthsFinder test?” She exclaimed, “How did you know?” I told her, “I once taught the subject in one of my leadership classes, so I’m very familiar with the assessement.” In my leadership class, I had my students take an online test. We then spent a few weeks analyzing Gallup’s 34 Strengths Themes (A well researched and refined list of innate gifts).” I then took a leap of faith and made the following request, “I bet I can guess your top five gifts.” She said, “No way!” Over the phone, one by one, I named all five of her gifts. Astonished, she asked, “Oh my God, how did you know?” I quickly responded, “You’re my daughter. I’ve seen you grow up in my house for the past 20 years. Of course I know what’s in you.” She was beside herself!

Gallup’s Strengths Themes assessment revealed her top five gifts, which are strongly oriented toward the “people” realm. She uses them quite effectively. Here’s her sample:

1. Positivity – This person has an enthusiasm that is contagious. They are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do.

2. Activator – They can make things happen by turning thoughts into action.

3. WOO (Winning Others Over) – They love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction by “breaking the ice” and making a connection.

4. Communication – This person finds it easy to put their thoughts into words; good conversationalists and presenters.

5. Empathy – They can sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in their lives or situation.

Innate gifts are those unique qualities attributed to one person, which are threaded within each person while he or she were being formed in their mother’s womb. My daughter is gifted with natural people, communication and leadership gifts. When she was a child I would often tell her, “You’re going to be the first female, Hispanic President of the United States.” I said this to denote her natural ability with people. Why? She was very popular as a child and in High School; so popular that she was elected to student government all four years. In her senior year, she was elected Student Body President of a large High School, and left an indelible imprint upon her advisor and the school. As a matter of fact a few years after her departure from High School, I visited her school to present a community project I was working on. I happend to land in the principal’s office (funny how things are cyclical), which happened to be her student government advisor at that time. As we reminisced of my daughter’s days as Student Body President, I noticed her student body group picture on his wall. After making a reference to the picture the principal voiced his heart-felt sincerity stating, “They were the best student council group I was privileged to oversee. I miss that group.”

Do you want to build confidence in your child? If so, tell them “who they are” before someone else does. 

What gifts are you discerning in your kids? Once you understand their cluster of “gifts and talents”, how are you grooming them for success?

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The Top 12 Virtues for Teens

“We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have [virtue] because we have acted rightly.”–Aristotle

Virtue is one of those words you and I don’t hear very often in the mainstream vocabulary. Virtue is basically conforming one’s life and conduct to moral or ethical principles. Moreover, virtue means moral excellence, uprightness and goodness.[1] Virtuous people are known for their conduct, character, and life of integrity. A virtuous person seeks after the highest moral qualities to live his or her life by. This is also true about “history makers.” Would you like to be a world changer? If so, what does it take to make a big impact in this world? The first step is to acquire virtue.

The Primary Virtue: Love
Overlooking the faults of others and building influence

“When love is our highest priority we foster respect in our relationships and honoring becomes a way of life.”
Cathy D. Polyak, 2ndGrade Teacher – Las Vegas, Nevada

Virtue #2: 
The ultimate character test

“Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom.”
Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of Independence,
American Founding Father, and the 3rdPresident of the United States

3rd Virtue
Staying “green” in a polluted world

“Our culture desires intimacy without responsibility and pleasure without commitment.”
Kris Vallotton, Author of the book Purity

The 4th Virtue
Staying on task – while achieving your goals

“Self-discipline is that which truly and essentially raises one man above another.”
Joseph Addison (1672–1719) Politician and Magazine Founder

The 5th Virtue
Money Management
Mastering money so it doesn’t master you

“Wealth may be an excellent thing, for it means power, and it means leisure, it means liberty.”
James Russell Lowell (1819 -1891) – American Poet, Editor and Diplomat

The 6th Virtue
The sign of a satisfied heart

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Winston Churchill (1874-1965) Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Virtue #7: 
Standing strong in the midst of fear and doubt

“Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.”
George S. Patton – Four Star General, World War II

The 8th Virtue: 
Refusing to quit – Expecting to win

“By perseverance the snail reached the ark.”
Charles H. Spurgeon, famous 19thCentury Baptist Preacher

Virtue # 9: 
Finding self through silence and solitude

“Never be afraid to sit awhile and think.”
Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965) – Author, A Raisin in the Sun

The 10th Virtue: 
Navigating successfully through life and social situations

“Wisdom is the principal thing. Therefore, get wisdom.”
King Solomon – The Wisest Man of All Time

The 11th Virtue: 
Perceiving and interpreting the immediate future for sound decision-making

“You can observe a lot just by watching.”
Yogi Berra – Played for the New York Yankees & Hall of Fame Baseball Player

The 12th Virtue: 
The King of all virtues: self-mastery

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948) – Leader of Freedom


Is there another virtue you wish to add and elaborate on?

Learn – Live – Love – Lead

Early in 2011, I began contemplating upon our organization’s fundamental pillars… What would Latino Townhall become? What would be our defining pillars? Eventually, I would sum up the character of Latino Townhall by the following four words: Learn – Live – Love – Lead. Here’s why?


We all need to learn, especially the emerging Latino community, since a growing number of immigrants come from other countries where education is limited, or inaccessible in many rural areas. The Latino community’s existence and perpetuity depends upon adopting a learning posture for life. According to statistics, Latinos who attend higher education to acquire a four-year degree actually graduate at a dismal ratio of less than 1 out of every 10 students. This is an embarrassing statistic; we can do better. Latino Townhall is a learning community using the varied tools education has to offer, such as mentoring, leadership development, and coaching to help our community prosper. It’s crucial to use these tools and others to support a community in need of development. Learning equates to prosperity; those who take time to learn are better off than those who cut their eduction short. Learning is one of the central features of our organization.


Learning adds value to our lives, and to those we share life with. As a matter of fact, the quality of life stems from the acquisition of knowledge and the application of wisdom in everyday life. Actually, the ultimate goal of learning is the pursuit of truth. As a matter of fact the quality of your life depends on the truth you follow. Misguided multiculturalism, especially in our post-modern world, seek equality as a virtue but in reality, not all cultures are the same. There are those who are living life to the fullest, and those who do not. Life is all about choice based on truth.


Latinos have a deep love for helping their own community. Latinos are civic minded; and care deeply about their follow man. They hate injustice since they’ve experienced or witnessed it in their own Latin American homeland. When they see an act of injustice in America they emerge with passion to right a wrong. Love is a major feature of the Christian-Judeo faith. Since Latino Townhall has a faith-based lean, love must be its central theme, which must be taught, cherished and practiced in daily life.


In the present moment, and most certainly in the immediate future, Latinos have no other option but to lead. The 2010 Census revealed Latinos are the largest minority group in the nation boasting 50 million strong and growing. Their projected growth in the next ten to twenty years is even more staggering. With these explosive numbers, they have no other option but to lead a nation, or to siphon its resources by its dependence upon entitlements. Leadership is our mantle; it’s our destiny. Latinos are called to be leaders, not followers, contributors not takers, influencers not inferiors. Latino Townhall is dedicated to raising up a generation of Latino leaders by concentrating on the young and the immigrant alike.

NOTE: “Learn – Live – Love – Lead”, in this particular sequence, was claimed by Latino Townhall on Facebook on March 3rd 2011, and it was used previously on a Power Point presentation to 130 Latino youth February 2011.