by, Faith Breen, Business and Management
The Millennium Management Lecture Series is a ten-year commitment by
the Management Department of Prince George’s Community College to provide an
opportunity for our students to meet and interact with management role models.
Speakers are selected from both the private and public sectors. The first
Mr. John Dawkins III, was the first African-American to become a
MacDonald’s franchisee and he is currently the owner of six MacDonald’s
franchises. The second speaker was Dr. William G. Nickels, professor and
author of the widely used management textbook, Understanding Business.
Our third speaker was Ms. Janie L. Jeffers, former Executive Deputy
Director of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. On
Tuesday, October 23, 2001, she addressed the topic "Turning
Crisis into Opportunity." Given the events of September 11, 2001,
this was a very timely topic. Drawing upon her extensive experience with the
White House and the United Nations, and as Deputy Commissioner for the New York
City Department of Corrections, she shared different ways of coping with
adversity. Her strategy includes:
- Recognize that life is about choices. When confronted with a choice,
always choose the "light." This is because day always follows
- Lead with your soul. Do a spiritual audit and make sure that your life and
livelihood flow together.
- There is an African saying: "Without the rain we cannot appreciate
the sun." Recognize that adversity, like the rain, is always there and
that adversity can be managed.
- Acknowledge your mistakes and correct them – remember, the definition of
insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
- Recognize that the day will come when "the big house, Lexus and stock
portfolio" will not be enough to sustain you; therefore, you need to
find meaning in your life.
- Time is your most important asset. Use it well so that at the end of your
life, you will be "envied and not pitied." The saddest word in the
English language is "if" as in I "should have, could have,
would have. . . ." Just do it!
- Become a risk-taker: "The people who thought I was being foolish
by taking new job offers ended up working for me." Remember, "no
well behaved woman ever made a difference."
- Become a problem-solver because "you will be judged by what you
produce and not by your excuses."
- Never burn your bridges: "let your work speak for itself and
always pick your battles. If you always fight everything, then the only
thing you will be able to do is fight."
- Don’t let others define you, always define yourself.
- The best defense is a strong offense. So, make sure that you are prepared,
that you express your gratitude to those who help you, that you take care of
your health, and that you remember that today is a gift and that is why
they call it "the present."