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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 speaker,

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 night.
  • 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."

The Instructional Area Newsletter, Volume 17, No. 2

Fall 2001