Remembering Our Fallen Heroes

shutterstock_112832359“While only one day of the year is dedicated solely to honoring our veterans, Americans must never forget the sacrifices that many of our fellow countrymen have made to defend our country and protect our freedoms.” – Randy Neugebauer

“Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.”

–          Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This year, Memorial Day is celebrated on May 26th and is our reminder of the men and women who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.  As Jaycees, we have an understanding of the service and sacrifice that is necessary to build better communities for our families and neighbors. We should all take time and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice protecting our freedom to be active and make change for the better. Our responsibility is to honor their memory by creating and getting involved in projects that help create a better world. Whether drawing inspiration from a local chapter project or a cool idea you saw on the United States Junior Chamber project site, your decision to stand up and positively influence your community offers tribute to our fallen veterans’ decision to stand up and make a difference in defense of our nation’s ideals.

We’d love to hear your thoughts about Memorial Day. What does it mean to you? Do you have a special way of honoring our veterans? Let us know when you have some free time…our Facebook and Twitter accounts are always open.

Trends in Leadership

shutterstock_95948578There has been a lot of discussion lately regarding gender workplace issues. Questions such as, why don’t women receive equal pay to men? Do glass-ceilings still exist for females on the corporate ladder? Moreover, do men naturally function better in certain jobs? However, new research presenting the most effective leadership traits as being historically defined as “feminine” may change the way both male and female leaders are evaluated.

Columnist Leigh Buchannan writes in about the trend towards a “softer” leadership style. Buchannan cites a study of over 64,000 people worldwide in which respondents were asked to evaluate traits as related to effective leadership. The results showed that rather than rating masculine traits such as aggressiveness, decisiveness, and independence as positive leadership, subjects were more likely to link “feminine” traits such as patience, communicativeness, loyalty, and flexibility to stronger leadership.

As an organization that strives to empower young professionals, the projects we develop and execute focus on principles that align strongly with this research. Whether encouraging project ideas from Jaycees regardless of gender, to creating strong lines of communication for all relevant parties, and developing plans for sustainability, we are at the forefront of developing young leaders.

Buchannan continues with analysis that sounds a lot like our Jaycee membership, “The most professionally successful are givers who also possess a strong sense of self-worth. These people—who are generous with their time, connections, and ideas—create rich networks wherein the norm is to add value to another’s lives and work.”

By being an active member of the Jaycees, you have a great start towards being an effective leader. Take advantage of trainings at your local, state, and national levels to perfect your craft…and most importantly, get involved.

After you have taken that first step, tell us about it. Help other Jaycees get started by sharing your experiences on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can inspire others with your action and continue down a path of excellent leadership!

Happy Mother’s Day

shutterstock_128881207This blog post goes out to all the moms who play a huge role in making the Jaycees the premier organization for young professionals. We appreciate all that you do – from serving as the foundation for countless projects throughout the years, to the foundation for our families and lives. This year, Sunday, May 11th is your chance to celebrate Mother’s Day. Whether you prefer breakfast in bed, your favorite movie, or a quiet dinner with your significant other, minus the kids, it’s your duty to take full advantage of your special day!

As the beneficiary of what should be a full 24 hours of appreciation, it’s in your best interests to drop a few well-timed facts throughout the week to those close to your heart, and stress the historical importance of the day that celebrates YOU. For example, some obscure knowledge they may enjoy learning…

  • Mother’s Day was made an official holiday in 1914 by President Woodrow Wilson
  • The origins of the day come from a peace movement initiated as a “Mother’s Day for Peace”
  • It remains one of the biggest days for sales of flowers and greeting cards
  • It is the biggest holiday for long-distance telephone calls
  • Finally, after Christmas and Easter, it is the day of the largest church attendance

From your local chapter through the United States Junior Chamber, we’d like to say “Thank you Mom” for everything that you’ve done. You always have and always will be an inspiration to us, and a reason that we decide to give back in organizations like the Jaycees. You taught us well and we love you for it. Enjoy your holiday – you deserve it!