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Writing, Speaking, Training

The Practical Prof® writes, speaks, trains… business!  The alter-ego of Dr. Santo D. Marabella, The Practical Prof emerged from his monthly business column in the Reading Eagle’s Business Weekly in April 2012.  Marabella, a real college prof, knows all too well the value of having a mentor and coach to guide your professional life.  He wants to share that with employees, volunteers and leaders in business and not-for-profit organizations everywhere.

Office Hours with The Practical Prof®

Published by the Reading Eagle Company since 2012, Office Hours is a monthly feature in the Eagle’s business tabloid every third Tuesday of the month.  You can read past editions of the column at the Office Hours Archives.

The Prof Poll

Frequently, The Practical Prof® reaches out to readers for their input and opinions on the various topics featured in the Office Hours column

Media Clips with The Practical Prof

Check out The Prof’s Turn the Page Radio Interview

Check out The Prof’s JenningsWire Podcast

Check out The Prof’s Moravian College News Feature

Subscribe to The Prof Blog

From time to time, between Office Hours columns, The Practical Prof may comment on contemporary issues or news through The Prof Blog.  You may subscribe or visit as you wish.  Click The Prof Blog to interact and comment with The Prof and other readers.

 

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Reflecting back on September 11, 2001, I see my life clearly delineated as pre-9/11 and post-9/11. In my pre-9/11 experience, my life was essentially fear-less, as in free from fears. After 9/11, my life is full of fear about terrorism, about flying, about being in large crowds or small classrooms, about profiling innocent people who I don't know, about all those I care about coming home safely from work.

This made me realize something. Isn't this how many of our brothers and sisters living in less democratized or developing countries live constantly. Isn't this way of living their norm? I don't think I truly appreciated my former life, I know that I do appreciate the freedom we enjoy today.

Here is a reprint of a statement I made on September 19, at a Moravian College Candlelight Vigil, called, "What Do We Do Now?"

One week, one day, and 12 hours have passed and …

We feel impotent and vulnerable to evil in ways unimaginable before: stunned by the atrocities of terrorism; overwhelmed by the fear of real and imminent harm; and, unsure of how or when we can feel safe again… Yet, feelings alone seem inadequate, and, we ask ourselves, What Do We Do Now?

We think of villification and vengeance for the perpetrators and supporters of these attacks. “We must retaliate,” “we must punish,” and “we must have justice,” is what we say… But, the satisfaction from revenge is shallow and short-lived, so we ask ourselves, What Do We Do Now?

We act to help the victims – the dead, the injured and the shaken (the rest of us) – whose images we cannot escape. We search for meaning and closure to their pain and suffering; we give money to assist in their relief; we offer prayers on their behalf… But, because we don’t see change quickly enough, again, we ask ourselves, What Do We Do Now?

There is no formula, approach, or response that easily addresses the question. There are principles that we can agree to observe as we go forward:

Be calm – a tone that is destroyed by crisis, but vital to rebuilding security and regaining perspective.

Be patient – a daunting task in a culture defined by fast-food, automatic tellers and instant messaging, but the requirement for measured action and long-term solutions.

Be thoughtful – with emotions so volatile and raw, deliberateness and sensitivity to formulating our thoughts, assumptions and opinions will minimize further inflammation and encourage productive dialogue.

Be open – differences of thought, not to mention those of race, gender, orientation and ethnicity are barely tolerated and rarely celebrated, yet embracing our differences will be the universal good that conquers this despicable evil.

Be proud – stand united, as one nation under God, and proclaim how wonderful it is to live in America and be an American.

This is What We Do Now!!!

I still feel that same impotence. I wonder if we could reverse time, back to 2001, with the insight and knowledge taught by 15 years of history, might we as a country, listen and understand more, bully and dominate less? Might we commit to gaining a perspective of the impact of some American policies on non-Americans? Don't misconstrue - I am not in any way suggesting that these heinous actions by al Queda were justified in any way. I am suggesting that our international policies which are imperialistically self-interested have contributed to the disdain with which others perceive us and the breakdown in our ability to collaborate with others as a nation.

But, as The Practical Prof®, I cannot address the complex, macro issue which I have outlined above. What I can do with the new perspective I have gained from my post-9/11 freedom is apply the lessons I have learned to our workplaces. The way I experience freedom today gives me stronger resolve to work fervently to eliminate fear among employees and volunteers in places were our business is transacted. At the same time, we build spirit, energy and respect. These are manageable goals - these are doable. Achievement requires us to be the difference - as an owner, as a manager, as a co-worker, as a volunteer.

Stay with the Simple Lessons from The Practical Prof®, and we can do this!
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