Tag Archives: community

“Everyone Communicates, Few Connect”


“I was trying to get ahead by correcting others when I should have been trying to connect with others”

– Jim Collins, Good to Great, pg. 29.

If you are a busy leader… you might fall into this trap.

We need to get things done. And with a significant proposal or partnership, you might need to correct someone working for you.

Connect with them first. Try to slow down, or tell them that the deadline is next week. You can tell them how much you enjoy their work, or even make them laugh.

Then the work flows so much easier, so much more naturally. And life and work is more enjoyable too!

Connect… then correct.

Or perhaps even better…

          Connect and recommend, adjust, ask… for their advice… work with them.

Kindhearted teamwork (even when we are under significant pressure) is the right way to go.

This quote is from “Good to Great,” a best-selling book published in 2001 by James C. Collins. This book aims to help readers understand why and how some companies go from being good to being great as was a tremendous success. He has published many well-known books that deal with successful companies, sustainability, and leadership.
Aside from being a respected writer, James Collins is an American businessman and consultant advising firms in the profit and nonprofit sectors, such as The Girl Scouts of the USA and the US Marine Corps. He is married to Ironman winner and accomplished triathlete, Joanne Ernst. He believes that “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness is largely a matter of conscious choice and discipline.” Click here to be redirected to the “Good to Great Diagnostic Tool” where you can learn about to how to start your personal path to greatness.

The Bundle of Sticks: “Union is Strength”

A certain man had several sons who were always quarreling with one another, and, try as he might, he could not get them to live together in harmony. So he determined to convince them of their folly by the following means. 
Bidding them fetch a bundle of sticks, he invited each in turn to break it across his knee. All tried and all failed: and then he undid the bundle, and handed them the sticks one by one, when they had no difficulty at all in breaking them. “There, my boys,” said he,”united you will be more than a match for your enemies: but if you quarrel and separate, your weakness will put you at the mercy of those who attack you.” Union is strength.
Oh, team, how special….Union is strength. First, who wants to go it alone? Can we really do something special, just on our own?


More and more that I live, I think not. Or at least, it is not as beautiful! To team up, to work together and synergize is inspiring. It is a strength. It is companionship and team cameraderie whether you are launching a blog, building a company, unloading the dishes with a family member, or playing lacrosse; you can’t do that on your own:)


Even further… Union can be a strength to one’s soul during tough times. When a team member doesn’t say a kind word… a  friend leaves… a war starts or a neighbor builds an emotional wall…


We need a team of people, of loving people, to support us, help us, bolster us up.


Don’t be a stick. Join a bundle.


Be strong, together and live with love.



Pamela Hawley is the founder and CEO of UniversalGiving, an award-winning nonprofit helping people to donate and volunteer with top-performing, vetted organizations all over the world. Unique to UniversalGiving, 100% of all donations go directly to the cause.

Pamela is a winner of the Jefferson Award (the Nobel Prize in Community Service), and has been invited three times to the White House. Pamela was a finalist for Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award and is an Expert Blogger for Fast Company and CSRWire. She is a philanthropy expert for the new TV show, Billions Rising.

Pamela is also an accomplished actress, improviser, dancer and singer with over 100 performances in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. She is trained by The Groundlings, a graduate of Upright Citizens Brigade, at advanced level Second City Los Angeles, and a BATS improv player. Pamela donates a portion of every show’s proceeds to UniversalGiving.

Good Is Unfolding


“Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others.”   – H. Jackson Brown Jr.

What is your mind filled with today? What others aren’t doing right? What doesn’t work?


Or is it filled with gratitude for what is working? 


You’re a leader. That means your mind has to be in top-top shape. And that means reinforcing the positive:


  • A team member did a great job — don’t just take it for granted. It’s not the “same-old same-old.”
  • Your dog greeted you with joy when you came home… so sweet. How precious they are here.
  • Your horse has lived much longer than expected. She is slow, and not what she used to be, but you still get to ride her! So lovely.
  • You had a warm, home cooked meal.
  • You bought take out and it tasted good because you were so hungry:)
  • You finished a report just at the point of the deadline, pulling an all-nighter… You got it  in time! Let’s be grateful. this isn’t the norm, and what an accomplishment. That’s the focus, not being tired. (Now if this happens all the time, then maybe time to find a new calling!)
  • Your elementary kids were SUPER ENERGETIC today. Were they out-of-control or full of joy?
  • Your little sister got into Carlton and UPenn, but not Princeton, her first choice. Will you be disappointed or know that a perfect plan is unfolding, where she will meet the right people, learn the right information, and have a super experience?
  • The Jason Derulo concert is sold out. Are you bummed or psyched for others to hear his music? The world is a more fun, energetic place with his enthusiasm!
  • The Janet Jackson concert is sold out. Let’s be grateful she’s still performing and sharing the Jackson talents! Next time.
Team Living and Giving, it’s up to you. You can criticize others or your day….. or you can focus on what is really happening; Good is unfolding. 


H. Jackson Brown Jr. is an American bestselling author for his inspiring books. One of his books named Life’s Little Instruction Book, was on the New York Times best-seller list for more than two years, including more than one year on the number one spot. This book was written by Brown as a guide book for his son when he went off to college. He then wrote a second volume, which also placed in the top selling charts for a long time.

One of his most famous quotes is often mistakenly attributed to Mark Twain. It says: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”


Guatemala Leads The Way In Correcting Corruption


Guatemala leads the charge in correcting corruption! How are they doing it?

Guatemala has instituted a new commission, the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, which is providing systematic investigations. This is bringing to light corruption and preventing officials from continuing corruptive practices.

A new generation is also taking charge. After hearing about bribes within the political office, 30,000 Guatemalans stormed the streets. They simply won’t continue to exist with the status quo.

As we set up commissions, realize our voice and take action in a strong or gentle way, the world will change. And it is. Now, other Central American countries are studying Guatemala to find out how they too can turn the tide from negative civil wars, and achieve lasting peace.


Pamela’s Weekly Words of Wisdom: The Positives of Serving Others


As I’ve found in my own experience, volunteering can be such a positive and valued experience for both the people helping, and the people who need the help. I’d love to share just some of the Positives I’ve observed for volunteers.

1- Be A Part of Something Greater. Often new volunteers find that the “product” — serving homeless people, helping microentrepreneurs, tutoring young mothers on their GEDs, is so meaningful that it’s hard to return to the corporate world. They feel a part of something greater, because it is so definitively clear how they are helping. We all want to feel we are caring for and helping others, and are part of a movement larger than ourselves.

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The Pamela Positive: How Can We Measure Happiness?

Gross domestic product normally measures the well-being of a country: the health of its goods and services.  But the notion of well-being meaning economic well-being, is surely and steadily being overturned.

Starting with Bhutan, this government demonstrated unbelievable foresight by establishing a definition of gross national happiness.  They now send out surveys to measure it, and other countries, such as the UK, France and Brazil, are now following suit.  Many of them are not only refining definitions of what well-being is, but sending out surveys to determine if people are happy; and what might make them happy.

It is no surprise that some people might question the usefulness of this type of survey, but I would posit that even asking is a wonderful endeavor.  It lets people know that they are cared about—so much so, that the government would take the time to formulate and put forth a document capturing and measuring their hopes.  Even further, some cities are using it to inform their public policy.  This helps make our governments more responsive, and our communities safer and stronger.

Happiness is a product of economic freedom, human rights, basic survival, meaningful relationships, spirituality, and ideally, the dream of pursuing what you love.  May these examples continue to become the norm, so that we can live more healthy, fruitful lives.

Here are some of the exciting ways that these Happiness Measurements are taking place:

France performed a study in 2008, concluding that GDP couldn’t fully capture well-being.

Great Britain‘s Office of National Statistics is beginning to measure well-being by asking about happiness and satisfaction.

In Brazil, two impoverished cities took a survey and began creating more public parks in response to what people wanted.

Bhutan‘s king declared in 1972 that “Gross national happiness is more important than gross domestic product.”  They’ve done broad surveys to create a gross national happiness index.

Somerville, Massachusetts included a happiness survey as part of their census, and exploring how they can implement change.

Read more in The Christian Science Monitor: “Somerville, Mass. Aims to Boost Happiness.  Can It?

Forced Innovation in the UK

An interesting article in The Economist spoke about governments that are forced into innovation.


They are running out of funds.

The UK has just instituted a budget cut: They need to find savings of nearly 40% across the government.

Services we have taken for granted — we will have to pay. “Life event services” such as recycling require a charge. Immigrants have to pay a £200 charge regarding the National Health Services program, whether they use it or not, upon entrance to the country. What’s most fascinating is looking at the courts. If you’re in a criminal court and you plead not guilty and then are convicted, you owe serious charges for the court time and the prosecutor fees. Divorce or taking up an issue with a tenant will cost you.

What about the luxury of driving? Many parking spaces are no longer free. And if you enter the busy downtown route in London, you pay a charge of about $15. This keeps congestion down, and public transportation up.

In part, it is trying to ensure that people stay honest; in part it simply makes them more grateful.

What do you think? Do you like the UK’s government’s new approach to services?

I appreciate very much that people are being innovative. We do need to be more creative.

We need to save the environment.


It makes us pause before we simply act– and sometimes rashly, out of anger, or hurt. You are paying emotionally, and with your wallet! …. could we handle this in a different way? A more personal way, using our emotional relationship building skills rather than the courts?

I like that it holds us accountable.

I always appreciate becoming humbler…it’s a deep soul penetrating sense of gratitude for every little thing….



I also hope that it is not penalizing a sincere user of the service. Therefore:

Could for-profits create some services, and support new jobs with excellence in client service? We reduce a bloated government, provide greater efficiency, more jobs, more competitiveness in pricing and excellence in client service?

Could nonprofits support the deserving, documented requests and help the people most affected? Donors who contribute — pick the person and story they want to fund. It could also create a personal connection not existing now, contributing to a longterm relationship and support. That’s also a stronger, more bonded community.


My view is that some of these government charges will be necessary. At the same time I hope that this will be an opportunity for our forprofit and philanthropic sectors to step up and provide.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!