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Welcome to ChesterGoad.com!

Thanks for taking the time to drop by!  At ChesterGoad.com I’ve combined my three favorite topics, “Leadership, Learning, and Life”–all in one place.  I’m a leadership junkie. I read about it, I write about it, and I speak about it.  I also can’t stop learning and I’m driven to help others learn too! I’m pretty open and I enjoy sharing about my life and helping others find their purpose and meet their goals.   I can’t wait to share everything with you!  Subscribe or add me to your favorites list and visit often because I’ll be blogging, and adding new features regularly!  And of course remember if you need a speaker, writer, consultant or coach related to leadership, learning, or life, I’m your guy!  You’re going to find lots of value here. Keep leading. Keep learning. Keep living.

–All my best, all the time –Chester

p.s. Email me at chestergoad@gmail.com  or find me on your favorite social media! 

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Protect Your Team in 2016: Five Ways Leaders Survive Election Season

workplace team meeting 3 people sitting 3 people standingDo you have friends or a co-workers who are hyper-political, easily offended or overly charged when it comes to politics? Do the folks on your team argue over state or national elections? Maybe the most opinionated person is you? It’s disconcerting when your coworkers are overzealous but what’s even more problematic is the hyper-political leader.

Political discourse at the right place, in the right company, and on the right time is a good thing. But we all know freedom of speech is never really free. Often there is a cost involved. While the right place and right time may be debatable, over-sharing your political ideologies in any work place is not best practice. Remember the old adage, “Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial”?

Yes, election season is upon us, and believe it or not, it is possible to survive election cycles with your leadership integrity and the trust of your team intact. Use these five practical tips to avoid sabotaging your team’s success with your own personal political biases.

Political Self-Sabotage Protection Plan

Silence Your Walls (and your desk): Don’t let furniture, frames, or bulletin boards scream at your team. Would you wear a politically charged t-shirt to work? Then why would you tack that same message to your walls? How you choose to decorate your office speaks volumes to those who visit there. A poster that reads “Visualize Whirrled Peas” is one thing, but “Vote Right or Die” or “Vote Left or Die” is never a proper welcoming message (whether 50 percent of people agree with you or not). Party pins, bumper stickers and political propaganda are better left for other venues than the professional setting. Not only can a simple bumper sticker incite negative feelings or cause mistrust in the office, it can cost you friendships, customers, clients, partners and even profits. Purposefully placed negativity in any form has no place in the leader’s toolbox.

Cut the Snark: Know when to zip it and nip it. It’s ok to have opinions. This is where the wisdom of your parents comes in handy. Remember: “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” or “If you don’t have something nice to say, then say nothing at all.” Saying nothing at all has become a challenge for many people. Don’t assume everyone agrees with you and don’t give the impression that the team must think like you. Some of your team members may withhold sharing valuable work ideas or opinions because they think you may not value their opinions. A diverse team is a productive and creative team.

Reverse Your Forward Habit: Resist the urge to forward politically charged emails: That cartoon, video or meme may have made you LOL, but others may not find it so funny. Protect yourself from crossing the line or losing respect of others or even your job. Over simplifying complex problems by verbally or visually accosting those with opposing views is a bad idea. Leave that to the newspapers.

Say No to Politicking and Say Yes to Voting: The leader sets the tone. Know your policies, preferences, and best practice and discuss them with your team. Rather than focusing on specific candidates or issues during election cycles, encourage the importance of voting and good citizenship. Most people will agree that it’s important to vote. As the leader, go vote, encourage your team to do the same and leave it at that. Set a goal for 100 percent voting in your office, and celebrate the freedom we have to do so.

Mute the Media: Turn off TVs and radios or consider choosing a streaming service without the negative ads. Leaving the office tv on in the throes of election season is only asking for trouble and decreased productivity. Remember: The media no longer wants your undivided attentions. Your divided attentions are much more lucrative. Don’t fall prey to media campaign ratings games.

November will come and go. To be certain, there’s always another election around the corner. In order to avoid unnecessary divisiveness, choose to protect your team, your mission and your sanity. Doing anything otherwise will only serve to damage team trust, your leadership integrity, and quite possibly your bottom-line. None of that is worth the risk just for the sake of “being right” or “making political points”.

Check out the Purple People Leader Promo here:



Dr. Chester Goad is a university administrator, a former K12 principal and teacher, and a former US Congressional staffer. He’s also an author and blogger, and has presented from Appalachia to Africa on topics related to education, disabilities, non-profit advocacy, parenting, access, policy, and leadership. He has a heart for people and for people who help people. In addition to the Huffington Post, Chester is a contributing writer for The Good Men Project and has been quoted in major media outlets like CNBC, Washington Post, Forbes and more. You can learn more about Chester at www.chestergoad.com. He’s also author of Purple People Leader and you can learn more about that at www.purplepeopleleaderbook.com. He believes you should vote your conscience in 2016 and let it go. Elections come and go. Friends are for life.


(This post was originally posted to PurplePeopleLeaderBook.com, and has been published on Huffington Post as well)

 

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Jeremy Cowart’s Purpose Hotel: One Man’s Dream to Help You Help the World

jeremy cowart wearing hat long sleeves and jeans

Courtesy Celebrity Photographer Jeremy Cowart

Where was your most recent hotel stay? Did you choose it because of location, its luxurious reputation, or did you choose it because it had a greater purpose? Celebrity Photographer, Jeremy Cowart wants to help you help the world.  His life impacting pursuits became more widely known through his “Voices of Reconciliation Project” where he documented the lives of those effected by the Rwandan Genocide along with filmmaker Laura Waters Hinson.   Another of Cowart’s humanitarian projects centered on the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.  So what’s next?

For most of us inspiration for new projects comes and goes, according to Cowart, “We all have new ideas and thoughts to try but most never do. The first few projects may be awful, but you just keep going and learn along the way,” he explains.  He calls this process “stumbling forward” and maintains that stumbling forward is awkward but way more fun than standing still in fear.”   While some projects may seem larger and more ominous than others, Jeremy Cowart refuses to let fear deny him his pursuit of passion. The same passion that has been forming over the last four years resulting in his biggest dream yet—the same dream that includes the rest of us—the Purpose Hotel.

Cowart says he only recently had what he describes as the “profound realization that his passion comes from the intersection of helping others and his own creativity”, and that if he’s just creating he asks “What’s the point? And suggests that creating alone feels vain or self-serving.  “But if I can serve people and create at the same time, then I’ve found my niche.”  Cowart believes that The Purpose Hotel holds endless possibility to do both of those, serving as the intersection of all his interests which include art, travel, photography, technology, non-profits, design, marketing and more.

So what is the purpose behind Purpose Hotel?  Cowart’s vision is for the Purpose Hotel to grow into a global hotel chain in which every aspect of the hotel benefits a cause or nonprofit, bettering the lives of those in need, and he’s dreaming big. Each room will sponsor a child’s education, internet fees will fight human trafficking, each lobby will hold a Charity Water well, and from the furniture and blankets to the soap and shampoos, everything will have purpose.  Jeremy maintains that it’s an “inward versus outward” mentality.

“Every other hotel has an inward mentality,” he explains.  “They say, ‘Stay with us. We’re the best, the coolest, the cheapest, or the most luxurious.’  They’re all about themselves” but with Purpose Hotel, our message is “Stay with us because everything you touch, see, and experience is impacting people, non-profits, and causes all over the world.”  He follows that up with another important note, “Oh, and we’re also cool, relaxing, and creative, but it’s about others first.”

As if the concept of the Purpose Hotel is not challenging enough, Jeremy has chosen for the first one to be located in

Jeremy cowart taking photos kneeling by laptop

Courtesy Celebrity Photographer Jeremy Cowart

Nashville,TN where he lives with his wife raising their four children, and where he bases his photography business. He readily admits the hotel competition in Nashville will be fierce but believes his hotel’s purpose will make the difference.  “It’s overwhelming to say the least, but I just have to remember that we are so night and day different from everyone else.”

The most immediate challenge for the Purpose Hotel is getting buy-in so everyone has a shot at being involved in this dream.  Cowart kicked off a Kickstarter Campaign this week.  His main goal is to build and establish the hotel through the internet.  “Could you imagine that? The story of thousands of people building a hotel is far more interesting than a few investors.  We’re going that route (Kickstarter campaign) first, but we already have investors who are interested in getting involved. In the end, it doesn’t matter though.  We just want to see the dream become a reality.

Time will only tell if there’s a market for the Purpose Hotel but Jeremy Cowart holds out a lot of hope and belief in people and especially in millennials and the younger generation.

“It’s the future. If brands aren’t giving back in some kind of way, then young people just aren’t going to care about that brand. That’s where things are headed. We’re giving back in endless ways, so I think the market is strong.”

Cowart says while his parents are his greatest influence, his inspiration also comes from many people he admires who’ve helped shape his approach to life, service and humanitarianism.  People like Jason Russell and his work with “Invisible Children”, Scott Harrison and his “Charity: Water” and others like Don Miller, Jon Acuff, Kyle Chowning, Michael Hyatt, and Shannon Sedgwick Davis. “The list is long” he says.

The inspiration for the name of the Purpose Hotel was his own.  “It hit me in that light bulb moment four years ago, and it sums it up just right. The word “purpose” means “the reason something exists”.  The word “hospitality” means “to treat guests well.”

So the reason we exist is to treat each other well right? To love one another. I can’t think of a better name.”

Jeremy Cowart’s greatest dream is for Purpose Hotels to crop up all over the world, “helping and serving people all over the world, while educating people of all ages of needs around the world. All done in a beautiful, fun, creative, and refreshing way.”

Jeremy stops short of referring to himself as a “social entrepreneur” or an “entrepreneur.” What everyone else calls “entrepreneurism,” he calls chasing ideas, passion, and purpose and he emphasizes that it’s not only meaningful and fulfilling but also “really fun.”

Flying over the New York City skyline recently, put it all into perspective for him. “I looked at the sea of thousands and thousands of buildings, and I thought, “They all had to start somewhere, with someone. So why can’t I be one of those stories? What if that one building could truly have an impact around the world?”

*This article originally appeared on The Huffington Post. 

Check out Jeremy’s  “See University.” 

Read more about the Purpose Hotel Kickstarter Campaign

Learn more about Jeremy Cowart.

Read about Jeremy’s Voices of Reconciliation Project

 

To learn more about social entrepreneurship or social innovation check out the following resources:

Henry Buhl Library

Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship

Read the latest World Economic Forum Report on Social Innovation


Dr. Chester Goad is a university administrator, a former K12 principal and teacher, and a former US Congressional staffer. He’s also an author and blogger, and has presented from Appalachia to Africa on topics related to education, disabilities, non-profit advocacy, parenting, access, policy, and leadership. He has a heart for people and for people who help people. In addition to the Huffington Post, Chester is a contributing writer for The Good Men Project and has been quoted in major media outlets like CNBC, Washington Post, Forbes and more. He’s also the author of Purple People Leader.

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Celebrate the Great Ideas: 5 Leadership Questions for Independence Day!

bald eagle flies with wings spread

Photo courtesy Malcolm McCutcheon, Anacortes, WA , July 4, 2016

There is no better day to talk about leadership than Independence Day!  Most of us who write or speak or create things, have an entrepreneurial spirit and a strong independent streak and desire to become fully independent and able to do what we love forever and full-time.  As a writer, I’ve always been drawn to the notion of freedoms—and being able to create, and do things with a level of independence.

No one was better at taking a great idea and making it extraordinary than our nation’s founders. They were true leaders who sacrificed, and dedicated their minds, souls, and lives for the very idea of this great nation. I’m thankful they were committed and determined to protect and preserve their great idea (America) with their collective wisdom resulting in our freedom, and liberty.

In honor of Independence Day and in honor of the Founders and Framers of our freedoms, here are five questions for leaders to consider:

What’s your big idea? Not all leaders are creators, or entrepreneurs, but effective leaders surround themselves chalk board reads whats your big ideawith innovators. And most leaders have big ideas about how to more efficiently and more effectively lead.  Consider your ideas, and the ideas of your team.  Are they big ideas? Could they be bigger? Are you encouraging new ideas? You should be!

What does your commitment look like in practice? Leaders are listeners, and they’re willing to change course when a good idea becomes a bad one. They’re also willing to fight for a good idea when they believe it has the potential to be great.

How determined are you to see to it that great ideas are put in motion and practice? Leaders are willing to go to the mat to ensure that good ideas (theirs or those of their team) become tangible products or practices. Nothing is more frustrating than having to watch good ideas languish, and effective leaders won’t allow that to happen.

Who’s responsible? Who’s responsible for protecting the big ideas, or the products or practices developed from those big ideas? Leaders that’s who.  If you believe in an idea, product or practice, by virtue and honor of being the leader you’re responsible for protecting and maintaining it.

Is your big idea growing or spreading?  Wise leaders find ways to improve even the greatest of ideas. And who could argue that great ideas should not be expanded or shared?

I hope you’re turning your good ideas into great ones and that ultimately your great ideas will make a difference in

the american flag and grinder house coffee sign

The  American Flag waves in the breeze outside my favorite coffee shop, GrinderHouse Coffee.

our world, just like our Founding Father’s did. Happy Independence Day!

All my best, all the time,

Chester


Who is Chester? An expert in leadership, Chester is also a leading influencer in social reputation, education, non-profit advocacy, parenting issues, access, policy, and blogging culture. Chester has been quoted in major media outlets such as CNBC, Yahoo, the Washington Post, Forbes Leadership, and others. He is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post The Good Men Project, and Edutopia. You can learn more about Chester and his Amazon #1 Best Seller at www.purplepeopleleaderbook.com or www.chestergoad.comHe and his wife live in Tennessee with their teenage son.

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I’m Not Slacking! What Others See as Slacking Is Often Pursuit of Purpose

A large tree grows with logos of various social media platforms serving as leavesAny person who bears the title of online or digital creator, writer, blogger, entrepreneur, speaker, business owner, publicist, promoter, branding expert, social entrepreneur, or is otherwise called a creative or leader can relate.  Family or friends see you glued to your smart device or laptop half-jokingly refer to your inability to separate. Lighthearted quips, pleas to unplug, innocent but guilt-laden mentions of doing other things, or offers for alternatives to how you’re spending your time ensue.

At times it’s enough to make committed creators or entrepreneurs blow their stacks or scream, “I’m not slacking! I’m blogging, tweeting, posting, pinning, and pasting with passion in order to grow my purpose!”

But here’s something to think about: Our friends, family, and coworkers have not attended all the seminars and workshops we’ve attended.  They haven’t personally developed a website, written a blog, or joined a mastermind group.  At least in most cases, they may not even know what any of that is. While it is easy to become guilt-ridden by not meeting expectations of others (Check out my recent article on Guilt here). It’s possible to get past the guilt, and to lessen the harmful effects of those light jabs, snide comments, and glares of consternation. Here are three easy points to remember that will help us do that:

1. TEACH. Take every opportunity to teach the people around you.  Spending some extra time explaining what you’re doing and why will help curb the curiosity and confusion about why you’re working even when you’re not “working”.

2. INVOLVE. One of the best things we can do is involve our family or those we love in the pursuit of our purpose. an intersection sign reads passion priorities expectations and other stuff with guilt in the very center After all, if we truly feel like we’re living out our purpose that means those around us are included in that too. But to what extent?  And, are they enjoying what it means for them? Whether we admit it or not, those we love are along for the ride anyway. So we need to officially invite them to join us on the journey.

3. SHARE RESULTS. The proof is in the pudding. If you’re writing, churning out product, or speaking at events they’ll see it.  Let the evidence speak for itself. I admit, the results of what we do are not always visible or appreciated in the moment, but the more others see of what’s being accomplished in pursuit of our product the more supportive they’ll be.  Share the results even when they’re not that great. Everyone knows the life of a creator, entrepreneur or emerging speaker or artist is not glamorous and doesn’t always yield the results we were hoping for. Sharing our results with those who care about us is a win-win.

man in in ripped jeans works on computer in his lap while a dog looks lovingly for attentionThere’s a lot of work to be done, and it’s easy to feel alone.  Unfortunately, much of the work often has to be completed on our own, and that fact can keep others guessing as to what we’re up to.  Most often what we perceive as someone’s judgement is simply their curiosity. As an aside, we have to be careful not to neglect those who support us or our other responsibilities. In reality though remind yourself that most often, what others see as slacking is pursuit of purpose. We have to be mindful that if we want others to appreciate our passions and pursuits, we have to teach them, involve them, and share the results as often as we can in as many ways we can.


Who is Chester? An expert in leadership, Chester is also a leading influencer in social reputation, education, non-profit advocacy, parenting issues, access, policy, and blogging culture. Chester has been quoted in major media outlets such as CNBC, Yahoo, the Washington Post, Forbes Leadership, and others. He is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post The Good Men Project, and Edutopia.  He has a heart for helping people, and for helping others who help people. You can learn more about Chester and his Amazon #1 Best Seller at www.purplepeopleleaderbook.com or www.chestergoad.comHe and his wife live in Tennessee with their teenage son. He hopes to leave a legacy of living and fulfilling God’s purpose for his life, whatever that may be, and making a difference.  What’s your purpose?  Connect with Chester on your favorite social media and let him know.

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Do You Know Someone Making a Difference? Tell Me Now!

hands of different cultures reaching out in a circle Dear Readers, Friends & Family,
I’m just throwing it out there: I write & I want to help people who are doing great things for their community, their country, or their world. If you know someone who fits that, have them email me personally. You can also email me, but I’ll need comprehensive contact info and a summary of what they’re doing.
 
If their purpose fits my project, I just may interview them, write something for them and/or help promote their message. As you can imagine, I can only do a few of these so don’t be offended if you submit something and I don’t contact you. I’ll contact you if I think it’s a good basis for a story.
Disclaimer: I promise whatever you are doing to fulfill your purpose is important!  It just may not fit what I am looking for at this moment. If you don’t hear from me, don’t be discouraged. I’ll enter everyone into a spread sheet for later. Just because it’s not the right fit today, doesn’t mean it won’t be the right down the road.
 

Some posts may be full length articles, some may be shorter features, and still others may be included in a multi-highlight article. Now if youyoung homeless boy sleeping on the bridge, poverty, city, street know someone giving it all they’ve got to change their world, let me know. It needs to be someone who has put their plan into action, who is already witnessing results. Also, it can certainly be faith-based but it doesn’t have to be, as long as it’s an attempt at lasting or meaningful positive change.

 
There are so many unsung heroes. Let’s get them and their life purpose and passion out there for others to see! If you want to read some of what I’ve written just go to my website or Google my name and Huffington Post, or my name and The Good Men Project. It will bring me joy to help others fulfill their purpose. This is sincere, and free. No gimmicks.
Submissions should be sent to: ChesterGoad@gmail.com with “Change the World” in the subject line. I cannot silhouette of small child standing in the setting sunlight promise where the article or feature will be published. It may just be published to my own site, but remember I also write for multiple outlets and will pursue those as well.
I will be the person reading the submissions. The only thing I promise is that if you send me someone’s name and project ( sorry no political issues, no businesses, with the exception of social entrepreneurs)– I will pray for you and for them, and I’ll consider writing about what they’re doing. Now go! And Feel free to share! 

Who is Chester? An expert in leadership, Chester is also a leading influencer in social reputation, education, non-profit advocacy, parenting issues, access, policy, and blogging culture. Chester has been quoted in major media outlets such as CNBC, Yahoo, the Washington Post, Forbes Leadership, and others. He is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post The Good Men Project, and Edutopia.  He has a heart for helping people, and for helping others who help people. You can learn more about Chester and his Amazon #1 Best Seller at www.purplepeopleleaderbook.com or www.chestergoad.comHe and his wife live in Tennessee with their teenage son. He hopes to leave a legacy of living and fulfilling God’s purpose for his life, whatever that may be, and making a difference.  What’s your purpose? 

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Quiet Please…: Filmmaker Jeffrey Scott Gould’s New Misophonia Documentary Is Plenty To Chew On

Jeffrey Scott Gould was only 7 years old when he discovered one of his first sound triggers.   He was taking a test and the kid sitting behind him kept sniffling.  Simple sniffles could keep Jeff from learning.  Since that time additional unbearable triggering sounds have been added to the list.  There’s chewing and crunching, and then there’s the sound of someone plodding along in flip-flops.  He recalls once asking his step-mom as a teen to leave the carrots out the salad at dinner. And then there’s the time he confronted his sister about her loud tortilla chip crunching.  The response was never good.  To Jeffrey’s dismay the list of sounds that cause him difficulty continues to grow.

The word “misophonia” can literally be translated as “hatred of sound.”  But how does one come to hate sound? Certainly we all have our own lists of things that annoy us, but misophonia is different.  Many living with it describe it as almost painful and worsening or expanding over time.  Jeff describes it as a condition that makes one “sensitive to certain sounds that cause a physiological reaction”.  In his case he experiences an adrenaline release, along with increased heart-rate, and a feeling of rage that needs to be released. He knows a response like that to everyday sound is not logical and laments it’s also not something he can control by “thinking his way out of it”.

a movie camera appears to be filming a young man sitting on a stool

(Filming Ph.D. Candidate, Michael Mannino, Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences FAU)

Gould was 53 when a friend told him about a 20/20 segment featuring misophonia.  He describes his experience watching that tv segment as “life changing.” After years of living with the condition he was elated to know that it was more than a quirk, and that there were other people just like him.  Once he realized his nemesis has a name, he also knew it was time to marry his two loves— filming documentaries and educating people about misophonia.

He remembers growing up with hopes of becoming an architect. That was until his mother gave him his grandfather’s old 8mm camera.  From there he took a high school film class under favorite teacher Jerry Hochberg who nurtured his interests, and talents and encouraged him on a path leading him to where he is today.

So where is he?  Jeffrey Scott Gould founded Action Media Production, has quite a film resume, and has produced an impressive list of documentaries, his favorite film genre.  Thanks to an effective crowd-funding campaign, generous donors (most of whom live with misophonia), old friends, and new ones, he’s about to premiere a new labor of love– a documentary about misophonia called, “Quiet Please…”  The film is certain to grab attention, and to change a few minds along the way.  Changing minds is a small component of the purpose of the film, but it’s important because misophonia as a condition is not without scoffers and detractors even among friends and family.  Jeff describes releasing the trailer and sharing it with the world as sort of a coming out.

His condition was then out there for everyone to consider or criticize.  Some people expressed shock. Others were supportive.  Some were actually sad. Then there were those who remained silent not knowing exactly what to think, but Jeff says he doesn’t push.  He wants the film to speak for itself.  Or rather, he wants the people who put themselves out there by sharing their stories in the film to speak for themselves.  After all he suggests, “When you try to force something, it’s not genuine, but once the timing is right, and the passion is there, there’s no going back.”

In the last year, Jeff has travelled the country interviewing people who live daily with misophonia, or those who research it. Those with misophonia have similar struggles defined with different circumstances effecting their relationships, work, or overall life enjoyment.

For Jeff, “Quiet Please…” is certainly a product of love and affection for filmmaking, but it’s also much more than

four people standing in front of a fence

(Jeffrey Scott Gould (left) filmed Paul and Ana Tabachneck (Center) in Bronx along with Production Assistant, Chris Insignares (right). The Tabachneks both appear in the film as does Paul’s music)

that.  “I wanted to make a difference in the only way I knew how—through film and storytelling. In this instance, I’m not some random interviewer asking a question and moving on.  I relate to what most people tell me about their stories, and that was the most amazing part.  People were talking, but my words were coming out of their mouths.  It’s incredible, and cathartic.”

Most documentaries don’t end up in mainstream theaters and Jeffrey’s ok with that.  He knows he has a built-in audience who will probably promote the film fueled from their own life experiences, but he’s not counting on that.  He knows getting the film completed and releasing it is only the beginning.

One of his goals is to reach those people still dealing with misophonia on their own—those who haven’t realized there are thousands more people like themselves dealing with this mysterious thing that actually now has a name.  But he also suggests that the film goes beyond misophonia and may have some relational appeal. After all, any successful relationship requires compromise, acceptance, understanding, compassion, and commitment, so the film is full of life lessons.

Jeff is quick to admit he hates the way misophonia takes over his mind and body causing him to react negatively to the people he loves and cares about.  He hates when “hate” wins.  There are rare times when the triggers are absent, and he can even forget he has it, but it’s always there. If he hasn’t slept or he’s already stressed, the slightest sound can push him over the edge.  That’s not what he wants.  That’s not what anyone with misophonia wants.  Hopefully the film will effectively convey that message to those who have never heard of it.

Jeffrey’s hoping for screening in a variety of venues like classrooms, universities, film festivals, and special events, and ultimately he would love to see the film screened on PBS.

There are two private screenings of “Quiet Please…” this summer before the full release. The first is Saturday June 18th in SoHo, New York City, with a follow-up private screening on July 20th in Asbury Park.

Watch the trailer here.

Visit the “Quiet Please…” website.

This post first appeared here on The Huffington Post. 


Who is Chester? An expert in leadership, Chester is also a leading influencer in social reputation, social entrepreneurism, education, non-profit advocacy, parenting issues, access, policy, and blogging culture. Chester has been quoted in major media outlets such as CNBC, Yahoo, the Washington Post, Forbes Leadership, and others. He is a contributing writer for the ,Huffington Post The Good Men Project, and Edutopia. You can learn more about Chester and his Amazon #1 Best Seller at www.purplepeopleleaderbook.com or www.chestergoad.com. He and his wife live in Tennessee with their teenage son.  He believes that misophonia is real, and hopes to help others understand that. 

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“I Love You and I’m Proud of You”…Thanks Dad.

happy fathers dayI remember my first college course.  I had worked two jobs throughout high school and so I had decided to attend community college and continue working. For the first semester I’d attend a local branch campus not far from our house.  The satellite campus as we called it, was located in an old lumber yard.  The college had re-purposed the sales area into several classrooms and office spaces.  Dad had told me if I’d stay home the first semester before moving, he’d help me with books etc., and I could work and continue saving money.  I had always dreamed of going away to Memphis State (now University of Memphis), or Carson-Newman.  Both were still in Tennessee, but far enough away to make the separation from my parents and hometown to have a traditional college experience.

I had reluctantly taken my dad’s advice.  I’d worked throughout my high school years, but hadn’t saved enough for much of anything, and truthfully, I just wasn’t ready.  Although I was always creative, and in pursuit of dreams and adventure, I was incredibly immature.  So against my inner will, I put that dream on hold, and enrolled in community college.  Later I would learn that community college was the best thing I could have done for myself, but at the time, I really wasn’t happy.  So I was even more mortified at what happened next.

an old military photo of the authors dadI’d rearranged my work schedule so I could take Ms. Doris Chitwood’s algebra class.  I’d had Ms. Chitwood in high school and thought the familiarity would be nice.  Familiarity was important in this case because I stunk at math and always had.  On the first day of class, I purchased my books, entered the classroom with several familiar faces and took a seat against the wall.   I remember looking down and flipping through my book to avoid conversations.  This wasn’t what I had intended. I had intended going away somewhere. Even if I had to work three jobs, so be it, I wanted to go do something, and this wasn’t what I wanted.

I continued flipping through my books, keeping my face down in my text book blocking out much of what was going on until I heard this laugh.  Ms. Chitwood had said something funny, and others were laughing, but one of the laughs was a familiar guffaw.  I looked across the room to find my dad with his textbooks, cutting up with the people in my class. MY Class.  Not his class. What was he doing?  My face turned red.  Two shades of red, maybe purple, because there he was taking college courses with me. I was embarrassed and mad.

scott county branch campus

The old lumber yard has since been replaced.

I had heard my dad a mechanics teacher, talking about going back to school for some time, but never dreamed he’d be at my school or in my classes and especially not this one.  Dad had been hired based off his experience both in the military as a mechanic, and as a local dealership mechanic but lacked a college degree and often talked about checking that goal off his bucket list.  I suppose we both survived. I don’t remember much of that experience, maybe it was the trauma of taking a course with my dad, a non-traditional college student.

A few years later, I was married but still in school though I had moved on to Tennessee Tech University, and my dad old family photobeat me.  He had gone on to complete his four year degree in business at Tusculum College and finished well before me.

Fast forward a few more years, I was married with a baby boy and working as Projects Director for a US Congressman.  My wife a school teacher and I were sitting on the couch watching Everybody Loves Raymond and eating freshly delivered pizza when we got the call.  My brother-in-law was on the line with the news.  My dad had been flown by life-flight helicopter to UT hospital after an apparent severe heart attack had caused him to cross the median and leave the road, his car landing on the other side. I remember feeling sick and calling a few friends requesting prayer.

Dad died on Memorial Day, 2001.  Just day’s before his last words to me had been “I love you and I’m proud of you.” What are the chances of that? Throughout my years in education, politics, and advocacy, I’ve learned that there are many men whose lives have been haunted and hindered because they never heard those important words from their dad.  And so I realize those words were the best gift if he could have left me.

college degree hanging on wall

My Dad’s college degree still hangs in our home.

I remember my mom, who has since passed on as well, asked me if there was anything of my dad’s I wanted.  I walked over to the wall and took his college degree off the wall.  To this day it hangs in our home as a reminder of that first college class, that my dad beat me in our quest for a college education, and more importantly of those last words, “I’m proud of you, and I love you.” I try to remember if I ever returned the sentiment, and I wrack my brain—did I ever tell him? Did I ever let him know I was proud of him? And it worries me, and so I lay it down right here on Father’s Day 2016.  I love you dad, and I’m proud of you, and because of you, I tell my son the same thing every day. Thank you for that legacy.

 


 

Who is Chester? An expert in leadership, Chester is also a leading influencer in social reputation, education, non-profit advocacy, parenting issues, access, policy, and blogging culture. Chester has been quoted in major media outlets such as CNBC, Yahoo, the Washington Post, Forbes Leadership, and others. He is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post The Good Men Project, and Edutopia. You can learn more about Chester and his Amazon #1 Best Seller at www.purplepeopleleaderbook.com or www.chestergoad.comHe and his wife live in Tennessee with their teenage son.  Thanks to the legacy his dad left, he tells his son he loves him every day. 

 

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