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Generation COVID: From the Eye of the Storm, a New Generation is Born To fully tap into the potential of women’s strength, we must first endeavor to change the way we speak, worrying less about deliverance and more about the content of our words. This means being unfiltered, speaking without apology, refusing to allow others to speak over us. Perhaps even changing our speech patterns— rather than softening our voices we must speak with a tone of authority. This new approach boils down to a simple rule we as women need to remember: being likeable is not our sole mission. While it must be each woman’s goal to unapologetically toss aside this archaic rulebook that guides what it means to be a successful female leader, it is not just women who need to change. We must shift our culture, starting with how we raise our children. For example, rather than solely emphasizing obedience, cooperation, and supportiveness, society must encourage girls to share their opinions, take risks, assume leadership roles, solve problems —and praise them when they do so. If we want more female leaders, we need to vote for them, support their business and shine the light on female role models who are unapologetically using their voices to drive change.

The most important culture shift is also the simplest. We must all shift to hear what women have to say. Listen instead of scrutinize. Allow women to express their ideas, in whatever way we choose regardless of how we look or the delivery of our words. When we are able to support women based on our ability to lead, our vision, and our strategy rather than our perceived pleasing demeanor— then we can all smile. As appeared in The Globe Post on September 18, 2020.

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Ira J. Bedzow, Ph.D. Ali Jackson-Jolley, M.B.A.

Photo Credit: Devon H. via Unsplash

In a hurricane, life is very different depending on which side of the eyewall you’re situated. Just outside the eye, life is fast and perilous. Here, nothing is clear, since the world is moving too fast – and in circles. On the other side of the wall, in the midst of the eye, there is respite from the chaos, an eerie sense of safety and quiet where nothing moves. The stillness of world makes it seem like life is holding its breath until the violence returns to dole out another thrashing. In this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, we adults are at various distances outside the eye but nevertheless in the throes of the storm. With varying degrees of difficulty, we all are enduring this disorienting threat – one that affects our health, economic security, and our sense of normalcy. In a word, our world has been upended. Even the news cycle, which is somehow faster than it’s ever been, resembles gusts of wind, bellowing the same basic stories as it whips up feelings of impotence, frustration, and anxiety of an unknown future. Blasting our faces, burning our eyes and pushing us backwards. Most children, however, do not share our experience. They see the world around them – they see us –from a very different vantage point. They sit in the eye of the storm. For them, life is unstable in a different way. It is not the frenetic energy of trying to keep everything together. It is the restless energy of not being able to be a kid. Their sense of loss in this moment relates to the missed opportunities that childhood used to bring – only a few months ago. No longer can they play outside with their friends, visit their extended family, look forward to prom, plan for summer vacation. For the moment, all is quiet. All they can do is sit, holding their breath, as they watch from a distance the chaos that surrounds them yet does not envelop them. The disruption of stopping is greater than the disruption