Leadership Lessons From Admiral Michelle Howard, The Highest Ranking Woman In Naval History

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Admiral Michelle Howard is the first African-American Navy commander and first four star woman in Navy history and first African-American and first woman to hold the post as Vice Chief of Naval Operations confirmed July 1, 2014 

Admiral Michelle J. Howard Bio

In April 2009, Admiral Michelle Howard had been in her new job as commander of an anti-piracy task force in the Gulf of Aden for just three days when Captain Richard Phillips was kidnapped by Somali pirates after they hijacked his cargo ship, the MV Maersk Alabama. “The pirates were using the fuel in the life raft to steer toward shore,” Admiral Howard recalls, “and it was obvious that if they got to shore [in Somalia] with Captain Phillips, we were probably not going to get him back.”  

The goal was to get the pirates to stop moving, without stressing them into desperate action. The kidnapping and subsequent dramatic rescue became the plot for the 2013 movie, Captain Phillips starring [Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi best actor in a supporting role]  but the backstory, and Admiral Howard’s role, was far more complex.  For the full story click on the link below.

Admiral Michelle J. Howard​
​Admiral Michelle Howard commanded The USS Boxer (LHD-4) a 40,000 ton Wasp class amphibious assault ship 
The USS Boxer was the flagship for CTF 151, a multinational task force established to conduct counter-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean three days before the kidnapping of Captain Phillips. 
Admiral Howard, assumed command of Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2 and Combined Task (CTF) 151 three days into her new assignment devised the plan to rescue Captain Phillips April 2009.
​Admiral Michelle Howard attends her ceremonial 
event in Wash., D.C. after confirmed July 1, 2014
​Admiral Michelle Howard is given “the secret handshake” from President Barack Obama
There are many examples of traditions that build camaraderie in the military, but few are as well-respected as the practice of carrying a challenge coin—a small medallion or token that signifies a person is a member of an organization. Even though challenge coins have broken into the civilian population, they’re still a bit of a mystery for those outside the armed forces.

It’s nearly impossible to definitively know why and where the tradition of challenge coins began. One thing is certain: Coins and military service go back a lot farther than our modern age.

One of the earliest known examples of an enlisted soldier being monetarily rewarded for valor took place in Ancient Rome. If a soldier performed well in battle that day, he would receive his typical day’s pay, and a separate coin as a bonus. Some accounts say that the coin was specially minted with a mark of the legion from which it came. 

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Breaking the Glass Ceiling series
September 20, 2015
Leaving Port!
Camille Mitchell

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Full Episode: Oprah and President Jimmy Carter

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Hello Everyone!

In a pre-taped interview before he announced his stage 4 melanoma last month, President Jimmy Carter spoke with Oprah Winfrey for her show “SuperSoul Sunday,” which aired on the OWN network Sunday, September 27, 2015 at 7 p.m.[note new time]

He discusses his faith as the first evangelical Christian elected president and how that guided his decisions. He talks about the secret behind his nearly 70-year marriage to Rosalynn.  He also says he could not possibly be president today in the current political environment.

Watching this interview at the link below will give you new and surprising insights to who Jimmy Carter really is. 

FULL Episode will Expire Sunday, October 11th

Full Episode: Oprah and President Jimmy Carter – 42 min. Video

​Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter_July 1946
​Released July 2015
Amazon.com synopsis

Jimmy Carter, thirty-ninth President, Nobel Peace Prize winner, international humanitarian, fisherman, reflects on his full and happy life with pride, humor, and a few second thoughts.

At ninety, Jimmy Carter reflects on his public and private life with a frankness that is disarming. He adds detail and emotion about his youth in rural Georgia that he described in his magnificent An Hour Before Daylight. He writes about racism and the isolation of the Carters. He describes the brutality of the hazing regimen at Annapolis, and how he nearly lost his life twice serving on submarines and his amazing interview with Admiral Rickover. He describes the profound influence his mother had on him, and how he admired his father even though he didn’t emulate him. He admits that he decided to quit the Navy and later enter politics without consulting his wife, Rosalynn, and how appalled he is in retrospect.

In A Full Life, Carter tells what he is proud of and what he might do differently. He discusses his regret at losing his re-election, but how he and Rosalynn pushed on and made a new life and second and third rewarding careers. He is frank about the presidents who have succeeded him, world leaders, and his passions for the causes he cares most about, particularly the condition of women and the deprived people of the developing world.

This is a wise and moving look back from this remarkable man. Jimmy Carter has lived one of our great American lives—from rural obscurity to world fame, universal respect, and contentment.A Full Life is an extraordinary read.

Oprah’s site:
7pm (new time)
Scheduled Interviews for next two weeks
Sun., Oct. 4th – Dr. Brene’ Brown (TED Speaker)
Sun., Oct. 11th – Malala Yousafzai (youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner)
Seven Night Television Event Premieres Sunday, October 18 at 8 p.m. ET/PT
Oprah Winfrey presents “Belief,” a landmark television event exploring humankind’s ongoing search to connect with something greater than ourselves. This groundbreaking original series invites viewers to witness some of the world’s most fascinating spiritual journeys through the eyes of the believers. Traveling to the far reaches of world, and to places cameras have rarely been, “Belief” searches the origins of diverse faiths and the heart of what really matters. 
Have a Fantastic Weekend!
Camille Mitchell

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FULL SPEECH: President Obama Angrily Addresses UCC Shooting, Pushing Gun Control

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Hello Everyone:
This is the fifteen time President Obama has had to give a statement on shooting since taking office.  The president is visibly angry and rightly so.  This is the full speech he delivered this evening in the video below.

President Obama delivers a statement, after a 
shooting at a community college in Oregon from 
the Brady Briefing Room in the White House 
October 1, 2015
Charles Porter, left, and Joseph Baldi, right, are 
reunited with Scott Leonard, center, after a 
shooting at Umpqua Community College.
​Paramedics attend to the scene of the deadly 
shooting in Oregon


Each of us has the power to do something (regardless of how small you think it is) to foster positive change.

The Republican Speaker-in-Waiting just admitted the real motive behind the Benghazi committee.

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Surprise! Surprise!
Last night, the Republican Congressman who is likely to replace John Boehner as Speaker went on Fox News to brag about how the Benghazi Committee is hurting Hillary Clinton’s polls. The gall!At least Republicans used to pretend that their Benghazi nonsense wasn’t all about hurting Secretary Clinton. But now, they’re not even trying to hide it anymore. Don’t expect this admission to matter much to the chin scratchers in the media though.

Republicans are not going to stop lying and making up fake scandals. And, the media isn’t gonna suddenly stop getting duped by Republican lies. But, we don’t have to put up with this crap. (Correct the Record)

The admission comes directly from Kevin McCarthy in an interview onSean Hannity show last night at the 4 min. point.
​GOP Kevin McCarthy, Speaker-in-Waiting

Be the Media!
Camille Mitchell

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Delicacies and Decadence: The Chinese State Dinner – September 25, 2015 – 20 photos

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(Hello Everyone!)

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will host the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, and Madame Peng Liyuan for an Official State Visit followed by a State Dinner. 
This marks the tenth State Visit of the Obama Administration; previous visits include: India in November 2009, Mexico in May 2010, China in January 2011, Germany in June 2011, Korea in October 2011, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland in March 2012, France in February 2014, Japan in April 2015, and the Holy See in September 2015. 

This visit reciprocates President Obama’s State Visit to China in November 2014.  President Xi’s visit presents an opportunity to expand U.S.-China cooperation on a range of global, regional, and bilateral issues of mutual interest, while also enabling President Obama and President Xi to constructively address areas of disagreement. 

The photo gallery found at the link directly below has more photos including a few of my favorites listed in the paragraph below

Director, producer, writer, actor of Lee Daniels arriving with his mother Clara Daniels.  Leedirected the film The Butler and the critically acclaimed TV series Empire. The State Dinner featured a performance by singer, composer, actor, producer NE-YO seen arriving with his mother Harriett Loraine Burts in the photo below.
Facebook founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg with his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan.  They are expecting their first child.

First Lady Michelle Obama “First glance at China State Dinner.”

Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan, First Lady Michelle Obama 
Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama
pose for a formal photo_Sept. 25, 2015
Upon entering the dinner, guests were entertained by the Sphinx Organization String Quartet from Detroit, Michigan. The Sphinx Organization is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of young Black and Latino classical musicians.


The Sphinx Organization
“Building Diversity in Classical Music”
The White House hosted a State Dinner Performance after dinner featuring selections by NE-YO is of African-American & Chinese descent and a three time Grammy Award-winner singer, composer, producer, actor, and founder of a non-profit organization aimed to lift up and support children in foster care. 

Ne-Yo arrives with his mother Harriett Loraine Burts
(Have a Fantastic Day!)
Camille Mitchell

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Maria Shriver on Pope Francis’ historic trip and his impact

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A Special Sunday!

Maria Shriver, journalist, activist, best selling author and former first lady of California has an excellent weekly newsletter that has inspirational stories regarding people and ways to foster change and empower people and communities.
Ms. Shriver’s message this week is about Pope Francis and his historic trip to the United States.  Maria sums up what Pope Francis visit meant to her below.  Also, you will be inspired by Maria’s mission and the subjects she usually explores and covers.  Many of Maria’s Emmy Award winning stories relate to her passionate interests regarding Alzheimer’s disease, children and adults with intellectual disabilities and women with children living in poverty.



mariasmessage 2

I don’t really know where to start.

Pope Francis has had a dramatic impact on my life this past week. It’s almost hard to put into words.

I got into journalism long ago because I wanted to tell stories that inspired people. Stories that moved people. I’ve covered a lot of big events in my career, interviewed a lot of people, but covering Pope Francis’ visit to America has got to be the highlight.

No, I didn’t get to interview him. I didn’t even get to meet him, but it didn’t actually matter because his words met my heart and ignited my spirit. I felt them deep in my soul.

Every sermon, every speech moved me further, moved me deeper. Some I’ve read and reread 10 times. His presence and his words at the 9/11 memorial brought me to tears.

The NBC studio in which I sat was silent. Everyone was transfixed as he spoke about pain, the power of love and remembrance. I listened to the prayer of St. Francis and the Beatitudes. I watched as leaders of so many different faiths stood up beside him and spoke their truths. And I reflected about how I was living my own life and I thought about all the people in it and I thought about their lives.

When the Pope spoke to the Congress about the Golden Rule I thought about that message and how I was living it. When he urged us to all go out and be of service like Mary had been, I took an internal inventory. In fact, this whole week made me take a internal inventory of everything in my life.

It made me reassess power, success, joy, money. I thought about the culture of care and the culture of waste. I thought deeply about those on the margins that this Pope urges us to reach out to.

He pushes us to open our eyes and our hearts to our neighbors that live so close, yet also so far away. He urged us to enable real men and real women to escape from extreme poverty. He said we must allow them to be dignified agents of their own destiny.

“Dignified agents of ones destiny.”

I love that. Each of us have the ability to be dignified agents of our own destiny.

The Pope pushed us to realize that we are all sharing a common home. One that we must care for, respect, love, and honor.

He said all of this and more, so much more. I feel in love with this man. With the way he spoke, with the wisdom he shared, with the gentle — but strong and clear — way he asked each of us for more.

I believe deeply that the world is yearning to be good, to be better and do better than we currently are. I believe in the goodness of people. I believe in their kindness. I saw it everywhere I went this week following this Pope. I believe everyone felt he was speaking to them and so they felt validated, felt, seen. Everyone felt understood. It was healing.

We all share a common desire to be understood, to be loved, to be accepted, to be treated like we matter. You don’t have to meet a great leader to be transformed by them. A great leader ignites your heart. A great leader makes you want to be a better person. A great leader reaches out, listens, feels your pain and works to make it bearable.

“Pray for me,” Pope Francis said to people he met along his way and then he said “To those who don’t believe, I hope you wish me well.”

I hope that we all dig down and find the strength to wish each other well. It’s so simple. It’s so profound. It’s so Pope Francis.

In Philadelphia, Pope Francis told the story of Pennsylvania native Saint Katharine Drexel going to Pope Leo XIII, telling him the challenges of her community and the Pope said to her: “What about you? What are you going to do?” The question made her think about her own contribution to the church and changed her life.

“What about you?” resonates with me as I look onward. What about you? What can we all do to foster what the Pope has been saying. What can we do to make our communities better, kinder, more compassionate and caring? What can we each do to foster our common home?

I hope that we don’t go back to talking to each other in belittling ways. I hope we make this visit matter. I hope we let it transform us for the better. I don’t want to go back to the way it was before Pope Francis came to America. I know I can’t go back. I know I’m going forward differently because of him.

I pray for this man. I wish him well and I thank him. Thank him for leading with humility, with simplicity, with empathy, with love.

I’ll be praying for him and praying for you. Please also pray for me. Amen. #PassItForward.


With love, 


*ShriverMedia.com Launches New Website

Shriver Media, the producer of The Shriver Report Snapshots, MariaShriver.com, Shriver Films, Maria Shriver’s conversation series and more launched their brand new site — check out what we’re working on and tell us what you think. (via Shriver Media)

GM CEO Mary Barra No. 1 on Fortune Most Powerful Women List – & one of my favorite Heroines

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It’s a Good Sunday!
One of businesses shining stars is Mary Barra, CEO of GM,  Ms. Barra has done the nearly impossible in a mere 18 months since becoming CEO on January 15, 2014.  See the story at the link directly below. But, what I admire most is her integrity, character and grace as she navigated through shark infested waters of lawsuits,  congressional hearings and corporate inertia. 
“I… believe if you have a problem you better solve it.
Because if you don’t solve it, you won’t be here or the company won’t be here.” 
~Mary Barra 
January 29, 2014; two weeks after becoming CEO of GM 

GM CEO Barra No. 1 on Fortune Most Powerful Women list
Melissa Burden
The Detroit News
Sept. 10, 2015

General Motors Co. CEO Mary Barra has been crowned tops in a new Fortune magazine list of the Most Powerful Women.

The Detroit automaker’s top executive since early 2014, Barra, 53, was cited by Fortune for leading the carmaker “out from under the shadow of its 2014 ignition-switch recall.”

The ignition-switch recall tied to 124 deaths has cost GM billions of dollars and it faces multiple lawsuits and investigations by the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, 50 state attorneys general and Transport Canada.  [The criminal lawsuit was settled on September 17, 2015 in lieu of a $900 million dollar fine.  See article above]

“In recent months she has beaten back headwinds from weak international markets, as sales of expensive trucks and SUVs have soared,” Fortune said. “Barra was one of the few female CEO participants in the viral #ilooklikeanengineer Twitter campaign, which promoted women in tech.”

Barra ranked No. 2 on the same list a year ago. In this year’s list, she beat out women such as Indra Nooyi, chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo and Ginni Rometty, CEO chairperson and president of IBM.

​Released June 2015
Mary Barra quote

Camille Mitchell

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