Author: jamescapraspeaker

Author, Speaker, Leadership Expert

Merry Christmas My Friends!

The Christmas season has always been my most favorite time of the year. A joyful time to share with family and friends and a time to re-affirm our faith, identity and purpose in this world. However, as I reflect once again on the past year I find myself troubled, questioning whether we are beyond a “tipping point” as a nation, as neighbors, and as a people who live in this great country. Everywhere we turn there seems to be strife, division and darkness and I find myself asking once again if there really is hope for us, as a people and as a nation? And then I am reminded of our great hope when I hear the beautiful words of the famed Christmas carol, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.”

The carol was based on a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1863. At the time he wrote the poem, Longfellow had recently lost his wife in a tragic fire, the nation was being torn apart by civil war and his oldest son was critically wounded while fighting for the Union. Longfellow, for a time, must have burdened an overwhelming sense of hopelessness and darkness that is clearly depicted in the early stanzas of his poem; “…hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men”. Yet Longfellow knew there was a very real hope for him, for the future, for the nation, as he leaned on his faith and the knowledge that a great light was given to mankind on Christmas Day. “And peeled the bells more loud and deep, God is not dead nor does he sleep; the wrong shall fail, the right prevail with peace on earth, good will to men!”

The hope that many of us share this Christmas season is a “confident expectation” that the God that I serve is still very active in the lives of His creation. So yes my friends, there is great hope for us all, “For unto us a child is born, a son is given to us; the government will rest on his shoulders and he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6). Merry Christmas my friends, to you and your families; may the New Year bring a renewed season of hope, prosperity and restoration. God bless you all this season and may God bless this great country of ours!

 

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I Want to be Honest About my Anger!

I want to be honest about my anger; I want to scream and yell and say something mean, cruel and offensive regarding the behavior of rich spoiled grown up boys in the NFL, who as a result of living here in the United States, have been given an opportunity to play a game while being paid millions and millions of dollars because of their God-given athletic ability.  I want to scream and yell at the owners and coaches; I want to say something cruel and offensive to many of these cowards because they were so greatly offended by a sitting president who saw fit to call them out that many of them reacted by having a temper tantrum under the guise of supporting their new group of social justice warriors.  I want to really scream and say something powerful and bombastic to them and point to their blatant hypocrisy as they pretend to stand with their employees, these so-called social justice warriors when actually most of us recognize that they are no more interested in their players so-called social justice stance than they are the guy selling hot dogs in the stadium. I want to scream and yell and point to the fact that these same owners and coaches of these social justice warriors posing as NFL players, are really about making millions and millions of dollars off the backs of their athletic ability until their athletic ability wanes, and then their so-called new social justice warrior will be tossed aside like day old lunch.

I want to be honest about my anger; I want to scream and yell and say something offensive to the sports announcers, writers as well as a host of other celebrity types, who continue to lecture the rest of America because of our disapproval of such behavior, on our so-called ignorance of the real issues in our country.  I want to scream and yell and say something really offensive when we are lectured on how these social justice warriors are utilizing their so-called platforms to bring awareness of the social inequities in our country by taking a knee, hiding in a locker room or raising a clenched fist, after which they leave the playing field to go to their million dollar homes surrounded by the economic pleasures that only about 1% of Americans ever achieve.  I want to scream and yell and say something offensive to those who think this behavior is somehow the new model for us to pursue as Americans; the new model on how we improve society, the new model on how we move forward in trying times.

I want to be honest about my anger; I want to scream and yell and point to the millions of Americans who never had the athletic ability to utilize the pseudo-platform of the NFL, the NBA or any other major sports association; instead those same Americans looking to make a real difference pursued a real platform by which to alleviate the pain and suffering in our society; they pursued a platform by which to defend the defenseless in our cities; they chose a platform which required honor, integrity, character of action by which to defend the safety and security of America; they pursued a platform that also required a willingness to lay down their lives to defend other Americans rights to hide in a locker room, to kneel during our national anthem, or to burn the American flag.  These are the platforms pursued by the real heroes, the real warriors, the real patriots who understand that “service is a sacred duty of a free people” and in doing so, live out their lives in pursuit of justice, in pursuit of security in pursuit of the American dream, and they do so as American law enforcement officers, American Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, Sailors and Coast Guardsmen.

 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.  Let all that you do be done in love.  (1 Corinthians 16:13-14)

Embracing Failure or Risk?

What is it about embracing failure that has enamored some so-called leadership gurus, bloggers and talking heads?  For example, several years ago, I was listening to the radio on my way home when the announcer began to talk briefly about failure.  She went on to say oh, so very softly that “failure is just success dressed up in a different package so we should celebrate failure when it comes.”  I thought for a moment how profound this was and then came to my senses and yelled back at the radio “what a bunch of crap!”  Later that same day I made the mistake to look at a number of articles and blogs regarding failure only to find that most of the writings were incredibly sappy, filled with philosophical musings about the significance of failing.  Now I realize that for many of the authors, their intention was to point out that we learn from failure and that often failure or adversity has the potential to build, or more correctly, expose ones character.  No argument here, but often much of what is written about regarding failure seems to be, well sort of nuts!  In fact, one blogger even wrote that “great leaders fail most of the time” another one wrote “if you dream big you must be willing to fail big!”  Are you kidding me, I don’t want to work for any leader or organization that fails nine out of ten times; failure sucks, really, let’s not kid ourselves.  I don’t know any sane person who celebrates losing a marriage, a job, a business venture or any other endeavor in life!  Now before you are moved to reply about Thomas Edison’s journey of the number of times it took for him to invent the incandescent light bulb or any other number of his inventions, let me elaborate.  Failure is in fact inevitable in life, I get it; but failure should never be couched as an option in pursuing your destiny, dream or your organizational mission; and yes, we should never, ever let the fear of failure keep us from moving forward.  Fear is a very useful emotion but has the ability to stagnate leaders and organizations.

Throughout my leadership journey I had the opportunity to serve with some of the greatest leaders in service to our country.  Most of these professionals were risk aggressive leaders that never planned on failing; rather they consistently pursued mitigating the risk of failure in order to accomplish their respective organization’s mission.  Please don’t confuse “risk-aggressive” with negligence or a shoot from the hip leadership philosophy.  Great leaders always evaluate and embrace risk which takes courage, competence and confidence and is never done in the blind without critical evaluation and planning.  Embracing risk implies that a leader must be willing to make active choices that have influence on the successful outcome of a decision.

Noted author and speaker John Maxwell writes “A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are made for.” In other words ships are designed for the purpose of ocean sailing; they are designed to withstand stormy seas and to navigate in unfamiliar waters especially with a skilled and willing skipper at the helm; staying safe in harbor defeats the purpose of having a skipper or for that matter, owning a ship.  And yet just because the skipper has a ship that is capable, he doesn’t pull out of port on some false sense of bravado because he has a steel, sea-worthy ship.  He constantly evaluates the weather, the tides, the ocean traffic, the season as well as the cargo and crew he has on board; he is not afraid to ask the right questions, the tough questions always evaluating the facts and questioning potential outcomes in order to mitigate risk in an attempt to secure the right route to get to his ultimate destination.  The lack of information on any one of these elements raises the level of risk exponentially in determining the right course of action.  A good and responsible skipper will not sail out on a gut feeling that his ship can make the journey, such blind risks makes for good movie scenes, but more than likely will have a disastrous impact on the ship and crew.

Evaluating and embracing risk takes courage and confidence and is never done in the blind without critical evaluation and planning.  As I stated earlier, embracing risk implies that leaders must be willing to make active choices that have influence on the successful outcome of a decision.  A decision to execute a plan of action should always take into account, accurate information and/or intelligence, technical expertise and competence, availability of effective and sometimes specialized resources and a contingency plan (not a failure plan) in addition to a number of other considerations depending on the situation or operation all in an effort to mitigate potential risks.  Great organizational leaders never let fear steer their decisions; rather they willingly train and mentor organizational members how to successfully embrace risk in pursuit of their mission.

Excerpts take from “Leadership at the Front Line: Lessons Learned About Loving, Leading, and Legacy from a Warrior and Public Servant” by James L. Capra 

 

James Capra to Have Book Signing at Flagship Half Price Books

Press Contact
Katherine Rose Watson
Publicist
katierosewatson@gmail.com
972-489-7694

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

James Capra to Have Book Signing at Flagship Half Price Books

The Dallas-Fort Worth author will sign copies of his three books on Sunday, October 22 from 1-3 pm. 

James L. Capra Keynote Speaker

Dallas, Texas – September 18, 2017 – Dallas-Fort Worth author James L. Capra has been invited to sign copies of his two leadership books, Raising Courageous Children in a Cowardly Culture and Leadership at the Front Line, and children’s book, The Eagle and the Seagulls, at the flagship Half Price Books (5803 E Northwest Hwy, Dallas, TX 75231) on Sunday, October 22 from 1-3 pm. The event is free to attend. Readers may bring their own copy for Capra to sign or can purchase signed copies at the event. “Book signings afford me the opportunity to share my walk with others who are looking to sharpen their skill set,” states Capra.

Capra’s thirty plus years in military service and with the Drug Enforcement Administration taught him important life lessons that he shares through his writing and speaking engagements. Capra is also the CEO and founder of The Front Line Leadership Group, a leadership training and development firm based in Argyle, Texas.  “Throughout my tenure as a leader in my professional walk as well as in my personal walk, I have learned and shared the importance of pouring greatness into the lives of those men and women we are entrusted to lead,” says Capra. “Developing into a successful leader at work and at home has nothing to do with a position, rather it is the ability to be willing to learn how to love and care for others so that they may grow into successful and productive men and women; Most great leaders are willing to be vulnerable and possess a servants heart.”

All three books are available at Amazon in paperback and on Kindle. The leadership books are also available in hardcover. Those interested in having Capra speak at their book club or event can email him through his website: www.jamescapraspeaker.com.

James Capra is available for interviews regarding this news. Contact Katherine Rose Watson (katierosewatson@gmail.com, 972-489-7694) to coordinate.

ABOUT JAMES CAPRA

James L. Capra is an accomplished keynote speaker, author, and the CEO of The Front Line Leadership Group. Capra has traveled around the world as a professional speaker providing powerful and dynamic keynote speeches for conferences, conventions, association meetings, and corporate events. For nearly three decades, Capra served in one of the most dangerous professions through his work with the Drug Enforcement Administration, for which he was responsible for 227 domestic offices and 86 foreign offices. Capra now shares his leadership lessons and uplifting stories of what it takes to lead in any environment in his seminars Leading from the Heart at the Front Line! For more information, visit frontlineleadershipgroup.com.

CONNECT WITH JAMES CAPRA

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Porn, Children and the Internet

The advancement of technology in our culture has certainly afforded us the opportunity to get answers with one click of a button.  Buying a local newspaper or book is becoming obsolete as it has become easier to download information rather than drive to the local bookstore.   Businesses across the landscape are making it easier and easier for consumers to never leave their homes by shopping with just that one click of a button.  Yet that same click can afford the user to not only buy retails goods; it has the ability to take them to on-line sites that have the ability to harm and corrupt young and older minds alike.  Gone are the days that young boys would sneak a look at a Playboy magazine to view naked pictures of women in erotic poses.  Now one click will afford anyone to anonymously visit a multitude of sites day or night where they can view any and all types of graphic sex videos, buy illicit drugs or any number of harmful substances.  The internet, while an amazing tool and resource for many, is also a convenient path that has the real potential to corrupt young minds and presents unique challenges to families today.

Ever since they were able to understand, my wife and I consistently taught our children that the greatest struggle we have is denying selfish and destructive desires.  Often, we would talk about the battle going on in our minds of personal desires and emotions that had the ability to take you to a place you didn’t intend to go.  All of us struggle with wanting to satisfy our personal, selfish desires over what is true, honorable, healthy and respectful… The battle-ground, we would explain, was in your head, in the mind for all of us regarding our desires and wants over our needs.  In particular, we would often caution them regarding the use of the internet and the traps that it poses for young minds.

Some time ago I was working on my computer researching a project on line when I hit the back button a number of times to get to a previous screen.  In seconds a site identified as celebrity sex photos came up on the screen with a host of naked females in a pictorial.  I realized that it must have been one of the kids who visited the site and I called for Shelly to come in.  As she came around the desk she took one look at the screen and looked at me as though I was the guilty party.  When I explained to her what I had done and that I thought one of the kids had visited the site, she instructed me to go to the history tab to review all the sites visited.  It didn’t take much detective work to find out as the history showed: Pokémon, Pokémon, SpongeBob, Celebrity sex photos, no cold trail here.  Shelly asked me how I wanted to handle the situation which at first, I struggled with somewhat.  I knew which son was on the computer but I did not want to embarrass him further by making him feel like he was some type of deviant, so I shot from the hip and called him in to the office.  As I began to tell him what happened to me while on the computer, I could see the embarrassment growing on his face.  I asked him very non-accusatory if he visited the site of which he very sheepishly admitted to doing.  I then asked which I now consider to be the dumbest question I could have asked, “Why?”  Why, I knew why he visited the site, the same reason why I probably stayed a little too long on that same site trying to so call figure out who was the culprit!  He didn’t have an answer to my dumb question but it gave us an opportunity to talk about how men are designed to be attracted to women, but that attraction can be perverted by allowing unrealistic pictures to become imbedded in our brains, which is more powerful and can hold more information than any computer.  “Garbage in, garbage out son” I explained.  We again discussed how the greatest battles we face are in our minds, the things we want and are pulled towards for selfish desires; our flesh constantly at war with our spirit.  It was a good talk and he left not thinking that his mom or dad thought any less of him.

Confronting our children and teaching the truth about a host of issues is often uncomfortable both for parents and for our children to hear.  However, if we are to fully prepare our children to thrive and survive in a cowardly culture, we must be willing to speak the truth in love in order for them develop a strong foundation of faith and a willingness to pursue a Godly moral compass in their daily walk so as to avoid the trappings of a culture bent on their destruction.

Excerpts take from “Raising Courageous Children in a Cowardly Culture: The Battle for the Hearts and Minds of our Children” by James and Michelle Capra 2017.

James Capra Publishes New Book on Parenting

Press Contact

Katherine Rose Watson
Publicist
katierosewatson@gmail.com
972-489-7694

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Dallas-Fort Worth Author Publishes Parenting Book Raising Courageous Children in a Cowardly Culture
James L. Capra is a keynote speaker, expert in leadership, CEO of The Front Line Leadership Group, and father of six.

Dallas, Texas – September 12, 2017 – The latest book by author James L. Capra Raising Courageous Children in a Cowardly Culture is now available in paperback, hardcover, and on Kindle. The one hundred and fifty-four-page parenting book covers how to instill faith, discipline, honor, and character in developing and raising children of purpose. This is Capra’s third book to date. He is also the author of Leadership at the Front Line and the children’s book The Eagle and the Seagulls.

James and Michelle Capra are parents to six children and co-author this book with a personal story of how they made conscious choices to raise successful and courageous children. Utilizing humor, passion and the heartache and joy of parenting, James and Michelle Capra detail the challenges of raising children in a culture filled with frivolity and moral relativism.

One Amazon reviewer writes, “This is not a ‘self help’ or ‘best practices’ book, but one that is based on life, being quality parents and a Godly family. Jimmy has been a role model and mentor to many men and women he has served with during his military and law enforcement career. If there was a textbook for parents, this would be it. Our children are faced with challenges that they will have to navigate on their own at some point in their life with confidence. Jimmy and Shelly’s insight and experiences help parents to help their children navigate those challenges and obstacles. I will be purchasing copies for all of my adult children.

Raising Courageous Children in a Cowardly Culture is available at Amazon for $14.99 in paperback and on Kindle for $8.99.

James Capra is available for interviews regarding this news. Contact Katherine Rose Watson (katierosewatson@gmail.com, 972-489-7694) to coordinate.

James L. Capra Keynote Speaker

ABOUT JAMES CAPRA

James L. Capra is an accomplished keynote speaker, author, and the CEO of The Front Line Leadership Group. Capra has traveled around the world as a professional speaker providing powerful and dynamic keynote speeches for conferences, conventions, association meetings, and corporate events. For nearly three decades, Capra served in one of the most dangerous professions through his work with the Drug Enforcement Administration, for which he was responsible for 227 domestic offices and 86 foreign offices. Capra now shares his leadership lessons and uplifting stories of what it takes to lead in any environment in his seminars Leading from the Heart at the Front Line! For more information, visit jamescapraspeaker.com. 

CONNECT WITH JAMES CAPRA

Twitter

Facebook

LinkedIn

 

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