MEET MELODY JOY
New View Melody Joy
TDR: What issues are you most passionate about in your community?
Melody: There are several issues. One being ladies (young and older) pregnant outside of wedlock. I'm concerned about their self-esteem, mindsets, tangible resources and them not getting stuck depending on the "system" or the child's father (where there's a challenge in shared parenting). Another issue that pulls at my heart is "sister on sister" crime. What I mean by that is that women have the tendency to be more in competition than in covenant with one another. Too much time is spent fighting one another versus the issues that surround us. Women are dying daily from cervical and ovarian cancers, lupus, domestic violence and the #1 killer, heart disease. It's not poverty that bothers me as others spend time on. Poverty is a mindset and a mindset results in actions and actions become a way of life. Poverty can be the environment that you accept. Perhaps Poverty is the lack of knowledge and exercised power; doesn't have to be money per say. If we could see beyond the lashes and facial contouring we would see that the woman next to us needs you as much as we need the air we breathe. I also believe that this would help society also where the increases in pregnancy and system dependency is concerned. The examples of strong selfless women is affected as much as the economical concerns of this world. People always say knowledge is power. That's actually incorrect; it's what you do with knowledge that is more powerful. I believe that we have become less powerful by what we choose to do with the knowledge that we have. But there are some Power Houses out there that are working tirelessly to turn these SHIPS around in the community. By Ships I mean friendSHIP, relationSHIP, financial stewardSHIP and leaderSHIP.
TDR: Most of my philanthropy efforts are typically directed towards serving…
Melody: Most of my philanthropy efforts are typically directed towards serving both men and women in practical teachings, experiential demonstrations and skills and financial development. Why? I'm glad you asked. People want to know what and how. I include men because many have been shaped by women. Especially those emerging from single parent homes. A male is more prone to protect, provide and persevere based on how he was shaped and defined. Based on how he was molded, that can better him or break him. Men are territorial and visual so being able to reaffirm their original design and empower them to lead makes it a lot easier for the world we live in. Women are naturally nurtures, so it's important to love them back to life and make sure that other male figures are equally involved in affirming and cultivating their dominion in the earth. I make it a priority to make the male feel included in change efforts and in future endeavors and I started that with my own brothers, male family members and friends. It's important that they feel necessary and desired. I also find joy and pleasure in bridging practical with spiritual with women in education, affirmations, friendship, skills development and self-actualization. Everybody needs to feel loved and that they belong and are necessary. People don't need us being deep just be relevant; they just want directions, instructions, strategies, time redeemed and resources (including finances). Those are the five keys I ask God for daily help with along with discernment. Everyone's needs and responses are different. These are the keys I use to give back because they were the keys I wish I had a long time ago.
TDR: I define leadership as...
Melody: I define leadership in two ways. I define leadership as being able and willing to reproduce greater than yourself. One must be influential, integral and intentional. Not perfect but always perfecting. I also define leadership as not being above apology and you definitely can't be beneath serving. None are perfect but purposed.
TDR: I would describe my leadership style as…
Melody: I would describe my leadership style as Transformational and Invasive. (Inserts chuckle). I have to laugh to smooth it over. The reason why I say transformational is because if there is no need for change then why lead? In fact, why are we even talking! I am one who is not afraid of change. Change is inevitable. I welcome change. Creation is a risk. I'm creative. That automatically makes me high risk. It may work and it may not. But if what you've been doing and/or saying isn't working, then change might be a good thing. If it doesn't work you're always welcomed to return from where you started. People want change they are just afraid of losing their control and comfort. I was once that person and still have to fight not be. Every now and then I run into control issues. There again change is risky and makes you vulnerable. Which taps into your trust factor. Which is where the invasive part of leading comes in. It's invasive because it requires taping into the guarded places which sometimes hurt but with the right person and right amount of time, those places heal. Now you're stronger, wiser and whole. Those are typically the places that are fighting to hold on but dying to let go. I love getting to the root of who, what, when, where, why and how. It's the same approach that I use to create the160 degrees turn that turns our entire world inside out. Leading requires me to know something about you. It helps to tailor a person's course and action plan. Changed people effect change. Nothing is cookie cutter about me. I'm not trendy, I'm a threat to complacency and since I've come to know and embrace that, I want people to see themselves the same way; embrace it and dominate in it.
Speaking of transformation. I have been going through transformation all of 2015. I started with my hair color and cut and surroundings earlier 2015. My transformation was sealed and confirmed on December 20th with a Power Shoot makeover with Tierra Destiny and the Power Squad. I was challenged then to relinquish control and allow her and others into my private. I fought not to say "I rather have this color" or "Make sure my hair does this". I just sat and received. That's hard for leaders and givers to do. It changed my life forever. After that day I left feeling refreshed, empowered, my path was re-confirmed and I never saw myself the same way again. It re-challenged me to think higher and to do more for myself so that I have more to offer. When we feel great you do great. That day I choose that what I wanted others to experience I had to part take first myself. You see it's hard to lead people to a place where you've not gone yourself. I'm very picky about my hair, my nails, my image! It had been years since I sat and let someone else do my hair. Go to a salon?! Not me! One, I couldn't afford it. So, I don't just talk about transformation- I live, I am Living transformation. Once you've experienced the joy and freedom that transformation brings, all of the changes and challenges will be well worth the leap. I never want to be the leader to lead people based on words but I want to lead people based off exposure and encounter. In the words of Rod Lumpkin, "Exposure is the greatest teacher". I won't just tell people about transformation or change, I'll expose them to it just as someone did for me. Just call me the Transformation Whisperer.
TDR: The most painful lesson that I've learned in life that has helped me become who I am today…
Melody: (Deep inhale...exhale) I have had a lot of lessons. The most recent ones would be "You can't wait on everyone and you must let go of someone". I was always wanting to prove myself. If you said I couldn't have it, I went for it. If you said I couldn't go, I went. If you said I wasn't, I showed you I was and would be" and so on. You get what I am saying? It's a blessing and a curse to have that mindset. Sometimes you don't know when and when not to. I was the one that wanted everybody to excel, go up and celebrate me and with me. BOY was I wrong. I lost so much including time trying to take people with me and THEN expecting them to celebrate with me let alone CELEBRATE ME. What I wasn't bold enough to detach away from, was cut away from me. God knew when I was too blind to see for myself that everybody that was around me wasn't for me. To this day, I am selective in my connections. They aren't all bad. I now seek to know if they are assigned to derail me or to excel me. Who I am today is a result of choosing to go for me and celebrate me. It doesn't mean that anybody is a bad person it just means it's not a good idea for me to remain idle while waiting for others to get my greatness, validate my victories or support my successes.
Another painful lesson was becoming pregnant at 17 and a mother at age18. I knew then that I was no longer responsible for just myself. I sat in an abortion clinic contemplating responsibility. As I was notifying the nurse that I change my mind, the clinician was coming out the other door to get me to take me back for the procedure. I swallowed hard and decided to keep and raise my baby. I had no idea how, "I did it afraid". There were days when I fed my daughter and I would "fast". Might as well call it that, LOL. If I was not going to eat I needed to make the best out of it. So I would pray and sleep. I never let my daughter see me sweat (so I thought). But it’s the lessons from the school of hard knocks that pushes me to tell others that knowing I wasn't just responsible for me made me work harder. It's the same way to this day, when it comes to being a servant leader, it's not about you. It took me some tears to learn that one! You become responsible for the welfare and progression of others. Life lessons? Oh they work together for you good and for those who are called and purposed. You're a trusted leader; a wounded healer and a covenant keeper. Knowing that I am trusted with the hearts, passions and lives of others has made me grateful to be who I am today. I am more sensitive, grateful, thoughtful, wiser, powerful, careful, stronger, intuitive and determined. You may not know all the how's and what's but just "Do it afraid" someone else's life depends on you.
TDR: People would be surprised to know that I had to overcome…
Melody: Feeling inadequate and attractively challenged (As my brother calls ugly). It was all based on a rumor and lie (that's what I call it now). It wasn't until I got older and started doing something I had never done and that was compare myself to others. Some small voice in my ear telling me that since I took so long to develop that I wasn't cute enough. I was skiiiinnty! So if a male showed me attention contrary to how I felt, I thought it was gold. More like fool's gold [now that I am older].
I also had to overcome depression and oppression. I didn't want to do, go or be anything. I actually had written a note to my mother and had subliminal conversations with my best friend about them taking care of my daughter. I didn't think suicide; I just no longer wanted to be responsible for anyone, including myself. I had no desire to move forward and no reason to fall backwards; I was going to wait to die. Having to scrape pennies just to buy toilet tissue for the house; getting condiments from Chic fil A or McDonald's to have at home to go on the food or eating half of my lunch that was catered at work so that I could take some home to feed my daughter. I was also homeless in 2012 as I left my child with my mom in Atlanta as I pursued work in another state. I would send money back to my child so that she could have and I would sleep in my car because all that I had had run out and I would drive to Atlanta on weekends to see my child. Lastly, I didn't like people growing up and that I cried any time I had to speak publicly (Easter speech, in class, sing at church) you name it...I CRIED! Now! I love people and a good presentation. I was born for this.
TDR: 3 leaders that I look up to are…
Melody: I can only pick 3!? So not fair (inserts chuckle).
~Muhammad Ali (I admire the fighter in him; his will to excel and stand for what he believed in)
~Oprah Winfrey (she's a game changer; and she re-wrote the rules. She's got her OWN (inserts loud laugh)
~John C. Maxwell (Maximizes Leadership and more)
TDR: 3 of my favorite books are…
Melody: The Bible (particularly Hosea, Proverbs, Psalm and Esther)
Talent is Never Enough by John C. Maxwell
Image of Excellence: A Treasury of Wisdom & Inspiration for Today's Businesswoman by Honor Books
TDR: What is your advice for emerging leaders?
Melody: “Become it". I would say practice now what you want to exemplify. Don't stop trying. Stay humble and honest with yourself. Operate in your lane and capacity. Trust your gifts, God and your gut feeling. You can't do "IT" alone. It's ok to look back only if reflecting on how far you've come but remain relevant and forward focused. Anything that you need isn't behind you it's in front of you. Don't be afraid to say I apologize, I need you and NO! Pride is the number one killer to success, not trying is the second. I was told by Pastor Rod Lumpkin who I admire his tenacity and keenness in leadership "You have to walk in a thing before you become it". Remember that you haven't lived until you have first learned to breathe. Move from just existing and start living. If you encounter a blow, tend to the wound. If you encounter a blessing celebrate the win. Stay balanced and refreshed. You can't lead without learning and you can't learn without being lead. Sharpen your craft and skills. Being good at something is still average. You were chosen to excel. Don't apologize for being authentic and you were created for whatever you put your hands to do. Know that there are more people counting on you than those who have counted you out. Be nothing less than great. If you aren't sure do it anyway, do it afraid! There's so much to see and do. I would say as far as you can see you can have; there's a New View and you can't be afraid of seeing for the first time. We've all been there.
TDR: 5 years ago I was…
Melody: Five years ago I was filing for Unemployment and Systematic assistance; a full time student and single mom while pursuing my degree in Counseling. Sometimes uncertain about life and the direction that I should be taking.
TDR: 5 years from now I hope to…
Melody: Five years from now I hope to have traveled to several different countries developing leaders, CEOs, men and women, teen moms and dads; owning several properties; fluent in a different language; creating jobs for people to help manage and partner in my dynasty; enjoying life, ministry, serving and business with the man of my purpose (not the man of my dreams; my dreams changed) (inserts laugh) and my child(ren).
TDR: If you could describe yourself in 1 one word, what would it be and why?
Melody: Tenacious! I don't quit easily. I can't be counted out because someone is counting on me... to show up. #heelsUp (Her Excellence Excels Limitations & Statistics ~ Unapologetically Powerful). I'm not going back. I'd rather fail forward.
TDR: What are some of your current initiatives people can help you with?
Melody: Assist in creating platforms for emerging and excelling leaders, male and female, where we can share, instruct and equip others in their purpose and with their ideas. I want to see what's in their head be held in their hands and felt in their heart.
Continue to spread the word and generate resources to assist in research and financial support for those facing Lupus, Cervical/ Ovarian Cancer, Women & Heart Disease and Teen pregnancy and depression.
Finalizing my Blueprint for Platinum Platforms (unisex) and Stiletto Authority (female based); Vertical Building. As I continue to get what's in my head into my hands and into the lives of others.
Connect with Melody Joy:
Facebook: Melody Joy
LinkedIn: Melody France