Free to Speak: Are your words building or dividing?

Chery Gegelman Winning Well International SymposiumPeople that work with winning well leaders...
Last week, I leveraged some extreme examples from our time in the Middle East to emphasize 6 Ways to Transform a Divisive Culture  in the Winning Well International Symposium.
 
This week, I’m sharing more of our experiences and encouraging each of you to apply some of those learning’s to your lives and leadership.

Have you ever pondered the reasons or benefits of free speech?

  • In nations?
  • Or workplaces?

The purpose of being able to speak freely

Obviously speaking freely is not allowed in many nations or workplaces.

That choice:
  • Lowers leadership accountability and potential.
  • Impacts the way two people or thousands of people work together.
  • Determines how well resources are utilized and how quickly problems are solved.
  • Limits the overall health, effectiveness, and future of their workplace or nation.

Speech was controlled in the place we lived for four years, in many ways.  Below are a few examples:

What’s your litmus test for people: Honesty or skill?

When do you fold ‘em, walk away or run?

Once upon a time I worked for a charismatic leader with a serious set of skills. Someone I learned from constantly and deeply admired …

  • Until I caught him in a lie.
  • And then a second one.
  • A third one.
  • A fourth one.
  • And finally a fifth one.

The crazy part was – I wasn’t hunting for lies. I literally kept tripping into them – all five in a very short amount of time after years of working together.

When I confronted for the last time. He said, “I don’t know how you keep finding these things out.” No denial. No excuses. No apology.

A short time later – I “fired him” by turning in my notice.


Titled leaders and employees can all be tempted to overlook honesty because of skill.

Becoming a part of the solution, after Orlando

As the news about Orlando, and yet another hate crime swirls around us….

What are you seeing? What are you hearing? What are you pondering? What are you praying for?

Typically after events like this I invest major amounts of energy reading the news and contemplating the opinions and the blame game that follows.

What if… YOU disagree with someone?

Do you lob word grenades, judge and flee, or engage and learn?

Everyone comes from a different life experience and has witnessed, researched, or considered things you haven’t.  -REALLY!

But far too often we are too busy, proud, judgmental, and afraid to dive in and try to discover what those things are.

This morning I watched this unfold on a friend’s Facebook feed:

Learn to Win Well with Intelligence, Integrity and Fun!

Have you ever worked for someone that could drive a number but didn’t care what it took to make that happen?

  • Lying
  • Bullying
  • Dividing

People, processes and rules were not important. Winning AT ALL COSTS was.

When titled leaders are under pressure for results, it can be tempting to focus only on the win and to forget about:

  • The lives of the employees
  • The loyalty of the customers
  • The perception of the public
  • Or the future of the company