I recently spoke to a group of people and shared information that challenged their thinking and their behavior. Afterwards several people approached with questions and comments.
One woman had received the message and wanted help in taking the next step.
Another woman expressed her gratitude for the message. She admitted that she had always struggled in one particular area – but until today, she hadn’t realized it. Now she was actively processing the new information and beginning to visualize what a change in her behavior would look like.
Then a man stepped forward that was actively rejecting the message.
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.
Since our return home from Saudi Arabia, (A place I once feared and had zero desire to move to.) I have been facilitating a series of workshops for students – sharing what day-to-day life was like while emphasizing critical life, leadership and people skills that they will need throughout their lives.
In each workshop students are given a visual of a natural process that will happen the rest of their lives – as they decide if they have the courage to leave their comfort zones or the grit to survive when life hands them circumstances they can’t control.
Some of the questions I’ve been asked about Saudi are worth sharing:
What was the best part?
- Living in an International Compound: Sharing life, friendship, and food with people from more than 50 nations and learning from them.
- Riding motorcycle with men and women from all over the world and getting to experience parts of Saudi that many expats don’t get to enjoy. (Yes – My motorcycle jacket had ½ of an abaya attached to it and could be rolled up when I was on the bike and rolled down when I was off the bike. Allowing me to be respectful and safe while enjoying time on the bike with my husband.)
- Vacationing in 11 countries besides Saudi and Bahrain in the 4 years we were there.
What was the hardest thing for you?
We’ve been back in the U.S. for nearly 6 weeks. Watching the divide we witnessed across the ocean. Aching as it appears to be growing deeper and wider.
I know I’m not alone in my concern for our country or in my desire to be a part of the solution. Several of my leadership connections have been sharing both struggles and wisdom in their blogs.
Alli Polin, Erin Schreyer, Steve Keating and Jesse Lyn Stoner have each written important articles to help us build bridges across that divide.
- Each of the image quotes below highlight something from their articles that I found especially powerful.
- Each of their original articles are linked after each image through their name.
If you are struggling with the current state of our union – I encourage you to:
- Read each one
- Watch the Conversation Safari video at the end of this post
And then make strategic choices to be the change you want to see