Analyzing Kapernick’s Protest: 8 Lessons for Leading Change

+ 3 ways you can help to change the conversation from conflict to solutions

Learn to Lead Positive Change: YOU can make a difference!

Our world needs people who can lead positive change!

It requires unshakable vision, grit and character.  Recently I’ve been watching a story develop in the U.S. that is worth studying – Even if you don’t live there.

For those that aren’t aware of this story, this is a quick look at the facts:  

Colin Kapernick is a professional football player that recently decided to exercise some of the freedom our country grants everyone.

He decided to stay seated during our national anthem, as the rest of the stadium stood and honored our flag and our country.

Colin says he is protesting because, I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

His decision created a lot of heated debate with some people criticizing his patriotism, some people defending his right to protest and others applauding his reason for protesting.

It did not take long to discover that Colin chose to wear socks with pictures of pigs in police uniforms during practice, which caused more debate.

A short time later he met with a Nate Boyer, a former Green Beret Soldier and professional football player with his own passion for freeing the oppressed. Their conversation resulted in Colin’s decision to kneel; instead of sitting the next time the National Anthem was played.

Colin has also indicated that he will donate $1 Million to help those affected by police injustices.


Lessons for Change Leaders:

Is your job supporting your life? OR …Is your life supporting your job?

Labor Day Reflections

Job titles, recognition, financial gain, authority, and toys can be a great rewards OR life altering temptations.

It’s Labor Day weekend in the United States. Labor Day was created to honor the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well being of our country.

It’s a good time to consider why you work.

  • Do you do something you love?
  • Are you working for a cause you care deeply about?

I hope so on both counts!

No matter how much you love your work or how much you believe in your cause, it’s a pretty safe bet that you are also working to generate the income needed to support your life.

So how is that going for you?

Is your job supporting your life? …Or is your life supporting your job?

Replace The Dreaded Debate with the Adventure of a “Conversation Safari”

Last fall we took an African Safari. Prior to leaving, several friends, raved about their safari experiences, claiming that it was their most epic vacation, and numero uno on a list of several destinations.

When I asked why… One friend said it was because of the animals.

Interesting. I LOVE animals, but I’ve been to the zoo and and wildlife parks. How could simply being in Africa create an epic vacation?

Strategically NOT THINKING – Is it really safer and easier?

"Unsuccessful people focus their thinking on survival. Average people focus their thinking on maintenance. Successful people focus their thining on progress." -John MaxwellUnsuccessful people focus their thinking on survival.Average people focus their thinking on maintenance.Successful people focus their thining on progress.--John Maxwell

Have you ever worked in a place that is caught in a cycle that is NOT working?

  • But instead of digging for the root cause, titled leaders wave “magic wands” that cause some people to disappear and others to appear?

Have you ever wondered if anyone recognizes that new faces are just another Band-Aid that is being used to cover a growing cancer instead of treating it?

Once upon a time, I had a conversation with someone about a problem that needed to be solved.

We’d faced this problem before.

  • The first solution had been to replace a person.
  • A few months later we were having a very similar problem with a different person.

We both agreed that the problem was not only unresolved, it had gotten worse.  And we agreed that we needed a solution.

  • But we disagreed about what that looked like.
  • I wanted to know why a second person was struggling in the same position that someone else had failed in.
  • He didn’t want to waste time flipping rocks trying to understand why, he simply wanted the new person replaced, as quickly as possible.

When problems surface, it is so tempting to rush for the magic wand.

It may appear to be faster, easier or even the “safest” way to appease the investors or the CEO.

  • However, waving magic wands that make some faces disappear while new faces appear, doesn’t solve deeper issues.
  • And titled leaders that prefer magic wands to real solutions  – won’t be around very long.

Below are two true stories:

 1.  A high-potential employee is constantly promoted within a company for more than a decade. 

When he is promoted again he can’t get the tools and support he needs and begins to struggle. He’s not a quitter and doesn’t know how to fail, so he sacrifices all of his vacation and family time and works instead.  But no matter how many hours he puts in, he is treated as if he is the problem and eventually fired.

Then another high potential/long-term employee is relocated to take the same role, in the same place, with the same leader, in the same environment.

And the cycle begins again…

What if:

  • The employees that are continually recruited for this role are not the problem?
  • The training and support needs to be improved?
  • The culture in that department is causing people to fail?
  • The titled leader in that department is the source of the problem?

*What is it costing the organization to continually lose long-term, high performing employees in this one black hole?  

2.  An owner of a couple of small businesses is frustrated with dwindling profits. 

He blames his staff, treats them badly, moves them to different locations, stalls their vacations and refuses to listen to their feedback.

What if:

  • The employees need more training and more support?
  • The declining business is caused by the owner’s lack of presence and engagement with his customers?
  • His customer are leaving because competitors have better service, pricing, equipment and facilities?

*What is is costing that business owner to continue to operate in this way?  


Please share:  

  • Have you ever worked in a culture that discourages thinking?

Want more on this topic?  

Becoming a part of the solution, after Orlando

Becoming 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.