Be Your Own Best Spokesperson – now more than ever

Recently my daughter turned 24 and we discussed the perils and privileges of being an adult.  One thing she said struck me: “As an adult, you become your own spokesperson.”  She went on to say that as a child or adolescent you find that other people are often speaking for you and interpreting what you say into messaging that may be more socially acceptable or conform to the sensibilities of the situation or even the preferences of the adult present.  “What she means to say is…” or “She is attempting to communicate …”

It got me thinking about the world we inhabit right now in which we are flooded with conflicting and contradictory messages from innumerous pundits, experts, authorities, and let’s face it, a fair number of charlatans. In a time when political and social turmoil has reached a fever-pitch and true dialogue has seemed to virtually disappear – how do we find our own voice and become our own best spokesperson? 

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Be in the Conversation about Racism – even if it is uncomfortable

Be in the Conversation about Racism – even if it is uncomfortable. I’ve always thought that the problems of the world could be solved if we would just be willing to enter into deep, meaningful conversations about them.  The wise Fred Rogers once said, “Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable, is manageable.” We are living through times none of us could have imagined.  From the pandemic to racial justice protests to political turmoil – these have left many of us tongue-tied and unsure of how to articulate all that we are thinking and feeling.  All of this is compounded by the fact that we are more isolated than ever before and yet communication – conversation – has never been more essential.

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Shackleton: Crisis Leadership Lessons for Today

I find it instructive to look back and review ‘profiles in courage’ that describe leaders who acted with bravery and integrity in times of crisis.  These stories remind me that no matter how bleak things may get we can be blessed with leaders who stand strong, speak the truth, and care deeply about those they lead.

One of the most captivating crisis leadership stories I have ever come across is that of Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated Antarctic Expedition in 1914.

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