049: A House of Possibilities speech to NextGen Under 30 [Podcast]

049: A House of Possibilities speech to NextGen Under 30 [Podcast]

The NextGen Under 30 Oklahoma movement continues to gather momentum across the state.

The eighth class gathered for a Day at the Capitol October 1, 2018. NextGen Under 30 founder, Don Swift, told the class that they were selected as the best of the best nominees from across fifteen business and organization categories. Swift said they even received an international nomination and had to tell the nominator that the honor was limited to residents of Oklahoma.

I have been privileged to be associated with this program since 2015 as a leadership consultant and as the coordinator of retreats and workshops. I have also interviewed several of the previous honorees on the Spirit of Leading Podcast.

This year I was asked to join a distinguished platform of speakers to address the gathering at the State Capitol. Governor Mary Fallin, Chancellor Glen D. Johnson of the State Regents for Higher Education, Dr. Marion Paden, Executive Director of Leadership Oklahoma, and Brenda Jones, CEO of Jones PR also greeted the honorees.

I chose the theme, “A House of Possibilities” to guide my comments. The capitol building is undergoing an extensive facelift, and the noise prevented a clean recording of my presentation, so I recorded the speech as close to the original remarks as I could remember.

I know from getting to know these talented young adults that Oklahoma is in good hands.

NextGen Under 30 Oklahoma class of 2018

What If wall, Ada workshop

What If wall, Statewide retreat

What If wall, Tulsa

048: Dr. John Wood-Does America need a civics lesson? [Podcast]

048: Dr. John Wood-Does America need a civics lesson? [Podcast]

Dr. John R. Wood, associate professor of political science at the University of Central Oklahoma, is passionate about student engagement. He believes the best way to learn about local government is to get involved with it. He gets students involved with business and civic projects a part of their studies, and he leads them on international service projects when possible. Dr. Wood also walks the talk. The took on an incumbent city councilman in Guthrie and won and served two terms. He is active in professional associations, and often takes on leadership roles in them. See his bio at the link below. I speak with Dr. Wood on this episode of The Spirit of Leading podcast about voter turnout among young people and getting them more involved in the political process and community service.

Related links Dr. John Wood bio

Helping students with a research project.

Students serve on panel at Oklahoma Political Science Association event

Student service trip to Uganda

Collecting his last dollar for a day’s work from the Guthrie City Council

With students in Guatemala working for Habitat for Humanity

047: Can there be spirituality in the workplace? [Podcast]

047: Can there be spirituality in the workplace? [Podcast]

Do spirituality and the workplace mix?

The disengaged workers I’ve encountered say they want to work in a place where they feel like they can give heart and soul, and managers say they want their employees to give heart and soul at work. So why isn’t it happening?

I have spent over 25 years training in all types and sizes of businesses and organizations. I’ve experienced the spectrum of attitudes and opinions about whether business, religion, and spirituality mix. Some see any reference to spirituality as an attempt to proselytize. One time I used the word, “mantra,” in context of a stress seminar, and was accused by several participants of pushing an “eastern religion.” I sometimes refer to Bible stories or examples, and I know I run the risk of being accused of preaching. (I was a minister for several years and have a B.A in Biblical Studies.)

Many people claim to be spiritual, but not religious. Some companies proudly claim they offer a work environment in which employees can tap into their spirituality, almost as if permission to do so is a perk of their employment.

Garland McWatters, author, Tulsa OK, leadership, personal improvement, trainerIn August of 2018, I was asked to speak at the Unity Center of Tulsa, OK about my experiences and insights of spirituality and the workplace. This Spirit of Leading podcast is the text of that presentation. I answer the question, but perhaps not the way you might expect. 


046: The Tulsa Great Raft Race Revived – Seth Erkenbeck

046: The Tulsa Great Raft Race Revived – Seth Erkenbeck

The Tulsa Great Raft Race Revived

by Featuring Seth Erkenbeck | The Spirit of Leading Podcast

For 19 years colorful home-made rafts dotted the Arkansas River between Sand Springs and downtown Tulsa on Labor Day. Then, they were gone. But now, after a 23 year absence, they are back.

Seth Erkenbeck and members of the Tulsa Young Professionals (TYPROS) business development crew decided it was time to revive the race to draw attention to the business development opportunities along the river front. In this episode of the Spirit of Leading podcast, Seth explains how it all came about and what both river rats and landlubbers can expect in the fourth year of one of Oklahoma’s premiere Labor Day weekend events.

Related links

Tulsa Raft Race website Tulsa Young Professionals (TYPROS)

Seth Erkenbeck Executive Director Great Raft Race President TYPROS Foundation

(L to R) Mary Fencl, Ryan Howell, Andy Cagle, Ali Broyles, Chase Beasley, Lacey Taylor, Nick Pollock, Ryan Lynch, Seth Erkenbeck, Daniel Regan, Jessica Wiist, Gabe Hayes, Andrew Witter, Lisa Ruffin.

(L to R) Rachel Romeo, Sarabeth Blaho, Lacey Taylor, Tanner Sturm, Andrea Nieves, Kenton Grant, Andy Cagle, Dillon Waters, Andrea Gentis, Mary Fencl


The INPowered Leader must be able to manage many relationships. The 3 INPowering Keys in this FREE GUIDE apply to any relationship: family, friends, co-workers, customers, and professional relationships that leaders must keep in balance.


045: Victoria McArtor-Reverse Selfie [Podcast]

045: Victoria McArtor-Reverse Selfie [Podcast]

Victoria McArtor

(photo by Brian Bartlett)

Reverse Selfie

by Featuring Victoria McArtor of Mused. | The Spirit of Leading Podcast

VICTORIA McARTOR wants to make poetry more a part of everyday life. She believes poetry can INPower people to project themselves into their communities as they reflect on how their communities have played a role in shaping their lives.

In this episode of The Spirit of Leading podcast, Victoria explains the Reverse Selfie project and how it opened her eyes to Tulsa, her hometown, in ways she had never before explored, and in so doing caused her to reverse the direction of her attention from #me to #us. In her personal comments at the front of her book she wrote, “Usually it seems like the present tense is the hardest time zone to live in, but it turns out I had been killing time instead of fully engaging with all the ways it was offering itself to me.” What Victoria has to say in this podcast is well worth your time.

Through her non-profit, MUSED., Victoria presents a variety of experiences in poetry designed to help participants engage in community by digging into their poetic selves for inspiration, insight, and enlightenment. There is a poet in all of us, and Victoria can help you find yours.

Related links

More about Victoria

Mused. non-profit and events

Reverse Selfie book

Victoria with Street School “Reverse Selfie Project” workshop graduates

Victoria teaching a “Love Yourselfie” workshop on Valentine Day.

Victoria preparing to emcee the Muse E.E. Cumming’s POP event at Zin Wine Bar.(Photo by Samuel Smith)

Reverse Selfie book signing at Mainline Art Bar, (photo by Samuel Smith)