061: Emeka Nnaka-control the controllables

061: Emeka Nnaka-control the controllables

061: Emeka Nnaka-control the controllables

Emeka Nnaka loved playing football and having fun with his friends. At 6’5″ tall, his friends called him the Enforcer, and he relished being able to trake care of them. Then, a spine crushing football injury changed all that in the blink of an eye. In this episode of The Spirit of Leading, I talk to Emeka about how he got through those years of recovery and reinventing his life.

Now Emeka is building a career as a motivational speaker, and he is growing his stature as a mentor and coach and is learning new ways to take care of his friends and have fun.

Related links

Emeka Nnaka website

Spinal cord injury information

Magic City Books, Tulsa

Emeka speaks at a United Way Campaign kickoff luncheon

Emeka speaks to a high school audience.

Emeka with Able Athletes team

A Tulsa Street School class enjoys a session with Emeka

Emeka takes his motivational message to students in Bixby

Emeka took up painting as part of his therapy. It turns out that he has a talent for it.

Thanks to Magic City Books for providing the Algonquin Room where this episode of The Spirit of Leading was recorded.

060: The truth of horizons and heavens

060: The truth of horizons and heavens

060: The truth of horizons and heavens

Relative truth is what we experience as truth as we observe it. Each of us has a vantage point (perspective). Imagine standing still near a railroad track. A speeding train approaches and starts to sound its horn. At first, the pitch of the horn is low, and it gets higher, and louder, as the train approaches then lower as it passes. Is there something in the horn that causes it to change pitch? No. The horn blows at a consistent frequency, say 100 Hz. The only time you hear the most exact pitch is when the train passes you. The farther the train horn is from you the lower it sounds because the distance between the sounds waves gets closer together as the horn approaches and farther apart as the train moves past. You might know this as the Doppler effect.

In this episode of the Spirit of Leading, I discuss truth in relation to the vantage point of the individual observer in relation to the larger truth, its context. It reminds us that any truth we experience must be considered in its large context, and they must support each other. Think of applications of this principle as you listen.

059: Practical idealism: not a pie in the sky

059: Practical idealism: not a pie in the sky

059: Practical idealism: not a pie in the sky

Are idealists merely dreamers, hoping for pie in the sky? Do hardnosed pragmatists always have to win out with their winner-take-all attitude?

In this installment of The Spirit of Leading podcast I take the position that idealism has a very practical application. Idealism applies to all aspects of our life in which we have a vision of the perfect state. I also believe our idealism is an important element of our moral and ethical fabric.

Idealists populate every generation. Dreamers are never alone, but sometimes their dreams are scoffed at by those who have something to lose if those dreams come true. 

058: The language of leadership

058: The language of leadership

058: The language of leadership

Given the current political climate in the United States, political discourse, and the way politicians speak and act, has risen to the front of public consciousness. We seem to be at a loss of how to respond to this language of belittlement, alternate facts, and political visciousness. Are we to accept it as a new normal?

In this episode of The Spirit of Leading podcast I offer my take on the language of leadership—a way of speaking that addresses our better angels and invites us to elevate our discourse and reward those who do.

Watch the YouTube presentations of two past Presidents as they inspired and challenged us during their inaugral speeches.

057: Kara Byrd—Bringing Durant’s strategic vision to life

057: Kara Byrd—Bringing Durant’s strategic vision to life

057: Kara Byrd—Bringing Durant’s strategic vision to life

Kara Byrd, executive director of Imagine Durant, will be the first to tell you that the heart and soul of any community is its people, and the animating energy of any group is the vision it has for who they can become together.

Since January 2015, Kara has been the one and only paid staff of Imagine Durant, the community wide strategic vision process that emerged from an intensive community visioning effort.

In this episode of The Spirit of Leading podcast, Kara explains that the Durant’s strategic vision is centered around three themes: a healthy and connected culture, a vibrant and thriving community, and a community where all citizens can learn. These themes speak to both the current community needs and the need to attract a quality workforce.

Kara was selected to the 2016 class of NextGen Under 30 Oklahoma and has been recognized by the Journal Record in its annual “40 Achievers Under 40” list.

Kara and Stephanie Gardner, Street Executive Director, celebrating mural sponsored by Choctaw Nation touting Durant as a Monarch butterfly migration city.

Grand opening day of Durant Farmers’ Market.

Kara presents to the Durant City Council

Kara interviewed for opening of new trail.

Imagine Durant’s strategic vision came as the result of many community discussions involving all elements of the city.