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

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.

056: A nation of laws—is it enough?

056: A nation of laws—is it enough?

We pride ourselves in the United States as being a nation of laws. We are not an authoritarian state run by a strong man or a dictator. We do not settle our differences at the end of our fists or by shooting it out in the streets between waring factions. We do not subscrtibe to vigilante justice.

Yet, we have movements for social justice, criminal justice, racial equality, economic equality, business accountability to do the right thing.

In this episode of The Spirit of Leading podcast, I explore the notion that being a nation of laws might not be aspirational enough.

055: Jose Vega-overcoming prejuidice with kindness

055: Jose Vega-overcoming prejuidice with kindness

Jose Vega is the youngest Program Director for Oklahomans for Equality and the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center in Tulsa, OK. After coming out as a teenager, Jose was rejected by his parents and survived by the kindness of friends who sheltered him while he completed high school and went on to college. 

In this episode of The Spirit of Leading podcast, Jose tells his story of the difficulties of living as a gay man and the son of undocumented immigrants, although a natural born U.S. citizen himself. Jose was the victim of a hate crime in 2016. 

Jose is a leader in advocating for social justice and equality. He seeks to amplify the voices of marginalized communities by using his own platform as a community leader. Jose was recognized in the 2016 NextGen Under 30 class, and received the Tulsa Young Professionals Boomtown Inclusive Leader award in 2017.

Related links

Oklahomans for Equality

Section of E. 4th Street renamed Pride Street. See Tulsa World article.

Grit and Hard Work Prevail. See Business Equity Netork article about Jose.

Jose recognized in the 2016 class of NextGen Under 30 Oklahoma.

Jose (second from right) celebrates the renaming and dedication of E 4th Street in front of the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center as Pride Street. Mayor G.T. Bynum cuts the ribbon while OkEq executive director Toby Jenkins looks on.

Jose joins SOL host Garland McWatters to record at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center.

054: Nehemiah Frank and the Black Wall Street Times

054: Nehemiah Frank and the Black Wall Street Times

Nehemiah Frank left Tulsa as a child, became an elite gymnast, struggled to graduate from high school, blossomed in college, and returned to Tulsa as a young man to become a new voice for equity in education and social justice reform.

Nehemiah established a blog in February 2017 to express his observations about educational inequality and social justice reform. Little did he know that The Black Wall Street Times would get national and international attention and put him center stage in his efforts to educate the public about these important issues.

In this episode of The Spirit of Leading Podcast, I talk to Nehemiah about his journey, how it has helped him to evolve as a public advocate, and the impact he hopes to have in improving education for all citizens, and especially the under privileged.

My thanks to Joel Wade and Blue House Media for hosting the recording of The Spirit of Leading podcast. Blue House Media is a video, audio, and web development media company and recording studio. www.bluehousemedia.tv