051: We the People [Podcast]

051: We the People [Podcast]

In this episode of the Spirit of Leading podcast, I comment on what I believe are the three most important words of the U.S. Constitution. They form the premise of why we have the constitution.

Our elected leaders, uniformed military, and naturalized citizens swear to defend the constitution. When we say the Pledge of Allegiance, we pledge allegiance “to the republic for which it stands.” The republic as defined and explained by the U.S. Constitution.

A constitution is the supreme law of the land. Yet according to research (see link below) a majority of Americans know little or nothing about how their government functions or any details about the articles and amendments of the U.S. Constitution. 

We talk about freedom and democracy and how much we “love” them. Then, when it comes to voting (actual participation in the democracy) we fail to show. American voters are more likely to vote in high profile presidential elections than in any other (about 60% in 2016). When it comes to local elections, participation drops to 20% or less (see article below).

America is great when individual citizens are informed and engaged. After all, we aspire to “liberty and justice for all.”


050: I’m a Progressacon

050: I’m a Progressacon

I am among the majority of Americans who are becoming increasingly more unsettled over the negative tone of political discourse. According to a Pew Research Center report (link below), 61% of Americans say respectful discourse is very important, but only 25% say the current discourse is appropriate.

We can do better if we want. In this episode of The Spirit of Leading podcast I declare myself, as a political independent, to also be, what I call, a PROGRESSACON. Listen to learn what that is and why I have coined the label and claim it for myself and others who believe as I do–that we must turn the corner on our incivility in political discourse. Garland McWatters, Spirit of Leading podcast, author, Tulsa leadership teacher

Related links

Article: Few Americans see national political debate as ‘respectful.’

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.