040: Wayne Greene-Tulsa World editorial page editor on FAKE NEWS, facts, and opinions

040: Wayne Greene-Tulsa World editorial page editor on FAKE NEWS, facts, and opinions

Fake news, facts, and opinions

by Garland McWatters, host | The Spirit of Leading Podcast

Wayne Greene is the editorial page editor at the Tulsa World. He clams that the journalistic integrity of the paper is it’s most treasured asset. In this day, when the mainstream media is being attached as FAKE NEWS, it’s imperative that readers and citizens have confidence that their main sources for news are holding themselves to the highest journalistic standards of ethics.

In this episode of The Spirit of Leading Greene recounts his early days as a beat reporter and a city editor to explain the boundaries between reporting and editorializing and how the legitimate press draws distinctions between the two. He takes us into the operational structure of the daily newspaper to help us understand what becomes the news and how newspapers are using today’s social media and internet tools to broaden and deepen their coverage.


Related links

The Tulsa World

American Society of News Editors statement of principles

Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics

History of the Tulsa World

Liberate yourself

Sorry to lay this on you, but most of us live in some form of self-slavery.

We are slaves to our work. Slaves to our hobbies. Slaves to our passions. And for sure, slaves to our habits. Anything that compels us to act in a certain way, even when we know it’s not good for us, is our master, and we are its slave.

I’m not talking about the kind of slavery that physically subjugates people, such as the sex trade, or any indentured enterprise that keeps others subservient either physically or financially.

I’m talking about the kind of self-slavery that we give in to and that we could free ourselves from if we exercised some self-discipline to change our behavior.

Saying, “I don’t have a choice,” is pure-dee B.S. 90+% of the time. I’m leaving a little wiggle room here. I personally cannot think of a situation in my entire life when I did something contrary to my best interest that I did not have a choice to do otherwise.

Rule #1 of INPowerment. I always have a choice.

You might not like the consequences of it, but you usually always have one. It just takes the discipline to make it.

My destiny

is the the sum total of all the choices I made throughout my life that has brought me to this place and time. Fortunately, I’ve made some good choices. And I’ve also made some doozies that, for the grace of God and the kindness and compassion of friends and strangers, worked out better for me than, by all rights, they should have.

My point.

The self-discipline of making better choices might have meant that I would have avoided some of the pain and heartache I both suffered and inflicted.


is just the inner strength to show up and do the right thing, even when you don’t want to or don’t feel like it.

Your choice.
Learn the freedom that
comes from self-discipline
and choose to
Garland McWatters blog website

Love rules: the message of Jesus

Love rules: the message of Jesus

Christmas has come to be a season of happiness, kindness, and love in celebration of the birth of Jesus. Regardless of your faith, love is a common element in all the major religions.


Love the ultimate motive for Jesus

When Jesus was asked by religious leaders what he considered to be the greatest commandment, he replied without hesitation, to love (Matt. 22:37-40). The single thread of Jesus’ entire campaign was God’s love (John 3:16).

So, as we celebrate Christmas in honor of Jesus’ life, perhaps we should renew our commitment to love one another in God’s way: universally, inclusively, selflessly.

Love is the evidence of God in us, because, as the apostle John, wrote, “God is love,” (1 John 4:8). And as the apostle Paul reminded us, it is this God, “In whom we live, and move, and have our very being,” (Acts 17:25)

Jesus said he wanted us to see God in him, the way he lived and in what he taught.

How love shows itself

If we say we are a Christian nation, then the ways we act toward each other, the laws we pass to define our nation should reflect the spirit of Jesus’ message and example:

  • Judge not, and forgive freely,
  • Lift each other up,
  • Share your wealth liberally,
  • Seek out those who need help the most and offer some measure of comfort and hope,
  • Stand up to the abuses of power, wealth, and entitlement, no matter what they say about you or do to you,
  •  Institutions of government, business, and religion are to serve mankind; not the other way around,
  • Lead through service to all, and expose the self-serving, the self-important, and the self-righteous as non-loving.

When we live the kind of love that Jesus showed every day, we will walk in the light, and we will live in spirit and truth.

And along the way, we will understand what it means to be
Garland McWatters, leadership development, leadership training, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Oklahoma

How a white lie becomes an ugly truth

How a white lie becomes an ugly truth

blame, placing blame, accountability, truth,We tell a white lie to be kind or tactful, and because we are concerned that even a hint of the truth would lead to hurt feelings, or worse yet–retribution.

The dark side of the white lie is our need for self-deception in the first place. The matter we need to deal with is not the white lie, but the reason it must be told–the truth is inconvenient.

The paradox of the white lie

I can only speak for myself, but I know that I make my excuses to make me feel better about my lapses in accountability. I rationalize. I tell myself the diplomatic untruth about the poor choices I make and their consequences.

I lie to myself, but it’s well intentioned.

Until . . .

The ugly truth is unavoidable. It’s crisis time. What began as a way to feel good about my choices makes me feel like a failure. I decide the best way out is to take rationalizing to a deeper level.

Self-deception is living a bold-faced LIE

When my rationalization deflects the accountability from myself to the point that I comfortably believe my own lies, I have crossed over into the dark world of self-deception where I can now lie to myself with a clear conscience.

I can lie to myself about why my poor health, my bad moods, my lackluster job performance, my failing relationships. I blame others, the economy, my upbringing, my stupid boss, the government, or lousy luck–anything and everyone but myself.

The truth is liberating

There is another way out.

I can get real about my situation and start telling myself the truth–ugly at first, but my best hope to reclaim my self-respect and dignity.

Accountability for my choices is the one clear way to make things better for myself–to act INPowered. When I own my circumstances and resolve to make good choices, no matter how difficult they might be, I can live the truth.

The goal is to be in a place where no one feels like they have to tell me the white lies they think I need to hear to protect my feelings.

The goal is to be
Garland McWatters, leadership development, leadership training, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Accountability is keeping promises

Accountability is keeping promises

Accountability is a 100-percent situation: either I did, or I did not. As the Star Wars character Yoda, said, “Do or do not. There is no try.”

Blond in thought cropped

Willingness is at the core of accountability.

I must be willing to do what it takes to get what I want. Otherwise I cannot hope to succeed.  If I have all the resources and support I need, but lack the desire, I will come up short.

I will settle for something less than intended. The danger with that is that I will convince myself that close enough is the same as fully successful. Little by little, I delude myself into believing that I am doing my best when I am far from it.

How bad do you want it?

There is no aspect of my life that is not affected by this: work, finances, health, relationships, you name it.

Accountability is keeping the promises made to yourself.

Any promise I have made to someone else I also made to  myself. I am committed to stepping up no matter what. When I don’t, I take the hit.

So I have to ask myself, “How badly to I want to be healthy? How badly do I want to grow my business? How badly do I want my marriage to be amazing? How badly do I want the respect of my friends and peers? How badly am I willing to do what it takes to make all that happen?”

There is no one else to do my part of the heavy lifting. Others might help out at times, but there is no walking away from the task until it is accomplished.

Be excellent to yourself

I deserve excellence. Don’t you? One of my tenets for living the INPowered life is to be excellent to myself. I am accountable for doing just that.

There is leverage and freedom in being accountable. Click here to see what I mean.

I am still learning how to use accountability to make my life better–to be more INPowered. I have renewed my promise to eat excellent food, and by that I mean more healthful food. No more junk food or comfort food as my main course. I also have renewed my promise to walk at least 12 miles a week. I deserve good health, and I alone am accountable for my wellness.

I urge you to accept my accountability challenge and live the excellent life you deserve.

I know that when I am more accountable, I am more
Garland McWatters, leadership development, leadership training, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Reckless partisanship is playing with fire

Partisanship is like handling fire. It can provide illumination or destruction depending on how it is managed. Right now, in America, it’s blazing out of control and threatening to consume our democracy.

partisanship, political debate and discord, Garland McWatters quote

But there is an escape

A fire needs three ingredients: fuel, oxygen, and heat. Eliminate any one of these, and the fire goes out. We control fires by regulating the balance of these three ingredients.

A partisan takes a side. Nothing inherently wrong with that. We need people to represent different points of view to help us balance our own thinking and to help us find solutions to difficult problems. That’s illuminating.

When out of control, the heat of passion ignites the fuel of content (words and positions) in an oxygen rich environment of “us versus them– If you aren’t with us, you’re against us–winning is all that matters.” That’s destructive.

A leader is a firefighter

Such a leader can manage the fire, but not if they are adding to the fuel or fanning the flames.

Unfortunately, our political discourse right now is fueled by the rhetoric of extremism couched in half-truths and outright lies, fueled by the passion of contempt and hatred toward the opposition, in an environment where partisans are lined up shouting, “Burn, baby, burn,” at each other.

It’s time to isolate the political pyromaniacs and deprive them of the heat and oxygen they need to destroy everything in their path.

We need INPowering leaders who can cool the passions, moderate the message from inflammatory diatribes to reasoned discourse, and regulate the environment by creating breathing space for conversation and dialogue instead of screaming across partisan divides.

These partisan movements run on the fuel of “B.S.” We must hold all sides, even our own, accountable for the truth in context of their message. If you must lie and twist the facts to make your point, then you don’t have a point.

We must dig a fire line around our passions so they don’t race out of control, igniting what would otherwise not be in jeopardy.

We must create an environment where opposing points of view can be discussed with cool heads and compassionate hearts.

True leadership rises above partisanship. It illuminates.

Be that kind of leader, if you desire to be
Garland McWatters, leadership development, leadership training, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Oklahoma

What’s love got to do with leading?

What’s love got to do with leading?

Love is not usually associated with strong leaders. We go for tough guys, and sometimes women, who cut a swath with their swagger and bravado. They have an edge that keeps others at arms length. When they make things happen, we tolerate their brashness.

Love, leadership trait, Garland McWatters quote

But there’s something to be said for the strength and power of love when leaders are INPowered by it and act on it. Love is an X-factor, an intangible force.

Love never breaks its surefooted stride. Swagger can trip under pressure.

Love is other oriented. Bravado is self-centered.

Love is willing to sacrifice self. The brash will throw others under bus before they themselves take a hit.

Love walks with and embraces those who have been elbowed into the shadows. Swagger relishes standing alone in the spotlight.

Love quietly shows itself in compassion and inclusiveness. Bravado talks a good game, but is short on follow through.

Love absorbs derision and insults. Brashness doles them out without apology.

In the end, love makes leaders the real tough guys and women. Love never fails.

Lead from love,
and you will be
Garland McWatters, leadership development, leadership training, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Do you really believe good wins over evil?

I just finished watching Star Wars episodes 4, 5, and 6 again. I had forgotten how strong the message was of how good triumphs over evil. Or, in the case of Star Wars, how the forces of light overcome the forces of darkness.

Star Wars, good versus evil, leadership traits, character, belief in good, Garland McWatters

To me, this holiday season is about light coming into our world to illuminate and encourage us to elevate our expectations of living. This message applies to people of all faiths.

Just as Luke Skywalker believed that a core goodness remained in Darth Vader, I believe in the core goodness of every human. Sadly, some get pulled toward the dark side, lured by their misguided self-serving emotions and ambitions.

The Bible names some of these dark side behaviors: hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy (Galatians 5:20-21). We see these rampant in the world. Men using their religious and political ideologies as rallying points to gloss over the real darkness in their hearts.

Then, the Bible lists some of the behaviors of light: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). The INLightened and INPowered lead their families, workplaces, and communities based on this spirit of light.

As you consider your leadership place in your family, your workplace, and your community, I encourage you to walk in the light, which means living above the darkness of your selfish ambitions and immediate desires.

INCourage the spirit,
INLiven the heart,
INLighten the mind, and
INLarge the expectations of living in yourself and in others.

And you will be
Garland McWatters, leadership development, leadership training, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Oklahoma