039: Jim Cowan building the Bricktown Brewery in OKC [Podcast]

039: Jim Cowan building the Bricktown Brewery in OKC [Podcast]

Opening and growing the Bricktown Brewery from Jim Cowan, first manager

 

The Brickgown Brewery was the first brew pub in Oklahoma since statehood. Jim Cowan was the young manager who opened it, ran it, and eventually owned it. On this episode of The Spirit of Leading, we hear first hand about those days and what it took to get a new restaurant concept to take hold in an emerging entertainment district that was still in its infancy.

Jim worked shoulder to shoulder with the legends of Bricktown and the city and business leaders who envisioned and championed a bold new venture that has made Oklahoma City one of the cities to watch.  What Jim and early investors in Bricktown built has paved the way for the next wave of investment and creative energy.

038: Andrew Spector and Jake Lerner Tulsa Changemakers [Podcast]

038: Andrew Spector and Jake Lerner Tulsa Changemakers [Podcast]

Andrew Spector and Jake Lerner wanted to make differnce in education. Neither went to college to become teachers. Both are. They signed up with Teach for America, a program to recruit high-performing college graduates to teach in rural and urban communities in dire need of teachers.

They received their assignments to move from the northeast to Tulsa, Oklahoma. They soon realized they were in the presence of exceptional young students who just needed a little extra in order to excel. In this episode of The Spirit of Leading we hear their story of how they launched a wild idea to develop middle school and high school students into changemakers who could identify and help solve problems in their schools and communities.

 

Related links

Tulsa Changemakers

Teach for America history

36 degrees N Tulsa’s Basecamp for Entrepreneurs

Leaders lead from a larger context

Leaders lead from a larger context

The why is every bit as important as the what. Maybe more so. Leaders are able to make sense of facts in the larger context in which the facts exist. If they fail to do this, they fail to lead.

Earth from space

My little corner of the world is not the whole world. Although my life is 100-percent of my experience, my life is not the only life, no matter how much I feel like it is.

The way I see events is not the only way to view them. My perspective is not the whole picture. If I’m ever to see the bigger picture I must see it from other points of view. I cannot grasp the entirety of the world from my favorite easy-chair, or in the echo chamber of my closest friends.

To ask a leader to solve my problems without regard for the impact that solution will have on others is folly and myopic, not to mention egocentric. But that’s what we seem to want. Fix my problems for me, and screw the rest of you.

Politics has come down to fragmenting the system into ideological niches from which politicians accumulate enough shards to win an election. Screw the rest of you. That’s not leading. This madness must stop now.

There is a larger why in which my what lives.

I have learned that to find my life, I must lose my life for the sake of something larger than myself.

While I am a teeny-tiny part of a larger whole, what I do affects the whole. I act, and I affect those whom I touch directly, who in turn react to my actions and touch others, who do the same, and so forth.

I ripple.

Leaders see the larger whole and take action that considers both my individual situation and the health of the whole system. Without the system, we all suffer, or even perish.

When I understand this relationship of my corner of the world to the whole world, I can act more rationally and compassionately. I can look around in my immediate vicinity and ask, “What can I do to make things better for myself and others?”

After all, I ripple.

When I take the responsibility to do my part every day
to lose myself in the larger community
I find myself more
Garland McWatters, leadership development, leadership training, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Oklahoma

 

 

028: Tom McDaniel–an urban transformation [Podcast]

The Spirit of Leading podcast, Leadership podcasting, Garland McWatters Tulsa OK, podcasting, author

Tom McDaniel, Oklahoma City MAPS 3, American Fidelity Foundation

Tom McDaniel, President, American Fidelity Foundation

Tom McDaniel chairs the citizens advisory board for the Oklahoma City MAPs-3 initiative (Metropolitan Area Projects). The MAPs project has revitalized an urban center from the verge of blight in the 1980s to a teeming destination location with sports venues, convention space, improvements to public schools, and other major infrastructure improvements.

A vibrant downtown area is emerging with retail, hospitality, entertainment, sports, and residential space. Oklahoma City is quickly becoming one of the nation’s most attractive cities for Millennials and young professionals.

Follow the podcast using the pdf listening guide. Click the listening guide icon below.

In this episode of The Spirit of Leading, Tom discusses the transformational impact the project’s three iterations. Tom also discusses his approach to leading the citizens advisory board and the value of citizen involvement and collaboration with the elected city officials and other interest groups in the community.

Related links

Tom McDaniel (3rd from left) joins OKC Mayor Mick Cornett (center) and other civic leaders in a MAPs 3 groundbreaking ceremony.

Tom McDaniel (3rd from left) joins OKC Mayor Mick Cornett (center) and other civic leaders in a MAPs 3 groundbreaking ceremony.

The Oklahoma City MAPS-3 project

Background of the OKC MAPs project

American Fidelity Foundation

OK Cleats4 Kids Foundation, founded by Tom’s son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Stacy McDaniel

Spirit of Leading podcast, follow along note pages, Garland McWatters

Click to get pdf file

026: Ken Parker–Changing the world through education [Podcast]

The Spirit of Leading podcast, Leadership podcasting, Garland McWatters Tulsa OK, podcasting, author

 

Before listening, get your Listening Guide. Click the listening guide logo below.
Ken Parker, educational software developer, transformational leadership, NextThought Norman OK, Spirit of Leading Podcast

Ken Parker
CEO, NextThought

Ken Parker, CEO of NextThought, will tell you the mission of his company is to, “Change the world. Have fun. Make money.”

On this episode of The Spirit of Leading I talk with Ken about his transformational journey in educational software design. Ken laments that each wave of technological advancement has promised to reinvent how we educate, yet we’ve only seen those promises, “dashed on the rocks of reality.”

Ken believes he has identified the missing ingredient, and it’s implicit within the premise of the world wide web and available to us through the technology of the internet.

Furthermore, Ken discusses what he learned about running a company from his experience in aerospace engineering and on Wall Street.

Spirit of Leading podcast, follow along note pages, Garland McWatters

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Get the most out of listing. Follow along with the listening guide for this podcast. Click the logo.

Related links

Ken Parker, educational software developer, Spirit of Leading Podcast, Norman OK, NextThought

Ken Parker works at his standup desk at NextThought

The University of Oklahoma uses NextThought software to make many of its classes available online through Janux. See here. Go to the OU Janux home page.

Learn more about NextThought.

Watch Ken’s TEDxOU presentation.

 

025: Mike Knopp-Leading a transformational idea [Podcast]

The Spirit of Leading podcast, Leadership podcasting, Garland McWatters Tulsa OK, podcasting, author

 

Mike Knopp, OKC Boathouse Foundation, transformational ideas, Spirit of Leading podcast

Mike Knopp
Executive Director Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation

Nothing breeds success like success, and the transformational impact of multiple success stories can have a major impact on the psyche of an organization, a city, and a state.

That’s part of the impact that Mike Knopp’s crazy idea of making a dry North Canadian River riverbed into a successful rowing venue has had on Oklahoma City and the state.

In this episode of The Spirit of Leading, I talk to Mike about the origin of his idea and what he experienced bringing it to life.

Follow the podcast using the pdf listening guide. Download now by clicking the listening guide icon below.

Mike talks about the value of persistence, the time and patience it takes for an idea to take root and grow, and the importance of telling the vision story so others can see it and make it their own vision as well.

Mike started out on a law career. His passion for rowing resulted in him and his wife volunteering in rowing programs on Lake Overholser in Bethany, OK.

Mike Knopp, transformational ideas, OKC Boathouse Foundation, Spirit of Leading podcast

Mike Knopp as rowing coach for Oklahoma City University

Mike is now the Executive Director of the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation, and is a guiding influence on the continued development of the Boathouse District on what is now known as the Oklahoma River.

 

Spirit of Leading podcast, follow along note pages, Garland McWatters

Click to get pdf file

Related links:

The Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation

The history of rowing in Oklahoma

 

Have we wandered off the wrong path?

Her name is Rita. The voice in my head. She is the voice of my GPS that I can’t get rid of.

GPS, destinations, directions, goals

Rita’s job, when I’m traveling in unfamiliar territory, is to keep her eyes on the map and tell me when to turn so I can keep my eyes on the actual road and drive the car. We make a great team.

There is a fundamental difference in the statements, “I think we are going in the wrong direction,” and “I think we are going to the wrong destination.” The INPowered understand that difference and how to use both the questions effectively.

Have we lost our way?

I think we are going in the wrong direction, indicates we are certain about our destination but have wandered away from the path to it. These distractions lure us and the detours force us away from the things we need to do to get to our goal.

This perspective matters when we are asking the question, “what must we DO to get what we want?” If we are doing the wrong things, we probably won’t get where we intend. Or, we’ll waste a lot of time and resources getting there.

Are we clear about our destination?

I think we are going to the wrong destination, says that the goal is the wrong goal. We can be firmly on the path to a goal, but when we get there, it won’t be the right place.

This perspective is about the clarity of the goal itself. It’s the answer to the question, “What do we want?” Instead of driving around hoping the destination will reveal itself, we know exactly where we are going before leaving the house.

The voice in my head

When I’m working, it’s my job to program in the destination–the exact place I want to end up. I call on the Rita in my head to help me map out the path and stay on it.

Sometimes, I realize the destination I had programmed in is the wrong destination. When that happens, Rita is not helpful until I reprogram the destination.

It’s not good enough just to realize I’m headed to the wrong destination. The sooner I abandon the wrong destination and reprogram the right one, the more effective and efficient I can be.

We must be diligent to ask the one right question: where exactly do we want to go?

I believe in the serendipity of the journey. I believe the journey is part of our growth and adventure.

I also know the aimless wanderer risks a life of almost, but not quite, fulfillment and happiness. They are left trying to reconstruct meaningfulness in retrospect. Been there, done that. But it’s never too late to reprogram the destination.

I’ve learned from my travels to get and keep the destination clear.
And, if and when you realize the destination is not the right one,
reprogram and redirect without hesitation or regret.
Learn this difference, and you will be
Garland McWatters, leadership development, leadership training, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Oklahoma