“Leading Change” with Don Van Meer

“Leading Change” with Don Van Meer

February 28, 2018

Change is inevitable. In fact, what we have in common is that we are all grappling with change in our lives. Change is the one constant. It’s the one reality.

Jack Welch says, “Anytime there is change, there is an opportunity. So it is paramount that an organization get energized rather than paralyzed.”

According to Don Van Meer, the greatest single point of failure in driving through change is when leadership doesn’t capture the hearts and minds of the entire organization. In other words, change is just not about leaders taking people through something. Change is about engaging people in the process of change. Having them be part of the decision making. Having them understand where you are going as an organization. Having them buy into the process, even when they don’t understand all of it.

When people are engaged, people “Get it, feel it, and want it.” 

How does a leader keep a team engaged in the face of major changes? What equipped Don to lead change?

34th Christmas Dinner: Counter-intuitive Leadership

34th Christmas Dinner: Counter-intuitive Leadership

November 27, 2017

The annual Christmas Dinner is the highlight of the Christian Embassy’s year. This year we welcomed 186 diplomats, parliamentarians and business leaders, representing 56 nations.

The festive evening allows busy leaders and their spouses to relax, network and enjoy special music and meaningful reminders of the season. Diplomats appreciate what is often a first opportunity to experience Canadian Christmas traditions.

Leaders from various backgrounds participated in readings, reflections and seasonal music. Richard Magnussen, Chairman of the American Furniture Association, gave the keynote address entitled Counter-intuitive Leadership.  

Richard shared his thoughts on the key virtue required of a successful leader, one that is a core characteristic of God and interwoven throughout the Christmas story: humility. He gave a number of examples of how he has grown in humility.

Richard concluded by stating, “I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I have learned so many lessons through my simple faith in the humble Jesus of the Christmas story.”

“Leading With Courage” with The Rt Hon. The Baroness Cox

“Leading With Courage” with The Rt Hon. The Baroness Cox

September 25, 2017

Leaders were riveted as they heard the The Right Honorable Baroness Cox recount several stories about her life’s work at a Christian Embassy roundtable luncheon on September 25, 2017. As the founder Trustee of MERLIN (Medical Emergency Relief International), and the founder and President of HART (Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust), she has visited many remote areas of the world.

Seeking to be a voice for the voiceless, she has found herself in situations where she has been afraid and dismayed, “[You] have to learn to cross that frontier of fear…and when you do cross that frontier of fear, you meet the most amazing people. You meet heros and heroines of faith. And we always come back humbled and inspired, receiving more than we could ever ever give.”

She took her listeners on a journey to three different conflict zones where she witnessed first hand the people affected by horrific tragedies carried out under the radar from most of the world. These tragedies included the destruction of churches and mass persecution of Christians. She has clearly been impacted by the powerful stories of suffering of brave men and women and emphasized that we live in countries where we have the freedom to stand up for those with no voice and that we must not take this valuable freedom for granted.

52nd National Prayer Breakfast: HE the Right Honourable David Johnston

52nd National Prayer Breakfast: HE the Right Honourable David Johnston

May 18, 2017

The National Prayer Breakfast is an annual event held in Ottawa under the authority of the speakers of the Senate and the House of Commons and is organized by a group of volunteers. This year’s breakfast features an address by Governor General David Johnston. The theme of this year’s event is “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea.” (Psalms 72:8)

“Debate without Hate” with Abdu Murray

“Debate without Hate” with Abdu Murray

May 16, 2017

Our world seems increasingly divided over politics, social issues, and religion. As emotions run high, people make hostile and insulting statements about “the other side.” In the process, much anger is generated with very little understanding. The issues are forgotten and people are devalued.

Is there a way out of this cycle of anger? Abdu Murray discusses how we can respectfully discuss our deepest differences by rediscovering the source of human dignity.

Leading the Leaders Seminar – Part 4: Conflict Management

Leading the Leaders Seminar – Part 4: Conflict Management

April 4, 2017

What are the most common sources of conflict? Mr. Bowater highlighted four main sources of conflict resulting from differences in:
– roles and responsibilities – especially when there is misunderstanding over a person’s level of authority.
– management styles – Producer, Administrator, Entrepreneur and Integrator
– interests
– values and beliefs

How does one go about managing these different sources of conflict? Mr. Bowater underlined the critical roles of mutual trust and respect within the organisation. Mutual trust and respect are fostered by staying engaged, dealing with the issue at hand, being willing to work with all in the room, owning the conflict, staying focused on solving the issue and respecting one another. Character plays a significant role in building a culture of mutual trust and respect, the ground rules for constructive conflict.

The employees must also develop a clear understanding of why the organisation exists in the first place. What is the service that the organisation offers to society? The answer to the why drives what the organisation does, how it does it, who within the organisation does it and when it gets done.