March 28, 2018
Educational institutions, news and social media provide us with many different voices, opinions and perspectives. Who do we believe? Increasingly in Western culture, many believe that morals, spirituality and truth are all relative; that there are no absolute truths. Truth is being sacrificed on the altar of preferences. This tendency can cause confusion in interactions. In contrast people who express certainty about what they believe are frequently seen as bigoted, arrogant and intolerant.
Have we embraced a culture of confusion? What are the consequences of such a perspective? Mr. Murray presents reasoning from a Christian perspective for the foundations of truth with applications for professional and personal life to an audience of diplomats, parliamentarians and business leaders at a plated networking luncheon entitled Clarity in a Confused World.
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?
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.”
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.
Alina Bugar, founder of the Art of Protocol, writes an article on the “Science and Art of Diplomatic Protocol”, highlighting the complexity and delicacy of diplomatic protocol in creating effective relations between governments and nations.
Freedom of conscience underpins many of the other human rights that we all enjoy. This is why the right to express your belief is enshrined in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, this freedom is being marginalised.
The Global Charter of Conscience will bring religious tolerance back to the centre of public debate, and it will help future generations engage freely in the public life of their nation.
The Charter has been drafted by people of many faiths and none, politicians of many persuasions, academics and NGOs, all committed to a partnership on behalf of “freedom of thought, conscience and religion” for people of all faiths and none.
The Charter calls for the cultivation of civility and the construction of a civil public square that maximises freedom for everyone. It provides a vision and framework to help us discuss and resolve our present problems in a constructive, rights-honouring manner.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.
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)
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.
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
– 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.