City Responds to Morden Pride Request

317GyBOBK0LKudos to Morden Mayor Brandon Burley, council and staff who responded positively to requests from the organizors of the upcoming 1st Morden Pride event on June 22.

In committee of the whole this morning (June 10) council agreed to the request to hold the Pride Rally starting at Morden Park and ending at the Access Event Centre, giving access to power at both locations and permission to raise the Pride Flag at the Access Event Centre.

When asked if he had any concerns regarding the event Morden Police Chief Brad Neduzak stated he had none and there were no plans to increase police presence, essentially treating the event as they would any other community event.

Council made a point to mention they were aware of a possible counter-protest being organized.

In explaining the city and council’s position the mayor read sections of the Human Rights Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“It is our obligation to act in the best interest of all in our community,” said Burley. “We treat this as we would any other gathering. We are not permitted to act in a discriminatory fashion simply because we may or may not agree with it.”

After acknowledging the city had received numerous requests to deny or block the event the mayor stated “we have the moral obligation to follow these acts,” in reference to the Human Rights act.

Further to this Deptuty Mayor Nancy Penner mentioned the city’s policy of supporting diversity and inclusion and she will bring greetings from the city as the mayor will not be available due to a pre-scheduled travel commitment.

None of these approvals required a motion from council.

Leadership and Relationship

“I can’t work with that person!”

“Why would you want anything to do with them?”

“There’s no way I am going to be involved in this project if they are part of the team.”

Etc, etc.

I’m sure at one point or another you have heard these statements/questions or variations on their theme.

People have a way of getting on people’s nerves and often it causes us to make business decisions based on personality.

One of the software companies I worked for once signed a deal with an American distributor for well over $100,000 (big for us). They were blunt with their assessment –

“It wasn’t that you had the best or most functional product,” they explained. “It was your people. You have amazing people.”

That is the kind of environment you want to foster because like it or not major, far-reaching decisions are often made on the basis of a personality.

Now here’s the thing. That may work out for you if you have amazing people but when you’re the one making the decision in the other direction why in the world would you limit yourself on the basis of someone else’s personality.

Repeat after me – “I do not have to like a person to work with them.”

Sure it makes life a LOT easier if you do but when you start making critical decisions on the basis of not wanting to work with so-and-so because they are a jerk, well, at the end of the day you are only hurting yourself and your organization.

Heck some of the best partnerships are made between people and organizations that despise each other. What do they have in common? Business acumen. They can look past personalities to the profit margins.

Hollywood is a great place to see this live and in action. Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis, Abbott and Costello, David Duchuvny and Gillian Anderson etc. None of them liked each other but they made it work for the bottom line. Professionals.

When a personality legitimately impacts the team then sure, you gather your evidence and make your case – but if it’s just two people who rub each other the wrong way, or even two businesses that cannot stand each other – do not let petty judgement and bickering get in the way of what makes sense.

Make it work.

Leadership: Waiting for Catastrophe

There are all kinds of leaders in the world. I say this in the sense that there are many different giftings that define different approaches to leadership – but leadership at its core remains the same.

As a reminder leadership is the art/ability/process by which individuals inspire others to pull in the same direction – that direction being the goal(s) set by the leader.

There is a lot of wiggle room in that definition that we do not need to go into now. Suffice to say leaders bring resources, human and otherwise, to bear on goals.

Now there is a myth that to maintain an organization is a good thing. It is the “nobody moves and nobody gets hurt style of leadership that sees people batten down the hatches and act simply to keep the ship reasonably level and afloat until port.

This is an easy myth to maintain because the masses are often deluded into thinking everything is running smoothly as long as everything is quiet – it is based on the other dangerous myth – no news is good news.

The reality of course is that organizations do not exist on a level plane but rather somewhere along a slope. Maintaining inveitably means going backwards and losing progress. To simply maintain, as a leader, is a bad thing.

A leader has goals to achieve and maintaing the status quo is not a goal – it is an anti-goal.

Such leaders hope things continue smoothly and that, should there be a catastrophe of some sort, they will be prepared for it as they have ensure well written emergency preparedness plans are in place and the policies are all in order.

To simply putter about in stasis waiting on a potential catastrophe is not leadership – it is pathetic and damaging to the organization. Entropy awaits such organizations.

Leadership is active. Leadership is momentum. Leadership moves forward.

Whether you lead a large organization or you lead a team of two take the reigns firmly and move forward or get out of the way and let someone else take over.

That Feeling of Inadequacy

I am a confident person.

It is not a mantra and it is not the statement of a person seeking to compensate for a deep-seated inner lack of confidence. It is a simple place I have arrived at after a great deal of work over the years.

It has been a journey. I was not born in confidence or circumstances that engender confidence. In many ways it has been a journey of over-coming that has led me to a place of self-satisfaction (not smug) and confidence.

Lately however, for many reasons, that sense of confidence threatens to be corroded. I feel small cracks forming in the mortor between my bricks, threatening the foundation of who I am.

Part of it comes from frustration. That sense of things that you know you can help with but are incapable of reaching because of an ever widening sea that stretches between you and the problems.

Another is an insidious feeling that things are being assumed about me and my abilities simply because I am older. Ugh. I hate the word. I am 51. My inner life, my thoughts and passions, do not feel any older than they did when I was 12, 20, 30 etc. save for increased knowledge and some small amount of wisdom and experience.

Still as a man who has spent his life as a communicator and marketer I know when the packaging is having a detrimental effect on the product. I can feel it in my bones.

I’m also a person of conviction. I speak out when I feel injustice or inequality. I voice my opinions. I work hard to ensure that my public face is the same as my private face.

I can be a loud mouth.

It’s the packaging or the personality. Maybe both. Likely both.

All of these things are conspiring against my being taken seriously lately. I do not feel old but I feel like others feel like I am becoming old. Does that make sense? It is incredibly frustrating to feel as if you are losing control of your own brand, as it were.

Obviously this is unacceptable. At least by me. I will always fight these things. I will fight the rust of a sedated life that is pushed aside. I will fight the pressure to be defined by a box. I will fight age. I will fight death. I will fight it all as best I can. It is all I know.

Still…this weathering has me feeling the penumbra of depression that seeks to slide across my mind like a dark eclipse blotting out the bright, good things. I can feel it and it makes me restless and uneasy.

I retreat into busyness without depth to avoid it. I hide in senselessness and numbness from a self-inflicted anaesthetic to protect myself. Not a great place.

Ultimately it is a need to be known, to be valued, that is likely at the root of these things. We will see where it all leads.

Leadership & Power

Contrary to popular opinion I do not think power corrupts. Rather, I think power shows you the true nature of most people, most leaders.

Power allows leaders the opportunity to exercise their inmost mores and ethos with little to no constraint. The more power, the more of the real person you see in a leader.

This is a frightening way to look at power but perhaps a more honest way. Leaders, like all people, have contraints placed upon them and these constraints are myriad – the public eye, the board of directors, fellow employees, partners, policies and procedures, market dynamics. the legal system, culture, etc.

All of these things serve to restrain leaders (and others) to operate within a certain, dependable framework.

The more power one builds however the more flexible these systems, walls and constraints become. This is fine for a leader such as Mahatma Ganghi or Martin Luther King Jr. They tend to use their power toward what we would define broadly as “the greater good” although even King had relational boundary issues that became evident with the authority that arose.

Put that power into the hands of a young artist named Adolph Hitler or a young  communist idealist named Josef Stalin and millions upon millions die.

Power does not corrupt – power unleashes what is within.

A wise leader recognizes their inner darkness and seeks boundaries in the form of close advisors and structures or policies that constrain them in certain ways leading to greater accountability.

As I have written before such constraints or boundaries do not limit but rather they unleash a creative spirit that would not otherwise rise up in an unfettered environment.