By Gail Gumminger

Deep conversations are the basis for meaningful relationships that propel us as a society. When we grow and develop together, anything is possible.

In March, in-person meetings and hallway conversations became a thing of the past. Leaders and organizations were trying to find new ways to stay connected to each other and their teams. I started to think about how to create deeper, dynamic conversations with these leaders during this time of uncertainty and constant change. We put together some important concepts for these organizations including people first, purpose, and innovation. Then, we added in powerful questions to provoke conversations about who these leaders wanted to be during a pandemic.

Organizations responded well to this process, so we kept going. We began introducing critical
concepts and suggesting self-awareness activities and reflection. Then, we encouraged everyone to have conversations. Like a ripple effect, the conversations started small with individuals sharing their insights and takeaways with another person. From there, these conversations moved to larger committees, teams, and C-suites. This extended network of conversations within these organizations began to sharpen their strategic direction and cultural norms.

Fast forward nine months and here we are, experiencing an unparalleled pandemic, economic crisis, exhausted school and healthcare resources and living the aftermath of a national election that has divided our country. I have re-read Abe Lincoln’s radical speech from 1858 where he said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” and I am reminded that healing begins with conversations about things that matter. When we come together in conversation we can restore and repair relationships to move us forward together.

Our Inspiring Leadership Conversations collection was created to support organizations and their leaders. Now, we realize how much bigger this is. These conversations are also so important for all of us to have with our families, friends, co-workers, and community members. Our conversations become a catalyst for sharing our collective personal experiences while supporting our human nature to stay connected with one another. Our hope is that the topics in this collection will lead you to conversations that widen your lens with additional perspective and propel your growth as an individual, leader, and/or leadership team and beyond.

Let us keep talking and listening to each other for a brighter tomorrow.

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Inspiring Leadership Conversations
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