Responding to Ferguson

How will your organization respond to Ferguson?

That depends on the vision and mission of your organization. If your organization exists merely to make profits for the shareholders, Ferguson might be at most a speed bump in your drive to achieve your goal.

If, however, your organization has the goal of creating a better, healthier society while making profits, Ferguson can be an opportunity to create dialogue, asking how people of different backgrounds and cultures can form relationships based on mutual respect and trust. In the final analysis, most humans are inherently similar – we want to be treated with love and respect, we want the opportunity to do something worthwhile, and we want our children and their children to have rich, full lives. You can use these universal goals as the foundation for creating meaningful dialogue, inviting people to work together to achieve them.

If you do this, your organization can be a source of healing, of hope, in an increasingly divisive and divided society. Doing this will directly impact all your people, both white and non-white. Your efforts will also inevitably reach beyond your organization. They will also impact your customers, your suppliers, and the communities within which you operate. You will be taking one seemingly small step toward healing the chasm between whites and minorities. But even though your efforts might seem insignificant, they will be joined by countless other acts of kindness that will indeed create the world we wish to see. As Mother Teresa reminds us, “We cannot do great things, only small things with great love.”

Gary Langenwalter

Dance Like No One’s Watching!

For much of my life I’ve been a hard worker, focused on being the bread winner for my family, attempting to align my skills & competencies with the role & the organization. But much of that time I was complying with the organizational needs of who I they wanted me to be…but not who “I” really wanted to be! Welcome to gerbil wheel….the corporate henchman stated. This will be your destiny until death do us part. Reluctantly, climbing onto the wheel I complied. Running, running, running. Getting tired. Sleeping & getting up to do it again & again. Earning the almighty paycheck. Consistently providing for my family. But at what cost? Almost sucking my SOUL dry. Of not honoring all my gifts & talent. But every once in a while….I got off that damn gerbil wheel…did what my heart desired!

I danced like no one was watching. I sat in drumming circles. I became a Corporate Shaman…that’s pretty woo-woo isn’t it? But who cares. I had deep spiritual dialogue with people….contemplating the meaning of life. I had to stop pleasing others and please MYSELF! I acted like a silly, uninhibited 3 year old child. I was goofy. I played. I laughed, I cried. I discovered others’ like me who were truly authentic. Who shared their true selves with me and I with them. I found that freedom simply delightful. I found myself. Ahhhhhhh…..now I can relax.

Now, that I’m of retirement age and practicing retirement, I am just beginning to embrace those child-like tendencies once again. I have climbed off of that gerbil wheel. Aligning with what gives me happiness & joy! I am getting to do more training & development which was always my passion. Facilitation. Coaching. All helping people be happier and more successful! That’s my purpose on this planet. I’m choosing the projects I now work on….with no more forced compliance….and corporate obligation. It’s my choice. I think I’ll say that again….it is MY choice! I am now aligning with my passion and competencies, my gifts and talents. I’m now in the FLOW…where I am attracting opportunities. They’re magically coming to me and I’m not desperately seeking them out. The more I do so…the more the opportunities come out of the woodwork. I’m really starting to like this new paradigm!

Dancing Like No One’s Watching,


How To Build a Culture of Purpose

How To Build a Culture of Purpose:

What Erika does is very simple. She asks people if they had a good day. If they say yes, she ask them to identify the moment that made it good. She is basically asking them to name the purpose moment they experienced that made their day positive. That was the first step.



Stop following someone else’s plans and start training dreams.

Stop listening to what other people tell you and just follow your dreams.

Stop going through the motions and work through your dream.

Stop trying to be perfect and stumble your way deliberately through your dreams.

Stop starting and stopping and starting and just keep moving towards your dream.

Stop comparing yourself to everyone else around you and just follow your dream.

Stop believing that someone else’s formula can replace hard work and relentlessly follow your dream.

Stop avoiding what needs to be done and live your dream. Not someone else’s.

Stop learning what you need to do and start doing what you need to do. Follow your dreams.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of going through someone else’s motions — doing what everyone else tells you you should be doing in order to be successful.

You’re told that you need to have a strong social presence. That you need to build a following. That you need to write a book so that “people take you will take you seriously”.

You’re told so many things by so many people that it’s easy to get whiplash — flailing from tactic to tactic, hoping that this time for one bit of effort you might actually end up achieve success.

But that’s not how success works. Never has been. Never will be.

And unless you’re one of the lucky few who happen to get lucky doing one thing, one time, someone else’s get-rich-quick tactics (or doing whatever one else tells you you should be doing) aren’t the answer to achieving breakthrough. Dreaming is. Dreaming big dreams.

Not sleeping. Not thinking. Not procrastinating. Dreaming is different than that. Dreaming is all consuming. All empowering. It consumes every fiber of your being. Your dream is what gets you up in the morning. It’s your reason for existence. It’s your light when the day is dark. Your sunshine when the days is cloudy.

You can’t copy someone else’s dream. You have to have your own. And, while it’s easy to follow the tactics of someone else who happened to be successful using those tactics, don’t be fooled for a moment that any tactic is a replacement for audacious dreams.

Dream big. Live big. Fight big. Believe big.

From Edgy Conversations 3/18/14 by Dan Waldschmidt

Secret of Employee Engagement

Many organizations are trying to improve employee engagement. Unfortunately, almost all of them are starting with an invalid assumption. They try to engage employees through a variety of methods, but their underlying assumption is that employees should be passionate about helping the organization achieve its goals. Period. As if achieving the organization’s goals is actually the primary passion of each employee. If they were to try to sell their products and services to the customers using the same mentality, they would fail.

What actually works is this: have a representative group of people from all levels and functions of the organization jointly create a culture that values the employees’ passion and purpose as well as the organization’s mission and goals. To be really radical, the organization could be open to revising its vision and mission to integrate the passion and purpose of its employees into its products and services. Such an organization does not have to worry about “motivating” its employees, or “engaging” its employees. They will be fully engaged and powerfully motivated, because the organization reflects their own personal values.

What’s going on in your organization that’s causing engagement?  What’s going on that causes disengagement?  I’d love to hear from you.

Gary Langenwalter, Managing Partner

Portland Consulting Group