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Issue #33: Gumption to Do What is Right? Civil Courage Step Right Up!

My mom is a bionic woman who seems to have to do things in twos: double knee surgery, double back sur

Transforming Talent Insights

May 12 · Issue #33 · View online
Feeding the Passion for Transformation: Be it Talent, Culture, Work or HR

My mom is a bionic woman who seems to have to do things in twos: double knee surgery, double back surgery, double mastectomy.
You see the general pattern?
To help mitigate the risk that her first hip surgery would bear repeating as with her other prior surgeries and, so that I could be there to help support her, my dad and sister, I went trucking back to Oregon to be her hip coach. (No, not “how to be hip” but for the actual joint… well, you know what I mean).
Through the process of dealing with the pre- and post-OP process, I actualized the importance of A) being a medical advocate for your loved ones and B) having heath care professionals, who have the civil courage to go against short-term cost-directives.
We will forever be grateful to a nurse, who took it upon herself to make sure that the right thing was done by my mother despite hurdles and cost-driven recommendations by her colleagues. She showed real gumption and personal wherewithal. She rocked the system until the system said “Yes, of course, that is the right thing to do and, as you decree it, so shall it be done.”
She inspired me to draw attention in this edition, on how important it is, in the days of process efficiency, short-term cost control, and layers of policies, that people know how, and that they can / should act according to the principles of:
“What is the right thing to do?”
Which is a powerful directive and enabler.
I saw the power of explicitly espousing courage to do the right thing at the workplace.
Some examples:
  • “Safety First” was driven when an operator stopped a Vice-President on the shop floor and reminded him that he needed PPE (personal protective equipment) to be in that production area.
  • A General Manager gathering resources to support the business for different BU’s to his businesses’ - at that time - financial detriment.
  • The President of the Business Unit changing the criteria of bonus KPI’s accordingly to recognize proactive, collaborative behavior.
  • A participant stopping a training to assure that the emotional well-being of colleague was dealt with in a constructive and empathic manner.
  • Offering talents a “boomerang option” to leave the organisation to continue on their path of growth but knowing if they wish to return, the promise to try and find a good fit for their return.
Those are just some examples - there are thousands more - but the common thread is folks are acting on principles and values over the status quo of keeping their head down or hoping someone else will take the reins to speak up.
As we look into the Human Age of Growth and customer centricity to the power of infinity and then some, our principles and our civil courage are going to become even more paramount to connecting and making a difference on what really matters. So have courage when you:
See something, say something, do something!
A big pre-emptive thank you from my side!

A Shout-out to Character
A Shout-out to Character
Science of Courage
Michael Bungay Staner interviews Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener on The Courage Quotient – Box of Crayons
Practical Application
Why It Pays to Do What’s Right, Not What’s Easy -David Howitt
The 4 Types of Everyday Courage - Cathy Lassiter
Sidebar: Call-Out for A Civil Society
“Civil courage is needed – everywhere” | Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Question: How is civil courage actively encouraged at your workplace?
With that, a happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms/ mums/mama rock-stars out there whose daily work is around building strength of character and love. I am blessed to have so many strong women in my life actively making the world a better place. A big thank you and cheers!
(And to those of you wonderful friends, family, clients and colleagues - thank you so much for your loving support and check-ins over the past few weeks. It was very appreciated and meant a lot. My wonderful mom is doing awesome and getting better everyday!)
All my best regards,
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Elizabeth Lembke, Transforming Talent Consulting: and