Defining Moments In Leadership

by  Chery Gegelman  |  Leadership Development

The Lead Change Group is a global, virtual community dedicated to instigating a Character-Based Leadership Revolution.

This summer Lead Change Tulsa hosted a panel discussion about Defining Moments in Leadership.  As we engaged with the panelists and the audience, we heard stories about individual choices and workplaces challenges, stories that tested integrity, stories about tough decisions and economic struggle, stories about natural disasters and times of terror.

In every situation the challenges created stronger and wiser leaders.  Instead of hardening them, each person emerged softer and more at peace with themselves and with the world they live in.  They said things like this…

  • “My priorities became clear.”
  • “I learned that I am not defined by role or my workplace; but by every little choice that I make and the lives that I touch.”

Without exception everyone one of them emphasized the elevated importance of their families, their friends and the people they come in contact with daily. 

On Sunday and Monday of this coming week many of us will pause to remember a man who had clear priorities.  A man that was defined by the choices he made and the lives he touched.  A man that lead a revolution so that his children would one day be judged by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin.

As we pause to honor his memory, I would like to challenge you with three questions that were so convicting the first time I read them it was almost hard to breathe.  Three questions that still take me to my knees every time I think about them.  Three questions have the power to become A Defining Moment For You ~ if you let them:

  1. Had you been in Germany in World War II, would you have taken a stand against Hitler?
  2. Had you lived in the South during the civil rights conflict, would you have taken a stand against racism?
  3. When your grandchildren discover you lived during a day when 1.75 billion people were poor and 1 billion were hungry, how will they judge your response?

 “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.



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About The Author

Articles By chery-gegelman
Chery Gegelman was once a frustrated visionary that learned to lead extensive system-wide changes from the middle. Today she is The Founder of Giana Consulting, listed as a Great Leadership Speaker by Inc., writes a recognized leadership blog and has co-authored two books. Her passion is bringing help and understanding to people and organizations that are leading through change to growth.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

Randy Conley  |  16 Jan 2012  |  Reply

Hi Chery. Those are three great questions to ponder. I think our core values and our leadership point of view are critical factors that influence how we’ll respond to defining moments. I wrote a blog article about this very topic a few months ago that you may find interesting.


Take care,


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