Tulsa Event – Defining Moments Breakfast

by  Mike Henry  |  Leadership Development

Check out this post by Teri Aulph over on the Examiner.  She’s one of the organizers of the next Lead Change Tulsa breakfast, sponsored by TCC’s Department of Continuing Education.  The topic of the discussion will be Defining Moments.  What can you do to prepare for the defining moments in your journey as a leader?  What can you do to be more aware of the seemingly small decisions that may become major defining moments?

Join us to share with other members of the community.  You will help and be helped in the conversation.

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Articles By mike-henry
Chief Instigator (Founder) of Lead Change Group and VP of IT for a mid sized technology company. Passionate about character-based leadership and making a positive difference.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

Chery Gegelman  |  05 Aug 2011  |  Reply

For all of you that don’t live in Tulsa… We would love you to join in this conversation as we prepare for the event.

What was your defining moment in leadership? What did you learn and how has it changed you?

Chery Gegelman  |  05 Aug 2011  |  Reply

I received this response from Tristan Bishop, through Facebook.

“My defining moment was last year, when I listened to encouragement from several mentors I’d met on Twitter. I was scared to speak boldly within my company on the need for Social Media adoption, but knew it to be essential. Mike Henry told me to “lead from WHO you are, not from where you sit.” The choice to heed that advice has made all the difference.”

You can follow Tristan on Twitter @KnowledgeBishop

John Griffin  |  06 Aug 2011  |  Reply

I just joined the site, so maybe I’m reading this wrong…..but, when is this event? Thanks so much! John

Mike Henry  |  07 Aug 2011  |  Reply

Sorry it’s not clear. The headline will take you through to the full post, but the event is planned for Thursday, August 25, 2011 from 7:30 – 9:00 AM at the TCC Center for Creativity, 910 S. Boston, Tulsa, OK.

Shawn Murphy  |  09 Aug 2011  |  Reply

My first defining leadership moment was in high school. I had decided to run for student body president. Though part of the reason was to be popular (I was 16), I had also grown frustrated by my not having coffee available to us. Serious stuff. This was before Starbucks was around. So, I ran on a platform of helping my classmates and coffee. And I won.

The defining moment, however, wasn’t winning. It was experiencing for the first time the power of being called forward to serve a group of people, and to develop a platform that meant something to those people. We did end up having coffee served. And I learned for the first time the magnitude of listening to people’s needs and working to help them realize them.

Page Cole  |  10 Aug 2011  |  Reply

I remember my defining moment like it was yesterday! I was a sophomore in high school, and we had a brand new head coach. I was on the 2nd string offense, playing against the defensive starters, and the Coach Cobble was playing quarterback. This was in the late 70’s in Oklahoma, so of course we ran the Wishbone offense (only the guys will appreciate that!).

Anyway, we were running the option to the right- Coach and runners would run to the right, and then he would either hand it off, keep it, pitch it to a running back or pass. My job as a lineman was to run to the right and block the defensive end, so he wouldn’t kill the coach. Problem was, he was one of the best guys on the team! First time we ran the play, when I tried to block him he hit me so hard it knocked me backwards, and he gently wrapped up the coach… Coach Cobble yelled, “Run it again!”, so we did… The 2nd play I was determined to get lower than my opponent so I could block him out of the way. But no. He knocked me on my butt again, and again he stopped the play by grabbing the coach… so Coach Cobble yelled, “Run it again!”… and we did.

This third time I psyched myself up… “I’m gonna beat this guy!”, I told myself. But this time I never got there to make my block, because the lineman between me and my opponent was knocked back into my path… and something else different happened. When the guy I was supposed to block grabbed the coach that play, he accidentally scraped his cleats down Coach Cobbles exposed shins, leaving several bloody track marks. As you might imagine, Coach Cobble was not happy with me.

Coach Cobble yelled, “Cole, get your block!” Now, the smart thing, the wise thing would have been to respond, “yes sir!”. But I wasn’t smart. Or wise. Instead, I responded by saying, “I couldn’t get there, Coach! Rick was knocked back in my way!” And then came my defining moment…

Coach Cobble came at me, eyes glaring and as angry as I had seen him in the short time I had known him. He grabbed my facemask in front of 65 of my friends and other coaches, and these were his words. “Cole, all you seem to be really good at is making excuses! If you want to make excuses your entire life, that’s your choice, but you’ll never amount to anything! You have a choice, step up, take responsibility and get the job done, or make excuses! What’s it gonna be?!?!”

Wow… time stopped for me. It’s like the universe was watching for my answer. I don’t know if it was 5 seconds or 5 hours (it seemed like both), but I responded “Step up, take responsibility and get the job done sir!”.. And so he said, “Run it again!”. And we did.

I learned in that moment that whether it’s my fault or someone elses fault, no one likes the guy who always makes excuses. But EVERYONE respects that guy that will step, take responsibility and get the job done. Especially the guy who is getting it done. I learned a new perspective on life, and new level of respect for myself. It’s shaped how I work as a member of a team, as well as how I deal with leading a team and mentoring others.

Oh, and what happened when we ran the play the last time? I tackled the guy I was supposed to block… Coach didn’t get tackled… I got the job done…

Chery Gegelman  |  12 Aug 2011  |  Reply

Shawn, Page and Tristan – Love your stories and the variety of lessons learned from business, school and football that have impacted your leadership:
1. Lead from who you are, not where you sit.
2. The power of being called to serve, and to develop a platform that means something to those you serve.
3. Step up, take responsibility and get the job done OR make excuses! Page – The visual of your coach in your face was so strong that when I read it I was ready to block and tackle!

Randy Conley  |  20 Aug 2011  |  Reply

This is a great discussion! Thanks to all for sharing your experiences – I learned something from each of you. I’m publishing a blog article tomorrow (Sunday, August 21) that talks about this very subject:

Defining Moments of Leadership: Will you define the moment or will the moment define you? ?

I’d be honored if you checked it out and shared more of your stories with me.

Best regards,


Chery Gegelman  |  22 Aug 2011  |  Reply

Randy – Thank you for sharing!

Since you posted your blog yesterday, what responses have resonated with you the most and why?

Chery Gegelman  |  22 Aug 2011  |  Reply

Randy – Thank you for sharing!

Since you posted your blog yesterday, what responses have resonated with you the most and why?

Randy Conley  |  22 Aug 2011  | 

Hi Chery. Thanks for the reply. I haven’t received any comments yet, although the article is receiving a lot of views and tweets.

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