Follow Us :

Is my way the only way?

Last year, I attended a session on how to successfully market oneself for speaking engagements or other public appearances. On the heels of releasing my first book, I thought the session might offer some helpful guidance that would enhance the impact of my message regarding the pursuit of healthy life balance.

During the session, the presenter conveyed that an unrelenting commitment to, and confidence in, a particular approach to a problem is the key to success. He even tested his reticent audience, coaching them to share their ideas with full conviction when they expressed the slightest doubt or openness to other opinions. In other words – Pick a side. Embrace it fully. Profess it at every opportunity. And NEVER waver!

Am I to believe that in order to be heard one must be 100% certain that their way is the only way? Are all issues black and white? Is one side right and the other side wrong – always? I had just published a book that presents Life Balance, along with most so-called problems in life, as a tension to manage rather than a problem to be solved.

In the spirit of respecting other views, I have to admit that the approach of the presenter has some merit. Strong, opinionated protagonists and antagonists (depending on your own perspective) seem to dominate news commentary, hold political office, preach behind lecterns, and dominate social media trends. The more controversial and confident you are, the more exposure you get.

With more exposure, comes more influence. And since such exposure is given largely to those who take the extreme view on any individual topic, consumers are forced to make a choice. We choose the side that aligns to our initial belief. These same tendencies pervade the books we read, websites we visit, podcasts we listen to, and news we consume. Whether conscious or not, our beliefs evolve in accordance with the certainty of the view as expressed in that which we read, view, listen to, or otherwise consume.

Is this healthy within the churches, political rallies, or neighborhood gatherings that we attend? Is this healthy with the businesses that we lead or serve?

I will take the advice of the over-confident presenter and answer those questions with an emphatic … NO! Our dominant exposure to extreme views coupled with confirmation bias – our tendency to only consume that which confirms established beliefs – is unhealthy. Could it be a reason why your organization is divided, and your employees disengaged?

If you desire a culture that embraces new ideas, honors diversity, and promotes creativity, embrace the gray! Consider dissenting opinions! Beware of those with an unwavering certainty in the right and wrong way to do things at work. Recognize that most issues are not a problem to be solved, but rather a tension to be managed. Foster and select leaders with strong, values-based convictions…who are willing to be tested in those convictions. Open your mind and CEEK a Better Way.

Are looking for a compelling guest speaker who will challenge you to think independently? Contact to learn more or stop by the Leadership Best Practices Conference in Arlington, VA where I’ll be delivering a keynote address on September 24. Register today at


Related Blog

Want to go a step further? Every year CEEK raises awareness and funds to adopt the wish of a child facing life-threatening circumstances. Help the CEEK Team endure the Trailblaze Challenge on behalf of wish kids everywhere.

Move More

CEEK encourages you to move more, get up, and get active for May’s Organizational Wellness Challenge. Not only is May National Physical Fitness and Sports

Read More »
stress better with this Organizational Wellness Challenge

Stress Better

Can you stress better? Work on it all you like—you won’t eliminate stress from work or life and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Research

Read More »

Celebrate Success

It’s our birthday! Ten years ago, our Founder and President, Steve Wiley, set out to rid the world of zombies in the workforce by elevating

Read More »

Healthy Teams, Healthy Hearts

We’re focusing on healthy teams, healthy hearts in recognition of American Heart Month for February’s Organizational Wellness Challenge. Just as heart health is key to

Read More »

Subscribe to our Weekly Blog

Get all latest news, exclusive deals and updates.