Posts By: Craig Wagganer

Idea Starters

“The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.”

H.U. Westermayer

Thanksgiving is not a holiday to celebrate once a year but an annual reminder of the attitude that should dwell daily within our hearts and deeds. CSW


“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.”

Meister Eckhart

Thanksgiving is an act of contrition that reveals a willingness to appreciate the gifts we are given. CSW


“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

True thanksgiving is revealed in living not in saying. CSW


“Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.”

W.J. Cameron

People who mistake thanksgiving for a holiday are sadly mistaken and regretfully missing true meaning. CSW


“An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day.”

Irv Kupcinet

Perhaps a new diet of thoughtfulness and gratitude; to give freely and love deeply; a new commitment to provide others a wholesome diet of my own selflessness. CSW

Copyright 2014 LeadersBridge



Leadership Courage and Vulnerability

DSN9118-2-MFacilitating an event is always a learning experience. For a recent team building event I was asked to facilitate a discussion for a senior leadership team. During the activities and follow-up an individual brought up a serious situation that was happening in the office. A conflict between two of the leadership team was effecting the work and relationships of others in the office. The two in conflict were aware of the issues, but not completely understanding of exactly what the problem was. Or maybe more correctly stated, they were interpreting the situation differently and each wrong about the other person.

This third party was concerned about the relationship and the working situation and brought the subject up for the entire team to consider. You might say it was one of those ‘elephants in the room’ that everyone is aware of but nobody wants to speak about. But this person knew that for the good of the organization, and to move forward as a team, the issue had to be addressed and resolved. By bringing it up there was much discussion, airing of feelings, understanding of truth and positions, several apologies, asking of forgiveness, and resolution of the conflict; as well as ideas shared on how to not let it happen again.

One person had two qualities that are indispensable for leadership. He showed courage and vulnerability. Often these two go hand in hand. Addressing, or calling attention to an issue can be very dangerous. But the danger of not solving the problem is more hazardous to the organization than the issue of personal comfort. In this instance a man made a decision to overcome his personal fears of what might happen to him personally, and to address an issue that needed resolution for the good of the organization.

That courage made him vulnerable to the others in the group, especially the two in conflict. But his courage and vulnerability to talk about how it was effecting him made the difference in the meeting and in the future of the company. He opened up and it allowed others the freedom to do so also. His courage and vulnerability were contagious as others bravely opened up and shared concerning the situation; and the two at conflict doing the same. The discussion revealed truth about the conflict that otherwise wouldn’t have been known, and brought healing to the individuals involved and relief to the office and relationships around them.

Great leadership involves courage and vulnerability.

Copyright 2014 LeadersBridge

An Awkward Situation

DSN9118-2-MI was selected to go through the TSA security checkpoint as I left St. Louis for San Francisco. That meant I could leave my belt, shoes and glasses on. I placed my backpack on the conveyor and proceeded through the metal detector.

My first time through the alarm sounded and I was instructed to take off my belt and try again. I placed my belt in a little bowl and walked through the detector again. Beeps went off and I was instructed to take off my glasses and try again. This time I was cleared. But by this time the conveyor coming out of the x-ray machine was backed up from the people waiting behind me.

I found my glasses and belt among the personal items of others along the conveyor. At the very end was my backpack with a suitcase that looked just like mine, except mine is brown and this one was black. I did a quick scan to see if I could find the person who had taken my bag and left theirs. No one in sight. In fact, the area was empty because the man behind me was encountering the same problem I had in getting past the scanner.

I called attention to a TSA agent who brought an assistant over the help. They inspected the suitcase that had been left and checked it thoroughly. There was quite a discussion of someone taking my bag by mistake and leaving their own on the conveyor. They then announced over the loud-speaker in the terminal for the person who had left their bag at security to return to claim it.

A few moments later a young woman approached to claim her bag. She identified the bag and the security agents identified her as the owner. She was asked about taking the wrong bag, but she said no, she had just forgotten to take her bag off the rollers. She was questioned but obviously had no idea about my suitcase.

TSA began to question me about making sure I had gone through that particular line, and what to do next. Now you may have already figured out the problem when reading about what I placed on the conveyor back at the beginning, before the scanner fiasco.

I had a moment of realization. I put one hand on the shoulder of one agent and the other hand on the other agent’s shoulder. I asked if I could buy them a cup of coffee or any drink they preferred, or perhaps a snack of some type. They both responded negatively with a questioning look in their eyes. I offered again saying I would really, really like to do something special for them. They continued to decline and then I thanked them for their attention to my problem and asked for forgiveness as I confessed what I had just remembered – I checked my bag.

We laughed, or they laughed, and said they were just glad to have it settled. I again made my offer and again asked for forgiveness. The offer was declined but forgiveness granted. We talked about the coincidence of someone leaving a bag that looked like mine only a different color and that if the poor woman had not left her bag I would not have thought about mine.

I am grateful that God promises to forgive my sins upon my confession (1 John 1:9). Whether they are intentional or not, whether they involve others or not. But upon any realization, I need to confess.

Copyright 2014 LeadersBridge

Idea Starters

“I’ve been lucky enough to play on NBA teams I really enjoy, teams where I’ve liked everybody and had fun, and had that college kind of experience with an NBA team. When you have that, and I don’t know that everyone does, but when I’ve had it, that’s what it’s all about.”

Steve Nash

Being part of a family-feel team makes team membership worthwhile. CSW


Of course, there will be few people who are sympathetic but you don’t become a great team overnight, no matter how much money you have at your disposal.”

Frank Lampard

Great teams are built, it takes time and intentionality. CSW


“The England team is a team that never, ever stops.”

Kevin Pietersen

For a team to never, ever stop; team commitment must never, ever stop. CSW


“I’m very comfortable in having a strong team. I’m very comfortable in sharing the limelight with the team.”

Sanjay Kumar

Sharing limelight isn’t as team oriented as giving limelight. CSW


“I couldn’t make it on the swimming team in high school. In fact, I got thrown off the swimming team and was forced to audition for the school play because they had at the audition about 35 girls show up and no boys, so my swimming coach suggested that I might be able to do the drama department more good than I was doing the swimming team.”

Ron Perlman

On any team it is important to know your talents and abilities and find the right way to contribute. CSW

Copyright 2014 LeadersBridge