Embrace Conflict: Circles and Oil Sands Pipelines

Embrace Conflict: Circles and Oil Sands Pipelines

Embrace Conflict and Come Together;

So much of what we believe is right and common sense does not seem like right or common sense to others. So much of what we believe is right and common sense in our profession and our industry does not seem like right   or common sense to others. The stakes for ourselves, our communities, our nation and our world seem to escalate. So much challenge, conflict, and change is happening now. We have never been here before. Elders are limited in their guidance to us. Where may we turn for wisdom?

Will this decade mean the end of the world as we know it? Yes. Here’s why:

Some of my American clients and audiences have challenged me on Dirty Canadian Oil, the Keystone XL Pipeline, shale gas fracturing, the Northern Gateway pipeline and more. At the same time, some of my Canadian clients were challenging me to help them gain or regain their places in the executive suites of organizational power. We also see the massive challenges facing our youth, our aboriginal peoples and our earth experience. There is a way to enlighten these conversations and challenges.

Question: what and whose interests are served by these perceptions of anger and animosity? Might the media sell more from a place of fear and separation than dreams and oneness? Might the politicians? Might the environmentalists? Might the oil industry? Would it be conceivable that the funding for hard-line environmental groups comes from American companies whose interests are served by monopolizing the market for Canadian resources? What is leadership? Where is leadership? Leadership is a scarce resource. Leadership is not ramming your way through obstacles. Leadership is listening and leading. In late 2015, President Obama, killed the Keystone XL Pipeline. By most every measure, that decision was symbolic and branding for the Democratic candidates in 2016. The decision had little to do with environmental protection, climate change or economics. Why do we waste over eight years and hundreds of millions of dollars on planning, review and more, when decisions like these are made too often?

Consider that all the expertise and experience we each have may not be enough to effectively and successfully deal with the great challenges we face today as individuals, families, organizations, professions and nations. Consider the collective wisdom that is possible from a circle of listening, speaking, understanding and co-creating solutions.

This is an invitation to engage with people who care about subjects and questions that matter to you and your organization. Your circle or team will be most successful in solving significant challenges when you bring in others whose opinions and experiences are very different from yours. We can no longer afford “groupthink” or “yes men.” The stakes are high. We must invite in the First Nations, the environmentalists, the Americans, the Asians, the youth, the wise women. We must embrace conflict.

This is an excerpt from Break Through To Yes.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

David B Savage

David B Savage