Leadership, Creativity and Protests

Author: Sylvia Lafair
Published: January 02, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Today is the famous, yearly Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. Lots of fun and lots of clever use of flowers on floats. It is an expression of the human desire to express beauty and creativity.

So what’s with the protesters, the 99%ers?

How do you make a statement and stay within the confines of the law? How do you protest and not cause a huge negative reaction? How do you win hearts and minds to see things differently? Can protesting lead to better dialogue between individuals to look for ways of communicating and connecting for the good of everyone?


What can we do to begin to come toward each other in a new and different way?

The group has learned many lessons since their upstart days in Zuccotti Park . They are joining the Rose Parade with a legal permit to march; albeit at the very end. Their “Occupy Octopus” or “Occtopus” as many call it, has a head and tentacles made of recycled plastic bags.

Why an octopus?

It represents the “choke hold” corporations have on this country. Agree or disagree, it opens the door for discussion. Rather than the “good” or “bad” that is so often thrown as a label and then forgotten, maybe it is time for deeper questions to be asked, stuff like “what evidence do you have” or “what solutions would you suggest”. And then the exercise is to LISTEN to each other; something we seem to have forgotten of late.

We have become so simplistic in agreeing or disagreeing without wanting to dig deeper. This is a time to consider new ways of being. We are certainly NOT learning this from those running for or already representing our government.

There are many ways to protest. There are many ways to keep a conversation going. Maybe, by agreeing to get a permit and following the guidelines of the parade, there will be a peaceful way of getting alternative points across.


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Article Author: Sylvia Lafair

Sylvia Lafair, PhD, is a business leadership expert and President of CEO – Creative Energy Options, Inc., a global consulting company focused on redefining leadership and optimizing workplace relationships. Dr. …

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