For most of us in the speaking profession, we diligently work to make sure that what we share makes a difference. While there is no criticism in being called a Motivational Speaker – the fact is – as a Business Ethics speaker – I want to make a lasting difference when I share with an audience. Far more important to me for someone to walk away with something of value, than to get a standing ovation for a performance that folks will forget two weeks later.
Each presentation begins with the words – “Every choice has a consequence!” If there is a take away – remembering that simple phrase can make the difference in folks making ethical choices that are empowering or finding the consequences of their unethical choices painful.
Recently I had the opportunity to speak to Fidelity National Title Insurance Company in Florida. The crowd was responsive, yet I find that often my pointed presentation hits buttons for some creating emotional reactions. Yet others (fortunately typically 98%) get the message.
Just a few days ago I receive an email from the meeting planner stating the following: “I thought you would really like this Chuck. Confirmation that your presentation really hit the mark. Thanks again.” Attached was a link to a recent blog post…a portion is reproduced below and the full link is here.
The Man in Handcuffs
Submitted by Stephen Collins on Mon, 05/23/2011 – 8:18am
How interesting do you think a title insurance conference is? As good as this blog—hardly! But Fidelity National Title Insurance Company does have a reputation for production, and I’m not just talking number of policies sold. They put on a conference in a fair atmosphere, but when they talk ethics, they’re all business—need and opportunity do NOT justify stealing.
Fidelity National is an underwriter for Land Title of America, and we’re used to their non-conventional presentation of material. If it’s a really boring subject, they’ll make it like a game show with Ozzy Osbourn and Minnie Pearl—you’re not going to forget the information! For their talk on business ethics, the speaker wore an orange jumpsuit and his hands were cuffed behind him. We thought he was another one of their gimmick speakers. He was not.
True…a gimmick speaker I am not! There is nothing funny about making unethical choices, losing everything (other than the love of my two sons) and spending time in federal prison. Yet, that experience, as gnarly as it was – turned out to be one of the best things that could ever happen to me. The consequences that followed my seriously poor unethical choices have provided a powerful framework today for sharing with others about the power of choices and ethical behavior. Beyond theory, I share from the heart in a way that people can relate to – my message is one of choices, consequences and hope. We are more than our mistakes and often we can avoid those mistakes if we connect the dots between choices and consequences.
Stephen Collins posts ends – “He had committed fraud and he faced up to it. He lost his family and he served time for what he did, wearing an orange jumpsuit like that every day. The difference now is that he holds the key to his handcuffs, and he’s come a long way through a lot of trials to say Don’t commit fraud. When you have need and opportunity, don’t justify it to do something you know is wrong.”
Thanks to the folks at Fidelity National Title Insurance Company, it was my honor to be a part of their commitment to ethics and ethics training.