I hate to sound so dramatic, but you will leave this blog post more brave than you came, if you take my words of advice seriously in this week’s podcast episode. In episode 28 (an INFLUENCE episode), I train you how to use my newest leadership maxim to regain control of and redirect runaway conversations in male-dominated meetings. If you are a female leader on staff at your church, this maxim still applies because it is derived from scripture! In episode 29, the mini planning session, I am going to share with you the scandalous way I am keeping my Thanksgiving simple this year. It will take a little bravery – Care to join me??? Speaking of joining me, I am inviting you to a free workshop – The Female Christian Leader’s 2022 Success Strategy Workshop. All the details and the notes from The Gina Duke Show podcast are below. So, read (or listen) on, and leave here more brave. More brave to speak up in meetings. More brave to face 2022 with confidence (if you sign take my free workshop!), and more brave to keep it simple this Thanksgiving, if that is your desire. We can all be a little more brave!

Episode 28 – How Many Times Have You Been in a Meeting Full of Men Where the Discussion is Headed in the Wrong Direction? How to Regain Control and Redirect the Conversation \\ INFLUENCE Episode. Listen in HERE.

You will want to write this down – boss sister!  I’ll wait while you get a pen and paper, or you could just pause this episode for a second.

I am so excited to share a new leadership maxim with you.  It has a success rate better than Elle Wood’s Bend and Snap.  This maxim actually has a 100% success rate; it has worked every time I have employed it in a meeting.  As you know, I’ve spent my professional career as a Human Resources Executive in the manufacturing sector, so I’ve spent a lot of time in meetings with dominating male voices.  Many of you are in the same situation whether in ministry or the marketplace.  I was also blessed to be on staff at my church as the Director of Women’s Ministry for six years where our staff meetings were comprised of four male ministers and four female staff members, two of which were Directors.  We had great conversations.  Our male counterparts were always interested in what we had to say.  Female Leaders listen up – Our voices, opinions and experiences matter, but it can be difficult sometimes to break into male dominated conversations.

Today, in this influence episode, I am going to show you how to interject this leadership maxim in meetings and conversations that will help you regain control of the subject and/or completely redirect the discussion to where you want it to go whether in ministry or the marketplace. Welcome to episode #28.

Thanks to Beth Moore, I was introduced to a scripture in one of her Bible studies that provided me with this maxim.  I love maxims, especially those built from scripture.  It’s been a few episodes since I’ve shared a new leadership maxim, so in case you are new and not familiar with this term, a maxim is a short pithy statement that can be used as a rule of thumb.  Maxims compress knowledge and wisdom into a succinct sentence that you can refer to time and again whenever you are in situation that calls for some quick decision making or response. I have a small arsenal of these potent maxims that quickly assists me with decisions. You can go to episode #16 To learn more about maxims and hear a quick rundown of a few that I’ve already shared on my podcast.  The takeaway and my hope is that you will also develop your own library of leadership maxims.

You have some in you whether you know it or not.  They come from a place of newfound wisdom gained from reading a leadership book or attending a seminar while others are lessons learned from a failed attempt.  All you have to do is put some snappy and memorable words to them, which some may even call a sticky statement that sticks with you.  I would love to hear some of yours.  That’s why you should join my facebook group – the link is in the show notes. 

Like I said, today’s leadership maxim is based upon scripture – Proverbs 11:14. The New KJV reads, Where there is no counsel, people fall.  But in a multitude of counselors there is safety.  Gill’s exposition says this of the reason why this is true – because what one may miss, another may hit upon. You and I both know that it is good and helpful to have faithful counsel and wise people in our lives who make great sounding boards for us to bounce ideas and thoughts off of who can give us their insight to consider when making decisions. 

So, the maxim that I have derived from this scripture is – Are you ready??? Here goes – There is safety in a multitude of counselors.  

Now, we know that when we are struggling to make a decision that it’s a good idea to seek counsel from others.  If we are really struggling to make a decision, we can share our thoughts with another to see if we are missing something.  Conferring with others provides a good safety net. 

I hope you have a trusted few in Christ who you can call upon for this type of counsel when you are the crossroads of a personal dilemma.  If not, feel free to reach out to me for a coaching session – there is a link in my show notes.

Nowwww, let me share with you how to use this new maxim in situations where you either want to regain control of the subject or redirect a conversation when in a meeting or with a group of people.  This is not witchcraft, this is not manipulation, but it is capitalizing on the truth that God’s Word will not go out void; it will bring you a return.  For me it has brought a 100% success rate any time I’ve used it.  Allow me to give you a couple of examples.

Have you ever been in a meeting where you feel like the topic at hand has gotten on a run-away train and is headed in the wrong direction? 

Let’s say that you are in a meeting (for me it’s typically male-dominated) and they are discussing a topic and I am not in agreement with the decision they are about to make.  Here is a simple example, let’s say that my staff is wanting to host an open house for our employees and their families, but I am not sure they are coming up with ideas that the employees will be excited about, I would say something like this:

“Well you know what they say…there is safety in a multitude of counselors…what if we poll our employees to get their input?” 

You will be amazed how everyone responds to this.  You will be able to see them physically reposition themselves at the conference table.  Some will cock their head and look up comptemplatively.  Some will turn their chair toward you, giving you their full attention.  And the leader will ultimately agree and convene the meeting until the results of this poll can be obtained. 

Now of course, you can change who the group of counselors are to fit your scenario, depending on the topic. For instance, you might say…

  • What if we ask our investors what they think?
  • What if we ask what our other team members have to say about this new idea?
  • What if we ask our customers for their feedback?
  • What if we ask Tim and Sue; they may have more information on this than we do?

Ta-dah! It really has been that easy to use this leadership maxim. 

On to Scenario 2: Have you ever been in a meeting where the other managers are planning to do something that falls within the realm of your responsibility.  Like, no one else should be trying to make this decision for your department?  Well, Phyllis, you will find that this same maxim will assist you in regaining control of this conversation.

As another simple example, let’s say, that I am in a strategic planning meeting with a group of leaders who are in process of trying to make a policy decision that really should come from my function, Human Resources, I could interject this maxim in the same way…

“Well, it has been said there is safety in a multitude of counselors…what if I run this by corporate first?”

See what I did here?  This gives me the opportunity to run it by my people at corporate.

Or I might say:

  • What if I do some benchmarking for you?
  • What if my team pulls some more data together for us to look at?

See how I took it back?

I typically get the same reactions that I’ve already described. 

Notice my pattern for setting up my maxim – I set up the maxim to be heard by not stating it right from the beginning, but introducing it in a way that says this is a well known truth whether they know it or not.  Using, Well, it has been said, prior to stating the maxim gives them a moment’s notice that I am about to say something noteworthy, then I say it.  You will also notice that I provide an option for them to consider instead of just saying…I am going to check with corporate.  If you don’t provide them with the opportunity to make the decision on the option, you may invite pushback on your plan.  For example, If I said…

“Well, it has been said there is safety in a multitude of counselors, so I want to run this by corporate first.” It doesn’t have the same effect.  If you offer an option, they will be more open to having you proceed and better than that, they will feel like it was their idea because in the end, they gave you the authorization to move forward that way.  You see, they were about to make a decision, so by providing them with an option, they move forward on making a decision, but in response to your option, not the thing you were in disagreement over. 

It is a genius little leadership maxim.  It holds truth and influence. What leader is going to blow off your offer to include the wisdom and knowledge of others? Because if they refute you, and their decision blows up, they will have egg on their face.  So, they will relent and let you proceed as you recommended.

The only negative is that it is not a maxim you can interject in meetings regularly if you are meeting with the same people all of the time.  It would be weird if you said in every meeting… “Well you know what they say…”  But a way to work around that is to recommend your group use this leadership maxim as a litmus test when making a group decision.

I once worked for what they call a values-based-leadership company.  They had 14 values that said this is what we believe and how we want to behave as a company.  And whenever my GM and I when I was the HR Manager made any type of HR related or policy decision, we would review our company values and ask, does this decision violate any of these 14 values.  If it did, we would not move ahead.  If it didn’t, we felt confident in doing it.  Likewise, you could recommend using this maxim as a standard to test all your group’s decisions against.  You could say – Since we know that there is safety in a multitude of counselors, are they any groups of people we should include in our decision process on this subject?  If so, reach out to them, and if not, move ahead.  This leadership maxim makes a great litmus test for ensuring all appropriate parties have been considered when making decisions.

I’ll never forget when I was a new HR Manager on a conference call with all my company’s other HR Managers where our Corporate HR department was rolling out new HR policies.  One of the HR Managers, a very mature and seasoned professional asked them why they had not involved any of us in their decisions?  She let them know straight up that many of the things they rolled out was not going to work at her facility for several reasons.  And she was right to ask them that question.  Our corporate office had access to 28 HR managers within our organization that they could have polled and asked for their feedback and input on these new initiatives, but they did not.

So a few years later while at this same company, I was promoted into the role of Corporate Projects Leader for Human Resources Programs.  Even though I had been given sole discretion by a different VP to create these new programs I knew better than to do that all by myself.  I remembered what happened the last time corporate operated in a silo – they got called out on it.  So I created a newsletter introducing my first three projects and sent it out to all the HR Managers inviting them to choose which virtual team they would like to participate in, if any.  This was well before virtual teams were common, as they are today. 

This approach worked very well because as a team, we were able to cover all the bases, and produce effective and highly successful HR programs.  Why? Because there is safety in a multitude of counselors!

Free Workshop Nov 7

That’s why I created the Female Christian Leader’s 2022 Success Strategy Workshop. It’s a 90 minute workshop that I will be hosting on Sunday, November 7th

You will be able to create your 2022 Timetable of responsibilities that are within your span of control and develop effective strategies for a successful New Year.

You will walk away with a comprehensive timetable template and problem-solving technique that will yield you a robust plan for ongoing success, plus a few other bonuses. Most importantly, you will acquire the confidence to execute your plans. 

Join my Facebook Group HERE so you don’t miss out!

29 – Do You Typically Put Too Much Pressure on Yourself During the Holidays? How I Decided to Simplify And It Is Scandalous \\ Mini Planning Session. Listen in HERE.

You may be the victim of your own doing, as I am, by trying to host the best holiday events.  I think we put way too much pressure on ourselves to live up to others expectations.  Some are self-imposed in this Pinterest world.  I’ve determined to make this one minor move in regard to turkeu at thankgiving that I believe you may find helpful.  Welcome to Episode # 29, a mini planning session, where we can do life together.

Let’s grab our calendars and peak over into next month – November, and we all know what that means – Thanksgiving is coming!  I have to say I am always surprised when we get to year-end, aren’t you?  It’s like I can’t believe it’s already time for Thanksgiving. or Christmas!!! 

Okay; so back to planning for a moment. One thing I have historically done is purchase all of my Thanksgiving groceries at the beginning of the month of November.  I don’t typically wait until the week of or the week before.  Well, Phyllis, this year, I will probably get all my groceries before the month of October ends.  I recognize that it is pretty much the month-end now, so I’ve got to get this done by Sunday.  I think I can do it.  I make the same thing every year so I know my grocery list off the top of my head.

With the supply chain issues, I highly recommend that you consider making an early purchase too this year!  I was in a grocery store today and there were several empty spots on the shelves. 

A few planning episodes back I mentioned that I may do something scandalous this year with the turkey and I have now made my decision and am ready to share.  It is not an exaggeration to say that my mother made the very best dressing.  I have tried to replicate her dish without success, unfortunately. 

I am an only child and My parents live directly across the street from me. For Thanksgiving, we would host my husband’s family.  He is one of 5.  Despite the fact that our growing family was outgrowing our home, my husband’s siblings still wanted us to host Thanksgiving because they loved mother’s dressing so much.  My mother is now in heaven and we have not had the luxury of her dressing since 2014.

I’ve tried to make her cornbread dressing but I have not been able exact her recipe.  I will continue to try.  But, I have come across a very good chicken and dressing recipe that I really like, so I do make that along with my “counterfeit” dressing. 

Although mother’s dressing was scrumptious, her turkey…not so much.  It was always bland and dry as a bone.  I used to not care, because the dressing and giblet gravy was so good.  Since my husband and I continued to host Thanksgiving we have done different things with the turkey.  We have cooked it the traditional way.  I have purchased deep fried turkeys and one year we got our Turkey from a fast food restaurant that was selling them.  And every year we are disappointed.  So this year we are going to do something almost scandalous. 

A couple of months ago, we were eating a more Mediterrainean diet and one the items on our menu was turkey tenderloin.  It comes packaged just like pork tenderloin.  I’ve never cared for the pork tenderloin because it is so dry, but the turkey tenderloin I prepared a couple of months ago was delicious!  We liked it so much that we have been tossing the idea around about serving this packaged Turkey tenderloin at Thanksgiving.  I am going to buy about 4 packs and bake them in the oven and serve with ease.  We have so many other yummy foods to eat at Thanksgiving, we don’t think anyone will miss the traditional turkey.  So that is my scandalous thanksgiving plans.  And I have to say that I already feel less stress by just having this small turkey tenderloin on my menu for Thanksgiving. 

One year during college I went home with one of my roommates and instead of dressing they served stove top stuffing and I couldn’t believe it, but perhaps their grandmother did not know how to make a proper dressing.  Or maybe they were like me and just trying something new and less stressful.

I like simplifying things as I can despite other’s or what we perceive as other’s expectations.  What about you? Join me in my FaceBook group where we can continue this discussion.  The link is in my show notes.

Okay, I hope you make your plans to shop your Thanksgiving groceries soon, so you if nothing else you will be less stressed when this favorite holiday comes!


As a free gift for taking part of this LFOI experiment with me, I have a 15-page LFOI Framework Guide so that you can build your own personal framework for a Lifestyle of Faith, Order & Influence: https://ginaduke.com/podcast-resources/

Let’s build community in my private Facebook Group for The Gina Duke Show so we can LFOI together – Ha! https://www.facebook.com/groups/ginadukepodcast

One of the best things you can do to have more order in your life, is to have an organized approach to your prayer life.  Grab yourself a copy of my award-winning book, Organizing Your Prayer Closet: A New and Life-Changing Way to Pray (Abingdon Press) https://amzn.to/3BWt2rw

For coaching, consulting, or collaboration, contact me here: https://ginaduke.com/contact-gina/

You can also follow me @TheGinaDuke on Instagram where I like to post pics of my junk journal inspired prayer journals. You just might want one for yourself!   

Thank you for stopping by! Please tell ALL your girlfriends and female colleagues about the Gina Duke Show for faith-filled female leaders who want to grow in faith, order & influence. 

Enjoy your LFOI and lead on sister!

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