What do you do if your company asks you to participate in activities that conflict with your values? How can you live out your faith in a secular workplace even if others hold different views?

Dr. Debra Dean

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In today’s conversation, you’ll hear as Holly and I chat with our guest, Dr. Debra Dean. Debra shares her experience of how God called her to leave corporate after 25 years to start a ministry geared towards helping Christians authentically live out their faith.

We discuss respectful pluralism and why it’s important in the workplace, what to do when you experience conflicting values in your employment, and why it can be challenging for Christians to live out and discuss their faith. In addition, we dive into the need for civil discourse, discussing ‘hot topics’ with friends, and how to discern if you’re being called out of your corporate role into something different.

I know you’re going to love this conversation and it is sure to bring insights even if you don’t find yourself working in a secular organization at this time!

Key Points Discussed:

  • All about Debra and her background
  • The current leadership roles Debra holds
  • Debra’s leadership journey and how she came to realize she was a leader
  • How asking questions is an excellent tool for leadership development
  • Leadership lessons Debra learned during her time in the corporate working world
  • The importance of advocating for yourself in the workplace
  • Why knowing your beliefs and standing up for yourself is essential in your work
  • Challenges that Christians face when they try to live out their faith in the workplace
  • The definition of respectful pluralism and how it relates to Christians in the workplace
  • Tips for how a Christian can handle it when their company promotes values that don’t align with theirs
  • The importance of speaking up when something unethical is happening
  • Advice on how to navigate hot-topic conversations that are happening in our culture without negatively impacting the relationships we have with people that hold different values than we do
  • Approaching conversations with others assuming positive intent versus negative intent
  • How Jesus is an example for us to follow on how to approach people we don’t agree with
  • How to discern if you might be called to stay or to leave your workplace (Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby)
  • Leaders are Learners:

Key Quotes from the Episode:

“The main thing was not to really bend with your value system. If they’re asking you to do something unethical, or something that you just believe is wrong, then you have to stand up for what you believe in.” – Dr. Debra Dean

“For us as Christians, we have to know what our values are and what we will or won’t do.” – Esther Littlefield

“Sometimes we do have to listen to each other and agree to disagree.” – Dr. Debra Dean

“If we are automatically assuming negative intent, then we’re already at that place where we’re ready to fight people. Whereas if we can assume positive intent and that these people are coming at this from a heart of love, they’re just lied to, or they have come to this conclusion differently, then I think that puts us from the get-go at a different perspective.” – Holly Cain

“As Americans, we’re so distracted that as soon as we say our prayers, we say ‘amen’, and we’re off. We don’t have that quiet time to sit and listen for God to respond to us.” – Dr. Debra Dean

Connect with Dr. Debra Dean:




Dr. Debra Dean has decades of experience in Corporate America, as well as years of teaching experience at the university level. She was listed among the 2020 Women of Influence by The Colorado Springs Business Journal, as well as the 2020 Winner of Most Influential Business Consultancy CEO (USA) by the Global CEO Excellence Awards. She has been included in Biltmore’s Who’s Who of Women Business Leaders, Continental Who’s Who of National Business Leaders, and Who’s Who Among University Students.

She was nominated as one of three top operational excellence leaders with OPEX Week Business Transformation World Summit 2019, and received the 2018 Outstanding Reviewer award for the Management, Spirituality, and Religion (MSR) community.

She was nominated as a top female leader with her previous global workplace, where her research efforts elevated employee engagement to some of the highest levels in the multinational organization.

Dr. Dean was born and raised in Kentucky, spent nine years in Iowa, and currently resides in Colorado with her husband, Steve, and their youngest son, Gavin. In total, they have six amazing children and four wonderful grandchildren.

Upcoming Mastermind Retreat:

Are you longing to connect with Jesus-loving business women in a beautiful, relaxing setting… all while discovering practical strategies that grow your impact and income?

At the Uplift & Inspire Mastermind Retreat, you will be able to:

  • Discover New Strategies – You will learn at least one marketing or business strategy that will move your business forward.
  • Mastermind Together – Each attendee will have an opportunity to mastermind and brainstorm with brilliant women to solve a problem or develop a new idea in your business.
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Tickets are available now for the retreat, and space is limited! It’s happening March 19-22, 2023 in Gulf Shores, AL. And it will be the only event of its kind that I host this year.

Head to estherlittlefield.com/retreat to get all the details!

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