Category Archives: Motivation

Need to switch off? Make “No” a complete sentence.

  My Aunt Barb, who has had a successful career as a teacher, minister and author, gave me some good advice when I started my leadership coaching practice almost 15 years ago.She said for those of us who are constantly ‘on’, who have careers serving others (whether that means clients, customers or a congregation), we need to find time amid the regular summer socializing to take time for ourselves. To be ‘emotionally unavailable’. Which means finding the space to get away and switch off. No work conversations, family dramas or organizing playdates. I took her advice to heart and have
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Tell Me About Yourself… What’s your 30 second Billboard Speech?

NAIL IT!® Success Stories In my first career I worked in public relations. In my PR role I wrote a lot of news releases. There’s a formula for writing a news release that gets read and it starts with your lead – the first line. Your hook. After that your news pitch either gets thrown in the slush pile or it catches the editor’s attention and gets a more thorough look. The question “Tell me about yourself” demands a good first line. It’s opening you up to share your lead to let others decide if they want to know more. It’s a tricky question
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Are You Minding Your Ps and Qs?  Don’t make a career limiting move

Has your mother ever told you to mind your Ps and Qs? Honestly, I never knew what she was talking about. Be good? I did a little research on the origin of the phrase and my favorite explanation is that ‘mind your Ps and Qs’ comes from 17th century English pubs and taverns when bartenders would keep watch on the alcohol consumption of the customers ‘keeping an eye on the pints and quarts that were consumed.” The bartender would ask customers to ‘mind their Ps and Qs’. I imagine the wisdom our mothers were trying to impart on us as children was to
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Is Your Stretch Goal Too Stretched?

Get Aligned With Your ‘Why’ I have no desire to rappel down a 13 story building. Yet in June of this year, there is a slight chance I may be doing just that. It’s not a marathon, so not something I can train for. It’s a total mental type of training. At least that’s my take. My friend and former university roomie, who is trying to persuade me to literally take the leap says she’s told the experience leaves you feeling fabulous when it’s done. A real sense of accomplishment. Hmmmm. Of course, it’s not just leaping from a building.
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How to Make a Difference? Pause, Ponder, Proceed

Lately, the graphic images of families being completely uprooted, young lives being taken too soon and the desperation to create some sort of ‘new normal’ is hard to watch. Like many, we wonder what we could possibly do to make a difference. And that’s the problem. When we’re faced with something so huge, we can become stuck by the bigness of the issue. We start to vacillate. We don’t know where to begin. It’s similar when we have unrealized career aspirations or want to try something new. Our ideas and dreams can seem too big so we stall, become stuck
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You Have to Slow Down to Speed Up

I remember as a child waiting patiently for my cousin, Matthew, to clean the bugs out of the pool so we could all go swimming. He had a net attached to a pole and was making short, quick sweeps of the water but wasn’t making much progress. My Uncle advised him that he was going too fast. He pointed out that Matthew was missing most of the bugs and just stirring things up. He then took the net and showed him how if he went more slowly and purposely at the beginning, he could get more bugs the first time
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Are You Caught in a Corporate Undercurrent?

When you think about getting caught in an undercurrent, what comes to mind? For me, I’m reminded of a beach vacation in the Caribbean when I got caught in a nasty churn of ocean and sand that made me kiss the ground when I finally broke free of it. On the surface, the ocean appeared fun and inviting, but underneath it was a different story. I had seriously underestimated the pull of the undertow. No matter where we work there’s a corporate culture or an undercurrent of values and practices that can either support us in being at our best
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Anticipate the Moguls: Why the Finish Line Isn’t Necessarily the Measure of Success

We can learn a lot watching competitive skiing. There’s a focus mixed with a feeling of exhilaration that takes skiers mindfully toward the finish line. It’s fun flying down the mountain, but if you don’t anticipate the twists and turns of the course, you can easily get thrown off track. This time of year we often use the New Year’s momentum to get out of the gates quickly. The mistake I propose that many of us make is that we don’t anticipate the inevitable bumps that show up and then get discouraged too soon. But what if we could take
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Up We Go!

Driving upfront in my grandfather’s oversized Lincoln, I remember the feel of the plush purple seats. It was before we wore seatbelts and as kids could sit two or three across. Driving along a winding road to pick blueberries, a soft wind blowing through the windows, I remember him talking about how important it was to listen to the words of the songs wafting from the radio. Like really listen. So I do. But on a particular day last week I wasn’t feeling like I was driving on some meandering green path. I was feeling panic. Like a tornado had
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