3 Ways to Go Upstream

“What the world needs now is a quieter breed of hero, one actively fighting for a world in which rescues are no longer required. How many problems in our lives and society are we tolerating simply because we have forgotten we can fix them?” Dan Heath- Upstream I just finished one of the most thought-provoking books I’ve read in a long time.  But what made the book great was that it took the thought-provoking a step further and provided some keen insights and tools about acting on the information.   Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen, by

Do Only the Really Smart (or Stupid) Fly Without PowerPoint?

When I get ready for a training or a speech, the first thing I do is outline content in PowerPoint slides.  It helps me frame my thoughts and gauge for flow of material.  Then I go back and provide content for a supporting document like a handout.  And I’m lucky, I hand it off to someone else to make it all look pretty, cohesive, and professional before it ever goes live.  I’m working on a pitch now for some seed funding, and my first thought is how do I organize the pitch through PowerPoint slides.  The information on guidelines for

The Most Popular Slide in All My Leadership Trainings

I often glance at what people take note of when they are a part of one of our training sessions.  Not the notes or handout questions we make them fill in, but the notes where they turn over to a blank handout page or pull out their own notebook and jot things down.  The notes people take because they want to make sure they remember something. The times when people say, “Can you go back to that slide for a minute please?” And then they start furiously writing. We also get feedback from all participants at the end of each

DWYSYWD- Lessons from the Elementary School Guidance Counselor

One of the first things we teach in our personal leadership course is the concept of DWYSYWD- Do What You Say You Will Do.   It involves committing to what you can do, or as Covey would put it, committing to your circle of influence and focusing on being accountable with what you can do instead of worrying about things that you cannot do something about.  For example, I cannot do anything about whether or not a stay at home order is extended or relaxed this week in my state, but I can wash my hands, not touch my face,

3 Tips for Surviving the Rollercoaster of COVID-19

Feel like you’re on a rollercoaster of emotions these days?  Yep, me too.   When we are living out a well-ordered life full of routines, adjusting to a life that has no or new routines can be a challenge.  And living on top of our family members day in and day out with little to no break isn’t a walk in the park either. The newness of it can bring some enjoyment and much needed time to just be, then the next minute the newness can make you totally want to lose your ever-loving mind.   For example, one day last week,

What the Dog Saw During the Crisis

It all started at home before it started everywhere, I think.  It started to rain and thunder.  I hate rain and thunder, so I settled in my spot under the porch to wait it all out.  Then there was a big bang. The rain stopped. Then came a smell, then sirens.  Between the smell and the sirens, my master came home.  He looked concerned as he came through the garage and onto the porch. He didn’t so much as acknowledge me, he just looked up to the sky and then rushed inside.  Then the sirens came, and everyone was suddenly

3 Things Leaders Don’t Do in Times of Crisis

We are still in the midst of an unprecedented time in our country and world, with so many unknowns related to COVID-19 and its impact on quite literally everything. Last week, I wrote about 4 things leaders do in times of crisis based on my observations of leaders in action. Well, we’ve been on this train of crisis for over a week now locally, and just like there are observations about how to behave as a leader, I’ve been exposed to how not to behave as a leader during times of distress. Through further observations, here are three things leaders

4 Keys to Leading through Crisis

We are experiencing unprecedented times given the ever-evolving issues with COVID-19.  It is scary and unnerving for everyone, especially those leading during this time of crisis.   I’ve been watching a few leaders in action over these last few days.  Their actions have provided some insights into the courage, energy, and attitude that is required to inspire and influence others when things are uncertain, novel, and anxiety-ridden.  Here is what I’ve learned leaders need to do during all situations of leadership, but most especially when leading through a crisis:  1. Lead by Example:  First, leaders do what they say they will

Our Schedules Communicate Priorities

On a Sunday morning about 7 AM, I was in the middle of a run. It was a quiet, beautiful fall morning until I looped back around and through the sports and water park complex near my house.  Cars started driving by and turning into the parking lot by the tennis center. I could hear an abundance of tennis balls popping off rackets as, what seemed to be, many people warming up. I’ve run by on other Sunday mornings about that time to see what couldn’t be older than five and six-year-olds warming up for soccer matches. The minivans and

How to be Authentic with Your Appreciation at Work

What is your most desired love language- or language of appreciation- at work? The Motivating by Appreciation (MBA) Inventory assessment can help you and your colleagues discern this.  What makes giving and receiving appreciation at work so hard?  Often, it is the simple fact that we’ve been conditioned to follow the golden rule instead of the platinum one. The golden rule says to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  So in context, if my language of appreciation is quality time, then the way I live the golden rule is to give you quality time because