Normandy’s Leadership Legacy

I couldn’t help but tear up watching the coverage celebrating the 75th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy which ultimately changed our world, for the better.  These brave veterans taught us many lessons in leadership that are still worth consideration, today.  Extraordinary leaders…

  1. Know that leadership is messy – not for the faint of heart
  2. Surround themselves with other serving-leaders
  3. Know that teamwork is not optional – it’s a pre-requisite
  4. Believe that you can, and you will
  5. Are courageous…and some still parachute out of a plane at 97 years of age

To say we owe these brave Veterans a debt of gratitude is an understatement.  Better we challenge ourselves to pay homage to their sacrifice by living their legacy and become extraordinary leaders ourselves!

Act As If

One of my favorite quotes is from the late Dr. Wayne Dyer, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” You may recall a similar quote by Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.”

This week, in a conversation with a dear friend, I was reminded of a concept I first heard in a video by DeWitt Jones, an award-winning photojournalist.  Act as if.

How many times have we given up on something because the voice in our head told us we should?  When we act as if, we believe that we can.  We learn to silence the voice of doubt and cynicism which often plays like an old vinyl record that keeps skipping.  How do we do that?  For me, it’s a combination of developing the right habits (which means we may need to let go of habits that are no longer serving us well and developing some new ones).  I am gifting to you, the steps I took, that were truly transformational for me, in developing my own, act as if mindset:

*Change the MP3 recording in your brain, by repeating a different mantra.  Write it out on a Post-It note and put it on your laptop, notepad, bathroom mirror etc.!! If you repeat this to yourself and out loud several times each day, this can become your new go-to recording!

*Exercise.  I’ve been working out four times a week with a terrific coach and nutritionist, Pia Fitzgerald.  Even if you do not live in the Columbus, OH area, I highly encourage you to seek her out as a wellness coach. She’s phenomenal and soon to be a published author!

*doTerra Essential Oils.  Yes, doTerra, not the cheap oils that are loaded with synthetics.  I became a Wellness Advocate with doTerra because of the transformation I saw with a skin condition a family member had (and permitted me to use doTerra Essential Oils to eradicate – as the treatments recommended by a highly regarded dermatologist were not working).  I also used doTerra Essential Oils on my 95-year-old mother-in-law and the change in her emotional and physical healing was incredible.  Identify the emotion you want to let go of or bring in.  The oils are powerful and depending upon what you’re trying to accomplish, the type of single oil or oil blend will vary! And a huge thank you to Sally Farnick for her help and education when I needed it most!

As one who is self-employed, continually LOOKING for work, while DOING the work, it can be daunting and it’s easy to feel over-whelmed and helpless.

You can also feel helpless and hopeless if you work in an organization whose culture is not healthy.  Unfortunately, as I learned from personal experience, the alternative to acting as if, is to become a victim by letting the cynical voice in the head rule the day!  That’s not a healthy alternative.

What are you doing to act as if? You have one life, no re-takes!  Take control and watch what happens!

Choose Your Destiny

This week I had the joy of speaking with a prospective client in the Gulf Standard Time Zone, a half a world away.  In preparation for the call, I did a little research about this country, their culture, business etiquette and more.  I wanted to be respectful in every way that I could and not offend the person with whom I would be speaking.

During our Skype call, I was fascinated with their command of the English language and knowledge of western culture.  I later learned that years ago, they obtained their master’s degree here in the U.S.  What really touched me the most was when they described the area in which they now live.  They mentioned that there were Hindu temples, Islamic temples, Jewish synagogues and Christian Churches in their enclave.  They described their culture as one in which everybody gets along.  While people in their culture disagree with each other, they have found a way to be respectful and tolerant of other’s beliefs and they don’t struggle with religious or political extremism. 

I had to admit I felt a little sad.  At one time in my life I would have had said the same about our culture in general.  I am reminded of a favorite quote from either Frank Outlaw or Mahatma Gandhi, “Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny”.

When we speak hate, we engage in hateful actions which become habits.  We become hateful.  I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t want a destiny filled with hate.

On the other hand, if we exercise intentionality in our words and actions and seek first to understand.  We may become curious and inquisitive.  We may become known as someone who does not judge others immediately based on actions but strive to understand their intentions.  And our legacy may be one of tolerance, understanding and love.

We don’t get a repeat on our life. Choose wisely!

Bullied No More

My heart is heavy as I’ve learned that bullying was at the root of the violent fight that claimed the life of a 5th grader in a South Carolina school.  The victim’s mother, as I understand, complained that her daughter was being bullied for more than a year, and now her daughter “has her angel wings” as she stated on Facebook.

I am on a quest to spread the word about the dangers of bullying.  My book, Right of Passage is a reminder that bullying has no place in any child’s (or adult’s) rite of passage.  I’m not really into self-promotion – any of you that know me at all, know that’s not my style.  However, I am begging any of you that have children who have been bullied at school, share my name and contact information with school principals, superintendents, school board members, PTO leaders.  If you know of companies that condone bullying, please share my contact information with their leaders.  Bullying is not acceptable, it’s not appropriate in a civilized society.  Bullying can have a devastating impact on victims and upstanders.  How many more school shootings, suicides and acts of violence in schools and work settings will we endure?

Are You Curious Enough?

In the past month, all the technology in my office and my home changed. In theory, it should have been a smooth transition, but it wasn’t.  However, through the process I tried to remain curious.  Technology is changing and I don’t want to become a dinosaur who refuses to learn new things.  What I learned in a short month was a great deal about 2G and 5G networks, interference and more.  I even purchased a new router, satellites and installed them and paired them on my own with the help of an app that I downloaded by scanning a box.  Because of my desire to learn and not be held hostage due to technology, I was able to use wonderment and interest (curiosity) to tackle something that was otherwise frustrating me – technology not working properly.

I was having a discussion with someone recently who was making comments about Millennials.  “They just don’t put in the hours like we do”.  I’ve been doing research on generations for more than 15 years, so I have an unfair advantage.  I’m curious.  Here’s a thought for those who find themselves in this same camp, or perhaps have made judgements about others (political, religious, just to name a few). Sit down and have a conversation.  Ask questions, be interested and inquisitive. You don’t have to come across as nosy and intrusive.  While you may have grown up hearing the phrase ‘curiosity killed the cat’, I believe closed-mindedness killed the cat more quickly!