2012 was my “Hurricane Sandy” year. Business trips found me in the United Kingdom twice and spanning the continental US from California to Texas to Virginia all before September 1st. My husband and I both agreed I was on the road too much and started praying to have more clients located closer to the Nashville area. October of that year found me boarding a plane to fly in to New York and work with a client as Hurricane Sandy approached. The night the hurricane made landfall found me training in a circle of candlelight – punctuated by loud explosions and blue light shows of transformers blowing up outside the window. Stuck in New York for a few days with time to reflect, I decided to take 30 days off at the end of the year to rest and reflect on what was most important in my life. I asked God to teach me His ways. [Read more…] about Accomplish More by Doing Less
How much time do you spend leading yourself?
I ask my coaching clients and MBA students that question early in our relationship. Looking at the compass here, do this exercise: If you took 100% of your time on an average week at work, what percentage would be spent:
- Leading your boss/supervisor?
- Leading your peers?
- Leading your direct reports?
- Leading yourself?
Your total numbers should add up to 100. [Read more…] about Four Questions for Leading Yourself
It was 6:30 am when he came in the building wearing a green baseball hat. Had he been at any other YMCA in Chicago, it wouldn’t have been an issue, but this YMCA was in the heart of Cabrini Green, a housing project rife with gangs. Depending on how a hat was worn, and its color, it could constitute a gang sign, so we had a “no hats” policy in the facility. At 6:35 am, one of my staff members came to tell me a man was refusing to take off his cap. I went out to meet him, knowing that once he understood the reason behind our policy, he’d be happy to comply. [Read more…] about Top 10 Ways to Lead Yourself
In my last blog, I shared the painful struggle of being fired over 20 years ago. As a result, I began a 20+ year journey of learning to choose well, lead well, and finish well.
Being fired all those years ago was an incredibly painful experience. I lost confidence in my abilities, felt like a total failure, and simply wanted to crawl into a dark cave and lick my wounds. I seriously thought about giving up my YMCA career and starting all over in a new field. I had to make a choice. While on the surface the choice was between two career options, in reality it was a choice to either pull out of the self-criticizing death spiral I was in or let failure win. When you’re in the never ending cycle of defeating thoughts, it’s pure choice to replace those negative thoughts with ones that start to speak truth to your soul about who you are and Whose you are. Choose truth. [Read more…] about Nine Minute Moments
Monday, October 29th found me in Nyack, NY waiting for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. As the day went on, the wind picked up, the chimney in the old brick house I was in along the Hudson River rumbled, and the trees swayed. Power went off twice that afternoon and each time came back on within 20 minutes. At 6 pm the power went off – the wind started screaming and howling, the trees bent to the ground, and Sandy was here. I taught the group in a circle of candlelight. When a power substation or transformer would blow, we’d watch through the windows as blue balls of flame and light illuminated the dark and stormy skies. [Read more…] about Avoiding Soul Insanity