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Tillit and Other Palindromes

  Got your attention?  I hope so. The palindrome for you to watch is an important reminder that when we look with new eyes, the context of the world changes in the blink of our eyes. Read it forwards and then read the same words backwards and see what changes occur inside you.   First, an example: “Tillit” is a Swedish word that means the same thing reading it forwards and backwards. It means “trust”, and the power of this word is that trust can only happen if both sides are aligned. You are on one side of “tillit” and I am on the other.   Now on to the palindrome that was sent to me by Barry Ginnetti, President of GMR Group, and a graduate of our Total Leadership Connections Program. It is a wonderful example of the essence of what we teach: we are all connected and no one wins unless we all do.    Take 2 minutes and watch this…THE ENTIRE THING   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42E2fAWM6rA     (This is a video that was submitted in a contest by a 20-year old.   The contest was titled “u @ 50”  by  AARP. This video won second place. When they showed it, everyone in the room was awe-struck and broke into spontaneous applause.  So simple and yet so...

Unhappy at Work

Months ago I posted a blog on why women are so unhappy at work. I am still getting responses, even though most “older blogs” are put out to pasture by the end of the day they are conceived and birthed.   I have been thinking about why there is so much gloom and doom about getting up in the morning, going to a place where we are being asked to roll up our sleeves, produce and create, and then go home for an evening of feeling full and having been useful.   It’s not just women who are unhappy at work, it seems like there is an epidemic of malaise, and even desperation. What is making it so awful, this going to work thing?   First, many of the responses I have received to why women are so unhappy at work has an element of finger pointing at, you guessed right, the men. They are the ones who shut women out. They are the ones who play the most intense power games. They are the ones who keep the glass ceiling in place.   Next, it’s the economy, stupid! Sure this is playing into our distress. Not knowing if we can bring home the bacon makes the day more gloomy and frightening. We all know someone who has been recently downsized or someone who has been out of work for a long time. There are many able-bodied, productive individuals who want to work, and there is no place for them to use their skills and talents. Always fear, is that going to be me?   So, is there a...

Cultural Sensitivity

  As I was writing my Elegant Leadership blog about the poor choice of language from Michael Steele, of the Republican Party, I was reminded of a powerful scenario from a Leadership in Action program I led years ago.   There was a group of 24 business people from various organizations who gathered together for a week to understand leadership capabilities from an experiential perspective.   My husband Herb and I took the group through a variety of exercises in the Santa Fe area where we live. They were introduced to a variety of Native American teachers, and had the opportunity to do the ancient coil method of making pottery, drumming for long periods of time in a constant tapping manner, (what the Native Americans call connecting to the heart beat of mother earth), participating in a sweat lodge led by Felipe Ortega, an Apache who is both a superb potter, as well as a great teacher.   We then went up to the Taos Pueblo and met with Bernadette Roberts and spent time in her grandmother’s home where she told beautiful stories about her family, past and present.   It was an enriching experience that was capped when the entire group decided to spend a day helping Bernadette’s brother build his new home rather than go shopping in town. The next day we had a final “goodbye” circle. Here is where the power of people reaching out to people in a new and more meaningful way left its mark.   Each person had an opportunity to say what they had learned and what they would take back to...

Relationship Complexities at Work, Home, and in the Bedroom

We can thank Tiger Woods, John Edwards, and all the other guys who have been looking for love in all the wrong places. Or, have they?   Relationships are the most complex, most confusing, and most important part of what it means to be a human being. I am hoping that we have finally hit the wall looking at relationships through a superficial, selfish lens. Perhaps we can begin to look at what really matters in this interesting teen-decade of the century.   Think about it for a minute. When you were thirteen through nineteen, what were you looking for? What happened when hormones kicked in on a Saturday night at a high school or college party? Did the song “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” play through your head the next day?   All relationships are based on interactions; they are a two or three or four party dynamic. And yet, even now with all the new research about the social aspects of the brain, about how we all connect with and change each other, there is still too much focus on the individual as the source and end point of relationships.   It just is not so! Tiger Woods behaved badly, most of us can agree on that. However, he did not do this in a vacuum. I don’t want to judge his wife, yet with my background as a family and marriage therapist, I know she was not an innocent bystander in the situation. There is always another side to tell, or as commentator Paul Harvey used to say “Now, the rest of the story”.   Perhaps...

Leadership and Pattern Awareness

I spent some time during the holidays checking out how people either crave new situations, or are almost addicted to repeating patterns from the past – New Year’s Eve is a perfect example. We were on a plane from San Francisco to Albuquerque. I could feel a sense of anticipation as we walked through the mostly empty concourse on our way to the car.   As we moved from passenger only, to the meet and greet side, I heard a lovely woman greet her husband? lover? With “I was afraid you would not get here till after the New Year started.” They still had half an hour till the bells would toll and fireworks began. I wondered if this could really make a difference for their relationship. Then I noticed I was getting anxious. Our luggage was first off and we got the car quickly. Yet, we still would have been too late for the global peace meditation we wanted to join. So, we got in the car for the hour drive to our home outside of Santa Fe.   Interesting how patterns work. At ten before the witching hour of twelve, we started the countdown.  And as the few early fireworks began to light the sky with the full blue moon as background, we pulled over to the side of the road for the hearty ritual of a goodbye kiss to 2009 and a welcoming glad you are here kiss for 2010. It felt good, and in some far corner of my mind, it really did make a difference.   There is a saying that the way you...