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Turkeys and Eagles

Turkeys and Eagles

Did you know that Benjamin Franklin was not all that thrilled having the Bald Eagle as our national symbol? He much preferred…TADA…the Turkey!! So as you are celebrating this day of Thanksgiving think about the noble bird that could have been on our currency instead of on the table!!! Here is a letter that Franklin wrote to his daughter about the bird debate. Enjoy. Franklin’s Letter to His Daughter, Sally, a.k.a. Mrs. Sarah Bache (excerpt) “For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him. “With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country… “I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a...
Here is the Elixir for Workplace Doldrums

Here is the Elixir for Workplace Doldrums

Hey the holidays are right around the corner? How do I know? Cause the media is telling us to get ready for snow and shopping. We are being enticed to think turkey, eggnog, and lots of presents. So what happens at work? Is your workplace gearing up or slowing down? By mid-November there is a lull except for the retailers who are getting ready to sell, sell, and sell. Most companies are already thinking about the first quarter for next year. Now, right before the push to be with family and turkey take some time to chill out. Yes, chill out. Make it an hour, a half day or a whole day, just for you. Now, don’t wait. Do it now! Most of us show a dip in productivity right around now. Let me tell you why I think this happens. It goes back to when were kids. Mid-term exams were over and the push to get on the team – basketball, hockey, football, cheerleading – done. The adrenaline rush to keep up with peers takes a halt and the question is “Did I do enough? Am I good enough? Will I make my mark?” and then there is the BIG QUESTION: “What really matters?” Now is the time to exit the daily grind, the rat race, the turmoil. It is the perfect time to go off by yourself and look inside. Decide to look inside. Decide to sit with the hard questions and see what answers show up. Do it NOW. Do it before the holidays overtake your daily activities. Don’t wait to take inventory till January 1....
Missed the fireworks by a day

Missed the fireworks by a day

We were there on Friday. Yup. We were at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Even had lunch at The Volcano House. We stood at the steam vents (great for a facial) and went as far as we could go to get some “hot” pictures of Kilauea and the lava flow. Missed the big show by one day. Bummer. So here are spectacular photos of the volcano and the red hot lava. Click here for images of Kilauea. By Saturday we were on a plane returning to San Francisco with our daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. I am still thankful we had the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving in this magical place. Hope your long weekend was nourishing both in food and...
Leadership and kindness

Leadership and kindness

Are you tired from all the bully boss blogs? Tired of all the negativity and “gotcha game” complaints that go from co-worker to co-worker? Do you play in the CYA arena and get stocked with all the gossip at work? The month of December is the most gossipy month of the year. Office parties often lead to smirky comments about partners, clothes, and crappy surprise gifts (the ones that no one is to spend more than $5.00 on). Here is the antidote to the ugly side of the holiday stress. It is simple and yet not easy to do: BE KIND. In the journal “Evolution and Behavior” there is a great study.  (Do we really need a study for what I am about to say?) Kind people are actually perceived as better looking than those who are rude – and it has nothing to do with perfect facial features. Biologist David Sloan Wilson, PhD states that altruism is seen as an important trait and we are genetically programmed to see helpful and kind people as more appealing. Not sure how to show kindness? Here are a few ideas: Tell someone you like the tie, earrings, or coat they are wearing. We all like to be acknowledged for our appearance. Call or email someone and let them know you like the way they spoke up in a meeting, or the great concepts in the latest report. We all want someone to give us a high-five for skill. Send a card or candy (dark chocolate is really a great gift) and let someone know you are glad they are part of...

“HMD” to All Women and Men Who Have Birthed Anything

  A female executive I am coaching called me very early this morning and complained about how hard Sunday would be for her. My response was not super professional; all I said was “Huh?”   She then launched into a soliloquy about the fact that she had made a conscious decision not to have children and every Mother’s Day she had tons of people who would look at her with sad expressions and either ignore the whole idea that she was childless or make banal comments about overpopulation or the fact that many people have children who drive them crazy.   This year she decided to leave early for a conference so she would be on the road on Sunday, driving from here to there to prepare for the week off site without having to fend off annoying comments.   I stopped her before she would spiral down to more defending, explaining, or justifying her position. I asked a question that is what I call a pattern interrupt, the kind of question we teach in our “Total Leadership Connections” program.   Just a bit of learning here; these “P.I.” questions are meant to make individuals stop their downward spiral of negative thoughts and help them engage a different, hopefully more creative part of the brain to think new thought. These questions cannot be answered Yes or No and, like an arrow are meant to hit between the eyes.   “So, what have you birthed?” was my bull’s eye question. Her initial response was “Huh?” I asked again and added “There are so many ways to birth without a uterus,...

The Boy Who Became St. Patrick

I’ll bet you see more people of every denomination wearing a bit of green today. Well, maybe the same color will be well represented on Earth Day. In any case, St. Patrick’s Day is known for parades, beer and lots of fun.   I did some research to find out who is the man behind the myth and there are quite a few interesting facts. At the age of 16 he was kidnapped by a band of pirates from his native land of the Roman British Isles and sold into slavery.   Stop a minute and think about it. What a dramatic adolescence was in store for him. I wondered about his parents and how they must have mourned for their lost son. I wondered what he learned about trust and truth and bravery and survival during those years.   Until now, I really had not stopped to think about the human being we now honor as St. Patrick. How did he learn to handle conflict, how did he show leadership, who was there for him in his darkest times?   He did escape to the Irish coast and fled back to Britain. There he became a priest and decided his calling was to bring Christianity to Ireland and he returned, perhaps as a way to right the wrongs that were done to him there.   So, when you toast with your glass of Guinness, or enjoy watching or being part of a fun parade, remember the man who lived so long ago and made an impact that still remains. Then think about what you want to leave as...