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GUTSY WOMEN for FREEDOM

GUTSY WOMEN for FREEDOM

We all know about George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and John Hancock. They are reminders of how determined we must all be when freedom is put in harm’s way. I have always wondered about the women of the Revolution. In school all we were taught was that Betsy Ross was known for sewing the American flag. Now, that in itself is a marvelous undertaking. However, there were so many others who we need to know and honor. So I did some research and felt a swell of pride about the courage and the well…GUTSINESS for so many who risked their lives and did not hold back out of fear. Here are some of our heroines: Like Deborah Sampson cut her hair, bound her breasts and put on a uniform to fight next to the men. Like Ann Bates, a Philadelphia school teacher who changed her name and sold supplies to the British as a way to spy on them and bring information back to General Washington’s troops. Like Nancy Hart. She was known as a woman of fearless spirit and a hot temper. One amazing account of Nancy’s life was the evening that six British soldiers stopped to find a Whig leader. They demanded she cook them dinner and stacked their weapons in a corner. As the soldiers were getting a bit tipsy on wine, Nancy began to pass the muskets through an opening in the cabin wall to her daughter. When the soldiers noticed what she was doing she picked up one of the guns and warned them she would shoot, which she did. One man was killed and...
Prioritize!

Prioritize!

When your technical skills are great and you really care about your constituents you should be getting lots of kudos for your work. Right? Well…not so fast. Number one is, you MUST prioritize your RELATIONSHIPS. So often people skills are what creates a limiting career path. Now, what exactly do I mean? I mean YOUR personality may be the limiting factor. Here is an example: Jim, the head of client services in a large company was in charge of buying and placing new furniture for the open space casual meeting area. There was a team meeting and the team decided what they wanted. Hear me…the TEAM DECIDED. They even picked the fabric colors and decided how to have the furniture lend in a soothing way with the colors of the walls. All well and good. Almost! Then Jim, who took being the head of client services to heart, spent time rethinking the plan. He called the team together with his new ideas. They voted and still wanted what they had picked. After all, this was a TEAM DECISION. New furniture was delivered and placed in the open space, for, oh about a month. Jim hated the way it looked. He called some maintenance men to change this furniture with some that was in a long forgotten work room. How did his team handle this? Was there a conflict resolution meeting? Did Jim lose his job? Was there a battle of the decorating mavens? None of the above. Jim became the butt of many jokes, some funny, some vicious, some clever. Was that the end of it? Not quite. When...
Women Leaders: We Do NOT have More Time to be Silent

Women Leaders: We Do NOT have More Time to be Silent

Rachel Carson who wrote a book of major importance “The Silent Spring” was a GUTSY woman who spoke out about the level of toxins in our world 50 years ago. Those numbers are higher and the risk more deadly. Someone recently commented that with all the toxins in the world we are living longer so why worry. Interesting point of view. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of Carson’s book. It is as relevant, actually more so, than 5 decades ago. Please read the following blog and my response. And remember, those who remain silent are guilty too.   She Was Right By: Arianna Huffington (originally posted on www.huffingtonpost.com) Fifty years ago, a marine biologist named Rachel Carson began publishing a series of articles in The New Yorker, sounding the alarm about the dangers of exposure to chemicals and the failure of the chemical industry and government regulators to protect people from those dangers. Later collected in the book Silent Spring, Carson’s prescient insights are the subject of an anniversary feature this week by HuffPost’s environmental reporter Lynne Peeples. She delivers not only a tribute to Carson but a reminder that her work is more relevant than ever. Despite Carson’s warnings, our leaders are still not doing nearly enough to regulate the potentially harmful chemicals we’re exposed to every day. As Lynne notes, more than 80,000 chemicals currently used in our country have never been fully tested, so we don’t even know how damaging they might be to humans or to the environment. And as Harvard Medical School’s Eric Chivian explains, when it comes to determining if...
Rush Limbaugh Being Told to “SHUT UP”

Rush Limbaugh Being Told to “SHUT UP”

Maybe, just maybe the era of anything goes is ending. Maybe, just maybe the guy with the loud mouth and no couth will be put out to pasture. It’s about time.   I have listened to Mr. Limbaugh, on occasion, to understand his appeal. I have always turned him off with a sense of deep sadness. Oh sure, he has made millions. However, inside that large frame is a tortured little child who is screaming out to be heard by being outrageous and throwing hissy fits. Maybe those who adore him are also stuck at the age of…. well, possible two or three. Time to grow up. Click here to read Rupudiating Limbaugh: A Matter of Integrity, No Politics By Menachem Rosensaft Sylvia Lafair’s comment: Well said. However there is one small edit. President Obama did not stand up on the side of “the weak” when he called that “strong” young woman, Ms. Fluke to speak with her. I believe he was merely underlining what needed to be said, that we will not accept disrespect and that the world is changing to be more decent.The Rush Limbaugh’s of the world are living on borrowed time and will soon be silenced by disdain. Their form of “any press is better than no press” is getting old and stale. The patterns of anything goes behavior that has been around for decades is ready to transform to truth telling (it’s always OUR OWN truth) with dignity. What I teach in my Total Leadership Connections Program is that “telling the truth is NOT spilling your guts”! It is a disciplined art form that...

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...