Business Business and Life Patterns Gutsy Leadership Styles Managing Stress

How do you stay calm, cool, and collected?

When the heat index goes way into the red zone how do you stay calm, cool, and collected?

Here is a composite of the types of emails I have been getting the past month, mostly from the east coast of the U.S. and from much of Europe.

It goes something like this:

“It’s too hot to think. It’s too hot to talk. It’s too hot for anything except sitting in an air-conditioned room and checking Facebook. Can’t even concentrate to watch my favorite rerun of Suits.”

And then there are many who write: “The planet is in real trouble and we are not doing enough. We have done ourselves in and maybe the only place to go is to Mars. What about the little ones who will inhabit a flat, hot, and maybe even unlivable piece of real estate.”

The big ‘ask’ has been “What do we do during these times of stress that are certainly not in our personal realm to change. Can’t change the murky, miserable weather, can’t single-handedly stop the polar ice caps from melting, and refusing plastic straws in a restaurant feels like a helpful, yet meaningless act.”

The weather will change (and maybe end up too cold with tons of snow) and there will still be those who complain about the cold and those who will wring their hands and talk about climate change.

I was thinking about the bridge that needs to be considered between these two perspectives and I flashed to a time when we had invited the esteemed Ram Dass to teach at Creative Energy Options many years ago.

He was asked a variation of the question: “What do you do when everything seems to be falling apart. When it seems like Armageddon is around the corner.”

His answer has stayed with me all these years and it is so relevant during these hot, steamy, combative, and confusing times we are living through. I give you his words here, and if you don’t know who Ram Dass is, please look him up and when the weather cools a bit read his classic book Be Here Now or his newest Changing Lenses.

What Ram Dass said was that if Armageddon is arriving you need to “center yourself, breathe deeply, acknowledge what is happening, and …. Read this in his own words,

“I’ve been asked many times if this is the Aquarian age and it’s all just beginning or is this Armageddon and it’s the end, and I have to admit I don’t know.

The way I’ve usually copped out in dealing with this is saying, “Whichever way it goes, my work is the same: to quiet the mind and open my heart and relieve suffering wherever I find it.”

The more I do inner work, the more my awareness breaks down the boundaries between myself and other people, and the more that happens, the more there’s only “us” instead of “them.” And then the more there’s only “us,” the more the suffering of everyone, and the joy of everyone, becomes my suffering and my joy.”

For everyone living where it is too hot, and those living where it will be too cold and for all of us living with the threats of floods and fires and winds that blow too strongly, now is the time, as Ram Dass suggests, to do the inner work, confront personal history, and make decisions based on your inner wisdom rather than your inner critic. 

That is the core of my new 8- week program specifically for GUTSY WOMEN LEADERS who want to kick overwhelm to the curb.

Please consider joining my Facebook group, Women Leaders Inner Circle where there will be lots of tips as well as more information about the soon to be released GUTSY program.


Business Business and Life Patterns Leadership Leadership Strategies Success

These 3 habits may be keeping you labeled as mega-stupid

Who do you work with you think is a dumb ass?

Someone who you will never ask for advice. Did you ever take the time to sort out the different levels of stupid? Here is a thought to ponder: Ignorance can be educated, crazy can be medicated. But what is the cure for stupid?

There have been dopey leaders since the beginning of time. Some will own their mistakes while others just get a glazed look and say “huh?”

Here’s what Cicero, the Roman politician, and lawyer had to say way back in the day “Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error.”

Check these 3 habits that can keep you labeled as mega-stupid.

And you know the old saying if the shoe fits …. It must belong to you.

Habit #1: Pattern repetition:

It’s so true that “if you also do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.” Henry Ford, Mark Twain, Tony Robbins, and many others have been credited with the quote. Take your pick, each is a super creative innovator and the opposite of a stupid leader.

Stupid means you hide under the covers when change is in the air. It means you are willing to end up with what worked in the past and is no longer relevant. That means stagnation and yes, pattern repetition.

Think about work this way for a minute…

The passion for being a leader or an entrepreneur is to be a creative problem solver. Once you solve a problem you get to the next problem and the creative juices keep flowing. It’s fun and challenging.

However, if you keep facing the same problems over and over and the responses are always the same, it’s no longer a problem. It’s a pattern. 

Pay attention: when the tendency is to repeat ineffective, and often self-destructive behavior, you are in the realm of stupid.

Habit #2: Avoidance:

What do you do when a situation is uncomfortable? Do you find an excuse to leave or just pick yourself up to get out of the tension that conflict arouses? Here is a good quote to memorize from American philosopher Elbert Hubbard about being an avoider, “To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing and be nothing.”  

Don’t take an avoider’s excuse at face value. They know what is going on and simply let others tackle the tough stuff. They usually only want to come back to talk when they think there will be a happy outcome.

Please remember that becoming self -aware is disruptive and inevitably requires change. And many times the change is embarrassing an even exhausting. 

Stupid leaders let their fears keep them from engaging.

Habit #3: Denial:

This is a group of stupid leaders we could call the “NOTSEES.” (Say this fast and shudder!) They pretend the world is great and they are part of the truly best and the brightest. They always praise themselves, rarely do any research to see if what they are thinking has any true merit (flat earthers, anyone?), and they never have backup plans in case a dose of reality hits them on the head. 

Denying what is going on will not make it go away (climate change, anyone?). It makes it tough for any real change to happen.

These stupid leaders will always point the finger at others while they defend their position, justify their thinking and attack those who disagree. 

What can you do to help a stupid leader smarten up? 

Your job is to speak up, stay centered and offer suggestions. You can talk about a book that will help your stupid leader take off the foggy glasses, even for just a brief time. 

One great book is Whiplash: How to Survive our Faster Future by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe.

The cure for stupid is communication and compassion. You need to disrupt the traditional way of holding back what you are thinking and become a leader with your stupid boss or supervisor regardless of where you fit in the pecking order.

And, if you are the boss, maybe it’s a good time to ask HR to have a 360 assessment so you can see your weak spots in back and white. 

I have a great assessment tool that has helped so many become better bosses and eliminate the 3 habits may be keeping you labeled as mega-stupid because it is focused on behavior patterns that are no longer effective. Send me an email and I give you the info.


Business Business and Life Patterns Leadership Strategies Leadership Styles Patterns

Are you a maximizer or a satisfier…take this simple test

How do you decide what to decide? There is a great line in the play Into the Woods that we have used in our Total Leadership connections program that shows how so many of us wait to let others make decisions while we stand on the sidelines waiting for a signal for our next move.

Picture Cinderella all dressed attending the fashionable royal ball and having a wonderful time with the handsome and charming Prince.

She is not used to making decisions and so leaves the ball to catch her pumpkin home before the clock strikes midnight. Talking later she says she was not sure how to tell the Prince she wanted to see him again. Her comment was “I left him a clue, my shoe and now he has to decide what to do.” (Yup it rhymes.)

In any case, she is so proud of herself because her decision was not to decide.

Any out there relate to this?

How many time have you held back waiting for someone else to make a decision so you can’t either be blamed or regret?

Do you, like Cinderella bide for time or do you have a clear idea of what you want and need and simply state your preference?

There are two main ways to decide. You can either be a maximizer or a satisfier.

Here are some questions to answer to find out which style you prefer:

Answers are from 1 which is strongly agree to 5 which is strongly disagree. Please answer quickly since your first thought is usually coming from your subconscious and will tell you more about yourself than you realize.

  1. Are you happy with your life right now? Remember 1 strongly agree, 2 is agree, 3 is neutral, 4 is disagree, and 5 strongly disagree.
  2. I like to learn from my decisions rather than get angry if things don’t turn out well.
  3. I always live up to the highest standards I set for myself.
  4. I have trouble deciding what I want to eat at a restaurant, especially if I am with other people.
  5. I pivot to blame others if my decision leads to a poor outcome.
  6. I don’t like to expect a positive outcome; I just don’t want to be disappointed.
  7. I love to look back and constantly revise my history with lots of ‘if only’ or ‘it was not the right time’.
  8. I aim low so I won’t be disappointed.
  9. I am more right than wrong when making important decisions.
  10. I tend to delay (like Cinderella) and prefer others to make the choices.
  11. I am proud of myself for being strong and standing for what I believe.
  12. I do lots of research before making decisions.
  13. I ask at least a dozen people their opinion to be sure of what I decide.
  14. No one in my family ever taught me how to make effective decisions.
  15. I was a rebel and would make snap decisions rather than listen to others.

Add up all the strongly agrees.

If you have at least 6 or more, good for you, you tend to be a maximizer and have a positive and healthy way to look at life decisions.

Add up the strongly disagrees and know that if you have more than 5 you need to practice making decisions on a daily basis.

Start with something small in the morning, like choosing what you really want to eat for breakfast and keep going through the day. Notice what happens to your breathing each time you make a decision. Those who are Minimizers often feel a tightness in your gut, almost as if you are waiting for something awful to happen or that you will be judged or get yelled at.

The rest of you can be considered Compromisers and pleasing others is a major priority for you. Yet, while you may take more time to make a decision, often it turns out well for all parties involved.

My theory is that each of the three ways to decide is right in different situations.

We are all complex human beings and deciding what and how to decide the next steps is both exciting and curious. The fun is to go where you have not gone before and keep learning and growing.


Business and Life Patterns Communication Confidence Patterns

Gaslighting and how it can impact you

Gaslighting is a hot topic these days.  Many people are victims of gaslighting without even knowing it.  It affects your sense of self-worth, your confidence, and your sanity.

Have you ever spent time with a narcissist or a sociopath? You can sense them from their cunning and self-importance. They are the opposite of fine wine. They get worse with time!

Spend enough hours with those folks and soon you will begin to question your sanity.

Like Don.

He called me requesting some meds for anxiety. As a psychologist, I do not prescribe medication. As his executive coach, we agreed to dig a bit deeper. It soon became clear that he was moving far south of healthy functioning from mixed messages at work.

In my book, Don’t Bring It To Work I talk about the 13 most common behavior patterns we learned as children that we bring into the workplace. The one that is always considered the most difficult to work with, the most difficult to change, I call The Splitter.

Don soon learned that his boss, the CEO of the company was making Don question his own sanity.

Splitters are master manipulators. They are the best of the best in the narcissist and sociopath realm. Splitters are masters at deflecting problems onto others and knowingly give wrong information. They convince you that you just didn’t listen to the right information. They have the ability to really drive you nuts, as in totally crazy and you begin to question everything you say and think.

These Splitters, narcissists, and sociopaths are also the best of the best at gaslighting.

Gaslighting is making the rounds these days and an old film from 1944 gives us the story. Gaslight, starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer is a classic worth watching. It’s like an older version of Game of Thrones showing the misuse of power, revenge, murder, and intrigue.

It’s all about human behavior that seems to be part of our human destiny (until we finally say stop). So, read on and learn.

Gaslighters are compulsive liars (think about any you know personally). My best is a woman who worked for us years ago named Janet. She was a master manipulator and it took some time to figure out what was really going on. I owe her a debt of gratitude since the term Splitter came from her insane behavior. It took time for our entire staff to see how destructive she was (and sadly still is).

Here’s what the Splitters, narcissists, and sociopaths do:

                                       They use gaslighting to gain power and control

                                        They convince you they are right and what you think happened was wrong

                                        They minimize their role to one of being insignificant (“no big deal”)

                                        They conveniently forget and never can remember what they did as abusive

                                        They play the victim while inside they are smirking at you

                                         They are never accountable for their actions

                                         They always vote by including others to convince you they are right

                                         They will back out on promises and say they never ever agreed

                                         They make up conversations that make them look good and you look awful

Problem is they dress well, speak effectively, and will talk to others about you and tell you they “have your back” while they tell you that others don’t care for you.

Want to know how to handle splitters (aka narcissists and sociopaths)? Please read my book, especially pages 83-84 and 156-157.

Now, there is some good news. Splitters who can transform their very destructive behavior become Peace Makers. It takes work to drill down to the root of where and how this started. Then it takes time to change behavior. It can be done.

No Janet never changed and she has had maybe 5 more jobs since she left out organization. However, I can spot a splitter, gaslighter, narcissist, sociopath within minutes these days. If you are working (or living) with a gaslighting splitter, give me a call and I would be honored to help you find your way out of the maze of misery they create.

Call 570 233 1042 to set time to talk.

Business and Life Patterns Gutsy Leadership Leadership Styles

Gutsy or Bold, Are You Ready to Take a Step Forward?

What does it take to make the leap? Whether you’re gutsy or bold, are you ready to take a step forward?

I was reflecting on the physical or emotional cost when you take a GUTSY or BOLD step out of the old ‘this is the way it is meant to be’ mentality.

I was thinking about Karen who called off her wedding the day before. I was thinking about Stan who quit his very lucrative position rather than stay with a company that promised and rarely delivered.

And then I was thinking about my personal moment of being GUTSY or BOLD. I was a young employee, back in the day. The popular wisdom was to look the other way, keep your head down, do your job and stay silent. I didn’t.

When did you take a stand? Make a dramatic change? Follow your dream even if a crazy one?

AND then what happened?

Karen found her voice (and a great boyfriend), Stan started his own company (and sold it for big bucks.) And I wrote my book GUTSY: How Women Leaders Make Change (that won some awards.)

Now, between Karen and her voice, Stan and his company, me and my book, there was lots of territory to traverse. Lots of stories of highs and lows, glee and tears, fear and courage.

If, as you read this, you can feel yourself revisiting your moment of GUTSY or BOLD, I have a proposition for you.

I have been asked to add a sequel to GUTSY. Men as well as women are looking for stories of inspiration and they want it from us. That means you and you and you and me. You know, ordinary people who have had an extraordinary experience.

The stories will be gathered in a book about what happens when you take a stand and then, what happens afterward.

In my research over the years I constantly found that making the right move in any situation is 20% strategy and 80% psychology. Thus, we can learn from each other and what better way than through hearing each other’s stories. We can give each other courage to leap rather than tip-toe, tell the truth rather than smooth it over, stand steady rather than walk away.

If you would like to be featured in the new book, GUTSY and BOLD: Stories from Women and Men that Make a Difference please fill out the form below and let’s get going.

Helping each other grow and become the best we can be is nourishing. Tell your story. I know you will be a great guide for so many whose names you may never know, yet, they will know yours and will thank you for helping them take the next GUTSY and BOLD step.

Business and Life Patterns Growth Gutsy Leadership Leadership Strategies

Gutsy Woman Profile: Karen Mangia

I want to share the story of Karen Mangina who I recently met and to me is the epitome of a GUTSY woman.

What would you do if you were in a situation you knew, yes knew, deep inside would be a vast mistake to follow through? Would you take a deep breath and say, “I’m outa here” or “I changed my mind” or “This doesn’t work for me?”

I’ve asked this question to tons of people, male and female and the answers sort into only two real options.

  1. Suck it up and remember that you made the bed, now you will have to sleep in it.
  2. Get out and don’t look back.

Can you guess which answer was voted on more by the men and which by the women. Or, in your mind, were the answers just about 50-50?

From my study the women were more prone to suck it up and the men were more willing to get the heck out and not look back.

Thus, the pleaser personality stood out for the gals and the avoider personality was more prevalent for the guys.

Obviously, neither way is the best. Best would be to buy some ‘wiggle room’ and find possibilities to either make the difficult situation more appealing or, at least, if you need to leave, to make sure you do so without leaving disaster behind.

Okay, so much for being philosophical.

I’d like to introduce you to Karen. She is the epitome of a GUTSY woman. And, in a minute I will tell you her YIKES story and what she is here to tell others who get stuck between that rock and a hard place where it seems there is no winning.

I was lucky enough to have Karen introduce me at The Indiana Women’s Conference.

She did her homework and rather than just talk about my credentials, she told a story about what I learned watching my mother navigate the months after my father’s untimely death in his early 50’s when I was only 14 years old. That introduction was so much more powerful than just listing degrees or awards. It made me real to everyone in the room.

I was intrigued with her insightfulness.

Yet, it wasn’t till we had coffee after the presentation that I realized I was with a real powerhouse, a woman who could stand tall and not be tossed to the side of a road when a situation becomes sticky or impossible.

Karen Mangia is VP of  Customer and Market Insights at Salesforce. She is a bright light, with a smile that says “Let’s connect. Let’s communicate. Let’s learn.” She is also an author, and I want to recommend her book to all of you, Success with Less: Releasing Obligations and Discovering Joy.

Here is where I put my latte down and just listened with my mouth half opened in awe. She was telling   me about the time that she had to use all the GUTSY chips she had gathered to get through the next few days of her life.

In her own words from her book,  “My mom parked the car and started to pop the trunk so we could carry the gifts inside. As we walked around to the back of the car, I started to cry. I couldn’t stop the sentence that was going to change my life. “Mom, I can’t go through with the wedding.” Followed by “Don’t unload the gifts.” (I was upset, but I was also practical.)”

It’s now many moons later and Karen talked about how she had been running on empty until that crisis rocked her world.

She talked about how she began a search for wholeness. The non-wedding was the starter, plus some very difficult health issues, led Karen to search for meaning in her life.

In her book she has tips and tools for understanding the deeper meaning of ‘less.’ It’s about overcoming obstacles and taking steps to evaluate what is true and right for you. Let me say it another way, choose what really matters and let the rest go. It’s an internal decision, and no one, let me say that another way, no relative, friend, or colleague can choose for you.

If you, like Karen, are ready to change from a pleaser to a truth teller take her advice and sit quietly till you become clear about what really matters. Then read her book to help you take the next steps. It made a difference for me.

Being GUTSY is a practice, not just a wish. And the more that GUTSY Women and BOLD Men stay the course and tell the truth the better our world will be.

Business Business and Life Patterns Leadership Strategies Patterns Success

How to sustain growth and become a better version of you

In this article I share my thoughts about how to sustain growth and become a better version of you.

Are you hearing bells yet? There will be a lot of people chanting, ‘Ring out the old and bring in the new. That’s the motto I am starting to hear with only a few days left to embrace this year.

It’s a similar pattern all over the world.

Let’s take a few minutes for a deeper look at what that means: Do we really want to ring out the old? And what is the new we all talk about?

Recently a client told me she was sick of seeing and hearing so many superficial comments about how to make the new year a great one.  She said:

“Every year I make the same promises to myself. I promise to be more caring and kind- hearted at home and to be more of a cheerleader to my direct reports at work. And yet, by day 7 of the new year, I can feel myself falling backwards, into the old behaviors that I specifically want to change.

I think of myself as a boomerang. Not good!

What is the magic formula, or if not magic, at least a formula that will keep me on track for more than a few days?

And by the way, did I mention that I also want to lose a few pounds?

My question is: what can I do to sustain growth throughout the year and see really productive changes in 365 days?”

My response: We’ve all been there. Change is annoying, uncomfortable and often fearful. And, I believe, it is human nature to want to do better and be better. It’s in the how, that we slip and fall.

First, you need to get prepared. Louis Pasteur, you know the guy who invented the technique for treating milk and wine to stop bacterial contamination. His famous quote “Chance favors only the prepared mind” is one you can print out and put somewhere at home and at work.

There are way too many people and products on the market these days that promise instant transformation if you just do ‘this one thing.”

Won’t work over the long haul.

I suggest you begin the new year preparing for change. You can’t wish for the magic of change to happen until you figure out what patterns of behavior you keep repeating so you can break that frustrating cycle of pattern repetition.

Start by taking the Leadership Development Quiz to see which of the 13 most common patterns in the family and in the workplace have your name on them. Then comes the hard work to take the time to observe yourself without judging.

This is how the mind gets prepared for change and getting into a place where you can sustain growth.

I believe the process of deep, long term change begins with preparation. Think of it this way: prior preparation cuts the time to success in half. Take the opportunity at the beginning of the year to search inside yourself and observe before you make half baked promises to yourself that kid you into thinking you will have important changes handled in a week or two.

Research indicates that, at best, it takes 90 days for real change to lock in. So, by end of March you should be able to evaluate your progress with being able to sustain growth and become a better version of you .

My Pattern Aware Success Guide is surprise surprise, a 90 days program in an ebook, to help you sustain growth, make the changes you choose, like the woman above who wants to be more caring and kind-hearted at home and more of a cheerleader to her direct reports at work.

Check out the Pattern Aware Success Guide on Amazon.

And I have a special gift for all of you for the new year. It’s a copy of my webinar Give Change a Chance.

All you have to do is send me an email and it’s yours to help prepare you for what looks like a powerful roller coaster ride in 2019.

Here’s to being able to sustain growth and become a better version of you!

Business and Life Patterns Gutsy Patterns

Which one are you: Overwhelmed, Overworked or Frustrated?

Did you ever wonder if men feel as overwhelmed, overworked, and frustrated as women do, on a daily basis?

I did some digging to find the answers.

I spent time looking at the three areas of what it means to be overwhelmed, overworked, and frustrated.

Here is what I found.


Let’s look at being overwhelmed first: Those of us who are pleasers (and women make up the majority of pleasers) who stay in that place of feeling like there is not one more ounce of energy to do another thing. This can bring tears, anger, depression, and all types of physical symptoms like headaches, heartaches, and hypertension. The list is long.

Look, when you can’t say NO it’s just like any other addiction. It takes over and leaves little room for honest thinking about what you should be doing. You become a puppet to the pattern you developed, that began when you watched and reacted to your parents or caretakers who helped mold your responses.

Saying YES to please others can be very comforting initially. You are liked, you are talked about in flattering terms. You are “the good one.”

However, like any addiction, the stakes keep getting higher as people want more and more from you and you have no more to give. Tough spot to be in.

Full disclosure. I, myself, am a recovering pleaser.

Here’s what I discovered as I began the journey from pleaser to its positive opposite, being a truth teller.

I had to learn that to NOT SPEAK UP is eventually destructive. It takes time and practice to think of yourself first, or at least, not ignore your personal wants and needs.

So, as far as overwhelmed, women win the title.


Let’s move to overworked. In our world the typical 9 to 5 job is virtually a myth. Just about everyone works more than 40 hours a week. Many who are in positions of leadership work an 80- hour week.  

When stress is high, we all, men and women, tend to finally “blow our tops.” That is when the drama queen and king show up. One way to reduce stress is to yell and make the situation look much worse than it is. For a brief time, the release of spewing out not only the annoyance of a situation, also using colorful language really does help. At least, for the moment.

However, this is a defense mechanism that can only go so far. After the initial explosion, there is always debris that must be cleared away. Sure, it feels good to take a plate and smash it to make a statement. However, then the splattered plate must be cleaned up. And words said in anger with lots of finger pointing also must be cleared up.

In the realm of overworked, where the drama queen or king does NOT SHUT UP, it’s about equal for men and women. Those who can harness this energy can become great storytellers and use the energy in a positive way.


The third area I considered are those who are frustrated and yet, do NOT OWN UP. This looks different for men and women. However, when you don’t own up to what has happened and are unwilling to be accountable the results are equally disastrous.

Women who do not own up to their part in any situation are seen as victims. They tend to bow their heads, say they were never told what to do, or some other lame excuse like that. This is the ‘deer in the headlight’s’ syndrome.

When women see their part in any given situation, they can become explorers who will look for better and new ways to handle what is going on. This is a great energy boost to get up and get going. Frustration melts away as more creative and purposeful ways of handling life’s situations are explored.

Men who do NOT OWN UP, when they are frustrated, become persecutors (aka bullies) and tend to point their index finger at everyone else. It becomes, “he said, she said, they said” with no looking inward at oneself.

If men can finally see their part in any given situation, they become visionaries. They take that finger pointing at others and point it toward the sky, painting a picture of future possibilities.

Thus, when it comes to frustration, women and men handle the situations differently. Yet, I say this one is also a toss-up on who is the more frustrated.

I would love to hear your thoughts about how you and those around you handle being overwhelmed, overworked and frustrated. This becomes even more apparent during this holiday season. So, it’s a great time to begin to observe your behavior and make a commitment to change.

Business and Life Patterns Patterns

The most valued gift for the holidays…is YOU

In this post, I’m pondering the thought of what is the most valued gift for the holidays?

This is the time of year for both fun and family. Yet, sometimes, the two words don’t really go together.

Wouldn’t it be better if when you sit around the family table you were supported and delighted? And, even better, that you could support and delight those with whom you share a deep common bond?

And equally important did you ever think about the fact that so many of the patterns from how you behave with your relatives are carried from the family table to the meeting table at work.

Think of it this way, there are structural similarities between families and workgroups. Bosses can resemble parents and co-workers can feel like siblings. You get a salary, kinda like an allowance, and there are performance improvement plans that look like those frustrating ‘time outs’ we all experienced as kids.

This is the season for GUTSY women and BOLD men to look at the behaviors that get in the way of success. What better gift for the holidays than having a caring and even carefree holiday time where the most valued gift you can give to others is……YOU.

Here are my thoughts on what is needed along with the fun of giving and getting presents:

It’s your presence.

Yes, your presence. That means showing the very best of who you are and how you relate to those both around the family and the conference table.

Here is my thought for the holidays:

“It’s not about survival of the fittest.

It’s about how we can all survive and be fit”

In this unprecedented time when world stress is so high, I implore you to look for methods to support your biological family and your work family in new ways. In my books, Don’t Bring It To Work and GUTSY: How Women Leaders Make Change I help you recognize the 13 most common patterns from childhood that show up in all adult relationships. I help you gain skills to diminish conflict (not get rid of it, that’s impossible) just make it manageable and shorten the time of distress.

Answer this. Are you a pleaser, avoider or rescuer?

These examples of learned patterns are painfully annoying and simply don’t work. Once you learn the secrets of relationship systems by observing your outdated survival mechanisms you can harness and transform them. Then you can make optimal decisions and be a positive resource for family, friends, and colleagues at work.

Take the Leadership Quiz or the GUTSY Quiz to see what you need to do differently to upgrade your presence. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, all year round.

And if you buy either book, I’d like to gift you with a copy of the Pattern Aware Success Guide or the GUTSY Success Guide Book.

These books will help you learn to change patterns, one day at a time. It works.

Business and Life Patterns Leadership Leadership Strategies Leadership Styles Patterns

Have a heartwarming and growth-inducing Thanksgiving

I am writing a heartfelt message to hopefully help make your Thanksgiving time as positive and fruitful as possible.

First, here is a quote from retired Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Conner:

The Family unit plays a critical role in our society

And in the generations to come.

In all the work I have done as a therapist and leadership coach, those words ring true for everyone both at home and at work.

Interestingly, many wish this were not the case, that annoying family members could just be forgotten.

Not possible.

Some of my best advice in “Don’t Bring It To Work” and “GUTSY: How Women Leaders Make Change” is about how to transform outdated behavior patterns we learned in our original organization the family that we bring into work and all other relationships.

Take the Leadership or GUTSY quiz to see where you are in terms of pattern repetition.

Today, I want to give you two tips that may well lead to a new understanding of those around you.

“TELL ME MORE”: Most of the time we stay at the superficial and safe level of talking with each other. To get underneath the obvious where the gold of truth lies, all you need to do is say “TELL ME MORE” to invite a richer discussion.

In my experience, most people want to heal past rifts and want to love and be loved in return. While this may sound too soft and fuzzy, it’s the opposite. Being open and searching for truth is the true hero and heroine’s journey.

It takes GUTSY women and BOLD men to be open and not defensive.

Your experiment is to simply deepen your discussion with at least one person over the Thanksgiving holiday.

“IT WOULD MEAN A LOT TO ME”: Being vulnerable takes strength and determination. Easier to defend, explain and justify, to judge, blame and attack. That is the way most of us were taught to protect ourselves as kids and yes, we bring this with us into adulthood.

The words “It would mean a lot to me” are very carefully chosen. Saying what you ‘want’ or ‘need’ often creates a push back. It sounds like you are weak or demanding.

Simply telling someone what would really matter to you without putting a burden on them to fulfill a want or need is more honest and also more possible.

It would mean a lot to me to hear from those of you who use these two communication tools during the holiday season.

Also, it would mean a lot to me if you would take a minute and vote for me as a global guru for the 4th year in a row.

Thanks for all the support and comments over this past year.

Have a heartwarming and growth-inducing Thanksgiving.