Goals Growth Gutsy Leadership Leadership Strategies Patterns

Time for New Resolutions

It’s that time for new resolutions. Right? You know, the ones that usually become old in a week and absolutely stale by the end of the month.

“Change,” I hear you say, “change is tough.” And it is.  


There is one new resolution you can make that will reap tons and tons of rewards.

It’s about practicing change before you must change.

This should be in the curriculum at school starting in middle school. But, it’s not. No one teaches this. Most of us just get into a sticky situation, and change comes at us like a fire snorting dragon.


Once you practice change by taking a risk, you become more confident, more focused, and yes, the next change gets easier.

Here is the practice part of change:

                            Pick a time to be quiet and plan.

                            Pick something you want to change.

                            Make it something that doesn’t make you freeze in place.

                            Paint the scene, in your mind, of what will happen if you do something differently.

                            Write it down. 

Now you are ready to make new resolutions that stick. Take the risk (come on, it’s just a small risk.) And, you only must do it once, not like losing weight that is an everyday affair.

Here are a few examples of new resolutions from some of my clients:

Tom, the perennial under-achiever, would always talk last in business meetings. He finally made the conscious decision to take just one risk, to speak up first and not hold back. Yes, for someone who always had to make sure he didn’t rock the boat, speaking up first was a challenge. Just this small change boosted his confidence and he soon found himself moving from being an avoider to becoming the initiator of discussions. 

Connie was constantly over-thinking what she could and should say to her boss when the demands were piling up. Her risk was to move from pleaser to truth-teller. She agreed to do this once, just once to see what would happen. Of course, you guessed that when she told her “the Devil Wears Prada” bully boss “No” to a new project and the reasons why their relationship became more relaxed and cooperative. 

Tammy was known as the office rebel. Yet, deep inside she was filled with self-doubt. There was always worry that others would think she was just a pain in the butt troublemaker. So, when she made the decision to take that one risk and call a meeting to look at the company issues about diversity, she was, in her words, “numb with fear.” One risk changed her life. She now has colleagues to collaborate with and, as a group, they are working together for positive change.

Now, it’s your turn to start making your new resolutions. 

What is one risk you are willing to take? Write it down. Talk to a friend about it. Visualize what can happen once you take that deep breath and then even a mini step will move you towards more ease and joy. 

One small risk at a time.

The confidence, energy, focus, motivation, ease and joy you are searching for is right here, right now as you move past the patterns that have kept you stuck especially when making new resolutions.

Goals Growth Patterns Success

How to break through the patterns holding you back

I want to talk to you about how to break through the patterns that are holding you back.

Get a rubber band. Well, you can wait till you read why you need one.

A rubber band around your wrist (any color you want is fine) can help you breakthrough the annoying outdated behavior patterns that get in the way of success.

“Oh” I hear you saying, “It can’t be that easy.”

I didn’t say easy. All I said was “Get a rubber band.”

Here is how the OUT Technique I have developed works.

  • Observe your behavior patterns and they automatically lose the vast hold they have.
  • Understand where they started and they fade even more into the background.
  • Transform them to their positive opposites and watch the magic happen.

So, what’s with the rubber band?

It’s a reminder that the time for change is now. Right now while you are in the middle of the change process. Next time you catch yourself being a pleaser or a procrastinator the rubber band can remind you to stay strong and not fall back or even lean back.

Let me share a quick story about how Tom used the rubber band technique was able to break through the patterns that were holding him back.

Tom who was a procrastinator and was always waiting to finish a project tomorrow he learned the rubber band trick and now, he will stay with a task till done. Tomorrow is for what is fresh and new. No more guilt and excuses, he is really using his time wisely.

Find a pattern you are sick and tired of repeating. It can be from mood eating to keep you from feeling sad to angry responses when your buttons get pushed.

Have a thick rubber band comfortably over your wrist. It needs to be loose so you can snap it. No, not to hurt yourself, just as a reminder.

When you are doing the same thing over and over without getting the results you want it’s time for a snap!

Like Tom, every time he would make an excuse about getting his work done he would pull the rubber band back and yes, there would be the ouch factor and sting.

So what, it’s not life-threatening. It’s life-enhancing.

Right after you snap it tell yourself you no longer want the negative in your life. Be very clear and keep it simple. For example, Tom would say “I am good enough to finish my work and not be afraid of criticism.” He would then add an important positive sentence “I am a creative person and my work is valuable.”

When Tom learned the OUT Technique he needed a stimulus to remind him not to stay in the outdated negative place of feeling he was always making mistakes and his work would not be appreciated. That was what used to happen in school and he told me “I hate handing anything in at work, even though I am good at what I do because now I see how I am reminded of the red marks on my homework that made me feel like crap.”

Memories are never truly buried and when a strong stimulus comes along to tap into old, hurtful thoughts it is so easy to go back to being the child or teen who was not good enough or afraid to speak up.

We do, all of us, bring to work in our computer bag what was in our school backpack. Here is one way to help you stay on the positive side of the road.  Try the rubber band technique to help you break through the patterns holding you back and let me know what you think!

More good techniques to come so stay tuned.



Coaching Goals Growth Success

Why You Must Learn to Trust Yourself First

Did you ever have to “out” someone who is scamming you? What do you do when you finally see that there are some real jerks in the world taking advantage of you?

When you can finally pull back the curtain, only then can you make the changes that need to be made for progress to occur.

When Dorothy and friends saw the great and powerful Oz was just another scammer she said, “If you are really great and powerful you would keep your promises.”

To which he replied, “I’m really a very good man, just a very bad wizard.”

The moral of this story is that you need to trust yourself, your instincts, and your inner knowledge before putting your trust in someone else.

Since I was named a top 30 global leadership guru for the 7th year in a row I have been getting tons of emails asking for advice. Often, I feel like the famous Wizard of Oz who needs to know all the answers.

I suggest, to all of you reading this to please trust yourself before you start to put your trust into someone else. That doesn’t mean ignore. It means ASK the right questions to see if who you are contacting had the background, ability, and knowledge to help you grow as a leader.

I, for example, have expertise in work and family relationships. I have studied the interactions of people with each other in teams and working virtually. These are great places to ask me for help.

However, when it comes to SEO and social media you need a different kind of authority. And, even when I tell people my expertise is vertical, I get resistance.

I have decided that the world Guru causes most of us to give our power away to anyone out there who claims they have all the answers. Guru and Wizard are merely just labels and it is your responsibility to question the authorities to make sure they have the expertise they claim.

There are too many scam artists in the world who teach a short cut version to success. They say, you don’t have to be an expert, you just have to market smartly.

I say, pick those who have dedicated their lives to digging under the obvious to find the answers to the mysteries of life.

Most important, don’t be swayed by titles, be swayed by wisdom.  

Those on the Guru list with me are all seasoned professionals and any one of them (including me) would be capable of helping you uncover the invisible areas of leadership and the hidden rules that guide the way we behave with each other.

Your first task is to ask the right questions before you sign on with someone who may, just may, be hiding behind a curtain of baloney.


Business and Life Patterns Goals Leadership

What Business Leaders Can Do When The World Seems To Be Falling Apart

This week’s article is written with deep sadness. The question that so many are asking today, after the devastation in Las Vegas is “When will we ever learn?”

Words fall short.

Does calling the killer evil or insane make a real difference? There always seems to be the next evil, insane one.

The gun lobby says “Well, cars kill so should we ban cars?” We know cars and guns don’t kill. Yet, who is  looking deeply enough at the core reasons people use cars and guns to kill.

Then there are those who say we are free to bear arms, no matter what.

Do you know that there is a larger group of people with guns in the United States (42%) than elsewhere in the world?

Is our way of life only about money and profits and greed?

Here’s where I’m going…. I think there is a crisis of meaning and values and that is what we are up against.

Leaders, listen up.

Here is one of the key questions for today. It’s a question that is begging for a dialogue.

We humans have developed consummate technological capability to do almost anything we can imagine wanting to do. How can we now develop corresponding ability to choose wisely what should be done and how we can support each other and the earth as we move forward.

How do we get past the yes, I am for or the no I am against?

That is such an old model.

Leaders, you can begin the dialogue at work. Start with your leadership team. Set up lunch and learn sessions to discuss the cost of short term objectives that ultimately induce long-term consequences.

Bring in some educators who will take your employees down the path of critical thinking.

It doesn’t matter if you sell shoes or underwear or if you provide services such as mortgages or seo support.

We are all smarter than we realize and when we begin to talk and gather together for the common good, wonders can happen. Is this just a simply, cotton-candy way of looking at the world? I sure hope not.

Here is another vital question.

How can we exercise needed societal control without sacrificing individual liberty?

My part of the puzzle is in relationships.

There are no INDIVIDUAL actions. All actions are inter-related.

Think of it this way. We are born from a relationship (those two-people called mother and father) through a relationship (called giving birth) into a relationship (called caretaking).

All work together. And they are all interactive.

So, let’s stop thinking about individual rights and start a deeper dialogue about relationship rights.

Our dominant materialistic world view and accompanying weakness of values and meaning has led to a very deep human concern — alienation. Most of us are alienated from nature and because of that we ignore the Earth’s life support system, our very survival.

Recent posts I’ve read are about loneliness at work, a place that has become increasingly devoid of meaning.

And at the core, we are alienated from each other and thus, from ourselves.

Leaders, start a discussion group at your organization. Maybe only one or two will show up initially. However, it the time is meaningful the word will spread and you will have employees asking for speakers and reading material.

Everything is connected, and no one wins unless we all do.


Business Coaching Communication General Resolution Goals Leadership

Leadership Lessons: How Listening Changes Your Responses

Hearing and listening are related. Similar yet very different. We hear loud sounds, the wind, someone laughing or yelling. And then what? We just get on with our day.

Listening, ah, another story entirely.

Were you ever told to “listen up” when you were a kid? Did someone ever say “Hey, will you just shut up and listen?”

Big question: Were you ever taught to listen?

Business Change Coaching Communication Goals

The Colors of Gender Thanks to Modern Marketing and Ancient Ancestors

From the day you were born, even before conception, there are beliefs and stereotypes that are attached to gender.

Let’s consider the color continuum for gender. Pink is for girls and blue is for boys. Right? Where did this begin? Who decided which colors belong to which gender?

Here is a brief trip through history. In the 1800’s all babies, male and female, wore white “dresses” in infancy. Thus, babies were gender neutral. These sacks were easy for changing diapers and to bleach when they became dirty.

Then around the 1920’s Western parents began dressing the little ones in colors. Pink was associated with boys. Yes, you heard me, boys. Here is the rationale: red is a bold and brave color and too strong for children so, boys got the watered-down version…pink.

Blue, a more subdued color was for girls. And by the way, blue was associated with the Virgin Mary, thus a color of purity. Just saying!

Business Business and Life Patterns Goals Leadership

3 Fundamental Needs For Happiness To Start The New Year

There are three fundamental needs we all have that seem to sparkle more during the holidays and end of year, than at any other time. Check over the list and see where you will want to put your energies to grow and learn in the next year, which is right around the corner.

The first is the need for love and belonging. Love and belonging show up in many different shapes and colors. However, the theme is one of social interaction with family and friends. And yes, pets too.

Then, there is an area of belonging that comes from time in nature. Mother Nature and Father Sky are an important part of the Native American culture that we are hearing more about since Standing Rock and the pipeline dilemma that is making news.

Business Goals Growth

Standing Rock is Rocking Our World

The growing focus on Standing Rock Reservation and the issues surrounding water, oil, human rights, and earth rights brought up a memory from several years ago.

The morning after the sweat lodge we sat in a circle for our farewell ceremony. Bleary eyed in the predawn cold, something looked and felt different.

Was it just me?

I asked others who had joined our Leadership in Action program. The program was designed as a “pattern interrupt,” to leave, even briefly, from our daily ways of living and experience another cultural perspective.

The idea behind this type of adventure is to continue to move from the information age to the knowledge era. The more you know and understand systems thinking, how everything is connected, the better you can guide the direction of your life and make positive impact on those you lead. This trip was to learn new skills from Native American teachers and bring the indigenous wisdom back to the workplace.

Business Communication General Resolution Goals

Spotting The Big Difference Between Charming and Sincere

We live in a time of sizzle and dazzle, quips and giggles. It’s not a time to do deep dives into any subject.

How do I know?

I’ve fool-hardheartedly been following the Presidential election soaps on television and twitter.

I’ve been wondering why and when we turned from substance to slander and superficiality.

I want someone to blame. I want something to blame.

Ah, technology did it. Or maybe it’s because we have free reign to get guns and shoot them whenever we want. I know, it’s because we did not build enough walls to keep “them out” or to keep “those in.”

I got it!

It’s my parents fault. They were too busy making a living to really live. Busy, busy, busy all the time. Ah, that’s how I learned that life is about stuffing ourselves with stuff.

And that leads me to the social narcissism I see that is clogging our relationship system today.

I have a warning: STOP and listen. STOP and question. STOP and say NO.

Business and Life Patterns Goals Growth Leadership

Big Decisions, Little Decisions: Which Are More Important?

The quality of your life, personally and professionally, is based on how you make decisions.

There is the old way and the new way: hint, the new way is actually older than the old way. The indigenous cultures all knew and still know that everything is connected. Somewhere along the way as we became “sophisticated intellectuals” and “rugged individualists” the idea of inter-connection became old-fashioned.

Take business decisions.

Most companies use a variation of the Gap Analysis. First you are supposed to look at where you are; then where you envision you want to be; and finally create a plan to get from here to there. Simple. It’s like: think, vision, execute.

However, there is a missing piece.