Porcupine Encounters

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You’re sure to encounter “prickly people” just about everywhere you go! And that means there will be some prickly folks at work too – people who rub you the wrong way, rarely have a positive thing to say, and are just rough to deal with. John Ortberg calls those kinds of people “porcupines” in his book Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them. Since you were created for relationship, you long to be close to others, but when you operate out of the “poke you before you poke me mentality,” it prevents you from successfully enjoying relationships in the … Read More

How to Increase Gratitude & Beat Stress

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Throughout the year there are seasons when the activity level rises: the holidays, before school starts and wraps up – even tax season can make for extra work personally that can be stressful for you as a leader. Extra activity can also be created by unexpected circumstances – good or bad! There are also seasons during the year that leading naturally takes more out of you than normal: leading up to a fundraiser or event, launching a new product, or attempting to hire that right person, to mention just a few. And there are ways you contribute to your own … Read More

8 Ways to Be a More Balanced Leader

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Illustration of a man walking on a tightrope

Balance is a tricky. It’s your ability to respond to both external forces, as well as internal forces, in a way that allows you to maintain equilibrium, to be steady. It takes a strong core and your entire body working together for you to successfully balance – your brain, eyes, ears, and stabilizing muscles. A high level of kinesthetic awareness doesn’t hurt either! When there is just the right tension between strength and flexibility, balance is the result. Overworked muscles lose their range of motion, hindering balance. And muscles that are only stretched lack tone, which aids balance. Muscle strength … Read More

7 Signs of Freedom in Your Culture

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Like you, I’ve worked for a variety of leaders. While every leader has their own unique style, some leaders have a way of cultivating a culture of freedom while others create a culture of fear. I don’t fare well in an environment full of fear. I bet you don’t either! Leadership is lonely, laden with responsibility and rife with challenges. It takes being secure and confident in who you are to pull off to lead successfully. Frieda, at least that’s what I will call her, was one of those kinds of leaders. In fact, in many ways her leadership played … Read More

How to Boost Your Self-Awareness – The Key Ingredient!

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Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, biscuits, and coffee cake are just a few of my family’s favorite breakfast choices. I like to be creative in the kitchen, so I’ve prepared these goodies with wheat, spelt, and even made them gluten free!  I’ve swapped out the pumpkin for applesauce in the muffins. When making the biscuits, I’ve used regular milk, buttermilk, almond milk, sour cream, and yogurt. For the nuts in the coffee cake, I’ve alternated between walnuts and pecans. And depending on who would be indulging, I used either butter or Earth Balance. I am the queen of substitutions when it … Read More

The Taco Salad Principle

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Image of a plate set with a fork, spoon, and knife

There I was with an enormous serving of taco salad staring back at me. It was one BIG salad! No one seemed to notice, the family chatter continued around me like everything was normal. I suppose in some ways it was. This wasn’t the first time I’d faced an immense serving of taco salad. You see, my family is a diverse crew. Some eat dairy, some don’t. These two love tomatoes, the others prefer to skip them. Some eat more like bunnies, others more like carnivores. In order to appeal to the many preferences, I place all the taco salad … Read More

Navigating the Unknown

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My Thomas Guide was a lifesaver when I worked as a sales rep shortly after graduating from college. For those of you who are too young to know about maps of this variety, or didn’t live on the west coast, Thomas Guides were spiral bound street maps for specific areas. I had one for Santa Clara County and one for Santa Barbara, San Louis Obispo, and Ventura Counties to cover my sales territory. I heavily depended on my Thomas Guides to assist me in navigating my sales calls. The night before, I would map out the most efficient route, taking … Read More

How to Bring Out the Best in Your People

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It’s spring, so that means happy times in my yard. The weather’s been absolutely perfect for gardening! Watching the flowers in my yard bloom – that brings me joy! Even a trip to the mail box is an adventure because it’s a chance to see what new flowers have arrived on the scene. Flanking our front door, we have some lovely flower boxes. I love the idea of people being welcomed by a colorful profusion of blooms as they come to the door. My flower boxes don’t have the benefit of sprinklers like the rest of my yard. That means … Read More

Get Excited! Practical Ways to Boost Your Confidence

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Leading without confidence is like trying to drive a car without gas! It just doesn’t work! Confidence is a basic and necessary component of leadership, whether you are leading others or simply leading you! And it’s really a no brainer – you don’t want to fly in a plane with an unsure pilot, sit in the chair of a hesitant dentist, or surrender your locks to a tentative hairstylist! Last week I did something bold – you might even say rather crazy! I scheduled a haircut with someone brand new. No recommendations; not even an online review to guide my … Read More

How Many Hats Do You Wear?

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Hats look awesome on most people – I am just not so fond of how hats look on me. I am not quite sure why I chose to wear a hat when I got married, but that was a number of years ago! These days, I only wear hats out of necessity. I have a cute baseball cap with pearls on it that I wear to keep my hair from becoming a tangled mess when we are out on the lake having fun on the boat. I also have a knit hat or two with matching scarves  that I wear … Read More