“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep.” and so Rumi aptly advises us.

But, who is this breeze?
What if the breeze could be you?

Leadership can take the form of the breeze in Rumi's quote (i.e. Being the Messenger)

If you had the chance to be the breeze in someone’s dawn, would you take it?
Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In the garden,

a lone unusual flower blossomed at the end of a branch.

Snapping a shot, I tweeted:

“TakeThisMoment #Leadership #Thought:
Go ahead, go out on a limb. Something good will blossom.”

This tweet about leadership resonated and was retweeted, but held a secret. Photo credit: Jackie Yun | JackieYun.com

This tweet about leadership resonated and was retweeted, but held a secret.
Photo credit: Jackie Yun | JackieYun.com

Then a breeze blew in

from @szark_1 , not a follower of mine but a follower of @ghani_b who follows me and I him.  Quietly responding to me and @ghani_b, @szark_1 tweeted:

what looks so beautifully is a strong poison ‘Datura’“.

Continue Reading…

My old college roomie, years ago, sent me a book called:

“What Would Jackie Do?”

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Don’t Get Stuck When A Difficult Leadership Situation Pops Up!
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

subtitled: “An Inspired Guide to Distinctive Living”.  If I were to follow the wisdom of Jackie O as outlined in the book, I could know what to do and bloom!

My old roomie would raise her eyebrow if she knew that some on my team asked that same question: “What Would Jackie Do?” — thinking Jackie Y instead of Jackie O — not for “distinctive living” but rather to figure out how to handle difficult work situations.

It was an effective crutch for their leadership (glad it worked!) and an ego boost for me (we all need that sometimes! ~ thank you, team!!), but …

As a leader, you don’t want to be the crutch for people long term. 

You want people to graduate from You! 

You want to see the core values you set for the organization become their own — internalizing these so they become leaders in their own right and make decisions from their minds and hearts.

Mission statements can be a helpful guide, but how memorable and inspiring is yours? (If yours is like mine was, it’s time to review and update. Some tips in this article from Business News Daily.)

For a simple approach with needed internal heart fueling power …

Try the “3 Words Exercise” 

Chris Brogan, CEO of Owner Media Group and NY TImes Best Selling Author, created this exercise for personal growth and as “something that would work within our thought process daily”.

Here’s how to get started.

Continue Reading…

The Work Sharknado gnashes your good intentions to bits!

An unrelenting torrent of projects needs your guidance, a storm of less than delighted (i.e. irate) customers expects answers from you, and a pile up of high priority demands from your boss and the executive suite screams for your attention.

When can you find the time to thank your hard working team?

Don’t let the Work Sharknado blow your appreciation intentions into disarray!

You don’t have to let Team Appreciation fall into the jaws of the Work Sharknado!
Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Don’t let the Work Sharknado blow your appreciation intentions into disarray.

Counterattack with this simple one-word approach:


3 Imminently Do-Able Ideas To Find Time For Appreciation

Re-purpose Your Time! Execute on Showing Your Appreciation.
Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Execute on this and you’ll be able to give yourself back the time you need to show gratitude to your team. Here are 3 imminently do-able suggestions — these will also net some side benefits that’ll take you and your team’s effectiveness sky high.

1. Turn Your Office Hour into A “Thank-You” Office Hour

Turn Your Office Hour into a "Thank You" Office Hour

Your Office Hour: Perfect Venue to Show Your Appreciation!
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

For your stream of office hour visitors, start each conversation with a word of appreciation. Don’t let the issue of the day cloud over and make you forget to express your appreciation!

On the flip side, (yes, hard to admit) there were quiet times during my weekly drop-in office hour when I wasn’t reeling anyone from the team in. Maybe this happens to you, too?

Don’t succumb to temptation to use that time to attend to your own work (I know the temptation myself!). Re-purpose those minutes into productive staff appreciation time.

Fill out your company stationery or a few blank note cards (which you’ve bought previously and stashed in your desk) with your sincerest “merci” to a team member or two. Then personally deliver these notes straight to the recipient!

No stationery? You forgot to buy note cards? No worries. Text or call instead. Email can do in a pinch, but it can get lost in that ocean of an inbox, even if the email is from “the boss”.

Ready to cast your net wider?

Continue Reading…

Job search can be unnerving and frightening. No need to be alarmed.

You can be scary good at job search!

Within these 4 Halloween songs lie tips that’ll help you take the veil off the darkness of your job hunt. Have a listen while I decrypt these for you, and when you give these tips a try, you’ll no longer feel that job search is like a gravedigger digging into unyielding, frozen ground.

1. “Monster Mash” by Bobby Pickett

For you, the living, this mash was meant too
When you get to my door, tell them Boris sent you.

Then you can mash, you can monster mash
The monster mash and do my graveyard smash
Then you can mash, you’ll catch on in a flash
Then you can mash, you can monster mash …

Yup, you gotta do the Monster Mash (i.e. Networking).

Just sending your resume to Monster.com and answering job ads won’t bring your job search to life like meeting up with Boris, Igor or Drac (a.k.a. the employees and managers who work where you’d like to work). Imagine if you got to know Boris and they/your targeted employer invite you in because Boris sent/recommended you, just like in the Monster Mash song?

Your mind swirls as murkily as the nasty brew stirred in the witch’s cauldron because you’re not sure how to find the hiring manager (or employees) of your targeted employer. No worries because Donna Svei (@AvidCareerist) walks you through a very practical (and successful) process in her post: “Hiring Manager Inactive on LinkedIn? Four Terrific Options!”

As weird as it may sound, the Halloween party you’ll be attending (whether it is an adults costume cocktail party or kids trick-or-treating alternative) is a Monster Mash opportunity. Strange place to make a connection, you say? Not as strange as you may think. What if I told you that I had gotten a teacher apprenticeship at a entrepreneurship graduate school through the airport massage guy?! Read more by clicking here.

2. “Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell

I always feel like somebody’s watching me
And I have no privacy
I always feel like somebody’s watching me
Tell me it is just a trick …

Creepy as it may feel, this is exactly what you want when you are in job search.

You want recruiters, human resource managers and hiring managers (even colleagues and acquaintances) crawling over your social media profiles.

Continue Reading…

Spring makes a statement.
Encouraged, my heart blossoms.
Johnny Jump Ups cheer.

Don't let Reluctance Negatively Impact Your #100HappyDays in a Row!

Johnny Jump Ups Cheer Away Your Winter Reluctance and Let You Jump into Spring!
Photo credit: Jackie Yun | JackieYun.com

This is my haiku offering to Carol Varsalona (@cvarsalona). She tweeted me an “invitation to find the connection between digital photography and poetic expression”; asking me to submit a photo and original poetry to be part of her “Reflect with Me, April Awakenings Literary Event”.

And from that …

On Day 3 of #100HappyDays
I celebrate leaving my cocoon!

In a cocoon, there is no dancing, no walking, no breathing, not even a wink of the eyes. It is comfortable and sleepy; an intense and very familiar home.
When we begin to examine that comfortable darkness – look at it, smell it, feel it – we find it is claustrophobic.
We want to stretch out and walk, dance, even jump.
from Chogyam Trungpa, “Shambhala, The Sacred Path of the Warrior”.

Though afraid to Jump.

I pushed off the reluctance

To write Spring haiku.

It wasn’t simple.

Reluctance with its comforting scent of status quo can tug hard at me.

Even when I know all the benefits of jumping and I want to jump, the cocoon calls.

“Jump” was one of my 2013 #Threewords.  I wrote about it in the comments of Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter’s post.  Thank you, Jacqui (@ValueIntoWords — Master Resume Writer / Sailor), for introducing me to the #ThreeWords concept.

But, I did not jump at Carol’s invitation.  I tweeted to her that I was not a poet.

Does reluctance pull at you in the same way?

My advice:

When reluctance pulls,
pull back fiercely;
pull it out like unwanted weeds
by asking these 2 Q’s …

Continue Reading…

 Who Can Resist 

Texas Chewie Pralines from Lammes  


Salted Brown Butter Texas Pecan Brittle Chocolate  

from The Chocolate Makers Studio?

“Yum-O” as Rachel Ray would say.


#100HappyDays: “There’s nothing as cozy as a piece of candy ...” ― Betty MacDonald

“There’s nothing as cozy as a piece of candy …” ― Betty MacDonald
Photo credit: Jackie Yun | JackieYun.com

 On Day 2 of #100HappyDays 

Sweets are on my happiness radar.  

I’m the type who asks for the dessert menu before ordering the entree.

My favorite holidays are Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and  Christmas.  (Chocolate, anyone?)

And My Advice to New Leaders: 

“Lead through a Bowl of Candy”

My candy bowl was filled with Reeses®, Snickers®, 3 Musketeers®, Milky Ways® and more.

A bowl of candy can become one of your best and favorite leadership tools.  Here’s why: 

Continue Reading…

Details, details, details.  

It’s in the details.  

Lovely, delicate, intriguing details.  

… On Day 1 of #100HappyDays … 

The details are the harbingers of happiness

from my garden to my heart.

When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment ~ Georgia O’Keeffe Photo credit: Jackie Yun of JackieYun.com

When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment ~ Georgia O’Keeffe
Photo credit: Jackie Yun | JackieYun.com

I say: “Hurrah to Being Detailed-Oriented!” because


  • The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life. ~ William Morris
  • It’s the little details that are vital.  Little things make big things happen. ~ John Wooden
  • This is what customers pay us for — to sweat all these details so it’s easy and pleasant for them to use our computers. ~ Steve Jobs


I say: “‘Being Detailed-Oriented’ is NOT the answer 

Continue Reading…

Your leadership will face untenable constraints.

How will you respond to the Tsunami that awaits your Leadership?
Image courtesy of federico stevanin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

T S U N A M I !

Crushing, demolishing, relentless.

Then, miraculous

L I F E !

The son, focused on getting his injured mother to safety amid destruction,

purposely ignores a whimper.

Until his mother speaks.

“What if that boy was Simon or Thomas?

You would want someone to help them…

Even if it’s the last thing we do.”


Those words of extraordinary heart-centered leadership are from Maria Belon, the real-life mother who wrote about surviving the 2004 Tsunami that hit Thailand.  Her book is the basis for the movie: “The Impossible” and the powerful “Even if it’s the last thing we do” scene:



From which a question emerges for us as leaders:

When the tsunami-at-work hits, 

Continue Reading…

Are You Being Authentically You, Like Ginger Zee? Photo From Ginger Zee's Twitter Bio

Are You Being Authentically You, Like Ginger Zee?
Photo From Ginger Zee’s Twitter Bio

Did you catch Ginger Zee doing a snow angel as part of her weather segment on Good Morning America?

She’s not shy about showing her fun and exuberant personality.  She’s being authentic and this engages her audience.

I’ve written about Ginger Zee before in my post, “Makeover Your Too Technical Resume”.  Ginger is my muse for good reason.  Since my post, Ginger’s gotten a promotion from the Weekend Edition of Good Morning America to the Weekday Edition of Good Morning America!

And that prompts me to ask you and my coaching clients…

Are you like Ginger Zee? 

Or are you suppressing the authentic you in your job search?

Many of us are hiding ourselves.

Take a look at the majority of LinkedIn profiles or listen to the typical answer to the interview question: “Tell Me About Yourself”.

It’s a robotic litany of roles, dates and skills.  Assembly-line, boredom-inducing sameness from one candidate to the next.

Are you feeling your mind drift?  Is the gray matter in your head turning more gray, tipping into the blackness of zone-out?

Guaranteed that’s what happening with the hiring manager’s mind.

You Are More Than Roles, Dates and Skills

You say “Sure, I know I need to highlight my accomplishments, not just roles, dates and skills”.

You've Got The Job! Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You’ve Got The Job!
Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Absolutely, right — accomplishments are key.

But, reciting dry facts and figures and even awards and recognition aren’t enough.

The beef is still missing (paraphrasing that iconic Wendy’s Hamburgers commercial) — and the beef is you.

Let’s say you’ve made it into the final round.  It’s between you with your accomplishment of a 35% increase in productivity and that gal with her accomplishment of a 45% increase in productivity.  Will she beat you out for the position?  Will that 10% be the deciding factor?

As a former hiring manager I can attest that what can count more is you being you and getting a resonance going between us.

If you can do that, the extra 10% achieved by the other candidate will be looked at as a rounding error — and you’ll be able to say “I’m so excited to accept your offer!”.

Here’s The Best Way To Get “YOU” into Your Job Search…

Continue Reading…

Some leaders say that Empowerment is passe, cliched.

I disagree.

There is still power behind empowerment.

Don't forget about Empowerment as a Leadership Tool

Empowerment is still a Bright Idea!
Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Review this definition from BusinessDictionary.com and see for yourself.

“A management practice of sharing information, rewards, and power with employees so that they can take initiative and make decisions to solve problems and improve service and performance.

Empowerment is based on the idea that giving employees skills, resources, authority, opportunity, motivation, as well as holding them responsible and accountable for outcomes of their actions, will contribute to their competence and satisfaction.”

Empowerment is a Basic Tenant of Good Leadership.  

My question to you, as executive to executive, leader to leader, manager to manager —- do you empower your people?

Before you blithely say, “I certainly do!”.  Tell me how you would answer the following 12 questions to see how you fare.

If you still don’t agree about the power of empowerment, please humor me.  Spend just a few minutes to answer these same 12 questions and see if you feel differently.  You might be missing out on having a more effective, efficient and happier team.

12 Questions To Gauge How Much You Empower Your People

1. If someone on your team makes an appointment with your boss for a 1:1 meeting just between the two of them, how do you feel?

Continue Reading…