Archives For Confidence

“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

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 |

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

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’“.

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Your leadership will face untenable constraints.

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

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, 

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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 /

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

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…

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Letter From A Pumpkin

October 28, 2013 — 10 Comments

The wisdom of trees has long been written about.  You can find this wisdom in the works of the literary trifecta of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Mary Oliver and John Muir — works that leave us loftily moved about life and leadership.

Wisdom directly from a tree is just as illuminating.

Life & Leadership Wisdom from a Tree

Life & Leadership Wisdom in Nature

These words are from “Advice from a Tree” written by Writer-Artist-Imagineer, Ilan Shamir.

Inspired, I took my pen (that is, keyboard) to create an homage to Ilan Shamir and to a well-loved large squash — because nature, being abundant, doesn’t restrict wisdom to trees.

A Pumpkin’s Message

Dearest Friend,

Sometimes there is a mask carved on our outsides, put there for protection.  I say to you: “Shine brightly through that mask.”

Be the Authentic You!

Let Your Inner Flame Glow!
Image courtesy of hin255 at

Be the authentic you and #leadfromwithin — be willing to lead not just yourself, but others, too.

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Independence Day Songs Will Re-Ignite Your Work Passion

4th of July Celebration Songs – A Way to Re-Ignite Your Work
Image courtesy of emptyglass at

Flag waving, parades, hot dogs, lemonade, family and friends. It’s the 4th of July and you’re looking forward to a break from work.

How about if you not only get a break, but return to work with a new sense of excitement, boldness, ownership, inclusion, and pride?

These 5 Independence Day songs (plus a bonus song) might just do that for you…


1. “Coming to America” by Neil Diamond

Got a dream to take them there
They’re coming to America
Got a dream they’ve come to share
They’re coming to America…

You’ve lost the dream and work is pure drudgery. Your energy and anticipation have dissipated. Revitalize by remembering when it was new. Feel what our forefathers and foremothers felt with the awesomeness of “Coming to America”.

If the song isn’t enough to re-kindle your spirits, read Alli Polin’s “Clear the Dust Off Your Passion”. Alli will get you re-directed. I like her observation and suggestion that “If your current perspective is ‘this sucks’, clearly you need to tap into a more powerful perspective”.

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This Girl Is On Fire - She's Ousted The Inner Critic

Releasing the Power of the Inner Critic
Image courtesy of stockimages at

This Girl is on Fire!

I could hear Alicia Keys’ ♫♪♬ voice in my mind. Standing up on that table with my black kicky boots in a warrior stance, my arms jabbing at the ceiling and with my voice unwavering — for just a second — I had successfully F@CKED OFF my Inner Critic at the behest of my coach with my fellow class attendees as witnesses.

Not my usual style, yet strangely cleansing.

Precisely the reason why Sarita Chawla, our coach and senior faculty leader, had chosen this particular exercise for me. Putting me in my Un-Comfort Zone was a way to “out” my Inner Critic who had become too comfortable in my mind and psyche.

The Inner Critic Is Not Your Friend; No Matter What You Think!

Perhaps you are thinking that you don’t need to get into the uncomfortableness of your Un-Comfort Zone because you can make peace with your Inner Critic.  You can quiet it down, live with it, even use it for your own betterment. You may be thinking you wouldn’t be as good without its promptings.

The Inner Critic is Not Your Friend

Don’t Be Fooled! The Inner Critic is NOT Your Friend
Image courtesy of Victor Habbick at

Banish those insidious thoughts — that’s your Inner Critic speaking!

What we saw, felt and heard in the New Ventures West’s “Thwarting the Inner Critic” class was this:

  • “The Inner Critic causes you to sacrifice freedom for safety.”
  • “The Inner Critic usurps your own essential strength and uses it against you.”
  • “The Inner Critic dampens your aliveness (the true you vs. who the Inner Critic thinks you should be).”
  • “The Inner Critic syphons your energy.”
  • “The Inner Critic super glues you to your seat!”

Those observations prompted this tantalizing thought from David Kinsman, fellow coach and attendee:

“We need to meet the world in a different way”.

I take this to mean…

Eradicate Your Inner Critic Now!

And you can begin the eradication with these 3 exercises from the “Thwarting the Inner Critic” class. Continue Reading…