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Growth from Resistance

What’s occupying my mind lately—racially motivated tragedies, war in the Ukraine, economic hardships (especially where I grew up in Sri Lanka)—also quells my optimism. Before my mind does its ‘auto-balancing act’ to replace bleak thoughts with comforting images (about all the things that are going right in the/my world), I want to explore this discord…
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A Life of Service

I was blown away this week by the example set by Elizabeth Bonker. At 15 months, she was diagnosed with nonverbal autism. Last Sunday, she gave the valedictorian speech at Rollins College. Her speech and her journey are inspirational. Encouraging her classmates to use their voices, she said: “God gave you a voice. Use it.…
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Against All Odds

Underdog … long-shot … outsider. Commentators used these words to describe a horse that replaced one that scratched the day before the Kentucky Derby. Given the odds of 80:1, this last-minute entry – Rich Strike – astounded everyone by winning this prestigious race.  That got me thinking about brilliant leadership, and how leaders look at…
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Frustrated Lately?

Many of the conversations I’ve heard lately are about people’s frustrations…with their employer’s return-to-work decisions, with other people, with rising prices, and so on. When coaching executives, I often ask “How’s it supposed to be?” I use this question when I hear a complaint to uncover a person’s vision for what they wish were the…
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24/7 Feedback

Thanks for the Feedback, by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen, reminded me that feedback surrounds us 24/7 when we pay attention. Thinking about this took me back to when I hired my first coach. It was the year after my sister died and I decided to make a major career change, moving almost 5,000 miles…
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Combating Conflict

The photo above is often how people picture conflict – people in a serious disagreement, arguing about who is right and who is wrong; tensions high; emotions worn on their sleeves.    With executive clients I’ve supported as their coach and trusted advisor, conflict shows up differently. It dances in the background – landing only…
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Failure as a Foundation

I feared failure for much of my childhood and did my best to avoid it by aiming for perfection. It wasn’t until my early adulthood that I started noticing something wasn’t working. The more perfect I tried to be, the more upset I became with the outcomes. I realized that I needed to cut myself…
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Be a Hero

If you were to pick up one of the books in my library, you would find them filled with highlights and notes written in the margins. Over this past month, I’ve been revisiting them, curious about what I was thinking when I originally read them.   Five stars were next to a passage from Think…
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It’s The Little Things

As I entered my local grocery store this weekend, I reached for a shopping cart. My thoughts weren’t on my list of needed items, but rather on how much I appreciated the cart gliding through the store. It was effortless to push; there were no rattling wheels, no need to course-correct the direction it was…
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Extraordinary Beyond a Crisis

These past months have me thinking a lot about how we handle crises and what it takes to operate successfully during turbulent times. What makes the difference between being an ordinary versus an extraordinary leader during a crisis? Extraordinary leaders do not keep their distance from events and people that need their leadership. Leaders I…
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