When Was The Last Time You Took a Time-Out?

When Was The Last Time You Took a Time-Out?

“What are all the possible reasons a basketball coach would call a time out during a game?” I asked. “To change momentum,” says Mary.

“To change up the strategy,” adds Miles.

“To give the players a rest,” yells Tyson.

“Maybe to draw up a special play,” inserts Jason.

“Why else?” I ask.

“To substitute players,” smiles Sandy.

“And why would you want to change-up players?” I ask.

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The Vulnerability Trap

The Vulnerability Trap

Brian had a lot of influence within the group, but not necessarily in a good way. On the surface, he had it all going on. He was athletic, good looking, and very experienced in the outdoors classroom environment. In fact, there wasn’t an activity we did during the first two days of this ten day Outward Bound program that he hadn’t already done a hundred times before, at least according to him. When we each had to climb the 35-foot power pole and jump off from the top, Brian elected to climb blindfolded, claiming it was just too easy for him to scale the pole with all his faculties intact.

Now it’s one thing to excel in outdoor experiential activities and another thing to alienate your teammates in the process; a feat Brian managed to do equally as well...

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Rule 1 of Eight Simple Rules to Managing Conflict

Rule 1 of Eight Simple Rules to Managing Conflict

n my opinion, we are more effective in conflict when we are prepared, focused on a desired outcome, and have a plan. Granted not all conflicts allow us the luxury to do all three but I would argue that those types of conflict require a much different strategy anyway. Let’s focus on the ongoing difficult relationship first.

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The Day I Became a Pointer Sister

The Day I Became a Pointer Sister

“You are about to be assigned to a small group. You will be given a task that will require preparation, planning, coordination, and team work. You need to complete this task and be ready to go in exactly three hours. Is that clear?”

The crowd of more than 100 participants shouted back, “Yes!”

This was day four of a five-day intensive personal growth workshop out in California called Lifespring. I signed up for this program because I was struggling with my career direction at the time and needed a fresh perspective on who I was and where I was headed in my life. Plus, all my New Age friends were big fans of Lifespring and highly encouraged me to attend. Although somewhat skeptical, I was willing to try anything.  

The facilitator continued. “Each group will get a unique challenge. Know that the people in your small group are there because you all have something in common.”

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I Trust You!

I Trust You!

It was day 3 of a week long outdoor experiential program and we were getting lessons on how to climb straight up a mountain using a belay system. We were a group of ten and each one of us was assigned a captain to oversee the belay crew for our individual climb up the face of the mountain and back down again. None of us had ever belayed before and we were all a little nervous. “Before we begin, I want each of you to pair up with your assigned captains,” shouted Christian, our instructor.

“Now I want each pair to stand facing each other and I want you to look into each others eyes.”

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What a little white ball taught ee about my authentic self

What a little white ball taught ee about my authentic self

And then my mouth dropped as the title came into view. No way! I exclaimed. Are you kidding me!

Sure enough, the one subject I no longer wanted to read about…the one symbol I never wanted to see again…was right there staring me in the face. The cover depicted a golf ball flying over the fairway, giddy and happy as a golf ball could be.

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Are You a Giver or a Taker?

Are You a Giver or a Taker?

Have you ever signed up for a workshop and found yourself questioning your decision midway through? I certain have and it’s happened on more than one occasion. The story I’m about to tell you is one of those “I can’t believe I signed up for this!” experiences. An experience, I might add, that had a profound impact on who I am today and how I show up in the presence of others.

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"The Hell You Will!"

"The Hell You Will!"

That’s exactly what he said. And no, I never saw it coming…especially from my own father.

The Backstory

I was student body president my senior year at Western State College. One of the many perks that came with the job was a trip out to the Coors Brewery for a special tour given to all the student body presidents from the various colleges and universities across Colorado. They even flew us in. How cool was that!

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Getting “Schooled” By My Student

Getting “Schooled” By My Student

I was facilitating a week long outdoor leadership program up in the mountains of Colorado. This particular program was designed to enhance the leadership abilities of people who already were in positions of responsibility…be they managerial, consulting, training, or teaching.  The group consisted of twelve participants from around the country, ranging in age from twenty-two to thirty-five years. As you might imagine with such a young group of leaders, the energy level was constantly high, as was the desire to learn and try new things. There was never a shortage of volunteers to lead the group on a given activity, project, or on any of the various assignments throughout the week.  But that didn’t surprise me either given that we had twelve leaders in the group.  In fact, it often became a competition amongst them to see who would be the first to seize the next opportunity to lead.

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I Didn't Make the Short List!

I Didn't Make the Short List!

When my friend Garry passed away, I was disappointment that I was not included in the small group of friends who got together to memorialize him. My disappointment wasn't just about not being on the short list, per se, but also about how my relationship ended with him. Don't get me wrong, nothing happened to end our relationship; it just slowly faded away, as many relationships do. And yet, I probably think about him more now than I did when he was alive. Is that unusual? And why didn't I make more of an effort to stay in touch, especially when I knew he was dying? And why didn’t I make his short list?

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I'll Go Fifth!

I'll Go Fifth!

It was a number of years ago. I was a management trainer for a consulting firm and was teaching over twenty different leadership/soft skill classes for various companies across the country. I was pretty good too. I’d form relationships with my clients and would continually get asked back, over and over again. By most peoples’ standards, I was extremely successful. And yet something was missing.

I was going through the motions but my passion was faltering. It was taking more and more effort to get excited about what I was doing. I wasn’t feeling it anymore.

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Conflict on the Mountain!

Conflict on the Mountain!

It was around four-thirty in the morning when Christian, our instructor, rousted us from our tents.  We were in the eighth day of a grueling ten-day Outward Bound program and were waking up to the ultimate challenge of summiting Mount Massive by noon and returning to camp before dusk. At 14,421 feet high, Mount Massive is the second highest peak in Colorado and the third highest peak in the United States. Given that it was a fourteen-mile round-trip hike, we knew we had our work cut out for us. After a quick breakfast and pep talk by Christian, we were quickly off on our journey, backpacks in tow and flashlights initially guiding our every step.

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Behind "Leading From Within"

Behind "Leading From Within"

Leading From Within is a powerful transformational three-day workshop designed to help you achieve optimal performance as a leader in both your personal and professional life. This means leading with a sense of purpose and passion, guided by core values—that transcend into all facets of your life so that what people see on the outside is a reflection of who you are on the inside. This is what’s known as Authentic Leadership. as the person only you are capable of being; your authentic self.

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How to Take a Vacation Every Day!

How to Take a Vacation Every Day!

Here’s my Maui satellite office that has served me well during this week. What was particularly interesting to me about this spot was that I was able to be effective and efficient in whatever business dealings I had to take care of while my mind remained in vacation-mode—in many ways a contradiction of sorts.

And yet that’s the beauty of it. The setting—which includes the tropical sights, sounds, smells, and warm temperatures—put me in a constant state of peacefulness, serenity and appreciation.

So this leads to the million dollar question: Is there a way to maintain this state of mindfulness…this state of being…when I return home back to the hustle and bustle;

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There Never is a Good Time...

There Never is a Good Time...

Why is it that there never seems to be a good time, or enough time, to:

  • Take a meaningful vacation
  • Attend that Yoga class you’ve been talking about
  • Add a day onto a business trip to see the sights
  • Provide team building for your work group
  • Sit by the fire and read a trashy novel
  • Do personal growth work
  • Hire a management/leadership coach
  • Take time for yourself

What’s up with that?

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When the Student is Ready...

When the Student is Ready...

When the student is ready, the teacher appears. We’ve all heard that one, right? I particularly resonate with it…probably because I have yet to master it. Here’s what I know…

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Are You Worth It?

Are You Worth It?

It’s 7am on Sunday morning here at Chautauqua Park, in Boulder, Colorado. I’m on my fourth and final day of my personal retreat; an annual pilgrimage I take for myself (and by myself) each year. Needless to say, this retreat has been an incredible time of insight, reflection, challenge, and inspiration for me, and I’d like to share some of the key ingredients below as to why.

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What Do These Three Scenarios Have in Common?

What Do These Three Scenarios Have in Common?

Scenario 1 Terry asked us all to gather around the picnic table outside. He had brought his hiking stick with him as he hopped up on top of the table.

“I want you all to stand a couple of feet back from the table until I call out your name.” He cleared his throat for a second and let out a big breath to settle his nerves.

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Have a "Greater YES!"

Have a "Greater YES!"

I’m tired of excuses, I really am. In fact, can I be brutally honest with you? The external world does not define who you are! Only you can do that. So please don’t take this too personally, but…

I’m sorry your childhood was difficult…but you’re an adult now. Why are you still holding on to the past? That was then…this is now!

Stop telling me you have a problem asserting yourself. I’m not buying it.

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Who Are You?

Who Are You?

It seemed like a simple enough of an exercise. I stood up. “Who are you!” shouted the group, in a seemingly respectful manner.

“I am a leadership development coach,” I proudly replied.

“No,” responded a gentleman from the front row, “We didn’t ask what you do, we asked who are you!”

“I’m Greg,” I said, a bit confused now.

“No, that’s your name. Who are you?” said the woman with bright red hair from the back.

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