Leadership Guidance from the World’s Nicest Grown-Up

The "World’s Nicest Grown-Up," now that’s an enviable moniker. He's also been called the Dalai Lama of television, a Pied Piper, and even messianic. Think nice, sweater-addicts can't get ahead? With a U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, a Hollywood Walk of Fame Star, and 40 honorary university degrees, his net worth was over $8 million when he died in 2003. Welcome to Fred Rogers’ neighborhood, a place where leaders mine solid gold. Mr. Rogers' 15 Lessons for Leaders 1. Want to achieve ultimate success? Be Kind. “There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” 2. What to do in times of stress? Ask Questions, Listen With Heart. “In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.” 3. Think you can have it all? Nope. Make Choices. “You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are. ” 4. Want to grow your leadership? Embrace Problems. “It’s the very wrestling … [Read more...]

There’s No Reward for Staying Stuck: Valerie Caruso

Afraid to follow your bliss? Valerie Caruso can tell you from experience, at first it can feel a bit impractical or even self-indulgent to follow your bliss. It requires letting go of the "internal insistences," Val says, those engrained "musts." But she did it and you can too. After all, as Val reminds us, "there's no reward for staying stuck." Retired following 25 years as a U.S. Air Force officer, Val traded in military acronyms for ones like these: FWS, CWE, WSET.  French Wine Scholar. Certified Wine Educator. Wine and Spirit Education Trust. She packed two bags and moved to Italy to study wine at an International Culinary Institute for a year. She got hooked. Valerie says she changed the way she “lives her wine” and lives her life. Returning to Italy several more times for writing projects and advanced Italian language studies, Val then went to France for advanced French language and French wine studies at another Culinary Academy. Today, Val owns Vino With Val, LLC, a wine education and consulting service, "where homework has never been so delicious." She speaks, presents and teaches classes and wine workshops at a local venue in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and … [Read more...]

Show A Little (Self) Love

A new week is before us, a week of possibilities not just outside us, but inside us too. Good Choice Last week, my 4-year old nephew looked up at my Mom and said, “Good choice.” She can’t even remember what the context was, what she recalls is how “good choice” stopped her in her tracks and made her smile. We’ve been giggling about that all week and saying "good choice" throughout the day to ourselves and to others. It is amazing how uplifting something as simple as stopping and saying “good choice” is! Don’t Take Yourself for Granted   Write down: "Today, you will be kind to yourself. You will pause and show yourself kindness by recognizing and acknowledging yourself for little things and big things.” Make a conscientious decision to not take yourself for granted. Take the time to be your own best friend! Your reminder note could be as simple as “Today, you’ll stop and say ‘good choice’ when you make one.” Put that note in one of the first places you look every morning, a self-kindness reminder note to YOU. Launch the Day Differently Instead of checking Facebook, watching the news, or reading the paper first thing in the morning, launch your day with something … [Read more...]

Women Work Your Connections

Imagine that I’m strapping you into the pilot’s seat of a 747 right this second. I expect you to fly and land the plane safely with no instructions, no experience, no co-pilot (auto or otherwise), and no radio to contact with the tower. How does that feel? How successful do you think you’ll be? For women, being told we need to work our connections to better business and professional advantage—to advance ourselves and our causes—feels an awful lot like putting our buns in that pilot’s seat. Go on gals, take that solo-flight. You’re educated. After all, you have a graduate degree in, say, psychology so why can’t you smoothly pilot this (business) plane? Why is it so critical that we women get much better at working our connections? Connections become relationships, relationships equate to success: sales, promotions, new opportunities, more champions and alliances, and growth-to-results that we really want. What I (Unfortunately) Hear Women Say I have so many conversations with creative, talented, sharp-as-whip women where a “connections” issue flared up. During these conversations, here are the types of things I most frequently hear: The Self-Doubter: “I know, I should … [Read more...]

Jane Austen’s Top Ten Quotes for 21st Century Women

She writes about women and money. She illuminates how difficult it is to be female in a male dominated world. She’s a celebrity without a memoir. She certainly didn't need a sex tape or a reality t.v. show. In fact, she was never even interviewed. Jane Austen attracts readers (and re-readers) like no other. She also attracted her share of haters among the literari–both women and men—like Virginia Woolf and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Much as I love Mark Twain, he was the nastiest: “Every time I read Pride and Prejudice I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin bone!” Seriously. Shame on you, Mr. Twain. You can’t stop us, nothing can. We women love Jane Austen. No, it isn’t because we are all looking for a Mr. Darcy. (Though I have to admit, Darcy’s 10,000 pounds a year is now worth at least $600,000 U.S. dollars annually today, a sum I believe I could live on.) Rather, its Austen’s quick wit and sharp insights that stick with us. That and her incredible ability to reveal truths about human behavior that ring true today. You don’t have to be an Austen fan to appreciate the lessons on how we should expect to be treated, who we need to surround ourselves … [Read more...]

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