Creative Creatures: 5 Questions You Must Answer

Got the creativity gene(s)? One thing I love about my coaching practice is that I am encircled by highly creative people. Creative Creatures’ minds race daily with terrific ideas for solving problems, bringing joy, igniting beauty, and making the world better for at least one other person, likely more. Trouble is, many of us don’t know how to convert our limitless creative ideas for books, for businesses, for birthing our amazing ideas into the world in tangible ways. And, without a partner in the process to bolster our courage, we may find our creative ideas fade away. If your list of creative ideas multiples daily, you’re not alone. In talking with an extraordinary idea person last week, I realized that my Creative Creatures quick consults (15-20 minutes) revolve around five initial questions. These questions are intended to help Creative Creatures begin to find the balance between creative chaos and the order and structure so  needed to make ideas come to life. Five Questions To Answer First What’s your one brightest burning idea? Nope friend, not your daring dozen today, just one that is really burning in your gut, your heart, your mind. The one, even loose idea that … [Read more...]

From Stuck to Brioso

“I don’t think anyone would find me inspirational,” were the first words out of Julie’s mouth when I told her I wanted to share her career change story. “Hold on,” I sputtered, “don’t you realize I see you as heroic?” As a leadership coach, I frequently draw upon Julie’s radical career change to illustrate what redefining your success can look like. Of the courageous women I know, Julie is easy to point to and say, see, you too can reclaim your joy for living. Goal set & met I met Julie when she began dating my brother. At 19, she said her goal was to become a VP at a major corporation by the age of 35. I was secretly appalled, being 21 and having little clue what I would ‘be’ when I grew up, I worried my brother had found a not-much-fun kind of girl. Julie met her VP goal well ahead of schedule. An actuary earning $200 thousand a year, she was the major breadwinner in a household made up of my brother (a physics teacher) and my two nephews. Over the years, Julie and I both worked six days a week, leaving little time or energy to connect. We did become “can’t–have-to- work” allies. Life is short A couple of years into her VP role, one of Julie’s employees took … [Read more...]

Stop Fixing, Coach

  "The world is awash in fixers,” writes Jill Geisler in her deceptively simple book, Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know. Fixer defined: people bring you problems and you offer solutions. Does this sound familiar in your professional or personal life? It smacked me in the face. I pride myself in being empathetic. I hate seeing someone else painfully struggle. Go ahead and giggle with me, I literally dream of having a magic wand that solves most of the world’s problems. And, truth is, I’m pretty darned great at solving hairy problems. The Downside of Fixing Fixing can often feel good. Fixing might help us feel competent, give us the spotlight, make us feel worthy or even indispensable. But whether it is our personal or professional lives, being a fixer can be harmful to us and to those around us. Fixers flame out fast:   fixing is exhausting. Fixers stunt others growth because there’s no point in learning, hey why even think, if someone will fix the problem for you. Fixers get to embrace being a victim as they work harder, do more, and literally soak up problems like sponges. From my place in Fixer recovery, it’s still painful to admit that I’ve gained energy and … [Read more...]

Need Good News? Wonderful Life Project

"First, there are things happening in our world that are of serious concern." --The Wonderful Life Project (banner and website courtesy of Madison Elliot) This is classic Midwestern speak. We excel at understatement in America's Heartland. In Main Street communities like Grand Island, Nebraska (pop >50,000), we've got solid reasons for being concerned. A few of the reasons cited by the Wonderful Life Project: Our most expensive health care condition—depression—is now affecting 10% of the population (19% in the Midwest) and is costing more than the war in Afghanistan. Wealth has dramatically increased over the last 60 years; happiness has not changed at all. Roughly 75% of people say that they have moderate to severe stress. Forty-four percent of our children are having trouble sleeping due to stress. Only 12% of workers say their company’s leaders can be trusted. Only 34% say other people can be trusted (this is a leading indicator of per capita income). But there's good news. Inititally tested by a local Grand Island hospital wanting to reduce staff turnover, a combination of coaching and training within the hospital produced remarkable … [Read more...]

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