Evergreen Leadership Blog

Gratitude

Holiday Wishes from Evergreen Leadership

In this special season I urge you to remember that the holiday hype is only that; there are no perfect trees, presents, parties or families. Yet in the leaning tree, the present you have no idea what to do with, and the people you love in spite of their quirkiness, remind yourself that you are surrounded by small miracles.

Read more of my brief holiday wish for you on my blog.

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Intention

Life Does Not Have a Rubric

I was raised in an era when we were told there was a rubric to life. Go the right school. Marry the right person. Find the right company. Buy a house, have two kids, save for retirement, and all will be well with the world.

The problem is this: life is far messier and complex and quirky that that. Marriages fail. Perfect jobs end without notice. Kids are not a fast track to fulfillment and joy. You find after a few years that the well-paying job, while in demand, leaves you numb and empty at the end of every work day.

So here is the big secret: Life does NOT have a rubric.

There is, however, some timeless wisdom that if applied diligently and over time, will greatly increase your chance of living your best life. Continuing reading to learn this wisdom.

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Goals

How to Say No and Do More of What’s Important to You

Common wisdom advises us to “ask a busy person” when you have something that needs done. I’m not sure if this is because busy people have a way to get organized and just get things done or if it is because really busy people have not mastered the art of saying no.

Either way, as a busy person, I find myself asked to take on a variety of roles, tasks, and causes. More often than not, I say yes.

At times the yes serves me well. I do good work, enjoy the work I do, and meet amazing people. And at other times, the yes undermines my focus, well-being, and energy.

So, when the need arose to teach a group how to “say no gracefully” – I said YES! Because like usual, I knew that by teaching, I might learn. And indeed, that is the case.

Let me share some of the highlights of the retreat workshop and a few of the techniques, for I suspect I am not the only one who says yes too often.

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Gratitude

Gratitude: Food for the Soul

In the US, we celebrate Thanksgiving this week. It is the one holiday that is focused on gratitude, abundance, and honoring and sharing the good things in our lives.

Personally, I’m an advocate for expressing gratitude 100% of our days and not only .03% of the time.

Take five minutes to read this pre-Thanksgiving article about both the scientific benefits of gratitude and how practicing gratitude has impacted my life. You just might learn something that will leave you feeling full long beyond the holiday.

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3 Leadership Advantages of “Not Knowing”

As a leader or someone in a professional occupation, publicly (or even personally) admitting you don’t know something can feel shameful. Publicly admitting “not knowing” is an act of extreme vulnerability that gives up the pretense that we are all knowing.

That’s what we think many times. In truth, it is that act of vulnerability that opens us up for greater connection, learning, and possibility.

Read about three ways that “not knowing” can give you a leadership advantage.

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Challenges

Post-Election Resolution: A Call to Action

I have to admit – the recent election results have me in a tailspin. Emotions have run the gamut from disbelief to despair.

And last night, as I tossed and turned, unable to sleep – it hit me.

There is a fundamental shift happening right now. Like it or not, when things are changing is exactly the time when things are the most malleable.

So I’m not waiting four years to vote for a different candidate. I’m not waiting for things to go badly so that I can complain about them. I’m not waiting to make my voice heard.

Join me in my call to action.

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Change

Of the People, By the People, For the People

I’m frustrated…I suspect you are too. Frustrated by the gridlock in our legislatures, by their failure to address the big issues, by attack ads, by those with big money controlling the process. Frustrated and on some days worried that we can’t continue in this way without sacrificing our freedom, our democracy, and all that has defined this great experiment in self-government.

It is time to recall the wise words of Abraham Lincoln, who in the Gettysburg address, introduced the memorable phrase into our democratic lexicon “of the people, by the people, for the people”.

As I reread his words, I am struck by how relevant they are today.

Read and share this post that is both a reflection on the state of our government today and a call-to-action for all American citizens.

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Leadership

Old school leaders say, “Obey me.” It’s time to listen to what evolving leaders say.

In January of 2011, I found myself weary from nearly 100% travel with change management consulting. I took the first quarter of that year to reflect on what I had learned and where I was going. It was at that juncture that a few things became crystal clear to me.

1. Leadership Matters

2. Leadership is an Action, Not a Position

3. Leadership Models are Shifting

Since that time of reflection in 2011, I’ve focused more and more of my time and energy in the development of leaders. Not just any leaders and not just those that happen to hold a title that confers leadership responsibilities.

My focus now is about developing an evolving way of leadership. Do you know the difference between old school leadership and the evolving leaders of today? Learn more in this blog post.

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Challenges

Nine Words to Strike from Your Vocabulary

I’m off to guide a team retreat – and last night, to prepare, I created a swear jar. You know – the kind where if you say a bad word, you add a predetermined amount of money to the jar, creating a small (and visible) penalty.

We’ll do the same in the retreat, however the swear words won’t be the typical four letter words we think of. The words we will be creating mindfulness about, in the quest to eradicate them from our vocabulary, are words you use all the time. As do I.

These are words that undermine our effectiveness. Our personal agency. That negate our momentum toward positive action.

What are the words that will cause loose change to move from pocket to swear jar? The list includes…

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Leadership

The Importance of Developing Capable, Community Leaders

My belief is that the stronger the leaders are within a community, the healthier and stronger that community is.

Sometimes it’s hard to understand why things matter until we envision the opposite. So, what can happen when there are a lack of strong, community leaders? Problems can arise that many American communities are already facing.

Now is the time to look at community leadership differently and think about developing capable, community leaders. Learn more by reading this blog.

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