Having trained for triathlons, much of my training for open water swims has been in a traditional 25 or 50 meter pool. Since competitive swimming wasn’t something I had done previously I never mastered the infamous flip turn that so often we see competitive swimmers complete. After attending a masters class, I was finally convinced to attempt and change my style of turn on these occasions. The uncomfort of water up the nose, burning lungs and disoriented push offs were powerful influences to stop and revert back to my previous style of touch turn which allowed me to stop, catch my breath and push off again. As hard as the learning curve seemed to be I knew I needed to gain a rhythm of my motion. Keeping my momentum and cadence would save needed energy and allow me to reach my distance goals easier. Patience during the transition allowed me to persevere. The end result was positive and the benefits of being more efficient and keeping momentum did in fact save energy and allowed me to swim longer distances easier during events.   

With the New Year I have been contemplating the principle of the flip turn and the similarities in our own lives. What happens when we get to the “wall” of our own goals and desires in life. Do we stop to take a breathe and lose momentum in the process?  Do we lack the energy to restart which inevitably distances ourselves from our own success? Do we find it hard to start again and needlessly reset the progression each time we decide to do so? Read More The Principle of the Flip Turn

weaknessWe all have unique qualities and attributes as individuals. Some of these traits may be manifested as a singular strength while others regrettably may be personal weaknesses. Differentiating between the two isn’t as presumable as we would hope, especially as we transition between different roles and challenges within our career. Change often places us out of our comfort zone as we may find ourselves faced with unique tasks, offbeat colleagues, and contrasting company cultures. However understanding what we bring to the table consistently, and where are weaknesses lie can help us as individuals leverage our personal resources to amplify our abilities and to avoid pitfalls we may have previously experienced or want to avoid altogether.  

One of the dirty dozen interviewing questions asked of job applicants is “What are your greatest weaknesses?”  This often stumps potential candidates as the inclination is not to focus on these areas. Depending on how the applicant answers is a telltale sign for recruiters in what experience the individual has and if they know how to counterbalance the trait.  Not identifying these vulnerabilities is destructive to personal growth while knowing your weaknesses can be a strength.  We do not want our shortcomings to be a black hole in our own success. Just as in space, if we know where these voids are and can avoid the gravitational pull, we can navigate successfully around the galaxy, despite our direction at any particular time.
Read More Why knowing your weaknesses can be a strength

During college, I had a roommate who adamantly proclaimed that the worst drivers on the road came from Idaho.  As a passenger in her car, I often held a white knuckle death grip on the door handle as she weaved in and out a traffic with near misses and stopped short at every intersection.  I never felt safe while in her vehicle and had the opinion that she herself, was the worst driver on the road.  She was from Canada and I, having learned to drive in California, where routine stops without stopping are commonplace and merging in traffic is fundamental to survival, made me the authority and therefore correct in my assumption.  Read More Who are the worst drivers on the road?

On the Edge by Alison Levine

I’m not a climber, nor have I yet to have a desire to climb Mount Everest. However I am fascinated by human will and the account of Alison Levine in her book On the Edge, and how she parallels her experiences in extreme environments to the potential and success that we could have in our careers and personal lives as leaders. Alison uniquely points out that we all have the responsibility to lead and that leadership is not just reserved for C-level executives across corporate america. She describes herself in the book as a contrarian to what we traditionally understand about leaders
hip principles however her truthful reality and ability to story-tell can be unquestionably insightful into our own lives. While she diverges from traditional thought, she hits the nail of the head and I find myself having so much more personal insight and delight to what she has to share.

“We are all in the position to proactively work towards having a positive effect on the people around us.” Read More Reading On the Edge

A_helping-1 I remember being a new mother and traveling alone with a new baby on several occasions.  I was always  grateful when a stranger asked if I needed assistance as they watched me navigate through airport corridors pushing a stroller, balancing car-seats on top of luggage, and attempting to clear security without much tribulation. The first time it happened to me, I was humbled that somebody even noticed my discombobulated self and offered assistance opening a door.  I speculated if I had ever observed a parent struggling as much as I was, prior to that moment.  A small act of service performed for me not only impacted my life at that juncture, but also has had me looking for a similar mother since to repay the kindness that was once delivered to me.  I want to be that person that I was so grateful for on that first flight across country. Read More Anticipatory Service – Meeting the needs of others outside of the workplace

This is the time of year that kicks off the holiday season with over-indulgences in food, shopping and more shopping after that.  Long lines at the post office begin, exponentiated traffic and pumpkin pies seemingly reproduce themselves.  Thanksgiving’s purpose is to celebrate the coming together and sharing of a meal with friends and family and while November doesn’t hold the patent on thankfulness, it is the time of year that we look for more of the things we are thankful for.  With the added stress of travel, quintessential meal planning, and avoiding uncle Al at the thanksgiving table, the busyness of the year often clouds our appreciation and we have less time to sit, relax and reflect without the football game taunting us in the background. Read More The ATTITUDE of GRATITUDE

A few years ago, I came across a book I loved entitled Dare, Dream, Do and instantly was both inspired and enamored by the author Whitney Johnson.  I have both lent and bought several copies of her book to give to friends/co-workers, in hopes that they would be just as inspired as I was after reading.  Whitney has recently published a new book utilizing the theory of disruptive innovation on a much more personal level and how it can be applied to an individual’s path to success.  Her second book is just as contemplative and I once again find myself thinking about passions, purpose and the work/life balance that I seek.  Filled with less antidotes and more theory, Read More Disrupt Yourself by Whitney Johnson

Recently, a colleague  was feeling very unappreciated within his company.  He felt he was never commended for the job he was doing,  acknowledged for positive changes he had made within his department, or ever thanked for the extra hours he put in that seemingly went unnoticed by senior management.    Little by little,  he began to believe he was not liked or wanted within his company  – the narrative of our experience that unfortunately can be a louder voice than we would like it to be.   He enjoyed his job, bought into company values and had no desire to leave the company.   Ultimately this individual embarked on a job hunt leading him to take a job with another company, receiving the validation that his career experience had value and that he brought something needed to the table. Read More The invisible hurdle