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Empathy

Empathy: The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Not too long ago, one of my employees had to do what every employee dreads most: Call their boss to confess that they did something wrong. Prior to the event, I had told my employee not to do the exact thing that she ended up doing. Sigh.

This is where we as leaders are faced with a decision. Whether it is at home with your children or in the workplace with employees, the immediate reaction can be to pull out the shame card. We want to teach them a lesson and ensure that it never happens again, right?  But this is where I invite you to take a pause.

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Go… And Be of Service

In a mere 14 days, people around North America came together to raise over $54,000 to get a woman back home to her family. A strong and supportive team that had worked day and night to keep this woman alive transported her out of an ICU on Good Friday, 2014. This woman’s dad, the last person to talk to her before the collision and the one caring for her kids back home, was one of the first to greet her after the med-jet flight landed in Seattle.

Every single one of these people sacrificed something, whether that was time, money or services, for me.

While some of these people were ‘simply doing their job’, most of them sacrificed voluntarily. Too often we lose track of what true volunteerism means. We participate in acts “voluntarily” but only if it benefits us personally; i.e. I’m on the Board of the National Speakers Association Northwest Chapter as a volunteer. Yes I give altruistic service but of course it also benefits my career.

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Coming Full Circle…

Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo 2017

They say that everything happens for a reason.

I say they’re wrong.

It’s easy to believe that when something tragic happens it’s because it has a “deeper” motive. You catch yourself saying phrases such as: “This happened because I need to learn something,” or “Bad things happen to good people.” Some would even go as far as to say, “I deserved this.” Our minds become incredibly overwhelmed as we try to justify a life event and how it will affect our now altered future. Sometimes life hits you like a truck. And now you’re stuck.

Stop. Take a breath. Pause. And ask yourself: What about right now?

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I Dare You to be Brave!

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, `I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ … If you fail anywhere along the line, it will take away your confidence. You must make yourself succeed every time. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

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Put Others First

kidney transplant

If I had died, my organs would have been donated to someone in need. I’ve always believed in the value of organ donation. I survived, but unfortunately my kidneys did not. My family was devastated as I was left with only 13% kidney function. My only hope was a transplant.

My 36-year old baby brother, with the support of his wife and two young daughters, stepped up as a living donor. To our joy all tests looked excellent. We excitedly prepared for a transplant at a top ranked hospital near home.

One day we got the call…but not a good one. It turns out Matt is 1% of the population with multiple renal arteries. Crazy, right?! That means he has 3 arteries to his left kidney and 4 to his right kidney instead of the usual 1. The transplant team felt the risk was too high and they turned us down. My whole family cried. Then we got creative….

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The most raw, honest and profound interview.

Friends, this is the most raw, honest and profound interview I’ve ever given.

Please listen and allow it to change how you connect with people everywhere.

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How To Eliminate International Women’s Day

international womans day

I’m really struggling with International Women’s Day. Anyone who knows me even a little would think I’m a big fan but truth be told I have mixed feelings.

Very rarely in my life have I actually allowed any experience of limitations because I’m a woman to stop me. I’ve seen it, heard it and felt it. I’ve been literally patted on the head and told I couldn’t do a “man’s job.” I simply refuse to listen to such idiocy. How about an ‘International Not-All-Men-Are-Idiots Day’?

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The Secret To Managing Overwhelm

Feel overwhelmed? I truly get it. Brain injury makes me feel like the photo all the time! So I work at reducing anxiety as if it’s my job. Actually it kind of is. In fact that’s not even unique. We all feel pushed to do more with less. So what’s the secret to managing the overwhelm?

Well, remembering to breathe helps. After that it’s all about understanding that no matter how much piles up only one thing can be done at a time. Multitasking truly is a myth.

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How do you start your day?

Hi Research has shown that the busiest, most successful leaders in the world don’t dive straight into work; they begin with a self-care routine to get themselves grounded.

Even when my body was in such bad shape I couldn’t leave my bedroom most of my days began with meditation, prayer, and whatever exercise/movement I was capable of doing. Most days (nope not perfect) I read the Bible and sit in silent meditation, which centers me and calms erratic bouncing thoughts. I stretch and build muscle. For a long time, making the bed was a serious form of exercise! As I grow in strength and my energy improves I’m able to do a little more every day.

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Lead with Love

lead with love

Have you ever considered how selfish the phrase, “Be my Valentine” sounds? It’s all about what’s in it for you.

The very best Valentines cost nothing – love, gentleness, kindness, humility, meekness (a word more like tolerance in modern culture), and patience.

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