Coronavirus, Complexity & Dad's Broken Ribs: Choosing Gratitude

Wow. It’s been a rough four months.  Hasn't it?

When it Started:

Friday, March 13, 2020 was the day THE COVID REALITY sunk in and I understood my life and work was going to change. . . immediately.

The next morning I wrote Clarity in Crisis,  back when my priority concerns were canceled events and canceled vacation reservations - plus my dad’s pending non-essential heart procedure. 

In the beginning, my mindset was "for a few weeks."  I recall my eyes nearly popping out of their sockets when a colleague suggested I plan for what then seemed a incomprehensible: 12-weeks of being confined at home.  

Probably 10 weeks, but plan for 12. 

Just in Case.  Incomprehensible.


It Didn't Get Easier. . . 

In late May my heart ached and my gut knotted-up as the US moaned and mourned and clenched its fists and took a stand via a variety of responses to a suffocating knee on the neck of George Floyd as he gasped...

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Clarity in Crisis

Uncategorized Mar 14, 2020

As I’ve received requests from coaching clients to help process the past week, I began to think about how what else I could do to be helpful in a season that feels so out of control.

During this international crisis, executives are experiencing profound tension between professional leadership imperatives and their own personal realities.  As humans, we often benefit from help in processing in order to fuel focus and calm.  

As an owner of two small businesses, I get it.  Professionally, in the past 72 hours I’ve been required to cancel two signature events I host each Spring.  I’ve held proactive conversations with team members about safe working arrangements.  I’ve received emails from two universities where I teach graduate courses instructing me to be prepared to convert any live course into an online format.

Personally, I was scheduled to fly to Chicago next weekend for my 13th annual Easter Lamb Cake decorating with my two...

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A Lesson on Leadership . . . from a Crown Cork Bottle Cap

My favorite Saturday morning plan is brewing a pot of dark joe from freshly ground beans - with the goal of settling in with my cozy pajamas by around 8:00 am to watch a favorite news show.  If my husband isn’t golfing, he grabs a plate of fruit and joins me.  I love my laid-back Saturday mornings.

This past weekend, while waiting for Mike to get his cup of coffee, I turned to the wrong channel and caught a “The Mo You Know” survey on Mo Rocca’s Henry Ford Innovation Nation

His survey question displayed the picture below and asked what it was called. In my mind, I answered “Bottle Cap!”  And, after waiting through a commercial, I discovered I was right.


Mo shared a bit about the bottle cap inventor, William Painter.  And suddenly, I didn’t miss my news program at all! 

William Painter was a civil-war era, self-taught engineer working in the carbonated beverage industry – beer bottlers.  At...

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A Lesson on Change Leadership. . . from a High School Wrong-Way-Play

The infamous 1964 Jim Marshall Wrong Way Play has been redeemed.

Ranked #5 in NFL Film’s 10 Top Worst Plays, the Running-the-Wrong-Way playbook has been rewritten by Fairfield, CA High School football Team Captain, Kah'Ron Thrower!  The story landed on my iPhone’s news stream last Saturday evening while watching the Huskers battle an undefeated Minnesota team. It wasn’t pretty and I welcomed the distraction!

Jim Marshall was one of the Vikings’ historic Purple People Eaters whose motto was “Meet You At The Quarterback.” Today, Marshall still ranks 2nd in the NFL for most consecutive starts – surpassed only by my Chicago Bear’s rival, Brett Favre.

But in 1964, Jim ran the wrong way and he is still remembered for this, rather than for his significant accomplishments.  55 years later, High school senior Kha’Ron Thrower provides a leadership best practice for all of us who get confused watching a...

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An Executive Lesson on Courage... from a Kid

It’s 9:02am, Monday, January 11, 2016. I’m focused on the new emails in my inbox when my cell phone beeps. It was a two-word text from my little brother in Chicago.

It's cancer.

My just-turned-12-year-old-niece -- who at the adorable age of 3 decided I should call her Munchkin 1 and her elder sister Munchkin 2 -- my little Munchkin 1 had been diagnosed with rare, advanced stage synovial sarcoma. Life for all of us changed immediately.


This Sunday, June 23, 2019 we’ll remember her last day of intravenous chemo, celebrated in this photo of a beautiful, bald, beaming Warrior Munchkin and the posters she created the night before to mark the milestone.

It was Tough But I was Tougher

“It was tough. But I was tougher.” The wisdom of a 12-year-old.

Ally’s first cancer-free scan was the day after the Cubbies won the 2016 World Series - Holy Cow! And today she is thriving as a high school student. 

So What Does This Have to Do with...

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So You and Your Executive Coach are Not a Match

So you’re feeling a mismatch with your executive coach.  It’s time to bring clarity to the relationship - and to your investment of time, resources, and trust.   

Steps you can take 

If your relationship with your coach isn't working, it’s a waste of time and resources for you – and for your coach.  The ACTS Cycle for Change that Sticks will help you move from frustrated to realigned.  

1. AspireExpectations Clarity 

It’s frustrating when our current reality isn’t meeting up with our expectations.  There is something you expected that isn’t happening the way you thought it would.  In Step 1, Aspire, take a quality moment to envision your ideal coaching relationship and your expectations.  The question to ask is:  If this coaching relationship was working great today, what would be ...

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Your Executive Coach Sample Projects

leadership May 18, 2019


Design & implement first 360° Leadership Feedback process that aligned with the organization’s performance management system
(North American restaurant chain)


Collaborated with the internal HR team to design survey items that measured leadership behaviors that brought to life the organization’s vision & values.  Designed & implemented supporting process that maximized executive ownership and resulted in measurable behavioral change. Orientation process included web-based education sessions for all survey respondents to minimize time investment and cost. Facilitated Executive Team workshops to introduce the process, and to distribute and interpret individual and team 360° Feedback reports, along with individual coaching for development planning and follow-up.


Automate corporate leadership feedback process & equip  regional internal administrators 
(global business process outsourcing...

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