Keep the Fire Burning!

Developing Your Super Powers

Dance With Your Dream: David Langiulli

Children_dancingYou remember what it felt like to dance when you were young? That’s what pursuing our dreams should feel like. I love to connect with leaders who are “Dancing With Their Dream” – one of the seven practices of authenticity that I write about in my book Wired for Authenticity. Why the metaphor of dance? Perhaps it’s because dance brings me so much joy. It reminds me of how pursuing our dreams can be life-affirming, fun and playful.

Dance is a movement – you move a few steps forward, some back, and some to the side. My inner high-achiever saboteur (I call her “Flog Me Now”) just expects a march forward so this reminds me to keep it light! Dance is organic. As you move to a beat around you, you stay present to what is happening in the now and flow with it.

And the best part about dance is that you can do it by yourself or you can do it with partners. The below is a guest post from David Langiulli who is one of my tribe-mates also dancing with his dream. He took a rather bold step leaving his job at Princeton University as head of a fundraising team to pursue his dream of coaching fund-raisers to create an abundance mindset and drive successful outcomes for the causes they care about. David turned 52 today and here’s his inspiring story.

Are You Putting Your Superpowers to Work?

superpowerIf I asked you “What’s your superpower,” would you be able to articulate it? John Henry, the billionaire who bought the Boston Globe this month, would.  What does a farmer turned sports team owner know about running a newspaper? He knows his superpower and how to put it to work making a billion dollars in the process (Forbes pegs his net worth at $1.5 billion).  Knowing our superpower is a very important step to not just creating a strong personal brand, but also for carving a career path where we create tremendous value for ourselves and others.

A Letter To My 14-Year Old

Henna Inam - Professional Photo - ColorThis one is personal. It’s the letter I wrote yesterday to my 14-year old on her first day of high school. She’s been having those anxiety dreams, the ones where you’re lost, or you forgot your homework, or can’t remember anything you memorized for the test.  As I thought about whether it would be too personal to share on this blog, it occurred to me that if it helped even one other person take the time to write their own letter to someone to appreciate them, it would be worth it.  Building others up is a great leadership practice.  It builds positive energy, engagement, and confidence in the recipient.  It connects you as a leader more deeply with them. And you might just discover how great it makes you feel. Here is the letter.

Coaching on How To Ask Powerful Questions

If there were one single tool that would help you inspire greater creativity, drive stronger engagement, and get better results,would you try it? It’s called a question.Voltaire said “Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers”. I’m pretty sure it applies to women too!

In my executive coaching practice, asking the right questions and then listening deeply is the single most important tool I use to help others discover and grow themselves as leaders. Asking powerful questions helps us “Stay Curious”, one of the seven practices of authentic leaders I talk about in my book Wired for Authenticity.

Here are ten ways asking questions can help us be more effective leaders and create breakthroughs in our impact.

Three Ways to Ask for A Favor And Why We Should Do It

Asking for favors“Umm…I have a favor to ask”. Believe it or not, these are some of the hardest words for me. As much as helping others makes me feel good, I have a hard time asking others for help.  Yet I also recognize that being willing to ask people for favors is a key enabler for us to meet our goals. Here are three mindsets that keep us from asking others to help us and how to overcome them.

Five Steps to Embrace Conflict

ConflictI will start off by making a confession. I hate conflict. I would rather we all get along and play nice – world peace and all that. My usual response to conflict is to pretend it’s not happening, pretend it’s someone else’s problem, or to run away from it. I’ve learned that in order for me to lead powerfully and authentically, I need to embrace conflict.  The Chinese character for conflict has both danger and opportunity.  Every conflict has within it the opportunity for positive change – the transformation of the problem through the transformation of those engaged in the conflict.

Just last week I had an interesting Twitter dialogue with someone which started off as “Gawd! No, no thanks” in response to an article I wrote about how women redefine power. He suggested that women need to be told to exert power like a man. I asked him how it would feel if I told him to wear a skirt. Here’s the full Twitter dialogue. The good news is that we both came away embracing conflict and learning something new.

The Taoist To-Do List – Practice Not-Doing

Lao tzuIf you’re a workaholic like me you wake up rearing to dig into your to-do list every day (this includes weekends).  Secretly you know that you can’t possibly get it all done today, but no harm in trying, right? There is an old saying:

“Practice not-doing and everything will fall into place.” – Lao Tzu

I know what you’re thinking: “I’m getting paid to get things done. You want to tell my boss I’m practicing not-doing? Plus, secretly you know I get a kick from making things happen so if I did nothing, I’d just crawl into a fetal position and die of depression.” I know exactly how you feel. I struggle with this too. But here is why “Not-Doing” has the power to change the way we work and live.

Five C’s of Great Coaching Conversations

Here’s a situation. A direct report of yours just gave a presentation to senior management.  The presentation went okay but frankly could have gone a lot better. The direct report knew her material but didn’t demonstrate self-confidence in her body language, didn’t dress appropriately, and didn’t think fast on her feet in addressing some of the questions. You noticed your boss start to lose confidence in your direct report in the meeting. You secretly wonder if she’s losing confidence in your judgment to have the direct report present in the first place. What do you do?