Month: January 2011

Giving

| | Inspiration | 11 Comments

Not long after I settled into my favorite chair this morning, an old friend started a conversation on Facebook.  New friends started conversations on Twitter.

My day crossed theirs in the weird hour that’s not night and not morning. As their Saturday night ended, my Sunday morning was beginning.

And we found a place to connect.

Real, authentic connections are powerful.

In order to make authentic connections, we need to be intentional.

We have to initiate connections, start conversations, ask questions, and be ready to listen well.

We will need to: send the first tweet or text message, open a chat window, send an email, write a letter,pick up the phone, drive across town to knock on a »

Discipline Lessons from Bronte

| | Inspiration | 3 Comments

You may have heard or read some of my story about how I started a new career after more than 8 years as a stay at home mom. What I haven’t shared, until now, is the writing that got me started.

A short recap, in case you haven’t heard it: my return to work began with a Facebook status update from a high school friend I hadn’t seen in over 20 years. When he posted that he was looking for freelance writers, I responded, tentatively, at first. The essay below is the writing sample I sent him.

This post contains the writing that started it all.

Two years later (almost to the day) I am grateful for »

These Are The Moments

| | Inspiration | 8 Comments

Have you ever experienced setbacks, encountered challenges, or failed miserably? Struggled, made a poor choice, or taken a wrong turn? Said words you regret, missed an opportunity, wasted time?

Do I even need to ask?

If you want to lead yourself and others you need to keep life’s troubles in perspective.

Tonight I got a phone call from a friend I’ve known for a long time.

She shared a struggle, one I could identify with immediately. It’s a familiar story to me, one I’ve lived — recently, even.

While she talked, I listened, and let it sink in, a realization: this is the moment when that bad thing turns good.

Why? Because without that experience, I may not »

Building Community Through Negativity

| | Inspiration | 20 Comments

A good friend and co-worker once told me: “If you don’t complain about your job you don’t care about your job.”  My friend also believes that sarcasm is the highest form of humor, but there was meant to be a kernel of honesty in his words.   So in the same spirit, I write with just a flavoring of facetiousness.

Nothing brings people together like sitting around and griping.  Common enemies make for tight friendships.  I have often bonded with colleagues over high-minded topics such as “That Was Three Layers of Inept,” “My Time Is Better Served Watching Ke$ha Videos,” and “What Drunk Monkey Came Up With That Idea?”  An outsider may perceive this as merely complaining, but we are actually »

My Best Ice Cream Recipe

| | Inspiration | 5 Comments

On Sunday in my Use Everything post, I invited you to daydream about finding ways to use all of your gifts and talents. I mused about creating a blog about leadership and ice cream recipes.

For today, I am going to use this space to share my best ice cream recipe, just for fun.

I don’t think, though, that using everything means using everything at once, or everything all in once place.

Instead, using everything means finding ways to leverage all that you have to make a positive difference in the lives of the people around you.

Like me, you may regularly exercise only a few of your strengths. I write. I tweet. I listen. I encourage. I help »

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