7 Leadership Gifts

To fulfill the promise of using your head to manage and your heart to lead, may your holiday stocking bulge at the seams with these seven gifts!

Connection. Connect with your purpose and passions, then work them into your daily living in doses large or small. Take and make the time to connect with others.

Communicate. Engage in two-way dialogue, share freely what you know and actively listen with your head and heart to what others have to say.

Capability. Dare yourself to stretch the limits of your potential and to inspire those around you to do the same.

Celebrate. Smile, laugh, have fun – it feels good and is good for you and those around you!

Courage. Take a stand for what’s good and what’s right, even if doing so is unpopular.

Character. Choose to be a person of integrity, never afraid to be found out. Show care and compassion for all.

Commitment. Dedicate yourself to finding connection, communicating, reaching for your potential, celebrating, and being courageous, sincere, caring and authentic!




Riding the merry-go-round of dreams

I met Lisa for the first time nearly two years ago at a networking event.  She said she ran a small graphic design business but was looking into becoming a personal trainer. I offered to introduce her to a friend who was a personal trainer.  She said she would let me know.

Six months ago, our paths crossed again at a community event.  When we were asked to share what we did for a living, Lisa told the group she ran a small graphic design business and was checking into becoming a personal trainer.

A week ago we were seated together at a luncheon.  A table mate asked Lisa what she did, and Lisa replied that she ran a small graphic design business that kept getting smaller and is thinking about working as a personal trainer.

Is your story similar to Lisa’s — thinking yet not doing?

Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is simply passing the time. Action with vision is making a positive difference.” ~Joel Barker

Without dreams our lives lose luster. Yet without action, dreams always remain dreams.

If you see a little bit of Lisa in your situation:

  • Have a chat with yourself:  is this something I still want to do, or has talking about it become a habit?
  • If you’re still passionate about your dream, do something proactive today.  Schedule an informational interview.  Request a brochure.  Make a phone call or send an email. Sign up for a class.   Buy a book on the topic.  The super important thing is to do something now. Take that intangible dream and start making it real with action and outcomes you can see, touch, hear.
  • Get an accountability buddy. Share your dreams and what you’ll do to make the dream come alive.  Make a pact to talk about concrete action you’ve both taken.  Give each other the “danger zone signal” if/when you slip back into talking about what you plan to do instead of doing.

What one thing did you do today to move your dream closer to reality?




Courage in the Office

“Come to the edge.”
“We can’t. We’re afraid.”
“Come to the edge.”
“We can’t. We will fall!”
“Come to the edge.” 
 And they came.
 And he pushed them. 

 And they flew.

  ~Guillaume Apollinaire

During a recent leadership training session for VISTA (the domestic Peace Corps), we had a thoughtful discussion about leading and managing with courage.  Examples discussed by these young leaders included:

  • speaking up to protest an action contrary to stated values
  • deciding to take action based on information at hand that covered 90% of the situation, without doing exhaustive analysis to get to the remaining 10% of the data
  • providing input during a large meeting when you’re an introvert
  • doing something that’s unpopular even though it’s the right thing to do
  • bringing up the unspoken elephant in the room
  • trying something new, taking a risk
  • giving your boss feedback

A pretty impressive list for some young people just beginning their leadership journey!

What other examples would you add to the list?