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We all have stories.  Stories about what happened to us in childhood, as teenagers, as young adults and at various turning points in our lives. 

Our stories have a limited purpose.  They can help us to define our why, the reason we get out of bed in the morning and do what we do.  They can show us what we want and don’t want in life, how we want to act and not act, who we want to model ourselves after or not.

Our stories become self-destructive or just a waste of time if we use them to explain how we are or how things are in our life.  “I’m just time challenged. I can never get anywhere on time.”  “I don’t know how to (fill in the blank). It’s just something I'm not good at.”

The only thing that we can control is ourselves – how we feel and act, our attitude and outlook on life, what we make of what we experience in our life and the world around us.

It can be confronting to bring everything back to ourselves. If someone is acting like an idiot and we feel angry or hurt, we need to bring it back to ourselves.

Why? Because we are the one having a reaction. This person is getting to us, and that’s a gift.  How can this possibly be a gift?  It’s showing us a bit that’s broken and that can be used as an ‘in’ to manipulate or control us.  It’s showing us a bit that needs some understanding, compassion, and love.

Why talk about stories and reactions, and what does this have to do with success in business?  These stories and reactions can be patterns we use, consciously or unconsciously, to sabotage our success or to keep us from being only so successful.

What we bring to business that attracts clients and customers to us is who we are and how we make them feel when they are around us.  It's about the presence we hold.


We must be competent at what we do and how we do it. And, there are lots of people that do the same thing as us. In order to stand out in a crowd, we need to love the parts of us that are sabotaging our success. That are getting in the way of us moving forward.

The only way to do that is to bring back every reaction we have to someone or something else back home to ourselves. This can feel sharp and unsettling.  But we can reframe it. Actually, it’s an amazing opportunity to let go of something that’s holding us back and keeping us small or keeping us from realizing that goal, completing that project or landing that new client. That’s hopeful.

When we bring it back to ourselves and acknowledge, “Hey, I’m really angry or hurt”, and then sit with it for a moment, something shifts inside of us.  When we acknowledge our feelings, stop judging the other person and ourselves for having a reaction, for not handling the situation better, for saying something 'stupid' or whatever, we feel different, like a weight has been lifted off of our shoulders. We can just accept this is how it is.  “It’s not about me. This person is lashing out, not because of me, but because of something that's happening inside of them.”

Once we are no longer in judgment, we can bring in gratitude. Gratitude that we have the courage to look at ourselves with new eyes and be real with what’s going on, and not make it about somebody else.  Gratitude that we don't have to take on the dramas of others and make them our own.  Gratitude that we can let go of what's been bothering us and see the situation from a fresh perspective.

Gratitude is a key. Gratitude helps us do a better job and not backdoor ourselves with negative self-talk or making someone else’s bad hair day our fault or our responsibility.

We can do and be our best without becoming mired in our client’s dramas, unreasonable demands or poor behavior. As leaders, it is not kind to ourselves or those under our charge to become doormats or compost bins for our clients.

Gratitude and acceptance can light the way for new kind of business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit that supports the best interests of all concerned.

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How do you inspire others to do what needs to be done, to achieve the impossible?  

You have faith.  You embody faith.  It’s a part of who you are.  When you hold faith beyond the moment, you instill that faith in those around you; and, with that unwavering faith you can lead people to greatness.

Winston Churchill had this ability. When people were around Winston, they felt like they could do anything. That’s the mark of a great leader. No one thought it was possible for Great Britain and the Allies to win the war but win WWII they did!

Faith is about knowing that no one is an island, that together is better, helping you accomplish what you couldn’t do alone.  Great leaders use faith motivated by the highest good of all concerned to galvanize those around them to action.

How do you get faith? You instill it in your heart; you convince your subconscious mind perhaps by reading affirmations aloud everyday with passion, until your subconscious mind returns your belief to your conscious mind and your heart as faith.  You can deepen this process by acting as if the object of your desire, faith, is a reality now -- feeling, seeing, and knowing that you have faith.

Be careful. . . your subconscious mind will just as readily translate into reality destructive thoughts as uplifting ones. Whether it’s true or not, you will believe whatever you repeat to yourself over and over again.  If you always tell yourself that you’re stupid, you will believe it.  If you believe that you are doomed to failure, you will fail.

You experience with vary based upon your beliefs. Whether you are bitter or better for an experience is determined in large measure by your faith.  Your dominating thoughts mixed with emotion magnetically draws similar thoughts to you. Like attracts like.  If you believe you are successful, you are. Even in the face of failure, you will feel optimistic and see your situation as an opportunity to learn and grow.

Faith is the starting point for making your desires and goals a reality. Faith is the basis of all miracles which cannot be explained by the rational, thinking mind. Faith connects you directly with Infinite Intelligence, and gives life, power, and action to your thoughts. 

Follow Winston Churchill’s example, make faith your antidote to failure, your key to success, your basis for inspiring others in a way that makes the world a better play because you are in it.

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What does it mean to lead from the heart, to lead from a space of equanimity, kindness, or calm assurance?  It means motivating people from love, not fear.

When we motivate people with fear, "Get this down now or else!", we make them feel small and useless, afraid of doing something ‘wrong’, afraid of giving it a go and making a mistake, afraid of doing anything that could make leadership or their immediate superior mad.

Fear causes people to doubt themselves, to feel anxious and alone.  Fear encourages your people to be suspicious of one another, not knowing who might be a back stabber or tattle tale.

When we motivate your people with love, they feel more belonging, that they fit in and have a purpose at work.  They feel more valued and respected.

People want to fit in, to belong, to feel like their contribution matters. When people feel like they belong, they participate and become a part of the community.  They reach out and work as a team. They have each other’s backs and have the backs of the ones directing them, because their leaders, bosses, superiors have their backs, and that’s their natural, genuine response. Kindness and consideration beget more kindness and consideration. 

This is about being a doormat. When we lead from the heart, we still need to have clear, strong appropriate boundaries. The people and teams that work for us still need to know what's expected of them, the standards of excellence that they need to uphold, individually and collectively.

When we as leaders are responsible to all members of our group and they are individually responsible to and for each other, everyone learns from one another.  It saves time and supports success on all levels, from financial success to mental health success to emotional maturity success. 

More prosperity, more happy and content people, more acting like responsible, caring adults instead of kids having a tantrum or demanding to get their way.  This is about honoring our ability to lead, our unique gifts as well as the positive qualities, strengths, and abilities of everyone who works for or with us.

It's about recognizing and rewarding value, acknowledging your own strengths and weakness and have a healthy sense of humility, being willing to learn from and listen to others.  Knowing that we don't know everything, that we still have a lot to learn, and being open to learning from those around you; practicing and living this is a huge step forward on the road to excellence as a leader.

It's about having the courage to face whatever presents and trusting in our ability and the ability of those around us to succeed.   The only thing others can use against us is our own fear, and we can choose not to buy into that.  We can choose and re-choose to be motivated by love.

Love can move mountains in business and life.  It can inspire, uplift and motivate everyone around us simply by the calm, self-assured presence that we hold.

Simon Sinek's books, Start with Why and Leaders Eat Last are great reads, giving us the specifics we may need to have a clearer, more grounded picture of the long-term benefits of leading from the heart.  Leading from the heart may mean not following the crowd, debunking the theory of strength in numbers and learning to more deeply follow and honor the guidance that comes from within.

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Okay, you are a leader, you've done a lot, you've got people depending on you, but are you coachable?

Why does it matter?  The only certainty in this world is that everything changes.  If you are a leader and you are not open to change, if you are not willing to self-reflect, look inside, be willing to be wrong and make changes, maybe it's time to consider a 180.

Coach-able leaders engage in regular self-reflection. Reflection is more than careful thought, it's a meditative activity. Reflection is about reviewing your actions and beliefs for the purpose of learning, learning from your mistakes, learning by taking an honest look at yourself and what's working in your personal and professional life, and what could use some help.

Perhaps that's why some companies have retreats to revitalize, refresh, invigorate and energize their people.  Retreats give us a chance to unwind from the grind and breathe and feel and think and maybe see the world and our lives a little bit differently.

So, take some time. Maybe every day or every week to relax and reflect, not from your busy mind, more like a pondering in the heart, feeling. This gives you the opportunity to come to a new understanding which can result in more harmonious decisions and actions in the future. Your personal ongoing development and growth, in short, is key to your personal contentment and success.

We can take a lot of our cues from what others say and think, not really valuing our own knowing, looking outside of self for answers.  In the long run, that slowing down and looking within yields a whole different caliber of results.

How do we start?  Review you day before going to sleep.  How could you have handled things differently or better, what would that look like, how would that feel?  Where were you at you best?  Where could you have done better, and what would that look like?

When we review at bedtime something happens while we sleep, like all the better ways of acting and handling things gets uploaded to apply and use the next time something similar happens.

Be curious.  Some people journal, some ponder, some close their eyes and relax back in their easy chair and contemplate, some meditate and ask for guidance.

Self-reflection takes courage, courage to look within and be honest, courage to be open vulnerable.  No matter what we see, mistakes are just opportunities to learn and grow; they don't mean anything about us, and best of all we can choose to learn from them.

Self-reflection is courageous and can feel confronting.  If we feel defensive or irritable as we review our day, we can simply acknowledge that all of our feelings, everything we feel is valid.

Self-reflection is about dropping the need to always be doing something, always getting something done.  Self-reflection is a Being experience.  Even if we don't see an immediate return on our investment, self-reflection is a wise use of our time and energy. It's about balancing the wisdom of taking action with the wisdom of looking for guidance from within.

Be coachable. Coach yourself, or work with a coach that you trust and has your back, that is passionate about helping you be the best you can be, to reach your goals in a way that resonates with who you are and what you're about, who partners with you to discover the wisdom within.