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The Real Truth About January 1st

(First appeared in WRAL TechWire.)

As the final notes of “Auld Lang Syne” fade and the remnants of fireworks sparkle in the night sky, many of us are imbued with optimism. After all, January 1st is heralded as the gateway to new beginnings and fresh starts. It’s the day we collectively agree that we’re allowed to push the giant red reset button. It’s a milestone moment.

And we love a good milestone, don’t we? Hallmark has fueled an entire industry to help us celebrate them. And milestones like January 1st, weddings, birthdays, or even that 1st year-sober chip hold power.

That said, here’s the hard truth that we don’t like to admit: there is no mystical transformation that takes place at the stroke of midnight. Our debts, our annoyances, our struggles—they don’t magically reset in the face of a new calendar page. At least… not on their own…

The magic of January 1st only works if you’ve laid the groundwork...

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The Difference Between Taking Up Space and Showing Up

take up space Sep 28, 2023

(First appeared in WRAL TechWire.)

Be honest with me… when you read the title, where did you think I was going with this? Were you expecting me to glorify the leaders who “show up and show out”? Or maybe you thought, “Ahhh... she’s going to try and convince me to bring my ‘A-game’ everywhere I go..."

Surprise! Today we’re going to explore why it’s okay to simply take up space… or even sit in the back.

The Difference

You see, every time you enter a room, you have two options. You can show up as the fire starter who brings the warmth, carries the mood and leads the conversation? Or… you can intentionally and quietly take up space to observe, learn and conserve energy. The very nature of this posture allows others to take the reins and shine.

The Conditions

Social norms and conventional leadership often signal that ‘taking up space’ is selfish, unproductive and a waste of time. And as...

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It's That Time Again (... To Clean Out the Junk Drawer)

Uncategorized Sep 21, 2023

(First appeared in WRAL TechWire.)

Time to clean out that junk drawer.

This column got a lot of buzz last year so we’re bringing it back for a little reprise.

Here it is… your annual reminder to dump out that drawer, sort through the random stuff you’ve collected over the year, and get things back in order. You’ll feel sooooooo much better after you do!

This isn’t limited to your physical junk drawer. Our lives have junk drawers too. Every day we’re collecting new ideas, reinforcing habits (good or bad) and investing in relationships at every level. We hold on to these things because they have value in the moment. And we have every intention of putting them to good use, right? But, if we’re not careful, that drawer can get messy and crowded – losing the very value it was created to support in the first place.

Now, if you’ve been reading this column for any length of time, you know that I believe in 90-day sprints – which...

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Did You Hear the Bell?

recess for adults Sep 18, 2023

I’m out for recess!

Yep, I’m living into the things I preach and scheduling breaks over the next 4 days to read, plan for the fall and get a Thai massage. Can’t wait!

What’s the inspiration you ask?  Well, let’s hop in the way-back machine… all the way back to elementary school. You’re fidgeting in Mr. Snoresville’s class, watching the clock, waiting for the bell to ring so you can dash out the door because…

It’s Recess!

You can feel it, can’t you? The excitement of heading outside to unstructured play and 45 minutes of sweet, sweet freedom.

Maybe you settled into a spot on the bus curb and ki-ki’d about crushes. Or you grabbed a basketball to play H-O-R-S-E with the crew. Or maybe you were out on the field choreographing dance moves to the latest song.

Jump rope… swings…whatever… recess was the best!

So what happened? When did the magic of recess get left behind in our memories? How...

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The Fourth Quarter Rally

fourth quarter rally Sep 07, 2023

(First appeared in WRAL TechWire.)

It’s finally fall… okay, fine we’re 16 days away from the official starting line.  But, if you’re a cool-weather leaf-changing fanatic like me, the day the calendar shifts from August 31st to September 1st, you’ve stepped into autumn. And in my world, autumn is a time to ground your energy, settle in and reflect on the natural cycle of change. Amen, amen!

If you follow me, you’ve picked up that I reference sports a lot in my writing because I find that so many athletes have beautiful hero’s journeys from which I draw inspiration. That said, last week, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between the fall and the fourth quarter of a football game. Okay, hang in there… I promise I’m going to bring this point home.

So, last Thursday, I flew down to West Palm Beach to watch my son’s first football game of the season. The Keiser University Seahawks fought hard against...

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Introducing the 4x4: Next Level Understanding of the Fab Four on Your Team

4x4 the fab four Aug 31, 2023

(First appeared in WRAL TechWire.)

A cliché that sums up this article: Teamwork makes the dreamwork.

If you’re on a team, and I suspect you are, it’s time to look under the hood.  Whether you’re a co-founding team with a set of advisors, a large multifaceted team at a Blue Chip company or a member of a board of directors at a local nonprofit, the way you move on your team has an impact.

Last week, we examined the Fab 4 of high performing teams and what it meant to really know and own your lane of influence. This week, we’ll continue to dig in to those four lanes by introducing the ‘4×4,’ a framework that identifies the four key attributes driving each of the Fab 4. At the end of the day, when these drivers are allowed to shine through…they fuel creativity and innovation taking your team to new and unknown territory.

The 4×4

First, let’s talk about the Creator. Creators offer a unique set of...

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Know—and OWN—Your Lane of Influence

But wait there’s more.

Last week, we talked about why the room is better because you’re in it.  But what if I told you there’s more to the story. What if the impact that you have in that room is directly tied to knowing and boldly owning your lane of influence!

Your Lane

Getting clear on your lane of influence is critical. Whether you’re a founder or a project manager, you need to know how your influence shapes those around you. And if you’ve been following us over the last several weeks, you might be silently saying, “Oh, yeah I know my lane, I’m 100% a Creator.”  But, if I totally lost you just now, check out our article on the Fab 4 and take the quiz.

You Asked for More

Now, since we published the introduction of the Fab 4 earlier this spring, we’ve had the opportunity to explore the framework with executives, engineering teams, real estate and construction companies and nonprofits in various...

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The Room Is Better Because You're In It!

(First appeared in WRAL TechWire.)

I love a good mantra… you know… an inspirational phrase or quote that snaps life and your place in it right into focus. And inevitably when I talk with my coaching clients or catch up with an old friend, I find myself sharing the one mantra that has served me well over the years:

The room is better because you’re in it.

It’s simple yet powerful.

Now, you might not be aware of this indelible truth because… well, you’re you. And that means you’re used to being you—good, bad, ugly, beautiful—and you probably take your contributions for granted.

But here’s the thing: when you exit a room, that room changes. And guess what? All your sizzle-pop? It walks right out the door with you. Your personality. Your expertise. Your very presence… it’s all gone once that door has closed behind you.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at your coworker. What happens when she ...

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When You Need to Have "The Talk" With a Coworker...

(First appeared in WRAL TechWire.)

The talk.

Having “the talk” can mean several things, depending on what’s happening in your life or the world around you. In this case, “the talk” I’m referring to today is the one you might need to have with your colleague. You know, the one who’s burned out and frankly hard to work with. Now, before you start rattling off your colleagues’ names in your head… don’t forget the season that someone might have had you in mind as well.

The truth is, sometimes we work with people who are grouchy, distracted, low energy and downers. They can be the “Eeyores” of the team and full of negative vibes. In some cases, it might be their general disposition… but in others, it’s a result of burnout. That said, it’s important to remember that people aren’t perfect, and while you may be flying high now, some of your colleagues might be grounded.

So the...

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Igniting Your Workplace... Who Are Your Fire Starters?

(First appeared in WRAL Tech Wire.)

Last week we introduced the concept of campfire circles at your workplace, and the idea that every team needs a fire starter—a person willing to take the time, effort and energy to build the campfire so your team will gather, connect and find warmth and restoration.

It’s easy to see how important the role of the fire starter is at a campground; without a campfire, each camper is left to fend for themselves, cold and lonely at the end of a long hard day of activity. The fire starter produces a valuable and shared resource—the campfire—around which weary campers gather to warm up, cook their dinners, and share stories. It’s the heart of the whole experience.

But what do campfires at work look like, and, more importantly, who are the fire starters on your team? Because without them, there is no campfire.


Let’s say you’re going into a meeting where you know...

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