Leadership Lessons Found in Unexpected Places

On a hot and sticky Tuesday morning in July my husband and I settled into our chairs across from Reverend Melanie for an hour of ‘pre-Baptism counseling.’ Joe and I stepped into this session with limited expectations, just pleased with ourselves for fitting this in before Sunday’s Baptism! Surprisingly, we left with an expanded view of the spiritual leadership role we play for our two little girls.

To be fully transparent, over the last few years we had turned into something of ‘Christers’ – showing up for church primarily for Christmas and Easter. We explained it away, as many of us do, as just being too busy to take an hour out of our week to turn up at church.

As the hour unfolded, the conversation evolved from the logistics of the upcoming Baptism to the gift we as parents give our children by simply taking them to church and in turn exposing them to a higher power. Reverend Melanie drove her points home through poignant and relatable stories.Leadership Lessons Found in Unexpected Places

To be your best self I believe you need to hold true to some sort of higher power, whatever that may be, to help free yourself of the crap. Imagine how powerful you could be if you took all that energy you invest in worrying about what was, or what could be, and focused it on building that business, or teaching that child, or finding that soulmate!

My musings today are certainly not intended to push religion down anyone’s throat. Rather, my intent is to share how one hour with a leader in our community influenced how Joe and I think about a really big topic – providing a spiritual foundation in our home.

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5 Ways to Enhance Your Travel Experience

Travel is the best way to grow your leadership skills. Experiencing new places and cultures and talking to people in their natural habitat expands your perspective and develops your empathy in ways that can never be taught out of a textbook or in a classroom.
I was bitten by the travel bug at age four when my parents, both school teachers, did a home exchange in Wales for the summer. Since then I’ve had the great opportunity to travel to many exciting places around the world.
Whether traveling for work or pleasure, here are my top five tips for getting the most out of your travel experience.
Do your research – 15 minutes on Google will provide you the fun facts, bits of history, and must see locations that will arm you with good conversation starters that the locals can expand upon in your conversations with them.
Turn off your device - Take advantage of travel time to do something other than surf the web. One of my mentors radically improved her well being when she stopped doing work and checking email on flights, and decided to only read fiction when flying. Now she looks forward to her work trips instead of dreading them.
Pack Your Creature Comforts – These three staples help me feel more at home when I’m not at home - 1.) Lily Pultizer travel bag that is always stocked with my favorite beauty supplies, 2) Ugg flip flop slippers (I hate walking around barefoot in a hotel), 3) Protein bars to satisfy early morning or late night munchies
Experience SOMETHING New – Do not tell me you don’t have time to explore a new culture. When in Hydrabad, India for two weeks, I used a weekend to visit the Taj Mahal, when in Austria for three days, I arranged a meeting-free morning to tour a concentration camp, and when I did a day trip to Cincinnati I sampled their local delicacy, sweet and spicy chili, over dinner. You have the time – you just need to be intentional how you prioritize your time.
Take Notes - I use the sticky notes function on my iPhone to jot down interesting tidbits I pick up in conversations with the locals, local news and headlines, and my general observations and musings. It’s fun to look back on and increases your interesting meter.

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Fast Track Your Career

You and only YOU are responsible to continuously up your game
College graduates through mid-careerists share a new reality - companies expect you to come in with all the skills and knowledge and are less likely to invest in your training and development.

In coaching Fortune 200 & Fortune 500 leaders, I have found that the 3E (Experiences, Exposure Opportunities, and Expertise) Map is the most efficient and effective way to plan for and prioritize development to accelerate professional growth. (click here for tool download)

Think of this 3E Map as your professional compass to fast track your career.
The 3E Map is a framework used to prioritize the experiences, exposure opportunities, and expertise (skills and knowledge) needed to achieve a professional destination, such as securing a promotion or switching careers.

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Your Main Message

Use this space to tell people what your company does and why and how it does it. What're you known for? Who likes you? What's your number one competitive advantage?

Include all the things that make your business unique and better than the competition. Do you have a patented 13-step process for taxidermy that results in the most lifelike stuffed owls? You gotta mention that.

Other good things to weave into this copy include: awards won, distinctions given, number of products sold, company philosophy (just keep it short), interesting company history bits, and anything that makes a reader think you'd be awesome to do business with.


Next Steps...

This is should be a prospective customer's number one call to action, e.g., requesting a quote or perusing your product catalog.