Being “Okay” is a Fragile Thread

Do you have a sense of well-being? Does it seem that everything in your life is going along (mostly) the way you'd like it to? Perhaps you have a calm inside that all is as it should be. Particularly going into the holiday season, that feeling of contentedness is something we all hope for. But this week, I've had several powerful reminders that health and happiness are fleeting. Unwelcome Reminders I spent Thanksgiving with a close relative who was recently told … [Read more...]

My First Adventure with Miracle

Meet Miracle Edwards. Miracle is a beautiful 8-year-old girl I met over the summer with her father. She had never seen a ballet or anything like it before, and I thought it would be a wonderful idea to treat her to a performance. Preparing for the Big Day I called her father, Jeff, several times and left messages but didn't connect.  I let some days pass and was about to call again when my phone rang. It was Jeff, returning my call. He and Miracle had talked about … [Read more...]

A Dry-Erase Solution to Planning Your Project (or Your Life)

My colleague Gail Perry and I have embarked on a new project. We’re developing a five-part online course to help organizations get ready for their capital campaigns. It’s fits on top of our already existing coaching program and our complicated lives. Don’t worry -- our course is not the topic of this blog post.  But handling the complexity of what it will take to make it happen IS. A Recipe for Success... (or Stress?) Here are some of the ingredients. Two busy … [Read more...]

Why Some Anniversaries are Worth Celebrating

I've always poo-pooed birthdays. The years roll by. Numbers grow year by year. So what! In truth, you've done little (or nothing) to earn your good fortune of having lived through another year. So in my family, most birthdays' pass by with little notice. But some anniversaries are worth celebrating. Why? Because you've worked to get there. You've mustered the discipline and stamina to do something again and again. And occasionally, it's worth taking … [Read more...]

The Meaning of Life: Are You Just Clocking Time?

You could count the days, if you only knew how many there were. And as you get older, though you still don't know exactly how many there will be, the days of your life seem all the more countable. That's what I was thinking about when I finished reading a detective novel last week. Though I enjoyed reading it, after I put it down, I couldn't shake the sense that while I was reading, I was just clocking time... Letting the minutes go by. What Makes Life … [Read more...]

What’s Your Impact in the World?

Every once in a while, a few words can change the way you think.  Here are the words that recently rocked my brain. My work is more impact." That's how Seth Godin responded in an interview when asked to describe his work. He didn't say his work was writing books, or selling books, or starting internet companies, or creating internship programs for budding entrepreneurs. Yet, he does all of those things. Instead he said, "My work is more impact." And that caught my … [Read more...]

Get a Response with Curiosity, Persistence and Humor

Have you ever submitted a proposal or applied for a job and then waited... and waited... and waited to hear if you were selected? If that's ever happened to you, I'll bet dollars to donuts that the longer you waited without a response, the more sure you were that you didn't make the cut. Right? You probably figured that if you got the job, someone would let you know as soon as the decision was made. It's fun to deliver good news. But if you didn't get it, they'd delay … [Read more...]

Little Suggestions Can Make a Big Difference

My friend, Linda Cunningham, runs an art gallery. Last year, she asked me if I would sit at the desk at the gallery for an hour while she ran some errands. I was happy to help. While I was tending the gallery, a young man walked in and was looking at the exhibition. I went over to say hello and talk with him about the art. He told me that he was an artist and that he would love to exhibit his work in the gallery. How, he asked, could he get a show there. Now, it’s … [Read more...]

What it Takes to Create Something Truly Remarkable

Remarkable is not a synonym for perfect. Far from it. In fact, some of the most remarkable things in life are remarkable because of their imperfections, not in spite of them. (Think of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.) For the kind of remarkable I'm talking about, it's your commitment and effort and energy that makes it special... and truly remarkable. What do Remarkable Things have in Common? Here's a personal list of some remarkable things I've seen. A drummer on the … [Read more...]

Communicate Effectively with Email to Get the Results You Want

I was talking with my friend J. recently and she was super discouraged. Three of the people she had been trying to connect with for her organization  --  people she had been in close contact with  --  had not responded to several of her emails. She was getting ready to ask them for gifts and they were disappearing! “Is it me?” she moaned. “Did I do something wrong? Have they all decided that they don’t want to help me with this project?” “I feel like I’m on an … [Read more...]