Great coaching for the ages

We coach individuals and groups to identify barriers and create innovative solutions to the challenges they face across the aging spectrum

Great coaching for the ages

We coach individuals and groups to identify barriers and create innovative solutions to the challenges they face across the aging spectrum

Great coaching for the ages

We coach individuals and groups to identify barriers and create innovative solutions to the challenges they face across the aging spectrum

Great coaching for the ages

We coach individuals and groups to identify barriers and create innovative solutions to the challenges they face across the aging spectrum

Great coaching for the ages

We coach individuals and groups to identify barriers and create innovative solutions to the challenges they face across the aging spectrum

Great coaching for the ages

We coach individuals and groups to identify barriers and create innovative solutions to the challenges they face across the aging spectrum

BLOG

My thoughts on aging, genarians, coaching, and living a great life!

Positive Aging

Positive Aging

Positive Aging“Positive Aging” is a real mixed bag!Loads of people talk about it, write and blog about it, upload videos about it, and make a lot of money promoting some manufactured version of it. If you Google “positive aging” and sort your results by images, you...

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MY ARTICLES


Aging Spectrum

Aging Spectrum

As a coach, my interest and expertise lie in what we do about aging, how we adapt to aging, what we resist about aging, what we embrace about aging, what we believe about aging, how we are transformed by aging. I am curious about the challenges aging presents and how we overcome them. I am curious about the impact on families when our attention is on a beloved member who is in advanced aging. I am interested in how families adapt to and work with cognitive decline, incontinence, and medication non-compliance. If the aging process is hard for you and you’re trying to come up with a plan, I am curious! I know coaching can be very useful as you explore these issues, too.

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Coaching Works

Coaching Works

Every family managing the complexities of aging in the modern world has a topic that, if understood, could transform them into something better. As a gerontologist and coach who works with genarians and their families on a wide range of age-related topics, it’s not the natural process of aging (of getting old!) that is the topic for most people, really; it’s how we view aging or what we do about aging that matter most.

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Y.M.C.A.

Y.M.C.A.

What does showing appreciation and sharing acknowledgment look like to you? What are the risks you take when offering acknowledgment? When you offer it, how do you know it is received? What happens to you after you offer acknowledgment that is received? What do you notice?

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Yes, and…

Yes, and…

I am reminded: Treatment will be ugly and uncomfortable and cancerous cells will be dying off and healthy skin (and body) is being restored. A much richer place to be than looking to when the ugliness and discomfort ends so I can then get back to my life (and stand-in family photos). I am going for the “yes, and…”–Yes, to treating skin cancer issues and living my life and growing my business and raising my son and taking a class and …

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Year End Giving

Year End Giving

Gro(w)th Coaches loves to work with philanthropists. Together we can explore and name your core philanthropic values and make personal giving plans to match them. Giving is not a random act of kindness. Giving is an expression of love, of hope, and of strategy. Contact me and we will explore the possibilities in your philanthropic dreams.

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Wow… A Blog!

Wow… A Blog!

Today I am blogging somewhere in between Conscious Incompetence and Conscious Competence (leaning more toward Conscious Incompetence). I am no longer panicked and out of breath. In fact, I am kind of excited about blogging. And I lack the technical skills to make this easy and I will probably want to give up at times. Today I am doing what I quickly avoided weeks ago. It’s a dance between stages.

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Word for the Day

Word for the Day

What are you grateful for? What does gratitude feel like for you? For me, gratitude is more than offering “thank you”…yet that is a start. What does an expression of gratitude look like to you? What gets in the way of offering gratitude? Or acknowledging gratitude? Or receiving gratitude?

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Wisdom in the Piles

Wisdom in the Piles

I have been working to clear my desk of some untended filing and unsorted scraps and have been rather struck by the wisdom in the piles. I have to wonder… is there something to the word mess occupying a large part of the word message?

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Wired

Wired

I love the convenience and ease and access that comes from having a computer and the Internet in my life. The challenge is to make sure the computer does not replace a handshake, a trip to the library, or a visit with a friend or relative.

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Wired World

Wired World

What land of technology do you stand in? Are you in the old country or are in the new world? What do you notice? If you are in that intergenerational place, what do you know about learning a new culture and language? How do you still honor the old and familiar way? How does technology support you living your best life?

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Which Comes First?

Which Comes First?

What’s up for you today? What do you notice when you shift around your day by making what is primary last and what is last primary? What do you notice if you deeply explore that which you find un-explorable (i.e. “No, I can’t go to grad school now!”) and really see what’s there? What happens if you re-sequence your tasks / goals / ideas / plans and choose differently?

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What’s In a Name?

What’s In a Name?

When I began my consulting business many years ago and my coaching business recently, it was very clear to me what this business would be called and what it would be about. After all, I had been this brand for 35 years! The third-grade candidate for student council treasurer has grown up and the brand recognition remains: Whether talking about strategic planning or fundraising, finding healthy work/life balance, or making more skillful choices, my work is about growth, forward movement, change, and success.

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Whatchamacallit

Whatchamacallit

Words have great power. I want the roles I play in the world to move me to greatness and what that role is called is an important place to begin. What’s on your business card? How alive / inspired / creative / successful does the title make you feel? If you were to change your actual title, what would the new title be? And if your new, made-up title resonates for you, go get your actual title changed. Now!

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What Lingers In the Space

What Lingers In the Space

And I got to thinking… pneumonia germs are a lot like the toxins that exist in the workplace, the toxins that linger waiting to infect the productivity and cohesion of the team. They are so familiar to each of us. Some people and behaviors that when unleashed, infect the space and ruin everything. For everybody.

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We Can Do Better

We Can Do Better

Fundraising campaigns centered around celebrity are very tricky. These celebrity-driven campaigns will succeed (or not) based upon the public’s affection for the celebrity and the authentic connection between the celebrity and the charity.

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Water

Water

And beyond the impact of broken water mains or earthquakes, think about the catastrophes of life and living: A broken heart, a sick body, an unplanned divorce or employment disruption…increase in college tuition, the roof leaking, a board chair resigning, a major event being rained out…the economic recession, volcanic ash in the air canceling air flights, a war…a death, a birth, a diagnosis, a crisis of faith. Anything can (and will) disrupt our lives and escalate into a major crisis if we are not mindful of preparation and holding the value of ease.

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Up there

Up there

What if you do leave the comfort (?) of the ledge. Maybe you will land on your feet. Maybe you will end up in a broken pile of mess. What is true is you will have left the ledge, having dared to get closer to what–from up there–felt so far away.

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Tugboats

Tugboats

As I am sitting at my desk catching up on some e-mail I notice a very traditionally styled, very sweet tug boat chugging by my window (I live at the ocean…). Bright red with white trim, big tire “bumpers” dangling off the side rails, and a bit of black smoke coming out its smokestack. And I am reminded of the power and design of a tugboat that enables it to push/guide/direct these great big ships. I wonder about the small and powerful things in our lives that serve to move our greatness forward.

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Trail Angels

Trail Angels

This morning, in addition to a story about China’s “cloud physicists” who are scientifically “re-locating” annoying clouds that are hovering over the Olympic stadium, was this terrific article called “Angels of the Appalachian Trail: In western Mass., hikers depend on the kindness of strangers” which really caught my attention.

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Tradition

Tradition

I think about “tradition, and…?” For example, we set a celebration table to look like such, and what are your ideas we can try? Or, our mission has traditionally been such, and it is time we blend this traditional response to a current way of organizing. Or, a traditional school/family/marriage/community has looked like such and today it looks like this. What’s your “tradition, and…?”

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To Do

To Do

I took a great class last week at a Washington DC hotel and this was a note pad at each place setting. Clever (click on the picture to embiggen). How inspiring is your “to do” list? What do you notice about those items on this list that seem to roll over from one week to the next? I think traditional “to do” lists are really “shame” lists. Aren’t they really just the lists of things we know we aren’t going to do?

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To Be Stuck…

To Be Stuck…

Give some thought to the presence of the horsemen in your partnership or team. What do you notice when they arrive? What form do they often take? Which horseman are you most familiar with? How does using the horsemen serve you? If you could be more skillful, what would taming these horsemen look like to you? How would your relationships benefit?

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To Be or Not to Be

To Be or Not to Be

What about doing/being lights you up? What about doing/being feels most challenging? What does integration of doing/being look like to you? What do you notice when there is (or isn’t) balance? What are you most aware of?

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This Moment

This Moment

Remember a defining moment of limitless possibility. What unfolded? What was it like to be in that place? What can you take from that moment and bring forward to today’s opportunities? What’s it like to take the freshness and awe of that moment (as you recall it) and combine it with the wisdom you have today? What’s possible now?

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The Survey Says…

The Survey Says…

I was asked by my doctor to participate in a study he is conducting of his patients who have had spinal surgeries and/or who undergo spine-related pain management therapies. What was so surprising about the study was that it was about quality of life and not medical care. I loved being asked to reflect upon my quality of life. And you?

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The Pursuit of Joy

The Pursuit of Joy

Name your rut, your stuck place right now. What is holding you back (for you in the non-profit world, the answer is not “money”)? What do you really know about this place? Now imagine the shift to something else, a different place, a different perspective. What will it take to get there? Name some action you can take to get closer to this new place. What are you willing to “spend” in order to get there? What will it “cost” you to stay where you are? what are you willing to do in order to be who you want to be?

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The Next 60 Years

The Next 60 Years

For me, the theme for the weekend is relationship–celebrating others in relationship and celebrating being in relationship. It’s pretty awesome.

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The Board of Directors

The Board of Directors

What do you notice about how the founder of your organization is still present? How is his/her influence still felt, honored, guiding your board? What do you notice about the history of your organization and how it is leveraged today? What does leadership transition look like in your group? When you look back into your history, what are you finding and what will you import to your future?

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Taking Stock

Taking Stock

I notice how easy it is to fall into the pattern of moving on from one day to the next without taking a moment to look at what was and what I am carrying forward. It is one of the reasons why I love honoring the Jewish Sabbath; there is a punctuation mark at the end of this week and then the next sentence begins. For me, this marker of Shabbat brings the week to full closure… it’s over…be done… rest.

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Systems and Values and Thoughts (oh my!)

Systems and Values and Thoughts (oh my!)

Believe me, this is not a post of spiraling negativity just 12 days into the new year! In fact, there is a lot about this post that is positive, provocative, and intriguing. And what do you notice in your world?

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Small

Small

Small governing appears in many forms: No one is held accountable. People are let off the hook. Decisions are made from fear and guilt. Bad behavior is enabled and rewarded. People make nice. People lack creativity and have no vision. They micromanage one another. They blame everyone and everything for their challenges and failures. They make excuses. They eventually disappear or they stick around long after their expiration date.

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Simplify

Simplify

It is pretty typical that the biggest challenges are resolved with the simplest solution, the solution that is intuitive and readily accessible. It is our belief that the resolution has to be bigger (smarter? expert? expensive?) that keeps us from actually resolving what ails us. We fall into a cycle of avoidance, overwhelm, fear, perfectionism, procrastination when we know–in our hearts–that the solution we seek is right in front of us. This does not have to be complicated.

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Simple

Simple

Simplicity of staying in touch with friends, family, and colleagues: I have joined 3 social/business networking web sites (only 3!) and I find they take up more time maintaining, and less time really being engaged with the people on them. There is a passivity to it all.

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Shock & Awe

Shock & Awe

What might be possible for the world if people talked and listened to one another, even to words they find objectionable and to ideas that they find impossible or repellent? What might be possible for the world if we were to recognize and solve problems from the stance that there is some truth to what we each have to say and some not truth? Pathways to peace and conflict resolution and love and understanding are complex; how are you with complexity? What’s trying to happen here?

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Shift Happens!

Shift Happens!

One of the fun coaching tools we use is a “Wheel of Life” diagram. Talk about how something so simple can be so revealing! Try it! It goes something like this… If you rate your current topic (work, relationship, your board, money, etc.) a “3”—it’s where you are today—and your goal is to be a “10” what needs to happen in the space between 3 and 10? What’s there for you? What do you notice? That’s the parallel process… the “building from” place… how to be a 3 and a 4 and a 6 and a 9 while aiming for the 10. Get it?

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School Days

School Days

Look around yourself…right now…in this moment. What do you see? What will you learn from what is around you? What are you being reminded of right now? What meaning will you make of the images/sounds/feelings in your space at this moment?

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Sacred Cows

Sacred Cows

What are the sacred cows in your organization (or relationship, job, family, etc.) that you notice? How do they show up? What sacred cow is in your way that you feel so reluctant to do anything about for fear of upsetting it? What are you accepting or tolerating simply because you always have?

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Road Map

Road Map

Planning is a process that doesn’t end. For a non-profit organization, planning is about the impact you are trying to have on the world first, how you plan to make this impact second, and the actual resourcing of programs third. The planning proposition is: In order to do THIS (mission), we will do THIS (programs generally), and it will look like THIS (actual services provided). Consider:

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R.I.P.

R.I.P.

A dying man told me once that we die as we have lived…nothing new happens at that time…we die the way we lived. I live in a manner that is strategic, prepared, thoughtful, mindful of purpose, engaging of others. And by doing the hard work today, I am hopeful the end of my life—whatever scenario unfolds—will be the same.

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Quotable IV

Quotable IV

“It is not enough for me to be able to say: “I am;” I want to know who I am, and in relation to whom I live. It is not enough for me to ask questions; I want to know how to answer the one question that seems to encompass everything I face: What am I here for?”

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Quotable III

Quotable III

“If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”

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Quotable II

Quotable II

What makes you come alive? What does it look like? When will you do it? How will the world know?

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Quotable

Quotable

If you continually feel pressured, don’t take it personally. You are experiencing the same dilemma as millions of other people, and you are part of the most time-pressed society of over-information and communication in history… Few people have what they consider to be breathing space in which to reflect…truly relax, or simply be.

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Quantum Flirts

Quantum Flirts

These flirts are all around us disguised as billboards, noises, songs, and creatures. Flirts can take any form; it’s how we notice it that matters. I recall walking outside with a client as she was describing how she felt as if she was carrying the weight of the world on her back when we happened upon a stream of ants carrying food crumbs on their backs toward a hole in the ground. We stood beside this stream of ants, noticed their behavior, and made some magical meaning from what we observed for this client. Quantum flirt

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Play to Win!

Play to Win!

Most non-profits are an un-renewed grant award or a struggling annual campaign away from closure. Before the real crisis hits you, what can be done today–with your leadership and your programs–to stay ahead of the crisis? The people who rely upon your existence are counting on you to know. Today!

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Pete & Repeat

Pete & Repeat

Think about the continuous, infinite loops you play in your mind. These loops are the messages or patterns or behaviors or thoughts or practices or tasks or whatever that keep going in the same direction over and over again, often not serving us. We all have them!

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Patience, please

Patience, please

So what do we know about change? It’s hard work. It is painful at times. It takes time and resources. Change, for the sake of change, is not change. Sometimes the change you get is bigger than the change you set out to create. Change is fluid. Some people respond really well to change, welcome it, embrace it. Sometimes change is very clear, easy and other times it is a murky, messy process. Change is a forward action…it propels you from where you are to someplace new…for better or for worse. The change will always be a part of our lives, until we die, and even then, change will carry on. Hold on!

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Parts of the Whole

Parts of the Whole

In this particular computer episode, my aggravation is not at having lost data; I haven’t and I back up my computer regularly. The aggravation I experience is in the fact that the data and my software and my programs are on the computer—it’s all there—and I have no access to them. The computer is dead. Feeling immobilized, incapable, and crippled come to mind.

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Overheard

Overheard

It’s one thing to find something intolerable. It’s entirely a different thing to do something about it. Imagine, what is possible if we name what we cannot tolerate and actually risk making a different choice?

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Outbound Train

Outbound Train

I wonder, if people weren’t boring, stressed, disorganized, unfulfilled, conflict-seeking, what would be possible? What would be possible if we named what we were experiencing (boredom, overwhelm, stress, pain) and owned it and changed it?

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One Word

One Word

I am intrigued by the idea of a one-word passion… a one-word goal… a one-word mantra. My work with non-profit staff and volunteer leaders often incorporates the stated mission of the organization and how it is held in the culture of the organization and how it is operationalized in the programs of the organization. A mission statement is typically more than one word and is open to a lot of dialogue and interpretation. A mission statement is essential, don’t get me wrong, and I am curious about the one word that captures who you are, and what you are about.

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On the Edge!

On the Edge!

Think about your edge(s). What is it today? What does your edge look like (a cliff? the top of the Empire State Building observation deck? On a bungee jump platform?)? When you are on this edge, what do you see possible out there? What’s keeping you on the edge, keeping you from leaping? What is it about being on this edge that propels you into action? What is the difference between what you have on the edge and what could be over the edge? Consider going over the edge–will it be an elegant dive or do you need to be shoved, a gentle tiptoe over or holding the hand of someone who joins you?

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On Leadership

On Leadership

CEO or executive director. Passengers or clients. Customers or donors. Employees or staff and volunteers. Shareholders or a board of directors. Flying a plane from Atlanta to London or feeding hungry and homeless people. Finding a lost suitcase or placing an abandoned pet. How much difference is there really between the leadership excellence required to run a huge international corporation or an essential community-based non-profit?

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Now & Later: Not Just a Candy

Now & Later: Not Just a Candy

My daily experience in my life and in my coaching practice is with people challenged by Now and Later. The struggle is with finding deep fulfillment in Now while acting in ways that also guarantees some sort of fulfillment Later. It’s not enough to be stuck in a challenging Now with only the hope that Later will be better. Nor is it sustainable to be in a really satisfying Now if there is a cloud of doom hanging over you because you fear Later will be horrible. Can we have both? Can we be both fulfilled Now and Later? What would it take?

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Note to Self

Note to Self

The clever device Andrea uses throughout the book has to do with sticky notes and the simple reminders they seem to capture in our lives. Each lengthy and meaningful tale told by these women is summed up by a useful reminder of the lesson to be learned, the note to self.

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Noise

Noise

Noise as metaphor: I have things I need and want to do and I am distracted by the “noise” of interruptions, at times unreliable technology, too few additional hands to help, and funds. This noise creates some tension, some impatience, a longing for it to end so I can resume what’s important to me. I want to feel a sense of accomplishment by achieving a firm result; squishy half-results are okay but I don’t feel fully satisfied, successful.

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New Year Declarations

New Year Declarations

Do your words inspire you to act? Is there some fire in them? Are the words engaging enough where you will even remember the goal or will they fade to the background noise of your life? What will it take for you to leverage this reflective, goal-setting time of the year into actual meaningful achievement and not more guilty avoidance and toleration of missed opportunity?

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Moving On

Moving On

I wonder… what are you moving toward? What are the barriers blocking you? What are you moving from? What will you take with you (even unintentionally) from that place? What do you know about moving?

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Mission Statement USA

Mission Statement USA

The thing about a motto, or a mission statement, is that the words have to mean something. They have to conjure up a feeling, a sensation. They have to light a fire of possibility and purpose. A mission statement has to have enough “oomph” to it where you want to do everything in your power to achieve it, live it, grow it, and work for it.

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Meeting of the Minds

Meeting of the Minds

What do you notice about who occupies your table? What will it take for this group to be effective? What does it take to balance needs/functions of the whole with the unique attributes of the individuals?

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Make It Up

Make It Up

Make up your own philosophy.

Invent your own story.

Free up your own imagination.

Create your own self.

Perfect your own flaws.

Follow your own evolution.

Believe in your own team.

See your own ability to change the world.

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Mad Men

Mad Men

I do love a good advertisement! I love print ads best, especially when they draw me in and interact with me. Lately there seems to be a lot of really nice ads that ask provocative questions, invite me to think and reflect, and then they try to sell me something. I am not particularly “print ad responsive” (okay, I admit I hate shopping!) but I do enjoy a good ad!

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Love, Sister

Love, Sister

No doubt, having a boat can be a powerful metaphor for life, relationships, work, family, teams, and organizations. Each day I look out at the boat I am reminded of this fear I have and what it takes to feel more comfortable, to be in a relationship with it (the “it” in this case is the fear, not the boat). Being in a relationship with my fear and using my fear as a place to begin growing and learning is not easy and humbling. It’s a big goal–having fun on the water!–that keeps me in the game.

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Lost: A Popular Culture Moment

Lost: A Popular Culture Moment

So when are you? And when are we as a country? When are we as a family? When is our organization? I have worked with boards of directors of non-profits that are solidly not in now; they are stuck in the past, action completely dominated by the long-gone Founder. I have worked with a married couple who are deeply rooted in their now while constantly looking at tomorrow. Coaching individuals is really appealing; there is often a very fluid dance between the past, the present, and the future the person dreams of. The challenge is dancing between time skillfully. In each case, it is about when.

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Life on the Highway

Life on the Highway

I wonder… Is the heart of your career and accomplishments ahead of or behind you? What’s the trade-off you make in your relationship/team when it comes to energy vs. wisdom? Which do you value more? If experience is not about having more answers but asking the right questions, what are the questions you are asking? What do you know about crisis and separating crisis from average problems? If character and courage are more important than age, what else is?

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Just Curious…

Just Curious…

What do you notice about who and what you are in a relationship with today? What do you notice about yourself when being in a relationship? Which relationship really satisfies you, and creates ease and happiness? Which relationship causes stress or anxiety or bores you? What do you find most challenging about being in a relationship? Since we can never not be in a relationship, what does it take to be more present to them, intentional about them, and skillful in them?

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It’s What You Do!

It’s What You Do!

What are you aware of when you are doing something? What do you notice when what you are doing is inconsistent with why you are doing it or with what you are trying to achieve? How do you redirect yourself (or others) when you notice this lack of alignment? What dynamic exists when what you do and what you need are not aligned?

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It’s (not) the Economy, Stupid!

It’s (not) the Economy, Stupid!

Hard truth? The economy is not necessarily the reason why your non-profit is struggling to meet its fundraising goals. The economy is not necessarily the reason why you have yet to find a job. The economy is not necessarily the reason your organization is losing customers or members or market share. When we fixate on the economy, we are assuring ourselves that for another period of time–days, weeks, months, and even years–we will not be taking responsibility for the condition of our organizations, budgets, lives, relationships, job searches, market share.

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Is There Comedy in the Tragedy?

Is There Comedy in the Tragedy?

How are you coping in all of this? What strategies do you have in place to overcome the challenges of our times? I notice many people are “getting smart” as a result of the economy; they are choosing to cut back, save a bit more, drive a bit less, recycle, pay attention to consumption of goods and power and fuel, clear out excess, volunteer. How are you “getting smart” in your life?

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Invention

Invention

What about your life/relationships/partnerships/organization is of your own design? What would reinvention look like? What do you notice about how you are as a leader and how the next generation closest to you leads? What are you reminded of when you are with them? What does change mean to you? What’s easy about it? What’s the challenge?

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Independence

Independence

Today I am going to think about what I am trying to declare independence from. I know there are some things holding me back from being who I want to be and from leading my life more fully. Join me. What are you wanting to declare independence from? What will you do now? What will you do next?

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In the Middle

In the Middle

Whether I am watching the melting igloo from my warm office and dreaming about the spring or remembering an India I knew as a college student while eating masala dosa in Minneapolis and planning for endless games of Uno on third class trains or honoring the intent of my organization’s founder while I deliver services today and engage my board in a strategic planning process to guide our future, each place is an in between place that has value and can be leveraged.

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If You Build It

If You Build It

I see founders in everything. It is core to my work as a coach who works with non-profits. I live in an historic colonial town north of Boston called Marblehead; the intent of the founding fathers (and mothers) of the United States is everywhere. Parents are founders. Business owners are founders. There is a clear cycle of creation and incubation followed by growth, operations, maintenance, and sustainability. Founders, and their roles, and their initial ideas will change, adapt.

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Hump Day

Hump Day

I wonder: How do you manage stress? What does balancing stress and relaxation look like for you? What does having stress cost you in time, money, productivity, health, and relationships? What do you know about “good” stress and “bad” stress in your life / partnership / organization?

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Hot Dogs & Philanthropists

Hot Dogs & Philanthropists

The way we do our work is typically a reflection of what we believe/feel about our work. Are you servicing members or are you cultivating and nurturing relationships with your donors?

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Help Wanted

Help Wanted

I am solidly of the mind that employees do the job the way they get the job. I am also of the mind that employers manage/evaluate/retain employees the way they hire employees. There is a correlation between energies, resources, tactics, and values in the job seeking and job offering process…a correlation many do not understand, accept, honor, believe. Do we reap what we sow?

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Happy New Day!

Happy New Day!

I wonder, what is it that makes the new year the milestone of milestones? That we get a new day every 24 hours is not enough. Or the new week every Sunday or the new month every first. Think about it… we get 365 “Happy New Days” and 52 “Happy New Weeks” and 12 “Happy New Months” and yet we put all of our hopes and plans and energy into one day. What is significant about this day to you? What is it about this day that enables you to pause and see a whole year? What is possible when we fail in our new year resolutions and have the rest of the year to trudge through until we can re-start, renew, re-boot? Or, what is possible when we achieve our resolutions and have the remainder of the year to do…nothing?

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Group Process

Group Process

And the most challenging part is not that we are connected by phones from cities across North America and in different time zones or that we are doing detailed work by virtual committee. The challenging part is that we are all showing up on the calls with great intention from which we cannot hide. We want this project to succeed.

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Gifts

Gifts

What is your gift? What is it that you offer the world, unlike anyone else, anywhere? What makes this your gift? What do you know about your gift and what do you notice when you give it? How is your gift received? How is your gift acknowledged?

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Friday Fun!

Friday Fun!

A few months ago I was sharing a thoroughly enjoyable dinner with a group of coaches when someone asked “if you could be a superhero with any superhero power, what would it be?”

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Fire away!

Fire away!

Organizations must make it a regular practice to collect information from supporters and respond to it. Quickly. Authentically. And on the flip side, supporters of non-profits must kindly, productively, honestly, helpfully offer up ways for the organizations we support to grow while standing by, not threatening to leave, being a part of the change we wish to see. And complain we must!

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Farewell Snowbird

Farewell Snowbird

How do we plan when we cannot predict what will happen tomorrow much less in three to five years? What would it be like to really go with the flow…be in the moment? I have found the external reality of my world is forcing me to adjust my plans daily. It’s all I can do. So I plan to be flexible. I plan to make adjustments. Does this count?

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Ease

Ease

Many will argue there is not much that is easy about showing up to meetings on time, participating actively, naming fears, learning new skills, identifying and accessing resources. Or is there? I wonder, what is the barrier to accountability? What is the barrier to engagement? What is the barrier to humility? What is the barrier to growth? What is the real barrier to ease for you?

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Drop & Go!

Drop & Go!

When you think about dropping everything in your life and going…anywhere…for any reason…what do you notice? Can you do it? Are you ready? Can you transition from early morning coffee to deep sadness and concern without having to be in stress first? What would it take for you to be this free? What does it mean to you to be able to say “I will be right there” and just go? What do you need to do in your life in order to be spontaneous and free, when you want to and when you need to? How free are you, really?

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Discovery

Discovery

So, the learning for me today is to remember the small pursuits–tasks, efforts, achievements, ideas–can add up to something bigger, richer, more complete. Research becomes a body of work. Raising many small donations becomes a new facility at a wildlife sanctuary. Making multiple employment inquiries leads to a new job. Falling repeatedly on the snow leads to mastery of jumps, grinding rails, and a half-pipe on a snowboard. Attending years of school leads to high school (and college) graduation. With each birthday, there is wisdom (hopefully) and some gray hair. The challenge is to execute the individual efforts with a conscious nod to the collective goal.

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Contrary Action

Contrary Action

Think about it: If you want something you don’t have, you may have to do something you haven’t done or you may have to be something you haven’t been before. It may be an act of contrary action to take contrary action.

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Continuing Education

Continuing Education

Coaching is not always about “we can do this and this and this…” Some results are quantifiable and some are not, yet they are still results. As a coach, I look for big, dramatic, meaningful results…results that matter to the client…and sometimes they are measured and sometimes they are not.

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Connectivity

Connectivity

I have a theory. More and faster and instant communication portals and devices do not make us better communicators. We just have more and faster communication portals and devices.

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Coaching in the News

Coaching in the News

Coaching is…a relationship between a trained* and certified* coach (or coaches!) and an individual, a partnership, or a team. Often the coach will have a specialty area of expertise; mine is leaders of non-profit organizations and philanthropists. Coaching can take place in person or by phone or video-conference. Regular appointments are scheduled, typically a couple meetings per month. Coaches are very active in the relationship.

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Class of 2010

Class of 2010

While these moments of opportunity are milestones and significant achievements, they are but singular experiences–of millions–they will have adapting and reinventing themselves over their entire lives! Life is truly a fluid, changing, adaptable, organic, evolving, unfolding, out- of-control experience. It is not quite what we plan for it to be. And knowing this can be incredibly cool and liberating. Or not.

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Change We Seek

Change We Seek

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

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Celebrate!

Celebrate!

And somewhere in my early 20’s it all changed. Birthday celebrations became about celebrating aging, being grateful to be alive, and growth! I enjoy the marker of my birthday for reflecting upon my life, seeing the direction it is going, and making adjustments. It is my own private “new year” and I do make resolutions!

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Bliss

Bliss

Oh, the places that question can take you. What would you leave your current state of being for? What’s there that you don’t have/feel/see/want here? What do you know about your personal bliss? What matters to you about it? If not bliss, what?

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Being Big!

Being Big!

At times, all we need is someone reminding us we can be big. At times, having someone hold our bigger goal for a bit while we do the hard work is really useful. At times, the geography of being pulled forward is much more powerful than being pushed. Being reminded I can be more, I can be bigger resonates deeply for me. Knowing someone is looking after my whole life, keying into my values and sense of purpose, and holding me bigger than a workout or my day, is incredibly motivating.

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Be The Change

Be The Change

What is your guiding philosophy about volunteers and their service to your organization (this question is not as simple as it seems)? What do you know about your organization’s volunteers and why they volunteer for you? Who are they and how did they come to find you? When you recruit new volunteers, what is your strategy? What kind of accountability do you hold your volunteers to and how do they know?

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Battle Ready

Battle Ready

What does the preparation for this kind of systems engagement look like for you? How do you keep it simple, clear, in perspective, productive? How do you hold people (usually un-empowered workers) in the system accountable for their responsibility to the system?

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Autopilot

Autopilot

What does autopilot look like for you? How does being in autopilot support you and your goals? What do you notice you miss when you are in this state?

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A Week In Review

A Week In Review

What did you learn this week? What totally new, mind altering thing did you learn…something that took you to a place you had never considered before? What’s next?

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A Third Entity

A Third Entity

Name a relationship entity you have created. What is created when this entity is awake, vibrant, active? What do you notice? What does this entity need for you to put into it? What can you take from it? What does the third entity want? Think about controlling the entity; what do you notice? Consider being of service to the entity; what do you notice?

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A Tale of Two Saturdays

A Tale of Two Saturdays

Have a plan. Know who is available and the roles they will play. Know who has responsibility and/or authority. Know who is the decider of last resorts and on which issues. Know where there is higher ground. Know where there is temporary shelter. Know where there are passable roads. Know who the point person is to be called on when needed.

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A Nod to Tony

A Nod to Tony

Maybe, in the moment, our job is really to receive and not give. Often words cannot capture the moment so what would it be like to simply, proudly, elegantly stand on that stage, smile, and take a bow? What would it be like to have our faces and our emotions and our energy convey to people what the moment means without the lists?

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A Letter to People Who Volunteer

A Letter to People Who Volunteer

Our organization thrives because of your hard work and commitment to our shared vision. You give your talents and expertise freely which enables us to thrive, provide valuable services, and save money (you also are core to our staying in legal compliance as a non-profit, but that sounds pretty cold…but thanks!). We couldn’t do what we do without you. Really!

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2010

2010

We are all taking our bags from 2009 with us into 2010. It just is. The problem comes from not looking at what’s in the bags and growing from there. These bags don’t cease to exist
simply because the clock strikes midnight. Really. So take the time to open the bags, have a look inside, and be incredibly intentional about your 2010 plans.

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100 Units

100 Units

100 units…100 days of summer vacation and my son chooses to spend some whining about boredom. 100 days of peace and a client spends five of them embroiled in a mess with a board chair. 100 breaths of life remaining, and a friend chooses not to spend one arguing the small stuff. 100 dollars and I don’t want to spend five of them on parking at the train station. 100 hours of a board member’s time and a shame to waste any of them on clearing up bad feelings from making a mistake. A simple and useful structure for measuring how we approach our outlook and output in the world.

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BOOK YOUR SAMPLE SESSION WITH GARY

Meet Gary Groth. Experience a coaching session. Get your questions answered. Let’s see what we can create together!
      
      
      
      
      
      
      
      
      
      
      

Gary M. Groth, MS, PCC, CPCC

Phone No - (+1) (617) 257-1496 Eastern US

Email - gary@genarian.com

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