Brave Enough to Act

Yesterday, I was chatting with my executive coach, Susan Ford Collins. I have a new project that I am working on and really needed some guidance about the best ways to proceed confidently, comfortably, and successfully. I submitted a one pager ahead of time, so we would be able to dive right in and get tons done – which we did.

One of my biggest takeaways from Susan was this: looking at the many people she has worked with over the years, more talk, plan, and prepare than act. So if you, I, and people we care about take some action each day toward our goals and dreams – we will have an edge. With each success we achieve, we have the potential to inspire others to realize their own dreams.

Sounds pretty cool to me.

Have a great weekend,


Is Courage a Choice?

I hear the word “courage” thrown around a lot lately to describe people who have done everything from donate a kidney to start a business. But what is courage and is it a choice? As I thought about this two things came to mind. Courage is only real if you are scared in the first place and it comes from the inside out. No one can look at your experience and determine if you are brave. For one person it takes courage to make a presentation in front of 5,000 people and for another person it requires courage to say hello to one person.

So is real courage a choice? I would say, “yes” – something that each of us can demonstrate in our own way and in our own time.

Have a great Thursday,

Action Accelerated

A positive expectation for the best possible outcome of your goals is a wonderful first step in realizing a dream. Yet, please don’t stop there. Having a clear and focused thought is a terrific beginning. Anchoring that thought in strong belief and deep feelings solidifies your goal. Tying the thought and emotional connection to action is a winning triple play.

Have a great day,

A Courageous Reboot

I had lunch with my friend, Adrian (aka Rocket Man) today. He is embarking on a new phase of his career and life. While he had been thinking about this reboot for several years, he decided to jump in last month. Adrian mustered the courage to make this change by creating a plan which included strengthening is body, mind, and finances. All of this gave him expanded confidence, increased commitment, and massive amounts of resilience.

Way to go, Adrian.

Keep winning,

Choosing Success and Happiness

When do you feel successful and happy? It’s really different for each person. Some people want everything perfected before moving ahead, while others believe that having failures means they are close to discovering the next big thing.

The most important thing is that you know what makes you feel happy and successful. Then when you are presented with choices, you can select projects, activities, and people in your life that help you succeed and be happy.

Have a great Monday,

Win and Win Again

Today is graduation day for hundreds of students at Chicago Booth. When I graduated with my MBA, the commencement speaker told us that we were just starting a new. That each completion requires us to start again – often as a beginner with the mindset to win and win again.

Great words to live by. Thank you, David.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Discouraged or Inspired?

I recently sat down with one of my colleagues and learned a very important lesson. She is a person of integrity, commitment, and follow-through. Yet when she wanted to change careers, she was advised against it – too late, too many gaps, too unlikely. While I know she was initially discouraged (and even overwhelmed) by the deluge of negativity, my colleague paused long enough to gain perspective. Once she did, she reminded herself of her true talents, skills, and value. Then she got inspired, made the career change, and is happily succeeding in her new field.

So my lesson is this: take in feedback and use it to regroup and soar to new heights.

Have a great day,

The Power of Creativity

I used to think that creativity was something reserved for artists, designers, and musicians. I am none of the above, so creativity did not feel like a part of my repertoire. One of my grammar teachers making fun of my lollipop shaped trees didn’t help.

Yet somewhere my senior year of high school, I realized that creativity can take many forms – from strategic problem-solving to starting a business to cooking a great meal. That realization changed my life for the better. Where are you creative? Where does that perspective improve your work, life, and family?


Have a positively creative day,


Take a Step Back

Some people believe that taking a step back is a sign of weakness.

Yet if you look at the king of the jungle, the powerful lion does just that. He takes a step back before leaping forward – usually with exquisite results.

Have a wonderful day,

The Success Team

One of my mentors once told me to notice where I spend my time and, more importantly, with whom. “Shouldn’t I be really open-minded about with whom I spend my time?” I asked. His response was clear, decisive, and directive, “Of course, your associates are your business, but there is a cost. Be with people where you can learn, gain, and benefit and where you can contribute. It never works if you only receive or if you are only giving.”

His point is as valid today as it was then.

Choose your success team with care.

Have a great day,