Heart-to-Heart Connection

To inspire and be inspired!

I Have Shed My Mask

The most exhausting thing in life, I have discovered, is being insincere.  That is why so much of social life is exhausting; one is wearing a mask.  I have shed my mask.

Perhaps middle age is, or should be, a period of shedding; ambitions, material accumulations, possessions, and the ego.  One’s pride, one’s false ambitions, one’s mask, one’s armor.  Was that armor not put on to protect one from the competitive world? If one ceases to compete, does one need it? Perhaps one can at last in middle age, if not earlier, be completely oneself.  And what a liberation that would be!           (Anne Lindbergh’s Gift From the Sea)

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February 27, 2012 Posted by | Attitude, Beauty, Book Review, Introspection, Peace, People, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Spirituality | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

One Determined Soccer Player: His Glass Is Always Half Full!

“Continuous effort — not strength or intelligence — is the key to unlocking our potential.” (Winston Churchill) 

 

April 18, 2010 Posted by | Attitude, Change, Fun, Leadership, Passion, Purpose, Self Help, Sport, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Engaging Leader: Winning with Today’s Free Agent Workforce

“People don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses.  Skilled people want to work for winning leaders.  Grade A talent wants to work for Grade A leadership.  It won’t settle for less.”

In The Engaging Leader, Dr. Ed Gubman communicates how to draw out employees’ enthusiasm and commitment; how to retain and nurture companies’ most prized and priceless assets — employees:

  • Engaging leaders are drivers and buildersDrivers are decisive decision makers; putting results first, stress the bottom line, and crack the whip (maintaining pressure on accountability and come down hard when goals aren’t met).
  • Builders put people and process first.  Builders are relationship-oriented.  Builders let solutions emerge, take a long-term focus, stay behind the scenes more, and are more positive than critical. (They are, by no means, indecisive.  Builders possess goals and visions.  They rely on natural consequences vs. immediate consequences by an authority).

Engaging leaders know when to be drivers and when to be builders.

Furthermore, Dr. Gubman states, “Employees (talent) want freedom, control, accountability, and caring.” 

  • Freedom — the freedom of expression and the ability to be who you are, not someone you’re not.
  • Control — people enjoy their work when they know what their responsibilities are and have the autonomy to achieve them.  They don’t want to be micromanaged.  Even when what-to-do comes from above, talented employees expect to figure out how to do it themselves.
  • Accountability — giving someone an assignment and holding him or her responsible for delivering results.
  • Caring relationships increase people’s investments in your workplace.  Warm relationships help employees feel connected and will motivate them to work for you — to help you meet your goals.  Employees will confide in personal matters if they feel safe.  They also want some friends in the workplace.

Tough and tender, a loveable task master, realistic optimist … whatever you call it, the intersection of driving and building behaviors is what engages most people. 

Successful leaders learn this in their interactions with people.  They become more versatile, expanding their own styles by taking on some behaviors that are unnatural to them at first, but become second nature as followers reinforce them by responding favorably. 

The ability to incorporate parts of these seeming opposites, like the skill of reconciling group goals and individual needs, will make you an engaging leader and a long-time, big time winner.  (Full Story)

 

April 11, 2010 Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Business, Change, Collaboration, Compassion, Dream, Education, Freedom, Fun, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Leadership, Marketing, Mind, Passion, Peace, Politics, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Spirituality, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All Heaven Declares — LOVE Conquers All

He is risen!  AMEN!

All heaven declares, the glory of the risen Lord.  Who can compare, with the beauty of the Lord.

Forever He will be, the Lamb upon the throne.  I gladly bow my knee, and worship Him alone.

I will proclaim, the glory of the risen Lord.  Who once was slain, to reconcile man to God.

Forever You will be, the Lamb upon the throne.  I gladly bow my knee, and worship You alone.                       (Noel and Tricia Richards)

 

April 4, 2010 Posted by | Attitude, Change, Christianity, Compassion, Freedom, God, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Love, Mind, Passion, Peace, Soul, Spirit, Spirituality | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hiring Dynamic, Creative, Caring, Ethical Managers!

Here’s an organization to die for — managers who empower employees!  Love to meet this person some day!

CHARACTER

  • Fair, not nice. Managers must make tough decisions. Managers require vision and integrity — the courage to do the right thing. The best working environments are those where employees are treated fairly.  Employees know what is expected and know the consequences of their actions; both good and bad. No favorites, no double standards. Managers are leaders. Managers aren’t friends. Find friendships outside of the workplace.
  • Hire people who are smarter than you. Smart employees will help you succeed. They will make you look good. Establish the objectives and let them do their jobs. Don’t micromanage. Don’t be jealous. Don’t hold them back. Listen to their ideas. Your employees may know more than you.
  • Take calculated risks. Risk taking is part of management. “No decision” is a decision.  “No decision” will frustrate employees. You will lose respect. Do your homework.  Trust your gut. It’s usually right.
  • Never fire anyone when angry. Anger is a strong emotion. Emotion obstructs rational thinking. A cool head leads to logical thought — the right time for decision making.

TEAM BUILDING

  • Create a team of mentors. Find people who are capable of helping;  willing to help you succeed. Mentors watch out for your interests.  They understand your goals.
  • Encourage disagreements, discussions, and debates. “Two heads are better than one.” Go with the best solution, not always your solution; otherwise, you may be out of a job.
  • Know how to manage different personalities. Learn how to communicate with your employees. Different people react differently to discussions; some you can be direct with, others require more tact. Personality profiles can help match a person to a specific job.

COMMUNICATION

  • Clear expectations. Clearly communicate employee’s responsibilities and manager’s expectations. Perceptions vary. Success begins with everyone on the same page.
  • Know the desired outcome of the resolution. What is the best possible solution? Be rational. With the desired outcome in mind, determine the necessary steps to reach the goal.
  • Confront bad issues immediately. Bad situations don’t go away. They only get worse. Immediately talk to the offender. Communicate, “This cannot happen again.”
  • Praise in public. Punish in private. Humans are emotional, not rational. Save face.
  • Say “Thank You.” Your success is dependent on your team members’ success. Say “thank you” and sincerely appreciate their hard work. They are your support structure. Without them, you may not survive. Saying “thank you” is one of the easiest and most appreciated actions.  (Full Story) 

March 28, 2010 Posted by | America, Art, Attitude, Business, Change, Collaboration, Compassion, Dream, Education, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Introspection, Leadership, Mind, Purpose, Self Help, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Philanthropy: The Difference Between Enabling and Empowerment

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.  (Chinese Proverb) 

Over the years, billions of dollars in aid have poured from the developed to developing nations.  Yet 80 percent of our world’s population live on less than $10 per day.

Why?

Perhaps one answer to this complicated issue may lie in enabling — temporary relief — not empowerment.  

Temporary reliefs are handouts.  They’re necessary, especially in life or death situations.  Basic needs — shelter, food, and water — must be met before improving lives. Once immediate needs are met, however, should additional donations continue to simply feed and clothe its recipients?

Are such acts of “kindness” empowering the people or are handouts in the name of “donations” degrading creative minds and resilient spirits into beggars and dependents?

In The Power of Half: One Family’s Decision to Stop Taking and Start Giving Back, the Salwens sold their house and gave away $800,000 to the Hunger Project in Ghana; to equip and empower its people to take back their lives and become self-sufficient:

(Click for video)

We go back into the villages of Ghana [where my family and I invested our funds], and this time the chief hands us a list of things they have accomplished.  ‘Look what we’ve done.’  They are proud of their own activities.  Oh, this is good.  [Empower, not enable].  We are making progress.

The Salwens asked five questions before committing to their work in Ghana:

  • Will our work empower or be a Band-Aid?
  • Do we respect the culture? Do we have enough humility to see our new partners/recipients as equals?
  • Are those partners fully engaged in designing the project?
  • Are we doing this work for the same reasons as our partners, the folks we’re trying to help? Do we have a different agenda?
  • Are we committed for the long haul?  Change does not happen overnight.

Steep learning curve, for me, anyway.  But each of us can make a small difference.  Lots of small differences will result in change!

If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.  (Anita Roddick)

To enable or to empower … THAT is the question.  🙂

 

March 14, 2010 Posted by | America, Attitude, Book Review, Change, Christianity, Collaboration, Compassion, Dream, Education, Finance, Food, Freedom, God, Health and Wellness, International, Introspection, Leadership, Love, Mind, Money, Passion, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Success, War | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dare to Live Outside of the Box

“That’s not what society says,” “No one has ever done it before,” “That’s not what the educated and the well-connected say.”

SO WHAT?  All the more reason to do the unthinkable!

“Leigh Anne Tuohy manages to do what she wants to do in the way she wants to do it.  She doesn’t care what it takes or how she has to do it but she does it her way … I’ve never met anyone like that before.” (Sandra Bullock)

“Anytime anyone does something unconventional, you have to think about the reality of that (action). Usually, (change) starts with someone who can look at things differently … what if …” (Ray McKinnon)

Stand on the sidelines or get inside the ring — the choice is ours.  🙂

March 7, 2010 Posted by | America, Art, Attitude, Beauty, Change, Christianity, Collaboration, Compassion, Dream, Education, God, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Heart, Leadership, Love, Marriage, Mind, Movie, Passion, Purpose, Soul, Spirit, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is “A Better Life?”

A better life may be status, recognition, and material wealth.  A better life could mean community service, family time, soul searching, and spiritual growth.  For some, perhaps it’s having it all — that perfect work/life balance!

(I wish!  I’m no superwoman.  Stopped trying to be one years ago).

How about other parts of the world?

After spending a month with our daughter in Africa, I was struck by their different pace of life.  I seldom saw people rushing.  Her village had no clocks, so being late wasn’t obvious.  They had no electricity, no running water.  By Western standards it would be judged a harsh and primitive life.  But the people seemed happy and generally content.  Who has the saner, better life?  It depends on how you look at it.  We’ve all been given the same 24 hours. (Susan Vogt, Raising Kids Who Will Make a Difference)

Different folks, different strokes! 🙂

February 14, 2010 Posted by | Attitude, Change, Collaboration, Compassion, Freedom, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Mind, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Stress, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Reach Your Full Potential for God

Before introducing Dr. Charles Stanley’s latest publication, I wish to clarify, I am no right-wing conservative; to the contrary, a left-leaning Independent; a social progressive and fiscally, moderately conservative. 

More importantly, having been screwed too many times by unreliable knowledge and the perception of truth, this hopeless sinner came to the Lord 16 years ago, gradually beginning to trust what I’ve yet to understand (yes, the disobedient child FINALLY listens to her Father because her ways have resulted in intolerable pain and sheer misery).

Have you ever wondered, “What is my calling?  What is my purpose here on this earth?”

You’re not alone.  I know at least half a dozen friends who’ve shared similar thoughts, myself included.

Dr. Charles Stanley’s How to Reach Your Full Potential for God describes God’s wisdom and His ways:

  1. God always gives us opportunities that challenge who we are already and that are designed to move us to a new level of what we are already doing. (The bold, courageous, fisherman, Peter, puts down his net to serve Jesus, becoming a fisher of men.)
  2. God always calls us to something.  Jesus does not call us to quit something and remain idle for the rest of our days. (God didn’t simply tell Abram to leave his homeland.  God provided clear directions on how to reach the new land and the future that awaited him).
  3. God sets before us a challenge that holds the opportunity for blessings beyond ourselves. (If an opportunity is only for you or your immediate family, it very likely is not from God.) 
  4. God will confirm His presence as you pursue the challenge He has set before you.  (Peter walked on water until his faith in Jesus waned.  Peter also walked back–on water–to the boat with Jesus.) 
  5. God’s challenges will always accompany the enabling power of the Holy spirit.  He will remind you of God’s commandments, Bible stories, and lasting promises of God’s Word.  In most exciting ways, The Holy Spirit will give you His creative and productive ideas.

At 44-years-old, I continue to search for my ultimate calling.  I have yet to find out, but regardless of the unknown, I choose to live daily with purpose and joy (doesn’t happen all the time but I try).

What’s your calling?  What do you want to be when you grow up?  🙂

January 30, 2010 Posted by | Attitude, Beauty, Book Review, Change, Christianity, Compassion, Dream, Education, God, Gratitude, Heart, Introspection, Leadership, Love, Mind, Passion, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Spirituality, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inspiration!

Which thoughts do you live by? 

Have a great day! 🙂

January 23, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment