Posted by KakieF on April 9, 2014
I’ve been taking part two of a course based on a book called; “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brené Brown. Brown has spent the past 10-15 years researching topics like courage, vulnerability and authenticity. One of our first assignments was to think about the gifts that come to us as the result of our own creativity.
The book presents fascinating findings about creativity. Brown refers to vulnerability as the birthplace of innovation. She also makes the point that there is no such thing as people who are not creative. Instead, there are resourceful people who know how to tap into their ingenuity, while others don’t.
Someone recently shared with me that they were advised NOT to use the word “creativity” on a resume. The reasoning was some leaders may translate it as a negative connotation. But how can that be if we are in the midst of a global innovation crisis? Shouldn’t the trait and term “creativity” be part of our ongoing discussion at work, in government, academia and our local coffee shops? There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about creativity and innovation.
Another point Brené Brown shares in her book has to do with unused ingenuity. Not exercising creativity can can take a physical toll on our bodies because when unexplored or unexpressed, it can turn into issues like judgement, anger, sorrow, grief and disappointment. I have watched creativity change, build and transform people, economics, relationships and more and Brown’s research has proven it matters.
When I traveled to South East Asia as part of my Executive MBA program in 2012, the key message that came from government, executives, educators, etc. was about the evolving doctrine of innovation economics and the shortage of creative thinking in global systems. Many countries outside the US are working to import knowledge by outsourcing human capital.
Since the beginning of time, the evolution of knowledge has come as the result of different ideas merging together to form new thoughts, discoveries and processes. Creativity is at the core of our advancement because we can’t evolve without it.
So I want to hear from you. What are your thoughts about creativity and has this blog post changed your innovation lens?
Please share your thoughts below and thank you for visiting my blog.
Posted in Business, Reflections on Leadership, Reflections on Life | Tagged: #OLCBreneCourse, convergence of knowledge, creativity, ingeniuity, ingenuity, innovation, inspiration, knowledge creation, new knowledge, the evolution of knowledge, Thought Leadership | Leave a Comment »
Posted by KakieF on February 14, 2014
A few months back I took a six-week online class with Brené Brown based on her book; “The Gifts of Imperfection.” Early in the process we explored the meaning of courage and had a journal activity as seen in the picture. I wanted to share what Brené says about courage because I think it is profound;
“Courage, the original definition of courage when it first came into the English language - it’s from the Latin word cor, meaning heart – and the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart…
This is what I have found: to let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen; to love with our whole hearts, even though there’s no guarantee — and that’s really hard, and I can tell you as a parent, that’s excruciatingly difficult — to practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror, when we’re wondering, ‘Can I love you this much? Can I believe in this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this?’ just to be able to stop and, instead of catastrophizing what might happen, to say, ‘I’m just so grateful, because to feel this vulnerable means I’m alive.’”
-Quote by Brené Brown, speaking about The Power of Vulnerability at TED
How often do we ask ourselves the question of what it means to live wholeheartedly? It starts with having enough self-compassion to explore our stories about shame and vulnerability without judgement. Brené says that shame can not survive being spoken, so after we have explored our fears and insecurities, it is important to find “your people” – those who have earned the right to hear your story. They are the individuals you know will just listen without judgement. They are the people who will not throw it back in your face at a later time. Next, say it out loud to them. That is a step towards healing and growth.
That my friends, takes courage, and is a demonstration of living with intention. Thoughts feelings and actions in alignment with our values principles and goals. I’d like to think of it as a form of servant leadership that we give as a gift to ourselves. Genuine authenticity feels good.
If there is anything you would like to share about this please feel free to comment below.
Thanks for visiting my blog and have a Happy Valentines Day!
Posted in Business, Reflections on Leadership, Reflections on Life | Tagged: #OLCBreneCourse, authenticity, Brené Brown, Courage, courageous acts, self, self compassion, Servant Leadership, The gifts of imperfections, Vulnerability, wholehearted living, wholeheartedness | 8 Comments »
Posted by KakieF on February 7, 2014
I took this picture in Rice Park at the 2014 St. Paul Winter Carnival on January 31st and the temperature was well below zero. There was a live band outside that evening complete with an ice bar and ice sculptures. We didn’t stay long, but we did get some great pictures.
The lights are so beautiful and remind me of a quote by Brené Brown from her book called “The Gifts of Imperfection.” A while back I posted one of her TED Talks videos that went viral about the power of vulnerability. In the book; The Gifts of Imperfection; Brené writes;
“I think the beauty of twinkle lights is a perfect metaphor for joy.
Joy is not a constant. It comes to us in moments – often ordinary moments. Sometimes we miss out on the bursts of joy because we’re too busy chasing down the extraordinary moments. Other times we’re so afraid of the dark that we don’t dare let ourselves enjoy the light.
A joyful life is not a floodlight of joy. That would eventually become unbearable.
I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments gracefully strung together by trust, gratitude, and inspiration.”
- Brené Brown
Beautiful isn’t it? What a great reminder that life isn’t perfect and that we don’t have to live up to some perception of how things should be. Being imperfect is okay, it is enough and is what makes us shine. I like that. The way we experience things changes and what is ideal, isn’t always real. Lessons like this help us remain closest to our authentic selves and when we are there, people are drawn to it.
Thanks for visiting my blog, if you have any comments, questions or stories, please join the conversation and share below. The Daily Prompt – Twinkle lights as widgets
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Business, Reflections on Leadership, Reflections on Life | Tagged: #OLCBreneCourse, authentic self, Brené Brown, grace, gratitude, happiness, inspiration, Joy, joyful, minnesota, positioning, re-framing, self-improvement, The Gifts of Imperfection, trust, Twinkle Lights | 3 Comments »
Posted by KakieF on January 27, 2014
Making meaningful connections is important in leadership. We easily get caught up in “do-and-move-forward” mode which gets in the way of slowing down to value the relationships we have built and continue to grow. It helps to remember that people rally around causes and values that resonate with them, especially when leading through times of change. We have been trained to continuously scan internal and external environments and there is no question it takes time to figure out how to bring others with us through the journey that is change. Our role is to anticipate resistance, lead with confidence and have empathy for and redirect individuals who may get emotional. Modeling the behavior is a given and we can’t over communicate the key messaging that is required. Below are 6 simple things we can do to lead and influence people and organizations in times of transition.
1. Reciprocate – Random acts of kindness and helping others in unexpected ways sets the tone and people will respond in return.
2. Leverage scarcity – Have conversations about opportunity and consequences of not following through.
3. Authority: Lead by example - Rituals and setting goals play important roles in bringing others along. That happens when as leaders, we engage in conversation that covers:
• The past (this is where we were, what can it teach us)
• The present (this is our current reality)
• Vision (lets create the future together)
4. Consistency in messaging – People learn in different ways using various processes. We can’t over-repeat the message
5. Practice optimism because it is contagious. Seek synergies and commonalities. What do you like about how you work well together with peers?
6. Consensus – Ask for commitment because when people make a pledge, they are more likely to follow through.
Do you have other thoughts or stories about commitments? If so, I encourage you to share below. Thanks for visiting my blog!
Posted in Business, Reflections on Leadership, Reflections on Life | Tagged: Being of service to others, closing the sale, communication, decision making, getting buy-in, leadership, leading change, Management, Personal development, personal growth, persuation, reflections on leadership | 2 Comments »
Posted by KakieF on January 22, 2014
When was the last time someone reached out to you and performed a random act of kindness? I was pleasantly surprised when a complete stranger recently did something thoughtful for me just when I needed it most. As a result of her good-hearted deed, I plan to honor her by paying it forward.
As thought leaders, we sometimes forget the view, taking a moment to acknowledge the people around us via random acts of kindness can go a long way. We get so caught up in our calendars, goals and tasks and only see the road ahead. But when we slow down a little to enjoy, pleasant surprises seem to come out of the woodwork.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, this past Monday, has been deemed a day to encourage making a difference in communities. As I wrote in a previous post called: Servant Leadership: Facts about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. King was a strong proponent of servant leadership, so whether or not you took action this week, I would like to propose a challenge.
What can you do to make a difference for someone this week? Please make the effort, then come back here and share your story below. I’d like to hear what you did, the response you got and how it made you feel. I look forward to hearing from you.
Posted in Business, Reflections on Leadership, Reflections on Life | Tagged: #OLCBreneCourse, #OWNers, appreciation, Being of service to others, change, compassion, connection, Courage, gratitude, happiness, Humanity, Personal development, Random acts of kindness, Servant Leadership, Thankfulness | Leave a Comment »
Posted by KakieF on December 25, 2013
These ornaments are hanging on my tree right next to one another and they both have significance. The one on the left was painted in November by my son as a way to celebrate new beginnings and he did a beautiful job. The one on the right was painted by my grandmother, Dode Jandric, in 1992. It was a tradition she created that has left a great legacy. For a number of years she painted and fired one for each of her 22 grandchildren and countless great-grandchildren. On the back of this ornament she hand painted a biblical quote from Isaiah 66:12 that reads: “Now towards her I will send flowing peace like a river” and on the bottom; “Merry Christmas Kakie” along with her name and the year.
This year she passed away at the age of 92. Both my son and I had the honor of spending mothers day with her, knowing it would probably be our last. It was meaningful time well spent and a blessing words can’t begin to describe.
Here is wishing you a wonderful holiday and a year filled with new beginnings. Family and good friends are priceless. Life is a gift, may yours be bursting with gratitude and love.
Thanks for visiting my blog, keep coming back and feel free to comment below.
Posted in Business | Tagged: christmas ornaments, christmas tree, family tradition, gratitude, Happy holidays, Legacy, Tradition | 2 Comments »
Posted by KakieF on November 28, 2013
This morning to start the Thanksgiving holiday, I got together with about 100 friends and each of us took a minute to share a bit of gratitude. It’s a tradition that has been going for a little over 21 years. Sometimes when I think about all I have to be grateful for, it’s like a new beginning because somehow it manages to realign my perspective. It reminds me to focus on being positive and present for the people in my life.
To honor that, I wanted to share some suggestions to multiply gratitude in your life.
- Keep an ongoing gratitude list on a magnetic whiteboard on your refrigerator or at work
- Celebrate your journey and how far you have come, treat yourself, you deserve it!
- Pay it forward – performing random acts of kindness multiplies gratitude
- If you have a loved one who lives out-of-state, call them and give them a hug over the phone
- Buy the kit called “A year of Gratitude” for yourself
- Discover new ways to say thank you to others by looking at my “appreciation board” on Pinterest.
Do you have other suggestions? Please share them below!!
Posted in Business, Reflections on Life | Tagged: appreciation, gratitude, Thank you, Thankfulness, Thanksgiving | 2 Comments »
Posted by KakieF on October 18, 2013
Imagine this: Your entire community — however you define that; your hometown, neighborhood, family, colleagues — are guaranteed to read your blog tomorrow. Write the post you’d like them all to see.
If you are reading this post, that means you are part of my community. I have long held a belief that somehow, I am supposed to make differences that ripples out, affecting a lot of people, in positive ways. So hopefully something in this will resonate for you.
In Latin, the word Communitatum was a noun that meant “fellowship” and the word Unitatum meant “oneness, sameness or agreement.” From that, the word Community is derived; Fellowship in agreement, which means different things to different people.
In life we have a choice to go down many roads two of which could include judgement or compassion. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Business, Reflections on Leadership, Reflections on Life | Tagged: Being in alignment, brevity, building community, choosing what is right, community, Community Service, compassion, connection, Courage, courageous acts, facing discomfort, Judgement, practicing compassion, self-improvement, Speaking up when others wont, Thought Leadership, Thought leadership on community | 1 Comment »
Posted by KakieF on October 10, 2013
This weekend marks the opening of the new film, “Captain Phillips,” starring Tom Hanks and 4 Amateur Minneapolis-Somali actors, who are already getting Oscar Buzz for their performance. The movie is based on the 2009 high-jacking of a U.S. Container ship by Somali pirates. The Minneapolis actors include Faysal Ahmed, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman and Mahat Ali.
Recently David Letterman interviewed Hanks about the background of the actors hired for the movie, Hanks mentioned that there is a “Little Somalia” in Minneapolis, something not all Minnesotans know. Letterman was curious what it is about this region of the country attracts the Somali Community. Well Dave and Tom, if you are reading, your answer is below.
Last spring, I had the opportunity to tour our charming “Little Somalia” and work closely with many immigrants for a management consulting business project to open a water production plant near the Somali-Ethiopian border.
Abdi Husen, (pictured on the right), is a good friend of mine and from Somalia. He wrote the article below about the valiant journey of this vibrant community from Somalia to Minnesota. Everyone has a story to tell and his is worth reading, please share his with others and thanks for visiting my blog!
By Abdi Husen
In the great state of Minnesota and elsewhere in America, many people ask what seems to be a simple question at first: what brought Somalis of the horn of Africa to America? Then a more perplexing one follows: why did they flock into one of the coldest states of the union, Minnesota, where the largest number of them in the United States is now concentrated? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Business | Tagged: Actor Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips Movie, immigration, Little Somalia, Minneapolis, Somali Business Community, Somali Families, Somali History in Minnesota, Somali Immigrants, Somali Pirates, Somali professionals, Somali refugees, Somalis, State of Minnesota, Tom Hanks | 6 Comments »
Posted by KakieF on October 9, 2013
What possibilities are right outside waiting for you?
“If a window of opportunity appears, don’t pull down the shade.” – Tom Peters
“An open mind is like an open window. It lets the fresh air in.” – Mike Kerhacki
“A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.” – Rosabeth Moss Kanter
“Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” —Peter Drucker
“Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; it’s about deliberately choosing to be different” -Michael Porter
Posted in Business | Leave a Comment »
Posted by KakieF on September 1, 2013
We recently experienced a hot spell here in Minnesota. It was the kind where the temperature creates a visual mirage of heat that radiates off of the roads. The humidity that accompanied it left many of us feeling weak and listless.
On this day, it was too hot to cook. So we dropped into a local restaurant and told the waitress we were extremely thirsty. Next, she brought us a pitcher of water with a straw in it and we all had a good laugh. Her gesture said a lot about her leadership style because she paid attention, heard what was said, empathized and delivered beyond expectations. The photo captured to commemorate the occasion says it all.
How often do we need to be reminded that we have the power to make a difference for one or many? Sometimes, what seems like the smallest gesture, can go a long way. Successful thought leaders understand that although it may not have come easy in the beginning, hard work and practicing these deeds are how they make it look so natural.
Has anyone gone out of their way recently, exceeding your expectations? How did it affect you?
More importantly, what gesture can you put forth on this day that will make a difference for someone?
Please comment below, I’d like to hear from you!
Posted in Business, Reflections on Leadership, Reflections on Life | Tagged: Exceeding expectations, practice new behavior, Successful leaders, Thought Leadership | Leave a Comment »
Posted by KakieF on August 12, 2013
There is nothing better than being in the presence of THIS beautiful 5-year-old. I know, I have had the honor many times. She is my friend and her name is Jacqueline. I took this picture while we were engaged in an innovative conversation about what kind of pirate she would like to be. To make it even more colorful, we were on our way to Disney’s Magic Kingdom.
Jacqueline is imaginative, intelligent and has an infectious laugh, all of which make her great to be around. But there is something more that you would never know by simply looking. Jacqueline, has a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis (a.k.a. “NF”) , which causes tumors to grow in the nervous system and currently there is no cure. From what we know, Jacqueline has the following:
- * ♥ A myopic glioma (tumors growing inside the brain which can result in blindness.)
- * ♥ An abnormal mass on her tongue and on the back of her head.
- * ♥ Irregular bone growth of the arm
Servant leadership is one of the greatest gifts we can give to others. Being of service is not only politically correct, but being present for others has the power to be a healer, connector, teacher and a friend. In addition, it feels good! Please take 2 minutes to put that competency to work by clicking below to participate. With your help we can find a cure.
Register now to join us - It’s the right thing to do. #HOPE
Sunday September 29th, 7:00 AM
Mall of America Rotunda
3rd Annual Minneapolis NF Walk to find a cure, benefiting the Children’s Tumor Foundation
The Daily Prompt | PC
Posted in Business | Tagged: #CTF, #MNNFWalk, #NFWalkMpls, children's tumor foundation, Fund Raising, genetic tumor disorder, Mall of America, neurofibromatosis, NF1, Servant Leadership, Walk for a cure | 1 Comment »