Archive for the ‘Reflections on Leadership’ Category
Posted by KakieF on March 11, 2013
It feels like I have had my head down for nearly 30 months while pursuing my MBA. Graduation is just around the corner, putting me into a reflective mode of excitement and gratitude, while leaving me to wonder where my “road to awesome” is headed. Regardless of the destination, I am optimistic because my faith that there is more has never failed.
Introspection got me thinking, if I could have any job in the world, it would the one Robbie, a.k.a. “Kid President” from Soul Pancake has. He started a movement when the video “Pep Talk” (below) emerged a while back. This little man is giving motivational speeches, telling people how amazing they are, that nobody is perfect, we are all more alike than different, encouraging participation and reminding us that we are all on the same team. I love the re-enforcer that we can all make things better for one another if we just look around and recognize because it all starts with just one person. When we give, we get.
Sowing seeds of wonder and hope? Sounds pretty good to me. I told them a great campaign slogan would be: “Kid President – Restoring Wonder in the World.” I really hope they use it because we all could use a little more marvel and awe in our lives.
Enjoy the video and then come back and tell me: How will you go out and make the world more awesome? Start by just being authentic because I believe that is what makes us our very best.
Please comment below and thanks for joining the conversation.
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Posted in Business, Reflections on Leadership, Reflections on Life | Tagged: #kidpresident, #soulpancake, community, Kid President, Motivation, pep talk, self-improvement, Servant Leadership, Soul Pancake | Leave a Comment »
Posted by KakieF on February 14, 2013
There are people who will say Valentines Day is a novelty, but I think it’s an opportunity to reflect, create a memory or perform a random act of kindness, because sometimes even the smallest gesture can go a long way.
My mom never forgets a Valentines Day. Last night she came over with the tulips you see in the background of the picture, made dinner and then did some religion homework with my son.
She gave me the red heart ornament in the picture years ago on a February 14th. It says “Kakie” and on the back Love, Mom. Time has worn the ink from changing the oil in the decanter.
The faded letters on the ornament and the flowers are both signals for me. One, a gentle reminder about being present, new life, spring and what lies ahead. The other is to pause, step back, appreciate those around me and celebrate the journey. We didn’t get here alone and couldn’t have accomplished all that has been without others. Look how far we’ve come. For many of us it can seem quite remarkable.
Life puts gifts at our feet which we don’t recognize at first. Sometimes we stumble over them or we get in our own way. It’s okay because we are all flawed and I think there is beauty in that. Somehow we always manage to get back up, brush ourselves off and move ahead.
We are exactly where we are meant to be at any given moment and we have all of the tools we need. Today, give yourself permission to slow down, take a deep breath, find gratitude and share it with someone.
I would love to hear stories about small gestures that meant a great deal to you Share them below and thanks for stopping by. Happy Valentines Day.
Posted in Business, Reflections on Leadership, Reflections on Life | Tagged: gratitude, leadership and life, Life Lessons, Personal development, personal growth, Random acts of kindness, reflection, self reflection, self-improvement, The Journey, valentines day | Leave a Comment »
Posted by KakieF on February 4, 2013
February is Black History month and each year as a family, we look for historical documentaries to watch and seek out biographies of people who have played important roles in our evolution as a country. When I was young, information was limited and we didn’t learn much about it in school. I want to be sure we honor those who went before us because it is OUR history.
A few years back, instead of viewing the Super Bowl, we watched the movie “Boycott,” which is about the events which occurred in Montgomery Alabama after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in the “Whites Only” section of the bus. Black Americans pulled together to demonstrate their economic power by refusing to use public transportation. The program is good and sends a compelling message about the impact peace and non-violence can have.
In the movie, there is a scene where the fire department sits across the street and watches the home of an African-American man burn to the ground. My son, who was eight years old, looked at me with puzzled eyes. He asked why the firemen were not helping put out the flames. I explained what life for black and white people in America was like during that time. Then, he turned to me and asked;
“Mom, am I black?” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Reflections on Leadership, Reflections on Life | Tagged: African American history, black americans, black history month, Civil Rights, culture, differences, discussing race and tolerance in families, diversity, honoring history, Montgomery Alabama, race, rosa parks, tolerance | Leave a Comment »
Posted by KakieF on January 23, 2013
“Leadership should be born out of understanding the needs of those who would be affected by it.”
- Marian Anderson
In my roles as senior project manager, consultant, leader, coach and mentor, I use something called andragogy (adult learning theory) to manage and lead because I have seen its effectiveness. I thought it would be a great blog topic, so please, read on!
Throughout my professional life I spent time designing various formats of training about topics that included marketing, identifying and adapting to social styles, emotional intelligence, client service modeling, referrals, business and marketing planning, new customer acquisition, retention, social media and more.
The process of designing training modules was about working to ensure the content was engaging and adding value for the intended audience. When classes are written and created, the approaches depend on whether it is e-learning, classroom or live web-ex conferencing.
The andragogy method leverages problem solving and collaboration and levels the playing field between learners and trainers. The six principles of adult learning theory asserts that adults are:
- Internally motivated and self-directed
- Experienced and bring our knowledge to the learning platform
- Engaged when the information is relevant to our background
- Goal oriented – motivated by intrinsic and extrinsic factors
- Practical and need to know why they are learning the content
- Learners who place value on being respected
For years I consulted and coached franchised business owners to help them put structure, repeatable and predictable processes into their businesses. Through the leadership development process, my clients learned about knowledge transfer through application. Learn, unlearn, rethink, relearn, innovate and survive.
Success means we practice new behaviors until they feel normal. Sounds simple, right?
That is a frightening concept for people because it means embracing uncertainty as a way to look fear in the eye and push forward. Some of the greatest victories I have seen came when people chose to take a little risk that resulted in success.
There is diversity in learning, we all discover and grab onto ideas and concepts differently.
Everyone learns differently and when we learn about that diversity, then apply adragogy (adult learning theory), the results might just amaze. It works.
What do you think about using and applying this process into your leadership style? Please share below!
This infographic was created by Nicole Legault, who has a blog called “Flirting with e-learning.“
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Posted in Business, Reflections on Leadership | Tagged: adult learning theory, communications, diversity in learning, effective leadership, Leadership and learning, Leadership development, learning, learning styles, reflections on leadership, Training, Training design | Leave a Comment »
Posted by KakieF on January 16, 2013
Servant leadership is the philosophy and practice that encourages us to participate for the good of society by being of service to others. Many would say it is functional, ethical, meaningful and has the power to change cultures.
As leaders, it is my hope is that we take some time this holiday to reflect on the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,all that he
stood for, and then use our words and actions to carry his message forward. Do something: Volunteer, pay for someone’s coffee, seek out a person who is lonely or family in need, hold a door open and more. Imag
ine the difference we can make.
Interesting facts about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Reflections on Leadership, Reflections on Life | Tagged: Being of service to others, Day of service, Facts about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Historical facts about Dr. King, national day of servce, Servant Leadership, volunteerism | Leave a Comment »
Posted by KakieF on December 30, 2012
My Question for you: Is that place between wondering what to do and making the decision a safe place? It could be for many people. Making a decision is easy, but I say deciding to decide is where it gets complicated. We’ve all been there feeling frozen with indecision, wondering why and trying to figure out how to get unstuck, seeking the balance between risk and reward.
I had this fabulous professor during studies for my Executive MBA at St. Thomas. His name is Tom Ressler and he helped me think, about the way I think. The class was called “Executive Decision Making.” But it was so much more. We discussed the idea that we are all unique beings and that both our values and our thinking are random variables that breed infinite possibilities. We also had dialogue regarding how learning, is about changing. It seems to me that creates a ton of potential events in our universe.
As part of our course, we read the book: “Rational Choice in an Uncertain World: The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making,” by Robin Dawes. His first co-authored book was called “Mathematical Psychology”, and then he wrote his first book, “Fundamentals of Attitude Measurement (Foundations of Social Psychology).”
Robin Dawes became the founder of the Behavioral Decision Research Field. Dawes argues that our minds drive us toward flawed and illogical assumptions because we fall into auto pilot or “automatic thinking.” He and came up with the following conclusions:
8 factors leading to poor decision-making (based on our experiences)
1. Generalizing based on a few select experiences
2. Assuming patterns of history will always repeat
3. Vision-ing our future can bias our experiences and then can become self-fulfilling prophecies
4. Reflecting on our past experiences produces flawed memories, we can’t replay choices we never followed
5. Some of what we go through involves randomness and luck
6. We can’t re-experience what we have already been through
7. Association/Correlation Does Not Prove Causation. In other words, just because two things are related doesn’t mean one caused the other.
8. Research demonstrates our recall is biased. Our Life Events Take on “NEW” Meaning Over Time
Dawes suggests that to improve rational thinking, we should strive for systematic external representation of the judgment or decision that we face. I am still sorting out what it all means and thinking through different ways to do that. To think about things in ways that are distributional, Visual, Symbolical and Technological.
I have been waiting to find the right time to publish this post. Then this morning I began thinking about our decision process and wondering if there was more. In his book; “The New Earth,” author Eckart Tolle defines Ego as; ”an illusory sense of self” based on one’s memories and thoughts. He goes on to indicate that our own insecurities change how we interact with other people and when that occurs we are not coming from a place of authentic being. Ironically reading it made me realize there should be a #9 onto the list of factors that lead to poor decision making above. Ego.
That was enlightening for me. It’s all a process. I would love to hear your thoughts below. Thanks for visiting my blog.
Posted in Business, Reflections on Leadership, Reflections on Life | Tagged: 8 factors that lead to poor decision making, bad decisions, deciding to decide, decision making, Ego, possibilities, random variables, rational choice, thinking about thinking, why people make bad decisions, why we make poor decisions | Leave a Comment »
Posted by KakieF on December 14, 2012
By Audra Jones
When I was younger, I belonged to a club that did community service work. There was one specific event that was memorable for me. We spent three or four hours handing out warm dinner to the homeless out in the streets. After that we went to a homeless shelter not far from the Bay Bridge.
I was in high school and at the time and my sister was too young to participate. She wanted to help, so she made four or five dozen chocolate chip cookies for us to take and hand out to people. When we got to the homeless shelter we passed out the remaining meals we had left. Next, we began making sandwiches and pairing them with other goodies and shared them with the crowd. I had the tins with my sister’s cookies in them and began to walk around, offering them to anyone near me.
I approached this older gentleman and said “Sir, would you like a cookie?” He stopped and turned around, looked me right in the eyes and said, “What did you say? Did you call me sir?” And I told him I had, and his eyes watered a little bit and he said, “No one has ever called me sir. Never.” He was completely taken back.
It struck me to my core.
I explained I had been raised that regardless of anything, color, creed, social status, everyone deserved respect It saddened me to think that just because he was homeless, no one afforded him the honor to which every human being should be entitled. It broke my heart, and I couldn’t help but cry. I just didn’t understand why no one ever called him sir? Just because he didn’t have money or a place to live…did that really give anyone any right to be disrespectful to him? I had never thought that anyone was below me because I wasn’t raised that way. Every single person deserves to be treated with dignity and I never realized how ignorant some people can be. Years later, I still carry that memory and the lessons it taught me. Sometimes, what we take for granted as simple gestures can really make a difference in someone’s life.
A note from Kakie: I often say when we give, we get. Everyone deserves to be treated with honor and dignity. Everyone deserves compassion. At the core, we all have the need to be acknowledged. Whether it is through our words or being of service to others, there is so much power when we look another human being in the eye and say; “You Matter.”
Please, share information about a time you have experienced something similar or witnessed a person who made a difference. How have you seen the action of others impact an individual, a community, the world? If you feel moved by this story, pass it along. Every good deed counts. I am grateful you are here and look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for visiting.
Posted in Reflections on Leadership, Reflections on Life | Tagged: acknowledgement, Being of service to others, community, gratitude, honor, human dignity, Humanitarianism, respect, seeing the invisible, volunteerism | Leave a Comment »
Posted by KakieF on November 22, 2012
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. - Melody Beattie
Want to know benefits to living thankfully?
A Psychology Today article called; “The Benefits of Being Thankful,” explains focusing on gratitude promotes well-being, motivating pro-social and moral behavior.
Psychologists asked a group of people to spend just a few minutes a day for 13 days in a row thinking about and listing the things for which they were thankful. Compared to other control participants, these gratitude-focused folks experienced:
- Higher optimism
- Increased positive mood
- Greater feelings of belonging
- Less physical illness
- Lower levels of negativity
- Higher likelihood to be of service to others in need
- More likely to exercise (Suggesting gratitude promotes healthy living.)
- Improved and better quality sleep
The list above doesn’t even cover how gratefulness improves relationships, enriches the emotional climate of family life, makes us more valued within the workplace and lays the foundation for a life well lived. Isn’t that exciting? Are you looking for ways to be more grateful? Below are a few things to take into consideration.
Posted in Reflections on Leadership, Reflections on Life | Tagged: being present for self and others, gratitude, leadership, optimism, positive self talk, self compassion, self-improvement, Thankfulness | Leave a Comment »
Posted by KakieF on November 18, 2012
There are times I find myself off in my own personal “never-never” land. It is a place I refer to as “stuck in spin” and it’s where many of us wander off to once in a while. The first time I came up with the name for it was when my son was in second grade. I had just picked him up from school and as I drove down the road my brain was in full self-chatter mode. Something brought me back into the moment when I realized that he was sharing the exciting things like what he learned in school, what they played in the gym, who made him laugh, etc. I thought: Am I going to blink and miss my son’s childhood because I was not paying attention? This time is going so fast.
I could say I wrote the book when it comes to being busy, but then again, couldn’t we all? Me: Full time Executive MBA Student in a one parent household who has been working as a contract project manager off and on for the past few years to diversify my resume. I have wondered about my future and this process of reinvention all while being the Cub Scout and soccer mom, Catechist, the blogger, MBA candidate, writer, author, speaker, job seeker and social media marketing consultant and strategist.
I recently found a quote on Pinterest that said; “Stop the Glorification of ‘Busy‘ ,” which came to me through Robyn Flach. Robyn is a person I know through the social media community here in the Twin Cities. The quote got me wondering how to get out of my “stuck in spin” space when it happens?
At the end of the day, we all have a lot going on as we create our futures. While that is exciting, what really counts is that we are of service to others and fully present for the people in our lives, including ourselves. I talked with a good friend about this and he shared something he pulled from storage in his garage. Notes from a seminar he attended with renowned psychologist, John Selby many years ago. I closed my eyes and my compadre read each statement below three times.
- I choose to enjoy this moment
- I feel the air flowing in and out of my nose
- I also feel the movement in my chest and belly as I breathe
- I am aware of my whole body at once, here, in this present moment
That’s it. I don’t have to say all four of them every time, but I can practice. All I have to do is 1. say it 2. do it. Any place, any time. I can even do it with family and friends to model the behavior because when we teach, we learn. After completing this meditation, I felt centered, present and whole. It is a choice, but also takes practice. One of my favorite quotes of all time:
“What we learn, we practice. What we practice, we become. What we become, has consequences.” -Earnie Larsen
Please share below, what helps you get grounded and in the moment? How do you work to stay fully present in the lives of those around you? Thanks for joining the conversation!
Posted in Reflections on Leadership, Reflections on Life | Tagged: affirmations, John Selby, leadership, meditation, personal growth, Presence, reflections on leadership, reflections on life, self reflection, self-improvement, stop the glorification of busy, stuck in spin | Leave a Comment »
Posted by KakieF on October 17, 2012
This video and the evolution of Matt Harding’s journey is a perfect example of how social media can spawn innovation, while having fun! You can learn more about his story at whereinthehellismatt.com. 14 months, 42 countries.
It is authentic and speaks to the human spirit, collaboration and leadership. I hope it makes you laugh and smile. Celebrate life and have a terrific week.
Posted in Business, Reflections on Leadership, Reflections on Life | Tagged: The human spirit, Where in the hell is matt 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Posted by KakieF on September 26, 2012
I remember elementary school days and the competitive nature of being the first to raise our hands, or be chosen to answer a question, push a button, stand in line, answer the phone. In our culture, kids are rewarded for having the correct answers and being right, which sets the stage for absolutes.
In the United States, the tendency for people to be monocratic stems from a justice system based off of win or lose causing many people to think about life in terms of being right vs being wrong. On one hand we have success, and on the other failure. We have different kinds of knowledge, which comes from numerous sources. For example, we have knowledge that comes from education, knowledge that comes from wisdom, knowledge that comes from doing, knowledge that comes from technology, knowledge of self, etc. This world is so full of possibilities, there is no way we can comprehend all there is to know and understand. It makes me wonder; “what if every idea we have ever known, was wrong?” Even Einstein believed imagination is more important than knowledge.
Kiplinger a has an article called; The Top 10 Jobs That Didn’t Exist 10 Years ago. Imagine for a moment what the world will be like 10-15 years from now. What new jobs, technologies and lifestyles will be created? Consider what kind of challenges/opportunities that will present. How could that impact your future? There are complicated issues we will need to address. Some examples could include:
- Making the internet safe to use, while keeping it open so people can innovate
- How we communicate with people
- Ways government will capture taxes and solve crime
- How we connect with things
- Potential E-commerce and marketing dilemmas
- New consumer and employment markets
- Moving economies
- We will need longer IP addresses (more people)
Recently in one of my classes, we had a conversation about this concept of our culture, the idea of random variables and the evolution of knowledge. I took notes as the professor spoke. He said;
“Knowledge can be explained as independent variables that exist between two things and how they relate. It has been defined from perspectives that have been brought to the table. Intervening variables create unintended outcomes, creating more knowledge. Being right is not as important as realizing or admitting what we do not know because all knowledge is subject to doubt. We have to acknowledge there is unlimited uncertainty no matter how much we know.“
In leadership, some of the best people I have worked have been open to possibilities. What do you think, about knowledge? Please share below.
Posted in Reflections on Leadership, Reflections on Life | Tagged: business marketing, Dependent and independent variables, future of the internet, innovation, Knowledge management | Leave a Comment »
Posted by KakieF on September 19, 2012
Over the past few years I have been fortunate to have met some pretty terrific social media folks here in the Twin Cities. About 5 weeks ago, I came across the video below through a conversation thanks to Marketing Mama, Erica Mayer and Paul Debettignies. For 4.24 minutes, take in the beauty and just be. Thanks to them for the gentle reminder and the peace it gave. I hope you enjoy it too. Have a terrific week.
This was filmed by the talented Jon Rawlinson who is a friend of Erica. The location is Kuroshio Sea at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium- The 2nd largest aquarium tank in the world. I’d love to visit there someday. A MUST VIEW IN FULL SCREEN MODE watch.
- (song is Please don’t go by Barcelona) Must view in FULL SCREEN mode
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Posted in Reflections on Leadership, Reflections on Life | Tagged: calming, HireCast Consulting, Kuroshio Sea, Marketing Mama, Meditate, meditation, Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, peace, Puke Rainbows Photography, reflecting, reflections on leadership, reflections on life, rest, Serenity | Leave a Comment »
Posted by KakieF on September 1, 2012
When was the last time you did one of these?
- Looked up and remembered – with intention, to slow down
- Sought out someone in need and took time to celebrate them, with them
- Turned to a friend or family member and simply said: “Whats on your mind?”
- Gave yourself permission to take a break and have a little fun
- Bought a cup of coffee for someone in line behind you
- “Accidentally” dropped a $5 bill in front of a kid at the store and said; “Say, that’s not mine, looks like you dropped something there.”
Lift your head and scan the environment, what patterns do you see? Pay attention and listen, because we all need reminders that this life is about making connections. We never get anywhere without others and when we surround ourselves with a supportive community, they help bring us back to our center. It is the essence of positive karma.
I was recently told about a book by Thomas Crum called; “Three Deep Breaths: Finding Power and Purpose in a Stressed-Out Life.” I can’t wait to read it! The premise behind the book, as Crum states, is as follows:
“Science has shown us that there are three “C’s” of a stress resistant immune system:
- A sense of CONTROL over your response to life events
- A sense of COMMITMENT to something beyond your ego (i.e., family, service, religion, or life philosophy).
- A sense of CHALLENGE and learning opportunity when confronted with a stressor.
The Three Deep Breaths technique is a mind-body process which allows us to achieve the three C’s while balancing our autonomic nervous system through the breath.
Breath # 1: The Centering Breath
Breath in the present moment, with balance and energy
Breath # 2: The Possibility Breath
Breath in the “me I want to be” with power and purpose
Breath # 3: The Discovery Breath
Breath in the mystery, let go of judgment
The Centering Breath gives us the calm and balance we need to respond appropriately rather than react negatively in stressful situations. The Possibility Breath reminds us of a purpose higher than our egos. And the Discovery Breath turns a stressful situation into a crucial learning opportunity.”
As another resource to stay grounded, I created a board on Pinterest called “Meditation” Enjoy it and pay it forward by sharing it with someone who could use a lift today.
Please comment below. What are some interesting things you or those you do to refocus and feel centred?
Four things I am grateful for today
- Validation and support systems who remind me I am centered, strong and resilient
- That children are teachers who center me, remind me about possibilities and the wonder of discovery
- My optimism and ability to re-frame possibilities
Posted in Business, Reflections on Leadership, Reflections on Life | Tagged: calm, Centering Breath, commitment, grateful, Health, meditation, pay it forward, peace, personal growth, self-improvement, Serenity, Sitting, Three Deep Breaths: Finding Power and Purpose in a Stressed-Out World | Leave a Comment »
Posted by KakieF on August 8, 2012
“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the BRAVEST thing we will ever do” Brené Brown, from The Gifts of Imperfection
Shame, everybody has it, no one wants to talk about it. Perhaps that is because if we name it, it can’t exist, or many of us don’t know how to engage in the discourse because we never saw the dialogue modeled in our own family systems.
But the consequences of not having the conversation neglect our opportunities for healthier living and leadership. I’m not suggesting that we all pull out our chairs for full-blown kumbayah sessions in professional settings, but rather that we take some time to understand its dynamics. If a negative emotion such as shame inspires us to do something different, that means we take emotional risk, which takes courage. Wouldn’t it make sense that part of being authentic leaders mean we acknowledge our own fallibility and show compassion when we observe it in others? What would the effect be if we had more conversations about times we witnessed someone share stories about overcoming shame? It seems to me that it could be a tool with the power to teach some mighty potent lessons.
I will never forget the knot in my stomach the first time I went to hit the publish button on a blog post that made me so transparent I almost didn’t listen to my gut. But in the midst of my own uncertainty, I chose to do it because like you, we all have stories to tell and when we give, we get.
Our experiences about adversity have the power to plants seeds of courage and hope. Because I chose to hit that submission button, the person who inspired the story thanked me and shared no one had ever acknowledged her experience in that manner. She had no idea what she endured could have been thought of in such a dignified way. Now that was a GIFT.
As Brené Brown demonstrates brilliantly in the TED video below, compassion is the antidote or shame. It’s a powerful message. What do you think about it? Please share your thoughts below.
Three things I am grateful for today:
- Those who have had the fortitude to be vulnerable and share their stories so I could learn more about myself
- Brené’s message that vulnerability is not weakness, it is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change and that it is the most accurate measurement of courage
- Her statement that empathy and compassion are the antidote to shame
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Posted in Business, Reflections on Leadership | Tagged: Brené Brown, business leadership, change, change management, Courage, creativity, Empathy, Imperfection, innovation, Power (philosophy), Psychology, relationships, shame, spiritual awakening, Vulnerability | Leave a Comment »