Having recently moved, I ran across this picture. This is my mom, Alice. On top of my jungle gym. Behind the family truck and farmhouse. My mom. The monkey.
Several emotions have come to mind when I have seen this picture in the past. One is of sheer embarrassment. This very picture was in our Christmas letter one year for Pete’s sake. How could she do that to a 7-year-old? What would my public think?
But this time, I had one emotion only… Hell Yeah Mom! My mom was silly. She loved to laugh. Her humor was exceptional. And now I realize how critical that was to her as a mother and how critical it is to me as both a mother and a business owner.
I’m embarking on a new chapter for my business as I hit my 5-year anniversary. Call it Glass Talent 2.0. I’ll continue to work with my great clients as their supportive and challenging Executive Business Coach. And I’ll be looking at ways to evolve my practice as a Talent Strategist.
In imagining what is next, I’ve put together a vision board to collect my ideas and thoughts of what I want my working journey to look and feel like. It must involve CONNECTING. COLLABORATION. CREATIVITY. LEARNING. WRITING. COACHING. SERVING.
In seeing this picture again, I am reminded that I am missing a very important word from my board… HUMOR.
Humor brings me bliss, joy, relief and solace. Humor helps me keep things in perspective and keeps me humble. Humor helps me manage through the valleys and the peaks. Humor makes me happy.
So, here’s to adding a big fat piece of HUMOR to the heart of my Vision Board and leading with laughter.
I wish I had the picture of my mom playing the role of “the man at the bar” from the Santa Fe Melodrama. I don’t. You’ll just have to imagine it and laugh along with me.
If you’re not laughing, you’re not learning… Email me at Linda@GlassTalent.com to learn more about my coaching (or at least send a good joke!)
Stay calm. Stay still. Stay calm. Stay still. Do as I’m asked. Quietly enjoy the moment.
Check it out! Check me out! Wow look at that! Go! Go! Go!
Click on the photo above to view a clip from a recent vacation, which encapsulates these two personalities to a tee. Two children. Same family. So different in so many ways.
As a parent I’m always amazed at how different two kids can be. I recognized it in my own family growing up. Four sisters. Same family. So different in so many ways.
It’s confusing. What works for one, doesn’t always work for another. And even when something does work for a while, life changes and the parenting approach stops working. I have to lead in a different way. Different child, different day, new challenge.
It’s the same with any type of leadership. It’s not a one size fits all world, yet we hope and pray everyday that we can tackle the challenges of leading others with one good solution and approach.
There are so many books out there to help us with our leadership…
” 3 Surefire Ways to Motivate Employees”
“Make ‘em Happy in 5 Steps or Less!”
“Just do this!”
We read through them frantically for the silver bullet… the secret to how to motivate Bob, Jane, Jim and Sally all at the same time using the exact same approach and steps. These books may provide some great frameworks, but it’s what you do for each individual within that framework that makes the greatest impact.
But seriously, we have so much on our plates as it is as leaders. The strategic plan, the investors, the final report… do we really have time to cater to every individual? It takes so much time.
Yes, yes it does. And yes, it is the most valuable and highest return investment you can make in your business.
Sorry, Bob, Jane, Jim and Sally are four different people. Same Company. So different in so many ways. Get to know your people as individuals. Get to know them as people. Stay close to them as they ebb and flow through life’s challenges. Individualize your leadership approach and enjoy the returns.
For more discussion with Linda about the best approach for your leadership, contact her at Linda@GlassTalent.com.
Went to see Shrek the Musical the other day… I know, I know, why? Well, thought it would be great to take the kids to the theatre and wanting their early experiences with theatre to be a good one, best to let them choose. It was clever, catchy. Two hours I’ll never get back. BUT the kids loved it. Especially the end, “I’m a Believer!” they all bellowed out.
As I’m approaching another year as a business coach, I’m taking time to take stock in what it is I do and why I love it so much. I love the learning aspect. Yes. I love the challenge. Absolutely. I love being with people and businesses during times of growth and change. No question. But, what didn’t click for me until yesterday was the real reason I love what I do… I’m a believer.
That’s it. I’m a believer. I believe in a person when he or she can’t seem to believe in him or herself. I see and believe in their success sometimes before they do. I believe in a company’s success, when a leader may be doubting. I believe. I see the possibility. I can taste it and I encourage, guide, coach the leader to believe. I’m filled with belief.
We’ve all had believers in our lives one time or another. And if we’re wise, we seek them out when we can’t seem to muster up the belief ourselves.
Even the believer can lose belief sometimes.
Change has been an everlasting part of my life and recently, in particular. I lost some belief. I had some doubt and questions and I wondered what was really possible. I instinctively did what I encourage everyone to do. Find your believers. I spoke with my husband. I called my mentors. I talked to my friends. I called my sister. And even my dear departed mother was in on the act, although I was doing most of the talking.
I was on the phone yesterday with the king of all believers, Eric Boles. Eric has an amazing company called The Gamechangers (love that by the way). After a successful career in the NFL, Eric has dedicated his life and passion to believing in others. Just like me.
He shared a story with me that when he was first drafted, it was a stressful time. Player after player was being cut and he began to wish he would be cut as well. The stress was just too great. He’ll never forget what his mother told him during this stressful time. I may be paraphrasing slightly here, but hope to do the sentiment justice… She said, “do you trust me? If so, let my belief in you be enough belief for the both of us.” He did and he leaned on her belief, used it to strengthen his own, until it became a reality. What a powerful and pivotal lesson for Eric so early in his life.
At the age of 10, a believer entered my life and yesterday, I learned that she passed away. She was my childhood acting teacher. (I’ll pause for a moment for those of you need to have a chuckle about me having a “childhood acting teacher”). She was quite a character, a passionate teacher who believed in over 2500 children. Her story is rich and her impact was great read here. Ever wonder why so many creative kids came out of Santa Fe, NM? Jinx Junkin of course! She will be fondly remembered and missed by many. She was the believer for many in the community and many young spirits went on with great confidence that if you believe, you can be anything, even an orphan in 19th century England…
As always, when I open up to seeing and hearing the signs, they appear. And the current focus for me is belief. I’m back and I’m believing.
To all the believers out there… don’t forget to share it, offer it, nurture your belief. And for those of you are a little uncertain and need a belief maker… drop me a line.
If you listen, really listen, you’ll hear what your supposed to hear. There are messages coming to us all the time and if we open our ears, we will hear.
Last week, I had the honor of attending a two-day session with a friend and colleague who is working on her next step. What will she do next with her wonderful life? And while we didn’t pin the tail and declare her new “vocation,” I could tell that she was listening, really listening. And in the right time, it will come.
I call it dogged listening. Imagine that you are a beautiful dog with big beautiful ears and there is a whistle blowing. You hear it with such attentiveness and the sound of it is magnetic. You must go to it, question it, explore it. And if it’s the right message, you start to collect what you are hearing until you eventually start to howl, because it feels that right.
When it comes to careers or vocations, I think there is a big mistake in starting with a list of titles. I could be this or that or maybe this. You end up with a list without a lot of clarity. Instead, I recommend that you become “title agnostic.” Instead open up your listening, your dog-ears, to moments when you are the happiest. What are you doing in that exact moment? What makes it a happy moment? The work itself? The environment? The people? The conversation? Listen, really listen and collect the data.
Once you have the data, you may find that when you read back, it isn’t one specific thing, maybe it’s two or three. In fact, maybe you find out that you are polyvocational. It’s okay, lots of people are and it’s nothing to be ashamed of at all. In fact, the majority of the workforce is moving in that direction. Specifically, our sandwich generations, Gen-Y and Boomers are whole-heartedly embracing the concept of having multiple vocations that make them happy. And X’rs… it’s okay… go on… check it out
Instead of woofing down lunch yesterday (notice the pun), I actually sat and listened to a musician playing at Whole Foods. Really good, Ryan Huie (listen to a bit here). I asked the woman next to me about him and she told me that Ryan is a lawyer and a musician. A real live polyvocationalist in my presence.
I wondered how many other people on that plaza were also polyvocationalists and just not out yet. Maybe there is a tv show in the making for TLC?
So, as you embrace the dog-days of summer (sorry, last pun), I encourage you to put on your dog-ears and listen, really listen. Whether it’s about your career, your love, your health…the whistles are out there ready to let you know.
Find what the fish feeds on and use it for bait.
Funny, coming from a girl who’s never been fishing.
And while I don’t mean to demean talent by calling them fish, I will say that a lot of recruiters spend a lot of time trying to fish without considering the bait or even the body of water in which they are casting a lure.
As an executive coach, I am often asked, what’s the first step in finding the best talent? Advertise! Start with Craig’s List. It’s free after all. Just throw up the job description. Well… let’s think about this a minute.
Throwing an advertisement on Craig’s List might be your best answer, but how do you know if you don’t start with an exercise that helps you fully understand the whole picture? Make an educated choice so that you can predict greater success in acquiring your talent.
A successful advertisement is as much about you attracting the right fish as it is about repelling the wrong ones. In fact, you want the wrong talent to self select out and choose not to apply. Wouldn’t it be better to have a net full of the right talent instead of just a net full of talent?
Answer the following questions and ensure the answers are captured in your postings:
- What are the selling points for this position?
- What are the appealing attributes of the work?
- What are the career path opportunities?
- What is the culture of the company? Of the department?
- How will this role contribute to the success of the organization?
- Ultimately, what’s in it for the candidate?
Then ask yourself, where does your talent swim?
Many recruiters flock to job boards without a full understanding if their perfect candidate even swims on that board. Maybe you’re best bet is an industry association, a niche job board, or an internal affinity group.
When looking for your next great talent, put some valuable thinking into your post and remember “No good fish goes anywhere without a porpoise”. (Thanks Lewis Carroll!)
As many of you may know, I have been working with a coach myself this past year. I thought it was time for the cobbler to have her own shoes.
As I was leaving my final session this week and exiting the lobby, the song transitioned to “JUMP!” by Van Halen. This was old school Van Halen, the David Lee days. Aaah yes, big hair, scrawny David Lee… 9th grade was beckoning me all over again.
I chuckled for a minute and then I thought, wait a minute. This is no coincidence. This was a definite theme song moment.
Okay, okay, Van Halen and this song in particular, is hardly known for it’s poetic, history-making lyrics. In fact, there are about 20 words in the whole song. But, somehow, it fit the moment. That is definitely how I felt. I felt like jumping, full of enthusiasm. I am filled with a lot of positivity about the future and I feel like jumping.
I love that about music. Often times, when I work with clients and I know they find themselves stuck, I talk to them about music. Is there any song in particular, that when you listen to it, completely shifts your mood, your outlook? For one client of mine, it was an incredible theme song that came out of the Egyptian revolution. For another, it was the sweet and touching… What just makes that little old ant think he can move a rubber tree plant?
There is some powerful writing around music and it’s impact on our brain. One book in particular that I like is The Tao of Music which talks about the invaluable impact of music on our brains and how to leverage it to our benefit. It states, “Sometimes we need to modify our rhythms to harmonize with people and situations around us. One way to do this is with music.”
So, while I’ll be choosing to JUMP!, what will you be choosing to do to shift your mood in the right direction? What music helps you become an engaged, focused leader?
In case you need a little Friday morning flashback… Jump! Might as well, jump.
Enjoy the holiday!
You may have seen my plug over the past couple of weeks for the “Listen to Your Mother” show here in Austin, which happened on April 29th. I had the distinct pleasure of being part of the cast this year. It was quite an honor to be lined up with these talented writers… fun, scary, inspiring.
My piece was entitled, “Snakes, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails”… a humorous take on being the mother of two boys. While not shy on humor or public speaking, I haven’t been writing very long for others, let alone about motherhood.
When I first considered what I would write, I immediately thought of two topics… the humor of my boys and the enormous impact of my own mother. It was only the former I knew I could write about and deliver without tears in my eyes.
Plus how could I write a better piece about my mother than two others who spoke of her impact in ways that I’m not sure I ever could? Both were delivered posthumously, one at her memorial by a dear family friend who described her as “an ordinary woman who led an extraordinary life.” This was true. My mother was there for this family friend, like she was for many, at an extraordinary time of need. It was “ordinary” for her to be there for others and be of service.
The second speech was given by Michael Greco as he was accepting his new position at the president of the American Bar Association in 2005. I’d always heard his name growing up; an “old student” of mom’s who kept in touch throughout the years. I thought it was touching on her part, but had no idea the impact she had made until I read his address…
My mother made an amazing impact on Michael Greco. She cared, showed respect, believed in him when no one else did.
As I re-read this address tonight, I couldn’t help but appreciate the irony. I have just spent the past week teaching those very values to leaders, only miles away from the school where my mother taught in Hinsdale. Today on a screen the words we read were “Who believed in you when no one else did?” I guess I could say, who was your “Alice Glass?” And are you believing in others like she did? What legacy of selfless giving will you leave behind? It’s a challenge for all of us not only as leaders, but humans.
Happy Mother’s Day Mom! Thanks for being such a caring, supportive, amazing role model in so many ways. It’s helped me tremendously as an executive coach. We all miss you. Maybe, I’ll stop by the old school tomorrow.