Category Archives: Personal Development

Reunited, and it feels so good!

This weekend, about 85 Vistage Chairs with over 10 years of mastery got together in Boulder or on zoom to nourish our souls and fan the flame of the work we do at Keepers of the Flame. Wow! >

Life expectancy – yours

If you look up a life expectancy calculator like this one, and you put in your birthdate it will tell you on average how may more years you should live. Despite our arrogant human hubris that we will live forever, there will be an end one day. I know, not for you. >

Tweak those resolutions

We are 3/4 through with January which is a good time to examine our progress and tweak those resolutions we set for 2022. Actually, there is nothing wrong with the New Year’s resolutions. The execution is what needs to be tweaked. >

Healthy New Year!

2 days into 2022 and I have kept all my New Year resolutions so far. How ‘bout you? I’d say we are all having a healthy new year. Yay for us!! >

Click refresh

You refresh your computer. More emails show up. You get new information. How many times each day do you refresh your computer? What about yourself? >

As you think…

Ralph Waldo Emerson said life consists in what a person is thinking all day.* Well that is a scary thought! Have you ever thought about what you think about each day? Do you ever wonder what other people think about all day? We all spend a lot of time thinking about trivial things as time gets away from us. Want to be better?

I hear often that an idea came to someone in the shower. They didn’t plan the time to be creative, it came to them. Do you ever make a plan to let your mind run free? You could take 3 showers each day, but with the drought, that seems like a bad idea. Instead, you might plan quiet time where you allow your mind to drift. As a kid, I would lay on the grass staring at the clouds in the summer without anywhere else to be. Sigh. That doesn’t happen to us randomly as adults.

We all spend a lot of time thinking about things that don’t matter. In fact, we waste a lot of time on the unimportant. When you become aware of doing that, switching to a topic you had on your list to think about (keep these written on your phone), will gain that time back for more important things.

Let me be clear – I don’t object to people goofing off. But, how many times do you wish you hadn’t just spent 20 minutes on social media? Goofing off should make you feel better.

If what you are thinking about is not making you smarter or happier, change the subject. Ruminating over past mistakes or slights doesn’t make you happier. Think about why you are thinking about them. Give yourself permission to change the topic to something more valuable. If it is really bothering you, I bet it will come back up later.

This week, pay attention to your thoughts and change the subject to something more valuable when they are a waste of time. Let’s see if you feel more productive as a result.


+ The exact quote from Emerson is “A man is what he thinks about all day long.”  I saw it written without quotation marks as I repeated above. That made me curious. I found the exact quote when I went to double-check the accuracy. I chose to laugh and appreciate the rewrite I read first.

Being in the Moment

Sitting on the floor with my big puppy draped across my legs happily chewing in his bone, I am totally in the moment. Peace and joy. He is always in the moment. Want to go for a walk? He is instantly ready. Rub his ears, he is all in. There is so much to learn from our animal friends. >

Riding into 2021

If we all learned one thing in 2020, it was that we have darn little control over the waves we ride in on. Who knew last December that we would have a pandemic and all the economic effects that followed. We thought it would all blow over in 2 months and we would be back to our old lives. As we go riding into 2021 on the worst wave of the virus so far, what can we resolve for the new year? >

Focus, focus, focus!

As we near the end of the year, the distractions to focus are increasing not diminishing. Political instability is increasing not diminishing. The Covid crisis is increasing not diminishing. More people are hungry and losing jobs and unemployment is ending. What can we do?


Set your rheostat for 85

Col. Nicole Malachowski USAF (retired) spoke to the Vistage Women in Leadership national conference on Friday. A fighter pilot and the first women to fly in the Air Force Thunderbirds, Col Malachowski later commanded the 333rd Fighter Squadron with over 1600 personnel. And more. Talk about an impressive career!

While there were many, many take-aways from her talk, particularly pertinent to our Covid time was this: we can not give more than 100%. That is all we have. And, we cannot have our throttles set to 100% all the time or we will burn out. She asked her team to set their rheostats for 85….so when they surged, which they had to do more when needed, they would have enough in reserve to fight full out for short bursts of time.

Is this what we ask of our team? Is this what we do ourselves?

I don’t think so. I don’t do it well, and the folks I coach don’t do it well. That can-do attitude and extreme positivity many of us share leads to regular bouts of total burn out. Add the pandemic, the unpredictability and fear of economic survival and running on fumes is a constant refrain.

Let’s get a grip. What reserves do you have right now?

Let’s do a little recalibration here. What would that look like?

  1. Only do what you should be doing, not the work of people who report to you. Track how many hours that is, and address the root cause.
  2. Set boundaries on your time. Get private work time on your calendar and hold it sacred.
  3. Watch your energy level. When you are “hangry”, tired, or grouchy, you are not being inspiring or even very efficient.
  4. Plan rejuvenation time into your calendar. It could be exercise, time with a friend who makes you laugh or video games. Pick something that recharges you. My new puppy makes me laugh – totally distracting me from everything else.

Remember we are in this for the long haul. Set your rheostat accordingly.