Thursday, February 2, 2017

Escape from Groundhog Day

Ground Hog DayHave you seen the movie Groundhog Day? It features Bill Murray as Phil, a weatherman with a bad attitude who finds himself reliving February 2nd, Groundhog Day, over and over again with all of its petty frustrations, seemingly pointless activity and irritation. Do you ever feel as though you’re like Phil?

We have all heard the folk wisdom that says the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting different results. While that definition doesn’t quite cover the whole concept, it does capture a part of it. It is definitely not “sane” (rational, logical) to expect things to change if you don’t do something to interrupt an unhealthy pattern in order to improve your situation. In other words, if you want something to change, you have to take the initiative to change it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Passion of Every Great Leader

Great leaders don’t often start out with a plan to make themselves great. In fact, it may surprise you how little great leaders think of themselves at all. Focusing on making an individual person great is a very small goal, but an individual with a willingness to sacrifice for something bigger can ignite passion in others and cause great things to happen.

PassionWe recently celebrated the memory of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and I was reminded of some of the ways he demonstrated great leadership. Here are five passions that drive some people to greatness and how we see them in action through the leadership of Rev. Dr. King.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Don’t Miss the Opportunity

OpportunityDo you have plans to spend some time with the people you care about the most? If not, stop what you are doing right now and think about something special you can do with your kids, spouse, significant other or friend that you will really enjoy.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Counseling or Coaching? Getting the Right Kind of Help

counseling or coachingA new year often inspires us to evaluate our lives, which frequently makes us want to change whatever is not working well or build upon what is. It can be helpful to bounce your thoughts and feelings off of someone else who can offer perspective and help you discover what is – or isn’t – within your power to change.

Since the 1980’s there has been a growing interest in the field of Coaching. There are several different types of coaching, e.g., Executive, Personal, Career, etc., and each serves a specific function related to helping someone achieve desired results. With the rise of coaching as a profession have come questions concerning the differences between the practice of coaching and counseling. Let’s look at these two different services in an effort to help you decide which one is right for you – counseling or coaching.

What is Coaching?

According to the International Coach Federation, coaching is an ongoing relationship between the professional coach and the client, which focuses on the client taking action toward the realization of their vision, goals or desires. Coaching uses a process of inquiry and personal discovery to build the client’s level of awareness and responsibility and provides the client with structure, support and feedback.

Most coaches have some formal coach training and are either certified or in the process of being certified by training programs accredited by the International Coach Federation. Coaches are trained to listen, to observe and to customize their approach to individual client needs. They seek to elicit solutions and strategies from the client; they believe the client is naturally creative and resourceful. The coach’s job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the client already has.

Coaching clients are often high functioning, solution-focused individuals who are seeking

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Making Christmas Merry

Merry ChristmasHolidays have a way of magnifying everything – both negative and positive. Whatever is happy, beautiful and fun seems even more prominent when Christmas lights are twinkling and pretty packages are sitting under the tree just waiting to delight someone you love. But whatever is sad, ugly and painful can also be magnified because it doesn’t fit in to our idealized image of what Christmas should be like. As my friend, Dr. Randy Carlson of Intentional Living has often said, “Expectation minus reality equals disappointment.”

I am going out on a tinsel-covered limb and guessing that there is something about this Christmas you wish could be different. The good news is you don’t have to let your circumstances ruin your holidays. Studies have shown that circumstances only account for 10% of your happiness. That’s a surprisingly small number! But boosting your happiness quotient doesn’t just happen by itself. You must be intentional about how you THINK about your life and circumstances.

One exercise in overcoming circumstances and making Christmas merry is to maintain a Big Picture Mindset. Oftentimes it isn’t the big things that derail our happiness, but a hundred little things. Car trouble, a winter virus, failing to find the toy your child wants “more than anything” for Christmas, a fraudulent charge on your credit card, a fender bender. The list could go on forever, because life is full of those frustrating nuisances. If we keep our eyes on all the things that can – and do – go wrong, we will never be happy. But when we step back and put those things into perspective, they lose their grip on our attitudes. The Big Picture of your life probably also includes a lot of people (or even pets) who love you, having your basic needs (and many of

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Help, It’s December!

If you are like most people, the month of December typically ushers in a dramatic increase in activity, responsibilities, and irrational expectations. If you are able to maintain a positive and realistic perspective during this busy time of year you are much more likely to experience a very special time of connection, celebration, and joy. To help you with this task, my good friend and co-worker, Liz Bailey, offers some timeless truths for getting the most out of the holiday season.

Live, Work and Relate Well!

Dr. Todd

December StressSome of my neighbors have had their Christmas lights up since before Thanksgiving. I am not sure if I resent them or admire them for being so far ahead on preparing for the holiday season. My feelings on the subject vary, often depending on my current state of mind. I waffle between being joyful that the holidays bring our family together and overwhelmed at the thought of how much time, money and effort it takes to make all that celebration work smoothly. And this mix of happiness and angst happens every single year when December rolls in like an avalanche!

Many of us need to be reminded of what we know deep down in our hearts because the holidays have a way of drowning out the still, small voice of truth and common sense. Let’s review:

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Strong People Skills = Career Success

People SkillsHaving trouble getting ahead at work? Research reveals that the higher you go on the career ladder the greater the likelihood that obstacles standing in the way of your performance, productivity and advancement are your own problematic behaviors and bad habits. In fact, it is estimated that 80% of those fired from their jobs are let go because of an absence of strong interpersonal skill rather than a lack of technical skill. Therefore, the higher a person goes in an organization, the more significant it is that their people skills (or lack thereof) will ultimately determine how far they will go in their career.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Keys to a Life Well Lived

A Life Well LivedAs we approach the Thanksgiving holiday I want to encourage you to remember five critical keys to a life well lived. If you apply this advice daily to your life I’m confident that you will derive more joy and happiness this season than ever before. I challenge you to…

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

How to Be Good and Angry Over Politics and Other Stuff


Man, have you seen the news lately? As if you could miss it…

It has been a brutal year, politically speaking. If there has ever been such a widely disputed campaign with such visceral reactions to the candidates, we’ve never seen it in our lifetimes. And no time in history has it been so easy to flood people’s lives with rhetoric, accusations, name-calling and polar-opposite viewpoints. If our earliest presidential candidates produced such hot controversy, the news didn’t travel so fast. We hear from multiple news outlets that Americans are responding to anger. Some were angry before the election; enough to vote for major change in the government. And now others are angry after the election because of the outcome. Government leaders are being met with a barrage of angry American citizens from both sides of the political spectrum.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

When You Don’t Get Your Way

Anger How do you respond when things don’t go your way or you don’t get what you want? The current news is filled with reports of people demonstrating their anger and rage about not getting what they want, and I am concerned that the methods too many have chosen to express their feelings are doing much more harm than good. The lack of ability to appropriately express anger and fear along with wants and needs is doing damage on a large scale in many cities, but it also impacts people on an individual level.

If it’s important to you to demonstrate maturity and self-control as well as communicate in a way that will give you credibility and reflect objectivity take the time and make the effort to be good and angry when you don’t get your way.