Category Archives: Coaching

Go Beyond “Interesting”

I’m addicted to Project Runway on television. I like that each week designers are presented with a set of materials and a conceptual challenge.

It’s like playing with big balls of clay and I love predicting what *I’d* do with the clay, then realizing it’s nothing like what the designers have chosen to do.

It’s an amazing reminder of how many ideas there are out there, how many ways to approach a problem.

We all need that reminder more often because we become trapped in thinking our answer is the best and only conceivable approach.

Having the mind and the confidence to think lycra and silk become part of the same outfit or that a neoprene wetsuit could be formal means you can open up to other people’s ideas and from that space, you can see better, more comprehensive solutions.

Management books teach us all this, often. But it’s rarely done because it…well, because it’s hard to listen, for one.

But there’s also this illusion that listening to these ideas that aren’t yours takes time.

That’s another reason to love the show. Sure, it’s heavily edited to fit neatly in a one-hour time slot, but the designers are given the challenge and a drop dead deadline of one day to complete it.

They still manage to fully (most of the time) dress a person in their creative vision and send them into the lights of the runway. AND THEY HAD TO SEW! 

In a business, you, too, can fully dress a creative idea in the expanse of options a great team can provide.

It doesn’t take tons of process, it just takes listening.

And a tougher vocabulary.

One other thing I noticed about the finale of Project Runway 9 was the over use of the word “interesting.”

All the judges talked about clothing, people, ideas and approaches as “interesting.”

“It’s very interesting, what you’re doing there.”

“It’s an interesting look.”

“What an interesting fabric.”

“What an interesting concept.”

All I thought about was how much growth we all could have shared together with a more descriptive vocabulary.

What if instead of interesting, what the person was doing was “well-executed?”

What if the look was “reminiscent of a Victorian image?”

What if the fabric was “plush?”

What if the concept was “revolutionary?”

Those are all such different spaces in our brain than “interesting”, yet we rely so heavily on “interesting.”

It’s a catch-all; as a descriptor, it’s lazy.

It’s hard for people to learn to listen. Help them out by providing something for them to learn while they listen.

There’s little growth available in a critique or answer that’s “interesting.”

Learn a descriptive and exacting vocabulary and find that team members want to listen more.

It’s a great pit stop on the way to building the confidence to listen back and hear what they’re doing with their [insert great descriptor here] ball of clay.



More on Why You Need Us

Liberal Arts education is taking a back seat to skilled trades jobs and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) training. (More on that in a future post).

We can fill that gap.
Imagine business consulting and team training that pulls out the creative problem solving skills that are lacking in workers so narrowly focused on tech or trade subjects?

Suddenly, your work training seminar pulls together all the principles of a general studies education!

This story from Forbes helps to point out the workplace conundrum we’ll soon be facing.




The Heart of Innovation

Last night came the news that American innovator, Steve Jobs, died.

I’ve never met him, but he has had such an impact on my day to day life that he and I arguably have had a very intimate relationship.

It’s a great loss to us all, and friends and colleagues have been reflecting on their first Apple experience and how influential the technologies have been in their lives. Then, the conversation flows into this uneasy gap.

What do we do now? We’ve unconsciously come to count on techological innovations to move us to new habits, new ease, new ways of thinking and new things to accomplish. Of course, I’m absolutely aware I type this blog because of the mind of Steve Jobs…

But it’s the heart of innovation that we often forget. Who will be the next genius? Who will be the next innovator? Who will replace (as if) Jobs?

The better question is “How can we all tap into the passion and drive that Jobs had that allowed him to be successful AND SATISFIED in his life?”

Part of why we identify with him so easily is he had public failures–his own company fired him at one point, only to hire him back later and soar to new heights with him at the helm. He dropped out of college and learned and learned and learned. He chased ideas and desires in ways we think we aren’t allowed to. But look at Steve Jobs! Look what happens when you chase after the life and work that you want to do!

Though he is truly a shining star, a unique entity among us, we can all master our lives as Jobs mastered his.

Known for his commencement address at Stanford where he references how he mastered his life, how he lives passionately and makes his work what he wants to be doing, Jobs had a handle on what the three of us have become good at as well.

Recognizing your vulnerabilities, recognizing honesty within yourself and knowing what you want to give your work and what you just won’t give to your work are important realizations. They take time, they take focused thinking and they take bravado.

The end of Jobs’ Stanford speech harkens to The Whole Earth Catalog of his youth and a final back cover that says, as caption to a seemingly endless dirt country road, “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.” The sentiment is available as book titles, posters, t-shirts and more and is often credited to Jobs, but he was citing those before him with the same imagination and sense of adventure. Perhaps the best tribute to someone who demonstrated what work-life was–not balanced it, but made it extraordinary–would be to do just that.

Stay Hungry.

Stay Foolish.

We can help.


Life Coaching is my obsession!

Well, to clarify it is one of my many obsessions. It goes along side poetry, theater, puppets, creative empowerment, yoga and self-help books. I believe that I have been life coaching myself and close family members since I was in highschool.  I never really knew what I was doing had the fancy name of “life coaching.”  I have just always been very positive, down to earth, practical and pretty much fearless.  I am a poet who has a love affair with words. If I don’t know anything in life I believe with all my heart that words are truly life altering. Words hold extreme power and with that power everything and anything is possible.

As I incubate and manifest Creative Bravado with my two other genius friends I am thinking big. Why not? I have always had a vision of working with organizations suffering from low staff morale and brainwashed into the limited thinking that says, “Work is work, so it shouldn’t be enjoyable. Just grin and bear it. Just do the work.” I have been working since I was 15 years old and have been amazed at how many leaders and managers truly believe that the energy and morale of  staff has no relationship to the success of organization. The same principle applies to all of us as we navigate our own personal lives. I have been in a transition stage in  my own life that has me thinking creatively about ways to craft the life I want to lead. A life that is empowered and aligned with my natural passions.

Creative Bravado came into my life at the perfect time. I want to share my over 15 years of training, professional development and program management experience with small and large Arts and Education organizations with you.  I want to blend my love of theater, performance and writing with staff training, self-development and strategic planning for your organization and life.

I dream of leading a staff retreat with your employees that provides the space to use performance and art to build innovative ways to grow the organization and to empower you. Who says that staff retreats have to be filled with the same team building exercises? The best way to build anything is through honest collaboration that is unique and out of the box. Its time to try something new. Time to blaze a new path to growth. I’m here to dream with you. Think of me as that friend that never says no to any adventure you propose. I am always down. Lets fly together.

So, let’s get started now. Share with me any business books or websites that get you pumped and hyped up on fulfilling your dreams.What works for you? How do you stay motivated to walk the path towards your dreams?

All the best,