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What I Learned From A Buddhist Monk

My first real, significant job out of grad school was as the executive director of Hospice of North Central Florida, now known as Haven Hospice.  When I joined the team there were three staff members and double that number of volunteers. Yet, tiny as it was, our organization was part of a great social movement, one that we created with others across the country as we went along.  It was the early 1980’s, and we’d heard the call, coming from across the Atlantic from Dame Cicely Saunders and from Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross here in the US; people facing death deserved their dignity, and their voices heard. Our mission must be to ease their suffering and to heed their wishes, whether that meant an end to medical intervention, or treatment for as long as possible.

We put together a team of like-minded people who wanted to make a difference in society, one person and one family at a time. One day, after looking for months for the right person, our first full-time...

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Could You Survive A P.R. Shipwreck?

It seems like every day brings a new horror story in the news, around healthcare gone terribly wrong. A nursing home patient is abused by staff members who put videos of the abuse on the Internet. Hospice management is accused of fiscal misdoings, even outright fraud. A nurse administers the wrong medication with fatal results. These are the kinds of public relations nightmares that trouble the sleep of those of us in management. We’ve seen it happen to colleagues; we’ve seen respected and valued institutions run up on the rocks because of these kinds of unforced errors. And we know that no matter how tight a ship we run, it could happen to us.

Bad things will happen - even in the very best-run organizations. Other than being the most conscientious leader you can be, how can you protect your organization from the kind of damage incidents like this can cause?

1. Experts tell us the best way to handle a crisis is to be prepared for it – to plan  out a response...

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Are You The Leader Your Staff Needs?

As someone who’s been an executive, a management consultant, and a leadership coach, I know that there are all kinds of effective leaders out there.

Some styles are more effective in certain situations than another. Great leaders do share some important traits, and I talked about four of these in a recent post; resilience, ambition, openness to opposing ideas, and staying grounded by listening to “the common man/woman” for their point of view. To these I’d add a good dose of humility, and another of self-awareness, because without understanding your own strengths and prejudices, and your leadership style, you literally don’t know what you’re missing.

The same organization will need different kinds of leaders at different points in its development. A startup company needs a Risk Taker.  A leader whose tolerance for risk is sky-high; someone daring, confident, and decisive. But once success is achieved, this kind of personality can get bored...

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Four Secrets of Great Leadership


Are great leaders born or made? Does the man or woman make the times, or do the times make the man or woman? In uncertain times, understanding how leadership works (or doesn’t) is ever more imperative, and sometimes, it takes a historian’s perspective to unravel the present. Recently I listened to Doris Kearns Goodwin discuss her new book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, in which she examines the careers of four U.S. presidents; Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.

Each of these very different men found himself at the epicenter of world-shaking crises, and brought the nation through it to safety. Fortunately, most of us will never be tasked with dealing with that level of upheaval and uncertainty – but as leaders in our own spheres, there’s plenty to learn from their experiences. As different as they were, these four presidents shared some very important traits, qualities of character which Goodwin suggests were...

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Remembering Mary Oliver

I was taking a news hiatus last week when a friend’s email came, telling me that my favorite poet, Mary Oliver, had died. What an important voice to be extinguished!

The first time I ever heard a poem by Mary Oliver was 1993 in a spiritual study group I was in, when one of the women shared the poem Wild Geese aloud. My dear brother Michael was very ill at the time, and hearing these lines –

“Tell me your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile, the world goes on…”

…struck me right in my heart. When someone you love is dying, it can feel as if the world stops turning, or that it should stop turning. But, as the poet goes on to say, with infinite gentleness and wisdom,

“Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how...

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START LIVING YOUR LEGACY NOW!

Uncategorized Jan 14, 2019

I have been thinking a lot about legacy these days.  The start of a new year always puts me in the mood to be more intentional about what I want for the next 12 months. Yes, it’s goal setting time, but more importantly, I want be more deliberate in how I show up and leave a positive impact with my life this year. 

If you could leave the people you love with something important when you check out of life, what would it be?

·       Your grandmother’s rocking chair? 

·       Your family photos?  

·       Your home? 

When we think about leaving a legacy, so often what we’re talking about is grounded in materialism – in things collected, loved, handed down, that have resonance for us. But...

·       Do your loved ones know why those things matter to you? 

...

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What Will Your Legacy Be?

2018 2019 hospice legacy newyear Jan 12, 2019

I have been thinking a lot about legacy these days. The start of a new year always puts me in the mood to be more intentional about what I want for the next 12 months. Yes, it’s goal setting time, but more importantly, I want be more deliberate in how I show up and leave a positive impact with my life this year.

If you could leave the people you love with something important when you check out of life, what would it be?

  • Your grandmother’s rocking chair?
  • Your family photos?
  • Your home?

When we think about leaving a legacy, so often what we’re talking about is grounded in materialism – in things collected, loved, handed down, that have resonance for us. But...

  • Do your loved ones know why those things matter to you?
  • Do they know the stories of the people from whom those treasures came?
  • Do they know what you hold dear?
  • Who you were as a child?
  • What really made you who you are?
  • What words of advice or encouragement do you want them to carry with them through...
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The Light Needs the Darkness

Happy Holiday on this the longest night of the year, the Winter Solstice! Celebrated in the northern hemisphere marking the start of winter and the return of the light, this year is special. 2018 coincides with both a full moon AND a meteor shower! Darkness and light, each need the other. Extreme darkness allows the light to feel more precious, providing the setting for a single flame to illuminate the night. Without darkness, we cannot fully appreciate the importance of one small flame of Light. It’s the contrasts in our lives that provide the opportunities for growth and discovery.

As Christmas nears and the year ends, my hope for you is that you gift yourself quiet time to consider these 5 important questions. Brendon Burchard my coach and mentor, taught me to step back at the end of each year and ask yourself these thoughtful inquiries called “Five by Five”, give 5 answers to each of these 5 questions:

1. What 5 things I am grateful for in 2018? And 3 things I...

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The “5 x 5 Review”

Happy Holiday on this the longest night of the year, the Winter Solstice! Celebrated in the northern hemisphere marking the start of winter and the return of the light, this year is special. 2018 coincides with both a full moon AND a meteor shower! Darkness and light, each need the other. Extreme darkness allows the light to feel more precious, providing the setting for a single flame to illuminate the night. Without darkness, we cannot fully appreciate the importance of one small flame of Light. It’s the contrasts in our lives that provide the opportunities for growth and discovery.


As Christmas nears and the year ends, my hope for you is that you gift yourself quiet time to consider these 5 important questions. Brendon Burchard my coach and mentor, taught me to step back at the end of each year and ask yourself these thoughtful inquiries called “Five by Five”, give 5 answers to each of these 5 questions:

1. What 5 things I am grateful for in 2018? And 3 things I...

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Book Launch Becomes #1!

Uncategorized Dec 18, 2018

We're #1!!!

Thanks to you, my new book, Creating A Culture Of Care: Insights and Inspirations from a Hospice Leader  the Kindle version AND the paperback BOTH became the #1 Best Seller in our category!!!


Remember I told you that the next several days the Kindle version of CREATING A CULTURE OF CARE would be only $.99 to celebrate this launch?  However, Amazon said they take "up to 72 hours for the price change to take effect", and NOW they STILL haven't changed the price. YIKES!!!

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO PAID THE FULL PRICE FOR THE KINDLE VERSION, THANK YOU!! If you would like to receive the COACHING FOR EXCELLENCE 1 hour training for FREE it will be my honor to gift it to you.  Hit REPLY to this email and let me know you would like it.

Amazon said they are having a problem with re-pricing the Kindle version and are "still working on it".  I deeply appreciate those of you who went ahead and bought the full price Kindle book!

I'm working hard with Amazon to resolve...

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