Day #6 – Who Needs Comedy Central…

When you can laugh at yourself? 

Today’s lesson is just that, laugh at yourself. I am fortunate enough to work with some of the most dedicated but hilarious, down to earth professionals in corporate America. I am reminded everyday that first, we do not save babies, and second, the world is a much happier place (and creativity spikes) when there is laughter involved.

My nickname is “Disgraceful Katie,” half earned, half self-proclaimed. So with that, I challenge you to stop, take a step back, and have a laugh at your own expense today.

Need some inspiration, see below… these might as well be my personal taglines. Haha!

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Day #5- Quick but not Easy

Today’s lesson comes from Seth Godin. His message is simple and spot on.

This is a favorite of mine that I reference often. Like many times before, it rang true today.

The quickest way to get things done and make change. Not the easiest, but the quickest:

Don’t demand authority.

Eagerly take responsibility.

Relentlessly give credit.

Enough said.

25 songs to celebrate innovators: A Spotify playlist inspired by TEDWomen

It’s Tuesday… ROCK IT!

TED Blog

Inspired by the theme of TEDWomen 2013, “Invented Here,” we’ve created a killer playlist with songs about women who’ve innovated, made a difference, taken a stand and changed history in the process.

Our mixtape of tunes include: a Swedish dance-pop tribute to Marie Curie’s research on radioactivity, Jane Birkin’s ode to the work and ideals of Burmese political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi, an emotional love song dedicated to Georgia O’Keefe and a tongue-in-cheek punk rock commentary on Margaret Thatcher.

Sit back, turn up the volume and have a listen!

TEDWomen 2013 will be held in San Francisco, December 4-6, 2013, at the new SFJAZZ Center. Registration for the event opens today. Head to the TEDWomen site to find out how to apply »

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Unable to listen to the Spotify playlist? Here is a list of all of the songs…

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At Least it Wasn’t my Finger – Day #4

I drink a green swamp juice smoothie almost every morning for breakfast. Usually including some combination of spinach, greek yogurt, protein powder, a banana, other miscellaneous fruit, couple ice cubes, and a splash of water. Told you it was swamp juice…

Like most days, this morning started with me sleeping as late as possible and once again in a rush to get my kiddo and me out the door and off to CrossFit, school, and work.

I am whirling up my smoothie and like many times before I have to pulse the blender, stop, mix up the contents, and pulse again or else it just pulverizes what’s on the bottom and never pulls down the ice cubes and spinach leaves. In an effort to save the 2.5 seconds it takes to PAUSE the blender and mix up the contents I decide to mix with a spatula as it blends…brilliant right?

Hardly. The blades caught the spatula and in a split second my spatula is no more and better yet I added a hefty dose of BPA to my swamp juice. Here’s the stupid part, yes it gets stupider, for a moment before using the spatula I actually thought about sticking my fingers in the blender to try and help mix in the spinach. WHAT IN THE HECK…. really Katie!?

After that little gem… today’s lesson is learning to PAUSE.

Pause. Stop. Focus. Breathe. Clear your thoughts.

When we race through a project, our daily routine, or life in general, it’s way to easy to loose sight of the big picture, the light at the end of the tunnel, and in turn come seconds away from loosing a finger in our morning smoothie.

Challenge yourself to pause just one time today. Once? That’s it? It sounds simple, but I guarantee you will either forget or try and rush through your “pause.”

What are you missing by refusing stop? Breathe? Focus?….PAUSE?

Day #3 – Front Porch or Garage

What are you? A welcoming space where friends are received with open arms, a beautiful entry way encouraging communication, collaboration, and love OR are you a big, cold metal box filled with the junk you dont want anyone to see?

key porch

garage

Seems harsh, but here’s where I’m going.

As multi-vehicle families became the norm, housing developers traded front porches for garages. Houses and subsequently neighborhoods went from an intimate community to merely a place to keep your stuff and catch some zzz’s before doing it all over again the next day.  Let’s face it, no one drives through a neighborhood admiring the garages… “Oh wow, look at the detail of the aluminum garage door on that house…” I don’t think so. We marvel at the potential for community, block parties, and just good conversation shared with friends. That doesn’t happen with closed garage doors, that happens with a neighborly wave from a front porch rocking chair.

So how does this apply? Let’s take a look at the question again… Which one are you? How do you present yourself to those around you?

I admit, I have a tendency to fall on the side of the cold metal box. Not because I don’t want to nurture relationships, but because it’s easy… and even more so it’s safe. When I close myself off from the rest of the world and just pile up junk, I don’t have to risk getting hurt. Slowly, but surely I am learning that the reward of hanging out on the front porch far outweighs the risk.

How will you become the front porch of your world (work, family, friends, the daily routine)? How are you perceived today? If you tend to close up and resemble a locked up garage full of junk, I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and wave to a couple neighbors.

What’s the best part of all of this? It’s contagious! Yes, front porches are contagious and better yet they help clean up the junk! A simple smile in the hallway at work, a kind word to your child’s teacher, or a honest compliment to a friend… they are all ways of getting rid of the junk and stepping outside the cold metal box.

When we use our time to nurture community and spread optimism there’s just no time left to accumulate a garage full of junk.

 

 

Day #2 – Embracing the Cheering Section

Up before the sun, running shoes on, coffee in hand, and on my way to yet another competition. However, this time I was not the athlete competing. Today I supported my fellow Gem City CrossFit junkies at the Buckeye CrossFit Wodtoberfest competition, also my first experience at a formal CrossFitevent. Gem CIty had 3 teams of two participating among 60+ others.  Image  Image

It’s important to understand I’m not used to sitting on the sidelines. I am the athlete. I am the one pushing myself to the edge, downing Gatorade and Gu, sweating through every layer of clothing, and most importantly getting the medal to prove it. But today it wasn’t my show.

Today was different.

I learned to be a spectator.

Ill be honest, there was a point on the drive up I was jealous, and trying to reason with myself as to why I wasn’t also an athlete today. However, the “what about me” attitude didn’t last long. As soon as I walked in, I was in awe, just plain old proud to be a part of such a display of athleticism. I greeted my crew and from the first event was like a proud Mom cheering on her kids at Senior Night.

So great, I embraced spectating, pulled out my pom poms and lost my voice cheering on my fellow CrossFit addicts. But what’s the real takeaway?

It has nothing to do with pom poms, that’s for sure.

It’s about leadership. Yes, LEADERship, not DICTATORship, or BOSSship, or Leader(it’s really about my success)ship.

On Friday, one of my fellow leaders had 3 of her 4 associates win 3 of the 4 departmental awards for this year. My team received nothing, hardly a shout out. WHY? Because she is purely a spectator, constantly cheering on her team, relishing in their success, always ready with Gatorade and Gu.

So maybe it is about pom poms… Ill be taking the ones I earned today to work with me on Monday.

Always Learning

Yes, that’s what this is all about. Learning. Never stop learning.

Welcome to my 100 Lesson Learning Challenge. I will be sharing 100 lessons over the next several months. Some simple, some complicated, but most of all the first steps on the road to always evolving, growing, and becoming a true Linchpin.