Tag Archives: empowerment


ABC Resolution: think system

Think System

What if all the answers were already in our heads?

Remember Professor Harold Hill’s ‘Think System’ from The Music Man? Think about how to play a musical instrument and we can do it. In business and sports, we call this concept envisioning. In life, we call it dreaming. We think, imagine in our mind’s eye the idea, goal, the way. Then we are able to do it. What a wonderful concept.

Sadly, we are often taught not to think new thoughts but to memorize old ones. Take others’ ideas and processes, not as advice, guidelines or jumping off points, but as rules and mandates. We are commanded to unquestioningly obey in our institutions and enticed to blindly buy in and by our corporations. ‘Follow the Leader’ as ‘Simon Says.’ Behaviors learned in childhood games at a young age.

What if, instead of being asked to remember the correct answers for a test, we were given the answers and then asked to puzzle out the questions? This is the real beauty of the Professor’s Think System. Not only are we enjoined to see the vision, but then we are asked to figure out how to fulfill it.

Hill gave the children something more important than music lessons. He gave them the will and confidence to think, try, or as it’s called today, hack it out for themselves. To trust in their own innate abilities and powers of discovery. They didn’t let him, or themselves, down.

resolve to: release your brain


Only time will tell whether the switch to technology will ultimately be better for humankind. Having been an early adopter for over thirty years, my hindsight raised may concerns. My biggest Continue reading


ABC Resolution: query


What if ‘what if’ mattered?

Query, to simply ask questions. Recent human development research states children no longer ask ‘why?’ as early as age six. Unfortunately, most children have been so ignored, disregarded, shot down, shut down and even punished for being their natural, curious selves, they have learned that asking questions is a really bad thing. But by query is how humans grow. Simple curiosity allows our species to survive and thrive.

It appears rote learning and memorizing has left most of us devoid of curiosity. So much so, we appear to be devolving, just as the hue and cry to evolve and innovate has become deafening. Flipping learning on end, we now seem to value the right answer over the provocative question. We have forgotten, as important it is to know of something that occurs, it is exponentially more important to know why.

The next time someone ask ‘why?’, whether young or old, support their curiosity. Listen and ask questions in return. Encourage and reward critical thinking and conversation toward mutual validation and respect. Keep all discussions open-ended. Most importantly, don’t lead others to your predetermined hypotheses, assumptions and conclusions. Query is what leads to invention, continuous learning and the ongoing evolutions of people, business and society. We are designed to never stop learning and exploring.

resolve to: be curious

ABC Resolution: kaleidoscopes


May 21 – June 3
What if you could put humpty-dumpty together again?

Oh, the amazement of the sights first seen through a kaleidoscope! Little bits of glass refract light to break up the world we know into small slivers and pieces. Colored shapes juxtapose and recombine in new forms as we turn the tube. Broken into new patterns, we are forced to rethink how things are constructed. How familiar solids can be remade into new objects of wonderment and delight.

Would that we could create such an alteration in our business life. Gently rotate a conversation, relationship, process or goal into different configurations. A new, novel or variant of the old, yet keeping remnants and whispers of the past. No huge upheaval. No catastrophic revolution. No rebellious drama. Just a subtle metamorphosis, the same things calmly remade by slight rearrangement and re-adjacency. Twist, replace, redefine, renew.

resolve to: continually shift


Kaleidoscopes embody many things.

• The concept of change, enacted without violence and catastrophe. Rather gently shifted. Rearranged into new patterns and configurations for growth and evolution.

• The discovery of how things, thoughts and ideas can be deconstructed. Broken into their component parts for greater knowledge and wisdom.

• The understanding of the order and randomness in the universe. How we and our circumstance is one of an infinite amount of combinations. No better. No worse. Just as we are and in any number of choices we can dream.

Kaleidoscopes open up our internal and external vision. They enable us to see in a different light that which may have seemed fixed to be full of amazing possibilities.

resolve to: continue and shift


Kudos to Eliza Barclay of NPR for raising the Girl Scout cookies issue. Except, everyone continues to miss the point. Girl Scouts is about teaching girls, not about selling cookies. Three years ago approached my local cookie table and ask if they had a healthy cookie. The experience so shocked and saddened me, in response, I wrote this story for the book, reprinted for anyone interested in different possibilities for future girls.

Cookies – the story

What if different leaders really led differently?

Last year, 2012, the mothers and daughters were out again in force selling boxes of cookies. I buy cookies faithfully every year and this year was no exception. Neither was the fact that I typically spend the previous months trying to manage my weight. Unfortunately, most, if not all, of the ingredients in these cookies are on the bad-for-me list — processed white flour, check; unrefined white sugar, check; hidden artificial flavor, check. As I like to support what might be budding female entrepreneurs, this year, as I went to purchase the cookies, I thought I’d go and find out if they finally had a cookie I could happily eat. Continue reading


ABC Resolution: golden eggs

golden eggs

March 26 – April 8
What if your value was truly valued?

There once was a goose that laid Golden Eggs.  A local farmer saw the amazing golden eggs and wanted them.  One day he lured the goose to his farm and caged it up in a magnificent new place.  Food was catered in three times a day and water delivered in bottles.  A team of janitors cleaned the nest that had a treadmill nearby for exercise.  At first the goose seemed happy and laid a golden egg every week, then every two weeks.  Soon, nicely ensconced in its gilded cage with everything handed to it, the goose just stopped laying eggs altogether.

The moral of the story:  Few farmers know what makes a goose happy and productive.  Listen to the goose and let it roam free.  The goose will find what it needs to lay its precious golden eggs.

 resolve to:
believe in the goose


Few employers really know what makes their people tick. One person’s motivation is rarely just like the next person’s. The same often goes for employees. Set on a well-defined path from the day you get your first job, your personal productivity choices are rarely discovered, let alone developed. It’s the old story of you don’t know what you don’t know, or is it?

Somewhere, buried beneath layers of training and inside the borders of those people, place and time boxes is your true self. No matter how comfortable or gilded your workplace may be, you still need to pry open the bars of the glittering cage to get to your core. Freed from conventional constraints and artificial guidelines, you can find what makes you truly happy and productive. Then, like the special goose, you, too, can lay lots of precious golden eggs.

  resolve to:
believe in You