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This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

I don't write blogs posts overly often. And when I do I try to make them meaningful!

These are thoughts I am inspired to share from my observations about Life, Leadership, Personal Branding, the Expat Experience and everything in-between. Please feel free to share your comments - your feedback is important to me!

Preoccupation, be gone!

“How whole is your ‘whole life?'” is the name of the 8th Chapter of Susan Jeffers’ book Feel the Fear and do it anyway. The chapter serves as a reminder to us about perspective – about giving more attention to select areas of our lives, and far less to others. The areas that we focus on can become so significant that we base out identity there. We say ‘My work is my whole life’ or ‘My relationship is my whole life’. The risk we run is that, if we lose the thing upon which our whole life is based, our whole life might feel like it is falling apart. Along side this, even on a smaller scale, we can be absorbed, preoccupied and lose ourselves in select dramas of life that serve to distract us from other important areas. […]

My Mid-Life Crises: and a backbend in cyber-space

I’d really prefer not to think of myself as in my “Mid-Life” – the term scares me.  Let alone “having a crises”.  Outwardly no one is seeing typical mid-life symptoms; I’ve not bought a motorbike, tattooed Rumi sutras across my left arm or found a lover 20 years my junior.  (Ok, I have posted a picture of myself doing a backbend in cyber-space – does that count?)  I’m a youthful women in my early 40’s – “mid-life” happens in our 50’s, I tell myself.  And then another one of life’s interesting side-balls brings me back from illusion to reality, turns my thinking upside down, and I recognize I might be having some sort of crises – perhaps, as  a  ’crises of meaning’ that I wrote about a few posts back.  […]

Just because it’s January, should we all be setting goals?

Have you ever had the intuitive niggle that although it is January and everyone is shouting goals, goals, goals, you are simply not ready to set yours yet?  Perhaps you feel like you are still getting a handle on previously set goals or that you are just not inspired for goal-setting at this time?  And it is frustrating because we all know that the annual year runs from January to December and the financial year runs more or less the same, and your HR Department wants your annual objectives pronto.  So what is up for you?  […]

Keep Walking! and other techniques for moving beyond the limitations in our heads

Although I’m not a whisky drinker, for some years I have adopted for my own inspiration the slogan from the Johnnie Walker Advertising campaign that encourages me to just Keep Walking! It’s my habit to look for quotes and personal motivating slogans to use as personal prompts to help me to stay focused on implementing my ideas. Thanks to Nike— I ‘Just Do It’! Thanks to the Olympic high-jump coach, I ’Throw my heart over the bar and the rest will follow’. Thanks to my yoga teacher, I ‘Go there and make that effort’. […]

ProActive or ReActive? They both still Active!

Oftentimes it seems that the world urges us all to be proactive types.  We’re called on to self-motivate, initiate and get-started.  Yet, not all of us are natural initiates, some of us are wired as more reactionary people.  So, quite naturally, we might go about frustrating each other (“Hurry up, let’s go!”, “Hang on, I’m still thinking”) Now, if we can learn to speak each other’s language, as Shelle Rose Charvet points out in Words that Change Minds: Mastering the Language of Influence, we can beneficially influence each other, each other’s responses and behaviors. Let’s look at the two patterns; […]

Life is a Cycle – where are you?

This morning I received an email from a potential new client.  She details the past few years of her life and compares them to her present life.  She expresses concerns about how differently she is [...]

Why we keep doing the same things – over and over again

Consider this : A friend of yours is made redundant.  Although she was in a career that she did not enjoy, she was financially secure and knew the ins and outs of her job well.  [...]

Leaders! Awaken the Living Dead!

David Bolchover pulls not punches when we unveils the truth behind the corporate myth.  In his book The Living Dead he speaks about the harsh reality of under work.  The gross under-utilization of talent.  The criminal waste [...]

Take Stock: A personal review ahead of the final quarter

I am amazed at how quickly the times goes.  We’re at the end of September 2012.  Already!  Some of my clients are shifting into high gear for the final push of the year.  I often find that when this happens, we tend to put task ahead of self-reflection.  Before we run head long into the final Quarter of the year, let’s take stock to ensure we’re on the path we intend to be.  […]

On Hitting the Wall, or; The Crises of Meaning

Have you heard of a Psycho- synthesis? It was conceived by a Dr Roberto Assagioli in 1911.  Assagioli was a student of Freud who rebelled against Freud’s ’limited’ vision of man—suggesting that we possess a higher nature and asserting that much of the psychological dysfunction in the world stems from frustration or even desperation about the lack of meaning and purpose in our lives.  A psychosynthesis-viewpoint invites you search for meaning, to look at life as a developmental journey, to see the creative potential within each problem, to see obstacles as stepping stones and to imagine that we all have a purpose in life with challenges and obstacles to overcome in order to fulfil that purpose. To demonstrate the point, I’ve collated and adapted this information from John Whitmore’s third edition of Coaching for Performance together with these two-dimensional graphical models which give a helpful visual of how or why, we experience this crises of meaning;  […]

Memo to Leaders

This extract from Susan Scott’s Book Fierce leadership tickled me.  It’s frank, it’s funny and it’s real—a 10 point memo to today’s leaders.  The only piece if advice not made explicit is this; get a coach.  A confidential thinking partner to help you navigate the complexity of 21st century leadership.  We all deserve some straight-talk on the challenges that leadership demands of us.  […]

Can any One Word describe the Power of Exercising the Mind?

I’ve recently been inspired by this question asked of me by a colleague, “What is the one word that best describes the outcome of coaching and development for you?”. Dozens of words come to mind!  In my inspiration, I posed the same question to other coaching colleagues.  It seems they too were challenged to select just one word for the array of benefits that arise as a result of the coaching process. Still searching for my one word, my truth, I grabbed a copy of Mark Forstater’s book ’The living Wisdom of Socrates’, and found myself deep in the musings of one of the world’s most celebrated philosophers (dare I call him a Coach?) for over 2300 years.  […]

The Fine Line between Arrogance and Confidence

At large component of my work includes working with senior executives to develop stronger Personal Branding.  Executive presence is a vital ingredient in a leaders ability to influence internal and external stakeholders.  In exploring the personal branding elements, we invariably have a number of key conversations about behavioral values.  Questions that often emerge are how we display  “Asserting” vs “Aggression” and the fine line between “Arrogance” and “Confidence”.  I’m intrigued by these subtle distinctions.  […]

Success Scales for Celebrating even small steps

The human psyche tends to recall first that which we ‘do not do’ before celebrating all that we ‘do do’.  Here is a simple, slick and effective tool to invite those whom your coach, and yourself, to celebrate each small step we take toward our success goals.  Emerging from the solution-focused disciplines of coaching and change, the so-called Scales Tools provide an elegant tool for tracking even small steps. Here is a (simplified) example;  […]

Living in the Spirit of Coaching

I am presently in negotiations to join into a collaboration arrangement with an international team of associate coaches.  Before I am offered the green light, my potential partners want the heads-up on my coaching philosophy.  They want to be sure that my philosophy aligns with that of the coaching group and with that of their high-profile clientele.  Being a philosopher by nature and a prolific collector of ideas, I am not short of  philosophies to share. (see some of them under the About Michelle button on my website at  In my research-rich-style, I love to explore the philosophies of other coaches whom I truly admire.  Amongst others, I want to share with you this wonderful insert from Ian McDermott & Wendy Jago’s book The Coaching Bible.  Chapter 15, called Living the spirit of Coaching, begins with this beautiful quote from Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Adventure;  […]

The Creative Art of Leadership

I was once married to a writer.  It was not said explicitly but it was regularly inferred—he was the creative one—the artist—and I, as a pursuer of  business, was the facts-figures-hard-core thinker. I knew it then and I am certain of it now—business is a creative pursuit. All businesses are dynamic, moving, growing (or shrinking), in a constant change of flux dependent on market conditions, resources, capital and the like.  We, as leaders are the artists, the creators of the responses our businesses make and take in order to succeed.   Our canvas is the marketplace, our palette is our people and our creativity is our own intellect.  […]

When are you Mature Enough to be a Leader?

Through a recent Executive Coaching intervention, I’ve been introduced to a group of pissed-off individuals who, much to their frustration, have had their application for a career promotion declined. The organization feels that they ‘not [...]

From Learning to Accomplishment: 7 steps

When we’re wanting to change aspects of our personality or learn a new skill or new way of being, the task can seem daunting.  Here is a lovely concept of consecutive modes of practice— an elegant 7 step process describing the evolution from learning to accomplishment.  The idea is B.K.S. Iyengar’s—Master Yoga Teacher. Although Mr Iyengar designed the 7 steps to define our journey of mastery in yoga postures, it aptly relates to all learning processes; […]

Discussing the Undiscussables

“Will you share your concern at the next EXCO meeting?”, I ask my client.  He looks horrified, “No. This is a taboo subject around here and being the one to raise it again will leave me at risk and unpopular”.  But how will you learn from it, I ask? My client is experiencing what many people experience in many organizations— a significant barrier to team learning;  the existence of topics that are “undiscussables”. In exploring a process to assist my client and his team to ‘come clean’ with one another, I turned to The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook (Senge, Ross, Smith, Roberts and Kleiner). If you or your team are in a similar situation, this exercise can help (and I highly recommend an external facilitator); […]

The Authentic leadership Paradox Wheel

I am currently in coaching relationships with a number of leaders who need to make a shift from operational leadership to strategic leadership.  This requires some paradigms shifts, to move from the place of working “in” the business, to working “on” the business.  It’s a real challenge to take a hands-off approach when you are so familiar with a hands-on approach. I like to offer my clients different leadership perspectives that might help them to articulate and start to practice their leadership in a new way.   One of the tools that has has been helpful in this process is The Authentic Leadership Paradox Wheel. […]