Perfectly Present: Being in the Now

I am not burdened by thoughts of past or future. One is gone. The other is yet to come.

(from World Puja Network)

One of life’s major paradoxes has been highlighted big time for me since becoming a coach. On one hand, I’m supposed to help my clients create clear goals and visions for themselves, something to pull them forward, to motivate them, the more specific, the better. I’ve got nice little inspirational sayings to spur them on… “how are you going to know when you’ve reached your destination if you don’t have a clear picture of what it looks like?”. And great quotes: “A dream is just a dream.  A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.”(Harvey Mackay) or, “Even if I don’t reach all my goals, I’ve gone higher than I would have if I hadn’t set any.” (Danielle Fotopoulos). I also tell them about the Harvard University study of their 1979 Business School class which showed that, 10 years later, those graduates who had clear, written goals (just 3% of the class) were making 10 times as much as their classmates.

HOWEVER, I also passionately believe in the power of letting go, “trusting the universe”, and the importance of living in the moment.  Sooo, if that’s the case, doesn’t that contradict the notion of looking to the future to set clear, specific intentions for ourselves? If we’re trying to live as though the “present is perfect”, then how can we justify placing our focus “out there” somewhere?  How do you reconcile your need to be fully present in the now while still keeping your dreams alive and moving purposefully toward them?

Dancing in the moment, open to what’s next

Frankly, we have no choice but to start with now, unless we want to live in a future fantasyland of ifs and maybes. One image that works for me is to think about that now/future connection as though we’re aiming a bow and arrow. You’ve got to line up both sights – the one at the tip of the arrow and the one closer to your eyes. The one at the tip is the future and the closer one is now. If you want to hit your mark, both must be aligned, and you must be fully grounded in your present stance to follow through successfully.

So, go ahead and “SMARTEN” up your goals – make sure they are specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, timely, empowering and nurturing to your values. And then, go bigger than that – create a compelling vision and purpose for your life, one that gives your goals a context and larger intention. But then, bring yourself back to now… are you living in alignment with your core beliefs? Are you working to create balance in all areas of your live TODAY? As we move through this transitional season, from warm summer days to crisp Fall ones, let’s be extra-conscious of blending our future visioning with our present living, making sure both “sights” are aimed to maximize our highest and best potential.

Remember, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present”.  How will you use your gift, right now?

Rite-minded ideas for living in the present

>>>>If you’re obsessing about the faux pas you made yesterday, or the difficult conversation you have to have tomorrow, one of the easiest ways to bring you back to NOW is to simply be in your body. Create some sacred space and in the stillness, just start to move… no music, just begin by sitting quietly on the floor and listen to where your body wants to go. Add a “witness” and it becomes a kind of moving therapy called “authentic movement”, originated by Jungian therapist Mary Whitehead in the 1940’s. You can find out more about it at any number of websites, including

>>>> Of course, one of the most powerful ways to come back to your present SELF is through meditation. The trick is not to allow your mind to wander too far backward or forward, so sometimes it helps to have something to focus on – your breath or a mantra/affirmation are two common ones. Here’s my favorite core-grounding meditation: Breathe into your solar plexis on the inhale and as you exhale, imagine energy flowing down through your legs and deep into the Earth where you can “wrap” it around a hook. Then on the next inhale, draw it back into your solar plexis and anchor it there.  Try it 2 or 3 times (you can even do it standing up) and feeeel yourself fully present in your body!

>>>> Our sense of touch is perhaps one of the strongest for keeping us in the moment. Create (or buy) a set of worry beads for yourself – just a simple string of beads that you can finger as you speak your past and future worries out loud, releasing them to god(dess)/universe so you can re-focus on the present. You can create your own “present-perfect” amulet by choosing a favorite shell, stone, piece of jewelry or other meaningful object. Imbue it with those qualities that you most need to remember when you’re spending too much time stewing about woulda/coulda/shoulda’s – trust, acceptance, peace… whatever calls to you. It’s amazing what a simple touchstone can do for bringing you back to center.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this sampling of suggestions to help keep you fully anchored in the gift of the present moment. I’d love to hear your ideas, too – please do email me at [email protected]. And if you want to read more ritual ideas, please check out my book, Circle of One: The Art of Becoming a SELF-Centered Woman at

#WisdomWednesday C2C Mini-Blog: Strategy vs. Tactic

#WisdomWednesday C2C Mini-Blog by Greg B. 

Imagine, you are leading a large group of people to a new city. You climb up a tree to get a better of the terrain ahead.

From up here, you see the open fields, waterways, and the mountain range ahead. You determine there are at least two routes that will get you and your followers to your destination.

#1. Go straight over the mountain. This will be and intense climb and may be difficult for a few of the people following you.
#2. Go around the mountain. This will extend the trip by several days.

Afterward, you climb down from the tree and inform your team of what you saw and the options available. After some discussion and a little debate. Everyone weighs in and you make a decision.

You will be going over the mountain!

As you and your team worked through the pros and cons of each option you were developing a STRATEGY.

A strategy is a plan. Strategies are brief, concise and convey how you are going to accomplish the goal.

Strategic planning is best done from an objective perspective. Which is why you were in a tree and why you discussed the options with your team.

Now let’s turn to TACTICS.

With the decision made now, your team begins to prepare everyone for a 2-day hike over the mountain. Your team begins to:

  • Shift heavier packs to the strongest people
  • Remove excess supplies to reduce the weight
  • Collect food and water to last the 2-day journey

Tactics are the specific actions taken to fulfill a strategic plan. Best determined on the ground; they are specific responses to challenges faced while executing a strategy.

#WisdomWednesday C2C Mini-Blog: Creating Alignment

#WisdomWednesday C2C Mini-Blog by Greg B. 

As a leader, one of your biggest challenges is creating alignment. Getting everyone rowing in the same direction and in sync.

Everyday leaders use a variety strategies and tactics to influence and create alignment among their people. They cast vision, set values, create complex metrics… etc. All to create an environment where people will run, and hopefully in the direction they want.

Here is one strategy that you may want to consider. It’s called Listening.

Listening can be one of the most influential things a leader can do to gain influence.

Here is why.

A lot of times our personal energy, our thoughts, our emotions get in our own way. They keep us from being open and receptive to new ideas. This is true for leaders and followers.

We each have an ideal picture of how things should be but fall short in expressing it. We stiffen up, dig in our heels, take a stand… etc. We do whatever we have to do to protect our pride, our ego, or our agenda including resisting new ideas or obstructing someone else’s goals.

Then someone comes along and LISTENS. I mean GENUINELY LISTENS.

They give focused undivided attention.
They ask thoughtful and engaging questions.
They refrain from making any judgments.
They validate.
They show they can see things from our point of view.

Once someone listens at this level we no longer WANT what we thought we wanted. Often we see things from a very different perspective.

And the big one… we are much more open and receptive to ideas.

So, the next time you need to get people rowing together, start with listening.

If that doesn’t completely resolve your challenge. You will have a clearer picture of what you do need and a much more receptive group of people to work with.

#WisdomWednesday C2C Mini-Blog: Leaders Value Loyalty

#WisdomWednesday C2C Mini-Blog by Greg B. 

Leaders put a high value on LOYALTY.

Loyalty is something that is difficult to quantify but is easy to understand.

Recently, in the TV series “Madoff” the subject of loyalty was cast very clearly in a particular scene. Richard Dreyfuss who plays (Bernie) is about to hire a new secretary. Before closing the offer he makes it very clear that she needs to be loyal to him, not the company. She understands and she accepts. He gives her a black book of his most important contacts. The contacts he needs if something ever goes wrong.

For some leader’s loyalty is part of the program. This is especially true when we give serious consideration or offer employment.

Truth is most people are or at least want to be loyal employees, contractors, followers.

So what’s the problem?

The problem is when leaders take loyalty for granite. They assume it will always be there because they hired you, developed you, invested in you.

Loyalty is a TWO-WAY STREET.

Great leaders understand that in order for loyalty to work it has to go both ways.

Jumping back to our TV series… that secretary had so much trust in Mr. Madoff that she invested all her money with is firm. Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme. So, that secretary turned over that black book without a second thought.

So, how do you build a healthy loyalty into your leadership style?

#WisdomWednesday Tips

– Get to know your people
– Find out their career goals
– Pay attention to significant personal events
– Offer support to help them reach their goals

5 Characteristics You Can Develop To Become a More Productive Leader

Written by David B.

Today’s business environment has become more and more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Through my 30 plus years of running high performing teams and analyzing the emerging supporting research from the neuroscience community, I’ve identified 5 attributes that can absolutely be developed in existing and emerging leaders. The impact on the financial performance of an organization and individual success are astounding. CEOs who developed some of these characteristics performed at nearly a five-time rate on return on assets. There’s been exhaustive work and study on this subject from reputable sources like Daniel Goleman and Korn Ferry.

My recent work has led me to certification in the Burke Learning Agility Inventory assessment tool. I’m also engaged as an advisor in developing a concept called “Third Space Thinking” at USC. All of these “soft skills” advocates have their on take on what attributes are worth developing to become an effective leader. I have the luxury of cherry-picking my favorites and tell you how you can make the necessary changes in your habits to produce outstanding results.

  • Flexibility: In this fast moving world, leaders need to be open to new ideas and new solutions. If you have a passion for new strategies and tactics you are on the higher end of this spectrum. If you are less facile in this area, you like when things are settled. You honor tradition by collecting and analyzing lots of data to be sure of success. People, of course, can overuse this attribute by seeking change for change’s sake when a tried and true method may suit the situation.
  • Speed: This is another characteristic that came out of Dr. Burke’s work. Acting on ideas quickly so that those that are not working are discarded. Other possibilities can then be accelerated.
  • Empathy: In his Third Space Thinking white paper, Dean Wilson of USC, identified this attribute as the most important of the five essential leadership characteristics they unearthed. In his article, “Why Startup Leaders Need To Use “Third Space Thinking”, he references a survey done by the Lady Geek consultancy firm that found the 10 most empathic businesses generated 50% more profits than the 10 least empathetic firms.
  • Cultural Competency: This really focuses on two areas. The world is shrinking and the marketplace reflects that. That doesn’t mean, however, that we all think and act the same. Marketing a product in Japan requires a completely different approach than marketing the same product in France. Likewise, as the workplace becomes more diversified, we need to understand that what motivates a Brazilian employee is different than what inspires an employee raised in Germany. It also means that organizationally, there’s a growing value in collaborative projects between divisions. Marketing should be more sensitive to the goals coming out of finance and so on.
  • Self-Reflection: Recently, I watched a presentation at Columbia University by David Peterson, head of Google’s leadership development program. He stressed the importance of journaling in maximizing your abilities as a leader, in fact, as a human being. His techniques include a daily 1-minute check-in where you ask yourself: What new thing did I do today? What worked well? What didn’t? What did I learn? What one thing will I do differently tomorrow? He continues his self-examination recipe, by adding weekly 2 minute drills, monthly 5 minute exercises and up to one-day self-interrogations every 5 to 10 years.

In my own research, I found that self-awareness is one of the few character traits that are highly correlated to a company’s financial performance. In Korn Ferry’s report “ A Better Return On Self-Awareness” they found on average that poorly performing companies had 20 percent more blind spots. We’ll look at other ways of building self-awareness in future writings, but reflection is a powerful vehicle to get you there. I plan to do another blog that shows you evidence that adding a practice of meditation can help you develop many of these attributes naturally.

There are several assessment tools that can help you understand which of these characteristics are your signature strengths. I want to emphasize that wherever you are these tools can be developed on your own, using 360 feedback or working with an executive coach.

Check out my profile and get a free 15 min laser coaching session with me!

#WisdomWednesday C2C Mini-Blog: Leadership begins with…

#WisdomWednesday C2C Mini-Blog by Greg B. 

We all want to BE BETTER.

We all want to make life better for ourselves, our families, and for others.

This is the essence of leadership, where leadership starts. That is to make a better future.

Leadership starts with an ideaa thoughta concept, or an improvement that will make a better future.

To lead we must INSPIREMOTIVATE, and PERSUADE people to see a better version of the world.

People want, need, and even demand to be inspired before they will follow!

Effective leaders are excellent at showing people how life will be better when they arrive at this new and glorious future.

If we want anyone to follow we must first show them the better future they will have when they do.

#WisdomWed Tips

– Identify the people you want to follow you
– Think about where they are in reference to where you want to lead them
– Describe the better future they will have when they follow you.

5 Ways to Beat the Millennial Meltdown

Everyone has good and bad days at work, no matter your age or stage in life.  However, there seems to be a disconnect between the generations in the workplace.  How you express your frustrations and what you do with them that can make all the difference.

Here are the most common issues that Millennials have at work and some insight into what can be done:

I’m feeling undervalued and unimportant

You are neither of these things but constant reinforcement is not available in the workplace.  You need to be able to find what you need from within yourself or through other avenues.  Your job should not define who you are and how you feel about yourself.

I feel like I am not being listened to

If the lines of communication are not open, you can change this by approaching the situation in a positive manner and with solution centered answers.  Speak up when the opportunity arises, be proactive and be consistent.

I want more from my job

Your ability to create, engage and innovate is an important part of the work experience.  You have goals and want to understand how you fit into the bigger picture.  Take advantage of the opportunities presented to you.

I have more to offer then they are allowing me to contribute –

Traditional boundaries are hindering me and I want to do more. There is a reason that these values exist, embrace them and learn from them.  Focus on doing your job and doing it well.  This will open doors in the future.

My boss doesn’t care about me

Your boss does not need to care about you personally.  Your boss only needs to care about your ability to do your job.  Respect from your employer is not a given, you need to earn it.

Check out my profile and get a free 15 min laser coaching session with me!

#WisdomWednesday C2C Mini-Blog: Are you growing?

#WisdomWednesday C2C Mini-Blog by Greg B.

This week we celebrated our son’s 4th birthday! We have been building this up with anticipation for weeks and his big day finally arrived.

What I found most amazing was in his own mind he was different because of the fact that he was no longer three. It was like he could now do all sorts of things that were previously blocked to him. In fact, when we would ask him to do something new he would often say, “I can’t do that yet, I’m only 3!”

It’s amazing to watch children grow up right before your eyes. Growing is a natural part of life. Healthy leaders grow. Healthy teams grow. Healthy companies grow.

Are you growing?

As we become adults our bodies stop growing but that does not me our capacity for growth has come to an end. No. No matter how young or old one is your capacity for growth is significant. We can each grow in our work ethic, knowledge, skill set, and attitudes. We can also grow in personal discipline, emotional intelligence, communication, decision making and self-awareness.

Have your dramatic growth experiences like turning 4 fallen into your past? Have you or your team become so comfortable that you are in the same place doing the same things?


– Write Down two or three professional development goals and put them where you will see them
– Do the same for your team
– Ask someone to hold you accountable for each of the above

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Steve Jobs

Choosing an Executive Coach – 5 Things to Look For

When choosing an executive coach, it can be overwhelming to consider all of the qualities the right professional should have. Every coach is different, but there are core experiences and abilities that you will always find in a credible coach. Keep reading to learn about the five things to look for before you hire an executive coach.

Training and Education

Much like when hiring an employee, you should look at what training and education a coach has received. According to the ICF “When asked to identify the biggest obstacle for coaching over the next 12 months, the main concern expressed by coach practitioners was untrained individuals who call themselves coaches.” Be wary of anyone who calls themselves a coach, but won’t display any real credentials or training. This is not a profession that just anyone can do well in. It takes skill and talent.

Prior Experience

“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” – Red Adair

After training and education comes experience. Hiring and executive coach is an investment. It’s important for you to assess how much experience a coach has and to look at the success they’ve achieved. If they have worked with many clients and bring a lot of value to them, they are likely to do the same for you. It’s just as the saying goes, past behavior dictates future behavior.

Good Communication Skills

An executive coach is a coach. In order to be effective at that, they have to be a good communicator. When they speak, make sure that you can clearly understand everything that they say. If you can understand them, that not only means they are an effective communicator, it also means that they most likely have an extensive knowledge base to pull from.

A Process

Every successful venture starts with a plan, right? Before hiring an executive coach, you should speak to them about the steps they usually take to get results. When you consult with a possible coach, talk to them about a specific concern or something you would like to improve. Let them talk to you about the direction they would like to go in or what has worked for them in the past.


“Let no one think that flexibility and a predisposition to compromise is a sign of weakness.” – Paul Kagame

Though every good executive coach will and should have a process in which they follow to reach goals, it is also imperative that they are they are flexible. Every business is different, and having a formula is a great place to start. However, it is also important that they will take the things that are unique to you and your company when working with you. One of the benefits of having an executive coach in the first place is that they can assist you specifically, not just give you standard advice pulled from a book.

Ready to choose an executive coach? Click here to find out how Coach 2 Coach can assist you or Click Here to find your ideal coach.

#WisdomWednesday C2C Mini-Blog: Opinions and Perspectives

#WisdomWednesday C2C Mini-Blog by Greg B.

We all have opinions and perspectives about our work and life. When given the chance we are happy to share and even DECLARE them to the world!!

This week we distinguish between the two and challenge you to Mind Your P’s & O’s
Opinions while not a bad thing can limit our ability to work with others. That is because they carry a subjective sense of judgment or preference, “I like”, “I think”, “you should…”

This multiplies VERY quickly with someone who has an opinion on every issue.

As leaders, we often need to weigh in on many difficult subjects and issues. Opinions matter as they provide the necessary clarity and direction people need.

Perspectives, on the other hand, are objective. They show ownership and independence of thought, yet they don’t carry the judgment of good right vs wrong.

We each have our own particular point of view. We see things in a certain way, have privy to information, or a different set of priorities. These are all good things.

Unlike opinions, no one can argue with your point of view and it does not need a defense. Not everyone will see the same thing you see but together we can see a much bigger picture.

It is through the multiplicity of perspectives that we find innovated solutions.

1 2 3 13