Archives for the month of: May, 2011

One of the lessons I have learned from coaching is how many of us undervalue our talents.  There may be many reasons from the past why this is so…parents who compared us unfavorably to siblings, teachers who didn’t expect more from us, peers who built themselves up by tearing us down.

Regardless of the source, however, it is up to each of us whether or not to accept these diminishing messages.  We can choose to hide our gifts under a bushel, or we can acknowledge them, bring them to the light and offer them to a world that has been waiting for them.

Here is a personal example.  I offer it to remind myself and my clients that each of us probably ends up teaching the things we most need to learn.  In my current life I am apt to devalue my music.  My stories go like this.  “My repertoire is too narrow and out of date.  I haven’t yet learned how to play a solo when we’re jamming and therefore don’t have much to contribute.  My voice is not in range. etc.”  In reality many people probably enjoy my music because they see, hear and appreciate my intention to share, express myself and play.

My friend and colleague, Melisa Pearce, produced a card deck based on the wisdom of the horses with whom she partners in her healing work.   (See   The card I drew today was Grace.  May these words remind each of us to honor our gifts and step into the fullness of their power.

…many natural gifts have been bestowed upon you.  Now is the time to heighten your awareness of all the ways grace shows itself in you and your life.  Note that some are small distinctions, while others show up as talents beyond measure.  Your grace is uniquely your own.   Additional aspects of your personal grace remain unknown to you at this time.  Now is the moment to explore and discover more of them. 

Today is your perfect time to honor all with which you are naturally blessed and to stand in gratitude for it.  Appreciate grace.

“To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.”  Thoreau’s familiar quote introduces the theme of this blog, performance.  How can we act in ways that will move us toward achieving our goals? 

Whether at work or play our best performance at any given task does not guarantee the results we seek.  There are just too many factors beyond our control…our supervisor, the economy, the weather, natural disasters and illness, to give some examples.  On the other hand, if we do not perform well, it is even less likely that we will get the results we want.

There are two habits that make the biggest difference in our performance.  The good news is that they are also the two dynamics in life over which we have the most control, and we can cultivate them.  The first is our attitude.  The second is our effort.  Quite simply, the more we approach circumstances with our glass half full, the more effectively we perform.  And, the more time we devote to honing our skills, the better we become in delivering them.

We will explore more about attitude and effort in future posts.  Meanwhile, why don’t you take your own pulse?  On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being totally negative and 10 being totally positive, how do you rate your overall attitude today?  Where do place yourself on the effort scale?  Maybe this little exercise can serve as a gentle reminder.  Taking more control over our attitude and effort is how we affect the quality of each day, one day at a time.

In my morning meditations I have been reading from Wendell Berry’s collection of poems, Leavings.   Today’s selection struck a chord, as many of his poems do.  To my younger friends, may these lines reveal something of what lies ahead.  For my contemporaries and older friends, let us remember the always unfolding newness and possibility of the perspectives that can accompany our aging.

I know I am getting old and I say so, but I don’t think of myself as an old man.  I think of myself as a young man with unforeseen debilities.  Time is neither young nor old, but simply new, always counting, the only apocalypse…Even the old body is new – who has known it before? – and no sooner new than gone, to be replaced by a body yet older and again new.

Welcome to Sacred Lead.  The two words give you a clue where we’re headed.  Something sacred is set apart with special meaning.  It could be religious, spiritual or metaphysical.  It could be simply what we value most.  It is worthy of our deepest respect.

Lead has several meanings.  I have been in leadership roles all my life, but the idea for this blog began with my introduction to equine work.  The “rope” connecting a human and a horse is called a lead.  For me it represents a sacred link that aligns two beings in mutual trust and respect.

In the broader sense, to lead means to have a vision and inspire others to move toward its fruition.  As an executive coach I work with many leaders who are intent upon transforming the lives of their clients, their colleagues and themselves.

Going forward we’ll explore a variety of topics related to inspiration, spirituality, leadership and service.  What are some of the topics you would like to read about or discuss?