Blog - Maureen Ross Gemme

15 Leadership Lessons Learned on the Mother Road

Posted by / August 26, 2017 / Categories: Inspiration, Leadership, Personal Growth / 0 Comments

My Bucket List Trip

I took off 4 weeks in June and July this year. I got on the back of my husband Paul’s motorcycle and traveled over 5,000 miles across the country and ½ way back. Paul rode over 8,000 miles on this trip. We learned a lot.

I pushed my fears aside, made the decision to go, created a plan, and took action to make it so. The trip was phenomenal! A journey I will never forget. There were so many highlights.

Before we left Paul and I created a private Facebook group of about 200 family, friends and colleagues. Each day on the trip I posted a 750 word blog and some choice pictures of what we experienced that day. I was so happy to be out there experiencing the country and the culture of all the different states, meeting lots of interesting people and also feeling connected with everyone at home. Knowing I didn’t have to save up the stories to tell later but I could tell them along the way and everyone was up to date.

Some people are believers of completely unplugging but for me, this approach of staying connected really worked. It gave my mind a bit of a break from work and got me into the act of living and experiencing joy in the moment. It also helped me to process all that we experienced during the day. Now I have a record.

Mother Road Rally: 2,488 miles

We took a tour, starting in Chicago, at the beginning of Route 66, and traveled it across 8 states with 60 other motorcycles (around 80 people altogether) to the California coast. It took 12 days and we ended on Santa Monica Pier with about 50 people left in the group. It felt like an enormous accomplishment.

After that we (my sister and brother-in-law were with us) were on our own for another few weeks driving up the coast of California and visiting some National Parks on our way back to Colorado.

But I want to tell you about the Mother Road and what I learned on Route 66 about leadership. The Mother Road Rally Master, George, (75 years young), led the tour on a Honda Goldwing with his wife Annie. George has been leading this tour for 14 years now. 

The Rally Master

George was a fantastic leader and a super nice guy. He had a very unassuming personality and yet everyone followed him and we watched his every move. When George put his helmet on, you better be ready to go.

When we first arrived, George went around and conducted a short video interview of each rider and their partner if there was one. George focused on who he had in his group and took the time to get to know each of us. In the months leading up to the ride he sent out emails to touch base, set expectations, introduced us all to each other and pointed out cool and unusual things we had to look forward to. He was not self-promoting in any way.

After our interview with George I asked how he got everyone going and ready all at the same time? This is what he told me. He said, “Well, I listed all the start times on the schedule you received in your packet. So if we are going to be leaving at 7AM, we’ll start lining up the our bikes at around 6:30. At 6:55 I’ll beep my horn once which is your 5 minute warning to get your gear on and start your bikes. At 7 sharp I’ll beep my horn twice and then we go. In the beginning I used to wait for the stragglers until I realized that every day I was waiting for the same few people. I never wait anymore. You’ve got to teach a straggler on day 1 not to be a straggler or they’ll miss the train.” Then he looked at me and smiled. He didn’t have to say it but his look said, don’t be a straggler.

15 Leadership Lessons

Here are 15 leadership behaviors I witnessed in George that you can apply to any leadership opportunity you may be in charge of in your life:

  1. Plan ahead and be consistent with doing what you say you are going to do.
  2. Reward the people who are on time by starting on time.
  3. It’s okay to be separated for a little while. George would always pull over at some point for others to catch up.
  4. Don’t share every little detail so that you can surprise and delight your followers with special stops along the way.
  5. Life is not a race. It’s about the journey not just reaching the next destination.
  6. Regardless of the weather or obstacles, push on through and stick to the schedule as much as possible. Allow people to leave if they can’t keep up or have other important destinations to reach.
  7. Hydrate, eat well, go to bed early and take care of your physical body so you can enjoy the ride.
  8. Be kind to everyone you meet.
  9. If you hit an obstacle, like rain, hail or grasshoppers on the journey, don’t stop! Keep riding so you can get through it faster.
  10. Take care of your bike and your tools to avoid unnecessary delays. Always start the day with a full tank of gas.
  11. Implement the buddy system so you have someone to look after and someone looks after you so no one gets lost.
  12. History has much to teach us so stop and visit museums along the road.
  13. Have a system of communication (CB) so everyone knows where to go and where to meet up.
  14. At the end of the journey, celebrate and reward your followers with prizes and food.
  15. When your followers praise you, be humble and give credit to your team.

I had such an amazing trip and I loved seeing this great country. I also learned that people are pretty much how you expect them to be. If you are bright and friendly, they reflect that back to you. If you are cold and aloof, that’s what you’ll experience.

I highly recommend going on an adventure like this is you get the chance. This is one major bucket list item we can cross off the list but alas many more items have now been added.

Take Advice

And one more piece of advice: make sure you have the right tools to get the job done. Like a cooling vest while your riding through the Mojave Desert at 115 degrees. Listen and learn from people who have gone before you. It helps lower your uncertainty even if where you are headed may still be uncomfortable.

All my best,

Maureen

P.S. If you are interested in hearing me speak more about my adventures and how it applies to leadership, book me to discuss speaking at your organization. http://Maureenrg.youcanbook.me

P.S.S. If there is fear holding you back from achieving something you’ve always wanted to do, book a call with me! I can help. http://Maureenrg.youcanbook.me

Connections Matter

Posted by / March 27, 2017 / Categories: Business, Leadership / 0 Comments

Connect as a Best Practice

“Hello there”

When was the last time you called a business acquaintance just to touch base? Usually we don’t do this as a practice, we only do it when we think they can help us with something or we are looking for a job. How about networking events? It’s a great practice to go even if you don’t need anything.

Networking is not just for people in transition. It makes great business sense and will help you to grow.

8 Reasons to Create a Network and Practice Connecting with People:

  1. Personal Growth – Meeting new people helps you get a new perspective. Here’s the thing, if you just stick with the people you know, don’t change your perspective, think the same thoughts and continue with the same behaviors, you will not grow. It is a fundamental basic human need to grow. You have incredible potential. Odds are that if you are reading this you already know and agree that personal growth and contribution is paramount. Stretching in this way feels really good too.
  2. Business Advice – I learned a long time ago from a valued mentor to tap into the resources of my network. It’s not enough to collect business cards or just expand your LinkedIn contacts, you must learn to reach out and actually stay connected. Nurturing your relationships can be done by a phone call, an email or a face-to-face meeting. In any case, when you are researching a topic, tap into your connections and see if they have any advice for you. I have met dozen’s of amazing people who really do want to serve people in their network. When someone contacts me, I in turn give them my best advice. I have a belief that no one wants to see me fail and as I continue to tap into talent and knowledge within my network, I get proof this belief is true. I’ve received incredible support and help on my journey. I’m sure it will be the same for you.
  3. Partnerships – Know that there are hidden opportunities within your Network. There is no such thing as competition anymore. No two consultants, coaches, yoga instructors, or leaders, etc., are alike! We all have a variety of skill sets, education and experience to draw on. If you are running a business look to your network not only for leads but for partnerships. As an educator I was able to connect with several other training companies, through networking, who I’m now subcontracting with so I can bring in some revenue while building my Emerge Leadership Academy. Find the hidden partners you can work with to grow your business and support each other in the process.
  4. Connections – Have you ever heard that everyone on the planet is connected by six degrees of separation? It’s the theory that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world. So if there is someone that you would like to meet then most likely you know someone that knows someone who knows that person. You are only six steps away from anyone you want to know! And sometimes a connection will introduce you to someone you have no idea you needed to know but can provide an extraordinary amount of value to you. I’ve met a lot of people recently that have been incredibly helpful to me on my journey and I only met them because I asked people in my own network, “Who do you know that . . . ?” You fill in the blank for yourself.
  5. Revenue Generation – There are many potential clients or customers within your reach for which you can possibly sell your products or provide your valuable services to. So long as you are providing a service that people want, studies say that we’d much rather buy from people we know than from strangers. However, I caution you not to be continuously attempting to sell to your network because people may end up trying to avoid you if you become a nuisance. Learn to take rejection as you put yourself out there professionally and you will reap the rewards.
  6. Emotional Support – I was around 30 years old when I learned this networking principle. I was married, had a new baby, in a new neighborhood and I had 3 new friends too and of course I worked full time. We were all struggling with the same life issues at the time. I invited them all to my house one day and we agreed to start meeting regularly to support one another. We decided to meet every 2 weeks and call each other in between meetings if we needed emotional support. This is when I began to rely on people outside of my family. It was a Godsend! Our little group grew to include seven awesome women. We have now been meeting for over 25 years and have seen each other through thick and thin. We are always there for each other and I can’t tell you what a comfort it is to know that I have these women to count on for emotional support. Start your own group, decide on group norms and make it happen. The benefits run deep and you will develop a network of emotional support that will last a lifetime.
  7. Confidence building – It may be more challenging for an introvert to attend a networking event than an extrovert. My husband Paul is an introvert and he told me to give introverts this advice: When you are alone networking in a crowd, use your intuition to pinpoint another introvert in the group and go speak with that person. Inevitably you will find each other in the crowd and have a great conversation because you have the same sensibilities. If you meet even one great connection you’ve done really well.  To build confidence when attending networking events, remember to go with a service mindset and focus on what you can give instead of what can you get. By having a “go-giver” mindset you can be sure that you’ll make some valuable connections and people will remember you. When attending with a mindset of “what can I get tonight” you may often leave disappointed.
  8. Education – Every time you go to a networking event of any kind there is education to be found. It could be in the form of a speaker or a one-on-one conversation but there are ALWAYS gems to be mined when you look for them. This means looking for ways you have learned from the event to improve yourself or leads to help you to reach your goals. The key to this is follow up. If you received a new contact name, then reach out and follow up to see if you can be of assistance. If you learned about a new method or a new tool, then try it out and see if it could work for you. If you don’t follow up immediately you will lose the lesson or the contact. Follow up is key!

My gains

If it wasn’t for my networking activities I would not be thriving. The people in my network, some of which I’ve come to know quite well, have helped me to:

  • Become a more confident mentor and trainer
  • Introduced me to clients who have hired me for leadership training
  • Find a uniquely qualified business mentor
  • Find speaking opportunities
  • Grow my email list
  • Develop friendships

Get out there and serve

Little by small you can develop a large network over time by putting your friendly foot forward and finding the courage to venture out of your comfort zone.

Join a Meet Up group or any local group in your area that advertises a topic you are interested in. Broaden your horizons and get out there!  Once you meet a person, invite them to be your friend on social media.

Nurture your connections and stay in touch. Provide value and have a service mindset. You have much to offer. And of course the more willing you are to help others the more will they are to help you.

In your service,

Maureen

P.S. Do you need a speaker at an event? I speak on many different topics. Call me if you’d like to connect or book a complimentary meeting at: https://maureenrg.youcanbook.me

 

A Personal Note and Update From Me

Posted by / February 27, 2017 / Categories: Inspiration, Leadership, Personal Growth / 0 Comments

A Personal Note

I’m writing a personal note today because I haven’t been in touch as much these last 6 months they way I used to. Some of you have been getting letters from me since 2012 and others are newer to the list but I appreciate you all, so I want to communicate what is going on in my life.

I haven’t been blogging as much because my business has shifted. I am seriously loving my life and all that is happening! The theme I set  for my business in early January was “conscientious focus.” I was very clear as I set my intentions for 2017 that I wanted to work more with “company” clients as opposed to individual clients. I felt I could make more of an impact.

Because of this shift, my writing has been much more business focused because I’ve been serving businesses. Makes sense, right? But I worry a bit that many of you may have joined my list when I was doing business as Spirit Drops, for a more personal and spiritual growth type of message. So if you feel this is no longer serving you and you want to opt out of future newsletters you are free to do that. I promise not to take it personal. You can do so by clicking the link at the bottom of the email.

When I first left my job over 3 years ago, I felt the need to distance myself from the corporate world. I needed a break! So I got into life coaching and had a blast doing it. I designed the LEAP program (Life Empowerment Action Program) and I guided groups of women through it, improved it, and then I began coaching individuals. I still run that program for clients who are ready to breakthrough limiting beliefs. Are you ready? Book me to discuss how you too can reach all of your goals, no matter how big. (The first meeting is complimentary.)

In early 2015 I felt a strong “calling” to get back to working with the people who needed me the most. Business leaders! Click here to read my latest article Millennials ARE Going to Change the World: How Your Company Can Get on Board.

So, under my new business name of Emerge Leadership Academy LLC, I began to focus in earnest on my training business. I continue to work with individuals and I developed relationships with several training companies for whom I now am a subcontractor. I train and coach leadership skills to business participants of all ages. I especially enjoy working with Millennials (born between 1981-2001), since I had a personal transformation in my 20’s and learned some excellent tools that helped me advance quickly in my career.

I also enjoy delivering keynote presentations and Lunch & Learn workshops on how to attract, train, manage and retain Millennials. I help to educate senior leaders so they can see how savvy it is to invest in their workforce. Not only does this next generation have so much potential to move a business forward, but in doing so, can reduce turnover, improve productivity and increase profits. Check out my events calendar here to learn more about where I’m speaking.

Speaking of speaking, I decided to get focused on speaking and training this year because I love it so much. I own many excellent training programs so I got to work filling up my dance card. I decided I wanted to work 45 weeks out of the 52. I’m taking 5 weeks off in the summer and 2 weeks during the holiday season.

I asked myself, how about booking 45 gigs in 45 weeks as my starting goal? My intuition said “Yes!”  So I got to work right away and I’m delighted to tell you that I’ve already booked 43 gigs. I’ve almost reached my goal and I realize I have a LOT more capacity. I’m going to bust right through that goal. Will you help me?

My keynotes are mostly about how businesses need to prepare for the future by training their emerging leaders and understanding Millennials. I also offer Lunch and Learn sessions on Communications, Emotional Intelligence, Team Building and Change Management at very reasonable prices. Would you like to bring me into your organization? Let’s explore what that would look like. Click here to get on my calendar.

Click here if you’re interested in reviewing my catalog of courses.

In case you are wondering why I need 5 weeks off in the summer (well who doesn’t really), check this out. . .

My husband Paul retired last year and is planning an epic-bucket-list-road-trip on the motorcycle this summer across 7,000 miles of this country! Yup. I’ll be riding about 2/3 of the trip. I’ll be meeting him in Illinois (flying there from CT in June while he drives the trike). Then we’ll be joining up with my sister and brother-in-law (from Colorado) and a bunch of other riders attending the Mother Road Rally tour which is a journey down old route 66. This tour will begin in Willowbrook, IL through 8 states, over 12 days, and will conclude at Santa Monica Pier in California.

But there’s more! Next on the agenda is to ride up the Pacific Coast Highway to Carmel by the Sea for a few days then head east, across the mountains, passing through Yosemite national park, through Nevada and Utah (hitting 3 national parks there) to Colorado where I’ll be flying home after 25 days on the bike. I’m a little freaked out but planning to have a great time on the road.

We’ll be passing through 7 National Parks altogether, 21 hotels (in 25 days), and all the glorious weather of June and July through mountains, forests, desserts and beach. It’s a life long dream. It’s happening. Any advice for us? Let me know in the comments.

So now you are up to date with me personally and professionally. Expect more business content on how to be the best leader in your life and business.

And when you are off working and playing in the world, remember to be kind to yourself and others, be grateful for your blessings and never stop growing because the world needs the best of you and what you have to offer.

All my best for an amazing 2017.
Maureen

Millennials ARE Going to Change the World: How You Can Help

Posted by / February 27, 2017 / Categories: Business, Leadership / 0 Comments

According to Forbes, by the year 2020 over 50% of the American workforce will be Millennials (born 1981 to 2001). By the year 2025 that statistic will grow to 75%.

Baby Boomers began retiring in 2008 and this trend will continue at the rate of one every 8 seconds for the next 8 years. There will be major impacts to your business in the next few years. The fact is, less experienced workers will be doing the bulk of the work. Senior leaders must prepare them to manage and ultimately lead their business.

The generation gap is not such a hard thing to understand. The fact is that we were all inexperienced workers in our 20’s. As each generation came along, we each thought we were different and we certainly had a different way of thinking than the previous generation. Regardless, there must be mentoring, training and feedback for the incoming workers to have solid business growth and retain your talent.

However, before a business can train, they need to attract the best and the brightest. This is your pipeline for future leaders. And some of those recruits will need to jump into a leader role earlier in life because the GenX population is simply not large enough to fill the same vacant footprint of the exiting Boomers.

When it comes to attracting and recruiting there are some things recruiters need to know about this newest generation. This is where the generations really show how they’ve changed.

The Millennials have seen their parents’ generation struggle when several enormous corporations went bankrupt and failed because of corruption and greed. Then the economy went into a recession and many families experienced financial difficulties because the household breadwinners were laid off after working many years for a company – some lost their homes. There were not many good jobs available for Millennials leaving college. Those that received opportunities didn’t get paid as much as the incumbent needed or wanted to launch themselves in the world. But they made it work because they developed a different value system overall.

For this next generation, a paycheck is important but it’s not the only thing they want from a company they work for. They have been taught to think highly of themselves and go for what they really want. They want to make a difference in the world. They look for employers who are the right fit for them.

There are three different general categories of Millennials. The first group are the entrepreneurial types who have big ideas and are creating their own companies. They love working for themselves, traveling the world and making a big impact.

The next group are highly educated, have big dreams and want to work for a company that has strong values. These young professionals are conscientious workers, want or already have a family and they need to feel they are contributing to making the world a better place. Some of these high achievers want to be leaders and they have much to offer but they won’t just work for anyone. They expect a company they work for to also make a difference in the community.

The final group cares little about money in general. They care deeply about improving life on the planet. They will work for non-profits that are making big headway in helping the less fortunate or improving the world environmentally. These Millennials are willing to work for less because of who they work for and why they work, i.e. to serve humanity.

In all three groups, Millennials want to make the world a better place. We need to help them do it the right way.

The best way to attract the best and the brightest for your company is to have a product or service that helps improve life on earth. Companies that have strong values of integrity, quality, customer focus and who give back a percentage of their resources (time and money) to the local community, will draw high level Millennials. Millennials want the opportunity to volunteer and be altruistic. Providing these type of experiences in your company is a clear benefit where every generation wins.

Let’s be clear. Millennials will change the world. Not only because they are more conscientious and educated than any generation before them, but because of the sheer numbers.

Be wise and invest in listening to their ideas and training them with good values and the leadership skills they need to change our world and serve humanity in the best way. In doing so, your business will surly live on and be led by excellence and integrity for generations to come.

Contact me if you want help in educating your workforce!

Do You Treat Yourself With Kindness or Disgust?

Posted by / January 24, 2017 / Categories: Business, Inspiration, Leadership, Personal Growth / 0 Comments

“You are a beautiful, courageous, outstanding woman.” This is the heading on the month of January for my 2017 calendar. It was gifted to me on my birthday last year from a very dear friend.

Our friends often say much nicer things to us than we say to ourselves. If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to become your own best friend.

By improving your inner dialog you can improve your emotional intelligence and this is an important skill to have in business today.

Emotional intelligence is not just a buzz word.

The concept of emotional intelligence has been around since Aristotle. He wrote:

“Anyone can become angry – that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not easy.” ~ Aristotle

Even back then, the great philosophers understood the importance of managing your emotions.

Some people have it to a greater degree and some people, well, not so much. We have all known a few bullies at work, yes? People who, when they are having a bad day, seem determined to pull everyone else down with them?

Leaders especially need to be in charge of their emotions! I want to help raise your awareness on this important topic. If you master it will improve every area of your life, I promise.

Emotional Intelligence is known as EQ (Emotional Quotient) and it is more than just self-regard or self-esteem. It is not about being nice or smiling all of the time. It is not about expressing every emotion you are feeling either.

A person with high EQ has the following qualities and awareness:

  • Empathy: The ability to pick up on emotional and social cues and respond appropriately. The ability to read body language and non-verbal communication to understand others better.
  • Self-honesty: The ability to know and accept your own qualities, faults, limitations and be able to recognize patterns of behavior that either help or hinder situations. (But don’t beat yourself up.)
  • Consciousness: Recognize that emotions you may be feeling can get in the way of accurately assessing emotions in others. Be aware of when you may be projecting your feelings onto others.

The way you work on and improve your EQ is to:

  1. Manage your feelings. You can begin with positive self-talk. Tell your mind that you have great coping skills. Tell your mind that everything is okay and not an emergency. Accept that you have a choice, that you can make a difference, that you are an important part of the situation.
  2. Develop social behaviors. Respond to people’s needs instead of reacting and don’t take anything personal. When others are behaving or acting poorly it may have nothing to do with you. Build conflict resolution skills and be open to feedback.
  3. Identify and prioritize what is important. Understand why you may be feeling the way you feel and weigh your decisions based on what is really important. Separate your feelings with your reaction. You can still be angry but react kindly. By doing this, sometimes we realize we are getting upset over nothing and it’s just NOT important.

And now a few words about optimism . . .

“A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities; and optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.”
~ Reginald B. Mansell

I am an optimist but that was not always the case. It’s a fact that I was a very angry teenager and I had a bad attitude, especially with authority figures and with anyone who told me what to do.

I became a pessimist (poor me) from puberty right up until I was about 25 years old when I returned to my natural tendency which is to be happy. (yay!)

I had a life changing transformation when it dawned on me that I was in fact, my own worst enemy. I hated myself, who I was and how I lived. So I changed. And since then have persistently worked at being the best version of myself.

So I KNOW it is absolutely possible to transform your thinking and when you do that, your emotional intelligence will skyrocket and your life can be incredibly good.

Write down a powerful statement such as “You are a beautiful, courageous and outstanding person” and tack it on your wall or mirror where you’ll see it. It’s a simple way to be a good friend to yourself and an excellent leadership role model  for others.

May all your dreams come true in 2017.

Making the best of it,

Maureen

P.S. Get a better handle on your thoughts and emotions so you can grow your EQ. It WILL make you a better leader and I promise it will affect EVERY area of your life. Contact me if you want to know more about how you can improve your EQ and thrive in your career.

Random Thoughts

Posted by / December 14, 2016 / Categories: Conflict Resolution, Leadership, Personal Growth / 0 Comments

MRG_Newsletter_Banner_Purple_ve4

You are NOT responsible
You ever have a thought pop up into your head that is totally from left field? You think “What? Where the heck did that come from?”

It’s like an air bubble floating up to the surface and we think, how did that get in there? Sometimes the thought can be a little frightening if you don’t know where it came from. You might conclude that something is wrong with you.

First let’s start with this: You are not responsible for a thought that just pops into your head.

You are however, responsible for the next thought after that.

The thing with random thoughts is that sometimes we just need to let them go. Dismiss them. If it’s a negative thought, don’t give it any energy and move on.

Don’t give it power

But what do we often do? We think about the thought. If it’s a judgement we add a little more to it. We consciously begin to ruminate on the thought. Sometimes we judge ourselves for the thought. “I must be a bad person if I thought this.”

The more energy we give it the more feeling becomes attached to it. Before you know it you are obsessed with it and your day has spiraled out of control. You feel bad, unhappy and miserable.

Your Subconscious mind

Your mind will capture thoughts that bubble up from your subconscious. These thoughts may have come from a part of us that we would like to keep hidden. This could be coming from the shadow part of us that we often don’t like to acknowledge or accept.

Knowing that you are not responsible for the first thought that pops up, but you are responsible for the next one, can help you to not only dismiss or reject the thought but not judge yourself for it.

My shadow is an angry adolescent

At some point it is important to acknowledge and get to know your shadow self. I affectionately refer to mind as Grenelda, the angry adolescent. When she appears or speaks up, I know she is trying to protect me from something. She wants me to retreat and at times has a bit of fear when in new situations.

shadowBut now that I know that, I can dismiss her thoughts quickly and move on with my day.

If you have a critical negative voice within that you have not explored, believe me, it will not go away until you acknowledge them and unfortunately the only way to do that is to look at him or her and those dark thoughts, so you can get to know them better.

But let’s say you’ve already done some inner work and accepted this shadow part of yourself, and then an inappropriate thought just pops up at the dinner table (or wherever). You can look at the thought, acknowledge it internally and give a chuckle about where it may have come from and let it go. Acknowledging it gives your teenager a little shake to get her back in line but you don’t allow a huge conversation to pop up.

It doesn’t have to snow ball into a big deal in your head. Let it go! Watch it float away. Decide not to allow that thought to ruin your day or make you judge yourself unnecessarily. It’s just a thought for goodness sake!

Your inner genius

Now if it’s an idea that pops up? Well that may be a wholly different kind of thought bubble coming to the surface from another very quiet incubator. Your inner guidance system. Your intuition. This is the little creative genius who quietly goes about your business and doesn’t say much but when they do say something it gives you pause to stop and listen.

We can dismiss that thought too, like the angry teenager thought, or we can soak into it and try it on to see how it feels. If it feels good or it gets your heart pumping and you feel excited then you should probably stop and check it out a little more. Add to it. Ask for clarification. Write about it. Chew on it. Talk about it. Pull it closer and really see how it feels if it could change or shift your life at all. If the answer is yes, then take action!

Our minds can give us thoughts that can be a wealth of abundance or it can be a part of ourselves that we’d rather keep hidden hoping never to hear from again.

Your voices

The thoughts you pay attention to and give energy to will grow.

If you are unhappy in your life, my guess is that negative thoughts plague you and doubts are always present trying to get your attention. Have you done your shadow work?

If you are not paying attention to loving ALL parts of you, then you will be reminded and nagged again and again with doubts and negative thoughts.

But if you already know, love and accept all parts of you, then perhaps you can simply shrug off that random thought and let it go. You are the boss and the parent of how you think.

Take control of your thoughts and don’t let your thoughts control you.

All my best,
Maureen

P.S. If you’d like to explore how your shadow self may be holding you back, I invite you to sign up for a complimentary discovery session with me at https://maureenrg.youcanbook.me.

 

Shine Your Light

Posted by / November 30, 2016 / Categories: Inspiration, Leadership, Personal Growth, Uncategorized / 0 Comments

MRG_Newsletter_Banner_Purple_ve4Shine Your Light

Spirit Drops

When I first started out on this entrepreneurial journey 4 years ago, Paul and I created a business called Spirit Drops. Our idea was to sell medallions that people could buy and give to others which would inspire them to keep on reaching for their dreams.

They were also given to thank others and appreciate them. Our intention was for the receiver to then become the giver and pass on the coin to another. We wanted to create a movement.

After a few months we realized that people who got them didn’t really want to give them away! I mean they were really nice and most just wanted to keep them.

I made a half-hearted attempt at selling them but I was more interested in life coaching and creating content for my LEAP program, plus both of us really enjoyed giving them away.

My business changed into Emerge Leadership Academy LLC focusing on training and mentoring but my Spirit Drop giving practice continued. There are now 2000 Spirit Drop medallions out in the world and Paul and I loved giving them. We received so much in return.

I’ve seen people cry in gratitude when receiving one and it always warmed my heart. There were many days when I awoke in the morning actually excited to see who would show up in my life that needed one or when my inner voice spoke to me and said “this guy needs a Spirit Drop.” I learned to listen to my intuition in this way and it was a fantastic practice.

Holiday Emotional Stress

During this holiday time of year we deal with heightened emotions that arise due to stress from a variety of situations such as financial challenges, colder weather issues, and decorating nightmares. Not to mention the need for more cooking, cleaning, wrapping all while coping with periodic sadness of loved ones who are no longer with us.

Some feel joy at some of these holiday chores while others feel stress and overload depending on how well we deal with our emotions and how often we allow others to trigger our past emotional traumas.

I teach a seminar (and a full day class) on understanding emotional intelligence and dealing with stress related emotions triggered at work. The thing is when you master your reactions to emotions everyone benefits. And it’s not just a work benefit.

When you learn to understand, process internally and then respond instead of react to your feelings you become more conscious of your triggers and you can choose to not allow them to set you off. It takes practice.

To begin (or continue) to manage your own emotional intelligence, I’d like to challenge you this season, whether or not you are having a tough time with stress.  This is a practice where you can begin to see benefits immediately.

If you accept this challenge, it will help you to improve your handling of emotions and help you feel more present, in the moment and balanced during the season. Guaranteed. Under one condition which I’ll tell you in a minute.

The Appreciation Challenge

I challenge you to create your own Spirit Drop. Then every day for the month of December give one to someone you love, admire or appreciate.

This does not have to be expensive but it will take a little time and effort. When you see and experience the rewards you will be amazed at how good it feels. It can cause healing on many levels you may not even be aware of.

Here are some ideas for dropping your Spirit on others in the practice of appreciation:

  • Buy or make some note cards and simply write a note, a couple of sentences, stating something you appreciate about the recipient.
  • Go to a stream and collect small rocks, take a sharpie and write a special word on each rock, a word that describes the person or what you love about a person then give it to them.
  • Cut out a shape in felt or construction paper and write a word on it or a quote and make it into a Christmas tree ornament or a book mark and gift it to your loved one.
  • Make a batch of cookies and individually wrap one for a special dose of love.
  • Find an old picture of the two of you and post it on their FB wall with a note of appreciation.

You get the idea. Be creative!

Create a List

To begin, make a list 20-30 people you love or appreciate. Pick 10-15 from the family and friends group, choose another 10 from work or school, and using your intuition, randomly recognize 5-10 strangers (servers, clerks, drivers on the road, Salvation Army Santas, etc.) spontaneously in the moment. If you miss a day, do 2 the next day. This is play and practice, not work!

If you don’t want to (or cannot) put in the time to create a token of appreciation then just tell them how you feel or what you appreciate about them and give a hug or a handshake.

Benefits

Get started! After one week of this exercise, I promise you that you will feel better and you will be looking for people to praise and appreciate. This has a ripple effect where the ones you appreciate will either pay it forward or immediately give back their love and appreciation to you.

It feels really good! I’d love it if you dropped me a note to let me know about some of the reactions you get. “I really appreciate you” can go a LONG way.

The One Condition

The one condition is that when you give the appreciation, you must let go of all expectations of a return benefit. Do not expect a certain result. Give without expecting anything back. Got it?

Ring in the Joy!

We deal better with stress and strife during the holidays when we have the tools and the practice to focus on love and gratitude.

Ring in the joy of the season and take the Appreciation Challenge. Come on over to the comments or drop me a note to share how you’ve grown or received a benefit because of it.

I wish for you an inspired and loving holiday season filled with peace, gratitude and emotional balance.

I appreciate you.
Maureen

P.S. My offer is still open for a 90 minute Conflict Resolution Breakthrough. Click here if you want to take advantage of this opportunity to clear out some emotional baggage, create a plan for dealing with your issue and have the courage to take action to eliminate conflict and move forward with peace of mind.

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Conflict Resolution Breakthrough Offer

Posted by / November 14, 2016 / Categories: Conflict Resolution, Leadership / 0 Comments

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Stress Breeds Conflict

Even though the presidential elections are complete (mostly), the holidays are now upon us so the stress continues.

A common theme with participants in my recent training classes is how to deal with conflict. We all have them. Stress always accompanies conflict and often stress breeds conflict.

Stress is a natural part of life and so is conflict but how you deal with it can make all the difference.

When you resolve your conflicts assertively and appropriately your stress levels go down and your well-being increases. When you feel good, everything is better.

Unresolved Conflicts Can Hold You Back

I have a proven process that can help you get through conflict and I’m opening 10 spots on my calendar to help you deal with a conflict in your life.

  • Is there someone at work that you struggle communicating with or feel at odds with most of the time?
  • Think of the person who triggers your frustration. Do you think they are plotting against you or sabotaging your efforts?
  • When you throw out ideas in a meeting, is there a colleague who always has a contrary view and it irks you?
  • Do you someone in your life that makes you feel miserable when you are in their presence and they don’t seem to want to work it out with you?
  • Or perhaps they are on a different pay grade level than you and you don’t know if it’s appropriate to have a conversation or what to say if you did?

You know on some level, this relationship issue is holding you back.

If you want to get past it, now is your chance.

One Time Conflict Resolution Offer

In this 90 minute phone or skype call with me you can shift out of your mental struggle as we discuss the issue and solution.

You will learn tools that you can use for any future conflicts with others you may have in your life.

Here’s what we’ll do:

1. Identify exactly what is going on and decide how to shift it

2. Identify the life lesson you are meant to learn so you can move on and not recreate it again and again

3. Understand how to resolve the conflict and move forward

4. Walk away with a plan of action on either healing the relationship or deciding to move on.

The Benefits of Resolving Your Conflict

After this session you will have more:

  • clarity on a solution

  • a plan of action

  • peace of mind

  • support and guidance

  • less stress

  • and you will spend less time giving negative energy to this issue!

Take Action

Sign up here and let’s get going! Life is too short to be living with stressful conflicts especially during the holiday season and there IS something you can do about it.

This fantastic one time offer is only $97 for a 90 minute call that could shift everything in your life!

Take action now

I only have 10 spots available and for the first 5 people that sign up, I’ll throw in a 30 minute follow up session a week later so we can process how you resolved the conflict and tweak your strategy in the future if it comes up again.

If you know of someone that is stuck in a conflict and could use this session, you can either buy a session for them or forward this email to them. When you purchase however, you will need to book a time slot.

All sessions must be concluded by December 22, 2016.

Sign me up!

Build Your Confidence and Stand Tall

Posted by / November 1, 2016 / Categories: Business, Inspiration, Leadership / 0 Comments

MRG_Newsletter_Banner_Purple_ve4Build Your Confidence

Beginning

I remember the first time I gave a speech in public. I was introducing myself in front of a Toastmasters audience of about 20 people and I was terrified. There were a sea of faces and my knees were shaking. My hands felt sweaty and my heart was pumping wildly. It was a little unnerving that everyone was looking at me and I was worried that I wouldn’t be “good.” But then I noticed that most of them were smiling and nodding their heads and I felt confident that they all wanted me to succeed. So I stood up a little taller, told myself I was in a safe place and I began.

I found that after a few more speeches, I kinda liked it so I kept giving more speeches and practicing to get better.

In case you don’t know, Toastmasters is an international organization where you can focus on your communication and leadership skills by giving structured speeches and holding leadership positions in the organization. I was a member for 10 years and I learned a lot.

I achieved the CTM (Competent Toastmaster) designation, then the ATM (Able Toastmaster) and finally the DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster). I won a variety of speech contests, coached many individuals and taught a dozen Speechcraft and Youth Leadership classes. I also held many of the club leadership positions and was an Area Governor at one point.

I tell you this because it’s a perfect example of how I had NO confidence in my speaking abilities when I started out and yet I gained mastery over the years by giving one speech at a time.

The first time you do anything you may not feel confident but there are ways you can boost confidence. The first step is to begin.

Manage Your Mind Chatter

For some people it’s easy to jump in and try new things. They seem to have a natural confidence. It may also be easier if you are younger because no one expects you to be perfect but they do expect you to try.

If you are a little older you may put more pressure on yourself to be good right from the beginning of trying something new and if it feels too risky you may not even try. We opt out because we don’t want to be uncomfortable.

What happens is that our minds can get into a feedback loop in fear, trying to stop us from taking a risk, for fear of looking foolish or fear of failing.

For 2 years I wanted to create a series of videos, The ABC’s of Professional Development, and it took me a while to convince myself that it was okay to simply begin. No one is perfect the first time out and I needed to start somewhere. So I did and it was “okay.” I got some positive feedback and I also evaluated myself and I know I’ll improve the next go around. I gained more confidence because I did not allow my mind chatter to stop me.

Trust in the Process

I went back to school when I was 41 years old. It took me seven years and I achieved an undergraduate and then a graduate degree. It was awesome but every time I started a new subject that I didn’t know about I felt nervous and unsure of myself. But then after a while I gained confidence with each successful course completion and I knew that I could tackle pretty much anything.

Then three years ago I left my corporate job and began my own coaching and training business.Did I know how to do it? NO!

Did I have confidence in what I was doing. Not really! But I went ahead and did it anyway because I’ve had enough successes in my life to know that I could do this too. And I wanted to help people know that they could do anything they wanted too.

Still . . . I’ve made mistakes. I accept it as part of the process. I had to change and I had to look at things differently. I’m still trying to figure some things out but my confidence is growing

I trust that The Universe will support me because that’s what I look for. I know that if I look for evidence I will find that I am supported. Just like I decided I was safe when I spoke to my first smiling audience and I trusted they wanted me to succeed. I believed that then and I believe it still.

Tools for building confidence:

  • Begin: Begin with the first step and then discipline yourself to take action. Then take the next right action and keep taking steps toward the goal. This is the most important practice toward having and maintaining confidence – practice and taking action.
  • Stand Tall: Manage your physiology. ACT confident. This will help you manage your state of mind. Hold your head high. Act like a leader. When you act confident your feelings will follow. If you feel and act scared and afraid you will not feel confident and you may spiral downward. Eat good food, meditate, get adequate sleep and exercise. This will help you manage your physiology and your state of mind.
  • Manage Mind Chatter: Focus on your goal and managing your thoughts. It’s okay to assess your performance but it’s not okay to beat yourself up. If you tried something and think you did well then celebrate. If you did okay then own that. If you did poorly then simply look at what you can do better next time and set a target to improve. Don’t let your mind convince you that you shouldn’t try again. Don’t give up, work to eliminate negative thoughts and maintain a winning attitude.
  • Model: Find a good role model who has what you want and do what they do. Act like they act. Model their behavior and be a role model yourself for those following in your footsteps.

Practice and Patience

Having true confidence and expertise takes time, practice and patience. It doesn’t happen overnight but it builds up over time. Still you can feel more confident instantly by acting as if you are so use this “stand tall” tool consistently.

By moving forward and taking consistent action, we WILL reach our goals if we don’t give up. After all those speeches I had the confidence to become a training professional helping leaders grow. I now run my own training company and I couldn’t be happier. Having confidence in yourself not only makes you feel good, it pays off in business.

Come on over to the comments and share what area of your life you are building confidence in and how is that working for you?

All my best,

Maureen

P.S. I still have a few openings in my 1-on-1 coaching program for those of you who are ready to catapult your career and your life forward to emerge as a leader of your destiny in 2017. Want to find out more? Get on my calendar for a free consultation on what are your next best steps for getting what you want: https://maureenrg.youcanbook.me

Freedom

Leadership Skills Can Improve Your World Exponentially

Posted by / October 3, 2016 / Categories: Business, Leadership / 0 Comments

MRG_Newsletter_Banner_Purple_ve4My Happy Anniversary

Dear *|FNAME|*

I’m celebrating an anniversary.

3 years ago on September 30, 2013 I walked up the steps of the institution I had spent 27 years working for and turned in my badge and my computer.

It was liberating and a bit terrifying at the same time. I had grown up in that company, starting there when I was a mere 26 years old. I had finally outgrown it and wanted to start my own business.

There was the small challenge that I didn’t know how to run a business but I knew I wasn’t afraid to learn.

My Corporate Learning Journey

You see I had 13 different jobs in my career there.  It was sort of my motto that if I wasn’t learning and growing it was time to move on and I would look for my next opportunity. That’s a new job about every 2 years. Sometimes it wasn’t my choice. (Insert a pregnant pause.) But I learned from those transitions too.

I worked in many different departments and held roles in education, leadership, project management, change management and communications.

Over the years I trained many of my colleagues on how to deliver presentations, train others in the classroom, how to facilitate meetings and coach/mentor new employees.

I ran large scale business meetings (200+ people) and managed major leadership events. I led training teams that trained managers across the country when new systems were rolled out across the enterprise.

Working in a large company worked well for me because it provided a ton of opportunities so I could move up or over to continue my professional growth. My growth and the growth of others became a passion for me.

My Entrepreneurial Journey

In my first year in business on my own I needed some distance from corporate. Do I need to explain? I needed a break.

I went to work creating my first program. I took the best practices from hundreds of courses I’d attended and books I’d read over the past 30 + years and handpicked the proven methods that I’d not only seen work for thousands of others, but used them to transform my own life. I developed the Life Empowerment Action Program (LEAP): A 5 Step Method for Transforming Your Life and I worked with women in mid-life transition.

In my first 18 months of business I had 38 women go through my group coaching programs and I met with over 80 hurting individuals to coach them with an issue or problem in their life.

As I grew through the startup phase, I realized that everything in my LEAP coaching program, and all of my philosophy actually, centers on leadership. I also came to believe that a lack of good leadership is one of the biggest problems in business and in the world. I knew I could businesses in the arena of leadership development.

So in the second 18 months of my practice I added an additional service: providing professional education programs.

Emerge Leadership Academy, LLC was born in January 2016 and I’m loving being back in the business world training and coaching leaders on people management and communications.

Professional Leadership

I’ve seen it happen over and over again, that when a person learns the basic principles and practices of leadership, it helps them to advance at work and deepen relationships in every area of life.

I took action on a desire and a dream I had when I got my Masters in Education back in 2008. I had a vision then and I do now, to help young professionals grow their leadership skills. Plus I just love the Millennial generation so I’ve been focusing on helping this population for the most part. I also share knowledge with the older generations to understand the younger one so they can attract, manage, train and retain them in their companies.

And guess what? This is my super power! I am really good at helping professionals get past their excuses, stop flying under the radar and step into the spotlight. I help people excel, improve their skills, get recognized and compensated for it. This is what I had been training for all those years in corporate!

I have 10 specific classes that I teach – check out my website for the catalog with course descriptions.

I’m focusing on helping small to mid-size companies in New England with 100 – 500 employees, who have a growth philosophy and are looking to improve the way their leaders lead. By hiring me a business will benefit because I help increase their leadership competencies which provide many company advantages such as lowering turnover rates, building high performing teams which increases productivity and revenue.

However, I’m not looking to simply train a class or two and collect a paycheck. I’m committed to finding a company that wants both education and coaching over a period of time because knowledge without action is lost. I’ve designed a methodology make sure leaders integrate and practice what they learn!

Do you know of a leader who wants to turn his or her leadership team into a powerful force for good in the world? If so, would you kindly introduce me?  Just send an email to them and me to start the conversation and I’ll do the rest. You”ll be doing both of us a favor truly.

Want to change YOUR life?

In addition, I am currently interviewing individuals who are ready to take quantum leaps forward by experiencing my 4 month “Emerge You and LEAP Forward” program.

Are you ready to make some changes? Are you unsure of what your next move should be at work? Are you feeling unrecognized or underappreciated? Do you know you have more potential but are not clear on what action to take? Then we should talk.

Find out if my program might be right for you and book a complimentary, no pressure discussion with me at https://maureenrg.youcanbook.me.

If the timing is not right just now, stay tuned for more information about my 6 week group coaching program that will kick off in January 2017. This will be a small but powerful private group opportunity that will meet in Manchester, CT during the evening.

3 Year Anniversary Gratitude

I want to wrap up by sharing my intense gratitude for my very patient and supportive husband Paul who has stood by me watching me shift and grow and figure it all out these past 3, I mean 30, years. This journey has been incredibly awesome because he has been with me all along.

And I want to thank you all, my tribe, my friends and family supporters and of course my clients, some who have been with me since the beginning and some who just joined the list last week. Thank you! For believing in me and connecting me with some wonderful souls who have helped me along the way in my first 3 years. And it’s only just begun!

All my best to you in love, peace and emerging into new growth,
Maureen

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