February 5~February 11, 2012

This yearly event lifts up the role of professional coaching in leadership, business, careers, and life.

Coaches help others change and grow through online, telephone, and face-to-face modes using proven techniques for behavioral and attitudinal change.

The INTERNATIONAL COACH FEDERATION (ICF) sponsors this event.  For more information about professional coaching, visit their website by clicking the link above.

Musing About Muses …









Clio, Euterpe et Thalie by Eustache Le Sueur

The Ancients often talked of  spiritual beings in human form who provided them with inspiration, energy, and creative ideas.  They called them “Muses” and each of the arts had a specific muse.  In the above painting, we see three Greek muses:  Clio for history, Euterpe for song and poetry, and Thalia for comedy.

As times have changed, the term “muse” took on a more personal meaning.  No longer mythical gods, our more modern muses are real people, but with a special “something”.

Our mortal, yet mystical muses  give the psychic “oomph” for creative art to occur.

A muse shares some aspects of coaching, mentoring, facilitating, and teaching, but in my mind, the muse is subtly different … less of a formal relationship, more emotional and psychological.  

A muse is not a wizard or a teacher, but a fountain of energy from which one can drink again and again.

In recent times, this term has fallen out of use.  “The Muse” was a clever, but not terribly well-received film with Albert Brooks and Sharon Stone as a writer and his modern muse, along with sterling support from Andie McDowell, Jeff Bridges, and Cybil Shepherd (as herself).    Released in 1999, this is the only relatively recent example of the use of a muse I can think of without doing a Google search.

Maybe Google is our new muse for all occasions:) 

We often use the term “inspirational” to describe personal leadership and as an essential characteristic of leadership in general.  We want someone or something to inspire us, to influence us to be our best selves, to create great things.

Michael Bungay Stanier uses the phrase Do Great Workto describe his personal mission to instill this attitude of high goals and excellent output.  Great work might be considered the end focus of all our efforts.

So some questions for you this cold, but clear January weekend morning:

Who is your muse?

How do you use your muse intentionally to create great work?  

How do you become someone else’s muse?  

How does having and being a muse affect you?

Musing on all this talk about muses and planning a phone call to a “friend” real soon in the Heartland ….


Steve Wheeler explains Personal Learning Networks …

No, that is not Steve Wheeler to the left … bear with me for a while.

In the olden days, we went to school and learned from professors and possibly some of our fellow students.  Usually when we left school, we also left these relationships.  This was our first Personal Learning Network (PLN), although we did not call them by that name then.

After school, we worked and our PLNs expanded to include bosses (if we were lucky), colleagues, and professional gurus.  Some of these relationships happened during the give and take of the workday, while others took place at professional development events both large and small.  Relationships were somewhat dependent on our job and our career field.  Our PLN changed as our career aspirations and situation changed.

Maybe we had a friend or two, maybe someone who had a special skill who we learned from as well.  Well, that was then and this is now.

A Personal Learning Network (PLN) is those people from whom we learn and with whom we share knowledge and information of value.  

The online world has transformed this concept by allowing us to create and grow a PLN with a wider reach and stronger power.

Forget silly updates and stupid photographs, never mind the inane games and celebrity updates … this is one of the real values in social media.

We can now connect with others globally in ways simply not available to us in the past.  At one time, I would get no closer to the stars in my interest fields than an occasional seat with hundreds of others in a crowded hotel ballroom.  Now I can send a message directly to one of my “idols” and more often than not, receive a personal response.  We might even “like” each other or become “friends”.    The chance to develop a true relationship now exists … which is better than being one of thousands with an autographed copy of their latest book.

Laugh if you want – social media provides the opportunity to connect and learn at a level unimaginable just a few years ago.

Steve Wheeler explains Personal Learning Networks (PLN) and why we all need one in a helpful article that focuses on the use of online media such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and the like, as well as the increasing number of high quality professional blogs in many areas.  It’s a good read and I recommend you click the link.

Now consider these questions:

Who is in YOUR Personal Learning Network AND hoW WELL ARE YOU USING THEM TO LEARN?

Who else needs to be IN YOUR pln and how will you connect with them?

What do you have to share that someone else needs to know?

Trying to share, collaborate, and grow my PLN in the Heartland ….


Resistance is Futile … I Hope

I’m Thankful For Resistance …

Especially when I experience it in myself.

Resistance indicates readiness – both exist along the same continuum of behavior and effort.  As our resistance grows, our readiness retreats, but when we prepare and become truly ready to change, our resistance melts away.

Not a bad way to self-evaluate ~ which is driving your behavior?

Cutting down my own resistance in the Heartland ….


I Am Thankful For Butterflies and Circuses …

This week, I am thankful for those with the imagination and the gifts to create incredible images, powerful words, and essential messages, then put them into stories that upset us, impact us, and finally motivate us.

Through such experiences, we recognize our own power and worth, while being moved to act on behalf of others.

Example One:  The Butterfly Circus – Inspiration Video Series.

I simply think this is one of the most impacting videos I’ve seen.  It’s been around a while and you’ve probably seen it before, but this one is always worth another look.  Trade 20 minutes of playing Farmville or watching Jersey Shores🙂 

Kudos to Joshua and Rebekah Weigel of the Paradigm Exchange,  who created this little gem and to the entire cast, but especially to Nick Vujicic who played Will.

If a man without arms or legs can do so much, what the heck is stopping me?

Feeling like accomplishing something in the Heartland ….