Thursday, December 27, 2012

Holiday Blues?

The best way I know to blast out the blues which I have had is to:
Give thanks for everything I do have. I actually write all the good in my life including those blessings I at times take for granted such as my breath, shelter and food.

Do something nice for someone else. Reach out. Be of service.

Expand my heart with love to blast through the fears and gloominess.

If you or anyone you know needs a Blast of Love, go to 

You are loved! I appreciate you!

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas, Merry Everything!

To guarantee more merriment today and every day:
Smile more!

Be kind.

Make priceless connections of the heart. Give the gift of your full presence and attention.

Be thankful for all you do have.

Remember, life situations are temporary. God’s love is forever.

Best wishes and a big huge hug!

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Thought has power. Choose your thoughts wisely!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tip Toeing

“Tip Toeing through the Tulips” might have been a big hit for Tiny Tim in the 70’s, but tip toeing is not for a leader. It is better to speak your truth.

I notice that when I or the leaders I coach tip toe around issues, it rarely solves anything. Expectations get lost, the real issue is not addressed nor the feelings resolved.

However, it is important to speak your truth in a way it gets heard.
Think back to a time you were able to hear the truth, how was the message spoken or written? What was the tonality? Body language if face-to-face? What did you feel was the intent of the communication?

These are all key questions to ask yourself when delivering the truth as you know it.

Please remember, truth is in the eye of the beholder. The same incident can be viewed by 2 individuals very differently.

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Stay Conscious

During the wrap-up of an intense intervention and workshop, a brave participant asked, “How do we keep from going back to our old behaviors?”

I said, “Good question,” as I scanned my brain for a profound and brilliant answer. Then I laughed to myself and said, “Keep it simple, Ellen.”

“Stay conscious” was my reply. It is by staying conscious and responding - not reacting – that we create new behaviors and new exciting realities.

How conscious are you? What reality are you creating? Exciting, energizing and awesome or depressing, depleting and exhausting?

It always begins with you!

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ratted Out

Don’t you hate being ratted out? Especially when you are at fault?
I am laughing now instead of crying. I am always telling the people I get to coach:

Never put in writing what you don’t want shared.

Never assume something will stay confidential.

Unfortunately I did both. I was made aware of my momentary lapse of judgment by an email that was forwarded. I was about to begin defending myself that it was written in confidence blah, blah, blah when I realized I was the one in error. Sure, she should not have forwarded the email. I should not have written those four words. 

I immediately and profusely apologized for my lack of judgment. I believe they were in disbelief with my quick and authentic apology. Case closed. I hope I’ve learned the lessons once and for all.

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sharing an Epiphany

I am energized and excited that for the third year, my quote has been selected from over 5,000 submissions to appear in the 2013 Women’s Advantage Shared Wisdom Calendar.
The epiphany and quote to be featured:
There are no brownie points for suffering.

                          ©2012. All rights reserved worldwide. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A WOW that I Heard

I had the privilege of attending an inspiring event in San Jose. My client was being honored by Silicon Valley’s Watermark Association as being a “woman who makes a difference.” Her protégé, Fernanda, gave a story as to how Maya, Global Executive VP, had made a difference in her development.
Fernanda tells the story that she had not applied for her manager’s job when he left the company.  When Maya asked Fernanda, “Why are you not applying for the position?” Fernanda’s reply was that she did not believe she was qualified for the role.
Maya’s next question – are you ready, this is profound – “How do you know if you never had the job?” Maya’s next statement was priceless, but you’ll have to email me at to get it.

The message, STOP limiting yourself! Go for it!  

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Keep your Emotions in Check

For me this is one of the hardest things to do. I tend to be an emotional person. That is great when the emotions are positive, uplifting and constructive. It is not so good when my emotions go south with judgment, anger and fear. Where my emotions go, my actions tend to follow. Gulp.
The wisdom gained from heartache and loss of trust over the years is that any act out of desperation rarely plays out well.

Keep your emotions in check to keep your credibility.

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Isn’t that a great word? It made me smile when I read it. Lavish sounds so decadent. What is wrong with a bit of decadence? Absolutely nothing!
Lavish yourself with encouragement! Lavish yourself by hiring the best. Lavish yourself by surrounding yourself with great role models. Lavish yourself with praise for everything you have done right.

Lavish others with encouragement and affirmations! Lavish others with accolades for a job well done. Lavish others with acceptance so they can focus their energy on developing and using their talents to soar past the competition.

And guess what? You’ll be lavished with an engaged and motivated workforce that achieves the extraordinary!

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Trust Remains a Must!

On a recent consulting engagement, I was again reminded of the devastation caused by lack of trust. The collateral damage impacts both the business and the individuals. Results plummet, collaboration stops, innovation ceases, fulfillment disappears, morale in the toilet bowl, credibility lost, confidence erased and more bad news.
The “more” includes the spark and flame of spirit almost extinguished. When the spark is gone, so is the positive constructive energy needed for excellence and success.

Keep the spark alive. Be trustworthy! Take the high road no matter what. Be the glowing example of spirit and greatness!

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Enjoy Today!

You just never know what life is going to bring you. I received an email from a girlfriend today that her mother-in-law, Anna, had a severe case of dementia. In less than a week, Anna had gone from a fully functioning woman to a basket case. She apparently was accusing everyone of stealing from her, did not know those dear to her and was running around screaming. Whew!
It made me reflect on the near misses I have had in life and by grace, I am still here. It made me think of all the opportunities for joy I postponed because of something more stressful and pressing. Hmmm, maybe those things would not have been so stressful if I had had more joy in my life?

Smiling now, this is a lot like my “Have More Fun!” blog. I see a theme.

Smile more! Enjoy more! Be here and happy!

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Dare to be Greater

Please learn from my mistakes. It’s okay to ask for help -- to allow others to help you. Got it!
For way too many years I did it alone. I was a trailblazer for women and Latinas in the workplace. I fought the good fight. Because I thought it had to be hard, I made it harder. Pretty exhausting. Pretty lonely.
Now that I have opened myself up to asking for help and receiving help, my business and life have skyrocketed. It’s okay for me not to know. It’s okay to use all my brains and the brains of anyone else I can as an American president once said.
I am greater and stronger with others.
Allow yourself to soar to new heights of excellence with the help of others!

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Listen More

Recently I was de-briefing a couple of VPs and their staff. One leader listened, asked questions and challenged me. Good for him. We dove deeper into the findings and possible actions forward. The other VP reacted and pontificated on most comments wasting precious limited time. It was as if he was proving, defending himself when in fact he has nothing to prove or defend.
It made me reflect on when I am still “proving” myself versus listening, seeking input and gaining understanding for an improved outcome and solution.
Do you tend to listen or defend?

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


From my experiences across business and life I have observed that decisions made in desperation don’t usually work out well.
If a situation is exasperating, breathe. Breathe some more. Go deeper.
What is at the root of the desperation? What is the fear?
While it can be frightening to go deeper at times, deeper is where better decisions and greatness lies.

                          ©2012. All rights reserved worldwide. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Humility Helps

The quickest route to begin mending bridges with a stakeholder is a sincere heartfelt apology.
Give your ego a rest! Stop the drama, turmoil and negativity and resolve the situation my admitting your part in the situation. This applies to all situations especially those with a customer.
Make peace and build trust, not war and opposition with a sincere and humble, “I apologize.” Examples might include, “I apologize for the late delivery.” “I apologize for not keeping you in the loop.”
Are there any apologies you need to make? If yes, do it now. Face to face if possible or a phone call – make it personal.

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


It does not take credentials to serve or to be a force for greatness.
Reach out. Be kind. Look at people in the eye. Connect.

Live greater.

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Love those A-HAs

I’ve been in business for a bunch of years and I am still learning – what fun! The good news I’ve stop repeating a lot of the same mistakes, except those that are much too fun to stop. I regress -- laughing out loud.
The point is that as an executive coach and resourceful solution based external consultant I feel compelled to warn leaders of impending train wrecks. I am finally accepting that it is hard to help people who don’t think they need help or in fact, get defensive.
It is not my role to be the hero but to be the advisor and coach. Nor am I to take it personally. Instead I am to be there when I am needed. Plain and simple.
Any heroes out there?

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Creating WOW Moments

I’m still reflecting on “What a Beautiful Life.” Every time I repeat the phrase I feel a warm glowing sensation in my heart and a gentle smile appears on my face. Every night before I go to sleep I consider all the ways I have been blessed. I awake counting all the ways I am living a beautiful life. It is making me a more forgiving and compassionate person and a more effective executive coach. Business gets better when I get better!
Isn’t life beautiful that a few words can create WOW moments?
What WOW moments are you creating for others?

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"What a Beautiful Life"

I was feeling a tad overwhelmed on a recent consulting gig. The thought running through my mind, “Can I do this?”
When out of the clear blue sky a smiling joy-filled executive assistant, Noemi, appears at the office door, “Hi. Just checking on you. Need anything?” Her warmth and smile calmed my racing mind. I took a breath and came back to the present.
I noticed she had a tattoo on the interior of her forearm which read, “What a Beautiful Life.” I was intrigued and asked the significance. The story that ensued had me grateful, in tears and reminding me that, in fact, it is a beautiful life. “We can do this!”
I am forever changed by her smile, gracious attitude of service and a tattoo.
And perhaps these words have changed you? It made me realize once again you never fully know the impact your words and smiles can have on others.

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Making Your Life Hard?

Between you and me, I get a gold medal in making my life hard -- an exhausting way to live.

I have to laugh out loud at God’s sense of humor, I write, speak and coach on igniting greatness yet I unknowingly had that negative, self-defeating pattern of behavior.
Had! I want to share my recent epiphany. There is a huge difference between humility and super-charged self-doubt and second guessing myself – of playing small.
Playing small does not honor God, nor serve others.
Live life full throttle! Live from your greatness!

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Want Winners?

I’ve heard it said, “If you want winners, you have to pay for winners.” I agree.

The “pay” includes:

  • Fairness of wage plus some,
  • At atmosphere that ignites passion and commitment and 
  • Interesting work that sparks innovation and excellence.

What’s your current “pay” scale?

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

High Road

In my 35+ years in business, I’ve never regretted taking the high road.
Sure at times my anger and actions were understandable, however they were not excusable. There was always a payback – gulp.

Broken relationships, crushed commitment, energy depleted, reputation loss – sigh.

I now breathe before speaking and acting. I respond to the situation and take the high road most the time. Okay, I’m not a saint.

Taking the high road leads to the high life of greatness.

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Best Practices?

From my experiences spanning 17 industries and 3 continents, there are no “best’ practices, just “better.”
The organizations that continue to thrive regardless of the economy are those companies filled with individuals who are striving for excellence.
Perceived best practices can create complacency, stagnate progress and instill a “not invented here” mentality that can kill the human spirit and profits.
Reflect, re-evaluate, innovate and execute better practices today for a flourishing tomorrow.

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Leading Through Change

Rule number 1: Embrace, believe in and be excited about the change yourself! Smile!

Rule number 2: Communicate, communicate, communicate.

Rule number 3: Do not let emotions fester! If you do, there will be an implosion or explosion – neither is good for the initiative or the business. Take the time to surface the concerns and address them head on.

Rule number 4: Smile some more. Encourage others. Give praise. Share corrective feedback. Continue to communicate and paint a bright future filled with wonder and success.

Rule number 5: Celebrate!!! Party! Dance! Sing!

And when the next change happens, read rule number 1.

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


The surest way I know to get “stuck” is grumbling. My grumbling fest can range from my sinus attack to the unreasonable customer to… All of a sudden I find myself stuck in negativity, my creativity is depleted and my energy drained. It is impossible to skyrocket to success in that state.

Then I laugh out loud and remind myself to STOP all forms of grumbling. My sinuses are merely an inconvenience, not life threatening. As for my customer, I have customers – YEAH! And the world seems brighter and lighter. I feel creative, energized and innovative.

Change your thoughts, change your world.

Live happier, greater – be grateful!

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Your Branding

The best public relations: Your Reputation.

The worse public relations: Your Reputation.

Our reputation is our brand and most important asset in business and in life. Every single action and communication impacts it.

If you had one word you wanted to describe your brand – what would it be?

Reality check: Is that the word people would use today to describe your brand?

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Smile More

If we are not smiling about our products, services and our future – why would the customer?

Smiling is contagious! Smiling uplifts and energizes!

And when things seem a bit off course, smile and affirm to yourself with gusto, “It’s all good.” Because it is.

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Leadership Made Simple

Let’s keep it simple by saying leadership is about relationships and feelings. Leaders create relationships of trust with all, no exclusions. Leaders invoke passion, commitment and excellence in others.

What emotions are you invoking?

  •         Enthusiasm, open-ness, engagement, collaboration and greatness?
  •         Or anxiety, self-protection, apathy, isolation and complacency?

The choice is ALWAYS yours!

©2012. All rights reserved worldwide.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

One Letter Makes a Difference

As I was reviewing a document, my brain went, “huh?” Instead of “regarding growth” it read, “retarding growth.” Big difference!

Greatness is in the details. 

© 2012. All rights reserved worldwide.