Helping leaders emerge

Blog - November 2014

How to Be Thankful on Thanksgiving & Not Just About Turkey

"A Mindful Leadership Story by Cathy Quartner Bailey"

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what
you don't have, you will never, ever have enough
.                             -  Oprah Winfrey


Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays - we have the opportunity to take a step back and reflect on what we’re grateful for and share the day with family and friends. I wrote this story when my father was alive - it continues to stay with me - and I'd like to share it this Thanksgiving in his memory....

Thanksgiving 2007

This year is especially meaningful for my family as my father and mother drive to New Jersey to share Thanksgiving with us. We are grateful that my dad is with us, because as he often says, “I'm damn lucky to be here ....almost bought the store, and not just once!”

Thankfully my father’s situation has improved and he is on the road to better health as he recovers from aspiration pneumonia and the complications of his illness. Now I watch this man I love find the courage to deal with life on new terms, one where he wears a “trach,” uses a feeding tube, and is dependent on oxygen – maybe for the long term, hopefully for the short. He shows gratitude for each new day: a walk around the neighborhood, a good night’s sleep, a visit from a friend, or the occasional sip of ice cold water he sneaks when he thinks no one is watching.

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The Right Thing at the Wrong Time is the Wrong Thing

"A Mindful Leadership Story by Joan Spindel"

"I learned that we can do anything, but we can’t do everything…at least not at the same time. So think in terms of your priorities not in terms of what activities you do, but when you do them. Timing is everything." - Dan Millman.

In my twenties, finding a job to pay the rent, learn, expand my social network and travel the world were my only objectives. Timing in life is everything and thankfully it was the 1980’s during the technology boom, and while I had no real work experience, hard workers were needed, and I successfully talked my way into and landed my first job.

In my thirties, I transitioned out of my individual contributor role and started leading and managing teams. I was often the only woman leading a meeting or presenting at a conference; no female role models nor mentors existed for me, but despite that, I did okay. I never really thought about “leaning in or leaning out.” There were no fancy formulas – I worked hard, learned new skills, and delivered results. So, while it wasn’t part of any grand plan, I ended up working for organizations like EMC, Lotus and IBM - early pioneers and innovators in the world of technology. In time, I became Chief Marketing Office for a sexy technology start-up. Life was good.

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