Welcoming Crisis

November 4, 2020



Do you think of yourself as a “genius?”

Most of us do not.

We’ve been trained to believe “genius” is this amazing, unusual, boggling brilliance of a mind, an ability to retain or calculate or conceptualize and apply stupendous amounts of knowledge in completely unique approaches.

To be able to apply this knowledge in creative and unusual ways.

To advance mankind, to enrich civilization, to create world peace.

We believe others are genius; yet, rarely do we apply it to ourselves.  We’re just sitting over here in our little-old businesses, working to make a living.  How could we be a genius?

Do you know the true origin of the word “genius?”

You should, because it applies to you.

The original sense of genius means “attendant spirit”…being in the care of something unseen, yet near.  Think of it as another definition of wholeness, of acknowledging this “unseen” stream we all swim in.

That’s you.  A genius of spirit.

So, what happens to your genius when a crisis arrives, jarring you, upsetting your flow, log-jamming your progress towards the goal you’ve set?

Crisis actually brings you into contact with that spirit of yours.

Crisis…danger…means opportunity.  Crisis presents us with the opportunity to connect to that “unseen” stream you may have forgotten lurks within you (or you have yet to acknowledge).

Perhaps the true purpose of crisis is not to “break us” as much as it is to “break us open.”

With gratitude welcome your genius…and even some of those crises that arise!

Go forth and do great things,

Martha Hanlon & Chris Williams

Stand Up, Speak Out

October 28, 2020

Can you hear it? The sound of leadership. The sound of making a difference in the world.

Last week we spent two days listening to the powerful women in our Lead Her Up community and there was a distinctive sound to the conversation.

It was the sound of people who know their values and who are willing to stand up, speak out and put those values into practice.

Leaders don’t just adopt a set of values for themselves and impose them on others. Instead they find a way to communicate their values and bring others into a shared commitment to those values.

It’s a powerful talent and it takes courage.

Here are 5 things that leaders do to stand up, speak out and make a difference.

  1. They take time to listen to themselves – They discover out what is true for them when all the noise of the world is turned off. What is real and lasting, no matter what the external situation is.
  2. They take time to listen to others – By listening to others, leaders can find out what they value and begin to identify the common ground on which they can stand together.
  3. They choose the right moment – Timing is everything. Leaders know when people are most likely to hear and respond to the conversation about values. When the building (or the business) is on fire, the only thing people want to hear is how to get out safely. The fire prevention lecture can wait…but the time will be right after the crisis is over.
  4. They speak the right language – Leaders understand that even when they are speaking out and speaking up for their values, they need to speak in the collective “we,” rather than the singular “I” if they want to enlist others in the cause. It’s also important to use the words that others will recognize and resonate with. People are more likely to connect with things and people that look, sound and feel familiar.
  5. They are consistent and persistent – Taking a stand is usually an ongoing, long-term commitment, rather than a one-time occurrence. Being willing to stand strong and stay the course is essential to bringing about the desired change. People look to their leaders to stand up to opponents, break through barriers and reach the goal.

What are you speaking up for and speaking out about as a leader in your business, your community, or your family? Are you being heard?

You have power to make a difference when you stand up, speak out and urge others to do the same.

What are you waiting for?

Go forth and do great things,

Martha & Chris


P.S. One way that we can all stand up for our values is to use the power of the vote. If you’ve already voted, we applaud you. If you haven’t yet…please do. Your voice and your values matter.


Five Tips When You Have No More Time

October 21, 2020

“I have so much to do…and I have no more time to do it.”

We hear this all the time from our busy, productive clients.  We totally get it.  So many roads lead to you, and now we have a once-in-a-lifetime (we can only hope) pandemic adding to our burdens and stress.

Yet, with all that on your plate the occasional cat video or Facebook crawl creeps in.  It happens to all of us (well, except the cat video part).

That lead me straight to this…today feels like a great day to talk about productivity!

Actually, let’s talk about focus as productivity isn’t the issue.

Here are five questions to ask yourself, courtesy of people who know how to work around distractions.

  • How long has it been since you’ve taken a break? Studies clearly show you’ll operate more effectively when you have breaks.  When you keep pushing and pushing and pushing, your brain just stops absorbing what you’re trying to jam in.  Take a break (maybe right now???)
  • Are you running on a good night’s sleep or cups and cups of caffeine? Eight hours, and yes, our individual needs probably vary.  The message here is…take sleep seriously.  Probably get a little more.
  • What have you been eating? How about a few more fruits and veggies instead of the cookie.  Maybe a little protein instead of potato chips.  Just sayin.
  • While we’re talking about food, how often are you eating?   Snack.  On some good stuff.  You’ll make better decisions when you’re not super hungry.
  • Is something stealing your focus? If you’ve got something gnawing at you, set aside specific time to work through it.  Otherwise, you’ll find it nibbling or gobbling up chunks of your day.  Give your noggin a chance to work through challenging issues, then you’ll find your mind doesn’t wander there throughout the day.

Boost your focus, and your productivity will follow.

I’m headed to the kitchen now…for a large cup of water.  How about you?

Go forth and do great things,

Martha Hanlon & Chris Williams