Don’t Tell Me It’s Impossible

One of the recurring themes in my life is people telling me things aren’t possible.  Of course, I then take that as a challenge, and set out to do that very thing.  Frequently, I’m called crazy, or nuts, or something along those lines.  Occasionally, I get accused of cheating, or having an unfair advantage.  Sometimes, it’s amusing, and other times, frankly, it’s downright irritating.  I am well aware that my life doesn’t tend to stay neatly within the lines.  After all, no “sane” person would have four kids, work full time, get an MBA from Duke, take care of their

Are Leadership and Management Really that Different?

~By K. Sunshine Steward~ “Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.” ~Peter Drucker Many would debate the idea that leadership and management are distinctively different, however they seem to entwine with one another, causing us to mirror our own actions and ask ourselves, “Are we really leading?”. So, what are the variations between managers and leaders? Managers embrace the process, seek stability and control, and instinctively try to resolve problems quickly, even though day to day tasks may vary depending on the situation. In contrast, leaders tolerate chaos and lack

3 Instant Life-Lessons Taught By Selling Girl Scout Cookies

It’s Girl Scout Cookie season! It’s the 102nd anniversary of the Girl Scouts, and as I’ve been helping to sell these delicious baked treats, I’ve also thought about the lessons the girls learn every year while selling their cookies. It’s more than just being able to earn badges… selling Girl Scout cookies actually teaches valuable life lessons that impact far beyond the here and now.   Girl Scouts teach important lessons about responsibility, business, networking and life through the sale of the brightly-colored boxes of delicious cookies. Be Fun to Have Fun.  As the band Harvey Danger says in their

So You Want To Sell Girl Scout Cookies

Many new leaders and cookie managers are overwhelmed by the Girl Scout Cookie Program.  It seems like a lot of work for not a lot of reward.  It seems crazy, and not worth doing on first glance.  After all, what’s the point of selling a lot of cookies.  There are other, better ways to raise money for the troop.  You’re not sure you want to sell Girl Scout Cookies.  I understand. It is worth it.  Whether it is worth it in terms of dollars and cents is open for discussion.  That’s not the only reason to sell cookies.  The real

How Do You Deal With Tragedy?

It was a tough week to be a Canadian last week. On Monday, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was struck by a hit and run driver in a targeted attack. On Wednesday, Corporal Nathan Cirillo was gunned down in cold blood as he stood guard at the National War Memorial at Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Canadians watched and listened in horror as gun shots were heard inside the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings, the heart of our government. We watched amazing video of bystanders rushing in, not thinking of their own safety, to help and comfort Corporal Cirillo as he

How to STOP Running in Heels and Get a Life you Want! – Jackie Ruka

 By Jackie Ruka Are you a woman running heals, frantic to figure out your time with career, money, family and social life but end up not doing anything at all to resolve this feeling of disarray? Well, join the club! Each and every one of us has been there. I coin this as “women running in heels”, as we tend to do it all, want it all, try to make it ALL happen and end up stressed and simply exhausted. This was me some 2 years ago, giving, giving , giving to others with barely enough time to renew myself

Leadership Has Different Meanings

It is interesting to see how much the term “leadership” is used these days.  Eagle Scouts, and Girl Scout Gold Awards are leadership projects.  Clubs try to teach leadership, and Ravenscroft has started a phenomenal program to teach and instill leadership in the kids that go there.  But with all of that, I think that the term leadership has different meanings to different people. For some people, leadership is about telling others what to do.  To me, that is more about management, than actual leadership. True leadership is more of a question of influence, which is harder to teach.  Anyone

You Are Super Mom

When we lived in Rochester I admired my new friend Mona. We both had young children, I had my two boys Abe my 5 year old and Sammy my hyperactive 18 month old. Mona had 4 children, she was very active at our place of worship. She was cheerful, always volunteering to teach, her dishes for potluck dinners were delicious, she ran the women’s study group, and was beautifully dressed. I did my best to volunteer as much as I could, but it was a struggle. The process of getting the boys into snow boots, jackets, finding mittens, and securing

The Real Life of Comments on Social Media

I’ve seen so many trolls, and snarky comments online that I think I’m pretty immune to them at this point.  Some people are seriously emboldened by their anonymity, and that makes them say things online and on social media that they would never, ever say to someone face to face.  That can be a deadly mistake.  Unfortunately, what most people don’t realize is that once they post something online, it lives nearly forever.  People can take screen captures of what has been posted, and store those, and publicize them, but the websites themselves are legally bound to keep the data

Leading From Within

A lot of times you’re going to see problems with an organization that you work with.  Honestly, you’ll probably always see opportunities for improvement.  The easiest way to get to real, sustained improvement is by leading from within the organization.  Pointing out the problems doesn’t solve them.  Finding ways to actually solve those problems, building coalitions, and teams, and coming up with solutions is the way to effect real, lasting change. One easy example of this that I can give you is the number of girls on the wait list for Girl Scouts.  There are more girls that need quality