Posts by: awhitmire

Accept What is AND Expect More

What happens when our reality doesn’t meet our expectation? It happens all the time, right? Maybe even every day. We want “x” to happen and we get ”y”. We expect our company to land the big contract, the employee to deliver the proposal on time, to achieve some set measure of success and it just doesn’t happen. Then what? How do we typically act/react? And where does that get us? That which We Resist, Persists When results fall short of expectations, most of us experience disappointment, perhaps frustration and maybe even anger. We concentrate on the gap between what we…
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TEDxRockCreekPark: The Hero’s Journey – In Review

It has now been more than a month since TEDxRockCreekPark on 5/4 and my body has finally stopped vibrating. For me, the conference was a complete expression of purpose, a rich and fulfilling experience. TEDxRockCreekPark was based upon the belief that every person on the planet has a purpose and our deepest desire is to fully express that purpose. The Hero’s Journey theme and the intention of the conference was to invite everyone touched by it to connect with their own life’s purpose and to clarify and forward what it means to fully express it. How does that breakdown? Consider…
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What Does It Mean To Be An Athlete?

I like to think of myself as an athlete, though I’m not sure that’s true.   I’ve entered many races, but I’ve never won one.   I’ve never really played a sport.  (Throughout my schooling, my mother insisted that I stay in band.  Seriously.)    You wouldn’t necessarily look at me and say, there goes an athlete. And in those precious moments when I feel like an athlete, here’s why I do. Pushing Beyond Doubt Many times during a workout or in preparation for an event, I’ll have my fair share of doubts.    I doubt my ability.  I doubt my fitness.    Like the…
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Emotional Thinness

My heart ached as I sat across the desk as the stony faced CEO explained his company’s situation:  “I don’t know what’s wrong.   It just seems like any little issue can get out of hand.  My employees are quitting for what seem like minor issues to me.  And I don’t know what’s wrong with my buddy, Bill.” I had an idea of what was wrong and there wasn’t a quick fix.  I had performed an EQ assessment (a test of emotional intelligence) with the CEO, and had coached him for almost a year. It was clear that the CEO had…
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Leading With Intention

I swam with my trainer this morning, a relatively new venture for me.   I’ve always been more runner than swimmer.  Why?  As far as I know, no one has ever drowned running. And you can easily run without thinking (at least I can).  Running feels natural, in a “Born To Run” kind of way.  And unless you grew up in the water, swimming doesn’t feel all that natural.  Swimming is much more about technique. Technique, at least in the beginning, is about intention. Leading can be like running: easy, natural, like being ourselves.  You just show up to work and…
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Bottom Lining and the Long Talker

  “I’ve got this person in my organization.  She’s really sharp, does a great job and I like her.  The only thing is…..”  I hear this line a lot, with only the gender and the ending changing.   Most recently, I heard this from one of my CEO clients who ended it by saying that “he comes in my office and just won’t stop talking.  What do I do?” We all know these people.  I call them “Long Talkers”.  They are often social, well-meaning, happy people who tend to process out loud, and talk in stories.   While these folks are often…
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“But” Elimination Therapy

Do you remember the happy School House Rock singalong song, Conjunction Junction?   According to the song, the function of “but”, a conjunction, is “hookin’ up words and phrases and clauses”.    The song made “but” seem so innocent and even helpful. Unfortunately, a serious and unnecessary cause of stress today is what I call “but-itis”.  (I’d call it conjunctivitis, if that weren’t already taken. J)  But-itis is the frequent, chronic and inflammatory use of the word “but”.  The result of but-itis is to resist or mitigate what was just said before it.  And it has unintended effect of creating unnecessary tension.…
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What Makes a Great TED Talk Great?

What Makes a Great TED Talk Great? By Alison Whitmire A great TED talk can attract hundreds of thousands of views in days and millions of views over months.  Having attended the TEDActive conference for four years, attended numerous TEDx conferences and curated two TEDx conferences, I’ve developed some pretty clear opinions about what a great TED talk is and what makes it great. There are great TED videos and then there are great TED talks.  And some of the TED videos that have gotten millions of views are not great talks.  Some of the most viewed talks have a…
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