One Man Instrument

Date May 7, 2009

Striving and Thriving

Got stage fright? Forget the stage. Take it straight to the streets.

Thanks, Ken, for pointing us to this.

They Laughed When She Walked Onto The Stage, But When She Started To Sing…

Date April 13, 2009

Striving and Thriving

Susan Boyle, Unexpected Champion Of Dreams

For all of us who feel frowsy and frumpy…

For all of us who think people are rooting against us because we’re not cool, or fashionable, or beautiful…

For all of us with dreams that will not die…

Susan Boyle dreamed a dream.

She appeared on the stage of Britain’s Got Talent as the epitome of the middle aged, quirky housewife neighbor lampooned so often on the BBC. By the end of the opening line of her song, she had Simon Cowell swept away.

Yes, that Simon Cowell. Mr. Testy from American Idol.

He is transported by the angelic voice of this stunning hero; and all the audience is transported, too, as their cynical chuckling is squelched by their awe.

Listening to her sent a shiver up my spine and gave me goose bumps.

Enjoy your elation.

More Glass

Date September 17, 2008

Thank you to Barbara Winter and her Buon Viaggio blog for pointing me to more beautiful glasswork to complement that story below on glassblowers. Pictures of Dale Chihuly’s work can be found here.

Fahrenheit 2100

Date June 30, 2008

Striving and Thriving

The witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth were referring to their potion when they said Fire burn, and cauldron bubble. Their heavy, solid metal cauldron could withstand the heat. But throw it into a glassblowers’ furnace, where glass is kept molten at 2100 degrees Fahrenheit, and the cauldron really would bubble.

Watching glassblowers work in their industrial studio invokes more than a passing thought of magic. They create pieces that are translucent and colorful, majestic yet fragile. They balance the classical elements, combining earth, air, and fire, while keeping water at bay. It’s modern-day alchemy.

Read the rest of this entry »

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen: No More Boxes & Ruts

Date June 30, 2008

The Mentorship Approach With Kids & Teens

The sixth chapter of How To Talk So Kids Will Listen is the final chapter introducing a category of skills and is the final unit in the training series. It’s titled “Freeing Children From Playing Roles.” I like to think of it as freeing children from limiting their lives into little boxes or deep, narrow ruts. Read the rest of this entry »

The Fifth Paradoxical Commandment

Date June 30, 2008

The Mentorship Approach With Teams & Groups

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable: be honest and frank anyway.

© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001

We all have a face we wear in public. Some philosophers and psychologists refer to this as an act or a façade because it’s meant to show people what you want them to see and hide some of your less likeable qualities.

The façade changes depending on the situation for most of us. We might be very friendly and try to look interested in the details of a fellow churchgoer’s recent experience. We might be focused on fun, joking and teasing with our teammates and opponents in the bowling league. We try to look knowledgeable and professional when we talk to clients.

But as leaders we feel a unique pressure to look competent and together and are often on guard against anyone seeing our weaknesses. This can dictate that we have the “leader façade” in every situation if we think there’s a slight chance one of our team members will be present – or even if a friend or family member of a team member might be present. Boy does it get tiring!? Read the rest of this entry »

Or The Pursuit Of Status?

Date June 30, 2008

Pursuit of Happiness: Money, Work, & Play

Making authenticity a priority has obvious benefits for your psychological health and your spiritual balance. It gives you focus to make sure you don’t over-schedule yourself with too many activities. It helps you establish your priorities and stick with them. But it also brings an unexpected benefit. Read the rest of this entry »

How Do You Drink Water?

Date June 30, 2008

Elephant Burgers

Elephant Burgers is usually about different ways to approach large or ongoing projects and break them into achievable steps. It’s about accomplishment. But what happens when something is important to do, but it isn’t a project to complete? Read the rest of this entry »

Life After Jobs

Date May 30, 2008

Striving and Thriving

This month we pause in the series of profiles to present an article adapted from an upcoming e-book for people considering creative career choices and entrepreneurship.

Throughout most of human history, the work people did was determined by survival. Hunters and gatherers hunted and gathered. As people learned to cultivate crops and raise animals some gave up the nomadic lifestyle and settled down to establish villages and eventually cities. Although there were a few artisans and craftsmen, most of the work was focused on providing food for survival.

Before the founding of the United States the colonies were developed mostly by people who wanted land of their own to have a farm. This meant that early in the history of the nation, most people were self-employed or small business owners. Even the merchant traders and the specialty craftsmen like woodworkers and smiths worked for themselves. Few people had a job where someone else employed them. The farmhand worked with a goal in mind of having his own farm some day. The apprentice looked forward to becoming a master and having his own clients. What changed? Read the rest of this entry »

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen: Effective Praise

Date May 19, 2008

The Mentorship Approach With Kids & Teens

“You are wonderful!”

“That’s the most amazing project I’ve ever seen!”

“You’re the best assistant division manager in the whole company!”

Are you buying that?
Read the rest of this entry »