Category Archives: PERSONAL GROWTH

AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP, PERSONAL GROWTH

Episode One – Introduction to the Tensions of Leadership

Welcome to Episode One of the Tensions of Leadership: What is a tension, what causes tension, and how to RESOLVE these leadership tensions!

Discussion guide from the Tensions of Leadership, Episode One:

1. What do we mean by tensions? What exactly is a tension in the context of leadership? Don’t forget that leadership is a skilled profession that requires discipline and practice…but what tensions to leaders face when they advance their leadership practice?

2. Tensions are things you, as a leader, have to resolve before you can advance in your leadership career.

3. How do you know when you are actually facing a tension? You are being prompted to do something, and you will either take action, or you will do nothing. Are you willing?

4. We will learn that the secret to being a successful leaders is learning to recognize these tensions, and then knowing what to do, and how to do it! In other words, leadership tensions are a good thing — they give you direction (an entry point).

5. Learning to tell the difference between distress and eustress!

6. Next, what causes leadership tension? An expectation of you that’s a stretch beyond your readiness; priorities are not aligned, for example.

7. The key to not allow the tension to become a pain point!

8. So, now you have tension, what do you do? (and note that a leader can choose to not take action, just as long as you do it conscious discipline, but communicate so people know why you made that decision).

9. When tensions become pain points, you lose focus, you decrease productivity, you lose creativity. Now when you take on the tension in a positive way, you move forward, and that’s the goal!

10. The internal battle you have to face when choosing to face on a tension is are you willing to take a risk, overcome personal resistance, and are you willing to be vulnerable. The external is that you have to communicate and articulate your choice to others around you.

11. Modern business leaders cannot succeed if you are NOT willing to take risks, overcome resistance, and be vulnerable. The new reality!

12. How to RESOLVE tensions: CHOICE (you can do this OR that); INTEGRATE (you can do this AND that); SEQUENCE (you can this AND THEN that).

13. Finally, we discuss some of the actual tensions we’ll discuss over the course of Season Four, when it comes to leading yourself, leading teams, and leading organizations.


Erica Peitler, intrepidNOW

About our host, Erica Peitler:

Erica is a Leadership Performance Coach who courageously partners with individuals, teams and organizations who want to realize their visions of success by transforming their leadership potential into visible, on the ground, breakthrough leadership performance!

With an engaging, provocative and straight forward approach, Erica inspires leaders to reach beyond their comfort level as they pursue becoming the performance based leaders they aspire to be in both their professional and personal life.

As a keynote speaker and author, Erica educates, entertains and enlightens audiences on leadership, transformational change and professional/personal growth initiatives.


Find Erica Peitler’s book here:

The essence of Leadership Rigor is creating change-ready leaders who can embrace challenges because they have the tools, models, and language to assess, structure, and facilitate aligned actions. They also have the mindset and emotional skills to lean into the change process despite its uncomfortable nature. By innovating on their preparedness first, these change-ready leaders are equipped to realize the growth in themselves and in their teams or organizations. Are you ready to take on your personal journey of Leadership Rigor?


Series co-host Todd Schnick is the Editor-In-Chief of intrepid.MEDIA and a media and content strategist. A former marketing strategist, lobbyist, and national political operative, Todd now lives and works in the Chicago Loop with his family. He is a writer, foodie, bibliophile, distance runner, and nearly full-time dog mom.



This series recorded LIVE from our Merchandise Mart studios in Chicago, Illinois! (Click on photo below for history of our studios!)

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AUTHORS, CONTRIBUTORS, LIFESTYLE, PERSONAL GROWTH, WELLNESS

Why You Should Run in the Rain

Literally. I don’t mean this as a metaphor (“Run in the rain so the shiny rainbows of life sustain you in the darkness where you light your candles as a beacon … ”) or in the completely non-literal sense of how we apparently are using the word “literally” these days.

I mean that if you’re a runner, or a cyclist, or a walker, or a hiker, you need to still do your thing when it’s raining. Or when it’s snowing. Or cold. Or dark. Or you’re tired.

If you’re building a habit in pursuit of a goal, it’s a habit in pursuit of a goal. Not a fair-weather habit that will get you started maybe on a half-assed goal. Your habit needs to literally (and I mean literally) be an all-weather, all-circumstance goal.

Just Make a Decision?

It sounds like I’m saying is that all you do is make a decision and then you do the thing. Of course it’s harder than that or we’d all have done everything we ever decided to do. There’s a strategy in changing behaviors (which is what habits are). The Fogg Behavior Model created by Dr. BJ Fogg, founder of the Persuasive Tech Lab at Stanford University, identifies three elements to creating a new behavior: motivation, ability, and trigger.

Ability is a function of whether something is easy to do or hard to do. I’m able to get up and run in the rain on a Saturday morning because it’s easy for me to do. Well, the actual running is always very hard, but one you’re out there, what are you going to do? Quit? In front of my team? Which is another way I’ve painted myself into the commitment corner, but that’s another topic for another day.

The Hardest Part

The key is to find out exactly the smallest bit that is the hard part. For most of us, getting up, getting dressed or changed when you get home, and getting started is the hard part. How many times have you struggled to get yourself up and to the gym, but then felt great once you got there and got started?

If the hardest part is starting, then find a way to make that easier. I’ve made it easier by not even having it be a decision I have to make when it is the actual time to make it. I decided long ago that I was running on Saturday mornings. And then I run in the rain because I’ve made the decision in advance. The rain becomes irrelevant.

It’s Saturday morning. I run. That’s what I’m going to do. I don’t have to spend any brain power that morning talking myself into getting up and getting out the door. I decided that yesterday. I actually decided it about two years ago – so I’ve also had some practice.

Make Fewer Decisions

If you’re trying to get an exercise or better eating or more writing habit going, the fewer decisions you make at that point of doing or not doing, the better. Deciding whether you’re going to do it is a big decision. Given the choice of running in the rain or not, my in-the-moment brain says “I’m warm and dry. Why would I even want to go out in this?”

Instead let your decision-making brain decide impartially in advance and set your schedule so it doesn’t matter what your right-now brain thinks. You’ve got a plan and now you don’t even need to think. Isn’t that what a job does for you? No, not make us stop thinking, but makes the decision for us that we’re getting up and getting started on our work. There’s no decision to make. It’s why I highly respect those who work for themselves and don’t procrastinate. Maybe they have applied this same strategy to their business and there’s no longer any question about whether or not they want to get the work done! They work “in the rain.”

Puddle-Stomping Fun

We haven’t had a lot of rain here in the last several years. Now that the Pineapple Express (the weather phenomenon not the movie or the “sativa-leaning hybrid”) is rolling through, I’m tempted to get some galoshes and just stomp through puddles. But, I do still like to pretend I’m an adult, so running in the rain is the next best thing.

There’s a slightly naughty sense of freedom. Defying fate to give us our death of cold. When you see other people out walking or running or riding in the rain, too, you want to give them a knowing wink. As if to acknowledge that feeling of getting away with something.

Since I’m not a witch or a little girl made of sugar or spice, I’m certainly not going to melt. On the contrary, I’ll come away from the run in the rain with a pile of wet laundry, stronger legs, and a greater belief in my own mental toughness.

Here’s to another rainy run!

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CONTRIBUTORS, HUMANITY, PERSONAL GROWTH

Your Declaration of SELFHOOD!

I have a fascination with the challenges and opportunities of life cycles. As a business women and leadership performance coach I have observed, engaged and challenged myself as well as other leaders around the dynamics and consequences that life cycles present to us. This can range from considering where we are with the launch of a business venture, a brand’s development profile or the germination of a new breakthrough idea and what needs to happen to fuel it forward, navigate its progress or manage the downside risks.

Life cycles are generally predictable when you are consciously mindful of them (start-up, growth, maturity and decline) and they are even more dangerously predictable when you are seemingly oblivious to them until they strike you between the eyes by surprise (yikes…should have seen that one coming, what a lost opportunity….maybe next time we will be more prepared).

The same, of course, is true of life stages though their impact on us is profoundly more personal and impactful. Life Stages as we know them are typically broken into 2 major categories: childhood and adulthood. Of course there are mini-stages embedded in these such as your teenage years or distinguishing between early and late adulthood that mirror what we would recognize as a more generalized life cycle as mentioned above.

What is unique in the life stage process, however, is the exciting potential for experiencing a stage few people reach. This stage simply requires a choice and a declaration for entry. It is a magical stage of life called SELFHOOD. The choice is to be undeniably conscious and certain of who you are (not what others want, hope or wish for you) and the declaration you need to make is your own personalized answer to the following “I am here to………in this life time”

Mark Twain said “the two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”

Let’s explore this a bit further…….

Childhood, whether a smooth ride or a confusing time for you, is heavily influenced by your surrounding adult role models (parents, teachers, friends and family) who share their views on life and while doing so are actively or passively setting up expectations for you that may or may not feel aligned with your own internal desires or natural hardwiring. Ultimately you will face how to handle these potential challenges as you mature and make your own decisions, though childhood is often the place your initial agreement or dissonance begins to surface.

The fact is that you can be and become anything you want in this lifetime. Our predetermined hardwiring for our true purpose, however, is often found in a soft voice inside of us if we can only quiet ourselves enough to listen to its clues and follow its lead. For some of us there are early and undeniable signs regarding our gifts and contributions. For others, it is the journey of self-discovery and piecing it all together that waits for us. Both paths lead can lead us to our own life stage of SELFHOOD. Unfortunately few of us arrive.

Our childhood is a toggle between safety and security on the one hand balanced against risk and adventure on the other. Parents have the challenging role of keeping us safe while also giving us space and time so we can explore what our true purpose is. How our parents and role models initially set this stage for us in childhood can dramatically affect the timing or potential opportunity for us ultimately reaching SELFHOOD. We must all come to learn however, that regardless of our obstacles, we alone always hold the power for our choices.

Enter now the challenges of adulthood. If you are mindful, reflective and brave you might discover on the brink of early adulthood who you are and where you want your passions in life to take you. If you are like most people, however, you might be overly influenced to emphasize the safety and security aspects of your journey as you now add the typical adulthood expectations and pressures of defining success in your life. Success is an illusive, variable concept that is difficult to define, but something you will nonetheless feel compelled to pursue. So whether it is a degree from an esteemed institution, a title next to your name, a role you play or a targeted monetary figure you hope to earn or save, you will seek to cross some finish line to declare your success especially if you are unsure about your purpose.

Your prize will be an affirming declaration that….I am a doctor, a lawyer, a CEO, a father or a member of the 1%. Impressive and yet, unfortunately, not the declaration required for arriving at your life stage of Selfhood.

Now don’t misunderstand me, being any one of the above is not a bad thing! In fact, many would color their lives amazing having achieved any one of them. The issue is that we are not products with titles, labels and values. We are people. Here to engage, build relationships, impact lives and make a difference for having been here.

The beauty and magic of SELFHOOD is that it can be found at any time you choose. Yes, just like Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ we too can declare our SELFHOOD when we realize it is all within our control. Part of this realization is that safety, security and success (our metaphysical lion, scarecrow and tin man) are already within us.

Our journey to SELFHOOD is to find our significance by being clear about our unique contributions and most importantly where we can be in and of service to others during our lifetime.

The term SELFHOOD is not about being selfish, self-absorbed and self-centered. It is about being centered-in-self so that you can be a well-tuned instrument willing, able and ready to serve your highest purpose by sharing your gifts. It is primarily about giving and not receiving, although it is impossible to not experience pure joy and fulfillment when you are living your life on purpose!

So as you ponder the start of this New Year and where you are with your own stages of life, ask yourself if you are ready to now enter SELFHOOD? It is your choice to make after all at any time you choose to declare it.

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HUMANITY, PERSONAL GROWTH

Kay Lindahl on the art of listening

Joined in the studio by Kay Lindahl, along with my co-host Gareth Young. Kay is founder of The Listening Center, author of the award winning book, The Sacred Art of Listening, and a Certified Listening Professional.

Three key lessons from our conversation with Kay Lindahl:

1. There is a difference between listening to understand and listening to respond, and most of us spend too much time doing the latter;

2. Listening is an art, a choice, and a gift, and if we are to do it well, we need to train ourselves and to shift our culture;

3. Central to listening well is the use of silence. This can be moments – mini-pauses – in conversation, or more expansive periods of silence, all of which lead to more space and an open-mindedness.

This episode first appeared on Gareth Young’s New Business Mindset show, an intrepid.MEDIA production.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, HR, HUMANITY, PERSONAL GROWTH

Melissa Davies: How NOT to act like an asshole at work

Joined on the show today by Melissa Davies, president of Wise Ways Consulting, and the author of How NOT To Act Like An Asshole At Work: Seven Simple Reminders of How to Be Who You Really Want to Be at Work and in Life. Learn more about the book here!

Discussion guide from today’s conversation with Melissa Davies:

Melissa Davies1. Leadership + team development.

2. Why a parable book?

3. People as an asset.

4. The importance of emotional intelligence.

5. We need empathy.

6. Why we all need mentors and coaching.

7. How to handle ourselves during stressful times in the office, such as around the holidays.

Find Melissa Davies’ book here:

Melissa Davies

About Melissa Davies:

Melissa is an internationally respected expert on developing workplace environments where people are able to show up better, with more of their whole selves. She works with clients across North America and spends much of her time working with military organizations. She runs Wise Ways Consulting, which specializes in executive coaching, group facilitation, and high-engagement training. Melissa works with multi-national corporations as well as numerous U.S. Government agencies. A native of British Columbia, she lives and works in Northern Virginia.

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CONTRIBUTORS, LIFESTYLE, PERSONAL GROWTH

Are you Change-Ready for 2017?

So here it is and here we are….AGAIN! A new shiny year with great expectations for how we are going to change ourselves and the world around us. Some of us have already made the usual to-do lists and promises of lofty and inspiring goals. Finally the year we will lose weight, get a new job or overcome that behavior we don’t like in ourselves. If I can just nail this goal I will be happy and the world will be “great again.”

change-readyThere are just 2 problems with this perennial approach we all seem to take each year. The first is that we always consider the output we want more than the input or throughput it will take to get there. So we usually fail quickly or get bored when our patience for immediate gratification runs out (anywhere from 3 days to 30 days for most of us☺). The second is that we tend to think of our goals in insolation instead of in the context of a system with environmental dynamics in which they actually exist.

So how can we make this year different?

1. Getting the Sequencing Right!

Part of the challenge with realizing our goals is that we just jump into them without planning. You know the common phrase “ready, willing & able?” Well it is out of sequence! If we don’t rearrange this concept before we get started we are going to run into problems. The correct sequence is “willing, able and ready” and here is why:

Willing – means you have the mindset of discipline to do the work! Without this contextual framework and emphasis on cognitively acknowledging that you need to actually “do the work” it’s game over pretty quickly. Just writing things down does not count!

Able – means that you are aware of and have set up the environmental conditions to assist you in approaching your challenges on the way to achieving your goals. Everything works in a system so you must enable or disable the system around you to ensure success. This can range from scheduling that gym time in the calendar along with your exercise goals for the day, to getting some targeted coaching on that specific behavior you want to work on or even scoping out the homework or networking plan to explore that next career opportunity before you go to an event and start randomly meeting people.

Ready – Okay now armed with the mindset and environmental framework of what will be required, its time to get out there and start working! On what exactly you might be asking…..on being Change-Ready!

2. Being Change Ready!

Every goal we have ever reached has been over time as we have taken one step and then another. For many of us, we have most often done this unconsciously and out of need rather than want. When there is an urgent or pressing need our ability to persevere and be resilient is usually not a problem. It’s when it is more of a want without immediate consequences where we have our bigger challenges of maintaining conscious discipline.

Being Change-Ready requires that we apply conscious discipline to do 2 things over and over again to ensure traction & momentum forward:

a. Facilitate Progress
b. Facilitate Aligned Action

When we facilitate progress we are not just acknowledging that an action is required, we are in fact acting on a step forward. It can be one step or several that creates some traction toward our goal. So schedule gym time in your calendar with a note on whether today is a cardio or weight day and ensure you have enough time to get there and enjoy the experience. Or perhaps, print out your resume and start reading it over with a pen, circling those areas you know need updating and adjustment before you can start some serious networking conversations. These small steps create the energy of forward momentum. It is YOU, however, that must initiate the facilitation of progress with the first step and commit to practice taking these first steps everyday continuously!

When we facilitate aligned action we are setting up our new system to enable success or disable obstacles that can derail us. So clean out the refrigerator and pantry before your new dieting approach is scheduled to start, don’t schedule networking events when you would normally go to the gym and let others know what your goals are so they can be supportive of you vs. sabotaging you unconsciously!

Make 2017 a year of being Change-Ready! All goals can be achieved when we are willing, able and ready to “do the work” by facilitating progress and aligned action on a daily basis! Good luck this year!

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP, PERSONAL GROWTH

William Schiemann: What contributes to a fulfilling and satisfying life?

Joined in studio today by Dr. William Schiemann, Organizational Psychologist, CEO of Metrus Group, and author of Fulfilled! Critical Choices – Work, Home, Life.

Discussion guide from our conversation with William Schiemann:

William Schiemann1. Happiness vs. Fulfillment. “Purpose in Life.”

2. The research – which found that less than 20 percent of people feel fulfilled – why this is, and if it’s possible for more people to become fulfilled.

3. The five secrets fulfilled people use everyday.

4. The three key drivers to fulfillment — ACE.

5. Becoming fulfilled — how this applies to millennials, Gen Xers, and baby boomers.

6. Should companies play a role in fulfillment? Is this really their job and what the benefit is to those organizations?

7. The tools that fulfilled people use all the time.

8. Two things people can do right now to increase their fulfillment.

Find William Schiemann’s book here:

About William Schiemann:

William A. Schiemann, Ph.D. is Principal of Metrus Group. He is a thought leader in human resources, employee engagement, and fulfillment, having authored scores of articles and multiple books on talent management, including The Rise of HR, co-edited with Dave Ulrich and Libby Sartain and sponsored by HRCI in 2015; Hidden Drivers of Success: Leveraging Employee Insights for Strategic Advantage, published by SHRM in 2013; The ACE Advantage: How Smart Companies Unleash Talent for Optimal Performance, published by SHRM in 2012; Reinventing Talent Management: How to Maximize Performance in the New Marketplace, published by Wiley and SHRM in 2009; and Bullseye! Hitting Your Strategic Targets Through High-Impact Measurement, published by The Free Press in 1999. His newest book, Fulfilled! Critical Choices – Work, Home, Life, published by Secant Publishing, is scheduled to be released October 1, 2016.

Dr. Schiemann is a frequent global keynote speaker and workshop facilitator for many public and private forums around the globe. He is a Fellow and Scholar of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), and received a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from the University of Illinois.

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HUMANITY, LEADERSHIP, LIFESTYLE, PERSONAL GROWTH, SIMPLE LIVING, WELLNESS

25 Things To Do In 2017

1. Eat less.
2. Be more active.
3. Read more.
4. Listen intentionally.
5. Stretch more.
6. Slow down and breathe.
7. Criticize less.
8. Encourage more.
9. Buy less.
10. Donate more.
11. Stop multitasking.
12. Save more money.
13. Stop lying.
14. Communicate clearly what you believe in.
15. Trust more.
16. Write/journal more (even to yourself).
17. Make something.
18. Pay more attention to the world around you.
19. Stop judging.
20. Eliminate regret.
21. Take pride in everything.
22. Value what you have.
23. Prepare better.
24. Enjoy right now.
25. Smile more.

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HUMANITY, LIFESTYLE, PERSONAL GROWTH

Halley Bock: Living life from the inside out

Joined on the show today by Halley Bock, the founder of Life, Incorporated, and organization that fosters mindful connection in all areas of life as the means to experience a wholehearted, fulfilling, and joyful life. She is also the author Life Incorporated: A Practical Guide to Wholehearted Living.

Discussion guide from my conversation with Halley Bock:

Halley Bock1. Key insights learned from coaching executives. And what exactly is wholehearted living?

2. The reasons behind why living in a hyper-connected world have resulted in a move disconnected self than ever before.

3. Cultivating long-lasting, deep contentment vs. short-lived bursts of momentary gratification.

4. “Live life from the inside out.” An important way to experience happiness and fulfillment is to first create it within ourselves.

5. Ways to rediscover our own self-worth, and tools to understand what makes us tick.

Find Halley Bock’s book here:

About Halley Bock:

Halley is the founder and CEO of Life, Incorporated–an organization that fosters mindful connection in all areas of life as the means to experience a wholehearted, fulfilling, and joyful life. Previously, Bock spent over a decade as a shareholder and CEO of a successful training and development company, where she both worked on and studied human dynamics and relationships and their impact on business and individual success. The focus of her company was on developing the art and skill of conversation as the vehicle for creating connection with teams, employees, leaders, and individuals, as well as transforming individual and collective results.

Based out of Seattle, Washington, Bock now spends her time writing, teaching, and leading her organization while also coaching executives. As a prominent thought leader, Bock has spoken to leaders and audiences across the globe on the topics of relationships, connection, culture, management, and fulfillment. She has also been relied on by substantial media outlets for her expertise. In addition, Bock serves on the boards of several nonprofits and can often be found exploring the trails with her wife and two children.

Halley Bock

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HUMANITY, PERSONAL GROWTH

Rachel Adams: How to go from lost to found

Co-host Gareth Young and I were joined by Rachel Adams, a realtor, public speaker, coach, author, and entrepreneur. Learn more about Rachel Adams here.

Key discussion topics from our conversation with Rachel Adams:

Rachel Adams1. We feel compelled to try to lead the Facebook life and find it hard to break out, but it’s important for us to recognize that what we see in social media is not reality and to move away from judging who we are from someone else’s perspectives;

2. It’s one thing to be honest with other people but it’s quite another thing to be honest with yourself;

3. There is a profound difference between putting others’ needs first on the one hand, and on the other hand living a life of service, which needs to include a sense of self-care and boundaries;

4. Being lost is a valuable experience, because from being lost one can become found.

A New Business Mindset, an intrepid.MEDIA production. This episode was originally published here!

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