I have to admit that I was super excited to do an interview with Nicole Jansen as part of her Leaders of Transformation Podcast. We talk about the future, the importance of a vision and how work and leadership are evolving; however, my biggest moment was actually diving into my own transition! I have not said or written a lot about why and how I left a twenty-five year career to pursue my own desired future. Honestly, it has been a hard to talk about for a number of reasons. We discuss it a bit in this interview, and it felt awesome just to voice my truth as well as my new adventure in midlife!
Enjoy the show, and let me know what you think! I would love to know what topics you want to know more about in the future. Make sure to download the free
Start creating your desired future today by enjoy the Dream Life 2025 exercise that is mentioned in podcast! After you complete the Dream Life 2025 exercise, let me know what your desired future looks like in the comments section below!
Do you believe that you can become persistently happier in just 21 days? Research by Shawn Achor and others studying the power of positive psychology shows that you can!
My interest in what I call, The Happiness Trend, continues to grow for good reason. Happiness makes a difference!
I am really excited to be delivering a keynote, Go Wild: Be Happy! on Friday, November 21st at the Ag-ceptional Women Conference in Norfolk, NE (Register today at: northeast.edu/Agceptional) that combines the science of happiness with practical application people can use personally, with their families and within their organizations and communities.
My prediction: The Happiness Trend will continue to gain steam as people look for more fulfillment and fun in their lives. I challenge all of you to take part in the pursuit of happiness for good reasons, such as:
Happy employees are 31% more productive
Happy people have stronger immune systems
Happy people have stronger social connections
Happiness increases self-esteem. self-confidence and creativity
Researchers continue to link the power of brain science to better lives, including performance in business and in school. Happiness also impacts our family and social lives. Check out Shawn Achor’s TED Talk, The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance, to learn more!
Be You and Do Something Cool by Going Wild with Happiness!
Status Update: I will be on from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM today, and Clint will be taking callers!
In addition to the topics I listed in the original blog post below, we will be discussing the 3 Mega-Trends I recently wrote about and presented on: 1) The Rise of the #GigEconomy, 2) Living with Purpose and Meaning and the 3) Decentralized Global Marketplace.
Plan on calling in with your questions!
Looking forward to hearing from you all!
I am counting down the hours to my interview with Clint Bellows this afternoon on 1110 KFAB (www.kfab.com). I will be in the studio at 2:30 PM.
Our conversation will focus on creating your desired future in the current economy. We will touch on the power of your beliefs and talk about how your brain impacts finances, the future and of course fun!
Let me know if you have any questions you want me to answer on the air. Clint talked about taking live calls. I would love to hear from you if he opens the phone lines!
My family is winding down our fantastic Easter weekend. We found lots of eggs, and had fun spending time outside in the sun. The lovely rain made everything seem clean again, which is such a great reminder of the true purpose of Easter.
My daughter’s favorite part of Easter was the candy! Jim’s favorite moment was taking a nature walk, and my son’s favorite moment was finding an Easter Egg in his room. My favorite part was remembering that all is forgiven because of a special sacrifice that was made many years ago. Easter is a great time to reflect on the past but also let go to make room for a new and even brighter future.
Thank you Lord for all our blessings and for a fresh start!
Our society is quickly evolving into an era characterized by shared purpose and meaning. Leaders must be willing to create an atmosphere of sustainable innovation designed to continuously move organizations forward while connecting employees and clientele to meaningful experiences and their definitions of personal fulfillment.
How many distance-learning leaders are adding value to the lives of learners, faculty and staff from a holistic perspective?
Personal fulfillment is a growing trend and may be a growing trend in distance education as well. Research on the “entrepreneurial learner” in the distance learning environment demonstrated an increase in credit hour completion as learner motivation associated with personal fulfillment strengthened (Reimers-Hild & King, 2006). People are looking to decrease their levels of stress and strengthen their healthy habits while finding greater fulfillment. Minimalism is one of the trends shaping the Living with Purpose and Meaning megatrend because people are seeking less stuff and more life. At first glance this may seem like an odd topic for administrators in the distance learning arena to consider; however, minimalism is gaining popularity in trend-setting places like Silicon Valley and is influencing everything from living spaces, to workplaces and web design. The Living with Purpose and Meaning megatrend will continue to grow as the global population increases and places more demands on the planet’s limited natural resources. How can future-focused distance leaders create a better experience for learners and employees alike? Leaders can connect with individuals’ beliefs while helping them find purpose and meaning in their educational endeavors and careers while living fuller lives with less clutter and greater health and well-being.
Technology may help distance learning administrators holistically add more purpose and meaning to the lives of both learners and employees. For example, a forecast by Carbone and Nauth (2012) describes the evolution of the “cloud.” They discuss the cloud evolving from a place to store data to an intelligent resource that will actively help people improve their lives:
Virtual agents will migrate from being an automated form of phone-based customer service to a personalized form of support and assistance that provides information and—more importantly—performs useful tasks. For example, such agents might design a weekly menu based on a family’s health profile, fitness goals, and eating preferences, and automatically order ingredients.
This forecast provides an example of how distance leaders can use technology to help their organizations innovate with a focus on the future. A transition from cloud-based computing to cloud-based living and learning might be help institutions focus on both learners and employees in a more holistic manner.
Two trends supporting the Living with Purpose and Meaning megatrend include: 1) life increasingly flowing together instead of being compartmentalized into work, family, recreation, etc., and 2) the quest for greater well-being, health and vitality. People are increasingly learning and living on the go in both the virtual and physical senses, which blurs the lines between family, self-care, work and play.
How do these trends influence distance learning? As more people want to connect with their purpose, find meaning in their lives, and increase their vitality, educational institutions should take a more people-centered approach focused on meaning, well-being and the mind-body connection supported by the right social networks, experiences and technologies. A few ideas might include:
Integrating holistic, healthy living and self-care principles into distance learning programs in an effort to create better learner experiences and to create more value in courses, programs and the lives of learners (including the lives of their families).
Providing coaching for learners and employees to help them uncover their purpose and create strategies and structures to support meaningful actions designed to improve their educational endeavors and lives.
Adding physical activity and fun to courses or programs in an effort to stimulate creativity, decrease stress, build camaraderie and strengthen overall wellness (perhaps an App or the intelligent cloud can help).
It’s time to move beyond the traditional grading scales, discussion boards and homework assignments and focus on the whole person and what life means to them. Helping people find their fulfillment, purpose and definition of success may provide distance-learning administrators with tools to innovate their institutions. Competition for learners, along with their precious time and dollars, will continue to increase. Distance-learning institutions will have to find new ways to add increased value to the lives of learners, employees and their families. Not only can people choose to learn anytime from anyplace, people can choose what they want to learn and from whom they want to learn it. Institutions that add the most value will have the competitive advantage.
The rise of the entrepreneurial individual, and what is currently referred to as the Gig Economy, will create new challenges and opportunities for distance learning administrators. How can institutions of education help learners create value for traditional employers and for their individual brands? If not as many people are investing in education to land a full-time job, what does this mean for higher education?
An emerging trend, the rise of global joblessness (International Labour Office, 2014), is supporting the growth of the Gig Economy while creating a need for the marketing of talents and skills in new and meaningful ways. The number of large employers is predicted to shrink in the future causing people to find new and inventive ways to make a living. The ability to sell, purchase and promote goods and services as well as individual brands on the Web has created a need for education to add value to the lives of learners in innovative ways. People are increasingly defining success for themselves, which does not always include a college degree and a 9-5 job. In many ways, it is now much cooler to be a successful start-up entrepreneur, famous blogger or YouTube sensation than a person working in a full-time job.
One common denominator will remain the same: People need to be found on the already crowded World Wide Web. They have to build their brands and levels of influence to strengthen both credibility and success. Educational institutions should keep a close eye on the rise of businesses like Fiverr.com and the use of Twesumes (Twitter + Resume = Twesume = a resume in 140 characters or less) to land jobs or gigs (thus, the #GigEconomy).
Leaders should also consider building their brands, as well as those of students, faculty and alumni. The rise of social networks and technology has enabled people to both learn and teach at anytime from any place. These same tools have helped people create their own businesses and design their lives in ways that best suit them, which supports the Living with Purpose and Meaning megatrend. Life purpose is shaping everything from healthcare to education.
It’s the perfect day for writing. The snow is falling and the new year is full of positive energy and gratitude!
If you are contemplating your resolutions or goals for 2014, my updated SMARTER Intentions and Authentic Goals Coaching Guide may be of use. It is designed to help get you started or to help you refine what you may have already established.
Intentions influence our actions and behaviors. If intentions are established with awareness, truth, and meaning, they help us experience a life filled with passion and personal fulfillment. Lack of understanding around our true intentions often causes frustration and confusion, which is one reason people oftentimes do not achieve their goals. Many goals are written; however, they are not established with honest intent. It’s time to get brutally honest about your true intentions so you can achieve authentic goals.
Intentions have the power to strengthen your Inner Leader and help you move forward in a meaningful way as long as they represent what you truly want to accomplish and experience. Honest intentions, based on personal fulfillment and purpose, can also keep you motivated and focused while measuring progress and celebrating success.
What we truly intend will happen, so I use this coaching guide to encourage my clients to create SMARTER Intention Statements that support their personal vision. So, what exactly are SMARTER Intentions? They are statements designed to help you achieve your vision while holding your accountable and having some fun along the way because they are Super Cool, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Bound, Evolved, and Rewarded.
The SMARTER Intentions and Authentic Goals coaching guide can easily be downloaded via the web by going to the University of Nebraska Extension Kimmel Education and Research Center Digital Commons site. Simply click on: SMARTER Intentions and Authentic Goals.
Go Wild with your SMARTER Intentions and have a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!
My latest Coaching Power Tool: Success vs Failure is ready for use by coaches or people interested in self-coaching! It can be downloaded as a pdf via the University’s Kimmel Education and Research Center’s Digital Commons site (http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/kimmelfacpub/15/). To give you a little glimpse of this power tool, I have included a snippet below:
Thirty spokes converge upon a single hub;
It is on the hole in the center that the use of the cart hinges.
We make a vessel from a lump of clay;
It is the empty space within the vessel that makes it useful.
We make doors and windows for a room;
But it is these empty spaces that make the room livable.
Thus, while the tangible has advantages,
It is the intangible that makes it useful.
Tao Teh Ching (p. 23)
Part of personal leadership and innovation is self-discovery, which requires introspection and the ability to see the unseen. As the reading from Lao Tzu’s Tao Teh Ching illustrates, sometimes it is necessary to consider a different perspective. We have to shift our thinking to see the importance of all parts of a wheel, cart, vessel or a room. Sometimes, it is the unobvious that may be the most important. It is important for us to challenge our thinking and traditional thought to redefine success, failure and our ability to take risks.
For example, many of us may marvel at the colors of a beautiful vase while it is the empty space on the inside that provides functionality. We must further consider that the outside and inside are both required give the vase value and purpose. Sometimes it is what we do not immediately see or experience that gives life value and purpose. We must search for purpose and meaning in order to begin to understand how we perceive success and failure. Napoleon Hill’s research (p. 31), demonstrates the relationship between accomplishment and purpose:
“Purpose is the touchstone of any accomplishment, large or small. A strong man can be defeated by a child who has a purpose. Shift your habits of thinking about the significance of your task and you can often accomplish the seemingly impossible.”
Think & Grow Rich Action Pack(p. 31)
Increasing our awareness of success and failure requires us to explore our perception of both. One of the first steps in the process of personal innovation is discovering and defining success and failure from a holistic perspective on your own terms.
I just read an article, “What’s in a New Logo” on Yahoo! Finance. It is a great testimony to the fact that taking action is a step towards greatness and living your dream.
Some of the everyday brands discussed in this article started with logos I didn’t recognize (Apple was one of the examples, which was really encouraging to an entrepreneur like me). However, I did recognize the new logos that many of them are now famous for using.
As you will notice, some of the redesigns were not as successful (not totally sure what Kraft was thinking, and I don’t have a marketing background!). These are great examples of risks that didn’t quite work out as planned. The important lesson is to learn from the mistakes and then move forward with improvements.
And hey, even the companies with bad logo redesigns received some great media exposure in the article! So their actions still resulted in positive results!!
The point of all this: Take Action! Start using your talents and gifts in the ways that work best for you. Change things up along the way. Thinking and planning are great; however, continuous action is the true key to success.
Remember, add a little Wild Innovation to your world and have a lot of fun along the way!
Cheers, Dr. Connie
Take those steps forward and move your dreams forward today!!