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Megatrend 2: Living with Purpose and Meaning

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.

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I Need Your Help before Friday!!

I need your fresh insights about confidence before Friday? Why??

Clint Bellows, a man I truly admire, invited me to be a guest on the Tom Becka show this Friday at 3:30 PM. Clint is hosting the show, and I am starting to get my thoughts on confidence, leadership and coaching together. Your ideas, perspectives and experiences will make this radio experience on the Mighty 1290 a much richer experience for listeners.

Here’s a question to get the conversation started:
What do you do to strengthen your confidence and the confidence of others?

I would love to hear from you!

Go Wild with Confidence!!
-Dr. Connie

Jagger’s fun and amazing drawing represents my feelings about being on the show (I am so proud of my little artist):

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Starting the New Year with True Intentions!

 

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!

-Dr. Connie

 Happy New Year

Shop Small this Cyber Monday

One way to shop small this Cyber Monday is to support authors and artists.  Online sales are incredibly important to this group of individuals.  I know because I am one of them.   We are entrepreneurs and small business owners working to support ourselves and our families by adding value to the lives of others.

Purchase Go Wild with Confidence! (available in both paperback and Kindle) via Amazon today (for yourself or as a gift) by clicking on:  http://amzn.com/1467949329

Make sure to search Amazon for other favorite artists and authors as well.  Or, simply go to their web sites and buy directly from these talented individuals!

Give the Gift of Going Wild this Christmas!

-Dr. Connie

Strengthen your Inner Leader and live your best life with purpose, passion, and fun!
Strengthen your Inner Leader and live your best life with purpose, passion, and fun!

The Spirituality of Innovation with WasteCap Nebraska!

Join me for a Spirituality of Innovation workshop at WasteCap Nebraska’s 2013 Sustainability Summit on Wednesday, November 6.

The biological, social and spiritual worlds are all greatly intertwined.  As leaders, we can use this information to create a culture of sustainable innovation for others and ourselves.

One of the keys of tapping into the Spirituality of Innovation is self-confidence.  Self-confident individuals filled with passion and purpose are the most creative and innovative people. They have strong Inner Leaders and the confidence it takes to lead sustainability and innovation.

You will leave this session with:

-A better understanding of your Inner Leader

-10 powerful, yet practical, confidence boosters that you can use for yourself and with others

-Inspired action-steps that are doable, enjoyable and fulfilling

Before you can successfully lead innovation, including efforts designed to strengthen environmental sustainability and social responsibility, you must first lead yourself. So, join me on November 6 and invest in yourself and your self-confidence.

Get all the details at wastecapne.org/summit

Go Wild with the Spirituality of Innovation!!

-Dr. Connie

small growing seedling

Questions for The Mighty 1290 Radio Interview

I am preparing for my interview with Clint Bellows on Omaha’s hit new talk radio station, The Mighty 1290 KOIL. If you go to their web page, mighty1290koil.com, you can click on the LISTEN LIVE tab and hear the interview.

Clint read my new book, Go Wild with Confidence!, and asked me to talk about coaching, confidence and leadership with a special focus on how these issues impact the United States.

I will be on at about noon (Central) on Sunday, February 17. That’s only 13 hours away from now!

So, what are some of your thoughts?

What are some of your thoughts about coaching?

How do confidence and leadership impact the United States?

I would love to hear from you before I go on the air!

Go Wild!
-Dr. Connie

Why Invest in Your Self-Confidence?

Innovation always begins with people.  Self-confident individuals filled with passion, purpose and confidence are the most creative and innovative individuals.  They have strong Inner Leaders and the confidence it takes to lead personal, organizational and community change and innovation.  Growing individual confidence and the confidence of others are key factors associated with great leadership. Before you can successfully lead others, you must first lead yourself.  So, invest in yourself.  Focus on developing your Inner Leader by strengthening your confidence and living the life you want for yourself!
Strengthen your Inner Leader by investing time and resources in your self-confidence.  There are a number of confidence building tools, and you have to find and use the tools that best serve you.  As a Certified Professional Coach I find the issue my clients struggle with most is confidence.  From my research and experience, I have developed Dr. Connie’s Top 10 Confidence Boosters.  The Top 10 will be published tomorrow, so stay tuned!  Get ready to show off your tailfeathers!


My latest research paper!

Below is the introduction to my latest research paper, “Coaching for Personal Innovation:  The Role of Intuition.”  I am publishing this paper as the last requirement for the International Coach Federation’s Certified Professional Coach Program.  I am going to graduate in just a couple of months!  Yippee!!  Time to celebrate!

Innovation has become essential to survival and success in the 21st Century.  Globalization combined with the rapid rate of change and explosive population growth have created a need for entrepreneurial activity, both inside and outside of new venture creation, that leads to continuous innovation while considering social and environmental impacts. 
Entrepreneurs are needed to establish new ventures and to employ others while developing new products, services and solutions.  Entrepreneurial individuals, who may or may not start a business, are needed because they are innovators who behave or act in a proactive manner and move organizations forward. 
Many different structures, policies and tools are being used to strengthen innovation within organizations; however, innovative behavior ultimately relies on individuals.  How do individuals become more innovative?  How can they be more entrepreneurial? 
Research (Reimers-Hild, 2005) has shown that individuals who possess a greater sense of motivation through personal fulfillment, are more likely to achieve sustainable personal innovation and change, and a key element related to personal fulfillment is intuition.  The purpose of this paper is to present and explore the relationships between intuition, personal innovation and coaching.  Two specific questions will be explored, including 1) how does coaching influence intuition?  And, 2) what is the role of intuition in the process of personal change and innovation?

Coaching Power Tool: Success vs. Failure

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.
Lao Tzu
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.”
Napoleon Hill,
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.