Happy Halloween!

I LOVE Halloween!!! It is one of my favorite times of the year, and this year it is on Saturday – extra bonus!!! I am making my costume this year and still have to put on the finishing touches.

As you can guess, I am a big fan of adults dressing up for Halloween. Sometimes, we feel like we are too old to really enjoy holidays. We make excuses in our heads like, “it’s for the kids.” This is absolutely not true!! Halloween is a holiday people of all ages can enjoy.

2020 has been a very challenging and stressful year for most people, and fun relieves stress while helping us connect with ourselves and our families. Halloween may look different this year, but it can still be fun. Let us know how you plan to celebrate and share pix of your costumes 🙂

It’s time to have some fun again, so here’s to a fun and safe adventure this Halloween! Remember, being an adult does not have to be boring!

Below are the pumpkins we carved this year…one of my favorite family traditions! Let us know how you celebrated this one-of-a-kind Halloween!

Leading Innovative Teams: Creating Collaboration in Times of Change and Challenge

Mental health and overall well-being are essential to thriving families, businesses, communities and organizations. It has been both an honor and a pleasure to research, explore and learn more about the incredible field of mental health with administrators and faculty leading the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Leadership Institute. This two-year journey provided me with new tools and techniques, which I now use in my practice. I also shared new ideas and exercises, which they use in their work. Best of all? This wonderful gift provided me with new perspectives related to the intersections between mental health, leadership development, mindfulness and coaching. The learner in me was so jazzed when discovering these connections. Bonus! This partnership also provided me with access to cutting edge research and applications that I now use to support my clients!

Leading Innovation in 2020 and Beyond

One of the areas our team has been focused on is leading innovation. The monumental wildcard of COVID has forced universities, as well as every other sector of business, to change. This requires both bold leadership and the capacity to collaborate in innovative ways that can help us create a purposeful future that may be totally different than where we were heading before 2020.

If you are part of the University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) network, please join us for this leadership development webinar designed to support and promote collaboration and innovation. You can register by going to: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0rdO-pqjIvGdH5OZJAT6vuKiI9mSAefMaB

If you would like more information on how lead innovation and create collaboration in the era of constant change and challenge we are experiencing right now, then contact Wild Innovation for additional resources. We are here to help create a more prosperous future for everyone!

Support Janet Palmtag – Female Maverick & Friend

I am an Independent for a number of reasons and usually don’t support candidates because I truly don’t know them that well.

Here in Nebraska, there is a candidate I do support. Her name is Janet Palmtag, and she is an entrepreneur, inventor and true leader. Janet is a total maverick who bought a house and a plane – without permission from anyone! She has also always graciously helped me whenever I needed support.

Now, she is once putting her business acumen and leadership skills to work in the political arena, and I am completely jazzed about her being in office! She has always been a great example of setting your mind to something and then doing it.

I have known Janet for a long time, and she has always been a champion for people, small businesses, and positive progress. Janet helped support our entrepreneurship club when I worked in Nebraska City, took the time to meet with students when I was with the Rural Futures Institute and has always been there to provide support, guidance and advice. She not only understands the challenges in rural communities-she turns them into opportunities!

Janet Palmtag is one of the strongest and most honest leaders I know.

Our team interviewed Janet for the Rural Futures Podcast. You can listen to episode 30 with Janet by clicking on the link below:



I would vote for Janet if I lived in District 1. Learn more about Janet Palmtag for Legislature on Facebook or by visiting her website: https://palmtagfornebraska.com/

Janet Palmtag for Legislature!

Go Wild & Vote!

-Dr. Connie

Cone of Possibilities Coaching Canvas

Leadership and life are intertwined like never before, which means intentionally creating the future is more important than ever. Use this coaching tool to help create a purposeful future as well as the mindset you need to achieve it.

Purposeful Future:

The desired future we decide to pursue with conscious intent because it is both significant and meaningful

This tool is especially useful if you are in a time of transition personally or as a team in a larger organization. Times of chaos and change can cause tremendous stress; however, they can also be the perfect time to innovate and choose which future you want to pursue.

Download the form today and start with –

Step One: Describe the future you truly intend to pursue.

Be as vivid as possible, and use extra paper if needed! Next, move on to –

Step Two: What one belief must you either develop or let go of to make your purposeful future a reality?

Download the form by clicking on the link below and give it a try!

I know it is a scary time out there, so take just one step forward-and have some fun with this one! It is time to enjoy thinking about the future again!

Go Wild with Your Future!

-Dr. Connie

The Mind Body Connection

For the past year, I have had the good fortune of working with faculty who focus on mental health. Dr. Matthew Wappett is the Executive Director of the Utah State University Center for Persons with Disabilities (UCEDD) – also known as the “Laughter Doctor :). Dr. Ty Aller is a Senior Program Coordinator for for UCEDD. They are both part of a team focused on growing the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Leadership Institute.

I loved one of the recent Instagram posts because it clearly demonstrates the connections between our minds and our bodies. Mental health transforms our physical health. About fifteen years ago, I read The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton. His book was my first introduction to the field of epigenetics. I studied genetics in graduate school but never heard of the word epigenetics until I found his work. Dr. Lipton began is career as cell biologist. His research around the mind-body-health connection is truly remarkable and is worth reading/watching/listening to if you are interested in how your thoughts transform your body and your life. I like to use his work in my personal life but also for my clients because thoughts are so powerful!

Working with prolific leaders who focus on mental health has enabled me to learn from experts who helped me refine my own tools, ideas and thoughts. And, I have been able to share my knowledge with them too -what a blast! Follow the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities National Training Center if you would like to learn more about their work or if you are interested in improving mental health:

Webinars in October!

I am co-teaching webinars with Drs. Wappett and Aller in October. The schedule is below. I will share more details about both webinars in the next few weeks. I also wanted to share some of the content their organizations create to help all of you understand and improve your own mental health.

My role in the project has been focused on developing content and tools designed to help coach mental health leaders and professionals with a focus on innovation and the future. Why? Like many professions, COVID has been a huge wildcard for mental health researchers and practitioners. Their work is more important than ever but the ways in which they collaborate, share, train, coach and assist others has changed and will continue to evolve. They are creating next generation mental health innovations, which is super exciting!!

Zoom fatigue and burnout are real things, so I promise to add a little activity and fun to the mix! Mark you calendars and register for the remaining webinars by going by clicking on the image below. I look “forward” to seeing some of you there!

Looking for Something Different?

I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you want to learn more about or what would like help doing as you create your desired future while having more fun 🙂 Your insights, questions and ideas are what drives my creativity and content. Use the form below to send me your burning questions, coaching needs and innovative ideas. I look forward to hearing from you!

Live Your Future,

-Dr. Connie

I APOLOGIZE!

I must apologize for the long delay in posting – I AM SO SORRY! This should provide a bit of inspiration from LinkedIn to kickstart the posting process. I also want you all to know that I am back to working on my business full-time after taking an intense gig (more on that later) and am in the process of launching videos to answer your questions.

Please submit your questions using the form below so I can create and post coaching tools and answers that help you and our growing community of high-achieving women!

Thanks a million,

-Dr. Connie

Thank You for the Gift of Freedom: Part 1

The main idea of this post was originally shared in on Memorial Day in 2014.  I wanted to share it again in the time of COVID.  While it is true that we find ourselves in challenging and uncertain times, we can get through it.  I am also sharing this post because the ideals Ewing Marion Kauffman shared with the world were very helpful to me when deciding whether or not to leave my twenty-five year career.  His words ran through my head a million times, and I ultimately decided not to be content with what someone thought I was worth – especially when it was $158,000 less than the man who held the position before me.  

I don’t believe the demise of the United States is an inevitable outcome.  I believe there are many futures, and we have to decide which one we are going to choose.  The politics of this whole COVID situation are very real, so make your own decisions about how you want to live your life.  The one thing I have learned?  Always question those who tell you to be satisfied with what you have or where you are in life – they usually think they are more entitled and valuable than you – and, that you should be there to serve them in some lower-level capacity.

You have the freedom to choose, and people died for that freedom.  Now is the time to use it.

To the Brave & the Fallen:  Thank You for Freedom! 

We have much to be grateful for this Memorial Weekend.  Thank you to all who have lost their lives bravely fighting for the United States.  And, thank you to those who have served and passed, the families who have sacrificed more than most can imagine and all who defend this great nation.  While I realize today is for the fallen, I also want to thank our living Veterans, Military personnel and their families.  You need to be recognized and remembered whenever possible for your dedication and service to this country.  I also want to remember our loved ones who are no longer with us. 

Thanks to our great military heroes, one of the unique gifts we have in the United States is the gift is FREEDOM!  The Declaration of Independence guarantees all of us “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This means we are free to pursue our lives and our vocations in any way that makes sense to us.    Freedom and opportunity are already available, now we need the confidence to pursue our dreams!

Freedom is what makes America so great.  What we do with our freedom is up to us.  It is our choice.  Freedom is our grandest opportunity and should be protected, especially in challenging times.  The importance of the freedom to choose is demonstrated by the story of Ewing Marion Kauffman.

After serving in World War II, Ewing Marion Kauffman started working as a salesman for a pharmaceutical company and was extremely successful.  When he started making more money than his boss, he found that his sales territory was suddenly limited.  Mr. Kauffman’s boss limited the sales territory on purpose.  After all, an employee couldn’t make more money than the boss!

Mr. Kauffman made a decision after his boss limited his sales territory and income.  He quit his job and vowed never to work for anyone else again.  He started his business in 1950 in the basement of his home.  He generated $36,000 in sales and $1,000 of net profit in his first year.  By 1989, Mr. Kauffman’s business made over $1 billion in sales and employed over 3,400 people.

Mr. Kauffman wanted to give back to the world and used his knowledge and wealth to form the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a foundation designed to support entrepreneurship and innovation.

Dr. Carl Schramm, the former President of the Kauffman Foundation, wrote The Entrepreneurial Imperative.  In this book (one of my absolute favorites), he notes three things all Americans should remember in the face of gloomy times (p. 81):

1. Never bet against the American system.

2. Know that being an American is your very best asset… 

3. Finally, never count on anyone but you to create your own destiny.


The American system is designed so that we can pursue our passions and dreams, especially in challenging times.  Our ability to pursue our dreams and create our own destiny is what makes our country so great.  We all have the freedom to choose what to do with our lives, and we have the freedom to help one another.  We have the freedom to pursue our ideas, our dreams and our passions. We have the freedom to create our own destiny.

People like my Great Uncle Jack realized this and helped protect the freedoms we have in the United States.  Uncle Jack was a fascinating man.  When I was young, all I knew about him was that he was great at hunting night crawlers.  In fact, he taught me how to hunt them.  We lived in the apartment above my parents’ TV and appliance store.  It was located on the main street of a rural community and did not have much of a yard.  Luckily, Uncle Jack lived only a few blocks away and had the perfect yard for gathering night crawlers. When it rained at night, we would walk down to his house with our flashlights and buckets.  Dad and Uncle Jack would help us kids hunt night crawlers so we could use them as bait when we went fishing.

There is actually a trick to getting your night crawler.  You have to shine the light on night crawlers to find them while they are above the wet ground.  And, you have to be quick!  Too much light scares them back into the ground.  You have to remember where they are and grab them quickly yet gently.  Then you have to slowly coax them out of the hole a little bit at a time.  If you try to force them out, they break.

Night crawlers and people are similar in this regard.  If you force individuals down a path they do not truly want to pursue, they eventually break.  Humans must find their own paths and pursue their own destinies with passion and purpose in order to live their best lives.

I did not understand much about Uncle Jack until I was a young adult.   He was a World War II Veteran and served under General George S. Patton during the Battle of the Bulge.  Absolutely amazing!  He was a World War II hero and I thought he was awesome because of his ability to catch night crawlers!

Uncle Jack and his family sacrificed when he served our country.  As Americans, we must remember that our freedom is not free.  Many men and women have died, been injured and sacrificed a great deal to provide us with the ability to live our lives with freedom and choice.  Taking our freedom for granted dishonors our troops and veterans.  It also dishonors their families, who have sacrificed more than many of us can imagine.  These people have truly sacrificed for all of us and our great nation.  We should honor and salute them everyday because they have given us the gift of freedom and choice.  We get to choose how we spend our time and our lives.


The bottom line:  Cherish your freedom, protect it and use it to create your destiny!


Freedom is foundational to entrepreneurship, business development and the future.  We must protect freedom for our future generations.  My daughter’s birthday is this time of year.  Happy Birthday Raquel!  As a your Mom, I will do whatever I can to preserve your freedom so you can pursue any dream you choose!


Coaching Challenge:  Participate in a Memorial Day Activity and show your gratitude for our Veterans and Military families!  


And, stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog series!

Go Wild with Freedom!

-Dr. Connie

 

How to Create Core Values

Now may be the perfect time to either establish or revisit your core values.

In a time of drastic change, it can be helpful to either establish or revisit and renew your core values. Why? Core values are what we stand for and judge to be right. They serve as the guiding principles that influence our beliefs, behaviors, attitudes and cultural norms. 

The COVID pandemic is a Wild Card that has changed many of our habits, beliefs and behaviors. I have written and talked about Wild Cards for years in my work as a Futurist; however, I want to remind readers about my definition of Wild Card.

Wild Card: Unpredictable, unforeseen happenings that impact our present and future.

-Dr. Connie

Wild Cards can and do happen. COVID is an example of a global sized Wild Card with very long-term, history making and future-changing consequences. Wild Cards can also happen on a smaller scale. We might lose a job or have an unexpected health emergency. We might inherit a large sum of money or land a big client. We may find ourselves needing to revamp our business while practically homeschooling our children (sound familiar?) We don’t know exactly when Wild Cards will occur or how they will impact the world, our businesses and our lives. As leaders of our lives, families and businesses and communities, we need to deal with Wild Cards and the changes that come with them now and into the future.

Wild Cards are a part of business and life. As leaders, we have to learn to deal with what comes our way. 

Establishing or renewing your core values can be a valuable first step in transforming your business and life.

One of the clients I have been working with relies heavily on customers physically visiting their property. It is clearly a time for them to pivot, and they wanted a new strategic plan that helped them rethink what is possible in a time of long-term business uncertainty. After the initial in-take and assessment, I recommended that they establish their core values. We start at two levels 1) Each individual employee should establish their core values, and 2) The company also creates core values for the organization.

I have also been “assigning” a core values exercise to my individual coaching clients. There are a number of core values lists out there you can use to establish your core values; however, I prefer that businesses and leaders create their own core values. It is really important to get excited about and connect with your core values. You also need to own them. So, have a little fun with this as a person, family, team or business and create something that energizes and excites you!

The coaching tool I am giving to you all as a download in this blog post is typically used for teams or small businesses. However, you can use the same steps as an individual, family or group of leaders.

5 Simple Steps to Creating Your Core Values

  1. Core Values Uncensored: Forget the Norm & Bravely Brainstorm
  2. Create a “Top 5” List
  3. Work Together to Make the Core Values Better
  4. Reflect, Revise & Test to Find the Best
  5. Choose How to Use Your Core Values

Download the FREE “How to Create Core Values” Coaching Exercise Below!

Why are core values important in business? 

Core values are the beliefs and principles that help guide your present while laying the foundation for your future. Consumers are increasingly loyal to businesses they can identify with, relate to and believe in because they want a sense of purpose and connection when buying goods and services. 

On an individual level, core values represent what we believe, how we behave and who we are. Our values influence everything ranging from how we show up at work to who we choose as friends.

Think of core values like this:  An apple has five chambers at its core.  Each chamber holds a seed that possess important elements for the regeneration of future apple crops.  Seeds hold the keys to a healthy and thriving future. Core values are similar to seeds in that they can help individuals and businesses regenerate themselves to grow the future they desire. 

In both business and life, core values should serve as foundational guidelines we use to make decisions, guide behaviors and influence strategic directions. Core values establish both the present and the future when it comes to business, leadership and life.

Go Wild & Have Fun Creating Your Core Values!

Dr. Connie

Download the FREE “How to Create Core Values” Coaching Exercise Below & Join Wild’s Email List to Receive Coaching Tools, Exercises and Ideas Designed to Help You Create Your Desired Future!

PS: Let me know how it goes! I would love to hear from you!!

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