Page 2 of 4

Tune in to 1110 KFAB this Wednesday!

My radio connection, Clint Bellows, invited me to “appear” on 1110 KFAB this Wednesday afternoon!  Tune in after 2:30 PM and join the conversation about leading your own life with purpose, passion and fun!

You can listen live by going to KFAB.com.  Looking forward to having a great conversation on Wednesday!

Go Wild with KFAB!

-Dr. Connie

 

Go Wild with Confidence Hits #136,936 on Amazon!

Celebrating a publishing milestone with my family today!  It always feels good when you take a step in the direction of your dreams.  Best-seller status here I come!

 

Thank You for The Gift of Freedom: Part 2

Memorial Weekend is a great opportunity to remember and celebrate those who have gone before us.  Their lives and experiences have helped shape the world.  I think of my own Mom who raised six kids and always reminded us to cherish and protect our freedom.  She loved her country and taught all of us to do the same.  I miss hearing her talk about the importance of living in a free country.  I now enjoy sharing her words of wisdom with my own children.

Mom’s Advice:  Have confidence and take inspired action.  Remember those you have lost and take time to give back to those who have served and their families.  Give the military families and veterans in your life a token of your appreciation.  Both big and small gestures go a long way.  Get creative and do something you think they would appreciate.  Be You & Do Something Cool this weekend!

Also, really think about the fact that you are responsible for your actions and have the freedom to create your own destiny.  My parting words for today are a quote from Inez Milholland, a Suffragist in 1909:

“I am prepared to sacrifice every so-called privilege I possess in order to have a few rights.”

 A big thank you to all who have served and all those still serving as well as their families.  We owe you all a great debt of gratitude.

My book, Go Wild with Confidence!, is on sale through Memorial Weekend as a token of my appreciation to freedom.  I want to do all I can to help others go wild and support their dreams!  Go Wild with Confidence! is available on Amazon in either paperback or Kindle by going to: http://amzn.com/1467949329

PS:  I am exercising my freedom and working on my next book, so please give me your feedback via AskDrConnie.com or through an Amazon review.  I would love to hear from you!  Listening to my readers is a great way for me to learn and serve others better!

Go Wild & Take Advantage of Your Gift of Freedom!

-Dr. Connie 

 

american flags

What is Your Deer in the Lawn?

Growing up, my dad played the same April Fool joke on us kids every year, “Look kids, there is a deer in the lawn!”   Every year, the six of us fell for it.  We actually lived along a highway, so the likelihood of us spotting a deer in the lawn was pretty small.

My husband was gone on April 1, but we both wanted to make sure have some fun with our kids by using the deer in the lawn joke. I was really excited about having some fun with the kids.  I even added the prank to my calendar so I would not forget to do it!

I had the iPad ready and filmed the whole thing so I could send the kids’ reaction to Jim.  Unfortunately, the kids did not think my deer in the lawn joke was funny.  My son actually started to cry.  He really wanted to see the deer!

I felt awful, and it took me awhile to cheer them up before leaving for school.  After school and work, we called my husband and my dad.  The idea of April Fools’ Day had sunk it a little bit more by the time the kids helped me make the calls.  They actually told both my husband and my dad that they saw a deer in the lawn that morning and then said, “April Fools!”  (My son actually said what sounded more like, “April Fourth!”  I am pretty sure it is a combination between April Fools and July Fourth – yes, he is a creative genius!) 

Needless to say, I felt a lot better about my April Fools’ Day fun gone bad.  The old Deer in the Lawn joke made a comeback and everyone had a good laugh that day.

The morale of the story:  Even when things (ideas, experiences, changes, legendary April Fools’ jokes, etc.) feel challenging in the beginning, they can and usually improve with a little time, effort and clarity.  Sometimes it takes a few tears, moments of frustration and great communication to create understanding and breakthrough experiences.  Of course, a little fun and laughter help too!  Put on your leadership hat, get creative, have some fun and do whatever you can to keep your Deer in the Lawn moving forward with confidence and clarity.

Go Wild with Your Deer in the Lawn!

-Dr. Connie

 

What is Your Deer in the Lawn?
What is Your Deer in the Lawn?

Fred: The Key Indicator of “Gone-to-Muchness”

20140318-092004.jpg
Fred: The key indicator of “Gone-to-Muchness”

I think Fred is trying to tell me something!

Granted, Fred usually gets pretty upset when I get the suitcase out and start packing.  But, this was the first time he actually sat in it!  Animals have great instincts, and he is sharing an important message with me.

It has been a busy couple of months and it is now time to do some “Spring Cleaning” of life, which includes my home, office and vehicle!  I need to clean out the old so I make room to invite in the new.  An all around freshening up of my Inner Leader is in order!

How do you go about “Spring Cleaning” your life and work?  How do you Spring Clean your Inner Leader to make room for innovation in family, work, business and life?

Go Wild with Spring Cleaning Life!

-Dr. Connie

 

Megatrend 3: Decentralized Global Marketplace

Distance learning is in the age of the “Empowered Consumer-Learner” who has a buffet of educational choices.   The empowered consumer-learner decides what educational experiences and knowledge they need, when they need it and how they want to experience it.  The wide-array of non-credit and for credit choices makes for a very competitive marketplace but also a field of new opportunities.

Venture capitalists continue to invest in distance education because of the return on investment potential.  Big Data is being used to develop marketing campaigns, study human behaviors and determine patterns.  It is also being used to examine various areas of teaching and learning.  Data can help create bite-sized, customized courses and programs that are both personalized and interactive (Koller, 2012). Technology enables the delivery of information and education anytime, anywhere and from anyone in a way that makes sense to the learner while adding value to their lives.

It’s no longer necessary for people to enroll in college, formal classes or workshops to learn.  They are learning what they want to know from their networks and resources they find on the Web, through Apps or in iTunes.  People will increasingly be able to create and print their ideas from wherever they choose with 3D printing.  Technology, combined with the continued growth of self-expression and meaning, will continue to change education at a rapid pace.

Value is becoming less about college credit and more about meaningful outcomes and self-expression through enhanced skills and evolving abilities.  The world is fast-becoming an “Add to Cart” society for anything and everything, including educational experiences.  Individuals are creating local, national and global communities of meaning and change that are self-selected and self-formed.  Many of these same individuals are transforming distance learning in new and innovative ways.  Technology, combined with the need for meaning, self-expression and self-actualization, has created an increasingly decentralized marketplace.

People are choosing how to meet virtually, when, where and whether-or-not to meet face-to-face and connecting over common causes.  Education, along with so many other areas of life, is becoming increasingly decentralized.  Savvy consumers seek and create the value they crave to transform their lives.   They are choosing whether or not they want a badge, certificate, credit hour or degree, and their demands are shaping the marketplace and future trends.  The Empowered Consumer-Learner wants a unique experience that adds value to their life.  Future-focused leaders who ask and answer not, “What is the lifetime value of a customer?” but rather, “What value can we add to a lifetime?” will be in a better position to compete in the increasingly decentralized marketplace.

Innovation Retreat: New Ideas and New Dollars on April 29!
As educators, what is the value we can add to a lifetime?

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.

 cropped-img_2646_wow1.jpg

Future-Focused Leadership: Three Mega-Trends Influencing Distance Learning

My most recent paper, Future-Focused Leadership:  Three Mega-Trends Influencing Distance Learning, will be published in the conference proceedings of the 2014 Distance Learning Administration Conference (Woo Hoo!). I am also preparing a keynote for the North Central Leadership Conference (to be held in Omaha, NE next month).

Both the paper and the keynote will focus on the future, so I am going to publish a series of blog posts on a few mega trends shaping distance learning.  Examining diverse insights is one of the best ways to study trends. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts, ideas and future thinking!  I would love to hear from you!

Go Wild with the Future!

-Dr. Connie

Now (drum roll please), for the first entry on Future-Focused Leadership:  Three Mega-Trends Influencing Distance Learning

While many continue to question the skyrocketing costs and value of a college education, future-focused leaders are recreating learning experiences by blending technology with the human experience.  What does the future of distance learning look like, taste like and feel like? It can be difficult to predict the future of education as the world continues to evolve at an increasingly rapid pace; however, distance learning administrators can use a future-focused leadership approach, which includes examining megatrends, to plan for the future.  Megatrends are global shifts that influence society, the economy and the environment. This series of blog posts will touch on three megatrends shaping the future of distance learning: 1) The Rise of the #GigEconomy, 2) Living with Purpose and Meaning and 3) The Decentralized Marketplace.

Jag eye spy
Leaders (at every age) should keep an eye on the future!

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):

20140101-212708.jpg

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