What’s your origin story?

Start-Up Founders and their audiences have a craving for origin stories- to define and claim a Founder identity that is true, current and unapologetic.  That tiny two or three sentence story that says “This is who I am and it’s why I’m committed.”  This is hard.   There is a temptation and strong pull to craft an origin story like crafting a resume- to list the credentials one has that justifies the position a Founder is in.  That says “Look, I’ve earned the right to be this audacious- to disrupt, to be bold. I belong here.”  Thing is, the resume …

Don’t slow down. Take your time.

We all suffer many of the same ailments when it comes to how we appear on stage.  New clients come to me breathlessly listing their insecurities: “I get lost and go blank.” “I’m so monotone.” “I’ve been told I could be more dynamic.” “I get lost in the weeds.” “I speak too fast.”     Let’s focus on that last point today. Speed has lots of dimensions. Sometimes, yes, you speak too fast and end up babbling because you let your talking get away from you. Then you’re lost and go blank and your energy drops and your voice ends …

Stop Talking About the Work and Do the Work

A few weeks ago I engaged in one of my secret pleasures: obstacle course racing. This time, I was running with a fantastic women-only team made of first-time participants.  They were awesome, and really in their heads.  Every obstacle we encountered stopped the team in their tracks and shifted them from doing to analyzing, strategizing—squinting at the obstacle, searching for the best way to tackle it. We lost time, and didn’t learn quickly.  By the third or fourth obstacle, I’d had enough.   I see this on stage quite often, and I knew what to do. I grabbed one of …

New experiences can grow empathy

Consuming an array of experiences helps us with empathy.  It’s so easy to just “do the things that we know we like” but when we push ourselves to try something new, even seemingly stupid little things, we grow empathy and our capacity to see joy in others. Dumb example: I am gym-less. In my search for a new one I sampled a kettle bell club.  Scrappy, low-fi, marginally listenable music (for me) and chalk all over the floor.  But, in hearing how members talk about the sport, with passion and compassion for their own physical limitations, I feel opened up, …

Work with watcha got

Work is never perfect.  Never is the execution flawless from end to end.  I got hit upside the head with this last weekend when we finally, after months and months of preparation, put on a live orientation training for nearly 1500 volunteers who, in January, will staff events on behalf of the Superbowl 50 Host Committee for the entire Superbowl game week (I know, you’re not a sports fan, nor am I, but the Host Committee has some bad ass initiatives that got me hooked- things like this, and this, and this). Back to the show. At the top of rehearsals, …