Saturday, April 30, 2005

Maintaining Our Values in Times of Great Change

“A client asked, “How do we maintain our values in a time of great and painful change and uncertainty? How do we maintain our values when our noble purpose is politicised and when dedicated and selfless workers get scapegoated by politicians and bureaucrats with hidden agendas?”

Fear permeates people, societies, institutions, organizations, and paralyses their potential for personal success. Truth is no longer relevant. It’s all a part of the political game, in all definitions of the term.

How does one coach a client through this? It’s a challenge at every turn. It’s paramount that the coach remains completely nonjudgmental and supportive. That’s the very least a coach can give a client going through a period such as this. A masterful coach helps the client grow through these times. Not in spite of what’s happening around him but because of it. And when a client can thrive and stretch through periods of chaos, nothing will stand in his way.

Referring back to one of the coaching proficiencies “Recognizes perfection in every situation” we delve into ways of looking at life from the perspective or belief that everything happens for a reason even if we’ll never know just what that reason is. It’s not necessarily finding the source of the reasoning behind why something is happening, it’s looking to the source….the client’s event, problem, situation, or personality/behavioural trait within their own truth and find out how it is perfect for them at that time even when it’s clearly not. It’s looking to understand and recognise the perfection of that moment and responding instead of reacting to it. It’s working with the client to see beyond that moment. How is what’s happening right now work towards creating the future of your choosing? That’s where perfection is found.

How many times did something that happened to you feel as if it were the end of the world only to turn out better than you had ever dreamed?

Years ago, when I was going through a particularly challenging time, my teacher and mentor, Jim Quinn asked me what was going on. When I shared what was happening in my life his immediate response (which still brings a huge smile and a shake of my head) was “Hot Dog! An opportunity!”

My first response was “A few less hot dogs would be appreciated about now”. However looking back at one of the darkest times of my life I realise I am exactly where I am today because it taught me the most valuable lessons. Did I want to live it when it was happening? Not on your life! Am I grateful for it now? Better believe it!

In a society where for many, values become inconvenient and manipulation might pass for power or wisdom, there is a stronger pressure to fit in, join or be tossed aside. How do we live in congruence with our values and personal ethics when it seems those around us live by the exact opposite? Well the first answer that comes to mind is, your values are your inner compass, your “true north” which will guide you and help you answer whatever life altering questions come your way. If you choose your life, you won’t react to other’s choices. Giving away your freedom of choice and ways of being is nothing more than personal slavery.

"Don't ever lose sight of how much real control you have over your own destiny" (Shaun Belding).

The answer to the question “How can we live from a basis of our own values and personal integrity in times like this?” is very simple.

We choose to do so.

Donna Karlin

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Intentions Equal Results

"Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives" - William A. Foster

In all the years I have been saying "Intentions equal results", teaching it, running it by clients, this past week was the first time I threw this concept at someone and heard (immediate response) “I like that!” Usually I get flack, a puzzled expression because they can’t figure it out or resistance such as “What do you mean I intended for that to happen to me?”

It’s not always perfectly explainable but in the scheme of things, what we intend to happen by attitude, perspective, ways of being is what ultimately happens!

So many thanks Mr. “B” for saying that : )

It’s almost a piece of the Attraction Program™. What you ‘put out there’ is what you will attract to your life. This is oversimplified and the Attraction Program is far from simple, but think for a moment….needy people attract needy people, powerful attract powerful….positive people attract the positive in others and whiners attract whining out of others. Just think for a moment, a powerful CEO of a company who is successful, do you think for a moment that person will have time for and accept whining, negative, stagnating people for a minute?

When was the last time you stood by and listened to someone complaining about everything wrong that’s happening in their life? Does the other person in the conversation start talking about their perfect life or try one-upmanship? More than likely the response will be “Well if you think THAT’S bad…..just listened to what happened to me!” and the spiral downwards continues.

If you intend to get the best out of your day you will….same goes for the best in people, or the best experience you can have or doing the best you can. If you intend to do your best that doesn’t guarantee a perfect outcome. It does mean you will do whatever you can in the best way possible towards getting the best results you can achieve. And if you intend to do the least and not engage yourself then the results will reflect that as well.

Intend: def Have in mind as a purpose

Intention: def Perspective, purpose, direction, slant, viewpoint

"Leadership is the wise use of power. Power is the capacity to translate intention into reality and sustain it." - Warren G. Bennis

What is your intention for today? Ask yourself that at the beginning of every day and you’ll be amazed at how the answer will guide you towards a future of your choosing.


Donna Karlin

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Friday, April 08, 2005


Melted snow…..the scent of damp earth on the wind….geese returning for the season and longer sunlit days are here. It’s spring. Time to get out and breathe in fresh air, walk off the long winter months and re-energise.

I love this time of year. It’s a rebirth of sorts. The scent of the promise of flowers to come on the air…the damp earth ready to have seeds take root and grow the flowers of the season and for us northerners, time to come out of hibernation.

No matter how busy you are, make sure you plug in an hour or so in the day to soak it all in. The spring and summer days disappear all too quickly. There is nothing like fresh air to give us back energy…to help us through hectic days at work and allow us respite in the middle of chaos.

If you need to have a meeting then invite your colleague or staffer to come out and walk with you. Enjoy both their company and the break from the stale air of the office, but do whatever you can to get out. One day seems to flow into the next. The only difference between meeting in a stuffy office and the outdoors is the venue and I can almost guarantee you’ll enjoy focused conversation along with newfound energy for the afternoon.

Instead of making excuses why you can’t go…create reasons why you can. And when you walk outdoors…close your eyes for a moment, raise your face to the sunlight and breathe in the rebirth of the season. Let it bring a smile to your heart and a spring to your step, as soon the outdoors will come awake and give birth to miraculous beauty. It’s a new beginning.

What will it bring you I wonder…..

Ask yourself this.....How will you choose to spend your days so those choices nourish you in every possible way?

Donna Karlin