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  • The Emotional Resiliency of Olympic Athletes

    I’m sure many of you tuned in for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio last month, and the Paralympics start this week.  For many Olympic athletes, the Olympic Games represent the culmination of their hard work and athletic achievement.  I can’t imagine how much time, hard work and sacrifice has gone into preparing for this one small moment of time.  With this level of international exposure and pressure, I’m sure emotions run high as athletes prepare to be in the best condition physically, technically, mentally and emotionally. Every athlete from every country has put in relentless hours trying to become the best that they can be at something they love and bring home a medal that honors the individual, the team and their country. The years of preparation come down to a few minutes or even seconds of competition. How can an athlete not be overwhelmed by emotions?  How can they stay emotionally resilient in the moment? (more…)

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  • An Interview with Carl Larson, Creator of the Drain Model

    This month we are focusing on The Eyes of a Leader, Be a Leader Who Has a Vision for the Future.  Watch below as Michelle Cummings interviews Carl Larson about what makes teams successful and how he created the Drain Model. Dr. Carl Larson and his colleague Frank LaFasto conducted an in-depth study at The University of Denver about what makes a team successful.  For over a decade, they collected and analyzed responses from more than 6,000 team members and leaders across a variety of industries, in both public and private sectors, to find out exactly what conditions help or hinder teams in achieving their goals. The voices of these team members-often eloquent, always enlightening-are heard through the quotations that appear throughout their book, When Teams Work Best.  As a result of their findings, Larson and LaFasto created a model they call The Drain Model.  With permission, Personify Leadership uses this model in our Eyes of a Leader module:  Be a leader who has a vision for the future. (more…)

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  • The Courage to Delegate

    “If you are a leader who hasn’t assembled a team you can trust then you’re not a leader.”

    Colin Powell on the Importance of Delegation

    Mateo is a leader ready to move to the next level in his career. He had been very successful where he was for quite a long time. He knew how he was viewed in his division but his organization is global. He wanted to know how he was viewed by others who he had interacted with throughout the years outside of his immediate division. He asked me to assist him in learning more. Mateo gave me a list of key leaders that he would want to potentially work for in other parts of the company and he wanted to know how they viewed his leadership potential. (more…)

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  • Pay It Forward

    This month we are focusing on the Heart of a Leader, Be a Leader who looks out for the best interest of others. I was thinking through what stories I had to share that would be relevant and I thought about an article I wrote in 2009, shortly after I decided to start my first business. I was at a small regional conference exhibiting for the first time all by myself at a small booth.  It was here that I had a chance to look out for the best interest of someone else and was motivated to do so based on someone else having looked out for my best interest. I thought this article would be great to share. It’s also a little ironic in the timing as we just finished our big splash at ATD International Conference for my second business, Personify Leadership. What a difference 7 years can make!


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  • Listening for the Signs of Stress

    A 2015 working paper from Harvard and Stanford Business Schools took a look at 10 common job stressors: from lack of health insurance, to long working hours, to job insecurity. Researchers then considered how the mental and physical effects of these forms of stress related to mortality. The paper found that health problems stemming from job stress, like hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and decreased mental health, can lead to fatal conditions that wind up killing about 120,000 people each year-making work-related stressors and the maladies they cause, more deadly than diabetes, Alzheimer’s, or influenza. (more…)

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  • Choosing What is Hard and Not What is Easy

    Recently I was asked by my son’s school to be on the hiring committee to hire the new principal for the 2016-2017 school year.  Our current beloved principal, Ms Watson, is retiring next month, and she has been a tremendous leader.  When she became the school principal in 2004, the school was in disarray.  They were in bad shape financially, over a million dollars in debt and there were allegations of embezzlement and fraud from the previous leader.   (more…)

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  • The Spine of a Leader: When Life Kicks Us Out

    Do we move on or do we go deeper?
    by Angela Sebaly, co-founder of Personify Leadership
    You know that feeling when everything is going exactly as you want it? You awake excited and passionate about your day. The sun is shining and the birds are singing. On your way to work you hit all the green lights while your favorite song plays on the radio.


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  • The Heart of a Leader: 7 Steps to Rebuilding Trust

    Sometimes working relationships are painful. Case in point…
    2 years ago

    Paul to others: “I don’t trust Ramesh. I feel like he is out to get me. I lay awake at night so stressed wishing for a way out. If I could I’d quit.”


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  • The Eyes of a Leader: The Drain Model

    Happy New Year! One of my favorite parts of January (aside from my birthday!) is hanging up a pristine new calendar and seeing the big blank year ahead of me. It’s a little like holding the New Year’s clean slate right in my hands, just waiting to be written. (more…)

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