OOPS! I blinked and February sped past me. Wow. This month pulled me in several different directions with clients (for which I am incredibly thankful) AND I took a socially-distant RV trip with my best friend to celebrate my 60th (WHAT?!) birthday. We visited Zion, Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon National Parks. I could fill this whole post with photos but... I also have a bunch of resources to share. So here is one photo of so many:
If you are so inclined, I cannot recommend each of these parks enough. This is a shot of Natural Bridge at Bryce Canyon. I was so refreshed by this trip!
And here are my recommendations for this month:
READING. Warning: Perhaps because I was an English major in college and read A LOT OF FICTION, my reading habits for the past several years have all been non-fiction. I am also a perpetual student, so I'm constantly reading about new things that interest me.
- Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0. I'm reading this with 2 executive leaders right now and I was entirely won over after the first chapter. This is an update by Jim Collins, renowned author of Good to Great. This podcast interview of Collins in Nov 2020 convinced me that this would be a valuable read, and I was correct.
- No Man is an Island. OK, this feeds my philosophical / theological / contemplative side. It's a classic by Thomas Merton. I'm reading this during Lent. Thick and thoughtful.
- Stop Softening Tough Feedback. This quick article had me at "hello" when it used the phrase "feedback sandwich," because I use that very phrase when coaching managers and executives.
WATCHING. I cannot BELIEVE how much good, creative stuff is available right now. However, like my reading tastes, I veer more toward documentaries and reality shows (not the trashy stuff). Though I really, really loved Schitt's Creek.
- Nomadland. I had heard raves about this film, and usually those sorts of things don't live up to the hype. But for me, this did not disappoint. Perhaps some of its impact was related to my recent trip all over Utah and Arizona, because this movie really captures much of the beauty of those wide open spaces. But the story, and the director's unique approach that wove together fiction and non-fiction, stayed with me after the film was over. It looks at some hard realities in our country, but it wasn't overwhelming.
- In and Of Itself. I am reluctant to say much about this film. Just watch it. Very powerful.
- Stanley Tucci "Searching for Italy." Remember when I said I like reality shows? THIS is what I mean. For context: I love, love, love Italy ~ I've been twice: first to Rome, Florence and Cinque Terre and later another trip to Naples, Amalfi Coast and Pompeii. If you are feeling uber-restless about not being able to travel much, this will scratch your itch. Then follow up with Chef's Table: France.
LISTENING. As I have mentioned multiple times here, I'm a podcast NERD. Here are just a few newbies:
- In Our Time by the BBC. I'm pretty confident you will either LOVE or HATE this. This podcast almost has me giddy. The combination of chippy British accents, delightful understatement and endless episodes about EVERYTHING under the sun is like Christmas for me. Check it out.
- HBR Presents: After Hours. I have found this recently. I probably like the energetic, enthusiastic back-and-forth of the hosts as much as the content. But it covers current business trends in a concise, inviting way.
- Pivot. I believe I've mentioned this one before, but WOW there are So. Many. Confusing. Things going on right now. If you struggle (like me!) to understand bitcoin, blockchain, GameStop, short selling, SPACs... this is your show. Sure, the language is crass and their humor is a bit much at times, but they are in the game and really seem to get it.
WHAT AM I UP TO?
- Podcast Club. I've started doing a monthly podcast club for a client and we've done two months so far. I think it's working! I have at least 20 podcast episodes you can choose from, and we use the time to provide professional development, team building and interesting exchange.
- Strengths Finder Leadership Domains. If you're familiar with Strengths Finder, they have divided the 34 individual talents into four leadership domains: Executing, Influencing, Relationship-Building, and Strategic Thinking. I'm doing a 4-month series with a client on these domains and they are providing excellent ways to reflect on how to motivate employees and maintain momentum.
- Favorite new hacks. These are basic but helpful:
- Chit Chat Cards. Looking for good icebreaker questions for 1:1's and team meetings? Sick of "How's it going?" or "What did you do this weekend?" These are great to get things going in new ways.
- Four Zoom Chat Tricks. Did you know you can save a Zoom chat!? I sure didn't. Read on for more helpful tips...
- Remote Team Building Resources. It's not quite ready for prime time, but I'm in the midst of building a resource list for you to be able to access for ideas on how to creatively build TRUST and CONNECTION on your team as we work in this remote environment.
Please feel free to reach out to set up a time to connect and work together. Be well. email@example.com.