Up in smoke.

  As many of you know, I’m traveling this summer. I’m currently in Greece where 37% of the population smokes cigarettes. Coming from California, and a town where you can’t even smoke outside, this was quite a change. During a taxi ride, the driver asked if I minded if he smoked (with his cigarette freshly lit). I said, “Ah yeah…” and before I even finished my sentence he said, “No worries, I’ll just stick it […]

Inspired thought to committed action.

We are all hit with inspired thought every once in a while. Perhaps it hits you like a lightning strike in your morning shower…and VOILA, you suddenly have a genius book idea, business concept, or a burning desire for change, or to change. With that, here’s a name you should know: Bryan Stevenson (Google his TED Talk or watch the documentary called True Justice). Why? He is a compassionate leader and NY Times bestselling author […]

Pickpocketing and Unconscious Bias

For the summer I’m living in Athens, Greece. I’m here accompanying my daughter who has a modeling contract. Fortunately my business is 99% online so I’m able to work while I enjoy some sightseeing and the odd island hop. (Mykonos is on our list.) As we got settled in, we were warned several times by our contacts and the tourist office about pickpockets, specifically to look out for “immigrants.” Instantly, my “critter” brain was put […]

Leadership according to Beyoncé (+ others)

I don’t normally watch TV, but when I do I’m fired up when I see leadership at its finest. First with Beyoncé’s documentary Homecoming on Netflix, highlighting her commitment to excellence and recognizing her great responsibility as the first black woman to headline Coachella. This documentary, interwoven with black historical context, was extra special because my daughter and I were at Coachella to see Beyoncé make history. Leadership lessons: You can’t be what you can’t […]

Reinvention vs. Pivot

  Whether during a mid-life crisis, or another personal transition, one may choose to reflect on their life and create a significant change – perhaps changing their career, hairstyle, or lifestyle (like your meat-eating friend who suddenly turned vegan.) This can be seen as a reinvention. Madonna could be seen as the “grandmother of reinvention” because every few years she changed her “look” and artistic expression from “Papa Don’t Preach” to “Vogue”, from singer to […]

Avoid the Word “But”

We live in a world of instantaneous communication. This has an upside: As a global population we are informed of breaking news and important, need-to-know information at rapid speed. This, of course, also has a downside: We (and media entities) can broadcast our thoughts, feelings and fears lickety-split to hundreds, thousands and even millions of people… with no filter or forethought. That’s a heck of a lot of responsibility. And can cause a heck of […]

Would you rather be cherished or respected?

Earlier this month, I attended a lecture by Dr. Pat Allen, world-renowned relationship expert and the author of Getting to “I Do.” She started her seminar with the following question: Would you rather be cherished or respected? The audience murmured as they mouthed their answer to themselves and/or an interested neighbor. Her question set the intention and direction for the rest of the seminar. (BTW, Dr. Allen is 84 years old and still facilitating monthly […]

New Sexual Harassment Training for the #MeToo Era

The roadmap for managing and preventing workplace harassment is always changing. Now in the wake of the #MeToo movement, all workplace leaders, trainers, and engaged employees demand new, and more effective sexual harassment programs. The status quo is not working because traditional trainers, including law firms, have focused on compliance and risk management. This trend has contributed to missed opportunities to engage in new and more effective training to break the silence surrounding reporting workplace […]

Compassion in Action

I was once told that empathy is compassion in action.   Compassion is being sympathetic of another person’s pain or circumstance. You understand their pain intellectually; yet it’s not relatable.   Empathy is being one with another person’s pain or circumstance. Empathy is relating to it deeply.     In the past 5 years, I’ve personally done a lot of work to be “more empathetic.” And, I’ll tell you, it’s not been easy.   My personality default is […]

What I learned from a Peeping Tom

This weekend I had an encounter with a Peeping Tom. (And, I’d like to add, my goal for this message is to turn this encounter into a leadership lesson.) Last Saturday, I was shopping with my daughter on the hip Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. We were in the dressing room of Wasteland, which is a popular vintage shop in the neighborhood. My daughter was using the dressing room as I sat in the seating […]

How Not to React

Our brains are hardwired to react. A reaction is the automatic response driven by biases, survival and prejudices of the unconscious mind. This sometimes works for animals in the wild (a wilder beast spies a lion and flees). Or when humans have to take fast action (pulling someone from a burning car). Yesterday, I facilitated a training on Unconscious Bias for private college in Los Angeles. A participant shared how it’s hard to respond when […]

#Yes I Will Talk: Google Employees Walked, Now It’s Time to Talk (and Take New Action)

(Note: the following article was co-authored by Raye Mitchell Esq. and Alicia Dunams. It has been abbreviated. You can find the entire post here.) On November 1, 2018, over 20,000 Google employees and contractors staged a worldwide, high-profile, but peaceful disruption of the status quo manner in which Google handles sexual harassment and other workplace matters. Despite its belief that Google fostered an environment and culture of openness and trust to stimulate robust communications and […]

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