A New Beginning

  There’s something exciting about the beginning of the school year, even when you’re no longer a student. The fresh supplies – new pencils, new pens and paper that seem to say, “At this moment my future’s wide open and anything can happen!”   Of course, for many of us that feeling didn’t last beyond the first few weeks of school, but the excitement at the beginning of the year was real. There were new possibilities.   We meet adults…

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As you may know, at Carpenter Smith Consulting, we believe that leadership is the willingness to influence your world and the willingness to be influenced by your world. Recently, we had someone write and ask us this: “You talk a lot about influence. I’m just not sure it’s all that important. What’s made it so central to your model of leadership? What about power and authority?” We love these questions! We know that people often believe that leadership is about…

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Bringing 100 Percent

Total Eclipse of the Sun

Good morning, Living in Portland, Oregon, means that we’re within 30 miles of “the path of totality” – the path where one can see the total eclipse of the sun later this morning.   In our office, we’ve had lots of discussions about whether it’s really necessary to seek out a viewing spot that will be in the path of totality; we wonder, “how much better could 100% be than 99%?”   Well, after doing some reading, the difference between…

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Creating healthy boundaries

Creating Healthy Boundaries

In last week’s post, we talked about what it means to step in as a leader while not “doing it all.” This week we’d like to follow that up with some tips on how you can start to set healthy boundaries. We all know that we should have healthy boundaries, but for many of us we think we’re being mean or lazy when we set limits that take care of our own needs. Having healthy boundaries isn’t about being mean.…

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before and after house renovation

Make Your Own Before & After

  Most of us can recall an event in our life that shaped us—something that if asked about you could say, “Before the event I was that way, and after the event I’m this way.” Most of these before and after scenarios weren’t necessarily by choice. It usually takes something pretty big for people to be moved from one state of being to another. In fact, most people have a before/after that is related to something where they had little…

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Person with their computer and a notebook, ready to see strategy instead of routine.

What’s the Problem You’re Trying to Solve?

As executive coaches, we often work with teams to help move an organization forward.  Recently, in one of those team meetings, someone reported out about an activity that was taking 10-15 hours a week to complete, and bemoaned that the employee responsible for it simply didn’t have time for it anymore. People grumbled a little to hear that the employee was not keeping up with the activity, and then began to discuss who they could get to complete the activity…

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Suffering from Change Fatigue?

As the world moves faster and faster, there are demands on each of us to match the pace. Yet, as humans, we count on a level of predictability and stability to move forward effectively. In fact, our brains count on being able to kick into habit to manage the demands of all that’s coming at us.  When it gets to be too much, we get fatigued by all the change—hence the term Change Fatigue. Organizational change fatigue can become a…

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Of all the traits that make up a good leader, resilience is probably one of the most important. re·sil·ience /rəˈzilyəns/ noun the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity. the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. Resilience is something that you learn and develop over the course of your lifetime—it’s not something we can do innately. Resilience means that you can manage your fear, disappointments, and negative inner voice to come back to a…

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End of the Beginning

Change is hard. We all know that it’s inevitable, but most of us like the sense of safety and control that comes with a reasonable amount of sameness. Remember when we were hunters and gatherers? Predictability often meant a greater chance of survival, so change unnerves us—whether unplanned or planned. And, it often comes as a surprise to people that positive change can be as hard for us to embrace as a challenging change. As we move toward a positive…

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Are You Bent and Broken?

We love the entertaining and quirky TV show Grimm that is filmed and set in our hometown Portland, Oregon. The show is described on the NBC website as: A modern twist on the Grimm Brothers’ tales. It’s often a fun romp and it always starts with an interesting quote. A recent episode started with:  I’ve been bent and broken . . . but I hope into a better shape. What a wonderful depiction of life’s journey. It spoke to us especially deeply as we each…

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