Succeeding by Changing the Game

Game ChangerWe just saw the movie, “The Imitation Game” that told the true story of Alan Turing, the prodigy mathematician who broke the Nazi Code during World War II. Turing was extraordinarily gifted in his intellect and so devoted to his studies that no focus was given to developing his social and interpersonal skills. As I watched the movie, it was difficult to imagine anyone more shut off from people and more into his work.

He led the team of mathematicians, however, his personal style and focus created a divided team that fought daily. They made no progress toward deciphering 159 million bits of code. The task felt impossible for Turing’s team.

Turing himself had a clear vision of a machine that could decipher the German Enigma code. His problem was that he didn’t share it or accept any support from his team.

Turing’s genius eventually made a profound difference in WWII and the Allied success. How did that happen? He changed the game.

A young woman mathematician on the team was able to influence Turing to start showing a little caring for the team. His first action was to bring each person on the team an apple. It was enough to repair some of the damage created by his isolationist and elitist attitude.

Little by little, his team started getting on board with his vision and his approach. Eventually, while they were having fun on a night out, a solution was found that broke the code.

By using just a little emotional intelligence, Turing was able to change the game and find solutions that, according to historians and post-war analysts ended the war two years sooner and saved approximately 14 million lives.

Pretty impressive don’t you think? What results could you create by improving your interpersonal skills? Where can you influence powerful changes through the power of your relationships? What vision do you have that could become a reality by tapping into the power of your team and your networks?

If you would like to affect change, be more influential and maybe become a game-changer, sign up for my free series, “Lead Like Dorothy, Power and Influence along the Yellow Brick Road” which contains tips to increase your influence and ability to build strong personal relationships.

Kathy Garland helps mid-level leaders drive results and get to the next level through increased influence, strong relationships and effective communication within teams and across the organization. She is certified to deliver emotional intelligence and 360 management skills assessments.
(c) 2015 Kathy Garland

I’d Turn Back if I Were You!

When I was a child, the tornado, witches, angry wizards and hosts of witch minions were frightening. As an adult, I’ve come to appreciate the humor in the movie.

One of the funniest parts of The Wizard of Oz is when Dorothy and her friends enter the Haunted Forest on the way to the castle of the Wicked Witch of the West. A sign that said, “I’d turn back if I were you” stopped them in their tracks. The Lion read the sign to the group and then acting like the coward he didn’t want to be, immediately turned tail to run away.

YellowBrickRoadAs soon as he bolted, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow rushed after him and brought him back. He took a deep breath and started again until they encountered the owls with red glowing eyes. Once more, the Lion made an about face and headed the other way. Without missing a beat, the Lion and Scarecrow brought him back.

Later, on the verge of reaching the castle, the trio was making plans to to into the castle and the Scarecrow told the Lion, “You’re gonna lead us.” Of course, that sent the Lion into a dither, but his friends would not take no for an answer.

The Tin Man and the Scarecrow were there for the Lion to help him break through his fear and discover his true courage.

The best friends and co-workers and are like that – they stand for us, push us and believe in us when we do not or are wavering in our courage and confidence. I have some dear friends and clients who always encourage me when I am starting a new course or developing a new idea. Sometimes I need a subtle (or not so subtle) push to keep on my path and keep up my courage when I am moving into uncharted waters. I am very blessed to have them in my life.

Encourage means to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence. All of us need that from friends and family. This week, whom can you encourage to help along their journey? It could be a friend, family member or complete stranger.

Be on the lookout for chances to encourage people. It will bring joy to both of you.

For a complimentary consultation on your communication style, contact me and I will connect with you to schedule a phone appointment.

Whether it is mentoring people to lead more effectively, improve their own performance or step into what is next, Kathy Garland is passionate about guiding leaders to achieve business goals and reach their highest potential.

© 2014 Kathy Garland


Your Personal Power – tips for solving problems

Have you ever been stuck on how to solve a problem? Recently I’ve been stuck on which topic to use for an ebook. I’ve got lots of titles in my mind and several actually started. Coming up with ideas is not my problem. If there were an idea store, mine would be full of inventory. I can picture all those ideas waiting on shelves to be manifested.

During my agency career, I had a wonderful opportunity to work with 3M. I learned that 3M scientists are able to spend a certain percentage of their time on research and development that is not associated with a product planned for production. So they get paid to spend time dreaming up ideas and tinkering with cool stuff.  My kind of day!

What I further learned was that there are lots of potential products on the shelves of 3M. Even though there are many great ideas, it takes a carefully planned and concerted effort to get an idea into production. The scientist must be able to come up with a practical application for the idea and sell it to the leaders who make the decisions on products that go to market. Until then it is an idea on a shelf with no possibility of creating revenue. That is often the problem – how to take a great idea and turn it into something that is practical, creates value and generates revenue.

Do you have lots of ideas in your inventory and don’t know what to do with them? Here are a couple of steps I use when I need to solve a problem:

1. Sit still. I’ve had to learn this. As a person who likes to be busy and get things done, sitting still is not always easy. It is contrary to getting those ideas manifested. Yet when I do sit still with pen and paper in hand, answers start flowing into my mind. The key is to be willing to show up for the answers without knowing ahead of time what the answer will be.

2. Create space or time free of distractions. When I get up around 5 or 5:30 a.m. I can access answers that I can’t reach during the hectic day. One of my favorite places is in a comfortable chair by a window and looking out into our backyard. When I don’t get up as early, I often head out with my iPod and sit in a public place, tune out and think and write to come up with solutions.

2. Go for a walk. This is the opposite of sitting still of course. However, you will want to try different approaches to discover what works for you. Walking outside in fresh air is the best. Bonus points for you if you can get to a park or nature trail.

For a complimentary consultation on problem-solving, contact me and I will connect with you to schedule a phone appointment.

Whether it is mentoring people to lead more effectively, improve their own performance or step into what is next, Kathy Garland is passionate about guiding leaders to achieve business goals and reach their highest potential.

© 2014 Kathy Garland


Your Heart Knows the Way

“No, my head is quite empty,” answered the Woodman. “But once I had brains, and a heart also; so, having tried them both, I should much rather have a heart.” – The Tin Woodman, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L Frank Baum

All the Tin Woodman wanted was a heart. He thought he didn’t have a heart, yet all his actions came from a heart-focused center. His tender conversations and display of caring even to the point of rusting when he shed tears were signs he already had a heart. All he needed was for someone, in this case, the almighty, powerful Wizard of Oz to make it official by giving him a heart.

You don’t need someone else to give you what you already have. You can claim for yourself what you really want. You couldn’t see it if you didn’t already have it. Many people cover up their own heart’s wisdom because it may require them to make big changes, go against the tide, and break out of our rut or even lead to a life of happiness.

Whatever your heart desires, assume that you already have it or can have it.  When people started guiding me to open my heart, it was so foreign to me. A little like traveling on the road to Oz. I didn’t know where the road was or where it led. I didn’t know how to listen to my heart. I was so shut down it really hurt to focus on my heart energy. Yet my life has changed in wonderful ways since then.

Listening to your heart is a journey on its own. We are so trained in the Western world to think, think and think. Our belief is that the only thing that is valid is what can be measured and observed.

Yet when you listen to your heart, you will find clues and solutions for the questions in your life.

One of my favorite quotes is by Dicky Fox, Jerry Maguire’s mentor in the movie “Jerry Maguire.” He advised Jerry,

“If it’s not in your heart, it’s not in your head.”

My interpretation of this quote is that people won’t achieve what tehy want if it doesn’t come from their hearts. If your heart is on board, your head will know what to do.

People can get off track with our lives, depressed and miserable, when they don’t have the courage to pay attention to their heart’s desires.

If you are longing for something different in your life, if your results aren’t what you want, if your life isn’t going the way you want, which of your heart’s desires are you ignoring?

Try this exercise:

To tap into your heart’s wisdom, close your eyes for several minutes and take slow, deep breaths.

Center your focus on your heart. Pay attention to your heart’s rhythm and its beat for a few minutes. Appreciate your heart’s role in keeping you alive and bringing up your dreams.

Continue to focus on your heart and breathe.

Ask your heart what it would take for you to have a fulfilled life.

Be still, be present. Listen.

Notice first thing that comes to you no matter how outrageous or far from where you are right now.

Resist the temptation to question, edit, dismiss or alter the image or words that come to your heart.

Take a deep breath and open your eyes.

Write down what you noticed and observed. What does your heart want to communicate?

What would your life be like if you had that?

Assume you can have it.

Claim it. You own it.

Your heart wants you to express this.

For years, my heart whispered to me to write. When I went inside to listen to my heart, writing always surfaced.

But similar to the way Dorothy reacted when the Wizard asked her to bring back the Wicked Witch of the West’s broom, I’ve said, no I can’t do that. Or the infamous for stopping people phrase, “I’ll get to it later.”

Now, I am committed more than ever to share messages from my heart through writing and doing it one step at a time.

It’s time now to give yourself permission to follow your heart. It doesn’t mean you have to give up your life and move to a monastery, leave your spouse, or quit your job. If you think any of those is a solution, please call me!

For you to step into your heart’s desires and life purpose, you can start where you are. Add a little bit of what you desire to your everyday routine.

Take a step forward and commit to taking one step at a time. Dorothy and her friends kept moving on the Yellow Brick Road even though they had been told there would be danger. They went one step at a time and figured it out along the way and ultimately achieved their goals.

You can do the same.

For a complimentary consultation on leading from your heart, contact me and I will connect with you to schedule a phone appointment.

Whether it is mentoring people to lead more effectively, improve their own performance or step into what is next, Kathy Garland is passionate about guiding leaders to achieve business goals and reach their highest potential.

© 2014 Kathy Garland


Reaching Your Goals with a Vision Board

Expressing your dreams in a visual way by putting photos on a poster or in a journal is a powerful way to document what you want in your business or your life.

I’ve used vision boards for years and it always amazes me when I create or receive something that is on my vision board.

In the past year, I’ve been to Europe twice, spoken at a conference in France, doubled my income and improved my relationships. Below is a photo of some of the exciting things in my life that were dreams – time with family, travel, time in nature and great clients. It’s time for me to update my vision board for what I want to create next.

My dreams – family, travel, nature, working with amazing leaders.

You can create outstanding results and have more of your dreams come true when you use a vision board or vision tool of some type.

There are several steps to creating a vision board that will support you in reaching more of your dreams.

Pick one of these to display your photos.
Poster for display where you can see it
Big journal with blank pages. Mine has colorful art on the cover.
Digital version using Powerpoint or iMovie (you can add music to these.)

It’s also easy to start with either a full or 1/2 a standard poster board for the project.

Next make a list of things you want to do, be or have. Strive for at least 25 – 50 items.
Review the list and add anything that comes up for you. If you are familiar with a bucket list, this is a similar list.

Prepare your vision board

There are photos everywhere you can use. Take the things on your list and search images on the internet or use magazines. Print them out and/or cut them out from magazines. Along the way when you see images that draw your imagination and fascination, go ahead and clip them. You may not know why you are drawn to a certain location, scene or item in a photo. That’s OK, just go with it.

Once you have 25-30 photos assembled, you are ready to start. Again the easiest way to get started on your vision board is to use a poster or blank journal.

Attach the photos in a way that is pleasing to you. Use whatever style works best for you. If you love creativity and expression, you can draw, add stickers, lettering or other decorations. The vision board must create happy thoughts and feelings when you look at it.

Once you have your vision board the way you want it, display it in a place you can see it everyday. If you use a journal, leave it in a place that is easily accessible. You will want to look at it once or twice a day. During this time, let your imagination and heart take over. Ignore any ego or mind thoughts that tell you that what you want isn’t possible.

Faith’s role in making your dreams come true

From now on, you must trust that what you want is possible. When you spend time with your vision board, your dreams will come true much faster if you let go and are not attached to how they happen.

Trust your higher power – God, The Universe, your guides, your higher self – whatever your particular belief system is – you will want to put your faith there.

For without faith, your mind will take over and create roadblocks. With faith, all things are possible.

Another aspect of faith is intention. Intention is defined by Webster’s as “the end or object intended; purpose.”

You will also create more of your dreams with an intention that they will come about. Intention is a strong energy – it is yours to use and draw to you what you want.

Documenting what happens

In my vision journal, I always write down the date something happens. Some things happen right away and some take several years or more to evolve. Let whatever happens be OK. Enjoy the miracle of watching your dreams unfold.

If you haven’t taken time to dream and create your own vision, on November 15 – 17, 2013, I will be hosting the Step UP! Retreat Workshop in Houston. Contact me with questions or request for additional information.








Fall Transitions

Fall is my favorite season of the year. The colors and the crisp air are so rejuvenating for me. It also signifies that cold weather is coming, which can bring about some dread on my part because I really don’t like cold. Fall is a transition time which mirrors the transitions in our lives. Transitions are a time of joy and a time of

Autumn foliage in Butchart Gardens, Vancouver Island, Canada

Autumn foliage in Butchart Gardens, Vancouver Island, Canada

rough waters. We experience many emotions during any time of transition and transitions of the seasons also bring different feelings  and moods and even a nudge for change.

Have you been feeling restless, not sleeping well and maybe, well, just maybe a little out of sorts? You may feel like you want to
change what you are doing , your job, even your career and somehow feeling that where you are just isn’t right.

Perhaps some of your physical conditions are flaring up and you are wondering why because you’ve done everything to manage how  you feel and your body’s health. Even things as simple as needing to move furniture around, clean out closets or decorate also signify that you are ready for change and are in some type of transition.

It’s natural at this time of year to experience symptoms of transition. We are letting go of the summer energy of growth and sunshine  and moving into fall, shifting into different weather patterns and in some cases, different work and everyday tasks.

Last week, one night I woke up just feeling like I was totally ungrounded and even feeling a little ‘woozy.’ And I’m sure you are wondering this – no I didn’t have any alcohol.  I didn’t feel connected in my body.

This ungrounded feeling can come whenever you are going through a personal transition or experiencing the transition of the seasons and the earth. You will even sense it when people around you are going through transition.

It’s not a comfortable feeling. Over the years, I’ve been through many transitions, from changing jobs, careers and where we live to becoming empty-nesters, losing loved ones to helping with parents and grandchildren. All require focus to navigate the transition.

There are several things you can do to support yourself when you feel you are in transition. These are things I use to calm down and regain my focus when I am feeling that my foundation is shifting yet again.

1. Walk outside on the grass, on the beach, in the mountains – wherever you can touch the ground will help. One of the things I do when I have a break from a really busy day is to take a short walk and lean up against a tree trunk when I am checking email on my phone. Maybe that defeats the purpose of being outside, however, that little bit helps me re-center my energy for the rest of the day.

2.  Drinking a lot of water will help your brain function better and might help you think more clearly about your transitions.

3. Develop a sitting or meditation practice. This is simply sitting in a quiet comfortable place for 20 – 30 minutes and focusing on your breath. The goal is to clear your mind as much as possible. Most of us have constant chatter in our heads so if you can clear your mind, even for a nanosecond, it starts to work to calm you inside. I light a small candle and focus my attention on it while saying something like “Breathe in, breathe out” to keep my mind from wandering. A daily meditation practice will change your life in ways you can’t yet understand. You’ll find yourself with less stress and being less reactive as well as increased focus.

One of the most important benefits of a sitting practice is that you start to speak and make decisions from the core of your being – from who you really are, instead of who you think you should be.

That’s a game-changer, which brings me back to the topic of this article. If you are feeling the symptoms of transition, you are being called to step up to another level in your life. You can resist and find reasons to avoid your inner voice or you can make a commitment to a sitting/meditation practice and let the changes unfold more naturally and with ease.

Enjoy the fall wherever you are and lean in to the transitions that are in your life. If you are feeling restless, know you need a change and are not sure where to go or where to start, I have programs and coaching that can guide you. On November 15 – 17, 2013, I am leading a women’s retreat for you to create direction and focus for the balance of 2013 and all of 2014.  See my events page for more details and my website for more programs on navigating transitions.