Intention directs your attention

Recently while coaching a group of managers and executives, I asked them what they wanted to make sure they left with at the end of the day.

One woman said she wanted to discover two ideas or insights that she could use in managing her team and being a more effective leader. At the end of the day, she had discovered at least three key insights she could apply immediately and said that probably more would surface as she returned to work.

Her intention to discover key insights to help her be a more effective leader directed her attention during the day. She didn’t consciously evaluate every activity or conversation to look for insights. They emerged throughout the day during our table discussions and over lunch with her colleagues. And to make sure she understood the value of intention, I asked her in the afternoon debrief and wrap-up what she learned to direct her attention back to her intention.

Setting an intention is a great way to start each day. Recently I was on a business trip to Boston with a friend and we decided to stay in Boston over the weekend. As we set out on Saturday morning, we stated our intention of the experience we wanted to have that day. We wanted to have an easy, fun day, meet interesting people and be joyful everywhere we went. We did have a great day and accomplished what we set out to do plus discovered more along the way.

You can use intention in any area of your life. The most important thing is to make it simple. Create one intention and then let the day emerge.

You can set an intention for what you want to learn from a book or a conversation.

You can set an intention of the experience you want to create for a client meeting.

You can set an intention for how you want to be in your relationships.

Intention indicates present and future focus. Intention directions your attention.

Here are some examples:

Today, my intention is to stay present and focused in all my conversations.

Today, my intention is for my meetings to be efficient and create the best solution for everyone involved.

Today I want to create clarity so I can move forward on <you name the project here.>

Today, I bring energy and enthusiasm to everyone I meet.

When you make statements of intent like this, your conscious and subconscious mind will direct your attention and your focus. To get the full benefit of this exercise, give yourself a few minutes at the end of the day to reflect on your intentions and what you noticed.

For a complimentary consultation on the power of setting intentions, 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


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


Fear is the seed of something great

I am a big fan of “The Wizard of Oz” and still hold onto my VHS copy of The Wizard of Oz. It is such a delightful story. Although when I was a kid, I remember being terrified of those parts of the movie that are supposed to scare you, especially when the Wicked Witch of the West and those awful monkeys show up.

A vivid memory of the movie is the point where Dorothy, Tin Man, the Lion and the Scarecrow are admitted to see the Wizard for the first time.

Kathy GarlandThey have been happily traveling on the path of the Yellow Brick Road and easily reach the Emerald City where they think they have it made. However, theWizard is more than they bargained for. The Wizard, as you remember, is very intimidating as he shows up as a larger-than-life shouting apparition spitting fire and smoke.

Dorothy and her friends must confront their fears and step up to the Wizard to ask for what they want. Moreover, as if that wasn’t enough, The Wizard demands even more from them – the Wicked Witch of the West’s broom.

Of course, the Great Oz knows that each one will find what they are looking for by doing the thing he asks. Dorothy will find her way home; the Tin Man will find a heart, the Lion his courage, and the Scarecrow his brains.

How often, on our own path, do we let the journey ahead look frightening to us, whether it is changing a job, moving to a new city, making a speech, going back to school, finding a relationship, starting a business or traveling alone? Whatever the fear is, it can certainly hold its grip on us and even though we haven’t met some scary Wizard who can grant us or not grant us our wishes, there might as well be.

I somehow think it would be easier if there were a nasty ol’ Wizard out there. It would give us a reason to stay safe and comfy, wouldn’t it?

However, everything you want is on the other side of fear. Usually your most important breakthroughs are on the other side of your fear.

What could be more frightening than killing the Witch to get her broomstick?

And it is something we need to get through. Like Dorothy and her friends on a mission to get the Wicked Witch of the West’s broom, we all have our own journey to find what we are driven to seek.

Where are you holding back because of fear? What are you not contributing or giving to the world because you are afraid?

A few years ago, I visited the Georgia O’Keefe museum in Santa Fe and on a plaque was the following quote from her:

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” – Georgia O’Keefe

So the only way to get over your fears is to go through with the thing you fear the most.

Think of the art that Georgia O’Keefe has contributed to the world. Had she stayed in her fear, we would not have seen nature and colorful Southwest landscapes through her eyes.

Remember that any thing in your mind that causes you fear is the seed of something great.

Dorothy found her home, the Lion found his courage, the Tin Man found his heart and the Scarecrow found his brains all after they confronted their fears.

What will you discover about yourself when you step into and through your fears?

For a complimentary consultation on overcoming fears, 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



Paving a New Yellow Brick Road

Most of us have either read the book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum or seen the classic movie, “The Wizard of Oz” from MGM first on the screen in 1939. It’s a favorite classic that I’ve watched over and over and more recently read the book.

Much has been written about the metaphor of The Yellow Brick Road and how it represents our life journey with all the twists and turns, fun and perils.

In the book, Dorothy and her friends were tasked with killing the Wicked Witch of the West. In order to get to her castle, they had to leave the Yellow Brick Road and venture through a dangerous countryside.

There’s a huge desire now of many of us to find and follow our life path and live our purpose. Part of this comes from a longing to have   more meaning to our lives and be a contribution for a better society and world.

For me, it is a spiritual quest so I can learn to use my talents and experience to empower other people in their journeys. I’ve devoted my   career in the last ten years to coaching and mentoring people to have more control in their lives, activate their dreams and improve their results through focus and increased confidence.

Back to the Yellow Brick Road though. The road was the path to the answer for Dorothy – or so she thought. It seemed pretty obvious to follow the Yellow Brick Road and then reach the Emerald City and ask the Wizard of Oz to get her back home.

In her innocence, she did not know what she would encounter, she just knew she had to get back home and she had been told the Wizard would help her.

Our lives are like that. We set a goal and we start off on our journey. In real life, there are often twists and turns and it takes strength of character to stay on the path we chose.

The Yellow Brick Road May Not Be the Right Road for You

We focus so much on the importance of the Yellow Brick Road. In the story and as a metaphor, that we forget that Dorothy, The Tin Man, The Scarecrow and The Lion couldn’t reach the Witch’s castle from the Yellow Brick Road. They had to go cross-country, off-road and through scary forests to get there.

Ultimately they did get rid of the Wicked Witch of the West and made their way back to Oz to see the Wizard.

What I want to emphasize though, is that you may have events in your life that you feel are taking you off your Yellow Brick Road. Family needs, other opportunities, health issues or the need to make money are all valid reasons we get off our own Yellow Brick Road.

YellowBrickRoadSometimes the side journey becomes the journey and we pave a new Yellow Brick Road.

Are you on the Yellow Brick Road you originally set out on? Have you veered in your path on another direction?

All of these are fine because everything we do contributes to our life experiences and learning. You are at the right time and place for your life path and journey.

And if it is time to make some course corrections, you can use this time to decide what’s next for you.


Here are two questions to ask yourself:

Where do you want to make a difference?

What talents of yours will get you there?

The Yellow Brick Road you’ve been on may or may not be the one that lines up with your life path. Be ready to go off-road and see what adventures life brings.

For a complimentary consultation on your personal journey, 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 achievebusiness goals and reach their highest potential.

© 2014 Kathy Garland


3 Tips to Navigate Your Identity Crisis

Have you ever faced an identity crisis? It’s a crisis of meaning where you just don’t know who you are anymore. Sometimes it is extreme and you need help to get through it and sometimes you can use reflection and talking to friends to feel better. A change in how you perceive who you are usually comes with changes in your life circumstances.

Here are some events that can trigger confusion or introspection of your own sense of self:

– Starting or changing a career

– Changing jobs

– Getting laid off

– Getting married

– Getting divorced

– Moving locally or farther

– Losing a loved one

– Raising a family/becoming an empty-nester

– Promotions

– Cosmetic surgery, weight loss or even orthodontic treatment

These events can cause us to question our identity or who we think we are. Many times it is a good thing because we are evolving into the person we’ve always envisioned for our life.

That’s where the crisis comes in. Emotionally, we may not be certain how to act, how to be and if we are ready to step into that new identity. I’ve experienced multiple changes in my life – moves, jobs, careers, family changes and more where I looked again at my own sense of self. I remember the worst identity crisis I experienced was after resigning from a position that no longer matched who I was and my goals. Leaving that position called up all sorts of questions about who I was and I went into a spin of self-doubt and confusion until I started my business.

As a business owner, I love identifying with the compliments and reflections of who I am as a speaker and workshop leader. It aligns with what I love to do and I can see that what I facilitate in my talks and workshops impacts people in a positive way.

Your identity is the outward expression of who you are such that people can describe you to other people or make decisions about you. More importantly though, is your own sense of identity – who do you think you are and who do you want to be?

If you are in transition and confused about your identity and your sense of self, there are a few things you can do.

Relax and Slow Down1. Relax and slow down. Re-connect with who and what is important to you. During transition time, when your identity is changing, your mind may be racing and your ego is certainly taking exception to the change – good or bad.

2. Create a picture of who you want to be, how you want to be seen and how you want people to speak of you. Write it down.

3. Make a list of your talents and abilities. If you are in a spin of self-doubt, ask people who are your supporters. Identify your favorite successes and what is common across all of them.

You don’t have to worry and have a lot of stress during a crisis of identity. Each time you get in that spin, remind yourself that life is a journey and have faith that you will find your sense of self again.

Now go ahead, breathe a sigh of relief. You’ll make it through.

If you are in transition, I offer a complementary 30-minute consultation to help you reconnect with your true self. Simply fill out this form with your request and your contact information and I will connect with you to set up a call.

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