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


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