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Where Did You Start?


Where did you start and how do you place value on this beginning of yours?


My start included working on campaigns for President of the United States, Governor and in the Office of the Mayor in New York City on economic development initiatives.


I was a member of teams that worked in concert with fundraising and public private partnerships to get big things done in a short amount of time with limited resources and buy in.


There were no HR departments to complain to when things got stressful. There was no time off, there was only a date by which to accomplish our task.  The result was sometimes a win and sometimes a loss.


The quality of the work and speed of delivery depended on the level of agility in the players.


From this start - which lasted almost 20 years - I learned several cool things about the most powerful leaders with whom I had the great fortune to work.


Unequivocally, the most devoted leaders were the least distracted.  When it came to getting big things done, they zeroed in and clearly communicated through their teams the vision and purpose of their work. Those teams were then armed to advocate for that mission and produce success.


It was there that I connected with what it means to be a student of this magnificent world we live in. It was there I learned to surround myself with people who wanted to solve the same problems I did.  It was there my pathological optimism was given the fuel to believe that progress was possible.


Every April - my birthday month - I think about how deeply grateful I am for the life I’ve been given.  I take the time to reflect on what’s important to me.  I take the time to remind myself of what I’m living for and how I’m taking action to get bigger things done.


Seven years ago, for my 50th birthday, I wrote a piece for Huffington Post, and this is one of my favorite parts of that.


“The past 50 years have included a whole lot. I have had more jobs than I can count. I've been fired. I've been married. I've been divorced. I've given birth. I've fought for my children. I've lived in fancy places. I've lived in simple places. I've been 50 pounds heavier. I've slept in a tent. I've slept in five-star hotels. I've run birthday parties for preschoolers and election parties for presidents. I've raised money and I've raised awareness.”


This picture was taken in the fall of my senior year of college.  I was already on the path to the full-time job I’d hold after graduation. 


As I look at the brilliant young woman in that picture, I want her to know how proud I am of her. 


I want her to know I believe in her.


From that day to today this is what I can tell her she will learn:


  • You are the sum of your experiences. 

  • Know what’s important to you in order to communicate the value you add.

  • If you’re having trouble understanding and communicating your value, it’s time to measure your distractions and conquer them.

  • You must be seen by yourself to be seen by other people.

  •  Placing value on what you bring to the table is your job. NEVER give that job to someone else.

  • When you can truly revel in what you know about yourself within increased confidence you can accomplish anything you want.

  • When you become a magnet for the things you want to take action on, your life takes off.


What I know to be true on this celebration of my 57th year is that reflection is a powerful practice.  Each year I notice something more powerful about the path I’ve taken.


I am here to hold a position and so are you.

It’s been a rich run.  I’ve been in the room with some very interesting and powerful people. I’ve listened to and participated in a lot of valuable conversations. Knowing how great those exchanges make me feel I’ve spent my life seeking and finding more of them.

When great conversations and collaborations eluded me, I sought to change that, and I’ve never stopped.

My training module The Devotion Factor provides a bridge for leaders to reach and surpass the level of success they seek.


The Devotion Factor helps you develop deep faith in yourself. It helps you learn from your distractions in order to move through them.  The Devotion Factor helps you to see your life and work and relationships as worthy of your attention.


The Devotion Factor helps you re-discover that YOU are that important.


Once equipped with this knowledge you’ll learn to:

·      Break things that need breaking.

·      See more clearly. 

·      Increase your ability to change the things that need changing. 

·      Talk about what you know.

·      Listen for what you don’t know and want to learn.

·      Be the least distracted person in the room.

The leader of today needs these skills because change is here and we need to change with it.


Nothing will ever be the same. 


The world we are living in is more abundant with resources than ever before.  How we use those resources will determine the spaces we’re welcomed into.


You can reinvent your time to accommodate more growth and progress.  You can do this when you understand what it feels like to feel successful.


You can put yourself into more valuable conversations focused on where you want to be in the world.


Distraction is part of the human experience of today and tomorrow. Distraction is worth understanding in so that you’re re-directed by it less often.


·      Distractions keep your ideas small.

·      Distraction makes it impossible to advocate for yourself. 

·      Distraction decreases courage and shrinks vision.


Learning to improve your focus on what’s important to you is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.  Someone else is making the time to do so and they’re passing you by.


Everyone has something in their head that’s either propelling them to greatness or handicapping them with judgement.


Devotion is focus without fear.


The Devotion Factor is the framework to develop the significance of that position. 


The Devotion Factor is my gift to the girl in that picture and all of us who started somewhere.


Your significance is calling.


Are you listening?









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