23 November: Nancy’s Notes and Anecdotes

Quote I’m pondering:

“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.”
— Anne Lamott

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On my reading list:

The Art of Servant Leadership II: How You Get Results is More Important Than the Results Themselves, by Art Barter. A Servant Leader is someone who overlays “their education, experience, and mindset with their hearts.” The title of this great book says it all: Servant Leadership is an art– it requires creativity and it requires grace and it requires placing others before ourselves.

This book is full of ideas, action items and stories that will get you thinking about leadership in a whole new way. Imagine turning your organizational chart upside down, with you at the bottom and the people who have the most contact with clients and potential clients at the top. What are you doing to enable them to shine, grow, perform and lead? It should be no surprise that the more you empower them the better they perform and the more they are willing to make sure goals and targets are met because of their new/renewed sense of ownership that stems from autonomy.

Here are 5 of the many concepts outlined in this book that caught my attention:

(1) Servant Leaders stand up for what’s right even if it means walking from business because of your company culture and core values.

(2) Servant Leaders are open and frequent communicators and the goal is to reinforce the organization’s purpose.

(3) Servant Leaders demonstrate courage– they have tough conversations when warranted and make decisions that might seem to go against conventional wisdom.

(4) Servant Leaders are conscious of the language they use; “When you say you’ll try, you are not fully committed to the action. You have a safe out to fall back on–”Well, I tried.”

(5) Servant Leaders engage in “a constant, never-ending process of learning and teaching and implementing.”

Meetings this week:

The meetings I’m attending this week are all about self care.

When was the last time you had your vision checked? If you’re over 40 and it’s been more than 2 years, it’s time! I’m also having a massage which in my book is not “just” indulgent. Massages improve circulation and give you an endorphin boost that is guaranteed to enhance creativity.

And we can all use an injection of creativity, don’t you agree?

Here’s your Rx for the week: practice self-care in at least 2 ways!


Ideas I’m Noodling…

From the book Seven Sacred Pauses:

“Open my eyes to the beauty that surrounds me that I may walk through this day with the kind of awareness that calls forth grateful living. May I live with the kind of presence that enables others to feel at home.”

I’m following…

Podcaster Carrie Green, author of She Means Business. She interviews business women who share challenges and successes.

I’m Celebrating…

True confessions: I am a collector and a lover of rituals and tradition. I’m in heaven this time of year because my house is the family gathering place and I get to welcome and enjoy so many people that I don’t get to see on a regular basis. One of my favorite traditions involves ringing sleigh bells. I’ve been collecting sleigh bells for 35 years– same bell, different design with the year engraved on each.

I order the bells in November, they usually arrive by Thanksgiving and I use them on my Christmas and New Year’s tables. On Thanksgiving, we pass around one of the bells and everyone gets to ring the bell and say what they are thankful for. Some of my favorite memories involve the candor of my son and my nephews when they were little: candy, toys and having to share a room so they won’t be lonely. At Christmas dinner we select a bell and say one great thing that happened during the year we selected– we all love this walk down memory lane. And finally, at New Year’s dinner we pass the bells around and say what our goals are for the New Year. I love those bells and I love that my family and friends love them too!

What are your favorite holiday traditions? Tell me here.



Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns about that here.
Nancy Allen