Life is a climb, with up and down paths to our journey.  Picture a climber’s journey to the summit of a mountain.  Rarely is it a straight line to the top.  Not only do they need to go down to go back up, but obstacles present themselves along the way.

When I look back on my career, I have had my share of up and downs.  When I look at my personal life, I have had my share of up and downs.  What about you?  How have you responded?

Fortunately, when bad events have happened, I’ve had a chance to make a bad situation better and improve my situation – professionally and personally.

In retrospect, I’ve learned a lot about my climbs and myself in the journey.  Here are my lessons.  What lessons have you gained?

Don’t Travel Alone

Many in our culture choose the bravado and independent path to succeed and be seen.  In most cases that works out well for them.  In my case, I don’t want to travel alone.  I want people who I can look up to, learn from, and care about on my side.  There’s nothing better when I’m feeling alone, hit a rough spot or need to break out of my current perspective or status quo.

Look Up – See the Possibilities

When I’m stuck or facing a difficult dilemma, I become very focused on the situation.  That’s good and bad.  Focus is great.  Past experiences are helpful.  What about a new encounter that you’ve never seen?  What if I try again and I keep getting the same poor result?  It’s time for a change; time for new perspective. Looking up helps me take my next steps.

It’s Different When It Happens to Someone You Love

A year and a half ago I lost my mom to bladder cancer – on Christmas Day.  In so many ways she was both my rock and my definition of grace.  I know many of you have also lost someone important to you.  I’m sorry for your loss.

The problem is it’s not happening to me.  I have no control over the cancer that ravaging my mom.  As much I needed her during my life, she needed me.  I did what I could and continue to cherish the memories I have of this woman who lived a long and loving life.

Don’t Wait.  Step Up As a Leader

Many will complain about their circumstances.  Few will rise to the challenge.  Be one of them.  Help yourself by helping others.  It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than sitting on the sidelines.  Regrets come from not doing anything.  Leadership is about helping others through a difficult challenge.

A leader is someone who inspires and motivates those who observe and follow. A leader is someone with a vision and willing to walk the journey. A leader is someone who ensures that others have the support and tools to achieve their goal or outcome.


I coach CEO’s, business owners, and executive leaders who aspire to go from good to GREAT, who want to improve their organizational leadership as means to additional growth and alignment and are open to constructive feedback.

Decades of leadership development and OD consulting experience fuels my belief that working with small and middle-market companies is the greatest opportunity for growth, jobs and economic prosperity, while lighting the path to sustainable growth and competitive advantage.