Helping leaders emerge


Five Things Resilient People Do

This is a wonderful article about resilient people who able to bounce back and handle difficult moments. They lead from their strengths, are authentic, mindful, positive and willing to reach out to others for support.

Read more about what Kripalu Thrive in Healthy Living has to say about being resilient.

Someone Throw Me a Life Jacket! A Lesson in Leadership

“A Mindful Leadership Story by Meryl Moritz”

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” – Helen Keller

My parents fed and housed me but did not provide much guidance. Looking back, one memory in particular stands out: I remember my father tossing me into a pool and because I did not know how to swim I sunk like a rock. I was frightened and angry when my father fished me out laughing. I received the message loud and clear: figure it out myself and don’t ask for help.

Fast-forward 15 years. I’m now in my post-college life and living pretty much on my own. The idea of asking for guidance was the furthest thought from my mind. I participated in the era of drugs, sex and rock n’ roll, spent time with people who were going nowhere, and married the wrong man. As a result of my choices, my self-esteem suffered. I knew I needed a change, but given my history of not asking for help, I did not know where to turn.

A friend who lived in my building suggested I attend a women-only in career transition workshop. I signed up, attended, and (for the first time) experienced women asking for help from each other. Throughout the twelve week workshop, I researched different fields, reached out to my network, and while it felt uncomfortable and a little anxiety provoking, I asked for help from everyone I knew. The visual in my head of my father tossing me into the pool was still there but now other women were throwing me a life jacket. I did not have to do it alone.

Soon after the workshop, I found a career that was a perfect fit for my talents and interests and landed a job in a large, reputable public relations firm. With my confidence growing, the domino effect went into play and over the course of the next three years I was promoted to VP, received multiple raises, and finished grad school with high honors. My increased sense of self and confidence spilled over into my personal life. I finally had the courage to leave a marriage that wasn’t healthy and got remarried to a sentient, thinking, whole man. I wouldn’t have been able to make these changes in my life had I not had the support and guidance of others.

Looking back on my experience as a seven year old, the “Do It Yourself” philosophy did not work for me: all it produced was a feeling of loneliness and an aversion to ask for help. Thankfully over time, I have learned it can take one courageous act of asking for help – whether during a Women in Transition Workshop, finding my first female mentor, or hiring a career coach to start a domino effect and get things moving in the right direction.

The last decade the foundation of my work and life passion has been supporting young women build meaningful careers, helping homeless women get back on their feet, and sponsoring women in war torn countries obtain education in order to meet basic needs for themselves and their families. Often my mentees’ accomplishments exceed my own. This delights me because I can pay it forward and throw a life jacket to someone else in need.


Meryl Moritz, Principal of Meryl Moritz Resources, holds a special place in my heart. I met Meryl while she was teaching coaching at NYU and knew that she was someone I wanted to model my career after. She mentored me with her generous spirit and love of coaching, supporting me and even throwing me a life jacket the many times I found myself in over my head. I would not be where I am today without her.

In addition to being Principal of Meryl Moritz Resources, she continues to help others as in her roles of Vice Chair of the International Coaching Federation, teaching at University of Miami, and Coaching Fellows through SupporTED.

How to Deal with Emotionally-Charged Situations

Non-Violence means cooperation when it is possible & resistance when it is not.”
– Inspired by the film Kundun about the Dalai Lama

A client recently shared with me that he was experiencing an emotionally charged and difficult situation with a direct report whose abrasive and disrespectful behavior was negatively impacting the team’s morale and productivity. After discussing a few approaches, my client decided to use the following framework to prepare himself for the conversation.

Later on my client mentioned that answering the questions in the framework helped him get clear and grounded, and achieve the outcome he wanted. He also felt good knowing that he showed up kind and compassionate yet firm towards his direct report.

What do I want?

  • A better situation for the team (and business)

How do I want to “show up?”

  • Curious and open (does not mean I have to agree)
  • Compassionate yet firm
  • Speak softly
  • Grounded and calm, avoid drama
  • Remain neutral and not reactive – don’t take the bait

How can I be present?

  • Be in tune with the other person
  • Prepare myself before the meeting by taking a 10 minute walk
  • Remind myself what I want and how I want to show up
  • If the meeting gets too heated, take a break

What am I grateful for?

  • Opportunity to practice a challenging situation
  • That I am me and not the other person

What are my intentions?

  • Share the feedback with him in a way he can hear it
  • Support him in developing the skills he needs (plan, coaching, etc.)
  • Understand if he’s committed to changing
  • Discuss consequences if he’s not committed

What can I let go of?

  • Feeling responsible for his choices and behavior
  • What he will ultimately do

Not My Job

It’s not my job to wake you up if you’re asleep

My job is to do my thing

Dance my own dance

If you profit from it fine, if not too bad

                                     – Anthony de Mello

Out with Resolution; In with Intention

“Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen Hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.”      ― Mary Anne Radmacher

2015 has kicked off and many of us feel inclined to set resolutions. But according to Forbes, 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions and only 8% keep them. So instead of setting resolutions, what if we were gentle with ourselves and committed to living intentionally?

Try thinking about how you want to “show up” each day. Each morning, set aside five or ten minutes to reflect on your intention for the day. That is…how do you want to “show up” for yourself, your family, friends, and co-workers?

Throughout and at the end of the day take time to reflect on and notice how you’re doing in a manner that is free of harsh judgment and criticism towards yourself. Be light about it, you’re smart and self-aware enough to figure it out.

Intentions clients have shared about how they want to “show up” at home and work:

  • Slow down and listen.
  • Be a better mentor and coach.
  • Delegate more.
  • Be more patient.
  • Be kinder and have more compassion for self and others.
  • Take better care of myself; eat healthier; exercise 3 times/week.
  • Take time out to reflect and set vision for my team.
  • Be present and show up with lightness and joy.
  • Let go of what I can’t control and focus on what I can.
  • Don’t take things personally because I can’t control actions of others.
  • Stay grounded and calm during difficult moments.
  • Be a source of peace and calmness for others.  

Joyful, healthy, prosperous, and peaceful 2015.

“We already have everything we need. There is no need for self-improvement.”
– Pema Chodron