Are We Enough?

Abundance Books


Key Point: BEING abundant is necessary to REALLY LIVE and BECOME ALIVE. Scarcity is the opposite. “After doing this work for the past 12 years and watching SCARCITY ride roughshod over our families, organizations and communities, I’d say we’re sick of feeling afraid… Centering on fear [and] blame… We want to be brave.”

This quote is from Brene Brown and her fabulous book Daring Greatly. How does her research relate to you and me?

Brown’s data driven insights put more definition to what I describe as “being abundant.” She emphasizes the importance of wholehearted living. This means engaging in our lives from a place of WORTHINESS! When we go to bed at night, regardless of what was done or undone, we should genuinely feel and believe we are ENOUGH; worthy of love and belonging!

There are five fundamental ideals underlying Brown’s definition of living in a wholehearted way (read her book to learn about them all). However one ideal and variable seems to take on a higher order of importance and that’s the ability to be vulnerable. It’s the core and heart of meaningful human experiences. Vulnerability does not mean weakness, however as Brown points out, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” 

In corporate life people are almost desperate for authenticity and putting more humanity into the work place. They want authentic leaders whose strength comes from their competence as well as their ability to be transparent and vulnerable.

Character Moves:

  1. What we know is important, but WHO WE ARE matters more. How much do YOU really show up and allow yourself to be seen and vulnerable? How do you know? Find out.
  2. Stop anything that reinforces shame as a management tool (blame, gossiping, name calling). All are behavior cues that reinforce a scarcity mentality. Do you understand the dysfunctional role of shame? Learn more about it.
  3. Remember that blame is the act of discharging pain and discomfort. When we are afraid, we blame. Nothing productive comes from blame. Blame and shame ride together to promote scarcity.
  4. Learning how to engage (give and receive) in honest, constructive and engaged feedback is a core skill. It’s necessary for vulnerability and wholehearted abundance to thrive. How good are you at this? Get better.
  5. Understand the open connection between being and feeling good enough, while still being hungry and striving to grow and improve. They go together in allowing us to do what Brown calls “daring greatly.”

Watch Brown’s TED Talk: It’s 20 minutes but you’ll want to share it with people you care for.

Daring Greatly in The Triangle,



Choosing a Leader President?

Abundance Contribution Purpose


Key Point: What criteria will Americans use in choosing between reelecting President Barack Obama or voting in Mitt Romney? Research suggests that people will pick the following four attributes when asked what they want in their leader: Competence, honesty, forward thinking and inspiration. When having the ability to choose a leader, as Americans will today, I believe it comes down to the four above PLUS C and C: “Content “and “Character.”

Content essentially addresses the platform or forward thinking aspect of the candidate. Do you believe in their vision and believe the candidate can execute to make it happen? What evidence supports this?

The Character element lends itself to a candidate review against The Character Triangle criteria. The mindset, values and behavior of the candidate all ride shotgun equally with the content platform. Is the candidate self-accountable or is blame and excuse-making too often part of the agenda? How respectful is the candidate? Is deep listening, collaboration and engaging diversity to inspire the country going forward resident in the leader? How abundant is the prospective leader? Is there a belief that the resources are there to achieve a desired future state? Or is scarcity used to drive fear?

Character Move:

  1. If you’re American… Vote! And love that we can choose freely.
  2. If you’re not, respect that Americans will be chose a leader that honors a history and culture of incredible resilience and innovation.
  3. If you’re still going through the decision making process of who to vote for, apply the C and C assessment in choosing. Having a framework like The Character Triangle can be enormously helpful in evaluating and making choices .

C and C voting in The Triangle,



‘So Daddy, When Do You Die?’

Accountability Authenticity Well-being


Key Point: Stop… Drop… Smile… And thrive. The question in this blog’s title was asked with pure love and innocence by 4-year-old Talyn. His dad, Ryan Westerman, was dying and on his way to the hospice. I sat beside Talyn’s mom, Tasha Westerman, at a luncheon this summer.  We were both there for a leadership conference. It had been about a year since her husband Ryan had passed. I had a big lump in my throat as Tasha described their family journey before and after. The topic of organizational leadership seemed diminutive. Tasha, on the other hand, stood one hundred feet tall and made leadership take on a much more meaningful context. Her self-described mission; that Talyn and she thrive and build off the foundation set as a threesome.

This last week, I listened as Hollywood movie writer/producer, John Shepherd, give a presentation about the act of “thriving.” He and his wife agreed to be guardians of a 6-year-old little boy, after the little guy’s young mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. The parents wanted to ensure proper arrangements were in place. But what were the odds that both the mom AND dad would pass and their son would actually need guardians? Well within months of the mom’s diagnosis, the father was stricken with brain cancer and BOTH of the parents died within 30 days of each other, making the guardian arrangement a stunning reality. The little boy and his dog now live with the Shepherd’s and their two girls. Their self-described mission is to thrive as a newly formed family.

Ok, so we all know about how we should appreciate life… We’ve all heard it many times before. But sometimes the stories and events are there to help REMIND us. In fact, life is there for us to not only appreciate but to thrive; even in the face of the most daunting circumstances.

So I’m going to share Ryan Westerman’s wisdom with all my readers. As he was dying, he kept a journal. It’s captured in a little book called Stop, Drop and Smile.

Character Move… As inspired by Ryan Westerman:

  1. Stop: “I’m an official resident at the Hospice… I am here because I’m going to die. It is impossible to describe what it feels like to have that thought bounce around in your head.”… “Stop… Look around you… Experience your life, all that is good, bad… Without fear. Just don’t be the one to give up because the fear to truly live your life overcomes you.”
  2. Drop: “As humans we all try to control things: We try our best to be sure that critical illness will never hit us… But eventually we realize that much of this is not in our control… Instead of trying to control those things, let them go.”… “What we have control of is our mind… The power to chose… Find good in this world… Drink it in while we can.”
  3. Smile: “Now I wake up and am grateful for another day on this Earth.”… “You can do something positive and think something positive this very minute.”

STOP for a moment, take stock where you are in your life, DROP the negative habits, attitude, interfering with your happiness, and SMILE to nurture the happiness that can be found anywhere. And appreciate that to live means to thrive as well.

Thank you Ryan for helping us to remember to fully live and thrive.

Stop, Drop, and Smile in the Triangle,