A Hero You Can Chase: Leadership Lessons in an Oscars Speech

Last night Matthew McConaughey accepted the Oscar for Best Actor for a film I haven’t seen. McConaughey isn’t my favorite actor, although I have enjoyed several of his films. But something in his speech stood out as a leadership lesson I think is worth considering. “There’s three things, to my account, that I need each day: One of them is something to look up to, another is something to look forward to, and another is someone to chase,” McConaughey said. He went on to explain that the person he will be in ten years is the hero he is chasing. What a powerful concept to consider.

Every day, week or year McConaughey can look out ahead and examine what he needs to do to be the man he wants to be in ten years. When decisions are made with this kind of vision in mind, the choices are clearer and more easily made to do what it takes to move forward. If I want to be healthy in ten years, then today I will eat nutritious foods and get some exercise. If I want to have money to spend, then I will put some cash from my next pay check away in savings. If I want a successful business, I will connect with clients and create the best possible experience to keep them coming back for more. If I want a community with fewer hungry children, I will do what I can to feed one today.more.

Who will you be in ten years –

and more importantly, what do yo

u need to do to become that person today



Matthew McConaughey

Build Better Beliefs with Affirmations

Affirmations have been mocked and misunderstood by many through the years.  My own husband enjoys creating what he calls    “Slam-firmations” and teases me with them.  Interestingly enough, he has his own positive affirmation posted in his bathroom and on his computer monitor!  I challenge you to avoid overlooking the power of a positive affirmation to shift your thoughts and beliefs.  Here is how you can create powerful, belief-shifting affirmations:

1. Start your affirmation with the words “I am”.   “I AM” is a name for God, and you are claiming Divine power and intervention when you start your affirmation this way.  You can also start affirmations with words like “I know”, “I have”, “I love”.

2. Write your affirmation in the positive.  If you focus on a statement like “I am not angry with my abuser anymore”, your focus is on the negative (in this case the abuser).  Instead write a statement like “I have forgiven those who have harmed me and I am free from the wounds of the past.”

3. Write your affirmation in present tense.  Even if you are not yet experiencing your affirmation, write and visualize it as if it were happening in this moment.  This will shift your unconscious mind into making the statement true.

4. Use your own words and language that is comfortable for you.  You want to use words that feel right on the tongue when you say them out loud.

5. Write your affirmations with passion and feeling.  Your “I am” statements should be charged with warmth and make you feel energized, happy, and peaceful.  Your affirmations will carry more power if your mind and emotions are engaged.

6. Engage your senses as you write and repeat your affirmations.  Use rich, colorful language that creates pictures of the life you want.  Write your affirmations on special paper with appealing fonts or script.  Listen to music as you read and repeat your affirmations.  If you enjoy incense, potpourris, or other room scents, use them.

7. Focus on the “what”, not the “how”.  Let your mind examine what you want to be true, but do not let it question how it will happen.  Your mind will limit the endlessly perfect possibility of how your future will unfold.

8. Incorporate your current successes and positive traits.  As you focus on the life you want to create, recognize what you already love about yourself and your life.  For example, “I am building my life upon truth because I have faced my fears and am strong and resilient.

9. Write affirmations about your deepest desires.  Ask yourself:

• What thinking patterns or beliefs would I like to change?

• What circumstances would I like to improve or transform?

• What experiences would I like to have?

• What feelings would I like to enjoy?

• What do I want my life to be like?


You can write as many or as few affirmations as you like.  You might make a list of several and rotate through them over the course of a week or month.  Take time to read through each of your affirmations, letting the words and ideas sink in before moving on to the next.   Affirmations can help you rebuild and strengthen you resilience, building better beliefs that support your success.

Align Your Passions with Your Mission

One of the things I love most about sharing the Passion Test for Business with companies and non-profit boards is helping them see how every individual in the company can align their personal passions with the company mission statement.  This is easily done when the mission statement genuinely reflects the heart of the leadership.  Below is a list of required elements for a good mission statement developed by John DeMartini.  Compare this list with your own mission statement – or use it to craft yours TODAY!
• The mission statement needs to be refined and reviewed so everybody in the company is aligned to it.
• A mission statement is not meant to be an idealistic, intellectual statement designed to sound good in public. One of the most important things in building a business is a clear vision and certainty: the statement of purpose or mission of what you want to create. A mission statement is a statement from the core of the individual leader’s heart on what they are inspired to do.
• A good mission statement essentially demands the soul and spirit of the leader. In order to be a good leader you must have vision, inspiration and purpose which leads to vitality, intensity and power.
• The mission statement of a company is the inner most thoughts of the leader and it speaks to their core values.
• The inspiration of the company is directly proportionate to how vivid the vision and the statement is of what you would like to do.
• A leader must be appreciative of the opportunity they have to share the product service or idea of the company.
• A successful company is one where the following is reflected on the staff; gratitude, vision and enthusiasm. The staff must be grateful to be at work and plan for it every morning, there must be a vision they can articulate without outside help and they must be enthusiastic – this is seen in the vibe of the workplace.
• Most people think terrestrially and look out celestially; like you have the world in your hands and imagine going from a greater sphere and look inwards.
• The masses of people wait to see things before they believe; the master believes things before they see it.
• You cannot coerce people into working – you have to inspire them to work. An inspiring mission statement assists employees to know what they are working towards and aids productivity.

Need help crafting a mission statement that reflects your heart and vision for your company?  Talk out loud to a trusted friend or colleague and record the key points that come up when you answer the question “What do I want my company to be known for?  What impact do I want to have?”  Be as audacious as you want in this conversation – you are just brainstorming.  Then take what you recorded and begin to mine the gems that represent the heart of your company.

Do you like your mission statement?  Post a link here – I’d love to see yours!!

Why YOU need a Strategic Plan

I thoroughly believe in strategic planning – whether it’s for your life or your business or both!  Here’s why:

1 – Strategic planning helps you look back, look inside, and look forward.  Taking a look at your accomplishments and failures, your assets and debits, your dreams and realities is healthy and necessary for growth.

2 – Strategic planning forces you to define who you are and what you do in concise terms.  This is essential for marketing and networking.  More importantly, it helps you determine if you are really who you want to be.

3 – Strategic planning asks you to answer the big “WHY?”  Defining your purpose and passionately pursuing it will carry you through tough times.  Knowing “why” you do what you do forces your gaze outward to how you give back and who you serve.

4 – Strategic planning helps you set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-specific goals.  A dynamic strategic plan is always in front of you urging you on toward those goals.

5 – Strategic planning allows you to narrow your focus on the action items that will make you successful.  Keeping your eyes on the goal and the specific action steps needed to accomplish those goals will keep you from wasting time, money or other precious resources.

6 – Strategic planning will outline the ways you plan to measure your progress.  Nothing encourages more than steady, measurable progress.

7 – Strategic planning can be personalized so that it is YOUR plan, highlighting YOUR strengths, embracing YOUR passion and purpose.

Get your copy of my GPS for Life & Business Workbook at

Purpose, Passion, Values, Vision – What’s the Difference?

We hear the words passion, purpose, values & vision tossed around a lot these days.  We know we need to have them – but grabbing hold of what they really are can be challenging.  At the risk of being waaaaay too basic, I want to do a little defining here.  So often these words are used interchangeably.  That is a mistake.   Getting clear on these four words can change your life.  This may be basic – but only like air, food and water are basic to life.

Purpose is the “big why” – the reason you do what you do.  What do you believe you were uniquely designed to accomplish?  This one blog pos can’t attack this concept in depth, but I hope to convey that a sense of purpose is the driving force of your life.  Passion is the fuel for purpose.  Passion is the fire that burns and energizes you to pursue your purpose.  What sparks your interest, fires up your emotions?  Our passions keep us engaged with fulfilling our purpose.  But unrestrained passion can burn us up or burn us out.  Our values keep passion moving in a productive path toward fulfilling our purpose.  Core values are those essential truths that you would live and die for.  They are values because their worth is unquestioned.  Integrity, empathy, respect, leadership are each values I am passionate about and keep me aligned with my purpose.  And finally, vision.  Your vision is the culmination and combination of the other three.  Your vision captures your heart and mind and takes you into the future where you have realized the fulfillment of passion, purpose and values.  Your vision allows you to pursue the impossible, to dream big and achieve amazing results.  Take some time – write down your statements of purpose, passion, values and vision.

Beyond the Blinders

Blinders are used to train horses to look only where they are supposed to look – straight in front of them. As humans we often voluntarily wear blinders. We plod through life unconsciously without looking past the image right in front of us. But in order to embrace life to the fullest, we must look beyond the blinders. We need to look within, without, around, and up.

A Conscious Business Coach helps business owners and entrepreneurs remove the blinders. It might be through an investigation of the self through the use of tools like the Myers Briggs or the Passion Test. It could be an assessment of how relationships are functioning through a 360 degree feedback process. It could be a review of a business or strategic plan, including operational and marketing strategies. While the scope can seem very broad, the focus is not. The chief aim of a Conscious Business Coach is to assist others in creating a life map that will help them navigate without blinders, conscious and aware, intentional and fully expressed. This kind of life map or plan allows its owner to blend passion and purpose with profit.