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Think you can’t dream big? What if you did…? 6 Lessons from a solo trip across the Atlantic

Mylène Paquette does not think she is special – yet she is the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic taking the North Route. It took her 129 days to cover the 5,000 km (or 2,700 nautical miles). The spark for her incredible journey was an 11-year old girl undergoing chemotherapy St. Justine hospital in Montreal who told her she didn’t have a clue what courage was… Mylène taught me 6 lessons on dreaming big.

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Leadership Lessons from Chris Hadfield and Silken Laumann

Identify your dream, dedicate your efforts toward that dream, assemble a team of people who can help you get there, believe in yourself, and learn from and enjoy the journey while getting to where you want to be.  This is some of what I learned from the two autobiographies I read over the past month: Silken Laumann’s Unsinkable: My untold Story and Chris Hadfield’s  An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth. Both authors are remarkable individuals and both have accomplished incredible feats.  

Chris Hadfield’s career as an astronaut who has been in space three times is awe-inspiring as he describes a life of dedication to his dream. Silken Laumann’s single-minded recovery from a horrific leg injury only 10 weeks before the Olympics to win Bronze in the single sculls event in Barcelona (1992) is inspiring. Yet their autobiographies couldn’t be more different.

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Redefining Perfection

“What is perfect about this?”

When I ask this question in my coaching, often I get a blank or annoyed look. “Nothing. There is nothing perfect about this,” is the typical reply and the frustration is palpable. Letting silence work its magic, something inevitably opens up. “Well, maybe this is the opportunity to think differently about how I approach this,” or, “What I used to do is no longer working. I should delegate and this might be the opportunity for Jeff to take on more responsibilities.”

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Recent Comments
Guest — Francoise
This is a great question. It allows people to focus on the positive aspects of a situation, thereby jump-starting their creativity... Read More
Friday, 15 June 2012 11:32
Guest — Brenda
This is a truly wonderful example of what is perfect about this. Ellen , thanks so much.
Sunday, 17 June 2012 21:00
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