The Girls Went to School...

GiGi and Ruby on couch

The Girls: GiGi (left) and Ruby (right)

And so did we.

My dogs always pull like crazy when we walk them.

  • It’s so bad I couldn’t walk GiGi.
  • Only 21 pounds of pure muscle.
  • Able to lunge and throw my back out with a single squirrel!

Welcome Julia Levitt!

  • Julia has trained with Cesar Milan.
  • Is a dog whisperer.
  • And our new doggy leadership coach!

We had our first class on Saturday -
and our life has already changed.

  • Julia taught us dog culture.
  • Showed us how calmly our girls could walk – with no pulling!
  • Then taught us how to do it.

James took the girls for an early evening stroll after dinner.

  • The girls practically pranced walking by his side.
  • James stopped to chat with neighbors and they relaxed – no lunging or barking!
  • Ruby enjoyed meeting two dogs she had before threatened with hackles raised.

What made the difference?

  • Understanding the big picture.
  • Hands-on practice with a patient and supportive coach.
  • A slight adjustment to how the girls wear their leads.

We’ve got three more classes to go – can’t wait to see what happens next!

Makes me think of chapter leaders…how do you set up your volunteer leaders for success?

(If you don’t know how to teach your leaders to be successful because you struggle some yourself, the short how-to videos at The Chapter Leader Lounge can help.)


Take Me to Your Leader

Green-alienIt was 3:26 AM.

  • The noise was everywhere.
  • The bed was shaking.
  • The dogs knocked out.

The open window let in the
night sounds.

  • It wasn’t a car driving by.
  • Or a plane.
  • What the heck was it?

Finally, my sleep-ridden mind knew for sure – it was ALIENS!

  • They were landing their ship in our neighborhood.
  • I worried how to protect the dogs.
  • (James was fine sleeping in the much cooler downstairs.)

I was in a state of pure panic.

  • I tried deep breathing.
  • Desperately wanting my logical mind to kick in.
  • There is always a way out of a problem – even aliens!

Reality slowly infused my mind.

  • I felt the breeze on my body.
  • And giggled with memory.
  • It wasn’t the mothership making the noise – just the fan in my room.

Last night was the first time I used the fan this year.

  • It was much noisier than last year.
  • I was relieved I didn’t have to train green aliens how to be better leaders.
  • Turned over and went back to sleep.

Makes me think of chapter leaders…how do you prevent jumping to assumptions when you hear something new?

 (If your chapter needs help being more strategic – especially when facing something new, check out The Chapter Leader Lounge.)

Getting Rid of Wrinkles By Any Other Name...

Skelaton-womanIs still getting rid of wrinkles.

I got an email from one of my favorite day spas today.

  • The owner just turned 40.
  • Made a big decision.
  • Based on her now 40-something perspective.

There will be no more “Anti-Aging” treatments in her spa!

  • Of course, they are still selling wrinkle removers.
  • Now called “Age Corrective” treatments.
  • To help support “self acceptance and natural beauty.”

I’m confused…

  • Do I need age correction if I look older than my age?
  • How much older?
  • Is it still age correcting if I want to look 10 years younger than I am?

What was she thinking?

  • Does making me believe I need correction hurt less?
  • Give my self-esteem a boost?
  • Love my natural beauty more?

Self love is so much more than age correction.

  • I’ve met the owner and do believe she had good intent.
  • Unfortunately, the new language causes me to bristle.
  • Maybe I’m the only one?

Makes me think of chapter leaders…how do you test your marketing terms before going public with them?

(Need some help marketing your chapter events? The Chapter Leader Lounge can help. Join us for a guided tour to see how.)


We Had an Unexpected Guest

Ruby (left) and GiGi (right)

Ruby (left) and GiGi (right)

The weekend was gorgeous.

  • The girls spent every moment they could outside.
  • Supervising lawn work.
  • Convincing James to take them on adventure walks.

Unfortunately Ruby brought a new friend home.

  • I noticed a bump sticking out of her belly.
  • What could it be?
  • Not a tick I hoped.

Sometimes wishes don’t work…

  • I googled tick removal.
  • Took notes from sites I trusted.
  • Made James go get supplies.

I held Ruby and we began the removal process.

  • One simple touch of rubbing alcohol and the tick backed right out.
  • James went to grab it with the tweezers.
  • And I screamed – jerking Ruby.

Unfortunately, only half of Ruby’s guest was evicted as a result.

  • Poor baby.
  • Luckily the vet could see her today.
  • Ruby is now totally tick-free.

Makes me think of chapter leaders…Do you know what to do when guests show up at your events?


What the Heck Was I Thinking?

Cynthia-with-short-hairFor many years I wore my hair
super short.

  • It was sassy.
  • A little edgy.
  • And a lot of fun.

Then a few years ago, I decided I wanted to grow my hair out.

  • I couldn’t find a stylist who would let me do it.
  • They would okay a few inches.
  • But not the long gorgeous hair I had massive fantasies about!

There is always a way…

  • I speak at leadership conferences all over the country.
  • I started to check out stylists in various cities.
  • And hit the goldmine – in Chicago!

For more than two years, I let my hair grow. 

  • Thanks to travel, I was in Chicago enough for periodic trims.
  • Last week it was almost down to my bra in back.
  • I thought I looked hot!

Then I attended a leadership workshop in New York City last weekend.

  • Friday night focused on remaking our image.
  • There were more than 300 people in the room.
  • And I got selected for the big cut.

Of course, I imagined the famous stylist giving my gorgeous long locks a spiffier shape.

  • Little did I know Alice of Alice Hair had a very different vision for me.
  • She was eager to cut me…
  • But I thought it was because she liked red hair!

Long story shorter…I was shocked by the end of the night.

  • People kept raving and I had trouble taking it in.
  • When I got home, James was shocked too.
  • And then I styled my hair using products I didn’t have in NYC…

Cyn Before and After

What the heck was I thinking???

  • Alice did an amazing job.
  • I look so much more stylish now.
  • And I feel like a new woman!

Makes me think of chapter leaders…what is it time for you to let go of?

(If you don’t know what your members really want, The Chapter Leader Lounge can help you. Learn more by clicking here.)


Power Makes a Big Difference


Got a call for help from a senior we know.

  • She was frustrated.
  • Nothing was working after the latest storm.
  • Including her phone and computer.

James and I drove over ready to help.

  • I checked the land line.
  • Dead.
  • Phone base was plugged in.

James tried the light for the computer desk.

  • Needed to plug it in.
  • The cords under the desk were a mess.
  • The power strip was full.

I looked at the wall behind the desk.

  • The power outlet was empty.
  • Asked James to hand me the power strip plug.
  • There was a slight challenge…

He couldn’t find the power strip plug.

  • We could see the cord leaving the base of the power strip.
  • And then it disappeared into the chaos of cords.
  • What the heck?

Finally James solved the puzzle…

  • Our friend had plugged the power strip into itself.
  • With no outside power, it didn’t work.
  • Nor did anything plugged into it!

We plugged the power strip into the outlet on the wall.

  • Machines sprang to life.
  • Lights flashed on the modem.
  • The phone and the computer worked!

Makes me think of chapter leaders…what do you plug into for power when leading volunteers?




Let the Fun Begin - And the Relationships Grow!



This weekend, I attended a leadership workshop.

  • It was weekend two of the program.
  • Held in NYC.
  • I needed dinner before the Friday evening program.

Decided to make some new friends.

  • There is an online community for attendees.
  • I posted two invites to join me for dinner.
  • (There are around 300 in the program.)

I selected a small, family-run restaurant.

  • With a hot buffet in the front.
  • And room to sit in the back.
  • I had no idea how many people would show.

To my delight, 45 people decided to join me for dinner.

  • (The restaurant owner was excited about the early rush too!)
  • The food was fabulous.
  • More importantly, relationships were born that night.

With two simple posts to the group, I created a safe space to connect.

  • No pressure.
  • No content.
  • Just fun conversations.

I loved meeting everyone – and starting the weekend on a great big high!

Makes me think of chapter leaders…how do you help your members connect?

(Not sure how to get your members to show up so they can connect? The Chapter Leader Lounge can help you.)


WE Are Farming!

People support what they help create – I’ve been saying it for years.

Farmer Derek Klingenberg totally gets it.

  • He creates spoofs of popular songs.
  • The new lyrics paint a story.
  • All about farming.

His most recent spoof features Pharrell Williams “Happy” song.

  • Farmer Derek asked farmers to send videos of them dancing to the song.
  • As well as selflies from the farm.

The result is a fabulous celebration of farming – and totally contagious.

Makes me think of chapter leaders…how do you boost the fun and make it easy for more members to get involved in your chapter?

(If you are struggling to get more members involved, you can find tons of how-to ideas you can use right away to help you in The Chapter Leader Lounge.)