Victims, Bullies, and Heroes


With so much talk about bullies these days, I wanted to pose my tilted perspective.


It’s so easy to point to this star or that hero and say that she is a bully or that he is a victim. The story is often so much more complicated than that. Besides, aren’t we all tempted to see ourselves as the perfect one in our own story.


In truth, we are all victims, bullies, and heroes. Sometimes, we are the bully. Sometimes we are the victim or the hero. Other times, we play all three roles during one incident.


Although violent behavior cannot be tolerated and victims cannot be blamed, if we look beyond blame to contribution, we see a richer story. This story offers more possibilities for change and growth.


The real question is: How did I contribute to taking on the role of bully, hero, or victim? Asking the question, in and of itself sets us on the path of true accountability and steers us from victimization of ourselves and others. After all, what is a bully, but someone who has been victimized by aggression, indulgence, or neglect?

Guilt-free Holiday Excess


Ah, the holidays. I hear so many people talking about losing weight so they can eat more during the holidays in a guilt-free way.


Since when did eating become a sin? Oh, right, gluttony.


So… does one big night of joyful eating, or two or three, really make for gluttony?


I think not.


What are the holidays for but to do things differently? We are more grateful, more desirous of joy and happiness, more ambitious with goals for business and personal lives, more generous, and more likely to let loose with our usual disciplines. Sounds good to me.


So this year, why not let yourself really enjoy, so you don’t have to gorge yourself. Guilty eating just makes us stuff our faces without real enjoyment of the yumminess of it all. Consult your medical, holistic, or nutrition professional and banish the scales, enjoy the beautifully-set tables, and savor the bounty of this universe.



7 Ways to Sabotage Ourselves


When I procrastinated as a child, fussing over little details, my father, Joseph N. Gurri, M.D., would kiss me on the head and softly say, “Perfection Is the enemy of completion.” He was so right. But how delicious it is to ponder one little detail while avoiding other less attractive aspects of an unfinished project.


In my consulting and coaching practice, I face these very issues with clients and myself. So naturally, when I was avoiding a project, I came up with 7 Ways to Sabotage ourselves. I never said a good procrastination couldn’t be productive!

7 Ways to Sabotage Ourselves

  1. Perfection

  2. Overcommitment

  3. Exhaustion i.e. neglect of play, sleep, connection, laughter

  4. Avoidance i.e. procrastional

  5. Arrogance i.e. not being prepared

  6. Neglect of investment in our craft i.e. neglect of curiosity and ongoing learning


Here they are. That’s all I have to say. No obsessing today. Perhaps tomorrow…


Go forth and get your work done by deed or delegation so you can play.

Paperwork and Delegation Skills

Yuck. Paperwork. How often does a piece of paper or virtual document conjure up dread and ire? What’s a winner to do?




Delegation is to the key to my paperwork success. I stink at paperwork. I can read a form and the ink or digital characters just float before my eyes with no meaning.


Yet, my daughter Jess or friend, Kathy, who run the Red Shoe business, see clear opportunities and responses.


Being Catholic, I forced myself to complete all paperwork by myself. The combination of torture, guilt, and relief was shared by my accountant as he had to deal with my less-than-perfect renditions of completed forms.


Why is it that successful business folk have such a hard time delegating to others what they hate or struggle with?  


Inviting competent bright and talented staff and team mates into our business invites abundance, excellence, and camaraderie. It’s hard to imagine folk that like paperwork and actually understand it, but, I have. They exist.


Red Shoe Ladies Jess Ennis and Kathy Heffner know just how much I appreciate their good-natured efficiency when dispatching odious tasks that would have taken hours for me to complete. My reluctant delegation has allowed our team to move forward in amazing and exciting ways.


What took me so long? What’s holding you up?

Credit Where Credit is Due


One sure way to build business relationships is to give credit where credit is due. This easy and free strategy is seemingly a disappearing art form.


Smart, successful entrepreneurs, professionals, and artists know that to build success we must create and maintain a whole team of supporters past, present, and future.


Thanking folk for their contribution to our success publicly and privately is the right thing and the smart thing to do. It makes others feel good about helping us, invites continued mentorship and helpfulness while making us look and feel good.


Quick, take out your cell phone and call, text, email, tweet, Facebook, or message a thanks right now.


Success is just a thanks away.



Holidays are a great time to feel crushed by competing obligations. Ho ho hrmph! What’s a grump to do?


I’d say that Hawaii sounds good, but those of us that live in Florida are already in paradise.


So, its time to take a 15 minute time chunk and do a core brain dump of all obligations, nagging thoughts, and wishes, taking special note of anything we are dreading or avoiding. Looking at this list is any over-loaded individual or procrastinator’s nightmare. It is also the beginning of salvation.


With professional To Dos on the left-hand column and personal ones on the right, its clear why we were in hrmph mode.


The solution? Look at what you really need to do, what can be delegated, putting due dates and anticipated minutes-hours-days-months needed to complete each task. Delegate what you can, eliminate unneeded items, and dive into a practical plan to attack the list in small time chunks on specified days. If you are paralyzed, take a small break and do something fun or funny. If you need sleep, sleep. When in doubt, call in the cavalry. If you are this overwhelmed, I assume you don’t have a personal assistant or need to learn to delegate. Otherwise, we all have a loved one to call upon who is organized and helpful.


Dig in. Fifteen minutes is the answer to your problem!


Thanks, Jess, Kathy, Danny, and Elena!


Happy year’s end and the beginnings of a great New Year 2014.



Don’t you just love new beginnings? So fresh with possibilities and the clean slate of it all?


Truth is, each moment is pregnant with possibilities brought on by abstinence. The choice to do or not do, say or not say, think or not think, or indulge or not indulge in any in a range of emotions.


From one moment to the next, without any special event or motivator, each of us can claim a do-over. Why wait for a seminal event before we claim the possibilities of the next moments?

Let’s go for it!



Have you ever noticed that group projects are completed by only one or two in the group? For which projects are you the one or the silent many? Do you contribute only when others fail or when no one else steps up? Or do you contribute what you can when you can? Do you overcommit? This is a silent way to sabotage ourselves and a project all at the same time.


One way to claim more energy in our lives is to claim our commitments fully or let them go responsibly. In or out. As kids playing Double Dutch jumprope, we all knew that anything other than true commitment resulted in a smart smack in the face with a dirty rope or a trip sending you unceremoniously to your bottom.


So ask yourself? Will you chose to be the one, the silent many, or the rope-smacked slacker? Or will you take on a leadership role, encouraging each in the group to contribute and shine?

Viral Gratitude: The Funny Thing about Gratitude


It’s funny to see how lightly we talk about gratitude over Thanksgiving turkey and not really embrace the obligations that come with it. We are grateful for something or someone. Others are grateful for something or someone. For true gratitude to live in our hearts and daily lives, we must dive into the Gratitude Continuum of giving and receiving.


For some of us, its just so easy to give without allowing others the grace of giving to us. Is this just as stingy as those that receive and take and take without ever giving to others? Does it count just as much if we are giving to ourselves as to others? Existential as these questions seem, it’s really all about how we invite grace and gratitude in our pursuit of the best fit along the Gratitude Continuum.


Appreciating ourselves, others, and the greater context means acknowledging the good and the bad in each of these. So to whom are you giving now? From whom are you receiving? What needs doing for a better flow on the Gratitude Continuum?

With a bit of gentle nudging, a sense of humor, and a big dose of honesty, we can really explore that healthy fit of gratitude for each of us in each context in our lives. Then, and only then, can gratitude become viral.

Graciousness: A Business Strategy


Who knew that graciousness could lead to success? Our mothers and Shep Hyken!


This weekend, I had the good fortune of hearing Shep Hyken CSP, CPAE speak to the Florida Speaker's Association. His topic was: Get More Bookings and Sell More Product. What a gracious man. He modeled great customer service for our internal and external customers. Wow!


While so many speakers and business leaders spend their time talking about themselves, Shep Hyken went out of his way to give thanks and credit where credit was due. He honored his mother for insisting he write thank you notes to clients as a boy wonder in the magic business; his father for teaching him about great customer service, calling to follow up after gigs and while on the phone, asking for referrals; and speakers Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, and Earl Nightingale as gifted processors. He even highlighted contributions of several members of the FSA audience. How gracious can one be? Shep Hyken sets a new standard.


In our world, this a good habit in terms of mojo and furthering along relationships past, present, and future to invite success via strong human connections. Ooommm…What a lovely concept from a lovely and successful man.


Thanks, Shep Hyken for sharing your experience and wisdom.


Go forth with graciousness on the path to success in all you do!