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We Can All Use a Little Grit

August 29th, 2016

By: Karen Colligan

If you’re like most of us, you’ve been glued over the past couple of weeks (at least for short periods) to the televised coverage of the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Those athletes were amazing. Such focus. Such dedication. Such grit.

Speaking of grit, I recently read Angela Duckworth’s best-selling book, Grit – The Power of Passion and Perseverance, and I was thinking about it a lot as I heard different athletes share their journey to Olympic competition.  “Sacrifices,” “hard work,” “perseverance,” “goals.”  Those words were common threads in the conversation. Along the way…they fell down, they got up. They lost a competition, they worked harder for the next one.  They got injured, they healed, and got right back in the game. So much of what I heard and observed resonated with what Duckworth describes as “grit.”  ..... Read More...

Development, Learning, Life


If Only I Knew Then What I Know Now

August 15th, 2016

By: Karen Colligan

If you’ve been following my advice about taking some “ME” time this summer, you may have had an opportunity to reflect on your life so far. What have you learned that you wish you’d known 20 years ago? What did you NOT do that you wish you’d done (there’s still time!) And what advice would you give your younger self if you could? We posed this last question to our followers and networks a while back and got some really insightful answers. In case you missed it (or would like a second look) I’m sharing it again. I’d love to hear from you if you have something to add; please comment.

The majority of the responses fell into three major categories. All good advice!


-It’s all about attitude. Have a great attitude, show up with it and leave with it every day.

-Don’t tell people what you think they want to hear. Be yourself and..... Read More...

Learning, Life, wellness

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Giving AND Receiving Through Mentoring

July 27th, 2016

By: Karen Colligan

Ask any successful senior leader, executive, or entrepreneur and chances are they’ll attribute at least part of their success to one or more mentors they had along the way. Ask any of their mentors who got more out of the experience, and chances are they’ll tell you that as mentors they got back as much or more than they gave.  That has certainly been my experience.

Years ago I joined an organization, Mentoring Circles, to mentor women entrepreneurs around developing processes, business acumen, and leadership.  I was invited to join the Board of Directors – which I did – and continued to mentor.  I got so much out of it. Not only was it thrilling to “give back” by helping other women identify, plan for, and achieve their goals,  it was an incredible learning experience.  Through mentoring I gained more insight into people, learned from different perspectives, and buil..... Read More...

Communication, Development, Mentoring, wellness


“Connecting” Your Way to Wellness

July 13th, 2016

By: Karen Colligan

Earlier this month I was in New Jersey and Washington, D.C. with seven girlfriends I’ve known since high school. We call ourselves the “Jersey Girls” and over the years we’ve shared good times and bad, countless phone calls and visits, and lots and lots of laughter.  In fact, I still laugh out loud every time I think about all the fun we had. It was soothing, it was inspirational, it fed my soul. Oh, and did I mention it was fun?

I’m sharing this because in this hectic and often harsh world of ours we often forget the importance of doing things that contribute to personal well-being. Things like connecting with yourself by knowing and doing the things that feed your soul. Connecting with friends who care about you and accept you just as you are. And connecting with others by volunteering your time or expertise.

I was at a point where I needed some downtime. And having al..... Read More...

Health, Life, People, wellness


Bring Back the Handwritten Note!

June 20th, 2016

By: Karen Colligan

When was the last time you sent or received a personal note? I’m not talking about an email or a text or a “comment” directed only to you, but a handwritten, personalized note on stationery and in an envelope. When was that? Last month? Last year? Can’t remember?

The handwritten note has become a rare commodity. A U.S. Postal Service survey found that in 2010 the average home received a personal letter only once every seven weeks, compared to once every two weeks in 1987. With so many electronic media options available to us, it’s much quicker and easier to whip out a “thank you” email, a “TY” text, or the equivalent via emoticon, than to take the time to write a personal note.

But here’s the thing. None of those electronic options are as meaningful or as memorable as a handwritten note. A hand..... Read More...

Communication, Gratitude, Kindness


What Are You Doing This Summer?

June 15th, 2016

By: Karen Colligan

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer and, for many of us, the signal to start thinking about our annual vacation. Well, many of us have been thinking about it since January. Let’s be honest.

If you don’t already have something on the calendar, I encourage you to take a few minutes right now (well, after you finish reading this) and pencil in a week or two weeks or whatever your schedule allows. You need a break. It’s good for you, and it’s good for your employer.

Taking vacation has been shown to:
• Reduce stress
• Contribute to better physical and mental health
• Improve relationships

When companies encourage their employees to take vacation, they benefit through:
• Higher employee productivity
• Stronger workplace morale
• Greater retention
• Healthier employees

Whether you take an exotic vacation or a low-key “staycation,”..... Read More...

Health, Relationships, Stress, Work-life balance

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