The Art of Resilience: An interview with Rachelle Disbennett-Lee

"Can we reschedule in an hour? My insurance adjuster just arrived," Life Coach Rachelle Disbennett-Lee emailed. "Sure," I replied before taking action myself to call a referred tree service for a second estimate to haul off an uprooted tree and grind the stump. Fortunately the fallen poplar missed my house but sent debris that crushed my shed. Minor damage compared to those in coastal regions and devastation in Puerto Rico and Bangladesh. Late afternoon found Rachelle, warmly introduced to me by marketing [...]

Resilience: Commerce challenged by nature’s wrath

Chip Cutter's article on LinkedIn discusses the challenges of Houston getting back to work "Merely getting to work is difficult after the storm damaged as many as a million cars in a city heavily reliant on them", Cutter reports. The distractions to productivity companies noted by Career Builder are compounded to the nth degree since Harvey. Where will empathetic and overstretched employers turn to sustain their businesses? What new business models will form after weather and workforce disruption? Resilience under-girds processes. It takes a village - a [...]

Business Interruption: Resilience after the perfect storm

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have caused severe disruption for giants, small business and solopreneurs. Are you still scrambling to get normalcy restored? Directors of operations are turning to freelance platforms to secure talent to update emergency policies. There they have to weed through application templates before finding the person with technical and communication skills who can step in as a team member. The challenge to meet the specific needs and avoid domino bottlenecks goes beyond historic resources. In Paul J. Argenti's HBR [...]

Diversity by Design

“They just don’t see.” “They just don’t get it.” My friend, a global coach, echoed these sentiments in our conversation when I shared examples of lack of gender or cultural diversity in a social media promotion. Our discussion centered on other blatant oversight in company, product and service portraits. The first pattern illustrated in an author’s promotional video of his next bestseller on the art of closing was the absence of a female sales leader though a good number of [...]

Coaching: What’s It Worth?

My mentor, Al Trembley, Principal - WSI Rainmakers, asked me in a deep dive, "What do you have that has deep meaning for you in your home?" Sans Antique Roadshow treasures, the first item that came to mind was a hand-decorated tile my father admired and purchased in Holland in the 1980s. I posted a photo of the tile on Facebook to which Shannonrae Mathes, a goat farmer and owner of Shannygans Farm, noted, "[There are] Stories being told on the detail", much [...]

Advocate of Mindfulness, Influencer: Women Leaders in Technology Series Ellen Petry Leanse

“The Intuitive Mind Is a Sacred Gift and the Rational Mind Is a Faithful Servant “ Albert Einstein Meet Ellen Petry Leanse, an early Apple and Google alum, Tech and Leadership Advisor, Author and Entrepreneur. Companies Ellen has advised include Facebook, Microsoft, Oracle, Intuit, and Samsung, as well as entrepreneurs worldwide. According to her website, Ellen coaches and writes on innovation, mindfulness, and product design. A member of the Macintosh launch team, Leanse was also Apple’s first User Evangelist and forged [...]

Little by Little the Bird Builds its Nest

Haitian Proverb My daughter leaves for Haiti to give of herself, stripped of her car this mother’s gypsy soul surfaces nesting in a cocoon of word embraces, filtered noise in an unsettled world Today my fifth child departs for six months two duffle bags packed to the brim fifty plus Facebook friends waving her bon voyage thirteen-dollar Uber ride to Hartsfield Atlanta forty three years since her aunt and I brought her home. Until I hear of her safe arrival in that troubled land where weather stages havoc my soul recites psalms clings [...]

eLearning Pioneer: Women Leaders in Technology Series

"The eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart." Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in The Little Prince. This quote continues to guide Lisa McNeal’s leadership decisions. I have admired Lisa McNeal since I first met her when I taught Business Communication, a hybrid course at Appalachian State University. I valued her responsiveness to myriad requests from faculty newly adapting to online delivery of their courses and how she put them/me at ease. When I saw her walk on campus with [...]


Actively teaching and promoting courage a writing prompt proffers yet reflection proclaims courage was not a formal topic in classrooms I attended but a lived experience by many models. not slinky runway models but my mother and aunts in full-length aprons working alongside in my immigrant Bubbe’s kitchen, where tzedakah boxes reminded us to be generous to others whose courage was tested at every meal in multi-family apartments, not high rises with elevators but walk-ups where families lived together, not across town made memories, where children shouted where elders encouraged “be nice”, [...]

Company Culture, Servant Leader: Women Leaders in Technology Series

“A company’s culture is the company. It determines every aspect from integrity to process to philanthropy. And to see if you will be successful at a company, you have to know its culture,” said LAN Systems CEO Mary Hester when she talked about corporate culture and how it has steered the growth at LAN Systems during the Corporate Culture Workshop sponsored by the Gwinnett Tech CIS Advisory Board. The workshop series gives students a chance to interface with business [...]