This One’s For You Grammy!

Recently, I’ve been thinking about my grandmother quite a bit. Esther Tune was an amazing lady. She was a single parent who outlived two husbands. She worked in the medical field, although I can’t really tell you what she did. I do know she spent a year serving on the hospital ship USS Hope in Jamaica. She traveled as often as she could – either by herself or with others. For most of my life, Esther – or Grammy as she was known to literally everyone – drove a bright orange Karmen Ghia with a big stuffed tiger sitting in the backseat. That’s who she was – a tiger, but a soft one. Grammy passed away several years ago, a month before her 102nd birthday.

When Grammy spoke, we all listened. Grammy was wise. Whatever she said was worth hearing. She wasn’t one to tell you what you wanted to hear, but she would certainly tell you what you needed to hear. Grammy believed in the people around her and, because of her, they believed in themselves. She knew how to motivate people toward success. I can’t wasn’t in her vocabulary.

But what does all this have to do with leadership? Grammy wasn’t college educated. She wasn’t a CEO or Manager of a multi-million dollar corporation. Yet, she was definitely the leader of our family. Grammy never led a corporation or a division or even a team. She led our family. And, we followed – willingly. We trusted this woman – her strength, her character, and her wisdom. Wherever she was going, we knew wanted to be there. The road might be rocky. But it would definitely be an adventure worth taking. And there would be growth at the end.

Good leaders know how to develop their followers into people beyond their own dreams. Grammy was authentic, inspirational, confident, and certainly visionary. These traits were passed along to her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. None that knew her were ever the same.

Grammy was born into a different era. She never had a chance to go to college or get her doctorate. Nor will she ever see me receive mine. Her presence is here though – every day. She inspires the leader I will become. This one’s for you Grammy!


Go Ahead – Wear White!

I did it. I wore white after Labor Day! To most of you, this may seem like no big deal. In fact, you may be asking, “why should I care?” Actually, you’re probably right. You shouldn’t care.  But, I grew up in an era where the “rules” said you didn’t wear white after Labor Day – not white shoes, white pants, white dresses. White was for summer. Once that first weekend in September was history, white wouldn’t make an appearance until sometime in mid-June. I’ve known for quite some time, that the rules had changed. There were no special rules for when to wear white. White is just a color.   But, I still couldn’t change.

My decision to finally let go of something so simple was easy. I just gave it a try. I broke the rules. I wore white after Labor Day. The world did not end. No one pointed and laughed. I wasn’t shunned by others. In fact, absolutely nothing happened at all.

Creativity is a little like that. To be creative, you have to look outside the rules. You must explore outside the boundaries. Moving outside the boundaries allows you to see new perspectives.

Edward deBono said “creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.”

Our patterns, routines, and habits serve a purpose. They help us organize our lives to get things done in a timely fashion. But routine stifles our mind. It closes our eyes to the extraordinary.

Next time you are faced with a problem or simply desire to explore alternatives, just do it. Break the rules. Do something you’ve never done before.  Breaking a few rules unclogs the pathways and allows the creative juices to flow freely. Just do it. Go ahead. Wear White!

Reflections on Becoming Dr. Karavedas – No. 1

It Begins…

Today’s the day! I’m headed to my first Immersion Conference to be “immersed” in the process of becoming Dr. Karavedas. I’m finally doing it – taking the first step on this journey. Ready or not, here I go.

So what is Immersion? I’m not really sure what to expect. I know I’ll be meeting my other cohort members. Again, I’m not sure what to expect. I assume they’ll be younger than me. In fact, I assume most of the people in the program will be younger than me. After all, this is Career #3 for me.

We’ve been asked to bring a presentation revealing our top core values to the first cohort group meeting. It’s interesting that we start our very first meeting with this –

I don’t know any of you, but I’m going to reveal to all of you the most important things in my life.

I mean, I don’t typically reveal my innermost thoughts to someone until I’ve known them at least a day.

On the other hand, I find it encouraging that the program begins with our values. After all, that really is the best place to start. What do I value? What is most important to me?  These values will shape the type of leader I will become through this leadership program. My values define the person Dr. Karavedas really is, with or without letters behind the name. Continue reading “Reflections on Becoming Dr. Karavedas – No. 1”