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Begin with the End In Mind – Updated Leadership Vision by Maureen Metcalf

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Welcome to 2016! To begin your year, I recommend revisiting (or creating) your vision.

As part of my December routine (birthday and New Year’s both in the same month), I revisit and update my personal vision over the New Year’s break. My vision and values serve as an important foundation for who I am and how I live my life. As the CEO of my company and also as a leadership faculty member, it is important for me to live what I teach. This is one of the core practices. I also revisit it regularly to ensure I am living what I say.

Simply put your vision and aspirations help you decide where best to invest your time and energy. Clarifying them helps you define a manner of contributing to the world that authentically honors who you are. Your vision and aspirations further help you clarify what you want to accomplish over time.

For those of you who resist this process, it is true that you will not spend an hour over the weekend and suddenly determine your life purpose. It is true, however, that capturing your general direction is a great start and you can refine it over time.

A colleague and friend, Mike Sayre, CEO of NexDefense, talks about how he used his personal vision to select his current role. He has been a strong proponent of the importance of knowing and living your personal vision and sharing it with others so they know what to expect of you. You can listen to Mike talk about his vision as well as his company in a Voice America Interview. He is a great example of a leader who follows his vision as the foundation for his choices.

The following exercise is drawn from the Innovative Leadership Workbook for Global Leaders focusing on defining your personal vision

Follow the steps defined below:
Step 1: Create a picture of your future. Imagine yourself at the end of your life. You are looking back and imagining what you have done and the results you have created. •What is the thing you are proudest of?
•Did you have a family?
•What would your family say about you?
•What did you accomplish professionally?
•What would your friends say about you?
For the rest of this exercise, let that future person speak to you and help you set a path that will enable you to look back with pride and say things like, “I feel fulfilled and at peace. I lived my life well.”

Step 2: Write a story. Now that you have that image of what you will accomplish, write a brief story about your successful life. Include details about the questions above. Make it a story of what you went through to accomplish each of the results for the questions you answered. What you are trying to create is a roadmap for your journey that gives you more insight into what you want if you had the option to design your perfect life. •Who helped you along the way?
•What did you enjoy about your daily life?
•Who was closest to you?
•What feelings did you have as you accomplished each milestone along the way?
•How did you mentor others and contribute to the success of others?
•What did you do to maintain your health?
•What role did spirituality or religion play in your journey?
•What job did you have?
•What role did material success play in your life?
•What type of person were you (kind, caring, driven, gracious)?

Step 3: Describe your personal vision. Given the story you have written and the qualities you demonstrated as a person, write a two to five sentence life purpose statement—a statement that talks about your highest priorities in life and your inspirations. This statement should capture the essence of how you want to live your life and project yourself.

An example – I develop myself to my greatest capacity and help others develop and thrive in all aspects of their lives. I am wise, conscious, compassionate and courageous, and contribute to making the world a better place.

Step 4: Expand and clarify your vision. If you are like most people, the choices you wrote are a mixture of selfless and self-centered elements. People sometimes ask, “Is it all right to want to be covered in jewels, or to own a luxury car?” Part of the purpose of this exercise is to suspend your judgment about what is “worth” desiring, and to ask instead which aspect of these visions is closest to your deepest desire. To find out, ask yourself the following questions about each element before going on to the next one: If I could have it now, would I take it?

Some elements of your vision don’t make it past this question. Others pass the test conditionally: “Yes, I want it, but only if…” Others pass, however are clarified in the process.

As you complete this exercise, refine your vision to reflect any changes you want to make.

After defining and clarifying your vision, it is time to consider your personal values. The combination of these two exercises will help you create the foundation of what you want to accomplish and the core principles that guide your actions as you work toward your vision.

In the next blog post, we will explore defining personal values. I encourage you to enjoy exploring the process of creating a personal vision and even more important – reference it daily. Let your vision be a foundation that guides your actions.

Tune in live every Tuesday at 11am PST to Innovative Leaders Driving Thriving Organizations

Resolution RX, Goals, Garden Guide, Magi Magic

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Resolution RX, Goals, Garden Guide, Magi Magic

Happy New Year 2016 Quotes

with Cynthia Brian and Heather Brittany on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® Radio brought to the airwaves under the auspices of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 charity, LIVE, since 1998.

This hour is fun, informative, and lively. Join us!

Are you being honest with your physician about what you eat, drink, smoke, and how much you exercise? Jumpstart the New Year with Heather Brittany’s RX for Resolutions in Health Matters.
heather straw0593
Winston Churchill wrote “It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time.”  Every January, people make resolutions to lose weight, earn more money, sleep more hours, travel to distant lands, and spend more time with loved ones.  Cynthia Brian shares how to give yourself the gift of goals that are doable and achievable.

January 6th is also known as Twelfth Night, celebrated twelve days after Christmas honoring the Magi who followed the Star of Bethlehem, bringing gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the infant Jesus.  Cynthia Brian reads her chapter, The Gift of Magic, from her award winning book, Be the Star You Are!® 99 Gifts for Living, Loving, Laughing, and Learning to Make a Difference.

It’s winter in our gardens and we’ll romp through the rain and snow to find out what to do outside with Goddess Gardener, Cynthia Brian.
gurgling zen garden

Listen at Voice America

Listen at StarStyle Radio with photos and descriptions

Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and 1% will be added to every donation with 101% going to BTSYA!

Read our December newsletter

Help Be the Star You Are!® without spending a penny. If you’ve ever purchased a TV or computer screen, just 3 minutes of your time is needed to fill out the simple form and click submit. Every unit qualifies for a donation of about $20 to Be the Star You Are!®. You will receive a tax receipt once the donations have been dispersed. PLEASE do this today. Thanks from Be the Star You Are!®

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Buy books by Cynthia Brian
Check out the online fundraiser for BTSYA
The award winning positive talk radio program, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® broadcasts on the Voice America Empowerment Channel LIVE every Wednesday from 4-5pm Pt/7-8pm ET.  Cynthia Brian and Heather Brittany are the Mother/Daughter dynamic duo who have been co-hosting this program live weekly since 1998 bringing upbeat, life enhancing conversation to the world. With Cynthia’s expertise in interviewing the trailblazers, authors, and experts and Heather’s healthy living segments, these Goddess Gals are your personal growth coaches helping you to jumpstart your life while igniting your flame of greatness.
Brought to the airwaves under the auspices of the literacy and positive media charity, Be the Star You Are!®, each program will pump your energy to help you live, love, laugh, learn, and lead.

Tune in the Power Hour every Wednesday from 4-5pm PT/70-8pmET and join our empowerment party.
For photos, descriptions, links, archives, and more, visit StarStyle Radio.
Get inspired, motivated, and informed with StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®
Lend us Your Ears!!!
Make a donation today to Be the Star You Are!® charity

Cynthia Brian talks about the empowering outreach programs offered by Be the Star You Are!® charity.

Come Together and Heart and Stroke

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Come Together and Heart and Stroke

We explore the collaboration required for the evolution and unification of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada with key HSFC and Canadian business leaders;
Rod McKay, Art Korpach and Donna Hastings.

And we explore the characteristics of boundless collaborations. For your organization, can you say that;
✓ Our intention must be authentic
✓ We build relationship and trust first
✓ We invite and respect diversity of opinion
✓ We establish key questions that matter
✓ We listen
✓ We seek new ideas from the collective wisdom
✓ We are open to unexpected outcome,
✓ We take as long as it takes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Africa proverb.
✓ We commit to action and hold accountability.
So what are the questions that matter?  From our list of significant challenges we face, choose with courage and vision. Remember not to sell or attempt to convince others. Understand what the underlying interests are and be open to what arises.

Break Through to Yes: Unlocking the Possible within a Culture of Collaboration will be published February 2016.

Tune in Thursdays at 6am PST to Break Through to Yes with Collaboration

Cynthia Brian’s September Gardening Guide

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Cynthia Brian’s September Gardening Guide


By Cynthia Brian

“The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy”
Henry Ward Beecher
blue hydrangea
We have definitely experienced ample sunshine this season and as summer simmers into its final month, we still have ample time to enjoy the warmth and tranquility of outdoor entertaining. September is often the hottest month of the year. Make sure that you are paying attention to the water needs of your trees. Because of the drought, you may lose some plants, but mature trees may be irreplaceable in your lifetime. Obey the EBMUD rules, water deeply twice a week, and your landscape will survive until the winter rains arrive. An El Nino is being predicted for 2016. If your ground is severely dry and compacted, you may suffer flooding as the water will not be able to penetrate the soil.
roses at shirleys.jpg
Nothing says “California” better than joining friends for a barbecue or roasting s’mores around a fire pit. (Be fire wise-Lamorinda is on high fire alert this year.) With vegetable gardens at their peak, fresh corn, squash, peppers, and melons brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with herbs are delicious cooked over the grill.

As many of our annuals and perennials begin to wither, it’s a great idea to gather bouquets to dry for the winter. Many plants dry naturally and others need to be hung. Before tying in bunches, remove the foliage and hang in a dry, cool place away from bright light. Garage beams make great drying racks.
A cool Path
Be alert for the pear, apple, and grape harvests happening around the area. Become a farmer for a day. Volunteer for picking, pressing, and stomping.
star thistle
PRESS apples for the delicious fresh juice.
VISIT The National Heirloom Exposition, the “world’s pure food fair”, September 8-10th at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. Education about heirloom growing, sustainability, market farming, and risks of genetically modified foods will be the focus. Enjoy heritage poultry and livestock shows, giant pumpkin and vegetable contests, foot stomping music, and tractors.
BUY a deep soaker hose to give thirsty trees a good drink. If you see tree roots rising to the surface and leaves wilting or falling, get some H2O to your trees.
DEAD HEAD roses and control powdery mildew with a spray consisting of 2 tsp. cooking oil and 2 tsp. baking soda mixed in a gallon of water.
CHECK out Cate’s Garden premium bypass pruning shears and easy action rathchet pruning shears made from SK5 high carbon steel blades. These great garden tools have a lifetime warranty.
LOWER yard maintenance with ground covers such as sedum, liriope, succulents, creeping thyme, baby tears, and vinca major or minor.
PROTECT your tender plants, roses, and citrus from the hungry deer. They are especially destructive now as their food sources dwindle. There are few deer proof plants, although my deer don’t touch oleander, digitalis, bearded iris, naked ladies, heuchera, rosemary, or Russian sage.
DESTROY any star thistle plants that may come up in your landscape. These very prickly weeds are difficult to get rid of once established. Seeds blow in from the hills. The cows and deer don’t eat them.
DIVIDE iris, lilies, and naked ladies. Replant in other barren areas or share with a friend.
PROVIDE a shady area for your pets to play and relax. Make it interesting and a cool place for you to unwind.
DRY herbs and flowers. Garlic, leeks, artichoke blossoms, Bird of Paradise, hydrangeas, sunflowers, bachelor buttons, sage, lavender, and protea can be hung upside down from rafters in the garage.
STARE up at the clouds at sunset for a multihued moving performance. Do it with your kids or grandkids.
IMPROVE your soil with compost and mulch now. Compacted clay soil will experience severe run-off when winter rains arrive.
ATTEND the Pear and Wine Festival on September 26th at Moraga Commons. Visit the Be the Star You Are!® booth to receive a FREE brand new book as part of the literacy outreach project, “Read, Lead, Succeed!”
SELECT the perfect September bouquet at your local farmer’s market as your garden displays wane.
SIT by a waterfall to enjoy the trickling falls and the sounds of silence.
SOW seeds of kale peas, kohlrabi, turnips, and cabbage in preparation of a winter harvest.
new guinea primrose-bird of paradise
I’m on my way to speak at the National Garden Symposium where I am looking forward to meeting other garden writers and media professionals who share my passion for nature. My October column will be blooming with the best ideas I glean from around the country.
heuchera-fern container
Have fun in the sun and delight in the joy of our September trees, flowers, fruit, and herbs.
Happy Gardening, Happy Growing!
Read more HERE

Cynthia Brian
The Goddess Gardener
Starstyle® Productions, llc
Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show at StarStyle Radio
I am available as a speaker, designer, and consultant.

clary sage-Salvia sclarea-cynthia
Cynthia Brian is a New York Times best selling author, speaker, coach, and host of the radio show, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® broadcasting live every Wednesday from 4-5pm PT on the Voice America Network.. She also is the creator and producer of Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501c3 charity.

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