June 30, 2010

Dad and Michael

Our friends from long ago who now live in Manhattan.

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Lincoln Center at Sunset

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American Woman

We're at the Metropolitan Museum if Art checking out the American Woman exhibition which is all about fashion. I'm loving seeing the different eras of fashion and how they reflect and influence the evolution of women's positioning in society. I'm certainly of The Flapper influence "style of dress reflected her urbanity and contemporaneity." Plus, I'm a bit of The Screen Siren, "mature, assertive, self-confident and, and vigorously independent."
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Another Portrait

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Speaking of Sex and the City

Here's the room in the NY Public Library in which Carrie Bradshaw was supposed to marry Mr. Big.

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Sexy in the City

Me in Manhattan.

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Palling with the Parents

I'm in NYC with my folks at a Jewish Federation meeting at a cool Kosher restaurant called Colbeh on W 39th. Even more exciting is that Lord + Taylor's is next store and they are having Clinique bonus time.

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June 29, 2010

Cosi Ain't No Brock's

I miss Brock's Restaurant, the dark, cozy steak house that I use to work in during summers home from college. Now it is a soulless Cosi with horrible service and food that is made without love or care.

This photo is pointed towards where Brock's kitchen use to be, the primary location for all the fun' flirting antics between wait staff and cooks. So many great summers of learning the real world behind the theatre of dining.

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June 28, 2010


Lori and I are having devil's food cake and raspberry cupcakes for dessert. Yummy.

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Green New York

So pretty.

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Train to Stamford

Taking the Vermonter to Stamford from DC. I love trains. Now to try and pay attention to Eduardo the new laptop on which I am supposed to be doing work. Why no wireless on Amtrak? We don't settle for lack of connectivity on the Left Coast.

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June 27, 2010

Warm Summer Days in Maryland

I've kicked-off my summer holiday with my sibs in VA-MD. Landed at 7:40am in DC and spent the morning resting and chatting with Marlene in VA. The past four hours have been eating, drinking and swimming at the PG Pool with Matt, Rachel and Sam in MD. East Coast hot, humid summers require complete submersion.

Tomorrow off to Stamford, CT to visit family and Friends for four days and then back down to DC for July 4th. Savoring summer.
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June 26, 2010

Business of Art Boot Camp

Here are the participants from today's Center for Cultural Innovation Business of Arts Boot Camp course. I presented a session on Vision, Mission, Values and Goal-Setting and they were good at challenging me to help them understand. I'm inspired by their passion and energy.

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The Artful Eye of Will Eisner

A fellow Art Institute of CA-SF instructor, filmmaker Richard Walsh, recommended I checkout a Will Eisner graphic novel. So literally I did by exploring what was on the shelves of my Oakland Library Piedmont Avenue branch. Even our little tiny branch has his novels, not surprising for hipster Oakland.

The one I am reading is The Contract with God Trilogy set in NYC during the 1920s and 30s. It is very much about the life of the Jewish Immigrant. His writing and drawing are helping me understand the life my grandparents lived and from where I evolved. Gritty and honest, I can track their paths from city to country and how I am quite a different Jew having grown up in Connecticut rather than one of the five borough.

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June 25, 2010

Amys are Fashion Mavens

I was actually mentioned in the same fashion article as Amy Sarabi of Project Runway! I've flown on the same plane as her and have been at two events that she has attended so clearly I'm in the fashion realm.

Read journalist Moya Stone's examiner.com article about last week's United Streets of Fashion event presented by the Art Institute of CA - SF. She and I sat next to each other, in the front row, ooohing and aaaahing over the amazing designs created by the talented students.

Missing Link in My Cooking Library

The only book I missed from the "splitting" of my property, post-London, was the Easy Indian Cooking by Suneeta Vaswani. This was my favorite cookbook and I took a cooking class from Suneeta up in Napa so I really knew how to make her recipes. I finally ordered my own copy. Eager to try some of her flavorful and easy recipes.


Meet Eduardo. X marks the happy spot.

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Power Booked!

Bought one.

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I Love Best Buy

A sales rep at Best Buy just helped me figure out how to use Google Maps on my Blackberry and it rocks. Six months of owning this phone and complaining about GPS and I do have what I want. Now to reconsider the iPad.

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iPadus Interuptus

Now I'm at Best Buy and am maybe closer to obtaining an iPad. Service is so much better. Should I just get a powerbook? But I really miss the GPS.
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June 23, 2010

Clarion Sacramento Staff are Done with Me

I've been here an hour and I've had to call them twice already. First, the speaker on the phone kept randomly turning itself on. The mechanic man came up and pressed a button and said it was fixed. Next, the TV couldn't get any channels. The front desk lady was not happy to hear from me again and then same mechanic man came up to fix the TV. What can I say? I expect four-star service for my $79.99 Expedia deal.
Now let's hope the ice machine, located across from my room, doesn't have active visitors in the wee hours of the night.

Now to use my free drink coupon on the bar. The front desk lady was not impressed that I said no to the 2 for 1 entree coupon. "It's just me, so I don't need the coupon." Plus, I'm totally checking out the cool scene for dinner. Don't worry I'll go beyond Old Town Sacramento, my favorite dive zone for some reason.

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Sacramento is Hot

We are so spoiled in the Bay Area with our mild weather, Bay views and breezes. I'm in Sactown to co-present a Center for Cultural Innovation workshop to arts managers and Board members. Looking forward to checking out the fantastic social scene this evening.

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Silly iPad Dreams

I went just now to the Apple store to buy an iPad totally unaware that you have to reserve one. My brain melts at the Apple store with their kineshetic customer service. Well, now I am on the priority list for an iPad in Connecticut and DC, which will make my holiday next week a bit of a treasure hunt.
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June 21, 2010

Faculty Trailblazer Award

I am totally shocked that I just won the Faculty Trailblazer Award at the Art Institute of CA-SF! Wow, what and surprise.
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June 20, 2010

Peep Hole Photography

Looking through the apartment peep hole out to Berkeley campus at sunset.

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Cabin in the Hills

My friend Trever took me on a hike in the Berkeley hills and showed me this fantastic little cabin that has no roads and is accessible by paths.

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Following your Dreams

The poem that poet Lynn Gentry wrote for me at last night's Art Institute of California - SF United Streets of Fashion event.

I went blindly into a storm as everywhere
the houses were falling apart so looked in the wilderness
With no more evidence than wonder and no more leads
than the feet in front of me as she saw me and looked
on saying nothing but telling me everything
as I knew from first sight that I had seen what I needed to
see as returning home the sight bloomed in me to
burst out again and give birth to the dreams I see
at night I don't know where to go to follow my dreams
but I can write

Lynn Gentry
Following your Dreams
June 19, 2010

June 19, 2010

Our Amazing Students

I'm so impressed.

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Pretty and painful.

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Paper Hat

Just yesterday one of my students made a hat like this with a quiz I handed back.

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Imagine the Front!

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Killer Shoes


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Bring It On

The show begins!

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Fashion Director

Here's one of my bosses at AI - Fashion Management and Marketing Director Angella Hoffman - super cool and mega positive.

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VIP Reception

Faculty, staff and select students sushi it up at the fashion show reception.
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Finding My Dreams

Lynn Gentry is at the AI 4treets of Fashion show and he's writing me a poem.

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Every Action Has a Reaction

Today, while getting a massage on my injured shoulder, the masseuse demonstrated how one part of the body reveals pain in another part. He asked me to lift my uninjured arm and push up on his hand while he tried to push down. As he did this, he felt around in my injured arm until he discovered which muscle and zone (entry, exit or belly) was most sensitive. I was fascinated by this approach and couldn't quite understand what he was doing until he explained. "Your strong arm, the one that is not injured, is a 'tell' in that as soon as I touch a muscle in another part of your body that is injured, the uninjured arm will no longer hold its strength. That's how I know I've found the spot in the injured arm." Fascinating.

He dug around for 45 minutes and worked out almost all the kinks until I had movement in my arm that I have not experienced in months. He would judge if the pressure he used to work out those kinks was too strong by looking at my facial reactions. When he couldn't see my face he would say, "I can't see your face so tell me if I am pushing too hard." By the end I didn't care if he was pushing too hard because I was instantly feeling the positive impact of the massage.

As I reflect on this massage and the masseuse's "tell" technique, I am recognizing a technique that can I use in my consulting practice. Most of my work is listening, probing and guiding the client based on where it is they have identified as their desired destination. For me, today's massage was about regaining mobility in my shoulder so that I could reach across my chest or behind my back. As we worked together, the masseuse kept having me test if these movements were improving. At each test point I could see inches of new reach based on his probing. I do the same with my clients.

But what is the tell, I wonder? This is something I've been exploring of late. When I first started consulting I remember asking a client some questions that resulted in her grabbing her neck. It was clear that I had hit on something that was choking her. Recently, I worked with a co-consultant who would recognize this pain point and push the client further into in order to find the origin and ultimately relief. This has not been my style. I take note of the tension and then circle around it by probing with other questions that allow me to triangulate the resistence and then use this as the center point for my work. It is a challenging journey for me as I am not a confronter. However, lately, as a teacher, I've begun to recognize that change happens when you push the edge, not when you avoid it.

Yesterday, my Career Development class made their final presentations in which they shared their career goals, personal vision, mission, values, and unique selling point. One of the most cautious students, who continuously froze when making presentations, made the most spectacular speech. He was like a different person, he flowed. Throughout the quarter presentations had been in his panic zone and yesterday his presentation was clearly in his comfort zone. The entire class was blown away by his calm, poised, dance-like style that commanded our attention. Following the presentation the student said he couldn't believe that the presentation seemed any different from ones he had done earlier in the quarter and that he wished we had videotaped it so that he could see how he looked. "I was totally panicking inside."

Earlier in the quarter I had taken a risk and had this student stand in front of the class, his panic zone, and tell his personal story. His classmates asked probing questions to help him identify how his past, as a factory worker, directly linked to his future, as an animation artist. He hated the process but I kept him up there, on the edge, to become more comfortable by interacting with his audience. Clearly, it payed off by the end of the quarter. Early-on his tell had been sweating, stomach aches and a deer-in-the-headlights look on his face. By the end of the quarter he was calm, cool and collected. He had reached his goal.

For some people the pain point "tell" is physical, as in the two examples listed above. For others, it is verbal. I've experienced clients who lash out at me, usually early on in the consultancy. Frankly, I don't take these outbursts personally as I see it that I am pushing them into their panic zone by pinpointing the pain. Some consultants could react by stating, "I do not appreciate that behavior" and I supposed I could do that as well. But for me, I know I've found the point of tension. Usually it is a fear-based reaction. Their aggressive response is them bursting out, indirectly, "Don't touch me there, you're scaring me, I'm being pushed to my limit, people are going to see through me and recognize my weaknesses." However, they've hired me to do just that. It can take months, but eventually I help them work through that spot by probing gently around it and helping them question their assumptions and previous behaviors. Together we discover approaches that allow them to reach their desired outcomes and reach their fullest potential.

June 16, 2010

Ike at the Doctor

Ike the Bike is at the doctor. Besides having warn-out his various parts with good loving riding, we had a bit of an argument with a car. ike ended up on the ground and I bent a major part. Luckily, he took the fall for me but I did kick the car for good measure, twice. Now I'm at least $200 in the hole but that's not terrible considering we are best of friends, a horse and his rider.

Leaving Ike at the bike shop I nearly cried. I love that guy. I had to say goodbye three times and give him a hug. The bike shop guys understood and said they would take good care of him. I turned back before leaving the shop and they were giving him a pat, seriously.

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I Want to Live my Life with Grace: Who's Grace?

This is what is written on the face of a ceramic piece I purchased last weekend at East Bay Open Studios from artist http://www.derikvanbeers.com

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Going Manifesto

A new term I've coined meaning that a person or situation pushes you to the point of writing a manifesto to express your position.
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June 15, 2010

That's the Ticket

My cousin Julie scored us some sweet seats behind home plate at ATT Park. Awesome views and now Play Ball!

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Dog as Accessory

Standing on line at Pancho Villa Taqueria in The Mission it took me a few minutes to notice this little dog. I had to stare long and hard to determine it was alive and not a stuffed animal.

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I was awakened late last night, early this morning by a jolt which in my dream translated to a colleague inappropriately touching and ultimately breaking an antique table. Was it an earthquake? Here's what I found at USGS:

Earthquake Details

  • Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 01:44:42 UTC
  • Monday, June 14, 2010 at 06:44:42 PM at epicenter
Location37.716°N, 122.545°W
Depth7.8 km (4.8 miles)
  • 4 km (2 miles) WSW (244°) from San Francisco Zoo
  • 8 km (5 miles) WNW (292°) from Daly City, CA
  • 9 km (6 miles) WNW (298°) from Colma, CA
  • 13 km (8 miles) WSW (239°) from San Francisco City Hall, CA
Location Uncertaintyhorizontal +/- 0.3 km (0.2 miles); depth +/- 0.5 km (0.3 miles)
ParametersNph= 25, Dmin=11 km, Rmss=0.05 sec, Gp=104°,
M-type=duration magnitude (Md), Version=1
Event IDnc71415376

June 13, 2010

Oh So Berkeley

Discovered this house Matthews Street while walking to Kala Art Institute for East Bay Open Studios.
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Catching Up with Myself

Cleaning out my email in-boxes this morning, filing emails and opening long-unopened messages, is a really good exercise in seeing how I spend my time. I was shocked to see that I hadn't filed emails since February, and I use to be so good about keeping my in-box clean. Avoiding my in-box was a metaphor for being bombarded by emails from every realm of my personal and professional lives. Now I'm finding balance again with the ongoing streamlining.

June 11, 2010

Mua Coolness

My friend Trever and I are checking out this cool restaurant bar that use to be a car repair shop. I hella love Oakland.

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June 10, 2010

Korean Hearts

Looks good and I hope it tastes good too.

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Hisun Owns Oakland

The official birthday photo!

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Sunset in Downtown Oakland

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Amazing Garden

The flowers are so big and fragrant from all our California rain. Our neighborhood is a rainbow.

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June 8, 2010

Coaching Training for Emerging Arts Leaders

My C2Arts consulting partner Yesenia Sanchez presents an overview of coaching to 50+ San Francisco Bay Area Emerging Arts Professionals. Next we're going to introduce some tools and then move into action.

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Fire Burns Away Brain Fog

For the past six months I've felled like my brain has been in a fog, for a variety or reasons. Every move has been sluggish and it was difficult for me to move forward on my various ventures, except of course teaching which requires me to be at the top of my game. In the past couple of weeks I've made some significant life-changes - letting go of some of the confusion factors - and have broken through the fog, just as San Francisco is breaking through its spring mist.

The break-through moment was yesterday when I was able to complete a proposal for a project that totally lights my fire, but was stuck. The moment of transformation was fueled by a conference call with three colleagues who are arts management coaches/consultants. We had a fantastic conversation about a book on which we are collaborating (details soon). It was like the fog instantly cleared and I was once again inspired to follow my passion.

Later in the day I met with my C2Arts partners and we had another inspirational conversation about how to work together and make an impact in our field. When I learned that one of my seemingly conservative colleagues was a secret, or not so secret Burning Man attendee, I was on fire! I hadn't realize how much I wanted to attend Burning Man and never thought it possible. The mystery of it and  drug-factor were in my panic zone. When let us know that she's was putting together a camp I was hooked. Now I'm going to attend Burning Man with her - moved into my stretch zone with the help of a friend.

I'm committed to fostering my creativity and am moving towards yet another of my goals.

Now to come up with my alter ego.

June 7, 2010

June 6, 2010

Deftones Hit the Notes

Now we're finally at a concert!
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Courtney Love Needs Some...Discipline

Oh My Goodness. You can almost see her in this photo. But if you can't, no worries because you can probably hear her screaming lyrics that are...painful.
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Cage The Elephant

At Live 105 BFD listening to, or is actually feeling the reverb, of Cage the Elephant and I say, "let the elephant out of the cage." So much noise. What a scene. Yes, I may be too old for this kind of concert. But how else do I understand my students? OK, that's not why I'm here but it at least justifies the people watching. Tats are the new suntan. Thankfully I got in an hour of kayaking today and am feeling some calm in this chaos.
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37 Artists at Jack London Square

Eats Bay Open Studio artists have taken over the old Barnes and Noble this weekend and next.
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June 5, 2010

Puzzle Passion

Totally distracted for three hours at Lee Krasnow's Pacific Puzzle Works and now I need food.
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Artist Studio of Noelle Nakama

I scored a lovely ceramic bowl for $5.
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Jordan Zane Quintero

Visit http://jordanquintero.blogspot.com to see more work.
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Fernando Reyes Nudes

The Jingletown studio of fellow Pro Arts Board member.
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Greg Fraser open studio

An Scot in Jingletown and Hamish his puppy.
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My tour of East Bay Open Studios

Jill McLennan's hidden studio loft in on Chapman Street in Oakland's Jingletown.
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June 3, 2010

East Bay Open Studios Happy Hour

Mark your calendars for an East Bay art tour unlike any other!

During the first two weekends in June (June 5-6 and June 12-13),
East Bay Open Studios connects the public with over
400 artists in the East Bay.
Since 1979, this event remains the largest art event
in the region with an annual
audience over 50,000!

The East Bay Express is excited to be a part of the Open
Studios event, and we have planned a series of
Happy Hour specials at select bars in the East Bay.
From 6-9 pm, find $3 Trumer Pils at the following locations:
Missouri Lounge, Blakes on Telegraph, Spengers, Acme Bar, 
Uptown (Saturdays only), Somar (Sundays only), 
The Layover (Saturdays only), Merchants Saloon, 
The White Horse, Liege, Lucky 13
Find out more about the East Bay Open Studios
event through the Pro Arts event page.


Ian McEwan's novel, Atonement, hit me hard. A beautifully written, twisting story, it brought up so many of my own emotions and experiences around variations on truth. The London setting felt like I was walking back to two years past when my life was dramatically unfolding both within and beyond my own doing.

Thinking about and imagining the future are difficult, I find. My life is so much about living in the present. Perhaps I am often too impacted by the past, the same scenarios replayed, each time attempting to uncover new meanings, new truths.

The future plans I have are a based on client projects and class schedules, evenly divided into odd eleven-week quarters. Every day brings new opportunity with seemingly little design. How can a strategic planner base so much on chance? And yet, all these ventures propel me forward in a satisfying trajectory towards...only reflection will provide the packaging.

It is not that I believe in manifest destiny, more that I avoid repetition and crave the new. Or, is it that I prefer not to be responsible for my own next steps? Let me be blown by the wind, blown by the wind.

At 41, single, strong and perhaps beautiful, I am at a crossroads amongst my peers, so many of whom have partners, families, cars, houses, and jobs. My freedom is mysterious to them and to me as well. Shouldn't I too be tied into these safe trappings? Am I a danger to the status quo out here on my own?

Yet, I have made a choice, forging my own version of the truth, and am instead independent from those paths and free to invent each day anew. There are few role models for this exploration.

In social settings I am the mysterious woman who is difficult to introduce, who can not easily be labeled. Yet, amongst my dear friends who search for my heart, the discovery is savored - there is no truth for which I need atone.

June 2, 2010

Three Years Later It Still Makes Sense

The Center for Cultural Innovation asked me to provide an article for their new website which will launch later this month. In looking through my existing articles, I found one about Board Commitment that we decided would fit the content of their site. They thanked me for being so "prolific" which I guess is another term for extroverted or living out loud.

The article we chose was first written when I lived in the UK and so it has spots of Queen's English. But otherwise, it is all me. In re-reading the article I was amazed at the clarity of my thoughts and how my approach to Board engagement and strategic planning still holds true three years later. When I wrote the article I had only completed a few strategic plans. Since then I have facilitated and created numerous ones and my original methodology still holds true. My approach is core to my belief in leading-together.

When the article publishes on the CCI website I'll include a link.

June 1, 2010

Rich Fish

Created by a fellow Ithaca College graduate...

What's Luck Got to do with it?

Today I read an inspirational quote about luck. Is there really such a thing as being luck?

Characteristics of "lucky" people:

1. They know how to create and recognize good opportunities for themselves.
2. They make good intuitive decisions.
3. They have positive expectations.
4. Through resilience, they turn bad situations into good ones.

As my friend Karen says, "they make lemons out of lemonade."