You're setting the tone (Is it time to change it?)

Imagine a leader walking into a meeting and yelling at the top of his lungs or talking so quiet no one can hear him.

Clearly, as leaders we aren’t on either of these extremes (at least no too often). However, we are somewhere in the middle and every time we open our mouths we say a lot. Research indicates that as much as 38% of our communication comes across in our tone, inflection and speed of our voice. 38% no matter what you say!

When my son was two-years old he walked around singing almost constantly. I started to wonder if...

Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!

               -- Dr. Suess

Ten years ago I walked into a class. The promise in the brochure was that by the end of the course, students would know how to get actual information from the gut feelings or inklings we all have. The first words out of the instructor’s mouth were, “I see your spirit and it’s beautiful.” I thought she was crazy.

Two weeks ago I raced into the Starbucks as I do most mornings. I stood somewhat impatiently in line with my phone in...


I raced out of a meeting at 10:40 a.m. dialing the number of the person I was scheduled to talk to at 10:30 a.m. I drove to my office only partially focused on the conversation I was having so I could check that off my list and move onto the next “to do”.  For the next five hours I bounced between phone calls, emails and my looming list of “priority” actions. At 3:15 p.m. I hung up the phone and took a breath – maybe the first one all day. I could feel the anxiety coursing through my body.

I want to tell you that this is uniq...

On a typical morning when I go in to wake up Quinn, my 4-year old, I begin by gently kissing his cheek and saying softly, “It’s time to wake up.”  I continue a little louder, “It’s time to wake up.”   After about 5 minutes in this little dance, I have opened his shade and am speaking at full volume while he lays snoring with his eyes shut tightly. I imagine we all feel like this guy some mornings.

 However, this past Tuesday was completely different.  I walked in and began the routine saying softly, “It’s time to wake up.”  Instantly his eyes shot open and he jumped...

A leader recently said to me, “I realize that to be grounded and successful at the times when it matters most, requires planning and preparation before those moments hit.”

I live in Chicago where you never know what the weather is going to serve up.  One day you can walk out your door to birds singing, the sun shining and temperatures that are remarkably warm and welcoming.  The next day you wake up to snow, wind howling and record low temperatures.  That’s just how it is in Chicago.  Anyone who lives in or near Chicago knows that the key to successfully navigating – and even...

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Donna Richards Muriel
Founder - Merge Leadership
Carolyn Tilden
Founder-CataQuest Consulting
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Donna Richards Muriel-Founder


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