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Contest: Giving Away Leadership

What better way to get back in the saddle of accomplishment than with a giveaway?

Chick-Fil-A and Character Counts in Iowa are sponsoring a Leadercast on Friday, May 6, 2011 at the Hy-Vee Conference Center in West Des Moines.  It features leadership powerhouses Seth Godin, Sir Ken Robinson (a personal favorite), and John Maxwell, among many others. This is going to be an amazing day of leadership, and it can all be yours for just $99 (which includes lunch).

But here's where the fun part comes in: My good friend, Drew McLellan, has given me two tickets to GIVE AWAY to my readers. All you have to do is leave a comment (with your name) on this post about what leadership is NOT. You don't have to be wordy about it; just describe one thing that "boss people" do that isn't really leadership at all. All comments received by midnight will be put into the drawing for the two tickets (so you can bring a friend).

Let's have some fun with this. I can't wait to read your comments.

On another note: I cannot thank you enough for your patience, support, and encouragement over the past several months. Mom had a fitting memorial service, and it was nice to reconnect with so many family and friends (even though the circumstances weren't the most pleasant).

Now... are you ready to carpe factum with me again?


Out Like a Lion

IMG_0661 March just ended; we're now into April. In a couple of weeks, spring will be upon us at full-steam.

It's been a challenging winter, as most of you have seen from earlier posts on my blog. Those who are my friends on Facebook have seen my mother's cancer situation played out in real-time. As I write this, I'm sitting at Taylor House Hospice in Des Moines by Mom's bedside. Every breath is an accomplishment, a fight, a competition against death itself. There is no going "gentle into that good night" for this woman.

I mentioned to somebody recently that I'd put my professional life on hold for the past five months to be there for her, but in retrospect, that's not true at all. Mom has been my client. I've been forced to use all of my project management, office politics, creativity, and systems thinking skills on her and her needs. We've taken care of funeral arrangements, transitioned among levels of care, fired an obnoxiously pompous oncologist, balanced pharmaceuticals, communicated among relatives and friends. All of the same skills I've used in the past I've just retooled.

No client has been more pressing, more rewarding, more emotionally draining, or more invested. This is a project I'll take to my dying day. Mom has spent her entire life accomplishing things. She has earned "Well done, good and faithful servant" many times over. Sitting by her bedside, monitoring every breath, wondering which one is her last... it's an honor, a privilege. I've been able to watch her strength firsthand.

I'll transition back to "more traditional" clients soon enough. In the wee hours of the morning, I'm thinking of how I watched March go out like a lion. Mom's life helped shape me into who I am. For now, I'll stay focused on the positives. I'll miss her, but she will always be here... in what I do, what I say, and what I accomplish. Carpe Factum, Mom. I love you.

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