Joie de Vivre!

The French have an expression that I relate to: Joie de Vivre!  It means the simple joy of living, embracing all that life has to offer – right now, in this moment.  Joie de Vivre is about being aware of things around you. It’s being conscious of life as it happens. It’s being enveloped by the love and laughter of young children. It’s connecting with old friends and meeting new ones.  And of course, good wine and good food.  But most of all, for me Joie de Vivre is about acceptance . . . of the current state of one’s authentic self, while being accountable of the impact on others.

Recently, I was co-leading a team building retreat of senior leaders during which several individuals stated that they didn’t view themselves as particularly bright, creative, or bold enough to be fully effective. That shocked me, for I saw them as more than capable.  What was the difference between what I saw and what they accepted as true?  It was the lens through which they viewed themselves. Instead of being grounded in gratitude and living in self-acceptance, these individuals were viewing themselves as flawed and disempowered.  I was saddened to see these lives overshadowed by the belief they were “less than.”

If you look for pleasure, joy, and satisfaction each day, every day, you’ll find it.  I’m fond of saying, “Take what you do seriously, but not yourself.”  Don’t beat yourself up, as you’ll never be perfect.  Too many of us live in fear of being discovered that we are not ______ enough: not bright enough, capable enough, experienced enough, or courageous enough.  Instead of focusing on what you lack, focus on what talents you do have and . . . bask in the moment.

Enjoy your Joie De Vivre!

RL Team

Global Flavors – Food, Wine, and All of Us

At this year’s R|L Summer Open House, we welcomed several global coaches into our midst with an evening of great conversation as well as food and wine from around the globe.  Thank you for joining us!

Mingle with the Stars

When you get past the glitz of Hollywood’s red carpet, I often wonder what attributes make each of the celebrities a true Star.  Is it how celebrities present themselves – the fashions they wear or the eloquence of speech during interviews, or is it something more?  My take is that a Star is someone who authentically brings something into the world that wasn’t there before.

This year’s R|L Summer Open House theme, Mingle with the Stars, was selected to honor the Star in each of you, as our guests – whether our clients, alumni, sponsoring companies, recruiters, spouses, or friends.  Nelson Mandela said, “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
Mingle with the StarsGiven the fascinating diversity of our guests’ backgrounds, we were delighted to observe, once again, the high level of engagement as you connected and reconnected with people throughout the evening.  We were proud to play a part in your STAR network.  It is your genuine interest and support for one another that makes this night special.  For 33 years I have marveled at the inclusiveness of the group.

Thank you for being a significant part of our R|L Community.  You enrich our lives beyond measure.

Our challenge:  How can you, this week, live more authentically, embracing the Star within you?

Wind in Your Sails – R|L Summer Outing

By Clyde C. Lowstuter

Summer is a great time for renewal with invigorating gatherings of business colleagues, friends, and family.  The theme for this year’s Open House was Wind in Your Sails – a metaphor for those interactions and insights that have the power to buoy your spirits and recharge your batteries to carry you forward with even greater enthusiasm.  Just as well trimmed sails will convert the force of the wind into motion, the right types of connections will propel you with new energy.  Who and what buoys you in the midst of these fast-paced, demanding times?

We recommend that you connect with others regularly – as a means of deepening your insights and capabilities.  Work hard and play hard to experience the breadth and depth of your authentic self.

Thank you for being part of the R|L Community that energizes us beyond measure.  We appreciate you greatly.

RL Wind in Your Sails Collage

Storm Surges and Lessons Learned

By Jackie Renner

We all have our stories from time to time.  Here’s mine.  October was an extraordinary month in many ways.  I entered the month with six solid job opportunities.  I thought that with such an abundant slate, one would surely come through.  I planned networking and job applications to keep fresh opportunities coming.  I worked on both throughout the month.  Yet, the month did not end as I had envisioned.

As I entered November, I was shocked to see how the landscape had changed!

  • Two of the opportunities closed for me as the hiring companies re-launched their searches to get a closer match on industry background or experience.
  • Two other opportunities were with one company.  I had a great set of interviews, but one week after the last interview the company announced a major reorganization and both positions got filled internally.
  • For the fifth opportunity, I was the lead candidate in the search.  I was scheduled to talk to the recruiter on next steps on a Friday of one of these momentous weeks.  On Wednesday of that same week a press release was issued:  the company was being acquired. Search off.
  • The sixth opportunity is still alive, but delayed.  I had an interview scheduled for Monday, October 29 in Battery Park, New York City. Yes, the Battery Park of Superstorm Sandy flooding fame.  I had come to NYC the weekend before to visit with friends and family.  I didn’t have the interview (yet), but rather a first-hand lesson in emergency preparedness as I weathered (no pun intended) the storm and its aftermath all that week.

Lessons learned:

  • Be prepared:   Don’t let the job storm surge hit you unprepared. Continue to network. I had taken Clyde’s writing seriously and had continued to network moving into October, so I am not starting from the beginning, but I had throttled back some, figuring one of the six opportunities would come to fruition.  I should not have pulled back; I should have been prepared for the surge.
  • Stay grounded:   Crazy things can happen in a job search.  Like a storm surge.  Processes aren’t linear; situations are fluid.  You don’t have to be swept away by events, however.  Stay focused on your goals, skills, and accomplishments. These will keep you moving forward and able to navigate the shifting tides.
  • Stay positive:  Resilience was a word used often in the media as Superstorm Sandy headed towards NY/NJ, and in the days afterward.  The ability to bounce back is critical, after a storm or after a setback in your search.
  • Keep your job search in perspective:  When you learn that a job opportunity is gone, go ahead and feel bad, but keep it in perspective. There are far worse things that can happen in life.

Keep your chin up, brace for the storm surges, and continue to move forward. The storm will pass.