Category Archives: CEO Advice

“Do the best you can, and don’t take life too serious.” -Will Rogers

“Do the best you can, and don’t take life too serious.” -Will Rogers

This is great advice – and a tough one. Strive for excellence — then let go.  Excel, but relax. Be a go-getter, but laugh. One can think it is confusing!

Yet even the greatest Olympic ice skater, the president of the U.N., and your awesome mom need “a break from excellence.” Just a little time to breathe, reflect, enjoy life, live. 


Why? Because then they can go back to excellence. They’ve rejuvenated, recharged, and “re-become” themselves. Did you know that 53% of people in the U.S. are considered “burnout.”?  And 48% percent in San Francisco and 52% percent in New York. What is burnout? It is a state of physical, emotional, and/or emotional exhaustion experienced at work. 


So let the superstar in your life, go for it, and let go. They deserve it. And so do you!  



BiographyWilliam Penn Adair Rogers was born on November 4, 1879, in present-day Oologah, Oklahoma. Rogers grew up in a ranching family. In 1905, Rogers began performing a lasso act on the vaudeville circuit. His charm and humor, along with his technical ability, made Rogers a star. Audiences responded with enthusiasm to his off-the-cuff remarks delivered while performing elaborate roping tricks. Rogers parlayed his vaudeville success into a Broadway career. He debuted in New York in 1916, performing in The Wall Street Girl. This led to many more theatrical roles, including headlining appearances in the Ziegfeld Follies. In addition to acting, Rogers became nationally known as a writer. He penned a column for the Saturday Evening Post in newspapers. His columns dealt with contemporary issues from a perspective of small town morality, emphasizing the integrity of working people.


Rogers’s fame had eclipsed his country bumpkin persona by 1930. No longer believable as an uneducated outsider, he was able to voice his characteristic wit and wisdom while playing a professional. Legendary director John Ford worked with Rogers on three of these later films—Doctor Bull, Judge Priest and The Steamboat Round the Bend. On August 15, 1935, the plane carrying Will Rogers crashed in Point Barrow, Alaska. He died on impact. Millions across the country mourned the sudden silencing of a quintessentially American voice.

I Feel Stuck

Today I was speaking with a friend and she said
I feel stuck 
And doesn’t that temptation come to us sometimes.
Something in our life can’t move.  
In her case, she was working very, very hard for a global Fortune 500 company for 15+ years.  She demonstrated loyalty, excellence in execution, extreme detail and care. Then she made a request to move into another area of the company after years of diligence. The new Business Unit was thrilled. She was thrilled.  A perfect fit!   She could become unstuck! 


But the CEO said “No.”  We need you here. You’re staying here. 
The good news is she is highly esteemed. The bad news is they just want her doing the same thing. But she wanted to grow in other ways. 
When things seem tough. We’re told:
Our job won’t progress. We’re stuck. 
Or you can’t find the right roommate. I’m stuck. 
You haven’t been able to get a visa for three years. Our family is stuck! 
There are no jobs in your country. Our country has been stuck for generations. 
Or maybe you have been seeking family. And it’s just not happening. Lonely -Stuck.  Solo- Stuck. 
Those are the times, ironically, when it’s important to give. Yes, that’s right. It’s the time to reach out to someone else, lend a helping hand, offer to help an elderly tribal leader enter the tent, or carry the groceries in for a neighbor out of their car.   


It’s one of the most powerful lessons in life: In order to become unstuck yourself, you have to help someone else get unstuck. From generosity flows flow.  A flow of goodness so powerful it will bring positive progress to the, to you and the world.

You can get stuck and absorbed on yourself. Or you can help someone else and unstick them, yourself and the world.

Get Unstuck Today. Give!

Get Inspired, Get a Job Series! (Part 3 of 3)

How can you help a friend who is out of work? Here is the last of a three-part series sharing the advice I gave to my good friend Haruto who was out of work.

Dear Haruto,

        So, here would be a gentle way to approach what’s happening. I hope this is helpful…..I’m thinking of you.

Here’s your gentle action plan….:)

1- For the next two weeks, do not search for a job.  Do not think about, research, look for a job or let your mind think about it.   

2- Now, we’re going to reinforce your building blocks for life.  I didn’t say create. You already have them. That’s so wonderful! You grew up with great values and beliefs.  You just need to reacquaint yourself with them.  

So here’s your ‘job’ for the next two weeks:

  1. Take a shower with your mind in the morning and night.
  2. Pull off any sad or dejected barnacles from your mind.  
  3. If the above is still hard, then fill your mind with positive things.
  4. Reestablish your positive identity. Begin a special journal now with 10 things you’re grateful for.  
  5. Be a philanthropist every day.
  6. Begin going to church consistently.  
  7. Spend slow time in Nature.
  8. Read my piece “Rough” on my blog Living and Giving.
  9. Study Joel Osteen, John C. Maxwell and Stephen Covey
  10. Laugh.

Read Part 1 and Part 2!

Want to Volunteer? Three Things To Ask

How do you pick the right volunteer experience for you? It’s important to be diligent in your choice of organizations when volunteering. Ask yourself the following questions to determine which experience best fits your goals.

  1. What cause is important to you?

Identify your greatest passions. What is a problem you want to solve? Who are people you want to connect with? If you don’t have answers to those questions, don’t worry. Sometimes you know, and sometimes not! That’s where you just have to try, learn more about the cause, and see if it engages your mind and emotions.

This is why volunteering is so great. You can always try it, commit for a reasonable time, and then try something different. Start with an area about which you are curious, such as education, the environment, or health care. Interested in animal conservation? Volunteer with Pandas International to assist conservationists in caring for pandas. That raises another point: You can use volunteering to explore another part of the world. Working with Globe Aware in Peru, for example, will allow you to engage in a way much beyond that of a tourist.

  1. What is the organization like?

The nonprofit sector continues to grow, with new organizations popping up daily. Understanding the organizational structure is critical to a positive volunteer experience. Would you like to work in a larger organization that might have more resources but is more rigid? Or a smaller, entrepreneurial organization that has less fiscal support but multiple opportunities to serve?

You also need to consider the leadership structure. Are they friendly, open, willing to give you opportunities? Do you see yourself enjoying your day working with them? If you answer yes, then most likely you will have a positive relationship. They will want to see you grow and develop, and you will want to help them. It’s a “win-win” for everyone. Try to meet with the leader or volunteer manager prior to starting to ensure it’s a good fit.

  1. How much time can you dedicate?

Be realistic about the amount of time you can spend volunteering. Often, volunteers comment that they benefit from investing a lot of time becoming a part of the “nonprofit family.” You can learn the ins and outs of the organization and gain greater expertise.

However, you may have time only to help on weekends every now and then. That’s great, too. It’s just a different kind of experience. Volunteering one time to help a soup kitchen pack meals for families for the holidays is a good example. You’ve helped fill a need, and your heart is filled, too!

You’ve got a heart to give. Now, take the time to think about how you want to volunteer. By being thoughtful, you’ll use your time well and get the most out of your experience. (It also helps the nonprofit!) No matter what, you’ll be a better person. And the world will be better, too.

Visit Duke University’s website where Pamela can answer your questions on social innovations and nonprofits here! 

What To Do-When Out of Work?

Today can be challenging times for a man, or anyone, out of work.  You might have had a successful career, and then a superior halted you in your tracks.  Maybe a personal obsession steered you from focus.  Or, you might doubt yourself, lose confidence and lose your job.

In this case, a lovely man in his 40s found himself with a wife who degraded him, stating he was not worth anything. His self-esteem plummeted.   At the same time, they had an unexpected baby.   So he’s trying to be a new father, and find work.  In fact, he’s not even sure he has the courage to look for work. He’s that down.  That’s not easy.

We all need support in our lives, and kindness, and someone who believes in us. Otherwise, I believe we truly perish.  We simply don’t survive by just eating and sleeping. True survival is living with a sense of purpose, giving to others and abiding in love, all the time.  That purpose is really our “job.”  So for all of you who are struggling to find a job, please read and absorb below.

Here’s what I wrote to encourage this lovely man.

Dear Noah,

How are you dear Noah!

I am thinking of you and wanted to write a note. I hope that’s ok 🙂

So Susana has shared a little about your situation… and I am so very, very sorry. It’s not easy to have a challenging relationship, looking for a job, and taking care of your new baby!

First…  congratulations!  That is so wonderful on your new precious baby, Noah.  What a wonderful life event and I am sure she adores her daddy. Cherish that…… how lovely.


So, here would be a gentle way to approach what’s happening. I hope this is helpful…..I’m thinking of you.

Here’s your gentle action plan….:)

1. For the next two weeks, do not search for a job.  Do not think about, research, look for a job or let your mind think about it.

No thinking about a job. Get it out of your mind. Give yourself a break tactically, and mentally.

Whew!  That’s good. We’re going to clear your mind of hurt and stress.

2. Now, we’re going to reinforce your building blocks for life.  I didn’t say create. You already have them, Noah. That’s so wonderful! You grew up with great values and beliefs.  You just need to reacquaint yourself with them.

So here’s Noah’s ‘job’ for the next two weeks:

1-Take a shower with your mind in the morning and night.

You take a shower for your body.  Now, take the same care of your mind….Every morning and night you wash your mind of any hurt, resentment, sadness and fear.  Wash it away.

Are you having a hard time with this?

Well, does your mom love you? Yes, very much.  Think on her love and belief in you.  Does Susana love you? Yes!   Your sister Aliana? Yes!  If you can’t love yourself, then think on the love your family has for you. You know that love is real, Noah.

2-Pull off any sad or dejected barnacles from your mind.

They are not you, Noah. Pull them off immediately.  It’s cancer of your mind.  It’s poisoning your soul.  Be diligent about this.  They like to hold on, and it’s your job to protect your mind.  Be diligent.

3-If the above is still hard, then fill your mind with positive things you see.

This might be a beautiful beach, a blue sky, a lovely sun. Be grateful you don’t live in Siberia, or under autocratic rule. Be grateful you live in a country where you have free speech.  Where you can vote.

Next, be grateful you can walk…that you have eyes and can see….That you can breathe easily.

There are many things we take for granted, Noah….fill your thoughts with gratitude.

Take a stand. Think positive things.

4-Reestablish your identity. 

Begin a special journal now.

Every morning you’ll write 10 things you like about yourself. Every evening you’ll go over 10 of your gratefuls.

I’ll start for you:

Noah’s new mind:1- I am a dutiful father.

1- I am a dutiful father.

2- I love my parents

3- I have a great smile.

4- People like me.

5- I love my sister, and she knows it

6- I help my parents by taking the garbage and recycling out, without being asked.

7- In a day where chivalry is lacking, I hold open the door for others.

8- I have a degree in Business

9- I have a kind, sensitive heart.

And the most important, Number 10:

  1. The most important thing in life is who I am, who I ‘be,’ not what I do.

This will always be your number 10. (So you only have to do 9 each day!)  🙂  Please review number 10 every morning and evening.   No one loves us for what we do, Noah.   Susana is not one of my best friends because she’s an accountant.  :).  She is because she’s kind, loving, joyful, supportive and we laugh a lot!  It’s all about the qualities you express.

You send them to Susana and me every day, and we’ll celebrate with you. If you get stuck, we can help you think about the positives.

5- Be a philanthropist every day.

Noah, philanthropy is the love of humanity, love of people.   It’s not money.  People have just dumbed down the word to money, so people can define it. But you, and everyone, is a philanthropist every day!  It’s not 9-5.  It’s all the time.  Now that’s purpose, and that’s a calling we all share.

Being a philanthropist starts now.  You don’t wait.

That’s your daily job. Help everyone you can. This is your character anyway — you are great at this!

You can:

Put a dime in someone’s parking meter

Say hello to a homeless person.

Say a very sincere greeting to the dry cleaners and ask how they are. This isn’t an errand.  It’s an opportunity to express love!

Help someone across the street

In the grocery store, help someone find something they can’t find.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t work there. Help them!  I love doing this.  People get so surprised!

That’s your job, every day, Noah, to watch how much you can help people. For now, and forever.  And remember, you’re good at it.

6-  Begin going to church consistently.

Sometimes your mind might wander.  Many times you’ll still feel down. Don’t worry about it. The Spirit of God is working, Noah. He’s working when you feel like you can’t.

He’s already at work helping you right now, Noah.  1 Peter:5:7  “Cast all your cares upon Him, because he cares for you.”  Do it.  Talk to God and tell Him what hurts. I like this because it relieves our soul, and it’s private.  🙂 yay

Rest in Him. Stop trying to figure out, to do all of this yourself. You’re not alone.

I go to church 3 times per week. I go to Christian Science church at 10, Menlo Presbyterian at 11.  Then I joined the Prayer Service where I pray for others from 12-1.

Noah, I don’t have a lot of prayer requests after hearing these stories…tragic, tragic.. and praying for others has really brought me out of….

The focus on me.

Noah, we are really blessed…  if you can serve the church some way… it gets you out of you.

For some reason, I can see you assisting in church administration, with kids, or leading people in a group service, maybe volunteer events.  Many times, Noah, when you put yourself out there and offer yourself in service… people offer you a position. (You might not ever have to formally seek a job.) But that’s not the point. The point is to help others and to serve.

7- Spend slow time in Nature.

If church isn’t your thing, and even if it is, spend slow time in Nature. Watch and listen to the peaceful pattern of river.  Listen to the rustling of the leaves of large, overarching trees…. hear the birds and their joyful sounds. Watch blades of grass in a field, gently turning this way and that, being flexible with the gentle wind.

We learn a lot from nature.  We can see rhythms and patterns that help us see a positive pattern for our lives. You can see the larger laws of nature in operation. It’s so grand, and yet so smoothly flowing.   It’s peaceful.

8- Read my piece “Rough” on my blog Living and Giving.  Http://

In it I talk about how I left four jobs in 4 years and was so very depressed.  I started a business.  It failed.  I had to work as an executive assistant for free. The man said I didn’t deserve to be paid.  I supported myself as a step aerobics instructor.

I was fired as a waitress in Venice beach.  I so wanted to serve!   But my hands shook with the plates I held.  I was afraid I’d drop them.  I was yelled at and let go.

Read it. Give me a call and let’s discuss.

9- Next assignment: Study Joel Osteen

This man is very inspirational and helpful.  He’s positive and encouraging to every person, believing everyone has a purpose and is special.

Joel does weave in religion to his messages, so if you’d like something different, here are other authors that just provide plain advice.  I really like John C. Maxwell and Stephen Covey.  But you won’t find their videos viraling to 1 million. I’d encourage to watch at least one Joel Osteen video. You’ll learn a lot.

For the first week:

Each day, listen to three Joel Osteen videos (or John Maxwell, or Stephen Covey) on YouTube. Do not do anything but listen.  You might even want to close your eyes..although he’s inspiring to watch.

Remember those crusty yucky barnacles you washed out of your mind?

Let his healing words replace those barnacles in your thoughts.  We’re going to pour in good thoughts.  Let those good thoughts seed, plant and grow in your mind.

Noah, don’t give up.    Be persistent.   You’re going to have to retrain your mind.  That’s ok.

Noah, you are a golfer.  You’re an athlete.  Just as you learned to make that perfect putt, you have to practice. You practiced a lot. Again and again. Now, you have to practice new thoughts.  Again and again.  It’s the same thing.

For the second week:

Each day, listen to three Joel Osteen videos on YouTube. This time take notes.  What makes sense to you?  What doesn’t?   Call me/email me and we can discuss.

10 – Laugh.

Yes, laugh. It’s that simple. There was a man healed of cancer because he watched something like 10 comedy movies at once!  When you laugh, it’s impossible to have anxiety.  So you need to get out and laugh.  That’s why I do improv. I think it’s so healing, so light, and clears people’s minds!


So that’s your plan, Noah, for the next two weeks.   No work or thought of getting a job.

It’s time to realize how special you are. It’s time to focus on being grateful.

You’re an athlete, Noah. You know how to practice.  This time we are going into an intensive training of your mind and heart.  Let’s just focus on that, showering your mind and replanting positive thoughts.

We will love and support you in this.   We love you Noah, and we want you to be happy.

With great admiration for who you are,



Your Employee is Overwhelmed: Strategy #4

Have you ever wondered how a CEO approaches this problem? Here is the final strategy CEO Pamela Hawley recommends.

Strategy #4: Bring In More Support

Here’s a final option. Recently we had a situation where a stellar team member was bumping through 4 to 6 major documents a week. They were doing an amazing job. But their life circumstances changed, and they had to reduce their hours. As a company, we needed to get these documents done. We brought in more support by a former team member and had her take over some of the projects. We completed the work, and provided greater balance for both team members. ********** We all want things done quickly. But overloading does not lead to success. If you hired the right people, they’re working hard. They should be saying “I can do this successfully and I’m a strong contributor.” That’s the kind of culture you want.

View Strategy #1, Strategy #2, Strategy #3 or Read Full Article Here!

Your Employee is Overwhelmed: Strategy #3

Have you ever wondered how a CEO approaches this problem? Here is the third of four strategies CEO Pamela Hawley recommends. Stay tuned tomorrow for the final strategy!

Strategy #3: Hold Off

No one likes to have a crazy to-do list staring at them every day. As a manager, you must help create a balance for your employees that provides them the time necessary to complete their tasks. Allow them the satisfaction of accomplishing a task, rather than rushing frantically to the next “to do.” You might have a lot more for them to do, but hold off! Will this work for your go-getter culture? It has to. What we’re dealing with here is long-term employee satisfaction and retention. If they’re not happy, other team members will hear about it, lowering group morale. Or they might leave, a costly alternative. In essence, allow your employees to work hard, and be balanced. Otherwise you’re putting a significant dent into your company culture.

Read Pamela’s first two strategies…Strategy #1Strategy #2 and Strategy #4