Recently, I was inspired by an interview with actress Kate Winslet who has just finished filming a new movie only six weeks after giving birth to her third child. “…There’s actually something really empowering about going, ‘Hell, I can do this. I can do all this.’ And that’s the wonderful thing about mothers. You can, because you must, and you just do.”

After having three children myself, the Parkinson’s law adage which states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion” has taken on new meaning. I get so much more done now – personally and professionally — than I did prior to having children. I may not sleep or relax as much, but I certainly accomplish more in every aspect of my life.

As a purpose-driven person, I take everything that I undertake very seriously. I believe that everyone should be able to define what a life of purpose means for them, and then align their life in a way that continually furthers you toward that goal. For me, there was never any question that I would have a life that includes both being a mom and a working professional.

Gladys Kravitz

Gladys Kravitz

“Soup from a Can”

Rarely, if ever, do I mentally revisit non-work-related small-talk conversations, particularly if they took place with individuals from outside of my inner circle. As an executive recruiter, I speak to literally dozens and dozens of people every week, and I simply don’t have the mental capacity or inclination to run a continuous loop of past conversations. I’m always on to the next thing. However, for many years now, there’s a comment that has lingered in my mind, perhaps feasting upon my “guilt” as a driven, working mom.

Eight years ago, while living in a well-to-do suburb in Minnesota, a nosey neighbor (think Gladys Kravitz from Bewitched)approached my husband in our driveway when my twin boys were only a couple months old. “Kristi isn’t going back to work, is she?” My husband proceeded to tell her that I was, in fact, heading back to work in a few weeks. My daughter was two years old at the time, and I was entering the phase of experiencing real sadness each time I faced leaving my babies to go to the office. But, I was going back to work.

“Well, my children have never even tasted soup from a can,” judgmental, nosey neighbor — condescending and awkwardly — volunteered to my husband who felt it was a clear effort to try to discredit me (while apparently attempting to gain some sort of credit for herself).

Hmmmm…”never tasted soup from a can” somehow equates to exceptional mothering skills?

For years now, each time I heat a can of soup for my children’s lunch thermoses, I think about this comment. Should I be spending more time cooking up large kettles of homemade soup every weekend to save my children the horror of eating soup from a can? Perhaps this comment rankled me so much because I am one of the best home cooks out there, or maybe it’s just because I find the inherent judgment so distasteful. Regardless, it was a comment intended to cast the stay-at-home mom in a more positive light, and to throw the professional, working mom under the bus. I mean, how could I possibly be preparing healthy meals for my family when I work outside of the home?

Clearly, this modern day Mrs. Kravitz had absolutely no idea who she was talking about. Cooking and gardening have been my primary hobbies for decades. I began cooking when I was 13-years old as my mother rejoined the workforce. She would leave notes every day asking me, for example, to put a meatloaf in the oven or place a pot on the stove at a certain time. This quickly led to me preparing full meals for dinner. Had my mother not gone back to work, I may never have learned to cook, a skill I have built upon for over 30 years. Moreover, my husband also likes to cook, and makes a hot breakfast for our children every single morning. These kids suffer not in the food department.

Actively Creating Personal and Professional Alignment

Back in 1997 when I began my retained executive search career as an entry-level Associate with the world’s largest search firm, I quickly realized that if I persevered long enough to become a Managing Director, this career could allow me the flexibility to come as close to “having it all”as possible — a family and a flourishing career. It has since proven possibly to be one of the best careers out there for a “working mom.”

What I have done for the past 17 years is create a career, working environment and family life that are completely blended and co-exist in ways that work well 90% of the time for me, and more importantly, for my family (with one calendar that incorporates both sides of my life). And, I managed to write a three-award winning book along the way.

Am I sounding defensive? If so, it’s because I have felt defensive for years every time I think about the infamous soup line.

Playing Small

Over the years, it has become clear to me that the tension that exists between professional, working moms and stay at home moms is the obvious byproduct of playing – and thinking – small. I don’t play small. Nor do I make judgments as to whether a woman decides to work outside of the home, or not. For me not to have a career where I can exercise/bring to bear the best of myself would not be a good decision for me, nor would it be the example that I want to set for my children.

I take a great deal of pride in having my career while at the same not cutting corners in any respect as a mother. As a matter of fact, I consistently attempt to go above and beyond in everything I undertake – both personally and professionally – every single day. For example, I have a personal distaste for the unsupervised circus in school busses, thanks to several traumatic childhood experiences. As such, my husband and I have made a commitment not only to drive our kids to school each and every day (an easy commitment to make given that the school is five-minutes from our house), but also to walk them to the door. Between the two of us, we have never missed a day, and it’s always a very special family time that we all cherish.

No, being a working mom does not, at all, automatically equate to cutting corners, or taking the easy way out when it comes to child-rearing. I have been blessed to find a rewarding career that I have fully integrated with my personal life. I am also grateful to have a tremendous amount of support and help in my life from both my husband and my mother. I am blessed.

Far Bigger and Lasting Lessons

Obviously, I have spent a great deal of time stewing in this kettle of imperious, other-kind-of-mom judgment. However, I have finally come to terms with this commentary after observing how my now 10-year old daughter – and 8-year old sons – are learning from my example. Yes, I take pride in the fact that they love my food (well, most of it), and will enthusiastically ask most every day what we are having for dinner. But, there are far bigger and lasting lessons taking shape here.

How am I going to teach my children to actively pursue and create their very best lives if I am not a living, breathing example of doing the same?

If I Were Today to Give Up My Career and Professional Activities to Stay at Home, What Would that Say to My Children?

The example my children see today is an ever-present mom who always has time for them, who creates a lovely home for them, and who always places them first. They also see me working hard, focusing, concentrating, preparing for meetings, engaging in interesting telephone conversations and Skype calls (that they don’t quite understand, but know are pretty important), traveling occasionally to locations they wish they could visit, and celebrating lots of professional wins together with them. They also know that their mom is a writer and author with a purpose to help other people to improve their lives. My writing also is fueling them to try to be the best young writers they can be. Every day they observe the importance of being self-motivated and consistent in effort. They see hard work, and they are learning work ethic. They are happy and secure, and understand how my career enhances all of our lives.

My kids will never play small. They are being taught that they are here to create significant lives and to do it their way. They don’t have to settle for playing small ball.

And, my boys also will never, ever have the perspective that females are somehow less. Their mom works, loves, cooks, plays…and occasionally mows the lawn. They know I’m a well-rounded leader who can do it all, their sister can do it all, and every female in the world is their equal. There’s no question that they’ll relate to women throughout their personal and professional lives in positive and healthy ways.

My children also consistently hear conversations about the importance of thinking big and pursuing greatness. They routinely hear conversations I have with their father about topics such as values, missions, callings, integrity, and purpose. As a recruiter, it’s second nature for me to point out –pretty much everywhere that we go – the jobs people are performing and the myriad career options my children have ahead of them.

Unquestionably, what I do today is shaping these little people into the great people they are becoming. I am present. I pay attention. And I am not missing anything. I noted to my daughter just this week that I’m so proud that she’s taken complete responsibility this year for doing her homework, and meeting her deadlines without prompting every evening from me. She’s internalizing the work hard / play hard environment in which she’s being raised in ways that are already becoming part of her own work ethic. She’s learning that to live our best lives, we must take responsibility for ourselves. She likes the recognition she’s receiving for being a great, not just good, student.

And, I think that really sums it up: My example as a working mom is going to prove to be the difference maker in forming these little souls into great — not just good — people. And, really, it’s not about the homemade soup.

However, in a shout-out to my modern day Mrs. Kravitz, the judgmental, subversive mom from Edina, I share two of my family’s favorite soup recipes.

LeBlanc Family French Onion Soup frenchonionsoup

Ingredients:

2 1/2 pounds or ~5 large sweet yellow onions, halved, and sliced 1/4-inch thick (8 cups)

1/4 pound butter

4 bay leaves

5 sprigs fresh thyme

1 scant teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon fine ground Tellicherry pepper

½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1/2 cup medium-dry sherry

1 Tablespoon (or more to taste) beef base

64 ounces beef broth (I use Pacific or College Inn)

1 cup brandy or Cognac

1 1/2 cups good dry white wine

Freshly grated gruyere and gouda cheese

Directions:

In a large stockpot on medium-low heat, sauté the onions with the butter and bay leaves for 60 minutes, until the onions turn a rich golden brown color. Deglaze the pan with the brandy and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes until reduced by about half. Add the beef base and simmer 2 minutes. Add the white wine, salt and peppers, and simmer uncovered for 15 more minutes.

Meanwhile, slice baguette one-inch thick and top with mixture of grated gruyere and Gouda cheese. Place under broiler until cheese is bubbling and starting to brown.

Add the beef stock plus salt and pepper to the onion mixture. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf, taste for salt and pepper, and top with warm cheese toasts.

 

LeBlanc Family Beef Barley SoupBeef-Barley-Soup-2-410x307

Seasoning Mix:

1Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoons dry mustard

2 teaspoons black pepper

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons dried sweet basils leaves

Ingredients:

1Tablespoon good olive oil

2 pounds beef oxtails (in Denver, I find them at Tony’s or Edwards)

2 cups chopped sweet yellow onion

2 leeks chopped (white only)

4 carrots, diced

2 stalks ½-inch diced celery

4 garlic cloves, minced

4 bay leaves

4 sprigs fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string

1 cup pearled barley

4 cups left-over, cubed roast beef or prime rib (optional)

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Lightly salt and pepper the oxtails and add to the pot. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned all over – approximately 12 – 15 minutes. Remove oxtails from pan and reserve.

Add the carrots, celery, leeks, onion, and garlic to pot and cook 12 – 15 minutes until the vegetables are just starting to soften and brown. Add the spice mixture and mix well, cooking for 4-5 minutes. Add thyme and bay leaves, and return oxtails to the pot, along with the cubed left-over beef, if using. Add the broth and raise the heat to a boil. Then, reduce heat to a simmer for 60 minutes.

In a separate pot, bring four cups of water to a boil and add barley. Simmer for 30 minutes and drain.

Remove bay leaves, oxtails and thyme bundle from pot. Add barley and simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Kristi LeBlanc is an executive recruiter based out of Denver, Colorado, as well as  a writer, author of the award-winning book, Living with Certainty, speaker, and mom.

 “Man is a stream whose source is hidden. Our being is descending into us from we know not whence.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

CONSIDER FOR A MOMENT the concept of Qi. This ancient Chinese word is used to describe the natural, metaphysical, powerful, and pervasive energy of the universe. This concept maintains that every aspect of the universe, including humans, is made of and infused with this vital energy power. Harmony and alignment are key aspects of Qi. Negativity, problems, or discord in any facet of your life are signals that your energy is out of alignment—and, as a result, you’re experiencing disharmony.

Reiki, a centuries-old Japanese technique for healing that’s administered through gentle touch maintains that “life force energy” flows through us all. The word Reiki actually consists of two Japanese words—Rei, meaning “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power,” and Ki, which means “life force energy.” When our life force energy is low, we’re more likely to feel sick or stressed; when it’s high, however, we feel healthy and filled with joy.

So it goes with spiritual power frequency.  When your mind, body, and spirit are out of balance in any way, the flow of high-frequency energy is disrupted, making it difficult, if not impossible, to co-create and experience the life the universe always intended for you to live.

For centuries, the most enlightened members of the human race have understood and maintained that an innate aspect of our soul is the ability to manifest its desires in Earthly physicality. This ability, however, remains untapped and unleveraged by many people, particularly in American society. Instead, we’ve been taught to rely upon our mental and physical abilities—rather than spiritual, soul-based ones—to sustain ourselves. Sadly, this is a missed opportunity. There’s so much more that can be deeply experienced and made manifest, particularly with regard to our joy. In order to do so, we must understand the concept of spiritual power frequency, an important aspect of Living with Certainty, and accept and leverage our innate spiritual powers.

What Is Spiritual Power Frequency?

Spiritual power frequency is achieved through the aligned flow of high vibrational frequency energy between you, your inspired soul-view, and Source energy. Once this alignment is accomplished through thoughts, beliefs, emotions, gratitude, and actions that support the Earthly expression of your purposeful authenticity, you will attain a powerful, creative energy exchange with the plane of all creation.

This energetic connection bridges energy planes and dimensions. As you align with your spiritual power frequency, you will receive guidance, messages, and wise insights emanating directly from Spirit. Your path and efforts will be routinely affirmed through signs, signals, symbols, and synchronicities. The affirming and guiding benefits of this energy alignment are tantamount to sitting on the right seat on the right bus heading to the right place at the right time. Life unfolds and progresses in a way that reveals your place in the interconnected web of universal energy. Seemingly disparate aspects of your life and the lives of others suddenly and fortuitously collide. Life becomes naturally easier, filled with guiding moments and unfolding with love and abundance. Events fall into place with little effort on your part, impediments and blockages vanish, and all of your efforts seem to be more productive. Life becomes increasingly dynamic, invigorating, and brimming with implication and meaning.

 

“Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.”
—James Wright

ARISTOTLE PUT IT BEST when he wrote, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” We are all hardwired spiritually and psychologically to pursue joy and pleasure, two of our core motivations in life. The pursuit of joy itself renders a more purposeful life, yet real joy and happiness remain elusive for so many of us. As you live with certainty, aligning your thoughts, actions, and beliefs with your inspired soul-view and purposeful authenticity, you open the door to deep-soul joy. It doesn’t matter who or where you are. The power resides within you now to live a life of deep-soul joy. Within your intention to undertake this journey to joy lies purpose and power.

 
What Is Deep-Soul Joy?

Deep-soul joy results from living a life that expresses your purposeful authenticity and is in complete alignment with your inspired soulview. This joyous state of Being is experienced as your soul is freed to blossom into its natural state. As your essence becomes aligned with, and fully enveloped in, Source energy’s universal love, you internally experience the powerful and affirming energy of the spiritual realm.

Deep-soul joy is dependent upon nothing external or material. It is a gift to us, an affirmation that we’re living the life the universe always intended for us to live. When it is the ongoing baseline of your Earthly existence, the profoundly peaceful state of deep-soul joy also holds super-charged moments that cause you to feel extraordinarily alive, vibrant, and aware of your innate connection to Source energy. Sensations of energetic euphoria and intense feelings of awe and gratitude pulse through your being as your awareness heightens of the extraordinary opportunity Earthly physicality has provided you to explore and express your potential and your purposeful authenticity. Deep-soul joy is many things, namely the following:

  • The unmistakable, powerful, rising emergence of your soul’s energetic perfection into your awareness as your mind-body- spirit merge in affirming, complete alignment with that moment’s Earthly existence
  • Affirmation that you are living a life that energetically aligns with and expresses your inspired soul-view and purposeful authenticity
  • A palpable, energetic connection with Source energy
  • Profound awareness of the here and now, along with a deep sense of being in the right place at the right time
  • Deep peacefulness, fulfillment, and joy from knowing that you’re living out your Earthly purpose while fully realizing your aptitudes and abilities
  • Recognition that you are in the optimal, high-vibrational energetic environment to co-create your soul’s Earthly dreams, the life the universe always intended for you to live
  • Heightened awareness of every aspect of your life in each moment, and deep-felt gratitude for the inherent soul-developing nature of all of your life’s circumstances
  • A strong sense of hope, faith, optimism, and personal power
  • An openness and receptiveness to powerfully flowing Source energy
  • A feeling of liberation and boundlessness as you revel in the transformational power of joy and experience your soul at the deepest, most profound level

Deep-soul joy provides proof and reassurance that we needn’t be tethered to suffering. Once you live from your soul and align with your purposeful authenticity, your perspective broadens and attaches deeper meaning to everything you do and everything that happens to you. You become infused with natural, effortless gratitude, hope, love, and reverence for every aspect of your life. Even in the midst of chaos, you remain centered in this continual, everlasting core of comfort, peace, and joy.

Deep-Soul Joy Requires Heightened Awareness

Deep-soul joy requires that you live fully in the present moment—there is no deep-soul joy in the past or future. Just being in an inspired, perfect, harmonious moment provides supreme fulfillment. It may often seem that everyone around you is constantly complaining while you have a perpetual song in your heart.

Deep-Soul Joy Requires Purposeful Authenticity

Experiencing your deep-soul joy requires the intentional and active pursuit of your inspired soul-view. Your greatest joy will emanate through the expression of your soul-view’s purposeful authenticity and its accompanying freedom, fulfillment, inspiration, and connectivity. Life will become smoother and more joyous as you begin to experience increasing levels of love and support that flow directly into your life.

Kristi LeBlanc

Serious, mainstream discussion about the power of pure, passionate, positive energy is becoming more prevalent everywhere I go – company/client meetings, schools and universities, health clubs, churches, book clubs, you name it. Organizations of all shapes and sizes are indicating a high need for an infusion of positivity throughout their ranks. Meetings, correspondence, water cooler talk, clients/customers, and overall corporate cultures are increasingly becoming infused with negativity in attitudes, demeanors, vocabulary, and rhetoric. Whether the context is personal or professional, pervasive negativity can sabotage all of your other efforts.

As an executive recruiter and business consultant focused on the recruitment of positive leaders, as well as on the development of powerful, positive corporate cultures, I have repeatedly witnessed first-hand the command and influence of pure, positive energy. Whether I am placing an individual into an executive role, or working with an organization to plant the seeds of a more positive, productive culture, the corporate need in this tough economy has been the same for several years: recruit the most positive, resilient, and inspiring leaders possible, and develop initiatives, programs, and job profiles that will engrain a more positive attitude — and more positive results –throughout the organization.

The collective consciousness, or culture, of your organization – its intrinsic values, attitudes, rhetoric, and behaviors — infuses the business and its employees. Positive, affirming corporate cultures are dynamic, energized work environments that proactively drive employee behavior creating better teamwork, and, overall, a more productive, engaged state of mind for all of your employees. Your leaders and managers set the tone for your organization’s culture. And if they are not putting forth a conscious, clear, and consistent effort to be positive these days, the slide will inevitably be toward negativity.

Through Thousands of Conversations…
In almost 15 years as a retained executive recruiter, I have had the privilege of interviewing and assessing literally thousands of the globe’s most successful, purposeful, passionate, fulfilled, and joyous individuals. A guiding, intrinsic positivity and passion for what they do are defining traits of the “best of the best” executives — their work is more to them than a job. It is also interesting to note that the executives in “transition” who tend to rebound the fastest — not only securing a challenging and personally fulfilling role, but building an impressive and lasting network along the way — are innately positive individuals with a strong sense of resiliency and faith that they will land on their feet. People – including potential employers – are attracted to them and want to be around them.

Defining Positivity
Specifically what constitutes positivity and positive energy as I describe here? Well, this is about a great deal more than merely smiling, posturing, cheerleading, or repeating positive affirmations. This has more to do with a palpable optimism, confidence, faith, encouragement, empowerment, vision, and resiliency in your interpersonal and communication skills, values, beliefs, actions, demeanor, relationships, expressions of gratitude, and overall leadership style.

Profound positivity and positive energy – the kind that carries with it the potential to transform lives and organizations — is substantial, inspiring, and contagious, even in the worst of times. It can’t be faked. It is intrinsic to who you are and how you live your life, personally and professionally.

And it all starts with feeling passionate and purposeful about what you do.

If you are in a leadership role, ask yourself: Do my thoughts, choices, emotions, attitudes, approaches, actions, and belief system all positively align every day in the pursuit of my passion and potential? Does every day bring for me the opportunity to optimize my greatness and success? It is through the daily, personal application of an integrated, positive alignment between your purpose and passion with your thoughts, actions, beliefs, and expressions of gratitude that you will create a life of great reward and fulfillment.

The Power of Living All Aspects of Life with Positive Energy
Despite the depressed economy and market conditions, there are those people and organizations that are not merely surviving, but thriving. According to a Stanford Research Institute study, 88 percent of success is about attitude and only 12 percent is about education. Those people who live and work from a baseline of pure, passionate, positivity live fuller lives and enjoy myriad other benefits, including improved health, affirming personal and professional relationships, enhanced joy, productive choices and decisions, effective leadership, greater resiliency, enhanced professional accomplishments and success, and more effective problem-solving abilities.

Your ability to maintaining a positive mindset in both your life and work is a determining success factor, particularly in the toughest of times when so many people are being asked to take on added responsibilities and work longer hours. Everyone has felt the pressure brought on by restructuring, downsizing, upside down life-work balance, external uncertainty, and reduced budgets. The repercussion of these business adjustments is a resultant pervasive attitudinal and cultural slide toward apathy, pessimism, and outright negativity.

The demand for positive leaders has never been greater. You will always be challenged and tested, and an innately positive mindset serves as the bedrock of an iron will and the ability to prevail. To live a truly productive life and have a successful career, you must consistently rise to the occasion when faced with adversity, roadblocks, or negativity. Yet finding individuals, teams, and organizations that have at their core an unwavering positivity is rarer than one might think.

Without the internal fire provided by living and working everyday with purpose and passion, you won’t have the fuel to keep moving forward in the toughest of times. This is the secret of life-long positivity, fulfillment, and joy: irrespective of your specific circumstances, if you first believe that your own life has purpose, you follow your passions, and you live with an abiding faith and perspective that a master plan exists for your life and its inherent lessons, then you tap into a self-actualized personal power and internal certainty that empowers every aspect of your life, including your career.

What Does It Mean to Live with Certainty?
I am frequently asked to define what it means to “live with certainty.” It means that the internal faith, belief, authenticity, purpose, passion, and positivity with which you live ignites an internal certainty, power, and influence greater than any fears or anxieties you may have. Self-actualized, high-achievers live and work each day with purpose, passion, and gratitude which serves to further fuel their positive attitude and productivity. Positive leaders understand that while they cannot control every aspect of their lives, they can control their mindset and attitude. They possess an unyielding faith and confidence in their vision and ability to ever-create a better future, personally and professionally. They trust in themselves and their abilities. Pessimism and negativity are not part of their mix.

Make no mistake; this is not the Pollyanna-Sunnyside view of life. Rather, it’s one of the most profound and effective ways to “cowboy-up” — when things get tough you must have the positive belief in yourself and your ability to prevail to get back up, dust yourself off, and keep trying. And as a leader, you must model this approach for your employees every single day.

Positivity as Key Leadership Trait
In this challenging business environment, positivity as a key leadership trait is a highly sought after attribute that is increasingly finding its way into every job description I write. Increasingly, when I am retained to replace a senior executive, it is because the incumbent was not a transformational conveyer of positive belief within the organization, but rather was perceived as entirely focused on the financials, unapproachable, overwhelmed, overstressed, and underwater.

Positive leaders generally tend to be more motivated and productive than less positive individuals. They inspire others with their belief and faith in a better future in a way that is contagious. A truly positive leader first believes in the grand potential of his/her own life, which only then can transfer to his/her career through the expression of a passionate and achievable vision for their company, employees, and customers. Whether personally or professionally, the positive leader believes that he/she will successfully tackle the next challenge, climb the next mountain, make that next sale. 

Your goal as a leader should be to uplift the beliefs of your employees. As a leader you establish your personal style and “brand,” in part, based upon the level of positive energy in your actions, reactions, vision, beliefs, interactions, relationships, progress, and expressions of gratitude. If you truly want to set yourself up for the next big job or promotion, begin by being the most positive, optimistic, faith-fueled visionary in your organization, particularly during the most challenging times.

Without question your demonstrated belief that you can succeed in a down market will go a long way in bringing out the best in others. This belief should be palpable in everything you say and do, so that when you do have to make the tough calls, your employees will have greater trust that your actions are in the organization’s best interest. The great contributors and great leaders have the ability to remain optimistic and fueled by positive energy even in the worst of times. Particularly when the going gets tough, they maintain positive energy through an optimistic attitude that they control much of their destiny and the best is yet to come, as well as an unflinching belief in a greater purpose which inspires powerful action.

The level to which you feel and express positive energy will directly affect the depth of your relationships and, as a leader, the ensuing level of respect and credibility you receive. Throughout my career working with organizations of every size and sector, I have witnessed the tremendous impact one positive leader can have on an organization. This is especially true with sales leaders where it is said that a lack of positive attitude plays a role in the failure of up to 50 percent of all salespeople. If you can’t successfully overcome rejection and navigate the left turns, hurdles, and roadblocks, you’ll never really understand your own resilience and personal power (or inspire anyone else), nor will you achieve your greatest potential and success.

Do you as a leader, or do the leaders in your organization, understand the impact you/they have on the beliefs, confidence, and goals of your employees? Do your employees believe that you care about them? Do they find you to be inspirational and positive? Do people love working for you? Do you have a reputation for bringing out the best in others? What you personally believe and project — and the limits you set — are contagious and affect the degree to which your employees actually engage and feel loyalty toward you and your organization.

Positivity Begets Positivity
I know for certain that positivity begets positivity. As you extend the best of yourself and release positivity into the world, you invite more positive energy into your life, and goodness will ensue. I recently heard Oprah Winfrey say that you must believe that great things can happen in your life. When you are the recipient of goodness or positivity, recognize it, give thanks for it, and hold it in your heart. And then with every opportunity – how you live, how you give, what you do, and who you are, release that goodness and positivity back out into the world as it was given to you.

I look forward to sharing more with you in the months ahead about the power of positive energy and how to inject more of it into your relationships, leadership and team-building approach, and corporate culture. Whether in your career, family, school, sports team, or church group, you can become the positive difference-maker who characteristically reveals your best self and shines. The results will be inspired and engaged family members, children, friends, co-workers, team members, and customers who will in turn feel unleashed and inspired to allow their own best selves to shine. This is the stuff that transformation and success are made of. I invite you to become an active participant in my Positivity Blog — strategies for life and career — by sharing your comments at http://www.livingwithcertainty.com/blog.

Kristi LeBlanc is the Executive Vice President and Managing Director, N.A. Consumer Practice with DHR International, a top-5, retained, global executive search firm. She is also the author of “Living with Certainty: Experience Deep-Soul Joy,” which was named Best New Non-Fiction Book of 2010 by USA Book News,  and the founder and CEO of Living with Certainty ™ LLC where she is a workshop presenter, keynote speaker, and organizational consultant with a focus on developing positive leaders and positive leaders and corporate cultures. To learn more visit http://www.dhrinternational.com/consultants/consultantsviewbio.aspx?consultantid=329,  http://www.Livingwithcertainty.com or call Kristi at 303-997-9328.

Work can provide the opportunity for spiritual and personal, as well as financial growth. If it doesn’t, we’re wasting far too much of our lives. — James Autry

Excerpt from Living with Certainty: Experience Deep-Soul Joy by Kristi LeBlanc, pages xvi-xvii

What does it mean to “live with certainty” in a fundamentally uncertain universe? It means that you live daily in a way that expresses your inspired soul-view and purposeful authenticity. It means that your emotions and instinct guide you toward a life of passion, joy, purpose, love, service, and compassion. You are certain when you feel good, purposeful, and fulfilled; when your instinct and intuition speak to you; when a sign or synchronous event appears for you; when your vibrational frequency is heightened or lowered; and above all, when you are experiencing deep-soul joy.

This approach reinforces the internal certainty that you’re making the right decisions and taking the right actions. Your internal instruction system, when fully in tune with Source energy (the ever flowing, all-knowing creative energy of the universe through which we are all interconnected and from which all Earthly physicality emanates) and your inspired soul-view, enables brilliant boldness and authenticity over your actions. One of life’s most important tasks is to uncover what’s right for you at your individual emotional and soul level. The energy of certainty feels good and right. We only feel truly good, joyous, fulfilled, and peaceful when we act in fundamentally loving, compassionate, and inspired soul-view-aligned ways. These are high-vibrational frequency states. This is precisely how we live with certainty.