I remember a decade ago how yoga and business were two mutually exclusive conversation points. You either focused on your business career or you took a yoga class after work. There was no such thing as using yoga(or admitting to using yoga) to inform your management style or motivate your high performing teams. Thank goodness organizational cultures and styles of leadership have expanded and exceeded expectations! Many of us started our careers under the guidance(or heavy hand) of an authoritarian or mechanistic style of leadership. Formal rules and standard operating procedures were clearly defined for employees and power clearly resided with top management. Employees were told what to do and how to do it. Although there may be residual signs of this type of culture today, most organizations have expanded widely and wisely to embrace collaborative and group problem solving, shared and continuous learning, entrepreneurial risk taking and innovation as central cultural dimensions of teamwork. When talent is championed and supported, business outcomes flourish. In this book Five Secrets to a Long, Happy and Energetic Life by colleague Scott DuPont, I contributed content on how yoga has informed my leadership life while building businesses and meeting challenges. This chapter was drafted with the hope of encouraging others to explore the modality as a way to build self- awareness, cultivate confidence and become a less reactionary manager. In research compiled by Aon Hewitt on Trends in Global Employee Engagement(2014), the findings overwhelmingly support improved talent, customer, operational and business outcomes when organizations prioritize authentic engagement and a sense of belonging. Metrics were derived from a 5 year rolling employee research database representing over 7 million employees across 6,000 companies,68 industries and 155 countries.


Learning from leaders around the globe is such a interesting and rewarding experience. Whether I’m coaching, consulting or keynoting, it’s always enlarging to listen to what others value as motivating factors that help drive their success. I recently spoke at a national real estate awards event where top producers shared some of their success stories. I then flew out of the US to the beautiful beaches of Punta Cana to learn how traveling executives were staying focused on their best brand of success. Turns out no matter what country you’re from, we all largely look for the same four drivers in our work lives. Mercer, in it’s “What’s Working” survey for satisfied employees, found that while some regional differences exist, we all largely want four consistent drivers to keep us engaged:

  1. We want interesting work with opportunities for development.
  2. We need confidence in our leaders and the ability to trust them.
  3. We like recognition and earned rewards.
  4.  We value organizational communication that is timely and valuable.  

The USA. England and Brazil prioritized a need for personal accomplishment and confidence that career objectives could be met. Canada, France and Sweden favored work/life integration and respectful treatment in the workplace. China, Japan and India prioritized pay, promotion opportunities and IT systems that support business processes. What’s most important to you and why? I’d love to hear your thoughts..

Clearly, these professionals are winners that are celebrating another successful year in business with their trophies and tenacity. Towers Watson defines well-being as a culmination of three key drivers: physical health, psychological health and social health. When I met these stand-out performers as their conference keynoter at their annual real estate awards celebration, I knew they were nailing all three drivers to support their integrated leadership lives. Top producers prioritize physical health for overall stamina and energy. They can’t sell real estate without vital life force energy. Excellent salespeople know how to manage stress, exude confidence and embrace unbridled optimism as a customary way of doing business. They share their enthusiasm for living and working with all their stakeholders from clients to colleagues to vendors as a regular course of business. Extraordinary performers also support and value all their relationships with respect, connectedness and balance. They strive to keep their pressure cooker lives full steam ahead by taking time outs, time off and time away from the rigors of their routines. So, how are you winning as a top producer in your world today? Drop me a line and share what’s working for you and how you’re toasting to tenacity with a trophy or two..


Lifeleaders and entrepreneurs are busy people. We talk fast, move fast, meet many people and usually prioritize helping other people achieve success. Everyone wins when rewarding connections are cultivated. But how do we respond when repeat requesters keep showing up to ask for more help, more hand-ups or more hand-outs? Here are a few tips to keep your connections and conversations constructive, courteous and collaborative:

1. Recognize that everyone’s time is valuable. Before “the ask”, consider querying “Is this a good time to talk?” before lunging into a long winded request that may take your counterpart off guard or interrupt their busy day. Consider framing your request in a way that values their time and gives them a choice to opt out. “I need X by tomorrow” can be more successfully softened by rephrasing the request to “Would you consider helping me with X goal?” or “Might you share your thoughts on how I could advocate for X  goal?”. In this way, the recipient hears less demand and more respect and consideration for his/her time. “I need another favor(freebie)” or “When can we meet?(assuming they are available or interested) do little to cultivate a sense of reciprocal warmth and mutual sharing.

2. Manners still matter. No one generation destroyed refined communication skills. To the contrary, the established and emerging leaders I interact with are largely thoughtful and respectful of time and networking contacts. But, every now and then, an intruder keeps appearing with multiple, demanding requests that are worthy of a blogpost. The tendency to demand responses with an air of entitlement is perplexing and unfortunate. What is more helpful is a revisit in how we show up with our verbal, non verbal and written communication skills. When our dominant messaging skills are on target, our success soars! Please, thank you are still very much in vogue.

3. Standing out as an exceptional leader is easier than you think. A vendor shared two theatre tickets recently as a gift of appreciation for branding work done on her behalf. I agreed to the work and expected nothing additional in return. She, however, wanted to express gratitude in a meaningful way(I’m a theatre enthusiast) and made sure that two tickets found their way into my hands. Nice touch! Another client devoted some extra branded content for my company to show appreciation for an emcee effort that put more people in the seats at their local fundraising event. Win. Win.

4. Before you ask what an influencer can do for you, consider asking them what you can do for them. Sounds like a Kennedy countryman quote, right? Well, I’m happy to share that framing your request in the spirit of “others first” will connect you much more quickly to your goals. Being interested in another’s success before you pitch your own needs will usually land you faster and further along your trajectory of success. Good luck!

Yogi’s call it karma. Creatives remind us that “our vibe attracts our tribe.” Most would agree that everything is connected in business and in life. It’s important, therefore, to keep our energy engaging. Einstein once said, “Nothing happens until something moves!”This was a perfect reminder for a vibrant group of high performing realtors at a recent awards celebration at Baylor’s McLane Stadium. I was invited to speak about what’s trending in leadership resiliency for a room full of entrepreneurs that prioritize moving, momentum and the power of perseverance. A favorite book is The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton which provides the science to support the power of positive thinking. This cerebral read reminded me of the “expectancy effect” that I’ve known about for years as a manager of people and mentor to many. Also known as the “Pygmalion effect” after the mythical sculptor that magically brought creation to life, the theory underscores the importance of setting the bar high for achievement. There was no playing small for Pygmalian. When we let someone know that “we expect the best” from them in an encouraging way, they often rise to the occasion. It’s a subtle and effective way of saying “I know you can do this and I can’t wait to see you make it happen.” That’s a big morale boost for a sales professional trying to hit his/her numbers, a college grad trying to get a job or a seasoned professional making an industry change. It’s a powerful tool to help leaders develop self efficacy and/or career confidence.

 So who are you raising the bar for these days? Or how are you asking for help to sharpen your saw currently? How effective have your efforts been over time? I’d love to hear about your experiences helping others become better versions of themselves. I suspect the reciprocal nature of karma will also be part of your experience…expected or not!

I’m not accustomed to stretch limosines transporting me to and from the airport as a conference keynoter. That said, it was a nice experience and a pleasant surprise upon arrival in Sin City. Vegas is over the top and so should its livery be too, right? Problem is, as a yogi and businessowner, I’m predisposed to practicing “less is more” and “is that overhead cost productive?” Limos are too big, too glammy and too flashy for my practical business bones and purposeful yoga practice. But, I went along for the ride, because traveling BIG for a change might be just the stretch assignment I needed. And, since stretch assignments are meant to be enlarging and often uncomfortable, I was in the perfect seat for some learning. Did I unconsciously manifest this moment? Yes and No.

No, I was not visualizing or vision boarding a stretch limo at this national keynote for insurance premium auditors. A limo was not in my speaking contract or on my business bucket list. When I’m speaker traveling, the usual pick up looks like a croweded shuttle, a taxi or an Uber experience worthy of a blogpost. But, in some ways, yes, I probably did manifest that limo because as a corporate consultant and keynoter, I am:

  1. Flexible
  2. Respectful
  3. Enthusiastic

and genuinely interested in contributing to the success of a conference. I recognize there are a lot of moving parts, things change rapidly and that cultivating lasting relationships with event planners requires that I show up routing for event success as a participating team member. So when I’m coaching with clients that want to get the respect they deserve, the success they’ve earned and the life they want, I suggest they start by hailing a taxi or blogging about tips to travel humbly and helpfully. Their limos will all line up later!



Executive coaching is rewarding and regular when done well. Supporting a client in goal attainment takes time and focused committment from both parties. Mentoring can be just as meaningful without the heavy lifting of a formalized client/coach framework. Here are three ways that mentoring high potential leaders can be a boon for both parties:

  1. Learning is reciprocal. It’s a two way street that ebbs and flows over time. Sessions are recurrent but non-periodic and guided by the mentee. Sometimes I hear from mentees once a year or once a month/quarter. The key is availability and accessibility without the relationship being depleting. Having open, honest conversations about expectations is key to a productive and enjoyable experience. Mentors often report relaxing into a mentor/mentee relationship role that’s less intense than a formalized coach/client arrangement. This informal vibe, however, does not correlate to less productivity. There is magic in witnessing to another’s potential when no one’s really in “work” mode. In this way, both parties win!
  2.  Partners get a ton done. One hour in a safe and supportive session leaves a bunch of room for big gains. Our session can be in person, over skype, facetime or on the phone. We keep our meetings flexible and prioritize “present” energy exchanges that are authentic and thought provoking. We value the added bonus of an in person meeting but never miss a beat if we have to meet on line or via apps. We’re always ready to hit the ground running when we commit to our gathering.
  3.  Surprises and unexpected delights abound in a mentor/mentee relationship. A recent meeting with a mentee not only included great news of his hard earned accomplishment but also revealed additional entrepreneurial opportunities for his further development. Along with the corporate job win, he will continue to explore his creative and collaborative business building potential through interesting intercultural projects.

The need for effective mentor/mentee relationships is growning. Mutual exchange across cultures, between generations and amongst industries will provide us all with opportunities to remain current and valuable contributors across the spectrum. Enjoy the process! Feel free to share your favorite mentor/mentee moments at 

Part of living well is expanding our horizons. In a fast changing world, many of us are celebrating lifelong learning like never before. Retirement communities are being planned around college campuses and progressive housing alternatives are being embraced to engage community. Regardless of your age or stage in life, pursuing cultural competencies is a win-win for all generations.

Ethnocentrism is believing and acting on the notion that our culture is superior to anothers, which creates narrow opportunities to explore and grow in appreciation of anothers worldview. So, how are you keeping your cultural baggage in check? You may be surprised to learn that beyond traveling the globe or working in a highly diverse environment, there is a multitude of  learning opportunities here in Monmouth County.

Luckily, our family has hosted a dozen international college exchange students for a decade. Until they arrived from various corners of the world, we were a lot less culturally competent. Here are three simple ways they’ve enlarged our lives:

  1. Did you know our county hosts a Latvian Society Center named Priedaine right here on Rte 33 in Freehold? The cultural center is used for dances, concerts, and community gatherings to celebrate life. Jani, the pagan holiday that celebrates the summer solstice is the most important Latvian holiday on their secular calendar. The evening celebration starts prior to June 23 which is St Johns Day. This holiday celebrates the saint’s birthday six months prior to Christmas. When our Latvian student shared his love for opera and singing in the shower, we knew he was a product of a rich artistic culture. For those of you asking Siri, “Where the heck is Latvia?”, know that the independent Baltic country is lodged between Estonia to the north and Lithuania to the south. All three countries were previously part of the former Soviet Union. Latvia is largely a flat, forest outside its capital city, Riga, with wicked fast internet speed  and a very tall NY Knicks NBA basketball player named Porzingas   
  2. Did you know traditional Chinese brides change their wedding gowns up to 30 times during their big day? Today, most relieved brides have narrowed that selection down to three dresses on wedding day. One simple dress for the ceremonial tea welcomes in-laws, one commemorates the actual ceremony (check out their red qipao dresses!) and one showcases at the reception which is indicative of wealth and family status. Our Beijing student darted out the door to Manhattan with his red “Hongbao” or traditional red money envelope, hoping that his gift with worthy of the bride and groom’s celebration.  We knew after consulting with our student that his envelope had no folded,soiled bills, no coins and if it was a check, did not include the unlucky number four. In Chinese cultural traditions, the number four symbolizes death and is clearly bad luck on a celebratory wedding day.
  3. Lastly, our Brazilian houseguest has turned us all on to authentic dining in Long Branch that never disappoints. Delicious culinary experiences await on Brighton, Broadway and Joline in town for those that really want a full Brazilian BBQ immersion. We’re working on our Portguese before we imbibe again and encourage anyone to squeeze in a trip to the breathtaking beaches near Sao Luis to enjoy more real Brazilian beauty. Our students continue to expand our horizons and we’re celebrating cultural diversity daily.

     Whether you opt to stay near or travel far, enjoy the journey of becoming a more culturally competent global citizen and live well!

Read DonnaLyn’s monthly Living Well in Community Magazine NJ column to get tips to enlarge your life: 
Colts Neck • Holmdel • Lincroft – November 2017 – Issue
Rumson • Fair Haven • Little Silver • Red Bank • Locust • Sea Bright – November 2017 – Issue

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is the CEO/President of DLG Consulting, an integrated leadership training company that supports talent agility and skills development. Share your comments at or connect at


I love this time of year listening to migrating birds make travel plans. Bounding flight is evident when small birds fly long, arduous distances in a graceful gliding position but sometimes have to flap like crazy to stay on course. Sound familiar? Many of us keep the pace for long periods of time and then find ourselves called to engage in short bursts of frenzied flapping to keep our heads above water. If you need to glide again and would like some support, drop me a line for our next coaching circle for birds of a feather flocking together for more success in business or life. Mention this email for 10% off private coaching for new clients thru October 2017.

Speaking of flocking together, I just finished Charles Vogl’s new book, The Art of Community..Seven Principles for Belonging which is well worth your time! He shares his principles for growing enduring,effective and connected communities which helps us help others in meaningful ways! Here’s where you might join us:

A big thanks to Marilyn Schlossbach’s team at Russell & Bette’s(the former What’s Your Beef restaurant in Rumson, NJ) for generously providing great food and a fun venue just before our big biking adventure in CT to cure blood cancers. Learn more about team effort and a kicking community at

We’ve established the #WomenWorking4Women scholarship fund to support local female college students with big dreams and proven track records of success. Care to join this community or know someone that would? I’ll be happy to share how this focused group of professionals is helping make dreams come true with their time and talent.

If you’ve got great recommendations for Minneapolis,MN, please share them as I take bounding flight to speak at another national conference empowering smart women in financial services. I’m looking forward to flapping and gliding into another great community of passionate people. Happy Fall!                   

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA, CIC, RYT
President, DLG Consulting Red Bank NJ
Keynotes, Leadership Consulting & Success Coaching..  @DonnaLynSpeaks FB/Tw @DonnaLynConsults/IG

DonnaLyn has been helping executives and leadership talent succeed with the intersection of her business building, conference speaking and wellness life. Catch her between keynotes and client care at 732-547-0894 for a conversation about your goals.

Photo by Tom Zapcic Photography