Author: DonnaLyn Giegerich

We re fully engaged helping leaders succeed in getting back into the office! If your presentation skills feel rusty, reach out for group and individual coaching options. Stay connected with our engagements, speaking events and leadership advocacy on Gram @DonnaLynConsults and @DonnaLynSpeaks on FB.





Wow! Who knew? I recently sent an eblast with my intention to ditch mad travel and stay more local in 2019. The decision was met with rave reviews and business bravos. I guess a lot of colleagues are dipping their toes into the notion that less exhaustion and more exhilaration is the name of the game for them in the new year. Here’s how I’m staying engaged and growing this year: After years of teaching macro economics and business courses as an adjunct professor at a local college, I’ve crossed the aisle to teach speech communication this semester. You may be thinking “hey, that’s a crazy leap” but it’s these kinds of stretch assignments that keep me going and growing without having to board another boring plane.  How can you expand your experiential life to grow your talents without impinging on your limited time? Here are three tips to start the process. First, where is your life getting routine, boring and basically flat out intolerable? That’s your starting point! Start brainstorming, writing, imagining and conjuring how you can reframe your brain around “new shoots” or growth areas that match your interests to your skills. Or where would you like to enlarge your skills to add to your talent base? Secondly, I make it a point to hang out with interesting people that have shared some of their recent wins. There is always inspiration where they hang out and a great place to think about what might be possible for you. Keep adding members to your “interesting friends family”. I promise your life will get brighter! One colleague is a part time DJ after years of corporate retail management, another is going back to school in midlife to become a special needs teacher and another is writing, acting and publishing after a difficult divorce. Thirdly, throw a party. Yep. That’s right. We recently grabbed two tickets to a local concert in town and happened to mention it to two friends.  The next thing we knew, we quickly had ten couples gathering on a weeknight for some casual connecting. Trust me, I’m not a sophisticated entertainer but I know how to put interesting people together over a good class of wine and a winter concert. #LessExhaustion # MoreExhilaration #HappyValentinesDay #Radical Sabbatical 


Ever meet that person that always goes the extra mile at work or in the community? Chances are they are motivated to do more, create more and share more because they feel valued. Perhaps the sheer magic of the work itself is inspirational for them, but for many, people put in the extra effort because they feel recognized and appreciated for their contributions. In the world of work and executive coaching, I spend a fair amount of time listening to professionals lament over toxic work environments, unrefined leadership skills and old school management behavior. In order to encourage your teams to put forth that discretionary effort, or extra push to see that prized project to fruition or extra sale closed, consider the following: Listen, learn and look for ways to value your team members in creative and individualistic ways. Research shows that it’s not just about money. Performers go the extra mile when the work culture is progressive, inclusive and fun. Some professionals value career progression, learning opportunities, community visibility and/or work/life integration options over more money.  In the world of organizational development and employee engagement, progressive companies have been using the “stay interview” to discern what really matters to their key employees. To retain top talent, the best managers are asking their direct reports what they love about their jobs. Managers are also asking what they can do to make the work or volunteer experience more rewarding. And then they listen. Know anyone feeling burned out at work, disengaged or unappreciated at a worthy non-profit? If you’d like to dial up your team’s discretionary effort, pick a comfortable place like Starbucks to have a connecting conversation. Listen to their ideas on how you can dial up processes, people skills and projects to keep your high performers engaged and energized. Nobody wants to learn how simple it may have been at the exit interview!



Being positive toward ourselves and others creates great power. A wise sage one said, “Anyone can blame but it takes a specialist to praise.” After an invigorating first half of the year, I decided to take a break, hydrate and celebrate to enjoy the purpose and progression of work in motion. A coaching client recently asked if I thought success was always driven by unrelenting work effort. I replied yes and no. Yes, we must always be rowing our boats to shore toward our goals but I believe we must also take a break to celebrate our successes to allow for some magic to appear. Recently, I was invited to provide the closing keynote for a regional finance and technology conference in NJ. This invitation was not the direct result of a cold call, call for proposal or client referral. Instead, I believe it was the result of showing up authentically, without an ulterior motive, in the spirit of praise for another’s mission and vision at one of their events. One year later, that support was rewarded with a call to present to 100 CEOs and COO’s on leadership resilience and talent agility. So the next time you’re fiercely focused on hitting your goals, take a minute to hydrate, celebrate and elevate what’s possible through your gift of praise. 


I love working with careerists at different levels of their leadership lives. Some are CEOs, some are middle managers and others are sales reps trying to build a book of business toward financial freedom. All of them are awesome because they are personally invested in their success and actively engaged in lifelong learning while working their plan and planning their work. According to the Center for Creative Leadership, a model  for executive learning known as the 70-20-10 rule, calls for engaged development in three key areas: challenging assignments(70%), developmental relationships(20%)  and coursework and training(10%). 

Leaders that commit to personal and career mastery are well advised to consider this framework. I shared this theory recently at a workshop for executives in transition to encourage them to take a truthful look at how they were improving their leadership lives during the job search. I shared stories of several clients that had landed on their feet by creatively leveraging one, two or three of these tasks toward success. One client studied for another national certification to sharpen her skills(coursework and training 10%),  while another volunteered to get noticed as an influencing and productive worker in hopes of getting a job offer(developmental relationships 20%). Both stategies resulted in success but I’ve noticed that many professionals get complacent when they gain employment and I feel that this is a big miss. 

     As the world continues to change rapidly, it has never been more important to keep skilling up. Never stop cultivating your networks, always be a beginner at learning something new and no matter how tired you are, try to embrace a stretch assignment even if it means simply downloading a new app that’s brain worthy. In other words, don’t forget to be awesome. It will pay big dividends, personally and professionally!

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..