May 01


learned unique values

each individual has something special, unique and important that can be offered to better a community and world

common goal

always be self-aware of your decisions

leaders come in all shapes and sizes

Every leader is a great leader in their way

beauty of diversity

serving others

it must first start with me

connect with others and have genuine relationships

“warm & fuzzy” feelings

act with more congruency

what is important to my generation



accept other people

a little kindness spreads happiness a long way

community matters

contribute to my community

work at strengthening the weak

leadership skills

different communities

service to others is very important

serving my community helps it to flourish, be strong and succeed

to not judge people by first impressions

one action can speak loudly for you

be the best I can be


a true leader knows when to lead and when to follow

effective leader

similar situations

give others a chance to speak

trust, responsibility, and dedication are key components of leadership

Apr 29

positive leadership.

What is Positive Leadership?

It means you wrestle with placing the need to be liked, revered, controlling, feeling important on the back burner. It means placing the needs of people, circumstances, culture, or situation first…It’s placing the good of all first…It’s believing in and sharing a vision that gives meaning to the work people do.  It’s a reason why people chose to give their time to you…

Positive leadership involves observing how your team interacts with each other…and then working with each individual or through others to deepen and grow those relationships…Positive leadership is an honor…dedication to not let people get away with mediocrity when they are capable of greatness…Positive leadership is other-focused; it’s creating a meaningful experience for your people while they work.

- Shawn Murray

Read the article at

Apr 26

Celebrating Mary Hile-Nepfel and Title IX at the Hilltop

Mary Hile-Nepfel Inducted into WCC Hall of Honor

Any opportunity I think I have to talk to people about the history of women’s sports is a gift…it’s a lot about accomplishments but behind all those accomplishments is about bringing people together again for a common purpose and being a team…you can’t accomplish anything without others.

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Apr 25

your creative process.

“The 5 Stages of Your Creative Process”


 Why is [creativity] so glorious, yet so frustrating? In my experience, every creative process has 5 emotional stages. From the start of a project all the way through execution, you’ll probably hit all 5 stages along the way. I’ll show you why there’s one stage that’s more critical— and more brutally frustrating— than all the other stages put together.

Courtesy of Sally Hogshead

Courtesy of Sally Hogshead


Stage 1: Possibility

You’re coming up with all the easy stuff. You might have some interesting starter ideas, but really, you probably have nothing. It feels like fun, free-range exploration. You’re probably saying to yourself, “Here’s a cool idea. Here’s another one. And another. Man, I’m pretty good.”

Stage 2: Doubt

As you begin to look at your ideas more closely, you realize, um… they’re actually not that great. Doubt sets in and uncertainty set in. You might become defensive, and start questioning the process, and yourself.

Stage 3: Agony

The most grueling of all steps in the creative process, this stage is a red-blooded struggle. Nothing seems to work. Your co-workers get stressed by the perceived lack of progress. You worry that you’ll be exposed as a hack. Ughhh. Suddenly, the whole project seriously sucks.

Stage 4: Epiphany

You’ve done it! You’ve just invented a big, new idea. With a burst of energy and relief, your breakthrough has happened.

Stage 5: Finesse

Now you’re crafting the raw idea to be more strategic and purposeful. Your skill and training really begins to shine through, as you hone and refine your concept into the best possible execution. Now you gain momentum with focused, purposeful engagement. The goal is in sight.


Read the article at

Apr 24

love, loyalty, and leadership.


Today I read two intriguing articles that have impacted my understanding of my leadership values. The first, written by a Navy SEAL, talked about the importance of loyalty, and how this quality separates good leaders from great leaders. The article pointed out that individuals who are characterized as having strong leadership abilities are often thought of as “decisive, bold, confident and fearless.” This article caused me to reflect on instances where I’ve been on teams, whether they be office-related or sports-related, and I concluded that loyalty is a major factor in the team’s success. Loyalty is always more important than any one individual’s traits.

A key take away from this article was the importance of including everyone in the celebration of successes, and never blaming one person for failure. If no one is “thrown under the bus” and if no one is left behind, then every person on the team is considered to be as important as the next. This fosters trust and motivates team members to contribute their best.

The second article I read also spoke to me, as it connected character-based leadership and love. Love was not mentioned as an emotion, but as a verb; the Greeks called this type of love, “agape,” or choosing what is best for another person, rather than what you want or feel is right. This requires “openheartedness.” While having an open heart can be considered a feeling, it is also a choice…

As a leader, are you willing to choose to be openhearted enough to allow yourself to see how your actions affect others?  Your choice can cause someone to lose sleep.  What would it take for you to be openhearted enough to feel the consequences of your choices?  Are you openhearted enough, as a leader, to make a choice right now to lighten another’s load and allow them some ease?

Do you lead with love and loyalty? Do you challenge yourself to make intentional decisions based on the needs of those around you?

Apr 23


6 Famous Failures and the Importance of Persistence
Emotional Intelligence for Positive Change

Both winners and losers have dreams. The difference that drives their opposing outcomes is that losers fantasize while winners are more pragmatic. Winners begin, do, finish. They are not defeated by adversity.



Steve Jobs, at 30, was left devastated and depressed after being unceremoniously removed from the company he started.

Chicago Bulls Michael Jordan 1997


Michael Jordan, after being cut from his high school basketball team went home, locked himself in his room, and cried.


Oprah Winfrey
 was demoted from her job as news anchor because she “wasn’t fit for television.”


Malcolm Forbes, once publisher of Forbes Magazine, one the largest business publications in the world, did not make the staff of the Princetonian, his school newspaper at Princeton University.



Liv Ullmann, two-time Academy Award nominee for Best Actress, failed an audition for the state theater in Norway. The judges said she had no talent.


Barbara Jordan, U.S. Representative from Texas from 1972-1979, was defeated in an election for president of her freshman class at Texas Southern University. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as well as numerous other honors before her death in 1996.

So what happened here? What made these famous failures into the wildly successful people they ultimately became?


These noted achievers refused to be held back by defeat, failure, or negative advice. Instead they ventured forth boldly. They firmly believed that ‘when one door shuts, another opens…”


The solution to a crisis or a problem may not be easy to discover. However, a winner will relentlessly pursue new avenues and consistently experiment. In the final analysis, success may only be a matter of persistence.


Persistence is not taught, but modeled. Someone in their lives showed our “failures” above that setbacks are only temporary. We, as parents and teachers, must continuously demonstrate the need for beginning a difficult task, for hanging in there, and following through. This may be the most important attribute we assist our children in developing during their formative years.

And for those of us well beyond our early years, we can develop this persistent quality yet. By picking ourselves up when we fall, over and over if necessary, and with the dogged determination of a toddler, keep pushing ourselves on. Success can be just around the corner.

Read the article at

Apr 09

Beyonce: Embracing the past, but living in the now.

I found this commercial to be motivating because of the message it portrays. It encourages all of us to accept our past, but live happily in the now. Live your life! :)


“Embrace your past, but live for now.” -Beyonce


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Mar 27

color the world with your attitude.

I read this great little article today about choosing your attitude and being more self-conscious. What really resonated with me was how much we often focus on what we should be doing, even though who we are being is really what matters. I’ve highlighted the quotations that really spoke to me. Enjoy. -Rachel


“Your Attitude Determines Whether Or Not You’ll Succeed”

By: Dan Waldschmidt, a writer at Edgy Conversations

The results of your actions have little to do with what you are actually doing and almost everything to do with your attitude.

The results of your actions have little to do with what you are actually doing and almost everything to do with your attitude. Which is ironic because we spend most of our time creating lists and getting organized and listing resolutions about what we should be doing, forgetting that who we are being is much more important. That’s why we’re called human beings. Not human doings.

Your life is full of things that you do. Your business and family and community demand that you do certain things. Some things you are shamed into doing. Other things you do because it makes other people happy or it makes you feel fulfilled or you get paid to do them. But doing can mask the hollowness of just going through the motions. Mindless repetition. Heartless action. Which is why your attitude is so important.

If you believe that your best days are ahead of you, then you’ll find a creative solution to even the worst circumstance.

If you believe that your best days are ahead of you, then you’ll find a creative solution to even the worst circumstance. If you believe that people aren’t intentionally trying to hurt you, then you’ll tend to give more second chances and receive them. If you believe that you are worth fighting for then you’ll find a way to keep going — no matter the effort required.

You can put on a happy face temporarily when you’re in front of the right people, but your attitude is what determines the decisions that no one else sees until it’s too late. Your attitude is what ultimately determines if you achieve your goals or if you fall short. You can’t fake it. You can’t pretend like everything is okay. Your attitude colors the world around around you. It changes the sights and sounds. It makes you believe what you want to believe.

Your attitude colors the world around around you. It changes the sights and sounds. It makes you believe what you want to believe.

So if what you want to see and hear and feel is hate and fear and frustration then chances are you’ll find it all too easily. But if you want to find the brightest parts of the universe around you, then that is what you will find. Your attitude will lead you there. You will be delighted in spite of troubling times and unfortunate circumstances. You’ll find hope and happiness while others mock and scorn.

It’s your attitude the determines if you make it or if you just ended up being a loser. Be a better you.

Mar 18

opportunities to rise.

Leadership exists in every sphere of a college campus, and as I continue to explore my personal leadership style, I constantly reflect on what I was involved in along the way that influences me as a leader. Playing basketball–from elementary school to now–has definitely been one of my most influential involvements; this game is largely how I learned the importance of persistence, teamwork, accountability, discipline, and heart.

As the USF Men’s Basketball 2012-2013 season comes to a close, this week’s leadership spotlight is Cole Dickerson, a junior forward from Federal Way, WA.

Dickerson NKU

Photo from the Official Site of USF Athletics

Rachel (R): How would you describe your leadership in the realm of basketball?
Cole (C): I would say I am a leader by example because I’m not the one to be talking all the time but I will get out there and get things done, and be a good example of a model citizen off the court.

R: Who/what inspires you to be successful?
C: My family inspires me to be successful. I play for them. I do everything for them because I know that maybe one day it can give them anything they want and they enjoy watching me play.

R. What impact do you wish to have on the USF Men’s Basketball program?
C: The impact I wish to have on the Men’s Basketball program is to leave a legacy of being one of the nation’s top programs again.


They say I’m young, still learning. Will make my share of mistakes. Too skinny, too slow. That I will never, ever play like my brother. But I tell my critics, there’s only one me. And I choose greatness. It’s my passion for the game that drives me. I’m a sponge, hungry for knowledge. I want to be challenged, always knowing, at any given moment, there will be opportunities to rise. If you know me at all, you’ve already figured out that I never shy away from opportunity. -Cole Dickerson


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Feb 26

When Both Teams Win

A student showed me this video today and it was so inspirational, I had to post it here. This is a true act of being inclusive, appreciating difference, and sportsmanship.

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