Thursday, June 22, 2017

Back to the future: Glacier Park Insights

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer

On the fourth day of my road trip with my husband I was amazed by the waters flowing from the Flathead River, glacial melt, creeks and the McDonald River have created wonderful waterfalls in Glacier National Park. But even more amazing is the collaboration of two countries to create an International Peace Park that stands testimony to what a collection of individuals can do when PEACE is an objective. 

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Road Trip Lessons #2: Boundaries push you to make smarter decisions!

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer

motivational speakerI've discovered that there is a big difference between flying and traveling by car.  When flying I work hard to take only what I need.  It's expensive and exhausting to try to drag everything you think you need through an airport.  A road trip is completely different.  We can pack the car full of things that we may or may not need along the way.  My lesson: boundaries push you to make smarter decisions. We have books, food, water, trail mix, boxes of all manner of shoes and hiking stuff. Layers of clothes for Canada . And now I wonder why I packed 8 t-shirts? 

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Do You Trip For Love?

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer

Long ago and far away—in a distant galaxy—I was married to man who thought marathon road trips were the best thing since sliced bread. The trick was to drive as many miles as possible in one day, sleep in some unassuming hotel, and head out again on the road. Roads were always Interstate and not interesting. There were a few stops along the trip for a hurried look-see, cross it off the “I’ve done that” list and head on out again. I was always the passenger and never the driver. (Although I do admit, I am a champ at reading road maps. Siri was not even in the picture!)

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Vacation for your Vocation!

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer

When was the last time you REALLY took a vacation? A real vacation and not just two days? When was the last time you unplugged from the digital world, spent time doing what you wanted to do, enjoying family and friends and perhaps having an adventure other than trying to locate a matching lamp shade at WalMart?

If you’re like most Americans, your answers would require looking back at your calendar to even remember!!In a report prepared by Project Time Off, American workers reported taking off just 16.2 days, almost a full week less compared to the pre-2000 average (20.3 days). The growing stockpile of unused paid leave is contributing to worker burnout and even larger balance sheet liabilities that directly affect a company’s bottom line.

Why don’t we take time off? We (and I put myself in the category) have a work martyr syndrome. If I don’t do the work, who will? How much will be piled up and waiting if I take time off?

OK, I am a sole proprietor. But similar thinking exists in organizations. The work martyr syndrome combined with a culture of silence in the work place is keeping workers at their desks instead of using their time off. The top barriers for employees include:


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Monday, June 05, 2017

Help! A Vegan is Coming for Dinner!!!

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer

Time to throw down the towel and admit there are some events in life over which I have no clue and stand helpless. Perhaps you have had them, too. This is the time when you frantically search your data base or your brain and say, “Now, who can help me?”

Here is what happened:

Brother Bill has announced to my husband that he’s VEGAN. AND… he’s coming for dinner.

“Are you nuts,” I holler. “He’s a football jock. A draft for the Steelers. He’s into construction and real estate and…”

I quickly dash off an email to sister-in-law Rita.

“Yep,” his wife Rita writes me. I can HEAR the sigh in the email. She’s Italian: the pasta, sausage, cheese, fish. Glorious entrees and even more glorious desserts.

“You might try grass and hay,” she suggests,

Right. Grass? In Southern California, you can smoke it. Not me. And in our case, we like the rebate from the water department so our lawn is all artificial. Wonder if he’d ever notice plastic over petunias?

I feel like the folks in the commercial: on the floor, helpless and WHO will get me up???

Jessica!Jessica Dempster is the answer!She and Neil are vegans, live in Scottsdale, an 8-hour drive away and instantly close by email. We’ve eaten at their house and could have sworn the shish kabobs were lamb and not vegetable. Her cheese spread would put the Swiss to ecstasy until they found out it had no animal milk in it at all.

She and Neil are built like top models. He’s a tall, handsome Viking. She’s a gorgeous lass from a cacophony of Irish, British and a bit of the Huguenots. (They were the upstarts that got turfed out of France in the 16th century for having the audacity to threaten the Catholic crown and Paris.)

In short, Neil and Jessica exude health, happiness, and hormones.

She will be able to tell me, in simple, easy-to-understand terms with even simpler ingredients, how to become an effortless vegan hostess. And I know I won’t have to stock the pantry with things that we carnivores will never use until we get the warning signal that a vegan is coming.

Forks over Knives is the cookbook Jessica suggests although I point out that SHE should write this hostess guide, cookbook, and survival manual.

Stay with me and you will never fear a dinner party again. We might even throw in some gluten free items. (My niece—Bill’s daughter—has celiac disease. Heck—if I am picking Jessica’s brain, why not go for the entire enchilada!If course, only if it is made of corn and has not meat or cheese in it.)

I’ll keep you posted! In the meantime, the resilient self needs help. Send me YOUR favorite vegan recipe.


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Monday, May 29, 2017

Seven Secrets Move Workouts into the Workplace

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer

“Where do you get all your energy?” That’s a question many of us are asked as we finish leading an intense management retreat, conducting a training session, or keynoting a major conference. My answer, after I jokingly say, “Drugs!” is “Exercise”. 

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Look for the Funny - A Resiliency Clue

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer

A wise person once said, “If you don’t have a sense of humor—you have no sense!” Judging from the dour faces in Congress, I think the pundit is right. But we don’t have to mirror the snarls and growls that haunt Washington, D.C. That’s probably why so many people have been drawn to the parodies found on late night talk shows. 

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Five Secrets to Creative Adaptability

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer

In the face of continuing economic challenges, a roller coaster marketplace, Congressional stalemates, and unrelenting change, leaders in every part of an organization must develop a capacity for resiliency. A cornerstone of resiliency is adaptability. Mind you, this is not the ordinary find-another-answer but rather find MANY answers. 

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Monday, May 08, 2017

Green Thumb Wisdom for Growing Life

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer

I love to garden. There’s something about kneeling down on the ground, putting a trowel into the earth, and deciding what should be planted—or weeded—or seeded.

Sure it takes time and I can get pretty dirty. I might need to amend the soil, make sure I have the right plants in the right sun or shade, and also be willing to pull out plants that no longer thrive.

Gardening has much to teach us about life.We all know you have to get your hands dirty to achieve results. Looking at a Burpee Seed Catalog will not get the garden planted. Nor will gazing at a vision board turn dreams into reality:you must take action.

A successful gardener also knows the truth of the saying from Ecclesiastics: “for everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.”

Think about where you are in your life and what is YOUR season?

In gardening terms, WINTER is a time for rest, for regeneration and renewal. What looks like a frozen landscape actually hides the blossoms waiting for warmth.You might be in a season of Winter, hunkering down, waiting, watching. Winter doesn’t last forever—as Camus insisted:

"In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back." - Camus

But SPRING must precede Winter. Flowers and buds are fragile. They require water and fertilizer.You might be too. What do you need to nurture so you can to burst forth in the richness of Summer?

And Summer is indeed a gardener’s delight. Look at all the fruits and vegetables that abound. The wildflowers also peak in mountains and valleys. If you are in a Summer Season, you are on a great growth spurt, watering ideas, fertilizing projects.

In Fall, you pick the fruits of your labors. When is the best time to harvest? Was it a bountiful crop of ideas, insights, sales?What must be nurtured and set to rest for indeed, Winter will come.

Yes, I have come to realize that life parallels the natural world.The decisions I make are not unlike those a green thumb gardener makes. To thrive, I must know my season, grow my season. Feed, Seed Weed.

Everyday wisdom—every day.



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Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Resiliency is Option B

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer

Resiliency is the new trendy word. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant have sparked many conversations and insights with the publication of their book Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy.  

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As a Resiliency Motivational Speaker Eileen loves working with all groups. She has found great synergy with health care audiences and long term care (from personal experience), educators ( As an award-winning educator, she went from teaching kids to grown-ups—who are still like kids), and women’s leadership groups(because she is one!).