Back In Action: A Note From Ken

Posted Monday, March 02, 2015

Hi! It's been two years since I've updated this blog. I'd love to share all that's occurred in the last two years and I imagine there will be time for all of that over a cup of coffee or a blog post or two. Until then, I want to share just a few things:
I'm coaching and training--full time. 

More than 10 years ago, I encountered a man that had left his corporate job and started his own company to train people how to be leaders. A couple years later, my company (ADP) hired a woman to be my executive coach. This man and this woman inspired me to leave the corporate path I was on in 2009 and find my dream of coaching and training. Today, all of my income is earned coaching one on one and traveling around the country delivering training. 

My path isn't what I thought it would be. 

Surprise! When I started Authentic Development, my plan was to be earning six figures within two years as a coach. That did not happen by any stretch of the imagination. Almost exactly two years after I left ADP, my life changed dramatically. (Divorce/Moving) I didn't give up though. I worked hard to market myself, build a client base, and provide for my family. In the end, I discovered I couldn't make ends meet on my own. I started looking for a job in the spring of 2013 and found one working at EHS as a full-time coach. I get to coach and train and they pay me for it. I'm tremendously fortunate. 

This is the year of expansion. 

I'm ready for the next step of my journey. Last year I started working on my Spanish language skills in earnest and now I'm just a few months away from being able to coach in Spanish. (Dígame si quiere hablar español conmigo.) In April I will start an intense 6-month certification program through CTI (my coach training school) with the goal of taking my coaching skills to the next level. 

Why I'm here:

Last year, I was attending a training and I was asked to boil down my life purpose into as few words as possible. What showed up has brought a fresh way for me to live my life. 

My life purpose statement: "I inspire"

The truth is that everyone who lives their fullest life is awe-inspiring. It is such an uncommon thing to see people so alive. So, I want that for my life and I want that for all the lives I encounter. When I use the "I inspire" filter for my own life, I realize that I have the ability to inspire others by simply following my dreams, making goals that matter to me, and doing the work to get there. That's enough--and that's a lot.

Today, I simply want to reintroduce myself. I'd like to use this blog to share with you stories about inspiring people and invite you to come alive as well. 

Thanks,

Ken
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What Would A Leader Do? (WWLD)

Posted Thursday, April 18, 2013




No more war!

Stop the fighting!

End gun violence!

Stop Child Abuse!

And in the words of Martin Richard—the 8 year old boy who was killed in Boston this week by a bomb: 

"No more hurting people: Peace"

Beautiful messages and sentiments that I and literally everyone I have spoken to support. But we are leaders, we need more! Something deeper. Something better.  Read More »

A New Definition of Love In Action

Posted Thursday, March 07, 2013

So, I'm fed up. We've all been perpetuating a lie. We all participate in it as we watch movies, read books, and listen to music that reinforces this lie. The lie: If you are in love, you are happy. Oh, and you'll be happy forever. Hence the expression—happily ever after.

The truth is that we don't even know what love is and much of what we do in the name of love is not love at all. Isn't it time for a new definition of love? One that works in all areas of our lives?
I was struck this afternoon while driving just how angry so many people are. I know they aren't angry at me—but they sure are angry. With the protection of steel all around them, the way people treat each other is simply ludicrous. How different would it all be if people treated each other with love?

Is it any surprise that there is so little peace in the world when anger, discontent, fear, deception and control better define our primary relationships.

Love begins at home. We learn it and then we put into practice what we learn. Love begins with our own hearts. Love begins with how we treat ourselves and those closest to us.

So, I've got this thought. What would be different today if LOVE ruled the day. What would be different in the workplace? What would be different in our homes? What would be different in our relationships?
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When Not Helping Helps

Posted Wednesday, March 06, 2013


She loves to drive. Drive with her loved ones.

Long talks. Long untold confessions. Dealing with the stuff that can't be ignored as you sit next to each other for hours on end.

Road trip relationship therapy. For Jodi it has worked for over 30 years with her family.

This week included one of those beautiful trips with her college-aged son.

Jodi  had some captive time this week. He's such a man. Billy went away to college on the other side of the country in the middle of nowhere and he figured out how to live on his own. You see, a few years ago when her son was preparing to go off to school, Jodi lost her job—dad's job wasn't as secure. They wanted to help in the same way that they had helped his older siblings but it just wasn't possible. They didn't have the money to pay his way, to get him a car, and to make sure he was going to be OK. He could go and do whatever he wanted—but the best they could do was $100 month.

She was worried, how would he survive?  Read More »

Your Righteous Indignation is Eating Away Your Life

Posted Tuesday, January 29, 2013



I can barely stand it anymore. All the hatred directed at all sides. Conservatives and Liberals. Gays and Christians. Gun owners and gun control advocates. Everyone believes that they are right and the other side is evil. We have lost sight of each other's humanity and the truth is that our anger is making ZERO impact on the other side. Truth is our anger is actually hurting ourselves.

An example:

It went viral. This video by a newswoman in Lacrosse, Wisconsin. She was hurt. Her husband came to her defense on Facebook. Someone sent her a note about her weight.

Female Wisconsin News Anchor Speaks Out (0:59)

The response has been incredible. Hundreds of fans have rushed to her support. She labeled him a bully on air. The name calling hasn't stopped there with basically every name from A to Z being sent his way.

I'm definitely in the minority here when I say that this video isn't about bullying or obesity or anything really that most people are making it about.   Read More »

Six Lies Keeping Lance Armstrong (and You) from Happiness

Posted Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I just watched Lance Armstrong confess to doing exactly what I was sure he had never done. 

As a teenager, I idolized professional bike racers. So, I got a road bike, rode all over Milwaukee County and I pictured myself riding the hills of France someday. So when Lance (who is only 16 days older than me)  won his first tour, I was hooked. I followed every tour, every stage, every interview. I believed him and defended him to anyone that would listen. Even as the evidence piled up, I'm sure I was one of the last to admit to myself that he probably cheated. He was my hero. He duped me. 

I'm not mad or even disappointed in him today. I'm sad for him and glad for him. Sad that he had to create such outlandish lies and hurt so many people that he cared about. Glad that he can finally enter his own authentic life. 

I see irony in the most common term for him these days: DISGRACED. It's ironic because I think for the first time in his life he is understanding what the word GRACE means. For the first time in his life, some people (even if only a few) are demonstrating care for him simply because they do. Sometimes it takes being "disgraced" to know who will be there no matter what.  Read More »

A New Definition of Love in Action

Posted Tuesday, January 01, 2013

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Authentic is the Opposite of Codependent

Posted Tuesday, December 04, 2012



Did you grow up in a dysfunctional family? Me too.

One thing that I think is true for all of us—we never completely drop the roles that we developed in order to effectively give and get love, how to feel safe, how to make people love us. We learn what is OK to say, what our parents want from us, and how to feel good.

I for one played the role of the "hero" or "rescuer" for much of my life. When I saw someone in need—well it was my job to make sure that I met their need.

Eventually, this doesn't work. The role I created to make sure I got my needs met in the end wasn't going to be able to help others. As soon as I stopped getting what I needed, I had to either pick another codependent role or another person from whom to get my needs met. I did both of those things with lots of consequences.

How do we stop living in our codependence? How do we choose to create something different for our life?  Read More »

3 Wildly Simple Things That Will Make You Happier Tomorrow

Posted Friday, September 14, 2012

You are busy. You are doing your best. You have a good life—for the most part. You are not in desperate straights in any single area of your life.

You know that there are no easy answers for the nagging annoyances that make up your life and the average person's life.

  • Your boss doesn't understand you. 
  • You know you should eat better. 
  • You wish you looked better in the mirror. 
  • The house needs to be cleaned. 
  • You love your family but it sure would be nice if it wasn't so difficult to do life with them sometimes. 

The good outweighs the bad almost every day—and the big things that you want to be different are simply not worth the monumental effort required to change them. How do you change the things you can't control anyway?

Truth: most people don't hire a life coach unless they feel the urgency of some change that they want to make in their life. Hiring someone to walk next to you and help you ask the questions of yourself that you have been avoiding—that's stirring the pot much more than most people want. Frankly, the cost is not worth the benefit.

So—what can I offer you? The typical, mostly happy, not urgently seeking life change reader?  Read More »

The Art of Jumping

Posted Saturday, September 08, 2012


Typical coaching question: If you could know that you wouldn't fail, what would you do with your life?

OK—got it? Know your answer? Now what?

Here's the problem with this question, you can't know you won't fail—in fact failure is part of the plan. Failure is how you learn. 

The paralyzed are still paralyzed. It may be helpful for us to come up with the thing we want to do for the world. But that's where the question stops serving us. 

She wants to know. She doesn't want to fail. She decides.  "I'll come up with a plan. A fail-safe plan."

Fail safe plans don't exist. You can't learn to fly on the ground. 

So here is my step-by-step plan for you to do what it is that you want to do with your life.

Step 1: JUMP  Read More »



Check out our last 6 eNewsletters:

November 4, 2016--Crossing the Continental Divide (Both Literally and Metaphorically)


May 13, 2016-Are You Embracing Your Goo?

April 6, 2016--Micromanagement is Good Management


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