Planners’ Picks ― June 7, 2022

Planners’ Picks

A collection of resources from CSN planning committee members worth mentioning

As we come off the heels of the Women’s Leadership Symposium and the IT Professionals Conference, we continue to develop and grow with these resources. June brings the children home for summer break—It’s the official start of family vacation season. Remember to schedule time for YOUR break! Oh—look for rainbows and geese too.


:: Image of the Week

Image with quote: “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”

“Never doubt the power of a good rainfall. There’s cleansing, a potential refreshing change in temperature and an opportunity to pause (whether we want to or not). Rain can be seen as an inconvenience when you least expect it. Did you ever think how much more of an inconvenience to growth it would be if it did not ever rain? Whether it is actual rain that is needed to nourish plants or a tough situation essential for us to grow stronger into who we are meant to become, we will never notice rainbows if we don’t have the frame of mind (or condition) to see them. Trust the journey. View the storm as a sign that your rainbow is right around the corner.”  – Andrea Sanchez on Linkedin

Sometimes the struggle you encounter might be preparing you for the rainbow. Great results come from hard work and dedication, even in hard times.


:: Resources on Mental Health and Self-Care

Can 10 Minutes of Meditation Make You More Creative?

Whether you are trying to reconcile conflicting stakeholder priorities, finding a solution to a customer’s issue, or launching a new product line, your solution probably won’t come out of a textbook. But it’s hard to keep having great ideas day after day. What do you do when you run out of good ideas? How do you “get your mojo back”? One increasingly popular solution is mindfulness meditation. Google, Goldman Sachs, and Medtronic are among the many leading firms that have introduced meditation and other mindfulness practices to their employees. Executives at these and other companies say meditation is not only useful as a stress-reduction tool but can also enhance creativity, opening doors where once there seemed to be only a wall. To gain a deeper understanding of the effectiveness of short meditation sessions in boosting creativity, the authors looked first at the literature and then conducted their own experiments. They found that mindfulness mediation works to enhance creativity and innovation, and 10 to 12 minutes of it are enough to boost creativity.

“Every storm runs out of rain.” — Maya Angelou

20 Unhealthy Habits You Need to Stop Doing Now

What are you doing now? And how does it contribute to your future? Every so often, we sit down and figure out what we need to do next. We reflect on our past actions and their results, our present state, and what we should do next.

While these are logical steps, we neglect the fact that putting things into our lives means that we need to take out things. After all, we have only a limited amount of time and energy in a day. In order to start doing something, we need to stop doing something else first.

Chances are, you’re carrying on some bad habits in your life. You might think they’re harmless, but it’s those little things that can be detrimental in the long run. Here are 20 everyday habits you need to stop doing now.

“When determining the size or complexity of a new habit ask yourself, “What can I stick to—even on my worst day?” Start there. Master the art of showing up. Then advance.”  – James Clear


:: Resources on Work Culture & Team Development

Why a One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Employee Development Doesn’t Work

Exceptional bosses don’t leave it to HR to create career progression programs for their team members. They personalize their coaching, support, and teaching efforts. They don’t just track the big learning opportunities granted to their employees. They also understand the nuances of how people are growing week by week and month by month and adjust their actions accordingly. Managing each report in this way might sound daunting or downright impossible. But it’s easier than you think, if you follow five steps:  organize key information about each employee into a spreadsheet, consult and update it weekly, do a deeper dive every three months, discuss it regularly with team members and consult it when writing performance evaluations.

How to give someone “a good listening to”

If someone in your team isn’t feeling great – then maybe they need “a good listening to”. Drawing on his experience when training to be a therapist, Nic gives tips about how – to listen – reflect back, and – ask deepening questions. Watch this short video from Nic Marks at Friday Pulse on his style of listening.


:: Resources on Self-Leadership Development

Vulnerability and Curiosity a Good Thing For Leaders

Leaders are expected to have all the answers, so their confidence is what’s admired and promoted. Unfortunately, vulnerability and curiosity are often perceived as negative leadership traits. However, studies show that more effective leaders and scientists have intellectual humility — the wisdom to know that they don’t have all the answers. It’s easy to mistake bravado and confidence for competence. We tend to see things the way they are, not as they should be, which explains our attachment to confidently useless leaders.   – Dr. Caroline Brookfield, “The Reluctant Creative”

“We can’t make people change, but when we change, others may change.” – Gretchen Rubin

 What Others Think of You is None of Your Business

“People will always say things about you, regardless of how good a job you’re doing.” In this Micro Episode of The Mind Takeaway, Peter and Mira explore What Others Think of You is None of Your Business. When you get fearful or uncomfortable, remember that others’ opinions usually don’t matter in the larger scheme of things.


:: Resources on Hybrid and Remote Work

Overcoming Isolation When Working Remotely

In the midst of Covid-19, a vast majority of leaders transitioned employees from a face-to-face environment to working virtually and for many, that became permanent. In the beginning, I think we could all agree that it was a bit of relief being home with the unknown balance of the world, but fast-forward a few years, and it has left a lot of people still feeling alone. This new way of work has taken a huge toll on mental health and led to deeper feelings of isolation as well as unseen disabilities such as stress, depression, and anxiety. This backdrop means that leaders must create a culture that allows their people to open up and actively participate. Making an otherwise isolated environment feel significantly more engaging.

Hybrid work: Making it fit with your diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy

New research details what empowered employees love about hybrid work models and the risks to diversity, equity, and inclusion if managers get the evolving flexible workplace wrong.


:: Take Five*

*Note : CSN has added “Take Five” articles occasionally to take you off the beaten path. Articles will be about local or regional areas of interest, but not necessarily focused on leadership development. The intent is for you to take a break from being a leader and relaxing for a moment!

Here Come The Geese

Do you enjoy music? Do you enjoy watching geese fly overhead? Then this Take Five (actually 192 second) break is just for you.

In 2008, the popular band Barenaked Ladies released a children’s music album entitled Snacktime! with many entertaining songs on it. If you have school-age children, I highly recommend it; they are also very enjoyable for adults too! (I have them cycling on my iTunes regularly).

One song that has always stood out for me is “Here Come The Geese” — this wonderful crescendo of instruments and calming lyrics create a perfect respite from a stressful day, and gives you new perspective on nature and the world around you. One warning: you WILL find yourself singing the chorus over and over, especially the next time you see geese in the sky! Take Five today and listen to this masterpiece of BNL which was awarded a 2009 Juno Award for the Children’s Album of the Year.  – Rich Gassen for CSN

Enjoy on YouTube or Spotify:


:: Upcoming Events

Lunchtime Wellness In The Gardens

Allen Centennial Gardens is hosting weekly Lunchtime Wellness activities on Thursdays from 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. throughout the summer. Sessions will offer hands-on activities with plants, wellness exercises such as yoga or meditation, and other ways to enjoy the gardens. There is no cost to participate. Visit to learn more and view the schedule of events!