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Do You Listen To Your Inner Sarge?

As Father’s Day arrives stories that dad shared during his final month on hospice come to mind. One in particular stands out. Sitting on the front porch of the farmhouse enjoying the cool late September breeze, he talked about his failing health when the conversation tilted toward the question:

“Are you afraid to die?”

With the usual sense of dignity and grace with how dad held his head when telling a story that he hoped would teach a lesson, he shared the following:

“I’ve come close to death more than once. Once in Korea we were standing on a hill close to a field of battle when I heard an inner voice tell me to move to the next hill to the left. I told every man around me to move in that direction. Once moved, a shell hit on the spot where we had stood.”

Dad’s smile grew wide as he proclaimed, “After that they always listened to Sarge.”

When coaching leaders and consulting with individuals building new programs they often speak about how their intuition guides their process.

Clients also speak about the natural moments of confusion when they can’t see the difference between their intuition and their anxiety.  While you may not be facing the end of your life, the mind can often act like it’s survival is at stake.  Creating the conditions to feel the power of intuition as a daily working part of the mind is an intentional process that can be practiced by any high performing individual.

Can you discern the difference between worry and your voice of wisdom?

Do YOU Listen To Your Inner Sarge?

Thank you dad for demonstrating this valuable skill in your life as a bold leader.

By your side,


Patrick Davis, MA





Are You Waiting For Blooms?

Are You Waiting For Blooms?

On Christmas Eve the Christmas cactus pictured here bloomed. It arrived just in time and on schedule!

What is waiting to bloom in your life?

Is there a dream to be realized?

Is there work to be done?

Is there a relationship to nurture?

Are you entering a new season of work and life?

May discerning wise action and asking for support empower your life to bloom in 2017!

By your side,


Patrick Davis, MA, PCC



Honor Your Family Tree: Four Steps to Career Genealogy

Career Geneology

“It is very loving to see how my parents ‘being’ has continued in the world through me.” – a friend who completed the Career Genealogy Process


Being successful in work and life is a bold process that looks different for each individual. Whether coaching a real estate agent, a lawyer, a stay-at-home dad or a young business woman there are some common components that can bring clarity and focus to career decisions.

One component is to reflect upon the attributes that you’ve inherited from your ancestors using the four steps to your Career Genealogy.  This process provides a a way to identify key themes that shape and inform your own choices. Upon using this process to make your strengths conscious, you may join the many individuals who report that they feel better equipped to face the uncertain complexities of their careers.

One woman who used this process did not at first see any connection between her dad’s work as a plumber and her work as a nurse.  Trusting the process of these steps,  she began to focus less on what separated her from the previous generation and more on what connected her to them. She had a moment of realization that clarified the next step she was to take in life.

After ten years of conversations with many people completing the Career Genealogy process, we have discovered many things. To make this process concrete, I will share the example of one friend who is willing to make her story public.

Step One of Your Career Genealogy

First identify the name of your two primary caregivers who shaped your life while growing up. Who are the two individuals you experienced as your primary caregivers? Trust your common sense to identify two names that work for you. (Note: This process works for non-traditional families in case you were adopted, in foster care or if you have been a member of blended families with more than one parent, stepparents, grandparents or other adults who raised you. In this case you get to choose two adults from your village that make the most sense to you.)

A Friend’s Example

Dad: Vincent
Mom: Elena

Your Example?

On a sheet of paper or in your journal can you see your own example?

Step Two of Your Career Genealogy

Now that you have identified two individuals, research their career story. Under each name can you identify the major roles that they contributed to society? Even if they did not think of their work as a career or they didn’t get paid, make sure to honor their unique contributions as volunteers or as caregivers to the family. You may even consider hobbies that help you see their strengths.

A Friend’s Example

Vincent: Engineer (ships during WW II, then bridges and highways), manage a power plant, community leader (PTA, Board of Education and Knights of Columbus).

Elena: Mother, brownie and scout leader ,vocalist (church choir, weddings and funerals), LPN, a nurse, community volunteer (meals on wheels, hospice, crisis line, food pantry).

Your example?

You may pause again and build on the two names you identified and briefly outline the “resume”  of roles that describe their work or volunteer experiences.

Step Three of Your Career Genealogy

What were the intended outcomes and fruits of these efforts? Now, pause and come up with some key words to characterize the key themes of their life’s work. You may want to take a walk, listen to music or just sit in silence and contemplate how to best briefly summarize the contribution of their lives.

It can be interesting and fun to synthesize someone’s life work into a few key words. If any part of this process feels confusing at first, many clients report coming up with some new perspectives after they pause and lean into the confusion.  Find your own way to ponder the question, “What were the intended outcomes and fruits of their efforts?” Beyond this temporary feeling of confusion is often a break through where clients start to see something new about two people who they haven’t always observed through an objective lens.

At times we are so busy analyzing our family tree for psychological issues that we focus on the negative.  We rarely pause and see the intended contribution of our ancestors. In some cases their intentions were realized and they felt successful. In other seasons of life, they may have felt frustrated and their strengths were not always fully demonstrated.  Whatever the case, we are here to see the intended contribution and strengths that they made or hoped to make to the world.  Seeing these attributes can be akin to identifying your own emotional and spiritual DNA.

In the example of this friend, she paused and listened to music before the key words occurred to her. Others may find it helpful to speak with someone in order to gain a more objective view of these two individuals. Unlike other conversations we may have about these two parental figures, this a positive inquiry into their strengths and not their weaknesses.

A Friend’s Example:

Vincent: Design and Create Elena: Protect and Love

Your Example?

Are there key themes you can identify?

Step Four of Your Career Genealogy

Finally, this is where you turn these statements  inward and look at your own contribution to life. Ask yourself the question, “How have I built upon this emotional and spiritual inheritance?”  Begin exploring on paper how you have applied these strengths to your own life’s work.  Again, you might find it helpful to also speak with another person who is skilled at being a good listener. What is your own unique synthesis of these themes?

A Friends Example

Today, this friend sees that the  unique educational programs she has created are all extensions of strengths from both of her parents.  Her life’s work is a unique combination of her dad’s focus as an engineer and her mom’s focus as a caregiver.  She has spent her life ENGINEERING EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES FOR CAREGIVERS!  The qualities that her parents demonstrated in these two different professions are ones that she has integrated in a unique way. In her own words she says:

“What I saw within myself was the capacity to  Design + Create (from my father) and to Protect + Love (from my mother).  All together this is the work I have done in creating a college of healing arts.”

She goes on to say, “It is very loving to see how my parents ‘being’ can continue in the world for others through me.”

The woman in this example is Paulette Genthon.  Since 1994, I have had the privilege of supporting and guiding her toward realizing her dreams.  Recently, we’ve been designing a creative student engagement and retention program for her college.

Paulette is the founder of the Universal College of Healing Arts where she has used the Career Genealogy process to empower herself and her students to celebrate their strengths.  With the foundation her programs offer professionals, she has empowered hundreds of individuals to realize successful careers in the healing arts.

Paulette’s unique program makes education accessible to busy adults. If you are interested in joining her weekend intensives you may want to speak with her. She may be reached at: (402) 555-4456. Or, you may e-mail her at:

Whatever you see about your own career inheritance, I’m interested in hearing about your experience via e-mail, phone or Skype as well.

By your side,

Patrick Davis, MA, PCC


Upcoming Workshops

November 12: 4 Free strategy sessions offered in Omaha, Nebraska | Sign Up Now

November 13: Student Retention Coaching program for private career school in Omaha, Nebraska (Universal College of Healing Arts)

November 14: CEU program on being Mindfully Present for Wings of Hope Cancer Survivor Center and the community | Sign Up Now

9 out of 10 conversations miss the mark*


One of The Exceptional 10%
In this update we highlight Claudia as an extraordinary leader who creates results by hitting the mark in her conversations.

From Little Girl To Bold Leader
Claudia arrived in the United States as an immigrant from Argentina. She was eighteen, completely on her own, and determined to start a new life. She had almost no money and struggled with the English language before she received help from an organization that was beginning to empower low-income students with college scholarships. Thirty years later she is now the President/CEO of that same non-profit organization. In this role she faces challenging conversations with board members, donors and colleagues who turn to her for mentoring and guidance. Her own words best describe the results born from her mindful practice of being intentional in each conversation:

Dear Coach,
As I review what our business accomplished in 2015, I thought you’d get a kick out of the financial results from this former “little girl” who once had $36 dollars to her name and fewer than 100 words in her vocabulary. We had a record year. Our balance sheet stands at over $1 million, our expenses under budget, and our social impact stronger than ever. Our great team did it again!  Thank you, for being by my side! 
~ Claudia

Will your interactions be among the 10% of conversations that hit the mark in 2016?

By your side as you hit the mark more and more,

Patrick Davis, MA, PCC

(*The 9 out of 10 statistic is taken from the book, Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results, by Judith E. Glaser)

New Affordable Mentoring Track
World class coaching for only $50 a month

Reading Claudia’s e-mail got me thinking, “Wouldn’t it have been FUN to support Claudia before she earned a higher salary that afforded her access to executive coaching?  How could coaching take a stand for the Claudia of thirty years ago and watch her grow into a bold and successful business leader?”
There are now six (6) spots available designed to serve the Claudia’s of the world before they hit the mark.

Whether you are like the Claudia of today earning a salary at the top of her career who needs highly customized Executive Coaching, or like the Claudia of thirty years ago who needs the Affordable Mentoring, this practice offers solutions for anyone with targets too important to miss.  Are you ready for a free and confidential strategy session where this coach will listen to your needs?

Are You Right for This Program?

Four independent business women are already finding success in a mentoring program that offers many of the same benefits of executive coaching. We’re expanding in 2016 by offering room for six more individuals who are:

(1) Up to the challenge of growing their business
(2) Earning less than $75,000 a year

In this model, members meet monthly with me, one-on-one and are invited to join group sessions for support, encouragement and accountability. There is also a social media space where members share resources and connect between formal sessions. One member calls it “Weight Watchers for the Soul.” Yes! We are having FUN and delivering results!

If you are interested in this option for you or someone you love,  reach out today for details.


A Trip to the Grocery Store

or How I Embarrassed My Mom one Christmas

While unpacking holiday decorations, memories come alive of mom as the one who first guided these hands to place an ornament on a tree. Perhaps more than any other time of year, memories of her are everywhere. Like snow falling upon a winter landscape, her presence covers everything.

When I was small enough to be placed in the seat of a grocery cart, mom took me along on the weekly ritual of going to the neighborhood market. As she drove, she complained about needing to join Weight Watchers.  She repeated over and over again, “I’m such a fat lady…I’m such a fat lady.” Once at the store, mom placed me in the cart. As my legs dangled free, our shopping adventure began.

Turning the corner into the cereal aisle, my arm swung up like a compass as I pointed to a stranger and shouted, “Fat lady! Fat lady!” Mom was aghast. Recoiling from this moment of public shame she did an about-face and wheeled the wobbly grocery cart away.

Once we turned down the next isle the “fat lady” chorus resumed each time we met an unsuspecting stranger. Mom had trained her parrot well.

Mom would laugh years later when re-telling these events. Her eyes welled with tears as she re-enacted the details by pointing her own finger and shouting, “fat lady! fat lady!”

As she told the story, she returned to the car to unload groceries and then promptly whacked my tiny heinie. Having my attention, she looked at me and wagged her finger to the rhythm of the next lesson of the day: “We don’t say those things in public!”

Laughing about these memories, I feel Mom’s presence and the gift of joy that is available in this holiday season. I invite us all to ponder a self evident lesson about Joy in our lives.

“Joy occurs when we pause to appreciate the love that is already present in our lives.”

Whether you’re an executive I coach, a professional I mentor, or someone I’ve met at a workshop, know that I feel joy having connected with you in 2015.

If you are interested in receiving an e-mail with information on the book being written in 2016, you may e-mail me.  If you’d like to connect in person, just request a free strategy session.

Omaha Friends!
A generous grant from Wings of Hope Cancer Support Center pays for my travel to Omaha three times in 2016 to offer affordable workshops for CEU’s on March 8, June 1 and October 27th.

Please e-mail me if you’re interested in these supportive programs for caregivers of all types. I’ve also been asked to offer a keynote for a large caregiver conference on June 2. If you or a group you work with have a need during any of the weeks I am in town my travel has already been paid for!

Happy to be by your side into 2016,

Have You Found Your Place of Joy?

 Four Leaders Who Have Found Their Place of Joy

Find a place inside where there’s joy.—Joseph Campbell

Aren’t we all looking to do work in the world that brings forth our greatest joy?  Here are stories of four different individuals serving in roles such as CEO, a marketing consultant, an independent business owner and an emerging non-profit leader. What do they all have in common: They have taken bold action on what brings forth their greatest joy.

Claudia has stepped into her own authentic way of being CEO and President of an organization that has played a role in her life for thirty years. As the first beneficiary of an innovative program that transforms unused business equipment into college scholarships, she jokes that she is the other visionary leader from Argentina (referring to how Pope Francis hails from her home country). Today Claudia boldly shares her organization’s story to potential partners in both local and national forums:

“At Educational Assistance Ltd…we transform yesterday’s merchandise into tomorrow’s bright minds.”

John had a mentor refer him to coaching when he took became interim executive director for a non-profit agency with a mission close to his heart. As an emerging leader, he clarified his priorities and came to balance his strong business instincts with effective relationship skills. Today he is pursuing advanced studies after being awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship.

Flame was a stay-at-home mom who re-entered the work force. Over three years of a disciplined mentoring and coaching process, she grew a business that now earns her over $100,000 a year. Today she is both a loving mom and a well-respected professional. You may see all the ways her flame shines at:

Christa worked hard to earn over three million a year in revenue for a company where she was employed. After earning her MBA in International Business and pursuing a Master’s in Sustainability from Harvard, she asked, “now what?” She has transformed the anxious search for new leadership opportunities into a dynamic experience of establishing new partnerships on the global stage. As a  successful marketing and sustainability leader in London, she is having fun with her work life again. She has described her tailored coaching process, “You listened to my story and picked from an arsenal of tools. It’s been a very personalized and specific process.”

While these stories point to possibilities that emerge in coaching, your heroic journey to greater JOY is uniquely your own. Whether you are  an emerging leader, a bold executive or pioneering the path of an independent business, your focus is often on serving others. Who serves you? You may now receive the gift of a free strategy session that is just for you by visiting a new website:

By Your Side,

Patrick Davis, MA, PCC

4 Scary Situations Faced By Leaders

Frankenstein Drac Were

Drawing Inspiration from Dracula, Frankenstein, Buffy and the Werewolf

As Halloween comes and goes, have you watched a scary movie yet? What is it in our psyche that has FUN with being scared? Here are 4 scary situations faced by leaders and the inspiration they might draw from Dracula, Frankenstein, Buffy and the Werewolf.

#1. Turning the search for a new job from an anxious process to one of possibility and hope?

Even experts like Dracula with years of experience need to find ways to network and be invited over the threshold of someone’s home when they are new to town.

#2. Is your Board of Directors or boss not aligned with your hopes and aspirations for the future?

Didn’t Dr. Frankenstein have to find a way to protect his visionary project from the wrath of the townspeople who were terrified of his unconventional innovation?

#3. Are you going from being the project manager type who produced bottom-line results to finding a management or executive role?

Didn’t Buffy the Vampire Slayer have to make friends and form allies as she moved into a new school? Didn’t she find ways to balance her every day life as a high school student with sharing and refining her super powers?

#4. Facing a personal challenge such as a divorce, health crisis or general life angst while needing to produce more and more?

Doesn’t the werewolf need to manage when and where he stays in human form and when it is safe to fall apart and express his inner beast?

Halloween All Year Around

There may be a reason we find ways to play around with different roles when the season of nature turns dark and cold. Might our inner suffering point to an opportunity to express something new?

What if you had FUN turning your own career angst into an opportunity to play dress up and try on different roles in the world? Even if you are not going to change your external costume in the world, might the world be served by a version of you that is even more bold, balanced and effective?

If you have any desire to explore your imagination around your work, I’d love to hear from you.

Halloween may have passed but there is always time to play with possibilities!

by your side when things get scary,


Patrick Davis, MA, PCC


4 Fall House-Cleaning Questions for Work & Life

Fall is here again

Isn’t there something about the season of autumn air that reminds the senses and the brain that it’s time for a shift?  A shift in perspective, work or life?

Perhaps it’s the changing colors of the leaves, the scent of them, the dry crunch of them underfoot. Maybe it’s the comfortable feel of that favorite turtleneck or sweater lying against the skin. Or the roast in the crockpot, filling the house with an invitation to dinner. The chill in the air invites you to pull on your favorite warm sweater. You’ve made the first pot of chili. You’ve begun the ritual of watching football.  It’s officially fall. It’s also time when nature invites a bold conversation with yourself about work and life.

One soul-satisfying seasonal ritual is conducting a fall house cleaning. Whether it’s ridding a closet of musty, unworn clothes or re-organizing a kitchen pantry, changing the physical space in our homes can reflect something shifting inside us as well.

The following house-cleaning questions are all themes for work and life:

#1. Do I keep this or throw it away?

This applies not just to physical stuff but also to our emotions and the habits of how we relate to others and how we see ourselves.

#2. Do I simply re-use what ‘s already working or buy new?

Sometimes it’s not clear to us what’s working and what’s not working. It can be invaluable to receive candid feedback from someone observing our process and the systems in which we play and work.

#3. Do I stay in my current home or move?

We all need a basic framework and location to ground our leadership practice and career. In the modern world our roles constantly evolve and we step into new roles at a higher rate than any time in history. For most, gone are the days when we work in the same business or on the same soil as our parents and grandparents. The modern career calls for finding our own mentors and for discerning when and how we need to try something new.

#4. How do I balance change and stability?

Finally, as the wind tugs at fragile leaves in the trees nature reminds us that we live between a balancing act of stability and change. How we balance it all is the life-long art of choosing well. How we balance time for work and time for reflection is the art of life.

Whether fall has brought you a gradual shift in perspective or a sudden change, there are tools to see more clearly what is yours to do in this season of life.  Much like raking the yard, it’s a matter of picking the tools up and getting started….One Conversation At a Time.

By your side as you do your own fall cleaning,

Patrick Davis, MA, PCC

“As the wind tugs at fragile leaves in the trees nature reminds us that we live between a balancing act of stability and change.”