What Does This Make Possible?

by Scott Frickenstein, WeAlign Executive Coach

Recent articles on whether humankind is currently languishing or merely dormant (or a little of both, perhaps “dormishing?”) in our VUCA context are indeed thought-provoking. But what is needed to lead ourselves and others out of “stuckness” to a place of flourishing? In a recent podcast for coaches (professionals who “major” on helping people get unstuck), best-selling author and speaker Dan Miller suggests the answer is actually a question: “what does this make possible?” Let’s see how five people got unstuck by answering his question.

When my friend Luiz was about to become frustrated by his newly-pregnant wife’s household limitations, he paused and realized their pregnancy was an opportunity for him to selflessly serve his bride and children.

My friend and fellow coach Mark didn’t ignore our nation’s racial tensions—instead, he approached them in a unique way. Mark learned about the Underground Railroad and committed to bike the 2,000 mile-route (!) to raise $10,000 (!!) for the Equal Justice Initiative while learning about this important part of our nation’s history.

How about politics? Our “default” approaches seem to be sniping on social media or wringing our hands. Stuckness, indeed! But my friend Joy joined Braver Angels, an organization which aims to depolarize the U.S. by finding common ground through civil discourse. She learned how to help “blues” & “reds” have meaningful conversations and recently assumed a leadership role in Braver Angels.

Medical challenges, anyone? My wife was not thriving in our previous location but “came to life” when we visited friends in warm, oxygen-rich Arizona. We immediately sought the counsel of those closest to us, put our home on the market, and became Arizona residents within six months!

What about restrictive rules & regulations? Dan Miller had been hosting on-site retreats based on his “48 Days” material, but his county shut them down! Undeterred, he formed an online community to help people press into the concepts, and it quickly became vibrant.

What did you see in these true stories? Here are five principles of “possibility thinking” I noticed in the anecdotes, and a corresponding way to ask “what does this make possible?”

  • Prepare: “What can I learn from this?” (about myself, my context, others, etc.) or “What do I need to learn in order to move forward?”
  • Purpose: “What new sense of purpose is emerging?” or “What is deepening (or broadening) in my sense of purpose?”
  • Passion: “What is stirring inside me?”
  • Pivot: “What new direction could I take?”
  • People: “What will help shift my focus from ME to WE?”

What is most helpful to you when you are stuck?

Scott Frickenstein, PhD
A Leader’s Leader … A Coach’s Coach … A Teacher’s Teacher

State of The Workplace Gallup 2021 Findings

by Dale Young, WeAlign Executive Coach

Gallup recently released their “State of the Workplace” report for 2021, that discusses the pandemic’s impact on businesses and employees.  You can download the full 191 page report or you can watch a 2-minute summary for additional information.

Here are 3 takeaways that stood out to me:

  • Globally, 80% of team members are not engaged.
  • The workforce reported higher stress, worry, anger, and sadness.
  • To be successful in the future, organizations will not only have to create profit, but will help employees to thrive and weather crises.

One of the best ways to make sure that team members are engaged is to make sure they are working in their strengths. That is where WeAlign can help … if you get people working in their strengths, they are more energized, more fulfilled, more joyous – in short, more engaged.

Some other interesting points from the document:

Regardless of where you live, one cannot go a day without hearing news about COVID. Whether it is on social media, new outlets or in every day conversations, one would think that the average worker was impacted in some form by COVID. I was surprised to find that only 45% of individuals polled felt that COVID had affected their life “a lot”.

Greater issues that affect the workplace are life issues, productivity in the workplace and stress.

The most important tip to remember is that if you want to be a good leader, you must have clear communication with your team. This will encourage an amazing work environment as it will also cultivate trust between yourself and your team members.

Life is full of relationships whether is it with family, business, or other areas in life such as church or volunteering.

A stark finding shows that only 32% of people feel as though they are thriving. How can you as a leader connect with those individuals in the workplace who are not thriving? By lending an ear and communicating with your team you could truly make a difference in their life.

There are many different ways that you can impact your team members. Bonuses and time off with pay are appreciated by employees and can boost the team’s morale by making them feel appreciated.

Creating an environment with open communication is a must as well. Stress, sadness, anger and worry are real issues for staff members. Provide your team members a safe place to discuss these issues and more! Offer a listening ear but do not judge.

You can create some positive vibes within your team this week by focusing on one or two individuals. A small gesture goes a long way. It can be as simple as a favorite treat, complementing their outfit, or genuinely asking how they are doing. By doing so, you will create a stronger atmosphere for your team.

Dale Young is a CliftonStrengths, Leadership, and Teamwork coach who loves to help people discover and live their you-unique-ness. He can be reached at dale@coachdale.com.

Coach Dale’s Renovation of S.M.A.R.T. Goals

by Dale Young, WeAlign Executive Coach

Do you create New Year’s Resolutions? The idea of starting something new with a new year is appealing, and that’s why so many people do this.

Did you know that a majority of New Year’s Resolutions (NYR) fail before the end of January? And a majority of the ones that survived through January fail before the end of March.

Or do you do a “Word for the Year”? Which when you think about it, is just a very light-weight form of a resolution — it’s a resolution to “focus” on that word, but with no structure, no milestones, and no accountability. That’s a way to make sure your resolution doesn’t fail — define it so loosely that by definition it’s not going to fail.

People debate if Einstein actually said this or not, I am not sure but do know it’s a powerful sentence:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Maybe there’s a better way. How about doing something different?

Think about how you’ve created NYR in the past — how much time, effort, and energy did you put into the creation?

Here’s my observation: Most NYR fail because they are not tied emotionally to a big enough WHY.

Another word for resolution is goal. Many of you have heard of the phrase “create SMART goals”. I love SMART goals. However, I have created my own version of them, which are the words:

  • Simple
  • Mini
  • Aspiring
  • Rewarding
  • Timely

You can see how I laid them out in the attached graphic. The “A” – Aspiring is at the “top of the mountain” visually because I believe that a goal is much more achievable when it is connected to something bigger and more important in your life.

Here are links to further posts where I explain what each of these words mean in relation to S.M.A.R.T. goals and give some practical examples of how you might see them show up in your life:

Dale Young is a CliftonStrengths, Leadership, and Teamwork coach who loves to help people discover and live their you-unique-ness. He can be reached at dale@coachdale.com.

Join Me on the Porch

by Tricia Stefaniak, WeAlign Associate Coach

What is your memory of a porch? From a rocking chair, to a bench, to the stairs, those who have rested themselves on a porch understand its power. Stories shared, lesson learned, quiet moments with the sun’s warmth on your face, the porch offers a space for soul searching and contemplation. Blanche’s porch was nothing special, milk jugs filled with plant food, potted flowers, old things piled here and there in the corners, and plenty of spots to sit. Its view was of the forest green with trees. Yet it offered safety, serenity, and sometimes forgotten lessons.

Join Me on the PorchBlanche was a woman who lived over 104 years and had life experiences like no other. She loved her porch and always shared an invitation to join her. Blanche had an incredible talent of seeing people for who they were and who they would become, quite an innate sense, in fact. I sat many an hour together with her as she shared stories of the past with rich lessons and flare. I remember most of them, however, as I grew into an adult, I forgot some of her most important words. She spoke such truth about who I was, and where I could go.

Unfortunately, many lies were spoken over me and Blanche’s truth was lost, dimmed from my mind and heart. I went through my youth captive under those lies. I broke free physically at 17 years old when I ran away, but it took until I was almost 30 to break free emotionally. Even then, there was much work ahead.

Why are stories, lies, other’s insecurities that are spoken over us as we develop our sense of self, so powerful, while truths slip away? Well I don’t know about you, but I’ve been given a bit of a feisty spirit, and have fought my way back. Fought my way to understanding my value, my wiring, how I was created, based on truths! Conquering the lies and owning truth is a great place to begin. Knowing your value is an important posture to present in this world and there is a world full of resources to get you there.

There are so many wonderful tools out there to lean into your own development. One of my favorites, Clifton Strengths, gives you a viable vocabulary to launch confidently into personal and professional choices and pathways. Sadly, many take the assessment, see their top five, and never look at them again. Never unpacking them fully, discovering the rich roots to unleash themselves.

Do you know your wiring, have you ever questioned the value you bring to this world? You’re not alone. Let me ask, do you have the courage to challenge the lies, the stories spoken over you filled with someone else’s pain? I’d like to invite you onto my porch. Choose the rocker, swing, or stair, get comfortable and let’s lean into uncovering the truth of who you were designed to be. How can you start?

Calendar and physical space – Create a space in your schedule to develop your self-awareness. There are tools to help you develop the ideal week. Choose your spot, the porch, comfy chair, the library, wherever you can concentrate on learning about you. Choose a spot that fits your personality, it will bring out the creativity and emphasize the wiring you possess naturally. When you have a designated time and space you have a higher percentage of follow through.

Assessments – Clifton Strengths, DISC, Enneagram, Myers Briggs, and more. Each offer great insight through varying ways. Choose to investigate up to three formats, then select the one that is most usable in your life. Ask yourself? Can I use the terms in an everyday conversation? Can I acquire a basic and deep understand of myself through the information provided? How do I connect with this type of format? Speaking aloud your wiring feeds your brain information to develop new positive pathways. So, make sure you choose a format. You want one that can feed your brain, so you develop a strong posture and live in the freedom of the confidence you’ll develop.

Freedom – Become your own warrior! Fight to discover the truth of who you are, separating from other’s stories that have been spoken over you. Free yourself from what holds you back by gaining self-awareness that can bring you forward. Make it a priority to know you.

Enjoy your time on the porch to dive into self-awareness to discover a pathway to unleash your strength and purpose upon this beautiful world.

Be A Brand Ambassador… For Yourself

By Michael Baker, WeAlign Certified Coach

Many companies today choose brand ambassadors rather than sales reps to promote their products. A brand ambassador is a person chosen by a company to represent their products in a positive manner, and by doing so will build brand awareness. For example, Mike Trout, a highly popular professional baseball player might be seen regularly with a Boombatz Backpack. You can bet that every 12 year old kid who loves baseball and is a Mike Trout fan wants, no needs, a Boombatz Back Pack like Mike Trout’s. (Boombatz is a fictitious company, so don’t bother looking it up. But you get the point.)

This is certainly a cost effective way to market your products, and it works. In fact, I took the accompanying selfie photo and posted it on Instagram (@heartwarrior_mhb). I received two offers to be a brand ambassador for contemporary men’s clothing. They probably should see the whole face!

Seriously though, your brand is personal, and I highly recommend creating your own brand- a Leadership Brand. Creating a Leadership Brand tells people who you are and why. It shares your talents and lets others know what they can expect from you. A Leadership Brand is your statement to the world. I have a client who uses his Leadership Brand statement as a bio introduction on his LinkedIn profile. This is just one of the many ways your Leadership Brand will help you grow and develop.

The steps to creating a Leadership Brand statement are simple. First, take the CliftonStrength® assessment at www.gallup.com/strengths/assessment. You need at minimum your Top 5 CliftonStrengths®results. However, the CliftonStrengths® 34 will give you your full profile of talents and strengths and provide you with a compass for where to put the effort in your life.

In either report your Top 5 talent themes are areas where you shine, where you have the greatest potential for growth and where you feel most comfortable when applying yourself to relationships, work or hobbies. They are your natural God-given talents.

Next, study each of the Top 5 talents in your report and come up with three words or phrases that describe you in that talent theme. Lastly, use those words or phrases to create a brief description of who you are. Remember, your talent themes are not labels. They are descriptors of something much deeper in you.

When working through this exercise be patient with yourself. It may take several sittings to get a Leadership Brand statement that is satisfactory to you. Share your work with people who are close to you and get honest feedback. It took me several months and several attempts to create mine Here is my Leadership Brand statement and my Top 5 talent themes I used to create my brand:

Understanding that every individual is unique, I seek excellence for myself and others. Asking ‘what if?’ to new knowledge I facilitate order from chaos to create opportunities and reach expected outcomes. – Michael Baker, aka Coach Bake

My Top 5 Talent Themes are:  Maximizer • Strategic • Learner • Arranger • Empathy

Enjoy creating your personal Leadership Brand statement. When it is complete, print it out and put it somewhere you will see it regularly.

Michael Baker, head coach at Michael Baker Coaching, holds a Masters in Education, is a Certified WeAlign Coach and a Certified Strengths Champion. His mission is to lead individuals and businesses to find Certainty in an Uncertain world. He can be reached at michael@coachbake.com.

5 Reasons to Hire A Professional Coach


by Gina Lokken, WeAlign Executive Coach

Here I was in a job I loved, but I was miserable.

My values and beliefs aligned with the mission, I was coaching and loving my clients, and I enjoyed the people I worked with. But, my health was declining, I was becoming increasingly more frustrated and fatigued, and my desire to do anything at work plummeted to an all time low. So what was the problem?

I wrestled with the decision to leave for over a year and a half, asking God daily if I was just being selfish in my desire to leave or if it was the wise decision to make.  I ultimately decided to part ways with the job, but I still had lingering feelings of guilt nagging me daily.

It wasn’t until I went through WeAlign’s 5-hour Strengths Alignment Process that I realized why I had been miserable – none of my intrinsic needs were being met.

When I discovered this during a coaching session, the guilt melted away and I could finally move on.  I only wish I had heard about WeAlign’s 5-hour Strengths Alignment Process earlier; it would have saved me a lot of worry, frustration, and heartache.

My coach helped me get unstuck and move on.  Here are five others ways a coach can help you.

1. Overcome Barriers & Setbacks Quickly

A coach will partner with you to help separate your person (or identity) from the setback or problem at hand by offering objective feedback. Being able to see your problem or circumstance from an objective point of view will give you greater understanding and free up more options to reset and move forward. Ultimately giving you the opportunity to overcome your setbacks quicker than if you tried to sort it out alone.

2. Create New Pathways of Possibility

One of my favorites, coaching jolts your mind out of autopilot and provides new and exciting pathways of thought. A professional coach has access to a multitude of creative tools & models to help expand your awareness of self, others, and the world. Innovation, ideas, and possibilities become endless when you have the right coach on your side.

3. Gain Greater Clarity & Purpose

A professional coach has been trained to ask the right question at the right time to help evoke deeper understanding, create new pathways of thought, and they invite you to become a part of your own story. Sometimes the answers are staring us right in the face, but we’re too close to see what’s in front of us. A coach will help you take a step back and see your life, problem, or situation from a whole new perspective. You’ll be able to see the whole picture and decide what needs to go and what needs to stay.

4. Unleash Your Potential: Known & Unknown

Great coaches will hold a space for you to experiment with who you are becoming in the world without judgement, and help draw out your gifts and talents. When you know who you are, what you do well, and what you don’t do well, you can start to choose the life you were meant to live. You’ll find you’ll go from average to extraordinary because you’re working in your giftedness and this dramatically accelerates your results and forward momentum.

5. Build Your Legacy

Our lives are so chaotic most days we never allow ourselves time to reflect and contemplate our lives in meaningful ways. What’s the importance behind what you’re doing? What’s the legacy you want to leave future generations? Your children? The world? A professional coach pays attention to what’s said and unsaid, providing meaningful space and offering objective observations to help you grasp the deeper meaning in your life.

Coaches are invested in you, 100%. It’s your agenda, your timing, and your life. So, if you’re feeling stuck, directionless, overwhelmed, burned out or just want to find deeper meaning in your life, there is a coach waiting to help.


When Joy and Grief share a room

By Cat Gray, WeAlign Associate Coach


I thought it was about time I showed up and shared my thoughts on some things I’ve been thinking about as I’ve been coaching people and watching the world respond to a pandemic…

These are undeniably difficult times. We are mourning and adapting because of things and people lost, and it’s going to be hard for a while. However, that’s not the whole story, and I’m here to say that it is possible for grief and joy to share the same room. We are hearing about the good, kind, loving things people are doing for each other too, and I want to challenge you to not only join in with that, but to take it one step further.

What if you were completely clear on what you are skilled in, capable of and passionate about? Are those things related to the role you had or the way you viewed yourself before the world turned upside down or have they also changed? Last week, did you give much thought to the things that had been important to you in January? Were you still focused on the environment, homelessness, refugees, equality, helping small businesses or with local community needs or whatever else was on your heart? Don’t let these things go! People are still living without water or food or shelter. People still need advocates. And what are we going to do for all the people for whom home isn’t a safe place? For the carers without respite? For the people who can’t understand what’s going on due to disability or ill health?

A big pause button was pushed on life as we knew it and we will have to navigate a few new ‘normals,’ still, but what if we lifted our heads up from the internal fear and anxiety and let ourselves dream a bit about the future again? Because you do still have a future. The world is changing but it’s not ending.

So what are you going to be filling your calendar with going forwards? What will you prioritize, speak out about, work towards? What if we end up with a society that fully cares for and embraces the poor and the marginalized? What if we had enough food and shelter for people worldwide? It sounds outrageous to say, but I’m excited to see what happens. I don’t want to belittle or be insensitive to anything that we are going through. I’m not expecting an easy ride or to come out of this unscathed, but I am expecting us to unite on the important things, to run after the type of community we always wished ours was, and to fuel a better, re – evaluated way of living that benefits everyone. We are in this together.

There’s going to be pain and anguish, but that’s only half the story.  Seek out the other bit. Don’t be blinkered to it because it’s easier to be consumed by the bad news. Acknowledge the bad stuff. Notice what you feel and what you need but then tell someone that and go on to notice or find something good. Change the narrative that everything good has been taken from you and start telling people what you are grateful for, what you are dreaming for and pass the message on that we are all capable of bringing something useful and encouraging to the table.

What is it that you are uniquely placed to do at this time? Pin point it, research it, make wise decisions about it (including following government guidelines and advice!) but then just get on and do it! Don’t be afraid to try and keep some things normal – that’s good! Don’t be afraid to spark action into some things that have been lying dormant in you for a while – maybe they have been waiting there for such a time as this! Don’t be afraid to dream of a big big future where progress has been made in many things. And don’t be afraid of grief and joy being roomies for a while. They can cope with that, and so can you.

The Tyranny of “Should”



When I take stock of who I am and see that things are good
A thief comes in to steal my joy, accusing, “But you Should…”

“You Should be more productive.  Your body Should be slim
That person there is so well-liked, you Should be more like him.”

“How dare you be contented.  Your best will never do.
Try harder still,” his voice demands.  “Become a different you.”

I get back on the hamster wheel determined to improve
But hear him say to my dismay, “the finish line has moved.”

So now there is a rubble heap where my esteem once stood
Knocked down with cruel intention by the wrecking ball of Should

Then in a time of clarity I see I have a choice
I can choose to tune him out and hear a different voice

I hear, “I am accepted.”  I hear, “I am enough.”
And where I lack, God’s got my back.  I’m covered by His love

I’ll celebrate my talents working hard at what I do
I’m doing fine with my design, my limitations, too

I don’t do super-exploits.  Sometimes I wish I could
But I accept me as I am.  I’ve had enough of Should!

Copyright 2019 by Peter Cafarchio

Use these four E’s for exponential growth

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

By Jonathan Woolridge, WeAlign Certified Coach

Last month, I wrote about uncovering unrealistic expectations and how damaging they can be in your life. You can take a look at that post here:  Are Unrealistic Expectations Weighing You Down? June 1, 2020.

Now let’s say you’ve done the hard work of dismantling these negative thoughts patterns. What now? A good next step is to start articulating the things you’re the best at. I’m not talking about the things you WISH you were the best at or feel like you SHOULD be the best at. I mean the things in your life that you do instinctively well.

Getting clear about who you are and who you are not, is hard work. That’s why I recommend using the CliftonStrengths Assessment as a way to help my clients understand and communicate the unique strengths that they have. This also gives them a way to focus their hard work in a way the plays to their strengths and sets them up for success.

If you want to make a meaningful impact on the people around you, the place you work, the city you live in, or the entire world, then you owe it to yourself to discover your areas of strength and let go of trying to turn weakness into strength. Exponential growth is a byproduct of living and working in your sweet spot.

If you haven’t been coached through your CliftonStrengths Assessment, I want to share a simple tool that will help you recognize if you’re working in an area of strength. It’s called the 4 Es, and they are: Energizing, Enjoyable, Easy, Effective.

When you’re using your strengths (even if you can’t fully articulate them), you’ll feel energized. It’ll be enjoyable. Even if you’re working hard, there will still be a sense of ease in using your strengths. Finally, you’ll be effective in what you’re doing. This isn’t to say that once you know your strengths you won’t have any more learning to do or that life will always be easy.

The major takeaway here is that applying hard work to areas where all four Es are present will set you up for exponential growth.  You’d never be able to gain and maintain that growth if you focused on areas that are energy draining, unenjoyable, overly difficult, and that you lack effectiveness in.

Take a moment to think honestly about where you devote most of your time. Are the 4 Es present? If not, what needs to change? It could be that you’re in a role that doesn’t fit you. Or maybe the entire industry is a bad fit. It could be, that you’re in the right industry but the wrong department. Whatever your situation is, this simple tool could help you honestly assess your situation and determine if anything needs to change.

If you’re overwhelmed and not sure where to start, working with a professional coach could be the best investment you make in yourself. You never know what kind of contribution you could be making if you properly align yourself with your strengths.

What are you waiting for?

You Really Are God’s Gift to the World

kid globe

By Pete Cafarchio, WeAlign Executive Coach

“You think you’re God’s gift to the world!” was a phrase we’d use growing up.  The intent was to put someone in their place if we thought they were being arrogant or prideful.

But hold on for a minute…

If you think about it, God made each one of us, selected a point in time and a location for us to be born, and gave us an incredibly unique set of skills, talents, tastes, and abilities.

And His intent was for us to use those abilities to make our world a better place.  We all do that in different ways, but most of us are trying our best.

The question isn’t about how much of an impact are you making.  Instead, are you making the kind of impact you were designed to make?

The world – your world – needs you to keep showing up and trying in your own way to make it a better place.

God knew other people needed you in your world.  You’re His gift to them.  But if you keep hiding in false humility they’ll never experience your impact.

So rise up and be all you were meant to be.  Because you really are God’s gift to the world.