Five things this pandemic can teach us about how to inspire

By Cathy Jacob / September 23, 2020

Do you ever notice that light is most intense when it is streaming into a darkened room or shining in a night sky? In the same way, it is often easiest to spot inspiration in very dark times. COVID-19 is teaching us a lot about both the cracks in our institutions and systems, the darkest aspects of human nature and the increasing fragility of our health and our environment. It is also teaching us about the resilience of the human spirit and the places where we are strong. Among the many things this dark time is teaching us, is that…

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Are You Ready for the New Normal

By Cathy Jacob / August 12, 2020

Are You Ready for the New Normal? What have you learned from this experience of a global pandemic so far? What has it revealed to you about what is and isn’t working in your life, your organization, and your community? What needs to change and what is the resulting new normal you want to see? These are the questions we’ve been asking in conversations with leaders in our community and here is some of what they are telling us. People want a new normal There is something about getting yanked out of your life that has you see it with…

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How Darkness Can Sometimes Light the Way

By Cathy Jacob / August 12, 2020

“The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.”  Brene Brown. I have found these last few months profoundly disorienting and I know from talking to clients, colleagues and friends that I am not alone. COVID-19 has been shockingly revelatory. It is as if it has shot dye through the organism of our planet and revealed all the organs and structures that are wounded, diseased or broken.  Many of us are seeing with new eyes what has been present all along and are feeling shock and…

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The Uncomfortable Truth about Transformation

By Cathy Jacob / July 3, 2020

This pandemic is challenging us on multiple fronts. It challenges our need to know what is happening and what is going to happen; it challenges our desire to be, and feel, in control; it challenges our sense of safety and security; and it challenges our confidence in what to do next. Most profoundly, it is challenging who we are, and who we see ourselves to be.

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Fierce Leadership, A sign of hope in complex times

Fierce Leadership, A Sign of Hope in Complex Times

By Eileen Reardon / December 15, 2017

I have been struck of late – in awe really – of extraordinary leadership shown by an uncommon breed of leaders I have the privilege of witnessing in my personal life and as a professional coach. Their brand of fierce leadership has inspired me to write about them as a way of understanding and sharing their recipe. I’m talking about educators, civil servants and business leaders I observe everyday, navigating an unprecedented and increasingly complex terrain of inadequate budgets, politics, an increasing prevalence and awareness of mental health issues, or all of the above! Our world is filled with seemingly…

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The Leadership Path by FireInside Leadership

The Biggest Difference You Can Make

By Cathy Jacob / September 17, 2017

Next month, my grandson Liam, will turn two. In the last 23 months, he has undergone an incredible transformation. He looks, sounds, acts like a completely different human being than the little bundle of flesh and blanket I held in my arms the day he was born. His language skills are coming on line and he is now able to call me by name and tell me which storybook he wants me to read him. Yesterday, we were playing with building blocks in front of the TV. It was on mute, but behind Liam’s head, I could see pictures from…

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10 Ways To Say No Gracefully

10 Ways To Say No Gracefully

By Cathy Jacob / June 9, 2017

Saying no with authority and grace is a lost art in leadership. It can lead to better results, better decisions and an improved quality of life. It also goes hand-in-hand with two other vital leadership skills – focus and discernment. Few of us do it well. If you struggle with saying no, here are 10 tips for putting it back in your vocabulary in a way that garners respect. Find a more compelling yes. When I meet with clients for the first time, I ask, “If you could spend your time any way you wanted, what would you do more of?…

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10 Simple Habits to Renew Your Energy and Enhance Your Performance

10 Simple Habits to Renew Your Energy and Enhance Your Performance

By Cathy Jacob / March 24, 2017

My personal journey to a balanced and healthy lifestyle is a work in progress. Case in point: It’s the weekend and I have a Neo-citron in one hand and a tissue in the other. Having contracted a second miserable cold this season, I’m finally clueing in that my body is trying to get my attention. I believe that sometimes the very things we struggle with most can also be those areas where we can make the greatest contribution. And I think this is perhaps why the art of recovering to balance has become a major focus of my own personal…

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The Gift of Grace by Cathy Jacob, FireInside.ca

The Gift of Grace

By Cathy Jacob / January 20, 2017

I have a black and white framed photo of Nelson Mandela hanging in my office. If I imagined what the state of grace looks like, it would be that. The photo, purportedly taken the day he was released from prison, is spellbinding. His eyes are closed, his lips are open in a peaceful smile and his long graceful fingers cradle his chin. It stopped me one day as I was flipping through a magazine, grabbed my heart and squeezed. I cut it out, framed it and hung it where I would see it every day. I find solace in that…

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Listening for Leadership

One thing you can do to transform your leadership

By Cathy Jacob / January 8, 2017

If you asked me, what ONE THING could I do that would make me a better leader? I wouldn’t hesitate. This one thing can be learned in an instant, can be practiced easily every day and takes a lifetime to master. With conscious practice, this one skill can build self-awareness, improve your relationships and grow your impact. The one thing? Attention. More precisely, the conscious practice of harnessing and directing your attention to where it is needed at any given moment. Most of us spend our days in a state of unconsciousness distraction, slaves to our own programming and oblivious…

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