Friday, July 30, 2010

Revving it up

Next time you step into your vehicle or hop on your bike rev up the engine. It'll put a smile on your face, remind you of younger years, activate your adrenaline and charge up your engine.

I always wanted a sports car and when I was in high school I purchased an old '69 Cutlass. It still had a great engine, or so I thought until one day when I pulled into a parking lot and turned off the engine, smoke started billowing from the hood, the doors and any orifice that cracked open to the great outdoors. I thought that it was going to blow up! My sweet ride was disintegrating before my eyes. A once hot off the line car was now a piece of junky metal that could barely start. From that I inherited an even older New Yorker that could seat five people comfortably in the front seat, sure it had power windows, but the jump off the line was less than satisfactory for someone who longed to be at the head of the pack. It did come in handy, however, when a load of us wanted to go for ice cream. And I love ice cream!

I learned that in order to 'get what you want' you've got to rev up your own engine and that may come in many forms, often ways you've never thought of.

Drive on,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How will you spend your DASH?

Recently a buddy of my husband's suddenly passed away. WAIT, WAIT - it gets better there's high-quality leadership stuff in here, truly - just one more quick bit on death - At the funeral the minister pointed out that on our tombstones our birth year and death year are written with a dash in between, you know like Earhart 1897-1937 and Mead, 1901-1978, and he asked, "How will you spend your dash?"

It got me thinking about a provocative leadership exercise

(not original, pioneering or innovative - unless you actually take the group out to a funeral home or a cemetery or an old cathedral in the heart of Italy and go down into the caverns where only candles burn and the finest wines are stored. Picture the old ministers or priestesses in their robes, the musty smell of damp, dusty stone - and a little liquor on the breath of the ordained - a flicker of light that ends as the next begins. The silence is hollow and the air suffocating. As you pick up a feather pen and dip it in ink you begin... THAT would be incredible! could really make this thing into an event. Even if you don't go to Italy it's powerful on its own.)

Ask leaders to write their own obituary (a little morbid but incredibly powerful) so as to reflect on what they want to accomplish in life and be remembered for.

I was also reminded of my reaction to seeing my name in ISBN format,

Driedger, Karen, 1963-

"HOLY COW I'M A PERSON, WOW, wait this is strange, it's unusual to see that dash after my birth year, that's usually for the older people who either are waiting to be buried beside a loved one or...I wonder if anybody hears these weird thoughts I have on a regular basis? Wait this is a little CREEPY! I like my little piece of the world, and I li" Okay you get the drift. I had a spanking new perspective of 'me', yep best before and an expiry date. Nothing changed other than my awareness and attention.

So here's the deal, one little dash - or one little phrase, "Life is a journey, not a destination" or two, "Stop and smell the roses," (both of which were once profound, now cliche) makes all the difference in the world.

What profound cliches will endure as a result of your dash?

In loving memory Shag -


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Celebrating with "RECkless abandon"

It was a gala affair. 70 people converged at BR& (aka Brand) in Calgary on June 19th, 2010 to launch the newly released snackbook "RECkless abandon." The food was phenomenal, the flowers an explosion of colour and the tallest block tower grew to heights never seen before. "RECkless abandon" has sparked conversation about how people are living their daily lives, inspired others to pursue artistic projects, encouraged new approaches to old ideas and nudged controversy (mulit-tasking beyond 40*?!*!?).One reader thought the poem was the best part, another laughed every time she opened it to read sideways and others wondered how people who don't know me would REACT to it.   

Who knows what the second in the snack series, "Showgirl Trapped in a Librarian's Body" will bring.

For a copy of "RECkless abandon" email me at
C Ya