The Word? Fertilizer!

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles via

If you had the guts to even set some New Year’s resolutions then congratulations are in order. By now 92% of you that set goals have already flunked. Pretty depressing right? I learned long ago to forgo setting any wild vague resolutions as they consistently vanished into thin air by January 30th – or before.

This year, I decided to choose a single word for the year to focus on instead of any resolutions. I wanted a word that is unique, represents who I am, and will guide my course for 2017. My word? Fertilizer. Yes, you read it right. You see, I am a garden geek and I love designing and growing gardens. That passion flows into other areas of my life.

Even if you regularly kill plants you probably know the value of fertilizer. A feeding to your plants will boost growth, strengthen the roots, aid in preventing diseases, condition the soil for long term health, and give you an overabundance of veggies that 5 families can’t consume. In short, fertilizer is like magic in the garden.

I am passionate about digging for the gifts of others and nourishing them so that they can bring out their best and grow to have an impact. I aim to be the fertilizer to those around me this year. This simple word will drive me to:

  1. Look for the beauty in those that I meet and learn how I can help them to grow their inner beauty to the surface
  2. Strengthen the roots of others through opportunities, learning, and forming strong relationships
  3. Discover ways to protect friends from “diseases” such as lack of confidence, low self esteem, or uncertainty
  4. Uplift others and help them to “weed” out those people from their lives that are unsupportive or mock dreams or aspirations
  5. Impact one “plant” at a time growing him/her into a colony of incredible people with positive attitudes and purpose to support growth
  6. Support the health of others so that they are resilient and strong in chasing their uniqueness and bold ideas

If I focus on being a fertilizer this year my hope is that I can feed others so that they will grow and glow. My word will remind me what is important and how I can have an impact. In turn, my own growth and sense of giving to others will be accelerated. It is the year of fertilizer.

What will YOUR word be in 2017?

Millennials Are Like Young Transplants

As a gardener,  one of the biggest mistakes people make when they plant a new shrub or plant is to either flood it or forget about it. Over time, the plant slowly withers and then dies. Plants are like people. Before we even buy a new gem for the garden we need to learn more about it to make sure that it can thrive under our care and in our yard conditions. You need to know it's mature size, sun or shade requirements, and how much moisture it needs. You can't plop a cactus in the shade and water it generously. You know what will happen!

Leaders need to take the same approach with our young and upcoming leaders. Finding the right talent doesn't end once you hire them and throw them into orientation expecting them to thrive. Today's millennials need guidance, open dialog, and crave your leadership.

If millennials still remain a mystery and you are truly committed to mentoring and empowering tomorrrows leaders, you should pick up a copy of Chasing Relevance by Dan Negroni. Dan will lead you through a journey that explains how our younger people crave our leadership and guidance and really do want to make a difference.

I'm please to share a guest post from Dan Negroni that will help you navigate the path to growing our leaders of tomorrow. 

Don’t Chase Relevance – Find It!

I am stoked about the debut of Chasing Relevance. It took two years of writing, research, content development, speaking, coaching, and training more than 5,000 amazing people by me and my colleagues at launchbox. But our systems, curriculum, and book are ready – ready to bridge the gap between non-millennial and millennial generations in the workplace and marketplace to help your business achieve real, BOLD results.

Here is what we learned: Houston, we have a HUGE problem.

  • Thirty percent of organizations lose 15% or more of their millennial workforce annually.
  • It costs companies $15,000 to $25,000 to replace each millennial.
  • 71% percent of organizations report that the loss of millennial employees increased the workload and stress of current employees.
  • Workload and stress combine with disconnection to breed disengagement: Seven of ten employees report being “disengaged” or “actively disengaged” at work.
  • The estimated cost of this disengagement is $450 billion.

Yes, millennials are a HUGE problem. They have taken over as the largest generation, and they don’t just want the power – they are the power.

 They will decide what businesses succeed and which ones will be left behind. Those that want any chance of succeeding need to figure out how to win with millennials.

Yet only 22.9% of organizations have a plan in place to engage millennials and future generations.

REAL PROBLEM? Oh yes. But it isn’t a problem that needs to be solved. It’s a problem that needs to be embraced. Yes, I said it… we need to be bold and generous and embrace millennials. Because the way most managers are dealing with it now – mainly complaining – is not working.

What I find most curious is how put-off and deeply frustrated many leaders from previous generations are by millennials. They paint a completely negative picture of “them,” as if millennials are a monolithic group of apathetic, disrespectful, unmanageable brats. They whine that millennials are spoiled, entitled, lazy, disloyal—all they want is power and all they think about is themselves.

Of course, complaining about the next generation is nothing new. But the way this millennial generation grew up? That is new. They had helicopter parents, got trophies for showing up, had days filled with activities, were encouraged to question, had a seat at the table for making decisions, were told they could be anything they wanted to be, and are used to being connected to everyone, everywhere, every minute of the day. 

And the world is different too.  Think of where we’ve been and the changes that have occurred in the last 30 years. We’ve gone from information in encyclopedias and microfiche to a crazy ass digital world where we can get any information, whenever and wherever we want. Millennials grew up “wired” and “wireless” and have never known a world in which technology did not impact, consistently change, and
repeatedly shorten timelines of obsolescence. They know no other way.

Millennials came out of the #womb. And when they did, they disrupted all of the traditional timelines.


We follow the patterns of previous generations and complain or throw up our hands in frustration and do nothing. As a result, all we do is chase relevance with them, often never finding it.

My book and our business have a better way and our solutions will change your life, their lives, and your businesses.  Guaranteed.

And here is how you start:


Stop doing what you are doing and realize that the place where youth and experience meet is the best place on earth. 

The combination of raw, unbridled enthusiasm, curiosity, questioning and unlimited perspective is pure MAGIC when combined the right way with knowledge, time served, learned failure, and history. 

Chasing Relevance answers the question we get asked all the time:  You really think we can connect with the next generation with the huge differences? ABSOLUTELY.

We all need to shift our mindset and trust ourselves.  When we shift our focus to connecting and delivering value to others, we win with our clients, employees, spouses, partners, kids ... we become guides and mentors of the next generation and ourselves. 

We have a choice: Embrace the opportunity millennials offer by pushing ourselves to be better leaders and coaches, or continue to ignore and dismiss the generational divide. The answer is clear: embrace opportunity.

That’s what our book, our business, and this blog will help you do.  


"Need help understanding, engaging, and retaining your millennial workforce?  Dan Negroni, Author, Speaker, Attorney, Kick butt business consultant, coach, and proud Dad of a few Millennials delivers actionable solutions.  Different from all other millennial experts, Dan's empowering business approach at launchbox, creates quick value and seamless connections with millennials and management each on their own terms.   Using unique content and delivery methods that audiences respond to immediately he leverages results from the inside out.   Allow millennials to be your secret weapon and maximize your commitment to them to innovate, create a culture of engagement and grow your businesses today.    To start click here to grab your copy of Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage and Maximize Next Generation Leaders in the Workplace or call them at 858.314.9687 for a free Coaching Assessment"

It's Hard To Leave A Glass House

Photo courtesy of tiexano via Comfight

People who live in glass houses...have to answer the door" - Karl Pilkington

I have a favorite scene from the holiday classic "Frosty The Snowman". It's when Frosty is trying to keep little Karen warm and finds a greenhouse in the middle of snowy nowhere. They both get locked in and Frosty melts...only to be rescued by Santa. When I watch Karen go into the warm greenhouse with fresh plants inside and the frosty cold outside, I can literally feel her relief and the peace that comes over her. I want to be little Karen this winter!
One of these days I am going to buy a glass greenhouse. A special sanctuary where I can escape and lounge in a tropical moist woman made rain forest I dream of watching the cold whipping snow and wind twirling outside as sweat drips off my brow with the smell of fresh dirt in the air. If you are a fellow gardener you know the fresh scent that I speak of. Heaven! An added touch will be the Tiki Bar that I need installed in the corner....

I dream of a greenhouse for reasons other than just sitting in it watching Frosty melt. The possibilities are endless.
  • Overwinter my tropical plants
  • Grow fresh veggies all year
  • Start hard to find plants from seed
  • Create new plants from cuttings and cross pollination
  • Perhaps start a unique plant business
  • Teach my kids some horticultural lessons
  • Save money on plants by growing my own in mass
  • My sanity!

My dream is to have an old fashioned English free standing greenhouse on a brick foundation. Greenhouses don't need to be grandiose or even permanent. Pinterest is a perfect place to start to get some ideas. There's lean-to greenhouses, window mounted, hoop, cold frames, hot beds, shed garden house. The possibilities are endless. Many people only use their greenhouses in the coldest months so the house can be real simple.
 I do know one thing, I will never want to leave my glass house to go back out into the cold. It's more comforting to remain in my warm cocooned world where I have control and everything is a friend.

How often are you leaving your glass house?

Most of us prefer our lives to remain fairly stable taking in some bumps here and there. Few of us love constant change, upheaval, and chaos. We are comfortable in our own skin and in our own "glass house". Why leave somewhere where we work best, know best, and have our tribe all around us? Because you don't know what you don't know and you need to find out. Get out of your glass house and wander down a different path.
Photo courtesy of swiss can via compfight
Most everyone has heard about "Management by walking around (MBWA)". The same goes for team members. This doesn't mean that you should flit about like a social butterfly during the day bothering people. It means that you should pop out of your glass house (or cubicle in my case!) to interact with your environment and tribes within your company. For instance, my company is going through a merger and naturally there is a lot of uncertainty and nervousness. What better way to jump over fears than to connect with others and share insights, challenges, and ask advice? It helps us to connect and it's cheaper than a therapist!

Why you really need to open your glass door and venture out
  • Meet people outside of your circle and area
  • Learn what's really going on and how people feel about changes, new programs, opportunities
  • You may find a new position by lurking into new areas and making connections
  • You will be seen as more approachable and friendly
  • Your morale will be more positive and you have a chance to share your mojo
  • Share ideas with a new groups of people and gain new insight and ideas
  • Let's just say it - Gossip. Sometimes it's helpful to learn a little gossip because there is often some distorted truth to it.....
  • You can empower and recognize others for their achievements and work
  • People from different areas interacting can really bring down silos and create dialog
  • It's great exercise to get out and about!
  • A change of scenery and new people will help jump start some creativity
  • It's fun to leave the glass behind for a short time

You remember the saying "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones"? Guess what? People who don't ever leave their "glass house" never really see through the glass... I would love to live the winter in a greenhouse however..... eventually I need to open the door and walk out!

Are YOU ready to open the door and venture out?