What’s Your BEST Daily Change?




It was cold and dreary this morning and yet, a few hours later, it is brisk outside and full of sunshine.  Was this a change in opposites or just a 180 degree change of outlook – (from which we had no input)?

Change  is in the air this Friday in October. The Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers are in a Pennant race. Halloween is around the corner. Night football is played on television, and many businesses are gearing up for the last quarter of the year and we find ourselves “right in the middle of it all.”

If  we want to focus on one item in our career development before our life becomes more hectic than it already is – what would that be?  In other words, What’s your Best daily change?  Here are some thoughts on this subject:

Choose a path to stretch yourself, or:



change-pixabayfreeimage-from-john-hain-102116stream-1106336_960_720However you define your Best daily change, I hope it becomes intertwined with how You Choose how you want to be Known As.  Have a great Day and Weekend!

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coach



Watch the Power and Care conference Talks — Effortless Mindfulness Blog

Watch the Mind and Life Power and Care Conference taking place in Brussels. http://livestream.com/accounts/5587887/events/6186028 The schedule of talks (Brussels Timezone) for Saturday and Sunday is: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10th, 2016 Session 3: Perspectives from spiritual and religious traditions Time: 9:30-11:30am Religious and spiritual institutions are influential forces that promote peace and compassion and are concerned with the […]

via Watch the Power and Care conference Talks — Effortless Mindfulness Blog

When Mindfulness becomes a Personal Mantra





Heedfulness, Mindfulness and Introspective Awareness help us retain our core values in life.  The Dalai Lama


While leaving a Professional Building before Labor Day Weekend, I noticed a few available individual public trays of current magazines.  One of which is called, YOGAChicago , September – October, 2016. It was a surprise to see the lead article written by Mia Park entitled, “Reflections on Mindfulness by Illinois Politicians at the DNC.” [this past Summer]  

Ms. Park quoted a number of Illinois elected officials who shared how Mindfulness was incorporated in their public lives:

Senior US Senator Dick Durbin “A moment of reflection is valuable….for you to consider what your political career might be able to accomplish.  Real world reflection helps to set the stage for value-driven policy making.”[paraphrased].

Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, Cook County Board of Commissioners –   “When you’re going off into battle to debate legislation, remember who you are accountable to.”  “It’s important to be conscious of that always – it will keep you away from the forces that have led many politicians astray –  money, special interests, and many other vices that make you cease to be a public servant.”

Theresa Mah – 2nd District – Reflects on how mindfulness for politicians can acutely keep uppermost in their minds why they became public servants for the people they serve.

The complete Mia Park’s one-page article, includes the Secretary of State, Jessie White is at this link :http://yogachicago.com/2016/08/reflections-on-mindfulness-by-illinois-politicians-at-the-dnc/

The quotation by The Dalai Lama was found at page 107 of his book, Beyond Religion, Ethics for a Whole World. (2012)  He explains that:

 Heedfulness relates to being vigilant and conscientious about what we do;

 Mindfulness, in the context of living an ethical life, is about recollection of one’s core values and motivation; and

 Introspective Awareness means being honestly aware of our behavior and bringing it under control.   Of course, this does not happen overnight.  It requires practice.

As You Choose Who You Want to be Know As, consider how a Mantra of a mindful thought will bring you closer to the person you want people to see.    Enjoy!

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coach



What’s Your Philosophy – On Mature Expectations?



The best part of our lives we pass in counting on what is to come.  William Hazlitt

We smile as we read text describing the difference between the use of “a” and “the.” It happened to me as I read a four-page paper by Luciano Floridi, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford, entitled, “Mature Information Societies – A Matter of Expectations.”   Mature_Information_Societies_a_Matter_of

Floridi’s premise is that “a” is more appropriate when discussing the digital information society because it refers to groups as opposed to “the,” that references one. Digital bandwidth itself, all over the world doesn’t provide a basis to judge the benefit of information to society. Rather, it is the expectation of information that drives education, understanding and innovation for each country’s philosophy of life. Expectations are viewed as mature when balanced by an acknowledgement that all people in the society may not be able to share your specific expectations. In other words, the right to expect more is coupled with knowing everyone may not equally be able to share in the output of digital information.

From a business prospective, companies work daily  through expectations they have for their customers, their employees and stakeholders. Mature societal expectations point to three avenues, according to Floridi, as follows:

a)  Education – Creates awareness of your own assumptions and expectations; Allows for justification, reasonableness and historical determination of your expectations.

b)  Understanding – When society implements a particular right of use it recognizes deficiencies associated with the right of use.

c)  Innovation – Mature expectations assist in creating informative actions, ordinary vs. extraordinary, normal vs. abnormal.

The philosophy of digital information results in mature expectations for the common good. Haven’t we all asked one or more of the following questions: How will this benefit the customer? Why are we moving foward on this project when the risk evaluations are not yet completed?

It’s time to recognize we all have a philosophy for the common good developed on the back of digital infrastructure. As you Choose who YOU want to be Known As in whatever societies you participate in, consider your Expectations for what you give, what the other person gets  and what benefit is provided. Enjoy the upcoming weekend!

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coach




balancing-rock-1273567_960_720Pixabay072916The resolution:  A change.  Progress.  A transformaation.   Michael Port

Earlier today LinkedIn Pulse published a Post for me entitled:  “What’s Your Takeaway?” https://lnkd.in/dSPzdHZ by @Coach_Jo_Ann on @LinkedIn.

It’s a challenge for many of us to quickly embrace a new pattern, a new procedure, workplace situations we may not initially want.  It is especially so after when we have committed ourselves to a project, put in the time and energy only to learn the project was “pulled.”  It is our resilience that keeps us going and will do so during the balance of this year.

As You Choose Who You Want to be Known As, all the best to you in your career as you welcome the month of August, next week!

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coach




When Mindfulness leads to Emotional Intelligence. . .


stick_figure_balance_mind_heart_md_wm Bing 052016At the heart of great leadership is a curious mind, heart, and spirit.   Chip Conley via Brainy quote.com

Over the past few days, I’ve read a number of blogs from Social Media Influencers and Government Leaders.  Stories emerged of how dysfunction not only causes breakdowns in communication but reason takes a backseat at a place of work.  We may become a bystander to a discussion that causes us to become very uncomfortable and we don’t wish to enter the “fray.”

Some four years ago I was attending a Networking Event and was participating in a conversation between two men who were consultants.  One man was from the East Coast and the other lived in a Chicago suburb.  Another man, unknown to us, walked up and asked if he could join our group.  We welcomed him (the black coat man) and he asked me about my business – that conversation led me to give him a sample coaching session.  The man was eager and surprised himself by telling me something he had not told his wife; he was uncomfortable with the disclosure and decided to walk away.  The two consultants offered that I shouldn’t have given my time to someone who clearly wasn’t appreciative of joining our discussion group.

What happened next was an example of personal mindfulness.  The black coat man walked around the room and said to more than a handful of people, “You see that woman in the red jacket [meaning me] she won’t talk to me.”   People began to ask, “Do you know that man?”   It was unclear to many why the black coat man continued his pointing at me and saying she won’t talk to me.

Mindfulness allow you to become aware of your surroundings, what you are thinking, what you are feeling and what these sensations mean to you at that moment.  Emotional Intelligence is a learned process where mindfulness forms the basis for you to manage yourself and by doing so, manage others.  As you manage your emotions you are able to assist someone else likewise.  Put another way, you observe what is happening around you, describe what it means to you, accept that someone else has something going on causing a disturbance, don’t take it personally and don’t become judgmental.  While it may seem like a balancing act between your mind and your heart, in fact, it is a process that allow you control over how you are in the moment.  The image above displays the end result of mind and heart balance – when you are comfortable in the emotional intelligence realm. 

Emotional intelligence is a process and it most definitely can be learned.  How you act in the moment is what I call, Choose Who You Want to be Known As.”   Since today is the last day of June we have another beginning in our imperfect world tomorrow on July 1st.  Have a great month of July in your chosen career path!

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coach






Following Up is Not Always Easy. . .






Pain often leads a conversation

Over six months ago, our city was mourning the loss of a young man who was shot while walking down a street.  After a video of the shooting was released, citizens vehemently blamed people they believed were personally responsible for the death.   Anger and bewilderment followed in our neighborhoods and across social media.  The personal anguish of citizens was felt, recognized and acknowledged resulting in municipal and federal investigations  beginning the work to respond to the demands understanding the Why of what happened. The citizen focus over the past few months appeared to be quiet and perhaps blurred.  When people are in mourning, learning how to deal with the pain is not an easy road to go down.  Pain leads the conversation.

I am writing this blog post because of two separate instances that happened this week.  The first occurred shortly after I arrived back in the City from a business trip.  I spoke to a man and asked a follow-up question of why downtown streets were closed due to police protection.  He was surprised I knew about what happened since I was away, and then responded that a construction crew accidentally hit an energy mainline.  Responding to his surprise, I said, “I’m signed up with the city to receive weather and other alerts.”   His perception: “That’s because you are So and So.”  The conversation remained friendly and the man understood from me that all citizens were able to receive the same alerts.

The second instance was my learning that the US Justice Department would hold a meeting where citizens would have an opportunity to raise their concerns about interaction with the police department – an outgrowth of the investigation that began six months ago.  I listened to this news shortly before 6:00am.  The next day the Illinois Progress website announced only 30 people attended the first Justice Department forum.  http://www.illinoisprogress.org.

Following up on issues that are important to you is not easy when you are in pain and mourning.  If I had not listened to the news early in the morning, I would not have known about the US Justice forum that evening.  The business of municipal and federal agencies is for the common good – so for those who would  like to attend a future forum, here is the listing, again from Illinois Progress:  http://progressillinois.com/news/content/2016/06/15/us-justice-department-hold-public-forums-chicago-police-department-probe.

As you Choose Who You Want to be Known As this week, consider reaching out to someone who would benefit and want to know about these future forums.  Thank you and have a great week!

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coaching



Today’s Daily Prompt Post: Transformation



We each have our own separate mantras to get through the day.  I have both visual items and words of wisdom on my refrigerator.  It really depends on what your activities are because we often don’t pay attention to how we are transformed every day of our lives.  It happens because of the beauty we see; it happens because of the irritations that cross our paths – like another mosquito bite that causes an allergic reaction on your skin that lasts more than one week.

What I visually see is an unusual cactus plant that grows minimally.  Sometimes little buds poke out from a leaf and don’t grow,  No transformation even in the sunshine of morning light.  It’s been three years of ownership and two transplants – so perhaps the transformation is years in the making.  It becomes an exercise of patience – the little buds just stay where they are – so you keep waiting for nature to take its course.

IMG-20160609-00831A mantra that has been on my refrigerator for a few years..  It has a different interpretation of  the word transformation.   It is a reminder to keep the values of who you are close to as YOU Choose Who You Want to be Known As.

Enjoy your day.   “Jo Ann” M. Radja






What’s Your Popularity Choice?




Earlier this afternoon, I published the following post on the social media LinkedIn;  https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/whats-your-choice-popularity-jo-ann-m-radja

Here is the text of that post:

What’s YOUR Choice for Popularity?

Associate Supreme Court Justice Stewart Potter is known for choosing to include an American colloquial phrase in one of his Opinions; namely, “I’ll know it when I see it.” Although Justice Potter used that phrase to define pornography, many of us also use our visual sense in deciding moral ethical issues. It’s generational, isn’t it?   We’ve moved from, ” A picture is worth a thousand words,” to “Selfie, anyone!”

Three Researchers, two from Oxford University, Jim A.C.Everett, Phd Candidate and Molly Crockett, Associate Professor of Experimental Psychology and David Pizarro, Associate Professor Department of Psychology from Cornell University, created an ethical scenario to understand whether a decision based on Popularity had any influence on its choice. The creativity of adding a choice of Popularity to well-established interpretations of ethics allows for inclusion of present-day understanding of morality. The scenario is:

“Imagine that an out of control trolley is speeding

towards a group of five people. You are standing

on a footbridge above, next to a large man. If

you push him off the bridge onto the track below,

his body, will stop the trolley before it hits the

five people. He will die, but the five others

will be saved. Should you push the man off the


The Researchers also added a twist to their “trolley problem” as they asked a question: how would you trust a social partner, based on their answer to the trolly scenario. Here is the May 5, 2016 URL for, “Want to be popular? You’d better follow some simple rules”:   http://blog.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/2016/05/cross-post-want-to-be-popular-youd-better-follow-some-simple-moral-rules/

While many academics may challenge the findings of these Researchers, their result is applicable for business settings. It is:



So the next time you have to make a tough call, remember – people like people who follow moral rules.”

Have a great week as you Choose Who YOU Want to be Known As!

“Jo Ann ” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coach


Do YOU have an Elephant in the Room?


beautiful-woman-carrying-elephant-young-outdoor-47141699Dreamstimedotcomfreestockimage 051116


When the light around you lessens / And your thoughts darken /. . . Search yourself and see / That it is your own thinking / that darkens your world.   John O’Donohue

Earlier this afternoon, the following post was published under the title, “What’s YOUR Elephant in the Room?” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/whats-your-elephant-room-jo-ann-m-radja    Here’s a copy for your reading:

“I just finished reading another LinkedIn Post about the paradox of innovation; namely, termination due to computer innovation. It took courage for an innovation expert who advises companies about innovation to share his personal story of how and why it came to be that his company fired staff. Yet, that ELEPHANT in the room idiom, had to be handled in a manner considering the employee’s best interest.

When we think about the idiom phrase of handling “the ELEPHANT in the room,” it usually refers to a subject matter that no one wants to discuss. Our brain perceives the conflict greater than it may be, represented by a large insurmountable figure.

Business Leaders accept the fact that the challenge of an ELEPHANT in the room must be dealt with. It is a conflict. Sometimes all that needs to be done is to have a conversation and the ELEPHANT is no longer in the room. Neuroscience, however, has offered a remarkable perspective, using an analogy of a Rider and an Elephant. The perspective is given by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology Neuroscientist, Mr. Emile Bruneau.

Bruneau explains the analogy as an example of how the brain handles conflict by stating – all the Rider can do is to train the Elephant because the Elephant is more powerful that the Rider. The Rider cannot control or fully understand the Elephant. While this story is recited in a Post by the United States Institute of Peace in an effort to teach people how to deal with conflict. I believe it speaks volumes for the business actions we are involved with. A tool is introduced to deal with conflict, “universal empathy.” http://www.usip.org/olivebranch/2016/05/05/dalai-lama-offers-hope-youth-leaders-and-vice-versa?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=event&utm_campaign=events_weekly

We know we cannot control another individual. Since we do not understand the perspective of the individual, represented by the Elephant idiom, we need to ask open-ended questions so that a two-sided conversation takes place. The How of this neuroscience perspective is to approach an Elephant in the room, with universal empathy. Questions such as, “How would you describe. . .” “What did you think would happen if . . .? “What did you expect would happen. . .”

What’s remarkable is that neuroscience now helps to explain the issue of how the ELEPHANT in the room, comes to be – in the first place. The ELEPHANT is an idiom character representing conflict, triggered by an unconscious bias. The tool — new phrase of “universal empathy” becomes a positive application to use with the conflict idiom.

The term “universal empathy” may become mainstream because it is an inclusive term. We want and do take the first step in handling a conflict. As we begin to practice the use of universal empathy – when we access our own Pause button – perhaps we can alleviate the ELEPHANT idiom character showing up. It’s another way of handling ourselves and Choosing Who We Want to be Known As in our chosen career. Have a great week!

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coach”