What You Read Determines Your Success

It’s important to me for people to see what it is that I do to push myself and stay focused on my goals.  I read a ton of books.  Some for the fun of it and some because it’s like food- without it I wither away.

Reading is critical for professionals who want to stay current.  This book by John Maxwell “Becoming a Person Of Influence: How To Positively Impact The Lives Of Others” is a favorite of mine.  I have read it dozens of times and come back to it regularly.

Reading is food for your dream.  If you don’t feed your dream- it will wither and die.

As I prepare for writing corporate contracts this week and think about the services www.joditucker.com will offer to professionals and savvy parents my influence is an aspect that I am very aware of.  By reviewing the type of influence I want to use to propel people who might be stuck, frustrated or apathetic in their daily lives I am reminded of my primary goal- to put others first.

The next book you pick up consider what it does for you.  Are you reading books that are feeding your passion?  If that was the goal of reading a book- what would you chose?  The same thing as always or something else?  Here are some tips to get the most out of what you are reading and make wise decisions about feeding your dreams:

  1. Read with intent.  Reading with intent is just as important as reading for fun.  When you chose a book- keep in your mind what exactly the learning experience is that you are looking for.  For example “I want to learn about avoiding burn-out”, “I want to learn about handling conflict”.  If you aren’t focused when you are picking the book you will leave with something that isn’t what you came for.
  2. Set aside time to read- I’m not kidding.  Most professionals have shelf upon shelf of books that they have never picked up or haven’t looked at in years.  Put reading into your schedule.  Even one hour a week can make a difference.
  3. Take notes. I never read a book without a pen and paper.  If you get inspired and then walk away- you may loose that nugget of learning in the fog of your every day life.  Capture the most of your learning by keeping your thoughts on paper.


I am honored to have people like John Maxwell speak into my life and equip me to speak into yours.

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Will The Real You Please Stand Up!: Why Authenticity Matters

Establishing yourself inside of a professional community and as an expert in your field is a process.  No doubt about it- there is a definite need to be recognized for our accomplishments and gain traction for our talents.  Doing well means doing your best and giving your skills the opportunity to grow and contribute to clients as well as your discipline.  But is skills alone what is needed to attract the respect of your colleagues and the people you want to work for and with?

Allowing your Authenticity Actions to identify you in the crowd is essential to being a valued member of your community

There is an odd perception of roles that has led to a drastic homogenization of highly qualified professionals.  Everyone’s office looks the same, smells the same and plays the same music over the office radio.  How do people tell the difference between a professional they can “click” with and those who aren’t a good fit?  It’s really hard to do when you are swimming in a pool of luke-warm, beige surroundings.  Do people value you because you fit in or because you stand out?  One complaint I hear all the time from clients is that often being with highly qualified professionals is a cold, clinical experience that leaves much to be desired.  Is that you? Is the image of “professional” casting a shadow over who you are?

Authenticity Actions

Authenticity Actions are more than just personality.  They are the deliberate exposure of self to others that allow people to connect with us in a unique way.  Your “personality” is that you are: warm, friendly, reserved, etc…  Authenticity Actions show others what is important to you, what captures your attention and what motivates your energy.  Believe it or not, the touches of “you” that show up in how you dress, what is hanging on your office wall and the special touches that you bring to meetings tells people that you”showed up” to be with them.

Nothing is more important in today’s world of low trust with authority than for you to be real with the people you serve.

I can recall going to meet with a cardiologist who showed up at the office in his cycling gear. Unprofessional?  No!  When I commented on it to his staff and others on his team they told me all sorts of stories about him as a person.  I could feel the respect and admiration his team had for him as a fellow human being not just a highly skilled surgeon.  It humanized him, made me genuinely interested in him and connected us in a way that would not have been possible had he been in the expected suit and tie.  His team will follow him without question, they will be encouraged to be their own authentic selves and his practice will gain the respect of clients as well as colleagues.  It’s his Authenticity Actions that I will remember- not just his mad skills with a scalpel.

Being authentic will attract people to you who are genuinely interested in you as a person.  The expectation that as professionals we hold our personal selves entirely separate from our professional lives creates a false barrier between us and those we work with and for.  It robs us from finding people who can speak to our dreams and our passions and holds those we serve at a distance.  That distance can undermine trust and loyalty.  If people can’t say that they have had a unique and invaluable experience, then what is to keep them coming back?  How does that impact your definition of “being effective” and ultimately the bottom-line of the marketplace?

Authenticity has a strong basis in business, policy  and people development.  There are thousands of professionals out there.  When we fail to allow our values and passions to show up in our offices, our presentation and our engagements we are standing in the way or our own success.  Authentic professionals make impressions that cause others to notice and value them.  They get more referrals, they gain favor with clients and they have higher job satisfaction.  I was once told that I should stop wearing such outlandish shoes because I worked in a male dominated professional.  Instead I chose to present myself in a way that shows who I am.  Those who want to be with you will stay and those who don’t will go and that’s a good thing.  So bring flowers from your garden, display your MLB bobbleheads and dust off those bits of you that you tucked away because you were trying to be “professional”.

A lack of authenticity in your professional self makes you ineffective in  your role and  indistinguishable from a sea of thousands where low trust robs people of true connection.


  1. What Authenticity Actions are you currently using to demonstrate what you value, what motivates you and what energizes you?
  2. Can your clients identify you from the “sea of thousands” and say that being with you is unique compared to others?
  3. How do you show the “real” you to your colleagues so that they trust you when they refer?


Need a hand?  I can help.  Let’s keep the conversation going and discover your Authenticity Actions together.  Email me at  jodi@joditucker.com to book a VIP day, One on One coaching or just to ask me a question.  I’m here…


Leadership is a choice we all have to make

In some circumstances we find ourselves in as professionals – it would be easier to turn a blind eye to what we see.  The pressures of the workplace and obligations we navigate around right and wrong can cause our moral landscape to devolve into shades of grey.  Black and white not longer apply when we are justifying being “ok” with moral compromise.

Leadership in it’s many forms is at it’s heart the refusal to walk away from our moral compass in favor of an easier way. 

There are moments in every professional’s career when we are asked by our moral voice to swim against the crowd.  If it were easy to make that decision we wouldn’t find ourselves in the position of being the opposition with perspectives that aren’t valued by others.  John Maxwell in his book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” identifies that leaders pay a cost for their position.  The cost of “blowing the whistle” on injustice, dishonesty and corruption can be very high.  In some cases it may cost you a job, a friendship, a promotion, or recognition.

Are the costs of leadership something you are willing to pay?

I have always warned my clients to expect friendly fire.  When you take a stand about something within your organization that is based on what you believe to be just and honest you can expect that in the short term you will not be met with warm/fuzzy acceptance.  In fact the reception you receive may be downright cold.  People may withhold a multitude of positive outcomes in hopes that you will become more compliant to the party line.  Be prepared to accept that the cost to you may be very high.

When you face the options of complying to dishonest work practices and unjust decisions or taking a stand based on your desire to treat people with integrity there are some important tips to keep in mind:

  1. Take a minute and think– make sure that your objection is based on sound reasoning and not a knee-jerk reaction to something you just don’t like.  If you can’t ensure in your gut that what you are sensing is in line with your ethics at their foundation then your rebuttal to what is being done will come across as righteous indignation and no one will take you seriously.
  2. Choose your words– leaders do not move to embarrass or belittle.  You might see an action as clearly unethical but your words should communicate a desire to help move things into a positive direction rather than condemn.  When you can present your perspective in a way that inspires change- you have lead with integrity.
  3. Listen for competing and conflicting goals– often decisions that land in the “grey” are made because the person making them felt they had to compromise.  When your ethical radar is screaming at you- quite that noise and listen for what the dilemma was in the first place.  If you can’t hear the issues being faced you can’t propose a solution.
  4. Moral imagination can bring you a solution– professionals often feel that they are between a rock and a hard place and really have no choice about the structures and expectations placed on them.  Moral imagination can lead you to redefine the issues in such a way that you find ways of addressing impossible problems that have never been done before.  Imagine new definitions, boundaries and opportunities and make them happen. (more on this in other posts!)

We will always be faced with situations where we could compromise one piece to favor another.  We could stick to convention instead of innovating and we dishonor ourselves and those around us in the process.  True leadership equips people to make the tough decisions they face with authenticity and integrity.  It’s a choice we all have to make.

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Being Comfortable is a Career Killer

It’s a satisfying experience to finish something that you started.  Getting a degree, landing your first industry job, getting the promotion you were aiming for.  That sense of “arrival” tells us we have accomplished what we set out to do- not a bad feeling.  Over time that feeling of “arrival” slips a little.  We settle in to our place in life and our place in the workplace.  Sometimes we coast for long periods of time just knowing we have gotten where we are by the sweat of our brow.  We deserve to enjoy it, don’t we?

Sure- you did good…enjoy…but don’t get comfortable.  One you accept where you are it leads to complacency.  The small (yet significant) success we have had serves to rob rather than propel us to bigger things.

“The result of complacency is apathy… the soul-reeper of dreams”

The reality is that many of the helping professions have an abundance of potential clients.  People will always need medical care, specialized services, and qualified professionals.  For most industries we don’t have to look far to find our next client or patient.  They are lining up for help and it feels good to be in such high demand.

What happens in this environment is that we (you and I as credentialed professionals) don’t feel an obligation to move beyond this “waitlist” of need.  Why should we when the client list is never ending.  This is apathy and if you have become satisfied with who you are within your industry- you are in need of a reality shift.

“The reality is that professionals who are complacent in there practices have lost sight of their dreams.”

Colleges and associations focus us on achieving higher standards with our skill sets.  The  more you know the better you are….right.  Wrong. the more you know the more likely it is that you will confirm for yourself that you are just fine where you are.  Innovation and standards of care are often perceived as the mandate of legislators and therefore beyond the scope and role of professionals.

There is a fundamental piece that is missing that only you can address.  This piece is you.  Accumulative knowledge does not make you an expert.  It makes you valuable, sure.  What makes you an expert is your dedication to growing who you are as a person so that you can impact those who co me to you for help.

“Contrary to popular belief- the true ‘experts’ are people who dedicate their life’s work to impacting others.”

Your wait-list isn’t a sign that you are doing well in your industry.  It simply proves there is a need for you to meet. Neither are your Continuing Education credits from your college or association.  This just shows you are compliant to standards of industry expectations.  Real impact and real careers are made by those who dedicate time to growing themselves.


  1. Have you used your wait-list as a way of defining your success?
  2. Is “Continuing Education” defined by your yearly in-service attendance?
  3. Have you become dangerously comfortable with where you are at?

If you have answered YES to any of the above perhaps I could suggest a change:

  1. Set goals that are not about numbers served but focused on depth of change
  2. Find and nurture ways to grow in your personal development beyond the accumulative knowledge expected of you.
  3. get reacquainted with your dreams- they are just around the corner!

Don’t let apathy rob you of your opportunity to do the amazing things you were meant to do.  Feed your passion.  I can help.

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Trust is the Foundation of Building and LeadingTeams

It’s true what they say- trust is the basis of all relationships.  We all know what it feels like to loose trust with someone.  In our personal lives this is rather easy to pin point.  It’s that awful gut-rot feeling of seeing what people say doesn’t match what they do.  Not fulfilling your promises to your friends, your kids or your spouse adds up and at some point you will be thought of as a liar- someone they can’t trust.

The same happens in the workplace.  Funny thing is- this is rarely a part of the discussion when administration sits down to talk about “improving performance”.  This is the “warm fuzzy” that gets no legitimate airtime and is like the giant tutu-wearing elephant no one wants to admit is dancing around the room.

When administrators fail to acknowledge building trust as the first issue of addressing results and performance within a team- it shuts down any chance for a meaningful conversation.

In his book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” Author and story teller Patrick Lencioni explains that the absence of trust leads to invulnerability.  In other words- when people are defensive- the first order of business is to build trust.

“Team Trust: How well team members trust one another and the willingness to admit mistakes, acknowledge weaknesses, or ask for help.”

Meeting after meeting people talk to no effect.  There is little offered in the way of solutions and the chasm between team members grows wider and wider all because trust is missing.  As administrators and as professionals we can shift the entire dynamic within our teams by striving for high trust engagements.


  1. When you chair a meeting do you begin by sharing your desire to seek the help of those in the room to find ways to work together?
  2. Do you create an atmosphere of openness by admitting to your team when you have failed and made mistakes?  Do you apologize?
  3. Can you admit to  your team areas that you struggle in?

When we want solutions and higher engagement from those on our team we must create a culture of trust.

Trust Assessments and team training are available with me!  Want to know how your team is doing?  Let me take your “Trust Temperature” and help you build a community of trust.

How can you show people they can trust you?Your character is how people will know you are worthy of their trust. Need some help with this?  Contact me for VIP Days, One on One coaching and more!