(Issue #552) If You Could Write A Book


What lessons can a reader take away from your proposed book?

How to say it without sounding cliché? 2020 has been a hell of a year. One that most of us have not experienced before in our lifetimes. And hope not to repeat. It has brought immense suffering and lifestyle changes. Employment and consumerism have seen monumental shifts. Life going forward (again, a cliché) will, in many ways, bear little resemblance to what we lived on January 1, 2020.

We have gained lessons as well. For us, our families, colleagues, and community.  You may have even said to yourself, “Geez, I could write a book about this year!”

For this blog post, I invite you to consider the book you could write based on your experiences this year. And I suggest you start small—with the Table of Contents. What will your book cover?

When I pick up a non-fiction book, I thumb to the Table of Contents (TOC).  These few pages provide an overview of what I will find between the covers. One of my books provides the readers with three TOCs to help the reader navigate the content. (See the video selection below.)  The third edition of my student success textbook, for example, features a fourteen-topic TOC.

The TOC of any book leads the reader through steps that build a message.

So, here’s your chance to begin your new book. What topics will you cover? Why these topics—and why in the order you propose? What lessons can a reader takeaway from your proposed book?

Next week I will post my annual “A Blogger’s Retrospective” in which I will provide a quick summary of and link to each of my 2020 blog posts.   Look for my year-end video—a moment of gratitude from the beach to you.

I appreciate you.


Video recommendation for the week:

A short video overview of the TOC in my Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need To Be An Island and the challenges associated with establishing a TOC.


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My new book has been released.
eBook ($2.99) Paperback ($9.99). Click here.

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.
Click here for more information about the book.

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
  • Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in Life lessons | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

(Issue #551) Music To The Rescue


“Life seems to go on without effort when I am filled with music.”
~George Eliot~

How about a break from the written word? For today’s post you will find a few videos I shot over the years. Each one brings me back to the time, place, and people. They bring a smile to my face and warmth to my heart.

A few months ago, my long-time friend, singer-songwriter Mike “Shack” Shackelford, shared his thoughts on how music can transform. A snippet of his experience:

…If you break, music can mend…if you hurt, it can heal…
my love of music and it’s connection to my soul will never let me down. Ever.

Amen. Enjoy the clips below.

*You never know when music will just “break out.” Like at the beginning of a keynote presentation.


*Almost five years ago from the date of this post, Steve Shanholtzer performed this tune at the Atlantic Beach (FL) Songwriter’s Night. Mike Shackelford adds his harmonica chops.


*Title song from my second CD. The afore mentioned Shack along with  Billy Bowers and Robin Soergel made the song come alive in the studio.


*After speaking at Sitting Bull College (Fort Yates, North Dakota) I was invited to attend a Pow Wow. A short clip of one of the drum groups.


*Frances Bartlett Kinne played piano for me after we recorded a podcast at her home. She was 99 years young on this day.


How does music keep you going?


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My new book has been released.
eBook ($2.99) Paperback ($9.99). Click here.

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.
Click here for more information about the book.

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
  • Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

 

Posted in Life lessons | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

(Issue #550) By The Numbers


Be aware of  and understand the assumptions
you make when establishing your goals.

So, we’ve made it to the last month of 2020. You might feel like you need a long hot shower or an extended meditation retreat. Or a nice bottle of red wine. Think back to this time last year. December 2019. Besides getting ready for the holidays, perhaps you examined and plotted your goals for the coming year.

You planned, prepared, and put your best foot forward on January 1, 2020. Then the 2020 train of events took us on a journey we had not booked. Your goals may have been derailed, altered, or put on hold. Now we stand in the station, facing 2021, and wondering what this ride will bring.  You may even think, “What’s the use to plan? I’ll just let things happen.”  I encourage all of us to keep dreaming, planning, and moving toward our future. It (the future) will be coming whether we prepare or not.

Below you will find abbreviated versions of strategies I have written and spoken about to help put goals in perspective. With each strategy you will find a link to a more in-depth post. Some of the models overlap. I hope they get your juices flowing. Maybe you know someone (colleague, family member, a student, or a community group) who could benefit.

  • Six Dimensions of Well-Being
    • When looking at your goals consider the various dimensions of your life. Which one (or ones) need your attention moving forward? Which provide your strength?
      • Social
      • Occupational
      • Spiritual
      • Physical
      • Intellectual
      • Emotional
    • Six Ds for End-of-Year Review
      • Meaningful goals require thought about what you want to do, how you will do it, why you will do it, input from the team/mentors, and reflection. Then repeat. As you, your team, and your community look to the coming year, consider The Six Ds for an End-of-the-Year Review.
        • Delve
        • Describe
        • Discuss and/or Debate
        • Digest
        • Do It Again.
      • The Second R.E.A.D.
        • We all have different versions/definitions of what success looks like and how we grade ourselves. Be aware of  and understand the assumptions you make when establishing your goals. Give your goals a “second R.E.A.D.” to make sure they are authentic for you. How do your goals connect to these four categories?
          • Relationships
          • Excitement
          • Authenticity
          • Difference
        • The Seven Rs for Purpose and Growth
          • As you develop your goals pay attention to your core values.
            • Relationships
            • Resources
            • Relevance
            • Rainbows
            • Reflection
            • Responsibility
            • Resilience

Best wishes as you chart your course forward. Don’t put off your dreams.

Photo by Steve Piscitelli©2020


Video recommendation for the week:

Leo Buscaglia reminds us not to wait. If we wait it might then be too late.


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My new book has been released.
eBook ($2.99) Paperback ($9.99). Click here.

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.
Click here for more information about the book.

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
  • Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in Life lessons | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

(Issue #549) Aunt Philomena


When times turn difficult, it benefits us to remember what is working.

Thanksgiving nudges us to remember the abundance in our lives.  The experiences, the opportunities, the words, the music, the animal companions, and the people who add to our lives.  At first this blog post was going to list a few gratitude quotes—reminders for a positive mindset.  But as happens with most of my writings, my my muse took me in another direction toward the words of one person in particular. My Aunt Philomena.

As a child I learned about safe places. Those spaces for retreat from chaos and dysfunction.  One such pace was my Aunt Philomena’s home. Aunt Phil, as I knew her, was a giant of a woman in a 4-foot-9-inch body (give or take an inch). She always greeted people with a large smile and hearty hello. Whether you walked into her home or met her in public, she was the embodiment of someone for whom a stranger was merely a friend she had yet to meet.

Aunt Phil

To be sure she had struggles in her life but her strong Italian Catholic background gave her strength and purpose. She constantly gave back. Like the nursing home (down the street from her house) where she volunteered up until her death. And no matter what life tossed at her, she sallied forth undeterred.

So, in my mind’s eye I saw her standing at the stove, reaching up to stir the sauce and meatballs. Then tending to the pot with calamari before continuing the preparation of the antipasto.  Every so often she would put the spoon down, pick up a glass of wine (homemade red wine, thank you), raise it and say, “Who’s better than us?”

Aunt Phil Dances at Steve & Laurie’s Wedding (1976)

That is the quote that raises to the top of the list for me.  Not an arrogant or self-indulgent question but, rather, one that asks us to remember the goodness we experiences. When times turn difficult, it benefits us to remember what is working, the gifts we enjoy, the life-affirming experiences we have had, and the people who extended a hand of love. Like Aunt Phil

Instead of a video recommendation for the week, I offer the following quotes and their attributions:

  • “‘Enough’ is a feast.” ~Buddhist proverb
  • “If you count all your assets, you always show a profit.” ~Robert Quillen
  • “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” ~Willie Nelson
  • “This a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.” ~Maya Angelou
  • “Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” ~Abraham Lincoln
  • “Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” ~Bob Marley
  • “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” ~Dr. Suess
  • “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

I raise my glass and toast you with a hearty, “Who’s better than us?”

______________________________________________________________

Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My new book has been released.
eBook ($2.99) Paperback ($9.99). Click here.

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.
Click here for more information about the book.

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
  • Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in Life lessons | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

(Issue #548) Honor. Celebrate. Embrace. (Reprise)


Pay attention to where you’ve been,
where you are, and where you’re headed.

 Scrolling through my Instagram feed, I came across this quote by Vern Law: “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.”

It reminded me of a Soren Kierkegaard quote I referenced in the most read (nearly 16,000 views) post on this blog (February of 2014, Honor the Past. Celebrate the Present. Embrace the Future): “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

Both apply to our journey through this pandemic. We have definitely been tested. We look at what has happened, what we have learned, and how those lessons will help us moving forward. As I reread the above-referenced post, the words could have been written today.

A few excerpts:

Honor the Past.  “Sure there are moments, events, people and issues that may be troubling at best and traumatic at worst. ‘Honoring’ in this context means to recognize that from those times, you have grown into the person you are.”

Celebrate the Present. “When we hold on to the past (going beyond honoring to ‘stuck in the past’) it robs us of our present.  When we live in the future, we vacate the present.  We cannot get the present back.”

Embrace the Future.  “Planning for the future takes place in the present. Today is the tomorrow you prepared for (or not) yesterday.”

You can read the full post here.


Video recommendation for the week:

A short (90 seconds) video to remind us to appreciate—past, present, and future.


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My new book has been released.
eBook ($2.99) Paperback ($9.99). Click here.

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.
Click here for more information about the book.

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
  • Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in Life lessons | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

(Issue #547) Standing With Empathy


“Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another.” ~Alfred Adler

Notice the common and critical word in each clause above?

With.

When we empathize we are with someone. We do what we can, as best we can, to understand and share. Share in this case does not mean sharing our story but, rather, sharing as best we can the feelings of the person in front of us; do what we can to understand their story. Developing empathy takes practice. It is difficult. Well-meaning people make mistakes.

In Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017; 112-113), I wrote of three types of empathy that Daniel Goleman explains. (Note: In the Goleman link in the last sentence, he covers the potential downside to each type as well.)

  1. Cognitive empathy. With this we can say to someone, “I know what you are feeling. I can see things from your perspective.” We communicate and connect.
  2. Emotional empathy. Goleman said that this form of empathic connection allows us to sense what another person is feeling. “I feel your distress.”
  3. Empathic concern. Here we go beyond “feeling” another’s hurt. We want to help the person navigate the hurt. It becomes the basis for our concern. Transformational leaders give effective feedback and help people and teams grow.
Photo by Steve Piscitelli. ©2020

Empathy for someone is not your story. It remains their story. And you are with them as best you can be.

More than four years ago, Laurie and I offered ten suggestions to help avoid unintentional missteps in an already difficult period in a person’s life. At that time, Laurie was navigating breast cancer and we experienced each of the well-meaning but unhelpful missteps. I wrote, “We found if you keep your heart open and remember not to deny the patient and family’s story or privacy you will be doing good. Thank you all for standing by and with us!”

Notice the word in the last sentence—with.


Video recommendation for the week:

Being there with someone.

Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My new book has been released.
eBook ($2.99) Paperback ($9.99). Click here.

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.
Click here for more information about the book.

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
  • Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®


Posted in Life lessons | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

(Issue #546) What If?


The what if mindset can end up creating an emotional
vulnerability that leads to debilitating self-doubt.

A creative writing strategy consists of two words to help a writer build suspense, give depth to character personalities, and provide unexpected plot twists.

What if?

What if the protagonist committed a crime instead of solving it? What if the miserly curmudgeon ends up the person leaving anonymous care packages on his neighbors’ porches? What if the two bitter political opponents became collaborators? (Well, we can hope, can’t we?)

You get the idea. The story gains pacing, traction, and interest. The what if strategy pumps up the plot.

In real life, what if can lead us to explore, stretch, and grow. Think of the college student who explores a new major course of study. Or the middle-aged executive who decides to ask what if  I built my own business? Or a volunteer organization brainstorms a number of what if scenarios as it tackles a community dilemma. What if can fuel ambitions goals and dreams.

In some cases, though, living a life of what if can lead to anxiety, pain, and confusion.  Think of someone you know who may live in a reality based on what if assumptions that stunt growth, interrupt sleep, create crises where they do not exist, or hinder movement. Assumptions about what could possibly happen. The what if mindset may create an emotional vulnerability that leads to debilitating self-doubt. I know those two words, what if, can exhaust me if I am not on guard.

But can we learn from these uninvited dwellers in our minds?

The poet Rumi reminded us that “this being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival…be grateful for whatever comes because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”

Why do our what ifs exist? What can we learn? Who can help us? I know at times my mind, if I let it, can provide more plot twists than a best-selling novel. Remain aware Remain mindful.


Video recommendation for the week:

A reading of “The Guest House.”


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My new book has been released.
eBook ($2.99) Paperback ($9.99). Click here.

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.
Click here for more information about the book.

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
  • Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in assumptions, awareness, growth, resilience | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

(Issue #545) Predictability. Adventure. Risks.


What might be driving us forward, holding us in neutral,
or pushing us in reverse?

Ever feel like you need a news fast? Or just a different—and perhaps a more optimistic—view of life? Not a false view of the world but more like a refreshing perspective.  A way to hit the reset button.

I needed such a reprieve a few days ago (really, it was the latest reprieve of many over the last few months).  I pulled down a book I first read sitting on the beach when it was released in 1998—by Jimmy Buffett: A Pirate Looks at Fifty. The man from Margaritaville sharing stories, lessons, and dreams. Three points (of many that caught my attention) had nothing to do with politics or social media posts (the book was released about 6 years before the emergence of Facebook) or the call-out culture.

These particular thoughts pointed to what might be driving us forward, holding us in neutral, or pushing us in reverse.

  • “Having made it this far [Jimmy was turning 50 years old as he wrote the book], I can’t escape the gnawing fact that, most likely, I have been here more than I will from this point on.” (p. 35)
    • For me, sitting here at 67 years old, I’m most definitely on the back nine of the golf course. What have I learned from where I’ve been that will inform me at to where I might go? How about you? None of us knows how much time we have left. Whatever that number of days, months or years is, how do we want to live it? What’s the difference we want to make?

  • “I take it as a reminder that when you go off adventuring, part of the adventure is the unpredictable.” (p. 100)
    • This one speaks to me more than I would like to admit. Too many times in life I’ve scripted what I will do at a certain time in a certain space. That helped with goals. But I wonder, how much did I miss by not straying from the path of “certitude” and grabbing the unpredictable? That was one reason why I worked my way through two levels of improv comedy training. I wanted to force myself to be unscripted. Maybe you’re like Buffett or trend toward the predictable. See the first point above about the next part of your journey.
  • “Life does not come without risks. You learn to take them, or you stay home and watch life on TV.” (p. 115)
    • Holding on to predictability and being risk-averse have their places. And then there is what adventure can bring us. Our adventure, not someone’s in a movie. See the above point.

Photo by Steve Piscitelli

Again, what might be driving us forward, holding us in neutral, or pushing us in reverse?


Video recommendation for the week:

Finding our way to our way. Jimmy sings about how we might be the people our parents warned us about. 


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My new book has been released.
eBook ($2.99) Paperback ($9.99). Click here.

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.
Click here for more information about the book.

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
  • Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in assumptions, growth, Life lessons | 1 Comment

(Issue #544) Themie


When we empower a person, group, or community to tell their story in their voice we help them share and add to their legacy.

An online statistic caught my attention: 93 million times per day people snap a selfie. The same article reported that a study found selfies serve as a “mood and confidence-lowering activity.” And then there is this article on the ten things that will happen when we stop taking selfies. (And the argument that selfies can be beneficial.) Perhaps it would be healthier if we concentrated (at least for a little bit of our time) on Themies. You know, turning the camera so we allow others (them) to share their story.

I have been working with a community group to empower people within their organization, as well as clients they serve, to do such a thing. Lots of details to work out but the short of the project can be summed up in six words: “A Story. A Voice. A Legacy.” (Watch for more to come.)

When we focus our camera, microphone, or interview notes on the person in front of us, we tell them we are listening to them and value what they have to say. When we enable a person, group, or community to tell their story in their voice we help them share and add to their legacy.

It does not have to be histrionic or rise to a “breaking news alert” level. It can just be a remembrance about a mentor, life-changing event, a lesson taught, or a lesson learned. In their voice. The fifty episodes on The Growth and Resilience Network® podcast channel attempt to do that. People from different walks of life with a story to share.

And while technology allows us to save and savor the story of the person in front of us, the themie can come in the form of a true conversation. Asking authentic questions, showing interest, and acknowledging the person speaking.

Stepping outside of ourselves to help someone else share their story. In their voice. How can you turn your selfie into a themie this week? How can we learn by listening?


Video recommendation for the week: Ten steps to listen and converse. And learn.


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My new book has been released. eBook ($2.99) Paperback ($9.99). Click here.

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story. Click here for more information about the book.

In the meantime, check out her blog. (She writes better than I do.)

And you can still order:

My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2020. Steve Piscitelli The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in Life lessons | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

(Issue #543) How Will You Remain Vigilant?


How will community be sustained? Will core values change?

[For this week’s post, I pull from a recent book of mine (2019; p. xxix). Deals with community, complacency, and challenge. Seemed appropriate.]

Have you ever been part of a community that appeared to be stagnating? To outside observers, the challenges would have been imperceptible. But to you, signs popped up. Some minor irritants, perhaps, while others loomed as storm clouds. The challenges could have come from sinister outside forces. Or, the erosion of community may have been the result of an internal complacency. The members became comfortable and took for granted their community would always be there.

As an example, colleges and universities invest a great deal in recruiting and retaining first-year students. They offer orientations, first-year experience success courses, dedicated counselors, and residences halls. Each strategy has the goal of helping the students to build community, feel comfortable in that community, and return to that community for their second year of college.  

But what happens the second year, third year, and beyond? Will resources be invested to re-recruit the students—to keep the idea of the college community foremost in their minds? How will community be sustained? Will core values change? Will best practices continue to work?

Consider a workplace that invests hundreds of staff hours in screening and interviewing candidates for a position. Perhaps there is an orientation of sorts. What happens to the new employee after that? Is the new person greeted with one mind-numbing bureaucratic checklist after another, or does she receive a meaningful welcome that recognizes and nurtures the powerful transition to her new community? As the Heath brothers pointed out in The Power of Moments, “What a wasted opportunity [not] to make a new team member feel included and appreciated. Imagine if you treated a first date like a new employee.”[i]

[i] Chip Heath and Dan Heath, The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2017. 18-22.


Video recommendation for the week:

This brief (88 seconds) clip from a larger episode reminds us that to build a community we need to listen to one another–understand what we need. When we listen–really listen–we begin to trust. And we have to ask ourselves, “What are we willing to do?”  The community members step up and take responsibility for vision and actions.

We have heard that the village raises up a child. But what can be done if the village itself needs to be raised up? What do we do, for instance, if the village has inadequate infrastructure, health disparities, high crime and poverty, lack of accessible pharmacies and fresh foods, and educational and financial literacy challenges? Threatened on many levels, the village nears the breaking point. If you’re Executive Director George Maxey, you listen and help the villagers create a movement–the New Town Success Zone movement. (Note: Since this recording, Mr. Maxey has moved on to another position with another organization. His words still reverberate.)


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My new book has been released.
eBook ($2.99) Paperback ($9.99). Click here.

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.
Click here for more information about the book.

In the meantime, check out her blog. (She writes better than I do.)

And you can still order:

My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in accountability, Communication, Community, community development, resilience | 1 Comment