The Bold and Courageous Leader Podcast

The Bold & Courageous Leader podcast brings resources to Christian marketplace leaders thirsting for a deeper connection between faith and work. Hosts Rhonda Peterson and Andee Marks provide insightful discussion, interviews with front-line leaders and those who have discovered unique ways of integrating calling and career, and reviews of current and classic leadership cultivating essentials. If you want to develop clarity and focus, a keen sense of time and energy management, and hone your God-given gifts to release your full potential, then this podcast is for you.
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Feb 16, 2017

Today’s podcast is focused on living with joy in today’s world.  How do we maintain a positive outlook, an attitude of well-being in this time of dissension and negativity in the social media stew with which we are constantly bombarded?  Must we leave it all behind and not interact on social media or interact with any news programming?

Enter Positive Psychology, the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. Martin Seligman founded this field in the 90’s on the “belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within them, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play.”  He believed that when we focus on well-being, it leads to flourishing.  I call that a glass half full perspective. 

Today we’re exploring the mindset that allows us to flourish and techniques to stay in that glass half full mindset.  We’re talking about two of the tools in Positive Psychology: Priming and Grit.

Priming means using our environment to influence our behavior – we want to increase positives and avoid negatives.  In priming, we become aware of our environment and its impact on us.  We engage the sensory input of our 5 senses.

  • Positive primes include
    • Color -
    • Light
    • Music/sounds
    • Smells
    • Tastes
    • Words
    • Photos
    • Spaces
    • Screensavers
  • We need to take control of negative primes
    • News fasts
    • Technology fasts
    • Facebook feeds today – convergence - both technology and news overload.
  • Goal Shielding
    • Environments with conflicting stimuli can undermine goal accomplishment
    • Implementation Intentions.
      • Rewards triple likelihood of success on hard goals!
      • Remove ambivalence by establishing the reward for accomplishing the goal.
      • Foster good habits.
      • Reframe a negative situation into a positive one.
        • I am here, I want to get there. How do I make this move?

Grit is passion and perseverance in pursuit of a long-term goal.  Others call it follow through, task commitment or deliberate practice, for instance the 10,000 hours rule for greatness.

Angela Duckworth, author of the book Grit, says there are five characteristics of Grit.

  • Courage
  • Conscientiousness: Achievement-Oriented vs. Dependable
  • Long Term Goals and Endurance – Follow through
  • Resilience: Optimism, confidence and Creativity
  • Excellence vs. Perfection

We can build grit through the following actions.

  • Being around gritty people; this is called social contagion.
  • Reading biographies and sports pages
  • Coaching with accountability
  • Making a decision to not quit – practice intentionality.
  • Remove “magical thinking” for goal accomplishment. Goals don’t magically get accomplished.  Expect to work hard to reach worthwhile goals.

Grit is reflected in Paul’s words in Romans 5:3-4:

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.




Flourish, Martin Seligman

Grit, The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth



Feb 2, 2017

Join us on today’s podcast for an interview with Debbie Luxton, author of the upcoming book, Choose to THRIVE: Conquering Your Inner Conflict.

Life Purpose is really about Impact. 

Debbie works with and writes for strong-willed women of influence. She relates to them, because she is one. They are:

  • Naturally gifted to lead – problem solving, decision making,
  • Immense desire to add value.

This blessing can become a curse.  She says, “The good things started to own me.  I ended up trying to be who I thought I was supposed to be instead of myself   

Priorities were an issue. My identity was wrapped up in my career.  I put my career in front of what was really important, in my opinion.  I couldn’t see it.”

Challenges shape you

Her experience was the world was about Debbie. Fears and insecurities drove perfectionism in me. 

It all comes down to motives. Others thought I had it going on, but inside I was struggling.

I believed the lie that I couldn’t tell anybody that I had struggles going on.  What would they think? 

My Turning Point

God spoke that I needed to call my husband to put my marriage back together.  It was a decision of obedience.

Changing from Debbie’s plan to God’s plan

  • It’s not about reaching a destination, it’s all a journey. Reaching a certain destination doesn’t relieve the stress.
  • Doing what I know on my own gives me impact. Doing what God desires for me gives us a much more important impact.

Writing the Book

Debbie says she fought the process of writing the book.  The process included coining an acronym: WOGG – Waiting on God’s Glory – This happens in the valleys.  Debbie shares that this is where you experience growth times.  These chapter titles reflect the growth Debbie had to go through so she could write the book.

  • Insecurities
  • Independence
  • Loneliness
  • Transformation
  • Perfectionism


She also learned that transparency in places that are safe is easy.  It’s being transparent with the whole wide world that is a struggle. This can lead to procrastination, which takes on many faces.  We’re do-ers, we are decision-makers.  We don’t see our own procrastination.

Debbie’s suggested resources:

Boundaries, by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

Debbie’s Blog:

Debbie’s Linked In group - Exceptional Living for Professional Women:

Watch for Debbie’s Book: Choose to Thrive: Conquering Your Inner Conflicts – available February 27 on

Jan 27, 2017

Lessons Learned from a Hurried Facebook Post

This podcast is a little different than any I’ve ever done. I get real about a hurried social media post and the lessons I learned from not doing things in an intentional way. 

I was working on a new, improved elevator speech, but not just any old elevator speech.  That’s great, but I definitely made some big mistakes in the process of asking for feedback.

Here’s where I went wrong.  Here’s where the train went off the tracks.  Here’s where I want you to learn from my mistakes.

I posted a request for feedback in a private facebook group, I didn’t think about the people who were in the group. Were they my tribe?  Would they be the people at the networking event?  And what did I ask them?  I said I was working on a tagline/elevator speech.  So, I learned a great deal from the interchange on this post, but it wasn’t all what I was looking for. 

To those who responded to the post, thank you for your insights.  You provided me with valuable feedback.  I really appreciate the time and energy you took to respond to my request.  I learned SO much from your responses.

Lessons learned:

  1. Be very clear in what you're asking for.    
  2. Hurry is not your friend.  
  3. Consider who is in this audience.  If you ask the wrong person, you'll get the wrong answer. 
  4. Keep what works, discard the rest. 
  5. Trust your instincts, but verify with the right people/audience.
  6. Learn from your mistakes.
  7. Be gracious to those who take the time to comment, even if they're not giving you the information you were looking for. 

Update to the podcast:  After recording this, I really faced my own Imposter Syndrome.  I struggled with whether to put the podcast out there – what would you think of me if you knew I didn’t have the perfect elevator speech?  What would you think about me if I don’t post perfectly clear requests on Facebook every single time?  The answer?  You’d think I’m human! 

Jan 19, 2017

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

Join us this week as we explore Imposter Syndrome. What is it?  How do I know I’m dealing with it? How do I overcome it?


What is Imposter Syndrome?

  • Imposter Syndrome is a general feeling that we’re going to be found out, we don’t belong, what others see in us we are not capable of.
  • Amy Cuddy, author of Presence, defines imposter syndrome as “That general feeling that we don’t belong—that we’ve fooled people into thinking we’re more competent and talented than we actually are. … It’s not simple stage fright or performance anxiety; rather, it’s the deep and sometimes paralyzing believe that we have been given something we didn’t earn and don’t deserve and that at some point we’ll be exposed.”


Up to 70 percent of successful people struggle with Imposter Syndrome. 

How do we know if we’re dealing with Imposter Syndrome?

Thought processes that may indicate that you are suffering from Imposter Syndrome:

  • Fear of failure.
  • Feeling like a fake.
  • Believing we just got lucky.
  • Discounting success.

Symptoms of Imposter Syndrome:

  • Over thinking or second guessing.
  • Fixating on how we think others are judging us.
  • Being scattered, feeling underprepared.


What causes Imposter Syndrome?

  • The enemy meddling in our mind. Satan will magnify any small amount of doubt.
  • Comparing ourselves to others.
    • Comparing our inside to others outside, our weaknesses to others strengths.
    • We all have our own masterpiece work to do.
  • Trying to do our masterpiece work in our own strength, rather than relying on God.

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” C.S. Lewis

What can we do to overcome the effects of Imposter Syndrome?

  1. Be aware of your triggers and feelings.
  2. Practice positive self-talk.
  3. Talk about your feelings with a safe person.
  4. Consider the context.
  5. Reframe failure as a learning opportunity.

Imposter Syndrome causes unnecessary stress.  It prevents us from reaching our potential.  It holds us back from accomplishing our goals.  Let’s stop believing those lies about ourselves and truly believe we are capable of the masterpiece work that God created for us.


Presence, by Amy Cuddy

Jan 13, 2017

Overcoming Challenges to Reach Your Goal

An Interview with Crystal Balas

As we move into the New Year, this interview with Crystal Balas is great motivation to achieve your goals.  Since we talked, Crystal has trained for and completed the World Vision Chicago Marathon.  AND she’s already registered to compete in it in 2017.

Crystal Balas describes herself as an Overcomer. She has gotten up and moved forward through many challenges in her life.  After a career change, today she is a Christian Life & Leadership Coach, Personal Trainer and Exercise Instructor.  She focuses on healthy lifestyles, working with female baby boomers that are rejuvenating their identity and life as they transition into the second half of life. 

She says, “I’m a better me today than I was in my twenties.  I’m healthier physically, spiritually and mentally today.”

Crystal shares her journey from abused wife to single mom to working woman to entrepreneur.  Over the years, God and her community of faith have been constants in her life.  Listen as Crystal tells her story. Her message of hope and resilience in the face of major challenges will encourage you on your own journey as a Bold & Courageous Leader.

Her parting thought for us is, “If I can do it, you can do it, too!”

For more information on Crystal visit her website or her blog:



Crystal mentioned two books in her interview:

Boundaries, by Henry Cloud, PhD and John Thompson, PhD

Daring Greatly, by Brené Brown

Jan 4, 2017

As we start the new year, many of us want to get our organization on. Whether it’s purging the paper and stuff that has piled up over the holidays or making a decision that you just can’t stand the way your closet looks any longer, organizing is top of mind for many at this time of year.  We’re bringing back Liana George’s interview from this summer to help you organize effectively, so you can start the year off with more space, physical and emotional, in your home and life.

Liana George is a Professional Organizer and the owner of By George Organizing Solutions. She works one on one with clients to help them bring order, peace and balance to their homes and lives. Liana is also a writer, teacher and speaker on a variety of organizing topics.

Liana tells us everyone can be organized.  It doesn’t look the same for everybody.  Just do it your way.

Liana shared some thoughts and the organizational style by brain type from Lanna Nakone’s book, Organizing for Your Brain Type. The four Brain Types are:

  • Maintainer – orderly, likes structure and details, lists, schedules and predictability
  • Harmonizer – sociable, like space covered with reminders of people – pictures, collectibles
  • Prioritizer – very good at time management, goal and results driven, they design their space to support their goals.
  • Innovator – creative, spontaneous, don’t like structure or rules, free spirits, like things out, open so they can see them. Hooks and clear containers work well for them.

Liana’s wisdom as we talked about each type is, “Quit fighting your type and work with who you are.  You’ll keep it up if you work with who you are.”

The Faith Connection

Liana says, “God is a God of order.  All God does has order to it.  We are built with an innate need for order.  It doesn’t say in the Bible, “You shalt be orderly.”  Rather, I find gems and examples of being orderly. In Ecclesiastes, “There’s a time for gathering and a time for letting go.”  Exodus 16 is full of great lessons for trusting God for our needs and having more than enough.  That’s part of orderly living.”

When we’re so bogged down with stuff, we can’t do what God’s called us to do.  The stuff gets in the way.

4 Keys to Bring Order to a Leader’s Work Life

Liana shared these four keys to help leaders best organize for their role as a leader:

  1. Make a To Do List – Prioritize 3-5 things each day for getting work done.
  2. Delegate – Don’t just tell, but show.
  3. Organize Your Work Space – It’s hard to work and think in a cluttered, chaotic space.
  4. Have an Organized Home – This is a support to get to work on time and in a positive frame of mind.
  5. Resources
  • Organizing for Your Brain Type by Lanna Nakone
  • Every Child has a Thinking Style by Lanna Nakone
  • Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern
  • Organizing for the Right Side of the Brain by Lee Silber
  1. You can reach Liana through her website: There you’ll find her blog, as well as classes and her 180 Challenge – a decluttering challenge course where you receive a weekly email to help you declutter in a more focused manner.