Inspiring people to Challenge the Norm

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Blessing in Disguise

Recently I was blessed with the opportunity to celebrate graduation from grad school with a trip to Torunrtorontoonto.  At the time the trip was just another vacation.  Little did I know it would have such a tremendous impact on my life…

Traveling to another country is always scary.  Try doing it without a cellphone with a group of individuals you’ve only had class with.  I was a little uneasy to say the least.  “You only start living once you’re outside your comfort zone”.  I don’t think this quote could be more true.  I was forced to navigate through a country I didn’t know with people I didn’t know.  I quickly learned what an amazing experience life can be when you put down the cell phone and interact with people you wouldn’t normally engage in conversation with.  I learned so much about the country from the locals and was able to build friendships with people I would not have been friends with.

Why is this important to you?  We live in a society which ignores the basic enjoyments of life.  We are overwhelmed by materialistic goods which don’t provide life value.  We are programmed to think you can’t impact the world unless we are impacting millions of individuals.  But I’m here to tell you that couldn’t be farther from the truth.  The University of Nevada, Reno is providing students an opportunity to explore global business while earning college credits all while networking.

The leaders in the College of Business have created an educational experience which is changing the lives of their students. The program provides students with an insight about Canada’s culture, history, and fundamentals for international business operations. The class is structured to have pre-course work  followed by a week in Toronto.  The instructors, Dean Greg Mosier and Jim McClenehan arrange business tours with top executives.  Students gain valuable insight from the nontraditional educational experience.   During our time in Toronto, we met with top executives from organizations such as Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto Transit Commission, and Woodbine Entertainment. During the day, we toured the city and met with businesses.  During the evening, students took the opportunity to debrief about the learning experience all while networking with fellow students.

If there is one thing I would recommend to fellow students at the University of Nevada, Reno; it would be the Extended Studies Global Business program.  I regret not taking advantage of this program sooner.  This program teaches students more than you’ll ever learn in a book, while providing you the opportunity to network with colleagues and executives. Don’t let this life changing opportunity pass you by! I’m glad I didn’t.


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Unexpected Impact

When I first started this blog it was more something for me.  A place to compile a collection of stories about all the wonderful individuals I have been blessed to meet along my journey.  Never in a million years did I ever plan to impact others’.  Although I have been writing, I haven’t been as good about posting my blogs.  Well recently I encountered an individual who gave meaning to this collection of everyday leaders…

The story goes something like this:

An individual approached me while I was socializing one evening after a stressful day of work.

“You look familiar”

Me: “Hmm, I work for the Fire Department and go to school at UNR, maybe that’s why?”

“No, you’re the girl with the blog!”

Me:”I do have a blog, but I haven’t written in a while”

“Yes, yes.  Someone told me about your blog.   It’s brilliant.  I loved reading it.  It inspires me to be a better person. ”

This individual even followed up a few days later to remind me to continue sharing.

It is moments like this that remind me of the “lollipop moment”.  Something seemingly insignificant in your life can make such a huge impact in another life.  So from this moment forward, I vow to continue sharing my story.  Although this individual will probably never know how important that 5 minute conversation was, it played an instrumental role in continuing this blog.  I have a deep passion for leadership and creating memorable moments.  So to my fellow bloggers, readers, and alike, I want to remind you how important your story is.  Our lives get busy and we can easily be veered off track, but never forget to share your story.  You may not realize the positive impact it has on another.

What’s your story? Please share in a comment below.



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Everday Leadership – A Simple Idea with a Huge Impact

This video is exactly what motivated me to begin this blog.  Everyday leaders are among all of us, yet often overlooked.  These individuals make a significant impact in others’ lives, whether they know it or not.  How often do we recognize these everyday leaders?  I’d like to say frequently, but that’s not the truth.  In fact, the ones who are achieving greatness and becoming leaders are often overlooked.  Why? For a number of reasons, but I’d have to say the most frequent one is because we become to expect greatness from these individuals.  Basically setting our expectations from these individuals to ones which mirror their achievements.

Whether these everyday leaders impact one or a million, they’ve impacted a life in a positive way.  As Drew Dudley describes it, they have had a ‘lollipop moment’.  A moment in which someone has a huge impact in another ones’ life.  I am fascinated by the way one person can have such a tremendous impact in the lives of others.   But it saddens me that we do not tell others the impact they’ve had.

There are so many great leaders around us.  People who are challenging the norm, truly achieving greatness, and inspiring others.  So, this blog was created to recognize those people.  The ones who are having a huge impact on the lives of one or million.  The everyday leaders in our communities that are not getting the recognition they deserve.  So this platform is a way to say thank you for being a leader.  For challenging the norm, and even when times got tough, they stuck it out.  These individuals are showing their counterparts exactly what it takes to achieve greatness.  And inspiring others along the way.

Want to learn more about everyday leaders?  Visit Nuance Leadership to learn more on how to create transforming experiences.


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Undeniable Passion

“Be so great they have no choice but to notice you”

When you think of Joe, you think of EMS.   Not because he is the EMS Training Captain for Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District.  But because of his undeniable passion for providing the best care to our community through his dedication to learning all there is about Emergency Medical Services.

Many would associate Joe with having the same amount of knowledge as a doctor would have.  In fact, he was accepted to medical school but declined to follow his passion for providing Paramedic level care to his community.

More importantly though is the way he has passed his passion on to others.  Joe whole heartily believes in providing Paramedic level care to the community and has continued to teach others all he knows about Emergency Medical Services.  Every day, he inspires people to advance their knowledge in care for medical emergencies and trauma.  The individuals, who go on to become Paramedics, are just one piece of Joe’s accomplishments.

Joe may not respond to every medical call within the district, but the ones who’ve been inspired by Joe and have increased their education have and will continue to provide an invaluable service to our community.  In fact, it may be the difference between life and death.  Although the benefits of having an EMT-Intermediate or Paramedic respond to an emergency incident continues to be a hot debate, Joe believes a Paramedic may be able to recognize a symptom that an EMT-Intermediate may not.  In most cases, Paramedics have proven to provide better care than their EMT-Intermediate coworkers.

The legacy Joe has created is one that will continue to benefit the community.  His hard work, beliefs about Paramedic care and a team of coworkers contributed to Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District getting board approval to turn all career fire stations into ALS.

Although we will never be able to equate all that Joe Kammann has done for our community, know that his undeniable passion has inspired others to find greatness.  Joe challenged the norm and even when difficult decisions had to be made, he stood up for what he believed in.

Want to hear more inspiring stores?  Follow the blog.  Cheers.

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The Power Behind the Play

“If you had 25 million dollars, what would you do?  The real question is: If you had nothing, what would you do?”

Mike Micone defied all odds.  Ever since he was young, people have been telling him what he couldn’t do.  No one believed in his opportunities to achieve greatness.  Well, he has proven them all wrong.

Mike has built a successful career and recently launched a new recruitment business based out of Las Vegas, NV.  Mike has taken recruitment to a new level of greatness.  His company, Advanced Network Information, also known as ANI, helps employers find talented employees. But it’s his ability to find “the perfect fit” for employers, which truly is remarkable. Why has he excelled when no one believed he could?

Because of his passion.  Mike attributes his success to ‘the fire within’.  This internal competitiveness is what he believes to be the true ingredient to success.   Yes, hard work and determination also play a factor, but it comes down to how bad you want it.  Mike’s story is one that inspires you.  He built a successful business from nothing and then sold it for millions. The second business didn’t go as planned.  His business partner broke his neck in an accident and ended up losing everything.  But they persevered.  Together, Hussongs Cantina was launched in Las Vegas, NV with a second location coming to Reno, NV in April 2013.  At the same time, Mike continues to follow his passion for recruitment and opened ANI.  Mike has never given up.  When he lost everything, he could’ve walked away.  But he didn’t.  He said this isn’t how the story is going to end, and came back stronger than ever.

Mike Micone is one of those people that just inspires you.  His fire is contagious.  He challenged the norm and now was a successful career to show for it.

Mike’s words of advice: Find your passion, master it, and do it better than everyone else.  Mentors are an imperative tool, use them. But most importantly, know when to ask for help.

So I challenge you to find your fire.  Are you challenging the norm?  Please share your story in a comment below.

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Beyond your Comfort Zone

The more I talk about Challenging the Norm the more I am understanding why so many just settle for the “norm”.  It’s not simply laziness, rather, it seems to be because people don’t know what they want out of life.  People know what they like, but they don’t have a true understanding of what they love. So they continue to live their lives, trotting along because it’s what is normal.

My suggestion.  Start learning from those around you.  There is greatness in everyone, you just have to embrace it.  You can learn a lot about yourself from others.  So next time you are out for coffee, waiting in line at the grocery store, or out with friends, strike up a conversation.  Pick their brains.  Find out what they love.  What their doing to be great.  There are so many everyday leaders out there.  You may be surprised what you learn.  In fact, one of these individuals may inspire you to Challenge the Norm in something you never knew you were passionate about.

Look at Colin Kaepernick. He was good at both baseball and football, but he knew he wanted to play football.  So, he decided to focus on football because that was his dream.  He could have settled for his norm but instead he challenged it.  Now look at the success he has achieved.

I absolutely love Neale Walsch’s outlook on life.  “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.  So if you’re feeling uncomfortable right now, know that the change taking place in your life is a beginning, not an ending”.  Don’t just settle for a normal life.   Challenge it.  Become a leader in your life by doing what you are passionate about.  It may be scary, but just like Walsch says, life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Take the time to find out what you are passionate about and what you want out of life and dedicate your time to achieving greatness by Challenging the Norm.

Want to hear inspiring stores about individuals who have stepped out of their comfort zone, Challenged the Norm, and become great leaders?  If you answered yes, follow this blog to hear more.