Speaking Engagements

  • Looking for a speaker who is dynamic and passionate?
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  • Looking for a versatile,  inspirational Speaker who will tailor the message to fit your group’s particular challenge or struggle? 

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Lights On! A Reflective Journey

LightsOn Book by Claire Knowles"Here's a quick peek at the Table of Contents" of this exciting new book! Women in Leadership...focus your attention to Chapter 10 especially!

Sample Chapter - "Sometimes we all need a little push."

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Success Workshops

  • Does your group need to be rejuvenated? Re-focused?
  • Are you struggling to survive?   
  • Is there in-fighting?
  • Have you lost your focus?
  • Sense of accomplishment?
  • Is the group exhibiting non-professionalism?

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Strategic Agility: Big Picture Questions for Leaders

Written by Claire Knowles on . Posted in Empowered by Choice, Moving Forward, Strategic Agility

chess-88145_640Are you seeing ahead clearly? Are you future-oriented? Can you see the big picture and the detail of what is important for the next improvement, competitive leap or break-through? Or are you so caught up in the day-to-day activities that you’ve lost sight of the bigger picture?

Part of every manager’s job is to be strategic—the higher in the organization you are, the more critical the requirement. It is an important time (now) to hit the pause button! Here are some important questions to ponder as this calendar year comes to an end, and you focus on what’s strategically important for the coming year.

What are the company’s top three to five initiatives for next year? Your departmental and team objectives need to be closely aligned with the business and fully supportive of those top initiatives. When your team’s efforts are in synch, the entire business benefits. Being at cross-purposes detracts; being without a clear compass promotes disconnect. So make sure your team’s efforts are aligned with the greater business strategic initiatives.
If you and your team have been fraught with lack of clarity, incoherence and inefficiencies, then getting intentionally aligned is key to future effectiveness.
Do the people on your team understand how their efforts contribute to the company’s overall success? Set the top three to five initiatives for your department/group/team early-on, communicating them thoroughly while engaging each person in the process. Keeping these strategic goals visible is important. Talking about them regularly, identifying progress and milestones around them, are ways to integrate the can-do attitude toward successful outcomes. (Remember the story of the stone mason who was not only laying stone, but was essential to the building of the cathedral!)
Being agile translates into being able to move quickly and easily.
We live in uncertain times and things can change. External and internal forces can impact even the best-intended strategic objectives and plans. Teams and businesses that win in today’s fast-moving climate have to be agile…in their day-to-day activities and in their strategic plans and rollouts. To be agile requires adaptability and flexibility. Does that describe your Team? People on your team need to view “agility” as a strength; leader-managers set that winning tone. How agile is your Team? How agile are you as a Manager?
Glean input from your Team to determine three new ways that the Team will help the business to be better in the coming year? (Save $, avoid cost, provide better service, etc.). In addition, describe the specific ways the Team needs to continue to provide value—ways that have been successful in the previous year and worthy of repeating. And lastly, have the team determine what three things they did/were doing in this last year that were NOT value-adding to the business—how will those type activities be phased out? Challenge your team to push the envelope for continuous improvement as they do some team introspection together.
As a Manager do you clearly know the performance levels of the people on your Team? Can you describe where your inefficiencies are?In what ways is your team most effective? Are your best performing people working on the projects that have the potential to provide the greatest value to the organization? Are people matched with tasks critical to the success of the business? Are people who are not high performers being continually developed? Maximizing the productivity of your Team is part of developing strategic agility. Strategic agility, in turn, supports sustainability.
Managers must be effective communicators. Do you know your own strengths and weaknesses as a communicator? How well do you share information? Are you effective with your Team? Peers? Superiors? Make it part of your new year’s goals to improve on the communication areas where you are challenged. Clarity is essential for leaders who want to achieve their key, strategic initiatives.
Here’s to making a clear and positive difference in the coming year!

Claire Knowles

What was Happening in Your World when You were 10-12 years old?

Written by Claire Knowles on . Posted in Authenticity, Empowerment, Leadership for Women Leaders, Lights On!, Moving Forward

images  Whether they be Good or Bad, Your Cultural World Experiences at

the age of 10-12 Matter!

Several decades ago, a leading psychologist, Morris Massey, noted that culturally, the experiences that we have at about the time we are 10-12 years old, shape our lives in pivotal ways…and tend to define whole generations…with those shared experiences. His work was detailed in a video called, “What You Are Is Where You Were When….”

What was happening in your world when you were about 10-12 years old?
World War II and Victory Gardens? The Cold war? Hiding under desks during nuclear drills? (False sense of security?); Vietnam? (Loss of confidence in leaders?); Neil Armstrong/man on moon? (Yes, we can do it! Triumph!); JFK/Martin Luther King Assassinations? Columbine? Challenger? (Need for self-reliance?)  The “Yes, We Can”…dream team Lake Placid (Hockey) Olympics?  Did those years hold positive experiences or more negative ones for you?  Is there a shared experience that defined your generation during that time?

Do you recall positive social/cultural events or negative social/cultural events? Or both? How did these influence you? Your generation? Recognizing that such socio/cultural events do have an impact (as do those of your community, your family, your ethnic value experiences), still, think about what was happening when you were 10-12 years old—it can be an important introspection.

Postscript:  I’m a Boomer. My 10-year old experiences stem from the late 1950’s and I can certainly trace certain opinions I hold, to certain shared experiences of that time. I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to contact me at: Claire@ClaireEKnowles.com  or Claire@LightsOnBook.com


Emotions do Matter! What are you Feeling?

Written by Claire Knowles on . Posted in Empowered by Choice, Lights On!, Moving Forward

Emotions Do Matter!  emotional-ladder 1 haze

I recently listened to a webinar on our emotions being a wonderful coping tool for us. Yes, a coping tool! I’m a big believer around the Ladder of Emotions. In my many years I think I’ve experienced most of them! The learning, of course, is that no one can move you up the ladder of emotions but yourself. You have to find a way to move out of the lower end and into the higher end—as much of the time as possible. In a sense, we each have a stop light inside us….we know whether we can cruise on green, whether to have caution when on yellow, and when we’ve got a big emotional problem and we have to stop and regroup on red; we know all that just by the emotions we are feeling! We know we have to move back to green!

Unfortunately, as humans in this day and age, we tend to have a negativity bias….it takes more effort to climb up than it does to regress downward. It is as if our negative emotions are “Velcro”—and they stick to us; while our more positive emotions are “Teflon”—and they are quick to slip away. Is that not the reason for the old saying, “Smell the Roses”….! Yes, grab on to the good while you can…..because once the downward emotional slipping starts we have to work hard to climb up again! Cultivating your own ways for climbing up (recognizing them, repeating them) is a life learning to acknowledge.

How do you bring yourself up? What do I do? I work very hard at finding the positive; Dealing with the reality of the situation; learning the lesson in it. Being grateful. Trying to see the good in situations. And, primarily, by diverting my attention to something that is good, that brings joy, that sends love. Works every time!

Claire Knowles – Lights On!

Claire Knowles is a 2-time best-selling Author, sought-after Speaker and Effective Consultant for business, leadership and teams. Find her books, Lights On! and Can You See Them Now? (Elephants in our Midst) on Amazon.com