My 1000 Small Steps – July 20, 2020

Posted on: July 20th, 2020 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

Changing the Narrative

by Kathie England

This month’s post is dedicated to the memory of John Lewis, the civil rights hero who died on July 17, 2020. Few people have more powerfully changed their narrative than John Lewis.

Prior to Lewis’s death, I had already selected the topic for this month, Changing the Narrative. I selected this topic after reading Dare to Lead by Brené Brown, in a coaching class I just completed.

Changing the narrative is an empowering concept. Brown says, “When we own a story and the emotion that fuels it, we get to simultaneously acknowledge that something was hard while taking control of how that hard thing is going to end.” (page 268)

Brown shares how Melinda Gates changed her narrative.

“For the longest time, the story I was making up was, That expert is ignoring me or condescending to me because I’m not Bill.”

“What I now believe is, I know just the right amount: enough to ask good questions, and not so much as to be distracted by minute details.” (page 266)

This story especially resonated with me because I recently read The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates. This is the inspiring journey of a woman truly finding her voice, changing her narrative and the world with the work she and Bill do through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

As I listened to the tributes to John Lewis, a hero who never stopped fighting for his beliefs and living his values, I decided to share some of his words that I hope will inspire all of us, especially during this pandemic year of incredible challenges. And as we draw ever-closer to election day on November 3.

“What did you do?”

“Where do you stand?”

“If not us, who?”

“If not now, when?”

What small step can we each take to change our own narrative? What small step can we take to change the narrative of this nation?


My 1000 Small Steps – June 20, 2020

Posted on: June 20th, 2020 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

There Is No Video

by Kathie England

“What If There Were No George Floyd Video?” That’s the title of Nicholas Kristof’s opinion piece in The New York Times on June 6, 2020.

  • “There is no video to show that a black boy born today in Washington, D.C., Missouri, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi or a number of other states has a shorter life expectancy than a boy born in Bangladesh or India.” Nor is there a video to show that a black woman is two and a half times as likely to die in pregnancy as a white woman.
  • “There’s no video to show that black children still are often systematically shunted to second-rate schools and futures, just as they were in the Jim Crow era. About 15 percent of black or Hispanic students attend so-called apartheid schools that are less than 1 percent white.”
  • “There’s no video to show that blacks are dying from the coronavirus at more than twice the rate of whites, or that a result of the recent mass layoffs is that, as of last month, fewer than half of African-American adults now have a job.”

Without a video these statistics are just that, cold statistics. Yet “they represent a kind of invisible, structural racism and violence that perpetuates inequality.”

How much longer are we willing to turn our heads to this reality, inequality?

I can’t suggest one single small step that can change this invisible racism. But what if we each committed to remembering these statistics and the people they represent as vividly as we recall the video of George Floyd’s murder on the streets of Minneapolis?

  • Would that motivate us to make even a small donation to one of the myriad of organizations that are fighting this racism?
  • Would it impact how we vote in November?
  • Would it motivate us to speak up when someone utters a racial slur?
  • Would it motivate us to show up for change?


My 1000 Small Steps – May 20, 2020

Posted on: May 20th, 2020 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

One Small Step for Democracy

by Kathie England

This month I created a Vote by Mail project for Oregonians to help raise awareness about the ease of voting by mail in contrast to the experience of Wisconsin voters who risked their lives to vote in their April 7 primary.

First I posted an announcement on Facebook. Then I sent the following email to friends and acquaintances.

“As you drop off you ballot for Oregon’s Primary on May 19, please take a selfie of yourself to show the rest of our country how easy it is to Vote by Mail! Then post your selfie on Facebook or other digital platforms with the text: This what Vote by Mail looks like!

This idea evolved from conversations with friends in reaction to what happened in Wisconsin’s primary election in April. We’ve made it a project and hope you will join us in taking this small step for democracy!

We Oregon voters will mark our May 19 ballots from the comfort of our homes. Ours is one of only 5 states that currently have 100 % vote by mail. It’s convenient. It’s secure. It’s fair and Oregonians have voted this way since 1998.

Let’s spread the word! Snap a selfie of yourself filling out your ballot at home or dropping it in a ballot collection box.

Let’s post and share. Show the country how it should be done.

Click this link for a 2-minute video from the non-profit Vote At Home about the importance of voting from home:

Thanks for taking this important step!”

With the national election less than six months away, I invite you to share the video link above to encourage other states to make Vote by Mail a reality before November 3, perhaps the most important election day of our lives.


My 1000 Small Steps – April 20, 2020

Posted on: April 20th, 2020 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

One Step

by Kathie England

“Do things that make you happy!”

That’s the recommendation of David Rock in a recent webinar titled “Coronavirus: What Science Says Leaders Should Do.”

Rock is the co-founder and CEO of the NeuroLeadership Institute whose goal is to use science to make organizations more human.

The guiding hypothesis of the NeuroLeadership Institute is that “organizational performance can be significantly improved, and the brain can show us how. By following the science, it is possible to develop significantly more effective talent strategies, and drive behavior change across the globe, at a fraction of the usual cost — and in weeks, not years.”

In the webinar Rock offered five adaptive strategies for individuals during this pandemic:

  • Social distancing
  • Great hygiene
  • Build the immune system
  • Get critical supplies
  • Stay informed (get information from reliable sources and limit frequency of accessing these sources to 1-2 times a day)

Building your immune system includes sufficient sleep, exercise, and nutrition. And, do things each day that make you happy. That step actually helps build our immune system!

I first learned about David Rock in the early days of my training as a coach. I have read three of his books – Quiet Leadership, Your Brain at Work, and Coaching with the Brain in Mind.

Here is the link to his webinar:

What can you do today that will make you happy?

My 1000 Small Steps – March 20, 2020

Posted on: March 20th, 2020 by Kathie England | Time for Success 1 Comment

Five Big Steps

by Kathie England

Inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s newest book, Tightrope, I step boldly away from proposing small steps this month. Instead, I share five big steps they suggest to regain America.

High-quality early childhood programs

Kristof and WuDunn believe this may be the single best thing we could do in the United States to help at-risk children. They cite findings from the National Academies of Sciences, Medicine and Engineering 2019 report that “each year child poverty costs Americans about $1 trillion in crime, education and welfare costs and related expenses. It is estimated that child poverty could be cut by more than half in ten years with a series of steps costing about one-tenth as much, $100 billion a year, while also creating jobs.”

For families living under the poverty level, childcare now consumes almost one-third of family income.

Universal high-school graduation

In the U.S. one child in seven doesn’t graduate from high school on time (including one-fourth of black students). These dropouts rarely have much of a future. This number is in sharp contrast to graduation rates in Japan, Russia, Ireland, and Finland where the drop-out rate is less than 3 percent. Offering apprenticeship programs, vocational training, career academies, and other similar efforts would increase the odds that students who stick with high school will be able to find a job at the end.

Universal health coverage

This idea was first proposed by President Harry Truman seven decades ago. Universal access to affordable healthcare would prevent millions of Americans from slipping through the myriad of cracks discussed in Tightrope, including impaired national competitiveness, reduced life expectancy, and the individual heartbreak described by Kristof and WuDunn, not only in Yamhill County, Oregon where Kristof grew up but throughout the United States.

Elimination of unwanted pregnancies

“Teenage pregnancy is a major precursor of poverty.” Ample evidence shows that free access to long-acting reversible contraceptives and other types of contraceptives can reduce unwanted pregnancies. A $1 dollar investment in this type of program reaps $7 in savings. It dramatically improves the odds of teenage girls graduating from high school. It also means fewer abortions.

A monthly child allowance

“Research shows that a government payment of about $250 a month to each household with a child would give poorer children a better start in life.” This type of allowance has been successful in Canada, Australia, and nearly every European county. This allowance would virtually eliminate children living in extreme poverty in the United States.

Last month I urged readers to sponsor a child through Save the Children. The five-year-old girl I sponsored lives in South Carolina where nearly 25% of the state’s children live at or below the poverty line. 40% live in extreme poverty in the communities where Save the Children works.

Once again I invite you to take a small step by sponsoring a child through Save the Children.

I end this month’s post with a quote from James Baldwin. This quote opened that last chapter in Tightrope titled “America Regained.”

“I know what I am asking is impossible. But in our time, as in every time, the impossible is the least that one can demand.”

James Baldwin