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GMP logoAnother article of KD picked up by The Good Men Project . This official second article hits on loneliness:

If It’s Lonely at the Top… Go Fill the Damn Moat: How to shift your perspective, dump the gloom, and become less lonely by re-engaging and igniting your relationships.

REMEMBER:  This article will be the fuel to an upcoming podcast on the PURE SOAPBOX channel, as an episode on the show “EVOLVE or Decay.” So SUBSCRIBE to plug in to the podcasts for FREE.



GMP logoThis just in: I have officially become a contributing writer and now join the brilliant international community at The Good Men Project (  Apparently they needed a bold female life coach who covers all things WINGMAN!  I am honored and truly jazzed at this tremendous opportunity to have a greater impact on the broad, diverse, international audience this organization has galvanized.

The Good Men Project is a community of 21st Century thought leaders fostering a national discussion centered around the issue of men’s roles in modern life.  Not so much a magazine as a social movement, the diverse ecosystem of contributors evolved from just a book into a movie, live events, a national discussion, a platform, and a non-profit helping boys and men at-risk. Good Men Media Inc. is the multi-media strategic platform modern manhood  and the question, “What does it mean to be a good man?”

Selected to offer my angle on business, relationships, motivation and wellness, the first article just out of the gate hits on friendships: Arithmetic of Friendship: Kimberlie Dykeman shares her simple but wise process to sifting out, seeking out, and solidifying a killer circle of friends.

This article will be the fuel to an upcoming podcast on the PURE SOAPBOX channel, as an episode on the show “EVOLVE or Decay.” So SUBSCRIBE to plug in to the podcasts for FREE.





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If you’re a modern man, you truly value the prime real estate between your ears. Too often the world smashes your eardrums with noise of irrelevant info, obnoxious attitudes and superficial fluff. YOU CAN CHOOSE TO CHANGE THE CHANNEL, you know.

So, I invite you to give me a shot. Join me on the PURE SOAPBOX channel launching within the next week.  PURE SOAPBOX: Motivation for the Modern Man, gives you a DOUBLE SHOT of the fuel you need as an Executive or Entrepreneur who runs at full throttle every damn day.  Have a listen to the teaser below.:

Together, these two series, SOAPBOX® shot in the arm and EVOLVE or Decay, deliver down-to-earth stories, powerful insights, industry specific strategies and wit that get you fired up about the choices and changes you can make to regain influence over your circumstances to become a better man, sharper leader, more communicative spouse, more compassionate friend, more inspiring father and overall more courageous human being.

SUBSCRIBE and receive both shows “SOAPBOX® shot in the arm” and “EVOLVE or Decay”.



vintagegolfboysNothing too elaborate today, but still simply deep. Growing up around golf (my pop was a pro in his own mind!), I picked up a few things here and there:

  1. Definitely learned HOW TO SWEAR at a very young age.
  2. Became adept at properly mowing our 250-yard driving range and green with a PUSH MOWER.
  3. Realized that throwing the club IS NOT part of the game.
  4. Came to appreciate that golf is one of the most challenging sports- it requires the BODY, MIND & SPIRIT to work in concert moment by moment.
  5. Augusta is indeed the end-all-be-all of courses and experiences… to SHARE with YOUR DAD!
  6. And I now understand the COUNTLESS METAPHORS of life which 18 holes can deliver.

So with that in mind, here’s a few words from (Austin’s own) the late Mr. Penick from “Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book” (Copyright 1992 by Harvey Penick, Bud Shrake, and Helen Penick)

“I learn teaching from teachers.  I learn golf from golfers. I learn winning from coaches. There are many good teachers of golf who teach quite differently from each other. I prefer listening to one who teaches differently than I do. I might learn from him. I already know my own way.”


~  KD


© Kimberlie Dykeman. Coach, Confidante and Wingman for overstretched, overstressed Executives, Entrepreneurs & VIPs. Unique packages include Face-to-Face Life/Performance Coaching, Mini-Retreats, Assistant Integration and Wingman Detail.  PURE SOAPBOX: Motivation for the Modern Man podcast channel launches this Fall!  Subscribe here!

POST-Smog image

Meet Bob. He’s a VP of Operations for a growing 30mm+ company.

Bob is feeling like crap (again) this morning and just led a half-assed update meeting with his leadership team. When asked “What’s going on? You alright?” by his assistant… the answer is simple: “I’m fine. Must have had too much coffee.”

It could be the coffee… on an empty stomach.  But let’s re-trace the steps that got him here.

Bob is loading up on (rot-your-gut, no-name office) coffee because he’s exhausted from about 3 hours of sleep. He skipped breakfast because he didn’t have time to stop off at his favorite Starbucks for a latte and low-fat/high-sugar muffin… which he usually deserves if he got in a morning workout.  Which he didn’t. Bob caved to the frenemy snooze button on his iPhone too many times and got up late. The evening before was filled with a Board meeting and dinner that was full of a few bumps that drove Bob to overeat and toss back a few too many vinos and after-dinner scotches; and upon arriving home, his wife expressed concern of his drinking then driving home (again) at an unannounced hour… which led to a lovely broken-record argument fueled by Bob’s agitation from the Board’s latest expectations and antics regarding the company’s spending pace.

Unable to go to sleep, Bob stayed up, slumped over his laptop, reading through emails and surfing through Facebook – wondering when he might actually take time off again, or if just a Poker night with his buddies might do the trick. Wondering why his wife doesn’t understand his responsibilities and pressure, and doesn’t offer encouragement anymore.

Poor sleep is not a stranger to Bob, nor are digestion issues and low back pain, marital issues and a sense of insecurity… which only add to most of his days’ list of small but growing list of complaints.

So, here stands VP Bob. Over-caffeinated, feeling bloated and slightly washed-up, cranky, anxious about his performance in front of the CEO, anxious about what conversation awaits at home that evening, and simply not ready to pound out another 7 hours of meetings, calls and reports.  And it’s only Tuesday.  Must be he drank just too much coffee.

MEN: It ain’t the coffee.  It’s STRESS… and it can be the Grim Reaper.

Aaahhh STRESS!  It DOES serve a purpose- it promotes optimal performance in acutely challenging or threatening situations: you get excited, nauseous, fired-up, focused, nervous and take ACTION. And when the stimulation subsides, you RELAX. That is: you SHOULD relax. The same STRESS that drives you to be a high achiever, leader and influencer is the very same that will bring you to your knees. Juggling jammed schedules, travel, Boards, shareholders, the media, employees’ wellbeing and stacks of emails and expectations wreaks havoc on your body, mind, family, and place in society. Add to that countless other roles like spouse, son, friend and parent… and performance burnout or a total break-down is bound to happen.

The layers of pressure that society, family and business cultures instigate will never go away.  BUT the bigger conversation to have here is discussing what SYMPTOMS are showing up to SIGNAL that your life is experiencing stress in an unmanageable, unhealthy dose… and that something needs to be done before the SH!T hits the fan.

So, gents, ask yourself:

  • Do you honestly know how STRESS is showing up in your life?
  • Do you realize that you hold some RESPONSIBILITY in causing it or keeping it there?
  • What are you going to do about it?

If you’re staring down your 40’s, 50’s and 60’s and the stacks of stats and data hasn’t smacked you upside the head just yet, perhaps a simple, random tool will shift you to see that 1+1 = 2.  Your PHYSIOLOGY dictates your PSYCHOLOGY… and VICE VERSA. Take moment, while no one’s watching, and get real with yourself about your stress.

It’s OK to Look.

Society may say you’re not supposed to show or share the physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual SYMPTOMS stemming from the growing CHALLENGES in your life… but the signs are already there:


Tuning-in to stress SYMPTOMS is the first step to understanding that stress takes many forms in your life.

But you can’t stop there: routing the symptoms back to the STRESSORS (sources) reveals trends of the problematic people, places, things, events, activities and environments that trigger your unhealthy responses. From here you can develop strategies to manage, change or eliminate the stressors and their detrimental effects.  Addressing the true sources also allows you to face your own responsibility and role in how these obstacles have shown up in the first place, and if you’ll allow them to continue to kill your performance in the future.

Ultimately, CHOOSING to process, react to, intervene on, and work to prevent stress literally dictates how much LIFE you’ll get out of your life. So… isn’t it time you got back in the driver’s seat, boys, and stop blaming the coffee?   ~  KD     

Never Stop EVOLVING  

© Kimberlie Dykeman. Coach, Confidante and Wingman for overstretched, overstressed Executives, Entrepreneurs & VIPs. Unique packages include Face-to-Face Life/Performance Coaching, Mini-Retreats, Assistant Integration and Wingman Detail.  PURE SOAPBOX: Motivation for the Modern Man podcast channel launches this Fall!  Subscribe here!



POST-Wingman imageWHO DOESN’T NEED A WINGMAN?  (audio version available:

  And yes, I am speaking beyond the guttural guy mentality and bar-room setting. Beyond the Vegas trips, tailgating parties, fishing weekends, neighborhood BBQs, poker nights, and “the wife’s away, let’s grab a beer and watch the game” nights.

I’m talking about the instances when life asks you to stretch beyond your self- limiting joints, mental capacity, and emotional quotient. When everyday life comes at you with a pitchfork and tear gas.  And if you’re anywhere near the top of rungs of your business’s ladder, there’s an entourage of boards, partners, consultants, investors, media, customers and employees who’ve got their own arsenal with which to wage against you.

Think of the countless times when you’ve wished someone would have had your back.  A trusted someone who would allow you to lead and still provides unconditional support and encouragement. Whose presence could increase your overall performance, refine your situational awareness, and advance your power to triumph over challenges, in all your roles- CEO, husband, brother, neighbor, whatever.  champion your drive to lead a more dynamic life and become a better man.  Bam!  That, my friends, is a killer definition of a WINGMAN, if I do say so myself.

In researching the lives and lifestyles of men in high management and leadership positions, the LACK of a confidante or go-to pillar of omniscience was tagged as one of the greatest upsets of the role.  Indeed, the stereotyped assessment that it’s lonely at the top (even so, on the way up) rings true time and time again.  It took a village to get there- and now they said they feel stuck on an island.  Their needs? Objective yet empathetic (confidential) listening, alternative opinions about real-life personal & relational issues, and unwavering encouragement and help without judgment.  Sound all too familiar?  I get it, gentlemen.

So, why do you often feel “stuck” without great options of folks to champion your own cause of “survival of the fittest”?

HEADS-UP WOMEN: This is where you might want to listen up and make an effort to understand WHY MEN DON’T READILY ASK FOR HELP, TALK ABOUT FEELINGS & CHANGE WHEN YOU TELL THEM TO.

Well, we both know that your buddies are NOT the best LISTENERS; your colleagues can’t possibly be OBJECTIVE; you can’t show VULNERABILITIES to your significant other; you dare not ask for directions from a stranger, let alone HELP; and your tailor or barber doesn’t have the business chops to provide SOLID REINFORCEMENT.

All that said, here are truths that I do know, not just as a seasoned coach, but as a woman who has been a confidante and wingman to her best friends since the 3rd grade… all of them men, including my pop:

  1. Men will open up when they feel SAFE and the listener offers compassion and understanding.
  2. Men will ask for help when they know they’re not being judged as WEAK or incapable of solving a problem.
  3. Men DO INDEED appreciate and need a woman’s perspective on countless things, ideas, situations- every day.
  4. Men will change when they realize it is a progression into building up a strength… NOT correcting a weakness.

So I offer these points as defense to my total paradigm-shifting idea… Gentlemen, your best WINGMAN… is probably a WOMAN.

Men and women think, act, breathe, work, feel, respond…. DIFFERENTLY.  Which is just FINE!  If you really get that, then you can leverage the fabulous differences that a woman can bring to the table for your benefit:

  • A female perspective (of course!)
  • Real listening chops
  • Empathy & nurturing
  • Authentic encouragement without goading
  • Acceptance of weaknesses as part of being human
  • Fearlessness of asking for help and finding collective support

These strengths in differences that women offer perfectly fill in the gaps of what you’ve been seeking!  If you’ve written off women to serve as your killer wingman based on your relationships with your WIFE (ex-wives) or Executive Assistant or hair stylist… think again and take another stab at it.  Believe that your perfect female wingman is out there – matching your wit, business savvy, intensity, or way of thinking.  To listen after a 4-hour Board meeting; go mid-life crisis car hunting; prep you for a public appearance; help shop for your nieces; be a proficient +1 for key business events; help plan your anniversary dinner. Perhaps she’s already right in front of you- you just have to ask if she’s up for the job!

As a woman who GETS TO BE the Coach, Confidante & Wingman to gents as a career, I can say this on behalf of plenty of other women:  we know you’re not trying to be SUPERMAN. You just want to become the man you’ve aspired to be since you were a kid. The one who’s sharp, successful, healthy, secure, respected and happy.  The one who loves his job, makes things happen, has a great family, and maybe sometimes saves the day.

Cheers to you finding the perfect WINGMAN- woman.   ~  KD


PRELAUNCH8...FB“So, what do you like to do for fun?”

Ring a bell? Of course it does- because we all have USED that wildly lame one-liner ice-breaker in hopes of finding common ground, or in the very least, finding out that the target had a wild side that is merely overshadowed by their way-too-conservative first impression. What used to be a first date investigation tool is now even used by off-center hiring leaders to see if the interviewing talent is more than 2-dimensional. Pick up a paper, read a blog, get sucked in watching shiny-happy-people of Good Morning America and you’ll learn of studies, companies and clubs making the element of FUN a top priority for improved productivity, better work environments, better sex, happier kids, fewer heart attacks, yadda yadda yadda. And yet again, unfortunately, the message is: Hey, you! Go find fun. Have some fun. Or you’re gonna die early.

Well, maybe not that simplistically laid out- but you get the picture. It’s the same blanket prescription doled out to all readers and listeners: Go find happiness. Be happy. Or you’re gonna die early. And that’s a bummer. Because we all know it just doesn’t WORK like THAT.    (SIDEBAR: these posts WILL become shorter and put into podcasts on soon. Promise.)

Where the hell has FUN gone anyway?

When I observe little boys in public, not much has changed, I gather, since I was a kid (and mind you, my best friend was a boy from grade 3 through college):  mud is fabulous, as is throwing rocks, breaking things, talking tough, shouting, jumping off of things way too high, trying to fit though spaces, dismissing trespassing signs, doing random acts for attention from girls, showing off for Mom or Dad, beating anyone at anything, eating anything… and of course GI Joe, cars, baseball (insert any sport), wrestling with the family dog. These things equated to fun.

When I observe grown men, many of these things still ring true… but the value of them has grown empirically because of the fractured, limited and often tamed nature of opportunities to experience.  The need for a rush of excitement or an unusual accomplishment never dies. As a man moves up the proverbial corporate ladder or grows his own enterprise ground-up, the anticipation of triumphing over greater challenges to ring a louder brass bell grows deeper and broader. Unfortunately accompanying the glorious (though not-so-glamorous) upward journey to the presumed top are more rules, regulations and expectations; less freedoms for authentic expressions, acting on gut instincts, and “come hell or high water” battle plans. Let alone outlets for release or for trying something crazy, for fun.

So, in doing the simple math, when a man is thus shackled in a prescribed suit (except in Austin, TX, of course), between 4 prescribed walls for 50-80 hours/week, to hustle through countless prescribed back-to-back-to-back meetings and calls and presentations, all to net the delayed gratification of a quarterly report… it’s like a never-ending buildup to an orgasm that never happens. And instead, becomes a self-fulfilling story of all work and no play.

Sidelining fun shunts the possible improvements of any and all aspects of your life. Know this. Without release from stress, time for true pleasure, and experiences that take you out of your comfortably uncomfortable zone of a full plate of responsibilities… all important pillars of your life will suffer. But there is light at the end of the tunnel.

First: Believe it’s possible.

Thankfully you’re not dead yet, gentlemen, and there is a way to the end goal of experiencing more FUN- and I mean, thoroughly drenching yourself in the gratification and rejuvenation of whatever you think equals PLAY. And to do so you first have to believe it’s possible. Here’s a SOAPBOX® vignette I wrote way back in 2008 to prompt my clients to get into this frame of mind, get out of the head, and get into the moment of living:

 “Fun has a sacred dimension.” – Adriana Diaz, life coach

As kids we set up camp in that realm, only coming out when paged or prompted by someone in charge. We experienced “fun” in just about everything -down to a Cracker Jack prize!- and saturated our present tense with laughter and a contagious carefree attitude. So, how now do you define “fun”? Where do you go to find it?

Stumped? Well, perhaps you’re light on amusement TODAY because you’re caught up in creating TOMORROW. The “land of fun” is found in an entirely different sphere of your perception …but it’s always there, twinkling in the background. So choose to dip into its unending supply of amusement, uninhibited laughter, and memories of wonderfully pointless activities -and that special sparkle you bring back to the “real world” will confetti your perspective with the delightful new energy of a kid.     ©Kimberlie Dykeman

This simple premise is a cornerstone to my coaching today, for it roots a key unique differentiator I offer my clients:  FUN. Recess. Playtime. Retreat. Reward. Nonsensical FUN. Whatever you want to label it, it’s the time of simply being all of you at once- body, mind, heart, spirit- without too damn many cares. It’s making a virtual sandbox, carnival or Disney movie wherever you want and dropping your very self into it.  According to Dr. Stuart Brown, head the National Institute for Play, “Play is something done for its own sake. It’s voluntary, it’s pleasurable, it offers a sense of engagement, it takes you out of time. And the act itself is more important than the outcome.”

Of course, playtime for kids was an integral part of brain development- not to mention communication skills, behavior, adjustment of discourse, and just learning how to get dirty- get hurt- shake it off and get back to the fun at hand. But because our brains are malleable and constantly changing, adapting and allowing for deeper file-building, we need to re-define ourselves as ADULTS that still have a growing KID inside. If you come to understand that reality, you’ll believe that true unadulterated fun is still alive!

Second, you need to reverse-engineer the discovery process.

Some men have no idea what a real retreat from responsibility, a retreat, a reward even looks like, let alone when to plug it in.  Like with any puzzle, sometimes you have to disassemble and examine to discover what goes into creating the experience you want to, need to, are dying to have.  If you peel back the layers first, you unearth what fun looks like specifically to you, to ultimately fulfill your purpose.

  1. What STRESS symptoms are affecting your body, mind, relationships, work, sense of self?
  2. What tangible obstacles are impeding a direct route toward diffusing, eliminating or reversing this stress?
  3. What does your “Day-in-the-Life” look like and where do the greatest windows or pressure build up?
  4. How do you nurture and appeal to your 5 powerful, emotion-changing senses, and which are completely neglected?
  5. What are some of your favorite childhood memories? What about college? What about when your kids were growing up?
  6. When was the last time you pushed yourself physically or put your body at risk?
  7. When was the last time you learned something new and didn’t care if you were good at it?
  8. When was the last time you made a complete ass out pf yourself?
  9. What’s on your Bucket List?
  10. What makes you feel… GOOD and gives you immediate gratification of feeling whole?

Finally: Pick your poison, gentlemen, and get out there!

Now that you have a WHY to what you need to experience, how do you go from missing out to stepping out into the land of play again? I help clients by creating actual categories of fun, going to town with brainstorming activities and adventures, and then plugging them into our monthly Gentleman Mini-Retreats, as well as confettiing them into their schedules:

  • Sport/Competition: soccer league, pickup game, boxing, ropes course, triathlon
  • Sport/Outdoors: hiking, kayaking, SUP, swimming, batting cages, rent-a-bike
  • Food/Drink: beer/scotch tastings, vineyard, chef tastings, farmers market, candy store, brunch
  • Performances: poetry slam, plays, concert, comedy, TV show taping
  • Music: jazz, rock concert, symphony, blues
  • Risk-taking: rock climbing, ATV, COTA track racing, repelling, base jumping,
  • Animals: aquarium, zoo, pet store, walk-a-dog charity, horseback riding
  • Learning/classes: painting, improv, voice, cooking, museum tour, sailing, metal class
  • Adventure: camping, hot air balloon, road trip, day of photography, build something!
  • Volunteer: homeless, women’s shelters, Big Brothers, church, children’s ward, building homes
  • Amusement: bowling, dancing, karaoke, laser tag, matinee, Pro Sport game, toy store, car show
  • Relaxation: massage, men’s spa, wet shave, yoga, meditation retreat, fishing
  • Travel: hello, there’s a whole globe to discover!

Play time SHOULDN’T end when we become adults.  And for those mud-slinging, smart-talking, risk-taking, dirty-joke-telling boys who grew into men, once you define what FUN can look like again you can purposefully create the time to experience it weekly, if not daily. Risking your health, marriage, fatherhood, career, mental wellbeing, family, contribution to society, friendships… anything of value to you… is not worth it. You’d be amazed at what a smile, a laugh and a leap can do.    ~ KD


POST-Scotch image3

Disclaimers abound:

Hello, my name is Kimberlie. I am a proud New Yorker, a straight-shooter, and have been lovingly referred to as the following: buzzsaw, taskmaster, espresso shot, hired wife and “the real deal”.  So, if you’ve ever read one of my blogs, article or publications you’ll connect the dots very quickly: I am not writing to win fans or followers, and I refuse to regurgitate the latest scary stats or feel-good, dumbed-down, mind-numbing fluff by someone much more famous that I will ever be, just to get eyes on my posts, page or profiles. Period. Writing is way too personal to me for that agenda.

I write because I LOVE TO WRITE. I am in love with the written word and believe it will always be omnipotent in bonding us together as human beings who live to connect and share. My passion for leveraging the power of our English language is WHY I have a degree in Literature and Rhetoric and WHY I ever strived to become a published author (PURE SOAPBOX, pub.2008).

More profoundly, I write because I have UNWAVERING HOPE that some magical mix of words I scribble will in some way teach, inspire and encourage just ONE PERSON to shift his perspective, embrace optimism for all that lies ahead, and act with purpose to become a more courageous human being.

Which brings me to a man.

This past week brought the all-too-soon passing of the “father of motivation”, Wayne Dyer. This adored and world-renowned author, speaker and thought-leader in the self-development space authored 42 books throughout his career. 42 BOOKS! Millions sold! Millions of Wayne Dyer books stacked on coffee tables, tossed in briefcases, gathering dust on office desk corners, tossed into conference swag bags, and buried under Men’s Health issues and Jim Cramer books on nightstands. Millions of books with countless chapters about living with more intention to take purposeful action to become more spiritual, more communicative, more authentic, more loving…more of a human being.

I love the man for his unflinching focus on helping humanity choose change… and there are many other writers whose hearts were and continue to be in the right place. Americans spend over $1billion on self-help publications alone… indeed there is a supply and demand for HELP.  BUT, all that said, one more blog or book, swaddled in self-help and personal development packaging and doling out words of wisdom and motivation is just another Band-Aid, instant gratification box-o-chocolates. All of which are easily devoured and crapped out; scanned and shared without true skin in the game; or dog-eared for application that will never see the light of day. Too many consumers live for the INTENTION, not for the IGNITION. Essentially, just as Dyer’s approach- and that of countless other motivational writers, including myself- places folks yearning for CHANGE in the proverbial driver’s seat, they still gotta put fuel in the damn tank and stomp on the gas pedal.

The best Self-Help is a Real Conversation.

And I say this especially for men, because too many of you “hide” behind the sage pages of “the greats”, like Dyer. Unfortunately, you also get sucked into buying the latest, best-selling boost-your-power, become-an-unforgettable-leader, be-one-with-the-Universe, triple-your-net-worth-with-your-mind, bust-your-stress-forever, become-a-God-in-30-days books. Perhaps you actually read them in the bathroom or stuff the pages with Post-It notes on long flights. But you and I both know, a damn book will only get you so far. Just as aiming towards something and MOVING towards it are light-years apart. One is all about POTENTIAL, and the other is all about FULFILLMENT.

So I ask: When was the last time a self-help book bought you a scotch and let you vent about your dreadful 4-hour Board meeting, migraine-provoking ex-spouse, receding hairline, new product launch and shift of becoming an empty-nester? Or offered real-time answers or heartfelt praise, or uplifting cheerleading…or a helping hand? Exactly.

Which brings me to the scotch. (FYI- I do not endorse drinking- I toss about “scotch” because of its old-school allusion to two gents sitting down and having a solid, down-to-earth, man-to-man conversation over a stiff drink.)

Gentlemen, if you had HAD an unabashedly open and honest conversation with another human being in place of the umpteen hours you spend (and often waste) cramming over another best-seller or ad-laden blog… I’d bet Buffet’s Coca-Cola stock that you’d be a different person. And it wouldn’t really matter the person- be it a coach, mentor, BFF, random stranger, sibling, neighbor, old high school buddy, former boss or homeless man at the shelter-because the person is merely the human match igniting your intention into action.

This is what a Self-Help Book simply CANNOT deliver…which you clearly seek:

  1. Individual assessment of your circumstances- the good, the bad and the ugly.
  2. Honest, real, YOU-focused answers to your specific questions.
  3. Feeling of inclusion and acceptance.
  4. Empathetic listening.
  5. Unyielding accountability and support.
  6. Powerfully irreplaceable face-to-face encouragement.

So, put down the damn book.

If you want to cut through your own BS, face fears & obstacles, bridge the gaps in your own performance, and give you the space to take steps for change…  then pour a scotch and start talking.

If you are dying to finally crack open your armor, trust an objective yet committed listener, and be vulnerable to the work  it takes to truly GROW and become a BETTER MAN… then pour a scotch and start talking.

And if you are yearning to let someone carry some of your burdens, help you in a pinch, and reignite that side of you that used to be carefree, not so serious, and even funny… then pour a scotch and start talking.    I’m listening.  ~ KD



BLOG POST 8.31.2015.image
a.k.a.  No one ever said: It’s all fun, games, flashy titles and big paychecks…          until SOMEONE has a heart attack.

So, I was all ready to pull out a pencil and legal pad (yes, I said PENCIL) to write up notes for this post- fully armed to hit on the dirty topic of EXECUTIVE STRESS and what the media is doing to make it even worse (while lining the pockets of snake oil salesmen) … but then Howard Schultz decided to interrupt.  Now, I gotta tell you, it was in the best possible way.

Before getting a workout at the crack-o-dawn, I ran in to my corner Starbucks for a half-caf blonde.  And about 3 hours later I received a survey request with a free star- which I decided to fill out, since I was still sitting reading morning emails. (For those of you with the app, you know stars are their form of crack.) Now here’s where things took a turn:

Besides asking if I was actually thirsty or hungry, these were the imposing, kneading and slightly LEADING multiple choice questions in the survey.

Did you stop in because …?

  • You felt busy or overwhelmed and needed a break
  • You felt tired and needed a pick-me-up
  • You felt like socializing and needed to spend time with others
  • You felt scattered and needed to focus
  • You felt like you deserved it and needed a treat

BAM!  And there it is.  Mainstream corporate marketplace, with its addiction-inducing/supporting retail mini-hubs, has its finger on the pulse of America’s worker bees.  This survey wasn’t asking if I was too lazy to brew a joe at 6am, ran out of coffee or loved starting my morning with something that brings back memories of my mom getting ready for work.  It was, essentially, assuming that I didn’t have my sh$t together. It wanted to get under my skin and see just how vulnerable I am to divulge personal, emotional information.

Mindfully concocted and strategically delivered by a think-tank of marketing wizards and media mongers, this survey pressured me to believe that this cup of spiking hot, brown water was ONE answer to my problems.  Just like the media-at-large, Starbucks is on-the-money: it KNOWS that folks are working themselves to the bone- hell, even to death.

Men don’t talk about Stress.

As I’ve been relaunching my coaching practice, I’ve been devouring studies, data, and details from my own research interviews of executives, thought leaders and their assistants …and a few things are UNABASHEDLY CLEAR:

  1. Technology has changed the landscape so much that we are actually gaining speed down towards an abyss of STRESS. More HIGH TECH and less HIGH TOUCH is short-circuiting our emotional, mental and social needs.
  2. STRESS is indeed erupting countless illnesses, causing mental strife, disrupting family foundations, creating career burnout, dividing communities and picking us off in droves.

#3 is actually reserved for the men… specifically execs and leaders:

  1. The first rule about STRESS is you don’t talk about STRESS.


I say that because it’s true. (Call it a blanket statement, assumption or stereotype… but I’ll ask you to prove otherwise with your own data, folks.)  So assuming no argument, most men don’t wear their issues on their sleeves, let alone ask for help, or divulge much in random retail surveys. And if you’re an Alpha male, executive, high-performance or highly-visible businessman- we’ll be waiting for Kanye West to make it to the White House (#VMAawarddebacle) before you fess up and let someone else HELP you become the man you’re killing yourself to be.

Mass media showcases elements of how anxiety and pressures swirling around work, family and health affect men… but they stop at getting to the meat of it all. They just keep adding to the number of gents searching “executive burnout” and “executive stress syndrome”. Reporters, hosts, bloggers and experts alike don’t really cut enough away to reveal the SOURCES beyond symptoms. AS if it would be almost insulting to mention that people DO PLAY a role in their own stressful circumstances.  And WE DO!  Makes you wonder: with the obviousness of societal stress growing like a weed… why aren’t enough people showing how to take responsibility and SOLVE their PROBLEMS?

Getting back to Starbucks

What if you were asked to fill in the email survey?  Would you actually take pause and take inventory?  Better yet, what if I were to just ASK YOU these questions… what would you say?  What if you just ASKED YOURSELF?

Are you really:

  • overworked
  • stressed-out
  • lonely
  • distracted
  • sleep-deprived
  • under-rewarded
  • discouraged
  • seeking camaraderie
  • needing to connect and share?

If any (or all) of these resonated with you, you can do one of two things, I suppose:

  1. Keep getting the sh%t knocked out of you in your very own world of Fight Club
  2. Choose to change. Choose to EVOLVE. Choose to LIVE.

I have chosen to focus on the SOURCE, folks.  Relaunching my offerings as a Coach, Confidante and Wingman whose bleeding-edge, timely solutions speak to the specific lifestyle and high-performance needs of stressed Executives & VIPs.  My unique packages include Lifestyle Coaching, Mini-Retreats, Assistant Integration and Wingman Detail.  ( – new site under construction) Humor yourself and take inventory, then give me a shout.

Thanks again for reading. Podcast available ASAP.


~ KD



16 years ago I found myself freezing my petunias in the tundra of Michigan (don’t ask why), driving a Ford Mustang (you know why), and managing a fitness facility while growing my business as a Certified Personal Trainer.  This meant getting up at 4am to open the doors at 5am for the handful of highly-devoted (and pretty damn spirited) members who no doubt slid their way off the main street into the gym parking lot.  During these quiet hours, I’d plan the sessions for my clients and review sticking points that were inhibiting their goals… not to mention attitudes.  (Hint: 1 hour with a trainer can be obliterated by any bad habit within a minute.)

Though I did experience successes with plenty of clients, a trend easily revealed itself: one’s psychology dictates one’s physiology, and vice versa.  The folks who were unable to handle certain sources of stress in their lives were having trouble committing to workouts in their own, changing eating regimens, getting enough rest…hell, even showing up on time for a workout!  I realized that “Give me 12 more” wasn’t cutting it when the client was struggling with an uphill battle of stress- revealing itself as poor memory, disorganization, loss of interest in activities, struggling marriage, lack of confidence, low libido, reliance on food or alcohol… the list went on.  (Trust me, I’d get earfuls of confessions…and details!)

Mind you, each of these folks could be categorized with a simplistic label, like Executive, Baby Boomer, Empty Nester, Single Parent, Entrepreneur, 9-to-5er, Unemployed, Retiree, New Grad, Newlywed, etc.  But through countless hours of conversations both on the clock and on my own time, it was also revealed that each person wore a plethora of different hats each day, juggling lists of responsibilities, and bravely facing unique situations concerning their boss, kids, spouses, deadlines, parents, pets, schedule, school, health issues, home, travel, age, neighborhood, technology, addictions, friends, carpools, church… you name it.  So… the SYMPTOMS weren’t the problem.  The PROBLEMS were the problem.

Don’t focus on the signs. Focus on the SOURCE.

And there it was.  My a-ha moment.  My leap from ground level to 30,000 feet that became the springboard to the last 15 years of my career.  It also became the tuning fork to my own life.

The lesson here: when you shift your paradigm from being reactive to being proactive you change  your own dynamic in any situation.   I think the renowned director, author and screenwriter Nora Ephron nailed it with one simple charge:

Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”

So, yes, those crack-o-dawn, cold, reflective mornings, were the foundation to the groundbreaking methodology I brought to Austin back in 2000.  Over the years it has indeed evolved- especially with the acceptance of and explosion of the coaching market- but it is still soundly based on respected science, diligent research and demographic-specific observational experience.  So, yup, I’ve done my homework. But the means with which I deliver tools, guidance and in-the-trenches action is even more profoundly progressive as of late -perhaps, somewhat aggressive as well. “Give me 12 more” was definitely just a starting point to my own process of learning; an ever-evolving process that confidently equips me to motivate, advise, encourage, collaborate with, educate, entertain and activate folks to find solution by focusing on the source.

My own evolution as coach has taken me on quite a colorful journey. Coming from a diverse family line of teachers and professors, I like to think I’ve found my own unconventional, but still wonderfully valuable, way to impact people’s perspectives.

I leave you with this:  take the leap to 30,000 feet, my friends.  And if you need a wingman… give me a shout.    ~KD