jen spencer coaches

The Gift of Risk

When was the last time risk got your ass in gear?

One of my clients sent me a recap a few weeks back…

I have a renewed sense of optimism for the company. We have much to be proud of and a stellar collection of talented people all looking to make big things happen. The very act of committing ourselves to something “risky” and somewhat “unknown” has brought out a renewed sense of purpose across the board and especially amongst the partner group.

This is what risk can do for us, whether as individuals or organizations. It creates cohesion and motivation in ways that status quo just can’t.

We often think of a risk as something that could be hazardous, but I have seen in my work how NOT taking risks is actually more dangerous. Continue reading

How to take a REAL work vacation

August is a big vacation month. It’s hot here in Austin, Texas, which is why I am excited to go to Colorado this month. It’s 71 at noon vs. 112, thank you very much.

I was sharing my plans with my friend and colleague Maura Thomas, a productivity expert who always keeps me in line when we start talking about time management. She has some really useful articles on how to take a vacation that I’ve shared below. Continue reading


My summer has been filled with planes, trains, and automobiles.

On one of my recent trips, I took a day trip from Milwaukee to Chicago on the train.  After a productive day of meetings, I headed back to Union Station a bit tired, yet content.  I was looking forward to a relaxing train ride back to Milwaukee.

As people lined up for the train, you could feel the stress build in the waiting area.

When the train arrived, I began walking casually to grab a seat.  But then people began whizzing by me to secure a good spot, and I picked up speed… unconsciously.  I was being herded without realizing it. Continue reading

The Duality of Plans

Plans can both help and hinder us in creating the best work we can for our companies and teams.  Here are 3 ways planning can benefit and kill Work Life Better.

A plan that SUPPORTS creative insight helps…
1.  understand the work ahead for yourself and others
2.  identify potential pitfalls or forks in the road
3.  get work done when you don’t feel like using your brain for logistics, so you can use your brain for creative visioning + problem solving

A plan that RESTRICTS creativity + progress is…
1.  inflexible – a cemented action plan
2.  unrealistic and impossible to fulfill
3.  a way to control (micromanage +/or overfunction for) others, losing out on the magic of team and iteration

Share with us below how plans help you reach success and where they get in the way or you accomplishing your goals.

the lifeline of creative executives

My friend Ro Rao recently posted a holiday note linking to his latest art project. As an artist, animator, filmmaker, author, and agency creative, Ro is always up for breaking new ground. paintThis time he was dabbling with trash paintings and publicly challenged himself to post one per day for 100 days. Lucky for us and Instagram and Facebook, his commitment and follow-through yielded almost twice that amount, and helped inspire this post.

Now that you’ve had a few weeks to get used to 2014, I want to encourage you to make a commitment to yourself this year – a commitment to create something that has meaning to you. Make your art.

Most of you come up with creative solutions every day for work. But creating from a personal place of vision and proactivity is a different beast, and usually requires a different process. Continue reading

The Regroup

CeeLo Green recently opened up about taking a year off from NBC’s hit show, The Voice. He explained that it all comes down to time.

His career endeavors – TV, music, production, life – have made him busier than ever. While he’s enjoyed being on TV, he’s a musician at his core and wants to spend time immersing himself in his true creative passion.

It got me thinking about choices and multi-tasking. Creative Executives are rarely at a loss for ideas or passions. We can start something that seems like an incredible idea, but our involvement and focus in that endeavor can be so great that really important parts of who we are get neglected.
Continue reading

Integration is the key to evolution

What does integration mean to you?

To me, personal integration means that my life is working well.   The parts that make up Jen Spencer are firing on all cylinders. They are connected and operate in a system. And the fruits of this integration yield efficiencies and possibilities for alignment that hadn’t existed before.  The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

And what I have noticed is that when something is off in my work and life or I feel overextended, fragmented or disconnected, integration is usually the only way to realign and get me back on track moving towards my overall goal(s).

It’s been really interesting noticing the same patterns in business lately. In the past 3 months, I’ve been steeped in conferences, surrounded by experts in social business, brands + innovation and interactivity.  What’s excited me is that these innovators in enterprise and social profit businesses are clear that – similar to working human beings – they have to integrate to achieve the next level of success.  Integration is key to evolution.

Continue reading

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