Secret Sauce Series: Lydia Handzova

I met Lydia Handzova almost two years ago through my Succeed With Your Strengths workshops. First impressions are everything, and Lydia brought some serious “first impression” horsepower to our events. She was friendly, engaging, knowledgeable, and eager to make a difference. Never in a million years would I have imagined that Lydia had overcome some amazing challenges in her life. Let’s hear her story, and learn how she’s using her secret sauce to remove obstacles and make a big dent in the universe!

Canoe & You

What if your life was a river and you were in a canoe. How would you spend your time and energy? Would you struggle against the current to head upstream? Would you aim your canoe for a point directly across and paddle like mad to get to the other side? Or would you let the river carry you downstream while you cling to the sides of the canoe, white knuckled and scared. Is there another option?

Timing Is Everything

Timing is everything, right? So what happens when time stops? Or when time speeds up? I’m beginning to wonder if time is a man-made function that is designed to keep track of productivity. Do you believe that the more productive you are, the more successful you are? Is it admirable to be the last man running on our 24/7 Hamster Wheel of Work? As you might imagine from my last post, my silent meditation retreat gave me a new perspective!

Sound of Silence

In the absence of noise, one hears things that are otherwise overlooked. Mental noise (Ugh – my to-do list!), emotional noise (XXX is SO annoying!), soul noise (Why can’t I be more like Pema Chodron?), and physical noise (Why is that idiot running the leaf blower when there is still snow on the ground?) When all that noise is present (and we’re experiencing it right now whether we realize it or not), one cannot hear the gift of the songbird. I’m embarking upon a small adventure this weekend, a noise deprivation experiment of sorts -a full day silent meditation retreat. I’m pretty much consumed with anxiety over it.


The phrase “secret sauce” comes from the idea that there are ingredients in and about you that make you unique, remarkable, successful and valuable. The Big Mac without the secret sauce isn’t as tasty. Given the choice of a Big Mac with or without the secret sauce, I harbor to guess that the multitudes would say “With!” We want people to say the same thing about having you on the team. We want them to say, “With!” Not because they are nice, and you are nice, which is all very nice and largely irrelevant, but because you will make the project better, the team better, the company better.