It happened on Monday. Sharon and I were wrapping up our last coaching conversation of the year. I’m so proud of her – she’s leveraged her strengths to land a new job, she’s moving to a new city, and she’s thriving in her role and making a difference.  I’ve talked about Sharon before (click here to read about how Sharon drives her own life.)

We were sharing our plans for the holidays when Sharon said, “Throughout the year, I write down good things that happen to me and I put them in a jar. Then, on New Year’s Eve, I sit down and review them all. This year, my jar is as full as it has ever been! And by the way,” she added, “I consider working with you to be one of the good things that have happened to me this year!”

First of all, it was deeply gratifying to hear that I’d been of value to Sharon. Then, I thought, “That’s a brilliant idea!”

In 2015, I’m going to build my own “Success Jar” to preserve personal and professional “best moments.”  Would you like to join me? Maybe it’s even something a team could do… (my Ideation, Strategic, and Maximizer strengths are running wild.)

But What About 2014?

Good question. What about 2014?  My best moments are tucked away in emails to friends, blogs, journals, loose sheets of crumpled paper crammed in a kitchen drawer, and on randomly placed sticky notes. So, I’m going to tap into my old brain and see what I can come up with (at the end, you’ll find an invitation to join me!)

My “Best of 2014” moments include:

  • Method Park: I build strategic partnerships for a large company, and this year, my partner, Method Park, won a big award for our partnership. I was thrilled for them. The years of hard work and determination finally paid off. We make a good team, and I am proud of that.
  • Living in Savannah: Oh my gosh, I had a wonderful time living in Savannah for seven weeks (that’s why I didn’t blog much, plus I was working on a special project – see below!) It was a little weird at first because I truly didn’t know a soul. As I adjusted, my sense of well-being shot up. I walked a lot – over 40 miles a week. I joined the Savannah Yoga Center. Kelley Boyd and her awesome team were my first friends. Then, I was adopted by the kind Episcopalians at St. John’s church, and invited to multiple events by the lovely Margaret Hardy. I was surrounded by beautiful architecture and history – it was glorious. Every day was an adventure. And yes, I do miss it.
  • Success of my Success Business: I started working part time in July. This gave me four days a week (including weekends) to grow my success business. I have a long way to go, but I have made progress. I have awesome clients and I am filled with gratitude for their belief in me. When I work with my clients to increase their success, my own value proposition is realized. No better gift than that!
  • Entrepreneurial Profile Training: Last week I traveled to Omaha, Nebraska and was trained on Gallup’s new tool that assesses the capabilities of entrepreneurs. Small businesses drive our economy, so I am eager to help make entrepreneurs as effective as possible. The instructors were remarkable as were the other participants. One fellow came all the way from the Ukraine and will return to help that country launch and grow successful businesses. It felt good to be in an environment where I was supported and valued for my work on building winning teams. If you’ve got a hankering to start a business, know someone who does, or if you know someone whose business is struggling, we should talk.
  • Starting my book: I’ve been working on a book to use as a platform for my success business. I want to capture the key milestones on the journey of strengths, self-leadership, and success, and provide a support system around it. I’ve worked with thousands of people / teams around the world. One fact has emerged: no matter where you live (near or far!) or what your job title is (high or low!) everyone benefits from this journey, and almost all need some guidance along the way. More to come!
  • Coaching Success: I’ve helped multiple folks prepare for and land new jobs, which just thrills me to death. Making their dreams come true is making my dreams come true – it’s a happy circle.
  • Tourist 911: As I got to know Savannah, I was able to help visitors get from A to B. The lost people weren’t hard to find – their faces were glued to the street map and then their heads swiveled in all directions as they tried to figure out where they were and where they wanted to go. I wanted them to enjoy the city as much as I did, so I was delighted to help.
  • Geriatric 911: I helped a little old lady trying to exit a parking garage. The line of cars behind her was long. The holiday shoppers were impatient. The parking payment machine was screeching “Please insert your ticket! Please insert your ticket!” Horns began to honk. She began to panic. From a strengths standpoint, my Command was provoked (it emerges when there is a leadership void) and I walked up, took her ticket, plugged it into the machine, asked for her credit card, plugged it into the machine, (it charged a mere $1), and returned her card and receipt. The gates magically lifted, and she was released from her holiday nightmare. She said I was her “Christmas Angel” (this will be big news to my family.)
  • Gratitude:  I am writing this on Christmas Eve, and there is an old black and white movie playing behind me. Someone just said, “It’s a terrible kind of poverty when a man has no friends.”  Amen.

How did you make a difference in 2014?

What about you? I’d love to hear about your best memories from 2014. It’s not bragging; it’s sharing amongst friends. My dear colleague Vicki Flaherty recommends that we “pause and celebrate” from time to time. I hope you will share a few special moments so that we can celebrate together.

Thank you for being part of my leadership journey. 2014 was a good year. 2015 will be even better.  Keep that Success Jar handy!  

Maureen (Ideation ~ Strategic ~ Learner ~ Achiever ~ Individualization ~ Maximizer)


  1. Oooh, I love it! Yes, I will join you in creating and filling a 2015 Success Jar! I’m going to line the bottom of mine with colorful paper that captures my intentions (OK, I have a bit of maximizer in me – hee hee). Thanks to Sharon and YOU! Happy New Year, my friend! (And, I’m noodling how I might do something like this with my team – if not paper in a jar, then notes in a community, or something that honors the spirit of the idea…love how it would encourage reflection. What do you think?)

      • Maureen Monte

      • 9 years ago

      Hi Vicki! I am so glad you’re home, sounds like vacation was the best! Thank you for bringing your Maximizer to the game – I *LOVE* the idea of making your Success Jar a very special and sacred place to harbor your awesomeness! I can learn from you because that never would have occurred to me! :-)
      Your team ideas are excellent and I do hope you a) do it, and b) share your results (without revealing personal stuff but to let us know if its effective!) :-)
      And thank you for calling out Sharon – isn’t she the best? I learn so much from her!

  2. Hi Maureen, Great idea with a Success Jar. I bought a beautiful book last year in which I write what I’m grateful for each evening – especially things that has occurred that day. That isn’t exactly the same thing but I feel a great difference in my mindset from before I started writing in my book and today. And it’ s so much fun reading about events/things that happened a couple of month ago. If I hadn’t written them down I would have forgotten about them.

      • Maureen Monte

      • 9 years ago

      Hello Monica! So good to see you here. Ah, you have your own Success and/or Gratitude Journal! Good for you!! I love the fact that you make it special – that’s the key thing. And you support the idea that if you don’t capture it, it disappears! Plus look how good it makes you feel – you are fueling your own fire – a real lesson on effectiveness. I’m so glad you shared your story!