Blog Archives

Blue Health™ Videos English/Danish/Spanish

BH Video

Blue Health™ is the newest Leadership Development program created by Corporate Looking Glass, LLC – a global consultancy based in the USA.

Here is a 2-minute video in ENGLISH.

Here is a 2-minute video in SPANISH.

Here is a 2-minute video in DANISH.

So, if you are interested in having critical thinkers as leaders (as opposed to mindless foot soldiers) and resilient leaders who can bounce back (regardless of whatever “shizzle” is coming down the pike at work – or at home), then your company needs this program.

We build healthy, functional leaders.

Contact us at
Visit us at


How to Turn a Dysfunctional Leader into a Highly Functional Leader

BH Blog 1

Jane Doe (Not her real name!) is a VP at a large organization.  Her boss sits in the C-Suite and rewards her for reaching the objectives listed in her job description.  The problem is Jane has had more than two entire team turnovers in less than two years.  Her boss wrestles with the question: How can he let Jane go when she is doing exactly what he hired her to do?

Jane’s boss weighs the actual costs of personnel lost, recruiter time, learning curve and the intangible costs of distrust, watercooler chatter and lack of team cohesion against Jane meeting his annual objectives and goals.  It’s so much easier for him to keep the status quo, so he turns a deaf ear to the complaints streaming in through the uneasy Human Resource directors.  Jane’s workhorse style and “the whippings shall continue until you are all happy” are inconsequential to him, since results matter more than feelings.  In essence, he is teaching Jane to just “get ‘er dun” and she is more than ready to comply.

Let’s be clear here: The dysfunctional leader is not just Jane; it is, firstly, her boss.

Examples like this real-life “Jane” and her boss abound in Corporate America.  Yet, slumped productivity, wide-spread disengagement, and high levels of attrition are costing the U.S. economy an estimated $370 billion yearly, according to Gallup.*

  • How can a company retain specialized top talent AND keep team retention strong?
  • How can the organization avoid ex-employees posting on and damaging the organization’s brand and reputation of its ability to manage well?

Blue Health™ is a two-day Leadership Development program that is designed with a heuristic approach – which enables executives to discover how they can improve engagement, productivity, and overall well-being for themselves, their teams, and the organization as a whole.

The Blue Health™ model demonstrates the ancient Greek philosophical foci of Mind, Body, and Spirit (Energy Management); to which we have added the systemic dimension of the Organization.  This Positive Psychology program is a deep dive into optimizing performance and social dynamics. It engages participants in critical thinking and incorporates various methods of adult learning theory to keep comprehension and interaction levels high.

Our associates have conducted primary research from executives within the world’s five Blue Zones (locations known for holding the highest concentration of self-sufficient centenarians), and Blue Health™ is endorsed by multiple medical doctors from the only Blue Zone in the USA; Loma Linda, California.

If you are ready for healthy, functional leadership, please contact us at for further information.  Or, dial 615.431.9689.

Be Well.

Rossina Gil is the founder of Corporate Looking Glass, LLC, a team of Leadership and Organization Development Practitioners and Interculturalists, based across the USA.  Rossina co-launched the Blue Zones initiative in Des Moines, Iowa (Sponsor: Wellmark); and Redondo Beach, California (Sponsor: Beach Cities Health District).  She is the author of The Corporate Looking Glass: Using Culture for Your Competitive Advantage (available on, which is required reading at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management.

© Rossina Gil, 2015



The Rational Mind & the Emotional Mind


Why are Social Media mistakes so common?  Because, according to Daniel Goleman, “It takes the rational mind a moment or two longer to register and respond than it does the emotional mind.”  The first impulse is the heart’s, not the head’s.   Many successful leaders learn patience with experience, since they learn that a moment of impatience can lead to a lifetime of regret.  As such, experienced leaders are less likely to be reactionary than their younger, inexperienced successors, the Millennials/Gen Y.

However, older managers are not immune to the powers of the emotional mind if there exist unresolved issues.   As Sigmund Freud made clear, we often have feelings that do not always cross the threshold into awareness; these emotions shape our frame of reference (how we perceive reality) – and because we are unconscious to what has triggered them, we are typically unaware they are at work.

Self-Awareness & the Samurai

An old Japanese story tells of a samurai who challenged a Zen master to explain the concept of Heaven and Hell.  The monk scornfully and dismissively replied, “Why should I waste my time explaining that to such an intellectually inferior pig?!”  Enraged by the perceived attack on his honor, the samurai unsheathed his sword and yelled, “I could decapitate you for such disrespect!!”  With Zen-like calmness, the monk replied, “THAT is Hell.”  Struck with the truth, the Samurai instantly realized how he had surrendered his power to the grip of rage; he sheathed his sword, became calm, bowed deeply, and respectfully thanked the monk for the insight.  “And THAT,” the monk added, “is Heaven.”

Self-awareness does not get carried away by sudden anger.  It does not amplify what is perceived.  Rather, it is a neutral mode that maintains self-reflection even when emotions are turbulent.  It is the difference between, for example, stomping away flushed red from rage to having the self-reflexive thought “This is anger I’m feeling” even as you are enraged.


Effective leaders are human (not Vulcan), which means it is natural to experience emotions.  Moods, however, are private, subjective experiences of feeling; and anger is the mood people are worst at controlling.  This is because unlike sadness, anger is energizing.  Daniel Goleman wrote, “Anger is the most seductive of the negative emotions; the self-righteous inner monologue that propels it along fills the mind with the most convincing arguments for venting rage.”  Benjamin Franklin once said, “Anger is never without a reason, but seldom a good one.”  This is because the emotional mind is associative; it takes elements that symbolize a reality (which may be pure perception) or trigger a memory, to be the same as that reality.  And, what was once the case of ill-intent may no longer be.

If a colleague, boss, or peer believes him/herself to be victimized, so begins the emotional hijacking.  The rational mind is left in the cold because of the righteous indignation – which is the reactive anger to perceived mistreatment or insult.  Once these distressing thoughts are in play, they become unwavering beliefs and are self-confirming, which is a childlike mode.  Any evidence to the contrary is discounted.  The victim seeks out only the data that confirms his/her beliefs; any acts of kindness are arbitrary — it may even be perceived as false attempts to deny transgressions.


  1. Freeze Frame.  Reframing a situation (focus on the positive) can quell anger.  If there was no benefit from the immediate situation, then there typically was some positive exchange from the individual overall.  This is what some people refer to as an attitude of gratitude.  What gain was there?
  2. Yesterday’s Exam.  Effective leaders feel they gain more from their failures than from their successes and will attest that the past does not define them, rather it prepares them…it is a lesson from which to draw and guide others.
  3. Own Up.  Understanding our own accountability will typically minimize the feeling of victimhood, as the feeling of empowerment increases with the acknowledgement of choice.  Effective leaders know their role in failing to lead their personnel to succeed.
  4. Stay Attuned.  If you notice the physiological effects that anger creates in your system (e.g. heart palpitations, etc), it may distract you enough from the anger build to combat those symptoms.
  5. Choice.  Decide that you will no longer feel this way.  Eleanor Roosevelt wisely stated:  “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  You can change or you can leave; don’t deflect.
  6. Avoid Repression.  The feelings must be resolved, or else they will re-surface in other ways.  Naturally, the self-perceived victim may need to go beyond Executive Coaching or, Organization Development consultation, to psychotherapy if the following defense mechanisms continue to occur:
    1. Projection– the process in which we attribute something about ourselves onto someone else.  Example:  “He is a liar!” when the colleague him/herself does not practice authenticity.
    2. Transference- As with the Samurai, the colleague relates to his/her peer in a way that is reflective of an earlier unresolved relationship.  It’s a distortion of the real relationship and interaction between work colleagues.
    3. Countertransference- This is when your “stuff” and the other person’s “stuff” collide.  When the “victim” out of righteous indignation either intentionally or unintentionally acts out at you or against you, it pushes your buttons and sets off your emotional mind to be reactive.

Effective leaders know how to practice Emotional Intelligence, which is a meld of the Rational and the Emotional Mind.  This is how Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock made such a dynamic team on Star Trek.  Mr. Spock:  “I am pleased to see that we are different.  May we together become greater than the sum of both of us.”

Go forth and prosper!

Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, is a Leadership and Organization Development Practitioner, author, cultural analyst, coach, speaker, and facilitator.



Goleman, Daniel.  Emotional Intelligence.  New York, NY: Bantam Books.  1995. Pp. 59; 293.

How Fear Interferes in the Workplace (& Life)


In my last blog, I addressed how Thoughts, Actions, and Emotions are the core components to success (however you choose to define it).  This follows the words of the founder of the school of Individual Psychology, psychotherapist Alfred Adler, M.D, who said, “We cannot think, feel, will, or act without the perception of some goal.”

Essentially, we, as human beings, tend to be driven by three natural motivations:

  1. Rewards (including Recognition)
  2. Fear (or avoidance of pain and danger; conversely, survival)
  3. Revenge

You’ve probably already heard how FEAR” represents “False Events Appearing Real,” and, yet, perception is reality; therefore, we must address fear(s) for the sake of intrapersonal development, efficacy, and the ability to influence others.  So, while peers and colleagues, &/or yourself, may vie for value contribution in the workplace (namely, the first motivator noted above), it is critical to also be aware of how much fear is present and how it is driving the culture of your team, department, or organization.

Our nearly daily challenge is to face behavior in four common areas and examine how they reduce our ability to be effective in the larger system, i.e. the organization. These four areas are known as the “Four Fatal Fears,” a term coined by psychologist Maxie Maultsby.  We may experience all four fears, however, there is usually one or two that tend to dominate our lifestyle, thereby interfering with how we show up at work.


Fear: Fear of Being Wrong

Associated Need: Being Right

How it shows up: argumentative, arrogant

What you avoid: where you could fail or make mistakes

Fear: Fear of Losing

Associated Need: Need to Win

How it shows up: tend to see things as win-lose, competitive – could be ruthless

What you avoid: situations where you could lose

Fear: Fear of Rejection

Associated Need: To Be Liked/Accepted

How it shows up: challenge, accommodating, ingratiating yourself to people, indirectness, white lies

What you avoid: conflict, challenging the group, avoiding people who are different, honesty

Fear: Fear of Emotional Discomfort

Associated Need: To Be in Control of Emotions

How it shows up: stoicism, avoiding feelings of guilt, anger, intimacy, sharing embarrassment, stonewalling, blame

What you avoid: situations where authenticity is needed, all emotional situations, conflict

FEAR of being WRONG.  There is a Need to be Right.  The self-talk (i.e. Thought) that emerges from this fear typically revolves around themes of intelligence.  Examples include, “I’m so stupid.  How could I have made such an idiotic mistake?!”  These thoughts probably stem from the learned behavior of lowered self-worth (i.e. Emotions) due to strong criticism.  The behavior (i.e. Actions) that manifests typically includes strong self-assurance (functional behavior that may be misperceived by others) and attempts to prove others wrong (dysfunctional behavior that is a subconscious attempt to preserve one’s identity).  This also includes withholding of information for fear of making a mistake.  Professions generally include scientists, academics, R&D, doctors, and analysts.

FEAR of being LOSING.  There is a Need to Win.  The self-talk (i.e. Thought) that emerges from this fear typically revolves around themes of competition.  Examples include, “I am a total loser.  Put the ‘L’ on my forehead.” These thoughts probably stem from the learned behavior of lowered self-worth (i.e. Emotions) due to not having achieved the top recognition.  The behavior (i.e. Action) that manifests typically includes heightened energy (functional behavior that may be misperceived by others) and aggression at winning at all costs (dysfunctional behavior that is a subconscious attempt to preserve one’s identity).  This includes behavior of purposely un-filling a professional request made privately and then publicly broadcasting an incompletion of your “dropping of the ball” to the team.  Professions generally include sports coaches & athletes, CEO’s, salespeople, and marketing.

FEAR of REJECTION.  There is a Need to be Accepted.  The self-talk (i.e. Thought) that emerges from this fear typically revolves around themes of collectivism.  Examples include, “I am such a reject.  Nobody wants me; nobody wants to be with me.”  These thoughts probably stem from the learned behavior of lowered self-worth (i.e. Emotions) due to feeling left out of a group &/or teased.  The behavior (i.e. Action) that manifests typically includes the ability to adapt in order to appeal and assist (functional behavior that may be misperceived by others) and emotional manipulation through immediate acquiescence, appeasement, &/or self-victimizing/martyrdom (dysfunctional behavior that is a subconscious attempt to preserve one’s identity).  This includes “inner-circle” glances and alliances to form against the “villain” or perpetrator.  Professions generally include nursing, teaching/training, non-profits, and counselors.

FEAR of EMOTIONAL DISCOMFORT.  There is a Need to be Emotionally Comfortable.  The self-talk (i.e. Thought) that emerges from this fear typically revolves around themes of control and stability.  Examples include, “I feel so uncomfortable, anxious, nervous. I can’t stand feeling this way!”  These thoughts probably stem from the learned behavior of an environment either devoid of emotion or one where the adult as a child was unable to develop coping mechanisms to handle the intensity of emotion.  The behavior (i.e. Action) that manifests typically includes even-temperedness (functional behavior that may be misperceived by others) and blame &/or self-victimization (dysfunctional behavior that is a subconscious attempt to preserve one’s identity).  This includes complaints of being unduly, negatively influenced.  Professions generally include independent contractors, consultants, CEO’s, and accountants.

There is a lot of self-justification that is practiced in situations that trigger fear-based reactions, typically, because your experience has taught you that you need to protect yourself.  It is a natural response. There is no sense in flaying yourself for your behavior.  Rather, recognize where your past experience(s) may cause you to be presently ineffective and actively work on selecting strategically effective responses.

And, if your behavior is functional, others may respond negatively to you due to their fear, their perception.  It is not you.  However, it is what you represent.  When someone projects his/her anger onto you, remember it is really a reaction to a trigger that has its origin in the past.

Face your fears.  Live Fully.

Thank you.

Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, is a Leadership & Organization Development Practitioner, author, cultural analyst, coach, speaker, and facilitator.  Note: Much of the data used for this blog is empirical and is used in the context of broad generalizations.


Dr. Alfred Adler, The Practice and Theory of Individual Psychology, (Center City, Minnesota: Hazelden Foundation, 1998).

Dr. Maxie Maultsby, Rational Behavioral Therapy, (Appleton, Wisconsin: I’ACT, 1984).

Ergo Sum: Practicing Healthy Self-Talk


Ergo Sum: Practicing Healthy Self-Talk

(Sequel to Video: Who Peed on Your Seed?)

In my video segment, I addressed how we each have a purpose to fulfill in life.  Many of us receive the impetus of “negative ingredients” that can lead to either productive (&/or counterproductive) results.  It is a combination of an “I think I can” attitude with an “I will achieve” behavior, and a “This makes me happy” sentiment.  Thoughts, Actions, Emotions.  These are the lifestyle choices we can each make.

There are several examples of well-known individuals who have practiced this lifestyle choice of believing they can be more, among which include the following:

Sir Winston Churchill, the PM who kept England afloat during WWII strictly on the strength of his brilliant oratory, was at the bottom of his class in one school and failed the entrance exams to another.

Beethoven had a teacher who called him a “hopeless dunce.”

Albert Einstein, whose theory of relativity changed the scientific world.  He performed badly in almost all of his high school courses and even flunked his college entrance exams!  He couldn’t speak until he was almost 4 yrs old and his teachers said, “He will never amount to much.”  Post-college, he was denied a teaching post.

Babe Ruth hit 714 home runs, but also struck out 1,330 times.

Oprah Winfrey was demoted from her job as a news anchor because she “wasn’t fit for TV.”

Here are some more:

So, I dedicate this blog on Self-Talk a good friend who upon having viewed my video, remarked, “What’s next…Who Pooped on Your Stoop??”  Well, in a sense, yes.  David Stoop, author of Self Talk: Key to Personal Growth, wrote, “Your self-talk is a powerful force in your life.”  This blog is about conquering self-defeating behavior and getting you back on the road to success, which begins with your emotions and thoughts.

Your self-talk never stops.  The key to success (however you define it) is to practice healthy self-talk, the kind that will lead you to reaching your goals and desires; not the self-sabotage or self-fulfilling prophecy kind.

According to professional counselors Dr. Kevin Leman and Randy Carlson, most people speak aloud at the rate of 150-200 words per minute, but research suggests that you can talk privately to yourself by thinking at rates of up to 1,300 words per minute.  One of the biggest lies we tell ourselves is, “This is the way I am, so I can’t change,” or “I was born this way.”  The truth is you can gain control of your thoughts and change them!  Your perceptions affect your thoughts, which, in turn, impact your behaviors, and those behaviors are unlikely apt to lead you to success.

One way to initiate the road towards effectiveness is to reconstruct your perception of the past and develop a healthier adult outlook on life today.  This is not to say that we must practice “historical revisionism,” à la Robert Redford; it is to choose to focus on the positive that also exists.  And, as Oprah Winfrey said, “If you live in the past and allow the past to define who you are, then you never grow.”

You essentially have two choices:

  • DWELL- Carry the grudge, fight, be the victim/martyr, keep opening your own wounds and those of others; or,
  • ACCEPT- Accept it for what it was and move on.  There is no need to struggle with something that is working against you.

“It’s not that easy to ‘Accept’!”  Well, try your ABC’s…

Accept that your memory has a downside to it; AND, that you survived. The key to letting go is acceptance. (NOTE: This does not necessarily mean forgive or forget).  Concentration camp survivor Viktor Frankl recognized this fact that the one thing which no one can take away from you is the power of your thoughts.

Believe that that experience took place for a reason, which was to strengthen and prepare. This preparation can be to showcase your talents/skills or to serve as a source of strength/role modeling for someone else.  Let go of the past so that you can get on with your future.  The past was a lesson to prepare for the future; today is a gift, which is why it is called the “present.”

Change your behavior by using different self-talk.  What you remember does not have to be reality for you today.  Rewrite your memories by changing your perceptions.  Focus not what you will have; practice the emotion and thoughts of what you want in the moment!  This is the trick, Zedi mind-trick yourself!

Changing your self-talk for the better will change the way you act, communicate, and feel.  Thus, choose wisely.  Choose to be happy.

Here is a 25-second scene from The Help, where the maid helps her charge learn to practice healthy self-talk, since her mother is tough on the little girl:

Don’t allow people to “box” you in…Be like Albert Einstein, think outside the box!


Thank you.

Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, is an Organization Development Practitioner, author, cultural analyst, coach, speaker, and facilitator.


Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning, (Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press, 1959).

Dr. Kevin Leman & Randy Carlson, Unlocking the Secrets, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc, 1989).

Hugh Missildine, Your Inner Child of the Past, (NY: Simon & Schuster, 1963), 56.

David Stoop, Self Talk: Key to Personal Growth, (Old Tappan, NJ: Revell, 1981), 33-46.

Robert Waldron, Oprah! (New York: St. Martin’s, 1987), 36.