Workforce Development Institute Launch

Drs. Herbert & Mary Canty Merrill with Don Mares

Merrill Consulting Associates, LLC Launches Workforce Development Institute

Greenwood Village, CO June 27, 2012 – Merrill Consulting Associates, LLC is pleased to announce the launch of our Workforce Development Institute.  Our goal is to help build a workforce equipped with the business and technical skills essential for success in today’s labor market.  Our cutting-edge programs are customized to meet the unique needs of practitioners, employers and job seekers within the context of changing technologies and workforce demographics.  Our five (5) program offerings include: 

  • Career Development Facilitator (CDF) Training & Certification (with an option for Continuing Education Units)
  • CareerConnections! Workshop
  • Occupational Skills Training
  • Career Coaching
  • Back-to-Work Boot Camp

For more information, e-mail me at or visit our website at


6 Ways to Expand Your Influence

Dear Readers:

Authentic leadership is born out of a desire to serve by understanding and responding to the needs of others.  This level of connectivity is the power engine that pulls the organization to maximize performance and effectiveness.  To push the evolutionary edge and set in motion a fresh new reality of influence, sharpen your competencies in the following areas:

Vision and Purpose – Demonstrate a clear sense of purpose and convey passion.  Move people with a compelling vision and inspire them to achieve more than they may have ever dreamed possible.  Create a culture that empowers and energizes by connecting individual and organizational goals to create alignment, broaden perspectives, launch initiatives and sustain commitment.

Emotional and Social Competence – Emotional competence (self-awareness) is the ability to recognize, interpret and constructively manage your own emotions.  It’s having an awareness of your strengths and limitations and taking responsibility for personal performance.  Social competence (other-awareness) involves acknowledging and validating the feelings and emotions of others.  It’s taking an active interest in others to elicit new ideas, generate fresh perspectives and foster group synergy to pursue and achieve collective goals.

A Global Perspective – A global perspective enables collaboration by improving your ability to reframe situations and make more effective decisions.  It provides a realistic view of issues and challenges and heightens your awareness of diverse needs and interests.  Cultivating a global perspective involves more than acquiring knowledge and information.  It requires deep understanding, which facilitates meaningful connections between your own life and the lives of others.

Mastering Change – Change is inevitable, so to elevate your experiences and turn obstacles into opportunities, focus on possibilities instead of problems.  As a change agent, you must educate, empower and engage stakeholders at every level, so that everyone is aware of the destination and understands the reason for taking the journey.  Host an open dialogue to help ensure that stakeholders: (1) understand the decision that you are making and why; (2) know how any changes will impact them, which will increase their capacity to deal with that impact; (3) are equipped to communicate changes to customers, clients or business partners; and (4) have an opportunity to share ideas and suggestions for navigating difficult times.

Shared Leadership – The most valuable asset of any organization is the creativity and innovation of its human capital.  No one individual can have all the answers, so it’s incumbent upon every organizational member to actively participate in achieving the organization’s vision, mission and goals and building a sense of community.  This requires a cultural shift from merely valuing workforce diversity to embracing inclusion so that the talents, skills and experiences of every individual are leveraged to foster a more creative, respectful and productive workforce and workplace.

Continuous Improvement – In a world of fierce competition and fleeting opportunities, inertia feeds obsolescence.  An investment in lifelong learning (formal and informal development) is your roadmap to relevance.  Strive for value-creating growth that will transform your experiences and distinguish you as a pacesetter.  Learn and grow by exposing yourself to new concepts, people and interests through reading, inquiring, listening, networking, experimenting, volunteering and exploring.  Seek constructive feedback from others that reveal insights about your talents, potential and developmental needs.  After obtaining new knowledge and skills, be intentional about finding ways to apply what you’ve learned.

To expand your influence and strengthen your leadership legacy, evoke the words of educational leader, Horace Mann: “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”

Until Next Time,


The “D” Word

Doubt is one of those pervasive feelings that belies confidence.  Whenever I’m feeling unsettled or stuck, it’s usually a result of self-doubt about my intuition, my choices, my goals, my actions, even my knowledge (what do I REALLY know for sure?).

While doubt makes it easier to do nothing, it also impedes potential, progress and possibility.  As I continue my quest for increased self-awareness and making a meaningful difference in the world, I’m learning not to struggle against feelings of discomfort when they emerge.  Those feelings surface for a reason.  Instead of downplaying them, I’m getting still to acknowledge and examine any beliefs, attitudes, negative self-talk and perceptions that cloud my judgment and undermine my intentions when I’m feeling overwhelmed and under appreciated.

Leave me a comment to let me know what doubts you’re experiencing and how you’re dealing with them.

Rumi’s Guest House

Dear Friends,

It’s been a challenging week, and I’m in desperate need of self-renewal.  Sitting in the stillness of 1:30AM, I find myself meditating on Rumi’s Guest House:

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.



Called to Lead, Deployed to Serve

Dear Friends,

Many of today’s organizations are over-managed and under-led.  Yet, if there’s ever a time when we need effective leaders, it’s now.  American scholar, William Arthur Ward once said, “We must be silent before we can listen.  We must listen before we can learn.  We must learn before we can prepare.  We must prepare before we can serve.  We must serve before we can lead.”   There is no greater calling than to be in service to others.  It’s one of the most significant contributions we can make to help restore humankind and the most rewarding aspect of the leadership experience.

Service leadership lies at the heart of positive change, because your individual achievements are secondary compared to what you do to aid the success of others.  Leading in service means helping others envision new ways of thinking, creating and being.  It means producing a culture where everyone feels confident enough to test creative ideas, handle challenging situations, and ensure quality learning, teaching and achievement.

With talent, comes the responsibility to serve for the greater good.  Do it with a pure heart, an open mind, and a joyful soul!  In the words of educational leader Horace Mann, “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” 

Until Next Time,