“Leadership in Education Influencing Every Generation” featuring Dr. Mary Hemphill

“Education is about not forgetting that you are seriously affecting the trajectory of a child’s life.” – Dr. Mary Hemphill


It is with great pleasure that I share my newly released podcast “Leadership in Education Influencing Every Generation” with Motivational Millennials, Ivy LaClair & Blake Brandes! This was such a powerful project, & it was amazing to connect & share on such a positive platform. I hope you enjoy, moldmakers!

Click here to listen to the podcast – (Ep. 5) Leadership in Education Influencing Every Generation with Dr. Mary Hemphill


The Journey Continues Scholar Vlog – March/April/May 2016

The past three months have been hectic, amazing, & challenging. I have had the opportunity to spend time with family & friends,  celebrate special moments with loved ones, & embrace new opportunities that challenge me personally & professionally. Thank you for joining me on this scholarly journey!

Distracting Myself from Me


There are moments in our life when the hustle & bustle of real life pauses…when there are no incoming call or text messages…when there are no pressing deadlines or projects due. It is in those moments that you find yourself alone with yourself. What do you do when you are alone with your thoughts? What internal conversations do you hold in your own mind? How do you turn down the volume to your innermost murmurings & dial up the volume on your deepest conscience?

For many of us, simply finding the time to breathe is a small victory. However, when you are able to glean quality time with yourself, you might find that your mind begins to hold a myriad of conversations on the stage of your brain. If you are like me, your mind wanders around to and fro tap dancing on every imaginable topic from career to family, what-ifs, why-didn’t-Is, and if-only-I-coulds. The beauty in this moment is that as the only living expert on you, it should be easy to control these conversations right? Wrong! The mind, unlike other parts of your body, consists of trillions of mental files on millions of different topics, experiences, and perspectives you have gleaned in your life’s journey. Put all of those combinations together, and your mind could literally wander for trillions of miles!

Moldmakers not only think outside the box, their minds wander outside the box as well. Learning to mentally control your cerebal pathways allows you to discover new ways of thinking about old concepts. But what happens when you cannot control your mind & you try to “turn it off?” What happens when you try to distract yourself from you?

Jessica Perianza found herself in this very situation recently. She is a vibrant & intelligent moldmaker & college student who is spending the summer immersed in the heart of academia. She has been afforded the opportunity to live in Cambridge, MA & work at the Avery Dennison headquarters in Westborough as a project management intern for the summer. Over the past few weeks, Jessica has been following her dreams & surprisingly found herself alone with herself. Below she gives us a detailed & intimate glimpse into her mental journey & what she found when she looked within…

Undergrad has been a gateway to growing as a professional, engineer, & leader in my community. At any given time I’m either at a meeting, class, volunteer event, or just spending my bits of free time with friends. Being alone in a completely new environment was an experience I had sought out for as long as I can remember. I envisioned a fresh, clean canvas where new friends would be made, delicious food would be consumed, and alone-time would be enjoyed. Surprisingly, it’s not the party I thought it would be…granted I have met wonderful people & I have eaten enough to feed an army. For the first time in my young adult life I have the ability to ask: what does Jessica want to do today? When? Where? How? With who? Turns out, Jessica has difficulty answering that simple question when structure is the one thing lacking, & so begins the cycle of figuring that out, sometimes for hours, which ends in frustration and often ice cream to repair the damage.

What’s one of the first things a friend will advise when you’re having a rough day? It often begins with, “Why not find something to distract yourself?”

Ah! That’s just it! I should not have to distract myself from …myself! My mind should be my safe haven from the craziness of the world and not the one thing that leaves me wondering if I fit the description for a lunatic. It’s easy nowadays to distract ourselves & avoid spending time alone. To blanket unwanted thoughts or empty gaps of time with short rushes of euphoria obtained from food, exercise, other people, or sleep. No appointments are made to enjoy the silence within us. So now that I find myself with a 3 month long stay with my mind… I have the knee jerk reaction of rescheduling with concerts, trips, and (you guessed it) food. Don’t get me wrong, it’s healthy to enjoy the pleasures of travel. I just don’t want it to be what I do to hide from me. I want to be able to close my eyes & be filled with endless amounts of peace which is something I feel eerily confident about being able to achieve. I may not be there, and I may not have a direct roadmap to it, but I have the alone time I so often asked for, and two more months to take a few steps closer to finding that peace within me.

This Year’s Motto: “Live”


I love people. What I love most about people, is that each individual I encounter has their own unique story. Some stories could be New York Times best sellers; some are comedies; some tragedies; & even some horror stories…but those stories belong to someone. Those stories explain precisely how that individual came to be the person they are. Lately, I have crossed paths with a plethora of people who have shared their stories with me, & there has been one consistent theme: Live. Do not just exist, but live.

The truth is that life (especially life after college) can be full of amazing adventures, chance encounters, twists, & turns, but once you realize your purpose then that life takes on a whole new meaning. I was interacting with a young entrepreneur recently who shared with me that after college, she landed her dream job in corporate America making $50,000 a year. Soon after graduation & starting her new job, she got engaged, bought a house, & began planning her wedding. She was so excited to begin ticking these things off of “life’s to-do list!” However one morning  several months later, she woke up & realized that she needed several enormous cups of coffee to get her through Monday through Thursday, Friday she could not wait until it was time to get off work, and she was basically living for the weekend and only on the planet to pay a mortgage. That’s not living, that’s surviving! After that frightening realization, she decided to take control of her life, went into business for herself, and nine years later she has retired from corporate America, tripled her income, & fully enjoys her life instead of allowing life to live her.

Moldmakers live. Moldmakers see the opportunities that life presents and take full advantage of them. Moldmakers bulldoze through instead of going around life’s obstacles, and the result is a fabulously different outcome than staying on the hamster wheel & getting nowhere. This year’s motto is to live. Take the limits off of yourself & your situation, & watch what happens to your life. Take the blinders off of your vision, &  watch what happens to your reality!

A First-Class Noticer

Being a first-class noticer allows you to recognize talent, identify opportunities, and avoid pitfalls. Leaders who succeed again & again are geniuses at grasping context. This is one of those characteristics, like taste, that is difficult to break down into its component parts. But the ability to weigh a welter of factors some as subtle as how very different groups of people will interpret a gesture, is one of the hallmarks of a true leader. – Business gurus Warren Bennie & Robert Thomas, authors of Geeks & Geezers

When I was growing up & even into my adult years, my parents, siblings, & close friends would always comment on my staring at people in public. I could sit for hours and watch people – how they interact with one another at restaurants, the manner in which they greet one another at church, & how children responded to the adults they encountered. Each observation left me wondering about the dynamic of their individual lives & experiences they may have caused them to act in such a manner. What might have been considered a rude social habit, has helped me develop my “noticing” skills! Every moldmaker possesses this gift of observation & notices even the slightest subtleties within people & processes.

True leaders recognize the importance of details, & when you work with people daily, you begin to understand that details make all the difference in the world. Whether you are leading a large group meeting or engaging with customers & colleagues one-on-one, paying attention to nuances, changes, & unfamiliar behavior of people separates leaders from managers. Leaders notice that change in a person’s energy, their lack of ideas, unwillingness to change, or their hesitancy to share a thought or idea. Leaders notice untapped talent, aspirations that may have gone unvoiced, & those quiet moments when a tough decision needs to be made. Leaders develop relationships with people in order to explore these moments further & through that exploration comes growth. There have been countless times when I noticed something with an individual &  stopped to address it. Whether it was a change in hairstyle or overall demeanor, the fact that it was noticed forged a strong relationship between the two of us because it provided a platform for connection.

In a time in society that is dominated by technology and digital communication, it is extremely easy for leaders to lose the human connection. With information changing at the touch of a button, there is no substitute for understanding people. Leadership is the ability to intrinsically motivate individuals to expose those talents & abilities which were previously concealed & to use those talents and abilities for the greater good. As a first-class noticer, moldmakers can serve as catalysts in aligning people with the organization’s vision & individual purpose.