You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Work Life’ category.

A friend posted a wonderful message on Facebook a bit ago called Why Teach Music . When I asked if she wrote it, she said that she had not.  But that did not make the message any less meaningful to her.  It made it more.  Because like a song the message resonated with her, with me, and  with so many others.  Music is powerful. It celebrates the times of our lives, it teaches us structure and it fuels our creativity.  So I asked my friend, a life long music lover and teacher of music to share with me why music makes a difference and here is what Lynne Kearney had to share.

Lynne is a recently retired public school music teacher who taught elementary music for twelve years in the Danbury, CT public schools and ten years at the Middle School and High School in the Region 14 Woodbury Bethlehem, CT school system While she may have retired from public school teaching, she is still helping students prepare for their regional music festival and All-State auditions and performances. Then she attend the festivals to support these fine young musicians.

JKW: When did YOU discover your love for music?

LK: My love for music began when I was very young. I was blessed that there was always some kind of music in our house. We would always be listening to records or the TV, where we watched and listened to concerts, Lawrence Welk or Ed Sullivan. My mother took my sister and I to many concerts of the Danbury Symphony and whatever else we could see for free. We all took piano lessons. Richard played the accordion. In school, my sister Ysabel learned to play the trumpet and I learned to play the clarinet. We sang in the church choir. In eighth grade I started to accompany the glee club at Main Street School and I became the organist at my church. In high school, my music teacher and mentor was Mr. James Humphreville. He is also the person who encouraged me to study music education. After getting my teaching degree many years later, it was he who hired me as a music teacher in the Danbury School system.

JKW:  There is something magical about sharing what we love.  How do you share the magic? 

LK:  A few weekends ago, I took a friend, who is at the tender age of 2 ½ , to see a New Haven Symphony’s children’s performance of a world premiere, Greta’s Dream. This is a new work about a hippo who wants to learn to fly. The ensemble for this adorable story consisted of a story teller and four double basses. They had my little friend, and all of the other wee ones mesmerized. And this is where it needs to start, if indeed it has not already been started.

My three best friends, Susann, Sandy, and Nancy are all musicians. We met between thirty-seven and forty years ago, doing community theater. Music is major in our lives and we celebrate each other’s birthdays in song. I can’t imagine our lives without song.”

JKW: How has music made a difference in your life?

It is my life. While in college I accompanied many of my fellow students’ recitals. I taught music in a nursery school. I also played the piano for a ballet school and started music directing musicals at the Brookfield Little Theater and other local theaters. I gave private piano lessons for many, many years. While in high school and college I was a fifer in the Connecticut Rebels of ’76 Ancient Fife and Drum Corps. Every guy I dated was a musician. I met my husband, Jack, doing musical theater.

While in the active years of my teaching I was President of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Orff Schulwerk Association. This organization shows the wonderful process of how to teach  children the joy of learning music through singing, dancing and playing of simple instruments. I was also Choral Representative for Connecticut Music Education Association and on many Connecticut State music committees that helped develop music curriculum and evaluation of music teachers. I was festival chair and choral chair of the Berkshire League Music Festival several times. I was active in both middle school and high school music festivals throughout the last ten years of my teaching. I took thirty credits, beyond my sixth year, of music courses that would make me be a vital music teacher to my students. I love music and I wanted to share that joy with them. I wanted to plant seeds to help them grow into life-long participants of music, audience members, appreciators of what music gave them, humanity, sensitivity, and feelings.

JKW: How have you seen music make a difference in the lives of others?

LK:  Well, it certainly was a part of my children’s lives. They both studied piano. In school Josh learned to play the trumpet and Betsy learned to play the clarinet and bass clarinet. They were both active in their schools music programs. Betsy sang with the Litchfield County Children’s Choir for several years. (I ultimately co-conducted that group for about five years.)

Over the years I have sung with the Danbury Concert Chorus, the Connecticut Choral Society, Alamanda, and am now singing with the Waterbury Chorale. I was music director for the Thomaston Opera House for several years as well as Minister of Music in three different Lutheran churches for over forty years.

JKW:  Why is music education important?

LK:  Just read Why Teach Music. I can’t say it any better. That is why I was compelled to share it.

JKW:  What can readers do to help keep the love of music alive in their communities?

LK:  Be proactive. Join local music organizations, be it a choral group, a band, a music or concert association. Attend public school performances. Support our young musicians. Give them a pat on the back for a job well done.

Donate used instruments that you no longer use, to your local schools. If you play the piano or an instrument, ask if you might help accompany a group or play in a musical selection that might call for your instrument. Let the teachers or directors know that you are available. Help with logistics of programs, whether it be to write out the program or help set up risers.

If you have a child who is learning to play an instrument or is taking voice lessons, (or dancing or painting), encourage them to practice, but remember not to take away the joy of their new adventure. Share their excitement. It will only get better and better.

We are fortunate in our community in that we have founded the Woodbury-Bethlehem Community Music Foundation. We are a public charity that seeks to enhance consciousness and enthusiasm for music activities and experiences for music activities. We want to provide our community with valuable life learning and appreciation of music. This organization has funded the local school region to start a full-fledged string program. We are very excited about that! You can find out more info on Facebook and on our website.

JKW:  What is one of your favorite music memories?

LK:  In March of my last teaching year, I had a concert with all of my choral students, current and previous members, faculty, former college music colleagues and a professional opera singer. Even my mentor, Jim Humphreville was there. This concert raised over $1200 for the music foundation, but even better than that we all had such fun making music together. That excitement and commitment to the passion of the music performed that evening is what music making is all about.


JKW:  So what’s next?

LK:  My life’s goal is to share my love and joy, my passion for what music can do for the soul with everyone I come in contact with.

I currently sing with the Waterbury Chorale and the St. Rose of Lima Festival Chorus in Newtown, CT. I am active on the Worship Committee at Our Savior Lutheran Church and have added music in various ways to our services and  have plans in the works to form a Hospice Choir.

“Viva la musica! And remember, always keep a song in your heart!” – Lynne Kearney

Music touches our lives in so many different ways.  Lynne Kearney first touched mine with her music as musical director in shows I performed in, then as a friend, and in a very special moment as organist and musical director for my wedding 25 years ago

Valentines weekend is a time when we share what we love with the ones we love.  Lynne does this every day of the year.  Her story is a great reminder that we can too.

I hope you enjoyed Lynne’s Little Life Story.  Stay tuned and as Lynne likes to say.. always keep a song in your heart.

Joan Koerber-Walker

About the Joan:

Koerber-Walker-056 An entrepreneur, author, speaker and corporate advisor, Joan Koerber-Walker’s journey has spanned from corporate America to entrepreneurship and non-profits as well as to community leadership and into the halls of Washington D.C.  Equally important, she is a wife, a mom, and a friend  to many around the world keeping in touch through her blogs, with over 150,000 social media friends, and of course face to face.  Today, she is the chairman of CorePurpose, Inc. which she founded in 2002 and works to make a difference in her community as the Chairman of the Board of the Opportunity  through  Entrepreneurship Foundation and as an advisor to The FUSION Foundation and The Healing Trees Humanitarian Project.  To learn more about how CorePurpose and the CoreAlliance can help you grow your business in 2011, you can contact her by clicking here.

CorePurpose  is a registered trademark of CorePurpose, Inc.  CoreAlliance is a  service mark of CorePurpose Inc.  All rights reserved

A satellite image of a storm system that wreaked havoc in parts of the Midwest. (NY Times/NASA) With today’s technology, who needs travel agents?  Most trips can easily be planned with a trip to the Internet and a few clicks of a mouse.  You lay out your plan, choose your flights, and off you go.  Right?

That was basically my thinking.  Oh, I would call a travel agent if I had a big trip planned – you know the complex ones around the world or to a foreign land.  But for those short hops from Phoenix to NY or Dallas, or Chicago, my easy to use frequent flyer sites had all the resources I needed – or so I thought. 

And that’s how my story begins. 

Earlier this year, I was planning a trip to China to go to the Canton Fair.  My trip would take me to Shanghai and Beijing not to mention a number of other cities on the mainland.  That was not a trip I wanted to tackle alone.  So, on the recommendation of my friend John Peters at Rand McNally, I decided to try out Tripology and work with a travel specialist.  It was so easy and in less than an hour I was chatting with a friendly expert who lined everything up for me late on a Friday night well after “business” hours.  Cynthia Hayes, the owner at Hayes Executive Travel Services, Inc.,  was super helpful.  I felt badly later when my trip had to be canceled after she had worked so hard. To make it up to her, I promised Cynthia that I would be calling her again.

Fast forward a few weeks and it was time to hit the road again.  This time I was planning to visit John and the team at Rand McNally in Chicago.  We had set the date for dinner on Tuesday October 26, 2010 and another meeting the next day on October 27th.  It was just a quick trip to Chicago, but I remembered my promise and called Cynthia instead  of booking my travel myself.  Little was I to know what a smart promise that was to keep.

On the Road to Rand McNally…

Tuesday dawned bright and sunny here in Phoenix and at 6AM I headed off to Phoenix Sky Harbor for my 7:45 flight to O’Hare.  I checked in online with USAIR and grabbed my carry on – it was only one night after all. 

At the airport, I stopped at the kiosk to see if I could change my seat.  HMMM – the kiosk can’t find my reservation?  Since I already had a boarding pass, I went through security and checked in  with the team at the gate only to learn that my flight to Chicago had been CANCELLED!

*****NEWS FLASH****

imageTravelers flying out of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport are continuing to experience delays to the continuing high winds…

About 500 flights were canceled and others delayed at O’Hare Airport on Tuesday.

A massive storm blew across Illinois, part of a massive system that made its way across the nation’s midsection and on Wednesday raked the east coast.

(Source:  Chicago AP –  Image from Chicago Weather Center Blog)

Back to Our Story…

As I stepped up to the counter, the gate agent was trying to find a way to re-route a plane full of passengers.  The man in front of me just shook his head as the gate agent suggested he re-book for tomorrow.  Then it was my turn.  I handed her my ticket with a smile and crossed my fingers. 

“Hello Ms Koerber-Walker” she said.  “I see your travel agent has already taken care of this.  You have been re-booked on American Airlines.  You will need to go down stairs to be re-ticketed, just take this slip.  Your flight is scheduled to leave in an about an hour.”  

As I made my way down stairs, I called Cynthia in Dallas.  image

“You are the best!” I shared with her.  “Everyone is scrambling here and I was all taken care of.  Now all I have to do is change the rental car reservation.”

“All taken care of.” She replied.  “Your reservation has been updated there too.  I will keep an eye on things to be sure you don’t get held up and delayed again.”

Six hours later, I was in Chicago.  The American flight was delayed from taking off by the “Ground Stop” at O’Hare but we eventually arrived with nary a bump along the way.  When I got in, my car was waiting. I went straight to my meeting and then after dinner, the hotel was ready for me too.

Just because you can, does not mean you should…

So here is the moral of the story.  I might be relatively tech savvy and I can go on line to book my tickets, my car, and my hotel but just because I can does not mean I should. 

I tell the people I work with that when it is important, it is important to rely on experts.  And from now on when I travel, I will follow my own advice.   So get ready, Cynthia.  I’ll be calling you again.


Thanks for stopping by for a little life story.  Stay tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker


P.S.  When your trip is important, call a travel expert, or better yet, call mine.  She not only got me a great rate on my travel – she got me to my destination and smoothed out the bumps along the way.  By her doing what she does best, I could focus on doing what I do best.

Cynthia Hayes, Owner / Personal Travel Consultant
1700 Commerce St., Suite 830
Dallas, TX 75201
Office: 214-570-9090 Fax : 214-570-9092


FTC Disclaimer:  For the record, I do not work for nor have I received compensation from Cynthia Hayes of Hayes Executive Travel (unless you count being on the receiving end of really great service.)   While companies that I own do business with Rand McNally, in this case, the compensation received was really good advice.


It has taken me a many years to really figure this one out.  You see I grew up as a child of the 6o’s.  It was the end of the baby boom and a time when our parents and America’s youth were stepping forward for things they believed in.  We banded together to protest wars, discrimination, and injustice.

A college education followed by a six-figure plus career were goals to strive for along with a fast car and all the other trappings of success.

We lived the high life as DINKs (double income – no kids) and then settled down to raise families, coach soccer, and build up that 401K the investment advisors all promised would give us the lifestyle we deserved when we reached our golden years.  One way or another it ways all about us. What we wanted.  What our goals were. What we believed in.  Some called us the “me” generation.  Others labeled it “we”.  but one way or another the focus on self was always part of the equation.

It was at the beginning of my first “official” leadership role, a number of years ago, that I got the first news flash.  After finishing my first team meeting where I had laid out the mission and vision for MY team, my boss took me aside and calmly explained that

as a leader – it is not about you. The team has to embrace the vision, develop the goals, and execute on them.  A leader’s job is to  clear the way so they can do so and to  help them get what they need to get the job done. Equally important”, he said, “after they succeed, the leader’s job to to give credit where credit is due – to the team.”

I wish I could say that I am a perfect leader.  Of, course I am not even close.

Perfect leaders are hard to find.  Yet, as I look around I wish there were some.  The world would be better for it.

Perhaps our elected leaders could benefit from this news flash.  Just imagine if instead of focusing on getting re-elected,  they concentrated their energies on clearing the way so that the American people could do what needs to be done to truly turn things around. Or, envision where our economy might be if  more business leaders truly focused on doing the same for their teams, their investors and their customers.  We probably would be in a better place than we find ourselves in today.

But since perfection is unlikely, maybe the answer for each of us as leaders is to spend a little less time looking at our personal vision boards, self-help videos, mind maps or Google alerts and to simply try to remind ourselves from time to time what leadership is all about.  It does not require a book, a pod cast, a guru or a personal coach.  It’s much simpler than that.

Just stand in front of a mirror and tell the person you see … “it’s not about you.”

Hmm, maybe I need to try that more often.

Thanks for stopping by for a little life story.  Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

Technorati Tags:

One evening, after work, I drove down the California coast to a fabled resort on the Monterey Peninsula.  I sat in the crowded lounge waiting for my husband to finish playing in a charity golf tournament, nursing my Diet Coke and reading a book.  Two men came over and asked if they could share my table.  They weren’t friends, but I knew who they were.  Happy to have some company and conversation, I agreed.

It turns out that they too had been playing in the tournament and they were recapping how it had gone.  One had had a difficult day. (To be fair, it is a difficult course.)  Soon his description of the play became peppered with  four-letter verbs. (You know the ones. Your Mother would threaten to get the soap out when you used them as a kid.)

This was not what I expected when I welcomed them to share my table.  Finally, I had had enough.

“So” I asked picking up my book again, “Didn’t your Mother ever teach you that it’s unwise to use verbs as adjectives?  It sends the wrong message.” 

His companion, a bit older and wiser, started to laugh. 

“So true, young lady” he said with a glance at his companion. 

“You look familiar, have we met before?”

“Not officially,” I replied.  “But you might remember me from your Stock Holders Meeting last week?  I was sitting front row center and taking notes.”

Twitter is a medium of Words and Ideas. Of Out-Takes and Experiences. What do yours say about YOU?

This story happened long ago, but it came to mind today when reading the #BeOriginal stream on Twitter.  It’s a great place to share ideas and have them remembered and re-tweeted.  I even go back through once each month and capture some of them on the #BeOriginal Blog to give extra recognition to people who share quality original ideas.  Soon you will see the recap from January 2010 of the top 10%of the #BeOriginal Tweets.  (That is over 300 quotes.) I do this every month.

In the stream there are others using the #hastag #BeOriginal.  (This happens. Hashtags are not exclusive by their nature.) And what they say about the sender may also send the wrong message. 

Social media tools from Twitter, to Facebook, to blogs, have a long tail on the Internet.  You don’t know who’s reading and you don’t know who is taking note. 

Whether you are having a conversation, sharing ideas, building a personal brand, or building a business, it’s worth taking a moment to think about how you use your words and images.

HOW you express your ideas reflects on WHO you are.

WHAT do you want people to think of WHEN they think of YOU?

Thanks for stopping by for a Little Life Story.  Stay tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

I live in a pretty serious world most of the time. My day is filled with meetings and con calls, reports and numbers.  And in this economy, finding numbers that make you smile is rarely an easy task.

One of the things that helps as a pick-me-up is to remember the times when – it wasn’t funny then – but now looking back at it from a safe distance can bring a smile…

Times like when I CRASHED on the day of a BIG important speech at a new job.  I was rehearsed and dressed in my best, only to hit the one thing I was NOT prepared for – a broken step going up to the stage.  It was my one and only live acrobatics act act, and what I must of looked like as I went flying – with no safety net.

Oh, My…

Or when I overheard the guys in the office taking bets on how long I would last and calling me a Cream Puff

Or, when as an adult, my Parish Priest sent ME to Time Out!

But with each of these stories and hundreds of others, I can look back on them and laugh.  These experiences taught me good lessons and when I stopped taking my self so seriously – and had the luxury of a little time and distance – they really were not so bad.    As they say –

That which does not kill us makes us stronger…

Friedrich Nietzsche

and maybe in the future we might even be able to laugh about it!

Thanks for stopping by for a little life story.  Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

Rubber Duckie” is a song sung by the Muppet character Ernie (voiced by Jim Henson) on Sesame Street. The song is named after Ernie’s toy, a rubber duck affectionately named Rubber Duckie.

The song became a surprise mainstream hit by reaching #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1970. (Source: Wikipedia)

Did you smile when you watched the video?  Did it bring back memories?  Did it reinforce feelings about how it is fun to be clean, to take a bath, to relax with good friends that you can count on even if you are a funny green frog and a plastic yellow duck?

Within the  professional speaking community, there is a well known maxim that goes like this:

Q.  Do I have have to use HUMOR when I speak?

A.  No… only if you want to get paid!

There is a lesson here.  If you want your message have an impact and be remembered, HUMOR is an important component.

But why is it that the lesson from an amusing story or vignette is remembered long after the memory fades of a dry lecture or a serious, businesslike discussion? 

Perhaps it is the way the story makes us feel that helps us remember.  I’ll have to ask my friends that study the science of how people learn.  I am sure they can tell me again, maybe this time with a story or some humor to help me remember.

As leaders, we often are called to speak and share a message with others.  Yet, too often, we forget to add a touch of humor to our message.  I wonder why that is?

Often, the answer lies in our own experience.  Too many times, we have watched others fall flat when telling a joke or or worse had that embarrassing experience happen to us! 

Some people have the knack of delivering a punch line and others DO  NOT. 

On top of that, in today’s world of professional and political correctness, no matter how well the joke is delivered, saying the wrong thing to the wrong audience can be disastrous.  So, a word of warning, unless you are a professional comedian or humorist, you might want to avoid the jokes that single out any group of people, be they Italian, Polish, Men/Women, Red Necks, or Blondes.  It is just not a good idea. 

I remember a time when a group of us had gotten together after work.  People were sharing ‘blonde jokes’ they had heard.  Each one was worse than the last.  It became a sort of informal competition to see who could top who.  Finally, our boss, a devoted family man, shared his.

“What’s BROWN, black and blue, and red all over?”  ……

“A brunette that has told too many blonde jokes.” 

I can’t remember ever hearing blonde jokes in the office after that. 

The boss’s wife and daughters were all blondes.

All jokes aside, effectively using  humor and reinforcing stories in a professional environment is a communication skill that can be learned and improved with practice.

Here are some tips you might want to keep in mind:

1. Use your own stories.    Don’t get your material from emails or the Internet. If you have seen it, odds are millions of others have seen it too.  Unless you are using it in a new and unique way, it is best to steer clear.

2.  Don’t get a laugh at the expense of others.  Sharing a bit of humor highlighting your own mistakes can be very effective, especially if it ends in a way that shows how you, and perhaps the listener, can learn a valuable lesson from the experience.   But, using humor to get a laugh at the expense of others is not the way you want to be remembered.  

3.  Humor should bring a smile, no a tear.  Don’t be hateful.  You may get a snicker, but rarely a true laugh.  Really effective humor makes people feel good.

4.  And if you are in a professional environment, Keep It Clean!  Off color jokes, sexual innuendos, and bathroom humor are a great way to destroy your professional image and reputation.

So, keeping these tips in mind, take a chance and inject a little humor into your speaking and writing. 

People are much more likely to remember your story AND your message when you do.

Thanks for stopping by for a little life story.  Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker


As a girl, I loved Christmas, birthdays, and all of the special times when I got gifts.  But I dreaded what came next.  My Mom would make me sit down at the kitchen table, and in my ‘very best handwriting’, write my thank you notes.

“WHY” – I would whine.  “I want to play with my presents – NOT write dumb old letters!”

“Because” she’d always reply “when someone does something nice for you, you send a note to show that you appreciate it.  If you don’t – someday you may wake up and find that you don’t have to say thank you any more – because you won’t have anything to say thank you for!”

I have to admit, that today, as a ‘big girl’ my habit of sending thank you notes has gotten a bit sloppy, as has my handwriting.  But I really do try to say thank you when ever I can when people do something nice, deliver great service, share ideas, and help others.  (That’s right – you can even thank someone for doing something that was not for YOU.)

Sometimes it’s a phone call, or an email or a tweet.  I even have special note cards that are fun and creative that my friends Mike and Lisa at Affordable Image make up just for me every year.  Affordable Image’s tag line is “Old Fashioned Values with Today’s Technology”(TM) and you can tell that they mean it in the way they help their customers. 

I just wish my handwriting looked as good as their note cards.

But however you say it, what I have found is that when you thank someone for doing something little or doing something grand – it makes them feel good and YOU feel good too.  I remind my kids to say thank you – and I try to remind myself too.  You see,  you should never be too busy to say thank you.

It’s one thing that never goes out of style.

Thanks for stopping by for a little life story.  Stay tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

Author’s Note:  Some of the people I can not thank enough are the many leaders, sponsors, volunteers, and the hundreds of participants in the Arizona Entrepreneurship Conferences each year.  All of the conference proceeds go to support OTEF’s efforts in helping at-risk populations along the path to entrepreneurship.  It’s a great example of how a community can come together to help others and help themselves at the same time.  So if I have not said it recently – THANK YOU and I look forward to saying it again in person on November 12, 2009!

Joan Koerber-Walker
Chairman, The Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation

What we say and what we do – and how congruent those two things are says a lot about us as a person.Be Yourself by Xerces Doing Something Nice and Being Authentic

In the social media world, it gets a little complicated.  Sometimes the lines of polite communication seem to get a bit muddled.

Here’s an example of a communication exchange from a sunny Saturday morning.

It was Twitter Search Time, the hour I set aside each week – after the insanity of #FollowFriday – to find people with shared interests.

I’ll pull out my list of key words, pop them in, and if a tweet looks interesting, I will go to the person’s profile, look at their tweets, and if things match up…give them a follow.

What a treat to get a direct message back a few minutes later while I was still online.

Joan, thanks for following! I always try to see everyone’s page and tweets. Please accept this dm as a warm hello, ________ (sent live) [name deleted]

How nice. 

So I checked his profile, read his tweets on entrepreneurship and leadership, and composed a short note to DM back.

#Fail – Seesmic informed me that

You can not send messages to people who are not following you.

Hmm.  Seesmic must be slow today.

He said his message was “sent live.”   I’ll just pop over  to Twitter and send the message from there.

So I logged in at the source to send my nicely worded reply.

#Fail – Twitter informed me that…

You can not send messages to people who are not following you.  Would you like to send a “Follow Message”?


No Thank You, Twitter – I think I have learned all I need to know about _______.

Who knows why ______ was not following.

Perhaps he did not like my avatar, or my page, or something I said.

Or maybe, he sends out messages before he even looks.  And speaks before he knows who he is speaking to.  He’ll check back later and look like he promised.

Or maybe, just maybe, he stretched the truth a bit and was not sending ‘live’ at all.  Instead it was just another auto DM – intended to make me think he really cared.

But either way, it probably does not matter now. 

I’m already gone.

You see, sending an auto DM to someone you are not following is like ringing the doorbell and running away.  When they try to answer, no one is there. 


It sends a really strong message about how you want to communicate – or don’t as the case may be. 

If I want to have a conversation with people who are not listening to me, I can do that at home.  😉 

I don’t have to go looking for THAT on twitter.

Thanks for stopping by for a little life story.  Stay tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

Author’s note:  The photo in this blog is not of me.  It appeared on the blog of ErikaK in her post, Doing Something Nice and Being Authentic.  It’s quite a good post.  You might want to give her a read.  JKW


Do you remember your first day of school.  Or maybe the day you got your child ready for that big, important day?

It was exciting but a little scary too.  There were so many unknowns.  What if my teacher is mean?  What if no one will like me? What if I get lost?  What if there are no cookies!

Take a few minutes share in a special first day of school as Kermit the Frog helps his friend Cookie Monster get over his trepidation on that most momentous day.

Yes it’s fun and a little bit silly, but there are also great lessons here.

Fear of the unknown can be put to rest or reduced when you have a friend to show you the ropes, answer your questions, and show you that you are not moving into unfamiliar territory all on your own.

In youth we often call these people ‘buddies’ while as grown up we call them mentors.

But one thing’s for sure… having one can make all the difference.

Thanks for stopping by for a little life story.  Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

It’s been said that nothing is constant but change.  It’s all around us.  It is the one constant in our personal lives, our families, our businesses, our HAIR?


As I approach the half century mark – I said approach – I have 15 months to go – I started to look at the changes by going through some old photos.  Wow – what a difference change makes!

In the first photo, I’m 25.  My hair is long and flowing, streaked by the sun.  With a husband and no kids, I had lots of time to fuss with it, to ‘be glamorous’ and playful.

Those were the days – what did they call us back then – oh yeah – DINKS.

Double Income No Kids!



Joan 1995Ten years later – boy had things changed! With a busy career, graduate school, a husband and two kids, the goal was more for professional and practical.

These were the days of taking the world by storm, keeping all the balls in the air, and climbing the corporate ladder.

Gone were the flowing locks and sun kissed curls.  Those days, the streaks in my hair were courtesy of my talented stylist – assuming I could find the time for an appointment!

And then one day it happened.

I had just come back to my hotel room after speaking to an audience about the importance of innovation and embracing change.  I looked in the mirror and saw –   dark brown roots!

Here I was telling them to make the most of change – while I was fighting it hair by hair.    I did not even know what color my hair really was any more!

So when I went home, I went straight to the stylist.

Please,  figure out what color my hair is and change it back!

Lucky for me, she is really good at her job.  She figured it out and put in a rinse to bring my hair back to my natural color so it could then grow out gradually.

Joan Koerber-Walker 2009Today, my hair reflects who I am at this point in my life.

Yes, the brown is still there.

Living in Arizona, I still get my share of sun streaks from sitting by the pool when I work on my laptop, or open the sun roof in my car.

But now it has it’s fair share of gray.  I guess that’s what time and having teenagers will do to you.

Now when I speak on big stages, my hair sparkles under the lights.  I’ve been asked by others – what I use to make it do that.

I just smile.  How disappointed they would be if I told them it was all my gray hairs reflecting back the lights!

Thanks for stopping by for a Little Life Story.  Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2 other followers

Welcome to Little Life Stories

What happens to us.
What is said to us.
What we experience.
These are thing things that shape our lives.

Here at Little Life Stories, I will share some of mine with you.

Just the stories. You get to draw your own take aways.

Want a little more?
Visit the links section to find my other much longer blogs and posts.

Thank you for stopping by for a little story.

Joan Koerber-Walker

Times of Life


@joankw on Twitter

@JKWgrowth on Twitter