July 26th, 2013 by lifemoxie

Day 6 RAGBRAI – Knoxville to Oskaloosa via Pella

More colorful pictures of our journey across Iowa with over 10,000 cycling enthusiasts …


Day 6 Kick off!!


We love the town of Pella, a Dutch community in the middle of Iowa!


A bike made for 12!



July 25th, 2013 by lifemoxie

Day 5 RAGBRAI – Des Moines to Knoxville, Iowa

More amazing pictures of the Moxie in Motion team’s adventure in Iowa!

Team Moxie in Motion heading out for Day 5!


Me and Maggie Paullous, 82 years young! She has cycled every Rabgrai since it launched 41 years ago.


Could not resist some #DangBrotherPizza!


Here's Michael making my pizza!


The band came out to entertain us!


Check out this bike!!


At the top of a hill on a day of 3000 feet climbing & feeling great!


Topping the day off with some Jersey Freeze! Now I know why people gain weight on this ride...


Click here to see how yesterday went, and for more information on RAGBRAI.


July 24th, 2013 by lifemoxie

Day 4 RAGBRAI – Perry to Des Moines, Iowa

Today’s wonderful images of Iowa.  Today was the largest day in RAGBRAI because we were so close to Des Moines.  We rode with over 30,000 cyclists today!

Team Moxie in Motion made a stop at Iowa Coffee Company



Huge crowds in Minburn, IA. The town went all out for us.


Dallas Center Iowa was so jammed we had to walk our bikes through town. We met up with a new friend, Taffy, who has been doing RAGBRAI for 25 years! We also got a glimpse of the Banana Team!


Team Moxie in Motion going strong at RABGRAI


To see more about our journey, click here.

July 23rd, 2013 by lifemoxie

Day 3 RAGBRAI – Century to Perry, IA

Check out Team Moxie in Motion during today’s century ride (108 miles!) to Perry, IA!


Starting off the day...


Riding out into the fog


Ann and Dr. Z from Team Flamingo


Hanging out in Hamballton, IA


Coming into Guthrie Center


Want to see what Team Moxie in Motion was up to yesterday?  Click here.

July 22nd, 2013 by lifemoxie

Day 2 RAGBRAI – Harlan to Perry, Iowa

Today was the longest distance. We cycled an “Iowa-century” which in the cornfields means 108 miles. Check out these great pictures of Team Moxie in Motion!

And they're off! Team Moxie in Motion: Rob, Bonnie, Ann, Chuck, Dawn, and Jeff!

Shelby, Iowa treated us so well!

The crowds in Shelby! Look at all those bikes!

Team Moxie in Motion taking a much-needed break in the shade!

July 21st, 2013 by lifemoxie

Day 1 RAGBRAI – The Kick-Off in Council Bluffs, Iowa

Since I’m in the middle of a cornfield with only an iPhone, I can only take pictures this trip. Fortunately Chrissy, the Director of PR/Marketing at LifeMoxie, will take all of the pictures I send via text and post them here each day. I’ve set up the blog posts in advance and she’s making sure you get the great pictures. Thank you Chrissy!

Here is the proud Moxie in Motion Team!!

Some more pictures from Day 1:

The RAGBRAI Gear Truck! We are with an outfitter called "Pork Belly Ventures," so can you sense the theme?


Check out our tent city!


Bikes waiting to be unpacked at the kick-off


Read more about Team Moxie in Motion’s RAGBRAI adventure here.

July 20th, 2013 by lifemoxie

RAGBRAI – A Legacy in the Making

While I’m not cycling across the country or up the coast this summer, I am cycling across the state of Iowa. Unlike my other adventures, this one has attracted over 10,000 people to traverse the same cornfields. Wish I could say I had something to do with it, but it’s all about the legacy of RAGBRAI. We’re just pedaling it forward.


Here are some interesting facts:

  • RAGBRAI: Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa
  • Started in 1973 by two reporters at the Des Moines Register
  • Now the oldest, largest, and longest bicycle touring event in the world
  • Begins at the Missouri River and ends at the Mississippi River
  • The 7-day route changes yearly
  • Towns in Iowa apply for the privilege to be a “host community” and welcome the cyclists into their town overnight
  • 8,500 week-long cyclists traverse the entire route and 1,500 day-riders jump in each day
  • Lance Armstrong is joining the ride this year
  • RAGBRAI is listed as one of America’s 100 Best Adventures by National Geographic


How the Legacy of RAGBRAI Applies to Leaders

Imagine Iowa is a company. Two people – John Karras and Don Kaul (pictured here) – worked for Iowa and decided to do something different to bring some energy and enthusiasm to Iowa (the “company”). Do you think they set out to create such an epic legacy for Iowa intentionally or inadvertently?


At first the ride was just a pilot, held at the end of August. But people gave feedback – they were taking their kids back to school and could they hold the event earlier in the summer? So the ride was moved up earlier and earlier until one year it landed on the last week of July. 2013 marks the ride’s 41st birthday. Its reputation for being one of the best adventures is magnetic. People from all over the world descend upon Iowa to participate. That was one helluva successful pilot!


Imagine the towns are like departments. Each year they apply to serve as the “host communities” because of the honor of carrying on the legacy and because of the economic boom for their residents (“employees”). Imagine if the legacy you create today kindled actions in leaders in departments or teams everywhere and their actions fueled the organization’s legacy with great pride.


The Legacy of Leaders

Did John and Don have any idea they were creating a remarkable event? Did they set out on their bikes to create their legacy as leaders? Probably not.


But remarkable leaders and remarkable legacies are created only through remarkable experiences. And we can intentionally create those every day – at any moment we choose. That’s what John and Don did. That’s what you can do.


What remarkable experience are you going to create today, this week, this month, or this year? Share with the Moxie in Motion community


This entire week I’ll be sharing pictures of the remarkable experience Team Moxie in Motion is intentionally creating through the cornfields of Iowa. Stay tuned!





June 6th, 2013 by lifemoxie

I want to lead like the Executive Chairman of Marriott. What do you think?

“What do you think?” This mantra was cited by the last two CEOs interviewed for the “Corner Office” section in the Sunday New York Times.

J.W. Marriott Jr.

For J.W. “Bill” Marriott Jr., executive chairman and former CEO of Marriott International, the phrase he uses is, “What do you think we should do?”

Bill learned this from President Eisenhower. Ike was visiting one Christmas when Bill had just completed school. The adults were deciding whether to go quail hunting in the cold or to sit by the fire. Eisenhower turned to the young Marriott and asked “What do you think we should do?”

In that moment Bill recognized the President’s strategy for getting along with others and executing as a leader – by including people in his decision-making process. Marriott quickly adopted the President’s question “What do you think we should do?” to foster his own inclusive decision-making throughout his career as a leader.


Jenna Fagnan

For Jenna Fagnan, president of tequila manufacturer Tequila Avión, the question is, “So what do you think you should do?”

Fagnan learned this from one of her first mentors – her boss. Early in her career, Fagnan worked for a man who always challenged her with this question. She would go into his office and dump a situation on his lap. He would invariably ask, “So what do you think you should do?”

She realized that in those moments, her boss was wearing a mentor hat. He could have easily said, “Here’s what I think you should do.” He knew the answer, but by including her in the process, he forced her to think for herself and grow as an individual and as a leader.


Susan Docherty

Susan Docherty, the head of the US Sales, Service, and Marketing team at General Motors, shared a similar approach in her interview a few years ago in the Corner Office of the Sunday New York Times. She intentionally involves others in decisions, even when she already has an opinion and knows where she wants the decision to go. She relentlessly inquires, “What do you think? What would you do?” She is often rewarded with a fresh perspective and new insights from people who are not as close to the situation as she is.


Why does “What do you think?” work?

Because people support that which they help create. They crave control. They want to be respected and heard. And they want to make a difference.

When we dictate, mandate, and command others, people lose interest. They are not vested in the success of our decisions. They often have a different idea or perspective, but we were too busy railroading them with our decision to ask. By dictating the outcome, we, in essence, reveal that we don’t really care what they have to contribute. And by not asking, we communicate that we don’t really respect or appreciate their perspective enough to stop and listen.

Alternatively, by simply asking the question, “What do you think?” we share the decision with other people, offering them the opportunity to help create the outcome. This inevitably fuels engagement and enthusiasm, not to mention, ownership and accountability.

Ultimately, people show up every day hoping their work matters. When we stop and ask people “What do you you think?” we are communicating to them, “You matter. Your perspective is important. You can make a difference in this decision.” As leaders, this is our job.

What do you think? What would you do? I’d love to hear your perspective.

March 20th, 2013 by lifemoxie

I want to be a Mentoring Leader like Ilene Gordon

In the Corner Office in the Business section of Sunday’s New York Times, Ilene Gordon, CEO of Ingredion, took the opportunity to pay tribute to mentoring then and now.


The Impact of a Mentor

Following business school, Ilene was responsible for acquisitions at Tenneco when a self-appointed mentor saw potential in her. He recognized her intellect, ambition, and focus, and challenged her to run those businesses she was acquiring. He put her in a job bigger than her and committed to helping her hone her business skills. Today she is on Fortune magazine’s list of 50 Most Powerful Women in Business as the President/CEO of a Fortune 500 company with $6.2 billion in net sales.


Ilene’s Commitment to Being a Mentoring CEO

Ilene excites people with opportunity as her Mentor did for her. She is committed to:

  • Seeing potential in others where they don’t see it themselves
  • Stretching people who demonstrate talent, people skills, and drive
  • Putting people into roles they’re not quite ready for
  • Allowing people to grow into those big roles
  • Offering young managers an opportunity to share with the board how they’re creating value for the company


Her Belief in the Lasting Impact of Mentoring

Ilene believes that people carry their mentoring experiences with them. “I’m not just hiring the person sitting there. I’m hiring the four people who mentored him. I don’t think there’s anybody who’s successful in their role today who hasn’t been mentored by somebody.”

In each interview, she asks:

  • Who mentored you?
  • Who did you learn from?
  • What was their expertise?
  • What companies did they work for?


What can we do to become a Mentoring Leader like Ilene?

  • Make a list of your own Mentors and acknowledge their influence on your success
  • Discover people’s list of influencers
  • Work to earn a spot on their list
  • See what they don’t see in themselves
  • Take a risk on their potential
  • Push people into their uncomfortable
  • Allow people to surprise you


It takes a true Mentoring Leader to leverage the NY Times spotlight to mentor aspiring, inspiring, and expiring leaders everywhere. Thank you, Ilene, for influencing each of us to make a difference by leading with a mentoring manner.

Ilene’s message is beautifully encapsulated in Author Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s powerful quotation:

As for the future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it.”


March 11th, 2013 by lifemoxie

I want to create controversy like Sheryl Sandberg

Leaders get people talking. Great leaders challenge our perspectives and create the controversy that kindles change. And the best leaders intentionally embrace the risks that accompany such controversy.


That’s exactly what the COO of Facebook is doing.


Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In hits the bookstores this week and it’s already causing a commotion. Here’s the hullabaloo: she advocates that girls and women are responsible for embracing leadership opportunities as soon as possible, but many women are upset that she is setting unrealistic standards and letting corporations off the hook.


Without even seeing a copy, here’s what I like instantly:  Sheryl’s intentional leadership.

  • She didn’t need to write the book – she’s already wildly successful
  • She didn’t need the money – she’s already worth $500 million
  • She didn’t need the publicity – she’s already on Forbes’ list of most powerful women
  • She didn’t need a hobby – she’s already busy as the COO and mother of two


But she chose to take action on a significant issue. From her perch at the top of Silicon Valley, she sees a dearth of woman in leadership. And for that to change, Sheryl is cognizant that she needs to challenge our perspective, in the face of inevitable criticism and denigration. And she is in a perfect position to do so.


Thank you, Sheryl, for taking action where others don’t, for embracing risk where others won’t, and for showing us what great leaders do: intentionally spark an important dialogue for change.