Grit, passion and the permission to dream.......

Updated: Sep 14

Thanks to everyone who my series of posts on "If Track Spikes Could Talk".


One of my personal goals over the past few weeks was to just write! There is so much to share and get others to see the possibilities. The blogs are gritty, personal and passionate.


If you know me in person whether through my friendships, career, athletics, coaching and projects.....Grit and determination is something that I have always had.


I enjoyed writing the blogs which is bringing back memories for me but also hearing from others that these stories and have resonated with. I love hearing from you.


I would love for you to subscribe to IncubatorU so that you can inspire me to provide more stories and insight for you.


This week I want to share the foundation that led to my 50 + year love affair with track and field and my 30+ year career at Nike.


I am starting with some simple that work on transferring those skills into the work I am doing with IncubatorU.


Everyone has a story. That is the foundation of who you are, how you work, what you love to do. 

Have you have stopped doing what you love at times? 

My intention is to bring inspiration and and share an approach through my experiences and stories that I can help you have your own approach and the Permission to Dream and create a way to have Fearless Innovation Together.  

When I rewired from Nike in 2014 I had the chance to participate in a workshop with some former Nike leaders that provided insights into my approach to life and passion. Discovery Insights listed my top 10 archetypes and it became clear to me that I might have been holding back ( not really) for 30 years at Nike. My top archetypes are:


  • Pioneer-has passion for creating and doing what has not been done before, enthusiastically engaging others.

  • Entertainer-Is outgoing and fun with the ability to spontaneously improvise.

  • Wanderer-Steps freely into the unknown, chasing a dream and contemplates where this journey is meant to lead.

  • Prophet-Draws on personal insight to predict the possible outcome of future events.

  • Consoler-Listens to a conversation and understands what is not being said and engages with the other person to encourage them to share their feelings.


Grit and determination regardless of the results is the foundation that I continue to follow.

The post that I wrote with Phil Knight's Wisdom following the 2009 layoffs at Nike resonated with many especially during this uncertain time. These three lines from the memo are really timeless in how you approach your life and work.


We take risks from a very young age. Some of us learn from it, some of us don't and keep trying things that might lead to something that you discover or potentially not be good for you or others. As we get older we calculate those risks based on experience. The Wanderer archetype describes my approach. I want to pass on that on working with organizations with IncubatorU and our methodologies through consulting, speaking engagements or retreats.




Risk taking has always been in my DNA. I am always curious to see what happens and if you take a risk by asking to do something the answer I provide to those that ask why....Is that the worst thing that could happen is someone says no.


Be the change....be the person and company you want to be. Be true to yourself, your values and know that you will not only gain confidence in yourself but gain the confidence of others. We need people to be the change more than ever today.


Collaborate.....everyone has a voice. Some of the best ideas come from the quietest people. The Consoler in me has pulled some of the best ideas out of people and I was either gritty enough to go ahead with them and really not be afraid of failing. The worst thing that can happen is you fail and learn.


This week I will write about the following:



High School Runner-Wear Test Coordinator 1978-79

  • How a 16 year old became a critical wear test coordinator for Nike.

  • BRS, Inc.-The early days of Nike as a High Schooler

  • Athletics, International Business and Education led to conversation in a bar that started my career.

  • Fearless Innovation-Dime Beer Night at the Twilight Room and my chance meeting with Phil Knight.

  • Permission to Dream-I loved Nike, how things were made, following my passions from Beaverton, China and Indonesia


I would love for you to subscribe to IncubatorU so that you can inspire me to provide more stories and insight for you.





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