November 19, 2008

Developing People ... Inspiring SuccessTM 


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   Volume 5, Issue 8   November 2008   ISSN 1556-3820

"Everyone just pretend to be normal!"  

--Richard, "Little Miss Sunshine"

Note From Regina 


Well, the elections are behind us but the financial markets continue to bounce around like a Mexican jumping bean. Here’s what I say to that: so be it. I am going to focus on those things that I can control like my attitude. And, for the record, I am more positive than I have ever been.

On November 6th, I had the privilege to be honored as one of the Twin Cities Top Women in Finance by Finance and Commerce newspaper for my contributions to the industry and to my community. Almost 500 men and women gathered to celebrate including nine of my clients and colleagues who joined me (and my husband) for the festivities. And, guess what? You will be happy to know that there wasn’t a sour puss among them. Pollyana’s? No. Optimistic? You bet!

In last month’s poll, just over 29% of respondents indicated that they take the long view – I’ve been through this before and have learned that this too shall pass – when it comes to the current economy and financial crisis, and specifically regarding what they do to maintain their well being. (See results.) Remember, what you do to promote your sense of well being will impact not only your outlook but those around you.

Take this month’s short poll and let me know how you plan to give thanks during this holiday season.

Want to survive these challenging times and come out on top? Then be sure to read my feature article, Riding a Runaway Train: Five Strategies for Developing a Sense of Control in a Turbulent Environment. Visit my website, redladder.com, for more information about our strategic consulting, executive coaching, training and assessment services. You will also find other resources, articles, and tools to help you be more successful in your career. 

Until next month!

Yours in success,

Regina Barr

   Feature Article

Riding a Runaway Train: Five Strategies for Developing a Sense of Control in Turbulent Times 

Think about the last time you rode a train. You likely went to the station, purchased a ticket, waited on the platform for the train to arrive as scheduled, boarded the train and safely arrived at your destination. There was little or no excitement, just another normal day at the station, right?

Now what if you stepped on the same train and the conductor suddenly cried out that the brakes had failed and the train was out of control? You might panic, pray or even pass out. Why? Because you no longer felt you were in control.

That’s what it feels like in the current business environment – a runaway train over which we have no control. But there is something we can control. We have the ability to control our response to the situation. How? Here are five strategies to help you feel in control no matter what the situation.

1. Develop a sense of purpose. Let’s face it. We all need a reason for being. If you haven’t spent time reflecting on the meaning, purpose and value of your life, now’s the time to do it. This will provide the compass to navigate unexpected challenges when they arise.

2. Believe in yourself. An anonymous source once said, “Believe in yourself and all things are possible.” As a human being, you have the capacity to be resourceful and creative which means that you have the power to solve any problem that comes your way. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

3. Develop a rubber skin. Learn how to bounce back from any situation. Don’t let your fear get in the way. When something unexpected happens, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, learn what you can from the situation and then move on.

4. Be Optimistic. Become the person that sees the opportunity in every situation. When faced with multiple possibilities in a situation, tell yourself “It’s all good.” Believe that everything will work out for the best – no matter what happens – and guess what? It will.

5. Laugh at yourself. It has been said that laughter is the best medicine. In fact, studies show that laughter can actually help you maintain a healthy heart, reduce stress and mitigate depression. How? By shifting your focus away from stressful events and by providing a positive outlet for emotions. So, find the humor in your situation and go ahead, laugh out loud. Can’t find the humor? Fake it. You’ll still derive the same benefits.

The only thing you can count on these days is uncertainty. How you cope with uncertainty will determine your sense of control over the situation and ultimately the outcome. Use these five strategies when you’re feeling out of control and you may just find that things aren’t so bad after all.         

Copyright 2008 Regina Barr, Red Ladder, Inc.

Regina Barr is a former marketing executive and founder of Red Ladder, Inc. As CEO she helps organizations manage transitions, complete major projects, build strong teams and develop leadership talent. She is an executive coach, professional speaker, trainer, writer and media commentator who holds master’s degrees in business administration and human development. For more information visit redladder.com.


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About Red Ladder

Red Ladder, Inc. provides services for individuals and organizations with a goal of developing people and inspiring success. Regina Barr, Red Ladder’s CEO, holds a BBA, an MBA and an MA in human development. With over nineteen years in the financial services industry, she has a broad range of leadership experience in product, sales, and marketing.

in this issue ...
  • Note from Regina
  • Riding a Runaway Train: Five Strategies for Developing a Sense of Control in Turbulent Times 
  • Speaking Schedule
  • Resources
  • What's New
  • About Red Ladder

Today's poll ...

This holiday season I am going to give thanks by...

Take this month's short poll.

What's New ...


Regina Barr was honored on November 6 as one of the Top Women in Finance by Finance and Commerce newspaper.  For more information, contact us at  or 

Speaking Schedule ...

December 3, 2008, Expect the Unexpected: How to Think on Your Feet Without Getting Knocked Over™, Garden City, NY

Interested in having Regina speak at your next event or present a seminar or workshop? Contact us at:


Resources ...

Expect the Unexpected: How to Think on Your Feet Without Getting Knocked Over™

Success in business is equal parts inspiration, perspiration, and improvisation. Participants will learn simple improvisation techniques that will help them be more agile, creative and confident in successfully handling the unexpected -- no matter what the business situation. Participants are encouraged to bring both their sense of adventure and their sense of humor to this one-hour interactive presentation.

Attitude: Your Most Priceless Possession™

Maintaining a healthy positive attitude is the key to success in any organization. Give your employees proven, usable techniques to help stay focused in today's busy, pressure-filled workplace. Participants will leave this one-hour interactive presentation feeling positive and empowered.

To learn more: www.redladder.com or

What Our Clients Are Saying ...

"Regina leads a quarterly Tele-Seminar series for the MN chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators. Her seminars have been well-attended, and always provide a wealth of thought-provoking and helpful information, packaged into an easy-to-use format. She is also an expert presenter and speaker, and did a great job making our events thought-provoking and useful for all attendees. Thanks Regina!"

Dave Meyer, President, BizzyWeb


Copyright 2008 Regina Barr, Red Ladder, Inc. Professional Fitness is a trademark of Red Ladder, Inc.
All rights reserved.

 www.redladder.com| info@redladder.com | 651-453-1007 | Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076