Happy Holidays from the R|L Team



As we wrap up 2020 and look forward to the upcoming year, our R|L team invites you to select your Guiding Word for 2021, as columnist Mary Schmich has aptly popularized in the Chicago Tribune. Take the time to reflect on a wide range of possibilities. What word resonates best with you? What word helps you better understand all that makes you YOU and new dimensions yet to be explored? Will you select Agile, Cultivate, Perspective, Sustain, or Shed? Find the stickiest one for you, the one that takes your breath away, or compels you to be your best self.

Our R|L staff shares their personal word picks for the new year below. It is our gift to you to help you open up new possibilities, to lighten your step, and to enrich your life and all those around you. If we have learned anything from 2020, let’s hope it has been that our lives directly impact one another. We can create a better collective!

Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season. And may you always…“Create Uncommon Results!”®

Clyde and Carolyn Lowstuter and The R|L team

Clyde Lowstuter, MCC
President & CEO
Executive Coach


What a powerful word!! For me, Ignite is an awakening, an invitation to unleash more potential for myself as well as my clients. Ignite re-energizes how I think, feel, and perform. Ignite provokes action and sustained momentum. It’s a full cycle word beginning by sparking creativity and then inspiring me to commit to the sprint at the end of the race.

As we move into 2021, I am more committed than ever to experiment with new ways to ignite the passions of our R|L team and our clients. “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.” Howard Thurman

Carolyn Lowstuter
Executive VP
Executive Coach


Think of the richness of this word: to embrace another. To embrace an idea. To embrace an opportunity. I find that embracing something is to make it fully a daily part of my being and of my life.

Embrace reminds me to wholeheartedly engage in the fullness of my emotions. Embrace reveals that the journey of becoming my authentic self which helps me realize more of my full potential each and every day.

I’m challenging myself in 2021 to embrace the present. To embrace our differences. To embrace uncertainty. To embrace change. And hopefully sooner rather than later to once again embrace my loved ones. Have fun embracing your Word!


Nora Bouchard
Vice President
Executive Coach



I’m choosing “Aspire” as my word for 2021. This word speaks to me on two levels. First, the word comes from the Latin “aspirare” or breathe. The world and I find ourselves struggling to breathe. Whether it’s because of a mask or the novel Coronavirus, or because of our own self-imposed pressures, we are not breathing enough. The breath leads and calms and centers us. I wish for more of that for me and all people in 2021.

Aspire also refers to achievement or reaching new heights. In 2021, I wish to reinvigorate and re-inspire (breathing again) my coaching, my practice and my work. In doing so, I will naturally and easily bring my clients to new levels and insights.

May we all “aspire” – breathing at new heights – in 2021.

Susan Snowden
Vice President
Executive Coach


This word means firmly loyal or constant, but it also means fixed or unmovable — one word with two very different connotations. I am drawn to steadfast as a strength. Yet, when over or underplayed, this strength can be like steadfast as a weakness.

In 2021, I want to be loyal and constant and, at the same time, stay open and present to avoid being unchanging and unmovable.

Pat Mater
Vice President
Executive Coach


My word is Kindness.

I have been touched by the saying (seen everywhere, it seems)
“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”

There are so many inspirational quotes on Kindness:
“Kindness is a Language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain
“If you can’t be kind – be quiet.” – Anonymous
“Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Plato
“One kind word can change someone’s entire day.” – Anonymous
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia
“There are opportunities every day to be kind.” – Barb Walters
My goal every day is to exhibit kindness – and for all of us to remember to Be kind to ourselves!

Dave Dallam
Vice President
Executive Coach


My Word for 2020 (and 2021) is COMPASSION.

Pity, sympathy, empathy and compassion are interrelated words and emotions, often used synonymously. They are not synonyms. Pity is only about you and the emotional discomfort you are feeling toward another person. (You’re glad you don’t have to walk in their shoes.) Sympathy is also only about you and your own emotion: you feel the same emotion as another person. (You know what it’s like for you to walk in their shoes.) Empathy is about the other person: you understand – cognitively and emotionally – what another person is feeling. (You understand what it’s like for them walking in their own shoes.)

Pity, sympathy, and empathy are passive. You recognize, feel, understand, but you don’t have to express or take action to have these emotions.

Compassion is a far higher virtue, because compassion implies action. It is “Empathy in Action”. You feel and understand, but also with the pressure to engage in a fix, relief, or help. We show compassion toward others. We actually do walk in their shoes with them. My resolution is to fully express compassion in 2020 and 2021.

Sharon Noha
Senior Vice President  Business Development


Serendipity is that thing that you don’t expect that offers something wonderful. It’s been described as a “fortunate discovery by chance”. Most of us have found that $20 bill tucked away in an inside pocket of a ski jacket we haven’t worn for a year or two. Maybe it’s only $20, but isn’t it too fun? Better yet, maybe you discover it right when you realize that you didn’t bring your purse with you and you have no money!! Perhaps a colleague suggests an enriching virtual museum tour and you suddenly get interested in Egyptian history and you eagerly begin to plan your next overseas adventure, or you meet someone at pickle ball that works at a company you’re targeting for your job search and they make an amazing introduction, or you start listening to audio books only because you can’t swim anymore and inadvertently get “hooked” and are so enriched by all the books you’ve consumed while walking, or perhaps you get the wrong take out order and decide that Indian food is really quite delicious and decide to start cooking more ethnic food. Who would have thought! A little serendipity can open up many new unexpected doors, interests and hobbies.

In this pandemic, where we seem to focus so much on what we can’t do and what is no longer possible, I hope that we can be open to serendipity unfolding in our lives for 2021. Adopt a positive expectancy that interesting things will come your way this week, this month, next year. Embrace the joy of serendipity and be thankful for the variety of unexpected gifts that somehow arrive on your doorstep. More importantly, take advantage of where they may lead you! (Better go check your front door!!)

Paul Duski
Senior Vice President Business Development


Perseverance… continued effort to do or achieve despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.

My word for the year 2021 is…Perseverance.

Throughout history, rarely does anything meaningful get achieved without perseverance. Believe in your objective, take responsibility, take action, and make it happen!

We all face challenges every day – be it professionally, socially, or personally. As I/we look forward to 2021, we will persevere! We will BEAT Covid! We will be successful in our work life! We will face and overcome all of our personal and family challenges! Most importantly, we must help and support our fellow man in their pursuits.

Pat Henahan
Vice President
Executive Coach


2020 was a rather serious year, with COVID worries, highly contested elections, civil unrest, and many natural disasters. With so many canceled plans, I filled my time with work. I realize now how much I neglected to have fun, to create space for play. With my Thanksgiving family gathering nixed, I wondered how to fill a suddenly empty week. It turns out it wasn’t difficult at all, once I got started. Puzzles, art, new recipes, Christmas decorating…it reminded me that I don’t need to get on an airplane and leave town to carve out downtime. So in 2021, I resolve to play more.



Mike N. Cannizzaro
Senior Vice President Executive Coach



My 2021 word is Renewal.

Looking back on the year 2020, with all its issues, calls me to rethink the approach to a New Year and the open freedom to make it a renaissance. I resolve to do my part to bring renewal to everything I can impact.

Our faith needs renewal. Our families need renewal. Our friends need renewal. Our world needs renewal. Our country needs renewal. Our society needs renewal.

May a new year of renewal bring greater focus on what is truly important in life’s journey.

Kathryn Hartrick
VP General Counsel Executive Coach


My word for 2021 is the fifth time I am choosing a one word resolution. My words in the past four years have been Health, Family, Care and last year, Hurls, which was a combination of my husband and my girls (twin daughters Eleanor and Margaret). For 2021, my word is “Present.” It reminds me that being present, is a present…for me and for those who are in my presence. Present reminds me to listen, slow down, appreciate the now while it’s here. It will remind me to catch myself not being present. Present will remind me to quiet my racing thoughts. Present will remind me not to miss the golden opportunities that are right in front of my very nose. I’m ready, willing and able to work on being present. To stop, look and listen to what is before me. I hope to be more present in 2021.


Ron Hirasawa
Vice President
Executive Coach



My 2020-21 holiday word is Resonate!
It’s a North Star word. It’s a filter word for screening out good sounding but emotionally void ideas. Google defines it thusly:

To resonate is to make, hear, or even understand a deep, full sound. The verb resonate, which comes from the Latin resonatum, first referred only to sound, but has now developed an emotional connotation.

Millennials sometimes ask, “Do you feel me?” They seek verification of resonance, of emotional connection. In the music we love, we are most certainly “feeling” it! Many people cannot read music notes, but all can hear and feel the rightness of the melodies of music.
Other word candidates included: Reflect, Listen, Ponder, Interpret, Recontextualize, Care. My Eureka moment was the realization that all of these and more words are part of the word, Resonate! As Teddy Roosevelt said, “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” Or how much anyone resonates!


Matt Gonring
Vice President
Executive Coach



Here’s my word. Gratitude. Every day is a day to acknowledge the many gifts that we’ve been given, and to be especially grateful that we have the health, wherewithal and ability to make the most of those gifts. Among the many gifts that I choose to acknowledge is to recognize opportunities to help others in need. My father once told me that “when you are in a spot to help another, you are in a good spot, you just need to recognize it.” He realized that among the greatest gifts we’ve all been given is the enlightenment that helping others brings with it a high level of personal fulfillment, happiness and peace of mind. It is through gratitude in all we’ve been given, that I aim to more clearly choose life’s paths.


John Hart
Vice President
Executive Coach



Reflecting on the events of 2020, the value of focusing on material and impactful action is clear. I am hopeful that the year of separation will create a collective resolution to appreciate the gift of each other and desire to make the world a better place for all. It is easy and tempting to be drawn into dialogue. Ultimately, our thoughtful and intentional actions are what create true impact. As we enter 2021, we have the opportunity to be effective at driving positive change through our actions.


Christy Glick
Director of
Communications & Projects



In the coming year, “gift” will be my word. Gifts are all around me, including those I sometimes take for granted, like shelter and warmth and light. And as we face more months of unknowns, I want to notice these gifts more readily – a moment in nature, the laugh of a loved one, provision for a need, or a few seconds of silence. I want to see and more deeply appreciate such gifts for the treasures that they are.

Not only that, I hope the word “gift” will renew my commitment to give generously to others – material things, yes, but also the time to listen, the willingness to understand, and comfort in sorrow. It doesn’t stop there – I hope the word “gift” will also remind me to receive; sometimes others want to give to me, and I hope I will readily receive their gifts with a full heart. Will you join me?


Kendra Washington
Executive Assistant for
Client Services



With 2021 approaching, many of us have begun to choose our New Year’s resolutions, our goals for the start of a new year. Will we lose weight, learn a new language, or complete that household project we have been putting off for some time now? By choosing our goal, we create a mountain for ourselves to climb, but every choice we make towards that mountain will determine if we make it to the top. Do we plan, train, prepare, or just start and see how it goes. Looking back on my track record, I started with good intentions and a positive attitude towards the top, only to lose interest in my goals and they remain unfinished. I don’t want another year of should’a, could’a, didn’t, I want to be successful. How can we increase our odds of making it to the top of the mountain? How do we do this, by not just choosing goals but by being SMART to achieve them!

To achieve something means to carry out something successfully, to obtain our hoped-for results, to accomplish a task of a high degree of skill, and to reach for a desired end or aim. When we achieve a goal, we feel a great degree of accomplishment. I want to achieve my goals for 2021, and thanks to a podcast by Anthony O’Neal, I learned the SMART steps successful people use to achieve goals, which he learned from his mentor, Dave Ramsey. We need to be SMART which means S = Specific, M = Measurable, A = Achievable, R = Relevant, T = Time-sensitive. By choosing yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, even daily goals that meet these criteria, I can achieve realistic and healthy goals to improve my life and impact the world. I hope you can do the same, and I look forward to seeing you at the top!


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