"The Man, The Mission, The Passion" Husband, Father, Attorney, CPA, Steward Leader, Entrepreneur, MBA, Author, Builder, HBS OPM 25 Class, Mentor, Teacher

Self as Instrument


You are the most powerful tool you possess. You can be an instrument for change and positive good. Yet how often do we attempt to stand outside ourselves and think about the “use of self” as a tool?

Almost two decades ago I attended an awesome workshop at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland titled “Self of Instrument”. Most of the participants were professional therapists or organizational behavior experts, many with long experience working with individuals and institutions to create positive change. While an outlier as a CEO and entrepreneur, I snuck in via a phone interview, my three degrees and passion for leadership; convincing them I was a qualified participant who could benefit and perhaps more importantly, contribute a meaningful point of view.

The deeper our personal understanding of ourselves (i.e. Our EQ or Emotional Quotation), the more powerful we are as change agents. When we align both our actions and behaviors, our words and our body language, with our core beliefs and values, we are authentic and “This authenticity is visible to those who would be followers and companions on the journey to the desired future, and encourages the development of trust between the leader and the followers.”

You MUST know who you are, what you stand for AND what you “evoke/provoke” in others (i.e. the true meaning of any message you send lies in the response you provoke). Is the message received, the message you wanted to send? Are you the person you want to be? Do others see you as you see yourself? (This does NOT mean you hand your self-esteem over to others, simply that you accept their view as one more data point to be evaluated) Developing self-awareness and self-management is key (see Daniel Goleman’s Emotional intelligence and the concepts of social-awareness and relationship management).

Learning to think of one’s self as an “instrument of change” and to consciously develop the skills of self-knowledge and social awareness was a powerful paradigm shift.

Closing Quotes

“Followers learn by observing the positive values, psychological states, behaviors and self-development being modeled by the authentic leader.” - Debbie Kennedy, Self as Instrument Using a Leadership Lens & Coaching Application

“You have the ability to make a huge difference if you are willing to devote the time to develop the tools you need to be an effective instrument of change – to develop your “self as instrument”.  - Jim Elliott, Blog Post, 9/2/10

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The Power is Within You


“Changing our lives for the better does not have to be difficult. Thinking one or 2 new, powerful, positive thoughts a day works WONDERS!”

“Every thought you think and every word you speak is an affirmation. When you say an affirmation, it is like planting a seed. You are always in the process of tending to your garden, and if you do it with care, you will find that each day becomes more joyous than the one before.”

“You have the power and authority to take control of your thoughts and your life. Try these affirmations below—one a day, several at a time, or just at random and take the first step toward building a more rewarding life.” – Louise Hays

10 Power Thoughts for a More Rewarding Life
By Louise Hay (with edits and additions by Nathan S. Collier!)

I choose to feel good about myself each day. Every morning I remind myself that I can make the choice to feel good. I count my blessings daily and my heart’s
smile shines forth for all to see and share.


 I relax and flow with life; using all that comes my way in the best way possible. I know that life turns out best for those who make the best of what life brings.


Love is the miracle cure. Loving myself, accepting myself, works miracles in my life.



I am the creative power in my world. I express myself creatively, joyously, spontaneously. I retain a childlike wonder; this allows me to experience small miracles daily.


Good now flows in my life from all directions. I know that blessings often appear in disguise thus I am open to new thoughts, new experiences, new ways.


My heart is open. I release all resistance. My new life awaits me, I eagerly embrace growth, knowing that I am meant to be all that I can be. 


I have an unlimited ability to create good in my life.



I keep my thoughts centered on what I wish to experience. Thoughts held in mind, attract in kind. What I focus on, expands.


Life created me to be fulfilled. I now release all expectations, and I know that all will be well!


My joyful thoughts create my joyful world. I release ALL thoughts that hurt.

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Your Mind Is Powerful


“Your mind is powerful beyond your comprehension.

But like fire, the mind’s power can be directed in ways that harm or ways that build
 to warm and light or burn and destroy. 

A major key to creating the future you want is to master your monkey mind!  

Never, ever allow anything into your mind or imagination
that you don’t want to harden into real world reality. 

Thoughts held in mind attract in kind; 
What you Focus on Expands.

Worry is simply negative visualization; 
uselessly draining your energy.

Instead, visualize the life, the success, you want as already present 
and that is where your creative energies will naturally flow.”
- NSC,

Closing Quotes:

“Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blue print, and begin to build.”Robert Collier, 1885-1950

 “Ordinary people believe only in the possible. Extraordinary people visualize not what is possible or probable, but rather what is impossible & by visualizing the impossible, they begin to see it as possible.”- Cherie Carter-Scott, If Life is a Game, Here are the Rules

 “I’ve discovered that numerous peak performers use the skill of mental rehearsal of visualization. They mentally run through important events before they happen.”Charles Garfield, Peak Performance

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