Posts by Sarah

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Embrace Your Evolutionary Experience

by Sarah
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What masks do you need to shed? What filters are layered onto your soul? Any time you’ve been deeply wounded and you’re trying to heal, your one face is going to experience multiple evolutions as you progress through stages on your journey toward wholeness.

I Think it’s My Turn to Shed the Mask

by Sarah
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For me, shedding the mask starts with sharing my story. My story behind the scenes, the one known by only my closest friends and family.

Until almost two years ago, I was the wife of a senior pastor at a large church, mother of two amazing kids (that part hasn’t changed!), partway through international adoption of a third kiddo, and an entrepreneur successfully growing my small company in branding and marketing.

Then my life blew up.

A Birthday Letter to My 5 Year Old Little Girl

by Sarah

Dear Beautiful Sophíe,
Today I watched you.
I basked in your quick eager smile, megawatts lighting up the room.

You are tenacious. You are beautiful.

As you grow, our warped and bitter world is going to do its damnedest to pound those qualities out of you. Our world says you are worth nothing more than your body, or how you flaunt it. Our world gives lip service to the message that you can achieve anything, but then will slaughter you with criticism and condemnation for attempting.

You can succumb to those mixed messages.
Or you can reject them as the nonsense they are.

What Does Success Look Like?

by Sarah
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Like it? Share it! A few weeks ago I spent two days talking about success with business and marketing students at my alma mater. It was an intense experience to walk the halls where I once studied and explored and dreamed toward the future I imagined ahead of me. “What does success look like?” one […]

4 Integrity Lessons From Top CEOs

by Sarah
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Like it? Share it! Last year I wrote my first book, on integrity lessons from top CEOs and leaders. ONE FACE doesn’t hit bookstores until June 7th, but here are a few key lessons I learned while writing. When I started the laborious and daunting process of writing about doing business without sacrificing values, I […]

5 Critical Characteristics Every Young Entrepreneur Should Cultivate

by Sarah
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Like it? Share it! Recently, I participated as a panelist on the subject of social entrepreneurship. Perhaps 85 college students were in the audience, hoping to absorb some shred of wisdom to catapult them into the entrepreneurial stratosphere sooner than later. Young Entrepreneurs Want to Know… The other panelists and I mingled with students afterward, […]

3 Simple Ways You Can Avoid Going Up In Flames (Like Volkswagen)

by Sarah
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Like it? Share it! Until this morning, Volkswagen might have been one of the most trusted names in the auto industry for sustainability. That was then. Back before we all discovered that they’ve been rigging their emissions tests and lying to pretty much, well, everyone on the planet. Before VW stock crashed after plummeting 20% or more. […]

Chatting With Chipotle (part 4)

by Sarah
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Like it? Share it! SARAH: How did the slogan “Food with Integrity” come about? It’s so clean and concise, and it says everything it needs to say. Those are the hardest slogans to develop! MONTY: Yes, isn’t it beautiful? I love it. SARAH: It’s a terrific descriptor and tagline, and I know those don’t come […]

Chatting With Chipotle (part 3)

by Sarah
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Like it? Share it! SARAH: Let’s talk about this phenomenon of how Chipotle has managed to connect strongly with millennials. Everybody everywhere is trying to crack the formula to engage millennials, and you’ve pulled it off. How? MONTY: Millennials are highly ambitious, sometimes almost utopian in their ambition. They want what they want now, they […]

Chatting With Chipotle (part 2)

by Sarah
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Like it? Share it! SARAH: Tell me more about your Restaurateur Culture. MONTY: I believe the general manager position is the most important position in Chipotle, period. Because GMs hire 99.9% of our people. They decide who comes in the door and who doesn’t. They’re either effective at developing people into future leaders, or not. […]

Chatting with Chipotle (part 1)

by Sarah
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Like it? Share it! SARAH: Thanks for meeting with me, Monty! I’m in the final stages of authoring a book on values-driven leadership. My premise is that whether you are a celebrity, an individual leader, or a corporation managing your brand reputation – if your internal reality and your external marketing is not governed by the […]

5 Brilliant Social Responsibility Ad Campaigns

by Sarah
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Like it? Share it! There are ad campaigns. There are brilliant ad campaigns. And then there are brilliant ad campaigns that make a massive impact for social responsibility. You know, the ones that put a fresh twist on a powerful message that shakes you, grips you, and forces you to reassess social norms you’d formerly taken for […]

3 Ways to Appreciate Your Dad’s Leadership

by Sarah

Like it? Share it! Every June, the entire nation pauses to celebrate fathers. But how many of us actually know our dads? You may know his name, some of his interests, what he looks like — but how well do you know him? Listen Your dad might not talk a lot, but that doesn’t mean […]

5 Dumbest Ways to Earn a D as Team Leader

by Sarah
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Like it? Share it! You wanna be a great leader, right? But are you unknowingly guilty of these dumbest ways to earn a D in leadership? Here are five extremely common bad habits to be aware of and intentionally avoid: Disregard your team’s areas of expertise. Doesn’t matter if they’re actually good at stuff you […]

#theGURUseries | Andrew Benton

by Sarah
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Like it? Share it! Andrew Benton has served as president of Pepperdine University, a top-tier school, for the past fifteen years.Benton has cultivated a long-standing legacy of leadership at one of the premier private universities in the United States, and has the unique advantage of also seeing many of his graduates go on to become […]

I’m Writing A Book…

by Sarah
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Like it? Share it! I’m writing a book. Actually, it’s already written, accepted by an amazing publisher, and in the process of editing and prepping for print. Doesn’t mean I feel comfortable saying “I’ve written a book” yet… Throughout the past several months, I’ve poured myself into research, conducted mind-blowing interviews with corporate leaders and […]

5 Compelling Reasons to Write Your Values

by Sarah
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Like it? Share it! There are as many reasons to articulate your core values as there are businesses and leaders. Doesn’t matter if you are a business leader or an individual, knowing what you stand for and the key motivations that drive you is a good idea. I’m Sarah McDugal, and here are my five […]

7 Dumbest Ways to Kill Your Brand

by Sarah

Like it? Share it! There are as many ways to kill your brand as there are business leaders, but these seven are definitely the dumbest ways to do so. You might be killing your brand if… You don’t bother to figure out what you stand for in the first place. Everything hinges on the underlying […]

5 Compelling Reasons to Write Your Values

by Sarah
sarah+mcdugal+author+speaker+advocate

Like it? Share it! There are as many reasons to articulate your core values as there are businesses and leaders. Doesn’t matter if you are a business leader or an individual, knowing what you stand for and the key motivations that drive you is a good idea. I’m Sarah McDugal, and here are my five […]

Key Leadership Lessons from the Blue Buffalo Lawsuit

by Sarah
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Like it? Share it! What’s The Blue Buffalo Lawsuit About? Blue Buffalo is a pet food company, in case you don’t have pets and didn’t already know. Until last year were spending $50,000,000 on a marketing campaign proclaiming that they never use poultry by-product meal in their pet foods. Then, in May 2014, they got […]

Why Holacracy Is Gonna Fail At Your Company

by Sarah
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Like it? Share it! Fast Company reported this week that 210 of Zappos’ employees decided to take severance packages and jump ship rather than embrace the responsibility of moderating themselves without a boss. I guess everybody is different, and it’s a good thing it’s a free country, because if I worked at a big company […]

Are you a LEJIT leader?

by Sarah
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Like it? Share it! LEJIT If you’ve watched or read any of my stuff, you already know that I think it’s SUPER important to ponder, articulate and write down the key core values that drive you and give you passion. What exactly ARE these values? And how do they impact your life and future? Your […]

#theGURUseries | Orlando Bowen

by Sarah
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It was about being able to look in the mirror and knowing you did all that you could, fair and square. I’d rather give everything I have and lose — than cheat and win. I can’t look myself in the mirror and sleep well knowing I didn’t do all I could, or that I cut corners or did something underhanded. Here are my 3 tips for surviving unjust circumstances without losing your integrity:

Your Brand > Your Branding

by Sarah
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Like it? Share it! When I ask small business owners and foundation CEOs and non-profit directors about their branding, they’ll typically answer, “Of course we have branding! See my logo? Here’s my letterhead, too.” And my answer is, “That’s not a brand. That’s a logo and a letterhead. Those are small pieces of your brand […]