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Welcome to Merge's Monthly Mega Minute – a bite-sized, yet substantial and practical, nugget of information that you can use immediately to enhance your professional and personal success.

Is persistence and tenacity always a good thing?

Every morning as the sun rose, the spider that lived in the large azalea bush on the side of the garden path began the intricate and painstaking task of spinning a web. First he produced a fine thread to drift on a faint breeze across the narrow path towards the other side. When the thread caught on a leaf of the rhododendron bush on the opposite edge of the pathway, the spider felt the change in vibration and reeled it in to tighten the strand. Then he carefully walked along it and strengthened it with a second filament, and a third, and a fourth, and several more, until the thread was strong enough to support the rest of the web. Next he made the Y-shaped netting to create the first three radials and continued to add more radials and cross threads until the web was about 20 times his size. The result: something that was not only beautiful but also a means of survival (that's how spiders catch their prey). But there was one major problem with this particular web – the spider was building it directly on the garden path, spanning from one side of the path to the other. So every time someone walked down that path, which was at least twice a day, the web was broken.

Yet as I watched, for eight days in a row, every morning, as the sun rose, the spider began, once again, the intricate and painstaking task of spinning a web. As I watched this spider, I thought about how it embodied persistence and tenacity. Yet I knew, as surely as I understood that the sun would rise the next morning, that all the persistence and tenacity in the world would get this particular spider nowhere.

It got me thinking further about whether such situations ever occur in our workplaces. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where persistence and tenacity simply cannot overcome the existing environment? I have always considered determination and drive to be important and valuable character traits. But there are times when, as leaders, we need to realize that doing the same thing over and over again with doggedness and diligence will never get us to a successful outcome.

But where is that line? How do we know when should we persist and when should we pack it in? Would love to hear your thoughts online at my blog at:

Lots of new and exciting things are happening here in the home office – Merge's latest column in The Globe & Mail went crazy viral (we're not kidding!); after 10 years, Merge penned her closing column for CGA Magazine in its final issue; she was a guest on The Gary Doyle Talk Show; and we have a upcoming live event on April 30. Read further for all the juicy details.

Are you ready for our next online event? April 30 is the day!

Stop the self-sabotage! Breaking communication habits that are hampering your success

If you can't communicate clearly and confidently, then you are seriously compromising your success as a leader and a professional! Your inability to convey your message with clarity means that those around you are left confused and frustrated, ultimately resulting in wasted resources and damaged relationships. Even if you consider yourself a good communicator, the odds are still high that you're committing a few of the cardinal sins of communication without even realizing it. Which means that all your efforts to create positive change are thwarted by existing bad habits that you simply don't know you need to get rid of first. It's time to break the cycle!

On April 30, Merge will be leading a live online event that won't just tell you what you SHOULD DO to become more effective in what you say and the results you produce, but will also focus first on what you should STOP DOING so that you don't inadvertently sabotage your efforts. In one fast-paced, power-packed hour, you'll learn how to recognize and eliminate the most common blunders you’re making, turning you into a better communicator and improving your leadership effectiveness almost immediately. For more information, or to register, visit our detailed information page.

Merge's latest column in The Globe & Mail causes quite a commotion!

Four things your millennials hate about you is Merge's newest contribution to The Globe & Mail's Leadership Lab series, and almost immediately after it was launched on March 31, it went viral! By April 2, it had received more than 50,000 views, over 4,000 “direct” shares, and comments and re-tweets numbering in the thousands. Clearly it struck a chord with readers everywhere. Find out for yourself, and add your comments either to the Globe's site, or come on back to the blog and share your perspectives there:

Merge makes a radio appearance

The Gary Doyle Show on 570 Radio Kitchener/Waterloo invites Merge to be their guest

The viral storm caught the eye of Gary Doyle, popular talk show host at 570 News Radio in Kitchener/Waterloo and he invited Merge to be his guest on his show. If you are leading (or work in) a multi-generational workplace, then you’ll get value from listening in. For a link to an archived version of their conversation, please visit Merge's blog.

CGA Magazine makes its final curtain call

Merge says a fond goodbye to CGA Magazine as she pens her final column after almost 10 years

Merge has been a regular columnist authoring the popular Further Than Figures column for CGA Magazine since 2003. This issue marks the final chapter in the magazine's history as it ceases publication and is merged into a new periodical called CPA Magazine with a different focus and approach. Merge's final column is titled "How to Reduce Employee Turnover" and you can read it here.

Turning Managers into Leaders

That Merge is one of only 232 women in the world to have earned the Certified Speaking Professional credential?

Merge is a proud professional member of both the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers and the Global Speakers Federation, and holds her Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation. The CSP designation is an international measure of speaking and platform excellence and is awarded only to those accomplished speakers who meet strict criteria and have a proven record of delivering client satisfaction. A CSP brings a demonstrated track record of continuing speaker experience, expertise and excellence, and is committed to ongoing education, outstanding service and ethical behavior. Less than 12% of the speakers who belong to the worldwide federation hold this professional designation, and Merge is one of only 232 women in the world who have earned the Certified Speaking Professional credential. You can obtain more information about the CSP designation here.

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