Mary Lore's Business Blog

Mary is an expert resource for Vistage International, the world's leading chief executive organization. She conducts Managing Thought® workshops for Vistage® members worldwide and is a featured resource on their website. Click on the links below to read Mary's Vistage Executive Street Business Leadership blogs and her guest appearances on other business blogs.

Is Your Practice a Love of Labor or a Labor of Love?

We love to labor. We are busy, busy, busy, doing, doing, doing.

When we face a big challenge or a difficult situation, we labor. We cancel vacation, skip lunch, work through the weekend, and stay late to solve the problem, put out the fire, accomplish the result, fix it.

To succeed...




Why Worry? Using Worry to Your Advantage

What I think is a matter of choice. So when I worry, I always have the choice to pause, and choose thoughts that deactivate “fight, flight and freeze” worry thoughts and move me in a direction that serves my purpose.

The next time you catch yourself worrying, try this...




Living and Leading with Intention

When we choose our intentions and are mindful, we achieve clarity of purpose. We are clear on what matters most to us, on what we value. We stop “re-acting” to colleagues, clients, family members, staff, and situations and start creating what we wish to create...




The Power of Appreciation: Who Could You See Differently? What Could You Celebrate?

I was enjoying a rare day at home, working in my jammies, when I got the news that a man I worked with for over ten years had died. His service was starting in just 45 minutes, so I quickly dressed, jumped in the car, and made it just in time....




Turning Tragedy into Inspiration

We learn news of the shootings and deaths of innocent children in Connecticut. We find ourselves filled with all kinds of emotions.

This is not surprising. Something has happened that’s painful and very different from what we expect, what we believe, what we have learned, what we hope for …




Are You Thinking Powerfully?

It is time for us to take back our power, to stop re-acting, and start choosing thoughts that serve us in our lives, our relationships, our organizations, our communities, and, through the ripple effect …




Are You Self-Aware?

Are you self-aware?

When I ask this question in my workshops, and it doesn’t matter if I am with CEOs, management teams, educators, parents, medical professionals, graduate students, or teens, the answer is a resounding: I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it.

Yet, according to various studies and authorities, self-awareness is…




Are You Feeling the Love?

Love and business aren’t often used in the same sentence. Yet love is what brings about significant results.

Studies show that happy and healthy workers are the most productive workers; that organizations and individuals who have purpose outperform their competitors, are more innovative, have higher employee and customer satisfaction, and a much higher return on investment; that those who practice thankfulness are healthier, have a better outlook on life, and are more likely to reach…




What's Your "I Have a Dream" Speech?

I remember hearing Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Even though I was a young girl when I first heard his speech, I remember the impact it had on me. My eyes stayed open. I didn’t blink. I got the chills. I knew I was hearing something very powerful . I remember looking forward to being an adult and being able to fully grasp what I had just heard.

Today, when I look at the essence of his words, I see why his speech was of such significant influence.

He focused on what he wanted, not what he didn’t…




Living and Leading with Intention

Do you have a written vision statement or intention for:

  • Your organization or your family?
  • Your role in your organization or family?
  • Your life? Your career? Yourself?
  • Your relationship with your children? Your direct reports?
  • Your relationships with your customers, suppliers, investors, employees, colleagues, manager, or boss?
  • Your marriage, education, livelihood, well-being, success?
  • Your vacation, the home or car you hope to buy, a conversation, an activity, a sales call, an acquisition, or a meeting?

We can set vision statements and choose our intentions and purpose for any aspect of our being.

You can intend,,,




Manage Stress During the Holidays and Every Day: Focus on the Essence of What You Want

With plays, parties and events to attend, cards to mail, gifts to buy, guests to prepare for, and year-end initiatives at work, you may find yourself tied up in ribbons. Focusing on the essence of what you want is one of the most powerful ways of thinking to reduce stress and bring about peace of mind and happiness during the holiday season and throughout the year.

During stressful times, we may find ourselves consumed with thoughts of worry, self-criticism, frustration, and even anger. We may feel we have too much to do. We may feel we’re doing things we don’t want to do or not doing the things we want to do. We can rise to a new level of consciousness, restore our sense of purpose and reclaim our peace of mind by focusing on the essence of what we want.

Here are some practical tips to help you discover the essence of what you want,,,




Make Thankfulness a Process

In the mid-1990s, I was an executive officer for several companies in crisis and owner of my own growing business. I was working over a hundred hours a week, drained, unhealthy and unhappy – and I felt there was no way out. When I realized that I was responsible for my world, that I created my world, that the only way I could change my world was to change myself – I was dumbfounded. I knew that my thoughts were the only things over which I had complete responsibility and accountability, so I began to wonder about what was going on inside my head. I decided to start managing my thoughts!

I woke up with the idea,,,




Positivity is a Competitive Advantage

Today is Positive Thinking Day.

In my experience, a lot of leaders think “positive thinking” is about thinking happy rah-rah or touchy-feely thoughts or re-framing a thought to make it sound positive, for example changing the word “sh—“ to “fertilizer.” Or they think of that Stuart Smalley character on Saturday Night Live who made positive affirmations in the mirror.

For this reason, I don’t use the term positive thinking, coined the term powerful thinking, and developed the Managing Thought® process. Because to me, positivity isn’t about getting rid of the negative thoughts we have and replacing them with positive thoughts. It is about being aware of the 60,000 thoughts our brains present to us every day – one a second – and choosing to hold thoughts that are in alignment with who we aspire to be and what we wish to create – as leaders and as organizations.

In my experience, most of our thoughts are based in,,,




It’s Time to Start “Being” a Leader

We are a nation of laborers. White collar, blue collar, working, not working—we labor. We are busy, busy, busy, doing, doing, doing.

When we find ourselves with a big challenge or facing a difficult situation, we have taught ourselves to labor, to do, do, do. We cancel vacations, skip lunch, work on the weekends, stay late, and force ourselves to think until we have our answers, solved the problem, put out the fire, accomplished the result.

We believe that doing, laboring – force – brings results. We do in order to be.

What if we started with being?

Think about it—when do you get your best ideas? When I ask this in a Managing Thought workshop,,,




Are You a Great Leader?

In my experience, most executives and managers say they want to be a great leader. Yet, when I ask them what being a great leader looks like, they can’t tell me.

Many tell me what a great leader doesn’t look like. Many criticize themselves for not being a great leader or say they could be a better leader. Some are able to list a few characteristics. Rarely can they tell me what these mean or look like.

If I can’t envision or describe what being a great leader looks like, how can I become a great leader? Or know when I am? It’s hard to get there when...




The Pursuit of Happiness and Significant Results

“The pursuit of happiness” is listed in the United States Declaration of Independence among the unalienable and sovereign rights of man.

In the workshops I do, whether we are discussing a life well-lived, a job well-done, a great relationship with customers, suppliers, bankers or employees, a corporate culture, or a well executed strategy, when we ask what is the essence of what we truly want, the answer is always happiness.

There are two kinds of happiness – emotional happiness and true happiness. Emotional happiness doesn’t last and often eventually results in...




Are You a Victim or a Creator?

Your largest customer calls and threatens to take their business elsewhere. You learn that a prized employee is leaving, taking a position with a competitor. A major supplier has missed a critical deadline. Your lenders announce they are reducing your credit line to your current balance and raising your interest rates.

If any of these situations happened, would you think you are having a bad day? Would you think these situations are bad? Would you think that your customer, employee, supplier, or lender had done something to you or to your organization?

In my experience, most CEOs would say,…




Is Your Customer Service Rooted in Love or Fear?

Who, and how, we choose to be in any situation, in any relationship, in any moment, is based in either love or fear. We have a choice on which to select.

When we choose love, we are choosing to thrive. We are choosing thoughts and actions that are in alignment with who we truly are, who we truly can be, what we truly want, as individuals, organizations, as nations.

So let’s take a look at customer service. Do you service your customers because you truly want to be of service? Or because you don’t want to lose the customer?...




Are You a Great CEO? What Do You Think?

I always look forward to the coming of spring. It's a time of renewal and growth. And just as I choose the seeds I wish to plant in my garden, so do I choose the thoughts I wish to cultivate as a great CEO.

In my experience, most CEOs tell me they want to be a great CEO. Many criticize themselves for not being a great CEO or feel they could do much better. When I ask them what does being a great CEO look like, they can’t tell me. They haven’t thought about it.

Some are able to say: I inspire people, I create the vision, I am an ambassador for the organization, I am a strategist, I am a coach, a continuous learner, an investor, a wealth builder, a servant, a business developer….

Rarely can they tell me what each of these mean or look like. For example,…




Are Your Decisions Based in Love or Fear?

This is Valentine’s Day, a day we pause and think about love.

Usually we think about people we love. Yet love affects more than our personal relationships. Because when it comes down to it, everything we choose to think, say, or do is rooted in either love or fear. Everything. So let’s take a moment to think about our thoughts and the decisions and actions that follow.

Our decisions in business to (and how to) lead, follow, motivate, participate, compete, market, sell, hire, fire, save, spend, attack, defend, invest, report, communicate, train, merge, divest, evaluate, reflect, analyze, unite or divide …




What's Your "I Have a Dream" Speech?

I remember hearing Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Even though I was a young girl when I first heard his speech, I remember the impact it had on me. My eyes stayed open. I didn’t blink. I got the chills. I knew I was hearing something very powerful . I remember looking forward to being an adult and being able to fully grasp what I had just heard.

Today, when I look at the essence of his words, I see why his speech was of such significant influence.

He focused on what he wanted, not what he didn’t…




Want Balance? Here’s How to Make that Resolution Stick

I will be more balanced.

Does that sound familiar? It may be one of the most popular resolutions among executives. Many of us make this resolution year after year and some of us have gotten to the point where we don’t even bother.

We say life happens or that other priorities get in the way. Thankfully, these are NOT the reasons that this resolution doesn’t work. It’s how we’ve framed the resolution that’s the problem – it is uninspiring. It is when we are inspired that we achieve significant results. It is when we are inspired that we transform.

If you really want balance in your life, here are some ways to powerfully re-frame your resolution.




The Power of Reflection

Many of us—executives in particular—don’t have much patience for the process of reflection. We say we want results, yet what we’re really saying is that we want speed. Einstein said, “There is more to life than increasing speed.”

We’re also saying that we want action. We believe that if we’re not busy doing, then nothing is happening, which is not true. We get our best ideas when we are not busy doing – when we’re driving, showering, running, playing, meditating, relaxing, waking, or falling asleep.

We get our very best ideas when we’re inspired. And one of the most powerful ways we become inspired involves the process of reflection.