Leadership Unleased: Published!

My book, Leadership Unleashed, was published this week! It will be available on Amazon soon, but feel free to preview the eBook on Scribd.

About this book:

Leadership Unleashed gives leaders a tool to distinguish their mental concepts from two opposing categories, leashed or unleashed. Through 100 metaphorical observations, Jessie Upp, M.S., provides boxes for readers to draw and complete their own epigrams, inspiring them to drop the leash of control and create anxiety-free results in their workplace, home, school and community.


New Book

I've been working on a book of observations. About 100 of them came to me all in a matter of a two week period. Everytime, I'd say "thank you" to the sky as I had no idea where they were coming from ;)

Now, I work on interpreting through words and visuals.

Please visit for updates!


My Own Eyes

Your eyes gaze into mine
as I realize they are
my own gazing back at me.

Jessie Upp


No-Gossip Policy?

Employers are cracking down on workplace gossip. Here is an article on what one employer did. Although I LOVE the intention of a no-gossip policy, if a policy requires a group of people to simply NOT do something, it may not work as intended.

Some employers actually train their employees
to offer a suggestion if they have a complaint.

"This place is so boring."
-- "Do you have a suggestion to make it more enjoyable?"

This is a very workable technique, although it still falls short when it's a complaint about another person. People rarely have the tool to suggest how to deal with another person, other than...

1) fix them. if that doesn't work, move to step 2
2) shame them. if that doesn't work, move to step 3

3) blame them. if that doesn't work, move to step 4
4) tell 'em to leave. if that doesn't work, move to The Work 'cause none of these steps really work ;)

If a complaint is present, people could do some work to see it's value. I also invite you to give the complainer a tool to make that value work for them...really work for them.


Regarding the workplace, do you see managers and employees open to structured formats for communicating complaints? If so, how are complaints currently being delivered in a constructive manner?


Cubicle Life

A FUNNY insight into cubicle LIFE. It's a short funny video that explains what it is like to work in corporate America.

Really, it doesn't have to be this way. I once experienced this type of work lifestyle first-hand and made a vow to produce another life...and then produced a program to help others do the same.


How Sharing Feelings Often Leads to Blame

Learn how the sharing of feelings often have an external source for blame.
As an undergraduate a few years ago, I continuously heard “Tell us how you feel.”

I, too, read countless books declaring if I want to be emotionally healthy, I’d have to learn how to share my feelings. I also see my daughters being taught the process at school, learning to say “I feel (this) because you did (this).”

After working so hard at reaching self-actualization, I concluded that self-actualization is a concept that is different for everyone and that sometimes it is felt...and sometimes not. The same goes for feelings.

When we are experiencing any type of "good" or "bad" feeling, we often “blame” an outside source. Why? It's because we are rarely taught how to take COMPLETE responsibility for our own feelings, especially when describing them. We attribute them to another person, or event. “She makes me so mad!” or "My work is so boring." or “He makes me so happy.” We may even visit the past to see what started those feelings, or attempt to meet a future goal so that we can finally be happy.

After many failed attempts at finding work that made me “happy,” I realized how the pursuit of happiness was flawed in itself. The pursuit holds an assumption... [Read rest of article]

Find the Positive in the Negative

Learn how TRYING to turn negative thoughts into positive can result in wasted energy.
They say we should turn our negative thoughts into positive ones.

They suggest we should try coming up with a solution to our problem.

These are strategies that I say are simply the resistance of living core values.

Plenty experts tout the idea of positive thinking, goal-setting, and motivation building. As we know, this thinking holds a purpose in our daily lives. They get us to work on time, they remind us to brush our teeth, or bite our tongue when we want to say something blunt. From another perspective, they also can serve as our own worst enemy. [Read rest of article]


Going Complaint-Free

Do you think it's possible for those around you to go complaint-free or gossip-free with your influence?

I say yes...and here's my invitation to do so.



"My girlfriend says I never listen to her. I think that's what she said."
Drake Sather

1/2 Empty or 1/2 Full?

"I was forced to go to a positive-thinking seminar. I couldn't stand it, so I went outside to the parking lot and let half the air out of everybody's tires. As they came out I said, 'So, are your tires half-full or half-empty?' "
Adam Christing

Trying to think positive never really worked for me. It came naturally after I DID what was necessary to get what I wanted in life. Yes, it's a requirement, but I think we place way too much emphasis on forcing it...rather than seeing it come as a result of doing.


Statements of Thought

Do you see relevancy in these statements at your work, home, or community?
  • The one who is talking is the one who is learning.
  • Management is about delegating and control.
  • Leadership is about facilitating and letting go of control.
  • People need to feel trusted in order to want to be led.
  • Training is the act of dispensing information.
  • Facilitating is the act of helping people apply what information they heard.
  • 70%+ of learning is visual.
  • Live the values you want others to follow.
  • People will only remember what is applicable to them.
  • You can lead through questions.


Which way do you see this woman turning? Find out your brain dominance!

Look at the girl below:

Do you see the shadow of a woman above turning clockwise, or counter-clockwise? In the Australia Herald Sun, the arcticle states if you see her turning clockwise, then you use more of your right side of the brain (which means you are using the more creative side of your brain). If you see counter clockwise, then you’re currently logical & analytical, using more of the left side of the brain. If you look back at her at different times, you're just currently tapping into that side of your may change, or it may not!

I saw her spinning counter-clockwise and after I was told she can do either, she began to spin back and forth. I guess most people see her going counter-clockwise, according to the test. I wonder if people actually can't see one way or the other.

Click on the "comment" link below to share what you see. I'm interested!

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Intro

What is NLP?

According to wikipedia, when communicating with someone, rather than just listening to and responding to what a person is saying, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) aims to also respond to the nonverbal cues expressed, such as voice tone, gestures, posture, facial expressions and eye movements.
NLP explores what a person sees, hears and feels (current frame of mind) that determines chosen actions to achieve an outcome.

This is a highly fascinating area of study and I'd urge you to explore this practice if you are interested in reframing problems and opportunities. Along with the Tao, it sparked my invention of the problem-solving method, Harmonize It!


WHY do we have earlobes?

WHY do we have earlobes? What is the evolution in this?

I'm not going any farther than this other than writing the question down. In the past, I've researched many q's like this one and found the answer, just sitting there in Google. This time, I find myself more than content just knowing the answer is there...if I ever really needed it ;)

today's challenge: write down your various questions - just for the sake of writing them down. when there is no pressing need to analyze or figure stuff out, sometimes it's fun to just express the interesting question. someone else may have great fun figuring it out!

Intro to Speedwriting


short. no vowels. LTD details. get your ideas down quick. more time for important stuff.

to the right, see some common abbreviations. and here's a simple description of what it is, taken from wikipedia:

Speedwriting is phonetic and condenses words by omitting silent letters and only writing long vowels, and initial short vowels. There are other abbreviating devices, including capitalization, and the use of punctuation marks to denote combinations of sounds. It uses around 100 abbreviations for common words and suffixes.


your employees can easily learn this tool and it will help them take quicker notes at meetings. your students take great interest in quickly capturing facts to aid in their notetaking strategies. you can also learn how to capture your thoughts in an abbreviated manner so that you can have more time - with less details!

Mindmapping Intro

Breaks boundaries. Free association. Pictures. Color. Gets your ideas down quick.

I LOVE Mindmapping! Here's a simple description of what it is, taken from wikipedia:

A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas , tasks or other items linked to and arranged radially around a central key word or idea. It is used to generate, visualize and classify ideas, and as an aid in notetaking, problem solving, decision making, study, and writing. It is an image-centered diagram that represents semantic or other connections between portions of information. By presenting these connections in a radial, non-linear graphical manner, it encourages a brainstorming approach to any given organizational task, eliminating the hurdle of initially establishing an intrinsically appropriate or relevant conceptual framework to work within.


your employees can use this innovative method to capture, organize and share critical project data in a visual format that is easily understood throughout the project planning stage. your students can also learn how to capture facts/thoughts down quickly to aid in their study strategies. you, too, can learn how to organize your thoughts in a visual manner so that you can start thinking outside of your own norm!


What do you think about THIS Maslow's Theory?

isn't there an entire different way of looking at life regarding Abraham Maslow's theory of self-actualization?

if one doesn't feel loved, can they really feel [psychologically] safe?

needs fulfillment doesn't seem as linear because in the ONE moment we don't have one of these, it seems as if we don't have ANY of them. and visa-versa.
they could easily make a mirror of his theory by also turning it upside-down. THEN it would make perfect sense to me :)

Q: what do you think about this?

inshurance. yes, that's better.

why is insurance not spelled with an "sh"??
these are the type of q's that leave me anxious if I don't figure them out...

my mom learned to just make something up to relieve my inner curious george. if I have to do this about people, I come up with a game that fills in the blank with a positive.

we are all responsible for the stories we make up.

today's challenge: make something up for the positive if you don't know all the info regarding a person's motives.


make moves for the team

have you ever played a competitive game and someone on your own team did something that made you feel like they aren't on your team at all? if you did, you may have felt all the emotions and wonder why you were even playing. or perhaps you have done this yourself...

same thing happens in the home or at the workplace every day. we choose to be on the same team and before you even know it, it feels competitive and shocking.

today's challenge: make moves that are for the team. we are ALL on the same team in reality. ultimately, we share the same planet.


success or creativity

many of today's games reveal our current social values, just as the advertising industry connotes.

Have more. Do more. Be more.
[note: you don't have enuf. you aren't doing enuf. you don't already belong.]

today's challenge: reflect on the game of life you played today with others. tomorrow, live it as such: you already have enuf. you are doing enuf. you already belong.

the metrics of today's games

American board games were once focused on morals and now are about invented based on the metric of success.

Q: look at the board or video games you have at home. what are they teaching your children to measure?

annoyance can breed creativity.

isn't the slightest cramp of frustration nothing but a mask worn over extreme fury?

today's challenge: look inwards when you are annoyed. what do you really want? simply create it. you do have the power to do so.



every now and then (like earlier today), I'll be drivin in my car and I'll hear a song that just gives me goosebumps.
it feels like a complete sacrifice of ego.
and I'll let go.
and everything is even more beautiful.
the road ahead, the mountains, the scent of the air...
I think everyone should feel that feeling on a regular basis.

Q: what gives you goosebumps?


meaningful moments

moments of meaning
in our life, family, week, day, moment....
they all contain seeds of great stories.

Q: what moment of meaning did you experience this last week? and how did that add to your life story?


spirit + breath = inspiration

did you know that spirit and breath are from the same root?
to inhale or to inspire = is to take in a breath.

Q: if you were listening to the breath you just took, what did it just tell you?


your brand

just as a product has a perceived brand over time, so do you. your characteristics, your attitude, your look, your actions, your presence, your all builds a consistent brand - with or without you knowing it.

Q: is your brand perceived how you want it to be perceived?
today's challenge: you never know how you're perceived unless you ask.


following "yes"

I heard this a while back and jotted it down:
"follow the energy of yes."

Q: where are you following the energy of no and how can you change it to yes?


struggles as *gifts*

this was a middle-of-the-night thought...

most every struggle in life can be seen as a gift.
the way you acknowledge that gift is to unwrap it.
and see it ~ as it could be seen.

Q: what type of gift have you opened up recently?


portrayal of personal excellence

I was recently asked (by a book) what were the high points in my life. I began to think about who I was during those times...and what I was contributing to this world. a portrayal of personal excellence revealed itself, interestingly enough.

Q: what is one word that represents your contribution to this world?


10 things before you die

it was once said, “as it is written, so it shall be.”

since writing mine down over this last summer, i have realized 3 of the 10.
wow, i say.

today's challenge: write down the top ten things you want to do before you die.


All the world's a stage

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
-- William Shakespeare

You choose how you cast love, every moment of your day. There's a time when LOVE turns from a noun to a verb to an adjective to a need to a desire to a movement to an answer to a question.

Q: How is love playing a role in your life right now? In your play today, did you cast love as a verb, a desire, a noun, something else?


There is no fear in love.

"There is no fear in love."

Today's Challenge: You know how you love to be loved. Getting hugs? Tickling your feet? Going on walks? Keeping the bedroom cleaned? Having dinner together? If your family would be up to this challenge, try writing/drawing how you love to receive love on blank index cards. You might be surprised! Add to the cards as years go by...


opposite hand shaking

since I've hurt my right-shaking hand, I've had to shake people's hands with my left. it creates a very interesting response. I think I'll do that for the rest of my life ~

today's challenge: when someone extends their dominant hand for a shake, grasp it with the opposite and see what happens.

What does love look like to you?

What does love look like to you?

Q: If you drew your answer, what does it look like? I'd love to see it if you're willing to share!


If love is the answer...

If love is the answer, could you rephrase the question? -- Lily Tomlin

Q: what do YOU think was the initial question?


Need for update!

Looks like I need to update you on my divergent thoughts! :) soon...


have you found your pack?

"He who can not howl will not find his pack."
-- Charles Simic

Q: have you found your pack?


basic types of camouflage


there are four basic types of camouflage. just for fun, play this animal shockwave game and see if you can tell them apart!

Q: what best describes your camouflage strategy?


finally take your taste


the mirror can be so delicate
it finds a piece that waits
might you explore that part of you
this time there is such gates
that flow in and out of space
that take you where there is no place
except the light and moving pace
you shall finally take your taste.

-- Jessica Upp


how old are you?


"you are as old as the last time you changed your mind."
--Tim O'Leary

Q: how old are you?


don't do THAT!


tying into your awareness, I invite you to catch yourself when you say,
"Don't do that."

to another (verbally or silently)
or to yourself.

pay attention to those words.
you can't tell someone what to do or think - unless they really want to do it in the first place, or you use coerision. In the case you coerce, there is no learning process being them...or you. Expect them to do it again, or expect you will get frustrated again.

Q: how can you learn to honor the learning process in your relationships?


communicating IS being

thinking and creating

"I was communicating in the way I was being."

Q: what does this means to you? before sharing, please reflect on this for an entire day.


the service of self-study


"studies serve for delight, for ornaments, and for ability."
francis bacon, 1561-1626

Q: have you studied something delightful lately?


is tomorrow today?

thinking and creating

yesterday, my 5 year-old daughter said, "is tomorrow today"?

well, yes, if yesterday was today! those young ones really do make me think and smile.

Q: is there anything you wanted to do tomorrow yesterday?


flow of your TOday

learning and creating

thank you for responding to the last post regarding your most enjoyable day...

many of you released limits, obstacles and obligations and found yourself doing what you want to do. as mihaly csikszentimihalyi says in "good business," flow happens when the ratio of our life challenges to our skills are high.

Q: do you feel challenged in your current job, or relationship? do your "skills" match up with this challenge?


what do you really enjoy doing?


it's been a while, I know. we had a fabulous vacation and learned a lot about European culture. what fun!!

as a result of my journey, I am interested in something very important...what do you really enjoy doing? and why exactly? if it was up to you, what would you be doing with your day? name one, name many! just let me know why exactly you have enjoyed it so much in the past.

after reading all of your wonderful feedback, I plan to ask a powerful question in my next post. thank you for sharing...


ADHD mislabeled as an "inability"

learning, thinking and creating

would you like to know why children are so often mislabeled in our public schools as having ADHD? here is a fascinating book explaining how artists, inventors, and innovators carry the gene necessary for the future survival of humanity.

Q: how can we nurture and support this class of people in our school and work environments?

p.s. I am off for a two week European vacation! I look forward to reading all of your thoughts, inquiries and comments when I, learn and pass it on!


your preferred learning style(s)


understand your preferred learning styles and greatly benefit your life!

an interesting exercise can be downloaded here.


ticket the ticket-givers


Q: what would it be like if we could ticket the ticket-givers, grade the grade-givers and time-out out the time-out givers?