The Sandbox Blog

This is where I share studio notes and thoughts from behind the scenes here at Creative Sandbox Solutions™ HQ. I’m all about process here, and I’m transparent about mine, so you can learn from both my wins and my mistakes.

If you have any questions or comments, don’t be shy — drop me a line! I’d love to hear from you.

Why Bold Leaders Should Make Art (Part 1)

Why Bold Leaders Should Make Art (Part 1)

This article become a long one, so I split it into three parts. Enjoy!

“I don’t have time to do something as frivolous as making art! That’s a luxury I can’t afford!”

Have you ever found yourself saying or thinking something like that? If so, you’re not alone.


I spent most of my life avoiding creative pursuits — sheesh, even during the fifteen years when I made my living as an artist, I found myself saying “I don’t have time to make art!”
read more…

A Surprising Way To Foster A Growth Mindset

A Surprising Way To Foster A Growth Mindset

Are you familiar with the work of Carol Dweck, and the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset? As a leader, you want to cultivate a growth mindset — both for yourself and for your organization. This week’s newsletter is about a surprising way to do that.

Read on…

In case you didn’t know, for fifteen years I made my living as a professional artist and calligrapher. My work won awards, is featured in publications, and is in private collections around the world.


BUT, the road to get there was rocky.
read more…

Why Connection Matters

Why Connection Matters

Your thriving culture of innovation is at the intersection of connectioncommunication, and creativity. “What does connection have to do with it?” you ask. Read on… 

A year ago, when the email landed in my inbox inviting me to attend the 2023 Annual Celebration of Leaders, my city’s gala to celebrate the outstanding individuals and organizations who have made exceptional contributions and service to the community, I debated about attending.

Although people think, because I’m a performer, that I’m a gregarious extrovert, in truth I’m much more of an introvert.

And more to the point, big social gatherings where I don’t know anyone brings out my inner seventh-grader.
read more…

Why Showing Up Matters

Why Showing Up Matters

“Belonging, shmelonging,” you say? If you’re wondering why all this touchy-feely stuff matters in business, I have some thoughts about that. And it all starts with some unhelpful advice I received years ago. Read on…

“You’re going to have to wear a suit, you know.”

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Anxious About a Presentation? Don’t Aim for Perfect — Do This Instead

Anxious About a Presentation? Don’t Aim for Perfect — Do This Instead

I looked out into the crowd. Three hundred people looked back at me, waiting for me to start singing.

No, this wasn’t a performance. There was no jazz band. (In fact, this was years before I became a jazz singer.)

I was standing behind a podium with a machzor — a High Holy Days prayerbook — in front of me, leading Rosh Hashanah services for my lay-led congregation.

I launched into the song, heart pounding, and three hundred voices joined in, but instantly I realized that I had started the song on a pitch that was way. Too. High. 
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3 Tips For Nailing Your Pitch

3 Tips For Nailing Your Pitch

It was Friday evening, and I felt like a broken record. I’d just said some variation of “tell me a story” for the fifth time.


Contestant number five – we’ll call him Tony – had been talking about the “petabytes of test data” that his solution will help companies deal with, and my eyes were glazing over.


What did it all mean?


But let me back up a minute.

read more…

The Most Important Tools for Crisis Negotiations (and YOU!)

The Most Important Tools for Crisis Negotiations (and YOU!)

As part of the leadership program I’m doing through my city, I spent last Friday at the police station, where we divided into four groups to learn about some of the different roles our city’s finest take on.

After learning about the police department’s use of drones, motorcycle traffic cops, and the K-9 unit, my final rotation was actually two stations in one: SWAT and Crisis Negotiations.

Both tables for this rotation had the very heavy bullet-proof vest you see me wearing in this photo.

Me in full SWAT gear! I don’t know how people run around in this stuff — it’s HEAVY!

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A Leadership Lesson from My Cats

A Leadership Lesson from My Cats

Our two cats keep us on our toes. They even give me lessons on leadership… though I doubt they realize they’re doing so.

See how long it takes you to glean the leadership lesson from this story.

Jack Jack – my tuxedo kitty, and the chowhound of the two brothers – eats plastic 😬, and likes to claw his little paws up my leg when he wants to get up on my desk (I now have one pair of ruined pants that are the only ones I wear indoors, to keep my other pants safe!)

Jack Jack climbing my leg

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