November 2022

November 2022

I just finished what was an amazing keynote to close a conference for a client in Orlando, Florida, and am heading back to Europe to land in France tomorrow morning in time to meet up with friends for Thanksgiving. Here’s an iPhone shot from the morning someone shared with me.

Now that I’m done, I can share the crazy journey of the last few days; transatlantic travel was the least of it. Once a year or so I have been having cases of vertigo, which are utterly gutting (literally sometimes), disorienting, confusing, exhausting and set me completely off a sense of my body in space. For at least a day, usually more, I can’t get out of bed. I have excruciating headaches.

Sunday afternoon, I had a bit of vertigo come on. I stayed in bed between Sunday late afternoon and Monday night. Tuesday, I had to start travel across the ocean. No matter how I was feeling, this was non-negotiable. Today I was on stage.

Being on stage requires utter and complete focus, not only on the material to cover, but on the presentation itself, the physicality of it. And then the audience: how are they responding? How should you adjust as you go based on where they are in their day, what they need to hear and how they need to hear it? Delivering a keynote well requires a compete and focused energetic intensity.

I said a lot of prayers. I did my Epley maneuvers. I took motion sickness medicine, and Advil. I slept most of the flight. And I delivered today— thanks to prayers, luck and complete and total determination. I am so— thankful…thankful and relieved!

Another email coming your way on Friday with an offer you don’t want to miss (yes, I’ll be working on it at the airport and on the airplane!).

It’s Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and I’ve got inspiration for dessert and for libations from Admiral Sandy Stosz of the U.S. Coast Guard, from infantry Major Shaye Haver for your Thanksgiving weekend! Look for recipes below. If you’re already on vacation, good for you. You can roll these into December holidays just as well. Enjoy!


From Infantry Major Shaye Haver (you’ve read about her in The Grit Factor):

to help with your libations for the weekend and the months of cold weather ahead!


From Admiral Sandy Stosz, United States Coast Guard

Grandma Flossie's Apple Pie

Note: My grandmother was an old-fashioned New Englander who was proud to say her ancestors had come over to America on a ship shortly after the Mayflower. She upheld the family traditions, including recipes passed down over the generations. My favorite is her apple pie, and she taught me how to make it, although it took me years to master the crust! Gramma made her crust with lard, but this recipe replaces the lard with shortening.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Get out a 9-inch pie plate

Pie Crust

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup cold shortening

5-6 tablespoons ice-cold water

- Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl

- Cut the shortening into pieces into the bowl, then work it into the flour with a fork until it forms a consistency of peas

- Sprinkle the water onto the dough then mix it by hand, working it gently for a couple of minutes until it holds together

- Form the dough into two equal-sized portions, shape into discs about the size of a saucer and refrigerate while it rests for 10-15 minutes

- Once you’ve prepared the pie ingredients and are ready to fill it, roll out each disc on a floured surface (this is the hard part and where you’ll need to practice)

Apple Pie

3/4-1 cup sugar (depending on how sweet or tart the apples)

1 teaspoon cinnamon 

1 teaspoon nutmeg

6-7 cups of apples, peeled and sliced

2 tablespoons butter

- Mix the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl and set aside

- Peel, core, and slice the apples

- Stir the sugar mixture into the apples

- Place one crust in the bottom of the pie plate

- Pour in the apples (they should be mounded up high)

- Dab the butter over the apples

- Place the second crust over the apples

- Work your way around the crust, rolling both pieces under to form the crust

- Pinch the crust to form a design of your choice

- Cut a few vent slits in the top crust

Bake at 400 for about 50 minutes; I always cover the edge of my pie crust at about the 25-minute mark when it’s no longer tacky. Otherwise it darkens too much. You can cover it with strips of tinfoil or better yet, a metal ring that fits on top of the pie and covers the edge all around.

This pie is a crowd-pleaser at Thanksgiving!

Sending all my best for your holidays,


The Grit Factor Book by Shannon Huffman Polson


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The Grit Factor:
Courage, Resilience, and Leadership in the Most Male-Dominated Organization in the World