About

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Greetings! If I may introduce myself to you…

A Briefing

  • born in South Carolina
  • grew up in Tennessee and Kentucky;
  • graduated from college and taught elementary school in Missouri;
  • earned my master’s degree and taught elementary and high school in Texas;
  • earned a PhD in Texas while teaching high school and then undergraduate classes;
  • taught undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Nevada, Reno (10 years);
  • founded and directed the Excellence in Teaching Program at the University of Nevada, Reno (5 years);
  • been working through Emphasis on Excellence, Inc. full time since January 2004 (and having a blast!)
To learn more about me than you ever really wanted to know regarding my education, work experience, presentations, awards, publications, and so forth, feel free to view my entire curriculum vitae.

funflowers_frameI have always been rather entrepreneurial. For example, I sold “fun flowers,” “creeple people,” doll clothes and household furnishings, candy, and crocheted vests and bun warmers throughout elementary, middle, and high school. From the time I started teaching (1977), I conducted workshops, advertised my regular university classes, figured out ways to fund projects that weren’t financially supported, and looked for new and creative ways to do things. Deep down, I always knew I would eventually have my own company… and I do! To quote the group Train,

“It’s not just a daydream if you decide to make it your life.”

Through Emphasis on Excellence, Inc., I am able to draw on my strengths and help build and support others’ strengths and talents. It is a happy way to live and I am thankful every day.

Meggin’s Signature Strengths

(from Gallup’s StrengthsFinder web-based assessment)
The Strategic theme enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route. It is not a skill that can be taught. It is a distinct way of thinking, a special perspective on the world at large. This perspective allows you to see patterns where others simply see complexity. Mindful of these patterns, you play out alternative scenarios, always asking, “What if this happened? Okay, well what if this happened?” This recurring question helps you see around the next corner. There you can evaluate accurately the potential obstacles. Guided by where you see each path leading, you start to make selections. You discard the paths that lead nowhere. You discard the paths that lead straight into resistance. You discard the paths that lead into a fog of confusion. You cull and make selections until you arrive at the chosen path - your strategy. Armed with your strategy, you strike forward. This is your Strategic theme at work: “What if?” Select. Strike.
Excellence, not average, is your measure. Taking something from below average to slightly above average takes a great deal of effort and in your opinion is not very rewarding. Transforming something strong into something superb takes just as much effort but is much more thrilling. Strengths, whether yours or someone else’s, fascinate you. Like a diver after pearls, you search them out, watching for the telltale signs of a strength. A glimpse of untutored excellence, rapid learning, a skill mastered without recourse to steps - all these are clues that a strength may be in play. And having found a strength, you feel compelled to nurture it, refine it, and stretch it toward excellence. You polish the pearl until it shines. This natural sorting of strengths means that others see you as discriminating. You choose to spend time with people who appreciate your particular strengths. Likewise, you are attracted to others who seem to have found and cultivated their own strengths. You tend to avoid those who want to fix you and make you well rounded. You don’t want to spend your life bemoaning what you lack. Rather, you want to capitalize on the gifts with which you are blessed. It’s more fun. It’s more productive. And, counterintuitively, it is more demanding.
You like to think. You like mental activity. You like exercising the “muscles” of your brain, stretching them in multiple directions. This need for mental activity may be focused; for example, you may be trying to solve a problem or develop an idea or understand another person’s feelings. The exact focus will depend on your other strengths. On the other hand, this mental activity may very well lack focus. The theme of Intellection does not dictate what you are thinking about; it simply describes that you like to think. You are the kind of person who enjoys your time alone because it is your time for musing and reflection. You are introspective. In a sense you are your own best companion, as you pose yourself questions and try out answers on yourself to see how they sound. This introspection may lead you to a slight sense of discontent as you compare what you are actually doing with all the thoughts and ideas that your mind conceives. Or this introspection may tend toward more pragmatic matters such as the events of the day or a conversation that you plan to have later. Wherever it leads you, this mental hum is one of the constants of your life.
You want to be very significant in the eyes of other people. In the truest sense of the word you want to be recognized. You want to be heard. You want to stand out. You want to be known. In particular, you want to be known and appreciated for the unique strengths you bring. You feel a need to be admired as credible, professional, and successful. Likewise, you want to associate with others who are credible, professional, and successful. And if they aren’t, you will push them to achieve until they are. Or you will move on. An independent spirit, you want your work to be a way of life rather than a job, and in that work you want to be given free rein, the leeway to do things your way. Your yearnings feel intense to you, and you honor those yearnings. And so your life is filled with goals, achievements, or qualifications that you crave. Whatever your focus - and each person is distinct - your Significance theme will keep pulling you upward, away from the mediocre toward the exceptional. It is the theme that keeps you reaching.
Your Achiever theme helps explain your drive. Achiever describes a constant need for achievement. You feel as if every day starts at zero. By the end of the day you must achieve something tangible in order to feel good about yourself. And by “every day” you mean every single day - workdays, weekends, vacations. No matter how much you may feel you deserve a day of rest, if the day passes without some form of achievement, no matter how small, you will feel dissatisfied. You have an internal fire burning inside you. It pushes you to do more, to achieve more. After each accomplishment is reached, the fire dwindles for a moment, but very soon it rekindles itself, forcing you toward the next accomplishment. Your relentless need for achievement might not be logical. It might not even be focused. But it will always be with you. As an Achiever you must learn to live with this whisper of discontent. It does have its benefits. It brings you the energy you need to work long hours without burning out. It is the jolt you can always count on to get you started on new tasks, new challenges. It is the power supply that causes you to set the pace and define the levels of productivity for your work group. It is the theme that keeps you moving.
You can learn your strengths by reading one or more of the following books:

Emphasis on Excellence, Inc.

Founded in 1996, Emphasis on Excellence, Inc. serves top-notch people who want to be even more amazing and we do so through workshops, coaching, and publications. My company’s purpose is to help those with whom I work to live the most positively and peacefully productive lives possible. The company is based in Reno (an incredible place to live and work!). The choice of the name Emphasis on Excellence, Inc. is quite deliberate. We endeavor to make excellence our habit.  As Karen, the original project manager for Emphasis on Excellence, Inc. once remarked to me, “We are not Emphasis on Mediocrity!”

If you think this sounds like the kind of company that can provide learning opportunities for you or your organization, please contact us and we will get back to you within 24 - 48 hours:

Meggin McIntosh, PhD

Emphasis on Excellence, Inc.

PO Box 18390 | Reno, NV 89511

775.853.5510 (phone)

775.853.5584 (fax)

Meggin’s Productivity Assistants meggin.assistant@gmail.com

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Aristotle

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