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Trailblazer Tells Reader to Design Own Life

By Azriela Jaffe

    Jo Condrill exudes the confidence necessary to write a new book titled, “A Millennium Primer: Take Charge of Your Life.”
Some of the most pivotal moments in this personal motivator’s illustrious career happened right in this area.
Condrill progressed from a part-time job in Texas as an editorial assistant for Airman magazine to supervising military officers in the Pentagon in less than 10 years.
As the Cold War was ending, the Army began a new role as world peace keeper. At the Pentagon, Condrill was involved with building the first information age Army.  She was eventually selected to become deputy to the division chief for logistics, plans and operations.
When Condrill retired, the Army presented her with its highest civilian award, the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service.
Accomplishments also include leading a group of 3,000 members of Toastmasters International in Washington to top ranking in the world.
Condrill is not singularly focused on her work, either.  She’s eminently proud of the four young adults that call her “Mom.”
This alumnus of the Army War College has some fond memories of the short time she lived in Carlisle.
“I applied to attend the war college in 1991 when my job in logistics, plans and operations at the Pentagon involved the ‘war fighters.’  I was a civilian and had not served in uniform. To be more effective, I wanted a deeper understanding of the military mind; to know more about the operational army.”
The war college prepares Army personnel for senior level positions. Entrance to it’s 10 month course is highly competitive. Students number more than 300, including some foreign officers, a few civilians and a few women.
Condrill retired from the Pentagon in 1997 and formed a small business, Goalminds, providing communications and leadership seminars to national associations, government agencies, city and county departments, schools and colleges.
In January 1998, her first book was published: “101 Ways to Improve Communication Skills Instantly.”  It is in its third printing and has been translated into Chinese and Spanish. “A Millennium Primer” was recently released by GoalMinds.
Her second book coaxes readers to dream big dreams and design the lives they wish to live.  A woman who carved out a career as a leader in the Pentagon knows something about creating a designer life.  Condrill advises: “There are no straight lines from where you are to where you want to be.  Life is not a linear process with steps following each other.  Rather, it is an intricate weaving back and forth, in and out, of dreaming, planning, rewarding, enrolling, analyzing, evaluating. ”
The most effective route I have found is reading, learning from others, and setting my sights high.  Once set upon something, commitment, determination, and persistence can take over.  The difference between success and a near miss is often knowing when to be flexible and when to stand firm.”
The military environment abhors indecisiveness.  Condrill coaches her readers to use the power of decision-making to shape and control their lives. She reminds readers: “We do not realize how powerful we are.  We blame our choices on outside influences.  How many times have you heard someone say ‘I had no choice’ or ‘I couldn’t help it?’  Was it true?  Or did the person just not understand the power of his or her choices?”
Condrill has left her powerful mark on the world and on the military.
For information about Condrill’s books and seminars, call (800) 697-5680, send e-mail toInfo@jocondrill.com, or visit the web site www.goalminds.com.

Azriela Jaffe specializes in business and workplace issues. Responses and questions may be mailed to her at 793 Sumter Drive, Yardley, PA 19067, or e-mailed to az@azriela.com.

Copyright © Sunday Patriot News, July 2, 2000, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (with permission).

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