Hello Everyone! I hope this Newsletter finds you a little closer to BETTER this month!


This Month’s Issue:

For Everyone: Prelude to Next Month’s Newsletter Topic – What is Resilience: An Interview with Dr. Michael Ungar

Getting to Better™ Kindness Partners and Friends

MYRIAD Update: Check out some the exciting projects and Initiatives Steve de Groot is working on!  (TV Series, Leadership Book, Children’s Book Series, Massive Leadership Project, Chair of Most Amazing Organization just to name a few)


First off, let me start by apologizing for the really late November Newsletter. I have to admit that for the first time I, The MYRIAD Team and the Getting to Better Initiative  have almost been crushed by the weight of so many exciting initiatives and projects.  However, we seem to have things under control and look forward to continuing to make the lives of as many people possible, BETTER!


Prelude to Next Month’s Newsletter Topic

What is Resilience: An Interview with Dr. Michael Ungar.

Thank you to Dr. Michael Ungar who has honored us with his time and insight in an interview presented in next months Newsletter.  Michael shares his knowledge and experiences, gained from more than 25 years of practice experience and research, on the Importance of Resilience and our Children.

Michael provides his understanding of the concept of resilience, including necessary structures, processes and resources required for optimizing the development of resilience in children and youth.

Some key messages presented in the interview are: Parents and caregivers matter; It is never too late! And; We can have different impacts on children depending on the risk that young people experience. Michael lists and elaborates on 7 factors kids need in order to grow and develop resilience. Among many other insights, Michal offers specific and tangible considerations for parents and caregivers interested in enhancing the growth and overall well-being of the children we live and/or work with.

Getting to Better: Kindness Partners and Friends

Life Vest Inside

Life Vest Inside successfully pulled off the 2nd Annual World Dance for Kindness! More than 5000 people participated; representing approximately 30 countries from around the world!

The dance celebrated World Kindness Day and kicked-off World Kindness Week. The purpose of World Kindness Day is to look beyond ourselves – beyond the boundaries of our country, culture, race, and religion and realize that we are citizens of the world.

Join us and enjoy the many pictures and videos from World Dance for Kindness, that continue to come in from all around the world!

Check out the LVI Events Page HERE

See Beautiful

Just in time for Christmas!! – One of the MOST AMAZING Children’s Books Ever – it is the first book in the Giving Me series, The Listening Me.

Our World Changing Partner and CEO of See Beautiful, Lydia Criss Mays is the author of this “one of a kind” children’s book.

The Listening Me helps children develop the lifeskill of listening. From rising in the morning, to resting their head on the pillow at night, children are invited to interact with the world as a listener and critical thinker.

Beyond the book itself, there is a beautiful Adult Discussion Guide thoughtfully crafted by yours truly, Stephen de Groot of Getting to Better and a Children’s Activity Guide designed by Orly Wahba of Life Vest Inside.

Sales from this book directly support See Beautiful, Getting to Better and Life Vest Inside.

BUY this Book and MAKE a DIFFERENCE for a CHILD in your life and, help our Charity Groups!

Dr, Jean Clinton

Jean and Steve presented their first in a series of workshops in Winnipeg Manitoba on November 15, 2013 entitled Engaging Kids Involved in Systems: The Brain, The Environment and the Whole Child.  Please see the MYRIAD Events Page HERE for more information.

This workshop is the first of many that Steve and Jean will be presenting. The word on the street is that we will be in Toronto and London area in 2014! Stay tuned. The feedback from the Seminar is that it is among one of the best trainings that people have ever attended! Awesome!

Dr. Michael Ungar

Friend and colleague Dr. Michael Ungar continues to work at making the lives of children, youth, families and communities BETTER.

You may want to check out this great article offered on the Positive Spirit Blog. There is lots of information, including  videos on Michael and his great work. Among the plethora of helpful information, Michael offers 5 Principles that make resilience in children more likely to occur. You can find it HERE.  Thanks Michael!


MYRIAD Update: Some Amazing Projects Steve de Groot is working on!

*** For periodic updates on Steve’s whereabouts and projects, follow him on Twitter HERE.

TV Series

Yes, I am finally talking about it! Over the last two years, I have been working on a ‘Secret Millionaire meets Dragon’s Den meets Extreme Makeover” type Angel TV series. Thanks to the unwavering volunteer time and support of Melissa Kajpust, from the National Screening Institute (NSI) the show continues to move forward. Currently we are collaborating with Stuart Coxe of Antica Productions and Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida! We couldn’t feel Better about the partnership as Stuart Coxe was the man behind Dragon’s Den and Shark’s Tank and, Chantal and Raine are beautiful giving people; they will be receiving the 2014 Allen Waters Humanitarian Award at the Junos this year!

Chair of the Board!

Last month I was honored by friends and colleagues of Life Vest Inside and chosen to be The Chair of the LVI Advisory Board. I could not be more excited! I have been working with Founder, Orly Wahba and the LVI team for approximately two years. This organization is just getting started. We have accomplished so much in a short period of time. We look forward to impacting the greatest changes possible, through KINDNESS! You can check out the amazing people on the LVI Board HERE!

Leadership Book with SAGE Publications

Did you say SAGE?! Yes. I am very proud to be working with Kassie Graves and SAGE Publications on the completion of a Leadership Book, for team leaders, supervisors, managers and executives in social services. The book revolves around the challenging realities of social services and the key role Leadership plays in enhancing both staff and client outcomes.

The book is exceptionally simple, practical and impactful; filled with tools and hundreds of strategies for motivating and engaging employees to perform optimally. We are struggling with the exact title, but have been throwing around the following: “Lead Them or Lose Them: A Practical Guide for Social Service Leaders” and “From Supervision to Inspiration: A Responsive Leadership Approach in Social Services”. We are working to have the Book completed and available for September 2014!

Massive Leadership Project: The Lutherwood Leadership Project

I am honored and excited to be working in partnership with Lutherwood, in Waterloo Ontario. This medium size and diverse social services organization, serves more that 22,000 clients per year.

Together we have launched a massive endeavor, the Lutherwood Leadership Project. In essence, by implementing a Responsive Leadership Approach (de Groot, 2013) in the context of supervision at all levels throughout the organization, we hope to demonstrate an increase in overall staff satisfaction, organizational commitment and overall performance. These three areas are directly related to better client outcomes. We are working to gauge anticipated and preferred changes though a series of mixed qualitative and quantitative measures over a one year period.

I want to thank CEO, John Colangeli, the Senior Leadership Team, the Agency Leadership Group and all of the staff at Lutherwood for their openness and willingness to take on such a large project in an already busy social service system that often demands more with less!

Children’s Book Series with Lydia Criss Mays

If you read the See Beautiful section in the Newsletter above you will know that the first children’s book, The Listening Me is available.

This AMAZING work is the first in a wonderful series, known as The Giving Me Series.

These books are beautifully written and unbelievable illustrated. However, these books are innovative in that they all contain both a Parent Discussion Guide (Steve de Groot) and Children’s Activity Guide (Orly Wahba) so that adult caregivers can learn to read and play with children during and following reading the book. The guides were developed to enhance the bond between the reader and the child as well as promote optimal child development through reading.

Keep your eyes open for the other Books in the Giving Me Series:

The Loving Me

The Sharing Me

The Patient Me

The Giving Me

Remember that Sales from these books and directly support See Beautiful, Getting to Better and Life Vest Inside.

There are so many more initiatives and projects that Steve and his colleagues are working on; all of them to help others on their journey of Getting to Better! However, it is impossible to report on all of them.

If you would like to help us out, you can like us on:




Thank you again to everyone who has supported and continues to support Getting to Better, Life Vest Inside  and See Beautiful. We’re in this thing called LIFE together.


Wishing you and all those you care for the best on your Journey to Better!