Friday, May 31, 2013

Embracing Change

It's often said that only a baby with a diaper that needs attention likes change.

 I love change!  So, it's been hard for me to understand why most people don't.  I look to the positive opportunities that change brings and embrace the chance for growth and improvement from status quo.  However, I've discovered that the element of loss of the familiar is what most people embrace, and thus react negatively to change.

To embrace change, we must look forward to the positive expected outcomes.

To deal with the loss of the familiar, we can celebrate the positives of what we've enjoyed with the current situation, by recognizing that those successes, impacts and memories provide a foundation for even greater successes, impacts and more positive memories.  And, in the best scenarios, we carry forward best practices into the changed environment.

Change is constant and we can embrace it while honoring what has been.

No More Ready, Fire, Aim!

I love action!  But I really only love informed action.  Ready, aim, fire works well for me.  Ready, fire, aim makes me very nervous, as there's a huge opportunity to miss the target.  We all know folks who are so obsessed with doing something that they miss the chance to take the best action.  Ready incorporates attitude, ability and resources - the perfect first step.  However, when we fail to take time to plan and narrow the options to those with the best chance of success (aim), we can waste a lot of time, talent and resources (firing) at the wrong target.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Diversity is Differently Abled

Though we often think of the term "differently abled" to address those with special needs, it is a term we all need to embrace to recognize, engage and utilize the different skills, abilities, experiences, insights and perspectives each of us have to offer.  So often we seek and find commonality, yet innovations, breakthroughs and ideal engagements are generally the result of incorporating different ways of thinking, seeing and acting.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Knowing v. Doing

This morning I almost allowed my self-talk to convince me to miss my morning run.  As soon as I hit stride, it was clear that running rather than rapidly retreating to the office was the best decision.  This experience vividly impressed me that most of us know the beneficial actions we need to take to achieve our desired objectives.

However, knowing is far easier than doing.  The more often we do what we know needs to be done, the more positive benefits we reap.  Here's to more knowing and doing, rather than knowing v. doing!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Things We Can't Delegate

Delegation can  reduce stress and increase productivity.  However, there are a number of things that we can't delegate  - eat, sleep, exercise and relationships.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

How Great Women Lead

Bonnie St. John and her then 14-year-old daughter Darcy Deane authored a book, How Great Women Lead.  Their refreshing look at leadership is the result of two years of interviews with 20 diverse female leaders, including celebrated leaders and those who also deserve to be well-known and celebrated for their contributions.  This mother-daughter team's shared approach to interviews provides dual generational insight into this important topic.

Leaders include:

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf - President of Liberia, Nobel Laureate
Leslie Lewin - Executive Director, Seeds of Peace
Condoleezza Rice- Former U.S. Secretary of State, Professor at Stanford University
Sharon Allen - First Female Chairman of the Board, Deloitte LLP
Hillary Rodham Clinton - Former U.S. Secretary of State
Wendy Kopp - CEO and Founder, Teach for America
Deborah Tom - Founder of Human Systems, Ltd.
Amy Pascal - Co-Chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Lt. Col. Nicole Malachowski - First Woman Thunderbird Pilot
Marin Alsop- Musical Director and Conductor - Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Geena Davis - Women's Rights Activist, Movie Star
Noemi Ocana - Nicaraguan Director of Microfinance Loans - Opportunity International
Eileen Fisher - Fashion Designer - CEO and Founder, Eileen Fisher, Inc.
Cathy Sarubbi - Homemaker, Mother of Five
Lisa P. Jackson - Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Rishika Daryani - High School Junior
Sheryl Sandberg - Chief Operating Officer - Facebook
Susan Rice - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
Denise Dresser - Human Rights Activist, Professor - Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico
Fay Deane - First Woman Dairy Company Chairma in New Zealand

These inspiring women share that Leaders:
Unite people to common goals and create collaborations.
Are positive
Are interested in the needs of others
Help others fulfill their potential
Create a vision
Communicate and inspire
Get very talented people to do their best work
Inspire themselves and others to dream big
Lead by example
Encourage other women to lead
Incorporate great ideas from the team
Incorporate diverse viewpoints and experiences
Achieve buy-in
Recognize the power of face-to-face
Are passionate
Let their self-confidence show
Advocate for change
Succeed with and through teams
Pay attention to details

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Link, Tweet and Friend Like a Pro in 2013

Social media is an important part of our lives.  We first presented a Link, Tweet and Friend Like a Pro panel  four years ago.  We just engaged two social media experts, Raissa Evans (Executive Manager of Practice Growth, PKF Texas) and Tracie Welch Brenton (Director, Audience Development, Houston Business Journal) to share their expertise for a capacity crowd at a Comerica Bank Business Forum today.

Tracie and Raissa very successfully embrace social media in their professional and personal lives. They enthusiastically shared valuable strategies, tips, do's, don'ts, success stories and helpful encouragement to launch or expand social media as a crucial, cost-effective part of our attendees' overall marketing and business development plans.

Though, Raissa and Tracie are terrific marketers with strong technology interest, education and experience, I am proof that technology acumen isn't a prerequisite to diving in to social media.  Tracie and Raissa both emphasized the importance of intentional messaging that is beneficial to your target audience.  They both have access to colleagues who have very valuable content to share (reporters and CPAs) and have the opportunity help extend their expertise to others.

Some take-aways from their enlightening dialogue include:

  • Know and cater to your audience
  • Provide interesting, useful content - don't forget that pictures speak volumes
  • Post regularly
  • Be authentic, consistent and human
  • Don't over-promote
  • Listen twice as often as you post
  • Time is the biggest investment in social media - use it strategically and wisely

Friday, May 3, 2013

I Added Balance by Abandoning a Bad Book

It's generally my nature to finish things that I start, so it was a big deal when I decided (this week) not to invest any more time in a book that had been recommended, but was not adding value to my life.  As an avid reader, this is only the third time I remember consciously deciding to quit reading a book that was "bad" compared to what I was expecting.  Two were novels, and this week, it was a book about life balance.  Rather than giving me practical tips about how to achieve this illusive goal, it presented the reasons that balance is so difficult.

I don't need scholarly research to remind me of the many things that impede life balance.  My simple take-away from this experience, is that sometimes we gain more balance when we say "no" to something someone else has determined might be helpful.  Listening to our own intuition is an important step in reducing stress and better juggling life's opportunities.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Acts of Kindness

Whether spontaneous, random or well-planned, all intentional  and unintentional acts of kindness make the world a bit better.