Workplace Wisdom... Discover Fulfillment in Life and Work with Michelle Y. Drake
The ability to embrace what inspires us in life and work and the tools to live in fulfillment exist in all of us.
Are you sleepwalking through your life and career?
And Emerge as the Leader You Were Born to Be!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Sharing the Gift of Health...
I've said it before and I'll say it again: We women have to stick together!
We've got SO MUCH going on in our lives: handling our kids, our significant others, our households, our careers, ourselves...I felt a wave of exhaustion sweep over me just while I was writing that!
The only way we can have it all and do it all (and do it all right) is if we share what we know with each other, if we lend each other a helping hand, if we support each other.
That's why I want to share with you an amazing gift!
As you may remember, I've been working with an incredible woman named Dr. Helen Thomas. She is a practitioner of the ancient, healing science of Ayurveda. She's also the author of Effortless Ayurvedic Living (available for FREE on her website), and she's responsible for drastic, wonderful changes in my health. I've already mentioned how here and here.
Now she's offering an amazing tele-seminar, and I just have to tell all of you moms out there about it.
Many of us have had some sort of struggle with our weight. I know I have! (Until I met Dr. Helen, I felt like I kept losing and gaining the same darn ten pounds!) And I'm sure I'm not the only one who had an emotional struggle with it, too. I worried about how I looked, of course, but more importantly, I worried about my health and how I felt about myself.
While this is important for us, as adults, to deal with, it's even more crucial when it's our children who are suffering from being overweight. The stigma surrounding being overweight, the health concerns, and the damage to their overall well-being are our responsibility, and we need to take control and set them on a path toward greater health not just now, but in the future as well.
Her approach to childhood obesity is through the safe and natural practices of Ayurveda. This is an ancient science, readers, and as a patient of hers, I can attest to the unbelievable results it brings.
But I'll let her tell you all about it...
She's offering sensational tele-seminar on August 26th that you absolutely MUST be a part of, even if your child isn't suffering from obesity, because her tips and advice can help you help them maintain their healthy weight.
The tele-seminar is called Ayurvedic Answers to Getting Our Children Healthy! We all know that childhood obesity is a national epidemic, but Dr. Helen believes that the answer is NOT pharmaceuticals, fad diets, or shame and deprivation. AYURVEDA is the key to managing the weight of your child! It's gentle, loving, safe and natural - all the things you want for your child...and it's as close as your spice rack!
The Ayurvedic Answers to Getting Our Children Healthy! tele-seminar will be held on August 26th, 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time/ 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. This phenomenal event is more than just valuable advice and tips: it's an opportunity for YOU to ask YOUR QUESTIONS! Dr. Helen Thomas and her husband, Dr. Craig Thomas, will be there, ready and willing to share their vast knowledge on Ayurveda.
The info they're presenting, plus the live-and-direct Q&A with them, could easily cost you $$$$ in books, seminars, and products, but she's letting me offer this out to you for a special rate, a minimal cost of only $22.95.
Your health and the health of your child are WORTH it!
Ordering is safe and easy! (Brought to you by me - Michelle Y. Drake - and my company, The Cove Group, Inc.)
To sign up, simply click here to begin the purchase process.
I'll be there on the tele-seminar call myself, so I hope to "hear" you there!
Lipstick Leadership: Independent Woman - Christina Lemmey's Story!
"My mother is very independent and led by example that women could do anything we wanted to do. She was a stay-at-home mom and was not a business person, but she took art classes at the community college, and she would travel at least once a year by herself to visit her brothers across the country or her best friend. We didn't have sit-down conversations about all the things I could accomplish, but sometimes seeing a living example is just as powerful as hearing the words. I've heard from many friends how they are surprised I would drive 3 hours with my kids to visit an out-of-state friend by myself. I also decided on my own to start my business and figured out myself what steps I needed to take to learn more from coaches to increase my business.
While I do not consider myself a risk-taker, the independence that I learned from my mother has definitely helped lead me on the right business path."
"As a stepmother, I often struggled to find that fine balance between friend and mom. My stepson has a wonderful mother who is helping him lead a strong, value-filled life. However, I'm a firm believer that it takes a village to raise a child. I didn't want to just be his friend - I wanted to be a 'co-mom' for him, basically a third-party for him to talk to.
After many years of struggle - taking him to the duck pond, playing football with him, and showing him that I loved him as a son - I sometimes wondered if it was working. That changed one day when I jokingly asked, 'Who's your favorite stepmom?' and he replied, 'You are.' I laughed and said, 'That's because I'm your only stepmom,' and he looked at me for a minute, and then what this 11-year-old said brought tears to my eyes. 'No, Kristie,' he said earnestly. 'Even if you and dad divorced and he remarried, you'd still be my favorite stepmom.'
This story means even more to me today, now that he's a teenager, as his father and I are divorced. I'm still trying to figure out how to be a 'non' stepmom. But the lesson learned here is that you don't have to strive to be liked to be respected and loved. You have to go for what's right. I've applied this to my career as a teacher as well. I don't have to be a child's friend; I have to be his teacher, and I have to be respected by him."
Lipstick Leadership: Setting an Example of Success - Carrie Lauth's Story!
"For many years during my childhood, my mother, in addition to being a full-time stay-at-home mom, was also a leader in Direct Sales. For several years, my family drove a Tupperware van that my mother earned because of her sales and recruiting achievements. Seeing her do something and succeed at something she obviously enjoyed had a real impact on me. I've always had an entrepreneurial streak for as long as I could remember. Now I earn a full-time living on the Internet and am able to raise my 4 children.
The struggle between having a career and raising kids is a battle for the ages. Speaking from experience, I know that when I decided to re-join the workforce when my kids were little, I was in a constant state of guilt. When I was at work, I felt like I was missing vital time with my children. When I was at home, I felt like I wasn't giving it my all at my job - and that's just not my style! There just didn't seem to be an optimal way to fit both pieces into my life back then.
But thankfully today the working world is FINALLY starting to catch on that there are plenty of mommies out there who want to put their skills to work AND have the flexibility to raise their children!
I came across this article on CNN.com, "Moms Find Balance as High-Skilled Temps" by A. Pawlowski, and I said, "Amen!" According to the article, staffing agencies like Mom Corps., On-Ramps, Flexible Executives, Flexible Resources and FlexWork Connection have cued into the fact that the "Mommie Talent Pool" is an amazing untapped resource, and the companies' mission is to "connect career-women-turned-stay-at-home moms with employers."
These agencies are giving moms the opportunity to be successful both in their careers and in their personal lives by providing them with the flexibility they need and deserve. At the same time, they're giving companies a double whammy: highly skilled employees AND women who are enriching the workplace with their unique perspective as mothers. My book "From the Kitchen to the Corner Office: Mom's Wisdom on Leadership" is all about that! All of the stories I tell in that book are drilled down to a "simple truth from Mom"; the case studies (real-life business examples) show how that wisdom can be applied. And with staffing agencies like the ones mentioned in this article, even more women will be able to benefit organizations with the gifts of their knowledge.
This is what "Lipstick Leadership Week" is all about: sharing the knowledge. By sharing stories about the incredible women in your life and how they've influenced you (and judging by many of the submissions so far, they've influenced your professional success just as much as your personal success!) we're creating a wisdom network that can help everyone advance their careers - and again I say, "AMEN!"
The week of July 14th through July 18th, 2008 is Lipstick Leadership Week at KitchentotheCornerOffice.com! That means we want to hear YOUR stories about how your mother changed your life and made you into a successful career woman.
What lessons did your mother teach you that turned you into a leader? Did a Sunday afternoon of baking turn into an opportunity for responsibility? Did a Thanksgiving meal become a metaphor for organizational structure? Tell your story in writing or request to send an audio or video. To contribute, just submit your story to me here. You can read your submission and others' right here on my blog during Lipstick Leadership Week!
My new book, From the Kitchen to the Corner Office: Mom's Wisdom on Leadership, chronicles the lessons I've learned from my own amazing mother and other female role models. I'll be sharing those stories - and the stories of women I've interviewed for this book - during Lipstick Leadership Week - and I invite you to join me in this celebration of maternal wonders!
The Key to Personal Growth...New Experiences! Today Meditation with Steve Sadleir
Well, it has taken a little more than 72 hours for me to re-enter!
One of the things that was so special about DuntonHot Springs...in Colorado was that this city-girl got to try lots of new things. I know that I like to continually challenge myself to move out of my box (admittedly I have a pretty big box to start with!). The adrenaline rush of trying something new gives me a charge! So this past week I have quite a laundry list of "new experiences"...fly-fishing, horseback riding, skinny-dipping and meditation!
Have any of you ever meditated? I have never done a formal meditation with a guru...and this week we had Mark Victor Hansen's personal meditation guru with us all week. Helping us novices begin a meditation practice. I was so surprised when I met Steven Sadleir. He looks like a regular, California surfer dude. Here we are in the meeting room where we meditated daily...don't I look centered and peaceful!
His approach to meditation is so simple and authentic that it was easy for me to fall right in. He was kind enough to let us extend an invitation to experience a meditation with him to our friends...we are friends, right? Here is your invitation!
I would like to invite you to Steven's Global Shaktipat Meditation via teleconference (yep! meditation over the phone!) to deepen your connection. (it is not as complicatied as the name suggests!)
Thursday evening, June 19th, 6:00 pm Pacific, 9:00 pm Eastern, for one hour Just dial 1-605-475-8590 then pin 5490316#
I will share more of my first times...in my next post! But for now...think about what YOU have done recently to stretch yourself and what personal growth might be in store for you if you tried something new! Any of you want to share your stretch stories?
"Make sure your team's energy is pointed in the same direction and working toward the same goals!"
When my sons were wee children, they loved to help me around the house. One day, after watching me spray a window with cleaner and wipe it with a rag, the boys decided they would help clean the rest of the windows. Their cleaner of choice? Spit! My mother Mimi found them spitting on the windows and smearing around the slimy mess! Though their "help" actually resulted in more work for me, I couldn't get mad at those happy, innocent faces. My boys honestly thought they were helping me.
It occurred to me over time that my boys' energy and enthusiasm were a good thing! They wanted to help, God bless their little hears. The only thing missing in these escapades was guidance - which I was responsible for providing. By focusing their energy in a helpful and fun direction, it could maybe mean less work for me instead of more.
Every team needs this kind of guidance. The most energetic team you can assemble will be the least productive if everyone is pulling in a different direction. Take the time to make sure everyone is on the same page and working toward the same goals. Don't let anyone "spit on the windows!"
For more "simple truths from Mom," check out my new book
The lesson of knowing when to lead and how to follow is an important one. It is not a weakness to follow; it's only a weakness if you have been given the opportunity to lead and you don't step up and take advantage of it. As women, we need to be prepared to lead and to always be looking for leadership opportunities; however, we also need to be able to lead in a way that does not step on someone else's project in the process.
The best example I can give you of knowing when to lead and when to follow is my mother Mimi and my Aunt Marie sharing responsibilities in preparing our Yozzo family holiday meals. Because of our huge extended family, the location of holiday meals alternated between my mother's home and my Aunt Marie's (so no one person had to shoulder the burden of cooking and feeding and cleaning up after the thirty of us!). Both women are strong leaders and took the reins of the meal while cooking in their own kitchens; however, when they were a guest in each other's kitchens, they were more than happy to follow the leadership of the hostess. When cooking at Aunt Marie's, she was the leader and Mimi deferred to her completely; and vice versa when cooking in my mother's kitchen. The result? Year after year of glorious seven-course meals with nary a harsh word, argument or burned dish in sight!
In my family, we were always accepting of both my mother Mimi and my Aunt Marie as leaders, and having faith that your team is going to follow you is crucial to your success as a leader.
Having a job that you find joyful is a blessing beyond belief. Understanding how to find that joy in a challenging work environment is a different story. The ability to blend productivity with a positive environment is a skill that has a large payoff for a manager and a mom. My mother Mimi always taught me that life is a game and no matter how many responsibilities and obstacles we face, we mustn't forget to have a little fun, too! By taking this lesson and applying it in the workplace, I've found that I've been able to challenge my team to work harder but do it in a way that's joyful.
Many times as we are promoted or change jobs, we inherit teams that need some life pumped into them. As a kindergarten teacher, my mother Mimi had this same challenge each year when she welcomed a new crop of students into her classroom. She took her "have fun" approach from home - exhibited by the games she designed for me and my siblings to play - and applied it to her work in the classroom.
I know this playful purpose is as applicable in the business world as it was in my home and in Mimi's classroom. I've seen many corporate activities that have taken a page from Mimi's fun and positive approach produce amazing results in productivity for the workplace.
Why I wrote My New Book From the Kitchen to the Corner Office: Mom's Wisdom on Leadership
In a radio interview a couple years ago I was asked who my mentors were...I had to stop and think. When I started out there were only a few women in the workplace in leadership roles...but the first person that popped into my mind was my Mom! Mom was a nursery school teacher, hardly the typical role model for a young cosmopolitan business woman.
After the interview I dug a little deeper to understand why she popped into my mind...and the conclusion I came to was that she had been leading my family with faith, finesse, composure, compassion, and sometimes an iron fist. Then I looked further back in time and relations and found a wealth of "mom" figures to draw from. What perfect mentors for me to follow as I tried to become the leader I was born to be...the first flicker of my book, From the Kitchen to the corner Office, had begun.
I have over 20 years of experience as an executive coach specializing in strategic communication. My years as a radio talk-show host have given me additional tools to provide communication coaching to entrepreneurs, as well as executives from Fortune 100 comapnies.
I've been a keynote speaker for corporate events, universities and industry conferences.
I'm a the author of From the Kitchen to the Corner Office: Mom's Wisdom on Leadership!" (Morgan James Publishing).
I'm a wife, a mother, an artist and an active volunteer in my community.