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!
Friday, March 27, 2009
Do You have the 13 Vital Traits for Success?
I’ve got a question for you...now be honest!
Are you truly where you want to be in life?
(Who is, right?)
Well, today I have a treat for you...a freebie (for now)!
My amazing friend (and Success Guru...she founded and runs Success IQ University) Stephanie Frank is launching a new program and I convinced her to let my readers preview it for FREE!!! The program, “The 13 Vital Traits of Super Effective People”, will help you understand the blueprint you need to get where you want to be in business and in life.
Anyone feeling a little bit lost these days?
I have seen many of Stephanie's programs and she is top notch...and funny...and part of my Girlfriend Network (remember yesterday's post!!!)
I don’t know how long she’ll be offering this program for my people for free, so take 5 minutes now, click the link above and claim your 13 Vital Traits of Super Effective People audio training program today.
I don't know about you, but I can practically taste roast turkey and all the fixins' already! My boys...my young men will be home from college soon, and I'm looking forward to having the family together again for the holiday. And I can definitely use a few days off from work, too, with the hectic pace I've been keeping lately.
But taking some much needed R&R means I have a LOT of work to do this week, and the only way I'll be able to accomplish it is if I have a serious plan of attack, a strategy so I don't go completely crazy and still have enough time to get all of my food preparation ready.
I stumbled across a great article on productivity that I thought might help all of us stay organized at work during the holiday frenzy:
In this article, Ms. Badion offers an interesting take on how to break up your workweek and stay on schedule so you can accomplish all of your goals.
"Make a plan on Monday"
I don't know about you, but on Mondays, my mind is still stuck on weekend mode and it's difficult to concentrate on the works tasks at hand. The article recommends using Mondays to "set the stage for the rest of your week." Strategize and create a schedule, write your lists and plan out the rest of the week.
"Time to get movin' on Tuesday"
The weekend is now firmly behind you, and it's time to start tackling those lists and following the plan you made on Monday. The article advises: "Try to arrange your time so you have few interruptions or meetings; changing gears frequently hurts your productivity. Along the same lines, try to cluster projects that require similar resources for even more efficiency." This is a serious workday!
"Reassess your week on Wednesday"
The strategy you came up with on Monday isn't set in stone. To ensure that you're accomplishing everything you need to, you must re-evaluate your plan and make adjustments to stay on track. "The middle of the week provides an opportunity for you to figure out where you're at and what still needs to be done." And since most of us are not working in a vacuum, this is the time to incorporate new projects and tasks handed to us.
"Think about a break on Thursday"
We're a push-push-push society when it comes to work. Overtime, shortened lunches, zero breaks during the day are the norm for most of us. But according to this article, we should "use Thursday as a day to reward yourself for your hard work throughout the week and to prepare for the final pre-weekend push." Excellent advice! Taking the time to re-energize and re-focus our minds results in far more productivity than pushing ourselves to work harder and longer.
"Be flexible on Friday"
Even the most productive people aren't always able to finish every aspect of every project during the first four days of the week, so Friday becomes the day to tie up all of those loose ends. it's also a great time to get yourself ready for the next workweek, and as the article says, "Making sure things are neat and in order when you come into the office on Monday will help you make your weekend less stressful and ensure you don't return to a chaotic mess."
I know this can be a huge investment in time and money, but with all of the online programs now available to us - where we can pay less for a quality education, and come and go as we please from the comfort of home or even the office - it can be an excellent stepping stone to success. As the article states: "...determine if going back to school helps you achieve this goal [a raise or changing career paths] by talking to your boss and mentors." In my business, I've always encouraged my employees to never stop the learning process, and like my company, many organizations will even foot the bill (or at least part of it) if it will add to your value and the value you bring to work.
"RISK: Changing Careers"
I've said this time and time again: do what you love! And the article agrees: "With increased company layoffs, no one is immune to losing a job. Finding work that you love should be a priority in your career." This decision is a biggie, so make sure you carefully examine the pros and cons of a career move, and dig down deep to figure out what you really want to do. Is it something you're GOOD AT as well as enjoy? Consider this carefully because as many of us know, just because we love doing something, that doesn't necessarily mean we're skilled at it (see: "American Idol" contestants during the try-out weeks!)
"RISK: Saying 'No' to Added Responsibility"
At first you might think, "Are you crazy?! Saying 'no' at work?! That's the surest way to a pink slip!" In some cases, you may be right, but the article makes a great point: "If your boss is saddling you with more responsibility with a project or promotion, be sure you understand exactly what that will mean for your success. Not all promotions are created equal, and you can quickly become the office doormat if you constantly take on projects that may not have high enough visibility to move your career forward." I'd like to add a note to this and say, if you do turn down a project, make sure it's for the RIGHT reasons. Too many of us turn down opportunities to advance our careers because of fear - fear of failure, fear of putting our ideas out there, etc. - and that's definitely NOT the right reason. When offered more responsibility, think about it carefully and honestly before accepting or refusing.
"RISK: Starting a Business"
As an entrepreneur, I know firsthand the trials and tribulations (and satisfaction and rewards) of starting a business. It takes total commitment, a willingness to sacrifice, and a LOT of hard work. If you're not ready to say "yes" to all of that - and more - starting a business probably isn't right for you. But if you're ready to dive into the world of entrepreneurship, my best advice is the same as the article's: "Do your research (including health care options), save money, and build contacts in your industry while you're still working in your current job."
Check out the full text of the article here, and thanks to Denene Brox and Yahoo! HotJobs for posting such helpful advice. I recommend that you carefully digest this food for thought if you're stuck in a rut at your current job, if you're ready to take on a new challenge, or if you're wondering where to go next in your career.
With the economy still in its current slump, ask someone to define "job satisfaction" and I guarantee you that most of them will say: "Having a job. Period."
There is definitely some truth to that, I admit. But I am still a firm believer in doing what you love for a living and finding happiness and satisfaction in your job - no matter what the stock market says. After all, we spend most of our waking lives at work...don't we deserve to enjoy it just a little?
So if you're currently in a job that makes you happy (at least for a good portion of the time), then I congratulate you. Stick with it and thrive!
But if you're waking up every day wishing you could call in sick and then grudgingly trudging off to work, maybe it's time to start taking a peek into the job market.
Now, I'm in no way advocating that you should chuck your current job and set off into the world, searching for your next career. That would be madness during ANY economic time, but especially this one. Rather, I'm suggesting that while you continue to work at your current job, start thinking about what kind of work would satisfy you.
What kind of experience do you have? (And can you translate that experience into another field or industry? You'd be surprised to find out how universal some of your experience can be.)
What kind of skills do you have? What are you truly great at, and do you love doing it?(This is so important! You might be great at, say, accounting practices, but you might not really like crunching numbers all day. On the flipside, you might love being a salesperson, but fail to close a lot of deals. Both of these situations need to be taken into account so you can make the best decisions for yourself and your checkbook.)
What do you like about your current job?(Be thorough in your evaluation and get to the root of what you like. On the surface, it may seem that you like answering phones, but really, it's the contact with the clients that you like.)
What don't you like about your current job?(Again, dig deep to the root of the matter. You might think you hate dealing with expense reports, but really, it's the fact that you have to hunt them down from your co-workers that drives you crazy.)
If you could be anything you wanted, what would it be?(I know this seems like a "kid's" question, but I love it. It's been the starting point of many a successful career!)
Remember: don't just answer these questions from a "work" standpoint. Answer them from your personal life as well. How can you parlay your fascination or skill with a hobby into a great career (and subsequent satisfaction)?
I came across an article that can get you started on where to find job satisfaction:
In this article, Ms. Cowan cites a study by the University of Chicago called "Job Satisfaction in the United States." She writes: "The study says the occupations where people report being happy overall, not just in terms of job satisfaction, involve helping others, technical and scientific expertise, or creativity."
That's some food for thought to keep in the back of your mind when you begin to evaluate new career opportunities!
Ms. Cowan goes on to list the top occupations (as found by the study), and they include:
"1. Clergy 2. Firefighters 3. Transportation, ticket, and reservation agents such as travel agents 4. Architects 5. Special education teachers 6. Actors and directors 7. Science technicians 8. Miscellaneous mechanical and repairing occupations 9. Industrial engineers 10. Airline pilots and navigators"
Go ahead and read the article here. It might be just the catalyst you need to find your own source of job satisfaction!
Have you ever wondered how some people seem to always get exactly what they want? All they seem to have to do is snap their fingers and *poof* they've got the job they want, the home they want, the car they want, that gorgeous pair of shoes they want, even the soulmate they want. It's maddening, isn't it? Especially since most of us are floundering around, feeling inadequate, always wishing for things that never seem to materialize. And then we get resentful and even jealous. That's no way to go through life!
So today, I'm going to share with you the 6 secrets to getting what you want, no matter what it is! (And it's a heck of a lot simpler than you think!)
Are YOU Ready to Unlease the Healthier, Sexier You?
Imagine having an unlimited amount of energy to nurture your health, an endless desire to make your health a priority, the effortless discipline to act in accordance with your priorities, and such a tremendous willpower that you no longer give into temptation. Imagine how much more successful, accomplished, fit and fulfilled you would be!
At last, someone has discovered the secret to achieving and maintaining your health goals and dreams easily and effortlessly so you can avoid premature aging and chronic diseases such as: heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and obesity, and enjoy a much longer, healthier and happier life!
That individual is my friend and preventative medicine expert, Dr. Karen Lee Paquette. She is a physical therapist, naturopathic physician, and professor turned author and wellness coach. Her inspirational message is to let you know that you no longer have to struggle to integrate the principles of healthy living into your life. You can easily achieve the health and appearance goals you so desperately want, and more importantly, deserve.
With passion as the driving force and nothing in your way, it's EASY to maintain an ideal weight, eliminate fatigue, and love the life you live!
Sharing an intimate account of her own personal struggles and triumphs, Dr. Paquette in "Stop Being Stopped" will inspire you to live with vigor, follow your vision, and take control of your destiny. Let nothing stand in your way!
I'm proud to announce that I've teamed up with Dr. Karen and a dozen of her friends (including my Ayurvedic doctor, Dr. Helen Thomas) and colleagues on the international launch of her book. We are excited to collectively make you such a special offer.
Okay, so here's the deal:
We'll give you over $500 worth of bonus gifts FREE when you purchase a copy of this amazing book by following these 2 simple steps right now!
1. Click here to open a new window to Amazon to order your book now! (Keep this window open and return to enter your Amazon order number upon completion at Amazon.com)
2. After you place your order, just enter your name, email, and your Amazon Order Number in the form here. We'll ask you to confirm your e-mail and then we'll send you access to all the bonuses.
Here's what we have to say about Dr. Karen and "Stop Being Stopped"...
- Michelle Yozzo Drake, CEO - The Cove Group, Inc., and Author of "From the Kitchen to the Corner Office: Mom's Wisdom on Leadership"
My Gift: A downloadable audio "30 Action Steps to Jumpstart Your Career" - value: $79
"Dr. Karen has provided us all with a clear path to health AND most importantly has given us the means and mechanics to remove all of our obstacles on that path."
- Dr. Helen Thomas, Ayurvedic Specialist
My Gifts: "Guide to Effortless Ayurvedic Living" guide - value: $37; "Ayurvedic Beauty Type" online course - value: $47
"Wow - Dr. Karen has provided a simple, easy-to-follow guide to creating greater health and well-being. She gives the reader great tools, exercises, and easy-to-follow recommendations. I suggest you stop whatever you're doing (just for a moment) and get this book so you can begin to feel healthier, look better and become the sexier, unstoppable YOU that you deserve to be. I know I did!! Thanks again, Karen."
- Susan Guiher, MS CCC - Author, Speaker and Professional Coach
My Gift: "Jump Off the Balance Bandwagon" free tele-class - value: $49
"The GO Doctor offers a road map to well-being while giving us the green light to start the journey!"
- Kristen Marie Schuerlein, Founder of Affirmagy
My Gift: 20% discount off of Affirmagy blankets - value: limitless
"Karen's book entitled "Stop Being Stopped" gives us a step-by-step plan, elevating self-care, self-kindness and self-fairness so that we can't ignore our responsibilities to our bodies and our spirits. She urges us to protect our position of empowerment by choosing to act instead of react. Her personal victories over life challenges are exemplary, and I'm motivated to begin anew, reactiving my personal willpower."
- Debra L. Morrison, Founder of Debra L. Morrison Speaks, LLC
My Gifts: "7 Biggest Risks Women Investors Face" e-course - value: $79; "Compounding Wealth by Capitalizing on Boomer Gender Differences" e-course - value: $29
"Dr. Karen knows what gets in the way of living healthy, vibrant, happier lives, and she shares her expertise and those insights in this book. This is literally a road map to better health, filled with best practices regarding how to make positive choices and assessments for determining where we are and where we want to head. Open this book and step off the side-lines and onto the express lane to becoming a healthier, sexier you!"
- Corrie Woods, Author of "The Woman's Field Guide to Exceptional Living"
My Gift: "The Woman's Field Guide to Exceptional Living" e-book - value: $10
"My first 'ah ha' from 'Stop Being Stopped' came quickly on page three of Dr. Karen's enlightening book where she reports that '87% of women claim that their quest for health and wellness motivates their life decisions more than anything else' yet '70% report that they frequently do things that they know interfere with their well-being.' Wow, that hit home for me! It got me up off my butt and out walking again, and I've not stopped since. Thank you, Dr. Karen. That was the reality check I needed."
- Dharlene Marie Fahl, Author/Inspirational Speaker/Tea Specialist
My Gift: "Sipping Tea - Celebrating Me" e-book and seven daily prayers - value: $13
"Dr. Karen has nailed it! I'm a natural-health junkie, but this is the first book I've ever seen that handles mind, body and spirit together. For the GO DOCTOR knows that when you live a healthy life, you are better able to live your purpose. If you want to find more joy in life - read this book!! Oh, and the best bonus - the fatigue test. I've never seen anything like it. The GO DOCTOR really knows her stuff - take advantage and live your best!!!"
- Dr. Patricia Ross, Best Affirmations
My Gift: The Best Affirmations Workbook - value: $20
"The Go Doctor is just the right medicine for a healthy, vibrant life. Dr. Karen's insightful book, 'Stop Being Stopped,' was the green light I needed to get my health back on track. This book is a must-read for anyone seeking a sexy, healthy, inspired life."
- Elaine Starling, CEO of Promise Power
My Gift: The Promise Power Daily Gratitude Worksheet - value: $20
"The GO Doctor has given mankind one of the most precious gifts - heartfelt sincerity to external and internal wellness...utilizing passion, compassion, and her 'pearls' of wisdom to stimulate a happier and more energetic you!"
- Janice Bernhard, The "Happiness" Coach
My Gift: 1-hour Power Coaching with Mind Kinetics session - value: $125
"'Stop Being Stopped' gets to the heart of what holds us back from having the health and energy we need and want in our lives. I am completely amazed with the clarity of the roadmap she provides. It's holistic health at its finest. Her unique approach leaves no stone unturned because it encompasses not only the body, but the mind, heart and spirit as well."
- Faith Zimmerman, Radiant Life Strategies
My Gift: The Holistic Balance E-Course - value: $30
My apologies for staying away from my blog for so long, but between working with clients, traveling to Salt Lake City for a conference about SendOutCards.com (you've GOT to check these guys out - their system is amazing and so much fun!), and getting my sons back off to college (the house is mine and my husband's again - woo hoo! But seriously, I love my kids and miss them, too), I've been using my few minutes of downtime to, you know, breathe.
And I've also been staying up way too late to watch the Olympics! I'm so proud of our fellow countrymen and countrywomen; they've been outstanding all around in their events. According to Yahoo! this morning, the USA has earned 101 medals so far (8 of which are the incredible gold medals won by record-breaker Michael Phelps - congratulations to him!).
While I love the thrill of the competitions, I'm truly amazed by the Olympians themselves. To paraphrase a comment made on "Project Runway" during their Olympic challenge, they are as close to real-live superheros as we can get. They are at peak performance levels, and they've trained endlessly to achieve their goals. Let's follow their example!
Today, I challenge you to commit to your career like an Olympian commits to his or her training. I want you focus on kicking your career into overdrive (especially if lately it's been chugging along like a golf cart), and I want you firing all cylinders as you work towards your career's peak performance level.
And as your coach, I'm going to give you the benefit of my knowledge with these 10 tips for advancing your career!
1. Create a "life skills" line: Record everything you know how to do - from birth until the present - and all the skills required to do them. What have you excelled at? (And they don't have to be just work-related...you'd be surprised how the skills you have in your hobbies translate into success into the workplace.)
2. Make a "life activity" line (layer it right over your "life skills" line). Identify the activies at work and at home that you enjoy doing. If your skill is problem-solving, activities you might like are troubleshooting at work or working on your car's engine. A career that is satisfying and challenging with incorporate some of those skills and activities.
3. Rate your enjoyment and aptitude of each entry on your line: 1 if you're excellent at it and love doing it; 5 if it's one of your weaker areas or if you wouldn't want to do it for more than a few hours. And with this info, you're going to then...
4. Create a clear picture in your mind of your next 5 career moves (they're not set in stone!). They could be in order and progressing up through your organization, or they could be lateral moves into other organizations or industries. Plotting out these career moves starts to set you up with a strategy for career advancement (and we all know how much I LOVE strategy!).
5. Map out opportunities within your organization. You got those 5 career moves in your head - where are they in your organization? Create a "treasure map" that you can follow, leading you to each of those 5 career moves. Who's holding those jobs now? What are your chances of earning that position? If there's a star blocking your route of advancement (think Don Draper of "Mad Men") who shows no signs of budging, then you should first do everything in your power to succeed and prove your worth in your current position (a shift all the way up line might occur) or you might want to consider moving to another company, which leads me to...
6. Map opportunities outside your organization. What organizations are the leaders in your industry? Are they looking for highly-skilled people like you, and if so, what could they offer you? Look for industries that are complementary to yours. There may be opportunities to not only bring your insights into a new industry, but also for you to be invigorated by a new set of challenges.
7. Assess people in higher levels of your organization. Give them a report card. Who does a great job? Who might be on his or her way out? Who might be open to talking to you about their position? What are their skills...and do you have them?
8. Make a list of people who would help you if they knew your career aspirations. While it's a good idea to be tentative about who you share your career plans with (especially if they include chucking your current job for another), you have people in your sphere of influence that can help you attain your career goals if you talk to them about those goals. Be selective in who you share your dreams with, but make sure you share your dreams with someone!
9. Use an interview as an excuse to go and speak to someone who has the job that you want. Does your company have a newsletter or a website that highlights employees and bosses? If so, go to the head of these departments and ask if you can do a profile on the person who has the job you want. I'm sure they'll be thrilled to have some of the burden taken off them, and I'm sure that the person you interview will be flattered that you're so interested in them and their job. Asking for an interview is a non-threatening way to do your research and gather information.
10. Join an industry organization. This is a primo networking opportunity just waiting for you to reach out and grab it. Learn about other companies in your industry, other positions you may be qualified for, and loads of other inside scoop that can help you strategize your next career move.
Now go out there and earn a gold medal in career advancement!
Well, after last week's whirlwind posting marathon during "Lipstick Leadership Week", I decided to lay low for the past few days.
In the interim, I've been swamped with coaching clients who are begging me to help them with their public speaking. Apparently, that old saying about public speaking being an even greater fear than death is true!
Now, I admit: even a professional speaker like me gets butterflies in her stomach before taking the stage and staring out into that sea of people. But then my adrenaline kicks in and my naturally talkative personality takes over. Unfortunately, that's not the case for most people.
I've heard horror stories from clients, colleagues and friends about how they froze under the spotlights (or even speaking to a smaller group in a meeting) and tripped and stuttered their way through their presentations. My heart goes out to them. (I feel the same way when faced with a situation where math is required!)
So a few days ago, I had one of those "aha" moments Oprah's always talking about:
- People need help with their public speaking. - I'm a professional speaker who can also be considered something of an expert in getting over fears.
Why not figure out some global way (as opposed to one-on-one coaching...there's only so much of my time to go around!) that I could help people overcome their fear of public speaking??
I'm now in the process of developing a fantastic new video product and loads of special bonuses to go along with it. I can't wait to unveil it, and I'm hoping to have the finishing touches put on it next week!
Keep your eyes open, loyal readers, because you're going to be one of the first people I offer it out to. I'll post more details soon!
...all of the fantastic entries I received will live on here at my blog!
If you missed out on last week's event, feel free to scroll down or click on the "lipstick leadership stories" tag at the bottom of this post to enjoy all of the anedotes and insights that made "Lipstick Leadership Week" a smashing success!
I'd like to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who sent in stories - they were all truly amazing and inspiring. I only wish I could get to know each of these incredible role models personally!
And it's a great feeling to know that this network of "mother's wisdom" you all helped me create is only the beginning! I can't wait to get started on the next book in the "From the Kitchen to the Corner Office" series - you've proven that there's limitless inspiration out there and plenty of moms and mom figures to draw experiences from!
In the meantime, I've got a lot of other pots full of ideas bubbling on my mental stovetop, and you'll be the first to hear about them here on my blog and through my free eZine "Lipstick Leadership" (Haven't signed up yet? You're missing out on a lot of great info! Sign up here or at LipstickLeadership.com).
Lipstick Leadership: More Than Words - Corrie Woods' Story!
"The most powerful lessons I learned, and am still learning, from my mother haven't come in words. Not that the countless times she sat me down to share wisdom that helped me to find my way weren't important. They were. Yet the lessons that have lasted the longest and that have become a part of who I am came from watching how my mother shows up in the world. Here are a few examples of what I mean: my mother doesn't believe in complaining, never has. She takes what life hands her and makes the most out of it. My mother shows me that a woman can be tough and strong and have a huge and caring heart. Though I undoubtedly have had my moments of stretching her toleration and patience, I have never doubted she was there for me and my sisters 100%. My mother taught me that when it comes down to it, dropping everything and hopping a plane to take care of a loved one in need is a no-brainer. Most of all, my mother taught me these lessons and so many more which have helped me to be the best mom I can be for my children. That has been the greatest gift of all!"
- Corrie Woods, author of "The Woman's Field Guide to Exceptional Living"
Lipstick Leadership: "Igniting the Spark of Leadership" - Chris Brown's Story!
"My mom was my Brownie leader. She organized the crafts. She volunteered to pick up the patches at the scout shop. She still isn't much of a singer, but she taught us all those special Brownie songs. She helped us recite the Brownie promise at the close of each meeting. She got all of us girls to really believe in ourselves that when we chanted the phrase, "Twist me and turn me and show me the elf, I looked in the water and saw...myself!" When we glanced down at the pine branches laid around the mirror, we really were transformed into someone who can do anything. She gave us the confidence to try new things and make a difference. And over the years, our troop did. We cleaned up the overgrown corner lot in our town, throwing away trash, trimming back all the weeds and planting petunias. We visited the shut-ins in the nursing home. We camped in the woods and cooked on Buddy Burners made of 3 lb. coffee cans and tuna cans with cardboard and wax.
As we grew from Brownies to Juniors to Cadettes, so did our activities. We traveled to the capital. We helped organize events for the younger scouts. We saw plays. We earned badges. We took photos and cemented friendships. We created scavenger hunts for the younger scouts with watermelons as the prize at the end. We learned leadership skills like mentoring, planning, encouraging and collaborating.
My mom volunteered hundreds of hours to the girls in our troop. She taught us leadership by letting us try it on one step at a time. And now, many years later, if you surveyed those dozen girls, you'll find women who have grown up to become leaders in a wide variety of roles including business, government and health care (and scouts, too). And now we are passing it on to the next generation.
Thanks Mom, for igniting the spark of leadership in all of us!
Lipstick Leadership: Accessorizing Your Life with Time for Yourself - Pam Robertson's Story!
"...I credit a good part of my efforts at celebrating myself as a woman to my mom and my grandmother. They both taught me how to step back from work, kids and family issues to take some time just for me, and do it with panache.
Nana had my mom in the midst of World War Two in Britain. Nana is a frugal woman and has lived what many of us would consider a hard life, but through it all - working as a housemaid and later, a hand model only to have to take work as a welder during the war, then moving to Canada with a young child - she could step back and unwind herself. Even if all she had was five minutes, my grandmother would spend some time on something that made her feel good, and often it was as simple as the way she put her lunch plate together. It was as simple as grating cheese on top of her salad and adding a sprig of watercress on the side. It was as elegant as winding her chestnut hair and pinning the curls in a way that crowned her head.
My mom could be going to the shops for a few groceries or simply stepping out to say hello to a neighbor, but even during cancer treatment and with most of her hair gone, Mom always made sure that she looked good when people saw her, and she continues to do so. She'll throw on a beautiful pair of earrings, a necklace, scarf or brooch, something with a bit of style.
When I was a young adult, I thought she was a bit over the top, always reminding me to accessorize, but I realize now that the effort that she made for herself made her feel good, and the energy and enthusiasm for life that she possesses also transfers to others around her and makes other people feel good. That says a lot for the power of a pair of earrings and a scarf, but it's true.
At times when I am really feeling the pressures of work and running a business, family and all the things that come together to make it work, I pause to think of these two women who have had so much influence in my life, and I celebrate a little moment for myself. A cup of tea in my favourite cup, a sprig of parsley on my plate or a piece of jewelry that offers a statement, and I am acknowledging both of these remarkable women. I thank them for the example that they set about the importance of celebrating me and for embracing life with all it has to offer."
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."
Lipstick Leadership: "Stand Up!" - Dr. Carole Lieberman's Story!
"My mother taught me to stand up for myself and not be intimidated by rules. For example, as a little girl, I remember being awestruck by how she would persuade big department stores to take back merchandise that their rules said would never happen. Like the designer gown she got a store to take back because there were suddenly cheaper copies of it on the market all over town. This, despite signs warning that they never take back gowns. It may seem like a trivial example, but it taught me not to take 'no' for an answer.
Today, she has the same spunk when it comes to dreaming up audacious marketing strategies for her new children's book, Archibald's Swiss Cheese Mountain. I look at her and am reminded and grateful that she has passed this 'chutzhpah' on to me."
- Dr. Carole Lieberman, Beverly Hills psychiatrist/author/talk show host, www.DrCarole.com
Lipstick Leadership: Learning to Be Myself - Laura Ries' Story!
"Mom's greatest gift to me was encouraging me to be me. She valued my sister and I for who we are. It was okay if we had interests that were not typical. She was full of life and loved to celebrate. It wasn't until recently that I have applied this gift to my career. I kept a part of me separate when at work. This was in an effort to be 'business-like'. I was able to do my job and very well, but something was missing.
Oh, if I hadn't had the encouragement from mom, I wouldn't have ever tried being me. Now that I have, there is a new dimension to the work environment that enriches all of us."
Lipstick Leadership: A Letter to Mom - Melinda Day-Harper
"Dear Mom: I remember waaaay back when I was in my early 30's and fretting about something or another, you patted me on the knee and said, 'Oh, honey, you'll mellow out as you get older.' Ha! This coming from a woman who with a single glance could intimidate the devil himself! I can just hear you laughing out loud right now!
You conducted your life, Mom, with such stature, such presence, and with so much love and grace. I don't know how I could ever begin to come close to the person you were while you were here. I was so proud of you and for you when the Mayor of Fort Worth presented you with the key to the city as Volunteer of the Year for your work with Hospice and as a children's advocate. I know that you were proud, too, but mostly just grateful for the opportunity to be of service again as you always were in your life.
What incredible tragedies you not only survived, but triumphed over! Daddy's murder, your son's tragic death, your own brain tumor, your younger daughter's overdoes and suicide attempts. You sat through the murder trial with the same peace and grace that you've always presented to the world, that you have always had within. When my daughter was born, you told me, 'The two most important things you can teach your child are the Love of God and independence.' Now, I have to say that my ex-husband thought you went a little overboard with me on the independence thing, but it has served me well!
You always told me I could do and be anything I wanted to as long as I stayed close to God. When I had to put you into hospice care yourself in 2005, you looked at me and said, 'This is a wonderful place, honey, don't worry about it. I'm ready to go home.' I am so very grateful, Mom, that God blessed me with you - as my Mom and my prime, supreme example of the woman that God wants me to be. You are forever in my heart and soul. - Melinda"
- Melinda Day-Harper, co-author of "Wake Up Women", entrepreneur, speaker, corporate executive, coach and CEO of T-Zone Consulting, Inc. www.TZoneConsulting.com
Lipstick Leadership: "All I Am I Owe to My Mother": Denise Reed's Story!
"Everything I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother." - Abraham Lincoln
"As Abraham Lincoln said, everything I am I owe to my mother. She taught me how to tie my shoes, how to match my clothes, and how to make decorative flowers out of Kleenex. She taught me manners, respect for myself and others, the value of a dollar, and the importance of an education. She gave me driving lessons without yelling, excitedly took me shopping for two prom dresses, and as a child, she even let me roller skate repeatedly in the air conditioned house when it was too hot to go outside. She taught me countless and invaluable lessons in life that have shaped me into the strong, confident woman I am today.
Throughout my life I have heard her recount bits and pieces of her childhood on the small island off of Japan called Okinawa. She ran through dirt-covered streets without shoes (not by choice but by lack of money) and went hungry more often than not. She had difficulty learning English when she arrived in the United States at the young age of 12, and she had an even more difficult time trying to fit in at school. After graduating from high school, she attended beauty school while working in the kitchen of a local hospital. She saved every penny to buy her own car and secured a position at a nearby beauty salon. She later met and married my dad, and they happily celebrated their 40th anniversary in April of this year. Their life together was built on a partnership, both in marriage and business.
Soon after my parents were married, they purchased a catering business and worked the business without employees for over 30 years. This required my mom to cook, clean, run a household and be the best mom a child could ever have. She managed all of these things like an Olympic skater on ice - gracefully.
My mom has worked harder than any woman I know and probably ever will. Her childhood was less than desirable, and she could have easily used that as a crutch to walk through life with an entirely different attitude. Instead, she worked all that much harder to provide me with a life than every child is entitled to. She showered me with love and affection, provided me with opportunities that allowed me to learn and grow, and she taught me that roller skating in the house is wonderful fun.
Thank you, Mom, for being the mother that I am striving to be to my son. I love you!"
Lipstick Leadership: "No Matter What" - Ardice Farrow's Story!
"I was six. The youngest and the smallest of all the neighborhood kids and the family of cousins. I was a bit frail, not very athletic. My tiny system was susceptible to any cold, flu, ear, nose or throat infection in the near vicinity and I was treated on a regular basis with high doses of penicillin. Add to that the fact I was the youngest member of an angry, somewhat dysfunctional and highly suppressed family. My emotional anxiety played havoc on a sensitive stomach, and I could be counted on to throw up when the emotional tensions or expectations rose too high.
It was the summer before first grade and inspired by my playful and wonderful adopted 'Aunt Ginka', my family and two other families rented houses at the beach. Southern California beaches are noted for turbulent waves and rapid undertows. At the time, I had an unfounded and exaggerated fear of water, so as the older kids frolicked in the waves, I was more than happy to build sand castles and run down for an occasional bucket of water. But my Aunt Ginka, ever the creative adventurer, was determined to open up my world of experience.
She pulled two old inner tubes down to the water's edge and began to explain in great details the rules of the 'No Matter What' game we were about to play. Rule One - You had to face away from the incoming waves so you had no idea what was coming. Rule Two - You had to hang onto your inner tube 'No Matter What'. For a kid who was terrified by the shallow end of a suburban pool, I was in way over my head. My heart pounded as the water beneath us was sucked away to build a wave of unknown size that would soon be rushing toward us. With each wave, the thrill of the game escalated. We turned upside down, sideways, spun in any direction and yet we held on. With each pending wave, we screamed out to each other, 'No Matter What!'
The impact of my 'Aunt Ginka' did not stop at the end of the summer. Months later, she convinced my mother, who elevated anyone who went to medical school to the level of an omnipotent god, to take me to a different doctor. The new doctor immediately determined that the constant antibiotics had diminished my immune system and I was on a downward health spiral that would never end. He reversed the treatment with heavy doses of iron and a vitamin regiment. Within months, I was as healthy as any child you could imagine.
I don't know if I have ever thought of my Aunt Ginka in this way or realized and acknowledged how her courage and playfulness impacted my life. But I will tell you I am never sick. I am ridiculously healthy and live a life of adventure at every level. I love the ocean more than I can say. It is a ceaseless source of inspiration, peace and play. I have body surfed the most challenging waves on Hawaiian beaches. I have lived on a sailboat, sailed the Pacific, survived wild ocean storms and life-threatening conditions. I have swam with the dolphins, dove tropical waters, explored spectacular deep underwater caves and have never said no to an ocean adventure no matter how challenging. I have hiked exotic jungles and traversed steep mountain trails. I have lived and traveled alone without concern in other countries. And I have taken on huge business and creative adventures, never looking for what is safe but always seeking what might be possible and creating and imagining the unknown.
I have fearlessly sought the wisdom of life and traveled near and far to learn from masters and experts. Unconsciously, I have adopted my Aunt Ginka's philosophy that the simplest things I do can touch another and change someone else's life forever. From Aunt Ginka, I learned that when you stop looking for or trying to make life safe, you can experience the thrill and the wonder of life and call forth the best in you. When you give up being safe, you are instilled with the courage to follow your instinct and intuition and find new solutions to what seem impossible challenges. And you easily step forth to lead and inspire others which is what we are doing with our Wake Up Women publishing group and the Wake Up Women books.
I realize as I write this that thanks to my Aunt Ginka, I live each day with the attitude that life is an adventure, an unpredictable thrill that will surprise and amaze me No Matter What."
Lipstick Leadership: "A Remarkable Woman" - Dawn Prince's Story!
"I always tell people that my mother is the bravest and strongest woman that I know. My mother is a remarkable woman. Ever since I can remember appreciating strength and character, protector and fighter is what comes to mind when I think of my mother. In the West Indies, when most women stayed at home, my mother was a career woman. She has been a nurse since she was 17. I remember her flitting around on that bike of hers in a crispy white nurse outfit with the starched cap that sat high on her woolly hair.
At 28, when I was about six, she left my two brothers and me with my grandmother to start a new life in the United States. At that time, coming from the West Indies, it was unheard of for a single woman to do that. 'Going outside,' as they called it, was a way for my mother to find the means to take care of us. It seems like she has always had a plan for making life better for us: go to the U.S., get a great job and then send for the children. I always tell people what a remarkable woman my mother is. I marvel at the sacrifices my mother made for my sister, my brothers and me.
A few years ago, I found out that my mother used to draw in her younger days, and it saddens me that a hard life took away a means of celebrating her spirit. I marvel at how she stood strong after heartbreaks with love and life and focused on the plan of bringing her kids to a better life. That search for a better life took her from the United States to Canada. A lesser woman would have given up and returned home, but there is something that is fiercely strong and independent about my mother. She refuses to give up. I would see this time and time again over the years: when my father had a debilitating stroke, she took over as his nurse and spent everyday at the hospital while he was in rehabilitation for 3 months - forgiving him for all of his transgressions. From her, I learned commitment and unconditional love.
At 42, when she found that she couldn't support a family on $5.00 an hour, she went back to school to get her Canadian nursing license. When she grew tired of our brief stay in government housing, she moved us to a better neighborhood and eventually into a house. From that I learned about ambition and determination. It must have been hard all of those years, but my mother never let us see that she was worried. Though she struggled to pay the bills, we were never without food. She always used to say, 'I will find a way' and she always did. When we wanted brand name, she firmly said no, and we understood and appreciated what she could give us. From her, I learned to live within my means, as well as gratitude. And despite the financial struggles, my mother's love was constant. There was a lot of love and laughter in our house.
I just wish that I had allowed my mother to love me the way she wanted to. I see it today as she cares for my nephew who lives with her. And I see the love of my childhood - the love I thought I had missed, but it was there all the time. Out of my own inadequacies, I could never fully take it. I think I allowed some of that love in the other day as we said goodbye before I left Canada to return to the United States. My mother was in tears. I squeezed her and said, 'I love you' for the first time in my life. And when she said, 'I love you, too,' - it felt like we'd reached a quiet understanding.
I always tell people that I get my strength, discipline and independence from my mother as I'd seen a lifetime of a woman doing everything for her children and her family and sacrificing herself. These days, she seems to have shrunk--smaller than I remember her. Yet when I think of my mother, I see majestic earth-mother doggedly defining mother-love and absolute strength. I always tell people about my mother, but now it is time for me to tell her how remarkable I think she is."
Next week (July 28th - August 1st) I'll be posting the submission stories here on my blog all day, every day. So make sure you bookmark me and keep coming back to read more!
I guarantee you won't be disappointed - the stories are a mix of the funny and the poignant, and all have important lessons that can be incorporated into our professional and personal lives to empower and inspire us.
With "Lipstick Leadership Week" being pushed back to July 28th through August 1st due to an overwhelming response, I have even longer to wait to share the incredible stories I've been receiving! No fair :) This is not a good thing for someone who purposely waits to the very last second to go Christmas shopping because keeping the presents a secret is too much for her!
So I'm going to have to give you another sneak peek before my head explodes! But this is the last one, I swear.
"My Aunt Mary is the most wonderful person I've ever known. If you met her, you'd understand why immediately. Warmth and kindness radiate from her like an aura, and when she smiles (and she always smiles, even through tears) she transfers that warmth on to you. It doesn't matter if you've had the worst day of your life. Just being near her is salve on your psychic wounds. When her husband of nearly 30 years passed away, we gathered around her ready to comfort and guide her through this devastating loss. She ended up being our source of comfort instead.
Growing up, I was always the loner, the black sheep of the family. I was painfully shy, and people - even family members - always seemed to mistake it for being aloof and cold. Not Aunt Mary. She always made the extra effort to draw me out, to sit and chat with me when my cousins excluded me from their play. She was - and still is - forever telling me what a great person I am, and only she can convince me of that.
It's no wonder that she excels at her nursing job. I can't think of anyone more suited to the profession. Every patient of hers is treated like family, and so many have come back to the hospital to give her special thanks for the care she's given them. The health problems she's had in recent years are no match for her quiet strength and perseverance and untouchable positive attitude.
She recently celebrated a milestone birthday, and her children threw her a huge party. When she saw me among the guests, she immediately enveloped me in a bone-crushing hug because she knew how difficult it was for me to be there, and she thanked me several times when I went to leave.
I wish I could say that I am just like Aunt Mary, but I think you have to be born with that kind of beautiful soul. I have adapted the old "WWJD (What Would Jesus Do)" slogan and changed it to "WWAMD (What Would Aunt Mary Do)!" When faced with adversity, I call upon her example and strive to handle it with the grace and strength that I know she would. Thank you, Aunt Mary, for simply being you."
Now you might be wondering why this topic would pique my interest - or yours, for that matter, if you don't have college-bound kids - but when I read it, I saw it from a new perspective: professionals contemplating going back to school and making a career change.
If making more money in a new career is your goal, check out what this article has to say about which education path you might want to look into.
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!
Hi, it's Michelle, and I'm in Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado at an amazing, very rustic resort. Well, it's rustic on the outside, but on the inside, it's stunning.
This place made me think about how quickly we make judgments of our teammates the workplace, how we look at someone and we immediately make an assessment, never taking the time to look a little bit deeper to see all of their talents, intelligence and skills.
As managers, we need to make sure that we're not rushing to decisions when it comes to our team members, whether we're assigning tasks or deciding who to downsize. We need to make sure that we're taking the time to evaluate everything that each of our people have to offer: their skills, their attitudes and their contributions.
In so many ways, people bring different unique elements to the workplace; for instance, some people help with keepu up morale more than they help with the actual work of their projects. That doesn't mean they aren't important!
And so this morning, I'm going to practice reserving my own judgments about our itinerary - I'm going fly-fishing! Can you belive it? - and keep an open mind to the experience. Today, take the time to think about people in your workplace and the talents they have that you may overlook and discover the unique value they bring to your team.
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?
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.