Inner Success

The Price of Greatness

Have you ever thought about yourself as being great? Are you a great mom, a great teacher, a great wife, and / or a great money -maker? Take just a second and declare what it is that you are great at…. Go ahead. Say it out loud. I am a great ____________ !

Now hear me telling you how great you are – you are crushing it! You are so freaking great!

Two things are happening in my life to bring up this topic for discussion.

First, I have been watching ESPN’s Michael Jordan documentary “The Last Dance” and I have seen a glimpse into what sacrifices Michael Jordan made to be great. In one of the episodes, his team mates implied that for Michael to be Michael, he couldn’t also be your friend. He couldn’t be “the nice guy” because he had to be the guy who pushed you – challenged you – expected more from you than you may have expected for yourself.

While Michael knew his tactics were tough love, we could see it broke his heart when he heard these words. It was like he heard these truths in his soul for the first time. He realized he had paid the price of close friendships and the reputation of being the nice guy to be great. Have you ever thought about what sacrifices you have made in relationships or jobs so that you could be great at what you are great at?

If you are a great daughter, did you pay the price of pursuing your professional goals so you could care for your ill parent? If you are a great salesperson, did you give up nights at home while your children grew up so you could be the top salesperson? ( to pay their college tuition of course)

Oftentimes we see people through our admiring lens. We look at their greatness and think we want what they have. Then we realize the price they pay for that greatness is not actually a price we are willing to pay. There is a quote that if you want to lead the orchestra, you must be willing to turn your back to the audience. I am in the early stages of writing a segment for a book discussing the price I have paid on my journey.

The hardest part of writing the segment is actually admitting that I could be seen as great. I don’t see myself as great, and you may have that same complex. Michael Jordan was great. Each year he set out to break a record or separate himself as great in the record books. I am not sure how we measure our own greatness, so often we don’t even recognize we are great at something.

As I write my story of the price of greatness, I look at the journey and acknowledge so many of my weaknesses, my shortcomings, and my downfalls. I recognize so many of them are a result of my pursuit for greatness. It is a healthy acknowledgement that I have paid a price in some areas of my life to excel in others.

Oprah once challenged us to turn our wounds into wisdom. I would like to challenge you to take time and reflect on the price of greatness you have paid in your life. Then take one more step and share this post with someone to celebrate them. Tell them you appreciate the price they have paid to be a great …… boss, mom, friend, husband.

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Inner Success

Diversify The Panel

Many of you know that I am from a small community in Oklahoma and have worked in a variety of male dominated professions, you know like home building, b2b publishing and digital technology. I have been very open in my book about how we oftentimes find ourselves perpetuating language and patterns that limit diversity and openness to change, both as men and women. Today let’s talk about who we listen to and who we ask to speak as experts on topics.

In my book, I talk about a situation that was a final straw for me when working at a company in New York, the lack of diversity on panels. “The panelists?” you ask. Yes the panelists, the keynotes, the people who sit at the front of the seminar or conference and share the wisdom of the industry.

Men outnumbered women 2 to 1 as event speakers over the last five years, a survey by event software company Bizzabo found. Of the 60,000 speakers the company analyzed at mostly private sector events in 23 countries, 69 percent were male.

Manels (all male panels) have reached their limit and audiences no longer tolerate all male, pale and stale. As you know, this is not intended to be an “anti-male speaker” story, but rather an encouragement for speaker diversity. In more than one case, I’ve asked an event scheduler why they considered me as a speaker and the response was, “we needed a woman!” …. They may be joking, but it ain’t funny.

Speakers have the immense privilege to use their words to influence change and belief. If there’s only a specific kind of person who gets this privilege, then we’re only hearing from one corner of the population. Inspiration isn’t one size fits all, so we need to mix it up.So where do we go from here?

I am copying a two part solution from one of the women I like seeing at the front of the room, Jess Ekstrom. Jess is a speaker, someone who empowers other women to speak and founder of Headbands of Hope, a social enterprise that impacts hundreds of thousands of kids with cancer around the world! Here is her advice for stopping the “manel-cycle.”

1- Conferences should try changing up who selects speakers.

Are women involved in the speaker selection process? Does the committee who selects speakers show diversity? Could the future attendees vote on who they want to see on stage?

The people who select the speakers matter. They’re basically the gatekeepers to this entire issue. So instead of continuing to let the same people select speakers, ask other people who they would want to see on that stage.

2- Women need to believe that they can be successful professional speakers…and then apply for speaking engagements.

The issue isn’t just the selection of speakers, it’s the diversity of the applications. I was recently at an event and a woman who selects speakers for a large business conference admitted, “It’s hard to select female speakers because they’re only a small portion of the applications we get to speak. Most applications are from men.” Women need to not just believe they can go up on stage and share their story and make an impact…they need to believe that they can be so good that they can get paid to do it

Like Jess, I want to inspire and empower you to be a keynote type of speaker. If you have questions about how to be recognized as a great speaker and/or how to get on the selection committee’s list for consideration reach out and I will see how I can help you.

And if you want to buy some Headband of Hope items, I carry them at Wystle. They are beautiful and she gives back in BIG ways.

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Inner Success

Staying Connected

The COVID-19 outbreak has instituted new daily habits for everyone I know, whether you are like me and mandated to stay home and or you are like my friend Melissa, in the medical field, working longer, harder hours than before to keep us safe.  Either way, we are all restricted in our ability to physically connect with one another.

These restrictions may exacerbate an already growing problem for us and/or our loved ones: social isolation. Social isolation can (but does not have to) lead to loneliness.  I believe limiting physical interaction does not mean stopping all social interaction, in fact I have seen some people around me building up their social game in the last couple of weeks. I want to share with you a few ways my friends are becoming more connected than before.

  • Do an online workout. Choose from one of the thousands of fitness routines available on YouTube or from a local fitness instructor and work out together, but in separate locations, with your exercise buddy. I have been touring all sorts of scenic places around the world, by watching youtube videos while I run on the treadmill too!
  • Read a book to a niece or nephew or neighborhood kid via video chat. I saw someone in the community doing a virtual book reading – it was such a great gesture.
  • Have a virtual house party by downloading the house party app and adding your friends.  It is great fun and you can play trivia games together. My friend Meredith and I can really get the giggles over stuff like this!
  • Volunteer online. This is a great way to do good for others right from your home. Options include supporting projects at the United Nations, assisting the Smithsonian Institution, or helping people in need at the Crisis Text Line.
  • Host a virtual get-together. If you can’t meet your friends in person move the gathering online via a group video chat.  There are TONS of platforms to use – pick your favorite. My friends are meeting Thursdays at 4:30 (like in college) and doing a virtual happy hour – loving it! Plus we are keeping our local wine shop in business. #winning
  • Teach others your skills. If you’ve been waiting to show the world your special talents, now’s your chance. Use your phone to create short teaching videos and post these online.  Maybe you will be the next Martha Stewart or Tim the Toolman with your mad skills!
  • Writing letters: I have attached a copy of a letter and photo that a friend sent me this week.  oooh, this warmed my sweet heart! Thanks Misty!

As all the commercials on television have said this week.. Apart, we are in this together.  If you have other suggestions for how we can do this crazy life together – while separated – leave me a post!

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Inner Success

As the World Turns

I must confess I have seen more forwards, memes, and surveys in the last four weeks than I have probably ever seen or taken the time to stop and pay attention to. It is not that I have a great deal of more free time but I feel like this intrusion of our work life into our personal life has opened the doors to more personal interactions and side jokes and forwards.

Here is forward that triggered the thoughts of just how interrelated we all are, whether small town or large, whether big business or small.

a stimulus package in simple terms

It is a slow day in the small Saskatchewan town of Pumphandle, and streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody is living on credit.
A tourist visiting the area drives through town, stops at the motel, and lays a $100 bill on the desk, saying he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs to pick one for the night. As soon as he walks upstairs, the motel owner grabs the bill and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher. 
The butcher takes the $100 and runs down the street to retire his debt to the pig farmer. 
The pig farmer takes the $100 and heads off to pay his bill to his supplier, the Co-op. 
The guy at the Co-op takes the $100 and runs to pay his debt to the local prostitute, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer her “services” on credit. 
The hooker rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill with the hotel owner. 
The hotel proprietor then places the $100 back on the counter so the traveler will not suspect anything. 
At that moment the traveler comes down the stairs, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, picks up the $100 bill and leaves. 
No one produced anything. No one earned anything…   However, the whole town is now out of debt and now looks to the future with a lot more optimism.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how a Stimulus package works.

When I read this forward and thought about the celebration of Easter, for those Christian readers, I think back to the debts I owe. What debts have been forgiven or deferred or lightened during these times of COVID19? What debts have I forgiven or can I forgive during these times. Together we are all impacted by the Stimulus package whether we know it or not, whether we see it or not.

These times take forgiveness and grace. May we all be be #supportivewithoutapology! In it together, from afar my friends, this is how the world goes round. If this triggered thoughts for you about how to pay your indebtedness or to forgive some one else’s debt, please comment below and share this message to others.

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Inner Success

Women: Raise Your Hand

Once again I remind you of a statistic I referenced in my book, The Ten Commandments of #SuccessWithoutApology: Men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them.

I have copied a link to an article by Tara Sophia Mohr in the Harvard Business Review titled, Why Women Don’t Apply for Jobs Unless They’re 100% Qualified. I believe it is a great read and today I want to urge you to apply, raise your hand, go get the job you aren’t sure you are fully qualified to have. Test your theory – apply and see if you can get the job.

Just last month I accepted a phone call for a job that I felt I was less than qualified to take, but the truth is that I am just as qualified as anyone else who would raise their hand… I was just as qualified as any man.

I believe, as this article states that some of our lack of advancement in careers and professions is simply because we don’t ask for the promotion soon enough. We don’t raise our hard for the job because we feel we aren’t qualified. Well it is time to stop being so timid and go get the job we want!

Apply, go get the job.. Let me know how it works out for you by replying to my blog, twitter feed or Linkedin article. I am your cheerleader and I believe you have earned the right to raise your hand!

https://hbr.org/2014/08/why-women-dont-apply-for-jobs-unless-theyre-100-qualified

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Inner Success

Be You, Do Right, Keep Moving

“I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.” – John D. Rockefeller

Perseverance is vital to long-term success. As the richest man of his time, John D. Rockefeller knew that nothing of importance is built without much hard work. To do so, the work and focus must be intentional and consistent  – no matter the task.

In each of us is the potential to be successful, and with focus, a specific mindset, and a vision of your goal to become truly unstoppable you can tap into it.

Begin with Your Game Plan

In life, you can’t stand still, you must always move forward, lest you go backwards. The most direct path of advancement is sometimes not easy to ascertain, and often has multiple speed bumps.  Rather than view these hurdles as setbacks, allow the moments of learning to develop your strengths. If Rockefeller’s father hadn’t been such a cheat, John may not have learned how to make the most out of working, wouldn’t have saved his money, and wouldn’t have become a revered philanthropist. The adversity and hurdles from within his own family taught him to adapt, overcome, and change the world by how he lived.

Like Rockefeller, forget the excuses and persevere! Here’s are five strategies to help keep you focused on moving forward:

  1. Start with what you know. Sometimes your biggest pain or heartache is the very answer to your life goal. What do you seek to improve or change? To that end, think about what you can do right where you are TODAY, regardless of your age, training, expertise, or lack thereof.
  2. Develop yourself. Maybe you have a specific hobby or passion, or have a skill or two. Whatever those are, do them with the purpose of honing your talent. How can you do them better? What other activities can you do to support your growth?
  3. Strive for the greater good. Pursue each goal, not at the expense of others, but with them.  Never forget who helped you, and who continued to motivate you. In your trials, your source of encouragement often is who / want you want to emulate for others in their times of need.  Another quote from Mr. Rockefeller, “Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.”  What I often find is that others cannot recognize your good deeds as honest and good.  It is okay to tell them.  It is okay to tell people you are doing the right thing for the right reasons, and not assume they know.
  4. Be prepared to fail. Failure often comes before significant achievement. At times we are paralyzed by analysis.  At some point you have to jump, submit the manuscript, buy the business, or empower the employee to try it their own way. Growth will be stifled if the fear of failure prohibits your ability to recognize opportunity.
  5. Keep moving. After each completed goal, plan for another and another to keep your momentum going. Idleness begets laziness, the effects of which can undo your hard work, trading perseverance for selfishness. But by making an investment toward your goals each day, your mind stays active, your heart stays open, and your life will reap a legacy that inspires us all.

As the end of the year sneaks upon us, are you able to take a little time to reflect on the goals you have accomplished this year?  Can you complete this year’s goals by end of year?  Will you set goals for 2018 and how do you need to develop yourself to prepare for opportunity in 2018?

 

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Inner Success, Outward Success

Three Apologies Hillary Clinton Didn’t Make and NEITHER SHOULD YOU.

According to the hacked emails from campaign chairman John Podesta, Hillary Clinton does not like to apologize.

Win or loss, in this go around, the President of the United States of America stands strong with the statements spoken, emails written, and stands taken, and they have done so without apology.  In an election cycle where we heard things we never thought we would: locker room jock talk played publicly, a candidate being blamed for the death of young military men, and the threat of a physical wall  around our country to keep people out.

And in a society where women apologize to our own demise, if nothing else, Hillary Clinton showed us how to climb the ranks without apology.  I often say we don’t have role models of successful women, and whether Mrs. Clinton is elected the President of the United States of America – she is successful and we can learn from her. Here are three things you shouldn’t apologize for and Hillary didn’t either!

TAKING TIME TO PREPARE.
She did not apologize for preparing – privately.  More than once Mr. Trump accused her of needing rest and she responded quite bluntly and frankly, she was preparing.  In an era where we expect people to be available 24/7, either in person or socially, she took the time for quiet reflection and preparation.

As successful women, preparation is a key daily function. When was the last time you took private, quiet time to prepare?  Do you take quiet time daily? Weekly? Annually? EVER? And what would that look like? Perhaps meditating for 10 minutes to prepare for your day, or waking up a half hour early to prepare for a sales call. You need to turn off the phones and the beeps and have some quiet time on occasion – and for that, YOU SHOULD NOT APOLOGIZE.

HOW YOU LOOK.
Hillary Clinton did not apologize for not “looking Presidential.”  On an occasion or two she was accused of not looking the part of a President.  Not once did she back down from that accusation and neither should you. If there is no role model before you that looks like you – it does not mean you don’t belong. You do.

Women, there are going to be times and situations where you are FIRST!  You are the ONLY.  Don’t apologize for not “looking the part.” Look at it positively, if there is no one before you – there is no precedent that you have to adhere to.  Do not apologize for looking differently and presenting yourself just as you are.  Hillary did not apologize and she was running for the top office in all of the world! You have your own unique look and style – and for that, YOU SHOULD NOT APOLOGIZE.

NOT YOUR MISTAKE.

Hillary did not apologize for situations that were actually out of her reign, expertise, and control.  When the accusations about her private server were at their peak and their highest, she didn’t apologize.  If you asked most business professionals working for the government (or any midsize or enterprise level company) they generally follow the directives of the IT person. We can’t know everything.

Women, there are times when you hire people to be the experts.  You hire people to do things to protect you and when they step out of line you know that ultimately the buck stops with you.  But when they mess up, it is their mistake, not yours.  When others fail and cause you pain, take action to course correct.  We can take responsibility for the company role in a mishap, but we don’t have to take the fall for others – and for that, YOU SHOULD NOT APOLOGIZE.

Whatever the outcome of this election, we can take this quick lesson: Ambition can lead us down a bumpy road, but that doesn’t mean we have to apologize at every pothole. Own what’s yours and play full out.

#successwithoutapology  #PoliticsNOTasUsual MyVote2016 #NeitherShouldYou #iVoted 😳     
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