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Secrets to a Lasting Friendship

Submitted by Womenworking on Tue, 09/02/2014 - 08:26

Our community loves the topic of friends, so we created this new video on the secrets to a lasting friendship. Enjoy!

Video Editor--Chloe Motisi


Meet our career coach for September

Submitted by Womenworking on Sun, 08/31/2014 - 17:08

I'm Andrea Zintz, your Career Coach for September. I am once again happy to be your resource for ways to navigate workplace, relationships and career.

A little about me: I specialize in executive and high potential leadership strategy, succession and development. I have over 30 years experience in Leadership Development, Change Management, Human Resources Development and Training. For over 13 years, I have consulted to large corporations on leadership, team, and organization development.

My clients are in technology, diversified healthcare and pharmaceutical, advertising, financial, commercial real estate, and retail industries and many are global corporations. I've been a Vice President of Human Resources and Management Board member for a Johnson & Johnson company and have led their corporate executive leadership development for North America. My interests include executive women advancement, diversity/inclusion, and mentoring. I received my M.A. and Ph.D. from Fielding Graduate University.

A specialty of mine is crafting powerful and strategic questions we can ask ourselves (and others) to access the best thinking. I also believe that our emotions are essential to our ability to meet our psychological needs and to adapt successfully to our environments and challenges. I offer plenty of tips for doing this through storytelling, answering your questions, and sharing great ideas I hear from others.

I especially enjoy coaching and my goal is to make a difference every day. I live in New Jersey, am married to an elementary school teacher and have two wonderful daughters, 19 and 21.

Please feel free to comment with any questions or special requests. I look forward to a great month!

–Andrea Zintz, Career Coach


Be a Phoenix

Submitted by Helene on Fri, 08/29/2014 - 16:49

A former intern of mine (Nina Giordano, who now works at HooplaHa) told me about this wonderful short and said we could pass it along. As you view it, be a phoenix!


Take Time to PLAY

Submitted by Womenworking on Fri, 08/29/2014 - 08:15

With the long weekend coming up, we wanted to share this video on PLAY-TIME. Enjoy!

Video Editor--Chloe Motisi


Doing Your Best Despite Resistance

Submitted by Womenworking on Thu, 08/28/2014 - 13:24

We teach our kids to do what’s right. This includes treating others fairly, and to expect to be treated fairly ourselves in return.

Some of the hardest discussions I’ve had with my daughter over the years have come around her frustration that this basic rule doesn’t seem to apply in the world today. The news is full of stories about discrimination based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or other similar factors. And in the workplace, we still see much too much inequity based on gender.

What can you as an individual do to navigate this? Here are a few thoughts.

  • Start by doing great work. Always be proud of the work you do, and make sure what you do adds value to the organization.
  • Take time to blow your own horn. There’s no music if you don’t make it, so be sure others know about the important work you do.
  • Look to leaders for guidance. If you feel you are not being treated fairly, speak to your manager or to their manager. Be prepared to present your case and to do this in a calm, cool manner. No emotions, just the facts, ma’am.
  • We’re in this together. As women, we need to be better about helping each other succeed. Seek out other women, ask their advice, and support them in their careers. Many organizations have affinity groups for women. This is a great place to discuss your situation with others who may share your concern and be able to offer useful counsel.
  • Understand the power of the Web. What’s on the Internet, is enduring, not endearing. Be careful what and where you post about your specific job-related issues. But take advantage of the expertise, wisdom, and community you can find on the Web.
  • Sometimes you just need to move on. Sisyphus in Greek legend kept rolling a boulder uphill forever, but you don’t have to. If you’re in a situation where you don’t feel you’re being treated fairly and there is little hope for resolution or advancement, leave. If a business you patronize is not treating women fairly, let them know. Find another place to shop. We send an important message when we vote with our feet and our dollars.

The world keeps moving. If we don’t keep moving with it, we’ll wind up further behind. Try to work from within to effect change, but if that doesn’t work, take the actions you need to keep your career moving forward. It’s the best way to be fair to yourself.

-Linda Popky, President, Leverage2Market Associates


We Are All Michael Brown and Darren Wilson

Submitted by Womenworking on Thu, 08/28/2014 - 08:21

As a white mother of a 20-year-old son and a 17-year-old daughter, I have had conversations with my children about respecting elders, respecting authority, making smart decisions, and not causing trouble.  But a pivotal moment occurred for me during a discussion about the Trayvon Martin situation.  I found out that my friends who are African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Indian, Muslim, have a more unique conversation with their children.     

The conversations have a similar theme about respecting authority but the advice is far more specific and it focuses on survival---staying alive.  These conversations, called “the talk,” have occurred for many generations. The advice provided includes:

  • Turn all the lights on inside your car if you are pulled over
  • Keep your hands where they can be seen
  • Do not make sudden movements
  • Ask for permission to retrieve your driver’s license and registration
  • Don’t talk back to the police
  • Don’t ask for help

“The talk” occurs regardless of socioeconomic status and education. Friends I have spoken with remember exactly when they received “the talk.”  They also share humiliating stories about interactions with police--being detained in airports, being followed while shopping, among other things. 

As a Chief Diversity Officer, these stories saddened me tremendously and made me realize that we need many more conversations so that we understand each other’s experiences and perspectives, and create a different version of “the talk.”

I worry about the social conditioning that occurs with multiple generations hearing “the talk” and understanding the applicability in the workplace.  Does a continual reminder to respect authority, remain quiet, and keep your hands in sight result in a focus on fitting in rather than “leaning in” as Sheryl Sandberg suggests?  

Each of us is shaped by our life experiences which influence the majority of our day-to-day decisions. We tend to like people who look like us, think like us and come from similar backgrounds. Whether it is a life-or-death situation, or an employment decision (hiring, promotion, performance evaluation rating, or termination), our unconscious bias may blind our decision making. 

The situation in Ferguson, MO where Michael Brown was killed by police officer Darren Wilson, requires a call to action that will significantly change our life experiences and re-wire our brains so that we become self-aware and recognize our own unconscious biases.
Specific steps that each of us can take to create change are:

1. Become self-aware. The Implicit Association Test, developed by Harvard Business School, is an effective tool for testing our own unconscious bias (www.implicit.harvard.edu).

2. Create open dialogue opportunities. During staff meetings, personal encounters, or at large venues, create an environment where transparent conversations are encouraged about uncomfortable, controversial topics.

3. Purposefully become “one of the only” or “one of a few.”  Put yourself in situations where you are different from others around you.

4. Seek to understand. Educate yourself by reading books, articles and attending museums and movies about different cultures, and perspectives.

5. Ask for feedback. Ask people of different backgrounds for honest feedback about your style as a leader.  Get their opinions about what you can do to become more inclusive.  

-Sharon Orlopp, Global Chief Diversity Officer, Walmart


What You Need to Know About Age Stereotypes

Submitted by Womenworking on Wed, 08/27/2014 - 08:23

There’s a lot of buzz out there about generational differences. Baby Boomers have one way of looking at things, Generation X has another, and those Millennials—well, they’re a totally different breed altogether.

While there may be some truths in these suppositions, eying your coworkers, managers, or customers only through a generational lens may be quite limiting.

For example, yes, it’s true that Millennials were born digital natives. This is the first generation that has grown up with the Web, Mobile devices, and social media from the time they were children. However, that doesn’t mean that anyone over 30 is a digital has-been. Many Boomers have been adopting technology at high rates and are likely to be nearly as digitally savvy as their younger colleagues.

Furthermore, not all members of any group will act the same. Some will be more motivated on the job. Others will be looking for satisfaction outside the work environment.

Some will be parents; others will not. Of the parents, some will be extremely focused and career minded; others will not. There’s no one-size-fits-all model here.

It’s important to look beyond the generational stereotypes and see the people around you as individuals. Learn what matters to your coworkers. There will be some people who would prefer to communicate via text messages. Others will prefer email and still others phone conversations or video chats. This may be as much a style preference as it is a generational issue.

If you are in a customer-facing role, get to know your customers as well as you can. What’s on their minds when they come to see you? What issues might they be dealing with that might impact how they interact with you and your organization? How can you be seen as adding value and helping them?

Avoid the temptation to treat people exactly the way you would like to be treated (the Golden Rule). As it turns out, many people will want to be treated differently from the way you might in a similar situation. Instead, go for the Platinum Rule: Treat people the way they would like to be treated—regardless of their generation.

-Linda Popky, President, Leverage2Market Associates


Support Women's Equality

Submitted by Womenworking on Tue, 08/26/2014 - 13:17

Today is Women's Equality Day. Take a look at this wonderful graphic from Catalyst.


Intuition as a Business Edge

Submitted by Womenworking on Tue, 08/26/2014 - 08:20

In doing research for a book that will be out next year on women and confidence, I realized that, although intuition is often associated with women, we're not using it more than men in business. And intuition can be our business edge.

It certainly was for a friend and colleague of mine, Satya Scainetti, of Satya Jewelry. I admire her business sense and I met with her recently and asked her about it.

What led you to found Satya Jewelry?

My degrees are in Early Childhood Education and social work. And it wasn’t until later on that I felt like, “I need to do more.” I didn’t know what that was, so I ventured out on a yoga retreat for 30 days to become a yoga teacher and learn more about the practice of yoga because it was so profound and helpful in my life. While I was there, everything unfolded.  And the last day—well this is a little out there—I was given the name Satya, which means truth.

That night I had a dream that I was going to design jewelry and donate money to children around the world. It was a powerful dream and I called my best friend and said, “I have an idea, let's do this together,” and we were incorporated within seven days.

How has your intuition helped you make your business successful?

I believe our intuition is amped up probably ten to twentyfold more than men. When we’re young, we’re told, “You can’t. No, that’s not true,” so we stop trusting that intuitive hit.

I tapped into it with my very strong yoga and meditation practice. I believe inside we all know what is right. We feel it, it comes from the heart. I’ve run this business from my intuition. I don’t have a business degree. My intuition has always been right. Our business is still going strong 12 years later, we’re growing.

My foundation is one of the avenues that I’m going to be putting a lot more energy into because there’s so much to do. And that’s my intuitive self saying, “Make it happen, Satya, you can do it.”

We are having a drawing--one lucky person will receive a Satya bracelet. Enter by joining our website network before 5pm eastern, Friday, August 29. This is for U.S. residents only.


What to do When Co-Workers Are Toxic

Submitted by Womenworking on Mon, 08/25/2014 - 08:25

In the best of all worlds, we’d all have an enjoyable and well-paying job, a fantastic manager, and helpful and supportive co-workers.

Unfortunately, real life is not always that simple. Things get a lot more complicated when you have a job you like with a good manager—but difficult co-workers.

We expect that some days we’ll run into individuals who are unreasonable, unhelpful, or just generally unhappy. The problem comes when this happens on a recurring basis with people you need to interact with in order to do your job properly.

Sometimes you’ll wind up in a situation where your co-workers aren’t just disagreeable, they’re downright toxic. This includes individuals who refuse to do their part of a project or task, as well as those who seem to always be missing in action when needed. It also includes people who become argumentative when discussing a work-related issue and those who put up roadblocks so you can’t properly do your job.

It’s important to remember that, although you can’t control other people’s actions, you can control your reactions to their behavior. Try not to be sucked into someone else’s issues or negativity. Take the higher ground and avoid arguments whenever possible. Give others the benefit of the doubt, just as you’d like for them to do for you.

Start by trying to present your point of view calmly and logically. Let your colleague know that you appreciate her viewpoint, but you’d like to be able to work this out so you can both accomplish your objectives. Ask her to propose ideas to resolve the conflict, then listen to her input and see if you can find common ground.

If this doesn’t work, you may need to bring in reinforcements. Work with others on a project team to come to a consensus on how to proceed—even without the support of a lone dissenting team member. Work around someone who throws up ongoing obstacles by finding another way to get things done.

Don’t be afraid to go to your manager for help. Try not to be defensive when you explain the situation. Ask for her advice and support to move forward. Often, she may be able to provide insight or give you language that allows you to approach this from a new perspective. There are times when you may need her to get more directly involved and talk to the employee in question or to her manager.

One important note: If a toxic co-worker at any time threatens or harasses you, or you feel they may be a danger to you or others, do NOT tolerate this behavior. Speak to your manager, your HR representative, or someone on the security team, as appropriate.

-Linda Popky, President, Leverage2Market Associates


What Makes a Best Friend?

Submitted by Womenworking on Fri, 08/22/2014 - 08:12

Our community has been enjoying our videos, so we created a new one on a topic that's important to you--best friends. Take a look.

Video Editor--Chloe Motisi

Music Provided By: Jerry Sterling - Good Mood Song
Best of Jerry Sterling 1997-2014


Five Quotes to Energize Your Day

Submitted by Womenworking on Thu, 08/21/2014 - 08:45

We loved these wonderful quotes and wanted to share them with our community. Enjoy!

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” ~Gloria Steinem

“The most important thing you will ever do is become who you are meant to be. Blossom into yourself.” ~Lisa Hammond

“People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.” ~Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

“Treat yourself to the sweetest joy of dreaming of beautiful things, a fabulous job, a fulfilling relationship.” ~Amanda Ford

“Learn how to trust your own judgment, learn inner independence, learn to trust that time will sort good from bad—including your own bad.” ~Doris Lessing


How to Stop Being Afraid of Success

Submitted by Womenworking on Wed, 08/20/2014 - 08:26

Most of us are familiar with the fear of failure. What if I don’t do what others expect of me? What if I make a terrible mistake or I’m not able to do my job effectively? Will I really be able to balance both a career and a personal life?

Those are all real fears. But I also find that in the workplace, many people suffer just as much from a fear of success.

Success brings a different set of life experiences and challenges. What happens if I’m really successful? How will my life change? Will I be expected to deliver even more and more—until I finally fall flat on my face and fail?

Many of us also face something called the “Imposter Syndrome.”  We go about our lives each day, doing perfectly fine, but deep inside we don’t feel qualified for the position we hold or the compensation we receive. Inside, we’re afraid that we’re just not as good as we pretend to be. Eventually, we’ll be exposed as imposters.

I’m surprised by how many very successful men and women tell me they feel like imposters. This includes executives and leaders and people who are highly respected in their fields. These are people we would turn to as role models.

Unless you’ve faked your credentials or you’re lying about your qualifications, in most cases this is a simple self-esteem issue. We’ve been conditioned to believe we can only achieve so much. When we go beyond that, we start to question if we really deserve what we get.

My mentor, Alan Weiss, says that your first sale is always to yourself. That’s true whether you are an actual salesperson, or you’re selling an idea or a project to your colleagues and peers. If you don’t believe in yourself, how will others believe in you?

One way to overcome the fear of success is to envision exactly what success looks like. If you get the big promotion you’ve been working towards, how will life change? You may have a bigger salary, a better title, a nicer office, more interesting projects. But you might also need to work longer hours, attend more meetings, or give up some of the tasks you enjoy doing now. If you’ll be promoted from within, you’ll have a different set of peers. Maybe you’ll even have to manage some of your former colleagues. How will that feel?

Fear of success is just as real as fear of failure. And, like many other fears, it will lose much of its scariness if you can bring it out from the shadows and look at what’s bothering you in the light of day.

-Linda Popky, President, Leverage2Market Associates


How to Stop Being Afraid of Success

Submitted by Womenworking on Wed, 08/20/2014 - 08:26

Most of us are familiar with the fear of failure. What if I don’t do what others expect of me? What if I make a terrible mistake or I’m not able to do my job effectively? Will I really be able to balance both a career and a personal life?

Those are all real fears. But I also find that in the workplace, many people suffer just as much from a fear of success.

At first, this may sound strange. Who wouldn’t want to be successful? However, when you think about it, success brings a different set of life experiences and challenges. What happens if I’m really successful? How will my life change? Will I be expected to deliver even more and more—until I finally fall flat on my face and fail?

Many of us also face something called the “Imposter Syndrome.”  We go about our lives each day, doing perfectly fine, but deep inside we don’t feel qualified for the position we hold or the compensation we receive. Inside, we’re afraid that we’re just not as good as we pretend to be. Eventually, we’ll be exposed as imposters.

I’m surprised by how many very successful men and women tell me they feel like imposters. This includes executives and leaders and people who are highly respected in their fields. These are people we would turn to as role models.

Unless you’ve faked your credentials or you’re lying about your qualifications, in most cases this is a simple self-esteem issue. We’ve been conditioned to believe we can only achieve so much. When we go beyond that, we start to question if we really deserve what we get.

My mentor, Alan Weiss, says that your first sale is always to yourself. That’s true whether you are an actual salesperson, or you’re selling an idea or a project to your colleagues and peers. If you don’t believe in yourself, how will others believe in you?

One way to overcome the fear of success is to envision exactly what success looks like. If you get the big promotion you’ve been working towards, how will life change? You may have a bigger salary, a better title, a nicer office, more interesting projects. But you might also need to work longer hours, attend more meetings, or give up some of the tasks you enjoy doing now. If you’ll be promoted from within, you’ll have a different set of peers. Maybe you’ll even have to manage some of your former colleagues. How will that feel?

Fear of success is just as real as fear of failure. And, like many other fears, it will lose much of its scariness if you can bring it out from the shadows and look at what’s bothering you in the light of day.

-Linda Popky, President, Leverage2Market Associates


What Does Your Boss Really Want?

Submitted by Womenworking on Tue, 08/19/2014 - 08:24

Your boss may give you a list of tasks to accomplish, or a due date for a project. She may tell you what meetings to attend or where she needs you to represent the organization. There may be reports to complete or courses to attend. Often, there are conflicting deadlines or priorities.

As a long-time people manager, I can tell you that although all of those things are necessary parts of the job, they’re not what your boss REALLY wants from you. There’s a whole other layer of expectations that are usually left unsaid. However, left undone, they can unravel a career.

Yes, you need to complete the tasks required of you—that’s a given. But what your boss wants from you goes beyond that.

She wants to know she can count on you. This means that you will do what you say you will, when you say you will have it done. You won’t agree to commitments then just not come through.

She wants to know when things are going off track. Good managers want to know when issues arise, long before the whole project goes south. They want a heads up that there’s an issue that might impact quality, delivery, or customer satisfaction.

She wants solutions, not just problems. Whenever possible, come to a manager with a proposed solution (or multiple solutions), rather than just raising an issue. You may need your boss to make an executive decision on how to proceed, but give her some options to choose from.

She want you to manage her. This may sound counterintuitive, but a good boss expects you to know how to work with her to get what you need. If your boss is very visual, that might mean showing her in writing how something will work. If she’s oral, don’t send long documents. Have a discussion where you get to the point. Understand how your boss works and play to her strengths.

She wants to feel she can trust you. This means more than just delivering on tasks. It means you are honest and have integrity. It also means you have good business judgment and can be trusted to act in an appropriate manner to represent your organization, both within the company and externally.

She wants you to know she’s human. That means she’s prone to mistakes, just like you and I are. She’ll have off days or times when she’s distracted by a personal issue. She’d appreciate being given the benefit of the doubt in these situations, just like you’d want her to do for you.

Give your boss what she really needs and you may find you’re getting more of what you need from your work relationships in return.

-Linda Popky, President, Leverage2Market Associates


Director Penelope Spheeris on Family and Hollywood, Part 2

Submitted by Womenworking on Mon, 08/18/2014 - 08:33

What is the most rewarding aspect of your career? The most challenging?

The most rewarding aspect is when people (especially young people) tell me that my movies have changed their lives. What better reason to do the work? The most challenging part is managing politics and living with the volatility of the business. I feel fortunate that I was able to make movies and a good income when that was possible. 

As someone who has built a successful career in comedy, what’s one of the funniest or most fun memories you have from your career?

On the last day of the shoot on Wayne's World, Mike Myers and Dana Carvey were dead tired.  We were filming the scene where they watch the planes fly over the Pacer (which was really on a sound stage). They started ad-libbing and making up the funniest lines, like out of nowhere! They were laughing so hard, they could hardly speak. That was a precious, brilliant moment from two brilliant comedians. I will never forget it.

Where do you see your career going in the next 5 years?

Anna and I are preparing the release of The Decline series and until we get that done, I am putting everything else on hold. She is forcing me to do it and do it right. People really want to see them and I have been negligent in releasing as it has taken a while to recover from my mother’s passing, but we are on track to release them soon!

You’ve done several films about music. What drew you to that?

Music was my escape when I was a kid. After the carnival that my father owned, we grew up in trailer parks and were quite poor. We would collect bottles and scrape up enough money to go to the movies and buy a couple 45’s. Actually, just like today, music gets kids through a lot of hard times and identity crises. I recently got my California state license to be a foster parent and have had four pre-teen foster kids. I watch them use music and movies to make their lives better and remember doing the same when I was that age.


Director Penelope Spheeris on Family and Hollywood

Submitted by Womenworking on Fri, 08/15/2014 - 08:24

We recently interviewed Penelope Spheeris, director of Wayne's World and The Decline of Western Civilization, among other notable films. She shared with us some of her insights on family, the entertainment industry, and lessons she has taught her daighter.

Stay tuned for part two of the interview, which will be posted on Monday.

Was there anyone growing up who saw something in you that you didn’t see in yourself? 

Growing up my mother, Gypsy, would say, “Penelope, you’re too smart for your own good.”  It was delivered in a critical tone, so I assumed she thought I might become a criminal.  As time passed I realized she was referring to my analytical mind.  I am fortunate to have the ability to perceive and understand situations from a great many perspectives. This trait has been has been useful with my documentary films.   It helps me objective and hopefully unbiased.

Your father owned a circus—did that influence your desire to work in entertainment?

My father, Andrew, owned a carnival and I was raised with the traveling menagerie until I was almost seven.  When I directed my first narrative feature, Suburbia, I walked onto the set, looked down, saw all the cables, all the randomly parked trucks and I felt like I was right back on the carnival.  When The Decline of Western Civilization first showed at the Fairfax Theater in L.A., I was in the ticket box and flashed back to sitting on a shelf as a child watching my mother sell tickets to what the carnies referred to as the “local yokels.”  I have always been very comfortable with the “entertainment” aspect of filmmaking, but not so much with the business aspects.  Painful as it is, I’ve had to teach myself the business part and I think I am pretty good at it after all these years and get a great joy in advising up-and-coming directors.  My agent says, “Penelope, you are my only client who actually reads the contracts.” 

You worked as a waitress to put yourself through film school at UCLA. How did that experience influence you? What did you learn from it?

I lied when I got my first waitress job; I said I was 16, but I was 14.  After quite a few divorces, Gypsy was a single mom with four kids and needed some help, so I contributed my waitress wages to our family.  I worked as a waitress for ten years and met my daughter Anna’s father while working at IHOP on Sunset Blvd.  I was able to put myself through UCLA Film School with minimum wage and tips.  I realize that’s not possible today with the cost of college, but I did it back then. I worked till 2:00 a.m. then hitchhiked to UCLA by 8:00.
 
You have a daughter. How old is she? What have you tried to teach her about achieving her goals?

Anna is now 44 with three children. She is my business partner and my soul sister. I recently thought it would be fun to take an online I.Q. test.  I scored in the “very supreme intelligence” category, but Anna took the test and scored higher! Not only is she innately smart, but I have tried to teach her to trust her intuition, always listen first, deliver criticism gently and try to make the world a better place. She is an expert at managing our daily business from real estate to filmmaking and an amazing dog rescuer!


How to Act Powerfully

Submitted by Womenworking on Thu, 08/14/2014 - 08:37

When we use our power, we communicate confidently. And we inspire others beause we are honest and exhibit integrity. More specifically, let’s look at when we act powerfully and when we do not.

Acting powerfully

We’re able to understand what’s needed in a given situation and take appropriate actions.

We take into account the needs of other people, while also taking good care of our own.

We’re direct and assertive in communicating with others.

We dare to take risks because we know that’s how change happens.

Loss of Power

We react out of stress and regret our actions.

We don’t consider our own needs a priority.

We’re unable to communicate our needs and resent others who don’t take care of us.

We play it safe and rarely attempt to do things differently.

Adapted from Our Power as Women, by Helene Lerner. Conari Press.


How to Showcase Your Talents Starting Today

Submitted by Womenworking on Wed, 08/13/2014 - 08:41

Admit it. If you’re like most of us, you probably focus more on your weaknesses than what you do well.

If we have 100 interactions in a day and 98 of those go well, we often seem to have a tendency to fixate on the two that don’t. We ask how we could have done better. What should we do differently next time? How badly did those mess-ups hurt us?

In most cases, however, it’s likely that those small things you didn’t do well each day are not really that critical. In fact, they probably mean more to you than to the people around you. In most cases, other people may not even be aware that something went awry—unless you tell them.

That’s why it’s so important to focus on what you do well. Make a list of those things you’re good at. For example, this might be working effectively under tight deadlines, handling tough customer situations, or closing new customers.

Take a moment to appreciate the great work you do and how you add value to your organization. Just a quick “Hey, I did that well!” aside to yourself when completing a task is a great place to start.

Find places to showcase your strengths. Look for opportunities to take on new assignments in areas where you excel. Be sure to claim credit where credit is due.

One note. Sometimes there are things we do really well that we also really dislike doing. You might be a whiz at creating fantastic spreadsheets, but if you hate working with Excel, that’s not something you’ll want to be doing any more than absolutely necessary.

So look for those opportunities where your strengths intersect with your passions. Ideally, these will be in areas that your organization thinks are valuable, too.

At the end of each day, take a moment to reflect on what you did well that day. And give yourself a pat on the back for the great work. Focus on owning your strengths.

-Linda Popky, President, Leverage2Market Associates


Why You Need to Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask First

Submitted by Womenworking on Tue, 08/12/2014 - 08:27

As women, we are often so busy taking care of others that we forget to take the time to take care of ourselves. Between spouses/significant others, kids, and work commitments, life can be quite crazy.

However, it’s critical to our ongoing success that we take the time to help ourselves. If we are tired, stressed, and burnt out, we won’t be able to be effective in either our home or our professional lives.

Those annoying airline safety messages always tell us to put our own oxygen mask on first before helping others. Why? Because without enough oxygen we aren’t useful to ourselves or to anyone else.

So, given all that’s on your plate every single day, how can you ensure you get enough oxygen for yourself?

Try breaking this down into three categories: Daily, weekly and special occasions.

Start by putting together a list of the small daily things you need to do to take care of yourself. This could be a few minutes at the start of the day for yoga or meditation, a cup of coffee midday with a friend, or special time in the evening with a family member. Your goal is to schedule at least one of these activities into your day, every single day.

Second, look for the battery “rechargers” that help you gain the energy back you need to recharge at the end of a long, tough week. This might be a long bubble bath or a night out with friends. Schedule these so that you have at least one of these recharging experiences on your calendar every single week.

Third, plan the big getaways or events that really mean a lot to you. This might be a nice family vacation, or perhaps a getaway without the family. It might be a special event you’d like to attend, or a celebration with friends.  Pick a date, put this on your calendar for a definite time in the not-to—distant future, and let those around you know you’ve made the commitment to this event.

Now, here comes the hard part. When things get crazy, you’ll be tempted to cancel or postpone your “Me” time. Don’t do it! Consider these to be business appointments that would have a serious repercussion if you didn’t show up as planned. And that’s true in a way. The business benefiting here is you.

Take the time to take care of yourself. The renewed energy you’ll have will allow you to take care of others around you as well as yourself.

-Linda Popky, President, Leverage2Market Associates