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You may be asking yourself: What is executive presence? Typically, this is how we describe someone who has it – she sets a vision and inspires action; she’s comfortable in her skin; she is aware of what others in the organization think and feel; she has the ability to be direct in a nonconfrontational way; she has grace under pressure.
Would you like to have colleagues and clients say these things about you? It’s about more than just the clothes you wear, the words you speak, or how you think. It requires alignment between your mind, body, and words. Your executive presence is an interconnected system of your beliefs and assumptions, your communication skills, and your physical energy.
“Own The Room: Discover Your Signature Voice to Master Your Leadership Presence” is a new book from the Harvard Business Review Press. The authors, Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins, share that no matter what level you’re at in an organization, you can own the room by demonstrating your authentic value and connecting to others in a positive way.
This is a message we can get behind. Women at all levels need to step up and claim their power.
“What could you achieve if you were more courageous?”
That’s the question asked by Margie Warrell, author of the recently released book, Stop Playing Safe: Rethink Risk. Unlock the Power of Courage. Achieve Outstanding Success. In her book, she shares powerful tools and techniques for helping women overcome fear and achieve greater success and fulfillment. Here are a few good points that Margie makes about effective communication:
Excerpted with permission of the publisher, Wiley, Stop Playing Safe: Rethink Risk. Unlock the Power of Courage. Achieve Outstanding Success by Margie Warrell. Copyright (c) 2013 by Margie Warrell Global Pty Ltd.
The best musical I have seen in years. If you are in New York City, get tickets. I would get tickets now because the show opens tonight--it's bound to be a success.
Here's the story:
"Charlie Price (Tony nominee Stark Sands) has suddenly inherited his father’s shoe factory, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. Trying to live up to his father’s legacy and save his family business, Charlie finds inspiration in the form of Lola (Billy Porter). A fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos, Lola turns out to be the one person who can help Charlie become the man he’s meant to be. As they work to turn the factory around, this unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible… and discovers that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world."
The book is by Harvey Fierstein, the music and lyrics are by Cyndi Lauper. The cast is amazing, the sets are great. The choreography and direction are marvelous. Need I say more...
You might have heard about the new book by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, titled, Lean In.
Whenever women encourage each other to step up their game I am on board. And we can support each other to do that.Yes, the cultures of companies need to change – to support equality for both genders. But we all need to take a look at our past conditioning and become aware of the erroneous messages that may be there that we've bought into. Once we do, we can take on new beliefs about ourselves that enable us to speak up on important issues and change the conversation when necessary.
Chapter titles from the book include "Success and Likeability," "Make Your Partner A Real Partner," "The Myth of Doing It All," and "Working Together Toward Equality."
You may also want to read about the nonprofit inspired by Sheryl's book, www.LeanIn.org. The site is both a community for women to come together and share their stories and a library of free online lectures to help women increase their leadership potential.
With passion, wisdom, and authenticity, composer, author, and singer David Friedman performed last night at 54 Below to an audience that only wanted more of what he had to offer. His cabaret show, "Songs that Wrote Me," was a look into David's evolution as a soulful man through the music that "created him."
He started the show with "Rich, Famous, and Powerful," a song that expressed his desire to have fame and fortune – thinking that by achieving those things, he would be fulfilled. Through the next hour, we learn it wasn't the case. "Happiness comes from inside," David shared, and "the way to have what you want is to let go." When he was able to do that, surprisingly, he became more prosperous. However, this time there was a foundation for his success, he had uncovered his spiritual self.
David sang some of my favorites like, "Listen to My Heart," "We Live on Borrowed Time," and "We Can Be Kind."
This talented man has had a diverse career as a conductor of Broadway shows, to writing songs for Disney movies, and this year, he contributed songs to "Scandalous", a musical that had a run on Broadway. He is also author of "The Thought Exchange," a profound book that teaches us to go within for the answers to the challenges we face in life.
David is the best and if he brings back his cabaret show, do make sure you see it!
Each year the big screens are flooded with images of women and girls as love-struck teens and dysfunctional adults. 2012 brought us something different – something refreshing. Strong women starred in many of the most successful films of the year. Let’s look back at some of 2012’s heroines who defied the stereotypes associated with women and girls.
The Hunger Games. Adapted from the young adult novel by Suzanne Collins, “The Hunger Games” stars 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen as the main protagonist. She is a skilled hunter and born survivor, escaping death multiple times and surviving until the end of the Games. The film is one of a handful of films to feature a female action star, and Jennifer Lawrence, the actress who played Katniss, was nominated for the “Favorite Face of Heroism” award at the People’s Choice Awards and “Best Hero” at the MTV Movie Awards. Look for Katniss to return in the sequel, “Catching Fire,” in theaters November 2013.
Brave. Perhaps the most iconic redhead of the year, Merida is a young princess who covets her own independence. When three men arrive to battle for her hand in marriage, she enters herself into the contest with the hopes of winning, and choosing her own fate. By the end of the film, she rescues her family and kingdom from an evil spell. “Brave” is the first movie from Disney Pixar to feature a strong female lead.
Snow White and the Huntsman. With all of the behind-the-scenes drama aside, “Snow White and the Huntsman” is a much edgier version of the childhood tale we all know. Snow White, played by Kristin Stewart, awakens from the Queen’s spell, infiltrates her majesty’s castle, and kills her in the end. There is no singing with wholesome woodland creatures, instead the film explores the challenges Snow White must overcome challenges to regain her freedom.
Just saw the show. I think it is running for another two weeks on Broadway. Mark Rylance was extraordinary! I haven't seen this type of creative work in years. By the way, he won the Tony for best actor this year. Definitely worth seeing him in this role.
I saw a preview tonight of Sister Act, and it was alot of fun!
There was dancing, singing, a great deal of "bling" in the form of costume ornaments. The leads Patina Miller and Victoria Clark were terrific.
We all know the story and frankly I wasn't sure how it would compare to the movie--I really enjoyed both. I did miss fabulous songs, however, the spectacle was worth seeing.
Whoopi Goldberg was involved in presenting the show. And I could sense her humor throughout. I was laughing quite a bit.
The audience loved it and so did I. In my book it is a must see if you're looking to enjoy yourself and have a fun night out.
Whoopi...thank you for bringing it to Broadway.
This show is fun with a great cast, dance numbers and witty songs. I really was pleasantly surprised--for this reviewer, Catch Me If You Can is a hit. Features a Tony Award-winning dream team with a book by Terrence McNally and a score by the composers of Hairspray. There's great choreography and direction as well. The audience loved it when I was there.
The play is about the astonishing true story of Frank Abagnale, Jr., a world-class con artist who passed himself off as a doctor, lawyer, and jet pilot--all before the age of 21. Frank finds out what happens when love catches up to a man on the run. There may have been one or two songs that could be eliminated, but that's my only criticism.
Opening night is tonight. If you are in New York and want to take in a show--this one is among the ones to see.
The renovated Radio City Music Hall was filled with Irish men and women last night as they listened to the voice of angels. I was there in the front row.
The spectacle was amazing, and there were old favorites like "Oh Danny Boy" to new and contemporary ballads. Their charm, grace, and melodic sounds were in great contrast to the boisterous crowds on the streets of New York City yesterday.
The vocalists Lisa Kelly, Chloe Agnew, and newest member Lisa Lambe--sang from their hearts, as member Mairead Nesbitt danced up a storm--she reminded me of Tinkerbell in Peter Pan, prancing around the stage playing her violin.
The musicians were amazing too--and the light show kept you engulfed. If the tour comes to your city, I would pick up tickets for the family.
Photo Credit: Agatha Stoinska
Yesterday: just a just a normal Tuesday afternoon, when my husband calls to say he'd been offered two free tickets to Lady Gaga at Madison Square Garden. I was thrilled, but also felt a little unprepared. Sure, I dance to Gaga's music in the safety of my own home, but my knowledge of the meat-dress-wearing singer is limited. Was the hype real? And more importantly, what would I wear?
It didn't matter. People of all colors, shapes and nationalities were in attendance. In our row alone sat three preppy girls from Paris and a guy/girl team sporting a green mohawk and hot pink bustier, respectively. Gaga kept the little monsters (her endearing term for fans) waiting and waiting until we could do nothing but stomp and yell. Finally, at about 9:40pm the shoulder pads appeared as a black silouette through a screen. I was already impressed with the visual display and art direction; the videos in particular, which played along to thumping dance music during wardrobe changes, were spectacular.
The most surprising thing for me was Gaga's knack for the yack. "I used to live 20 blocks from here...you made me brave, little monsters," she said passionately during one of her monologues. "...and New York made me brave." Lady Gaga flaunted her New York roots and gave the city props for her success.
Some of the images later in the show included lots of fake blood, bondage clothing and religious symbols. My husband said it felt like we were at some bizarre Broadway show.
At one point she spoke vehemently about the need to be true to ourselves, no matter what people say. To a screaming crowd, she said: "I don't lip-synch... especially not with Liza watching." Liza Minelli, Marisa Tomei and Paul McCartney were in the audience.
Gaga has a lot of involvement with the LGBT community. She called out a purple unicorn outfit in the front row, and then made a phone call to a fan who had generously donated to her LGBT youth fund, to thank him personally.
I can see why Lady Gaga has so many loyal fans, and I'm becoming one of them. It's not just her cutting edge music and style, it's her total confidence in everything she does! I so admire that!
-Lilly LeClair, Editor
There are few great ladies of the theatre and screen, and at Saturday night’s preview of The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, I saw one of them.
Olympia Dukakis is truly a majestic presence. The play is a haunting Tennessee Williams drama, and as Flora Goforth, she plays a wealthy American widow. In her Italian mountaintop home, Flora has detached from the world to write her memoirs. When a handsome young visitor arrives without warning to be with Flora in her final hours, the play becomes a fascinating meditation about life and death.
The cast is excellent, and the direction is powerful. It is a definite must-see.
I waited after the show to say hello to Olympia. She had given me a quote for one of my books. A warm and gracious professional greeted me with appreciation for my kind words about her wonderful performance.
The show officially opened last night in New York City.
I just came back from a special screening of "Love and Other Drugs" which will be in theatres on Nov. 24.
Anne Hathaway plays Maggie, an alluring free spirit who won't let anyone tie her down. She's met her match in Jamie, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, whose charm and drive to succeed as a pharmaceutical rep is top of his list. Like "Love Story" a decade plus earlier, the relationship between the characters evolve. Anne has Parkinson's Disease and Jake is faced with making some tough choices.
The two actors are wonderful, and I must confess I did shed a tear or two. The script is witty in spots, but it doesn't hold together. This is not a must see, but I did enjoy it. After the screening director Ed Zwick and Screenwriter Charles Randolph talked with us.
I always love to hear, first hand, how a film is made. I asked Ed how he worked with Anne and Jake to develop the chemistry we saw on screen. He said that the three of them sat around together in his office for two weeks sharing important moments from their lives, and watching movies.
To read our review from Morning Glory, click here!
We get invited to many film screenings - some relevant to Womenworking.com, others not so much - but Morning Glory is a movie that epitomizes today’s working woman trying to manage a challenging career.
Rachel McAdams plays Jersey girl Becky Fuller, who has been let go from her producer job at a local station. Becky eventually gets her big break when New York’s 4th ranked morning show "Day Break" hires her. She makes a quick jump over to NYC, and soon we see her rushing unrealistically to work wearing Christian Louboutin pumps.
Hard-working Becky reunites with Family Stone co-star Diane Keaton who gives her an icy welcome: "You will fail like everyone else," she says, referring to the 14 producers before her. During the first morning meeting, it looks like Becky’s about to choke, but she makes a verbal comeback, firing the male anchor for bringing morale down. Now we know she isn't just any ordinary producer, and Becky earns instant respect from the staff.
Jeff Goldblum plays a great boss and gives Becky the impossible: "Whatever it takes, just get the ratings up". So Becky negotiates her way through the nitty gritty of a backstage studio, charming us with her adorably clumsy ways, and eventually landing the affections of Yale-educated boy upstairs Patrick Wilson. She even predictably topples Harrison Ford's tough news-focused character, who refuses to say the word "fluffy" on-air.
When the show is under threat of being canceled, Becky makes drastic changes, which comicly lead to Diane Keaton's character rapping with 50 Cent; meanwhile weatherman Ernie takes the grunt of the youth spectacle with one segment getting over 80,000 hits on YouTube.
There’s too much of Becky running around NYC in heels, and the post-coital walk across the bridge is all very Devil Wears Prada-esque, but Morning Glory, which opens nationwide tomorrow, is pure entertainment that left me feeling totally inspired. I thought about it during my entire run, er, walk home in flats.
-Lilly LeClair, Editor
To read our review from The Social Network, click here!
Unless you’ve been hiding under a big rock for the past seven years, you’ve heard about the world’s most popular social networking site, Facebook. And unless you’ve been living under a slightly smaller rock, then you’ve probably heard of the new movie The Social Network, which is a ‘fictionalized’ film following the creation of the worldwide phenomenon that is Facebook.
Womenworking.com was invited to an advanced screening of the film today. Helene watched with her 20 year old son, Heath. So here’s our review hot off the press!
Directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin, whose works include A Few Good Men and NBC’s The West Wing, the movie is a brilliant, fast-paced, entertainment flick. Actor Jesse Eisenberg plays founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard computer geek, who at the ripe age of 19 created a version of the idea to get back at a female friend. Of course, the rest is history. He is now a multi-billionaire with a net worth said to be $6.9 billion. Zuckerberg was later accused of stealing the idea from some college acquaintances, leading to the marketing punchline – “You don’t get to 500 million friends, without making a few enemies.” And Mark paid a hefty settlement out of court!
The acting, direction and screenplay are superb. The movie is fast-paced - you never get bored. Justin Timberlake plays Napster’s founder Sean Parker and does a good job of it.
We all know that social media is changing the world. Today, we can choose to become connected to as many people as we want to. But the question is, at what price? Can our internet connections replace face-time? We think not, what do you think?
The Social Network opens next Friday at theaters nationwide. It’s a must see!
Ellen Galinsky is a pioneer--she is the founder and is still at the helm of Families and Work Institute. Her new book, MIND IN THE MAKING is about the seven essential skills that every child needs: focus and self control, perspective, communicating, making connections, critical thinking, taking on challenges, self-directed,engaged learning. Good information and insights into the science of early learning.
Although the acting was good, the story and direction weren't strong.
Where are the good movies? There doesn't seem to be many of them at this time.
I saw James Cameron's new film today...it is amazing and a must-see. It's spiritual, imaginative, and has a powerful message. And when was the last time you've been to a three hour movie?
Last night I saw The Blind Side. The theme that ran through the movie was LOVE. Sandra Bullock gave a good performance. Tears came to my eyes several times. The movie left me with a good feeling--we need more movies like that.
My sister and I went to a special screening of the movie Amelia tonight. I love the spirit of Amelia..she was a woman who was fiercely determinated to take risks and be independent. However, the production was very predictable. Although I like Hilary Swank and Richard Gere their performances were just adequate--the direction seem to resemble scenes from Out of Africa...all and all it was slow moving, and lacked imagination. I think I would have liked to have seen more documentary footage instead...in fact, a new documentary about Amelia might have been more interesting. It was great to be with my sister Beth though!