Where’s Your Value?

I was chatting with someone this week who has been in a work situation where she was not really appreciated or highly valued. This has resulted in little respect from senior management and compensation below the industry average.

What is remarkable about this person is that she refused to complain! Instead she took full responsibility for how others perceive her and she is taking action to make changes – one of which may be to move to a new firm.

She stood up to claim her value – a lesson we can each learn from.

Best regards,


Your Victory

I was on a teleconference last night and the final speaker suggested something very powerful. She told us to be wildly successful and happy and in doing so be an inspiration for other to do the same. Then teach them how.

Excellent food for thought – and action.

Have a great day,

Power and Influence

I chatted with a friend the other day. I couldn’t believe the positive change in him. Six months ago, he was going through a challenging time. He is clearly capable – well-educated and with considerable expertise. Yet even with his more than 20 years of work experience, he was floundering. The more we spoke, the more I sensed he was forcing himself into roles that sounded good, but were not a good fit for his style and personality. So whenever he interviewed for those jobs, he came across as inauthentic. I gently suggested this, but he bristled and told me I was wrong. Okay – at least I told him. He would have done the same for me.

So what changed in the last six months? My friend smiled and told me he had to be honest with himself and refuse to pretend to be what he was not and didn’t want to be. Once he did this (no easy feat), his interviews went much better and he received three offers.

His advice to me (and to anyone else who will listen): power and influence come from being yourself – if you have the courage to own it.

Have a great day,

Make the Time

I must admit that I almost never make the time to leave the office during the day to things like lunch. Yet today I met a friend for lunch and I am so glad I did. The meal was delicious and the conversation was even better. The person I met is one of those rare individuals with creativity, vast talent, and drive – AND a deep compassion to make each person around her feel special, valued, and appreciated.

What a wonderful way (for those of us in the U.S.) to kick off a three-day weekend.

Enjoy yourself,

Making the Best Choice

I have found that making the “best” choice is easier said than done. There are so many factors – from the risk involved to the joy it will bring to you and others. Sometimes, I feel torn between what I know is best for my life and advancement and putting other people’s interests first. Yet whenever I choose something out of fear or guilt, the outcome is never optimal.

What I have learned is to trust myself and be strong and confident in any decision – and not let others’ priorities eclipse my own. When I do this, I  have even more to share with those around me.

Have a great day,

The Mosaic Career

I was chatting with a very successful person yesterday. She would define success as financial strength and making the world a better place. I would give her a high score on both.

That said, her career has been anything but a straight line. She has a mosaic career – many different wonderful elements that together make something truly great. So how did she create such a cool career with jobs (all within her company) that go from business development to head of diversity to foundation board chairperson? I believe there are two key things: first, she took each job seriously and did her best and second, she accepted opportunities that made sense to her – even if they didn’t make sense to anyone else.

She is a person of vision, courage, and an absolutely commitment to contribution!

Have a great day,

The Power of the Big Dream

I was with a group of friends last night and we were talking about how our heart and determination can change everything. This kind of stuff is great in theory, but thanks to one friend we saw how one person put this concept into action. This friend shared the story of wanting his work to have a global impact, yet didn’t know where to start. A few days later, his company asked him to create a briefing for the CEO of his company to present at the White House. My friend did the best job of his life He prepared his CEO who influenced senior leadership at the White House and in the business community.

Sounds like having a global impact with one’s work to me. My friend’s success is a combination of vision, excellent skills, and guts.

Way to go, dear friend – you know who you are!

Have a great day,

Allowing versus Driving

Yesterday, I was asked to co-facilitate a discussion for a small group of friends. While the material was not incredibly difficult to understand, I struggled with the best way to create an environment where people in the room felt comfortable actually sharing their insights. Each time I thought I found the correct strategy, I hit an internal roadblock. I wanted to drive to a plan and an outcome, but it just wasn’t happening.

With no other course of action, I decided to do what I do best – write a set of questions and keep the presentation part to a minimum. I stopped driving and allowed the discussion to unfold.

Well, for those of you who know me – allowing is not my most comfortable thing. I did it anyway. In the end, we had a wonderful discussion. Nearly everyone in the room contributed to the conversation – and the feedback was terrific.

So allowing can and does work – take is from a control freak like me.

Have a wonderful Monday,

The Link to Success and Happiness

Today is the beginning of reunion weekend at Chicago Booth. There are people everywhere exploring deep impactful topics and reconnecting with old friends and classmates. As I watch individuals find each other in the hallways, learn what’s transpired since the last time, and see how little (and much) has changed, I realize (once again) how the people in our lives powerfully influence our success and happiness. So choose wisely who you include in your life and nurture those relationships – now and for a lifetime.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Bragging Rights

Yesterday, we had a going away party for one of my colleagues. It was a lively event, where nearly everything was purple (her favorite color) and we were all happy and sad at the same time.

Toward the end of the party, we played a “purple” trivia game. Well, trivia is not my strongest suit, but somehow I won. I was given chocolates (lovely) and a sign that says “Bragging Rights.” While I was happy to win, I began to think about what bragging rights truly are. For me, it’s clearly not about being a trivia champ.

So what does this mean for me – and where are your bragging rights found? A good question and the answer is located in the intersection of what you love to do and be and where you are brilliant. Go find it. I am.

Have a great Thursday,