Wendy Davis…a step in the right direction

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Why Are We Talking About Wendy Davis’s Choices?

This post on the NY Times website by KJ Dell’Antonia gets to the heart of why Wendy Davis’ story is good for all of us – it takes us one more step in the right direction.  The final stop should be a world where we can make career and life choices without judgement based on our gender, and that includes the judgment coming from the voices in our own heads which are often the loudest.

Regardless of politics – thank you Wendy Davis for being brave.

Wendy Davis

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Food for thought…

“Whether there are innately female leadership styles…is not really the right question. It is more important to ask why there has been so little attention paid to women leaders over the years as well as why the styles of leading more exhibited by women are particularly useful at this critical moment in history.”
– Charlotte Bunch

Coffee with a Toddler

For those of you who are in the throws of managing career and little ones… this is a post from my favorite blogger, Katrina Anne Willis. It’s a reminder of how fast time goes, savor it!

Katrina Anne Willis, Author

I got to have coffee with a toddler this morning.

Well, I had coffee and she, a juice box. My fabulous new friend, Michelle and I talked for two hours while her daughter calmly went about the business of coloring and nibbling on a blueberry muffin.

“Does the time really go that quickly?” Michelle asked. And because I am the mother of three teenagers and a tween, I said yes. Yes, it goes quickly. I don’t know if it’s because I still believe I’m 29 or if the years just speed by with no concern for our ability to keep pace. I’m so far out of the baby stage, though, that pieces of it already elude me.

I have to think hard to recall that all-encompassing, breathtaking, breathe-it-in baby love, the Johnson’s Baby Powder smells, The Desitin under my fingernails, the late night feedings, the sleepless rocking chair moments when…

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A Harvard Business Review Blog… food for thought

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A Harvard Business Review Blog… food for thought

When my son entered 1st grade in a new school, I was invited to a meet and greet with the teacher.  My assigned time slot was shared with another parent… who I came to learn later was an international attorney who specialized in Saudi Arabia.  After he asked question after question about the programs, the methodology of learning and much more that I tuned out, the teacher turned to me and asked if I had any questions.  Yes I did have one question, “Can you get my kid to second grade?”.

In our house I have a mantra – shoot for average, after that it’s all icing.  My husband isn’t fond of it… but I worry about the pressure on kids today to be ‘perfect’.  Well today, my coach who has been helping me establish my business on the East Coast, sent me this link to remind me to enjoy life just a bit more…in full disclosure, I needed that reminder, I have not been practicing what I preach lately.

To read click here and smell the roses!

 

What Does Jack Welch Know About Childcare? – A lot!

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Cover of "Winning"

Cover of Winning

Yes, I know I am probably years late in reading Jack Welch’s book Winning­­, but better late than never.  I am now a Jack Welch groupie – not only because his management advice is pragmatic (my middle name) but can be applied to making decisions throughout your life.

As I near the last pages of this book, Jack (remember, I am a first name kind of gal) admits he is not an authority on work-life balance.  In that very same paragraph he states “For forty-one years, my operating principle was work hard, play hard, and spend some time as a father.” I applaud him, not because he will ever get any father or husband of the year awards, but because he made a choice and he owns it.

Women and men I meet, so often leave the choices to circumstance rather than setting up their ‘operating principle’.   I have a workshop named (Life) Infrastructure 101…after reading this book I think Operating Principles for Work/Life would be a much better title.

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Simplicity

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English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto...

Today I visited a large appliance store looking at new appliances for our new house out east.  There were so many choices, two doors over one, two doors side by side, two doors side by side over drawers, and that was just the refrigerator.  As I left it began to rain and I remembered that I had wanted a built-in cappuccino maker – it’s always been my dream, the sign that I am truly spoiled.  And then I remembered my favorite cup of coffee. Continue reading

More on Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead

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Books Sheryl SandbergI know you must be sitting on the edge of your seat, so let’s dish more about Sheryl Sandberg’s highly criticized book Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead.  I wrote a brief post back on March 22 which highlighted points Ms. Sandburg discussed on a TED talk.  To recap, the main points were also in the book but let’s touch on them again.

Sit at the table:  this is my favorite one of Ms. Sandberg’s points.  This simply means that you should not stay invisible.  Speak up, ask questions, and share your ideas.  And on the occasions where this is done at a physical table, sit at the table and not at one of the chairs against the wall. I have been working with a client who treats herself as unworthy of “sitting at the table” even though on many occasions she is doing the presenting.   As we talk through her reasoning, it is plain and simple – she hasn’t given herself permission to be worthy.  Instead she has listened to the pessimism of all others who are too scared to sit at the table and over time she has let it apply to herself as well.  This person is well versed in her professional arena, has a great pedigree, amazing curiosity and a rare ability to openly welcome and hear everyone’s ideas.   Of course no one will tell her to sit at the table if they are too scared to do it themselves.  She simply needs to pull out a chair.

Make your partner a true partner:  Ok, this one is very hard for me to digest.  My husband recently told me about an interview where Michele Obama mistakenly referred to herself as a single mother and then stated that being married to the president is like being a single mother.  Duh! Gals, here’s the deal… IF you have a spouse and he happens to resemble June Cleaver that’s just great!  But for the remainder of us, creating your life infrastructure as if you were a single mother can be incredibly helpful and freeing.  We will talk about the critics who point to lack of money as a barrier to this below.  Continue reading

Working Mother Magazine – Guilty Secrets, Seriously??

I need a laugh today – you?  (We can get back to the serious subjects later)

I was recently scanning the www.workingmother.com and saw a piece called “10 Not-so-guilty little secrets”.    As I read through them I thought to myself, “guilty secrets??”.  Should I feel guilty about these things and did 10 women each have to contribute one secret to make a list of ten?  They could have just called me and I could have given them all ten, I bet I could easily come up with twenty – and I would have been proud of them.   Not feeling ‘guilty’ about these things or feeling the need to even hide them gives me a sense of freedom. It makes me a unique brand of mother, maybe a little crazy but absolutely me.  So here are my takes on their little secrets…

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Farewell Margaret Thatcher: One of the world’s most famous working mothers

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If you have looked at any paper today, you already know.  Margaret Thatcher passed away today at age eighty-seven.

1959, Mrs. Thatcher and her children

Years ago I was at a Christmas party at my department head’s home.  On the wall was a picture of him and Margaret Thatcher – of course I asked him about the picture.  This man who ran our department with the skills he learned in the armed services immediately softened up while he told me that she was the most ‘there’ person he had ever met, truly authentic.  This discussion happened in the mid ’90’s and the article below is from People magazine in 1980.  Imagine the changes in the workplace in those 15 years and the number of working mothers who returned.

She was an amazing woman all around – wife, mother and leader.   A pioneer.  She indicates her success comes from her upbringing, motherhood and being a woman.

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