My mom is in her nineties and she is constantly telling her friends to focus on what they can do; not to dwell on what they used to be able to do when they were younger. “That will get you depressed. Having a positive attitude is everything.”
It’s not easy getting old in our society. (That could be the subject of a whole other blog and is not the focus of this one.) What I really want to stress here today is the great lesson I have learned from my mom about having a positive attitude.
Mindset is everything when it comes to living a purposeful and fulfilling life. Mindset is everything when it comes to building a successful career. You can always look at the half empty glass and bemoan your lack of progress. You can always see a glass ceiling as a formidable barrier to your success. But none of those perceptions help you to move forward. Not only will they keep you stuck and frustrated, but can contribute to your unhappiness.
So it’s Mother’s Day and as I write this blog to honor my own mother and the best lesson she taught me, I want to use this opportunity as well to remind you that your mindset about your life and career shape your life and career. What you believe is what will happen!
Happy Mother’s Day!
This week’s topic is office romance. We spend most of our time at work so it’s natural to assume that we will meet someone that we want to date and have a relationship with. We will discuss the challenges of having an office romance and how best to navigate around this issue in the workplace.
Joining me is Dr. Lisa Mainiero. Lisa received her doctorate in organizational behavior from Yale University She is a sought-after lecturer and consultant, with appearances on Good Morning America, The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN’s Newsnight with Aaron Brown, and numerous other radio, television, and talk-show programs. Dr. Mainiero’s latest book, co-authored with Sherry E. Sullivan, The Opt-Out Revolt: Why People Are Leaving Companies to Create Kaleidoscope Careers describes contemporary trends in the career landscape for women and for men. Dr. Mainiero has published several articles on executive women’s careers, issues of power and politics, office romance, and crisis management, and is the author of Office Romance: Love, Power and Sex in the Workplace. She is a Full Professor of Management at the Charles F. Dolan School of Business at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut.
This week’s discussion is about how to balance the competing interests of a challenging career and personal life. Our feelings of happiness come from being successful in both, yet the stress from trying to manage the expectations and responsibilities can often be overwhelming.
My guest this week is Susan Smith Blakely. Susan knows what it takes to succeed in the practice of law. During her 25 years of experience she has viewed the legal profession from many perspectives—as a law firm associate, counsel and partner, and as a chief of staff to an elected official in the public sector. As the wife of a fellow litigator and the parent of two children, Ms. Blakely has first- hand knowledge of the difficult decisions women lawyers must make in terms of work and family life.
Ms. Blakely’s first book Best Friends at the Bar: What Women Need to Know about a Career in the Law, is the first true guide book for young women contemplating law school, young women law students and young women in their first years of law practice.
Her second book, Best Friends at the Bar: The New Balance for Today’s Woman Lawyer, digs deeper into the issues of work-life struggle and balance and proposes a new balance of work/self/home and family to attain the happiness and satisfaction that will keep young women in the law profession
Last Friday at the Bay Path Women’s Conference, I listened intently to Queen Latifah talk about her career and her bold move at 17 as a hip hop star to call herself “Queen Latifah”. She said Latifah was always her nickname, but putting “Queen” in front of it was certainly a bold statement, especially at such a young age. But she did it and the rest is history!
This made me think about the different bold moves I’ve made in my own life and career and specifically what has prompted me to step out of my comfort zone at times. I’ve always been a bit of a risk taker, but a risk taker in a very strategic way. Sure, sometimes I do things impulsively but for the most part I seek opportunities to move my career forward and evaluate those opportunities that present themselves to determine if they make sense for me and where I am in my career.
After having been with one company for 9 years and losing a promotion, I took a tremendous leap out of my comfort zone. I moved from the east coast to Chicago to run a national healthcare company. It was a huge step up to be a CEO and I could have easily talked myself out of it. “I’m not ready to do this.” “It’s scary to move away from my family and friends.” “I am afraid I’m not good enough.” I’m sure you’ve all had similar thoughts, but in the end despite my fear I was bold and made the move and I’m happy that I did. It was a turning point in my career.
Being bold can be different things to different people. In some cases, it’s taking on a new job, changing careers, leaving work to raise a family. In some cases it’s calling yourself “Queen”.
In the end, Queen Latifah said she was comfortable enough in her own skin to celebrate who she is, as she is and told the women in the audience to strive for the same.
“Be bold, be brave enough to be your true self,” she said.
What bold move have you done lately?
I finally hit a wall. I thought I was superwoman. I foolishly believed I had some kind of super power that would shield me from this flu bug that knocked everyone off their feet. But after weeks of traveling, speaking, a heightened workload, and moving, that nasty bug finally caught up with me and I’m flat out.
It made me think that I’ve always had this “superwoman” identity my whole career; thinking that there was nothing I couldn’t conquer if I set my intention to doing it. I was a single mom building a career with two young children trying to break through the glass ceiling in companies run and sometimes owned by men. Determined and passionate, I always had the energy to power through any obstacle…that is, until I periodically dropped of exhaustion.
I believe many of us suffer from this superwoman demon. We think we can do it all and we drive ourselves forward with great determination until we run out of fuel. Our bodies remind us time and time again that we are mere mortals and because of that, we need to take the time to take off our cape and take it easy. Why don’t we ever see the wall up ahead that we are certain to hit forcefully if we don’t put on the brakes?
I’m one of those people who believe that there is nothing that can’t be conquered with intention and passion. What happens in the process, however, is burn out.
Sticking to a good routine of a healthy diet, regular exercise, meditation and reflection (in my case journaling) helps all of us superwomen to avoid collisions with big brick walls.
Right now, I need to make some more tea and honey and nurse my wicked cold. It will take a few days before I can put my cape back on and conquer the world.
Can you relate to any of this? Do you qualify as a superwoman? Building a career? Raising children?
The way you are perceived in the workplace is critical for your career success. It’s important to project a competent and confident image if you want to advance your career. Sometimes, no matter how competent you are, you sabotage your efforts because you don’t understand the impact of your non verbal communication or body language.
My guest today is Sharon Sayler —– an internationally known communications trainer and the founder of Competitive Edge Communications.
Sharon Sayler is the founder of Competitive Edge Communications — a company devoted to teaching professionals how to become stronger, more influential leaders using critical verbal and nonverbal skills to accelerate their success. Sharon is the coauthor of Charisma: The Art of Relationships and a published author of three books. Her latest book released by John Wiley and Sons, What Your Body Says and How to Master the Message, has been published in six languages and is suggested reading in universities around the world.
If you are invested in your career and professional growth and are looking for advice on the best path to the top this show is a must! Joining me today is bestselling author and media executive Cathie Black, whose incredible career is a great role model for all of us. Cathie will offer her best advice to navigate the often challenging workplace and what she believes is necessary for women to achieve success in business today.
Cathie Black is a well-known media executive, best-selling author and now an advisor, board member and investor in digital start-ups and entrepreneurial companies. She was president, then chairman of Hearst Magazines, one of the world’s largest publishers of monthly magazines for 15 years, and oversaw such titles as Cosmopolitan, Food Network Magazine, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar, O, The Oprah Magazine, Town & Country and nearly 200 international editions. Called “the First Lady of Magazines”, Fortune Magazine and Forbes named Black to their annual “Most Powerful Women in Business” lists numerous times.
Cathie’s New York Times best-seller, translated into 12 languages, “Basic Black: The Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life)” offers invaluable lessons about the workplace with stories of working with media greats like Oprah Winfrey, Rupert Murdoch and Gloria Steinem.
She served on the boards of IBM and the Coca-Cola Company for 20 years, before becoming Chancellor of New York City Schools in 2010. She is a member of the National Council of Foreign Relations, a trustee of The University of Notre Dame and the Kent School. She currently serves on the boards of Vibrant Media and Zuse.
The focus of this show is the power of our mindset, our belief system and faith. How we think about our circumstances impacts the outcome. If we focus on the negative, we create and in fact, perpetuate our negative circumstances. However, when we believe in possibility and focus on what can go right in our lives, a powerful shift happens. This belief in alternative possibilities allows new realities to materialize. We are open to the possibility that our destiny can change and that miracles can happen.
Many of us are facing tremendous financial hardships. In response to these economic hardships, Marianne has written a new book, The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles. The Law of Divine Compensation is the power of our thoughts to attract or deflect miraculous breakthroughs in our lives.
Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed author and lecturer. Six of her ten published books have been New York Times bestsellers including A Return to Love, The Age of Miracles, Everyday Grace, A Woman’s Worth, Illuminata, Healing the Soul of America and The Gift of Change. Marianne has been a guest on Oprah, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, and Charlie Rose. In December 2006, A Newsweek magazine poll named Marianne one of the 50 most influential baby boomers.
I did a visualization exercise with one of my clients this week to help her shift from her practical and tactical mindset to a greater connection to her feelings and her heart. The result was that she was surprised how quickly she was able to view her life and business from a different perspective. In short, she realized that her attitude about work colored her experiences every day and that being more present and mindful of gratitude is a powerful way to approach her life.
This holiday season has been greatly affected by the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. I cannot even fathom the pain and grief of those families who lost their little ones. I grieve with them every day. But we can learn much from this tragedy that has nothing to do with gun control or mental illness. We can learn to appreciate our loved ones and our lives and focus on being present and living every day in gratitude.
Many of us understand the power of gratitude. Some of us have a daily practice of journaling and recording what we are grateful for in our lives. Many of us pay lip service to it, talk about how grateful we should be but don’t embrace it spiritually.
Now is the time for those of you who don’t have a daily practice of gratitude to change your focus. You subscribe to this blog because you want to be successful. Enough of the focus on what’s wrong! Shift to the emphasis on what’s right, what’s positive, the potential. This positivity fuels you to not only be present and loving, but to see your career through a different filter. There are always new lessons to learn from every work situation, good and bad. There are always ways to improve your skills and advancement potential. Be grateful for what talent you have. Learn from those around you and take the time to appreciate your life every day. That’s the best advice I can give anyone who wants to have a successful career.
Today we are going to talk about resilience and how important it is for us to be flexible and adapt to the changes we are presented in our personal and professional lives. Though we can be strategic about our careers, life always throws us some unexpected obstacles. Despite our best intentions and well thought out planning, we are often challenged to change direction and adopt a new course to move our careers and personal lives forward. How we face these unforeseen obstacles and how well we adapt will affect our success going forward.
Joining me is Susan Adams. Susan Adams combines her career passions for teaching, research, and consulting in her current position as Senior Director of Bentley University’s Center for Women and Business and Professor of Management. The Center is dedicated to supporting, retaining and promoting women in business by sharing solutions for advancing women’s careers. Susan publishes regularly in leading academic and practitioner outlets, focusing on professional advancement and organizational effectiveness. Her academic insights, shared in and out of classrooms of undergraduates, MBAs, PhDs and executives, are enhanced by her consulting work with over 100 corporate and executive clients. Susan has served on and chaired boards of companies and non-profit organizations. She is a former Chair of the Management Consulting and Careers Divisions of the Academy of Management and a member of the American Psychological Association and the Society of Human Resource Managers. She earned her PhD in management from Georgia Institute of Technology, MEd in mathematics from Georgia State University and BSEd in mathematics from the University of Georgia after attending the University of Hawaii. Susan is the proud mother of three and grandmother of two.