Harvard Business Review discusses: Work Addiction (#HBRChat)

HBR Exchange@HBRexchange

@prettypinkpro @4KM @padma8376 @sanchezjb We’ve quoted you on our  Highlights page – thanks for joining in! s.hbr.org/MNHjdX

[<a href=”http://storify.com/hbrexchange/hbrchat-overcome-your-work-addiction&#8221; target=”_blank”>View the story “HBRchat: Overcome Your Work Addiction” on Storify</a>]

 

Deets:

HBR Twitter chats: #HBRchat

Host: @HBRexchange

 

Networking: What you need in addition to your designer purse…(hint: make up)

If you follow LinkedIn and/or collect great apps, you’re probably already using your iPhone to *automatically* capture + digitize + connect to the professionals whose business cards used fill your handbag like a struggling restaurant’s attempt to market itself by strategically placing a “win-a-free-lunch” entry box on its counter…

Never heard of it (CardMunch)? Here’s some backstory:

LinkedIn acquired the company last year and it’s the only iPhone app I’ve ever recommended to friends — so far.

I. What’s great about CardMunch:

1. It helps connect with acquaintances immediately without having to manually enter and sort through piles of business cards; (hours and hours saved!)

2. It automatically (if given permission) sends a LinkedIn invite to said acquaintance.

3. Sync…

II. Instructions for the new user: 

STEP 1. SNAP* A PIC OF CARD.

STEP 2. RID YOUR NEW 😉  BOTTEGA VENETA (<<< See what I did there? I look forward to my new purse, BV! 😉 OF CLUTTER TO MAKE ROOM for essentials like — the new BOBBI BROWN Spring kit (<<< Hi, Bobbi Brown *winks. See how clever I was there?!).

 

Step 3. Randomly choose a card from the pile you’re about to toss and take the winner to lunch!

Anyhoo, below are links I’ve included in case you wanna get geeky about CardMunch… Also below are links to my current Bottega Veneta & Bobbi Brown wish lists (Hello?!?! Your appearance and style are valuable networking tools! Didn’t you read our previous posts?!?). Xo!

Best,

Meg + 3P

As promised…Links:

What LinkedIn loves about it…

How it works…

Bottega Veneta – A beautiful leather case — my iPhone deserves it!

Bobbi B.  – Foundation stick shade range: 3.5 > 4.5

Add some spring to your step … in fancy shoes! (img) #3PCstyle

How’s your style? Will it help you reach success? (#3PCstyle)

#3PCstyle details: https://myprettypinkponies.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/3pcstyle.pdf

Join our Twittter/Pinterest conversation with Fashion Designer, Lando Ortega tonight at 6:30 (PT).

Lando provides us with his expert opinion on the following:

  • Does fashion or style matter? Why/Why not?
  • What kind of impact does styling and fashion have on women?
  • How do we dress for who we really are (vs. who we wish to be) – body type, fit, style, fabric, drape…?
Please feel free to interject with follow up questions and thoughts after our guest has responded to the current question. Thank you!!!
3P
New to Twitter chat??? Start here! (Guidelines on participating on Twitter chats)
Resources:
Edith Head's How to Dress for Success
Sasha Charnin Morrison's Secrets of Stylists: An Insider's Guide To Styling The Stars

Turn Enemies into Allies (#HBRchat)

[View the story “#HBRchat Topic, April 26: Turn Your Enemies into Allies” on Storify]

more #HBRChats

How to effectively communicate with ANYONE…(guide)

I receive applicable and straightforward career advice by listening to the Manager Tools, LLC podcast.

One of the topics I found most useful is what hosts, Mark and Mike, refer to as “behavioral diversity”. In simple terms, behavioral diversity refers to the concept that our tendencies are some combination of four broad categories represented by the letters D,I,S & C in the DiSC model.

I won’t go into DiSC theory here as it is lengthy and there are better resources of information for this behavior identification model. You also have to take a test to better understand your own behavioral profile.

That said, if you’re already somewhat familiar with DiSC, the outline we provide in this post (below) of the basic behavior types may serve as a useful communication reference guide.

As Mark often says (via Drucker, perhaps), “communication is what the listener does”.

BeEffectiveWithDISC

Cheers!

Meg & the Ponies

Please note: the DiSC information was published and is owned by
© 2012 Manager Tools, LLC. All rights reserved

Women and authentic leadership (by @RHRIntlLLP/ RHR International)

The piece attached in this post was produced by RHR International (@RHRIntlLLP), an organization dedicated to improving the performance of individuals, teams and business organizations.

We find the study to be unique in that RHR uses quantitative research and analysis to better understand how internal experiences are demonstrated in outward the leadership behavior of women in executive levels.

“We explored the internal psychological processes and resources of women leaders – “their inside,”
and how that interacts with “the outside” to create the experience of being a woman leader.”

Link to the article: Executive-Women-Leadership

Women In Business (Infographic)

Women In Business (Infographic)

Women In Business (Infographic)

Courtesy of MBA Online Program.com

Continue reading

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You + Social Media = Career Advancement??? (#HBRChat Transcript)

 

What role does Social Media play in career advancement?

Harvard Business Review’s weekly chat discusses the topic with us…

Continue reading

From Blogger to Intern: Lucy’s fashion internship at NorthSix… (magazine)

Read about a fashion blogger’s internship at a major Fashion Production Agency in
Glossy Magazine Issue 7…

http://static.issuu.com/webembed/viewers/style1/v2/IssuuReader.swf

More Glossy…

Harvard Business Review asks us: Is Multi-tasking Good?


[&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href=”http://storify.com/hbrexchange/hbrchat-is-multitasking-good&#8221; target=”_blank”&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;View the story “HBRchat: Is Multitasking Good?” on Storify&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;]

Pink Ponies Pins! (Pinterest)

vs.

Let’s play dress up on Pinterest!!!
Pink

Ponies
Pins

Closet Essentials – Intro. + links

Our closets reflect our identity, our desired identity and the rites of passage we’ve crossed.  They know who we truly are, who we’ve been, and who we desire to become.  Looking in a person’s closet can tell a lot about how much a person has grown and how they’ve developed in a span of time.




With that in mind, our closets often times store items we no longer need, items others will benefit more from, yet lack essential items of dress which are essential to our current lives…

There have been many theories on “what every girl’s closet should have”…from Rachel Zoe, to Nina Garcia. 

The series of posts in this category, “fashion – closet essentials” will help identify what items of wear are essential based on Maslow’s theory of basic human needs (please google this if unfamiliar).  Read on.





“Closet Essentials” Series:  Intro > Part. I checklist > Part II. / checklist > Part III. / checklist








“Closet Essentials” Series:  Intro > Part. I checklist > Part II. / checklist > Part III. / checklist

Youth In The Office – Called out comment (Forbes.com) repost

Forbes   Called-Out Comment Alert

The article:


“I’m 24. I live in New York City. I hate my job. Of course, I’m not supposed to say that. I’m supposed to feel accomplished to be young and employed and have benefits in this economic environment.


My life is a series of boxes on an assembly line. Today is just another box on my calendar. Every day I shuffle between a city apartment and an office cube, typing into rectangles, sending papers, signing papers, filing papers. What I do is not important. That’s the problem….”



Our response:

 Dear youth in the office: I, too, belong in this group. And, I, too, have felt your frustration. I’ve held various occupations since I was 16, and I’ve pushed paper in Dilbert’s office. I struggle between not feeling on track to achieve my full potential and a reality check. If I may make a suggestion that would provide you with a fresh set of eyes, it would be this: …
Sit in a “real” diner. One that Jonathan Gold would never been interested in visiting. Perhaps one in a struggling small town. Take a seat, look into the kitchen and observe the hourly workers prepare your meal.
Breathing in fumes and lard day after day in hairnets covered in grease…Then observe them when they clean up at the end of the day. Rinsing the kitchen mats, rinsing other people’s food off dishes, mopping the floor (I used to whine about this). Then reflect on your perspective again. Passion about one’s work often comes from being proud of the job you’ve done no matter what type of work you do. Pride in one’s work brings the “joy” you described. Enjoyment in one’s work comes with the sense of ownership you get when you give even the smallest paper-pushing task your absolute best effort while biting your tongue. It comes from feeling like you’ve grown and have crossed a rite of passage. All those people at the top whom I admire and strive to emulate have had to “do the dishes” at some point in their lives. It’s a prerequisite and a rite of passage for anyone on the path to achievement. Best of luck to you. Onward!


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Your comment was called out!


On this post: Youth In The Office: Confessions Of A Fed-Up Employee



Prof. Growth: Handling tricky work situations (# LadderChatter transcript)

LadderChatter (#ladderchatter) is a weekly Twitter chat with Jodi Glickman about how to succeed in your job and ways to improve your job performance and / or position yourself to move up to more responsibility.







This week, we (@PrettyPinkPro) participated in the chat about handling tricky work situations by painfully looking at our mistakes and the valuable lessons we learned from them. The chat was moderated by career experts, @EmilyBennington & @greatonthejob.

Transcript from the Dec. 13, 2011 #LadderChatter below:

http://www.scribd.com/embeds/75758233/content?start_page=1&view_mode=list&access_key=key-x4o3uipyfhcyx6gicfi

#LadderChatter on Twitter _ All Tweets _ 2011-12-14 _ Tweet Reports

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Dear Twitter…I can’t quit you…(book review)

I recently read the book, Twitterville (2009, Shel Israel), before I committed my time on Twitter.com.

I wanted an understanding of Twitter’s history and main purpose.

What was most interesting was Israel’s belief that Twitter can be an effective tool for creating authentic “communities” of like-minded individuals providing access to others who share your passions, interests and fears eliminating geography as an impediment to making “real” connections.
While I’m excited to experience that it is possible to create a sense of authentic community online,  I notice that Twitter is also flooded with wanna-be “Social Media Experts”, “Social Media Entrepreneurs”, and various permutations of ‘bots and wanna-be marketing gurus whose contributions are not their original thoughts, but scheduled tweets of redundant thoughts with links to their sites and ads.
The result? Worthless connections with bots and phony Twitter accounts (pgs. 241-250, Twitterville).

<enter hashtags: (#Twitter, #prettypinkponies, #SEO, #marketing, #relationships, #Twitterville, #books)

Am I guilty of promoting our site via Twitter? Yes. However, I’m genuinely interested in understanding  the people behind the #hashtags. I aim to provide information I find useful and I’m not selling anything.

(warning: tangent)
*I spend a lot of time with my Twitter friends (…so much so, that my non-Twitter friends have slowly begun to resent me). I’m not bragging and I’m not necessarily proud of this. This is just how things happen to have panned out naturally.*
Anyway, while it’s pretty awesome that one can find worthwhile discussions, support, knowledge and expert opinions on Twitter, it’s not as easy as scheduling Tweets. You’ve gotta put in the time, and you’ve gotta sit through discouraging lag where you don’t connect with others for a while.
Most people become frustrated with Twitter because they don’t see the results they want overnight. They don’t understand Twitter’s non “SEO” value and buy into Klout score, numbers, “points” and computer-based algorithms that make their existence on Twitter more about marketing analytics than actually building relationships.
I’ve observed that Twitter users who truly connect are those who put themselves on the line and risk being wrong, disliked or unpopular out of loyalty for their authentic individual brands.
The others, the “so-called” digital marketers, redundantly post about digital marketing ad nauseam (yawn) and are ineffective in keeping followers engaged. The experience of building a genuine community on Twitter with relevant people (vs. buying friends) is a worthwhile lesson in patience, relationship-building, community contribution (and, naturally, social media’s version of marketing). Relationships with clients, peers, professionals, etc… aren’t built on superficial involvement via auto-tweets. The connection people want are similar to what offline relationships require – engagement and reciprocation.
People want to experience interaction with you.

The most valuable and interesting take-away from the book is Twitter’s unique ability to create success for its most generous contributors.
My point? Twitter is a great tool to connect and build solid networks that require more than tweets as the relationships develop. However, Twitter is also littered with thousands of shell accounts and calculated SEO atuo-tweets that require time to filter through.
As in most relationships, if you have the time to sit through the boring part and filter out the irrelevant individuals without content, you can make the ROI on your time spent on Twitter more than worthwhile.
Thanks for reading (and, thanks for connecting on Twitter, Facebook, our site, or in spirit).
Cheers,
(#Twitter, #prettypinkponies, #SEO, #marketing, #relationships, #Twitterville, #books)
“Twitter is over capacity” error image

Gmail ninja: Productivity Tools (.pdf guide)

Earn your blackbelt in GMail efficiency! Below is a printable guide to help you master your email efficiency skills (by GMail)…

http://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/untrusted_dlcp/www.google.com/en/us/mail/help/gmail_tips.pdf
Send an email to info@myprettypinkponies.com if you’d like the .pdf version


in case you didn’t know…


our [evolving] mission

Being a girl in this city (L.A.) and “making it” as a professional while keeping up with fashion, friends, family, style, relationships, fitness, reading and everything else is nearly impossible.  We could always benefit from more support from our friends, families, network and other resources within our reach.  



It’s our mission to provide readers insight by posting about lessons we’ve learned and the lessons we continue to learn.



The content we post is for anyone who could use some food for thought especially the young woman “standing in brand new designer shoes” weary to step forward.  We hope you’ll find value in stories shared by others who were in similar shoes…as pretty as the pair on your very own feet.  Walking tall and pretty in high-heels after stumbling isn’t easy.  It helps to know others who have been there, recovered and what they do keep “balanced” in their tall heels.

Thanks for visiting and we encourage your feedback and comments on how you manage to balance your life during your trajectory to success.  Take a nice deep breath.  Then, put your best foot forward and make big strides!!!  

Yours,


Pretty Pink Ponies (“3P”)


VOTE! (Click on link below)

Hello friends!

Please vote for the image Pretty Pink Ponies submitted to the “Out of Office” Photo competition by clicking the link below.

Thank you very much!

VOTE!

Hobbies that keep you relevant (images)


Embrace the robocalypse!
While you may not associate the activities below with traditional business-folk-type of activities (read:  Jack Welch doesn’t “do” web design), there are important correlations between the skills in employees employers find valuable and these not-so-typical hobbies…



1.Web Design: What competitive company doesn’t have or want an amazing website?  Online sites are the medium of communication of the future  yesterday. 
2.Blogging and Journaling: Aside from the obvious health benefits of writing in a journal (stress reducer), writing and blogging only helps improve your writing and thinking.  If you recognize the importance  of being an effective communicator and having “voice flexibility” (business format, web format, stage format, et cetera…), you would certainly find writing exercises one way to help with this…how do I know?  From my own improvement:  I already write better now than I did at 4:45am today.
3.Reading:  Specifically, our blog… (Do I need to justify this?)


essie@myprettypinkponies.com





LinkedIn Discussion: Mentors, Sponsorships, and Obsessing about the Glass Ceiling (.pdf; links)


I’m spending a lot of my time volunteering and connecting with people on LinkedIn and other websites.  I find this a rewarding use of my recent free-time (despite the extra weight I’ve gained).  Below is a recent discussion with a fellow Dress For Success volunteer on the DFS LinkedIn Group about women and mentorship.  If you have any insight, please do share.  


Thank you for visiting our blog.


3P



DFS Group-member’s response to Forbes.com article:


Corporate America only “pays” for those that have positions that are at a higher level, which to me, seems terribly unfair. We all contribute to the company’s success and since we are the right hand to the Sr. Executive that is creating the decisions, we should absolutely be mentored and have that person guide us in either how we can help them in a better way and ourselves for the future in that company. 

I CAN say I have had one or two wonderful bosses that have taken the time to mentor me the best they can, in the time small period alloted and I have asked them to. But it was not a initiative. So, I ask anyone and everyone that I work with, “What is it that I can do better, what have they done in their careers to get them where they are, etc.”

So, I would like to know how different a sponsor would be , as these people also advocated for me? Thanks so much! 



Our response to fellow DFS member:


Hi –
  I’ll look for the recent study published regarding the effects of sponsorships vs. mentorships in a professional woman’s trajectory and send it to you (or post it).**
  Unfortunately, whether anyone “pays” to facilitate these relationships or not, it’s really up to ourselves to create opportunities and become visible to the organization in which we belong.
  I, personally, have had professional mentors in my industry which happened “organically”, as well as limited experience in a mentorship formally arranged by my previous firm.  
  Obviously, there are many factors and variables that would affect the outcome of each relationship.  To me, a professional “mentor” or confidante or even an inspiring leader to observe is better than none at all.  My experience suggests that genuine bonds easily form when there is natural curiosity by the mentee, natural leadership abilities in the mentor and some common ground and chemistry between the two.  Surprisingly, some inspiration have come from those in leadership positions with whom I had very limited interaction – they led via behavior and motivation.  And, their work and character are obvious when observing their behavior and interactions with others over a long span of time.  I’ve gotten close to a few senior level professionals my industry by virtue of having worked in the same field and city for ten years.  These are informal “mentors” on whom I can rely to serve as ‘soundingboards’ for myself when I have specific questions, and they have consistently provided me with honest and good advice.  
  As with any relationship, a lot of it is trial and error.  I’ve been disappointed, betrayed and let down by professionals I’ve trusted.  No one goes to work to make ‘friends’.  
  The key is to cultivate and care for these relationships as they are precious [I still struggle with effectively demonstrating this].  It’s quite generous for others to take time to provide you with insight it has taken them years of experience to acquire.  Their time shouldn’t be taken lightly.  Furthermore, it helps when you’re naturally inquisitive about the person as opposed to framing the question as a request for specific steps to take to reach the top.  I find there is no answer to the question, “how can I reach the stars?”.  To each their own.  However, regular conversations with a trust professional in your field (not working in your office, preferably) can provide you with an extra set of eyes to your specific situation, thus allowing you to have a wider perspective before making big career decisions.
  I’m naturally curious about people.  I love reading biographies.  And, I’m the same when I meet people who I find fascinating – whether their “higher up the chain” or nowhere near a chain.


I read an excellent quote yesterday paraphrasing Cornell West’s comment.  I like it because it reminds me not to lose sight of the bigger things in life and who besides ourselves to consider:


Stop obsessing over only the glass ceiling & remember people in the basement & on the seventh floor.
(- Cornell West)

Catalyst Study Shows Sponsorship is Key to Women’s Success

NEW YORK (August 17, 2011)—For women especially, it takes more than meeting expectations to get noticed in today’s workplace. Female employees who work hard and play by the rules are often overlooked when it comes to plum assignments and big promotions. According to Sponsoring Women to Success, the latest in Catalyst’s groundbreaking series of reports on women and sponsorship, effective sponsorship is critical to accelerating a woman’s career—from getting her noticed by senior-level executives to being considered for her company’s top jobs.
Key findings of this report include:
Sponsorship matters, especially to women. “Good sponsors can supercharge a woman’s career by providing her with access to essential networks, bringing her achievements to the attention of senior-level executives, and recommending her for key assignments,” said Ilene H. Lang, President & CEO of Catalyst. “Effective sponsors also provide career coaching and guidance that enable protégés to make broader and more strategic contributions to their organizations.”
Previous research shows that women can be penalized for exhibiting self-promoting behavior considered acceptable in men but unappealing in women. Because good sponsors recognize and reward talented employees by speaking up on their behalf, sponsorship can help high-performing female employees subvert this double bind.
Sponsorship benefits sponsors, protégés and organizations. A protégé’s career is clearly enhanced by a good relationship with a sponsor. But sponsors benefit too—by establishing reputations as discerning leaders invested in talent sustainability, as powerful contributors to their organization’s success, by learning from employees at every level, and gaining leadership skills that can further enhance their own careers. Sponsors also reported a sense of satisfaction from actively supporting the careers of their most promising employees. Sponsorship benefits companies by creating more effective and committed teams and fostering a “pay it forward” mentality that makes employees feel valued and supported.
Senior-level executives must recognize sponsorship as a necessary component of good leadership. Executives should understand what good sponsorship entails and how to use their influence to advance high-performing employees’ careers, be vocal advocates for their protégés, and build a foundation of support that will ensure their protégés’ continued success in the organization. Executives can become sponsors by paying attention to high-performing employees at all levels of an organization, including those who may often go unnoticed.
There is no “silver bullet” for attracting the attention of a high-level sponsor. Sponsoring Women to Success reveals that sponsorship is earned. To attract sponsors, employees need to make their skills, strengths, and work known to colleagues as well as senior leaders. They must build reputations as flexible, collegial professionals who are consistently committed to their own career development.
Smart companies create environments where sponsorship thrives. Companies must explicitly and transparently communicate an expectation of sponsorship to their executives. “At Catalyst, we believe that sponsorship is something good leaders do,” noted Ms. Lang. “Companies that educate their employees about sponsorship, link it to talent management systems, and make it a hallmark of organizational strategy will reap tremendous rewards.”
Successful sponsorship is a win/win/win. Everyone wins when employees make their talents visible to executives, when executives truly invest in high-performing talent, and when companies foster an expectation and an environment in which sponsorship can flourish:
  • High-performing employees, particularly women, gain critical, career-accelerating experiences and advancement opportunities.
  • Sponsors receive valuable feedback from protégés and build reputational capital as leaders committed to building a robust pipeline of talent.
  • Organizations increase employee engagement, retention, talent development and the strength of the talent pipeline.
A companion tool to this report, Fostering Sponsorship Success Among High Performers and Leaders, offers additional information on how high-performing employees can attract sponsorship, and how senior leaders can become effective sponsors.
American Express Company and Deloitte LLP were the Executive Circle Sponsors of Sponsoring Women to Success.
ABOUT CATALYST
Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit membership organization expanding opportunities for women and business. With offices in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and more than 400 preeminent corporations as members, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work. Catalyst annually honors exemplary organizational initiatives that promote women’s advancement with the Catalyst Award.”

Additional References & Resources:
Link to:  Do You Have A Mentor/Sponsor? discussion on Linked In.
Link to:  Forbes article
Link to:  Catalyst published study:  effects of mentorship vs. sponsorship **
Link to:  Resources for Leadership article
Link to:  Center for Creative Leadership 


source:  http://www.catalyst.org/press-release/190/catalyst-study-shows-sponsorship-is-key-to-womens-success

Put your best foot forward…make big strides!


our [evolving] mission

Being a girl in this city (L.A.) and “making it” as a professional while keeping up with fashion, friends, family, style, relationships, fitness, reading and everything else is nearly impossible.  We could always benefit from more support from our friends, families, network and other resources within our reach.  


It’s our mission to provide readers insight by posting about lessons we’ve learned and the lessons we continue to learn.


The content we post is for anyone who could use some food for thought especially the young woman “standing in brand new designer shoes” weary to step forward.  We hope you’ll find value in stories shared by others who were in similar shoes…as pretty as the pair on your very own feet.  Walking tall and pretty in high-heels after stumbling isn’t easy.  It helps to know others who have been there, recovered and what they do keep “balanced” in their tall heels.

Thanks for visiting and we encourage your feedback and comments on how you manage to balance your life during your trajectory to success.  Take a nice deep breath.  Then, put your best foot forward and make big strides!!!  

Yours,


Pretty Pink Ponies (“3P”)




Do you make a great first impression?


(Note:  If you are not interested in being likeable, please stop reading)

Forget about eye-contact and firm handshakes, here are three ways to make a lasting impression…

related articles:
10 ways to make more time for yourself” by chronicbabe.com
“Nice girl = Bad Networker” (Thanks to Connected Life)

Ideas to help you plan during challenging times…

Below is an article written by fellow 85Broads member, Christina McEntee.



The post provides a list of the dos and don’ts of Strategic Planning for organizations.  Christina’s suggestions help organizations remain effective during a challenging economy and operating with less resources.


I think these pointers are just as relevant for the individual facing challenges.  Would you apply ‘strategic planning’ to achieve your personal goals?


Strategic Planning In Challenging Times

September 15 2011





STRATEGIC PLANNING: Some Dos and Don’ts to Consider When Charting a Course to a Successful Future
Many organizations today understand that with the challenges faced in today’s economy, it is essential that they take a hard look at who they are, what’s important to them, and how they are going to move forward successfully with smaller staffs, fewer resources. They know they need to make some changes, but the task seems daunting. A well-mapped out Strategic Planning engagement can be enormously productive in helping an organization adapt and move forward.  
Considering a Strategic Planning meeting? The following are some insights into the process, which I hope you will find useful. 

1. DO Engage in Regular Strategic Planning. The world is changing so fast that strategies for success that made sense even a year ago may no longer hold true. Re-visiting and clarifying the organization’s mission, values, goals, and strategies on a regular basis helps to create a strong framework that will allow the organization to be flexible and effective in dealing with change.  (create a plan!)
2. DO Hire Professional Help.  Without an outside coach or facilitator, most groups get sidetracked or bogged down, and waste a lot of time. An outside professional has the ability to stimulate the group to get out of their usual ways of doing things, seeing things, and interacting with each other. And they will push the group to stay focused and complete its agenda. (ask for help or find resources to help you)

3. DON’T Expect To Coast Through It. An effective Strategic Planning meeting takes commitment and hard work. It will likely include pre-work, and often some carefully chosen reading assignments. The meeting itself may span several hours — or days. And once all this is done, the real work begins: holding oneself and others accountable to move forward with the actions committed to.  (be realistic with results and the amount of work…)

4. DO Expect That Sparks Will Fly. Tempers may flair, tears may be shed. Again, a skilled facilitator or coach will help the group navigate through the heated emotions and channel that passion into breakthrough creative thinking and action.   (prepare for heated disagreements and focus on your goals)

5. DON’T Be Surprised When Resistance Appears. As much as people clamor for things to change, most of the time we hope that the results can be different butwithout us having to be different. An important step in the process of redefining strategy and goals may be gaining awareness of our own resistance to changing how we do things.  

6. DO Notice How the Cream Rises to the Top. It becomes clear very quickly that there are those who just like to hear themselves talk — and those who are willing to take action. The structure and clarity of this kind of work empowers individual performers, which benefits the entire organization.  

7. DO Include Everyone. While the leadership of an organization may be most involved in determining the Strategic Plan, for this plan to actually work all levels of the organization must be engaged and included. People support what they help to create. 

8. DON’T Neglect to Celebrate. Planning and execution are hard work — especially if your goal is to take the organization down a new path. Take time out to celebrate your early wins!   (Acknowledge your small accomplishments – they are important)

9. DO create goals that you can measure. How long will it take? What resources are needed? What is the desired outcome?  What gets measured gets done. (Quantify)

10. DON’T Stop Now. Become a Culture of Constant Improvement. Strategic Planning allows us to respond actively to the question: How can we be better at what we do? As innovation is stimulated, the organization becomes more attractive to all its constituents — staff, members, clients, shareholders. (Kaizen)


Thank you, Christina!!!

Christina McEntee has worked with individuals and companies in the U.S., Europe, and the Far East. She has a background in leadership, sales management, and strategic planning, and has held the position of President and CEO, and VP of Sales of a NASDAQ-traded company. Today, Christina advises individual professionals as well as businesses and non-profit organizations on issues of strategy, sales, and individual performance.


How to be unemployed…


Being in-between jobs is no reason to sit around and take a metaphorical vacation from being a professional.

I see this downtime as opportunity to create a plan that will prepare me for upcoming interviews and other opportunities.



Being in the workforce (vs. school) puts us at a disadvantage against the young ‘uns looking for jobs.  They’ve been learning and absorbing like sponges in a sea of university resources and a nurturing environment.

The workforce fills a lot of our time with games of politicking, gossiping, birthday cake celebrations, and other daily motions of demonstrating we “fit in” with our colleagues (aka “small talk”). Not to be minimized, these are essential in any organization to assist in building rapport between individuals.  Not doing so only makes one seem aloof and, eventually, not part of the “team”.

However, this leaves little time stay up-to-minute with technological updates, intellectual stimulation and challenges, current events, personal growth, introspection, et cetera…

That said, when your only team is “Team ‘I'”, you can choose to develop the aspects of yourself you deem important and valuable (as opposed to developing aspects of yourself valuable to someone else).

For me, I’ll use my “mandatory vacation” to develop parts of my brain that suffered from atrophy the last couple of years.

SHORT-TERM GOALS:

1. Learn fundamentals of UX (User Experience)

I’m continuing to learn more and more about developing my blog and web page out of necessity. “User Experience” (in the context I find relevant to my professional goals) is what the 70’s referred to as “customer service” (aka CX “customer experience). 

That is the consideration of what a client (customer/user/visitor/audience) experiences during the purchase of goods and/or services. This will be a fundamental ingredient in sales spanning across all industries. If UX is akin to “customer service”, then it is vital for every business person to understand the magnitude of its value. Or, at the very least, its role in business.


(Customer Experience Awards brief)


2.  Recover and reflect

All ego aside, when no one’s watching, I think it’s important to reflect on our experiences when we’re no longer viewing the situation “from inside of the box”.

I’m always looking for opportunities to learn about myself and develop, and one of the best ways to understand “blindspots” or areas of growth is by taking note of others’ feedback.

It isn’t always comfortable to hear people’s criticism, especially when the critic isn’t someone you respect or if the delivery seems more insulting than constructive.

But this is one of those things in life that truly helps with personal development. Reflecting on others’ negative feedback (especially feedback and conflicts that continue to come up) can be viewed like free coaching sessions.  Feedback helps identify where there’s a disconnect between your intentions and how those intentions are being perceived by others.

It takes a lot of humility and maturity to be able to accept that others may be on to something especially when it isn’t the most flattering opinion of you.  However, if you can accept the less flattering parts of yourself – even before committing to any steps to improve — you’re already a lot further along than where you were before you became aware of that which you were too afraid to admit about yourself.

3. Add some poetry (or fiction) in my life

I’ve been reading so many business-related and reference books, I’ve forgotten what it’s like to get lost in a good story (novels). I have a stack of good books waiting to be read and critical thinking waiting to be had. Finally finishing Neal Stephenson’s “Diamond Age” and/or any of the William Gibson novels will hopefully inspire thought that has nothing to do numbers and statistics.

4. Physical exercise (and yoga!)

(Hopefully, this doesn’t need to be justified)

5. Identify the “color of my parachute” 

In other words, reassess my life goals and values and determine whether or not they’re consistent with my professional trajectory. In an ideal world, I’d evaluate and re-evaluate my goals at least monthly to keep myself on track. However, during stressful and busy weeks of full-time work, this important goal gets brushed aside and seems more insignificant than it truly is.


Aligning one’s work with one’s values (aka “not losing one’s soul”) is more important than maximizing one’s 401(k) contributions.  I hope to get and keep some perspective.

6. Real quality time with family and friends

I’m sorry to admit that I’m not the best at this. Being obsessed with efficiency and networking and other career mumbo-jumbo caused me to lose sight of what’s truly valuable to me – people. I hope to connect and catch up with my friends and spend quality time with every one of them the real way: face-to-face and with undivided attention.

I suppose this list will continue to evolve once I have a better understanding of what my options are and how long I’ll be on “vacation”.
If you have any experience with how you used your in-between-jobs time to enhance your life and increase your competitive advantage, please do share.
Write soon.  Thanks for reading.

Staying relevant…

I think it’s important to continue to develop oneself to remain relevant.

Blogging and keeping up-to-date with the evolution of technology is one place I focus continued learning and development.
I’ve created another blog that highlights the knowledge I gather about how to create an online presence through the creation of sites, blogs, and exchanging helpful resources and ideas with your online community.

Here are examples of topics I highlight in my blog:

If this is information you also find relevant, please feel free to read the links I’ve highlighted in my blog.
Hope this helps.
Meg@myprettypinkponies.com

Are you smokin’??

Lifescript.com’s tips to help you stop smoking : < click to access article

RESOURCES:
National Cancer Institute
http://smokefree.gov/
Tobacco Information and Prevention Source (TIPS)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/index.htm
United States Department of Health and Human Services
1-800 Quit-Now
http://1800quitnow.cancer.gov/

Are you "web savvy"?

to our gen-x readers:  you follow blogs…you have a facebook page…heck, you even text instead of making phone calls…so, do you consider yourself “web-savvy”?

With the increasing popularity of generating buzz about oneself on the web, many web users and marketing-zealous individuals have posted all sorts of personal information, thoughts and other information that they wouldn’t necessarily want the universe to see.

I get goosebumps thinking about how mortifying it was to be the last to hear that I had sent an accidental social-media invitation to my bosses and their bosses’ bosses by being “trigger-happy” with the ‘send’ button…This is one of many many accidents that can occur when registering on sites.  And, while it has taken me a while to learn that everything written online is not only “written in ink”, but “etched in stone and stored forever”, I’m now more careful (perhaps not prudent enough) with what I post and what information I send on the web.

While we don’t have time to do extensive online researches of our names, companies and brands, one quick way to manage your reputation online is by signing up to get notifications when your name(s) – and any permutations thereof – are published online.

Google offers this service for free, and it takes less than 5 minutes to set up alerts if you already have a Google account.  


Here’s how:

  1. visit https://www.google.com/dashboard/
  2. Scroll down to the “Me on the Web” section
  3. Select “Set up search alerts for your data.”
  4. Select relevant boxes
  5. Add variations of your name(s) (i.e. “prettypinkponies”; “myprettypinkponies”; “pink ponies blog”; etc…


    xo,


    meg@myprettypinkponies.com

    Project Management (link)

    It’s Fall, and if you’re a student, this week is about meeting recruiters on campus to receive free pens and passively listen to them pitch their company.

     Those of you entering Project Management, below is a link to by Donna Fitzgerald’s recent article with some pointers.

    Article:  Advice for women entering project management

    Best of luck on your connections and interviews.

    3P

    Maxim for Mavericks

    The Maverick – A poem by Kent Healy

    Beyond the constraints of a monotonous environment
    Emerges a free mind choosing empowerment
    Remaining free in spirit and in mind
    The Maverick breaks through the tiresome conventional bind
    Without regard to the status quo
    There is much more out there, that they know
    Always searching and thinking too
    Never taking “no” for an answer, only “yes” will do
    They inspire, create, invent, and explore
    Allowing those around them to grow, know, and experience more
    Their insatiable curiosity and compassion for life
    Drives them to seek ways to eradicate strife
    With a passion to serve
    They help others create the life they deserve
    And although nothing is certain, they will take a chance
    The Maverick never ceases to ask the hand of opportunity for a dance
    They blaze their own path pushing aside the imitations
    Helping themselves and others exceed their own expectations
    “You can’t do that,” they are told
    But they always step forward, acting bold
    They break the conformist mold and risk looking like a fool
    But in the process they become the exception to the rule
    The Maverick will not stop
    Refusing to give up until they’re at the top
    They define success and what it means to live
    By accepting nothing less than the best they can give
    They step up to the challenge and never abandon the cause
    Helping humanity advance past its flaws
    Because they think they can, the Maverick always will
    They understand and use the power of free will

    By Kent Healy

    © Copyright 2011

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