Courage … in fancy high heeled shoes!

Image

We’re looking forward to co-hosting tonight’s #BEaLEADER Twitterchat as @PrPinkPonies/@PrettyPinkPro and our networks from Meetup.com, Etsy, USC et al…

As you may know, Pretty Pink Ponies has a successful and accomplished team of over 100 small local merchants with online shops.

Here’s our team description:

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Boyfriends w/ D1 backgrounds = better relationships (teams)

“How do you manage people who are better than you?”

There Is An I In Team: HBR Presentation w/ Mark De Rond and Angela Herrin
Marvel comics, team, Xmen

Marvel comics, team, Xmen

I listened to a recent web presentation provided by the Harvard Business Review titled, “There Is An I In Team”.

I’m fascinated by collaboration among team members as a result of having had a couple of long term boyfriends who played Division I sports (Hot!).

It made very little sense to me in college that men can experience anger and frustration with a teammate or rival, duke it out, then grab a beer and hang out as friends the following day.

They seemed to be able to separate their roles on their teams from who they are off the team. But, how?!?!?

These abilities — a) getting over setbacks and moving forward, and b) separating one’s role on and off his/her team — are paramount to one’s chances of success in large organizations (i.e. Professor Xavier’s school for the gifted, or if you prefer reality, large world class corporations).

Marvel comics, team, Xmen

The HBR presentation I mentioned  is one of the better studies on how the best teams function, what makes teams effective, and how to manage teams to accomplish wins. De Rond takes his observations of university rowing teams and boat races to examine coordination between team members.

One insightful observation De Rond discovered in the results of team surveys is that high performers typically underestimate their own teammates**. And, as we all have experienced, this makes high performers or those who are highly intelligent dismissive of others.

If this is true, what can we do to exploit the value high performers can provide while mitigating the risks these high performers’ behavioral tendencies often cause?

Surprisingly, the answer isn’t found by forcing all team members to get along. It turns out that expressing emotional experiences and venting to teammates create winning performance***.

While most of us define team harmony as an absence of competitiveness between members, this is only half of the story. Competition (“lack of harmony”) cannot truly be forced out of individuals because it is innate. If suppressed, competition resurfaces in more destructive forms under the radar of team leaders and creates more dysfunction than if they were acknowledged, accepted and resolved in a psychologically safe and moderated space.

My favorite take away from this presentation is this: 

Harmony cannot be forced in teams. Harmony is created naturally when teams experience wins and achieve great things through collaboration with one another.

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Titles & all of that ” ” … (introspection)

I’m often cut off mid-sentence and asked, “But..what do you wanna do?”.

Fair enough question.

(SPOILER: There are no images in this post)

I suppose operating from the gut can make sense to one’s self but not necessarily to others.

It isn’t as if I responsibly mapped out my professional trajectory like I was taught to do…Instead, I followed my heart (whatever that means) and learned important lessons along the way. But, that doesn’t help clarify things, does it?

Unfortunately, passion can lack the efficient jargon demanded by those who wish to make a quick assessment of another’s perceived added value.

How silly was I to add “passion” to the bulletpoints on my resume? The entire Dalek population would explode attempting to grasp this concept.

Passion is tough to quantify. Just ask any successful entrepreneur.

That said, using a wordcloud tool has failed to capture the essence of the value I can add to any organization – instinct, experience, heart, loyalty, intuition, perserverance, empathy, connection, et al…These terms are not trending on LinkedIn — Google alerts would’ve informed me, and I just checked.

So, since my unorthodox list of accomplishments are invisible to search engines (and, incomprehensible to Daleks), I decided to explicity define “success” for myself as a courtesy to my new friends and acquaintances.

Here is what my point B looks like:

*You’re having your A.M. coffee while reading about the biggest networking event of the year on a page in the WSJ.

(Blurb for one of many well-known international events)

The text reads:

Notable Speakers include:

Abby Joseph Cohen one of the most respected figures in investing circles and is the chief US investment strategist for Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief, Vogue

Carrie Fisher, Actress best known as Princess Leia

Meg Gomez, Makes handmade stationery & sells them on Etsy

Sarah Blakely, CEO & Founder, Spanx

Genevieve Bos, Founding Publisher, Pink Magazine

Sheila Kahanek, former Accountant, Enron.

*end scene

I hope that helped clarify some things for you.

Have a great weekend!!!

Best,

Meg

*end scene

 ;P
(SPOILER: To be continued…)

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

 

Great question. (via @RonaldSkelton) #Responsible #Consumerism

Look at the last thing you bought, what problem did it solve, what benefit did you buy?

— Ronald Skelton (@ronaldskelton) May 6, 2012

How much thought do we put into where we spend our time, energy and money? Do you consider how the product in your shopping basket got to your hand? How was it manufactured? Whose idea was it to create this? What was intended when the decision to produce the product was made?

Let us know — do you think it matters???

We encourage you to pause and think about what message you’re helping create each time you make a purchase or decision. What you buy makes a bigger statement than you think — it supports ideas, practices and institutions. Be smart. Choose wisely.

Thanks for stopping by.

All the best,

3P

 

Turn Enemies into Allies (#HBRchat)

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

more #HBRChats

Cool, Determined and Entrepreneurial: Etsy Community Strategist, Morgan Evans is awesome!

The Pink Ponies Etsy team is honored to have been invited to tonight’s Etsy dinner by Morgan Evans, Community Strategist for Etsy , the global online marketplace for handmade goods and antiques.

“Cool, Determined and Under 30” (via Inc. magazine)

Tonight we met inspiring local entrepreneurs who create and sell handmade goods via their online store on Etsy. These Los Angeles creatives utilize technology and the platform provided by Etsy to lead teams of like-minded sellers.

We don’t necessarily think about the handmade goods seller when the word “entrepreneur” is used, however, these small business owners aren’t sitting around bedazzling for nothing — they make it rain!

Stay tuned for more feedback and some background on the L.A. – based Etsy Entrepreneurs in an upcoming post!

3P

(Inc. mag article link)

Funny…

 

This will make you smarter > Defining “genius”. (Video)

I often revisit this conversation between Malcolm Gladwell and television journalist, Robert Krulwich where they discuss what defines a “genius”.

This conversation looks at the following topics and questions:

  • Is it “good” to segregate the superstars from the average stars?
  • What makes Tiger “Tiger Woods”?
  • What if it was a rule that we couldn’t ask one another from which university we graduated?
  • What is the “selection effect”?
  • Is our education system “…run like a modeling agency”?

(If you don’t have a flash player, please use this link to view the interview. Thanks for stopping by.)

3P

Mental toughness, courage, heart & other lessons from sports (#3PChat)

3P curates Jeff Rickard’s sportscaster voice…

We chatted tonight with Jeff Rickard (@RickardonSports) for tips and tools from the world of sports.

This is an ongoing discussion we encourage others to discuss. Here’s the link:

#3pcwin TweetChat at: http://tweetchat.com/room/3pcwin

 

Seize each opportunity!!

3P

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How to improve your A-Game (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar).

You were known as a focused player who wasn’t very personable. Did that hurt your career?

Well, it had a negative effect on how I was portrayed. But I had no one to explain the value of public relations to me. When I was in college, there was such an intense demand from the press that John Wooden said they couldn’t talk to me at all. So that was what I took for normal going into the NBA. Being at the top of my game and working as hard as I could for the people who employed me—that was my primary focus, and everything else was secondary. So I didn’t always respond to social situations in a pleasant way. When it came to talking to people, I was kind of reserved. But shyness is something you have to overcome. Later in my career, I started doing a lot better relating to fans and talking to the media. I think that’s continued to improve in my retirement.

Excellent interview with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Harvard Business Review. This interview highlights elements of success and transcends industries beyond sports. We continue to explore lessons from athletes on tonight’s #3PChat with @RickardonSports. Please follow and ask questions using “#3PCwin”. Thank you.

This interview discusses:

  • Why PR matters in addition to your team’s results.
  • What role managers play in development.
  • Being multi-dimensional
  • How to play with Magic.
  • How being described as “difficult” hurts your game.
  • Improvement in general.
  • Being accessible.
  • How to market and sell yourself.
  • Good-judgment.
  • Et cetera…

We highly recommend this interview with Kareem as he reflects on his trajectory as he evolved from a great player to a winning player on and off court:

Life’s Work: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – Harvard Business Review.

The Art of Being Well-dressed: Superfluous or Essential? Both.

Introduction

Some consider the art of dressing, fashion and styling as a superfluous use of one’s time and energy. They’re right. Fashion can be overthought and when combined with the forces of retail marketing, fashion can result in  addiction to consumption.

The Hollywood cliché of the teenage girl’s obsession with her image, shopping with her friends and becoming an over-accessorized one dimensional version of her true potential stems from a very real power fashion magazines, shows and other media have on our values. It can be a limiting existence to live life pursuing an impossible opportunity to become another Kardashian sister.

However, if taken seriously without being obsessively vain, the art of dressing becomes a tool for the sophisticated individual. Fashion – or, in the case of our topic, dressing – is akin to a product’s packaging in that it serves several important roles.

We liken the importance of dressing to the importance of a container; both are extensions of the product itself and both help create a product’s appeal, ensure its preservation, and operates as a means of communication between the brand and its target market.

 

Packaging 101

If you open most books about packaging, you’ll learn that an effective package provides a product with the following:

  1. Containment
  2. Protection
  3. Convenience
  4. Information
  5. Marketing

As a professional possessing valuable skills and talent to offer the world you, too, are a product that needs to be packaged appropriately to appeal to the audience you aim to reach.

Think about it. If a product’s packaging didn’t accurately reflect its contents, how would the buyer react upon discovering that the delicious marshmallows he brought home from the store were instead a package of raw tofu???

Being inappropriately ‘packaged’ will result in disappointments.

 

Proper Packaging: clothing that serves its purpose

So, how exactly do we package ourselves? Glad you asked.

Dressing up or down (or not at all) can be fun. However, when functioning in society, there are responsibilities we must honor before fulfilling our desire to amuse ourselves and do whatever we’d like without regard for rules.

Like a product’s container, our clothing must serve its primary functions before it acts as an extension of our individuality and brand’s message. Typography is useless on a box that doesn’t properly secure the eggs on its way to your kitchen from the grocery store.

In other words your clothes have responsibilites. Your clothing need to fulfill their responsibilities before they can scream, “Louis Vuitton!”.

As a courtesy, we’ve developed a guideline in the form of a checklist to make sure your outfit is at the very least serving its primary purpose.

Checklist: 

1. Containment – Does it sufficiently contain and cover its contents?

2. Protection – Is your outfit appropriate for the environment, weather, social context you’ll be wearing it to? (i.e. flip flops outdoors during a snowstorm, etc…)

3. Convenience – Does your clothing allow you to move comfortably and with ease? Does it fit you properly? Will you have difficulty performing at your optimum level in these clothes?

4. Information – What message does your clothing communicate to society as a whole?

5. Marketing – Are you wearing any symbols or styles that will connect with the specific group you wish to appeal to? Will your market be attracted to you given how you are presented?

(To be continued…)

Who are your heroes? (img)

We asked our readers to identify and share images of ‘heroes’ on our board, and the results were diverse..
Some shared images of fictional characters, while others posted images of pets.
In the end, we can certainly see how the shared images can serve as visual inspiration.

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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

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Career-Chic Sophisticate – A Visual Inspiration List…

Here’s a peak at some items on my list of my career style inspiration:
red tights with red pumps
classic trousers + blouse
nude nails
Black + grey pumps

What inspires your career wardrobe style?

For more images from my ever-growing list…visit PinkPoniesPins on Pinterest.

More on professional wear: Harper Bazaar’s How to Dress for Success article

Professional Baggage: A Pretty Pink Ponies Presentation (video)

My holiday wishlist this year : tools to increase productivity while organizing business files. Have you seen Clooney in Up In the Air?. *Hint: beautiful like Grace Kelly, but more utilitarian than a Navy Seal.


As you probably know, professional presentation is a priority for Pretty Pink Ponies. 
Professional presentation may seem like a bunch of fluff to some, but how you organize yourself and your business documents and tech tools reflects your ambition, success and how seriously you view yourself as a professional.
Obviously, a young woman who is well-groomed, well-mannered and polished non-verbally communicates that she’s on the ball and manages her life in an effective way. How you store your documents, gadgets and files reflects your ability to handle chaos and prioritize efficiently.
It’s not about being “pretty”, it’s more a matter of having an understanding that you’re a seasoned pro and not a naive rookie.
It has been studied and discussed ad nauseam that we are judged by how we are perceived. You might as well do what you can to ensure your image consistently reiterates your professionalism and effectiveness.
Hope you’re having a great weekend!
Meg
(featuring: Travelteq Trash leather bags, Travelteq iPad case, Travelteq notebooks, Kate Spade, Tory Burch laptop bag, Deisel briefcase, etc…)

Pretty Professional Pumps! (slideshow)

Are you in the market for a pair of everyday office shoes?

For the smart, professional, chic woman who can’t live life without style, below are examples of office-appropriate footwear to inspire confidence as you march into the boardroom to present your brilliant ideas to colleagues.  (No one will know the secret to your spectacular presentation!) Go get ’em!

https://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf

Here are some other things to keep in mind when shopping for shoes:

Shoe anatomy
How to wear tall boots without looking (post-Halloween)
The rest of your wardrobe: The Fundamentals – “Closet Essentials” post

They Laughed At My Site, But When I Started to Write…

…it was well received by people smarter than they…

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


From: Forbes
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2011 08:05:36 -0400
To: prettypinkponies
ReplyTo: Forbes
Subject: Your comment was called out

Forbes   Called-Out Comment Alert


Your comment was called out!

On this post: Managing The Psychological Bias Against Creativity

 If the major deterrent to accepting “creative thinking” in the workplace is low tolerance for uncertainty, I would surmise that highly-regulated and high-risk industries have don’t evolve as quickly as others due to lack of innovation (“creativity”). Do you have any thoughts about the relationship between  regulation and innovation? Thank you for posting this article. Much appreciated. 3P


You received this email because you chose to receive alerts on Called-Out comments.

What I did to stay on point for today’s interview…

You know how champion athletes train extensively to
prepare for a competition?  Well,
that’s sorta how I prep for an interview. 
I
try to get in my “flow”.
Why do I think I’m qualified to provide you with
interview pointers?  Here’s some background:


I’ve been working since I was 15 ½ (Gold’s Gym was my
first gig), and I’ve experienced answering controversial questions confidently
with a big smile wearing a bikini and five-inch pumps on stage with girls who
are prettier, taller more “dazzling” than me, et cetera…and I’ve scored better
than they did in interviews. I landed my internship with a cold call. Between
my part-time jobs, volunteer jobs, and full-time work, I’ve probably been
interviewed and sized up by at least 25 hiring managers (and actual judges).
I
can honestly say I’m comfortable during interviews.
While the interview isn’t my weak spot, I’m aware I’ll
be speaking with big-boys (and big-girls) in first-rate companies.  These
companies are not “Mickey-Mouse” organizations; they demand a certain level of
professionalism and respect. If the person you’re interviewing with also
screens executive candidates, then they’re probably pretty good at judging
character. So, don’t B.S. them. A hiring manager isn’t going to be forgiving if
I’m less than par because I said “sorry” in a sweet voice.  These are
professionals with a job to do and my job is to make their job easier by being
prepared, honest and cooperative (unless I don’t want the job).
So,
I bring it.
If you’re a true pro, you understand what’s expected.
At the bare minimum, you must do your homework.
There’s
no such thing as being too prepared – only un
prepared.
Besides, I owe it to myself to behave like a high-level
professional and not like a rookie because that’s who I am. Also, recruiters
and managers are less forgiving about my small mistakes because I have years of
experience and they expect me to know better. And, they’re right!  Step up
or get off the plate!
How:
What’s your homework? An understanding of the
organization, its history, values and culture. And, more importantly, an
understanding of the job you’re being considered for. You might think this is
inconsequential because you’ll be learning about the company from the
recruiter, but trust me, they notice and they appreciate someone who takes
initiative. Not only that, but jumping into an organization without
understanding what the culture is like is just plain silly. 
If
your values don’t align with the people you work with, you’ll never advance in
the long run at that place.
I do my research on the person with whom I’m
interviewing as well as the company itself. I also have a checklist that I
complete before the actual interview. Within this checklist is a rating system
to gauge how much I truly want the job with the company.
This
is a two-way street afterall, and I’m interviewing companies just as much as
they’re interviewing me.
I have tons of experience and a lot of talent to offer,
and I’m not willing to settle for a something that is not a good fit. Also,
there’s no way I can single-handedly change the culture of an organization to
suit my style no matter how much passion or tenacity or drive I possess. 
I
know my weaknesses.
Knowing that a good fit is vital to my career
trajectory in the long-run, I have to first understand what I want from an
employer then be honest about whether they are willing to and have the ability
to provide these things for me. 
Keep
in mind: this is a negotiation.
If I accept the job, I’m making a commitment to do my
absolute best to provide the company with as much value as I can in the manner
by which I’m able and within the context of my formal role. By accepting a job
offer,
I’m
obligated to do what’s expected.
Not the very minimum.  Not what I can get away
with. I’m in it all the way. It’s a big deal and a formal commitment. And,
because I take what they asked of me seriously, I expect their investment in me
as well. I call this, “healthy relationship”. This reminds me of what my friend
tells his three-year old when she doesn’t want to do something she’s supposed
to,
“You
wanna be a big girl?  Then, act like a big girl.”
Mind you, I’m not always a big girl. Sometimes I get
lazy. Other times I’m tired, or immature. I find it tough to be on point 24/7. 
I like being goofy at times. And, I appreciate the different roles I have in
life. However, when the situation calls for it, I come through. I have to. Not
behaving like a ‘big girl’ during situations that call for maturity and
commitment cause major problems.  Stay on point.

(BTW, I got a second call back and booked a second
interview immediately after the first interview today.  The proof is in
the pudding. =) 

Interview Suit (image)

Interview Suit

simple.  classic.  no loud jewelry.  don’t forget your stockings.

Interview Suit by prettypinkponies featuring mary jane high heels

Closet Essentials – Part II. Checklist (images)

 Checklist/tools: 
(retail and corporations refer to this as “business casual”) shirt, casual bottoms, flats, bag
“Business Casual”:
What a ‘worker’ wears in an office setting and other professional environments – vs. workers at a construction site – when formality isn’t required etc..
1.  basic white button up + closed toe pumps 2.  the sheath dress 3.  khakis + dark closed-to pumps 4. blouse + pencil skirt 5. separates  6. basic white shirt + solid black A-Line skirt
Your boss might appreciate your new Bottega Veneta bag, however, he/she cares more about how well you do your job and whether or not you can identify and respect office culture.  While some might have the luxury of expressing their unique individuality (including taking their pets to the office) at their workplace, many people start at an entry-level position in a large, secure company for health benefits, a steady stream of income, mobility and other smart reasons.  I can’t speak for all offices around the world, however, there’s a universal guideline to what is considered an “appropriate” and professional wardrobe.  Again, it would be prudent to start with basics and observe your particular company and office culture and deviate from the basics once you’ve learned what is ‘acceptable’ at your particular office.  Once you’ve got the basics down and earned a stripe or two, then perhaps you can add some “flair”.  When you’re at the top, you can wear and make people wear whatever you want.

Here are some common sense considerations that A LOT of professionals are too smart/busy/ lazy to think about:
  • fit, proportion, fabric, color(s)
  • clean?
  • stains?
  • wrinkled?
  • distracting?
  • comfortable?
  • appropriate undergarments?
represent your maturity, respect and professionalism at the office.  dressing like like you know your industry will set the tone for yourself as well as those around you.  carpe diem!
(to be continued…)
“Closet Essentials” Series:  Intro > Part. I checklist > Part II. / checklist > Part III. / checklist