We Ponder: What Shoes Would A Very Hip Etiquette Expert Wear??? (Images)

@prettypinkpro What kind of heels would you recommend
to a hip etiquette expert?
(Asked by @etiquetteexpertJacqueline Whitmore) Continue reading

Retrospectives: Gen.Y Rants on Relationships… (no pictures)

Let me be the first to tell you that I’m far from perfect. (This is an understatement)

I’ve screwed up simple situations that most of you would’ve probably handled with more maturity, tact and foresight.  

*enter growing pains + embarrassing realizations

I take time to wax introspective on my behavior, my thinking, my values, et cetera…to understand how I managed to make silly mistakes that my friends claim they wouldn’t have made. I mull this over until I’m satisfied and have come to grips with how I screwed up or inadvertently created a negative impression on others. (Please don’t ask why I spend too much time reflecting)

That being said, I’m certain all failing results I’ve been part of aren’t always caused primarily by my deficiencies. Deciding whom to blame is not a productive activity; it’s a waste of time.

OBJECTIVE:
However, I’m hoping my insight and reflection will provide perspective that will help others who like to mull things over.

CONCLUSION: 
I’ve decided that a lot of times, errors are combinations of misinterpreted facts, emotionally-charged mis-judgements and unnecessary conclusions people make about others.

The problem is, often times we tend to think our abilities to decipher and decode human behavior are a gazillion times better than they actually are. Sadly, we are only wasting our time when we sit and analyze others’ actions to try and determine WHY they behave the way they do.

Fact is, people’s motivations change all the time. Even if you pinpoint another’s motives and intentions, they aren’t helpful. For instance, if you’re someone’s boss, then your role requires you reduce risk by assessing others’ behaviors to predict their future behaviors – not judge your direct’s value as an individual.

Again, motivations will probably change. Behavioral tendencies will less likely change that much. 



CHALLENGES:

A. Needless to say, a person who believes he/she has the natural Freudian acumen and capacity (and time) to analyze enough behavioral data to comprehend others’ intentions is ineffective.

Again, ineffective. Why?

  1. you’re not Freud.
  2. you’re not smart enough to make those conclusions.
  3. you don’t know the person’s background (even if you do dig and waste time and resources to find background information about a person)
  4. you’re not in the person’s head.
  5. Your conclusions don’t matter and will probably won’t contribute to your overall purpose.
B. Many people attach their emotional response to others’ behaviors and consider it in their analysis of the individual. This leads to inaccurate assessments and relationship problems.
For example, some people (ahem) tend to be more assertive than others. This is fact. We all have different behavioral tendencies.
For instance, some may talk more quickly, occasionally interrupt you while your speaking, etc… However, these behaviors are not done to offend or hurt others’ feelings. They are merely tendencies that are emotionally neutral (most of the time in a professional environment). The person speaking often does not consider it an affront to behave more assertively than you. It is merely part of their behavioral inclinations as an individual.
*enter behavioral diversity What a concept!
C. As you can see, this could be a big problem at the workplace. 
For example, if a “boss” takes offense to his/her direct’s behavioral tendencies then decides said person is “rude”, “disrespectful”, etc… it will create a culture that shuts out good ideas and good people. 
A person who decides another is “disrespectful” vs. considering that the person’s behavior is “different” from what is familiar to themselves is focused on judgement and is not separating fact from emotion. Attaching these labels on people is not productive, correct, professional or a good technique for effective collaboration.
CLOSING THOUGHT:
Why not create less conflict by understanding that people each have their own behavioral tendencies and spend less time figuring out why the person who offended you is less ____________ than you? 
That way, you can productively help improve others’ behaviors to achieve the outcomes you mutually desire without creating discomfort between one another? What do you think?

…more rants

Hello, 2012!!! I Resolve To Become A Better Leader!

HBR’s John Coleman and Bill George provides us young ‘uns some important considerations when setting goals for ourselves this year.

1. Find a trustworthy mentor.
2. Join a leadership group.
3. Volunteer.
4. Work in/Travel in a new country.

…so far, I’ve accomplished all four in the last 20+ years.

For further details and the rest of the article, visit Meg.Email’s blog.

Carpe Diem!!!

Link to Meg Dot Email blog

Do You Rank People According To Their Net Worth???

…Then, you’re probably no friend of mine.
Source: waveavenue.com via Tim on Pinterest

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



Young and Underemployed: Called-Out Comment (Forbes.com) repost…

Forbes   Called-Out Comment Alert


Your comment was called out!

On this post: Young And Underemployed: The Lasting Effects Of The Lost Generation

 Undergraduate education is not technical school. Some of us attend school because we value a well-rounded education, not to secure employment after graduation. Educational background (undergraduate) are less relevant than internships, volunteer experience and on-campus activities. There’s a distinction between going to a trade school and attending a university.

Link to article 

Charlize Theron CNN interview…(vid)

Charlene Theron encourages embracing the complexity of individuals (specifically women) in the roles she chooses, recounts memories of being dismissed as being ‘too pretty’ to be taken seriously as an actor and how she has come to grips with the reality of her industry – business comes first.

YEAH!!!!!!!! What SHE said!!! (Youtube video)

OMG! This is the best thing.

I’ve never met Riley, but I remember having the same fit at the toy store when I was her age…*whining that  it’s not fair!!!

Handmade Greeting: 2011 Christmas Card (ta! da!)

I finished sending the first batch of holiday cards to friends and family last week. I’ll be sending the second batch tomorrow. This is an exciting time for me. I love wrapping gifts, making cards and most importantly, the holiday and new year cards I purchased at discounted prices throughout the year redeem their value and reward me for my early holiday preparation.

It may seem silly to buy holiday cards in March and April despite their discount, and many naysayers who see me shop probably think to themselves that I’ll only lose the cards before Christmas. But I know better. I feel great about not spending a dime on holiday cards especially because some of the finer paper cost a fortune!


That said, I have to admit I did spend under ten bucks on blank envelopes and blank cards to design a Christmas card for my etsy.com shop. 


Since most cards during the holidays (appropriately) look frosty and frigid, I decided to use warm tones this holiday. 
Are you sending Christmas cards this year?
If holiday cards aren’t in the budget this year, one great option is to spend time designing and personalizing e-Cards. PaperlessPost.com has tons of stylish options for free!

Have a warm and safe holiday season, everyone!
Pretty Pink Ponies
(Psst! Follow us on Twitter @prettypinkpro)

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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Holiday Gifts (for your tech gadgets)…

When you spend as much time on your laptop and iPhone as I do, they become extensions of yourself, then, sadly, your closest “friends”.

Consequently, I feel compelled to give gifts to my gadget “friends” this holiday…(Well, ok…perhaps these are actually gifts to myself).

In any case, here are some super adorable tech gadget accessories I discovered online.

What’s your laptop wearing today?

Send pics to Twitter [hashtag:  #3Pmystyle] for a chance to win a tech prize!



Memory on a Mummy:

Flashdrives!

Or, an extraterrestrial…

I think he’s saying, “I glow in the dark!”

laptop sleeve

Add caption

Pink Leather Laptop Sleeve
Laptop Sleeve (currently wearing in Bronze leather)

Or, the All-American Marc Jacobs…

Send pics to Twitter [hashtag:  #3Pmystyle] for a chance to win a tech prize!

Dear Diary… (Journal Entry from Sat., November 12, 2011)

Apparently, on Saturday, November 12th 2011, it ocurred to me that:

Goods and Services arent’ enough…because people want authentic connections.

I wonder if my dream about Shaquille O’Neal had anything to do with above thought (see journal entry to understand reference to Shaq).

Click here for link to photo of notebook page.

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

Meet The Family – (Will you act like a Focker?)

So,
you’ve won him over.

Before
I congratulate you, I’d like to remind you that the toughest is yet to come –
winning over his parents, his siblings and their family pets.
While
you may have done a great job planning for the holidays by buying greeting
cards and presents six months ahead of time, the invitation to meet his family
may be something you didn’t anticipate when scheduling 2011 back in 2010.
Here
are three questions that’ll help you prepare for this nerve-racking invitation:
As
with all social gathering events, I like to ponder the following three
questions when deciding what to wear, what to bring and other small details
that are key to making the best possible impression of yourself.
1.
Who
are you?
2.
Where
are you?
3.
Why
are you there?
Who
are you
?
In
other words, being confident in who you are in the face of possible rejection
can be tough. Regardless of what discomfort this might present, it’s important
to stand up for who you truly are.
Meeting
his parents isn’t your cue to turn into his mother’s vision of the perfect
woman for her son. Let go of your strategy to channel Betty Crocker and develop
a passion for collecting antique cat figurines by December. This plan is bound
to lead to disaster.
Nothing
is more impressive than a woman who is confident and comfortable in her own
skin and who handles conversations with diplomacy and grace.
If
his mother’s disappointed you’re not Betty Crocker, she’ll get over it if her
son’s happy and enjoying himself with you.
Where
are you?
Are
you meeting his family at their cozy home down South or at a fancy extravaganza
at their neighborhood’s 75th annual holiday gala? Either way, keep
in mind the occasion’s level of formality as well as the weather (in case
you’re traveling to a region you’ve never been before). It will not impress
anyone if you’re wearing your bedazzled cocktail dress to the Scrabble game
with close family and neighbors after holiday dinner. Obviously, a cozy sweater
and casual pants would be more ideal when playing with the family dog and your
date’s adorable nieces and nephews.
Err
on the side of practicality first, then decide how to express your awesome
style.
Why
are you there?
Well?
Why are you meeting his family? Are you there to learn more about how your new
boyfriend was brought up? Are you there to get to know him a little better? Or,
are you there because you’ve decided that this is an audition for an upcoming
role as their daughter-in-law? If you think a nice holiday with his fam is an
audition, don’t go.
I
repeat: don’t go.
This
trip is more about him than it is about you. Get to know his family. Get to
know him. Try and get an understanding of why he prefers pancakes to French
toast and bond with him. This isn’t your opportunity to show off your
baton-twirling act. This is your opportunity to connect with others and to show
that you’re honored to have been invited to share the holidays with their
family. What wins people over? No. Not your fancy Prada purse. You’re not going
to mingle with Bruno at the Milan fashion show (are you?).
People
are won over when you care about their interests and are considerate of their
needs. Talk about your Prada purse another time.
Best
of luck!
Meg

For other Love + Dating articles, visit MadeWomanMag.com

Professional Presence Quiz: "What Would You Say?" (presentation)

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.

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

‘Masculine Norms’: Why Working Women Find It Hard to Reach the Top – Knowledge@Wharton

I don’t understand why professional norms are classified as either “masculine” or “feminine”. Perhaps a professional norm is sufficient without the hyper-focus on gender issues which mostly create unnecessary inflammation around examples.


‘Masculine Norms’: Why Working Women Find It Hard to Reach the Top – Knowledge@Wharton

Wisdom learned from the birthday girl! (Nancy Hovde)

Learn to Live, Age Joyfully
Happiness is good for your health—so how do you keep a positive self image even as you age?


AAbout this post: Nancy Hovde is a life coach, author and blogger at UberEmpowermentBlog.com.  She lives in Redondo Beach and I’ve known her for almost ten years.  I admire her life-juggling abilities – her discipline, work ethic, positive attitude and resilience.  Happy birthday, Nancy.




I was searching for the perfect birthday card for my 93-year-old grandma at Card De A in Redondo Beach, and it reminded me of what’s become an annual tradition. Each year I ask her what words of wisdom she acquired from the year before. This year, the focus was on maintaining her level of happiness through humor. She makes fun of her memory lapses.
Her inner strength takes my breath away, especially when I notice her small, frail frame. I’m grateful that my loving and supportive parents surround her. Optimism, laughter, being around supportive family members and positive emotions can counteract many harmful effects at any age, especially in our sixties, seventies, eighties and beyond.

We don’t need to wait until we reach a certain age to acquire wisdom and humor; even as we age, we can begin to practice what can help us develop an optimistic outlook on life. Aside from eating right and exercising, it is awareness and knowledge of life experiences, changes in our expectations of life and remembering our sense of humor that contributes to aging gracefully and joyfully.
Many of us would speculate that positive emotions may directly affect health by altering the chemical balance of the body. We can start today, and as we age, we can learn to live more in the moment, appreciate life and experience a sense of satisfaction and well being. Our ability to maintain happiness and peace of mind depends on our attitude.


Here are some tips you can begin using today to ensure a positive attitude about life and aging:


Listen carefully to yourself. 
If you have put yourself down for as long as you can remember—perhaps even since childhood—a lifetime of negative subliminal messages can take their toll by turning you into a pessimist. I encourage you to try to spend one to three days writing down the phrases you use in your “self talk.” Chances are you will find that you repeat several phrases over and over again that reinforce your negative image of yourself. Once you are aware of these phrases, you can change them.
If an issue is not resolved, it will continue to fester—you will relive the negative emotions tied to that issue over and over again. 

Write about what you feel in your journal for about 15 minutes a day for three days. 
Once you begin to write, don’t stop until the time is up. This exercise will help you organize your thoughts and get negative ones out of your system. Notice how much better you feel about yourself at the end of three days.

Seek out new opportunities. 
Discover new challenges each month. You can feel optimistic when you always have a goal to achieve that’s just over the horizon. When you begin to get close to reaching that goal, set a new one. This allows you to keep moving consistently ahead.
Keep fun in your life by eliminating monotony, a sure killer of optimism. Try to do one new thing every week or month. Try a new coffee shop or restaurant, visit a museum, try a new activity or sport, or go to a book signing, lecture or community event. A friend and I enjoyed dinner at Turquoise in Redondo Beach. This was her first time eating there. It was fun to see her enthusiasm and delight when she discovered a new Turquoise in Redondo Beach. This was her first time eating there. It was fun to see her enthusiasm and delight when she discovered a new favorite restaurant.

Look for a new wonder of nature each day. 
I marvel each time I am on Portuguese Bend Trail and see the views of Palos Verdes. It’s a tranquil escape.

Learn to laugh at yourself. 
Yes, sad events and situations will come up in life, so allow yourself to experience grief—just don’t let it control you. Lend a hand to someone worse off than yourself by volunteering at a hospital or visiting a shelter. Try meditating for five minutes each day. During that time, 

Make a mental list of at least three great things that happened to you that day.
Simply recalling one episode of anger can depress the immune system; however, remembering a time when you compassionate or caring can enhance your immune system. So laugh a lot! You’ll heal your body and your mind—and feel joyful at any age.

Tall Boots 2011 (37 photos)

Are you settling for ‘good enough’? (links, images, videos)

misery isn’t happiness’s foe; ‘good enough’ is – in your personal and professional life! 

You’ve heard the comparison before:  a job search is like looking for a mate.

If this analogy is anywhere near accurate, then I’m currently reading the job seeker’s version of Neil Strauss’ “Rules of the Game”.
.
His name is Harper.  And according to the story’s main character, he’s “big in the right places and small in the right places”.  The book’s title is “Harper’s Rules”, and the story is an entertaining account of the relationship between a superstar recruit and her superstar recruiter.

I don’t have an opinion on whether or not I see job-seeking as completely akin to mate-seeking, however, I agree there are at least a few similarities.  More importantly for myself, however, are the witty Harper-isms that make me laugh out loud and take notes.

Some examples of what we call “Harper-isms”:

“You’re riding Secretariat, love.  You don’t need to get on the merry-go-round.”
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“BOTTOM LINE:  If you’re acting like you’re leaving your job, you’re leaving your job.  It’s just a matter of timing and opportunity.  Sometimes we do the right things before we’ve figured out why they’re right.”
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“Are you staying because they “need you right now” and you “can’t do that to your colleagues?”  Are you disillusioned  but held hostage by guilt?”
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and my personal favorite…
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“misery isn’t happiness’s foe; ‘good enough’ is.” !!!



Some of “Harper’s Rules” on finding the best path to your dream job:

  1. Put your personal network on notice.
  2. Use direct, simple language.
  3. Network with two headhunters that specialize in your niche.
  4. Do your homework.
  5. Your resume is a highlight film; it’s SportsCenter, not the unedited game footage.
  6. Your resume is an advertisement; it is not an affidavit.
  7. Don’t accept a counteroffer after terminating your relationship with your employer.
  8. Cultures don’t change.  You assimilate or you leave.
  9. If you’ve stopped laughing, quit immediately.
  10. If none of the original reasons why you took the job are still valid, or you settled for less than what you were meant to do, your dream will haunt you till you leave.

Yup.   He’s a sexy recruiter alright.  And, I like his style (Apologies in advance for the plethora of Harper-isms you’ll be seeing in our tweets as I finish reading the book).

Have a great day!!!

xo,
Meg@myprettypinkponies.com

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Go, Secretariat!  Go!!!





More on this topic:
blog post by “The Regular Joe” that speaks to the same point.
More on the book, “Harper’s Rules” by Danny Cahill

Article: Women don’t want to be rescued…

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 Check out this clever photography exhibit titled “Fallen Princesses” by Dina Goldstein. http://www.myprettypinkponies.com/2011/09/fallen-princesses-by-dina-goldstein.html

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.


Called-out comment re: "Erotic Capital" Debate (Forbes)

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 Interestingly, I often try and downplay my youth and femininity to prevent the common assumption that my “looks” (and not my intelligence, savvy and professionalism, etc…) helped me with my achievements. There’s nothing more irritating than having my intelligence and other valuable qualities overlooked or minimized because of my femininity.

(link to article)


Ask A Pro: How do we burn belly fat? (video)

(Video)
We ask our friend, Adam, how to best avoid the jiggles…(I’m not a fan of point #1)

  1. Avoid sugar (what?!?! – Is there any way around this?!)…
  2. Moderate your carbohydrates per meal
  3. Eat appropriate calories per meal
  4. Eat at correct meal intervals of every 3-4 hours
  5. Avoid trans-fats and hydrogenated oils
  6. Moderate alcohol intake
  7. Add lean muscle to your body with strength training
  8. Burn fat stores through cardiovascular training
  9. Eat whole foods that are high in fiber for improved digestion
  10. Be consistent in your diet and fitness habits





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.

Food for thought…

…in other words, “have some perspective!”.  There are much more important things in life than your job.  Take care of those priorities, too.

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

fantastically girlish..(images)

If dorothy was in L.A. and not Kansas, she’d walk the red carpet (and not the yellow-brick road) in these fantastic Kate Spade rhinestone flats (Noelle) instead of her ruby slippers…Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.  I think we’re in 1950’s Hollywood.

fuschia heels – a girl’s dream come true
got a plain white dress?  Jazz it up with these colorful Kate Spade shoes (Lourdes):

what girl hasn’t dreamt of being a Prima Ballerina?

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