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!!!



*end scene

(SPOILER: To be continued…)

12 Business Lessons from a One-Woman-Show (guest post)

MyBohemianSummer from MyBohemianSummer saysHighlighted Post

The biggest thing that I have learned so far in the hand made business is to not take it personal. This is very hard for me, and for a lot of artists and crafters that I know, because what we do is personal. This is from an article that I read a couple of months ago, and I keep it handy to refresh myself when it is needed. Like a good swift kick in the pants. ( Here are some tips that I love passing on since it is so relevant to us and what we do:

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

Turn Enemies into Allies (#HBRchat)

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

more #HBRChats

Can a stylish woman command a country’s military forces??? (Images)

Can a high-ranking woman official expect respect from male counterparts and direct reports while carrying a baby and a D&G bag?

Spain says ‘yes’. This is not new news, but a great example that illustrates how to execute balance while serving as a high-ranking political official:

When Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero’s new cabinet members took their oath of office before King Juan Carlos on Monday, one of them, the recently-appointed Defense Minister, stood out from the rest. Literally. Carme Chacón, 37, is not only the first woman to head Spain’s armed forces. She is also seven months pregnant.

Article take from


Read more:,8599,1730927,00.html#ixzz1s3tSNwKr

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”.



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

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

Got Enemies?

Would You Survive this Job Interview (video)?

Quote of the day: #Branding

“Sometimes you have to sacrifice your performance for high heels.” 

– Gwen Stefani

 This quote speaks to how essential image is for a person’s success. Gwen Stefani’s style and character is just as much a part of her identity as her musical talent. It wouldn’t be the same if she showed up to “work” lazily dressed in frumpy clothes. That’s not what her boss (fans) pays her for.

 In a similar way, professionals are expected to dress according to what their business, industry, leaders, clients, expect of them. It’s part of your identity as a responsible and successful pro.

Do you agree?


Present position: James Padilla Chair of Arts and Sciences, Professor of Psychology, 
Faculty Fellow of Institute for Policy Research, and Professor of Management & 
Organizations, all at Northwestern University.
Address: Department of Psychology, Swift Hall, 2029 Sheridan Road, Northwestern 
University, Evanston, IL 60208-2710, USA
Telephone: (847) 467-5026; FAX (847) 491-7859
E-MAIL Address:
A. B. Summa Cum Laude (Social Relations); Radcliffe College (Harvard University), 
Cambridge, Massachusetts; June, 1960
Phi Beta Kappa, 1959
Phi Beta Kappa Ranking Senior Prize at Radcliffe College, 1960
National Merit Scholar, 1956-60
Fulbright Fellow (Norway), 1960-61
M. A.  (Psychology); University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; June, 1963
Ph. D. (Social Psychology); University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; December, 
Woodrow Wilson Fellow, 1961-62
National Science Foundation Cooperative Graduate Fellow, 1962-65
Sigma Xi, 196

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

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.

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

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. 


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.
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

Young and Underemployed: Called-Out Comment ( 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 

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!
(featuring: Travelteq Trash leather bags, Travelteq iPad case, Travelteq notebooks, Kate Spade, Tory Burch laptop bag, Deisel briefcase, etc…)

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:

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

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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)…
Send an email to if you’d like the .pdf version

Ten years in "corporate America"…

…and, I didn’t even get a lousy shirt!

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!

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

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!


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. 
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).
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).
I bring it.
If you’re a true pro, you understand what’s expected.
At the bare minimum, you must do your homework.
no such thing as being too prepared – only un
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!
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. 
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.
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. 
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. 
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
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
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. =) 

Improve Your Productivity by Scheduling Distraction-Free Time

Improve Your Productivity by Scheduling Distraction-Free Time:
Having quality time without distractions goes hand in hand with maximizing your productivity. One method which I love is the idea of scheduling in distraction-free time.

Photo credit: mag3737
The idea is to have scheduled blocks of the day which are allocated to getting away from distractions. This is similar to the pomodoro technique but less structured and with potentially larger chunks of time depending on the project. This is distraction free period of time focused on working, free of all the distractions. For example, I had a friend who regularly scheduled in “Talk to the hand!” time in their calendar.

Tips for Establishing Distraction-Free Time

Put it in your schedule. Make sure you have this down-time blocked off on your schedule. You always have something to look forward to, and it’s dedicated time to take a break and relax.
Turn off your distractions. Turn off your email reminders, close your calendar, and mute your phone. Try to get away from it as much as you can. Sometimes, I’ll even unplug my laptop and find a quiet place to work or just print off papers to review if I can.
Focus on a specific objective. Trying to do too much at one time can often introduce new potential distractions. If you can, assign one project or objective for the productive time that you’ve scheduled.
Build in time for planning instead of doing. At the beginning of the day, spend time planning what your schedule will be. Review your daily agenda, and find large pockets of time that you can block off for productive time.
Don’t forget down-time. Make time for yourself. Consider scheduling in down-time, as well, to make sure you have plenty of time to take care of all the other things. Or, just take to take a walk to clear your mind!
How do you stay productive throughout the day?


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?)

Wharton comments on "Masculine Norms" and how they affect women’s career trajectories…

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

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.


DFS Group-member’s response to 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.
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 


‘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

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!!!  


Pretty Pink Ponies (“3P”)

Pretty Pink Professional: Interview w. Prime-time TV Makeup Artist (images)

Have you ever thought about being a beauty consultant in the entertainment industry?  We interviewed the Dept. Head of Make-up for some of the biggest shows on television to gain insight on how to reach the stars in Hollywood.

3P: What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it?

My first film [project as a make-up artist] out of Joe Blasco Make up school was “Galaxina”:  a very low budget feature that reaped great rewards especially professional experience.

3P: What is one thing you now know that you wish you knew about your industry when you first started?
Never date Actors.
3P: Who is one person who changed your professional life for the better?
The late Dixie Carter (actor) was an influential person to me.  It was an honor to be in her presence.  She provided me with knowledge and tools that were useful beyond my career….
She demanded excellence and I was committed to producing consistently excellent results for her as I am now.
3P: What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?
Keep personal life personal. Work is work.
3P: What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?
Not getting my cosmetology licenses sooner.  Education is important if you want to continue to stay relevant and competitive. 
Although I learned a lot through experience and hands-on application, I eventually got my Esthetician’s licenses (after working on “Will & Grace” for eight seasons!), and it has provided my professional practice with even greater rewards.

3P: What is the best part of your job?
Aside from working alongside the most beautiful and talented people in the world, the best part of my job is getting paid to do something I’m passionate about. 
All work should be done with passion.  Passion produces consistently excellent results!

3P: What do you look for when hiring someone? 
I love those with excellent work ethic and who take initiative.
It’s helpful when a teammate does what is needed on his or her own accord without waiting for direction. 
I appreciate working around creative people because of their intuition to help when help is needed.

3P: What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?
1.  Before putting all your investment in a career in entertainment do your research!  

Learn about the industry as a whole (producers, actors, culture, etc…).
2.  Get your degrees and licenses as soon as possible.  
3.    Be realistic about how much you’ll make.  There are very few people in creative fields in highly competitive and oversaturated fields who can make a living from their craft alone. 
 Be prepared for the ups and downs, lack of job security, long hiatuses, strikes, etc…
4.  Educate yourself on personal finance, budgeting and saving for retirement.  
5.  Continue learning.  When you think you’re the best, it usually means you have a lot to go.

Patty is also the founder of APB Networking.  Patty and her team are award winning and Emmy-nominated hair and make-up artists dedicated to providing a solid network to others.  They promote ethics, collaboration and the highest professional standards.

Thanks, Patty and APB!