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Month: March 2016

What’s In It For Me? Absolutely Nothing.

What’s In It For Me? Absolutely Nothing.

When asked to do something, how often do you think, “What’s in it for me?” If you are thinking about the “what’s in it for me?” before serving others, you are robbing yourself of meaningful and authentic connections. Thinking about what you can get out of a situation before you contribute to it can set you up for never-ending streak of disappointment. We’ve all heard that you cannot give when you are empty. The same applies to relationships, both personal and professional. Selfless acts of kindness and generosity may not yield instant gratification or even a “thank you” but opens up the possibility of developing a long-lasting, substantive relationship that can be cultivated to be mutually beneficial. Helping a co-worker finish a project probably won’t garner you a raise or a promotion but it positions you as a team player. You might be thinking, “I’m not going to be a door mat and just say ‘yes’ to everything.”  Being selfless is not being a doormat is about doing what is kind and gracious even when no applause is sure to follow and no one is looking.

I challenge you to be selfless and rid yourself from the downward spiral of “what’s in it for me?” and help someone just because.

With love,

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Sometimes You Just Have To Be In the Room

Sometimes You Just Have To Be In the Room

Yesterday I had the honor of attending. the second annual Recognizing Women in Government and Public Service Conference hosted by the Government Finance Officers Association for the Washington Metropolitan Area. The conference was attended by more than 200 women and featured keynotes and panel discussions.  Here are some of the notable takeaways that resonated with me from the conference:

  • Escalate your power by being vocal about who you are and what you do.
  • Bring younger women into various business sectors and teach them to be forceful, gracious, professional and thought leaders.
  • Sometimes the “glass ceiling” isn’t the problem, it’s the “sticky floor”. Look at who is in your network and review your access to resources and knowledge.
  • Don’t shy away from challenges. Challenges are opportunities for growth.
  • The only limitations you have are the limitations you put on yourself.
  • Don’t talk yourself out of an opportunity before you get started
  • Take full advantage of your teams’ skill set and encourage an atmosphere of learning
  • You have to go out and look for opportunity. It’s not going to knock on your door.

When asked how to obtain success, here’s what some of the panelists had to say:

  • Rise to the occasion and do the extra work. Ask for the extra work and then excel at it.
  • Be persistent.
  • Articulate and package your value proposition so that you aren’t put into a box.
  • Find a sponsor, someone who will speak up for you when you are not in the room.
  • Stop being overly critical of yourself. Look at your assets (your skills and what you do well.
  • Impact others. Embrace civic duty.  Impact your community.

Barbara Lang, President + CEO of Lang Strategies, LLC gave the morning keynote “Women and the Power of Negotiation” shared these thoughts:

  • Negotitation means navigating challenges, keeping a level head and achieving the goal.
  • Challenges and test shape who you are.
  • While you may think you are lucky to have a job, the company is lucky to have you.
  • Sometimes you need a reminder that you aren’t as good as you think you are. Learn from the experience.
  • Have a BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal and tell others about your goals so that they can hold you accountable.
  • Sometimes it is tough to go against what is popular.
  • Find the win/win solution for everyone.  What is the happy medium.
  • Never settle and rid yourself of self-doubt.
  • Never be afraid to work outside of your comfort zone.

Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, Director of the Smithosonian National Museum of African Art delivered the afternoon keynote and imparted these jewels of wisdom:

  • She who teaches must learn and she who learns must teach.
  • Mentorship is important for women. Mentors encourage you to go beyond what you think you are capable of.
  • If you are chosen as “a first” for a position, you have the responsibility to make sure you are not the last.
  • You must be willing to admit what you don’t know and be committed to learning.
  • When you stop learning, the best part of living is over.

Yes,  I know this post was longer than most, but when I hear good advice, I feel the need to share it with others. I hope you have


read something that inspires and motivates you.

With love,

Signature first name_1

 

 

 

P.S. Here’s the list of panelists…pretty impressive group 🙂

Melinda M. Bolling, Director for the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs

Marva Jo Camp, Attorney, Marva Jo Camp & Associates

Marcia Griffin,  Founder and President of HomeFree-USA

Karen Hawkins,  CEO, Department of Finance for Montgomery County, MD

Lily Qi, Assistant Chief of Administrative Officer for Economic and Workforce Development, Montgomery County

Ana Recio Harvey, Director,  Department of Small and Local Business Development, District of Columbia Government

Lavonn Reedy Thomas, Community Affairs Manager, Prince George’s County, MD

Carla A.  Reid,  General Manager,  Chief Executive Officer, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission

Tonia Wellons,   Head of Global Partnerships, Peace Corps

Fear of the Spotlight

Fear of the Spotlight

Spotlight
Spotlight

With the all of the “let me share every single second of my day” platforms available, being afraid of the spotlight might sound like an oxymoron. Social media allows people to share themselves 24 hours a days, several times a day and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. We all know at least one person who shares their thoughts, goals and aspirations on a regular basis. Then there are some who can be in a room full of people, have a great product or service and will not talk about it. I want to ask you a question, what are you afraid of? Fear of failure can be debilitating and paralyzing. But the opposite of that is allowing your subconscious thoughts to manifest themselves without outward solicitation. You will become more confident that the path you’ve been following is filled with purpose and there is nothing to fear. As much as you would like to stay quiet and in the shadows, collaboration allows your purpose and gift to be shown to others and give you multiple opportunities to be in the spotlight without requesting it..without campaigning for it..without having success envy..

When it is time for you to be in the spotlight, you might be nervous but you won’t be uncomfortable. I firmly believe that your gifts will make room for you and when they do, make sure you take a bow.

With love,

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P.S. Speakers and the agenda for the Work Your Package Women’s Conference 2016 to be announced soon. Reserve your seat today: www.workyourpackage2016.eventbrite.com

 

 

 

Thou Shall Not Alter Thyself For Applause

Thou Shall Not Alter Thyself For Applause

sn-applause

When I started writing this blog I thought I had to have a certain niche or gimmick to keep people interested. I was afraid to speak the truth in fear that I might upset someone or alienate some readers or even heaven forbid get a negative comment. Let’s just pause right there. Repeat after me…Thou shall not alter thyself for applause. Thou shall not wait for validation from others. Thou shall not internalize someone else’s insecurity and make it your own.

If you are round stop letting people tell you that you are square. Stop apologizing for your journey. Stop explaining your dreams. Stop expecting people to understand the nuances of all the aspects your life. The people who “get” you and support you 1000% do not need convincing…and they will give you a standing round of applause without prompting. They will applaud your efforts whether you are temporary in the gutter or brilliantly shining while covered in glitter. Do you want applause based on a fabricated notion of what others think you should be or who you were destined to be? The authentic you is a heck of a lot better than the fake you. It’s why I’m so damn transparent. It’s why I share my failures along with my successes. Altering who you are to fit certain audiences will lead to misery and confusion. You deserve better…

With love,

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Registration for Work Your Package Women’s Conference 2016 is open! Reserve your seat for only $99. Register today at www.workyourpackage2016.eventbrite.com