We are about midway through Women’s History Month 2011, and I find it difficult to honor this important month this year without a quick wax on Wonder Woman and what both her creator(s) and her narrative can tell us about growing a new crop of effective leaders.
For those who aren’t familiar with her story, Wonder Woman was the brainchild of William Moulton Marston and modeled in equal parts after his fiery feminist psychologist wife, Elizabeth Holloway Marston, and their partner, Olivia Byrne. (Yes, that’s right, William and Elizabeth had a consensual polyamorous relationship for most of their life). The two Marstons, (Elizabeth, by the way, was denied admittance to Harvard grad because she was a woman but was able to obtain her PhD at Boston University), are responsible for creating the systolic blood pressure test, the precursor to the polygraph test. They envisioned a day where people would use it for personal use to help them be more honest and open in their communication and relationships with themselves and others. Not too surprisingly, given this backstory, the Marstons and Byrne saw Wonder Woman as a superhero who slayed evil with love and, when necessary, used her lasso of truth on the deceitful. Continue Reading »
The idea most associated with the term “value meal” is that of fast food restaurants bundling menu items together so you get “more bang for your buck”. Not at all surprising, given the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on advertising said meals.
I am thinking about another sort of value — that, which, perhaps ironically, doesn’t carry a price tag. The kind that reflects someone’s ideals and priorities. As an entrepreneur (and even before you took on that role in your life), I am sure you had to define a particular value set in order to crystallize your vision and carve out your particular career path. Perhaps you concluded that you value originality more than order, knowledge over growth, or freedom more so than availability.
And, as I am sure you have learned — or are learning — it’s quite a satisfactory feeling when our day-to-day actions line up with what we value. The same principles can be applied to what we eat.
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A few weeks ago I attended a terrific ASTD-Las Vegas presentation led by San Diego based trainer Jeff Toister. Jeff facilitated an engaging conversation around how to get CEO’s and senior directors’ expectations met when going in to implement coaching and training solutions. He encouraged us to shift from thinking about our impact in terms of Return on Investment (ROI) to Return on Expectations (ROE). For while in these tough economic times leaders may profess to care about the financial bottom line, it’s erroneous to assume success (from a client’s standpoint as well as our own) can always be measured in terms of money saved and money earned. Jeff’s words sparked a nice aha for me. Many of my clients would not measure their success with me simply in terms of their financial investment and the financial payoff. And yet ROI is still bandied around in most corporate pitch sessions at the expense of discussing the client’s specific expectations (i.e., attracting and retaining higher caliber employees, national press coverage, sustaining a culture of corporate calm, etc.)
This discussion really got me thinking about CAREERpreneurship and how, as CAREERpreneurs, we want to get really clear on our long and short-term expectations if we’re to make the best possible choices for our career trajectories. What are our expectations for what we will have achieved (and who we will have become) by the end of our careers? How do the present opportunities before us fit with where we’re trying to go? Continue Reading »