Unleashing Strengths

I recently returned from several days hosting a retreat in San Diego with a fantastic group of women entrepreneurs who, as I often say, were looking to “bust through the glass ceiling.”

What Did We Learn From Each Other? Plenty. 

Let’s start with the way that these women connected with each other. New friendships have been formed from the retreat as the result of them spending this time together, which is definitely encouraging. My goal was not to have women come together for a brief period of time and go their separate ways but for them begin to form a small community of support that would last well beyond our retreat. I’m thrilled to see that take shape as all attendees of the retreat were really high performing women who, despite the fact they came from very different backgrounds and experiences, have now realized that their challenges are quite similar. They have each other’s backs now, which is inspiring to me.

 

In addition, I often believe women feel very alone in terms of the burden that they're carrying between work, home, kids, etc. We need a space where it is perfectly fine to let it all out and identify strategies on how to deal with all of that successfully. When we connect with each other, as these women entrepreneurs did in San Diego who realized they were all in the same boat, it feels amazing. The momentum is there now for all of us to enjoy real, sustained relationships going forward based on the connections we made with one another.

During our time, we also covered a lot of ground on how to be a better leader, how to leverage your talents and how to build resilience. There is something in that mix that applies to all of us, no matter where you are in your leadership journey and what you’re struggling with. The greatest outcome, at the end of the day, is that you not only identify your key takeaway but that you put action items in place immediately afterward. I’m confident every woman at our retreat was able to do that and all of them are going to get after it in the many days to come.

 

On a note of personal satisfaction, beyond witnessing the transformation of these women in a short period of time, I received one of the highest compliments I could imagine from a friend and colleague I’ve admired for a long time in the learning and development space. She remarked, "Wow, Kim. This is so cool to see the combination of all that you've learned over the years come into this amazing two days’ worth of content. You put this together beautifully."

 

Let’s hear from you: When you get together with a similar group of women entrepreneurs, what have you gained insight from? What challenges are you striving to push through? Would you be interested in taking part in a retreat like this? Let me know! You’ll help give me food for thought as I plan the next retreat to hopefully make it even more powerful than this recent one.

 

 

 

 

 

To Lead Others, Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask First

To Lead Others, Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask First

Early in my career, I was the first female sales manager at a fast-growing technology company. I was often the only woman in the room of other managers, which put me on a mission to recruit more female team members. Before long, I had several high-performing women on my team, and I was trying to teach them to become our future leaders.

Leadership Lessons from Failure: The Peril of Wearing Blinders to the Bitter End

Leadership Lessons from Failure: The Peril of Wearing Blinders to the Bitter End

There have recently been many headlines appearing on companies that started off extraordinarily promising in terms of a captivating vision –many of them the darlings of Wall Street. On paper, everything with these companies seemed almost perfect. Leaders with excellent credentials, top notch education, the perfect pitch, meaningful purpose, etc... With many, it seems that they can do no wrong and people start believing everything they say and do is the holy grail…. until it isn’t. When you look underneath the covers, some of these organizations’ leaders were extraordinarily secretive. Only the top people could ever get access to what was really going on. This secrecy eventually makes people suspicious and that tends to be their undoing.

Method to The Madness: Are You Connecting Your Team to The Big Picture?

Method to The Madness: Are You Connecting Your Team to The Big Picture?

Back when I was leading teams at technology companies, one of the things that we did was monitor individual and team metrics. We would assign metric quotas based on various factors such as tenure, type of business they were pursuing, the role that they were in, time of year, historical data, etc.

One of the metrics we looked closely at was the number of calls they would make and how much time they would spend on the phone.  Based on tracking, we knew the more calls made and the more time salespeople were on the phone correlated to increased revenue and profitability. I would monitor their metrics and coach them to achieve their call metrics, which in turn would lead to the achievement of their revenue and profitability goals.   

Living the Dash

Living the Dash

Sadly, I have attended three services for loved ones who have passed in just the past six weeks. I listened to the stories, the shenanigans, the impact, and the lives each of these individuals have touched. It made me think about what impact we are making while we are still alive.

In this video, I discuss the five areas of well-being that each of us should be paying attention to in our lives. That time we have between our birth and our death matters to us and the world. Make your "dash" a legacy to remember.

Dream One Size Too Big – The Big Trip

Dream One Size Too Big – The Big Trip

I set a big goal several years back. I wanted to take a year to travel around the world with my family.

Begin with the End in Mind

It all began with an article in O, The Oprah Magazine.  A family of four, embarking on a sailing trip around the world, was being highlighted.  I was so inspired!  I tore the article out of the magazine and hung it where I could see it every day.  I talked to my husband about it and his interest slowly built until he was as excited as I was about this amazing possibility. 

Are Your Greatest Strengths Hiding Right in Front of You?

Are Your Greatest Strengths Hiding Right in Front of You?

I recently had a conversation with a friend who is doing amazing work and making a difference in the world. He’s particularly focused on helping the African-American community, from cradle to career. After many years of focus and hard work, he’s achieving all kinds of great results, including improved literacy and graduation rates. The unemployment rate in his community is extremely low and a model for other cities to follow. It’s exciting and awe-inspiring.

Yet, when I asked him what his strengths were, he didn’t want to share them with me. How could that be? Especially in light of everything else he had accomplished?

Co-Worker Conflict: The Best Way Out, Upward, And Onward

Co-Worker Conflict: The Best Way Out, Upward, And Onward

Have you ever butted heads with someone at work and didn’t know how to resolve it? We’ve all been there. But we’re not talking about an argument with a random individual. No, we’re referring to a team member who you regularly have to engage with on projects as part of your role.

When this happens, there’s no avoiding the painful fact that you and this other person go together like oil and water. With seemingly no way out, the cycle of conflict with this co-worker repeats itself, making you feel trapped, dread going to work, and even cause you to look for another job entirely. 

However, there’s good news: the situation is often very fixable. Let me provide you with a great example from a client to illustrate.