Category Archives: leaders

What Really and Truly Keeps Women Away from Pay Parity

Okay. I’m warning you. This post is not politically correct.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time reading student blog posts. I really enjoyed that and got a better idea of what they think and how they think.

The big surprise to me was reading about women being marginalized. Some of these female students feel oppressed because they are female. The evidence they give is the statistic about women earning less than men for the same job.

It may be true that women often earn less than men for the same job, otherwise why would 75%  of the recent job cuts go to men? They’re more expensive.

The answer though is not really men oppressing women, as least in the United States.

I thought that poor horse had been pummeled to death already.

Consider the examples of how the following women treat themselves. I’m not condemning them, I used to do similar things myself. But, the fact is, in 2010 women still do things like….

– Make the beds for their teen-age sons.

– Divorce an alcoholic husband and then move in with an alcoholic boyfriend.

– Work 60 hours a week when paid for 40 hours, “because that’s what it takes to get the job done.”

– Put gasoline in the BMW while teenage son watches, listening to his Ipod.

– Won’t allow the husband to change diapers for the twins because he doesn’t do it right.

– Fail to take care of their health because they’re “too busy.”

Are you gonna tell me that these women are marginalized? Or are they marginalizing themselves?

I used to subordinate my input into daily decisions to my husband’s wishes on a regular basis. Just one example, I never thought of the income I earned as “mine” and never spent much of it on myself. The thing is, then I resented hardly ever having new clothes and was perpetually waiting for permission to buy them.

Now, there is a nobility in service to others. But only when it comes from joy and strength, not when one’s self-worth depends on outside approval.

If you don’t deeply value yourself, how can you expect others to value you? What do you think about this?


How Can You Be Even More Amazing?

To tell the truth, which I always think I do, I’m not sure about the answer to this one.

Electrolux says that if you buy their refrigerator, freezer and wine cellar, you are sure to be even more amazing.

They might be on to something. One thing I have learned is that your environment and your self care deeply affect your amazingness.

Since it’s fun to be amazing, I’m throwing out some suggestions. Please add your own. Then  we can all be even more amazing together.

5 ways to be even more amazing:

1. Drink OJ from a martini glass.

My coach finds this amazing. She always finds a way to bring this up, even though we’re discussing much more serious matters, like how I can legally punish our toy poodle for eating my mouth guard.

What I find amazing is that I inherited these martini glasses from my totally teetotaler paternal grandmother.

I think she would be like Sally’s mom, who used to drink wine in a coffee cup so her mother wouldn’t know. And Sally’s mom was in her sixties when she did this. If you’re not from the South, you probably don’t get this.

I think my grandmother called them sorbet servers. We prefer to call them martini glasses and used them for juice up until a few days ago. Now we actually own authentic juice glasses. I think, though, the juice tastes better in my martini glasses.

That picture is of the criminal mastermind who ate my mouth guard I bought to keep from grinding my teeth at night. Maybe I should try hypnotism.

2. Stop stressing about work.

Notice I didn’t say to reduce your work-related stress, just stop it. I did this pretty much 3 years ago, but that was really enforced in my coaching program last year. I can get annoyed at students, but I don’t worry about what to do to entertain them. I don’t worry if they’re really learning or not.

It’s just not worth it. So do whatever you need to do so that you feel relaxed about your job.

3, Stop overworking.

You know how we get into these conversations about being “crazy busy”? Don’t you ever feel that we’re competing to see who has more to do? I used to be the champion of this.

My secret to beating anyone at the “crazy busy” contest was this: I homeschooled, taught at ECU, and took graduate classes online toward my doctorate and had 3 freshly-prepared meals on the table daily.

These days I love it when people ask if I’m “working hard”? I say, “no, not at all.” That’s fun.

4. Go get a makeover.

Nothing drastic. Just go have your makeup done. I’m waiting for the official arrival of spring, but I do this twice a year.

5. Fix one thing in your room that’s bothering you.

I worked on my room a lot this week. It no longer looks like temporary housing. But there’s something rather embarrassing about my bed.

I have this lovely mahogany four-poster bed. On one of the posts, there is the sticky remains from when one of the kids put a large sticker on it. I need that sticky-removal stuff so I’m going to Lowe’s this afternoon.

That sticky thing has been on there forever. But I keep overlooking it. Then when I notice, it’s nutty!

What do you do to be even more amazing?

Are You the Creative + Effective Leader of Your Own Life? 28 Ways to Know

In a recent conversation with a client, she was sharing her frustration with what she called, “a series of unfortunate events.” It was the sort of thing that happens in life — and this client, we’ll call her Michelle, wasn’t really down on herself. However, these events had shaken her confidence in the way she was redesigning her life.

That is often the way life unfolds. That’s part of what makes it so interesting.

So, you may want to be a part of our discussion of what is means to really be the creative and effective leader in your own life. The word “creative” relates to the ability to respond, rather than simply reacting to unfortunate events.

Here are 23 ways you can know if you’re the authentic leader of your own life, rather than simply a participant in it.

1. You love your life, even when the dirt comes up in response to the seeds you’ve planted.

2. You don’t cancel your hair appointment when you get hit with an unexpected expense.

3. You’ve taught everyone in your circle of influence how they may speak to you.

4. You have plenty of time and space for yourself.

5. You know that inside every personal weakness, there lies the potential for your greatest contribution.

6. You make requests, rather than complaints.

7. You take extremely good care of your body. Some say you’re obsessive about it but you know it’s vital for your well being.

8. You listen to your heart’s desires.

9. You know what makes you happy.

10. You take vacations, the kind where it’s not about visiting family.

11. You delegate a lot because you’re not trying to prove that you’re indispensable.

12. You contribute generously for the joy of it.

13. You invest in yourself consistently.

14. You don’t clip coupons because it takes too much time.

15. Your home is clutter free.

16. Your normal state of being is quietly cheerful.

17. You practice observing people and situations without rushing to judge them. (I love Mother Teresa’s saying, If you judge people, you have no time to love them.)

18. You’re confident that things work out for the best.

19. You create wealth, you don’t try to “get” from other people.

20. You forgive everyone, including yourself. That also means you don’t tolerate disrespect.

21. Your relationships don’t drain you.

22. You love to laugh and sometimes remind yourself to lighten up.

23. You don’t normally buy the cheapest of everything.

24. You ground yourself by noticing all the little blessings in your life.

25. You remind yourself of who you are, and who you’re not.

26. You never berate yourself for not having all the answers.

27. You are more likely to say “no” than to say “yes” to things. (In other words, if it’s not something you KNOW you want to be,do or have, you simply say “no.”)

28. You LOVE being decisive!

Which ones of these speaks to you? Where have you seen the best results in your own life?

How to Be a Happy Heretic: 21 Ways

This morning I showed some students a talk by Seth Godin on his book, Tribes. (I highly recommend this book, btw.)

A happy heretic is someone who trusts herself enough to go against the grain, or contradict societal expectations, for the greater good. A happy heretic makes the world a better place.

21 Ways to Be a Happy Heretic. (Mostly I’ve done these.)

1. Take your kids out of school for a year and learn new stuff with them. I promise they’ll recover; you’ll have  phenomenal and memorable experience to share.

2. Resign from your job. A close colleague,  let’s call herTaKwanza, just did this. And she is in spitting distance from getting tenure at a big university in another part of the country. I’m so proud because she knows she is meant to contribute in a different way, not because there’s something wrong with where she is.

If you’re only there for the benefits, you really want to think about that.

3. Move to the city of your dreams….even if you don’t have a secure job there.

4. Start your own business. It doesn’t have to support you right away.

5. Write in your journal. Describe your ideal day, as if you had just lived it.

6. Spend some time in silence.

7. Invest in yourself. Hire a coach.

8. Decide that the best way to spread happiness is to be happy.

9. Get your colors done.

10. Start a blog.

11. Get a professional photo taken.

12. Work 2 days a week from home.

13. Eat raw for a day. (That’s a great excuse for eating a whole avocado.)

14. Stop complaining and criticizing.

15. Pay for a month of yoga classes. (And go to the classes!)

16. Make one small improvement to your bedroom.

17. Decide on a theme for your life this year.

18. Give a party for no special reason.

19. Do something this week-end that’s not normal for you. (There are plenty of suggestions on this list!)

20. Make your kids responsible for preparing and serving one nice meal.

21. Take a 24-hour break from the computer. Or cell phone. Or both.

How to Know If Your Boss Is A Good Leader for You

You may have heard this definition of a good boss: someone for whom you would cheerfully push a big rock up a hill.

Many times I have been lucky to work with a boss like that. But the thing for me is that I no longer want to push big rocks up a hill for anyone else.  (Reminds me of Sisyphus.)

That’s why I started my own business.

No matter how awesome-tastic your boss is, she is not the leader in your life. A leader, perhaps. Not THE leader.

You are the CEO of you.

Yep, so even if your boss is a total loser-jerk; you are the real leader in your life.

You are the leader of your own life. Even if you’re an employee with benefits…and plan to stay like that forever and ever.

If you’re not happy with the way your career is unfolding, don’t look to your boss to change that.

If you’re working 60 hours a week and getting paid for 40 hours each week, that’s not because of your boss.

Now is a good time for you to get clear about what you want to do with the rest of your life. And what you’re willing to put up with.

There are people who are looking for you to lead them. It’s time.

Show Up as the Leader That You Are

So here we are. We live in a world where we have the leverage to make things happen, the desire to do work we believe in, and a marketplace that is begging us to be remarkable. And yet, in the middle of these changes, we still get stuck.

Stuck following archaic rules.

Stuck in industries that not only avoid change, but actively fight it.

Stuck in fear of what our boss will say, stuck because we’re afraid we’ll get in trouble.

Most of all, we’re stuck acting like managers or employees, instead of like the leaders we could become. We’re embracing a factory instead of a tribe. (Seth Godin Tribes 10)

Think about how you can show up as a leader in your own life as it is presently constructed. The best leaders lead from below.