Archive for the ‘WSS-SF’ Category

ISMAC is Where It’s At, SF

October 24, 2017

 

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FountainBlue’s October 20 When She Speaks in SF event was on the topic of ISMAC is Where It’s At: Immersive, Security, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud. Our panel this quarter was quite diverse, representing a wide range of industries, backgrounds and perspectives. But they had much in common:

  • They shared a passion for doing things well, for doing things differently, for constantly raising the bar to better understand the needs of the customer, and to better deliver solutions which solve problems.
  • They each had a wide breadth of experiences, which they developed and learned from, and which proved invaluable as they continued on their professional and personal journey.
  • They generously and regularly shared their wisdom, advice and learnings to those around them, ensuring that they also benefited.
  • They had an innate curiosity, an astounding passion, and a drive to innovate, perpetuate, expand and grow. Therefore, each team and company and industry they worked with benefited greatly from their leadership and participation.

Below is their compiled advice on how to lead innovation, wherever you’re sitting at the table.

Be Strategic

  • Be consciously disruptive when it makes sense for the long term, and practical and efficient in your day-to-day operations, continually raising the question – how can this technology, this process, this team function better? What problems can we solve today and for tomorrow?
  • When an innovation goes wrong for whatever reason, own up to it, make up for it, learn from it, and move on!
  • Be careful generalizing innovation successes. What works in one context may not work in another. However, DO consider when an innovative concept may be applicable to another context.

It’s About the Customer

  • Being customer-focused is the heart of innovation. Delivering to the trends of the market and the needs of the customer is integral to the success of companies.
  • Technology is so pervasive and growing so rapidly that it’s difficult to stay ahead of the curve. Having a finger on the pulse of market trends and customer needs will help leaders design and develop relevant and customizable technology solutions.
  • Focus not so much on the sexiness of the technology, but rather on the potential appeal to the customer. Even if it’s the next best thing to sliced bread, if nobody buys it, it’s not an innovation which is sustainable.
  • Understand there may be an aversion to adoption before you design and develop a solution. Understanding why the aversion exists might lead you to a more relevant, more promising solution.
  • When appropriate, think not just about your customer, but also about your customer’s customer. 
  • Provide omni-channel solutions which take into account the desired communication channels of the customers (web, mobile, social media).

Be Collaborative

  • Build an ecosystem approach to innovation, which invites input from marketing, sales, operations, finance leaders from within the company, plus partners, vendors and customers outside the company.
  • Speak in the language of data to make your case to all stakeholders. 
  • Make friends in places high and low. You never know who will be instrumental in bringing an innovative idea to market – it takes a village!
  • Find a way to fund your novel idea from grants, executives, investors, etc., It’s hard to innovate without the resources to support that innovation.
  • Embrace diversity in your team as it will stimulate innovative-out-of-the-box thinking.

Below are some innovation ideas worth exploring.

  • Develop a solution which can lead a transition from paper to digital in volume for any one industry at a time. The slow-adopting industries might be the most challenging, but may have the most potential for adoption.
  • IT and IoT innovations which make life easier and more automated will abound and change the way we work and play.
  • Artificial intelligence, machine learning, bots and devices will continue to flourish in the marketplace. Creating a platform where they can interact, a standard which keeps them secure and interchangeable may be a great opportunity ahead.
  • Infrastructure solutions including storage and security will become increasingly more important.
  • Process innovation is a form of innovation which can’t be ignored. It will ensure that the right products and services efficiently get into the hands of the right customers.
  • Online learning will be hot, both for corporations and for individuals.
  • Collaborative communication solutions will continue to abound, solving problems across the enterprise.
  • Small businesses will adopt enterprise-level solutions which help them innovate better, collaborate better, serve customers better.
  • The empowered consumer will have much power – they will be wealthy, specific and demanding. This spells opportunity for those who can efficiently deliver personalized solutions.

The bottom line is that we can each facilitate a culture of innovation by making it SAFE to think differently, rewarding those who communicate differently, and celebrating those who are doing things differently – like creating new widgets, gadgets, and systems.


Please join me in thanking our panelists for FountainBlue’s October 20 When She Speaks event was on the topic of ISMAC is Where It’s At: Immersive, Security, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud and our gracious hosts at AppDynamics.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue, CMO, 888 Steps
  • Panelist Michelle Chen, PhD, Executive Director, Business Development & Licensing, West Coast Innovation Hub, Merck
  • Panelist Yvonne Chen, Head of Marketing/Sr Director of Marketing, Udemy
  • Panelist Shanthi Ramamurthy, Managing Director, Accenture Technology
  • Panelist Alexandra Shapiro, CMO, BigCommerce
  • Panelist Megan Slater, VP of Business Technology, AppDynamics
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Lean In and Level It UP

July 22, 2017

FountainBlue’s July 21 When She Speaks event, on the topic of Lean In and Level It UP! Below are notes from our conversation.

We had an energetic, experienced and fun panel who shared their wisdom and stories about leveling up within an organization. They had a wide range of experience and backgrounds, but they had much in common: 1) they succeeded despite their reservations, 2) they stretched themselves at every level regularly, 3) they learned from their experiences, 4) they share their experience and learnings with those around them, and 5) they have a passion and curiosity which fuels them internally. Below is their composite advice on how leaders can rise and succeed within an organization.

Be strategic.

  • Choose to be comfortable when you need to be, and to push for change if complacency sets in. Don’t just go through the motions!
  • Raise a flag for a cause that would benefit yourself, your team, your company, your industry.
  • Don’t wait for the right role/title/assignment/invitation to solve a pressing problem.

Make positive and proactive choices.

  • Be passionate about what you do, and confident that you can do it well.
  • Be curious about why some things work and some things don’t. It may lead to serendipitous results!
  • If a jerk thinks you’re a failure before you’ve started or if a bozo throws you under the bus or your boss won’t give you the resources to succeed – see that as a positive opportunity to succeed despite the odds.
  • Embrace failures as learning opportunities. 

Empower your people.

  • Communicate the ‘why’ and the ‘what’ and empower others around you to figure out the details.
  • Get the energy and support you need so that you can get out of your own comfort zone. 

Work your network.

  • Choose to work with people who are not like you.
  • Look for the best of everyone around you. Learn from others. Emulate the best qualities of others.
  • Work and grow your network. Make it deep and broad.
  • Manage your self-talk and other things  and people which may limit your ability to succeed.
  • Be a great listener – learn from what the staff, the customer, and other important people are saying.
  • Find a way to fit the style of those you work with.

Our panel’s closing thoughts are to ‘Dream BIG. Dream ON!’


Please join me in thanking our gracious hosts at BigCommerce and our panelists!

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue; CMO, 888 Steps
  • Panelist Maranda Dziekonski, Vice President, Customer Operations, HelloSign
  • Panelist Angela Griffo, VP, 10Fold
  • Panelist Linda Tong, VP of Innovation, AppDynamics
  • Panelist Andrea Wagner, Head of Design, Bigcommerce

Communicating at the Pace of Change

June 14, 2017

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FountainBlue’s June 9 When She Speaks in SF event was on the topic of Communicating at the Pace of Change. Please join me in thanking our gracious hosts at 10Fold and our panelists! 

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue, CMO, 888 Steps
  • Panelist Julie Heck, Head of Marketing, Savvius
  • Panelist Alicia Johnson, Managing Director, Infrastructure Services, Accenture 
  • Panelist Fran Lowe, Vice President, 10Fold
  • Panelist Marisa Shumway, Sr Director, Marketing, AppDynamics

Below are notes from the conversation.

We were fortunate to have such experienced, articulate, innovative and inspiring panelists for this event, representing different companies, roles, and backgrounds. Below are their collective thoughts and ideas which might help you think about how you can better communicate in this world of constant and fast-paced change.

Be strategic.

  • First know the vision and direction, and create messages in alignment with this shared objective.
  • The messages should be customized for each audience, factoring in their motivations, perceptions, as well as their preferred modes of communication – web, mobile, face-to-face, video, etc.
  • Most people today do their homework before they engage, researching their needs and the offerings. As a result: 1) be quick and clear about what sets your offering apart and strategies for getting from awareness to engagement to commitment, 2) offer self-selecting options and more entry points so prospects and customers can get the information and support they need, 3) work with PR teams to get the right communications to the right prospects, and 4) effectively communicate your offerings, your testimonials, your case studies.
  • We open to shifting (offering, pricing, communications and other) strategies quickly and strategically, should the customers and the data show there’s a need for you (and the industry) to do so.

Remember that you’re communicating with people. Be real.

  • Be authentic and real in all communications.
  • Build relationships, be human. People make decisions based on subjective and personal opinions, and rationalize their decisions based on facts.
  • Be crystal clear about what you do for whom and why they should care. And be prepared to communicate that to all stakeholders at any time, no matter what your role or responsibility is within the company.
  • If you consider that most people today have the attention span of a goldfish, communicate quickly in ways which resonate. To do so, identify the audience who would care and create a clear message which triggers an intended response.

Let’s talk about the data.

  • When you look at data, look not just at the ‘eyeballs’, but at the bigger picture.
  • Today’s marketers have a host of tools which generate a wealth of relevant, real-time data which can be leveraged for specific campaigns, to support sales and marketing initiatives and customer requirements. Adept marketers leverage these tools to understand how customers engage, what strategies are successfully facilitating engagement, which niche audiences respond to what communications, etc.,
  • Look at the data and the facts and results to limit the emotional, irrational and reactive responses. Being fact-focused not only helps you have better judgement, but it also enhances your brand as someone who is centered and calm even during times of stress, when the stakes are high, and getting it right is critical.
  • Focus on the problem in front of you, and collect the data which would help understand the cause behind a problem, without making it personal, without pointing fingers.

It takes leadership.

  • Be all-in, in thoughts, words and actions. Commitment and dedication lead to excellent results.
  • Results do not have to be perfect every time, all the time. But when the whoopses happen, taking ownership and communicating clearly and transparently and making corrections and amends will go a long way.
  • Don’t enlist in the crap-in, crap-out mindset around data. (Almost) anybody can make (almost) any data to support (almost) any conclusion. Leaders assess the intentions of the communicators, the validity of the data, the alignment of the decision with the overarching strategy etc.
  • Use your customer-brain and your coding brain when you communicate in a tech company. Be that translator when you’re working with people who get only one side or the other side of the brain.
  • Be clear on the overarching message for your company, and support employees, staff, partners, etc. in communicating in alignment with that message.

Below are collective thoughts on trends and questions based on those trends.

  • Reporters are disappearing. Business models around communication are evolving. What does this mean for your company?
  • There will continue to be a push-pull around privacy, security and access. What opt-in strategies would best work for your customers?
  • Personalization trends will continue to climb. How will your company shift its communications and operations to address the demand for personalized solutions and services from your customers?
  • Most forward-thinking companies are adopting digital strategies around communication. What is your company’s digital strategy? How are your customers responding to it?

The bottom line is that communication is a core leadership skill. No matter where you’re from geographically, what you’ve studied at school, what types of roles you’ve adopted, what you’ve accomplished to date, how many years you’ve worked, what gender you are, etc., your ability to communicate what you do for whom will define how successful you are in achieving shared goals. 

Negotiating for a Win-Win in SF

January 31, 2017

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FountainBlue’s January 27 When She Speaks, on the topic of Negotiating for a Win-Win. Please join me in thanking our gracious hosts at Twilio and our panelists! 

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue, CMO, SignKloud
  • Panelist Angie Chang, VP Strategic Partnerships, Hackbright Academy
  • Panelist Genevieve Haldeman, Vice President, Marketing Communications, Twilio
  • Panelist Zaina Orbai, Sr. Director – Head of Global HR Operations, Yelp
  • Panelist Katie Penn, Director of Demand Marketing, Twitch

Below are notes from the conversation.

We were fortunate to have a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives on our negotiation panel. Their combined advice is summarized below.

  1. Start by understanding what all parties want out of a negotiation. Understand what drives the other party so that you can collaboratively create a win-win.
  2. Be strategic, prepared and plan-ful about how you negotiate, and practical about how to make both parties comfortable, to increase the odds of a successful negotiation. 
    • This means that you must understand your own needs and that of the other party and find that intersect, driving towards common ground.
    • Use LinkedIn and other online resources to Google the backgrounds of the people you’re negotiating with. 
    • Consider factors such as gender, ethnicity, age, language, etc., when you’re negotiating with others. It will help you better understand their background so that you can properly prepare for a negotiation. 
  3. Go beyond doing the research prior to the negotiation. Vet your strategy and findings with others who may help you think through your strategy and plan prior to the negotiation.
  4. Know your triggers and manage through them so that you don’t get too emotional throughout the negotiation process.
  5. Surround yourself with mentors, supporters, champions, managers, and advocates, who will support you and help you learn and grow.
  6. Embrace the opportunity to connect with people who don’t think like you, who don’t act like you do.
  7. Sometimes negotiating with your loved ones is harder than negotiating with your peers and partners and customers at work. These family relationships run long and deep and can be more complicated. Focus on the long-term relationship rather than the short term wins.
  8. Whether you’re negotiating a big deal, or just doing business as usual, remember that networking is the greatest indicator of your success. 
    • Build relationships and connections before you’re in desperate need of them. Make broad and deep connections. Your network is closely tied to your Net Worth.
  9. Be that ethical, authentic, trusted party who will negotiate in good faith, and be true to the relationship and the agreement.
  10. Know your value and your worth, and be confident about lobbying to make sure that you get what you earn and deserve. Center yourself so that you feel that confidence even when you’ve had a bad day.

Below is specific advice which may help you with daily and ongoing negotiations at work and play.

  • If you’re trying to get on the calendar of important people, be succinct and focus on what’s in it for them. 
  • Offer one of several options which you define. This way, you get to control what’s to be done, and the other party feels like it’s their choice as well.
  • Be curious about people’s differing viewpoints. Inviting diversity into your circle can help everyone within your circle, provided everyone is open and respectful.
  • When you have to work with someone with whom you’ve had a colorful past, try to be open-minded. Humanize the other person, and find an area of common ground as a starting point.
  • Focus conversations on the issues at hand, staying away from the personal and emotional issues which may color the conversation and lead to unproductive cycles.
  • If you and the other party are bogged down with a negotiation, try backing off and coming from a different angle. Whether it’s working with champions behind the scenes, finding an alternate path to agreement.
  • If you’re negotiating a compensation package, consider many factors and weight them all, focusing mostly on the things that are most important to you. From there, you can overlay the various options. Factors other than salary include: Working Hours, Benefits, Bonuses, Title, Role and Tasks, Parking and Commute and Public Transit Access, Leadership Team, Project Preference, Boss and Manager, Team Leadership, Industry, Technology/Customers, Advancement Opportunity, Education and Training opportunities, Presentations to management/customers . . .

The bottom line is that negotiating is a part of life, and your perspective around how to negotiate and your preparedness for any negotiation will help ensure your success.

Innovation in SF

October 24, 2016

innovationsf2016FountainBlue’s October 21 When She Speaks in SF event, on the topic of Women Leading Innovation in San Francisco and Beyond. Below are notes from the conversation.

We were fortunate to have such an energetic, forward-thinking and accomplished range of innovators on our panel. Our panel represented a wide breadth of academic and social backgrounds, upbringings, roles and companies. Their collective advice is summarized below.

Innovation is not just about technology. 

  • Encourage everyone to define innovation more broadly as opportunities to think, speak and do things differently, whether it involves technology, processes or thinking.
  • Look not just at tech innovations but also look into innovations which improve business processes, innovations which help expand into new markets, as well as business model innovations.

Challenge people around you to think, speak and act more broadly and more deeply and gravitate toward people who are doing the same for you and to you.

  • Encourage and support self awareness in everyone around you, so they can see the bigger picture and their fit into the market and business trends.
  • Encourage both girls and boys to be self-reliant and curious, and socialize them equally to enjoy and appreciate science, technology, math and sciences.
  • Create a product, team and company where quality people want to work and stay and help them to be successful.

Focus on the Needs of the Customer as you create your strategy and your plan.

  • The adoption of a technology by paying customers is much more important than the elegance of the technology.
  • Your starting point should be ‘what are the needs of the customer’ and ‘how are you solving the customer’s problems’?
  • With advances in technology such as big data and AI, make sure that the customer still has access to human interactions.
  • Customers will increasingly demand more immersive so adopt the technologies which would address their needs.
  • Be nimble and quick with your innovations and features, resetting where necessary, gathering data to ensure alignment with the needs of the customer.
  • Ensure that the customer consistently experiences exceptional results – no matter how many hats you have to wear to make that happen.

Create a culture which embraces innovation opportunities.

  • Encourage innovators who can in turns be the humble do-er as well as the grand strategist and visionary. 
  • Invite all parties to participate as the collective entity bobs and weaves in a forward motion.
  • Be clear on WHAT needs to be accomplished by WHEN, but allow people to define HOW results will be delivered.
  • Consistently and generously believe that educating and enabling others makes things better for everyone.
  • Relish all opportunities to receive feedback and insights from others, especially from people who don’t think like they do.

Predictions for the Future

  • Customer will continue to demand more real-time digital solutions that are iSMAC (immersive, social, mobile, analytics and cloud) based.
  • Digital transformation will continue to be headline news, transforming all industries.
  • Watch for innovations on the way we distribute and create content.
  • Innovation will be in our world, in our face, in ALL industries (no matter how far we think they are from tech), from virtual reality experiences to driverless cars.

The big take-away is that everyone should feel empowered and enabled to lead and participate in an innovation, and open up opportunities to collaborate with others in being part of the win-win solutions.

Resources:


Please join me in thanking our speakers for FountainBlue’s October 21 When She Speaks in SF event, on the topic of Women Leading Innovation in San Francisco and Beyond as well as our gracious hosts at AppDynamics!

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue – Coach, Adviser and Consultant
  • Panelist Anne Evans, Global Head of Recruiting, Unity
  • Panelist Camila Franco, Head of Product Management – Browser Experience, StubHub
  • Panelist Balwinder Kaur, Principal Software Engineer, AppDynamics
  • Panelist Jessica Mah, CEO, inDinero
  • Panelist Katie Penn, Global Head of Platform Growth, Twitter
  • Panelist Kayti Sullivan, VP of Account Management, Yelp

Career Agility

July 18, 2016

July15WSSSFPanelFountainBlue’s July 15 When She Speaks, Women in Leadership in SF event was on the topic of Agility: The Key to a Successful Career. Below are notes from the conversation. 

We were fortunate to have such a dynamic panel of women leaders representing disparate roles and companies. Each panelist had a compelling perspective, a poignant voice, and each authentically, candidly and generously shared their journey and their learnings. They had the following in common:

  • They all started out with something small, which grew as they succeeded at each opportunity. Sometimes that led into deeper responsibility in similar roles, and sometimes to something different altogether.
  • They got noticed for their abilities by those who mattered, and these people were able to craft opportunities for them which were able to further stretch them, and the organization as well.
  • They fearlessly embraced the unknowns as they strove to become fully realized beings. They plowed ahead despite the fear. Their go-for-it mentality inspires us all.
  • They know their priorities and their values and don’t compromise on them. 
  • They know their strengths and select opportunities which allow them to lead with their strong suit(s).
  • They insist on always growing and learning – for themselves and for those around them.
  • They make sure that they add value wherever they’re working, whatever their job description. 
  • They are passionate about what they do and consistently stretch themselves and others on how it’s done.
  • They are curious and open-minded about the perspectives of those not-like-themselves.

Below is advice that they shared with us regarding embracing opportunities to advance and realize your professional potential.

  • They wisely touted the usefulness of a full and broad network which helps gain both access and perspective. But a network is also a two-way street, and they generously reach out, give back, mentor and support others in their network as well.
  • They repeatedly mentioned that we must all know what our brand is – what we do for whom and why we are passionate about doing so. Being cognizant of your brand and proactively reaching for what’s next can help you transcend from one job to another, from one role to another, from one industry to another.
  • Be aware of what you’re looking for, and be specific about what you’re looking for, so that others around you can help you realize that vision. 
  • Wherever you are is where you are meant to be, unless you decide it no longer is. Then it’s on you to do something about it.
  • The best lessons in life are often the hardest lessons. Learning from these tough lessons will make you more agile, more resilient, more effective. 
  • Choose opportunities and lessons which would expand your knowledge and perspective. Hiring and working with people not-like-you is a good way to do so, as is traveling to places before unknown.
  • Walk a mile in the shoes of others so that you can support them in their journey as well. With that said, watch your back and don’t succumb to the manipulative games of self-serving others.
  • Work hard, do good work, work your brand, and seize the opportunities that present themselves to you. Being prepared helps set yourself up for receiving lucky opportunities and having courage helps you to open the door when someone or something’s knocking!

Below is advice for those looking at what’s next for themselves career-wise.

  • When you’re looking for what’s next for yourself career wise, reach for what you’re looking for and make the case on why you are the best candidate for the role.
  • Ask for help from others – nobody is ever alone, unless they elect to be that way, or allow themselves to think that way.
  • Be positive, always gravitate to something rather than running away from something!
  • Stare down the worst fears. Break it down so that you understand the fear, and let others help you gain a perspective beyond the fear. 
  • Compromise on the little things (it might be title, salary, corner office etc.,) so that you can reach for the things that really matter to you (impact, passion, result, growing something from nothing, independence).
  • Sometimes career agility must take place from the employer side. Be creative in finding ways to keep top talent engaged and present
  • As you’re hiring, consider the skill side (what someone can do) and the style side (how they get things done). Training on skills is easier than training on passion and coachability. 

Our dynamic and amazing panelists are challenging us to to be career-agile, to reach high to be all you can be, first by knowing yourself, then by constantly reaching and growing yourself and all those around you. 

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Please join us in thanking our panelists for FountainBlue’s July 15 When She Speaks, Women in Leadership in SF event, on the topic of Agility: The Key to a Successful Career as well as our gracious hosts at StubHub! 

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue – Coach, Adviser and Consultant 
  • Panelist Laura (Danckwerth) Bermudez, Director of Software Development for StubHub Social & President of eBay Women In Technology
  • Panelist Melissa Daimler, Head of Learning + Organizational Development, Twitter
  • Panelist Carole Gum, VP Global Campaigns, AppDynamics
  • Panelist Alexandra Shapiro, SVP, Marketing, PR and Communications, Bigcommerce
  • Panelist Miriam Warren, VP of New Markets, Yelp

Creating and Managing Your Executive Brand

April 25, 2016

AprilPanelFountainBlue’s April 22 When She Speaks in SF, Women in Leadership Series event was on the topic of Creating and Managing Your Executive Brand. 

We were fortunate to have panelists representing different backgrounds, upbringings and perspectives who so graciously shared their wisdom and experience on the topic of Creating and Managing Your Executive Brand. Below is their collective advice and recommendations.

First and foremost, our panelists encouraged us to be courageous enough to first know and then speak your mind with clarity, to be strong and open enough to learn from how others are responding to you and to coach and support others around you to do the same. This leads to meaty, authentic, transparent conversations which are healthy for the organization, for the team, and for everyone in it.

Taking the time to know yourself and how you’d like to be perceived, and also the strength and curiosity to understand how you’re showing up, how you’re perceived by others are fundamental to successfully accomplishing that goal. From there, you can manage the delta between what-you-want-your-brand-to-be and how-you-are-perceived, so that you can manage your brand, and leverage your brand to get to where-you-want-to-go.

Our panelists all encouraged us to mindfully target a position, role and company which best fits your interests and your values. Finding a culture that works for you will help you stay true to yourself, and holding the bar high in terms of culture and purpose will help you land in that right company and role.

Our panelists all talked about the power and learnings from failures and ‘bad management experiences’, remarking that there were more learnings from the negative than the positive experiences – if we have the courage and curiosity and perspective to learn and grow at each juncture.   

Our panelists recommended that we surround ourselves with a support network, a ‘board of directors’ that would help us succeed – ranging from mentors, friends and colleagues, who will support us unconditionally and help us keep true to ourselves, to advisers who can support us with specific challenges and solutions to executive sponsors who are our internal champions.

Each of our customers reflected these admirable brand traits:

  • A customer and results orientation  
  • A strong, centered, perseverance that can and have moved mountains
  • An authentic, trustworthy, passionate communicator
  • A courageous, curious, learning-agile, and humble leader-under-development
  • An other-centric mentality which makes them great listeners and communicators 

Resources:

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Please join me in thanking our panelists for FountainBlue’s April 22 When She Speaks in SF, Women in Leadership Series event, on the topic of Creating and Managing Your Executive Brand and our gracious hosts at AppDynamics!

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue – Coach, Adviser and Consultant
  • Panelist Steph Douglass, Vice President, People & Culture, OpenTable
  • Panelist Shannon Eis, VP Corporate Communications, Yelp
  • Panelist Nandini Ramani, VP Engineering, Twitter
  • Panelist Gwen Tillman, Head of People Development, AppDynamics

A Work-Life Balance that Works for Life – in SF

January 23, 2016

JanuaryCollageFountainBlue’s January 22 When She Speaks-in-SF, Women in Leadership Series event, on the topic of A Work-Life Balance the Works for Life!.  We were fortunate to have panelists representing different backgrounds, upbringings and perspectives around work, life and balance! They have each successfully grown their careers, continually reaching for new roles and positions and better education as well. Collectively, our panelists shared the following pearls of wisdom for those seeking work-life balance.

  • Embrace life and the opportunities in front of you with gusto. Target positions and roles where you have the skills and the passion to succeed, roles where the market values your contributions.
  • Be self-aware enough to know what you want, what you’re good at and confident enough to keep reaching for the skills and experience so that you can succeed in those roles.
  • Consistently deliver to your own high standards and you will have more negotiating power on how your work gets done.
  • Celebrate your victories, but humbly expect that there is much more to learn from everyone around you.
  • Life is a journey which takes constant reflection on what’s working, what’s not working, and what to do about it. Set a high bar for what you want out of life, and how work fits into that framework.
  • Know your values and expectations. What are your non-negotiables, and where can you flex?
  • Make quality time with spouse and children and important others in your life a high priority, even if it means you have to leave at odd hours during the day to be there for them.
  • Select a company and team that would support your work-life balance perspective, and work to make little shifts in support of those you work with and for, so that those around you feel fulfilled at work.
  • Make a job selection based on where you are in your life, and what you want out of life. For example, if you have very young children or heavy responsibilities at home, perhaps taking on international traveling schedules would present too much stress and conflict. 
  • Communicating your work-life balance needs and proactively negotiating to get those needs met at work is critical. Negotiating for the support you need at home is equally important, so that you can focus on what matters – having the time, energy and resources to perform at and deliver in both places.

In the end, remember that life comes first, and work can wait. But work is important, so select work that matters to you, work in which you can excel, and negotiate with your management so that work supports your current life goals.

Resources:

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Please join me in thanking our gracious hosts at Yelp and our panelists!

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue – Coach, Adviser and Consultant
  • Panelist Elizabeth Brown, Chief People Officer, Unity
  • Panelist Wendy Jennings, Director, Employee Shareholder Services/Stock Administration, AppDynamics, Inc.
  • Panelist Sonia Oliveira, Director, International (Localization), Zynga
  • Panelist Jodie Yorg, Chief of Staff to the SVP of Revenues, Yelp