Archive for the ‘WSS-SF’ Category

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
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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