Something I highly recommend for my coaching friends

Last year I had a great experience with the World Business and Executive Coach Summit (WBECS).

It’s an amazing event full of great information.

And here’s the best part: It’s all streamed online, there are NO pitches for any other type of product or service AND… (drum roll please)… it’s 100% free.

As in “nada”, “nothing”, “zilch”.

What’s the catch? There is NONE!

Anyway – It is happening again and I thought you might like to be made aware of it

The event offers an outstanding professional growth opportunity. It brings together the top thought leaders of the coaching world to share their knowledge and experience with practicing coaches.

Again, there is no cost for this. Essentially, it’s like a series of online TED talks throughout May and you can get your complimentary pass here:

http://wbecs.com/partner/a/wbecs2014/a3631

The presenters this year are diverse and first rate and include (just to name a few):

– Marshall Goldsmith – The World’s Number One Leadership Thinker
– John C. Maxwell – Founder of EQUIP and the John Maxwell Company
– Dave Ulrich – Professor At The Ross School Of Business, University Of Michigan And A Partner At The RBL Group
– Peter Hawkins – The number one thought leader on Coaching Supervision and Leadership Team Coaching
– Pamela McLean – Preeminent Coach and Author of Completely Revised Handbook of Coaching
– David Allen – The Personal Productivity Guru
– David Rock – CEO, author, speaker coined the term ‘NeuroLeadership’
– Dorothy Siminovitch – Preeminent International Gestalt Coach, Coach Trainer, and Keynote Speaker
– Karen Kimsey-House – CTI Founder, Creator of the Co-Active philosophy of relationship, Leadership and Coaching Expert
– Shirzad Chamine – The New York Times’ best-selling author of Positive Intelligence

If you enjoy the pre-summit, WBECS does have a full summit scheduled for June with a LOT more sessions and longer times for each one, but for the month of May you can get into everything for free, so go grab a pass while you’re thinking about it.

You only need to register once and you gain access to all the pre-summit sessions live: http://wbecs.com/partner/a/wbecs2014/a3631

I’ll be also be attending a number of the sessions myself so may see you online

All the best,

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Colleen is Featured on BusinessInfoGuide.com

Colleen SlaughterColleen was recently featured in an interview on BusinessInfoGuide.com, a popular website offering an impressive breadth of resources for entrepreneurs, including guidance on business development and growth, marketing info, industry guides, and more.

In the interview, Colleen offers in-depth information about her business, Authentic Leadership International (ALI), including the processes and procedures implemented that have fostered company growth, overcoming challenges, and advice and resources for other business owners.

Colleen shares that outsourcing and delegating have made a substantial impact in taking her business to the next level.  When Colleen came to the realization that she couldn’t do it all herself – and didn’t want to – it was time for a change. “I decided it was time to get help from people that enjoyed and had passion for the things that I didn’t,” explains Colleen.

Colleen highlights the importance of outsourcing when asked what she would do differently if she were starting over again.  “I would have gotten to the point of outsourcing and asking for help sooner, allowing me to focus more clearly on what I do best, giving emerging women leaders the tools to take bolder actions, so they can achieve higher levels of success,” she says.

She also says she wants other business owners just starting out to know how integral it is to be passionate about the business endeavor – to go the extra mile every step of the way. Colleen recommends the following resources for others:

Books:

  • Lean In by Cheryl Sandberg
  • Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
  • Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire: Business Sense and Sensibility by Mireille Guiliano
  • Save Your Inner Tortoise by Carol Courcy

Tools:

  • Team Advantage
  • Energy Leadership Index
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
  • Tilt 360° Leadership Predictor™
  • The Extraordinary Game™
  • FIRO-B

To learn more about Colleen and Authentic Leadership International, visit http://www.coachforauthenticleaders.com or contact 1.855.481.1069.

Does a Greater Female Population in Its Intro to Computer Science Class Mean Berkeley is Truly Advancing Women?

For the first time ever, last Spring, Berkeley’s intro to computer science course brought in more women (106) than men (104).  While only a slight majority, this gender flip represents a significant change  – not only for Berkeley but for women in Computer Science and other male-dominated fields across the globe.

Or does it?

Both Berkeley and Stanford have revamped their Computer Science programs to make them more attractive to women.  The new title of the “Introduction to Symbolic Programming” class:  “The Beauty and Joy of Computing,” certainly points to that.  Moreover,  now there are more feminine-oriented  slants like stressing how technology can change the world for the better, team exercises and the latest press releases about computing.  To be sure, their efforts seem to be working:  both institutions have experienced a near-doubling of its women computer science majors since 2008.  

However, what happens when these Lady Techies graduate and become part of the “real world,” where the “curriculum” is not adjusted to  make various populations feel more comfortable?  How long can women in computing last and how strong will be their impact?  According to  Sapna Cheryan, a psychologist from the University of Washington who has studied stereotypes in computer science, what is done today to get women in the classroom today could have an adverse affect on them down the road.  We can’t assume that what works for some women will naturally work for all. No, we are way too diversely intelligent for that.

So, what’s the lesson in all this?  That perhaps such a traditionally male-dominated field is beginning to see a crack of light of more feminine influence.   While Berkeley and Stanford are arguably the most progressive institutions in the United States and therefore would be the first to usher in women where they haven’t been numerous before, this is still a move in the right direction – both in terms of the amount of enrolled women and in terms of these universities waking up to figure out how to grow their female following.

Imagine if entire companies and industries did this:  recruited women leaders who oversaw their sales grow in proportion to the enormous purchasing power that women hold:  two-thirds of the consumer wealth in the US over the next ten years.    Where would we women be then?

 

Prioritizing Balance = Good for Business?

Integrating our lives is one of the greatest challenges that leaders face. To lead a balanced life, we need to bring together all of its constituent elements—work, family, community, and friends—so that we can be the same person in each environment. Authentic leaders are constantly aware of the importance of staying grounded. Besides spending time with our families and close friends, we get physical exercise, engage in spiritual practices and do community service.  All are essential to our effectiveness as leaders.

Not only is our leadership enhanced, but also,  according to Deloitte’s Touche Toshmatsu Limited (Deloitte), a professional services consulting business, flexible workplaces are good for businesses and the economy.  Deloitte estimated that implementing flexible work arrangements in 2003 resulted in savings of $41.5 million in reduced turnover costs for their company.1 Flex programs in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Australia have not caused decreased profits or unmet customer demand, according to a survey of employers who have implemented these programs.2

 In periods of change, an authentic leader will consider the impact to her own health and wellness and to that of her team.  For example, in the midst of a stretch of long hours and hard work, such a leader may suggest a break, day off, or arrange for a healthy meal in order to rejuvenate and revitalize team members.  

Leading is high-stress work. The higher we go, the greater our freedom to control our destiny but also the higher the degree of stress. The question is not whether we can avoid stress but how we can control it to maintain our own sense of equilibrium so that we can show up as effectively as possible to our work. Striving for balance is the way to do that.

 

 

1 Corporate Voices for Working Families, “Innovative Workplace Flexibility Options for Hourly Workers” (Washington, DC: Corporate Voices for Working Families, 2009).

2 Antonie Boessenkool and Ariane Hegewisch, “Working Time for Working Families: Europe and the United States” (Washington: American University Washington College of Law, 2004).

The Top Five Actions Women Should Take When They Travel Abroad for Business

As a long-term multicultural professional woman, I get asked by other women from time to time about what they should keep in mind when they travel abroad for business – either for short or long-term assignments.  And then, recently a group of women business owners I am a part of asked me to speak on the topic.  So, calling  not only on my own knowledge and experience, but also drawing on that of my dynamic network of international female experts (thank you, ladies!), I came up with the following list of the top five things we women should do to ensure a successful trip.

Here they are:

  1. Understand as much as you can about the culture.  Do it before you leave home and continue it as you arrive at your destination.  In addition to history and art, other subjects to learn about are dress, gender relations and how things are done at the office. For example. in Muslim countries, dressing anything less than conservative would affect your credibility.  And, when you’re in France, Italy, Japan, Morocco, and Australia, you’ll notice very different rules and expectations of women – particularly during negotiations. Being as familiar as you can with local customs – and especially business etiquette for women – before you get there will help cut down the number of faux pas you may make.
  2.   Learn the language.  And, if you  just can’t muster the  time for all of it, become skilled at at least a few key phrases like “good morning”, “thank you”, “well done” or “how are you?”.  Making an effort to speak the host country language goes a long way in creating strong relationships with your foreign counterparts.
  3. Take care of personal logistics.  This covers everything from keeping up your wellness routine to making hard copies of your passport, credit cards to knowing exactly where you’re going and how you get there before you even land.  Making sure to have a solid foundation – and as many of your bases covered as possible – beforehand will help you feel more grounded and ready for the what-can-be-destabilizing experience of operating in a strange environment.
  4. Connect with a network. If you have a group of people you know on-site, send them an email and plan to meet when you arrive. Otherwise, as your friends or LinkedIn connections if they can make an introduction for you.  Check out expat forums on the internet and ask people that have been there about seemingly trivial but actually important topics such as where to live, where to shop, a typical working day there, social groups, places of worship, etc. Once you are in your host country, work on growing your network of friends and colleagues – especially including locals –  right away.  Not only can it be lonely travelling abroad, but developing your list of contacts there will only enhance your overall network.
  5. Enjoy your time.  Don’t forget that, in most cases, a privilege to journey to a new territory.  Take advantage of this adventure to explore around the area, visit historical sites, and try some out of the ordinary activities you would never have done before – like taking a cooking or an art class or touring around on bicycle. Making sure to have fun and enjoy the ride will also help reduce the stress of adapting to a new schedule and culture.

 

Certainly, as a girl from Kentucky, I have found that my time living and working abroad – while not always easy – has enriched my professional and personal ways in indescribable ways.  My wish for you is that you gain at least as much satisfaction out of your journey overseas.