Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Help 100K Children Thrive in the Classroom

Many of our favorite charitable organizations
may experience a backlash from the recent economic events. We do have the power to help -- just with the click of a mouse! Please support the American Express Members Project. There are five remaining projects that have a chance at receiving $1.5 million in funding. Since this is the final round, you know they must be worthy to have made it this far. I've selected the one sponsored by DonorsChoose.org. Pick that one or another -- it doesn't matter. Just pick! Thanks! Coach Colette

Monday, September 22, 2008

In Topsy-Turvy Times, Focus on Your Spheres of Control

I received a message today from a colleague that mirrors the topsy-turvy nature of our times -- everyone seems to be wondering: "How the events on Wall Street affect me and my career?" As an eager, soon-to-be-entry-level-employee, she's concerned about being able to secure a stable position upon graduation. I'm hoping she doesn't put all of her "eggs" in one basket (i.e., only targeting the firm at which she interned last year).

While a certain degree of concern is normal, I coached her to not get too distracted by the external events -- of course, not to bury her head in the sand either! Know Your Market is a key Competent Advantage component. I encouraged her to focus on aspects of her search that are within her sphere of influence and control:
  • Professional Collateral - having an updated CV/bio that can be shared at a moments notice. What specific experiences can be highlighted given the current turn-of-events? What key skills are especially relevant right now in your target company/industry? How can you show you've mastered them?

  • Personal/Professional Network - using your inner circle to help get to the people you want to meet. What Web 2.0 resources can be tapped (e.g., social networking sites)? How can you access people in different ways: cross-functionally, across organizations/industries?

  • Plan "B" - considering other roles/companies/industries if your current target is in a restructuring stage. Who else would value the skills/talents you bring? How can you use your network to identify key contacts and information?

What do you think? What strategies are you using to navigate the career landscape these days?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

How Do You Use the 'Net to Network?

I'm doing this post in response to my pal Diane Danielson with Downtown Women's Club. She and the DWC gals are conducting an online survey to find out how you're using the 'Net and technology to enhance your network.

Since 2008 is truly my year of technology & Web 2.0, I thought I'd give her a hand by encouraging you to participate in the survey. You don't have to be a DWC member (although it's pretty cool if you do decide to join) to complete it. AND, you can earn a discounted DWC+ membership (or renewal) after you're done.

Given the potential career impact of recent Wall Street events, being able to access and leverage one's network efficiently will be critical. After you complete the survey, feel free to share your online networking tools and tips. I was delighted to learn that I've added some NEW online tools to my toolbox since the last DWC Networking Survey (2006), like Twitter. What about you?

How do you use technology/Web 2.0 to your competent advantage TM?

Monday, September 15, 2008

My NEW NYU Faculty ID

I was pleasantly surprised today when I peeked at the photo on my new NYU ID and it didn't look like I'd just walked 15 blocks in 80+degree weather. Why did I walk so far to get a new NYU ID? Well, I've recently joined the adjunct faculty at NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service to teach a course on Managing Diversity this Fall!

The course, Managing Diversity - An Evidence-Based Approach will help build students' skills in diversity management and cultural competency. In this semester, the primary audience will be nurse leaders enrolled in the MS in Management program; although the course is open to other health policy students at Wagner as well. Specific topics will include: Strengthening Workforce Diversity; Expanding Diversity of Leadership Teams; and Culturally Proficient Healthcare.

I'll be facilitating classroom sessions with Tim Mulvaney, President of The Mulvaney Group, Inc. It will be cool to collaborate with him again, as we did for a few podcasts and his Courageous Conversations program.

I'm really excited to return to my alma mater in a teaching capacity! We've posted our syllabus online (access via my profile) and created our Blackboard page with the initial assignments. I'm looking forward meeting my students. Will keep you posted on how it goes and what compelling issues are surfaced.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Maine & NH Library Leaders Get Creative!

Back in NYC after my almost-week in Maine. The Round 2 kickoff of the PLA tour was great! Had a great time meeting librarians and their supporters from Maine & New Hampshire.

In addition to my sessions on Leadership, Creating Compelling Stories and Giving Memorable Presentations, I led a new session on Project Management called Staying on Track. This was a great way to help participants tie the content from their previous sessions together.

Besides upgrading their computer hardware, many participants indicated that libraries in Maine & NH are engaging in capital projects, e.g., renovation, preservation -- and one library will be re-carpeted! This project sparked some cool discussion as participants traded ideas on how to generate project support.
  • One person suggested "selling" squares of the new carpet, so that donors could see which part(s) they had contributed to.

  • The librarian indicated that carpet squares couldn't be used because of the wood flooring underneath.

  • Dialogue continued until another participant suggested creating a quilt to replicate the carpet squares that could be hung on the wall -- this would maintain the visual of donor contributions, but not force them into using carpet squares on the floor!

It's this creativity and willingness of participants to pitch in new ideas that makes the PLA project so rewarding to work on.

And, the ability to travel the country has been fun as well. Here are a few shots from our boat ride to Diamond Cove off Casco Bay.

Friday, September 05, 2008

On the Road Again - the PLA Tour

Happy Friday! I've been spending the week catching up and getting ready for the PLA-Tour! No, it's not a typo (I don't play golf ... yet!) -- the "tour" is the leadership training program for the Public Library Association.

You may recall from the spring that I posted some pics from workshops I led in cool places like Hershey, PA. Well, I'll be on the road again (beginning on Sunday) to help librarians and their trustees enhance their leadership skills to create community partnerships and (ultimately) increase funding for their libraries.

The first stop on the fall PLA Tour is Portland, Maine, where I'll meet and train librarians and trustees from the home state and from New Hampshire. I'm excited to be back involved with the project.

This time, I'll be bringing more Web 2.0 with me as I recently created a profile on Twitter! That way, I can share quick nuggets of learning, ideas, etc. from the workshops. So, you can follow me on Twitter directly or read updates here on the blog (right-hand side). See you on the road! :)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The "Back to ... Blues" vs. Presence

So, it's "back to school" time. I was a little shocked on Monday evening when I felt a small tingle of the "Back to ... Blues" about the return to work. Could it have been "muscle memory" in my brain from all of those Labor Day evenings growing up? Or, [more likely] was it the knowledge I had 100+ emails to review after my "stay-cation"?

I'm impressed that I remained relatively unplugged during my "stay-cation" -- managed to electronically weed through business-related emails on my BlackBerry to keep my focus on unwinding. To assist with this intention, I began reading Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. I was fascinated by his comments on the ego and our struggle with being truly conscious and present.

Even the concept of the "Back to ... Blues" is in conflict with being present, right? It's an expression of dread in the current moment (possibly the day before work/school/etc.) about a future moment that we presume will be negative. So, perhaps we miss out on something fantastic in the current moment because we're so concerned about the future potential of something bad. It may sound trivial when you're reading it [I had a few "well, duh!" moments with myself while reading the book]; but it's good to even recognize when this has happened (or is happening) to you. That level of awareness is the big "A-HA!" that can help increase your level of presence.

Being on "stay-cation" provided a lot of space for me to consider these concepts without the form pressures of meetings or client commitments. Staying conscious and present in the Now during life's normal adventures will be the challenge. I'll continue to reflect on this -- and am intrigued to hear your thoughts. How do you stay present in the Now?