January 24, 2012
The concept makes sense… the longer you do a job and are in a role, the more that is expected of you and unless you continue to take on new challenges and up your game, your value decreases. In order to expand skills and consistently perform at the top of your game, there are stretch periods needed to flex new muscles and question/explore ways of accomplishing important goals.
When this concept was articulated to me last month our my leadership training session, it also hit me right between the eyes that I have two choices. One – stay in role and actively explore new and challenging opportunities that go beyond the “expected”.. or two — take on a completely new role that pushes me into unfamiliar territory — even areas I don’t know — and work through the incompetence toward a significant period of growth. That incompetence — known as the “pit of incompetence” is a very uncomfortable place to be — but is essential to continued growth.
Wow. What does that look like? As the new year brings new opportunities to “reset” I have no choice but to embrace the creation of big goals. That may look like new work opportunities. It may look like articulating current role goals I’ve been afraid to share with others before. As Bahram Akradi – the Founder of LifeTime Fitness notes in one of his Life Wisdom articles, “success in most endeavors comes from clear, precise and thoughtful setting of goals, combined with a real commitment to making them happen – even if it takes a while.”
Bahram notes too that 1) setting clear goals and having accountability around them, as well as 2) both in personal and professional life establishing a habit of finding and stretching ones comfort zone and inviting others around us into the process are both essential to the “culture of growth, a culture of celebrating successes.”
I couldn’t have said it better than Akradi: “Expect Resistance, and greet it with excitement when it comes! That’s your opportunity for growth, right there.”
October 4, 2011
The little wake ups start around 4 AM….This morning’s went like this…
– schedule electrician
— call Mitchie with kids and sing Happy Birthday
— set up Wisconsin Public Radio interview
— finish monthly scorecard
— find babysitter for the 15th
— research Peru weather
— ask Nonni to alter Mia’s costume
Yes, the List. My list, swirling around in my head. I’m sure mine are not unlike many working moms’ lists. But that is why “I Don’t know How She Does It” was such a true-to-life movie. It captured the subtleties of the daily trade offs, the crazy schedules, the no-time-for-a-hair-appointment feeling (and look!), the joy (pure joy!) of time with my children, the fear of the teacher’s scowl when we’re late for drop off, the mommy guilt, the momsters who gloat that they have no mommy guilt, and that strange sense that amidst all this, I wouldn’t change my situation.
Sarah Jessica Parker — in her portrayal of Kate Reddy — captured a woman excelling at her job, adoring her kids, supporting at equally talented husband, and just plain trying to figure it all out without thinking she has to entirely give up any portion of the equation.
The movie does not sugar coat how important it is for her to be at the TOP of her game at work. Period. Full stop. No requests for special breaks because she’s a mom. She had to earn every inch of respect and reward.
And it doesn’t let her off at home either. She has an honest husband who watches her with amazement and pride, yet who knows when to holler “Uncle” as things spiral out of control. And let’s be honest. Sometimes they do.
Life is messy. Job stress ebbs and flows. Kids will need Rob and me more — not less - as they grow up. By no means can anyone tie things up in a perfect bow. But on Sunday night, the eve of my 13th wedding Anniversary, sitting in that dark theatre with my husband, watching what seemed like our own life unfold on that screen, we agreed that we wouldn’t want it any other way.
September 27, 2011
It was October 2002 when I first became a working mom. Full time job. Four month old baby at home. Someone — other than my husband and me – who was helping with the care of our first child.
Fortunately, ever since that day, I have had the benefit of employers who champion flexibility in the workplace and the ability to work from home several days a week if I choose. Now, that doesn’t mean I didn’t utilize day care, babysitters, and currently, after-care at my children’s school. I have and I do. And I’m actually a pretty big believer in the benefits of GOOD, group daycare, especially when the child care support system reinforces our Christian faith.
I know however, that as fortunate as I have been to take advantage of these benefits and have the money to pay for them, and am able to leave work to ensure I’m there for important milestones with my children…. there are many many women (and men!) in the working world who are ball and chained to desks, living the 9 to 5 grind with employers who neither take advantage of today’s technology to provide flexibility or (in my mind) worse, don’t trust their employees with the freedom to manage between work and home in creative ways.
I’m not sure where she’s going with this but I’m glad to know that the First Lady is helping to shine a light on the issue (as noted in this Politico story) by championing flexible work.. recognizing that in this Century, we need solutions that can accommodate the rigors of family life and thriving careers, both. I hope she gives her staff the flexibility that she touts. Because hers is a powerful voice….and with the “I Don’t Know How She Does It” movie in theatres, the timing is good!
September 3, 2010
I actually remember not too long ago when anything in the Washington Post print edition that was written by a washingtonpost.com reporter had to have the caveat “Special to the Washington Post” at the tail end of the piece. These two newsrooms were entirely separate entities, and it was the one with the .COM address at the end that was treated like the red-headed step-child.
How times have changed…and the ground has shifted under our feet over the last decade. Bets are now placed on how long the delivery model can survive.
As much as I love the daily morning ritual of retrieving my Post from the driveway (and yes I immediately pull out the Style section while I recycle Sports and Metro), it’s now online where I find and share the columns, stories and photo series that capture my attention the longest. Yes the Post still has the Loudoun insert, but if they’re smart, they’ll start putting more contributed content online from the region’s readers as well.
WUSA 9 , DC’s CBS affiliate, is starting to do that… If i can get my act together, I will soon start blogging for the hyperlocal Leesburg, Ashburn, and Reston communities – of more than 50 communities around DC where WUSA 9 is gathering news and content. In Ashburn, for instance, it’s everything from Donald Trump’s opening of (what was once) Lowes Island Golf Course to Redskins training camp… even a crime report from the local Subway shop.
Not that you need more proof, but even USA Today is at it again… completely overhauling its newsroom to center around content hubs… Chris O’Brien of the “Next Newsroom Project” captures the shift in his blog.
Could there be a more exciting time to work in media, even PR? No way! ”Publish or die” now haunts everyone, every day. Today’s newsroom is really just the corner Starbucks.
November 20, 2009
Maybe it’s because i’ve had a particularly tough morning, but this made me tear up today! Land’s End does a great job of showcasing a commitment to a cause in which they can make a difference (not random, but makes strategic sense), while also showing a deftness in tugging on emotional strings AND making it easy to share the “cause” with friends..
I’ve embedded the video below but to customize it for yourself (you’ll see what I mean once you watch it) and share with your friends, you will want to go to The Big Warm Up. Enjoy… and go home and go through your closets…winter’s coming and it’s cold.
October 27, 2009
From Seattle to West Hempfield township, Lancaster County, Windows 7 Parties are taking place all over…honestly, I should have launched it here at the House of Klause — not only because I am loving it (I work for Microsoft, what do you expect), but because my Mac husband has been using it longer than me (on one of his 7 machines) and loves it… Here are some direct quotes…from me and from him… guess which one is from whom..
“It’s fun to shake the screens have all but one disappear”
“It’s 64-bit goodness rocks”
“The Sticky Notes function (start, all programs, accessories, stickynotes)”
“It starts up wicked quick”
“Stability, reliability, security”
“The new tool bar allows me to manage about 50 windows at once!”
Yes, some of these are from the very guy who made my life difficult this week by re-launching White House.gov in Drupal/Open Source. (big sigh…) But I digress. Just for fun, here are some glowing stories on Windows 7…
— First is my colleague Kristin’s summary blog post on some of the cool stuff happening around the launch…she highlights a very cool campaign that our citizenship team launched called “7 ways to change the world’ — looking specifically at how Windows 7 features can benefit the work of non profits and governmental efforts to address the world’s challenges.
— eSchool News: Schools give Windows 7 favorable reviews
— Wall Street Journal – A Windows to Help You Forget….“After using pre-release versions of Windows 7 for nine months, and intensively testing the final version for the past month on many different machines, I believe it is the best version of Windows Microsoft has produced. It’s a boost to productivity and a pleasure to use. Despite a few drawbacks, I can heartily recommend Windows 7 to mainstream consumers.”
– Wired — Seven good reasons to switch to Windows 7…..“Because no matter how comfortable you are with XP, you do deserve an OS that’s both newer and better, and Windows 7 will deliver.”
— CNET – Microsoft Windows 7 (Professional)…CNET editor’s rating: Outstanding