Standing up #WomenEqualityDay

Maya Angelou

“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”

Maya Angelou

In the past, I’ve brought forward the importance of being a visible role model.  How each of us standing up and being seen, can help make it easier for others around us to do the same.

I’d like to add a few more thoughts on how we can all #StandUp.

I believe it’s important to celebrate progress of others.  Every time we see progress for women, wherever that progress might come —  corporate, nonprofit or individual, society benefits.

I also, believe we should all lend our voice of dissent to important social, human and legal events that happen around us.  From the scourge of rape culture, to the embarrassment of sexism in Olympic coverage, not being a silent bystander, is a critical part of standing up.   We are the authors of our lives and a positive example for others.

Lately I’ve been thinking more deeply about the most difficult barrier that remains for women — power.  In the boardrooms, executive suites, and in our representative democracy, women are a stubbornly stuck minority.

I want to give a shout out to Cindy Gallop for connecting an important point to this topic for me.  The reason #EqualPay is important, is not just about you getting what is fair. In a work context, equal pay makes sure you are compared properly against the rightful peer group.

If you allow yourself to be paid less than your male counterparts, you not only hold back your own earning potential, you diminish your overall perceived value [against the scorecard measured in US dollars].  When you overlay this against the behavioral economic principle of relativity you begin to see how this can become a recursive problem.

All respect to Archie’s “Rib Theory,” I think a compelling case can be made that we all need to do our part.  I’m not suggesting that we need to all be motivated exclusively by money or power but, we must not allow ourselves to give permission to others to diminish the value of our work.  We must do our part to find and fix this for others when we are in a situation where we can.

Happy #WomensEqualityDay with sincere gratitude for all that you do, to stand up for all women.

Fortune favors the prepared

imagesxI’ve been thinking a lot lately about careers and luck.

I do believe there is a healthy element of luck in most career success stories.  I also believe, that many people misinterpret luck as their own capabilities (perception and data are often misaligned).

If we agree that luck is important, then we should learn to invite luck into our lives.

I believe you can absolutely attract or repulse good luck with your focus and your actions.  I’m not saying it’s magical, I’m just saying it’s logical.  The more you engage and work toward an outcome, the more likely that outcome will happen.

Or in internet meme form


So what are some practical tips i have seen that work to bring professional luck your way?

  • Share your goals – the more you talk about your goals with others, the better your odds of finding someone who can help you achieve them. Warning: if you only share to feel good about yourself, you miss the point (and the results) of this one.
  • Keep your head up –pay attention to what is going on around you.   You are likely to see opportunities that bring luck your way, if you you are actively looking.
  • Embrace failureMindset matters here — knowing that “yet” is the vocabulary of progress.  We all have a CV of failures critical to our visible career success.
  • Invest in your network – Having a strong network is the most common source of career luck.  You build a strong network by giving (not taking), so invest in your luck karma, by being generous and helpful to your network.
  • Practice saying yes – Give yourself permission to get outside of your comfort zone, saying yes to things that stretch you toward your goal.

Preparing for success invites success.  Not overnight of course, but taking steps in the right direction, consistently, purposefully, intentionally moving yourself toward your goal.

More on the topic here.

Authors note: After a blogging break of more than a year, I began a blog today I titled “Creating luck” only to find I had an unsaved draft of the above titled blog from 4 years ago.  Note sure if this is an observation on the importance of this topic to me, or how long it takes to complete a thought.