09 November 2009

Historic Moments Revisted

Returning from a delightful and long overdue retreat with my husband to celebrate our 10 year anniversary, I paged through the news to what was happening over the weekend while we blissfully "checked out." A picture of a women standing in front of Checkpoint Charlie 20 years ago with hope-filled eyes and a charming smile brought me back.

I was sitting in "German for Foreigners" at Universitaet Salzburg on my year abroad when classmate, Elena Cooney, handed me a note. I opened it to read the words, "Do you want to go to Berlin?" Having woken up late, I had not read or heard any news, but nonetheless always up for an adventure. My response was, "sure, why Berlin?" Her simple response started my heart racing and lead to plans being made and us deserting our unfinished class. "The wall came down." Was all she wrote.

We agreed to rendezvous at the train station as soon as possible with bags packed for the weekend and passports in hand. We made it as far as Munich before we realized that we were not the only ones with the same intentions. Not a spot on a train to be had heading in that direction. Despite our disappointment, we settled into our pension and headed into town to be feel the buzzing city that soon would become part of the united Germany.

Just to be a part of the moment, to feel the vibe of freedom, was truly exhilarating. There were Trebants "zipping" around with their lawnmower-like engines and folk flowing in from the former Eastern block. We settled into a funny little pub called Zum Bärin. We sat drinking Jägermeister with a priest from Czechoslavakia and dozens of others who were newly arrived "on the other side" for the first time in over 40 years. Being part of such an historic moment was like nothing I have ever felt before or since.

I made it to Check Point Charlie a couple of months later. I chipped my obligatory pieces off the wall to keep as souvenirs. Crossing the border I was welcomed with smiles and open appreciation of my being an American. (Something I had not felt before then.) I was fascinated by the sharp contrast between the two sides, one so vibrant and new and the other so gray and deteriorated. I look forward to returning to Berlin to see what I understand is a completely transformed and exciting city.

Where were you when The Wall came down?

28 October 2009

Solidarity Unobserved is Destructive

Women Behaving Badly from Pink Magazine 2006I have been holding off on writing this post, because I try to look at the positive in every situation. But life is now always a bed of roses, and even if it is, there can be thorns. In my work I teach effective networking and collaborative techniques and tools. I meet many wonderful people and I am inspired by everyone of them in different ways. We all have our reasons, be it a bad day or simply a personality conflict. My good intentions can be perceived as aggressive or controlling. When I am passionate about the work that I am doing, I tend to go full speed, which may not be the pace of those observing or taking part. So, I admit, this may be brought on by myself. None of us are perfect, after all, certainly not me.

The purpose of this post, is rather to "get it off my chest" as well as to remind others to think about the impact of their actions and reactions. It saddens me to think that my behavior might cause someone reason to be mean and disrespectful. Especially when they do not simply impact me, but others who benefit from my work. I don't care if everyone likes me, after all I don't like everyone either. If we spend all our time pleasing everyone, someone always gets burned, and we burn out. But I do try to be considerate of others and the impact of my actions, regardless of whether I "like" them or not.

I will not name any names and do not need to, as that is not the point here. But I ask that each of you in response take a moment to think before you act. Try to understand the intentions on those with whom you interact before reacting. We can accomplish so much more together when we do just that. It is more productive and far more enjoyable. I promise I will do the same.

Interesting article on Women Behaving Badly in Pink Magazine has some great ideas and thoughts on this topic. (note: image above from this article)

23 October 2009

Social Optimization: Making the Most of Your Relationships

This presentation is from a three part class I recently taught on social media strategy. It was designed for a particular audience, which was business school students and entrepreneurs. The last slide provides a basic exercise for getting started on building a stronger foundation for your social strategy. I am revising the second two parts (Social Media & Implementation) for a more general audience to upload shortly. The class name has since been updated to "Social Business Strategy." Please feel free to contact me should you be interested in learning more about this class and supporting materials.

15 October 2009

Wealth Acceleration and BPW Malmö

Last nights BPW Malmö meeting with Liselotte Molander presenting on Quantum Wealth Acceleration was a great success. She inspired us to look inside ourselves for the answers to our wealth issues. We saw demonstrated and felt the impact of her teachings. Clearly we all could use more of this. Her positive energy and enthusiastic story telling teaches complex concepts with beautiful and simple fluidity. What a treat to have such a talented speaker who I feel fortunate to call my friend. Thank you Liselotte for sharing your work and your time with the rest of your BPW Malmö sisters.

We have many new guests last night and six of them joined the club after the inspiring experience. We really are finally making traction. I am so happy to see the quality and engagement of the women that have chosen to take part in BPW Malmö. It was only a year ago that we talked about bringing the club to Öresund and now we are over 33 dedicated members with regular guests and the word spreading. Nearly half the club has an international background personally and all have an international professional background. More good things to come and a great team to do it with.

22 September 2009


Another Business and Professional Women (BPW)Congress completed and more great memories and inspiration collected and shared. The European Congress took place in Munich and gathered members from members from around the map. Thanks to the hosting committee for their wonderful efforts and the attendees of my workshop on Social Media for Non-Profits for their enthusiastic participation. Liz Benham, BPW International President, emphasized the importance of participation and having a voice and sharing best practice.

Marianne Platnner spoke of the mentoring task force and the ideals of successful mentoring programs. She depicted it beautifully with the tandem bike in that the mentee (in front) steers and the mentor (in back) helps when the come to a steep hill, but for the most part it is mutual effort.

Sabine Schmeltzer said it best when she presented BPW Switzerland's their "Code of Solidarity" and "Just do it" program at the BPW Europe Congress in Munich. We sometimes need to be reminded not to be our own worst enemy.

"Code of Solidarity"
1. Say "No" to negative thoughts and jealousy
2. Be proactive - take the first step
3. Speak up when women are put down
4. Help uncover women's hidden potential
5. Always play fair
6. Be objective, don't get personal
7. Support other women whenever possible
8. Praise openly and unsparingly

"Just do it"
1. Overcome restrictive doctrines
2. Recognize your strengths and discover your potential
3. Pursue your goals. Don't get discouraged by set-backs
4. Stick to your opinion and set limits
5. Resist perfectionism
6. Convey presence and competence
7. Seize your chances
8. Put yourself in the spotlight
9. Celebrate your success
10. Use your network for support