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Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Was Garden of Eden a #METOO Moment?

Tuesday, February 06, 2018 @ 2:54 PM

Tamara Kolton is a rabbi and psychologist in Birmingham, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit.  She is writing her first book, “Oranges for Eve: Walking The Way of the Divine Feminine.”  In this commentary, she makes the case that the first and most memorable Bible story was also a #METOO moment.  She left me with plenty to think about. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Powering Up to Leadership Podcast Interview

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 @ 7:04 PM

Integrate and Ignite is a terrific podcast for entrepreneurs and leaders. I was thrilled to be invited as a guest to talk about the 7 Skills High Achievers need to master to make the leap to Leadership.  We also talked about the #MeToo movement.  Hope you'll listen! 

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Rage and Resilience of the Gymnast Sisterhood that Came for a Predator

Monday, January 29, 2018 @ 8:04 PM

I’m sick over the devastating sexual assault that Dr. Larry Nassar, of USA Gymnastics & Michigan State University, perpetrated for decades on young, female athletes. But I'm also in awe and inspired by the courage of the amazing little girls who grew into incredibly strong women.

They are an example of the power of the next generation of young women who are just beginning to hit their stride. They will not settle for "being one of the boys" or being silenced. Me Too; It's About Time; and "We're Coming For You Larry!" are just the beginning. Long may they lead!

Here's my commentary on the Rage and Resilience of this powerful Survivor Sisterhood. 

Magic Johnson Calls for Accountability at Michigan State University

Monday, January 29, 2018 @ 7:07 PM

The great Magic Johnson, who led Michigan State University to the NCAA Basketball National Championship on his way to becoming one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA, has called on his Alma Mater to be held accountable for the criminal behavior of MSU Dr. Larry Nassar.  As a Michigander who married an MSU Spartan, I am horrified and heartbroken over the abuse that hundreds of young, female athletes suffered -- for decades -- and the dozens of adults who refused to believe them or ignored their cries for help. Here's more on Magic Johnson's comments.   

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Growing Generational Chasm Between Feminists

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 9:47 AM

I'm concerned about the growing chasm between so-called "2nd Wave Feminists" (Baby Boomers) and Millennial Feminists. Just as women want men to stop MANSPLAINING and LISTEN regarding the #METOO movement, it's time for my generation of women committed to the equality of the female half of the human race to LISTEN to our younger sisters who are beginning to hit their stride. The differences split wide open in the 2016 election over support for Sanders vs. Clinton. But they continue growing! Here's an insightful and well-researched article that helped me understand. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

SPORTS INOCUATE GIRLS AGAINST #METOO CULTURE

Friday, January 12, 2018 @ 12:39 PM

Participation in sports is one of the best ways I know to help inoculate our girls in preparation for the toxic culture they are growing up in. I'm a strong supporter of the Girls Changing the Game program of Detroit's PAL (Police Athletic League), which provides athletic opportunity and character building for 30,000 urban youth annually. Here's a great article in the Detroit News on why the opportunity to compete on sports teams and build confidence through physical activity is so important for our girls.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Oprah's Golden Globe Message Was About Us, Not Her

Tuesday, January 09, 2018 @ 12:15 PM

As much as I would love to see Oprah Winfrey debate Donald Trump on a national stage and believe that a Winfrey Administration would be a powerful antidote to the toxicity that has the USA in its grip, I agree with the parallel perspective. Oprah's stirring message, as she accepted a Lifetime Achievement honorary Golden Globe, was not about HER. It was about US. Hope you'll take the time to read this insightful commentary as you choose your own path. We are living in challenging times. Let's not be bystanders.  

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Record Number of Women Running for Governor in U.S. 2018

Wednesday, January 03, 2018 @ 8:37 PM

Only 39 women have ever served as governor of a state in U.S. history -- one of them, the Honorable Jennifer Granholm, was governor of my home state of Michigan. Currently only SIX states have a woman serving as governor.  But that could change dramatically in 2018, according to the Center for American Women in Politics.  At least 79 women have either already thrown their hat in the ring or are seriously considering a gubenatorial run. We have a very strong candidate running for governor in Michigan -- Gretchen Whitmer, who was just profiled in the Washington Post. 

Here's more on why the U.S. may be poised for a giant gender leap forward in the 2018 elections. 

 

 

 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Insightful Voices on What's Next After #METOO Cultural Explosion

Sunday, December 31, 2017 @ 2:11 PM

The New York Times recently gathered seven wise women for an insightful, roundtable discussion of the challenges and complexity of moving forward in the wake of the Silence Breakers and #METOO explosions of 2017.  One year of outing predators is just the beginning. How do we turn this moment of cultural reckoning into a positive turn on our evolutinary wheel?  Lots of thoughtful insight in this fascinating discussion about Work, Fairness, Sex and Ambition. 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Vital Voices Helps Women Move the World

Saturday, December 30, 2017 @ 11:20 AM

Vital Voices is one of the most effective global organizations I've discovered that is helping to move the world forward through women's activism, advocacy and leadership. Since its founding 20 years, ago, Vital Voices has conducted more than 400 programs, serving more than 15,000 women in 181 countries.

They've also delivered 600 emergency assistance grants to survivors of extreme forms of gender-based violence and invested $11 million in direct assistance to its network leaders on every continent.  

If you're interested in learning more about this outstanding, change-agent, global organizationshere's more. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

What's Your Purposeful Word for 2018?

Friday, December 29, 2017 @ 12:20 PM

Rather than the traditional New Year's Resolutions (which most of us forget by February!), I have started choosing ONE WORD to set my direction and help keep my focus for the coming new year.  For 2018, my word is PRESENCE.  If you'd like to try this approach, here's a great tool I used to choose my focus WORD for 2018.  

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Best Women's Writing on 2017 Issues

Wednesday, December 27, 2017 @ 2:49 PM

Huffington Post has compiled a fabulous collection of the most compelling commentaries written by women writers in 2017. For the next few weeks, I'm going to regularly share these outstanding voices with you. Many of the pieces are related to one of the biggest stories of the year: the #METOO explosion.   Here's "Y'All Don't Deserve Black Women," by Ashley Nkadi and first published in THE ROOT. 

What's Next After #METOO?

Wednesday, December 27, 2017 @ 2:44 PM

As one disturbing #MeToo story after another plays out before our national consciousness, I’ve started wondering what the best of our men are thinking. Our brothers, husbands, sons and trusted friends. Perhaps the reason so few males realize how frequently females experience or escape from unwanted sexual attention, harassment or assault is because we don’t tell them. Here are my thoughts on how we can move past "outing predators" and venting and forward to healthier gender dyanamics.  

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Woman's Card in a Leader's Hand is an Ace. Deal Me In!

Thursday, April 28, 2016 @ 8:24 AM

Presidential wanna-be Donald Trump has been playing the "Billionaire card," the "Bully card," the "Washington outsider" card and even the "Man's Man/My physical assets are plenty big card." But the one card he doesn't hold is the Woman's card, which is no longer a joker in a leader's hand.  Today, the woman's card is an Ace and that's what scares Donald Trump to death. My advice to Hillary Clinton: Play it Hillary! 

Hillary's response to his latest whine was pitch perfect.  Deal me in! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

TRUMP's Version of "Being a Great Father"

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 @ 9:54 AM

"I'll supply the funds and she'll take care of the kids," is Donald Trump's version of "being a great father." He's told reporters, "Men who take care of the kids are 'acting like the wife.'"  If you find these statements hard to believe, here's more on his 18th Century version of fatherhood, including clips from Buzzfeed.  

Tips for Tackling the Gender Confidence Gap

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 @ 9:46 AM

The Gender Confidence Gap is still stalling very talented women from spreading their wings and letting their talents soar in competitive environments. Here are three great tips on ways to increase your own confidence and create a confidence-boosting culture with your team and in your organization.  Fortune article. 

Monday, May 04, 2015

Becoming a WONderful Woman is Just the Beginning

Monday, May 04, 2015 @ 11:04 AM

Forget about listing all of your credentials and accomplishments when you are being honored.  If you want to spice up an awards event, ask one of your siblings to introduce you -- and give them free hand to tell the audience the "back story" about how you became the person you are today.  I'm the big sister of seven children -- and my youngest brother, Vince, just did a great job introducing me.  To hear his intro and my comments, CLICK HERE. 

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Willful Blindness

Thursday, April 09, 2015 @ 7:33 AM

Freedome doesn't exist if you don't use it. Don't be blind and don't be silent about things that you witness that you know are wrong. Here's a great TED Talk on Willful Blindness to inspire you to find the courage to Raise Your Voice. 

Where Are All the Women on Our Money?

Thursday, April 09, 2015 @ 4:37 AM

Multiple other countries leave the U.S. in the dust when it comes to women on our currency.  Ireland, Argentina, Israel, Turkey, Sweden, Mexico, Brazil, the Phillipines are just a few who have honored some of their greatest female citizens in this way. It is time for us to put women on our money.  Momentum is building to put an American Shero on the $20 bill, beginning in the year 2020 -- the 100 year anniversary of American women finally winning the right to vote. I voted for Civil Rights leader Rosa Parks.  You can vote at womenon20s.org.  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Je Suis Charlie

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 @ 4:37 PM

In the wake of the tragic shootings in Paris and the controversy in the USA over the movie, THE INTERVIEW, I've been thinking a lot about leaders and the importance of continuing to raise our voices, even in the face of push-back, disdain and threats.

Sometimes those threats can mean life or death, as in the case of the French journalists or the over three million, including 40 world leaders, who marched arm in arm in Paris to proclaim, "Je suis, Charlie. We will not be silenced!". 

Or, it can be as subtle as well-intentioned, but insidious, career advice. I'll never forget the Ford executive who told me, "Anne, you've got to stop always seeing things through the eyes of a woman. People are getting really tired of it!" The "people" he was referring to, of course, were all men, many of whom would have preferred I always saw things their way, or at least stifled myself more often! 

My 2015 message is simply this: BE COURAGEOUS. Dare to continue raising your voice to make a positive difference. Everywhere we look, the human family is crying out for the mothers of the world -- women -- to step up and take an equal role in shaping the economic, cultural, educational, military and public policy decisions that impact all human possibility. 

I love the words of Admiral Michelle Howard, vice chief of U.S. Naval Operations, who is raising the Navy's game. She recently told a Washington, DC audience, "My definition of leadership is 'Not standing around and doing nothing while watching everything go to hell!'” Everywhere we look, things are going to hell.

Pick your passion. Then put your shoulder to the wheel and find the courage to let your voice be heard. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What Does Gamergate Reveal?

Sunday, November 16, 2014 @ 7:54 PM

GAMERGATE: If you haven't heard about the recent uproar and terrifying backlash against outspoken women who have dared to raise their voices against the pervasive violence toward women in video games, you need to know. Female game developers who have dared to complain receive rape and death threats. And Anita Sarkeesian, a feminist media critic who has done excellent reporting on the excessive violence and victimization of women, was forced to cancel a presentation at Utah State University after USU received threats of a mass shooting if the "craven little whore" was allowed to speak. It was my 22-year-old son, Kevin, who brought this outrageous situation to my attention. Hope you are paying attention to the images and messages that gamers in your family are saturated with.

GOLDIEBLOX TAKES ON BARBIE: Finally, here's some fun. Take a look at the latest GoldieBlox ad about the first action figure for girls. With the gift season coming up, hope you'll keep the message in mind as you choose gifts. Remember the words of the indominatable Leymah Gbowee and help "unleash the power of girls"!

 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Nora Ephron's Last Thoughts on Time Passing

Saturday, July 21, 2012 @ 12:03 PM

Nora Ephron, the award-winning screenwriter whose credits include When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless In Seattle, died this month at age 71.  In recent years, she also wrote two books of witty and poignant essays about ageing, including:  I HATE MY NECK. She was a courageous, witty, truth-teller.  A gift to our times.  Here, she faces her own mortality. 

 

BUY MORE BATH OIL, by Nora Ephron (May 1941-June 2012)

When I turned 60, I had a big birthday party in Las Vegas, which happens to be one of my top five places. We spent the weekend eating and drinking and gambling and having fun. We all made some money and screamed and yelled and I went to bed deliriously happy.

The spell lasted for several days, and as a result, I managed to avoid thinking about what it all meant.

Denial has been a way of life for me for many years. I actually believe in denial. It seemed to me that the only way to deal with a birthday of this sort was to do everything possible to push it from my mind.

Nothing else about me is better than it was at 50, or 40, or 30, but I

definitely have the best haircut I've ever had, I like my new apartment, and, as the expression goes, consider the alternative.

I have been 60 for four years now, and by the time you read this I will

probably have been 60 for five. I survived turning 60, I was not thrilled to turn 61, I was less thrilled to turn 62, I didn't much like being 63, I loathed being 64, and I will hate being 65. I don't let on about such things in person; in person, I am cheerful and Pollyanna-ish. But the honest truth is that it's sad to be over 60.

The long shadows are everywhere ¬ friends dying and battling 

illness. A miasma of melancholy hangs there, forcing you to deal with the fact that your life, however happy and successful, has been full of disappointments and mistakes, little ones and big ones. There are dreams that are never quite going to come true, ambitions that will never quite be realised.

There are, in short, regrets.

Edith Piaf was famous for singing a song called 'Non, je ne regrette

rien'. It's a good song. I know what she meant. I can get into it; I can make a case that I regret nothing. After all, most of my mistakes turned out to be things I survived, or turned into funny stories, or, on occasion, even made money from. But the truth is that je regrette beaucoup.

Why do people say it's better to be older than to be younger? It's not

better. Even if you have all your marbles, you're constantly reaching for the name of the person you met the day before yesterday. Even if you're in great shape, you can't chop an onion the way you used to and you can't ride a bicycle several miles without becoming a candidate for traction. If you work, you're surrounded by young people who are plugged into the marketplace, the demographic, the zeitgeist; they want your job and someday soon they're going to get it. If you're fortunate enough to be in a sexual relationship, you're not going to have the sex you once had.

Plus, you can't wear a bikini. Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was 26. If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini, and don't take it off until you're 34.

A magazine editor called me the other day, an editor who, like me, is over 60. Her magazine was going to do an issue on Age, and she wanted me to write something for it. We began to talk about the subject, and she said, “You know what drives me nuts? Why do women our age say, ‘In my day...’? This is our day.”

But it isn't our day. It's their day. We're just hanging on. We 

can't wear tank tops, we have no idea who 50 Cent is, and we don't know how to use almost any of the functions on our mobile phones. 

If we hit the wrong button on the remote control and the television screen turns to snow, we have no idea how to get the television set back to where it was in the first place. 

(This is the true nightmare of the empty nest: your children are gone, and they were the only people in the house who knew how to use the remote

control.) Technology is a bitch. I can no longer even work out how to get the buttons on the car radio to play my favorite stations. The gears on my bicycle mystify me. On my bicycle!

And thank God no one has given me a digital wristwatch. In fact, if any

of my friends are reading this, please don't ever give me a digital anything.

Just the other day I went shopping at a store in Los Angeles that

happens to stock jeans that actually come all the way up to my waist, and I was stunned to discover that the customer just before me was Nancy Reagan.

That's how old I am: Nancy Reagan and I shop in the same store.

Anyway, I said to this editor, 'You're wrong, you are so wrong, this 

Is not our day, this is their day.' But she was undaunted. She said to me, 'Well then, I have another idea: Why don't you write about Age Shame?' I said to her, 'Get someone who is only 50 to write about Age Shame. I am way past Age Shame, if I ever had it. I'm just happy to be here at all.'

We are a generation that has learned to believe we can do something

about almost everything. We are active ¬ hell, we are proactive. We are positive thinkers. We have the power. We will take any suggestion seriously.

If a pill will help, we will take it. If being in the Zone will help, we will enter the Zone. When we hear about the latest ludicrously expensive face cream that is alleged to turn back the clock, we will go out and buy it even though we know that the last five face creams we fell for were completely ineffectual. We will do crossword puzzles to ward off Alzheimer's and eat six almonds a day to ward off cancer; we will scan ourselves to find whatever can be nipped in the bud.

We are in control. Behind the wheel. On the cutting edge. We make lists. We seek out the options. We surf the net. But there are some things that are absolutely, definitively, entirely uncontrollable.

I am dancing around the D word, but I don't mean to be coy. When you cross into your 60s, your odds of dying ¬ or of merely getting horribly sick on the way to dying ¬ spike. Death is a sniper. It strikes people you love, people you like, people you know, it's everywhere. You could be next. But then you turn out not to be. But then again you could be.

And meanwhile, your friends die, and you're left not just bereft, not just grieving, not just guilty, but utterly helpless. There is nothing you can do. Nothing. Everybody dies.

Here are some questions I am constantly fretting over: Do you splurge or do you hoard? Do you live every day as if it's your last, or do you save your money on the chance you'll live 20 more years? Is life too short, or is it going to be too long? Do you work as hard as you can, or do you slow down to smell the roses? And where do carbohydrates fit into all this? 

Are we really going to have to spend our last years avoiding bread, especially now that bread is so unbelievably delicious? And what about chocolate?

My friend Judy died last year. She was the person I told everything to. She was my best friend, my extra sister, my true mother, sometimes even my daughter. She was all these things, and one day she called up to say, the weirdest thing has happened, there's a lump on my tongue. Less than a year later, she was dead. She was 66 years old. 

She had no interest in dying, right to the end. She died horribly. And now she's gone. I think of her every day, sometimes six or seven times a day. I have her white cashmere shawl. I wore it for days after her death; I wrapped myself up in it; I even slept in it. But now I can't bear to wear it because it feels as if that's all there is left of my Judy. I want to talk to her. I want to have lunch with her. I want her to give me a book she just read and loved. She is my phantom limb, and I can't believe I'm here without her.

A few months before they found the lump on her tongue, Judy and I Went out to lunch to celebrate a friend's birthday. It had been a difficult year: barely a week had passed without some terrible news about someone's health.

'Death doesn't really feel eventual or inevitable. It still feels...avoidable somehow,' said Judy. I said at lunch, what are we going to do about this? Shouldn't we talk about this? This is what our lives have become. Death is everywhere. How do we deal with it? Our birthday friend said, oh, please, let's not be morbid. Yes. Let's not be morbid. Let's not.

On the other hand, I meant to have a conversation with Judy about death. Before either of us was sick or dying. I meant to have one of those straightforward conversations where you discuss What You Want in the eventuality ¬ well, I say 'the eventuality', but that's one of the oddest things about this whole subject. 

Death doesn't really feel eventual or inevitable. It still feels . . . avoidable somehow. But it's not. We know in one part of our brains that we are all going to die, but on some level we don't quite believe it. But I meant to have that conversation with Judy, so that when the inevitable happened we would know what our intentions were, so that we could help each other die in whatever way we wanted to die.

But of course, once they found the lump, there was no having the conversation. Living wills are much easier to draft when you are living instead of possibly dying; they're the ultimate hypotheticals. 

And what difference would it have made if we'd had that conversation?

Before you get sick, you have absolutely no idea of how you're going to feel once you do. You can imagine you'll be brave, but it's just as possible you'll be terrified. You can hope that you'll find a way to accept death, but you could just as easily end up raging against it.

The day before my friend Henry died, he asked to be brought a large brown folder he kept in his office. In it were love letters he had received when he was younger. He sent them back to the women who'd written them, wrote them all lovely notes, and destroyed the rest. What's more, he left complete, detailed instructions for his funeral, including the music he wanted ¬ all of this laid out explicitly in a file on his computer he called 'Exit'. 

I so admire Henry and the way he handled his death. It's inspirational.

And yet I can't quite figure out how any of it applies. For one thing, I have managed to lose all my love letters. Not that there were that many. And if I ever found them and sent them back to the men who wrote them to me, I promise you they would be completely mystified. I haven't heard from any of these men in years, and on the evidence, they all seem to have done an extremely good job of getting over me. 

As for instructions for my funeral, I suppose I could come up with a few. For example, if there's a reception afterward, I know what sort of food I would like served: those little finger sandwiches from this place on Lexington Avenue called William Poll. And champagne would be nice. I love champagne. It's so festive. 

But otherwise, I don't have a clue. I haven't even worked out whether I want to be buried or cremated largely because I've always worried that cremation in some way lowers your chances of being reincarnated. (If there is such a thing.) (Which I know there isn't.) (And yet . . .)

And meanwhile, here we are. What is to be done? I don't know. I hope that's clear.

In a few minutes I will have finished writing this piece, and I will go back to life itself. Squirrels have made a hole in the roof, and we don't quite know what to do about it. Soon it will rain; we should probably take the cushions inside. I need more bath oil.

And that reminds me to say something about bath oil. I use this bath oil I happen to love. It's called Dr Hauschka's lemon bath. It costs about £15 a bottle, which is enough for about two weeks of baths if you follow the instructions. The instructions say one capful per bath. But a capful gets you nowhere. A capful is not enough. I have known this for a long time.

But if the events of the last few years have taught me anything, it's that I'm going to feel like an idiot if I die tomorrow and I skimped on bath oil today. So I use quite a lot of bath oil. More than you could ever imagine. After I take a bath, my bathtub is as dangerous as an oil slick. But thanks to the bath oil, I'm as smooth as silk. 

I am going out to buy more, right now. Goodbye.


 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

BEST SCORECARD IS THE ONE WE KEEP ON OURSELVES

Thursday, July 19, 2012 @ 8:23 AM

Charlotte Beers is a legendary leader -- who is now sharing her decades of insight and experience about leading as a woman who understands her own POWER and is very comfortable in her own SKIN.  I call that female leadership skill:  Womaninity -- and write an entire chapter about it in my book, POWERING UP!

Here's a terrific interview with Beers done by the NY Times Adam Bryant.  It's packed with actionable wisdom.  

Leadership Test: Surviving Adversity With Dignity, Grace and Integrity

Thursday, July 19, 2012 @ 5:56 AM

How about this for a women's leadership book topic -- Surviving Adversity With Dignity, Grace & Integrity. The first person I'd interview would be University of Virginia President Terry Sullivan who was just re-instated after faculty and students reacted with outrage over her ouster by the Board.

What a fiasco -- but what lessons learned President Sullivan could share.  Hope she writes her own book one day.  She's a brilliant and terrific leader -- and a tough Texan who cut her academic teeth in Texas before becoming Provost at the University of Michigan.  I met her during her years in Michigan and interviewed her for my book, POWERING UP!  

Here's more from the Boston Globe on the leadership fiasco perpetrated by the Board of the University of Virginia -- they now have egg all over their faces and Sullivan has been re-instated.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Gen Y Men's Attitudes Closer to Women's Than Their Dads & Grand Dads

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 @ 12:21 PM

Fascinating new research on how the work/life balance values and attitudes of young men are much closer to those of women than any generation we've seen.  Interesting facts and insight in this column by Leadership Expert Sally Helgelsen.  Click here to read. 

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

100 Top Websites for Women

Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 12:44 PM

Here are two great sources of excellent information for aspiring women (and men interested in what we're up to!) who want to make a difference in the world.  Forbeswoman, where I am a contributing blogger, just published its "100 "Top 100 Websites for Women," including 85Broads and several other favorites of mine.  

And the League of Extraordinary Women is a treasure trove of fantastic, women- led organizations committed to helping to lift the human family.  Here's Fast Company's list of the Best. 

Enjoy. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey Makes Me Heartsick

Sunday, June 24, 2012 @ 2:30 PM

My hat goes off to columnist and author Mitch Album for tackling the disgusting "Fifty Shades of Grey" phenomenon that is selling millions of books about demeaning, kinky sex.  He asks "What is Going on in this Country" and says the whole thing makes him, "Fifty Shades of Red."  Here's his terrific column in the Detroit Free Press.  

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Reminder of My Greatest Mentor, Vince Doyle

Saturday, March 17, 2012 @ 11:20 AM

Here's My St. Patrick's Day "Top O' The Morning" gift to everyone who was blessed with a great father, as I was.  During my pioneering years as one of the first TV female sports broadcasters in the country -- including the challenge of fighting for equal access with male journalists to sports locker rooms -- my father, Detroit sports broadcaster Vince Doyle, was my greatest ally and a tremendous mentor.  Here's a St. Patrick's Day 1980 TV interview, which captures the magical influence that great fathers can have on their daughters.  Click here to watch.    

Monday, March 12, 2012

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Tells Women, "It is Time to Stop Being Politely Angry."

Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 2:26 PM

When Liberian leader Leymah Gbowee, winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, speaks people listen.  And wait till you hear the challenge she issued to the women gathered at the 2012 Women in the World Summit last week in New York.  

I was there for every riveting moment.  Here's the column I just wrote about the event for Forbeswoman.  

Monday, February 13, 2012

Young and Female in the U.S. Army

Monday, February 13, 2012 @ 10:29 PM

Military women have been weighing in ever since last week's "easing" of restrictions on women soldiers. The resounding message from female soldiers who have "been there & done that" say it is time to stop judging soldiers on gender and start judging them on capabilities.  Here's a great piece from the Daily Beast on the topic. 

I just started reading afascinating book, Love My Rifle More Than You -- a report from the front lines on what it's like to be young and female in the U.S. Army.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Is This A Hillary Moment?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 @ 6:38 AM

With our presidential election less than one year away and our nation dismayed with the leadership deadlock in Washington, D.C. the drumbeat is growing for a Hillary Clinton presidency.  I don't expect it to happen, but when the Wall Street Journal publishes a major Op Ed advocating her election, you know we've come a long way toward being ready to elect our first woman president.  Click here for the WSJ commentary.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Michelle Obama Steps Up to New Role: Energizer in Chief

Saturday, November 19, 2011 @ 9:31 AM

Great to see Michelle Obama stepping up again after three years keeping a low profile. White House strategist David Alelrod told the New York Times, "Her mission is to energize folks and give them encouragement to go out and do the work." Now that's leadership! And a skill that tends to be a natural strength of women. Power On, Michelle!  Great piece in today's NY Times.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Herman Cain's Gender "Miss-Understandings" More Serious Than He Imagined

Monday, November 07, 2011 @ 9:43 PM

Does the latest "sex, lies and politics" mess remind you of the all-too-similar, Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill  scandal that rocked our national consciousness 20 years ago? It does me. But Americans take workplace sexual harassment a lot more serious today than we did in 1991, thanks, in part to the courage of a 35-year-old lawyer to speak truth to power. What does Anita Hill think of the Cain conundrum?

 I had a chance to hear Hill's thoughts on the Cain conundrum during her recent visit to Detroit. Here's my column on the topic for Forbeswoman.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

WHO SAYS WAR AND PEACE ARE MEN'S DOMAIN?

Sunday, October 16, 2011 @ 10:18 AM

I've just started watching the bold, powerful PBS 5-part series, WOMEN, WAR & PEACE.   It is airing every Tuesday night through Nov. 8th -- 10 p.m. EST in Detroit, check your local listings.   It challenges the conventional wisdom that war and peace are the domain of men, brings you up close to the impact of war on women and girls in Bosnia, Liberia, Afghanistan, Columbia -- and how they are standing up and Powering UP!  to not just survive as victims but to lead the way to new solutions to one of the world's oldest horrors.  

Here's the trailer and more:  Women, War & Peace.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rare Interview with Saudi Arabian Princess Who Says New Rights for Women to Vote Are Just the Beginning

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 @ 10:21 AM

Saudi Arabia King Abdullah surprised everyone when he announced last week that Saudi women will be allowed to vote and run for office -- for the first time in history -- in the upcoming 2015 municipal elections.  It's a small step in a country where women need permission of a male relative -- husband, father, uncle, brother, even a son! -- in order to leave the country.  But Saudi women are rejoicing over this first step.  Here's a fascinating and RARE interview with a Saudi Princess who is openly advocating for more rights for women -- beginning with the right to drive.  Listen.   

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Starting to Write a New Leadership Column on Forbeswoman

Saturday, April 16, 2011 @ 5:43 PM

Forbeswoman, a great source of fresh news and commentary on women, work and gender hot topics, has invited me to become a contributing columnist on leadership.  My column is called Powering Up Women.  I'll be writing about the next big challenge for women: opening the leadership locker rooms.  here's my first national Forbeswoman column.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Princeton Releases Disturbing Report on Lack of Female Student Leaders

Sunday, April 10, 2011 @ 10:47 AM

About a year ago, Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman ordered a study of why the cream-of-the-crop female students admitted to this prestigious university lag their male peers in aspiring to and achieving student leadership roles.  This is exactly the challenge I tackle in my new book, Powering Up! How America's Women Achievers Become Leaders.

The results of the study, which was just released, paint an alarming picture about what's happening with the next generation of educated, skilled women. 

The paths to achievement that they have encountered so far were paved decades ago, so they have never leared how to fight for opportunity.  And the conundrum of balancing "being an attractive female" with a person with power appears to be as complex as ever.  Here's a summary of the findings and a link to the full Princeton report. 

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Where Are Today's Geraldine Ferraros?

Wednesday, April 06, 2011 @ 10:51 PM

Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus hits the bullseye with her column today lamenting the lack of women leaders in public office.  Even younger women aren't running.  The discouraging facts that Marcus cites about how women are slipping in political leadership positions are why one of the themes of my book, Powering Up!, is that American women are Leadership Underachievers.  We've been stalled for well over a decade.  If you don't believe me, here's Marcus column. 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Anne Doyle Comments on Powering Up! New Book on Women's Leadership

Thursday, March 31, 2011 @ 2:40 PM

Earlier this month, business consultant and former NAWBO California president Patty DeDominic, co-founder of the California Women's Festival invited me to be the opening speaker for her fantastic, annual, Santa Barbara gathering of over 1,000 women.  While I was there, she also insisted that I let photographer Deb Halberstadt videotape and producer a short video of me introducing my just-published book,Powering Up!   Deb and Rich Tamayo of TVP Studios did a beautiful job.  Here's my "elevator speech" on how Powering Up! will help you answer the call to leadership. 

 

Autoline Detroit's John McElroy Seeks "Aha Moment" Stories

Thursday, March 31, 2011 @ 2:37 PM

John McElroy, host of Autoline Detroit, the most-watched TV show for automotive insiders, and one of the most respected journalists covering the indsutry, invited me to his studios recently for a new series he's starting.  He's asking senior women in the industry to share the insights they learned from one of their most important professional "Aha Moments."  Mine is about dealing with workplace enemies.

 

 

Monday, March 28, 2011

MAJOR GENERAL MAGGIE WOODWARD IN CHARGE OF U.S. AIR OPERATIONS OVER LIBYA

Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 10:56 PM

Two years ago, while researching my book on women's leadership, Powering Up!, I interviewed a number of military women.  They were all top-notch leaders, of course.  Little did I know that one of them -- Major General Maggie Woodward -- would soon be making history as the first woman to command a major air war.   She is in charge of U.S. Operations over Libya.   You can hear her thoughts on leadership in my book, which is available through my website.  When I asked her to send me an "action photo" of herself, this highly-skilled pilot and commander sent me this casual photo of her "at work."

In the meantime, here's more on this fantastic and formidable leader. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Anything Is Possible

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 @ 12:34 AM

Writing a book is very lonely work.  As I emerge from the self-imposed hibernation required to write my just released book, Powering Up! How America's Women Achievers Become Leaders, it's time to change gears from introvert to extrovert.

I've been doing lots of interviews with a broad range of reporters.  They all bring their view of the world with them to the conversation and the questions they ask.  The most in-depth interview I have done so far was with Jack Krasula, host of Anything is Possible.  He asked wonderful questions and wasted no time in getting right to the core of who I am and why I am so passionate about pushing the edges of possibility for girls and women.  To listen, with no commerical interruptions, click here. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

There Is Always Danger in Stepping Forward

Sunday, February 27, 2011 @ 12:31 PM

The Detroit Free Press gave terrific coverage in today's Sunday business section to the challenges women Achievers face in stepping up to leadership.  Business editor Sarah Webster wrote the piece after reading my new book, Powering Up!  She shared her own struggles with gender-based cultural headwinds and included powerful quotes from several of the 125 formidable women I interviewed for the book.  Here's the link for the full coverage.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A CONVERSATION WITH THE FOUNDER OF NATIONAL WOMEN'S RADIO

Saturday, February 26, 2011 @ 7:11 PM

I just discovered National Women's Radio, which was founded by Pat Lynch to create a global media platform for more women's voices to be heard.  Women's Radio is the media partner for the California Women's Festival,  coming up March 4th and 5th and attracts over 1,000 attendees to Santa Barbara for the annual event.  I am one of the speakers at the Saturday conference, which is packed with experts and entertainment.  If you live anywhere near that gorgeous community on the Pacific coastline, I hope you'll join us.  I'll be there all day. 

Pat has been a supporter of the Festival for years and asked me to do an interview with her about what I learned about women's leadership while working on my new book, Powering Up!  How America's Women Achievers Become Leaders. We had a great conversation, which you can tune into by clicking here. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Olbermann, O'Reilly and The Death of Real News

Saturday, November 13, 2010 @ 9:58 AM

In my soul, I'm a journalist.  The first 15 years of my working life I spent as a broadcast news and sports reporter, producer and anchor.  That's why I'm sick at heart about the arrogant, slanted shouting that is being served up to the American people these days as "journalism."  It's not.  Fox, MSNBC -- it's entertainment designed so that people can tune in to have their own beliefs and prejudices confirmed, rather than their thinking informed and challenged. 

Ted Koppel, long-time journalist who was the host and managing editor of ABC News' Nightline for 15 years speaks out about this debilitating trend in this excellent piece in The Washington Post.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Even Female Law Partners Suffer Wage Disparities

Saturday, November 06, 2010 @ 10:35 AM

Lawyers are the ones we hire when we need somebody strong and smart and savvy about the system to be our advocate.  Right?  So you would think that women law partners would have long ago tackled and overcome the gender wage gap in their profession and law firms.  But pay disparity and the practices, beliefs and ingrained barriers that keep women two steps behind are as insidious and prevalent in law as anywhere else.  At a time when 50% of law school graduates are women, law firms are making a critical mistake to continue ignoring this ugly little secret.   Newsweek columnist Jesse Ellison tells the story.  

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Mid-Term Election Results and Women Candidates

Thursday, November 04, 2010 @ 12:08 PM

The numbers of women running for office at the local and national level continues to surge.  That's great.  Were there some big losses in the recent elections?  You bet.  On both sides of the gender line.   The biggest slip is Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi -- third in line for the presidency before the elections -- who loses her gavel.  But there's good news too, particularly that women candidates are no longer an anomoly.  We even had a number of high profile women-against-women races.  For those who are interested in how women of both parties fared, here's a great summary from Forbes. 

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Five Myths About Female Candidates

Tuesday, November 02, 2010 @ 4:34 PM

Whatever your reaction to the campaign and the outcome of these mid-term elections, there has been plenty of great people watching -- including many new varieties of female candidates.  Some outstanding, some just as pathetic as pathetic male candidates.

Great article in the Washington Post this week by Rebecca Traister, political guru and author of Big Girls Don't Cry:  The Election That Changed Everything for American Women.  Click here to read.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Great Moral Challenge of Our Time

Friday, October 29, 2010 @ 8:15 PM

Gender inequity is the great cause of our time -- the next moral dilemma that civilation must attack to move to a higher level.  New York Times reporters and husband and wife Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas Kristoff bring tremendous focus to the issue in their fantastic book Half the Sky.Sheryl WuDunn brought their powerful message to a TED forum in London.  Once you start listening to her message, I doubt you'll be able to stop.  Click here for more. 

 

A Little Peace Music

Friday, October 29, 2010 @ 7:35 PM

These final days leading up to the mid-term elections have been so filled with vitriol, small-mindness, finger-pointing and squabbling that I deeply appreciated a friend sending me this beautiful clip from the film, Fiddler on the Roof.  Click here for two minutes that will nourish your soul.  Peace.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Name It, Change It

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 @ 5:17 PM

The Women's Media Center has started a new initiative to fight sexist and misogynistic attacks on women.  It's called:  Name It, Change It:  Sexism and Equality Don't Mix.  They've been particularly busy during the campaign season.  Here's just a sample of what they're tackling:  

 

 

 

With the midterm election just one week away, sexism against women candidates is accelerating towards an all-time high. At the Name It. Change It. campaign, we've had our work cut out for us, fighting to curb misogynistic media coverage case by case. In fact, we've responded to 13 incidents in the last two weeks!

We've found sexism everywhere--from opposition attack ads to magazine cover illustrations, from television pundits to "private" conversations, from men's magazines to iconic fashion publications. We've been hard at work, standing up against misogyny directed towards all women leaders, whether they are State Senators or former Vice Presidential Nominees, Republicans, Democrats, or even Green-Rainbow Party candidates. Name It. Change It. has embraced its mission to help all women running for office, irrespective of their political party--because an attack against one woman is an attack against all women.

Sexist jabs have become so rampant that we've uncovered some surprising perpetrators: women themselves. In recent weeks, female candidates have engaged in gendered mudslinging by urging their male opponents to "man up" or accusing male leaders of lacking "cojones." Even the California NOW President approved the characterization of gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman as a "whore." Sexist slights, no matter who uses them, perpetuate a toxic political environment and reinforce the barrier to women's political participation.

Though we continue to be frustrated by ubiquitous sexism, we are also tremendously inspired by the strength and resilience women candidates have shown by taking a stand against sexist attacks. Thanks to you, together we flooded the WRKO station in Boston with hundreds of calls, while MA State Treasurer candidate Karyn E. Polito reprimanded the crew of WRKO's Tom and Todd Show for discussing her "tight little butt" on air. And all total, Jay Leno received 1.372 emails after making an inappropriate oral sex joke. NC State Senator Margaret Dickson was joined by women leaders and organizations in a press conference denouncing her opponent's sexist attack ad, and U.S. Congressional candidate Krystal Ball made headlines across the nation for her valiant response to media sexism. Even our own WCF President/CEO Siobhan "Sam" Bennett, who faced breathtaking sexism in her bid for U.S. Congress in 2008, proved her valor when respondingd to a blogger who reposted a deeply misogynistic quote about her.

Name It. Change It. not only combats sexism in the media against women candidates, but empowers women in media and politics by encouraging them to stand up for themselves and for all women. During this last week leading up to the election, we're asking you to tell your friends join us in taking a stand against misogyny by reporting and responding to sexist media coverage. Together, we can work to create a more equitable political environment and a more inclusive media landscape. 

 



 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Insights for Women in Business

Sunday, October 24, 2010 @ 8:31 PM

More companies on jumping on the Womenomics bangwagon and realizing how much of the consumer spending women control these days.   Beth Marcello, vice president of women's business development for PNC Bank, sent me an example of what her financial institution is doing to offer women specialized financial information.  Lots of good content.  Click here to read Insights for Women in Business. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

For Colored Girls Coming November 5th

Sunday, October 17, 2010 @ 6:57 PM

I've been compiling a list of wonderful movies about women's lives and with strong female characters.   Women and men from all over North America have been sending me recommendations.  Some have sent links to trailers.  I've discovered some fantastic movies that I missed and remembered old time friends. 

Several people also alerted me to fantastic new films and documentaries that are coming soon, such as For Colored Girls that debuts Nov. 5th with a star-studded cast.   Here's the trailer.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Double Standard for TV Advertising on Male and Female Sexuality

Saturday, September 18, 2010 @ 12:58 PM

Advertising for products that enhance a man's sexual arousal are rampant on TV these days.  But guess how the TV networks are reacting to ads for a product to increase a woman's sexual pleasure.  They are freaking out and running for cover. 

Here's the NY Times story that says a lot about the double standard our culture has about male and female sexuality.  Women's bodies are displayed everywhere as sexual stimulants, but talking about women's own sexual pleasure is to scary for mainstream culture!  Wow.  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/business/media/14adco.html

 

Friday, September 17, 2010

AS POVERTY SPREADS CHILDREN SUFFER

Friday, September 17, 2010 @ 4:52 PM

American children sleeping in cars.  Missing school.  Going to bed hungry night after night.  We are losing an entire generation of children. 

Why is there so little discussion of the impact on long-term joblessness on children, asks Judith Sandalow, Exec. Director of the Children's Law Center. 

This is another example of why we need more mothers at the table of power and decision-making.  Mothers who will feed our children and care for our children FIRST!  

Here's columnist Diane Tucker's interview with Sandalow.    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diane-tucker/judith-sandalow-we-are-lo_b_719323.html

Thursday, September 16, 2010

USA Today Sports Columnist Comments on Harassment of Female Reporter

Thursday, September 16, 2010 @ 5:01 PM

Christine Brennan, USA Today sports columnist and ABC Sports commentator, is one of the most respected sports journalists in the country.  She began earning her stripes decades ago.  There are many idiots speaking out this week on the question of whether women reporters should be allowed in men's lockerrooms.   Brennan's is a voice of experience and authority. 

 

Here's what she has to say.  And to get a sense of just how much emotion this topic has stirred up, look at the pages and pages of blog comments that follow Christine's column. 

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/columnist/brennan/2010-09-15-ines-sainz-women-locker-rooms_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Weighing in on NY Jets Harassment of TV Azteca Sports Reporter

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 @ 12:55 PM

It was 30 years ago that I walked into my first sports• locker room as a TV reporter. 

It was 25 years ago that the NFL issued a policy that all team locker rooms would be open to credentialed journalists regardless of gender. 

 It was 20 years ago this week that one of the worst episodes of vulgar behavior toward a female sports reporter occurred when several New Englad Patriots accosted reporter Lisa Olsen

And it was just a few months ago that USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan told me, "Talking about whether women should go into sports locker rooms today is like discussing whether women should have the right to vote.  That was settled decades ago."

And now come a few boorish idiots from the New York Jets who harassed Ines Sainz, a TV Azteca sports reporter.  Is this really where we are in 2010?  Yep!  There are several sides to this issue, particularly:

•       There is no excusing this as boys will be boys behavior.  Sexual harassment and discrimination are illegal in the U.S.  A sports locker room is not the players' private bedroom.  It's a workplace environment.

•       TV networks are muddling this issue by increasingly hiring gorgeous, voluptuous women for these jobs because they WANT sports fans (particularly men!) to watch them.  They are not trained journalists but hybrids:           part reporter, part entertainer.

•       Plus, there's a multi-cultural piece to this.  If you've ever watched the women newscasters on Univision or spent any times in Latin American countries, you're aware that women -- of all ages -- routinely dress much more provocatively than we do here.  Ines Sainz was dressed for her job, which includes being a "hot babe," which is why she got the job over other female journalists.

It's a hot topic. Here's a radio interview I did this week with WJR Radio. http://www.wjr.net/Article.asp?id=1951686&spid=34612

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Girls Today Don't Know How to Fight

Sunday, July 25, 2010 @ 12:57 PM

In 1973, Carolyn King was a 12 year old tomboy growing up in Toledo, Ohio.  She was a terrific young athlete who played every sport there was with the boys in her working class neighborhood.   When her brother and friends started trying out for Little League baseball, Carolyn wanted to play, too.   She made the team and sparked a national controversey over girls being discriminated against by the national Little League organization. 

Today, nearly 350,000 American girls play Little League softbal -- in addition to the girls playing Little League baseball with the boys.   Now, a documentary, "The Girl in Centerfield,"  has been made about how a 12-year-old girl -- who "just wanted to play baseball" -- was the central figure in a critical fight for girls right to play sports.  

The Detroit Free Press did a front page article on Carolyn King and how her courage and tenacity helped change American culture.  Share this story with a adolescent or 20-something girl you know.  The road has been so smooth for them so far, they haven't learned how to fight.  But there's plenty of rough water ahead.  They need to jump in and keep pushing the edges for women, just as Carolyn King did over 30 years ago.

Here's the link to a great story:  http://www.freep.com/article/20100725/NEWS05/7250456/1318/37-years-later-a-girls-quest-to-play-Little-League-ball-is-relived-on-film

Sunday, July 18, 2010

What's Worse -- to be a Racist or a Batterer?

Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 11:02 PM

Mel Gibson's stunningly obscene, racist, sexist and terrifying telephone rants to his girlfriend were hard to listen to.  I started boycotting Gibson's movies over 8 years ago because of his theme of excessive violence -- purely for entertainment.   I'm not the least bit surprised at the dark side he's finally revealed to the world.

It's our reaction to his words and actions -- including physical abuse of threats of violence against his girlfriend -- that I'm wondering about.  Huffington Post blogger Keli Goff raises some excellent questions in her commentary.  Click here to read "What Gibson, Brown and Polanski Teach Us."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Economic Recovery Will be Female

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 @ 11:25 PM

This week's Newsweek magazine headline proclaims:  Women Will Rule the World.   The article is a powerful follow-up to the recent Atlantic magazine article, The End of Men.  Both articles are packed with compelling evidence about the economic and social momentum women are building throughout the world.  We are on the verge of very big changes.   

Click here to read the Newsweek article, Women Will Rule the World.  

Thursday, July 01, 2010

White House Project CEO Rebuts End of Men Article

Thursday, July 01, 2010 @ 8:52 PM

   Marie Wilson, founder and president of The White House Project, was quick to rebut the recent Atlantic magazine article, The End of Men, that predicted a coming sea change in gender dynamics.  The writer makes the case that women's progress is accelerating while increasing numbers of men are ill-prepared for the new economy.  

    It hasn't had quite the impact of the Rolling Stone article, The Runaway General, which led to the recent firing of Afghnistan General McCrystal.  However, it is creating quite a stir.  A friend told me that she read the article on an airplane last week with the magazine cover folded over so that the men sitting next to her couldn't see the insulting headline.   As a woman, news of our progress accelerating is always welcome.  But, as the mother of a college-age son, I'm concerned.  

In case you missed it, here's the article from the July/Aug issue of the Atlantic:  The End of Men. 

And here's Wilson's counterpoint, which was published on The Huffington Post.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Why is Sexism Alive and Well at the Chicago Tribune?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 @ 9:39 PM

I'm a big fan of Christine Brennan, one of the dean's of women sports journalists in this country and a columnist for USA Today.  With nearly four decades of journalism experience covering professional and college sports, Brennan's insight comes from having seen it all.

She recently took on The Chicago Tribune for a sexist sports poster meant to be funny.  It wasn't.  I'll let Brennan explain why.  Here's her terrific column.   

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A WORK IN PROGRESS

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 @ 9:34 AM

A friend sent me a "manifesto" for personal success written by a woman I've never met.  But once I read her thoughts, I knew I'd like Susan Bixler.  Some day I hope to meet the CEO of Bixler Consulting Group, which is celebrating its 30th year of being in business.  Here are Susan's wise words that come from a woman who has clearly "been there and done that." 

A Work in Progress: Lessons Learned

l. Don't self-limit. In 1980 I started with the idea that I could turn my passion for coaching and consulting into a business. What I didn't have was experience, funding, or a well-thought-out business plan. Still the business evolved as I called on clients, increased my network, and joined business groups. It was never in a straight line, never without adversity or setbacks. Yet surprisingly I discovered my biggest obstacle was not the marketplace or the competition. It was me. I have always limited myself more than anyone else has. As I expanded my view of myself and what my company could offer, it helped me upgrade how I thought about the unfolding opportunities that laid ahead of me. That's when I wrote my first book, The Professional Image, which stayed in print for 15 years and launched the company.

2. Sustain your focus on what is most important. Creating clarity in one's life is very difficult, whether you are graduating from high school or college, are employed or unemployed, or are starting a business. Getting clear on what to do next is not easy whether we are 18 or 80. Dedicating two to three hours every quarter and writing down 90-day goals is a powerful process. The key is not to file them away, but pull them out every day and act on at least one key item within 24 hours. The habit and discipline of thinking, writing, and reviewing goals can create a more exciting and abundant career/life. Good habits empower us. Just remember it's about progress, not perfection. I have written down a certain goal over and over the past 20 years, and have not accomplished it. But this is the year I will make it happen!

3. Passion is the secret sauce in leadership. Leadership combines the science of fact and emotion, but not always in equal parts. Facts alone have never won a single game in any sport. Facts alone have never built a company, sold an idea, or motivated people to reach beyond themselves. Leadership is tapping into the passion and emotions of your team and combining them with the facts. The simplicity of creating passion and connection is to listen well. Listen as if that person is the only one in your universe. Don't interrupt and don't relate anything back to your own experience for at least 5 minutes. Pay attention to what your team member or colleague is passionate about. Here are some questions to ask: "What is important to you in your work here?" "What is important to you in your life outside work?" "What do you want to achieve in life, more than anything else?" "What single thing in business is worth the struggle?"

Facilitate honest discussions with your key team members so they know you care, you understand and support their values, and they feel known by you because you are interested. When you know what triggers motivation and passion in your team members, you have the secret sauce of leadership.

4. Over-prepare, over-practice.

Recently, I attended an event where a celebrity speaker had an incredible opportunity to influence about 2,000 people. This audience was already on her side and could write checks, volunteer, and make a difference to her cause. The celebrity came unprepared without much thought to the tremendous platform she had, and as a consequence, her speech fell flat. It was a missed opportunity to impact her audience and benefit the charity in which she had been involved for over 10 years. How many times has that happened to us? I cringe when I think about a commencement speech I delivered poorly because I didn't take the time to prepare. I just tried to wing it. Over-preparation and over-practicing is never a mistake. We fool ourselves when we think it is. World class performers know better than that and make sure they hit the mark every time.

5. Do everything you can to preserve, maintain, and grow your energy.

Get clear on what and who gives you energy and put those people and activities into your life. Know your strengths and keep maximizing them. You will become incredibly competent and consistently energized. Stay away from truly toxic people because they will deplete your energy and make it impossible to grow. Stay away even if they tempt you with a boatload of promises. But allow for the possibility that sometimes a seemingly toxic person may be struggling with issues and fear of which you are not aware. An edge, a temper, or a crummy attitude may melt with an unexpected act of generosity. Repairing a broken relationship can heal and reenergize you.6.

There is no Silver Bullet. If only there were. If only there was one single accomplishment, or academic degree, or amazing talent that created a tremendous, sustainable career. But there isn't. It takes a lot of hard work, credentialing, fits and starts, hundreds of failed experiments, dodging of bullets, lucky breaks, courage, and adversity for it to all come together. And yet it never comes together perfectly because it's an ongoing process of constant growth and lessons learned. So have a purpose for your career, your money, your time, and your life beyond yourself. It's a lot more satisfying, and you can answer the burning question "Is it all worth it?" with a resounding "YES."


Friday, April 16, 2010

In Iraq, Women Creating a New Kind of Insurgency

Friday, April 16, 2010 @ 12:13 PM

Women in Iraq are emerging as a powerful political force.   Did you know that Iraq's new constitution REQUIRES that 25% of legislators in their national parliament must be women?  Why haven't we been able to achieve anything close to that level of representation in the U.S. where women consistely vote in greater numbers than men?  As of 2009, 441 members of Congress are male (83%) and 92 are female (17%).  According to Wikapedia, the global average for female representation at the parliamentary level in 2009 is 18.6%.

Here's more on how women of Iraq are powering up Huffington Post columnist Diane Tucker

Monday, April 12, 2010

Where Are All the Female Pundits?

Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 1:51 PM

Did you know that the majority of journalism students in our nation's colleges are women?  Women have found their voices and achieved the education, experience and skills to raise their voices in public arenas.  But women continue to be shut out of the major media platforms even as a new and younger general of white men are pushing the good old guys off of their media bully pulpits.  Sara Libby who writes the Broadsheet blog for Salon.com raises some great questions about how women continue to be shut out of the journalism and media starting lineups.   Click here for What About the Next Great Female Pundit?

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Women's Leadership Workshops in Michigan

Thursday, April 01, 2010 @ 2:04 PM

The Power of Self is a leadership program for women that was developed by Texan Marsha Clark.   She is bringing a taste of the program to SE Michigan in early May.  Clark will be offering two mini Power of Self 1/2 day workshops on May 6th and May 7th.   If you are living in Michigan and interested in attending, click here for details.  If you live outside of Michigan, click here for other Power of Self opportunities for women women of achievement interested in developing their leadership skills. 

Monday, March 29, 2010

Newsweek Asks Women: Are We There Yet?

Monday, March 29, 2010 @ 10:37 AM

  I'm reading a terrific new book -- Enlightened Sexism:  The Seductive Message That Feminism's Work is Done.  It's fascinating, fun and loaded with fresh analysis of the drumbeat of cultural and media pressure on young women to be both sex kitten and career driven.  Author Susan Douglas is Chair of the Department of Communications Studies at the University of Michigan.  That's my Alma Mater and I'm determined to meet Professor Douglas.

The book is mentioned in the currrent issue of Newsweek, which asks opens the Pandora's box of angst that young professional women are feeling today as they run smack into the reality of gender bias once they hit the workforce.   Feminism may be coming back in style.  Here are links to the Newsweek articles, both are excellent.

Are We There Yet?

Why Young Women Need Feminism 

 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

17-year-old Auctioneer Blazes A New Trail

Sunday, March 28, 2010 @ 1:36 PM

Just when you start thinking that women have opened the doors and entered nearly all of the previously all-male fields, you discover someone like 17-year-old Rachel Gingell.   A high school student in Lapeer, Michigan, Rachel is already carving out a niche for herself as one of the few women auctioneers in the country.  She's also the youngest.  And she's in it for the money as well as the challenge. 

 How does a young woman not only enter such an unusual field but have her own thriving business while she's still in her teens?   For Rachel, it was her father, who is pictured with her here.   A professional auctioneer himself, JMr. Dan Gingell put his precocious 8-year-old on the stage and let her auction her first item.  Today, Rachel's a member of the National Auctioneers Association and her father often works for her at her She Sold It! auction business.  She specializes in benefit and estate auctions, but is also handling farm equipment auctions, which is where she cut her auctioneering teeth. 

I had a fascinating conversation with Rachel recently.  To hear this young leaders's auctioneer's chant and hear how her father has played an essential mentoring role click on the Evoca button below. 

 

Friday, March 12, 2010

14,999 Male High School Football Coaches and 1 Female

Friday, March 12, 2010 @ 5:42 PM

Another barrier falls.  Natalie Randolph, who played wide receiver for the D.C. Divas of the Women's Professional Football League, has been named the first female head coach for a boy's high school football team.  Here's the story from today's Washington Post. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Suicide Rates Among Divorced Men and Women Differ Dramatically

Thursday, March 11, 2010 @ 10:29 AM

Here's a fascinating article on the impact that the loss of a spouse -- either through divorce or death -- has on men and women.   For men, suicide rates go up dramatically.  For women, there is no statistical difference in their suicide rates, regardless of whether they are married or not.   The old "husband's tale" that women are the ones who always want to get married -- and are the biggest beneficiaries of the institution -- just isn't true.  Click hear to learn more.  

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Pass Your Power Forward

Saturday, March 06, 2010 @ 9:17 PM

Nearly two years ago, just before I was to give a speech before a group of Michigan businesspeople, I met a woman who was wearing a very unusual, intriguing pin.   I complimented her on it and she told me how much she loved it. 

After my speech, the same woman came up to me, handed me the pin and told me she wanted me to have it.   “Oh no, I couldn’t take your pin.  I know it’s very special to you.”  She insisted, but told me there was a string attached to her gift.  “You must promise me that one day you will give this pin to another woman,” she said.  “I am giving it to you with the understanding that you will pass it forward.”  “How long can I keep it?” I asked her.  She simply said, “You will know when it’s time to pass the pin and its power forward."

There is something almost magical about the pin, and I've loved it.  Every time I put it on, I felt empowered by the woman who gave it to me. But as much as I hated to give it up, I have known for weeks that the time had come.  I also knew exactly to whom the pin should go next.  I just hadn’t found the right moment to present it to her.

That moment came this past Friday at a breakfast gathering of the Michigan Women Officials Network.  WON, as we call ourselves, is a non-partisan group of women elected officials, judges, public commission appointees and people committed to increasing the number of women in elected office.    The woman I had in mind would be there.   Blanca Fauble is very special friend who insisted on taking over as my Campaign Manager when I ran for my first political office last fall.   Originally from Peru, she is a bi-lingual, stunningly capable dynamo who gives and gives and gives to others.  The fact that I won my election to the Auburn Hills City Council by a landslide is a tribute to her capabilities.   She is also going through one of those life and career transitions that most of us have experienced.  They are always tough and it is easy, particularly for women, to forget how strong our wings truly are and how high we are capable of soaring. 


Before the breakfast began, I asked our president, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Joan Young, if I could take a few minutes to present the pin.  Judge Young and another officer, Troy City Councilwoman Mary Kerwin, urged me to also use the "pinning" to encourage every other woman in the room to find ways to pass her power forward, as well.  As you can see from the photo, the "pinning" turned out to be an emotional, memorable moment between "sisters."  

Sometimes it takes my breath away when I think about how far women have progressed in my lifetime.  At other moments, I stagger under the weight of how far we have to go to end the oppression and brutalization of girls and women throughout the world.  According to the Global Gender Gap Report, issued annually by the World Economic Forum, not a country in the world has achieved gender equity.  The Scandinavian countries are leading the way.  The U.S. has lost ground, slipping from 27th to 31st in the world on how well we divide our resources and opportunities between males and females.  What did they measure?   Economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, political empowerment and survival.

Monday, March 8th is International Women’s Day.   I hope you’ll join your sisters from all over the world this week to do something special to remind yourself and the women in your life what a powerful tribe we are.   There is a Chinese proverb which says, “Women hold up half the sky.”  Perhaps you've read Half the Sky, written by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn.  It's a spectacular book about courageous women from all over the world who are examples of how we can turn gender oppression into opportunity. If you haven’t read it yet, give it to yourself as an International Women’s Day gift.  And then, pass it on to someone else – a man or a woman – who understands that the world will be a better place when we tap the full power of our feminine strengths and stand side-by-side with men, holding up half the sky together.

The next step, which I dream of achieving in my lifetime, is for women throughout the world to come together into a powerful, collective feminine force field.  That transformation will begin when we learn how to share and combine our individual power.  We must be the wind beneath each others' wings.  Otherwise, none of will reach the heights we could achieve together.  You don't need a magical pin to lift another woman.  Pass your power forward.

 

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Girl Cell: I Am An Emotional Creature

Thursday, February 04, 2010 @ 8:10 AM

Eve Ensler, author of the world-acclaimed Vagina Monologues, has devoted her life to ending violence against girls and women, taking her message all over the world.   She has a new and equally compelling message about the urgency of saving "The Girl Cell," which has been systematically devalued and destroyed in males as well as females.  I Am An Emotional Creature:  The Secret Life of Girls Around the World, based on her years living and talking with girls and women all over the world, is available now for pre-order.  

She recently spoke to a sold-out audience in India.  Click here to see the performance of this wise, passionate and EMOTIONAL woman. 

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Three Extraordinary Haitian Women Leaders Lost

Saturday, January 23, 2010 @ 12:46 PM

There are millions of individual stories that begin to personalize for us the depth of the Haitian tragedy.  Here is one that has huge, long-term  implications for the women and girls of our ravaged, sister country.   Three of the most visible and effective women leaders in the country were all killed in the earthquake.   Here is the story of who they were and what they did.  I hope they inspire you to do MORE, as well.   Click here. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Rise of Wives

Tuesday, January 19, 2010 @ 8:08 AM

The Pew Research Center has just published a revealing and fascinating look at the dramatic shifts underway in gender roles, particularly as they relate to marriage.  According to the report, "The institution of marriage has undergone significant changes in recent decades as women have outpaced men in education and earnings growth.  The unequal gains have been accompanied by gender role reversals in both the spousal characteristics and the economic benefits of marriage."

Two of the most fascinating facts, to me, were:

  • A few decades back, a majority of women said they would consider marrying a man they didn't love -- IF he were a strong financial provider.  In Pew's most recent research, an overwhelming majority (87%) of the American women surveyed said they would not marry a man they didn't love because of his money.  Instead, the top qualities they were looking for in a man were:  intimate communication skills and willingness to pitch in as an equal partner on the homefront.
  •  There's been a statistically significant increase in the number of men -- particularly in the 30-44 age group -- who are married to women who are better educated and earn more money than they do.

Here's the link to Pew Research Center's report on:  New Economics of Marriage:  The Rise of Wives. 

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Sandra Bullock and Blind Side Make History

Thursday, January 07, 2010 @ 4:58 PM

If you haven't seen Sandra Bullock's new movie, Blind Side, yet -- Go See It!  Not only is it a great story AND Bullock gives what may be an Academy Award nomination worthy performance.   But here's the big news. 

Variety, the entertainment industry's most important trade paper, has just reported that Blind Side has just become the first-led fillm in movie history to cross the magical $200 million earning mark at the Box Office.   Keep that up and Hollywood may start realizing the power of the pur$e.   Here's the story.

P.S.  I also loved It's Complicated, Meryl Streep's newest movie, and George Clooney's Up In the Air, which was filmed in Detroit.  Both made me laugh out loud -- and think about them long after they ended.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

If You Want to Be A Great Writer Be A Man

Tuesday, January 05, 2010 @ 8:40 AM

I took my headline directly from the author of this excellent Salon.com piece on the recent furor over the lack of a single woman author on Publisher Weekly's recent list of the Top 10 Books of the year.  What was the controversy all about?  Not a single woman author made the cut. 

What's wrong with that?  To quote columnist Kate Harding, the problem ". . . is not feminists searching the horizon with high-powered binoculars for any slight, but too many other people's deliberate decision to wear blinders."  

I'm deeply concerned that too many people -- beginning with women -- have been wearing blinders for nearly a decade about women's influence as leaders in our culture, organizations and public policy.  Complacency that all is well is the fastest route to losing ground.  It's time to start connecting the dots about how far women still have to go before we become equal partners with men in shaping the world we're leaving for those who will follow.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Diane Sawyer's Ascent to ABC World News Anchor Significant & Low Key

Thursday, December 31, 2009 @ 3:46 PM

There wasn't a lot of hullabaloo about long-time Good Morning America host Diane Sawyer finally ascending to ABC's prime news anchor slot.  Remember all the fuss and excitement and pre-Katie hype when CBS News made the BIG LEAP a couple of years back when they named Katie Couric the 1st woman to anchor network nightly news?   Couric paid a high price for being "first" to the network anchor desk and rumors of her imminent firing have rumbled around media circles for a few years. 

The good news is that the "second trailblazer" rarely gets the attention or creates the discomfort with change that the "1st trailblazer" -- in ANYTHING -- does.  But make no mistake:  when it comes to cultural change, trailblazers, firsts and pioneers are only exceptions to the rule unless others follow their lead.

Diane Sawyer is no follower.  But her ascent -- low key as it's recent kick-off was -- to "Top Dog" position at ABC News is huge.  Not just for Diane Sawyer, but for our culture's steady progress toward seeing women in leadership positions.  Here's more on the Sawyer story from the New York Times.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Huffington Post Profiles Anne on Women and Political Power

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 @ 11:44 AM

How often does a media juggernaut look to a Michigander for advice? It happened this morning. Diane Tucker, a Washington,D.C.-based columnist for The Huffington Post, profiled me today on women and political power. One of the questions she asked was, "What are the first three things a woman should do who is thinking about running?"  

Here they are:  1) Start telling people you're thinking of running.  You'll be amazed at the encouragement and support you'll get.  2) Figure out why you're running;  best way to do that is to start developing your campaign website.  3) Start raising money -- and begin with people who believe in you and you've supported and helped.   Bottom line:   It's all about numbers now -- we need many, many more women to RUN!   Here's the Huffington Post piece, What's an Underemployed Gal to Do?  Run for Office."  

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Can a Tiger Change Its Stripes?

Thursday, December 03, 2009 @ 6:05 PM

The Tiger Woods story is too big, too much on everyon's tongue to ignore.  I spent five years covering professional athletes, during my years as a TV sports reporter/anchor for CBS in Detroit.  That's why I wasn't the least big surprised when all the details behind Tiger's perfectly crafted image started coming out.   I hate to see a role model as accomplished and squeaky clean as Tiger Woods fall as hard and fast as he has in the past few days.  But it's his own doing -- not the fault of "tabloid journalism," as he and his image consultants would like us to believe.  A lot has been written since that 911 call to Florida police.  The best commentary I've read is by highly-respected and experienced USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan.  She's been covering superstar athletes for several decades and knows of what she speaks.   Click here for Brennan's thoughts on Tiger's torment.  

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Comedienne Megan Grano Takes on Women's Ski Jumping

Sunday, November 29, 2009 @ 3:13 PM

Did you know that ski jumping is the only Olympic sport where women are not allowed to compete?  I discovered that when I met fellow International Women's Forum member Deedee Corradini, the former Mayor of Salt Lake City and the current president of the Women's Ski Jumping Association.  

The International Olympic Committee has been fighting tooth and nail to keep women ski jumpers out.  Why?  They CLAIM it's because it's such a dangerous sport and they don't want women injured.  Right!  How about the real reason, which Corradini tells me is this:   Women tend to be lighter than men, which mean they can "fly" through the air further when ski jumping.  Can you imagine the international scandal if Olympic women ski jumpers ended up jumping further than men?

NY comedienne Megan Grano, whose the daughter of Michigan Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan, a personal friend, is now taking on the IOC.  Sometimes humor gets you further than powerpoints and facts.  Click here to enjoy this short (2-minute) video on the IOC's fear of women ski jumpers. 

Friday, October 30, 2009

No Slack is the Mantra of Army's 1st Female Top Drill Sargeant

Friday, October 30, 2009 @ 9:02 AM
Meet Sargeant Major Teresa King.  She's the first woman ever to be named Commandant of the Army's elite training school for drill sargeants.  
As is always the case with pioneers -- regardless of their gender or ethnic background -- the ones to break the barriers need to be the Cream of the Crop.   Sargeant King drives a black corvette and scored a perfect 300 on her most recent physical training test.   
Click here for the NY Times profile on one impressive soldier!  

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Amelia: Hillary Swank Brings Another American Shero To Life

Thursday, October 29, 2009 @ 12:16 AM

Can't wait to see the new Amelia movie, in which Hillary Swank plays American aviator Amelia Earhart.   I'm noticing a pattern here in the roles that Academy Award winner Swank is choosing.   She won her academy award for her role as a female boxer in Clint Eastwood's  Million Dollar Baby.  She also stars in one of my all-time favorite movies:  Iron Jawed Angels, in which she brings Alice Paul leaping out of the history books.   Paul  was the college-educated suffragette who finished (and won!) the fight Susan B. Anthony had started over 50 years earlier:  the right for American women to vote.

And now, she brings us another tremendous example of an American shero.    "A Different Kind of Chick Flick" is how Dan Glickman, CEO of the American Motion Pictures Association describes it.  I like that!   I'm taking my 17-year old son to see Amelia.  He really liked Iron-Jawed Angels, by the way.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The New Untouchables

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 @ 11:36 PM

We're going through wrenching, agonizing cuts of funding for our public schools as Michigan wrestles with a demoralizing budget crisis.  When you're hung up on the grim details right in front of your nose, it's hard to take a big picture look.  That's why I loved Tom Friedman's column today on positioning ourselves -- and the next generation -- for better days ahead.   Here's his insight on what he calls:  The New Untouchables.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Torch is Being Passed . . . To a New Gender

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 @ 7:56 AM

Maria Shriver's uncle, President John F. Kennedy, stirred a nation with his call for the torch of leadership to be passed to a "new generation."  Today, over four decades later, she has become a a forceful voice and catalyst for women to pick up the torch.   Perhaps you've been watching Shriver on THE TODAY SHOW all this week as they focus on how the U.S. -- long a "man's world" -- is becoming a woman's nation.   And, the implications of that seismic cultural change for men, our families and our entire culture.  Perhaps you've seen this week's TIME Magazine, with its cover story and Special Report on The State of American Women.   Shriver's hand was behind that, as well.  The trigger for all the recent national media coverage on this issue is a groundbreaking study:  THE SHRIVER REPORT:  A Woman's Nation Changes Everything.  Just released, the comprehensive study was done by the Center for American Progress. 

It's loaded with fresh facts and fascinating insights.  It is a powerful resource and trigger for the work that lies ahead -- the next chapters of what Shriver calls The Unfinished Revolution.   The battle of the sexes, reportedly, is over.  It's all about the genders negotiating how to work together for stronger families, more effective companies and public institutions and a culture that taps the power and potential of all of its citizens.  My favorite quote came from a man who put it like this, "We haven't thrown some switch to go from a man's world to a woman's world.  It's more like we're finally, for the first time, in a position where it's no longer only a man's world.  Now what does that mean?"

Click here for:  The Shriver Report:  A Woman's Nation Changes Everything. 

 

 

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

1st Time in General Motors History -- Woman Exec Named to Head U.S. Sales

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 @ 7:46 AM

I'm delighted to see the new General Motors take a significant step in a new direction:  they've just named Susan Docherty, a 46-year-old sales executive with deep global and operational experience, Vice President of U.S. Sales.  Never before in GM's 101-year history has a woman held this key spot.   Here's more in this morning's Detroit Free Press. 

It's about time.  One of the Achilles Heels of the auto industry for decades has been that their senior leadership has not reflected the marketplace.   Early reports show the 2010 U.S. Census will confirm that our nation of nearly 300 million people has become a complex, multi-cultural, multi-generational market -- with no such thing anymore as "the average Joe.  Advertising Age commissioned Ogilvy & Mather advertising to do a white paper on the topic.  And another thing:   for the first time we now have a RECORD 70 Million grandparents in this country.  That number is growing and they are deeply involved with financial decisions for their children as well as their grandchildren.    For example, increasingly grandparents are footing the bill for private schools or college.  So, naturally they have their opinions!   Here's a link to the fascinating results. 

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

One Tina Fey Just Isn't Enough

Wednesday, September 09, 2009 @ 11:43 PM

I'm running for my first political office right now -- a seat on the City Council in Auburn Hills, Michigan.  With a total of 13 othe candidates running for the 4 seats up for election, I haven't had much time for blogging.  But I had to alert anyone who checks in with me now and then about this NPR piece on the hurdles women still face to crack the world of comedy.  Here's why we need a lot more Tina Feys.    

Monday, August 24, 2009

How Did Women's Rights Ever Becoming Political Incorrect?

Monday, August 24, 2009 @ 10:03 PM

It's been way too long since I have posted anything to my blog.  That's because I'm running for political office in my community of Auburn Hills.  I'm one of 14 people running for four seats on the City Council.   I'm amazed, frankly, that in 2009 in Michigan we have only two women among our seven City Council members.  One of the woman, Mayor Pro Tem Mari Harvey Edwards who has served for 12 years, is retiring.   That leaves only one woman on the Council in a community where women are more than 50% of the adult residents and regularly out-vote men.   Need I say it again, "We Need More Women Running for Political Office."

Why?  I'm working at the grassroots level, but that's where change occurs, step by step.  The global global discrimination and degredation of women and girls is one of the horrors of our time.  It's time to start talking again about the truth about what is happening with women and girls -- and why we need more women to step up and help lead, at every level.  

Here's a great piece, by Huffington Post columnist Gordon Brown, on the big picture of the evil that continues to be perpetrated -- daily -- against women and girls throughout the world. 

Thursday, August 13, 2009

America the Outlier and The Secrets to Success

Thursday, August 13, 2009 @ 8:48 AM

Nationally syndicated Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman write this piece in January but it resonates with me every time I read it.  The seed that started her thinking was Malcolm Gladwell's latest best-selling book, The Outliers.  These are tough days for most of us -- we could all use a little more luck AND opportunity to pair with our sweat equity.   Here's the link. 

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Elders Speak Up About Religion's Role in Discrimination

Sunday, July 26, 2009 @ 11:45 PM

Nelson Mandela and other acclaimed -- and independent -- international leaders have formed a group called The Elders.  Their mission is to ". . . offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity."  I just discovered the work of this global village of thought leaders who are working collectively for positve change.   One of their messages is the role that relgions continues to play throughout the world in the ongoing discrimination against women and girls.  I respect their courage and willingness to raise their voices to move humanity forward.  Click here for more.    

Friday, July 24, 2009

Was Erin Andrews Asking For It?

Friday, July 24, 2009 @ 11:30 PM

ESPN Sports Reporter Erin Andrews' deserves privacy in her hotel room.  I'm as disgusted as anyone by word of the nude video of Andrews that was shot with a tiny camera through a peephole and then posted on the Internet. So, the answer to my headline is: a resounding NO.

 But I'm also not surprised that this happened to a woman who was named "America's Sexiest Sportscaster" by Playboy Magazine.  Do a Google search of Erin Andrews and take a look at the way she dresses as she prowls sports sidelines, microphone in hand.  You'll get an eyeful of what she and ESPN regularly serve up to salivating sports fans:  stiletto heels, skin tight pants, short skirts and cleavage clinging tops.  

Sorry, but she's operating too close to Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" territory for my taste.  Professional women, particularly those working in very male fields -- such as sports, politics and the highest levels of business -- have to be very careful about how they play the gender card.  Erin is a beautiful young woman holding a handful of sexually charged aces.  She plays them constantly.  She's an entertainer, not a journalist.  She'll make plenty of money doing it.  And she doesn't deserve some creep invading her privacy, no matter how sexy she dresses.

This incident is just a reminder that sex sells and is on men's minds -- what it is about 100 million times a day?  Women often underestimate how little it takes to get a man's imagination going.  There's still a very fine line women must walk who want what they say to be noticed as much as how they look -- especially young, buxom blondes. 

Click here for more on Erin Andrews sideline wardrobe. 

Click here for another take on the story.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Does Sex Sell Women's Sports?

Thursday, July 23, 2009 @ 10:28 PM

Fascinating debate broke out during the Wimbledon Tennis Championship this month.   Yes, Venus and Serena Williams -- perhaps two of the greatest athletes competing today -- took their sibling rivalry to Centre Court once again.   But what had everyone buzzing was the admission by officials of The All England Club that they routinely assigned "the most attractive female players" to centre court.   What's wrong with that, some sportswriters asked?  I'll leave that to Dave Zurin, sports editor of THE NATION.  Click here for an insightful column from a thoughtful man.    

Sunday, July 12, 2009

History Awaits Sonia Sotomayor

Sunday, July 12, 2009 @ 1:28 PM

The Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court offer a moment of powerful insight for white men who are enlightened enough to open their eyes and hearts enough to soak it in.

A lot has been made of a few comments that Judge Sotomayor has made over the years about the experience and insight that "a wise Latina woman" would bring to the bench that a wise man would not.  I'm fascinated by the umbrage -- feigned or real -- that her critics are taking over the suggestion that life experience, which is dramatically different from that of white males who have dominated every aspect of our culture for centuries, could lead to a "wiser" decision.  At the heart of the debate," as the Detroit Free Press put it, "is how race and ethnicity should be considered in public life.

The bottom line, as I see it, is this.  For centuries, white males have been considered "the norm."  Everyone else -- whether women or racial or cultural minorities of any group -- have been measured against white male templates.  Everyone else has been required to become "culturally multi-lingual" -- i.e. able to effectively navigate their own cultural cohort group's waters, as well as those intuitive to white men - in order to succeed in every professional arena.  The only ones who haven't needed to do much adjusting -- until now -- have been white males.  However, too many of them remain unconscious of this undeniable reality.  Men who recognize this truth and think about ways they, too, can develop the comfort and skills to reach out and operate effectively in cultures that are intuitive to women, to African Americans and to Hispanics, the fastest growing cultural group in this country, will open themselves to tremendous enrichment -- that just might make them a little wiser than they already are.

Here are two excellent Op-Ed pieces on the subject, through the eyes of an African American man, for the Washington Post, and an African American woman, writing for the Huffington Post.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Words of Wisdom from Bill Gates

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 @ 2:08 PM

Microsoft founder Bill Gates recently gave a High School Commencement speech.  His focus:  Eleven essentials for successful living that you don't learn in school. I believe he hit the nail on the head -- and shared Gates' list with my 17-year old son.   Here it is:   

Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2: The world doesn't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a driver until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up,it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Meaning of Michelle, Sonia, Ursula and Anne

Tuesday, June 16, 2009 @ 7:28 PM

I have a new feature on my Blog:  the ability to post your own comment.  I'd love to hear from you.  


 What a month it’s been.

First it was an historic, stockholders meeting for Xerox. CEO Anne Mulcahy officially confirmed she will be retiring July 1st and introduced her personally selected and groomed successor, Ursula Burns. Not only will Burns be the first Black woman to head a Fortune 500 company, she and Mulcahy have also charted the path of another milestone: the first woman-to-woman CEO handoff in Fortune 500 history.  

Then, my Time Magazine arrived with Michelle Obama’s strong and focused face on the cover. The featured article, entitled The Meaning of Michelle, probed the significance of the journey our national psyche has made as we’ve watched a trailblazing First Lady evolve from “the caricatured Angry Black Woman of last spring to her exalted status as a New American Icon . . . “

And when Judge Sonia Sotomayor was introduced as President Obama's nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, we witnessed another subtle shift of our leadership paradigm. Regardless of the gender bashing that Sotomayor is now enduring, this legal heavyweight, who was raised by a single mother working two jobs yet went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude from Princeton and edit the Yale Law Review, is modeling another national brand of fresh possibilities.

Three sterling examples.  Each in the stratosphere of influential public arenas: global business,the political spotlight and the judiciary.  They are fresh, sparkling evidence of why I am convinced that our nation of women Achievers is moving into an unprecedented era of women Leaders.

What does it all mean? It means women are on the move again.

Several years ago, I was discouraged about our progress. For all of our individual accomplishments, we seemed to be idling in place -- stalled just below all those nearly impenetrable glass ceilings in every arena. There was even growing evidence that women were slipping.

Now, I sense the wind is changing. And it feels so good.

I believe the next phase of women’s evolution in the U.S. is about power.  Not individual power, but collective power. Throughout all of history there have always been stunningly brilliant, courageous women who slipped their gender chains, bucked cultural pressure and pushed the edges of feminine possibility. Cleopatra, Madame Curie, Golda MeirSojouner Truth, Eleanor Roosevelt, Coretta Scott King, Hillary Rodham Clinton. The list goes on and on. But cultural change requires collective power.

That’s what is still missing for women: a broad understanding that every woman for herself is a losing strategy. It’s time to cultivate Sisterhood, with a capital S. It's time for women to begin actively reaching across racial, cultural, economic and generational lines to lift and lead one another into leadership positions – in big numbers. I'm tired of tokens and trailblazers. It's time for women's leadership -- in numbers appropriate for 51% of the population and the most educated, skilled and savvy critical mass of women in the history of the world.

And there's one other piece that's essential for humanity to make the next significant leap forward. It’s the mindset of men. I’ve been disgusted by the depths to which some male commentators have sunk recently in their drive to derail Judge Sotomayor’s nomination. For example, national radio talk show host G. Gordon Liddy recently opined to his listeners, “Let’s hope that they key conferences aren’t when she’s menstruating or something, or just before she’s going to menstruate. That would be really bad. Lord knows what we would get then.” 

How pathetic!

Men who are threatened by the ascent of women are making a critical mistake. For centuries, women and minority men have had to learn to play the games invented and controlled by white men. While everyone else was adjusting and hustling to make the grade according to white, male standards, those born to that homo-social group had little adjusting to do. Yet the rules of the game are changing and the players rapidly diversifying. There are some uncomfortable days ahead for the likes of G. Gordon Liddy. Fantastic, evolved men, who are eager to shed their own gender chains, understand that we will all rise together. Dan Mulhern, Michigan's "First Gentlemen" and husband of our Governor, Jennifer Granholm, just wrote a terrific piece on this topic called, Father Leaders.   His insight is more evidence of how the winds are changing. 

What does it all mean?  It means our culture is on the rise again.  And it feels so good.

 

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sonia, Sarah and Why I'm Sick of Gender Bashing

Monday, June 15, 2009 @ 1:23 PM


When will we stop passively accepting -- and laughing at -- stereotypical gender bashing?  As I listen to the most recent round of pathetic, personal attacks on Governor Palin and Judge Sotomayor, I'm thinking, Here We Go Again!

 Talk show host David Letterman derides a U.S. Governor for what he called her, "slutty airline stewardess look." And radio host G. Gordon Liddy, talking about Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor, tells his listeners, "Let's hope that the key conferences aren't when she's menstruating or something, or just before she's going to menstruate.  That would really be bad.  Lord knows what we would get then."

I've never been a fan of Palin's politics.  And I only know Sotomayor from reading her sterling resume.   Questioning their credentials and personal biases are all fair game.  But a drumbeat of relentless, character smears based on gender are unacceptable.  Just as unacceptable as racial attacks.  Over the years I watched African Americans do a much better job of recgonizing racism, in all its forms, than women do of calling out insidious sexism. 

Years ago, trailblazing women who were elbowing their way into professional arenas and economic independence were often accused of "having no sense of humor" about the never-ending diet of snide remarks and alleged "jokes" they were force fed.  Now, here we go again.  This time, it's women who dare to aspire to the highest levels of leadership who are the butt of the jokes. 

I'm not laughing.  Hope you're not either.

 

Monday, May 11, 2009

Marilyn French, author of The Women's Room, Made a Difference for Millions

Monday, May 11, 2009 @ 2:03 PM

We lost a brilliant thinker and clear, strong voice for women recently.   Author Marilyn French was a prolific writer and best-known for THE WOMEN'S ROOM, her 1977 novel, which sold over 20 million copies.  She clearly had her finger on the pulse of the frustration so many women were feeling and straining to change at that time.  Here are two excellent tributes to a woman who, in my book, epitomized:  making a difference on your watch.  The first is the NY Times obit and the second is re-printed from the Women's Media Center on the terrific blog of Gloria Feldt, a personal friend and the long-time CEO of Planned Parenthood. 

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Women's Empowerment Movie List: For Inspiration

Sunday, May 10, 2009 @ 4:46 PM

I love movies.  But I get so aggravated when I walk through Blockbuster Video with my high-school age son, Kevin, trying to find a movie that we can both watch together.  One of the things I've started to insist on is that the movie actually include some women in roles other than sex object or victim awaiting rescue.   That limits our choices dramatically. Recently, a friend shared with me a list she has been compiling of movies that are about women's lives.  What a concept!   I'm starting a Women's Movie Night with some of my friends so that we can work our way through this great list.   I pass it on to you to enjoy and share with others.  

MOVIES ABOUT WOMEN AND WOMEN'S LIVES  

 

A League of Their Own

Algeria:  Women at War

All About Eve

All About My Mother

American Quilt

American Violet

Antonia’s Line

Beaches

Bend It Like Beckham

Between The Lines

Bring it On

Daughters of the Dust

Diary of a Mad Black Woman

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Dream Life of Angels

Girlfriends

Entre Nous

Fried Green Tomatoes

Girl Interrupted

Heavenly Creatures

Housekeeping

In Her Shoes

Iron Jawed Angels

Joy Luck Club

Little Women

Mean Girls

Medea’s Family Reunion

Memoirs of a Geisha

Notes on a Scandal

Pray the Devil Back to Hell (Steinem recommends)

Real Women Have Curves

Revolutionary Road (Steinem recommendation)

Sense and Sensibility

Silkwood

Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants

Soul Food

Steel Magnolias

The Color Purple

The Devil Wears Prada

The First Wives Club

The Red Lantern

The Sisters

The Space Between Us

The Whales of August
The Women

The Women of Brewster Place

Thelma & Louise

Three Women

Volver

Waiting to Exhale

Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown

 

 

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Washington Post Leaders is Great Source of Inspiration

Saturday, May 02, 2009 @ 1:21 PM

I've just discovered the Washington Post Leaders website, which regularly posts short and fascinating interviews with nationally respected leaders.   From CEOs, Harvard Business professors and well-known entrepreneurs, this is a great spot for inspiration and to trigger reflection on developing your own leadership style and strengths.  If there is one common theme it's this:  there is no leadership template.  Effective leaders are as diverse as the human race.  They post a new interview each day -- each less than five minutes.   From BET Founder Sheila Johnson, Leadership Gurus Warren Bennis and Marshall Goldsmith, Harvard Business professos Rosabeth Moss Kanter and Nancy Koehn to former Georgetown championship basketball coach John Thompson, Jr, it's a goldmine of wisdom.  Click here to check it out.

 

Friday, April 17, 2009

It's Time for Women to Start Talking About the Elephant in the Room

Friday, April 17, 2009 @ 3:46 PM

Although I've liked to think of myself as an educated, evolved woman, it's only in the past few months -- as I've delved deeper into cultural differences among women -- that I've begun to grasp how oblivious I've been to the huge divide that separates Caucasian or Anglo American women from women of color. 

I've been stunned to discover that research studies show the percentage of women of color who feel they can trust Caucasian women is as low as 22%.  

Within the past month I experienced powerful, visual confirmation of the cultural divide between women when I had the opportunity to hear two of the most influential voices of my lifetime speak:  Dr. Maya Angelou and Feminist leader Gloria Steinem.  The lectures were four weeks apart in different performance halls, but they both spoke to sold out audiences in metropolitan Detroit. For Dr. Angelou, I would estimate the audience was over 90% African American women.  For Gloria Steinem, the racial mix was exactly the opposite:  closer to 95% Caucasian women.  

Since then, I've begun to interview experts who know much more than I do about this great divide between American women of different cultural backgrounds and socializiations.  One of my first conversations was with Dr. Anne Litwin, pictured here, a human and organizational development expert whose life work has focused on helping women in organizations to bridge differences and learn to support one another.   The first thing I learned from Dr. Litwin is that Caucasian women need to begin to educate ourselves about this "Elephant in the Room." The differences are deep.  But the payoffs for reaching across the divides will be huge. 

U. S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently said that we are "a nation of cowards" when it comes to talking about race.  Courage is one of the essential qualities that differentiates leaders, who help move society forward, from those who are simply individually successful achievers.  Courage is something you build -- like a muscle -- with repeated effort.  If you're interested in beginning to talk about this particular Elephant, I invited you to listen in on my conversation with Dr. Anne Litwin.  I hope it will get you thinking new thoughts, having courageous conversations -- and that you'll share this inteview with others.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's Not Augusta National but Another Venerable Barrier Falls

Wednesday, April 15, 2009 @ 2:52 PM

When it comes to golf, St. Andrew's and Augusta National have plenty in common.  Not only are they considered the "elite" golf courses of the world, neither club allows women as members.   Now, St. Andrew's has a dilemma.  The two previous presidents of St. Andrew's University were named honorary members of the venerable club that makes the rules for the world of golf.  But now, Louise Richardson -- the first non-Brit, non-Protestant and, egad!, woman -- has been named president of the University.   The Irish-born, Catholic, Harvard-trained, naturalized U.S. citizen isn't making an issue of the golf question, although it has the town all abuzz.  Dr. Richardson is more interested in, as the New York Times put it recently, "an accelerated evolution, not leading a revolution."  Click here for a fascinating look at Old Barriers Crumbling.  

 

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Taliban Aren't the Only Threats to Women's Human Rights

Wednesday, April 08, 2009 @ 7:06 AM

The public flogging of a teenage girl in Pakistan by the Taliban and a new lAfghan aw that gives Shiite men the right to rape their wives have triggered International outrage and brought the issue of the growing attacks on women's human rights to public consciousness once again.  But it's not just Afghanistan and Pakistan where women continue to be second class citizens.  It is EVERY SINGLE NATION IN THE WORLD, including the United States.  

According to the Global Gender Gap Report, published annually by the World Economic Forum, the United States is ranked a disturbing 27th in the world for women's gender equity.  The Nordic countries, Norway (1), Finland (2), Sweden (3) and Iceland (4) have closed 80% of the gaps between men and women's equality in their countries, but still have a ways to go.  The report is fascinating reading and provides insight on why the U.S. is ranked so low.

Here in the U.S., a woman's human right to make decisions about her own body, particularly related to reproduction, remains very fragile and under constant attack.  This morning, I discovered a fantastic interview on this topic -- with two internationally recognized women leaders, advocates and authors.  Dr. Riane Eisler, author of the classic, The Chalice and the Blade, talks with Gloria Feldt, the long-time CEO of Planned Parenthood and author of Send Yourself Roses, with actress Kathleen Turner.   The interview was done before the 2008 presidential election, but the messages are as relevant and urgent as ever. 

Click here to listen. 

 

Friday, April 03, 2009

Interview with Dr. Judy Rosener, National Expert on Gender and Leadership

Friday, April 03, 2009 @ 2:03 PM

Why This Crisis is Good for America is the title of a fascinating article in this week's Time magazine.  Written by author Kurt Anderson, the article makes the point that we've arrived at ". . . a spectacular moment of global consciousness."    Anderson goes on to say, "... this is the moment for business to think different and think big." In other words, never waste a good crisis.

That's one of the many reasons why I believe that women are on the verge of another tremendous surge forward:  this time into leadership positions.  Not only is there a critical mass of women achievers in the U.S. workforce today, there seems to be growing willingness to consider that perhaps we might not have gotten into quite the mess wer'e in if we hadn't left nearly all of the major decision making in the hands of only half of the human brainpower.   Now that women are close to 51% of the workforce (81% of the layoffs have impacted men) and have been earning more college degrees than men for two decades, the next frontier is for a critical mass of women to move into leadership roles -- in ever professional sector.   Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Judy Rosener (pictured here), a nationally recognized expert on gender and women's leadership.  She's the author of several books, including:  America's Competitive Secret: Women Managers.  Her Harvard Business Review article, "Ways Women Lead" is a classic.  Click here for Dr. Rosener's most recent thoughts on how greater numbers of women can begin to "power up" to leadership.       

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Groundbreakers: Using the Strength of Women to Rebuild the World Economy

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 @ 11:31 AM

 "The current financial crisis presents a real need to challenge ourselves and to rethink the way we do things.  We need to draw on the widest range of talent.  The vast economic potential of women as an economic force has yet to be realized."  Those are the opening words of a cutting edge White Paper on why women are the high-powered octane that will help turbo-charge our global economy back into gear. 

 Groundbreakers: Using the Strength of Women to Rebuild the World Economy is the title of a fascinating report that was released -- and caused a lot of buzz -- at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos.  Ernst & Young, one of the largest professional service firms in the world and one of the Big Four auditors, developed the report under the leadership of Beth Brooke, E&Y's Global Vice Chair of Public Policy, Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement.  Brooke, who is pictured here, has been named to Forbes' list of the World's Most Powerful Women multiple times.  I've had the pleasure of hearing Brooke speak at a Global Conference of the International Women's Forum.

For the past two years, I've had my finger in the "clay" on the latest research and trends on women's momentum, as I've been working on a book on women's leadership.  I can tell you that Groundbreakers is the most comprehensive and insightful report I've seen on the topic of women's economic progress and potential.  Its perspective is global.  Its facts are fresh.  The story it tells on the undeniable evidence in favor of women's empowerment -- at all levels in every sector of society -- is one that every leader and thinker interested in how we learn from our present economic crisis should read.  

Click here to link to this compelling report.

 

Monday, March 16, 2009

Talking with the Gen Y Generation

Monday, March 16, 2009 @ 9:05 PM

For the past two years, I've been working on a book on women's leadership, called:  POWERING UP.   The best part has been the nearly 150 interviews I've done with women achievers and leaders from all over the country. 

Some are names you would recognize who have already risen to the 10,000 foot level of the Forbes and Fortune magazine lists of "Most Powerful Women."  Others have risen to leadership in the military or as Olympic athletes.  Many were pioneers, such as Reverend Jane Holmes Dixon, one of the first women bishops ordained in the Anglican church.  And some are at the very beginning of their leadership journey, such as Nicole Marble, who is pictured here.  A graduate of Michigan State University and a grand slam-slugging college athlete, Nicole is now working on her Master's Degree, aspiring to a career in sports management -- still a tough field for women to crack -- and adjusting to her first year of marriage. 

She is just one marvelous example of the next generation of women achievers and leaders, a sub-set of the 80 million strong Gen Y generation that is just beginning to move into the U.S. workplace.  I call Nicole and aspiring women of her generation:  the "I'll-do-it-my-way Innovators."  They are an ambitious breed and I predict they are the storm troopers who will finally smash those elusive glass ceilings to smithereens.  But they need leadership and hands-up from their more seasoned professional sisters.  For insight into the mindset of an ambitious, well-qualified Innovator, you are welcome to listen in on our conversation about women's leadership.  Click here to listen

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

WEIGHING IN ON RIYANNA AND "He Who Shall Not Be Named"

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 @ 9:05 AM
Have you stood in line at a grocery store lately and noticed the covers of all the gossip magazines?  Brad, Angelina and Jennifer Aniston have finally been bumped by the tragic Riyanna fiasco.  It was bad enough that she was beaten and strangled to the point of nearly losing consciousness.  What's worse are all the cozy pictures and headlines about the couple getting back together.  I'm not even going to mention the name of the man who attacked her.  This has been a publicity boondoggle for him. 

What bothers me is how much attention is being paid to the sad and sordid details of this pathetic celebrity drama and too little seizing of this "teachable moment" to help other women and teenage girls who are in danger.  The statistics are sad and not getting any better.  And teenage girls are equally at risk, with 1 in 4 (the same  as for adult women) experiencing physical abuse from their boyfriends.  Here is the national domestic abuse hotline that will connect you or someone you care about to local help.  Our attention is fickle.  Soon, we'll move on to some other juicy celebrity story and will have forgotten this -- until Riyanna is injured again, of course. 

Please use your voice to speak up during this brief moment of national attention on a tragedy that plays out every minute against women and girls all over the world.  And support anyone you know who is in danger to get help. 

Leave it to Oprah to speak out and tell it like it is.  "Love doesn't hurt, she told her national audience last Friday.  If a man hits you once, he'll hit you again."  Here's the link.  

Friday, March 06, 2009

A POWERFUL NOISE

Friday, March 06, 2009 @ 11:18 PM

Sheila Johnson has done it again.  

Last night I attended the premiere of A POWERFUL NOISE, a fabulous documentary film that was shown, simultaneously, in hundreds of theaters in the U.S. to mark International Women's Day.  The film tells the moving stories of three women from very different parts of the world -- Bosnia, Viet Nam and the slums of Mali -- and their struggles to overcome overwhelming odds.  It is an inspiring tribute to the strength of women to make a difference in the world.  The money and the momentum behind the film came from Sheila Johnson, pictured here, the first female African American billionaire.  Johnson and her former husband co-founded the Black Entertainment Network.  She is now an active philanthropist, CEO of a growing empire of luxury resorts and the only woman with a stake in three professional sports teams, the WNBA Washington Mystics, the Washington Wizards and the Washington Capitals.  

A Powerful Noise is a "don't miss" film in my book.  Especially if you're interested in emotionally-gripping stories and being reminded of what a difference each individual can make.  Following the film, Johnson turned things over to a powerhouse panel, including former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff and CARE USA CEO Dr. Helene Gayle, for a discussion on why educating women is the single most important step we can take to fight poverty and gender inequality throughout the world.  

Johnson is another incredible example of a great woman who is putting her power to work to make a difference on her watch.  How about you? 

 

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Two Terrific Ways to Mark International Women's Day

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 @ 9:54 AM

March 8th is International Women's Day, a global event that will celebrate women's economic, political and social achievements.  Forty-eight countries will mark the date with thousands of events, both national and local.  Here are two memorable ways that you can take some time to be inspired to make a difference on your watch in helping "Team Women" to continue to progress.  I love great movies.  Both of my suggestions are "don't miss" films.  

 

  • Iron Jawed Angels.  Two-time Academy Award winning actress Hillary Swank plays the lead role in this fantastic film, which is one of my all-time favorites.  It's the story of Alice Paul and the other Suffragettes who won the right to vote for American women -- a job that Susan B. Anthony started 50 years earlier.  It's a powerful story, important history and a movie women, men and even teenagers will enjoy.  It's available through Blockbuster Online and NetFlix.

I hope you'll take some time to be inspired to keep striving yourself -- and encourage and ichallenge women and girls whose lives you can touch -- to live up to all of your god-given potential.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

I Thought I Had No time for LinkedIn or Facebook -- Let Alone Twitter. Boy Was I Wrong!

Sunday, March 01, 2009 @ 2:19 PM

My 17 year old son Kevin's life seems to revolve around Facebook. I’ve dipped my toe in the Facebook and LinkedIn waters, but figured I just didn’t have time to dig deeper into what all the excitement was about. 

Until now.  I just attended an excellent seminar led by Nicole Ellison, Assistant Professor of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media at Michigan State University.  She’s been studying the explosion of online social networking for several years.  By the time she finished, I realized that I've been missing the boat by not utilizing these 21st Century business tools.  

What's so great about them? We all know having an excellent network is important.  But you have to stay in touch with people and keep connections fresh.  How do you do that and still get "real work" done?  LinkedIn and Facebook are great places to start. 

 The real power of social networking sites is their ability to dramatically expand two things:   1) Your personal and professional networks of people and 2) Your sources of fresh and valuable information.  Why is that important?  Here's what I learned: 

About LinkedIn (you need to be a member to access my profile)   

  • Research has shown that we are more likely to get job opportunities, make new career connections and discover new things from people outside our normal circles.  So, the wider our circles of connections, the better.  
  • LinkedIn is quickly becoming the new professional resume.  One executive recruiter said she won’t even look at a candidate unless she or he has a LinkedIn site.  How come?
  • Because what you claim about yourself on Linked In is out there publicly – sort of like Wikapedia for others to confirm.  People have been exaggerating on resumes for years.  But when your professional track record is publicly posted on LinkedIn – and you have recommendations from others confirming that you’ve done what you’ve claimed -- that's credible.  
  • It's also a tremendous way to minimize the number of degrees of separation between you and people you would like to meet.  Once you are a member of LinkedIn, you begin building your network.  Once someone allows you to add them to your network, you can see whose in their network -- and can contact those people directly, asking if they will allow you to connect with them. 
  • Can you begin to imagine the possibilities?    

So what's the insight? If you’re already on LinkedIn, take another look at your profile.  Treat it as a living resume that really reflects everything you’re interested in doing now and your track record.  If your not on LinkedIn -- and having an excellent professional network is important to you -- you're missing a powerful tool.  Plus, it's free.  

How about Facebook? (You have to be a member to access my profile)

  • It's much more personal. 
  • Mark Zuckerberg, who founded it when he was a student at Harvard is now 23 years old and worth $1.5 BILLION. 
  • I'm not sure why anyone is interested in reading the What I’m Doing Right Now posts from all their friends. But it’s not just for kids anymore.  People over 40 are the fastest growing demographic on Facebook which now claims to have over 175 million subscribers. 
  • It’s fast becoming a very acceptable way to build a more personal relationship with people who might otherwise simply be acquaintances you rarely see.
  • In 2006, My Space was the #1 online social network, with over 100 M users.  Facebook passed it in 2008 and hasn't looked back.

What’s the downside?  That the line can be very fine indeed between social networking and career disaster.  It’s not just high school or college students who make the critical error of forgetting that everything posted on the internet has the potential of somehow becoming viral.  

And how about Twitter?  It’s for sharing very short bits of information – no more than 140 characters.  That’s it.  Just enough to send the URL to a website you just discovered or put out a headline on breaking news. 

  • You can select whose tweets you want to follow, such as people who are doing work or research you’re interested in.  For example, I’m working on a book on women’s leadership.  So, if  Ann Dunwoody, the first woman named Four Star General, were twittering, I might follow her for awhile. 
  • Same goes for comedienne Tina Fey.  I’d love to hear her running commentary on national news or check out some of her favorite websites.  

I'm not Tweeting -- yet.  But, I'm starting to think about Twitter as the 21st Century version of having scouts on the trail going up ahead.  If you select your scouts well, chances are they’ll be sending back valuable information on new vistas (websites) and trails worth following.  

 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Midwest Voice: Advice for College Seniors On Cracking That First Job

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 @ 7:00 PM

  Michigan State University's Department of Advertising, Public Relations and Retailing held an "Inspiration Day" last week for students facing a discouraging job market.   I'm  an "adopted" MSU Spartan and was invited to join 20 other executive alums to give students our best inspirational "shot in the arm."  

  Department head Rick Cole, the Inspiration Man behind "Inspiration Day,"  kept us busy, rotating teams of 3 executives through classrooms like "speed dating" sessions.  By the end of the day, we'd talked to nearly 500 students, most of them juniors and seniors.  I learned as much listening to the other executives in my team as, I hope, I passed along to the students.  Some of the tips were motivational, others pure fundamentals.   

  Each Tuesday morning, Michigan Talk Network radio host Michael Patrick Shiels invites me to talk with him about leadership, in the context of the news of the day, whether it's politics, sports, the auto industry or the economic times that have rocked us all.  This morning, the topic was "standing out in a crowd," whether you are a student or a seasoned pro facing a job transition.  Click here to listen.    

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Anne Stevens, Carpenter Technology CEO, Tells It Like It Is

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 @ 10:47 AM

Anne Stevens, one of the few auto industry executives ever named to Fortune Magazine's prestigious "50 Most Powerful Women in Business" list, took time to talk with an old friend (me!) recently about one of our shared passions:  women and leadership.

Now CEO of Carpenter Technology, a manufacturer of specialized alloys for manufacturing, Anne is as discouraged as I am about the growing evidence that women achievers are not only idling in place, but slipping.  If you don't believe it, start with Catalyst's latest reports. American women, for all of our progress are under-achievers when it comes to seats at the heads of decision-making tables.  In ten major work sectors, including politics, business, journalism, law, entertainment, women average no more than 18% representation in leadership positions. 

The question I put to Anne is:  When women are 51% of the population, earning six out of ten college, law and medical degrees, and -- as of February -- outnumber men in the U.S. workforce, why are they so under-represented at "The Top"?  

 Anne always had a "tell it like it is" style when she and I worked together at Ford Motor Company.  She hasn't changed a bit. Click here to listen.  

Friday, February 13, 2009

More Women Than Men Now Primary Breadwinner

Friday, February 13, 2009 @ 5:10 PM

The economic downward spiral that we are all struggling with has brought women to another historic milestone:  for the first time, there are now more women than men employed in the U.S. workforce.  As of November, American women were 49.1% of the workforce.  With the latest round of job losses -- 80% of which have impacted men, primarily in manufacturing and construction work -- there are now more women carrying the responsibilities of "primary breadwinner" than men.  This isn't about women's progress.  It's about men's slippage.  It's also leading to new conversations -- in millions of homes across the country -- about the "second shift" work related to home and children, of which women are still doing the lion's share.  Here's more perspective from Boston Globe syndicated columnist Ellen Goodman writing on what she calls, "The Curse of an Equal Workforce."

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Terrific New Books on Working, Marketing and Engaging in the World as Women

Thursday, February 05, 2009 @ 9:31 AM

Several terrific books have crossed my desk recently that each relate to an aspect of women's leadership.  Four are new and one is a classic.  I'm lucky enough to know all of the authors personally, except for Harvard professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter, who is a legend in the business world. I hope to meet Dr. Kanter one day, and that at least one of these books is just what you're looking for:

  • The 85% Niche:  The Power of Women of All Colors, Miriam Muley.  Former General Motors marketing executive Muley has written a fascinating guide to understanding differences in marketing to Latina, Black and Asian women.  Women of color account for nearly $1 Trillion in consumer spending and another $23 Billion as entreprenuers.  Yet most companies continue to market to women as one -- primarily white -- monolithic group.
  • Sipping from the Nile . . . My Exodus from Egypt, Jean Naggar. Literary agent Naggar knows how to tell a story.  This one is her own, a lush memoir of growing up in Cairo at the time of the Suez Canal crisis that triggered dramatic historical events that changed her life and that part of the world forever.
  • Jobs 2.0 the New World of Work, Patty DeDominic. This is the second edition of timeless advice on successfully navigating the career highway, as valuable for seasoned professionals as it is for new grads. DeDominic knows of what she speaks.  Her expertise is based on the experiencing of placing thousands of job seekers through her work as founder of PDQ Personnel Services, Inc, which she sold to Select Staff and is now the largest privately-held staffing firm in the U.S.  
  • The Power of the Purse ...How Smart Companies are Adapting to the World's Most Important Consumers: Women, Fara Warner.  Globally, women's economic power is changing business forever.  Fast Company contributing editor and former Wall Street Journal reporter Fara Warner has written a book that caught the attention of Tom Peters who wrote about it, "Finally, the book about marketing to women that moves beyond theory and offers meaty case studies that should wake up any sane persson -- including males (!) -- to the world's #1, largely untapped marketplace." 
  • A Tale of O . .. On Being Different in an Organization, Rosabeth Moss Kanter. Perhaps the preeminent experts on gender dynamics in the workplace, Kanter has written many best-selling books.  I'd never heard of this one until a friend told me it was - - hands down -- the best book she had ever read on what happens when someone different tries to join and make a difference in a majority group. It uses x's and o's and minimal text, but the insights are as profound as they are practical. It's out of print but you can still buy copies online.  

Friday, January 23, 2009

What's Still Blocking Women's Leadership Path to the White House?

Friday, January 23, 2009 @ 6:39 PM

What an historic sea change is sweeping across our mental template these days of what a leader looks like.  In the wake of President Barack Obama's historic election to the Oval Office, what about women?  What impact, I'm wondering, will the U.S. presidency of the first African American have on expanding leadership opportunities for others who don't look like the traditional -- white, male -- leader?

In particular:  women.  

The day after the Inauguration I had a fascinating conversation with Marie Wilson, president of The White House Project.  The mission of her national organization is to advance women's leadership in all arenas -- including to the Oval Office.  As our nation opens a new chapter in our history, here are the thoughts of a wise and insightful leader on the missing links that are still keeping America's women achievers from becoming the leaders the world is crying out for.  To hear the interview, click here.    

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Interview with Carol Jenkins, President of Women's Media Center

Tuesday, January 20, 2009 @ 2:29 PM

Carol Jenkins, nationally-acclaimed TV news journalist and the founding president of the Women's Media Center spoke to me recently about where she sees American women today as we continue to ascend toward greater leadership positions in shaping our nation.  

 I'm posting our conversation on an historic day in United States history:  January 20th, 2009.  Inauguration Day for Barack Obama, our 44th president and the first African American to take what he described toay as a "sacred oath."  We rejoice in this day and look forward to greater numbers of women and people of all colors -- black, brown, yellow and red -- to come together, as Obama challenged us to do to fulfill the promise of America.  Click here to listen to the thoughts of Jenkins, another remarkable American leader, on the qualities she believes women achievers need to develop as we continue to evolve -- in greater numbers -- into genuine leaders. 

P.S. If you haven't seen the excellent video, Sexism Sells But We're Not Buying It, that the Women's Media Center put together during the presidential campaign, it's don't miss material.  It pulls together a stunning sampling of outrageously sexist comments made by national political news commentator during the 2008 presidential campaign. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mitch Albom, Sports Illustrated and The Courage of Detroit

Tuesday, January 13, 2009 @ 9:00 AM

I'm a Detroiter.   Well, OK, I'm the daughter of a New Yorker and a Chicagoan who met at Notre Dame and raised 7 little Doyles in the shadow of the University's famous Golden Dome.   My family didn't move to Detroit until my father's work as a sports broadcaster for WWJ Radio brought him here in 1968 -- the year the Detroit Tigers won the World Series.  My work has taken me all over the world, but no matter where I moved, events and opportunities kept bringing me back to Motown.  So, now I think of myself as a Detroiter, just as much as Diana Ross, Gordie Howe and Henry Ford.

That's why I feel the pain that so many of us here have experienced as we have watched ourselves scorned and defiled and treated as America's whipping boy, during the recent auto industry crisis. We're stunned, hurt and sick of it.  My hat goes off to Mitch Albom, a nationally-known columnist for the Detroit Free Press and author (Tuesday's with Morrie), who was asked by Sports Illustrated to write a piece on Detroit.  Wherever you live, if you think of yourself as a Detroiter, have family and business connections here, or just want to get a sense of who we really are, I hope you'll take the time to read The Courage of Detroit. 

Albom is a splendid writer and he captures the heart and soul of the people of a great American city.     

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Transcending: The Uniqueness of Women's Friendships

Saturday, January 10, 2009 @ 9:36 PM
Just got back from two weeks in Australia.  I'll write about that next.  First, I wanted to share a wonderful video of New York Times best-selling author Kelly Corrigan reading her words on transcending life's setbacks and the uniqueness of women's friendships.  Former Ford Motor Company executive, organizational consultant and dear friend Nancy Badore sent this to me.  Women and men truly are very different, but complementary beings.   If you are a woman, you'll relate.  If you are a man who takes the time to listen to this (it's a little over 4 minutes), it will give you insight into women's lives and values.   I pass it along to you.  Here's the link.  Enjoy. 

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Caroline Kennedy's Biological Power Clock Starts Ticking

Saturday, December 20, 2008 @ 12:51 PM
Initially, I was astonished and outraged over what I perceived as a sense of entitlement that had prompted Caroline Kennedy to begin "campaigning" to be appointed to the United States Senate Seat from New York that was once held by her uncle,Robert F. Kennedy.   But the more I thought it through -- and started looking at it  without my familiar cultural filter -- the more I started to see something very different going on.  I believe her biological power clock is kicking in. Something we are just beginning to see as more women achievers now have their child rearing years behind them.    Here's the piece I posted on my website:    

Friday, December 12, 2008

Something to Smile About on a Discouraging Day in Detroit

Friday, December 12, 2008 @ 10:17 AM

Last night the U.S. Senate refused to throw a life preserver to the U.S. auto industry as it struggles to survive, in the wake of the  national credit crisis combined with our collapsing economy.  Here in Detroit, we are devastated and stunned by the callous disregard for the impact that the collapse of GM, Chrysler, hundreds of automotive suppliers and, possibly Ford will have -- not only here in Michigan -- but throughout the country.

Tom Walsh, a terrific business columnist for the Detroit Free Press, did a good job this morning of capturing the sense of betrayal so many of us connected to the U.S. auto industry feel this morning. 

But, I tend to be an optimist.  I'm also a life-long lover of horses, a grown-up Annie Oakley.  For both reasons, I share this spectacular, inspiring video.  Hope it lifts your mood and reminds you of what's possible.  

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Women Auto Industry Executives Gave Early Warning Signals

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 @ 9:10 AM

Two years ago, I wrote a piece for Automotive News, which knows more about the auto industry than anyone, particularly Congress, on the startling drain of high level women who were abandoning Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler for greener professional pastures. 

Those women executives (and I was one of them) were like canaries singing in the coal mine.  No one listened nor paid much attention as they flew away rather than suffocate in those insulated, old-economy, good-old-boy cultures.   Although I support the loans to keep the companies from tipping over the precipice, I'm also an advocate of not wasting this moment of crisis.  The time for dramatic change was long ago.  Congress is right to hold the companies' feet to the fire. 

To read the Automotive News story on why so many top women leaders abandoned the auto companies click here.  

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Auto Industry Crisis: Why It's Not Just Detroit's Problem

Friday, December 05, 2008 @ 1:14 PM

I am a Michigander, a former Ford Motor Company communications executive and think of myself as a Detroiter, although I have lived all over our great country and overseas.   Here in Michigan, we are stunned by the misunderstanding in Congress and by so many Americans about how intertwined the American auto industry is into the economic fabric of every state in the U.S.  I strongly support the request by Ford, GM and Chrysler for a federal loan to get our U.S. automakers through the crisis that has been pushed to the edge of the cliff by the national meltdown of our economy.

The Detroit Free Press has covered the auto industry for over 100 years, since it's very beginning.  They understand, better than any journalists, TV commentators or member of Congress the facts behind the present crisis.   Here is the link to the front page of the Motor City's hometown paper, which was on the desk of very member of Congress this morning.   I hope you'll take 2 minutes to read it, for a little more insight into why the automotive crisis isn't just Detroit's problem.  It is yet another defining moment for America.   

And, if you are interested in more background, here is fresh perspective from Ford.   

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Journalism 2008

Thursday, December 04, 2008 @ 2:35 PM

As a former journalist, I have many, many friends in the news media.  As the newspaper business continues to struggle and restrict under the onslaught of the world wide web, so many wonderful journalists are losing their jobs.  Is this end of an era?  It feels like it.  I have to remind myself that endings, painful as they always are, are necessary to make way for new beginnings.  But I also believe in taking time to honor where we've been and reflect.   

Here's how an Indianapolis Star newspaperman describes his most recent ending.  

Layoff stories: 'I am a newspaperman. Well, I was'

I walked in the door home a few minutes ago, kissed my wife, and since I don't know what else to do but be a journalist, I'll report:

The bosses at the Indy Star are handling it fairly well, compared to some other shops. No bum's rush out the door or anything. Handshakes, pleasantries, all that. Take your time gathering your things.

 

The first few minutes after you get back from HR on the 6th floor are interesting. Everyone can see the gray folder in your hand, and some people start avoiding eye contact. Most, though, soon approach and offer their condolences. Not a few hugs are exchanged. Our theater and classical music writer, an absolute workhorse who gave me a very classy goodbye, soon got the call himself. He had to take a minute and down some caffeine before going up.

My last act as an employee was to call an author I’d scheduled an interview with next week to cancel. I’d been pursuing that source for the better part of a year, dropping off materials for her to read and calling every few weeks to convince her to sit down. My persistence paid off and I was finally going to nail the interview, but now it’ll never happen. She reminded me not to forget to return the two books she’d loaned me to read.

Like most people in the Star newsroom, I’d preemptively packed up a bunch of stuff. All I really had left was a bunch of clip files and archives of the entertainment section, of which I was the editor for nearly two years.

'I am not ready'
Newspapers are surprisingly heavy, especially when you’re carrying them to your car on your last walk out of the building. It’s funny; we think of newspapers as being so insubstantial, so temporary in their usefulness, soon to be discarded for the next batch. It’s only when you gather them up together that their corporeal heft is plain. I look at what I wrote over the past year, and it’s at least two novels worth of words.

A writer? I never considered myself as such. I am a newspaperman. Well, I was. I don’t know what I am now. In this market, I know what my chances are of landing another newspaper gig. I have to face that this is probably the end of my journalism career -- it goes without saying that I am not ready.

But there are hundreds of us today, thousands. My story is not special. But I still wanted to tell it, because that’s what I do. Did.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

African Woman Political Leader Decries Demeaning Images of Women U.S. Culture Exports

Saturday, November 15, 2008 @ 8:33 PM

As a member of the International Women's Forum, the preeminent, global network for women leaders, I have developed friendships with spectacular women from every continent.  During the IWF conference, held in Pittsburgh this October, I met Kah Walla, a young, political leader from Camaroon, Africa, who has all the brain power, charisma and eloquence to become a tremendous leader.  

I asked her to talk with me about women's leadership.  Here is our conversation, which includes her compelling plea for the United States to stop exporting degrading images of women throughout the world through our movies and music videos.  Click here to listen to the voice and insight of a leader.  

Another Hurdle: 1st Woman Named Four Star General

Saturday, November 15, 2008 @ 1:40 PM

The United States has become a nation of female achievers.  The next frontier is for women to start flying past the hurdles to equal leadership in our nation.  I'm thrilled by yesterday's news that the United States Army has just promoted the first woman to the prestigious rank of Four Star General.  After 33 years of service, General Ann Dunwoody was named to the military's highest rank, joining only 10 other active Four Star Generals. 

Her husband, who served for 26 years in the Air Force, helped do the honors at yesterday's emotional ceremony in Washingot, D.C.  To see the historic moment and hear what she had to say about the letters and emails she has received from military men and women throughout the world, click here.   

Friday, November 14, 2008

Does Detroit "Deserve" a Federal Bailout?

Friday, November 14, 2008 @ 11:46 AM

Many of you know that I worked in the automotive industry, for Ford Motor Company, for 13 years.  My brother, Vince, has been in the industry for over two decades. The American automakers, GM, Chrysler and Ford Motor Company, are on the verge of collapse.  GM is just months away from bankruptcy.  Currently, they are appealing to the federal government for a "Loan" to get through the current crisis.   I cannot improve on the words of my brother on this dire situation, so I share them here:


Dear Friends,

Most Americans don't appreciate what an amazing technological and industrial resource the American Automobile industry is. Most only know about a car, a dealer, or a manufacturer that failed them personally and so forevermore they deserve to suffer and fail.

That spiteful view diminishes the importance of an industry that represents one of humankind's noblest endeavors and a vital American industry that today is on the brink of collapse.

I strongly believe that the loan the automakers are requesting it is in the interest of the Nation, to assist the car companies in this time of crisis. I could go on and on about why. But that may come across of self serving and argumentative.  

For those of you who don't live in Michigan or aren't directly dependent on the domestic auto industry. I am asking that you take my word for it, and support the government loan currently being considered.   

What's in it for you?

If the automobile industry fails (and it is now on the precipice of collapse) we're all screwed. Me, you and America in general.

Now the global financial crisis may have already written our economic epitaph and this loan may not actually save American industry, but I am convinced that without it America's way of life will change immediately and I think irreversibly.

If you disagree, do nothing. (And pray that you are right.)

If you think there is any measure of truth in this, please contact me and I can give you more of my rationale.

If you agree, then it is incumbent upon you (as it is me) to persuade your friends, family and countrymen to support vital American industries like automotive with financial liquidity to help bridge the economic chasm before us.
 Below are some links sent to me by others to register your point of view with your U.S. Representative. Please help now.

Please contact your U.S. House of Representatives member and U.S. Senators and ask them to support the proposed bridge loan to help the U.S. auto industry weather this economic environment.

The following websites provide all of the information you and your employees need to either call or email your U.S.Representative and Senators:To call your elected officials, please go to http://capwiz.com/ford/callalert/index.tt?alertid=12188421. To send an email please go to http://capwiz.com/ford/issues/alert/?alertid=12190901

Sincerely,

Vince Doyle

Latcha+Associates

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Another Step on my Book Writing Journey

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 @ 9:09 AM

In my soul, I am a news reporter.  Naturally nosey and always looking for "the story."  So, when I decided that I was going to write a book on women's leadership, I began by interviewing fascinating, accomplished women from all over the U.S. -- and even some global leaders.  To date, I have interviewed nearly 100 inspiring women leaders.  And in the process, I found "the story."  The story is that we are now a nation of female achievers.  But when it comes to leadership, American women are still "leadership underachievers."  Some bristle at that label, because we Americans like to think of ourselves as "the best in the world" -- in everything.  But the truth is, American women's progress has stalled in recent years.  And, women in other countries aren't waiting for us to lead -- instead, they are surging ahead.  For example, the U.S. is ranked 69th in the world on a global list that ranks countries on their percentage of women in their national legislatures or parliaments.   The African nation of Rwanda is number 1, with 56.3% of their national representatives women.  Sweden is numer 2, with 47%.  And the U.S. lags way behind 68 countries -- with 17%.

But, I predict that American women are on the verge of another surge forward.  This time, the frontier is leadership.   One of the big hurdles for writing a book is to convince a terrific agent to represent you.  I am thrilled to have just signed with Betsy Amster, a highly respected and well-connected agent.  Here is a profile from the American Society of Journalists and Authors:  

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Shedding our Fear

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 @ 9:57 AM

Because I try to keep an open mind, I have been bombarded recently with emails and links to political content, opinions and plenty of steaming, hot air.  I read at least the first few paragraphs of everything.  As one of 7 children in an Irish household where debate was the main course on the dinner table every night, I'm all for a good, fair fight.  But I'm disturbed by the amount of fear mongering that is a common theme running through so much of the information being sent to me by people whose opinions I usually respect. 

 Wasn't it Churchill who told the free world, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."?  Four years ago, Americans allowed fear to drive our decisions.  I believe we've learned a lot from that experience and matured as a nation.  However we, as a people, vote next Tuesday, I hope that it will be a vote of conviction and not another fear-driven reaction either toward or away from the leaders we are about to entrust to guide us forward through, perhaps, the most perilous and complex times of my life.

 

 

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What Happened to all the Excitement about Palin?

Sunday, October 26, 2008 @ 7:37 PM
The overnight sensation of Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin has been steadily deflating like a once high-flying ballon that is slowly running out of air.  Sobering reality seems to be sinking in as we begin to close in on the final days of the most fascinating (and longest!) presidential campaigns of my lifetime.  What happened to all the excitement about Sarah Palin?  The insight of columnist Judith Warner in today's New York Times hit the mark for me.  Here the link: 

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tina Fey and the Good Old Girls

Friday, October 10, 2008 @ 9:58 PM

Megan Grano isn't a household name -- at least not yet.  But, as an up and coming NY comedienne, she moves in the circles with household names -- such as Tina Fey.  I discovered Megan through her mother, Michigan Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan, who is a friend of mine.  Corrigan suggested I talk to her daughter after she heard I was looking for ambitious, accomplished, Gen Y women to interview for the book I am writing on women's leadership.  Megan and I ended up having a fascinating conversation about women and comedy. 

Women may have come a long way in the last few decades, but we have a long, long way to go in comedy.  Talk about a male-dominated field!  Women comediennes find themselves pitted against each other because there is so much more work for men who don't mind making themselves look ridiculous than for women.  Despite the likes of Lucille Ball, Lily Tomlin, Roseanne Barr and Gilda Radner, the stereotype that "women just aren't funny" is alive and well.   But here's the good news.  The hottest comedian in the country right now -- male or female -- is Tina Fey.  The former head writer for Saturday Night Live and creator and star of the Emmy-winning "30 Rock," was hot before vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin gave her a wealth of new material.  But now she's torrid.  The great news is, according to Grano, Fey is a woman who gives other women in the business -- writers, performers -- a hand up.  She has an unprecedented number of women writers on her new hit show.   The Good Old Boys have been helping one another for years.  It's time women stopped seeing each other as their primary competition and start helping one another build the numbers and the influence of the Good Old Girls. Bless you, Tina.  You go for it, Megan!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I'm Going to Miss Paul Newman

Sunday, September 28, 2008 @ 5:54 PM

I first heard that Paul Newman was very ill a few months ago, while standing in line at the supermarket, catching up on Hollywood by scanning the headlines of the tabloids.  Most of it, as always. was trivial gossip.  Then I saw the blurry picture of Newman, with the first clues that an inspiring and wonderful man of our times was nearing the end of his life.   I decided to watch some of his greatest movies, kind of in tribute to him.  So, I went to my blockbuster online account and ordered Cool Hand Luke.  That was sometime late in June.  Everytime I checked my que, wondering where that movie was, I got some kind of message about it being backordered.  It finally arrived.  Yesterday.  The same day that Paul Newman died.  It felt like a little "good bye" to one of his long-time (and many) secret admirers.  All I can do to honor him is to sit down and watch the movie, and share the wonderful obit the New York Times did about his remarkable and honorable life.  Here's the link. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Candidates Fiddle While Rome Burns

Tuesday, September 23, 2008 @ 8:45 AM

I stole the title of this blog post from Rochelle Riley, one of the many terrific columnists we are lucky enough to have in the Detroit newspaper market.  She makes a great point about the first presidential debate, which is scheduled for this Friday between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain.  Why, when Wall Street and our economy are in a meltdown and Congress has a gun held to its head for a $700 Billion dollar welfare bailout for Wall Street, is the topic of the first debate Foreign Policy?  The answer?   That is what was negotiated between the two political camps because it is Senator McCain's strong suit.

I'm so tired of all the games.  When are we going to see clear plans for beginning to save our ship of state that is heading directly for the rocks?  Click here to read Riley's excellent column.    

 

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tina Fey's Portrayal of Palin Sure to be a Classic

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 @ 12:06 AM
If you haven't seen comedienne Tina Fey's portrayal of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live, you need to click here.   The skit is bound to go down in SNL history as a classic.   And one of America's hottest comics could be more dangerous to Palin's electability than her toughest media critics.   I am astonished at the shallowness of so many American voters' analysis of her readiness for the job and Senator McCain's judgment in choosing her.   

Saturday, September 13, 2008

New York Times and ABC Help in My Evaluation of Governor Palin's Global Leadership Readiness

Saturday, September 13, 2008 @ 2:53 PM

As a long-time advocate of the need for more women to ascend to leadership positions, for the benefit of our nation and the world, I've watched the Sarah Palin phenomenon closely.  The mindless media and public fascination this week with the "Did he or didn't he?" (imply that candidate Palin was a pig) debate over Senator Obama's unfortunate use of the phrase,  "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig," saddens me.  We are less than two months away from a presidential election at one of the most complex times in United States history.  And, once again, our national attention span has been distracted from critical issues by childish squabbling over topics better left to People magazine. 

This week, we finally started to hear directly from Governor Palin, in the interviews she did with ABC's Charles Gibson.  As much as I would love to see the presidential "marble ceiling" put behind us once and for all, I'm not a one-issue or one-gender voter.  Brainpower, judgment, experience, world perspective are all essential in my book.  I agree with an African woman leader who told NPR's Democracy Now host, Amy Goodman, "Everyone in the world should be able to vote for president of the United States because that person has such influence and power over our lives, too." 

 The New York Times raised those very issues in a scathing editorial in this morning's paper about the qualifications we should look for in one of the world's most influential leaders.  It's worth considering.  Here's the link. 

Monday, September 08, 2008

Detroit Message to Kwame Kilpatrick: Keep Walking

Monday, September 08, 2008 @ 7:16 AM

My hometown of Detroit breathed a collective sight of relief just a few days ago when Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who brought  sex scandals, perjury, cronyism and unbridled arrogance to his position, while making Detroit the lauging stock of the country, was finally forced from his throne last week.  He pled guilty to two felonies, resigned from office, lost his law license, will go to jail for 120 days, may not run for office for five years and must re-pay $1 million to the city.  But he showed his true colors during his resignation speech.  Instead of an apolog and remorse, we got more of the same as he bragged about his accomplishments, blamed others for his troubles and vowed:  "I want to tell you, Detroit, that you done set me up for a comeback."

Really?  Only in his wildest fantasies. 

There are thousands of people and reasons that give me hope that Detroit will rise again to become the great city she once was.  One of the those reasons is Mitch Albom, columnist with the Detroit Free Press and author of Tuesdays with Morrie.  We are lucky to have his insight and commentary on life in the Motor City. His message to the former "hip-hop" Mayor:  "Keep Walking Kwame."For a compelling sense of what the madness that has gripped Detroit over the last year was all about -- and another example of how destructive power can be in the wrong hands --  Here's his column

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Weighing in on Sarah Palin

Saturday, September 06, 2008 @ 2:48 PM
I was as stunned as anyone when news broke about Alaska Governor Sarah Palin being selected as John McCain’s vice presidential running mate. 

I’ve been quiet because I’ve really had to think this one through.  My emotions have been conflicted and swinging wildly.   I’ve had a little more time to think, to read about her positions, and, of course, to watch her masterful performance at the Republican convention.

Here are a few of the thoughts I’m wrestling with:

• Did Sarah Palin give one heck of a political speech during her debut on the national stage as she accepted the Republican’s nomination for vice president?   Absolutely.  As a communications specialist who has worked with hundreds of leaders on their presentation skills, I know a pro when I see one.   She mastered the teleprompter early in her career the same way I did:  as a TV sports broadcaster.  

• Do I believe John McCain’s gambler’s decision to put her on the ticket could turn out to be a stroke of political genius?  Yes.   Her combination of confidence, sass and style make her a formidable opponent on the campaign trail. 

•  Are communications skills enough?  To get elected, perhaps.  To govern, absolutely not.  And that brings me to some of my conflicts.

• Am I an advocate of the benefits to our whole society of more women ascending to senior leadership positions?  Yes.

• Do I believe that having a woman named to a major party’s presidential ticket for only the second time in U.S. history will further expand our nation’s cultural template of women as leaders?  Yes.

• Do I feel mixed reactions to the idea of a working mother with five children, including a special needs infant and a “special needs” adolescent daughter, taking on one of the most challenging jobs in the world?  Yes.   Unless, her husband is the full-time parent. 

• Do I smile in delight at how far our culture has come when I see a father holding his infant son and applauding as his wife takes the spotlight?  Absolutely.

• Am I amazed at the irony of listening to the family values party, which has a long history of criticizing “working mothers” as putting their careers before their children, cry “Foul” and “Sexism” at any insinuation that Governor Palin may be biting off a bit much at this point in her career?  You bet.

• Do I wonder what Senator Hillary Clinton must be thinking as she watches Sarah Palin stroll through the 18 million cracks she personally hammered in the ultimate glass ceiling?  Oh yes. 

• Do I wonder if Senator Obama is thinking he may have miscalculated in believing that he could win the women’s vote (54% in the 2004 presidential election) without Hillary Clinton’s help on the ticket?  Most definitely. 

I don’t agree with Governor Palin’s politics.  

But I’m glad she’s on the ticket and I can’t wait for the debate with Senator Biden.  But most of all, I continue to be amazed at  how this campaign has given us one compelling example after another of how dramatically our country has changed.   I’m holding my breath on what’s happens next. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Ascent of a Woman

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 @ 4:12 PM

Everybody's buzzing today about Senator Hillary Clinton's historic speech last night on the stage of the Democratic National Convention.  How ironic it was that the woman who put "18 million cracks" in the U.S. presidential glass ceiling gave her concession speech to the nation on the 88th anniversary of American women finally winning the right to vote. 

 It was a bittersweet moment for me.  Bitter because I committed to Senator Clinton years ago and still feel that she was the most qualified candidate in the race.  I also believe she would have been an outstanding president at a time when the Unites States is battered and bruised -- at home and abroad -- and standing at a critical crossroads. 

The sweet part was in watching one of the most accomplished and impressive women of our times ascend to an even higher level of leadership.  After coming within a whisper of becoming the first woman in history to earn a major party's presidential nomination,  what did it take for her to swallow her own ambitions, walk on that stage and rally a standing room only crowd to giddy heights around a theme of party unity?  In my mind, Senator Clinton never looked more presidential.  Never were her strengths as a leader more clear.  

If you didn't catch her speech, you should.Here's a link: 

I can only imagine the reasons behind Senator Obama's decision to pass over a leader and winning candidate of her caliber for the vice presential slot on his ticket.  Was it because she had give him the political scare of his life?  Was it because he believes that electing the first African American as president is enough of a stretch for Americans and that we just "arent' ready" for both an African American and a woman to lead our nation?  Why doesn't matter anymore.  That's water under the bridge. 

But I believe America and Americans are capable of anything we put our mind to.  And I have a feeling momentum is building for opening our minds in new ways.  That can only be a good sign.  And regardless of our inidividual politics or preferences, there is no question that the historic campaigns of both Senators Clinton and Obama have already dramatically expanded our national vision of what a leader looks like.  At a time when our country is becoming more culturally diverse by the second that is a histroic breakthough in itself.  And it bodes well for our ability to see talent and leadership in every human being, regardless of the package it comes in. 

 

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Rachel Maddow Rocks

Saturday, August 23, 2008 @ 1:30 PM

Finally!

I'm thrilled to see a smart, cocky, politically savvy woman given a national platform for weighing in on the top issues of the day.  Rachel Maddow, a political commentator on the Air America Radio network, has been named by MSNBC as host of her own, prime time political TV show.  The show will air weeknights at 9 p.m., beginning Sept. 8th.   MSNBC has billed the show "a smart look at politics, pop culture and all the day's top stories."  Maddow says she's "open to suggestions for a cool name," but in the meantime it will simply be called "The Rachel Maddow Show."

Congratulations to MSNBC for a step in the right direction.  It's a beginning, but hardly enough to counter the bully pulpit that Keith Olbermann and his "good old boy" political cohorts have dominated for too long on the national media opinion-shaping airwaves.  I'm an admitted political junkie.  However, I've been so teed off at Olbermann and company for the sexist rants that they regularly dished out against Senator Clinton  during primary season ("Every time I hear her speak, I want to cross my legs;" She reminds men of their ex-wife on the court house steps;") that I had gone cold turkey from political TV.

 Now, along comes Rachel, a Rhodes scholar with her doctorate in political science.  Maddow is witty, fun and has no trouble holding her own with the guys.  But, she is only one voice and can hardly be expected to speak for 51% of the American population.  We need a lot more members of the other half of the human race speaking up and weighing in on the major issues that affect everybody. 

How about you?  Is your voice actively engaged in the nation-shaping conversation currently underway on the course we're about to set, not only for the U.S. but for the human family, as we prepare to elect the commander-in-chief of the most influential nation in the world?

One of the things that I'm doing is starting a blog.  It's my chance to weigh in from the Midwest and Detroit on the forces I see at work that are shaping the world we'll leave for those who follow us.   I'm hoping to offer an alternative voice from Detroit where we are sick of being the laughing stock of the nation thanks to our so-called "hip-hop" mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick.  If you're not up on the leadership crisis he has triggered, click here: Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

 Who am I? I've worn many hats -- journalist, auto industry exec, sports broadcaster -- and been an insider in fiercely competitive and critical professional arenas.  Here's my website.  Now, it's my turn to speak up.  Hope you'll check in now and then.       

Two things I know from my perch in Detroit:  Rachel Maddow rocks and Kwame Kilpatrick is about to get hip-hopped out of Motown!