leadership

What Can Theranos’ Elizabeth Holmes Teach Us About Feminism?

Posted by on Apr 20, 2019 | 0 comments

This post first appeared on Forbes.com As Women’s History Month comes to a close, critics and feminists are reflecting on the story of the now infamous CEO of Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes. The focus of the HBO documentary The Inventor: Out for Blood In Silicon Valley, Holmes captivated the imaginations and tapped into the greed and hubris of the (mostly male) investor class. She raised over $600 million and took her investors for a ride that ended in disgrace. Her failed product—a fast, cheap, comprehensive blood test using only a finger prick rather than a blood draw—would have been...

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Overwhelm: Top 5 Excuses for Not Asking for Help – Debunked

Posted by on Feb 11, 2019 | 0 comments

Overwhelm: Top 5 Excuses for Not Asking for Help – Debunked

Overwhelm. We’ve all seen it and many of us have been there. That feeling that the demands are coming at you like a tidal wave and and you’ve got to use every ounce of energy to keep afloat. When it gets really bad, you are paddling so hard to keep from drowning that you don’t think you can afford to reach out for a life raft. Here are some of the most common excuses for not seeking help (and why they are misguided):   Excuse number 5: “I don’t want to look weak.” True leadership strength is not about doing it all yourself or being perfect. It involves building and motivating a...

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Approach your career like an artist

Posted by on Jan 14, 2019 | 0 comments

Approach your career like an artist

When you are feeling stuck, uncertain, and afraid of taking action, you would do well to remember Diebenkorn’s  “Notes to Myself on Beginning a Painting.” Number 7 is: “Mistakes can’t be erased, but they move you from your present position.” He was, of course, explicitly talking about paint on a canvas, but his words speak more universally to the need to shift perspective and to risk failure.  The tenet that getting into action–even “wrong” or misguided action–is productive and even necessary for change is at the heart of coaching. Taking action gives you data. The first line on a canvas or...

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3 Ways to Promote Resiliency – How CEOs and Moms Can Be Better Role Models

Posted by on Nov 26, 2018 | 0 comments

What do many new leaders of growing companies and adolescent girls have in common? They are both facing demands that leave them overwhelmed, riddled with anxiety, and at risk for burnout. My two teens girls are growing up in a world in which they are expected to excel in every dimension. They must win at academics and extracurriculars, but that’s not all — they must also have perfect bodies and be liked by everyone. The result, too often, is overwhelm, self-criticism, and anxiety. This sounds like a lot of emerging leaders I coach, male and female, on whom the demands are overwhelming...

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Feedback – 8 Tips to Get People to Tell You What You Need to Hear

Posted by on Nov 10, 2018 | 0 comments

Many leaders report that when they ask for feedback, they get very little in response. It’s not because they’re perfect. More than likely, people are afraid that they won’t react well to the truth. What to do about that? You need to make it a safe and positive experience for the other person. Here’s how: Be curious. Before you start the conversation, cultivate a learning mindset. You want to get better. You can only improve if you understand what you are doing and not doing that is getting in your way or causing people pain. Ground yourself in curiosity and the desire to improve. Ask...

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From the Culture Desk: When Startups Get Political

Posted by on Jul 1, 2015 | 0 comments

“It was great in the early days. Then things got political.” This is a common lament from my startup clients. When pressed to define “political,” the answers can get a bit fuzzy. Most find it hard to pinpoint, but, as Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said of obscenity, they “know it when [they] see it.” Asked to describe specific behaviors, one HR head talked about managers who push their own or their team’s agenda or compete for resources. A director client described others trying to make themselves look good to the CEO. Meanwhile, a CEO complained about employees who were indirect in...

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