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GUTSY Leadership: Butterflies in Your Belly

When I met Livia Genova-Pagano at an eWomen’s networking event in suburban Philadelphia I was struck by her strong and assured presence. I saw the word GUTSY written in the middle of her forehead. When we talked I saw how perfectly positioned she was for life to take her on a fast and fun ride to high level leadership. Her delight with her company was effervescent, she bubbled and sparkled. We talked about the key to being an entrepreneur, to being a GUTSY GAL. She talked about her belief that when you have an opportunity to do something, anything, and you feel butterflies flapping their wings in your tummy, you just need to stand up and get going! That’s what she did when she was a dietician for the Philadelphia school district. She had a really good job and lots of security. Yet, the call to adventure was just around the corner. She joined the Mary Kay organization for some extra money and to learn about the great products and never thinking would lead her to the world of pink Cadillacs. (Look for her in the Philadelphia area in the sharp pink car she zooms around in going from appointment to appointment) I was a ChapStick girl and never spent much time on my make-up” she stated looking amazing with her smooth skin, just done enough eyes and gorgeous red lips. “I decided to take that “silly lipstick thing” and in less than eight months I matched my dietician salary. Her suggestion to budding entrepreneurs is to “just jump in” rather than the slow and almost tortuous way of...

Battling Women and Windmills

In our Total Leadership Connections program we teach participants to go beyond the obvious, that leadership in any field requires deep thought; superficial considerations are merely not enough. Recently asked what I thought about all the brouhaha around actor/director Mel Gibson’s racist and venomous comments to ex-girlfriend and mother of his child I decided to do some research. Based on what I teach, how we either stand on the shoulders of the past or repeat it, I have a whole new understanding of what I think may be going on with this famous celebrity. Stay with me for a minute while I take you back to Mel’s ancestry, no not as far back as Bravehart, just to his father Hutton. Mel’s father, a devout Catholic has his own website where he tackles what he sees as the hypocrisy of his church in modern times. He also is a conspiracy theorist and a holocaust denier. I began to wonder how this man became so polarized in his thinking; we have to be taught to hate, it is not our natural state of being. I decided to dig deeper. You may have a hard time tying together what I am saying; it is counter-intuitive in the world we live in, which is fraught with dichotomies. If so, please find more information in “Don’t Bring It to Work” or you may contact me at Sylvia@ceoptions.com. Okay, here we go. One of the most vital aspects of our development has to do with crises; what I call hardening of the emotions. In Hutton Gibson’s life there were many. His mother died when he...

Coca-Cola Faces Anger

Coca-Cola Faces Anger From Shareholders About Use of BPA in Cans [UPDATE] BY Dan Nosowitz Today Bisphenol-A, commonly called BPA, is a chemical used in many plastics that in recent years has been found capable of leaching into liquids when used in liquid containers like plastic bottles. It has also been the subject of large-scale recalls, since the FDA discovered it could cause all sorts of medical problems, including cardiovascular disease, liver disease, and diabetes. Many organizations have recalled products using BPA, including Nalgene, Whole Foods, and Eden Organics, but one in particular has not: Coca-Cola.   Oddly enough, Coke eliminated the chemical from their plastic bottles, but as it turns out, the plastic used to line aluminum cans still contains BPA. The shareholders aren’t happy about the level of disclosure Coke has provided so far, saying the company has “failed to provide investors or consumers with sufficient evidence that it is taking steps to address these public health concerns.” In response, they’ve scheduled a vote for tomorrow on a proposal that will demand the company fully disclose all measures they’ve taken so far.   They’re right to be concerned; BPA has proven not just a health threat but a downright disaster for a company’s public image–Nalgene in particular has suffered a huge loss in trust. Hopefully this pressure from the shareholders will force Coke to phase BPA out of their products entirely.   UPDATE:The shareholder resolution received a 22% vote. Michael Passoff, senior program director of the corporate social responsibility program at As You Sow (a co-filer of the anti-BPA resolution), says: “Overall, it is a great first year...

Real Leaders Practice Safe Stress ™

  Stress and anxiety have been at the boiling point for the last year, and depending where you live, the weather has been the proverbial icing on the cake.   As a leader in a company, your health is vital to keep the engines of your business revved and going smoothly. Sadly, when stress hits the hot button, most of us forget about eating right, sleeping soundly and exercising regularly.   More and more, usually fit executives are putting on weight, which can drive insulin levels up, causing worries about diabetes. Grabbing that handful of pretzels or peanuts for lunch or feasting on cold pizza day after day, you increase the chances of higher blood pressure.   Research indicates that losing your job can send your health spiraling downwards. Even more complicated is the fact that those whose jobs are safe feel the impact and also are having cardiac and other stress-related symptoms.   Eating, sleeping, exercise; most executives know what to do, and in easier times, do it. So, what can we learn from these complex times? The first question is: how do we maintain a healthy attitude?   Attitude is the driver!  And attitude is more complex that just having a positive outlook. It means learning how to stay in the “Safe Stress Zone™ ” and learning how to create a work setting that is not too extreme in being too flexible or too rigid. In “Don’t Bring It to Work”  there are tips and tools for leaders to create a balanced setting for your workforce.   You can also send an e-mail to maryjane@ceoptions.com, and we...

Valentines for Moms

  An important part of what we teach in our Total Leadership Connections Program is that it is an illusion to think we can separate who we are at home from who we are at work. That split causes a multitude of emotional and even physical issues for lots of people.   Even more, we teach that what we do in our present work organization is most definitely based on what we learned in our original organization – the family.   So, when I was waiting for a turn to get a haircut, I did what many of us do. I flipped through the gossip magazines. And there it was; validation from some of our favorite stars.   First I was mesmerized looking at the resemblance of mom Goldie Hawn and daughter, Kate Hudson. Their smiles are so similar and the look, alive and ready for a good laugh. Yet, it is so much more than just color of eyes or stature; it is the habits and patterns we pick up from our parents that are carried from generation to generation. They both drink cold coffee throughout the day. Who knew!    And there is Charlize Theron and her mother Gerda. While there is a strong resemblance, it is as Charlize said, “a certain cheekiness, a capacity to be direct and honest that ties her so closely to her mom.” And Kim Kardashian states about her mother Kris Jenner, “I am turning into my mom. She over exaggerates her stories all the time and I see myself doing the same thing.’   Kelly Osborne who gathered a slew of...

Tillit and Other Palindromes

  Got your attention?  I hope so. The palindrome for you to watch is an important reminder that when we look with new eyes, the context of the world changes in the blink of our eyes. Read it forwards and then read the same words backwards and see what changes occur inside you.   First, an example: “Tillit” is a Swedish word that means the same thing reading it forwards and backwards. It means “trust”, and the power of this word is that trust can only happen if both sides are aligned. You are on one side of “tillit” and I am on the other.   Now on to the palindrome that was sent to me by Barry Ginnetti, President of GMR Group, and a graduate of our Total Leadership Connections Program. It is a wonderful example of the essence of what we teach: we are all connected and no one wins unless we all do.    Take 2 minutes and watch this…THE ENTIRE THING   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42E2fAWM6rA     (This is a video that was submitted in a contest by a 20-year old.   The contest was titled “u @ 50”  by  AARP. This video won second place. When they showed it, everyone in the room was awe-struck and broke into spontaneous applause.  So simple and yet so...