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Archive for November, 2008

Women Who Rule

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

A lot of people ask me: who(m) do you admire?  Here are 4 women who I think really have rocked out what they’ve decided to do–by their service, their education, and their bare bones, in your face, hard work that got them to where they are!

1.  Margaret Thatcher – Former chemist/lawyer/Prime Minister of the UK.  She is and was the only woman Prime Minister of the UK.  She survived a lot of tough stuff, criticism, and hard knocks and is still alive and kicking at 83.

2.  Condoleezza Rice – Current Secretary of State/former and future Professor/former Provost.  For a non-elected office, I think Ms. Rice has done a stellar job.  Also, she’s SINGLE (I know, an icky word to many out there), but props to her for managing foreign/US relations AND managing her own life on top of it all.

3.&4.  Two Irish presidents:  1. Mary McAleese (current president of Ireland) and 2. Mary Robinson (former president of Ireland.)  When I was there this spring, there was nothing but economic development in bloom. Both of these women have done a lot of good for the once poorest country in the EU, which is now one of the richest.

If we only had a few more of this top shelf women out there ruling the world – what a more fantastic world this would be!!!!

Payless on the feet, but Prada in the Head

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

One of my favorite daily emails is the TUT email I receive–a note from the universe (if you like daily emails, I highly recommend this one).  The one I received this morning was to imagine one thing we really wanted–close the eyes, and totally visualize it.  Then imagine receiving 2, then 3 and giving one of them away.  It concluded with the suggestion to then wipe the memory away instead and just enjoy the moment..be in the here and now.

In these tough times–for our economy, for our country, and even for our world, it sometimes is challenging to think Prada when we live Payless (not that I’m knocking Payless, I love their stuff, especially this pair, red 7.5 please, if Santa is reading this!) But hey, it doesn’t matter what station we are in–things could always be worse.  The moral of the story?   There is always a silver lining in wherever we are, doing whatever we do.

So, if you too have Payless on your feet, remember this:  you can always have Prada in your head!  Enjoy the beauty of your mind, and be as thankful as you can be for what you do have, and most of all–for this very moment.

Gobble Gobble!!!!!

Errors About the World

Monday, November 24th, 2008

Before I head out from my mental break from lunch back into it, I’ve been thinking lately about how to accurately describe law school to those who have never experienced it.  

There’s this doctrine in contract law under “Mistake” about errors about the world–where there is a mistake between parties when thinking about the subject of a contract differently (and I’m sure there are a billion lawyers and law students out there who could better articulate this doctrine than me…) but the more I think about it, the more this describes the law in toto.

Law is the the study of errors about the world.  I’m not sure where the origins of the word ‘law’ or ‘legal’ came from, but at times, law could be the ‘study of’ trainwrecks, things that have gone wrong, or errors about the world.  When carefully pulling apart these errors, one learns very quickly that many, many things can go wrong about the world.  

Also, this study of 5.6 trillion things that could go wrong is not always fun.  It is interesting, stimulating, thought provoking, and I hope, near the end, helpful in order to understand how to make things instead go right in order to prevent and solve problems.  However, ‘fun’ is not a word I would use to describe the study of law.  A better description is “The study of errors about the world, which is not a bucket of fun.”

To those of you who have been through the experience, I’m sure you understand what I’m trying to convey. And to those who have not experienced law school, all I can say is–you’ll never understand it fully until you experience it yourself.

Now, back to preventing errors about the world….!

The return of…the Ladies and the Gentlemen

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Everything old becomes new again.  I’m noticing a trend throughout the internet and media (which, to my relief) is a good trend! It is the return of the lady and the gentleman.  From the NY Times weekly favorite, On the Street with a look at The Mark of a Gentleman this week, to ultra hip Anthropologie offering How To Live Like a Lady by Sarah Tomczak, to even the Return of the Gentleman Banker by The Economist.  Even Edward, the new hunky young vampire in Twilight, is a gentleman by saving his beloved Bella from the auto accident and practicing restraint.  Ladies and Gentlemen:  this is fantastic!!!

“…delight in the rich possibilities…was infectious.”

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

I’m cranking out an abstract this afternoon for a pharmacy meeting, and I’ve been doing a little reading/research on the side about it, and came across this quote above from the prolific book (which I now am re-reading), Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goldman.  The quote above comes from the very beginning of this book.

Now: back to the quote.  Do you have a person like this in your life?  Someone who delights in the rich possibilities of life, and their enthusiasm is truly infectious…?  If you don’t, you might want to find one.  Or two.  Or many.  I’m pretty lucky, in that I have a lot of people like this in my life.  I tend to find that a lot of entrepreneurs have this quality.  Also people who can look at the big picture and revel in all the twinkling opportunities surrounding them and truly passionate and excited about the work yet to be done are amazing to be around.   When I’m having a challenging day, I try to chat/hang with these people in my life, and their twinkling, sparkling, shining effervescence of life totally leaves a trail of good chi all over me.  It is infection, but a very good, happy infection.  I hope it is incurable.

Seek the delighted, and let the infection commence!

High School

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

That crazy place that we all seemingly couldn’t wait to leave, and now some of us actually want to go back….yes, I’m talking about high school.  I read awhile ago (yet it is sticking with me for some reason) about a CEO of a company who asks every potential employee of his company the following question:  tell me what you were like in high school.  He argues that who we were in high school highly correlates to who we are in ‘adult’ life.

While, granted, we all tend to grow up, move on, get careers/jobs, families and lives, I’m starting to think this cat was onto something.   If I look back over the course of my life, one of the most fun times for me (minus the immature drama, of course) was high school.  There was always something fun to learn, to study, or to do. I’m not so sure that adult life is always like high school…but a little part of me really does miss the freedom and fun of it all.

So, while you’re driving in the car, midst your super-serious-adult-life – ask yourself–who were you in high school?  And maybe a little more important, ask yourself what you enjoyed about it…and how to get that groove back now that you are a super-duper-serious-adult.  Perhaps you never lost it.  However, it never hurts to ask yourself and the universe how to get more fun back into your life.  

Finally, if you are still lucky enough to be in high school – don’t wish your life away.  Enjoy your time of the variety of education and freedom.  Super-duper-serious-adulthood will be here much faster than you think…it is just around the corner!

Hamburg, Airplane Disasters, and Genius

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Q:  What do the three things in the title above have in common?

A:  Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, Outliers.  I had a hard time putting it down and although still don’t have it all read, find it fascinating.  The coolest things I think about Gladwell’s new book are twofold:  1. The carefully crafted stories, and 2.  The way they all fit together.  It is an interesting read, and not that my opinion counts for much, but I do recommend it.

Tickets to the Hottest Show out of Town

Monday, November 17th, 2008

The Star’s lead story this morning is about how the hottest ticket in this country is to see President Elect Obama become the President on Jan 20th.  Tickets are free and passed out to members of Congress in January.

I know we are in a democracy and all, but here’s an idea:  why not charge for the tickets (think eBay) and apply 100% of the money to pay off the federal deficit?  They ‘only have 30,000 seats’, but if people will pay to see other rock stars like Madonna, or Celine Dion, I think we could possibly put a good drop or two back into the budget by charging for seats.  OR, better yet, give the money to the bailout projects, so the taxpayers can stop bailing out poor performing companies, and poor performance in general.  This is a project that I would call this “Project Inaugural Fiscal Responsibility at Day One”.

5 Things Every College Student Must Know

Friday, November 14th, 2008

I have an opportunity frequently to share what I’ve learned about my career with college students, and new grads.  This is not only cool and fun for me, but it is mission critical in this crazy economy for young people to clearly understand who they are in order to remain competitive.  Today I thought I’d share the top 5 things I think every college student must know about him/herself and her/his place in the world.  After all, it was Socrates who said “Know Thyself”, and he was a philosophical rock star:

1.  Her strengths.  Strengthsfinder 2.0 is a great exercise to go through in order to find (and clearly articulate) one’s top 5 strengths.  Employers love to ask about “tell me a time you utilized your strengths to achieve a project or solve a problem” and every student should have some stories ready to go in the strengths arena.

2.  His values.  Values are important – from a corporate perspective and a personal perspective.  There is no way I could work for a company that had opposing values to my own, and it is therefore important to know and assess what my values are so I can embrace opportunities that match my own personal values. The Career Value Card Sort found online free here is a great way to stop and figure out what is important to the individual.  I just resorted my cards this week and discovered my values in terms of priority changed over the past year, so it is important to stop and re-assess values every so often. 

3.  Have a business card.  Everyone over age 18 needs a calling/business card.  You can get 250 of them FREE at Vistaprint.com.  Many colleges offer a logo card to their students at a discount. Start building your network NOW when you are young, and you’ll have social capital second to none when you get to be old(er) (like me!). Get on LinkedIn (adult facebook), clean up your own Facebook profile, and consider other sites like joining Plaxo too.  You have an online identity, so keep it sharp like your real-world identity.  (And don’t kid yourself–employers are watching online and offline…)

4.   Have a good handshake.  Practice makes perfect here!  When meeting new people, a handshake is going to be one of the first things you do with another party, so make sure it leave a positive (aka non-wimpy) impression.

5.  Run other assessments on yourself.  Keep a log of them.  Stuff like Myers-Briggs, Insights, Gems, The Kolbe-A, IPIP-NEO, and Holland Self Assessments are all excellent tools to keep in your career tool chest. (Hint, many of them are online and free to take….just Google them.) While you don’t need to include them in your resume, they help you better understand who you are, where you want to go, and most importantly – help you clearly articulate who you are and what you want back to the universe.  I’m not sure if it was Kayne West, someone in The Secret, or someone else who said: thoughts become things.  So make your thoughts about yourself clear, accurate, and articulate and you’ll be miles ahead in the long run.  Miles…if not light years!

The Shaw Factor

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Every pharmacist that attended my alma matter knows the power of The Shaw Factor.  Dr. Shaw was a professor in pharmacy school and veritable force of the institution, who we all deeply respected, admired, and even feared a bit.  When you attended her class and lab, you were on time, respectful, prepared, and you looked like a million bucks (a freshly pressed white lab coat was not optional, but required.)  

Although everyone was a little afraid of her (myself included), I doubt I would find one person who would in retrospect say that she did not make them a better pharmacist and person.  Merely by the basics of respect for her and the respect she required of everyone else in the program–we all learned how to not only become better pharmacists, but to also be better citizens.  Through showing up, doing the work, and being prepared, we all benefitted from her discipline and wisdom.

I’m wondering if we could all use an infusion of The Shaw Factor in this day and age.  If you have a Shaw Factor person in your life–someone who made or makes you become a better version of yourself–through hard work, determination, or professionalism by walking the talk–take a time out and thank them.  Even though it might not have felt like it at the time, they in fact did you a (huge) favor.