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Archive for September, 2013

The 100 Million Dollar Book Brand

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

After a rough morning (early wake up and migraine to boot) let’s see if we can turn this ship around!

I woke up after some IBU and more sleep later in the morning to this article in Forbes, an interesting article on one of my absolute favorite career guides out there: Strengthsfinder 2.0.  I was actually then blown away by the fact that the book and brand have made over 100 million dollars, but hey, I’m MORE than OK with that, because it’s helped SO MANY PEOPLE (myself included) in getting us to our best careers and lives.

Rather than just wax poetic, I thought instead I’d create a little guide that I can share more formally with my own mentees and students on the power of Strengthsfinder 2.0, which I put up over at the Slidespace, and embedded below.  And if you’ve never had the luck of running Strengthsfinder 2.0′s quiz on yourself, get out there and get a copy of this book and DO IT if you think you’re not living your best career life.

My day got better – and hope yours does now too with this info!

How Much…is Too Much?

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

I like a good quote.  This all started out with one.

“Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

I posted that Steve Jobs said this on my faceplace page today.  Actually, he didn’t originate the quote.  He referred to a magazine he read before the internet, in its closing publication was where the quote originated.

However, a heated discussion/debate ensued online, that really didn’t have much to do with the quote.

Instead, my brother and I (along with a few of my faceplace friends) got into a debate about the fact that, in the past, Apple didn’t donate much back to society – in terms of philanthropy, and thus, one of the parties on my said heated faceplace debate refuses to purchase any Apple products because of this.

My Apple affinity aside, I reminded that a for-profit business doesn’t have philanthropy as its primary motive.  Its primary motive is profit.  However, if states (such as Indiana, eh hem…) would get behind social entrepreneurial business models, like flexible corporations, L3Cs and benefit corporations, businesses COULD have a philanthropic or mission-based motive that could take precedent over the profit motive.

The said party, however, makes a really good point, social business models aside.  How much profit is too much for a company?  And, should companies give back to the communities in which they play?  If you talk to a good old fashioned capitalist, they’d probably say that greed is good and absolutely not!

On the other hand, those who are more socially conscious might say that profit is good up to a point, then it reaches a point of ridiculousness that a company wouldn’t give back.  The most fascinating point to me is – where is that point?  If Apple (which I believe) was the wealthiest company on Earth at one point, I can see the point of the disgruntled faceplacer.  But the line where the point is crossed is interesting to ponder.

Somehow, the heated debate also included the Nazi party, organized religion, animal cruelty, Hooters, Nike, and the NFL (pretty much most topics you’re not supposed to touch with a 10 ft pole on SM, but we went there anyway).  I know it sounds a little crazy–but it got me thinking.  Who am I supporting out there in the ether?  When I go to a store, do I really ever think about the % that the company gives back to its community(ies)?  Do I think about the safety and happiness of the makers of the products? Should I demand this information as a shareholder or supporter of companies?

That, and I do have interesting friends and family on the faceplace…

Sisters in STEM

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

I’ve been thinking all day about my sisters in STEM.

If you can’t recall the STEM acronym breakdown at this second – it stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.  Allegedly, these career areas are where the jobs are at, and will be for the future as well (although, I think there should be a D on the back of that acronym for Design too.)

Namely, I’ve been thinking why those rare few women currently in STEM actually chose it as a career – particular those in engineering and technology (i.e. computer sciences)?

For me, I don’t know that I can trace it back to any one specific event (if life sciences and pharmacy count in the STEM acronym, I argue that they do).  When I was a kid, I was fascinated by rocks.  By books.  By my tree identification project for biology.  By building the log cabin in 4th grade for pioneer days.  By 6.02 x 10 23rd power of m&ms making up a mole of them (who wouldn’t want a mole of m&ms?)

But, I had a lot of other interests too.  While I loved Nancy Drew, I also loved Choose Your Own Adventure, Anne of Green Gables, and Judy Blume.  I collected stamps.  I loved playing the saxophone, and signing, and drama.  On the other hand, my least favorite classes in high school were geometry and calculus.  Physics II was the only class I ever dropped in high school–it seemed too, distant for me(?).  Yet, I still made it through to a STEM career.  I also was a first generation college grad (and I’ve read that 1/3 of STEM major students are first generation college grads, which really can be another force working against their success in finishing…)

I’m reading the abysmal statistics about women going into STEM careers, although I guess I was insulated from this atrocity in my day job, because the majority of people in pre-pharmacy now are women.  They have to be pretty science-y to get there, and they need to know math.  But I’m now more curious HOW they got there.  When did the girls choose science?  When do female computer scientists, engineers and mathematicians choose their professions?  And was there something specifically in those girls’ childhoods that led them to STEM it over other careers?