A Few Key Maxims

July 25, 2012
Marie Gleason Carmichael

Marie G. Carmichael was a pretty wise lady. She lived to see 100 Christmases and 17 Presidents. She loved politics too. I wonder what she would say if she heard the news today?

It’s hard to find a space in the media today that is not filled with incumbents, candidates and presumptive candidates sharing their message with “the people.”

Perhaps, like many of us, you are tired of it all; the repetition, the name calling, the bickering and worse. I know I am.

There are a couple of things you can do.

Option #1 – Turn it off.

Turn off the TV and the radio, advise the newspaper you are on vacation so please suspend delivery until election day, and avoid opening email, accessing Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or any other form of social media.

Option #2 – If you think Option #1 is a bit too extreme.

Each time you hear a politician, newscaster, or other pundit continue to behave in a way that creates dissension instead of creating solutions, send them the gift of these words that my Grandma shared with me:

“Have your facts in your head before opening your mouth. ”

“Don’t complain about a problem, without offering its solution.”

“Pointing fingers does not solve anything, you have a brain and two good hands, use them to fix it.”

“Always remember, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

Perhaps if our current and hopeful politicians hear this a few million times, they will get the message.

We can only hope.

Otherwise we may just have to go back to seriously considering Option #1.

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Leaders, get ready to lock and load

May 8, 2011

Leaders wear many hats.  Good ones are visionaries, coaches, cheerleaders and trailblazers.  Yet when times get tough or change happens, the chief role of a leader becomes that of a trouble shooter with the responsibility for preparing the team for immediate action.  As they say in the movies…It’s time to lock and load.

Cartoon #5414 - 'The troubleshooters say they need more ammo.'
See more Technology Cartoons Read the rest of this entry »

The Best Support is Bidirectional

April 17, 2011

As I go about my day, I wear a hat or two or three.  I’m a Mom, a wife, a non-profit executive, a CEO, a board member, an investor and a few other things.  Across them all, it it all ties back to one thing.  I need the help and support of others to get the job done.  This week, at one of my many meetings, a fellow board member shared a thought that has really stayed with me.  “We need to provide value BEFORE we ask for support.”   As I have continued through my week, that message kept coming back to me.  Read the rest of this entry »


What’s Your CorePurpose? How will you achieve it?

April 11, 2011

AZBio Member John Hoffman of QMR

This week, Tuesday in fact, I have my first BIG meeting as the President and CEO of AZBIO, the Arizona BioIndustry Association.  It’s probably the most important meeting we will have all year – the first phase of our strategic planning process.

There will be other important events and meetings through out the year, but this one lays the foundation for what we will do and who we will do it for. Read the rest of this entry »


Responsibility, Leadership and Noblesse Oblige

March 19, 2011

iStock Photo via Microsoft.com

Leadership is a popular word these days. Consultants preach it, journalists either praise it or bemoan it, companies, boards investors and customers demand it.

The days when leaders were anointed at birth, except in a very few cases, are long gone. Today’s leaders may have great power… or none depending on the authority they wield.  But whatever level that may be, with leadership comes a corresponding measure of responsibility.

“For of those to whom much is given, much is required”

Bible (Luke 12:48)

Through the ages it has been written that leadership and responsibility go hand in hand.  Today, leadership takes many forms. We lead people in organizations. We lead with thoughts, ideas, and experience.  We lead in the development of processes and products.  As leaders, however and where ever we may lead, it is important to remember, leadership is not something that is merely handed to us, it is a privilege that must be continually earned.  For when our leadership falters, others cease to follow. If others choose not to follow, we are not leading, we are simply walking alone. Read the rest of this entry »


Do you have a snowball’s chance in …

March 13, 2011

When it comes to leading an organization, finding the right fit  for both the leader AND the team is critical to success.  When the fit is all wrong, you don’t have a  snowball’s chance in … well you know what I mean.  Read the rest of this entry »


Success Tip: Lead–Grow–Volunteer

February 13, 2011

Often when I am speaking with an audience or sharing ideas with leaders and  entrepreneurs, I hear a question that starts like this: “How did you get people to give you a chance to …”

It’s a recurring theme.  We want to lead. We want to grow. We want to make a a difference.  So, how do we get people to give us a chance to do it?  In 2010, I had the opportunity to  share ideas with the Society of Women Engineers.  We we focused on the 5  C’s that build success. One of those C’s is Community.  Here is what happens when you get involved in your community and volunteer.

 

Keynote–Society of Women Engineers–2010–Joan Koerber-Walker, Chairman of CorePurpose, Inc.

Lead – Grow – Volunteer

We don’t need to be labeled “a leader” to lead.  Just as we don’t need someone else’s permission to develop our skills and grow.  What we do need are opportunities to showcase our leadership ability and talents.  Although are not many fairy godmothers out there who can wave a magic wand and make an opportunity materialize before our very eyes, there is something we can do that works like magic and makes us feel great too.  One simple word.  Volunteer.

Over the years, through a number of volunteer activities,  I have had the opportunity to share ideas on network television, land radio interviews, be profiled in newspapers and magazines and connect with key decision makers, customers and partners who I might otherwise have never met. By volunteering to do what I could do, I got the chance to do it.  People noticed and more opportunities followed.  Those opportunities created more opportunities.  Pretty soon, I was not just leading, I was doing it officially as “the leader.”   It all came about because of volunteer work done in my community or where I worked.  If it can work for me, it can work for you.  Just follow these two simple steps.

Establish yourself as a leader.

A leader is someone who stands out above the rest.  We all have talents that we can share that help us to stand out.  Perhaps your talent is organization, team building, networking, writing, or simply listening.  Maybe your gift is mentoring, speaking, or a special set of technical or business skills Think of ways that sharing these talents and gifts can help a nonprofit organization that you believe in.  Step up, stand out and lead in whatever role you are given.

Roll up your sleeves and show ’em what you can do.

In today’s economy, nonprofit budgets are stretched to the limit.  There is almost nothing they do not need.  Does your business have great consumer products or services?  Donate them to gift baskets, silent auctions or raffles.  Do you provide business services? Donate them to the nonprofit itself to help in reducing overhead costs. In each case you are getting yourself and your products or services in front of others who may want to work with  you in the future.  Often this is the supporters, board members, donors, or sponsors of the organization.  The nonprofit may not have the resources to pay for your donations and services, but these people do.  When you do a great job or deliver a great product, people notice and even better… they tell their friends.

Volunteering is not only a philanthropic activity.  In our workplace, there are lots of opportunities to step forward and volunteer.  Perhaps it is on a committee, in a new project that looks a little risky, or even to give a customer a hand on a project that they are not able to pay you for.  Sometimes when we take on one more project, we feel we keep giving and giving and nothing is happening.  But that is NOT the case.  

Here comes the magic…

While you are giving you are also growing both in experience and influence. The more you give, the more you get.

While you are sharing what you have of value, you are getting value too…

New skills you learn while working with others in your community or workplace.

Connections to other leaders who share the same passions and values that you do.

Recognition for your efforts and the value you contribute to the cause or project.

Visibility for yourself and your business

The opportunity to represent the organization in your community

The chance you thought someone needed to give you.  You did not need someone  to give it to you after all. You gave it to yourself. 

That’s the great thing about magic.  It makes anything possible.

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

Special Announcement: 

Please join me with Lolly Daskal and the gang on the #LeadFromWithin Tweet Chat this Tuesday (February 15, 2011) at 8 PM EST. 

This is my chance to volunteer and help lead the discussion with a group of wonderful people from around the Twitterverse on how to #LeadFromWithin.  Lolly and I talked about it and decided that exchanging ideas on what happens to us as leaders when we volunteer was a perfect topic for the day after Valentine’s day.  I hope you will volunteer to join us, roll up your sleeves and show us what YOU can do by adding your ideas to the tweet chat discussion.  It’s easy to do and free of charge.  Just sign in with your Twitter ID at www.TweetChat.com at 8PM EST on 2/27/2011.  Put in the #LeadFromWithin hashtag at the top and when I post a question – share an answer.  See you then.

 

Joan Koerber-Walker is a two time Stevie Award National Finalist and Chairman of the Board of CorePurpose, Inc. and the Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation.  She also serves as Executive in Residence for Callaman Ventures and on the boards of for profit and nonprofit organizations.  As the former CEO of the Arizona Small Business Association and a past member of the Board of Trustees of the National Small Business Association she has worked with hundreds of small businesses and on behalf of thousands.  Chat with her on Twitter as @joankw, @JKWgrowth, @JKWinnovation, @JKWleadership and@CorePurpose or at her blog at www.JoanKoerber-Walker.com.