Step Up Men – Don’t Hide Behind the #MeToo “movement”​. We Must Champion Women!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you heard this, or something like this — “I am not going to take a chance and support or mentor women in the workplace, because you never know, she could come back years later and accuse me of sexual harassment and there goes my career!”

Are you kidding me? This is one of the most backwards statements I have ever heard of!

What Is #MeToo and Does that Impact Me as Male Leader?

So what is#MeToo? I boil it down to an upward swell of women AND men who are done with being sexually harassed and abused …especially in the workplace. (Yes, men too. It has been noted that 1 in 6 men have experienced sexual abuse) #MeToo has brought this abusive behavior to the front of people’s minds and is putting the world on notice that this is not acceptable, in any situation, in any form.

So will this impact you? Yes, the world is a-changin! If you are a man that likes to leverage power and sex to control people, you are now on notice – this will absolutely impact your ability to successfully manage. (Notice I did not say “lead,” because a true LEADER would not use control or limit actions by means of abusive power.)

Be Professional…be respectful!

“But, I am Concerned that I Will Be Unfairly or Wrongly Accused”

I hear this talk from men in many circles. Did you know that there have been studies in the US, UK, and in Europe that of the accusations, only about 2% to 6%, are deemed false? Additionally, there are asterisks and caveats that point out some reports may have been mis-categorized as false when there may not be enough legal evidence to prosecute.

The best approach, be professional, don’t put yourself in a situation that could be misconstrued. Keep your physical contact to a handshake. (I know for those of us living and working in cultures that accept hugs or kisses as appropriate, this advice may be difficult) When having a 1:1 conversation, don’t lock the door or if you are able, keep the door open.

My mother has always told me – “when you wonder about the right way to act, just ask ‘would I approve of what you are saying or doing?'” I constantly ask myself – “is this ok if I were in front of my wife or daughter?”

Be Professional…be respectful!

Women Need Men as Supporters and Sponsors in the Work Place

Let’s face the facts – it is true there are more men than women in leadership positions. This is why it is an imperative that Men MUST be the Champions in leveling the playing field. We need to instill and foster a culture where women feel comfortable having men as mentors and coaches.

Did you know that it is a proven fact that companies led by women are more profitable and tend to grow faster with more sustainability. Hey, as a stock holder or investor – that’s what I want….MORE PROFIT and higher sustainability!!

Over the past 50 years, we have made great strides to reduce the inequity; in society and in the workplace. If we are not careful, this type of ignorant thinking will set all of this advancement back in time. We all need to work together to keep the momentum.

Why Do I Care About Championing Women?

You may ask what is my motivation? It’s pure and simple, I have two daughters, six nieces, and two granddaughters. I am fortunate to be married to one of the most intelligent, professional women I have ever met.

I want to help build a culture that treats them with Professionally and with Respect,afforded the same opportunities that that are afforded me, my son, nephew, and grandson.

Bottomline men – don’t use the #MeToo movement an easy excuse to not do the hard things. Think about your wife, your daughter or granddaughter and I guarantee you too will want to  Champion Women! Do not be afraid to be a mentor, coach, or sponsor to a talented up-and-coming leader.

Step Up Men!

#womeninleadership #menwhochampionwomen #walkingontheglassfloor

Jim Steinmark

It’s The Little Things That Count

little things
Here’s the scenario….you are in a restaurant way out of town. You have no connections or relationships there yet you are treated as if you have been going there forever…
The Colonel and I decided to get out of town for the weekend. We headed northwest to a little town in Oklahoma….ok some of you are already rolling your eyes thinking of me in Oklahoma….but, it was a cute and quaint town and resort.
The first night for dinner, we went into the resort restaurant and wanted a glass of wine. Well, the choices were limited and I’m not a wine connoisseur so when we were told that most weren’t available, I went to the bar with Kitty, our waitress. She was very apologetic that there wasn’t enough of one kind for the two of us. I told her we would have different wines and no worries. I went back to the table and told the colonel and he too was fine. Kitty did find us enough of one kind, not our first or second choice, and thanked us for being patient. She did ask us what kind we would have wanted if available from the choices at the bar and we told her.
We had dinner, the food was good and we drank our glass of wine and left.
The second night, we went back to the restaurant and had our same table, and guess what? Kitty was waiting for us with a bottle of wine and glasses, and it was the kind we said we would have wanted. She didn’t know us or even sure we would show up, but she was ready…just in case.
We were flattered and told her how amazing she was. She has a huge smile and thanked us…she thanked us rather than thinking we should be thanking her.  We did over and over again and she came and checked on us numerous times and I know not only did she make our night, we made hers.
Being in Oklahoma was special because I was there with the colonel but also because it’s the little things that change your life….and I think she felt it as well.

 

How Women Can Get Ahead: Advice From Female CEOs

Sometimes the differences between men and woman are slight and sometimes they are quite obvious. Women now make up approximately 50% of the workforce and believe it or not some of the same issues that women faced decades ago are still challenges for women today.

Women are looking for certain things that will make a difference in their workplace. This includes mentoring programs, building relationships, understanding the differences in the genders and work life balance. Can women have it all? Maybe or maybe not but it’s all about choices.

I stumbled across an article by the Wall Street Journal titled “How Women Can Get Ahead: Advice From Female CEOs”. I think it gives a great perspective from very powerful women. You can see the full article by clicking here or on the image below.

 

So Many Decisions (and 3 tips to ensure you have your act together!)

One of the activities I love the most is to be a mentor for young women.  I believe this goes back to being the only female in many industries and having no female role model to follow. I knew I was missing something.  Over the past few years I have had the pleasure and honor of mentoring some amazing young women.  Of course my first and most special is my daughter, and I hope I have lived up to her expectations.

The other afternoon I met with my mentee Shirley, and as we were going through her choices going forward I was thrust into the old cliche-“Do what I say, not as I do”  because I found myself giving her some solid advice….that I should be following myself.  She is going to graduate and the world is right in front of her.  She is an intelligent young woman with the most amazing work ethics and integrity and is proud of who she is.  She is passionate about some things and tolerant of others but how do you make one decision when there are so many options in front of you.

The first question I asked her, that my business coach asked me some years ago, “If you could do anything you wanted and money, time and age would not be a factor and you could NOT fail, what would it be?  Most people have trouble with this but she had some definite answers.  As she was speaking I knew a phone call I needed to make to someone that she should be connected to…and we did that at that moment.  She was now starting her road map to get to her goals.  We continued peeling back the onion and with each piece we came up some ideas and strategies with agreed upon completion dates.  We then wrote the items down on her calendar and the goal setting began.

Now, how does this relate to me. Aren’t I  the one who is supposed to be the savvy entrepreneur who has her act together….well I thought I did to some extent before our meeting.  So here is what I learned and I thank my beautiful mentee for pinning me down to my own devices:

  1. Write down your goals- Understand that they might need some adjusting and rearranging.
  2. Have someone to bounce things off of.  Your ideas might sound reasonable until you say them out loud.  An objective person can add valuable insight.
  3. Never give up on your dreams. Sometimes they may seem out of reach but with some discussion and other resources they become crystal clear.

Remember- Every day is the beginning of a new dream.  Focus on what is important to you and make your dreams come true.

Happy Selling!

 

TWIST on IWYS

Don’t let the Acronym filled title throw you off! Wanted to quickly share a video that the creative people at I Wear Your Shirt put together to help announce my latest project Sales Training With A TWIST. They also wrote a blog post about it!

Now, the project has not fully launched yet, but anyone interested in this web based sales training platform should check out the homepage and sign up for updates! I won’t spam you, promise!

There will be much more about the project here on the blog as we get closer to launch. For now, I will leave you with one question. If you have a moment, please leave a comment with your answer, I would love to hear your feedback. Ok, here’s the question: What part of your sales process could use the MOST improvement?

Easing Transition- The F7Group Mantra

It doesn’t seem as if transition is a difficult concept, yet millions of people are struggling with it.  Quite simply transition is defined as movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another.  It could be from one part of the country to another, from one position in a company to another or even from one school to another. But, there is another group of people that are experiencing transition in its most uncomfortable way…our veterans (and most notably female veterans.)

According to an article in USA Today, the unemployment rate for female veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars was 13.5 percent in January, which was 5 percent higher than the average non-veteran adult women and that was 3 percent higher than the previous year.

In addition, in a recent survey by Business and Professional Women’s Foundation, it was determined that it takes a female veteran an average of eight months to find a civilian job and most disturbing is data from the government that indicates that female veterans are twice as likely to become homeless as women who never served in the military.

How is this possible?  The top three reasons given are:

  1. Certification issues
  2. Translating skills to civilian context
  3. Lack of support

You can read the full article here.

So what can we do?  I am honored and privileged to be a part of a team of women with a goal of being a resource to female veterans to do exactly what they need…guide them through the transition from the military to the civilian world. Our group is called F7-Operation Engaging Vision.  There are 7 of us that have pooled our skill sets to provide female veterans the tools they need to go from that black and white regimented and regulated world into the grey area we call life.

Please visit us at www.f7group.com and support, honor and thank our veterans.  Without them, we wouldn’t be able to do all the things we love to do.

It Was Down To The Wire, And We Made It

How many of you have an idea in your head that you just know should be a book? I bet everyone reading this is nodding their head. I love to write and have always written in a journal or back then it was a diary. It was someplace to share your thoughts and dreams and it was for your eyes only. If you know me you also know I write like I speak so I definitely put myself in my material.

Now, everyone writes in a blog and publishes whatever they want for the world to see. No longer are your carefully guarded thoughts….carefully guarded. It turns out it is a good way to share with others. Even when you think you are the only person going through a particular situation and are feeling alone, someone, somewhere, that you may not even know, has found you and is putting their arms around you saying that they understand and the world is good.

Well, not so much with a book. This is your story that you canʼt share it until it is finished. You want to make sure everything is perfect. The story line, the fonts, the bio, the picture, the forward, the conclusion, the acknowledgements, the cover and the list goes on and on. Then the questions begin and we all know that women ask more questions than men before during and after making a decision:

• Is the story compelling enough?

• Will anyone learn anything?

• Does the story flow?

• Who is my target audience?

• Will I sell lots of copies?

• What if I donʼt sell any copies?

• What if my friends donʼt like it?

• What if everyone loves it?

• What do I charge?

Are you getting it? That is what is happening in your mind and a mind can be a hard thing to shut down when there is even one unanswered question floating around. That is where I was just a few weeks ago as the final changes were being made on my manuscript. Fortunately for me, I had enough people around me, as I entered the tail end of this process, that were no longer listening to me. They knew what I wanted and how I wanted the final product to be and guided me through the process, carefully but forcefully gentle, if that makes any sense.

The content is solid, the title is thought provoking and the image can be open to many different interpretations. The bottom line is, it is done. Even better- it has been printed, packed, shipped, and ready for purchase by clicking here.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did creating it!

 

 

Gender Equality…Who Is Listening?

International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on March 8th.  It is a day to recognize the achievements of many women and inspire others.  It has been a tradition since the early 1900’s and with each year the number of women that join the events of this amazing day grows.  There are events world wide and it is quite interesting the “crowd” that joins in to remind women how remarkable they really are.

So where does gender equality fit into this celebration?  According to Unicef.org, “This year, International Women’s Day is focusing on the theme: ‘Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all.’ Though significant progress has been made towards gender parity and equality in education, many challenges remain.”  And UNWomen.org takes it one step further and states, “The United Nations observes International Women’s Day this year on 8 March 2011. The theme is “Equal Access to Education, Training and Science and Technology: Pathway to Decent Work for Women.”

Many men are becoming more cognizant of the fact that women are still not treated equally to their male counterparts.  One man in particular has decided to do what he does best and star in a movie.  His role has no lines, but his actions speaks volumes.

What do you think?

One of the MOST Meaningful Days in a Long Time

When the meeting was over, we all headed out for the tailgate party. The rain had stopped but the wind was whipping. It was a lot of fun and I got to talk to everyone and they all wished me well in my new endeavor and said so many wonderful things to me. I was a happy girl.

Now the rest of the weekend was something that resulted from a simple conversation between myself and a very special friend. You see, last year, Karen was diagnosed with breast cancer. She would be undergoing some major surgery and treatment but she wouldn’t start that until she was able to attend the Company annual celebration last December. This was a priority for her and something she really wanted/needed to do. When she told me what was ahead of her, I told her that if she was up to it, we would find a breast cancer walk close to her, and she and I would walk together. She said she would keep me posted and that was our promise to each other.

She did amazingly well and her attitude was the most remarkable force to reckon with. I can’t even imagine what the battle was every day, but she said she was up for the walk and we were going to do it…in Grand Rapids, MI, her home town. Now the pieces of the puzzle are making more sense I would imagine.

When word got out that Karen and I were going to do this, so many more of her colleagues joined in and her incredible supportive family would be there in full force. Tara her daughter, took charge of forming the team “KICKIN’ IT UP FOR KAREN” and she and Karen’s husband Rich made the event happen.

Back to South Bend. I had the enormous pleasure of riding from South Bend to Grand Rapids with Tom and his family. Melody, Tom’s wife and I have known each other for years so I was glad to spend some time with her. BTW she is the backbone of Tom’s business but don’t tell him that. Their sons Noah and A.J. are two of the most incredible young men, who watch over each other like nobody’s business. AND can I just say that they take their football teams VERY seriously…right Noah???
The drive was a breeze and we all met in a hotel and shared pizza and conversation and we all received our shirts and bibs for the next day. I was so glad to see Karen and if nothing else happened, my trip was complete.

The next morning, bright and early, we headed to the area where the walk would be held. Who knew it would be so cold in September in MI?? Ok so I’m still thinking of the temperature in Texas but we were all really cold but so happy to be there. All the little ones were in strollers under blankets and everyone was there in full force.

Up until that morning we weren’t sure if Karen would be able to actually do the walk, but she would be out there cheering everyone on. We all saw the support that this community had for this disease that affects so many of the people we love. There were over 7,000 fans of the survivors. Those fabulous women wore their hot pink shirts proudly. It was a reality check to see that this disease does not discriminate at all. The number of survivors in their 20s and 30s was a frightening number but the number of survivors made it even more emotional. I would not have missed this moment for anything. If you have not supported a breast cancer walk in your area, you need to. Some people are not fortunate enough to have support at home or from their fellow workers. Walk in honor of or in memory of someone but get out there and walk. If breast cancer has not affected you, find another cause and get out there.

I am so happy to say that Karen did do the walk and did cross over the finish line. She is one of the strongest women I know. I am so proud to call her my friend. Always remember, a simple conversation can turn into something that can change your life…