Saturday, May 31, 2008

Examing the Leadership Styles of Women as Mentors

Do women have a different leadership style than men do? Some people say yes, others hesitate.

You may enjoy a recent post at Mark's LeaderLog by Mark Sheffler, executive director of Leadership Akron, where he gives examples of his growth during the mentoring of six women leaders. Although he prefaces his remarks with this statement:

One risks becoming stereotypical in making general statements about what is unique among women leaders. I tend to think that all that I’ve learned from women colleagues/superiors I learned from dynamic individuals who happened to be women, rather than from women leaders per se. Research indicates that personality differences far outweigh gender differences when it comes to one’s leadership style.
I think that there is plenty to be learned from watching and learning the various ways gender differences manifest in leaders. This is one of his observations:

I have also come to appreciate the “Relational Intelligence” of women leaders. The supreme importance of relationships among people and among organizations are critical to success in any enterprise.
I met Mark several years ago at AMAkron Toastmasters. Toastmasters International is a communication and leadership organization. Most people think of it as where you learn to give speeches, but it is much more than that. It's where you learn to mentor, coach, evaluate to motivate and develop leadership practices that work.

What I have observed from the mentoring program in Toastmasters is this:

  • Most people don't often characterise themselves as a mentor, but often want to help others.
  • Those who have a mentor progress much much faster than those without a mentor.
  • About 1/2 those who are mentored, become mentors themselves.
  • The ones who are mentors become superstars -- in that they often mentor 3 to 5 others and become awesome speakers and even better evaluators.
  • Men are often more direct with their suggestions than women are when they coach others. Women "don't want to hurt" some one's feelings, so they sometimes go very lightly over the coaching.
  • On the flip side, sometimes men can be too pointed with their coaching, finding much more to criticize than points to encourage.
  • Practice makes sone better. A beginning mentor is good. A seasoned mentor is better. Doesn't matter if it is a woman or a man, leadership - coaching - mentoring, all improve the more you do them.
If you have a local Toastmasters group near you, I encourage you to visit it -- several times.

Try to identify the mentoring and coaching skills you see in action. Is there are difference in the way women and men present their skills?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Interview with Vicki Flaugher, Entrepreneur

Smart Woman Guide's author and publisher Vicki Flaugher was gracious enough to be interviewed about becoming an entrepreneur.

Download and listen to this 10 minute podcast to hear her thoughts, ideas and words of advice.

Interview Audio: Smart Woman Guides -- Vicki Flaugher discusses entrepreneurship, business marketing, and getting started in business.

Vicki is a very motivational person: "There's a million reasons not to do it... but there's a million and ONE reasons to do it."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Entrepreneurship as a Career Choice for Women

Are you getting started in business? Ben Jones at Ben Means Business identifies 44 resources that he describes as the "best blogs for Entrepreneurship and Small Business."

Among them are famous ones from Anita Campbell, Seth Godin, John Jansch and Guy Kawaski. (And I was happily surprised that he listed my Branding & Marketing blog on the list as well!)

A women wired for entreprenuership?

According to the Center for Women's Business Research: For the past two decades, majority women-owned firms have continued to grow at around two times the rate of all firms (42% vs. 24%).

You might ask what are the differences between women and men at starting and running a business? The Small Business Association released a 61 page white paper in September 2007 called Are Male and Female Entrepreneurs Really That Different? Turns out that in some ways, yes they are different.

Are you considering starting a business? What is holding you back?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

AllTop: A Career Portal Website

Are you looking for the top websites to help provide career advice?

You may be interested in, a portal aggregator website announced in March 2008 from Guy Kawasaki. The career section of Alltop has great links with the last five titles.

Purpose of AllTop
We help you explore your passions by collecting stories from “all the top” sites on the web. We’ve grouped these collections — ”aggregations” — into individual Alltop sites based on topics such as environment, photography, science, celebrity gossip, fashion, gaming, sports, politics, automobiles, and Macintosh. At each Alltop site, we display the latest five stories from thirty or more sites on a single page — we call this “single-page aggregation.”

You can think of an Alltop site as a “dashboard,” “table of contents,” or even a “digital magazine rack” of the Internet. To be clear, Alltop sites are starting points — they are not destinations per se. The bottom line is that we are trying to enhance your online reading by both displaying stories from the sites that you’re already visiting and helping you discover sites that you didn’t know existed. In this way, our goal is the “cessation of Internet stagnation.”

Careers at AllTop features sites like: Career Strategist and Escape from Cubicle Nation.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Lessons Learned from Odd Jobs

I often hear people say something discouraging about their current odd job.

Maybe you have an odd job right now and are a bit discouraged by it? Fret not. There are lessons to be learned from it as well as earning some money.

When Robert Hryzek at Middle Zone Musings and Mark Goodyear publisher of High Calling Blogs & Good Word Editing asked that question, they received lots of answers. You may find these quite interesting and find that they you to not only tolerate, but actually enjoy that odd job that you might be working right now to help pay for college or while you're trying to get your "dream job".

  1. Odd Jobs, by Tanya Dennis at In The Dailies

  2. Odd Jobs, by Merrie DeStephano at Alien Drea

  3. My First Job, by Gordon Atkinson at Excellence

  4. My Life at Labor Temp, by Dan Roloff at Ramblin’ Dan

  5. Into the Ordinary, by L.L. Barkat at Seedlings in Stone

  6. Steam Cleaning Carpets, by Brad Shorr at Word Sell, Inc.

  7. Not a Fry Cook on Venus, by Dave Zimmerman at Loud Time

  8. A Lifetime of Odd Jobs, by Chris Cree at SuccessCREEations

  9. Lessons from Odd Jobs, by Dan King at Management by God

  10. What I Learned From… Odd Jobs, by Patrizia Broghammer at VoIP

  11. An Odd Lesson, by Shalene at A Proverbs 31 Woman Wannabe

  12. My “Not So Odd” Jobs, by Jim Garland at The Genius’ Gumption

  13. Lessons from Odd Jobs, by Mark D. Roberts at

  14. What I Learned From Picking Zucchini, by Lisa Gates at 360 Alliance

  15. What I Learned From Odd Jobs, by Sarah Stewart at Sarah’s Musings

  16. What I Learned From Odd Jobs, by Jackie Cameron at Jackie Cameron

  17. Lessons Learned From Odd Moments on the Job, by Jacob Share at JobMob

  18. Lessons From Odd Jobs: You’re Fired, by Karl Edwards at Bold Enterprises

  19. What I Learned From Sorting Apples, by Robyn McMaster at BrainBasedBiz

  20. Things I Learned Being a Popsicle Man, by Otto Haugland at The OHO Report

  21. What I Learned From Odd Jobs, by Karen Hanrahan at Best of Mother Earth

  22. I Was a Fast Food BBQ Busboy, by Brandon Sanders at Words of Redemption

  23. What I Learned From Pumping Gas, by Chris Brown at Branding & Marketing

  24. Odd Jobs vs. the One Chosen Career, by Markk at My Opinions are Important

  25. On Memes and Special Things, by Carl Holmes at

  26. What I Learned From Being a Listening Post, by Jean Browman at Stress to Power

  27. Once Upon a Time I Was a Guinea Pig, by Marcus Goodyear at Goodword Editing

  28. My Non-Entry to MZM’s What I Learned From Odd Jobs, by Karen H. at Stop/Start

  29. What I Learned From Having a Job for a Day, by Trevor Hampel at Trevor’s Writings

  30. Snapshots From a Variety of Odd Jobs, by Jim Martin at A Place for the God-Hungry

  31. The Strangest Job I Ever Had - And Lessons Learned, by Tim Miller at Spy Journal 3.0

  32. What I Learned From Sweeping Up Hair, by Drew McClellan at The Marketing Minute

  33. What I Learned From Working in a Sweet Shop, by Joanna Young at Confident Writing

  34. What I Learned From Being a Pregnant Usherette, by Amy Palko at Lives Less Ordinary

  35. What I Learned From Really, Really Tired Feet, Robert Hruzek at Middle Zone Musings

  36. What I Learned From Two Weeks as a Tomato, by Thursday Bram at

  37. What I Learned From Theatre Lighting, by Sam Brougher at Your Scared Seductive System

  38. A Real Saturday Post - The Odd Job, by Rebecca Miller at A Christian Worldview of Fiction

  39. I’ve Been Memed! Lessons About Odd Jobs, by Marlo B. Manitoba at The Joyful Christian Wife

  40. What I Learned From Door-to-Door Sales, by Lillie Ammann at A Writer’s Words, An Editor’s Eye

  41. Dr. Strangelove and Me: What I Learned From Riding Missiles, by G.L. Hoffman at What Would Dad Say

  42. What I Learned From Odd Jobs - How Kids Start Off on the Entrepreneurial Trail, by Yvonne Russell at Home Biz Notes

  43. Ria Kennedy used to work in an apiary, which, in case you didn’t know, was a “bee yard”. But here’s the kicker: she used to be allergic to bee stings!

Here's all the Results from the What I Learned From Odd Jobs Group Writing Project

So, the next time you're feeling a bit disgruntled with your situation, ask yourself...What lessons are you learning in the odd job that you're performing currently?

Friday, May 02, 2008

Working from Home - Flexibility, Fun and Financially Feasible!

Ask Wendy Piersall about working from home! She publishes "Sparkplugging" a website for those who think big and want to work from home.

Who is the Work at Home Generation?
If you use technology to free yourself from a 9 to 5, to do work that you love, to get more time with your family, or just want to make money in your socks, then you're in the right place.

If you've every daydreamed about working from home, check out her website. Wendy is a bundle of energy and a real powerhouse. She's someone who makes things happen. Visit her site and gain a whole new outlook on how you can actually make it (and thrive!) while working from your home and juggling the rest of your life.

Wendy used to publish eMOMs at Home but found that dads, entrepreneurs, freelancers, copywriters, photographers, web developers and so many other types of people were following and asking her advice that she rebranded her site to include everyone: hence SPARKPLUGGING.