Monday, October 26, 2015

a thought on long 'to do' lists...

I make lists. It keeps me organized. At very least, it lets me vacuum my brain of all the things I'm supposed to remember that I have to do. It's usually a printer sheet of paper with at least two columns of what starts out as nicely typed thoughts that are overwritten with scribbles, additions, cross-outs and doodles.

I love my lists. I really do use them.

Recently, the lists seem to be getting longer. I'm not sure if it's because there's more to do or less hours in which to do it all. Cleaning up the backyard before winter (in July it was simply listed as 'mow') vies for attention with 'submit expenses' and 'get food'.

Here's a question that now applies to all items on lists: Is this really important and to be done in the next week or so and, if yes, who can help?

Suddenly, my lists look different. My kid may not be answering my texts but the yard is done. My expenses are mine to do but a team member took over some travel bookings. My list is on a roll! Go, network!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Speaking up

"I'm over trying to find the 'adorable' way to state my opinion."

Jennifer Lawrence's open letter about being paid less than her male co-stars has been making the news and rounds of blogs for the last few days. It's not a new observation - not the paid less bit nor the how to say strong things in palatable ways.

Saying "no"... asking for more... negotiating change.. offering an unpopular view... these are not things for which anyone should be silenced. Diversity needs to be seen in word and deed, not just team assignments.

We often focus on why it's hard to speak up, how as women we hold ourselves back. All true. We also need a conversation around why the other side of the table won't listen, why control is tied to power and money and thus shuts down new ideas and challenges to status quo.

There's no one way through the quagmire but certainly the route that ends up back at the start line is the one where we say nothing.

Saying nothing is a bigger failure than speaking up and not being heard.

I recently tried to speak up myself and was told to be accepting and 'grateful' .  I am/was grateful... I was trying to negotiate before accepting. I'm still not sure if I did not speak up appropriately or was simply not taken at face value. Of course, I critique myself first. (My sponsors questioned if I actually spoke up and then I critiqued myself wondering if I had just rolled over as assumed. A slippery slope... I did speak up; was shut down and will find a new opportunity to re-open the conversation.)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Canadian Thanksgiving - a little gratitude

It's not really considered a holiday by the folks who work with me on the other side of the border :-) ... and it doesn't come with a Mayflower and turkey story... but it is a celebration of fall, family and the goodness that comes to a communal table: food; people; ideas; sharing.

To all the folks who share a piece of the world with me - in spirit or in person - I thank you for letting me play a little in your sandbox.