Speaker Articles

How She Got There: Micho Spring’s Path to Becoming Chair of Global Corporate Practice and New England for Weber Shandwick

Take a young woman coming of age in the 60s, when many careers were closed to her gender. Mix in political awareness from having fled communist Cuba as a child and add courage and flexibility from forging a new life with her family in New York. What you get: a college dropout, a 31-year-old deputy mayor of Boston, a top executive at one of the largest communications firms in the world—as well as a Massachusetts Conference for Women Board member.

In other words, you get Micho Spring, whose name ought to be under “maverick” in the thesaurus. Be inspired by the most unconventional career path of Weber Shandwick’s chair of global corporate practice and New England and the lessons she learned along the way: Read More

Posted in Career, Speaker Articles, Career Choices, Transitions, Success & Leadership Tagged , |

5 Things You Need to Know Before Starting Your Own Business

Planoly is Brandy Pham’s first tech startup, but not her first venture. That’s probably why the app for Instagram users already has almost half a million accounts since launching last year. “I’m still on a learning curve, but I definitely applied what I had figured out the hard way when starting a jewelry line,” says Pham, whose rings and necklaces were available at stores such as Henri Bendel and Anthropologie.

In fact, her app evolved from her jewelry design business. “We had shifted our focus to e-commerce and noticed that sales went way up when I posted on Instagram,” Pham recalls. “It was a lot of work, though, taking photos, editing and captioning them, plotting them out for the week and then posting three times a day—on top of designing the jewelry and arranging for its manufacture.”

Then she had a baby, and just about lost her mind. Her husband, though, thought they could design an app that would help her—and together they realized they had something that other small businesses that marketed their brands on Instagram could also use. Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Embrace the Unknown, Marketing Yourself & Your Small Business, Transitions Tagged , |

Office Politics: When Bosses Behave Badly

Power may not always corrupt, but it sure can bring out the egomaniac in some managers. That’s what industrial and organizational psychologist Amy Cooper Hakim found while doing research to update her book (which was originally written by her grandmother), Working with Difficult People: Handling the Ten Types of Problem People Without Losing Your Mind.

Of the 10 kinds of bad bosses you might encounter (yes, there are that many!), she says that narcissists are quite common. “Someone who is cold-blooded and ego-driven as a boss was probably like that as a subordinate, but it didn’t affect her manager, or for that matter, her colleagues, the way it now affects her direct reports,” Hakim explains. “When used for good, power can achieve great things. But when used improperly by a narcissist, it leads to bullying, which spirals downward and hurts productivity and morale.” Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Communication Skills, Job Advancement Tagged , |

Use Social Media to Raise Your Value at Work

Jennefer WitterYou have your reasons if you don’t post on social media for work. Maybe you’re too busy. Or you wouldn’t know which platform to use—or what to post. Perhaps no one in your industry who is important is following you. Or you’re a private person and you want to keep it that way.

Whatever your rationale, personal branding expert Jennefer Witter wants you to know that you’re missing out on a key opportunity to advance your career. “Using social media can help you elevate your reputation and the visibility of your organization, which makes you valuable if your brand aligns with your company’s values,” says Witter, CEO and founder of The Boreland Group Inc. and author of The Little Book of Big PR: 100+ Quick Tips to Get Your Small Business Noticed. Read More

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Stand Out as Manager Material

Grace KilleleaPop quiz: What separates the smart and hardworking from the smart and hardworking in leadership roles?

Answer: Executive presence, which entails exuding confidence, more so for women than for men, the Center for Talent Innovation has found.

Of course, the lack of executive presence, and so confidence, perceived or otherwise, isn’t the only reason there are so few women at the C-level of corporations. “Company policies and practices and gender bias are all contributing factors, too,” says Grace Killelea, founder and CEO of the GKC Group and author of The Confidence Effect: Every Woman’s Guide to the Attitude That Attracts Success. “But the confidence gap is real and it is keeping women back.” Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Marketing Yourself & Your Small Business, Job Advancement Tagged , |