Category: Speaker Articles

Don’t Miss Out on Good Ideas: 4 Tips for Open Communication

Portrait of Laura Izurieta

By Laura Izurieta, Chief Risk Officer, Silicon Valley Bank

Here’s a thought: When we talk about inclusion and diversity in the workplace, shouldn’t we also talk about diversity in communication styles?

I’m a vocal supporter of diversity in terms of surrounding myself with people of different  backgrounds and with varied experiences and demographics. But sometimes the inclusion part gets undervalued. What good is having a diverse team if you don’t create an environment that is conducive to sharing points of view? You’ve not only missed the point, you’re missing out on good ideas. Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Communication Skills, Innovation, Success & Leadership Tagged , |

Holiday Survival Tips from Simple Habit’s Founder

Yunha Kim meditating in a white roomA Stanford B school dropout, Yunha Kim is on her second startup—and like most things that meet a real need, it’s genius. Called Simple Habit, the app is a “Spotify” for meditation, meaning it’s a platform for different experts to share their bite-size meditations and audio therapy sessions.

Kim had her Eureka moment after turning to meditation apps to cope with the stress of running her first company. “I got pretty tired of hearing the same voice over and over again,” she recalls. “It occurred to me that to listen to a new singer, I don’t go to another app. I go to a platform like Spotify, where I can find new artists as well as my favorites.”

Flash forward less than three years, and Kim has a huge hit on her hands. “Simple Habit has helped more than 2.8 million people relieve stress and anxiety, with an average of 30,000 new users joining the platform every week,” she says. What’s more, she just closed $10 million in her series A, after raising $2.8 million from seed investors.

Her advice for newbie entrepreneurs? “Taking care of yourself is critical,” Kim says. “When you’re building a business from scratch, you are the number one resource you have. You will work long days, and stress is inevitable, so it’s important to take a little time each day to step away, breathe and reset.”

Here, Kim’s four tips—and her Simple Habit audio recommendations—for surviving the holidays: Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Health & Wellness, Innovation, Life Balance Tagged , |

Real Advice for Women Seeking Mentors and Allies

Portrait of David SmithIf your mentors all look like you, you have a mentor problem. Same goes if they all have similar backgrounds and work histories or if you have only one—or none.

“Your mentors should be a diverse network,” says David Smith, an expert on gender workplace issues and co-author of Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women. “If they’re not, you’re missing out on key perspectives and information, and you’re probably not being challenged enough in your thinking.”

Of course, for women in male-dominated fields such as the military (Smith’s background), the problem isn’t having too many mentors who look like you (i.e., female). The problem is having a mentor, period. Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Communication Skills, Marketing Yourself & Your Small Business, Networking Tagged |

Beauty Truth-Teller Paula Begoun on Being an Entrepreneur, Hiring and Handling Stress

By Bryan Barron, for Paula’s Choice Skincare  

Work for Paula Begoun, founder of Paula’s Choice Skincare and Beautypedia.com, and you will laugh a lot. You’ll also become used to her straight-shooting ways. “I’m blatantly honest to a fault,” she says. 

Indeed, her truth-telling is her commodity and specialty. Combined with a passion for beauty products, it has resulted in 21 bestselling books on beauty and regular appearances on CNN, “The Today Show,” “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The View”, to name a few places—as well as her product review site Beautypedia.com and her global skincare company PaulasChoice.com.

It all began 35 years ago, when Paula was struggling with acne and eczema. She resolved to find a solution and began studying product labels, formulations and skin physiology. She discovered why everything she had been using on her skin either made it worse or didn’t help at all—and felt that her information could help so many other people, too.

Now Paula travels the globe speaking to women about truths and myths in beauty. “I love my job,” she says. Here, she shares more about entrepreneurship, work regrets, stress —and yes, her favorite products. Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Career Choices, Life on Your Terms, Success & Leadership Tagged , |

5 Tips to Feel More Comfortable at Networking Events

This is one thing Alice Rutkowski, an executive communication and presence coach who has worked with more than 8,000 executives over the past 20-some years, wishes everyone knew:

Body language reflects what you believe about yourself and others.

“Consciously and unconsciously, we are reading others and they are reading us all the time,” says Rutkowski, vice president of executive development at Sagin. “For example, whether you’re sitting or standing, crossing your legs can convey nervousness. It puts your body out of alignment, and being unbalanced isn’t conducive to feeling confident—and people can see that.” Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Communication Skills, Marketing Yourself & Your Small Business, Networking Tagged , |

The New Law Requiring More Women on Corporate Boards: Thumb Up or Thumb Down?

Lori MackenzieSince Senate Bill 826 recently became law, a lot has been said about the new mandate that companies headquartered in California must include one to three women on their board of directors, depending on their board size: It’s good for women. It’ll ultimately hurt women. It’ll never withstand legal challenge. It doesn’t go far enough. We asked Lori Nishiura Mackenzie, executive director of the Clayman Institute of Gender Research at Stanford University and co-founder of the Stanford VMware Women’s Leadership Lab, for her take on the controversial law.

Thumbs up or thumbs down? Read More

Posted in Latest News, Speaker Articles, Embrace the Unknown, Innovation Tagged , |

My Five Steps for Navigating Career Success

By Pamela Aldsworth, Head of Venture Capital Relationship Management, Silicon Valley Bank

I am often asked: How did you navigate your career from lender at a local bank to managing director at global tech lender Silicon Valley Bank (SVB)? First, it took nearly 25 years. Second, I consciously sought to make a difference in every job I took. Finally and most importantly, I did not do it alone; I sought out people who could help me along the way.

Now in my role at SVB, I am in a terrific position to help others, particularly those who may have never thought of themselves as entrepreneurs and innovators. While money is flowing in tech, it still is a challenging time to raise capital and launch a company, especially if it’s your first try. Read More

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

Brené Brown on Courage, Grounded Confidence and How Her New Book Has Changed Her Approach to Leading and Work

Even for Brené Brown, renowned author, researcher and expert on being brave, leading doesn’t come easy. “Being a founder and CEO is one of the most challenging roles in my life when it comes to showing up as my best self, leaning into tough conversations and making hard calls—all in the service of others,” says Brown, who heads Brené Brown Education and Research Group as well as holds an endowed chair at the University of Houston. “Seriously, it’s up there with parenting and partnering.”

With her new book that’s out this month, Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts, Brown provides actionable strategies for the workplace, based on seven years of studying top leaders and teams around the world. She’ll be speaking at the 2019 Watermark Conference for Women in February. In the meantime, she took time out of her busy schedule to answer our questions. Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Career, Communication Skills, Embrace the Unknown, Success & Leadership Tagged , |

Yes, You Can Change People’s Minds

Your group has always done things one way. You think you have a better way. How to sway them to your side?

You probably think data is the answer, but that’s unlikely to be enough to win over minds. Consider all the evidence of climate change and the many people who remain unconvinced by it.

“Data is important to uncover the truth, but it is not enough to convince people of that truth,” says Tali Sharot, Ph.D., a professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University College London and author of The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others. “When you show people data that goes against what they believe or what they want to believe, their brains shut down, metaphorically speaking, and don’t absorb what you’re saying.” Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Career, Communication Skills, Marketing Yourself & Your Small Business Tagged , |

Must-Have Answers from ‘Ask a Manager’ Author Alison Green

For many employees, the work itself is easy. It’s the office politics that are hard. That’s partly why Alison Green started her blog, “Ask a Manager,” 11 years ago. A chief of staff at a non-profit organization at the time, she kept thinking that coworkers would have made different decisions if they’d had their boss’ or HR’s perspective.

“As a manager, I could see that people weren’t going to get the outcome they thought they were,” Green recalls. “It occurred to me that a lot of people would benefit from knowing what their bosses are thinking when they hear x or what they mean when they say y.” Read More

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