Thought For The Day

“Perhaps the secret of living well is not in having all the answers but in pursuing unanswerable questions in good company.”

Rachel Naomi Remen

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For all the Ambitious Women Lawyers

This week I am thinking about Davos, Switzerland.  Not because of the spectacular mountain views or the apres ski …  but because of my professional women friends, especially you young women lawyers.

As you may know, Davos is the home of the annual World Economic Forum, and the 2015 conference is underway as I write.  Billionaires, CEOs, heads of state and others who breathe the same rarefied air have gathered to address global issues like cybersecurity, international trade, stabilizing international economies, global competitiveness and other such lofty subjects.

Why should you care?  Because they frequently talk about issues affecting women that have nothing to do with cocktails and fondue.  Yes, important subjects like whether women are ambitious enough for  the business world.

That subject was addressed at the 2012 World Economic Forum when Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook executive, stated that women in the western world lack ambition and that it is holding them back.  She talked specifically about an “ambition gap” for women in business.  You can read more about her remarks in one of my earlier blogs.

Maybe you just heard my inner scream!  This is so far off the mark!  Business women in America do not lack ambition.  They lack time.  There is a “time gap” not an ambition gap.  A time gap for family caretaking, for other family support, for billing hours, for business travel, for developing new clients … and the list goes on.  If you are one of those women, you know exactly what I mean.  And, if you are not, you may be one day, so it is worth paying attention.

Women are not magicians.  They cannot create more time.  They cannot even create the illusion of more time.  No David Copperfields here.  Just women working hard to balance in the only way that fits them personally.  And, they deserve more respect than a sound bite.

As I pointed out in the earlier blog, women are plenty ambitious in the middle of the night when they are working on the legal memo, fixing the kids’ brown bag lunches for the next day, doing laundry and performing sundry other tasks that did not fit into the daylight hours.

So, let’s hope that the “chit chat” in Davos produces some really helpful information for women this year.  That would be nice.

 

 

 

 

 

Career Counselors, Law Firm Managers, Law School Educators, Law Students, Lifestyle, Pre-law, Young Lawyer | Comment

Thought For The Day

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.”

George Bernard Shaw

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Be a Better Woman Lawyer

Here is an article that you MUST read.  In fact, every woman should read this article.  “7 Ways Women Can Lift Up, Not Tear Each Other Down” by established author Susan Skog is spot on when it comes to negative woman-to-woman behavior.  Here is the link to the article at Huffington Post.com, and I hope you will share it and this blog generously among your women contacts.  This is an area where we all need work.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susan-skog/seven-ways-women-can-lift-up-not-tear-each-other-down_b_6456558.html

Here’s how Huffington Post describes Susan Skog:  Trained as a journalist, Susan Skog has advocated for and written about humanitarians and their projects for more than 20 years. The author of six nonfiction books, her work has also appeared in many leading magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, Newsday, AARP, Family Circle, Prevention, and many other leading publications. Her books include, The Give-Back Solution: Create a Better World with Your Time, Talents, and Travel, and Peace in our Lifetime, and Embracing Our Essence: Spiritual Conversations with Prominent Women.  As a communications leader and consultant, Skog has supported the efforts of more than 30 organizations easing extreme poverty in the developing world.

Pretty impressive.  Susan Skog is working on a new book about women bullying women, and I can’t wait to read it.  She interviewed me for the book, and I am delighted to join her in this effort.  Women helping women is one of the keystones of the Best Friends at the Bar project, and I write and speak about it often.  Regrettably, I continue to see too much competition among women and a reluctance to support each other in our profession, and I hope that books like Susan Skog’s will help to make the case for better behavior and improved cooperation.

Here is a summary of the ways women can lift up, not tear each other down, according to Susan Skog:

  • Shine a light on the shadows — by having candid conversations about the problem to promote change;
  • Live from your own incredible worth — express your own brilliance and don’t block someone else’s;
  • Advocate for zero tolerance — by refusing to tolerate abusive talk and behavior among women;
  • Be a Wonder Woman with your wise words — and help put an end to destructive behavior among women;
  • Tune out media that glorify mean-women pile-ons;
  • Applaud a woman’s success — don’t hold a woman’s gifts against her;
  • Slow down, breathe and nurture yourself — when you feel better about yourself you are better equipped to help others.

All of us can relate to this.  All of us have had moments when we know we have “crossed the line” and targeted another woman with our own bad behavior or unkind words.  ‘Fess up.  You know I am right about this.  Unfortunately, it has become accepted as “typical female behavior,” and it is time to change that.  Simply stated, and quoting Susan Skog, “We are better than this.”

Be part of the solution and not part of the problem.  Start today!

Career Counselors, Law Firm Managers, Law School Educators, Law Students, Lifestyle, Pre-law, Young Lawyer | Comment

Thought For The Day

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thought For The Day | Comment

Thought For The Day

Perhaps the secret of living well is not in having all the answers but in pursuing unanswerable questions in good company.

Rachel Naomi Remen

Thought For The Day | Comment

Have You Done Your January Clean-Up?

I spent most of the weekend — well at least the part of it that did not involve pre-game, THE GAME, and post-game analysis of the Packers-Cowboys game — pursuing my traditional January clean-up.  I am a Packer fan through and through, and I cannot commit to anything else too big on game days.  Fortunately, my team won, and I did not have to totally abandon the clean-up efforts for pouting and drowning my sorrows.

Even with the concentration on the Big Game, I also was able to work in some serious “clean up and toss out” to keep my January promises to myself.  January is the time of year when I reassess my goals, review my game plan and get rid of everything that is in the way of accomplishing what I set out to do.  I used to joke that the dog should not get in the way of these serious activities or, surely, he, too, would get thrown out!

This is a necessary process for me.  It clears my mind and forces me to think about things that get lost in the frenzy of the other 11 months of the year, especially November through December.  (Speaking of that, I am considering initiating a referendum to move Thanksgiving to a different time of year.  I am not so sure about the historic accuracy of all the Pilgrims-Indians thing anyway, and it sure complicates the Fall calendar.  If we really want to highlight the contributions of the first Americans, we should not be running out on Black Friday to bargain grab and trimming the Christmas tree within days after Thanksgiving.  Really.  Think about it and tell me if you want to join in the effort.)

But, I digress.  My point is that you need to take advantage of the lousy weather in January, which seems to be pretty much nation-wide this year, and do some cleansing of your own.  Save time for some serious goal-setting and throw in a few New Year’s resolutions that you forgot to make earlier this month.  Make it a clean new slate, and reach high.  This may just be the year when you get what you want.  You will never know if you do not plan for it and try for it.

Good luck.  And I know that you also wish me good luck next weekend for the Packers-Seahawks face-off.  If the Packers win, I promise to clean out a few extra drawers to show my appreciation!

 

Career Counselors, Law Students, Lifestyle, Pre-law, Young Lawyer | Comment

Thought For The Day

You may be whatever you resolve to be. Determine to be something in the world and you will be something. “I cannot,” never accomplished anything; “I will try,” has wrought wonders.

J. Hawes

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