December 19, 2011

About

Thanks for wanting to get to know me. My professional bio is below, I wanted to start with something more personal. Great people have been at the heart of my life. A few have played the role of mentor. Overall those who were willing to be real with me and just show me what they do and how they got to where they were taught me the most. Humility and bravery are at the heart of great learning.

Learning involved making a few mistakes. My objective now is to be there as an accountable guide to allow those I work with to avoid the mistakes. Some follow and inner compass and others follow facts and instructions. I’m working with people who want to calibrate their direction to get the best results quickly.

I am a Nebraska native and embrace all four distinct seasons this great state has to offer.  I was raised in Omaha, and I am a complete fan of the city.  This is the heart of Silicon Prairie where we have affordable and plentiful housing along with thriving businesses. I’ve had the pleasure of working with top local entrepreneurs since before I could drive. I have no problem being type cast as a friendly, helpful and a bit quirky.

I learned from experience that I can’t not lead. If there is not a quick and strong individual to say they’ll lead the group, you’ll see my hand going up. My key strengths explained by Clifton StrenthsFinder are Achiever, Command, Self-Assurance, Strategic, and Individualism. The strength of Individualism brings it all together for me because I am able to see what value a person brings to the table. 

The belief in the value of an individual is what drives me to coach. Not everyone recognizes value when it is outside their norm. We need diversity as much as it may be uncomfortable. There is something really productive about guiding a person through how to relate to another personality type. I can almost hear the click when the door opens within and communications becomes productive.

Professional Experience

I began working regularly when I was 14 and it was a joy. You can find my my full resume here on LinkedIn. There is a huge satisfaction knowing you made a difference and then being paid for your value. I learned valuable lessons I've carried through my career from my earliest jobs. I am a firm believer that young people should hold a part time job while in school as a life lesson. Some of my favorite lessons:

  • While working after school for a wonderful lady in her home I helped her with household chores and I charted her stocks back in 1983. Charting on graph paper, I would pull from the local newspaper the daily high, low and ending price. I found it odd she rarely traded but wanted to understand the trends and have a pulse on her assets. She would talk about current events that impacted her investments and what she watched in the charts. She was my first glimpse into the stock market. LESSON: Data matters, pay attention regularly. Also, growing your money takes effort.

 

  • When working for a local fast food restaurant there was a daily log sheet that contained many stats from the day. Things that I expected like how much beef we used, the sales numbers, the number of customers, etc. There was also data about contributing factors to the day's results such as local events and especially weather. Bad weather could make or break an expected busy Friday just like a special concert held at a nearby arena. LESSON: Understand the outside influences on your business and the impact on forecasting.

 

  • When ShopKo Stores came to Omaha in 1985 they were unprepared for their new largest market. As a new associate in the Toy department, I was working at the height of Transformers, Cabbage Patch Kids, Care Bears and Star Wars figures. I was in for a busy Christmas season. So much inventory was stored in the back stock or even out in trailers to keep up with demand. There were times that we would go search for a specific Care Bear or to bring out a new box of Star Wars figures. People would wait 20 minutes or more for us to return from the stockroom, sometimes empty handed. I remember the vast majority of those who asked and waited were very appreciative. LESSON: Making a genuine effort matters more than the outcome.

 

  • As a young bank teller in 1988, I worked for a Bank that served the local US Air Force service people. I worked with a lot of young people like myself who were on their own and sometimes in over their heads with their finances. Common services I would provide as a teller would be assisting in reconciling checking accounts, cashing in savings bonds and taking in loose coin for counting. I had a great deal of power on my side of the teller window dealing with often desperate and scared people my own age. I learned that empathy and explanation went a long way in a business relationship and cost me nothing in doing my job. LESSON: You are there to serve and honor the customer.

 

My career hit its peak in the roles I held while working at my last three employers. I chose each of them for what I could offer in the position and what I would learn. I was able to hold roles where I managed others and at times roles where I was an individual contributor. In each company I enteracted with the executive team and was able to observe the behaviors of those I wanted to emulate.
 

For half of my years, I worked supporting many clients from many companies. This exposure allowed me to learn about the priorities and management styles of several Fortune 500 companies as well as a host of mid-size companies in rapid growth phases. There was never a dull moment and there was always a new client. In the other half of the years, I worked building the brand of one company with a small portfolio of products. Building the team and the culture of our growing company was just as important as getting the projects done. I gained great perspective in diverse work environments.

 
Customer Support has been my department for the last 20 years. That means I was either working with telephone prompts or agents pools in answering calls for clients or I was leading a team who supported the products the company offered. I worked with many nnonexemptemployees who were the heart the service team. Really connecting and appreciating what motivated this team of people became my passion. They are a special demographic that is the heart of most service companies. They generally have less higher education and work experience than most in the company but are the people with the direct access to the customer's feedback and problems. I find this to the be group of people with a great potential to change their level of impact. I now help small businesses leaders with coaching some of their key contributors so they reach their potential.
 

 

Content

On my site you will find two sections of content. One section of content is aimed to help small business leaders with getting the most from the people they are working with each day. The other section of content is targeted to the employee who is working to develop in their role and make the most of the hours they trade with their employer. The content will often overlap and there are times you will find the same topic covered from two different perspectives. Seek whichever perspective satisfies your need most. For some small business leaders reading about their employee challenges can bring clarity to issues they are facing. The reverse is true, employees who choose to read about what their boss' want most from their teams can find inspiration and direction in their own roles.

 

 
I write in give main categories. These are Leadership, Productivity, Communication, Accountability, Resources. Each topic has two perspectives that I may write from. I write for the the small business leader or the employee. Occasionally I may divert and throw in a current event or interest. I shake it up when the feedback from the tribe dictates the need.
 

 

Leadership
 

 

Productivity
 

 

Communication
 

 

Accountability
 

 

Resources

 

 

 

Family

I am a divorced, and now happily married again woman. I have two dynamic daughters at the point they are thinking about how they will impact the world. My husband brought to our marriage; cats, old computers, his satellite dish to watch the Steelers and the love of road cycling that we share together. All these things were new to me, even the old computers, and he has opened up paths that would have been blind to me without him.

 

 
My daughters are two weaves of cloth cut from the same source. They are 8 years apart in age and their birth dates put them in two generations. Spending time with each opens my world to new ideas and perspectives I would be missing without them.

 

In my free time, I enjoy reading, biking and getting lost in coloring with colored pencils. I am a part of my my extended family's monthly game nights where I keep in contact with my 8 Aunts who are there to teach me about entering  the future decades of my life.

 

I am the oldest sister to three other equally impressive but distinctly different women. I am blessed with a niece, a dog niece, and 4 nephews; two of which are identical. My family conveniently lives in warmer climates making their homes and families wonderful vacation options.