Thursday, September 30, 2010

Looking for a job . . .?

Perhaps one of the best places to start is the Women for Hire Career Expo, October 12, at Cobb Galleria.

Tory Johnson, whom you have probably seen at ABC's Good Morning America, if not met in person (she is 'everywhere'!) saw a need and decided to meet it, with the creation of Women For Hire. Isn't that how many of us have started our businesses? Find the void, analyze it, then fill it.

I know several career coaches and will be happy to refer you, if you are looking for a career opportunity or change in the corporate world. If, on the other hand, you are ready to start a business of your own, we should talk!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Tao of Everest

The lucky 30+ of us who were at Maggiano's Perimeter Mall last night for Ian Woodall's story of his multiple climbs of Mount Everest -- and the associated leadership lessons -- experienced an evening we will not soon forget.

Read the testimonials, find out how you can buy a copy of Ian's book, and if you missed his Atlanta appearance this time, be sure you make plans to attend next time. Yes, there will be a "next time" -- Barb Giamanco, left in the above photograph, is already working on it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shame on the Iron Grill

When a new, upscale restaurant comes to town and a business women’s group makes a reservation for a networking event, one would expect that the manager is there to greet the group and there would be a private room available, with customized menus on the tables with drinks and dinner suggestions and maybe a “come back” coupon for next time. One would think that a restaurant that has 20+ business women walk through the door on a Tuesday evening would jump for joy and think of all the new business that might come from such a group.

One would think . . .

Chef Lamar’s Iron Grill in Athens did not think this evening.

We were herded like cattle into a corner of the lobby (while the upstairs private room went unused), where a kitchen table with eight chairs had been set up. Twenty-some women, eight chairs – you do the math!

The bartender was charming, the pomegranate martini was delicious and there were complimentary appetizers on that table in the lobby corner (Who cares? Who could even reach them?), but if I were a restaurant manager and had 20 business women walk in the door at dinner time, I would see a $600 to $1,000 tab for that evening and an endless string of repeat business – you know . . ., husbands, boyfriends, clients, prospects, colleagues.

Shame on the Iron Grill. This is clearly not a restaurant that wants to have business women as customers.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Will he drop out?

Nathan Deal resigned from Congress earlier this year, so that he could spend more time in Georgia and devote more attention and energy to his bid to become our next Governor. Had he not resigned, he would have been next in line for an expected rebuke (or worse) from the House Ethics Committee for use of Congressional staff to protect Mr. Deal’s no-bid contract with the State of Georgia.

In this summer’s Republican primary election, Deal came in second to Karen Handel; in the run-off, he came in ahead of her by a few hundred votes and she conceded even before the last ballots were counted. I did not like this; I think she might have prevailed in a final count and a recount. In any event, she should have stood her ground and continued to talk about ethics. Wasn’t that one of her campaign points – that she was the only not-ethically-challenged candidate in the race?

Be that as it may, Deal’s Democrat opponent, former Governor Roy Barnes – another good ole boy – has been hammering Deal on his alleged ethics violations as Congressman, and his unwillingness to, until recently, disclose his financial information. Now we know where that unwillingness came from: a $2.85 million business loan in 2009 and a $2.3 million investment in his daughter and son-in-law’s failed business in Habersham County. Wilder Outdoors, owned by Carrie and Clint Wilder, was established in 2006 and administratively dissolved on September 8 of this year. The Wilders are reported to have filed for bankruptcy. Nathan Deal asserts that he and his wife, Sandra, will not. They listed their home in Gainesville for sale last year for $985,000, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen ( and have not found a buyer yet. There are currently 190 homes priced between $500 thousand and $1 million for sale in Gainesville. It’s a tough Real Estate market in Georgia.

How it will all work out is impossible to say, but I expect the Republican leadership in Georgia will have a heart-to-heart with Mr. Deal soon, followed by his departure from the race. Then what?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


A friend and client of mine is a Civility expert. Companies hire her to teach civility to their employees and she received a “Civility Star” award earlier this year from the prestigious Association of Image Consultants International.

Knowing all this, I began to think of places where civility is still much in evidence these days. Courtrooms, I decided, with their traditions and protocols, surely had to be hubs of civility in our society. So, I sat in one for a few hours recently and took notes.

When a bailiff advised “everyone sit down”, most did, but there were still people standing along the sides when the judge made his entry. And they stayed there.

He was 20 minutes late and not everyone rose when the “All Rise” was called. The “grand central station” behavior observed before the judge took the bench abated somewhat but did not come to a halt: people moving in and out, crossing from one side of the courtroom to another other – it was chaotic.

The calendar clerk was a mumbler; the lawyers sitting in the front row probably heard him, but moving farther back I am sure the accused and the witnesses had to strain their ears; in the back of the room, he was 90% inaudible.

While before the bench cases were presented and dealt with, throughout the Courtroom lawyers and their clients – or lawyers, their clients and their Court-appointed interpreters – held whispered conversations.

In this particular Courtroom, there were no “Order in the Court” admonitions, there was no gavel concluding the rulings and many accused had their cases adjudicated before they seemingly knew it was all over. Witnesses subpoenaed by the State never met “the State” and looked around bewildered when a case in which they had been ordered to appear to give testimony was concluded in less then two minutes with a plea bargain. It was all very casual and lacking in decorum. Courtesy did not rule here.

I’ll have to go looking for that center of civility elsewhere.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Networking Opportunity

“Give us the opportunity to see who else will be there”, a registrant said the other day, talking about the September 9 Atlanta Women in Business luncheon, where Marla Brown, one of the "Opportunity Meets Motivation" authors will speak. And why not? Here we are — you will see some familiar names and the names of some of equally bright and accomplished business women you have not met until now.

Come early, “network”, get to know one or two of the other attendees, make plans for a follow-up conversation and let serendipity be with you!

Christina Adams, Kathy Anderson, Annette Auger, Karley Barber, Bernadette Boas, Marla Brown, the speaker, Rose Caplan, Monica Caras, Patricia Crowley, Patrice Dickey, Essie Escobedo, Sarah Falgoust, Betty Fowler, Alberta Gallo, Barb Giamanco, the sponsor, Robin Hensley, Odette Kranc, Iliana Malinov, Aniki Mienie, Eleanor Morgan, Betsy Oberholtzer, Peggy Parks, Diona Potter, Karen Robertson-Wall, Liz Roling, Bonnie Ross-Parker, Lisa Rowe, Jane Samson, Judi Adams Sanek, Debbie Snelling and Kate Stradtman

Thursday, September 2, 2010

“To Whom It May Concern” - why bother?

I received a letter in the mail yesterday. It stood out from the 20 or so other mail pieces in my box. It was a solid envelope, good quality paper, nice logo and had first-class postage on it. It came from a well-known, prestigious organization that has, unsolicited, been sending me its magazine for years. I opened the envelope with anticipation. Nice letterhead. That same recognizable logo again. They wanted to engage me for my expertise, or offer me a partnership, or invite me to a high-level brainstorm, surely!

Then I saw it.
“To Whom It May Concern:”

The content (which I did read!) did not live up to the expectations the envelope, postage and letterhead had raised, but it did not matter. “To Whom It May Concern” was the deal-breaker.

Lesson: if you invite someone to do something that is supposed to benefit you as well as the recipient and a bunch of other people, at least address that person by name. Otherwise, why bother?