• Travel
  • Travel Tales – You don’t get credit!

    Travel tales – you don’t get credit!

    If the flight is advertised, booked, and scheduled for 9:10, and you put it on the board as 10:00 and then say we are leaving ‘early’ at 9:10… sorry, you don’t get credit for early departure.

    Interesting day of travel so far. The driver who picked me up to bring me to the airport went to the wrong house and I had to ‘find’ him, a serious multi-car, multi-truck accident occurred on the highway 15 minutes before we passed through, and I got pulled over in the security line for having an iPad. Being tired from an early morning start and distracted by all items above, I’m still not tricked by the message that we are ‘early’. But good try!

    I feel fortunate that with all the snags and some grumpy people along the way this morning, I arrive at my gate still calm and peaceful and looking forward to my speaking engagement this week. I send out positive thoughts to those involved in the accident and the emergency response workers on the scene. Safe travel to anyone embarking on a journey this week!

  • lifestyle
  • Thankful Tuesday – Provoking Thought

    Interesting that when we think of the word “provoke”, we often think of the negative definition of the word as in “deliberately make (someone) annoyed or angry”.

    And yet, “provoking thought”, or the commonly used term “thought-provoking” causes us to think of the positive definition – “contains interesting ideas that make people think seriously”.

    I traveled to a new destination and attended a summit for two days this week that was very thought-provoking. A room full of CIOs discussing areas of opportunity and areas of concern, in a safe environment where we could learn and question and share. And for a person like me who is an introvert by nature, there is the added challenge of consciously putting myself into a situation where the value I get will be dependent on actively approaching people I never met before. I agreed to participate in a ‘meet the press’ style presentation on stage to ensure I wouldn’t back out of attending. There was nothing to gain except knowledge and nothing to lose except time.

    Topics included digital disruption, cyber-security, vendor management, IT talent, AI and machine learning, and agility.

    I came away with interesting ideas, serious thoughts, and some new professional connections. I met CIOs from companies across the country who I wouldn’t have run into if I hadn’t taken the time and pushed myself to attend and interact. I was inspired by the conversations and by the expertise in the room. So, I guess there was nothing to lose after all.

  • technology
  • Thankful Tuesday – Preparation

    Today I had to give a 10 minute business presentation. It wasn’t long, but it was extremely important to convey knowledge and confidence and leadership. I spent approximately 12 hours preparing for the presentation. Not preparing what to say, but preparing myself with knowledge and details and facts and emotions about the topic so when I spoke it would be valuable.

    – What are the key messages?
    – What are we worried about?
    – What do we know?
    – Who do we need to help make it successful?

    12 hours. To present 10 minutes. 30 words. One slide.

    I prepared. I presented. I fielded questions. And I was done in 11 short minutes.

    Anyone can talk for a long time on an important topic. And present a lot of material.

    It takes work to be succinct.

    I am thankful to my team for all the prep work we did. It was worth it.

  • blog
  • Thankful Tuesday – A Surprise View

    What a cold day! I woke to the cold and was grumpy when I looked at my calendar and realized I would be walking in the cold several times today. I had a scheduled lunch meeting that on a normal day would involve a nice 10 minute walk and I would enjoy getting some steps in mid-day. But the cold temps and the wind chill of about -20C was a shocker to the system.

    I didn’t want to cancel and so off I went. I left a few minutes early so I would have time to warm up before the meeting. When I arrived, the lobby of the building was beautiful but dark. I had never been to this restaurant before and was told it was on the 44 floor. I headed for the elevator and up I went.

    As the elevator doors opened, the light on the 44 floor was the opposite of the experience on the main level. 3 sides of the restaurant were windows and the light was streaming in. The view was stunning, my mood was lightened, and I felt fortunate to experience this moment of quiet, beautiful peace.

    The meeting was productive, the food delicious, and once again I realized there are so many aspects of my life to be thankful for even on a day that starts out on a challenging note. Look for the different perspective.

    44th floor – view of the ice on Lake Ontario and the CN Tower peeking in the window too!

  • blog
  • Thankful Tuesday – The Book is Launched!

    The book is launched! Your Turn

    It seems like just a few moments ago, but was in reality several months ago, Melody Adhami contacted me and asked if I would participate in a book idea she had. 150 strong women in Canada to give advice and inspiration to their generation and the next in honour of Canada’s 150th year.

    A hard request to pass up.

    And so I agreed to participate. Fast forward to tonight. The book launch party. And meeting Melody in person. And meeting many of the other 149 fantastic women who also contributed their wisdom to the book, and their family members, friends, and co-workers who joined us. I invited my husband to the event and he came knowing that he might be a minority in a room full of talented, passionate, and confident women!

    It was a special night. For Melody, and all the women, and the book itself. And more importantly, it wasn’t just about one night. At this moment in history when there are stories every day of women being disrespected, what a feeling to bask in the collective strength and support of this group of people.

    Well done Melody. Well done women. Not simply sharing wisdom and being in a book, but achieving greatness in your life that led to your connection to this book.

    I feel blessed to share this moment with you.

    #itsyourturn

  • blog
  • Thankful Tuesday – My Biggest Fans

    I am thankful today.  These two.  My biggest fans.

    This is not the name I gave them, but the name they gave themselves.  Their real names are Mom and Dad, or Bob and Lorraine in the world outside my family.  But I frequently receive a note signed ‘your biggest fans’.

    I know I am blessed.  I always felt fortunate, but didn’t really understand how important the support and belief and challenge is from parents in our lives.  I assumed for most of my childhood that everyone had people like this in their house – people to cheer us on, people to celebrate our success.  I know now that not everyone has these types of fans standing with them.

    Don’t get me wrong.  They didn’t cheer me on without having high expectations.  When I needed a push to study harder, to think about my actions, and to bring my best self to the table, they were there for those moments also.

    But they were always there as a fan when the moment mattered … when I got an interview, when I landed a job, and when I was promoted.  They were there in personal moments too … when I got married, we bought a house, made important decisions about how to raise the kids, and when I achieved my black belt in martial arts.  They discussed important decisions with me, they provided input, they let me make decisions and mistakes, and they celebrated the successes.

    I recently gave a strategy presentation that was extremely important in my job.  I discussed it with them.  They both have backgrounds in technology jobs.  They provided feedback, proof-read the presentation, and provided feedback on how to make it stronger.  Just like real fans, they want me to be great.

    They call, send notes, share photos, and brag every now and then. 😎

    They inspire me with their zest for life.  They are busy, involved in life, and yet always there for people who need them.  One of their mottos is “we show up” and they do.  They have extended family all over North America and they are often on the road.  They’ve got it figured out from packing the car, hitting the road, finding new adventures, and being there for the good times and hard times in equal measures.  People often say “we knew you’d come”.

    They’ve taught me so much and been there for so many.  And yet, at the end of the day no matter what else is going on I know they are there for me.  Encouraging, smiling, and cheering.  My biggest fans.