Judy Crockett

Judy Crockett
Judy Crockett

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Bold Spirit Author Linda Hunt to Speak May 4

Talk about determination. Talk about inspirational. Please get a copy of Bold Spirit and read it today. It is the story of a Norwegian immigrant mother of eight children names Helga Estby who boldly walked across the continent with her 18-year old daughter Clara to win $10,000 in an attempt to save her family home. This book covers social, economic, political and cultural landscapes in America in the late 1890s.

Linda Hunt will talk about this book, (Thursday, May 4 Tuscan Grille, $15) the importance of family stories, and how easy it can be to erase someone. Helga will inspire you, build your confidence, and give you the determination you need to succeed at anything. Book signing will be available at the luncheon.

Tickets for the luncheon will be available at the Convention and Visitor's Bureau in Manistee.


Women's netWork said...

By David Sullivan, RBC Royal Bank

Numerous learned people have written books and articles on leadership. Lots of these deal with leadership from the highest levels of an organization. I want to touch on leadership in the trenches where success is measured by flawless execution.

In my mind, there are 9 key elements critical to success:

VALUES: Some organizations have published values. You should have your own set of values, and let people know what you stand for. My personal values are to treat people with dignity, courtesy, respect, and honesty. This does not mean telling everyone what they want to hear. It does mean being open, truthful, and forthright in everything you do.

INFORMATION: Many years ago when I was in college, one of my professors told me "Knowledge is power." It is - only if you share it with your team. I am not referring to insider information, but rather information concerning your team's business. What are the goals and challenges, and what is the measure of success? A great friend of mine subscribed to the approach of "tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them." If you want your team to engage, you need to empower them. Empower your team members by freely sharing information.

CLARITY AND SIMPLICITY: Over the past ten years "consultant-ese" has made its way into mainstream business. Words such as "value added, metrics, robust, granular, crystallize, dovetail, continuum, flesh out and percolate" are used liberally in verbal and written communication. Don't complicate life by adding "consultant-ese" - keep the message clear and simple.

FACTS: Leaders today are busy people. It is easy for some to fall into the trap of using anecdotal hearsay to support and make decisions while formulating preconceived notions about a situation or person. Maybe we should be guided by the mantra "You will only lead and manage - based on factual information presented in an accurate and timely manner." Using outdated facts, or ones that have not previously been shared, to judge a person's performance is simply not fair or ethical. The next time you attend a meeting where anecdotal information is being bantered around - tactfully ask, "Based on what?"

STRATEGY: For a team to follow and work towards the strategic goal, the strategy needs to be clear, short, and easy to understand. While today's business environment is constantly changing and adaptability is important, there is much to be said about clarity, simplicity and consistency. One of the more successful strategies a group I worked with developed went along the lines of "Serve Clients, Build Partner Relationships, Do Deals and Make Money." If you wanted to do something, be it a project or a change, if it couldn't be bucketed into one of these four areas, it just wasn't important.

HIRING: Always hire the best qualified people. Hire people who are not like you. Gender, race, creed, and colour have no place in the hiring decision. Having stated that, neither prejudice nor bigotry should ever enter into the process, or be tolerated.

Diversity of experience and thought will make for a great work environment. Diverse groups are creative, thoughtful, tolerant, understanding and successful. Unique individuals have a strong sense of pride and display entrepreneurial characteristics critical to succeed as a team.

Don't be a leader of a group of pre-programmed robots. Strive to be a great leader. Strive to be a leader "in the land of the misfit toys." Go out and hire some people who might not fit elsewhere in an organization, who may have been labeled as nonconformists. You will be surprised at their contribution when the individual is "let loose."

PERFORMANCE MEASURES: Why shoot for a goal that is less than perfection? Many people set lofty business performance goals of completing 95% of a function in a specified time period. What about the other 5%? What's wrong with 100%? By accepting anything less you are unwittingly promoting mediocrity. This same approach applies to team members. Some leaders on the line spend 80% of their time dealing with the bottom 20% of performers. Make it a personal goal to spend 100% of your time with 100% of the people who want to be with the team, and contribute to its success. Employing a cut-and-run approach to poor performers will pay huge dividends, set a high standard, while sending a strong message - there is no place for mediocre performance.

PASSION: How do you describe passion? Is it the feeling of joy when faced with a challenging project and anticipation of completion? Would it be the feeling you experience from pride of ownership? Have you created an environment where pride and ever changing learning opportunities are commonplace? There is no greater sense of personal satisfaction than leading and being part of a team of "deal junkies." The "deal" is whatever business you are in, be it production or service. To paraphrase Tom Peters - the work matters; what we do - matters!

SENSE OF HUMOR: If you have a passion for a particular area, show it with a touch of humor. It is contagious. Spending 40, 50, even 60 hours a week working with your team doing something that doesn't make you smile is a real tragedy. I am not suggesting circulating "joke of the day." It can come by sharing a humorous personal experience with some team members. Show them you care; show them you are human. They will appreciate it.

Leadership is not for everyone. However, it can be very rewarding. Surround yourself with a leadership team that is diverse, talented, and forthright. Ask for feedback. I have found brutal, but honest, feedback has allowed me to grow personally and professionally.

It continues to amaze me the outstanding talent that can be unleashed in the proper environment. I have been blessed to work with some brilliant leaders during my career. I am extremely fortunate to lead an outstanding group of very talented professionals. The leadership team is stellar, diversified, thoughtful, courageous, driven, fiercely loyal, and wildly successful.

To end off, a quote from Albert Einstein might best describe your journey to great leadership: "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."

David Sullivan is Manager, Global Banking Service Centre at RBC Royal Bank, servicing senior market clients globally. Located in Toronto, David has over 28 years of staff and line experience in the financial services industry. He may be contacted via e-mail at

Gina said...


I was reading your blog and wanted to thank you for sharing your ideas about Linda Hunt. Your enthusiasm was contageous!!
Your article reminded me of a conference I attended for "Women In
Technology" (WITI) in Los Angeles, CA last year. At that conference I had
the awesome opportunity to meet Marcia Wieder.

She and I spoke about overcoming fears to achieve our dreams.
Although my time with her was brief, I learned from "America's Dream Coach"
about the importance of stepping out of my comfort zone so I could achieve
my dreams. At that time I really did not know who this precious woman was
but later learned she had been on Oprah and PBS-TV.

Marcia's brief touch on my life made a great impact on me. Recently I
discovered her blog at http://www.dreamcoachdirect.com/ and
a Maui Dream Retreat she is giving away!!! The Maui Dream
Retreat includes a week in Maui with Marcia, roundtrip airfare, and accomodations!!
I thought you might be interested in what she had to say as well.

May all of our dreams come true!!