- Share this information with your network of colleagues and friends – both women and men
- Become a mentor (The Chamber’s Tech Valley Young Professionals Network has an excellent Executive Mentorship Program)
- Lean In to opportunities by asking for them (as Sandberg has taught us in her bestseller)
- Support female colleagues at all levels of your workplace by being their adviser and advocate
From the desk of Karen Lombardo, Owner, Put Another Way, LLC
On Tuesday, I attended the Women’s Business Council program, If You Don’t Manage Your Chaos, Your Chaos Will Manage You with Melissa Cook, Catharine Potvin, Tracy Slocum & Matt Phelps. It was informative, eye opening and prompted some serious soul searching.
I feverishly took notes on my phone and I would like to share 5 quick thoughts on chaos, managing chaos, and living with chaos in your life.
Ask the question: Are you productive busy or chaos busy?
Great question because there is a difference. Productive busy is not always a bad thing and often times is short lived. Chaos busy? Not so much. Answer the question first and then look to examine the ways to manage or lessen your chaos. Great quote from the speakers: Every hour of planning saves 4 hours of execution. Write it down! Too much in your head? Prioritize it.
Delegation: Friend or foe?
Delegation can be a fruitful tool to manage chaos and allow you to be more productive. The speakers and the audience’s questions addressed delegation and empowerment. Many of us, myself included, are control people, (note I did not say freaks), and know we need to get things done via delegation…but for some reason, we need to get it done our way. That’s not a good thing and we know it. Teach. Empower. Let go. Try it, it can be cathartic and remember most times there is a better way.
Just say no.
Why is that so difficult? We take on more than we can do; we promise to get it done in warp speed; oh, and we charge what we think the client wants to pay. Just this morning, I had a friend say, it is only a good deal if it is good for both of you, not just the client. Just say no or maybe often an alternative.
Yes, I know, we all agree we need to communicate effectively but communication crosses multiple channels such as email, text, and face to face discussions. Communication should be consistent and simple. Focus on the topic at hand and do not creep into other topics or issues. Schedule another time for those topics.
Lists and wine.
Two great tools that do not necessarily go hand in hand. Make lists in whatever method you choose whether it is paper or electronic. There is a great deal of satisfaction that occurs when you cross off or check off a completed task.
If all else fails and you have tried everything imaginable, turn to a temporary vice such as a glass of wine. This option was quite popular during the luncheon! Vices come in many forms and afford us the luxury of shutting off while we heal our chaotic brains. I prefer a beautifully crafted cappuccino in the afternoon. Do you believe that? Nah! Wine is good.
The WBC events are very informative, empowering, and collaborative. Don’t miss out on these events.
MARNA S. REDDING | Vice President, Member Services | firstname.lastname@example.org
Rebecca Harris, Owner | SHRM-CP Diligent Data Services LLC
“For the Chaos- I wrote down my work life and time management. I really enjoyed the panelists and the tips about time management really helped me see things from an outside POV. I am at a similar point in my business as Matt albeit not as large of a company where I am training and delegating more work that I have in the past. Some of the top tips I took away from the event are time blocking more strictly to really divide up my day to get the most amount of productive work done in the most efficient way.”
Hannah Stenzel, Godfrey Financial Associates
“One area of chaos in my life is organization at work. By the end of the day, I have piles of paperwork everywhere. This can lead from me being productive, to me spending time managing this chaos. I walked away with so much practical advice yesterday, but one of the major insights was about teamwork; surrounding yourself with people who compliment your strengths and weaknesses, and developing supportive communication with them. So what am I going to do about my chaos? Talk to my team about it, and create opportunities to grow together!”
Brittany Meegan, Patron Relations Manager, Troy Music Hall
“One of the many interesting (and relieving) things that I learned from the event was that I was not alone in feeling like my ‘chaos’ took control at times but what was most helpful was the responses from the panelists on how to control it from taking over your personal and work life. I was fascinated the panelists asked the question, “Are you productive busy or are you chaotic busy?” because at that point, I hadn’t recognized or was even aware there was a difference. As I started my day today and went over notes from the event, the question made me think twice on how I approach the most stressful of tasks or even how I approach days where I feel like there’s not enough time because there’s so much going on in my life. Self-awareness is a challenge for myself and many other professionals but what I’ve learned is that while I am self-aware, what’s most important is how I react and utilize my resources to push through that chaos.”
Veshma Sanichar, LPN/Owner, No Place Like Home-care, LLC
“This event initially interested me because most days I feel as if I’m getting nothing accomplished even though I’m running around all day long from meeting to meeting with clients. I started making lists at night because that seemed to be when the thoughts of things I needed to get done were clear and I would cross each task off as I completed them. Somehow I ended up feeling more chaotic.At the event, I immediately felt relief when one of the panelists talked about us feeling as if everyone around us is well put together but in actuality, we’re all in the same place. That helped me to understand that this struggle is real and everyone goes through it, it’s what we’re going to do about it that matters. I liked the idea of time blocking, maybe now I can endure I war lunch every day. Someone talked about prioritizing, that will also help me as I find myself running errands in between my appointments then I’m scrambling to get to where I need to be. It also felt great to know that it’s okay to carry tasks over to the next day’s list but that they should go at the top of the list because it is “unfinished business.”Lastly, I appreciated hearing that it is important to wind down at the end of the day, so now I have to find my “glass of wine” since I don’t drink and I’m intimidated by exercise.”
…“My name is Cathy Sheehy, and I have epilepsy…I’ve never been comfortable with saying that out loud, let alone in front of people. I’m becoming more comfortable with my diagnosis after 30 years. Yes, it has taken me that long to get here. Here is my story.”…
Board Member of the Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York, Cathy Sheehy, spoke yesterday at the Women’s Business Council event “If you Don’t Manage Your Chaos Your Chaos Will Manage You!” Cathy had the opportunity to share her story on behalf of the 2019 Adopted Non Profit, The Epilepsy Foundation. She is a perfect reminder that epilepsy can affect anyone with a brain and anyone with a brain can affect epilepsy.
The Epilepsy Foundation is gearing up for their summer/fall fundraising events. Sponsorship opportunities for both the Bowl to END EPILEPSY and Walk to END EPILEPSY are available. Contact Susan at email@example.com to continue the conversation.
Join Us. Make a difference. End epilepsy.
What is one thing that has inspired you in life that you think might have led you to be named a Women of Excellence?
One of the things that has inspired me in my career is my passion for people. I am one of those people that love people from all walks of life and I enjoy getting to know people and then finding something out about them that I can help to become a reality for them. I have loved mentoring young adults and helping them to build guiding principles for their own success. Helping young women in the workplace to find the balance between work, relationships and raising our families. I have loved finding the best in people and then helping them find success…I think my passion and connections with people have allowed for dreams to come true, people to succeed and business to reach levels others only read about in books. I dreamed and delivered!
Sign up for the 28th annual Women of Excellence luncheon on May 30th here.
For more information:
Email Debbie: firstname.lastname@example.org
From the desk of Kate Fruscione, Public Relations Strategist at CAP COM Federal Credit Union.
CAP COM Federal Credit Union announced earlier this year that Paula Stopera, the credit union’s longstanding President/CEO, would retire this spring. Christopher McKenna, a member of the credit union’s leadership team, was named her successor. He has assumed the role of President/CEO.
Most recently, Chris served as Executive Vice President for the organization. Prior to that, he was Chief Lending Officer of its mortgage subsidiary, Homeowners Advantage.
“The future looks bright and under Chris’ leadership, we will continue to make service to members and outreach to the community hallmarks of our credit union. We are grateful to Paula for devoting her 39-year career to serving others, while overseeing a period of tremendous growth at CAP COM,” said Board Chairman, Ed Gilligan. “We know Chris will lead us forward by reinforcing the importance of superior service. Helping members flourish with a blend of human interaction and technology will continue to be top priorities.”
Chris McKenna grew up in Peekskill, NY and attended the University at Albany. After graduating, he worked in New York City then returned to the Capital Region to continue his career. Since 1990, Chris has been active in financial services. Prior to coming to CAP COM, he was 50% owner in a mortgage company that served credit union members across New York and Florida.
Chris joined CAP COM in 2010, when the credit union acquired his mortgage company. Under Chris’s leadership as Chief Lending Officer, CAP COM’s mortgage subsidiary, Homeowners Advantage, has written $2.5 billion in mortgage loans. It is now the fourth largest residential mortgage provider in the Capital Region.
In January of 2018, Chris was promoted to Executive Vice President. Under Chris’s leadership in that role, CAP COM implemented its largest technology transformation in 20 years. The credit union’s core system was rebuilt to improve efficiency and position CAP COM to provide new services in the future. This major, year-long undertaking involved virtually every department, and is one of the credit union’s notable successes.
From the desk of Julia Hayden, Community Relations and Resource Development, Habitat for Humanity of Schenectady County, Inc.
On April 25th over 135 community leaders, elected officials and engaged community members attended Habitat for Humanity of Schenectady County’s community symposium entitled “It Takes a Community – Building a New American Promise.” Covenant Hall at the First Reformed Church of Schenectady was filled to capacity. The symposium generated a resounding commitment to better connect our community resources.
Tackling the complexity of poverty is not easy. Discussions can grind to a halt. Not so during this recent symposium. Schenectady’s Mayor McCarthy welcomed the Keynote speaker Brenda Kenneally, who grew up in poverty in the Capital Region of Upstate NY. Kenneally quickly engaged the audience with her perspective as a mother, teacher, multiplatform documentarian, Guggenheim Fellow, Pulitzer Prize nominee and a TIME Magazine award-winning photojournalist. Leading the first session of the morning, Kenneally offered an in-depth presentation examining the local history of poverty to present day needs. Kenneally brought to the conversation more than thirty years of work that has produced visceral portraits of disadvantaged children, women, and families in America.
Two panel discussions followed Kenneally’s presentation. One included local families, as well as individuals Kenneally has worked with in documentaries. Each shared a stark voice of reality, describing their daily struggles to make ends living at the threshold of poverty. A member of the audience said; “This segment overwhelmed me. It gave the local data real faces and stories – we cannot continue as we are!” The second panel, composed of community leaders, was a straight talk round table highlighting the initiatives underway to tackle substandard housing and poverty in our neighborhoods.
The Symposium wrapped up with attendees discussing how they personally, and through their organizations, could better work together to unite community efforts to eliminate substandard housing. Now, follow up sessions are being launched to coordinate efforts with projects underway. Keynote Brenda Kenneally will be holding an open door “nuts and bolts’ conversation later in May at Schenectady Habitat.
Shaming people who live in poverty is an old reflex in America. Kenneally reminds us that the fault lines of capitalism are everywhere within our nation, running through the very foundation we keep building upon. Her excavations blast through any attempt to deny it. In her book’s opening essay, she refers to her photographs as “new fossils.” With taking pictures, Kenneally writes, “comes the power to manufacture a record that future generations will consider fact.” Whether we choose to look or not, these images are facts.