Inspired Employee

Inspired Employee

Recognize, Recharge and Retain Employees

Inspired Employee RSS Feed

Finding Women Leaders

Where are women? They are NOT on the boards of technology companies.
**Almost 75% of privately held Technology companies have NO WOMEN ON THEIR BOARDS.
**NOTE: Companies have been measured to have 36% BETTER productivity with 3 or MORE WOMEN ON THEIR BOARDS.

“Ensuring the right connection between current board members and a potential new member requires a commitment of time and focus to establish chemistry and determine the right fit,” she tells Fast Company, noting, “It is a trusted, credentialed environment that does not lend itself for searching without a purpose or without a commitment.”

READ the entire article on Fast Company: Virtual Marketplace Aims To Change The Ratio of Women On Boards

**BUILD YOUR SKILLS! If you want to get some experience on a board, attend the Board Match in San Francisco. It’s at the Hilton SF, on March 2, from 5-7pm.  Make sure to RSVP, Sign up on Event Brite.

More information on BOARD MATCH – they came to SF in 2015.

Parenting Skills You Use at WORK

Conflict resoluntion, setting goals & priorities, project management, managing personalities, patience: There are a lot of ways parenting prepares you to succeed at work.

Problem solving:

Practicing trial and error, building resilience, are all part of problems.

“Our role as parents is to set up an environment where the cost of the error is never too great, and is far outweighed by the understanding gained by the iterative process,” says Hays. “It’s the same in business. Our job is to set up countless mini trial and error situations so that we quickly come to the right answer and really understand the root of the problem we’ve just solved, while never taking on significant risk.”

Team Building:

Taking people with different view points, skill sets, cultures and communication styles and helping them bond. Just like the kids in the sand box that all want the green shovel. It takes paitience and setting a good example. But you do it well!


Helping your team talk through tough issues. It starts with “Use your Words” and ends up with team members going to Toastmasters! Speaking up and presentation skills are crucial in business.

Time Management:

You don’t have enough time when you have a toddler….ever. You just get the laundry done so that everyone has socks and you realize that you have a birthday party at noon tommorrow.  Making a list of the critical items helps.  Planning ahead helps too, and assembling a great team helps — whether it is a network of Moms at the coop or a list of great contractors… you can do this.

GREAT Happy Hints

Here are eight simple but powerful ways to follow their lead — and cultivate more happiness in your life:

1. Nurture social ties Satisfying relationships help us feel fulfilled. But sometimes, time with others takes a backseat to the daily grind. A tip if you struggle with this: Make a point to connect with at least one friend or loved one each day. Do you rely on texts, social media and email to stay in touch? That can be good. But don’t let technology entirely replace face-to-face time.

2. Give thanks — for joys big and small Noticing and appreciating what’s good in your life can give you a happiness boost — even in rough times. So take moments to be grateful for a helpful co-worker, a cuddle from your pet or even just a really good hair day. Even better: Make it a practice. Writing in a gratitude journal gives you a place to record and reminisce about all that’s right with your world.

3. Lend a hand.  People who help others tend to feel happier. Consider volunteering regularly for a cause that’s important to you. And look for little ways every day to help out friends, family, colleagues or strangers — even if it’s just a kind word or caring ear.

4. Talk nicer to yourself . Do you tend to get down on yourself? Enjoy more happiness by questioning and countering your own negative thoughts. Research shows that by making positive shifts in thinking, over time, you can actually change your brain.

5. Find joy in moving.  Exercise floods your brain with feel-good hormones. It can also help ease stress and anxiety. Find activities you enjoy — that keep you coming back for more.* And here’s a happy little secret: Give yourself a quick mood booster with mini bursts of activity. Even a 10-minute walk or kitchen dance party can perk you up.

6. Create and play.  Pursuing creative and playful activities can make you feel good. Whether it’s playing board games or air guitar, doodling or double Dutch, encouraging your silly side can bring you joy.

7. Get enough sleep!  It’s no surprise we’re happier when we’re well-rested. In fact, getting quality sleep may help reduce the risk for anxiety and depression. Aim for a good seven to nine hours of slumber — for better health and happiness.

8. Be Positive. The next time you’re faced with a negative situation, look for the silver lining. Did you manage it OK or learn something new? Nobody’s life is perfect. But focusing on the good instead of the bad can help tough times seem more manageable. Remember, you have choices. You may find your bliss by choosing those that add more meaning to your life. And that’s certainly something to be happy about. –

For more Articles from United Health Care, go to

Personality: Kids, Parents, Looking Forward

STUBBORN! If your kids (and possibly your co-workers) are stubborn, maybe this leades to more leadership, higher pay, or success!

And for parents trying to cope with stubborn children…. there is a benefit too. Think about what you learn, as your kid is screaming on the floor of the grocery store ( I still cringe remembering this life-altering temper tantrum of my 3 year old daughter…). I learned I CANNOT fix everything, that I have a strong will, and after I listened to her demands for sugar cereal, I walked away.  I did. I stood by the door (heart pounding), alerted the check out clerk that the wild child in aisle 12 was my daughter, and I hoped this would be the first and last episode in the store. Sigh.

It worked…. she stopped after a minute with no audience, and we went home. No cereal or food at all. She never did that in a store again. I learned that she could be a bully, or hysterical if I let that happen, but I was in charge.  At work, I was a better team leader, collaborator and could listen for a minute or two to a rant…. but I had developed a strategy at home and at work.

If getting your kid to do homework, finish chores, or put down their damn phone is met with a resistance better suited to 1940s France than your living room, take heart: New research suggests that particularly stubborn kids frequently grow into particularly successful adults.

The findings, published in the journal Developmental Psychology, follow over 700 kids from around age 9 all the way to 40, noting their sense of entitlement, studiousness according to teachers, defiance against their parents, and tendency to break the rules. Guess who earned the highest salaries in the end? The kids who ignored both rules and their parents. So, if your kid always demands the bigger cookie, they’ll probably grow up to demand the bigger bonus.

p.s. My wonderful, smart head-strong daughter runs her own company. She is happy and very hard-working. She has a stubborn, adorable  3 year old son. Ah, being a grandparent is amazing!  I wonder what great thing he will do when HE grows UP!

CrowdRise: Inspiring Project in Franklinton

This is an amazing group full of the best most compelling stories. Young people that could lose their hope forever are finding new skills while fixing abandonned, dilapidated houses. The work is hard and hands-on and these kids are learning a skill. They are fixing up their community and finding a cautious but enthusiastic HOPE!

LINK: The video describes it….. take a look. Franklinton Rising.  Look for the House / Work icon in the Franklinton Rising page, that will take you to the movie.House-crowdrise

We acquire abandoned houses, raise funds to renovate them, and conduct a unique combination of classroom and on-the-job training that gives our trainees broad exposure to the c onstruction trades. Depending on their age, education and pace within the program, our trainees remain in the program for months or years.

Our houses are “living classrooms” where trainees are taught by experienced construction professionals, doing hands-on reconstruction and renovation work.  Selected contractors are also committed to providing healthy adult mentoring relationships that guide trainees through the difficult and risky transition from teen to adult. – from the Franklinton Sponsors / Workers

Please DONATE to this campaign for Franklinton.


Franklinton CrowdRise

About CrowdRise: People need direct support from their communities for these and other reasons every day. At CrowdRise, we’re so committed to helping you get all the money you raise to the intended recipient that we’ll guarantee it’s cost-free for your beneficiary

This is a group to check-out, a fantastic resource for communities in need. If you love to volunteer, this will light up your possibilities!   –the editor

Strategy of Discussing Pain Points

When we started round-table discussion between business and technology (at a prior position) we were headed for conflict, blaming,  and fault-finding sessions. We had to make some tough decisions together, but had not developed a “team” approach. What to do?  We read a list of 5 items that established some “rules of engagement”. Our management predicted that these meetings could be brutal if  we didn’t start with standards. So we read these items at each meeting. The meetings got off to the right start and were very productive. It was a great insight. We kept reading these rules for months afterwards,  in any large group meetings, and they continued to work. It was a breakthrough!

Our rules were about politeness, more or less, they seemed obvious once we said them but it kept us focused. We wanted to emphasize these actions: –new ideas are important, and can be considered, even if they are not completely formed or thought through

–don’t interupt – let the speaker finish

–if a question or request cannot be resolved put it in the “parking lot” for next time

–if something needs research or an activity, it is labeled as an action item with a due date

–we will start and end on time, be prepared by doing any preparation, review the meeting minutes from last time

This strategy kept us moving forward and talking to each other even during contentious debate. We turned into a fast-moving team that worked together.

Political Discussion at Work

Talking Politics at work? Just thinking about this twists my stomach into a knot. But is there an UP-SIDE?  We are often taught how to be PC first before we learn to reason through a problem OR develop critical thinking. I’ve heard “Don’t get people riled up!” more than once. With an aversion to conflict, many of us don’t know HOW to accept a challenge to speak up, defend our point of view or gracefully discuss a delicate issue.


Related: The Strategy of Discussing Pain Points

Discussin politics at the office….. can become contentious or help us develop new ways of approaching conflict, they can have all these elements.  In the perfect debate-style format, the FAST COMPANY article “How To Handle Heated Political Discussions In The Office” speaks up Loud and Proud.


Having political discussions in the workplace can have some advantages. “[Employees] often represent our clients and consumers in general,” says Bill Corbett, Jr., president of Corbett Public Relations, a New York-based firm that offers crisis management. “These discussions let us see what they are interested in, what media messages are getting through, and what people care about.”

Political discussions also give leaders a chance to see how employees communicate, defend arguments, and use (or fail to use) logic. “You can tell a lot about how to work with the person, what drives them, and what their vision of the future is,” he says.

If your company has a culture that is open and accepting, sharing your opinion should be encouraged, says Katina Sawyer, assistant professor of psychology at Villanova University. “It can be helpful when your coworkers see you being genuine; employees will also feel better psychologically because they’re being true to themselves,” she says.


Even when handled well, there are plenty of reasons why companies should try to avoid political discussions, says Eric Abrahamson, professor of business at Columbia Business School. “The political discourse in the U.S. right now is so divisive that I don’t see anything good coming out of these discussions,” he says. “It’s a matter of opinions, rather than fact, and the political rhetoric seems to be an outlet for emotions rather than substantive discussion, which is not particularly useful in organizations.”


“Blue Monday”—typically the third Monday in January—as being the most depressing day of the year might not be scientifically proven, let’s face it: January and February can be a drag. Winter stretches ahead for weeks and, in many places, it’s so cold you don’t want to go outside.


What can you do?

Involve all your senses to increase your sense of WELL – BEING!!

Make a list of your “happy things”, if you don’t already have one! Put it in your sock drawer, you’ll need it again someday.

  1. Stop complaining for a time period (at least a week). It really helps!
  2. Get more sleep. Go to bed at a consistent time for a few weeks. Read: Getting the Sleep You Need
  3. Go outside. Get some sun on your skin. Get some Vitamin D in your body.
  4. Take a walk. If it is really freezing…. go to a Mall and walk.
  5. Get some exercise, make sure to warm-up with light stretches and cool down. It can be with a DVD, dancing to your favorite song, jumping rope. Get at least 5 minutes twice a day. When you get moving, everything feels better.
  6. Have a cup of tea or coffee, with a friend if possible. The anti-oxidants will help and a few smiles are a great gift in the winter.
  7. Get out of your comfort zone. Go to the library. Take an online class. Volunteer!
  8. Share a CD of your favorite music with a friend, and get a CD they love. Be a good friend and return the CD too!

Try some or all of these. They will help you move forward from Blue Monday to Happy Tuesday!

Personality Testing

I don’t care much for medical tests, but they can be useful.  I feel the same about personality tests at work, sometimes they help a team be more respectful about different styles and approaches….and sometimes, not.


Personality tests measure the default settings of your motivational system. The motivational system drives your actions, and those settings affect what you find easiest and most natural to do. For example, people who are high in the personality characteristic of conscientiousness like structure and rules, and are motivated to complete the tasks that they start. People low in conscientiousness are not as strongly driven to complete what they start and are not as deeply tied to the rules that govern a situation.

All of this means that the results of personality tests need to be treated with some care. Personality is not destiny. Just because you have a particular personality characteristic does not mean that you are guaranteed to act in a specific way. In addition, you can always develop habits that allow you to act naturally in ways that counteract the settings on your motivational system.- excerpt from FAST COMPANY  “The Limits of Using Personality Tests in your Office”


If a team realizes that 2 members are introverted analysts, 1 person is an extroverted trainer, and 3 others are born to be managers that remove roadblocks…. maybe it helps to assign tasks. Or maybe it pigeonholes employees into jobs that they have outgrown.

There are many tests available, some free others expensive. Some groups love them, some managers require them. They all COST something, even if the price is zero.

They cost time, and if the result is not reviewed or made more useful with team conversations, then they can cost in “frustration”. What is the use of this? is often heard when a new test is required.  Some tests are laughable. For example, the time my best jobs were listed as manicurist and/or photographer. Well, goody. I had just graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.S. in Conservation (with honors). Hmm, that was my path, something I really loved. Not sure about the other two options of doing nails or taking photos.

They can cost motivation & team-building, if you are a blue-red and the rest of the team is green-yellow. It can fee like you have been picked last at dodgeball on the playground. sigh.

There are MANY to choose from, here are a few:briefcase-question


Be the BOARD MEMBER that Makes the Difference! March 2

New skills are cemented into place by DOING. Maybe you have been thinking about helping a group you love. You won’t be disappointed – with 150 to choose from. This is a great time to join a non-profit board, because you can learn more & meet many groups that are ready and willing to add new board members. The BOARDMATCH event is energetic and exciting. It is coming to downtown SF.

Serving on a nonprofit board can provide fantastic opportunities for your personal and professional development. You can build new skills, network and broaden your knowledge of the community while providing essential skills to community nonprofits.  We recommend bringing copies of your resume and business cards to the Board Match to share with your potential match.

ATTEND the EVENT on EVENTBRITE, click here.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM (PST)

Hilton San Francisco, Union Square 333 O’Farrell Street San Francisco, CA 94102