700 MHz Licensed Spectrum to Bring Broadband to Rural Areas

I don’t expect folks to watch the entire thing, but here is a briefing I took part in today on bringing broadband to rural areas. Most of my talk is at 10-22 minutes, and then Q/A through the remainder.

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A One Day Bootcamp

Last week I attended the one-day AmEx OPEN CEO Bootcamp, which was held in Los Angeles, and looks to be the second in a series of events they are doing to support women business leaders. There were several hundred people there, and the agenda fluctuated between large group sessions with speakers/panels and smaller break-out sessions. Of course a good part of the day was about the AmEx brand and products to support small/medium businesses, as well as promoting organizations affiliated with AmEx, but I think that’s the standard when it comes to these types of events.

It was good for me to take a day in the middle of the week to focus on both professional and personal growth, and almost a week later, I’m still thinking through next steps and actions to take as a result of the reflective time and individual conversations I had.

There were a few activities that I thought were very effective, and would recommend doing in similar events:

  • An early ice-breaker in the day was to get up and introduce yourself to someone you didn’t know, and trade business cards. The more effective part was challenging us to find a specific reason to follow-up with the person we just met. I found this caused the introductions to more quickly move to substance, and also set a tone for conversations later in the day. Everyone there was a business leader, and it was a good reminder to act like one.
  • There were 12 minute one-on-one sessions you could sign up for, with other executives and service professionals. I was given three sessions – one with a fellow CEO, one with a government contracting professional, and one with a branding expert. I found the discussion with the CEO to be very helpful – I came to her with a critical business decision, and after a few minutes back and forth, it was clear to me I needed to have a conversation with my business partner about some high level decisions. I took two hours the following day to write down three pages of issues/decision points, including – Given our expertise, what market can we credibly address? What projects/proposals do we bring a specific skill-set toward, and which ones should we go after? This has done a lot to frame our discussions over the past week, and I’m glad to.

    The full set of speaker and agenda for the day is here, but one speaker particularly stood out for me.

    Charlotte Beers, former Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and former CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, was a fantastic and engaging speaker, and discussed how to become an authentic leader. We received a copy of her book “I’d Rather Be in Charge“, which I’m starting to read, but some of the lessons I already learned from her talk included: 

  • “Find a moment in life when you were pushed, and you were desperate - then your true self emerges, and that’s when the power emerges.” Figure out how to tap in to and use this powerful, true self.
  • “We all have a pocket of fear and a moment of fearlessness – whence does it come and what can we do about it?” Instead of letting fear hold us down, or take us over, figure out where it comes from, and how to use the times when we feel fearless to do what we know we can do.   
  • (and one that I really identified with) All things being equal, I’d rather be in charge. It doesn’t mean always being CEO, but it means being influential no matter where you are, what you are doing. YES! There is no shame in admitting to this, and being an influence! 
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February 2014, Heading in to Spring

It’s been over a month since I last wrote a post – a lot has happened, both planned and unplanned.

On the planned side, my husband and I took a trip to Peru for just under two weeks for our first visit to South America. We had a very good time, ate a lot of fantastic food, took in awesome scenery and got to practice some Spanish.

On the unplanned side, my grandmother had a stroke and passed away a week later. Her funeral and burial were held a few weeks ago, and I’ve made one more trip back to TX to help go through her belongings (on what was supposed to be the weekend she got out of rehab for the stroke). My brother put together a very nice video montage that was showed during the funeral proceedings.

While it’s taken me some time to sit down and start writing and sharing again, I have been doing a lot of thinking, reading, and talking. Maybe I’ve built up a stockpile of topics and things to share – we’ll see what comes out of my writing in the next weeks and months.

This week was Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of Lent. I went to a meditation session and Mass earlier in the morning, giving me more dedicated time to think and reflect. Luckily, my church is pretty with it, so there is a video of the homily message delivered by Father David. He tells a story about flying an airplane while getting his pilots license while in college, going over big fluffy clouds, and then at a point looking down and realizing he is not at all where he is supposed to be. Though he was following the course and vector that he figured out was correct, he hadn’t taken in to account the wind, that was steadily pushing him in another direction. I won’t give away the trick to getting the airplane back on course for those who want to watch the video, but the messages I took away from the story were:

  • Even when we are exactly following the ‘right’ path, there are things we forgot, or things out of our control, that are moving us down the ‘wrong’ path
  • Sometimes it is necessary (and OK) to stop, admit we are off course, and figure out what to do to get ourselves headed back in the right direction
  • And though the airplane did need to get back on track to make it to the proper airport, the unintended path may actually be for the better, and it’s up to us to accept that change and not feel like we always have to be in control.

As we are moving in to longer daylight hours, and the general sense of rebirth and new beginnings that happen in the Spring, I’m taking the time to assess where my paths are right-on or somewhat off from what was intended, and then deciding which need to be corrected or which may be better on their unplanned course.

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Reaction to President Obama’s State of the Union Address

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I haven’t used this blog to talk politics, and I still don’t have any plans to do so. But – I listened to President Obama’s State of the Union Address Tuesday night, and given my interest in the topic, I … Continue reading

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Quality Time

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Happy New Year! I had a really nice break over three weeks or so, with some work interspersed with relaxation and fun. We celebrated Christmas in CA, and then we’re in TX for a week for another round of Christmas … Continue reading

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Pruning the Branches / Declutter the Network

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In the last two weeks, there has been a message I’ve been hearing that is sticking with me, and that I’m working on putting in to practice. I volunteer as a lector at St. Monica’s in Santa Monica, which means … Continue reading

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Support for Women Leading High-Growth Companies

As I’ve brought up in the past, I enjoy listening to podcasts and books while I’m exercising. The last two days, I was taking in the final Fall lecture from the Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Seminar, which featured Sharon Vosmek, the CEO of Astia. … Continue reading

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Taking a Moment for Those in the Philippines

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I know by this time most everyone has heard about and seen the imagery from the huge storm that hit the Philippines this past week. Over the last 1.5 years, through the use of oDesk (online job marketplace I highly recommend), I … Continue reading

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One Pretty Amazing Week – From South Dakota Governor’s Pheasant Hunt to Arcade Fire Album Release (and a few things in between!)

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I’ve had an awesome variety of things go in the past week, so I want to get my thoughts down and share some stories while it is still fresh.  Over the past year, I’ve been traveling to South Dakota and … Continue reading

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Taking the Time to Find Gifts in the Every Day

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I’ve had several reminders this week about the importance of taking time in life for things that are not work, whether it be hobbies, spending time with others, exploring the world around us, or just taking it easy. During a … Continue reading

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Padnos, Spar, Finerman: Taking Some Time to Learn From Those Further Along the Career/Life Path

In the past I’ve shared my love of listening to podcasts and audio books, especially when I’m exercising. It helps me to consume and learn things I wouldn’t otherwise have the time to do, and it really makes exercise fly … Continue reading

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Whew! Busy August, Time for Some Catching Up on Women, Life and Work

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Starting the month of August, I had a goal of doubling my blog viewership over the month of July. I had written a post the last day of July that had some good traction, and then . . . I … Continue reading

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Connecting with the Past, Speaking to the Future

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I’m someone that puts everything on my Google calendar, and several times a week, I’ll take a look at the weeks ahead to see what is coming up. I like to look at the ‘one week’ view, and as I … Continue reading

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Setting Your Own Rules, Figuring Out How to be Present

Over the last week I’ve had several experiences and have read several articles that have gotten me thinking about the importance of being present, and (more importantly), that it is in each of our control to set rules and boundaries … Continue reading

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Beautiful is Powerful – Embracing Femininity as a Leadership Strategy

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Last week I was proud to be part of the panel ‘Beautiful is Powerful – Embracing Femininity as a Leadership Strategy’ at UCLA Anderson. We were the ‘dinner entertainment’ for the first night of a five day program, which is an exciting and innovative … Continue reading

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Well-Being, Space, and Getting to 50/50

Rather than having a specific focus this week, I thought I would share several interesting things I’ve come across this past week.  Last week, the Huffington Post held their first women’s conference in NY about the third metric in life: … Continue reading

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“Visibility Platform” and “Lean In Circles” – Do Women Need Special Networking and Support Groups?

Another one of my sorority sisters (pretty awesome group!) forwarded the following article to our discussion list -More Than Just a Social Butterfly - about Rachel Sklar, a well-connected woman in New York who is creating a members-only ‘visibility platform’ for … Continue reading

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Big Brain Theory – Reality or Just Good Reality TV?

As the time since I’ve been in college continues to grow, I continue to be more and more impressed by the accomplishments and variety of things my classmates and friends have done and been part of. One of the latest … Continue reading

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A Sweet Story That Was Sent My Way

A fellow entrepreneur friend of mine shared this article with me because he thought I would find it interesting – Sweet success: Simple Sugar scrubs have wowed skin care market, TV’s ‘Shark Tank’. As I was reading through it, my … Continue reading

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Impressions and Thoughts from “Lean In”

Last weekend while on my flights to/from Texas I read Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In – Women, Work and the Will to Lead”. I had read a lot of the press leading up to the release of the book, had watched … Continue reading

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