Thursday, December 08, 2005

Women@Work

I read this absolutely wonderful speech from Time Inc chairman and CEO Ann Moore that was featured in Wharton's Knowledge Works. Ann was the keynote speaker at the 7th Annual Wharton Women in Business Conference. She provided nine business insights (nine not 10, the rounder number) that to think about when you are a CEO and woman these days. Here they are:
  1. Never turn down the chance to vote. (Voting is a privilege)
  2. The only difficult assignment in business is finding good people and putting them in the right job.
  3. You will never have more control over your professional life than you do when you start out.
  4. Forget the clock. Get a compass instead.
  5. Power accrues to those who produce results. Profits matter.
  6. Power isn't everything. Power means incredible sacrifices and constant trade-off between work, spouse and family.
  7. Recognize that there are fundamental differences between men and women.
  8. All behavior emanates from the top and reverberates down the organization to the lowest level.
  9. Making money is easy. Making a difference is hard.

I can't decide which insight I like best. They all resonant with responsibility. Number 4 and number 9 are fairly profound. Regarding number 4, Ann says to forget about managing your time to the minute and worry about the direction your life and career are taking. Always have a North star to guide you. Time passes so quickly that you lose sight of where you want to end up.

The CEO's last insight speaks to doing something with one's life that helps others whether it is mentoring, volunteering, taking care of your aging parents, helping someone in need. When we look back over our lives, what will we see as having made a difference. I have never forgot a statement from Levis' Robert Haas who said that when he died, he did not want his tombstone to say that here lies a man who shipped XXX millions of jeans. As we know, Levis Strauss & Company was one of the original corporate social responsibility givers.

Good thoughts on work and life as the year closes and a new one opens.

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