Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Forte announces new conference sponsors Cummins, AT&T and The U.S. Department of State

Visit representatives from these companies at the Company Expo on Friday, June 10th from 2:30 – 5:30 p.m. Read more about the Company Expo and get an up-to-date list of participating companies on the conference website.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Power Plays: What Does Power Mean To You?

At the upcoming Forté Foundation MBA Women’s Conference I will be moderating a panel entitled “Power Plays” during which successful women from the financial and consulting worlds will discuss how and why the rules for women in corporate America are different.

Tips shared will be helpful and highly sought by MBA women, of course. At the same time, the entire discussion begs a more personal question of each of us: What does power mean to you? And what makes it important?

In my work as an executive coach, I often find that my clients need to take a step back, especially when they’re discussing topics that could be considered business “buzzwords” like power. Stepping back means: a) defining our terms; b) questioning assumptions or beliefs; and c) reflecting more deeply about what’s actually true for each of us.

We could assume that power means more money, a bigger title, a corner office, a more generous budget, or “a seat at the table”. But that may not be true for everyone. For some, power may mean having the ability to control one’s career destiny in keeping with personal values and interests. Or power could mean having the opportunity to be creative as a project lead without too much interference from others. Or power could mean making decisions with trust and autonomy such that no one can easily override your decisions.

Or, power could mean a bigger title to you. There’s no right or wrong. But before we look for the answers from others, I invite you to think about your own definition first.

For more information about collaborative coaching, see our website ( as well as our blog (

Yael Sivi is the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Collaborative Coaching, LLC

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Are you a compiler?

Compiler (n): Person responsible for assembling others' work into the final deliverable, whose tasks may include formatting, writing or editing. Do you find yourself playing this role in the workplace or business school environment? Do you believe this function is valued? Come learn what motivates women to play this role and the positive and negative impact of repeatedly playing this team role.

Join Jennifer Bradley Heflin as she presents research findings on this topic. Jennifer worked with three other women at Georgetown University to conduct research on the ‘female compiler phenomenon’. This research project began, as many business ideas do, over coffee in a break room. During casual conversations, several female MBA students expressed that they often felt like their small group's secretary. When completing assignments in small groups, most women assumed responsibility for compiling the team's deliverable. With this in mind, the research team explored the role of the compiler, which they defined as the person responsible for assembling others' work into the final deliverable, whose tasks may include formatting, writing or editing.

Jennifer’s workshop, Be the Captain, Not the Coordinator, is offered on Saturday, June 11th. By attending this workshop, you will learn more about different team roles, the perception associated with those roles and how to best position yourself for success. Click here for more information about Jennifer Bradley Heflin. Jennifer’s research findings were recently published in Click here to view this article.

Jennifer Bradley Heflin,
Manager, Accenture’s Talent & Organization Performance Practice

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Go Mobile at the 2011 Forte MBA Women's Conferene

Go mobile: We've created a mobile site just for the conference:

We will continually update the site with event information, video interviews, photos, announcements and social media coverage during and after the conference. Add the page to your homescreen* for easy access during the conference.

*On Android
1. Launch Browser
2. Go to
3. Press your device's < Menu > button
4. Select More
5. Select Add bookmark or Bookmark page and select OK
6. Press your device's < Home > button, then press the < Menu > button
7. Select Add > Shortcut > Bookmark
8. Find the Forte mobile site and select it
9. A new icon appears on your home screen

*On Apple
1. Launch Safari
2. Go to
3. Tap the center arrow icon at the bottom of the screen (
Note: On devices running iOS 4.1 or earlier, tap the +)
4. Select Add to Home Screen
5. Tap Add to confirm
6. A new icon appears on your home screen

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Did you miss the pre-conference webinar?

Don't worry if you couldn't attend the pre-conference webinar. You can still listen to the recording and get prepped to make the most of conference networking opportunities.

Listen to the recording.

About the webinar:
Know Before You Go—Prepare to Network with Companies at the Forté MBA Women’s Conference

Preparing to network with companies at the MBA Women’s Conference is more than just brushing up your resume. Jodi Glickman, Founder of Great on the Job will discuss all of the aspects related to networking events. You'll walk away with tips and strategies for introducing yourself, breaking into conversations, exiting gracefully, asking good questions, conversation starters and more.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Career Tip from the Academy Awards: Milk It!

The Academy Awards have come and gone, but the Forté MBA Women's Conference is just around the corner. Our favorite blogger, Lindsey Pollak, has some excellent tips on "milking it" before, during, and after any big event.

A Career Tip from the Academy Awards: Milk It!
By Lindsey Pollak, bestselling author, consultant and internationally recognized expert on next generation career trends
I’ve long been a fan of the Academy Awards. Every year around this time I spend who-knows-how-many hours watching the pre-event predictions, the endless red carpet coverage, the three-hours-plus event itself, the nonstop stream of Twitter and Facebook commentary and the days of post-show analysis.

This year, perhaps because the show itself was pretty boring, my mind started to wander away from the glamorous gowns and gold statues and started to ponder the genius of the whole Oscars juggernaut. I began to ponder how the Academy Awards organization, the movie studios and the nominated actors are absolute geniuses at Milking an Event for All It’s Worth.

This is a good career tip.

In today’s crazy-busy world, it takes a lot of time and energy to attend a live networking event, conference or any other career-boosting activity. Unfortunately, for many people the event itself exists in a bubble with no pre-thought or after-thought. This is a mistake. If you’re going to spend your precious time and money attending an event, you’ve got to milk it for all it’s worth. Here are some tips:

Before the event:
• See if the event is posted on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter and RSVP on those sites in addition to sending in your regular registration. This is a way to promote to your followers that you are actively networking and it also puts you on the radar screen of the event organizers and other participants.
• Research the host organization, the speakers and the participants (if you’re able to view a list) so you can make a plan for which people you’d like to meet when you’re on-site.
• Follow all of the above people on Twitter and see what topics are interesting to them. If the event you’re attending has a hashtag (for example, #MarketingConf2011), use that in your tweets to show that you are attending, and comment on issues that will be addressed at the conference.
• Here’s a tip that’s especially helpful for shy types: Reach out to a few speakers or attendees beforehand by email, LinkedIn or Twitter to introduce yourself and say that you’re excited to connect in person. This makes it much easier to go up and introduce yourself at the event since you can reference your previous interaction.

During the event:
• Introduce yourself to the event organizers. This is especially important if you’re interesting in future speaking opportunities, as many event organizers are already planning for the following year’s conference. This is also a good idea for job seekers — the event organizers may be aware of sponsors or attendees who are hiring.
• Tweet! If you haven’t yet installed Twitter on your mobile device, it’s an absolute must for making the most of conferences. I’ve met dozens of people because we’ve reacted to each other’s tweets during a conference. Again, be sure to use the event’s hashtag and follow other people who are tweeting at the same event. Also, lots of people follow the tweets for events they’re not attending, so it’s a great way to network with those folks as well.
• Take photos. People love to be tagged online, so snap a few pics (especially ones of you standing with other attendees or speakers) and ask each person if it’s okay to post and tag those photos on Twitter or Facebook. This shows your broader network that you are active and connected, and it’s gives you a great excuse to keep in touch with the people you meet.
• Consider creating an “event-within-the-event.” This is a trick I picked up from networking guru Keith Ferrazzi, who always invites a group of event attendees to join him for coffee or dinner to create a more intimate networking environment during a larger networking event. As a less complicated (and less expensive) version of this, simply invite someone you meet to sit with you at lunchtime.
• Another great tip from Ferrazzi is to briefly introduce yourself before you ask a question during a workshop or speech (and you should always ask a question!). This makes you memorable to the speaker and the entire audience and often leads to further conversation opportunities.
• When you meet someone you’d like to keep in touch with, immediately ask that person when would be a good time to follow up. Jot the person’s follow-up instructions down on the back of his or her business card so you don’t forget.

After the event:
• Schedule all of those follow-up actions into your calendar right away. In addition to scheduling follow-up with the people you met, schedule follow-up with yourself. Many of us walk away from conferences or networking events with a few ideas — “I should really buy that speaker’s book,” “That career coach so-and-so mentioned sounds like someone who might be able to help me,” “I want to look up that website the small business tax expert mentioned.” Don’t let these ideas fall through the cracks! Look through any notes you took at the event or any handouts you received and transfer those action items directly onto your to-do list.
• Write a blog post or Facebook note sharing what you learned or experienced at the conference. Many organizations will link to posts about their events, giving you broader exposure, and the people in your network will appreciate that you want to share the knowledge you gained.
• Sign up for another event. Momentum is important when it comes to networking, so look around for other opportunities to get out there and milk another event for all it’s worth!

Note that this article originally appeared in the Manpower Career Center. Read more at and

Follow Lindsey on Twitter
Join Lindsey's Facebook Fan page
Visit Lindsey's Blog

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Escape the 10 Tyrannies of Work/Life “Balance”

By Cali Williams Yost, CEO and Founder, Work+Life Fit, Inc.
(This post originally appeared in

Like clockwork every year, in the last week of December, people start asking me, “My New Year’s Resolution is to find more balance. What’s your top how-to tip?” My answer is always the same, “Stop looking for balance and start finding your unique work+life fit.”

But this year, I’m more emphatic. You see, for ten years, I’ve patiently waited for everyone to realize that balance is an anachronism. A holdover from an Industrial Age, with all of its boundaries and rules, that no longer exists. But clearly the realization hasn’t sunk in given the number of Google Alerts for “work life balance” that continue to fill my inbox daily.

This outdated concept of “balance” is a major roadblock that stands between us and having true, meaningful flexibility in the way we manage our work, life and careers, because:
1. “Balance” is always discussed in the negative. “I don’t have balance.” “I am out of balance,” which…
2. Keeps you focused on the problem, not the solution. You have the power to make countless adjustments (both large and small) in the way you work and manage your life (as long as you know how), but you’ll never see them because balance…
3. Assumes we’re all the same. We’re not. At any given time, we all have a completely unique set of work and personal circumstances which precludes a consistent solution. For Kate, who’s on the steep learning curve of a new job and works long hours, getting to the gym and seeing her friends every couple of weeks is enough. But for Mark, three days a week mentoring new sales people is perfect, because he can delay retirement for two years and see his grandchildren more. Work+life fit is like snowflakes. I’ve never heard the same fit twice, but balance…
4. Infers that there’s a “right” answer. There isn’t. If the work+life fit reality for each of us is completely unique then there’s never going to be a “right” way. I’ve met an investment manager who runs a tree farm on the side, an accountant who’s a mom and a competitive ballroom dancer, and an entrepreneur who gets home twice a week for dinner with his kids and tries to slip in time to surf during his 80-hour workweek. They’ve all found a work+life fit that works for them in the context of their unique jobs and personal realities. No one is right. No one is wrong, yet balance…
5. Leads us to judge others, often unfairly. Honestly, we need to give each other and ourselves a break. We have no idea what’s going on in someone else’s life or in their job, but we can learn strategies from each other. “How does an entrepreneur get home for dinner and surf?” “How do you manage investments and run a tree farm?” “How does a mother work as an accountant and find time to be a ballroom dancer?” Instead of judging, we can inspire, but balance too often…
6. Results in unproductive guilt. If each of us has a unique work+life fit, then there should be no (or at least less) guilt. If that fit works for your unique work and personal circumstances, rock on; however, the trick is to understand that not everyone can do what you’re doing. This is the missing piece. How can create a culture that allows all of our unique work+life fit realities to coexist together? Circumstances will change. One day you’re able to work 80 hours a week, then because of unexpected eldercare responsibilities you can work no more than 20 hours, but balance…
7. Suggests that the goal is a 50-50 split between work and the other parts of your life. In today’s competitive, service-oriented, global economy there are very few jobs where a consistent amount of work will be done on particular days within certain hours all of the time. Even 15 years ago, you could count on a pretty reliable schedule. And you could walk out the door at the end of the day and not have to reconnect to work until you walked back in. No longer. To find a fit that works for you and your job, acknowledge this inherent workflow inconsistency and connectivity. Plan as best you can to create boundaries around technology and to accommodate the inevitable work+life ebbs and flows. But balance…
8. Leaves no room for periods where there’s more work and less life, and vice versa. If you want flexibility in your workplace to succeed, then you need to be flexible with it. In other words, if an unexpected project has to be completed and you’re supposed to leave at 4 p.m., occasionally step to the plate and stay without complaint. The unanticipated will happen. Conversely, maybe you’ll experience a chronic illness (like when I had Lyme two years ago). Suddenly there’s a lot more life than work, but balance…
9. Ignores the constantly changing reality of work and life. When your goal is “balance” any and all changes will throw you off. My experience is that very few of us know how to think through, plan for and adjust our work+life fit in response to the personal and career transitions we know are happening, much less the events that happen unexpectedly. And, we need to because balance…
10. Will never be taken seriously by corporate leaders. As I’ve written before, when you say “balance,” all that corporate leaders hear is “work less” and the conversation goes nowhere. The minute I started talking about the goal in terms of work+life “fit,” these same leaders began to engage. They saw that they too have a work+life fit that matters to them, but also that there was a business benefit to giving everyone more flexibility to work smarter and better in today’s economy.

Escape the tyranny of balance. Focus on how to optimize your work+life fit and you’ll:

• Talk about what you could have
• See solutions
• Know we’re all different
• Realize there’s no right answer
• Stop judging yourself and others
• Lose the guilt
• Embrace and plan for the ebb and flow of work and life day-to-day and throughout your career, and
• Increase the likelihood of that your boss will support greater flexibility in the where, when and/or how you work and, in turn, manage your life.

How are you going to escape the tyranny of “balance” and find your unique work+life ‘fit?”

To help you achieve your unique goal, check out my book, “Work+Life: Finding the Fit That’s Right for You (Riverhead/Penguin Group) and join me at Fast Company and my award-winning Work+Life Fit blog. Also, follow me on Twitter.

Book link:

Fast Company link: