New Post for Today


2013: What’s New For You?

It’s a new year!  And as part of the new year’s tradition, we make resolutions.  Typically, our resolutions are about doing:

  1. more of something that we already do
  2. less of something that we do too much
  3. stopping entirely something that we shouldn’t do at all

But how often do we make a resolution to try something NEW?


When was the last time that you tried something totally new?  As adults, we focus on perfecting what we know.  But it is less often that we explore the unfamiliar.  Trying something new brings freshness into our life.  And freshness brings energy and optimism.  Think about your kids or when you were a kid.  Every day is filled with new.  You ride a bike for the first time, taste a jalapeno pepper, or make a new friend.  When your days are filled with new, you fly out of bed in the morning to see what is in store.


Freshness also helps us to be more creative and become better problem solvers.  By trying new things, you make new mental connections and often meet new people.  You change the way that you think about things.  A wonderful friend of mine recently invited me to take a horseback riding lesson with her as the teacher.  I have been on horses in the past, but I do not ride.  And quite honestly, I never really understood people’s love of riding.  But I went to my friend’s barn with an open mind and excitement to try something new.  And in just over an hour, I learned so much.  I learned that my friend is an amazing teacher.  I learned that English riding is really hard and steeped in history.  I gained a whole new insight into a sport that I knew almost nothing about.  My brain and spirit were whirling with fresh.


And have you ever noticed how interesting it is to spend time with people who continue to embrace newness into their world?  I have a friend who is an avid cook, but wanted to push his love of food beyond cooking.  He decided to study charcuterie and the art of butchering meat.  He interned during his spare time to learn this new craft.  He discovered a totally new side of food, met people who were very different from himself and gained some incredible knowledge.  He was inspired.  And when he shares his experiences, he is inspiring.  Cool.


In this new year, make a resolution to do something that you have never done before.  Your goal can be simple or challenging – whatever motivates you.  But make your goal achievable.  One of the greatest energizers of doing something new is the feeling of accomplishment.  When you are trying something new, you don’t have to do it well.  You just have to do it!  My goal two years ago was to do a flip off a diving board.  I had never done one before.  But I got my courage up and figured out how to do it.  This year, my son is going to teach me how to ride a dirtbike.   And in exchange, I am going to teach him to knit.

What’s new for you?

Beyond Balance: How Marissa Mayer Can Help Working Mothers

In her highly visible role as CEO of Yahoo combined with the impending birth of her first child, how can Marisa Mayer best help working mothers?  Although Ms. Mayer is only pregnant and we have not yet seen her approach to blending work and family, Ms. Mayer’s work-family choices might further a societal undertsanding that balance is not the only goal for working mothers.

She is, without a doubt, a remarkable business woman.  At 37, she has helped to lead Google to greatness; she has been nominated to the Wal-Mart Board of Directors and Named CEO of a Fortune 500 Company.  But she has also declared that motherhood will not impact her focus on work.   “I like to stay in the rhythm of things. My maternity leave will be a few weeks long and I’ll work throughout it,” she told Fortune.

Marisa Mayer may demonstrate that mothers should have the same permission to drive high powered careers as fathers, without the expectation of being the primary parent.  Having children does not make one unfit to be CEO.  Having a child does not automatically dictate that a person will decrease the focus or time devoted to a job.  Women should have the opportunity to choose career as their priority without judgment.   Men have done this for generations.

Among female CEOs of fortune 500 companies, and there are now 20, the vast majority have children.  Carol Bartz, a recent Yahoo CEO, has 3 children.   But most of these women are clear that they have prioritized career over childrearing and have established infrastructure at home to relieve them from many day to day childcare responsibilities.  As a CEO of a major company, you probably aren’t working part-time and may miss a child’s baseball game.  When the CEO is a woman, this may be criticized as absentee parenting.  Many of these women have husbands who stepped out of the workforce.  These husbands support their wives career ambition and the needs of children at home.

As a society, we continue to judge these women more harshly, than their male counter-parts.  Will Ms. Mayer prioritize work-family balance?  Probably not.  Should she?  Not necessarily.  Did Jack Welch, Steve Jobs, Lou Gerstner?

Let’s keep an open mind as we watch this story unfold.