May 31, 2011


Speaking of intra-preneurs--those self-starters within the corporate government who "go with an idea"--Michelle Gass at Starbucks is a perfect example. The Seattle Times ran an article on this superstar in Sunday's paper (May 22, 2011). Two thoughts come to mind. First, a shout-out to Howard Schultz, who recognized her talent and promoted her. She said about Schultz, "We were courageous and disruptive. I felt unleashed, with his energy and vision and willingness to be courageous . . . For me . . . this was going to be a ride."

Second, hats off to Michelle Gass for taking a product and making it shine. In this case, it was the revisioning of, at that time, the lowly frappuccino. The result? Sales from this drink account for twenty percent of Starbucks' sales. How's that for a self-starter?!

I bet you have a story. We would love to hear yours!

May 26, 2011

More Self-Starters in the Workplace?

I was completely floored when, during a recent keynote address to business leaders, the training director from a Fortune 500 company stood up and asked me: "Why would we want more self-starters in our company?! They'll just leave and start their own businesses!"

My response? Where do you think innovation comes from? Where do those new ideas/products/services/initiatives come from? Answer: From those folks who raise their hands and say, "Hey, I have an idea!" And then, take that idea and run with it.

Think about your workplace. Do you have an environment that encourages self-starters or pounds them down with inflexibility? Now, I'm not saying let the inmates run the asylum, but I am questioning how companies can lose self-starters because of workplace culture and norms.

May 20, 2011

Hit the Self-Starter Button!

Two articles came out recently that are a tad discouraging. One, by Sara Murray of the Wall Street Journal, talks about how women trail men in job recovery. This not-so-robust recovery has not been kind to women. Men seem to be faring far better from this "man-cession" (dubbed by some because of the vast number of men who lost their jobs). Cuts that occurred in state and local government are where women have taken the biggest hit.

A column in The Seattle Times by David Brooks comes at this slow recovery from a different point of view citing that one-fifth of the workforce is not working. Stunning statistics state that "in 1954 about 96 percent of men worked, today that number is around 80 percent."

I think government programs are not the only answer. Folks have to dig deeper into their inner core, pull out those traititudes, examine them, and get going. They need to take the next steps towards their goal.

May 10, 2011

VISION: A Requisite for a Self-Starter

VISION remains an essential traititude for you to acquire. Being a self-starter means forming a VISION of what you want to achieve. Here are two quotes for YOU to consider from Susan Camerer's profile on VISION.

"I won't let go of my dream."

"Seeing the vision of how you can accomplish something is what makes that something possible."

And, here are two questions to mull over as you think about your current, as well as future, VISION:
  1. What dreams did I have as a young person? Which ones did I achieve? Which ones are still on my list?
  2. Think of a dream you have that you won't let go of. Think of a dream you've had, but have let go. What is the difference between those dreams?
Then, go forth!