BossWoman ENews |
Combining prosperous work lives and balanced personal lives
Welcome to the Summer 2008 edition of Susan Robison's
free e-mail newsletter for women business owners, executives,
and professionals. Our goal is to bring you news, insights,
and information about leading a balanced and prosperous life
while making a difference.
In this issue, you'll find:
- Life Lessons from Nancy Drew
- BossWoman coaching
- Up and coming workshops
1. Life Lessons from Nancy Drew
One of my fondest childhood memories is of stretching
out in the backyard hammock with a glass of lemonade
and a Nancy Drew mystery story. That was time well-spent;
Nancy’s life lessons have served me well.
Nancy Drew has been the role model and heroine of four
generations of women. Created in 1930 by publisher Edward
Stratemeyer, the character appeared in a series of thirty
books ghostwritten by several writers with the pseudonym,
Carolyn Keene, the two most prolific being Mildred A. Wirt
Benson and Stratemeyer’s daughter, Harriet Stratemeyer-Adams.
The books were way ahead of their time in their portrayal
of an independent minded woman making her way through the
life transition from adolescence to adulthood while solving
mysteries. I have often thought that someone should write a
book studying some of the themes related to Nancy’s philosophy
of life. When a friend loaned me a copy of the tiny collection
of advice, “Nancy Drew’s Guide to Life” by Jennifer Worick,
I was excited to find out that someone has and that it didn’t
have to be me. However, I was disappointed with the topical
structure of “Etiquette,” “Sleuthing” etc. so I am taking a
stab at regrouping Nancy’s advice into principles about life.
I know that this category system is scientifically sound
because while I was getting my hair cut, I conducted a short
field by asking other customers and a few cosmetologists study
about the influence of Nancy Drew on their lives. Here are the
five principles of Nancy’s advice that we came up with:
- Prepare for everything.
“A young lady with some judo skills can take care of unwanted
advances in short order.”
The Whispering Statue
I was a junior at a college with no physical education
requirements when I saw the notice about a non-credit judo
course offered by a senior pre-med student with a black belt
in judo. It was his philosophy that women with self-defense
skills increased their confidence even if they never had to
use the skills to avert danger. Turns out he was very right;
studies on women and self-defense show that women with
self-defense training encounter fewer dangerous situations
in their lives. Researchers don’t know whether the self-defense
students exercised more caution in taking risks with their
personal safety or if the confidence gained in understanding
the physics and philosophy of the martial arts caused them
to send signals about clear boundaries.
After taking the course, I was ready to ward off unwanted
advances. None came along. Neither did wanted advances.
But I was prepared, just in case. I must have overdone the
confidence and the boundaries.
Conclusion: Preparation is worth the time and money.
- Plan ahead.
“When choosing between two men, take into consideration the
different paths your life would take should you go with either
The Sky Phantom
Nancy Drew was way ahead of her time on this one; different
relationships will follow different tracks. Marriage researcher,
John Gottman and associates at the University of Washington
who have studied the marital outcomes of couples from courtship
to 20 years into their marriages found that marital outcomes
(divorce, happiness or unhappiness) can be predicted with about
90% accuracy. Researchers now know which variables are important
to observe as the couples discuss a major conflicts while being
filmed. For example, it is not the amount of conflict or types
of conflicts that a couple experiences but how they deal with
their conflicts that matter. If a partner talks to you
disrespectfully during conflict in courtship, run the other way.
Contempt in courtship predicts eventual negative outcomes in the
Conclusion: If you have two suitors, pick the one who treats you
the best. That’s what I did and have never regretted that decision
although I do wish marriage would have paid better.
- Catch flies with honey not vinegar.
“A soft, kindly approach to questioning prisoners can make them
Mystery of Crocodile Island
While I’m not sure what the criminal justice research recommends
for interrogation techniques, Nancy was right that in other spheres
of life, social finesse accounts for a large part of success in
every occupational category. Studies by Daniel Goleman and others
have found that people with high social intelligence are rated as
better leaders than those who are rated lower on Social I.Q. They
produce more, perform at a higher level and are paid more.
Conclusion: Take a soft, kindly approach but ask tough questions.
- Take good care of yourself.
“Never sleuth on an empty stomach.”
The Hidden Staircase
Out of a dozen or so flights I have taken in the past year, three
flight attendants have commented on my lunches of sandwich, fruit,
and carrots sticks, as they passed out the junk food snacks,
“You planned ahead. That was smart to bring real food to take care
of yourself.” I thought to myself, “Well, I knew we were flying
across the country when I left home this morning, didn’t you?”
They seem to suddenly find themselves in the situation of flying
across the country with no lunch. These are the same people who
tell us to put our safety masks on first before we help our children
or those around us acting like children. The principle is the same:
we are no good to anyone else unless we eat well, exercise regularly,
and sleep adequate amounts. Then we can sleuth, work, do laundry,
or any other activity with greater efficiency and less crankiness.
Conclusion: Eat well, exercise regularly, and sleep at least 8 hours
- Think outside the box.
“In a pinch, a vial of perfume can sterilize a scissors.”
The Secret of Red Gate Farm
Decades before MacGyver solved mysteries in the TV show
by using objects for purposes other than what they were
intended, Nancy Drew knew how to think outside the box.
She was always using objects for purposes other than what
they were intended and in the process, solving the case
and getting out of tight spots. In “The Scarlet Slipper
Mystery, she gave the advice, “Don’t overlook the tried
and true.If caught in a housefire, don’t hesitate to tie
sheets and blankets together to swing to safety.”
Studies on creativity demonstrated that creativity can
be taught by practicing looking at the world differently.
Success depends on your ability to do this. For example,
what if in the 1950s the train companies had thought of
themselves as being in the transportation business instead
of being in the train business? They could have added
the services of airplane flights and linked travel and
planes into a huge well-run system. Instead, well, you
know what happened. The U.S. is the only industrialized
country that has not kept current in repairing and
improving our rail systems.
Here is example of thinking outside the box about your
career. Instead of thinking about yourself as an employee,
think of yourself as self-employed - totally responsible
for your wages, opportunities, and benefits. In these days
of quick mergers and acquisitions, that kind of thinking
outside the box will serve you well to make sure you advocate
for yourself. No one but you can manage your career as you can.
Go to the basement, attic, or public library and grab a copy
of your favorite Nancy Drew mystery and remind yourself how
to be the independent confident adult you knew you would become.
2. BossWoman coaching
About the publisher: Susan Robison, Ph.D. is a professional coach,
speaker, author and seminar leader. She loves to coach women who
want improvement in:
- work-life balance,
- career transitions,
- building your business or practice,
- time management,
- increasing productivity.
If you are feeling stuck on the way to your ideal life, give Susan
a call for a complementary half-hour coaching session.
She provides keynotes and seminars to business and organizations
on the topics of:
- leadership strategies for women,
- work-life balance,
She offers her audiences a follow-up coaching session because she
knows that workshops don’t work.
Contact Susan for your coaching, speaking, or seminar needs at
Susan@BossWoman.org or at 410-465-5892.
3. Up and coming workshops
I am currently accepting speaking invitations for work/life
balance workshops for the winter and spring of 2009. Contact
me if your group needs a speaker on any of the topics listed
Title: “MAPping Your Career”
Date: October 12, 2008; 8-12
Place: AASHA annual conference; Philadelphia, PA
Title: “Renewal and Revitalization: Creating Lives of Joy,
Hope and Grace”
Date: Wednesday, October 29 – Friday, October 31, 2008
Place: Province General Assembly; Sisters of Bon Secours;
Bon Secours Spirituality Center, Marriottsville, MD.
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© Copyright 2008 Susan Robison. All rights reserved. The above
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