I collect movie quotes, pithy sayings, inspirational stories, interesting articles -- anything that inspires or motivates me. I write them down in an actual little black book (or I blog about them). I go back and reread them, share them, think about them and how I might incorporate them into my approach to my life, into personal conversations, into strategies.
And I know I am on to something when I feel like I get a burst of intellectual energy, excitement, and drive to try something new. Often, this "gathering" is a solitary exercise -- reading articles, watching podcasts, thinking. But sometimes, on a really good day, I am lucky enough to find myself in a group of people who inspire, motivate and excite me.
A few weeks ago, I had the chance to attend a fabulous CEO Bootcamp for female entrepreneurs presented by AMEX open. It was a high-energy, dynamic group of female business people of all shapes, sizes, ages, industries, experience levels, and geographies. Some built companies that are household names, like Tory Burch. Others we feel as if we know them by watching them on TV and reading their best-sellers like, Morning Joe's Mika Brzezinski and the Today show's financial editor, Jean Chatzky . Still others have built brands that in just a few short years have become synonymous with new categories -- Robin Chase's zipcar and Angie's list and luminaries like Faye Wattleton. The talent was boundless, the energy electric and the learning spectacular.
Everyday since the bootcamp, I have looked at my notes -- my personal compilation of pearls of wisdom from women who I knew (I like to think I am on a first-name basis with Tory) and was exposed to for the first time. While these ideas were shared in a business context, all of them have much broader life relevance to me. I tried to limit my Bible to a Top 10 List a la Letterman, and it was really hard (just leaving the option open for another blog -- Business Bible, the Sequel!) So read, peruse, accept, contemplate -- would love your thoughts!
On teamwork and leadership:
1. Entrepreneurship is a team sport.
2. A great team with a mediocre idea will do better than a mediocre team with a great idea.
3. Let your people swim, but don't leave the pool.
Relationships with customers
4. Provide service that gets you love letters from your customers.
5. Every day do something that is stark raving terrifying. Note: the mother in me must add -- as long as it is not a safety hazard.
6. Bump out your boundaries - never import someone's else limitations.
7. Be focused! Be persistent! Be committed! Be unrelenting!
8. Self-confidence is not a static entity. Work to increase it!
9. Think about the response you want to evoke.
And my personal favorite, "All things being equal, it's better to be in charge!" So, since I am the "boss of me" (as my now grown children used to say) I am taking my little black business Bible and taking the rest of the day off. How's that for commitment!