Bring the Love: Amy Markwood

When I think of Amy Markwood the first image that comes to mind is a bursting heartful of love. “Do what you love; Love what you do,” is Amy’s motto. A Vice President of Professional Development for Dale Carnegie, Amy loves developing, designing and delivering customized corporate training. With a M.Ed. in Education and certification in Instructional Systems Design, she’s an award-winning sales consultant and speaker who has worked with top companies addressing business initiatives such as leading change and driving innovation, improving internal communications, and creating a culture of engagement. I got to know Amy through twitter. Cutting through the noise and often harshness voices on the medium, Amy @mascaraboss, stood out for her unfailing positivity. She welcomed me into her twitter “tribe” and later, because part of my background is leading state government child and family services departments, I started paying closer and closer attention to what Amy was up to personally when she shared on Facebook that she and her husband Evan had decided to become licensed foster parents. Today, Amy's love keeps expanding: she and Evan have four children at home, two are foster … [Read more...]

Let Go to Move Forward: Nicole Dominique Le Maire

Let Go to Move Forward Riyadh. Jeddah. Damman. Does the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia seem like a hot spot for women-in-business workshops? Nicole Dominique Le Maire believes they are. She's off to Saudi Arabia soon to facilitate "Be Your Own Boss" sessions for women. Like so many other women fleeing corporate cultures, Nicole let go of the relative (she says "boring") comfort of the corporate world to start her own business, Human Resources Global. Within just two years, Nicole has gained a reputation as a highly valued leader within the human resources industry, a natural and intuitive people-connector. Born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Nicole is no stranger to taking courageous chances. To date, she's lived and worked in over 34 countries, including spending time as an exchange student in a tiny town within my U.S. home state, Nebraska. And, her dyslexia doesn't stop her. In 2014, Nicole says she felt more fearless than ever before when she co-authored The Female Leader: Empowerment, Confidence & Passion.  The Female Leader brings together 33 strategies that international women coaches, consultants, and leaders advocate we adopt to become exceptional leaders. … [Read more...]

The Courage to Be Yourself: Susan Caba

She's written nonfiction books. She's been published in the New York Times. She's written short, serious pieces and social media posts that make me belly laugh. In fact, Susan Caba can write about anything, the most boring topics imaginable, and make them compelling. Her writing looks simple. Its looks like it was easy putting those words together. Oh how I envy that. I've noticed how Susan sometimes forgets the gift she possesses: making good writing look easy. Perhaps she, like her readers, focuses on the smooth-flowing end product, forgetting how much effort and thinking and refining and sweat it took to get those final words down on paper. Susan does know that she's touched lives with her writing. She says she's grateful to have had many opportunities to meet and memorialize truly interesting people. When pushed, Susan admits that she's  even righted wrongs now and again. On what she calls her newspaper career 'luck,' Susan writes: I was lucky enough in my newspaper career to work for two of the greatest, during the period they were the greatest. I honed my reporting and writing skills at the Des Moines Register and, in the process, developed a great understanding of … [Read more...]

Energy Speaks: Diane Allen

Is fear keeping you from being heard? Wish you could find the courage to take center stage? Women who work with Diane Allen learn to overcome fear and master the art of deep inner calm so that they can take center stage and shine. This work brings Diane incredible joy because she well remembers how it felt to fall apart on stage. Despite training with world class violinists, and with both a Bachelors and a Masters degree in violin performance, Diane could not land her dream job of performing in a symphony orchestra. Audition after audition, she would fall apart and grossly underperform. She was unable to function and show her high skill level under pressure. Fueled by a deep belief in herself, Diane overcame her performance anxiety and found a system that when used, guarantees being able to operate out of your peak zone even under high pressure. Once she mastered this skill, she not only fulfilled on her dream of performing in a symphony orchestra, but she attained the coveted position of being the lead violin player. Her days of falling apart are long gone. Using 30 years of experience as both a concert violinist and a motivational speaker, Diane's graced stages … [Read more...]

Calling All Fearless Females: Spotlight on YOU!

Fearless Females... One of my goals for 2015: spotlighting & advancing women through a monthly “Fearless Females Forum” feature blog post, a showcase for inspiring women who found the courage to meet their calling, solve a problem, overcome odds, or take a road less traveled. Wish I could take credit for this idea, but like most great ideas it is inspired by someone else’s work: Ann Quasman at Woman Talk Live. Last year, the amazing Ann shined a spotlight on me in her WomenTalkLive5: Meet Jone Bosworth. I absolutely love how Ann lifts women’s voices and stories out in this powerful way. (Hats off Ann—hope you feel that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, my friend!) On December 8th, the terrific Traci Johnstone allowed me to post her story to test out this Fearless Females Forum concept. Traci’s story got an incredible response on social media, inspiring hundreds: Tarnish to Triumph: Traci Johnstone. (Many thanks, Traci, you're fearless!) You don't have to be a CEO. You may not even consider yourself "fearless." But YOU have a story to tell and guidance to offer too. Want some inspiration? Here are links to the first Fearless Females features through … [Read more...]

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