Thursday, April 30, 2009

Power Struggles in Marriages

In an article in the Spring 2009 edition of "Forbes Woman", authors Helaine Olen and Kiri Blakeley share an article about how couples are negotiating power in their marriages entitled My Turn, Your Turn.

The assumption that the woman in the relationship will sacrifice her aspirations for the benefit of the man's career is no longer a given. According to the article, 26% of wives earned more than their husbands in 2006 which was up from 22% in 1999. Though, the question of who is bringing home more bacon is only one item in the power struggle. Which partner handles more of the household chores, child responsibilities and "frying the bacon in the pan" are part of the new power struggle as well.

Per the article, the most successful couples have learned to "view themselves not as individuals in opposition but as partners in the same enterprise...working toward the goal of mutual fulfillment."

This issue has been one debated by both men and women continually over the pat ten years that we have been capturing their stories. Below, we feature some clips from the collection where entrepreneurs and business leaders discuss the impact of personal relationships in professional success.

"Who you marry has such a profound effect on the choices you get to make and the work life balance issues that you deal with." -Patricia Warner, President, Global-eze Inc

"You've got to be able to communicate with each other." - Debbie Mace, Hotel Architect

"The sacrifices that are a part of that career have to be something that the spouse buys into." - James Dicke, Chairman and CEO, Crown Equipment Corporation

Monday, April 27, 2009

Life Is A Sales Call

There was a wonderful piece by Ben Stein in the Sunday, April 26, 2009 edition of the New York Times entitled "Attention Must Still Be Paid"

In the article, Stein reminisces about his brief experience as a shoe salesman and his appreciation for those who can sell well. He states, "Sales — when done right — is more than a job. It is an art."

For many who think that they aren't good at sales or would chose a career that didn't involve selling, Stein offers, "Lawyers and doctors and dentists and politicians and accountants and actors — all of us sell something, every day and every time we meet someone."

The truth is that selling - and selling well - is one of the biggest challenges that one will face in life. Whether it is selling a product, selling an idea or selling yourself, we all become salespeople. Learning how to do it well is a skill that most of us will work on throughout our professional careers.

The topics of sales and selling are popular ones at Prendismo. It seems people are always trying to polish up their understanding of the process or gain more insight in how to become more effective. Below, I've shared some clips on the topic of Sales. If you are interested in seeing more, check out Prendismo's collection of clips on sales.

"In American business, and in business anywhere, nothing happens until something gets sold." - Kathy Koultourides, Aramark

"If you want to really make a mark in whatever industry you're in, I would really recommend that you try to get sales experience." - Jeff Parker, Founder and CEO,

"When a customer says no, that's when the selling begins." - Norb Mayrhofer, General Manager, Procter & Gamble

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Making the Leap To The Nonprofit World

A recent New York Times article from Sunday, April 19, 2009 entitled "So You Want To Work For A Nonprofit?" discussed how Kip Schaefer made the jump from the profit world of Bear Stearns to his new job as director of institutional business development at the National Philanthropic Trust.

As the scene in the financial services market changes, many young professionals are questioning their career direction and considering the world of nonprofits. A March 14, 2009 article in the Boston Globe states,

"At elite universities such as Harvard, where about half the graduating class would enter finance and consulting in years past, many students say they feel liberated to consider alternative career paths, crediting not only the tanking economy but also President Obama's call for public service."

Experts we have captured in Prendismo who are involved in the nonprofit sector have weighed in on this issue...

According to Russ Finkelstein of Action Without Borders, "there has probably never been a better time to work in the nonprofit sector."

Ilene Lang, President of Catalyst, states, "everyday that I have the chance to make a difference to people and I have a chance to help others."

Finally, Jessica Flannery, co-founder of microfinance organization Kiva, states that all organizations can grow and learn from each other regardless of being for-profit or nonprofit.

In the end, it may be most important to approach your career - be it in the profit or nonprofit sector - the way that Kip Schaefer aligning "your intuitive spirit with your career goals".

Want more clips on this topic? See the "So You Want To Work At A Not-For-Profit?" collection of clips at Prendismo

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Epic Failure?

On April 14, 1912, the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic. This "indestructible" ship was making its first voyage across the Atlantic and ended up on the ocean floor after sinking in less than two hours...leaving more than 1,500 people to drown in the 30-degree water.

Titanic's sister ship, the Brittanic, sank in 1915 after being torpedoed. Just like the Titanic, it sank in less than two hours. Fortunately, only 26 people died because immediately after the Titanic disaster, regulations were changed so that there was a lifeboat seat for every passenger.

The Titanic was a monumental failure - but the lessons learned ended up saving lives in future ocean crossings. On a much smaller scale, the same can be said about the failures that entrepreneurs contend with on a daily basis. The missteps and mistakes that happen early in the startup often provide the experience needed to create a stronger enterprise down the road.

Here are some favorite quotes on the topic of failure from the Prendismo collection:

"Every great success is a combination of learnings that you had from failing." - Bob Alter, Chairman of Sunstone Hotel Investors

"That's just how entrepreneurs think - they don't think of failure as the end, they think of it as a new beginning." - Kurt Zitzner, Founder of Mugzees

"When you fail, where you pick yourself up from is a lot further ahead than the last time." - Tom Szaky, Founder of TerraCycle