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What's in a Name?
January 2011
In This Issue
What in a Name?
Ink! We Get Ink!
It's Going to Be a Great Year
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Fireproof Your Career in 2011
Fireproof Your Career

Excerpted from "Energetic Women Update January 2011":


-Develop and maintain a strong work ethic.


-Don't live in a silo.  Be aware of what's happening in the company and in your industry.


-Don't always seek perfection--sometimes 85-90% is good enough.


-Be brave enough to ask another question.


-Do something for yourself every day to recharge your batteries.


-Don't take yourself too seriously--you can get a lot of work done and still have fun doing it. 


-Be willing to accept risky assignments outside your comfort zone. 


-Don't fake it--admit where your areas of development are and work on them.


-Do the right thing, even when no one is looking.

Romeo & Juliet

What if Romeo had called her "Jules"?

Will Shakespeare is famous for the line, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." That's Juliet justifying her love for Romeo, whose name is symbolic of the feud between their two families. However, in the business world a name means a lot.


I learned this when I worked as a reporter for a daily newspaper. Back in the 1980s I lived in Oklahoma and wrote for the local Lawton Constitution and Morning Press. Proud of a published story, I blushed when I heard that my source was miffed because I'd spelled her name wrong. No matter how scintillating my writing was, if I didn't get the name right, I hadn't done my job.


In his classic book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie emphasizes the importance of using someone's name. He writes that our name is one of the first words we hear in life from the arms of our mothers, and hearing our name can be music to our ears. 


Contrary to Juliet's wishful thinking, names do matter. There's a big difference between "Rick" and "Rich." If you notice someone signs his name "James," don't call him "Jim" or "Jimmy" without permission. Using a diminutive may come across as overly familiar or, worse, insulting. 


When people mess with your name, it's often meant to be an endearment. This can be tricky, though, depending on your relationship. And as we know, business is all about relationships. When in doubt, ask someone, "What do you prefer to be called?" Then call them that. You'll come out smelling like a rose.
Ink! We Get Ink! 
Wheaton PatchVirtual ink, that is... thanks to reporter Charlotte Erickson who wrote a story on the Between Successes Career Ministry in, a new online site with a local news flavor. Charlotte captured the essence of this faith-based ministry that is a joint project of my church, Gary United Methodist, and First Presbyterian Church in Wheaton. If you're "between successes" or know someone in the area who is, please consider this group as a resource.

I also was published in a new book called Adventures in Medicine: Discovering Your Path to Successa career guide for resident physicians. At the recommendation of Michelle Filicicchia of Raising the Bar Performance Consulting Services, I contributed to a chapter Adventures in Medicineon the power of networking in this comprehensive workbook for doctors transitioning from their residencies to practices. Many thanks to Michelle and to Todd Skertich from Arlington HealthCarecreator and publisher, for including me as an author.

And I'm honored to be a guest columnist in the Energetic Women January Update, an e-newsletter that goes out to women in energy operations and engineering. My thanks to Stephanie Menning of Energetic Women, a service of Midwest Energy Association, for inviting me to contribute an article, "Fireproof Your Career in 2011" on how to position yourself for success in the new year. Whatever your gender, and whether you're in energy or any other type of industry, you may find these tips helpful for your own career or business (see sidebar).

"Fireproof Your Career" is also my newest presentation for associations and organizations that are looking for a career track speaker for their conferences and conventions. This presentation is filled with strategies and practical tips for getting--and staying--employed in spite of a fickle economy. If you're looking for a speaker, please let me know. I'm eager to be of service.
It's Going to Be a Great Year 

Speaking of a fickle economy, I'm convinced it's going to be a great year. How do I know this? I have declared it thus. I'm not na´ve; I just believe in the power of declaration. For years, I've told clients and audiences to "ignore the economy... it's like the weather in Chicago. It'll change." 


VickieThat's been harder to say these past few years, but I'm committed to creating healthy, positive conversations in 2011. Like many business owners, I've gone back to basics, focusing on my clients and their needs and refining my niche. There's nothing like a challenging year to help us all get some clarity.
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