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Beware of the Squirrel Reverse
May/June 2010
In This Issue
Beware of the Squirrel Reverse
Honor Roll
The Rotary Road Tour
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Now Available:
"Your Golden Rolodex: How to Network for Results" E-book
Golden Rolodex E-book
Networking is one of the most critical skills in business, and it's especially important to someone making a career transition, building a business or moving up in the business world.
Over the years, Vickie has been speaking about "Your Golden Rolodex: How to Network for Results!" and now she's made it available to you in a practical e-book.  You'll learn to:  
  • Leverage the value of your existing contacts
  • Invest in people along the way
  • Conduct a "Golden Rolodex" conversation
  • Open doors for future opportunities
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Keepin' the Faith
Gary UMC
If you live in the Chicago area, are in career transition and are in need of some spiritual support, please consider yourself invited to Between Successes Career Ministry, a joint ministry of Gary United Methodist Church and First Presbyterian Church of Wheaton. Beginning June 14, we meet from 7 to 8:45 p.m. every second and fourth Monday of the month at Gary UMC, 224 N. Main Street, Wheaton, IL 60187, in Commons E (come in the west side entrance). For more information, contact me at 312-213-1795 or call Angela Stephenson from First Presbyterian at 630-200-2533.
Squirrel ReverseMy good friend and walking buddy Judy Beaver shared a phrase with me on one of our early morning walks. She introduced me to the term "The Squirrel Reverse." 
You know the Squirrel Reverse: it's when a squirrel runs into the road, looks both ways, then changes his mind and goes back where he came from. That's a deadly concept because the squirrel, upon hesitating, is lost. That's when most of them get hit by cars.
This concept came to me recently when I was contemplating my own Squirrel Reverse. Every so often in the mind of an entrepreneur, the corporate world and its steady paycheck look awfully tempting. Flirting with the idea of an opportunity for a full-time job, I was driving along thinking about the details of the job when a squirrel ran out in front of my car.  
He hesitated. He looked both ways. He went back to the side of the road he came from right before I nearly ran over him.
Suddenly the opportunity I'd been contemplating looked a lot like the Squirrel Reverse.  Entrepreneurs are made, not born, or at least that's my supposition. Building a business takes hard work, enthusiasm and tenacity--and focus.
Then I remembered the words of Winston Churchill ("Never, ever, ever, ever give up") and my own father. My dad used to send me the kind of cartoons you'd always find over the copy machine at work. This one had a frog in the mouth of a stork and the headline was "Never Give Up!" I also got a lift from friend and author B.A.M. Bust A Myth book coverBarry Moltz while having lunch in the city. Barry (whose recent book is B-A-M! Bust A Myth: Delivering Customer Service in a Self-Service World) encouraged me to stay on course. So with those words of wisdom from three men I admire, and with the powerful example of a Midwestern squirrel, I went back to my office--and back to work.
Honor Roll 
ASDA logoI was honored once again to be a resource to the American Student Dental Association as the newly elected board of trustees gathered in Chicago to shape its strategic vision. Many thanks to Nancy Honeycutt and her staff at ASDA's central office for their support and to the executive board, Corwyn Hopke (president), and Andrew Read-Fuller and Naomi Sever (vice-presidents) for their leadership. 
The ladies of "Inspire" at Nicor (see March e-newsletter) introduced me to a most remarkable woman. Stephanie Menning is Vice President, Gas Services at Midwest Energy Association based in Minnesota. Stephanie was the first speaker for Inspire and in fact inspired the group to form after the first national gathering of women in energy, a group Stephanie manifested known as Energetic Women. She was kind enough to come hear me speak at Nicor. and we subsequently worked together to offer a webinar about women and Energetic Women logonegotiating called "Show Me the Money! Women and the Art of Negotiation."  More than 200 women participated.  You can listen to the teleseminar by visiting Midwest Energy Association (see Webinars).  
I'll be joining these extraordinary women--primarily those involved in energy operations and engineering--at Stephanie's third annual conference for Energetic Women in Charlotte, NC, in June.  I look forward to facilitating a roundtable, continuing our discussion of negotiation. Many thanks to Somali TomczakSr. Manager Environmental, Health & Safety, at Nicor and her leadership team for introducing me to Energetic Women and special thanks to Barb Dwyer (Inspire Ministry) for the introduction.
The Rotary International Road Tour 
Photo by Matt Ferguson.
Vickie Austin
Are you familiar with Rotary International?  I'm sure you are... and if you ever need a manifesto for your own organization, learn about their Four-Way Test. I'm on a mission to speak to every Rotary Club in the Chicago area. Can you help me? My topics are listed on my website. If you know of a Rotarian looking for a speaker, please send them my way!  And thanks to the Lombard Club for their recent hospitality (and the pen).

Rotary's mission is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.  Now that's a mission I can get behind. 
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