Check-in with your team (and yourself)

For me, the past few weeks have felt like years. Each day brings a new set of challenges and emotions. I know I’m not the only one. Here are a couple of questions that you can check in on your team, family, or friends to kick off conversations or meetings: On a scale of 1 to 10, how are you doing? What’s one word to describe how you are feeling right now? In times like this, don’t assume anything. Ask — and ask often. #self-awareness #reflection #covid19 #career

How do I become less reactive?

This week’s reader question is common. I start every day with good intentions, but then fire drill after fire drills happen. How do I become less reactive? Here are some ideas... Play offense: Limit email. Only check email 2 to 3 times per day, so you only have a few times a day that you can get derailed. Set office hours. Tell your team that you will be completely available for them during a specific set of time (say 11 am to 2 pm), and try to put-off interruptions until the

How do I get promoted?

This week’s reader question is familiar: How do I make sure I’m setting myself up for promotion? Here are some tips: Be proactive. Let your boss know you want to be promoted and get their honest assessment of your likelihood. Knowing your short-comings now can help you address them. Understand expectations. Ask, ‘If I am really successful in this role what would I have accomplished by the end of the year?’ Document this. Document your accomplishments. Create a quarterly recor

How to be your own work valentine (Pt. 2)

Here are a few more tips from my Forbes interview on how to have self-love at work. Being your own work Valentine isn’t about conversation hearts and red roses--it’s about appreciating who you are at work and beyond and letting that color your workdays. List Your Accomplishments: Micro Edition Before you wrap up your workday, make a quick list of all the things you did today. Gretchen Rubin calls this your “Ta-Da List,” and it’s a powerful, visible affirmation of your accompl

How to be your own work valentine

Flowers, chocolates, singing telegrams... some Valentine’s Day delights are just sweeter (and less weird) when they come from somebody else, especially at the office. But there’s plenty you can do for yourself when it comes to at-work self-care. I’m not talking about hand cream and a face mask, I’m talking about how you can treat yourself to build self-confidence, set boundaries, be a better leader, and grow creatively. I spoke to Kari Clark, Founder and CEO of Uplift, a plat

Create a Safeword

My team is wicked smart and incredibly hard-working, so when something isn’t working, it’s not them, it’s the process. Yet, recently I noticed that it was hard for me to criticize the process without people taking it personally. Then I stole a page from my Operations Director, Nayef. We created a safeword. (Pineapple for those who are interested.) When anyone wants to give feedback on how things are going, we say “Pineapple.” Then everyone knows this isn’t about “them.” It im

How to Crush it as a Working Mom

59% of working moms of young kids do 30-minutes or less of professional development per month. Get ahead of the pack this month by joining our free webinar in partnership with Fairygodboss: “How to Crush it as a Working Mom” on Thursday, Feb. 27, at noon ET. Also, we are looking for working mom volunteers to have a chance to be coached in front of the group -- if you're interested, sign up here! Hope to see you there! Two thirds of working moms are burnt out, and 88% of moms

5 Things You are Probably Missing

In developing Uplift, I’ve surveyed and interviewed well over one thousand working moms and talked to countless business leaders trying to support them. Unfortunately, I’ve found that most companies (even with the best of intentions) miss five major insights about working moms: The issues around working moms are a hidden risk. Most companies don’t cut their engagement data by parents, even less by the age of their kids. And, 73% of women don’t feel confident that what they sh

My First Podcast!

I’m a total podcast junkie. Working out, cleaning, driving, I rarely don't have one on. So, I was psyched when I had my first podcast interview drop last week Parent Driven Development, a podcast about parenting in tech. Check it out for longer form tidbits on mentorship, delegation, ‘zone defence,’ and the all-elusive work-life balance. Two other asides: First, I played this for my kids, who got a big kick out of mommy being 'famous.' You can do this, too, with videos of you

Embody your best self

Recently, I’ve been having some important meetings where I need to impress. A new trick has been helping me nail these conversations. I remember a time when I was my best—presenting in front of 1,500 people this summer when I nailed it. Then I embody that Kari. I play entrance music in my headphones. I feel that rush of confidence exuding from my chest. I even (don’t laugh) strut around the block feeling the show lights on me. The result? I show up as that Kari. It feels so g

Assume Positive Intent

I recently came across the best piece of advice that former Pepsi CEO and badass working mom, Indra Nooyi ever received: My father was an absolutely wonderful human being. From him, I learned to always assume positive intent. Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different. When you assume negative intent, you're angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you

What are your bright spots?

So often when getting feedback, we look for our ‘blind spots’—what am I bad at that I don’t realize? But just as important (if not more) is looking for our ‘bright spots’—what am I good at that I don’t realize? Knowing that full picture helps you lean into what’s going to set you apart. Don’t know? Ask. Ask your partner, your boss, an employee, and your best friend. Trust me, it’ll be fun. #selfawareness #career #selftalk

Get it done. Do it right.

Recently I heard Joe Payne, the CEO of Code42, speak about a simple framework for evaluating performance: Get it done. Do it right. Getting it done is the what. Are they doing their job? Meeting their sales quotas? Getting products launched? Doing it right is the how. Are they great to work with? Do they add versus subtract to the team culture? You map out in your reviews where each team member falls on this map and take action. To be a top performer, you need both. So today,

Do It Your Way

When my kids get sick at school, I’m not the one they call. After never getting through to me on the first try since I’m in meetings all day, the school nurse switched the primary number to Joe, my husband. I mentioned this to someone at an event, and his response was, “I know a service you should try, it’s called Uplift Parents.” He didn’t get it. Kicking ass as a working mom doesn’t mean that I need to be the one called. It means defining what’s important to you (at home an

What’s Your Entrance Song?

Last week I participated in the MassChallenge startup awards. It was a fun, action-packed night, punctuated by pump-you-up entrance music for each of the speakers. Just walking on stage made you feel badass. I realized I wanted to bottle up a bit of this confidence for me every day. So, I came up with my own entrance song. It’s only been a few days, but I play it on the way to work or when I need a bit of swagger. Here’s mine. What’s yours? (Please share, as I’d love to expan

Stop Being So Helpful

Research shows that "workers who spend more time on non-promotable tasks are held back from demonstrating their full potential.” Unfortunately, those non-promotable tasks are far more likely to fall on women. Please stop. Stop being the note taker (including on the whiteboard), so you can focus on making the points, not capturing others. Stop being the assigner of all follow-ups and just focus on acing what you are assigned to follow-up on. Stop doing the office housework

It’s Ok to be a Rockstar

Kim Scott makes an essential distinction in her book Radical Candor between Superstars and Rockstars. Superstars are gunning for the next level. Rockstars are the rocks, the top performers who are happy staying in their current role. As a manager, you need both. In your career, you will fluctuate between each. Kim gave an example of being pregnant with Twins in her forties and being offered the CEO role at Twitter. She knew that to ensure the health of her kids in a dif

Double-Check Your Work

Of course, it’s the days that I’m the most stressed and time-crunched when I forget my phone at home or send that email to the utterly wrong group. Ugh. So today’s tip is simple: when things are moving a million miles a minute, slow down. Double-check your work. Do a mental checklist of all the things you need before you leave the house. Reread the important client email Loop in a co-worker to go through your execution plan again Trust me; the extra few minutes are worth it.

How to Empower Your Team to Make Decisions without You

As a busy founder, I’m always looking for ways to stop myself from being the bottleneck. Enter 'Even Over' statements: simple heuristics to help guide your team’s decisions without you. These statements lay out the outcomes you want and what you are willing to give up for those. For example: User growth even over revenue growth Best in class customer service even over best in class product features Star teams even over star players To create yours, follow these steps: Brai

Stab to the Heart, Praise to the Back

Last week I heard Everfi founder, Tom Davidson, speak. My favorite advice of his—stab to the heart; praise to the back. Stab to the heart. When you have negative feedback, tell someone to their face. Yes, the stab initially stings, but it will probably make them (and your relationship) better. Praise to the back. When you have positive feedback, tell everyone they know. Building others up changes the whole culture of your team and boosts up the person far more than a si