Liz Carpenter on Success
Feb 18 2009

Now for the next highlight of one of the people I interviewed for The University of Texas at Austin’s alumni magazine, The Alcalde, on Liz Carpenter that was published in the March/April 2005 issue.  You can check out the post I did on Mort Meyerson, former CEO of both EDS and Perot Systems, for some background information.

My writing partner, Pam Losefksy, and I pulled these articles together.  You can see them on the Success Profiles page of this blog. The series started as Success To Me and during the middle of last year we changed it to Self Starter to focus more on entrepreneurs.  When we told them we weren’t able to continue due to our other commitments, they brought the series in house.  You can see the full article on Liz Carpenter by clicking HERE (pdf).

Liz received her BA from UT in 1942.  She was the White House press secretary to Ladybird Johnson.  She is the author of several books and uses humor extensively not only in her writing but also in her speeches and day to day conversations.  One of her first books was called “Start with a Laugh,” which was a first hand account of writing speeches during her white house years.   She would be about 88 years old right now and was an active supporter of the women’s movement.

We started the article with this quote by Liz:

To me, being able to use your time, hopefully profitably, doing what you want to do, and finding happiness in it, is success. I think the keys to success are sharing and having a generous heart and a sense of humor. Another trait of successful people is that they are aware — they have inquiring minds.  And finally, people who are successful are committed to taking risks and to walking through open doors. If you don’t trust yourself to take a risk, you’re likely to be left out of greater success.

She then went on to say.

There’s an old quote from the women’s movement: “Men are made anxious by failure. Women are made anxious by success.” I think women have gotten much braver since the start of the women’s movement in this country, and it thrills me that now we are not so anxious with success. We now help each other achieve it.

I agree that many women (myself included) don’t really feel comfortable with success outside the home environment.  I know that sounds strange, but I’m still on the cusp of the generation of women who grew up with mothers (who may or may not have worked outside of the home) who were still ‘programmed’ to think about life, womanhood, wife hood, and motherhood in a certain way.

There have been many changes in society since we were children and as women we have many more opportunities than our mothers had (without having to worry as much about the glass ceiling and with having no help from our spouses), but many of us still struggle with defining our roles.  I imagine the same is true for men who now find themselves much more involved in child care than our fathers were.  With many more women working (by choice sometime during their children’s lives) than ever before, men have to be more involved in the day to day business of house management and child care because we often don’t have the nearby family support system that used to exist.  Our mother’s who had to work or chose to work in many cases had to do everything without much support from their spouse.

So it’s no wonder we sometimes still feel residual anxiety about success because with success comes worry about how we will manage the rest of our lives with kids…because I think it’s already been proven that although we can have it all, we can’t have it all at the same time!

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Mort Meyerson on Success
Jan 11 2009

I used to co-write articles for The University of Texas at Austin’s alumni magazine called The Alcalde. It was one of the things I had to give up when I started a day job.  My writing partner, Pam Losefksy, and I enjoyed doing them but it took more time and didn’t pay enough money for either of us to  justify being able to keep doing them in either of our schedules going forward. The articles are listed on the Success Profiles page of this blog. But we had a good run with the first article on Mort Meyerson (pdf) running in the Jan/Feb issue of 2005 and the last one in the Sept/Oct issue of 2008. The series started as Success To Me and during the middle of last year we changed it to Self Starter to focus more on entrepreneurs. They have apparently brought the series in house or found someone else to continue the series which goes to show you everyone is replaceable!

I blogged about a few of the more recent ones we did but not some of the initial ones, so I am going to start from the beginning and do some posts on the older ones where I highlight a quote or two from each article. You can see the full article on Mort Meyerson by clicking HERE (pdf).

Mort is the former President of EDS and former Chairman & CEO of Perot Systems. He currently leads 2M Companies and the Morton H. Meyerson Family Tzedekah fund. He received his BA in 1961 in Economics and Philosophy. He was at Perot Systems from 1992 to 1998 when the company went from $100 million to $1 billion in revenue. He was at EDS from 1975 to 1986 when the company went from $200 million to $4.4 billion.

We started the article with this quote by Mort:

When I first retired in 1986 at 48 years old, I asked myself the question, “Is this all there is to life?” I had been a CEO, I had financial security, I had great friends and a devoted family. I wasn’t unhappy, but I didn’t feel fully successful given my financial and work success.

He then went on to describe his philosophy on giving which is based on the framework of the Jewish philosophy of tzedakah.

So now our foundation strives to be a node in a neural network called the greater community of human beings trying to help each other. I am a connector. It’s interesting that that’s what I did in business for 40 years. So, I have been applying part of my business expertise within the tzedakah perspective, and I find it very rewarding. Through the concept of tzedakah, I’m beginning to feel more whole, more successful, than I did in 1986 when I retired from EDS and in 1998 when I retired from Perot Systems.

I (Aruni) have always found it interesting that in my search for meaning I have run across so many others with far more financial and material wealth than I certainly have who are searching for the same thing. I meet many with much less material wealth searching also for understanding and peace. I have run across very few people who are completely OK with who they are and where they are in life and 99.9% of those people are kids.

There is always something in between the black & white lines in an article, a newspaper feature, or a TV story that can never be accurately conveyed to the listener or the viewer. Most of us know this, yet we still make assumptions about people and situations as if their inner essences are completely different than ours…but are they?


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An Inside Look at a Little Known Secret to Success
Apr 10 2008

Liz’s assistant approached me a few weeks ago about doing a guest post on my blog.  She sent me a copy of her book The MavHERick Mind, which I mentioned in my Psychology of Entrepreneurship post.  It’s a really quick and easy read and a great reminder of how/why our thoughts get in the way of our success!  One quote from a famous person that she included in her book that made me really smile was “If it is once again one against forty-eight, then I am very sorry for the forty-eight.” by Margaret Thatcher.

liz-pabon-headshot.jpgAn Inside Look at a Little Known Secret to Success
By: Liz Pabon, The Branding Maven

During a recent interview, I was asked if women find it easier (or harder) to model the branding principles I teach.  While my answer may not come as a surprise to you, identifying where you fit within the continuum may.

Here’s how I replied…

The fascinating thing about it all is that women are known to wear their hearts on their sleeves, are more generous, and are generally an open book.  Yet, in business many women have been led to believe they must hide behind a role…the role of “business woman.”

What do I mean by hide?

Let me explain…

You see it’s quite a challenge to be your most authentic self when you turn who you are at your inner most core “on” or “off” depending on your circumstances.  Yet, that’s exactly what many women do. 

When we’re with friends we play the role of “trusted friend” always listening, offering sage advice or just being…silly.

When we’re with family, we play the role of “mother,” “wife,” “daughter,” “sister.” It’s then that we exhibit all the behaviors and place (sometimes unrealistic) expectations on ourselves associated with those roles.

Now you may be thinking to yourself, I’m 100% authentic 100% of the time.

It’s funny how we are sometimes asleep to the subtle shifts in our behavior brought on by the situation we’re in.

Here’s what I observed in the interview I mentioned earlier…

During my interview we had a short break.  And on this break the host and I gabbed about shoes, lipstick and where we planned to vacation this summer.  As soon as we got the cue that we were back on the air, her voice tone and demeanor did an about face and she was now playing the role of “show host.” 

Was she being phony in her role as show host?  No.  But she turned off the delightful, engaging part of her and replaced it with a more formal, conservative persona.  Had her listeners been introduced to the woman I connected with during the break, her listening audience numbers would grow like wild fire!

What’s the result of all this mask wearing and role swapping?

Living with a tiresome sense of having to compartmentalize yourself instead of enjoying life in a wonderful stream of simply being.   Where the personal and the professional flow naturally and effortlessly as one.

It’s a rule of good branding to remain consistent.  Showing your market two faces can lead to disaster.  Showing your market what you think they want to see can also prove ineffective.

Business today has gotten very personal.  What this means is giving (and showing) your audience more of who you are and what you’ve got. 

That’s a little known secret to success.

©Copyright 2008 Liz Pabon.  All rights reserved.

About the author:  Liz Pabon (aka: The Branding Maven) is a champion of women, shoe lover, award-winning author, and brand strategist.  To learn more about Liz and her recent book, The MavHERickTM Mind, visit her at http://www.lizpabon.com/.

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Success To Me – Clay Nichols
Mar 6 2008

I co-write articles on the topic of success for university alumni magazines with my fabulous writing partner Pam Losefsky. Our latest article for The University of Texas at Austin’s alumni magazine, The Alcalde, is on Clay Nichols.  Clay is a Michener Fellow at the Texas Center for Writers and Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer at DadLabs, an Internet TV show featuring humor and advice on fatherhood.

Our goal with this endeavor was to get people thinking about what success means to them by reading stories on how others define success.  Please click here to see more success profiles.  Here is a thought provoking quote from the article:

Leadership in a corporate context is very different from that in a family context.  To me that’s painfully and brutally obvious, but I’ve run across many who don’t seem to recognize that distinction and the relationship with their families suffers irreparably.”  He goes on to say “The time you spend with your kids is going to be as valuable to your ultimate success as the time you spend with your colleagues.”

You can’t manage relationships with friends and family the same way you manage relationships at work or manage your career.  I fall victim to thinking it can be managed the same myself from time to time.  They are two different things and as we’ve seen from observing people around us trying to fit a square peg in a round hole doesn’t usually turn out that well.

Stay tuned for a whole new series with the next edition of The Alcalde that will be called Self Starter. We will be interviewing exclusively entrepreneurs from The University of Texas at Austin.  Hook ‘em Horns!

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Success To Me – Jim Nolen
Feb 13 2008

As some of you know, I co-write articles on the topic of success for university alumni magazines with my fabulous writing partner Pam Losefsky. Our latest article for The University of Texas at Austin’s alumni magazine, The Alcalde, is on Jim Nolen.  Jim  is a UT Distinguised Senior Lecturer of Finance and President of CFO Services.  He is the recipient of numerous teaching awards.

Our goal with this endeavor was to get people thinking about what success means to them by reading stories on how others define success.  Please click here to see more success profiles.  One of the key things he said that resonated with me was:

“Thomas Edison said ‘I’ve never had a failure — I’ve found 10,000 things that didn’t work.’  It’s that mental attitude that really translates into success in the end — never thinking about failure, but saying instead, ‘I’m going to be successful.  I may take a lot of detours, but I don’t have a problem with that.'” 

It’s all in how we frame it, isn’t it?  Life is one big university where we continue to learn and grow!

The editor has since asked us to focus on entrepreneurs for future articles and of course I am thrilled since I love meeting and talking with entrepreneurs!  So after the next one, the series will be called Self Starter and we will be interviewing exclusively entrepreneurs from The University of Texas at Austin.  Hook ‘em Horns!

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