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Spring Notes March 7, 2006

Posted by John M McKee in Notes for Business.

Couple of things from my reading files and in- basket which I thought worthy of passing on tonight – let me know if you agree.

1. Another large US company loses a woman as its CEO: Carol Bartz who has been the ceo of Autodesk since 1992, has now left that role. One of the lesser known women ceo's and one of a few executives of either gender who knew how to succeed in the telecom sector, Bartz was one of the most important women in tech, period. Her key reasons for departing at this time were family driven.

Life balance. Until North American businesses and boards start to get how important one's health and family are to most women execs; we're going to see more and more of this stuff. Superwomen (and in fairness Supermen – see the last item tonite) don't last.

I know I keep going on about how unacceptable it is that only about 5% of large companies are run by women in the States, but the evidence is clear that when organizations have more women in senior management, they also have better financials. Why is this so hard?

2. Good Tools for the soon-to-be-outsourced: Do you use EBay to seel things? It's cool that some things that seem to hold no value to one person can get bidding wars going with others, isn't it?

I think I have found out how this is being translated into the workplace. If you haven't tried either of these sites – you should:

http://www.Elance.com and http://www.EGuru.com

These are online sites that give the marketplace – either employers or those selling their services – a place to meet and shop for the other. I haven't yet found something I needed a professional to help me with that I couldn't find on one of these sites.

Want an accountant? How about someone to answer your phone while you are away? Or perhaps a web designer who can take you idea and flesh it out into a very cool website to get your new business up and running?

It's all there, and you'll get bids from around the world if you say it's OK. If you'd prefer to have only bids from your city or state/province – just say that.

This is truly the way of the future as more companies determine that they need to 'downsize' to compete and then quickly realize they need someone on the outside to do the work that the recently let-go folks were doing. Caution note for anyone who hates the idea of jobs going overseas – you will get many bids from India for about 1/4 of the price that people in the Western countries will bid. Be prepared to come to grips with global economics.

3. Hard copy version of The Management Report nearing – I continue working with the folks at Wheatmark, publisher of " 21 Ways Women in Management Shoot Themselves in the Foot". We are nearly finished the changes required for converting it from a EBook that's downloaded at http://www.BusinessWomanWeb.com into a 'real book' which is bought at your favorite book seller come May.

I am really pleased with how it's coming along. And I think the 27 magazines and newspapers who reviewed it in the 'soft copy' form will be pleased as well – they didn't like the format it is in currently. It's interesting though that some agreed that – in the not too distant future – many of us will only use computer screens or IPods to read our 'books'.
If you haven't had a chance to see the download yourself, it is still available on my websites – price is set at 10.99 currently. The hard copy will be 15.95 when it goes on sale.
4. The CEO of KPMG who died of brain cancer – was Eugene O'Kelly. He died last year a very short time after he learned he had inoperable cancer.

As reported in last week's BusinessWeek Magazine, he was 52, at the peak of his career, and feeling "vigorous, and …damn near immortal."
Upon learning he had only a short time due to live, he did what many good execs would, and set about to leave his business house in order. He then did something that very few would do – he decided to write a book about what he may have done differently if he'd known what was ahead before the diagnosis.

In the article, the writer, Susan Berfield, reports him realizing that during his life as a business leader he might have been too consumed by those outside his personal life. "Perhaps I could have found time, in the last decade, to have had a weekday lunch with my wife more than…twice? I realized that being able to count a thousand people (in my business life) was not something to be proud of. It was something to be wary of."

Before he died, he said that was his biggest regret. He'd been getting better at finding life balance before he became sick, but then he ran out of time. I hope some readers will read his story and take note.

Good night tonite from the Rockies. And good luck.




1. Shanks Pandiath - March 20, 2006


Worth checkin out – Should be made as a MUST for any secnior execs


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