Thursday, July 12, 2012

Nailed Those Curves!!!!

I was a very confused, very scared yet ambitious girl walking into her first day of business school, almost precisely two years ago today. Today, I am about to stand in front of a bunch of UCLA Business School students and teach them about Management Communications.

What?
The girl who almost failed out of b-school semester one after a mishap on her stats final?

What?

The girl who had head trauma half way through year one one night on her way to a karaoke birthday party while riding in a taxi and had to learn how to do math again?

What?

The girl who is still determined in a Pollyanna kinda way to recreate media and do good for the world?

She's an instructor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management???

HELL YES! SHE IS!!!!

Now that's a GREAT WALL

Here's what I know. Anything we put our minds to, can be accomplished. As long as we have a roadmap of some kind, we can figure out how to get there. One of my wiser professors, a fellow named David Lewin challenged us to design our Academic Leadership Roadmap at the outset.  I doubted I could even pull it all off, when I first composed it. Yet when I looked at my original plan last month, I realized I'd actually met and exceeded all my goals.

So what's next for me? What 's ahead? I wrote a new Leadership Map and here's the premise. The personal mission I established almost 12 years ago is the same today.

"I am a curious, creative, and loving person who while using skills of organization, effective communication, and positive energy, help others achieve their goals. I am calmly aggressive, subtly sensual, and passionate about my tasks. Creation of joy for myself and those around me is my primary goal and my personal success is derived from those efforts." Summers McKay Newell 2000

The rest is below, and I expect few of you will read the whole thing. No need to. Instead, think about your path and how you want to get there.

What's your Leadership Map? What do you want to achieve?
What's the greatest wall you can climb?
Put it in writing kids!

________________________________


Aspirations
 

Two years and change ago, I set forth to redefine my career and my life.  Literally on that August morning, while driving to the first week of Leadership Foundations, I mailed my divorce papers into my mediator. I entered the program after ending a ten-year relationship, all that I had ever known as an adult. It had proven to be entirely impossible to be whom I set out to be while married to the man I was married to and so I embarked on this journey alone.

That first day of Leadership Foundations, we watched a Survival Test presentation, which outlined nearly to a “t” the way my older brother, a pilot, had been killed in a small plane crash in Alaska in 2000. The hunters had to survive the storm and wait for rescue. A bit alone in the woods of graduate school, I felt just like the hunters. Unprepared to survive the storm, but determined success was my only option.

As a little girl, I always imagined being a great leader in the world of story telling. In kindergarten I would sit on the playground and tell stories at lunch. I wrote and directed my first play in fourth grade, and by sixteen years old was interning at Paramount Studios. I had identified my path and I was good at it.

Using story telling to better the world, through inspiration, innovation and community development is in my core soul. Just like the little girl on the playground, the young woman at Paramount and the soon to be divorce who entered the EMBA program two years ago, I aspire to become the president of a major television and film studio with the opportunity to make a worldwide impact with the stories we tell.
Here is a Personal Mission that I wrote for myself in 2000 when graduating college.

“I am a curious, creative, and loving person who while using skills of organization, effective communication, and positive energy, help others achieve their goals. I am calmly aggressive, subtly sensual, and passionate about my tasks. Creation of joy for myself and those around me is my primary goal and my personal success is derived from those efforts.”

And as Pollyanna as that may sound, it still rings true. I will be an effective leader in the entertainment industry, bringing the tools and resources to storytellers and allowing them to share and inspire with the world. During my time in EMBA the production company I worked for went out of business. Now it is time, in collaboration with a team of skilled entertainment professionals to start my own media company.

(HERE'S WHERE IT'S EDITED BECAUSE I'M NOT SHARING ALL THE DETAILS QUITE YET)


And now just a little bit more

The hardest part about writing this Leadership Map has not been identifying ways in which I am a good leader and can lead in the future. I am without question a great instigator, leader, inspirer, fire starter. I do that better than just about anything. What I have been most challenged with personally is the ability to manage the fire and inspiration once it is set forth.

In my life I have always had the perspective that success came at a cost. That life was a series of either/ors. It is this personal challenge that has hindered my progress. 

Creative or Analytical

Happy Parents or Happy Daughter

Friend or Leader

Wife or Business School Student


I have had to choose between what I wanted personally and what I wanted professionally. It has led me to be afraid to really commit to the journey ahead.

I have the opportunity ahead to seize the day and launch a revolutionary business and actually re-invent the marketer/ content relationship and admittedly I am a bit afraid. Will taking this leap preclude me from having the personal fulfillment I desire?  Will being a great leader mean that I am ultimately alone. Is it worth it?

I have made such amazing strides while in school. I conquered the seemingly impossible academic challenges of the quant classes, exactly how I set out to in my first Leadership Map. I became a leader in my class and have now been asked to return to teach others next year. I am becoming a leader at Anderson as well.

I have my own emotional journey to continue and am working with a life-coach, career coach, mentors and a therapist to sort all that out.

When I climbed to the top of the pole during that first year’s ropes course, I had no trouble getting right up there. It was instead the moment when I reached out to grab the ring that I recoiled and did not take what is rightfully mine. I am ready to try to jump again.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

A Power Blonde Gets Camera Ready - 1 Min - 5 Minute Makeover Not much more too it than that! Here's how I go from just a wee bit mid workday drab, to super camera cute for appearances like the ones on Huff Post Live! It's a five minute job if you start with the right tools. I'm a Laura Mercier and Nars kinda girl!