Want to learn more?

Email: dms@mills-scofield.com
Call: +1.440.775.1067
Sign up for Newsletter
Follow Me:

Deborah Mills-scofield's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Intangible Benefit of Networking

So honored to co-author a post in Switch and Shift with my friend Vala Afshar - What is the benefit of networking? It may surprise you

"We are both pretty passionate about networking.  Being insatiably curious, we love meeting new people from different backgrounds with different experiences, viewpoints, and stories.  Throughout our individual careers, we’ve seen how networking is a means of learning and growing, both personally and professionally."  Continue reading....


Insatiably Curious with Infinite Pie

Thanks to an introduction by Dorie Clark, I met Alan Fawcett which led to this very fun interview on Infinite Pie(great name).  Give a listen and laugh along (and hopefully learn a little)...

"From the moment I started speaking with Deborah Mills-Scofield I could hear her passion and enthusiasm for the things we were about to discuss, and we certainly discuss a lot.  Deb describes herself as insatiably curious and addicted to learning, and I can see why.  We talk about her love for books and reading, her time at Brown University (past and present), cognitive science, learning and development, and management principle, and how they can all be applied personally and professionally...There are many lessons throughout this conversation.  Of course there is ‘what’ Deb shares, but as importantly there is ‘the way’ that Deb shares them."


I'm Standing Up, Not Leaning!

I don’t lean in, lean out, lean sideways, lean back…I stand up straight.  As a kid, my parents kept telling me to stand up straight and strong.  It created an aura of confidence, self-assurance, and supposedly, it was better for your back.  In fact, we now know that standing strong can actually change your mood and confidence.

Perhaps because I’m short (5’ 1” on my driver’s license), I’ve always stood straight, because I had to.  And I became tall – not in the physical sense, but intellectually, emotionally and professionally.  Throughout my career, I never felt discriminated against because of my gender.  Even after I had children, I never felt the need to do anything but stand up straight.

That’s why I have trouble with Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In. What I find missing in much of the Lean In discussion is the joy of parenthood.  I didn’t “hear” any joy of being a mom, wife or even executive.  Children are not tactics or tasks to check off a to-do-list.  I’ve found being a mom an incredible privilege, responsibility, and indescribable joy.  Admittedly, I’ve had a charmed career path that I worked hard at, very hard, and built the credibility to ask, and get, what I wanted.  Having children and enjoying them, relishing in and with them, has been key to my success. 

I waited to have children.  Most of my friends and colleagues thought it was because of my fancy career.  They were wrong.  I waited til I became closer to being a mom I’d want, especially since my mother was, yes really, the perfect mother for me.  I didn’t want to inflict myself on a child when I wouldn’t even want myself as a mom.  Having children has taught me so much about myself, about motivating the behavior you want to see, about managing and freeing people and the illusion (delusion?) of control.  Being a mom has matured me into a better human being. My children didn’t hold me back, they propelled me forward…and made me redefine and want different things out of my career.  They have helped me define success and impact.

My stay-at-home mom unwittingly taught me about being a ‘career woman’.  She taught me the value of diverse thinking, of integrating art, music, science, and literature to look at the world differently (#STEAM 50 years ago), to create and recombine ideas.  She taught me how to criticize without being critical, without even realizing I’d been criticized, and therefore motivated to change.  She taught me how to prioritize what really and truly mattered.  She taught me that relationships matter more than stuff.  She taught me how to ‘present’ myself in public.  She taught me to stand straight.

Sheryl’s path, my path, your path, isn’t prescriptive.  And, as Stew Friedman points out, we all need options – to be professionals, parents, spouses, siblings, children.   We need to stop using words like Leaning In, Leaning Out and just be ourselves.  This may be idealistic, but if we don’t put it out there, we won’t aim for it.   Our world (and I firmly believe the fabulous Millennials will force this) needs to encourage and enable diversity of work styles, not just thoughts, gender, race, creed.  There are times that our work requires us to be front and center, but if it’s always the case, we end up being less than productive for our work and our families.

The Generation Xers are the transition between moms who stayed home and moms who worked.  Most of our role models are our moms who mainly stayed home, if we were privileged to be in that socio-economic position.  We are presented with a plethora of options that we still struggle to justify and judge.  I hope that our Gen-Y ‘kids’ – both women and men – will have an easier time defining their roles for themselves and their own relationships.  Our world, our work, our communities and our homes need them to.  We need to stop requiring ourselves and others to lean in or lean up – and instead, encourage and support standing up straight.  And it starts with us – with each of us.

A version of this was originally published in Switch and Shift as "Standing Up Against Leaning In"


The Efficient Ineffectiveness of Control

Check out my latest on Smartbrief's Smartblog on Leadership sponsored with LeadChangeGroup.

“When we don’t give our people the space and freedom to take calculated risks, learn, apply, and iterate, we are risk our future.  While there is a risk to improvising and spontaneity, there is a greater, more insidious risk to control.” When I wrote a version of this in a recent Harvard Business Review post, it prompted a great deal of discussion.  As humans, and business people (e.g., managers), we naively think we can control things, so we try to control things."  Continue reading....


Do You Have A Flight Plan?

This has to be one of the most beautifully written posts I've ever read - Lt. Col. Fritz's consistent winsome wisdom astounds me - so read this - please - and reread it and share it.... 

"Its 9:45am at Chicago’s O’Hare International Terminal as American Airlines Flight 1693 hums patiently at Gate K18 on the snow-covered ramp as passengers take their seats.  In seat 27E of the Boeing 737-800 sits 8-year old Jim Nelson—excited and eager for his first airplane flight.  His parents have done a great job keeping the destination a secret as they place their bags in the overhead compartment and smile knowingly to one another while buckling up on either side of him"... Read the rest here....


Page 1 ... 8 9 10 11 12 ... 47 Next 5 Entries »