“It’s a new dawn, It’s a new day, It’s a new life for me…. And I’m feeling GOOD” Carla Moore, (Vice President, POS Strategy and Education) at HBO sashayed up to the podium with confidence singing the chorus of a Nina Simone song. Talk about an entrance and the perfect way to kick off the speaker series at “The Climb” professional career summit hosted by I Choose the Ladder. After an emotional and raw keynote address by Leslie Naamon, CEO of Illinicare Health, the summit was ready to begin. One of the things that really hit home for me that Leslie said is “My reflection is to know myself and when the chips are down, just dig deeper and keep going even through the darkness because there are better things on the other side.” What resonated with a lot of attendees is when she said “Most people don’t tell you. You have to figure it out on your own. Share your Climb”
So what exactly was “The Climb” we shared this past Saturday, March 30th. The Climb was a one day immersive experience designed with black millennial, Xennial, and Gen X women in mind. It was a summit where we could share our experiences, quantify our professional impact, and elevate our careers. We learned practical and strategic information that could be used not just in the future, but TODAY. The goal was to have two tangible takeaways from each summit session you can start using as soon as Monday to further your career in corporate America. Continental breakfast and lunch were provided. There was also an opportunity to take headshots for your linkedin profile and get one on one career coaching from an executive level professional.
We were led in presentations and discussions by top notch black female executives . I already mentioned Carla Moore from HBO. We also had the pleasure of hearing from female black professionals from companies like Digitas, Ernst & Young, the Indiana Pacers, JP Morgan, Northern Trust, and Ulta to name a few.
These ladies were dropping pearls of wisdom and using real life examples as framework to the discussions. Of course I can’t put a whole days worth of wisdom in one article, but I’ll be sharing with you some high level highlights below. Hopefully will be getting “The Climb” part two next year. The founder of the inaugural The Climb summit is Watchen Nyanue, Vice President, Marketing Partnerships for the WNBA Chicago Sky. To find out more about Watchen Nyanue check out Chi@Glance March Spotlight feature. Make sure to check out the “ I Choose the Ladder” podcast and follow along on social media at:
Instagram and Facebook @Ichoosetheladder and website ichoosetheladder.com
Tavi J. “The Climb” Professional Career Summit Highlights
“It’s easier to focus on other people, but harder to focus on yourself.” Leslie Naamon, CEO, Illinicare Health. How true is that? We’re constantly comparing and focusing on the wrong things when our priority should be to focus inward. Five drivers of success that Leslie shared were:
Build a framework of who “I” am. No one gets to change this framework. Build a solid understanding of who you are and where you come from. Stay true to yourself.
Have the courage to think for yourself and make decisions.
Develop a huge capacity for work. Know your stuff!!! That may mean working off hours
Get support from others
Build a solid framework for your leadership style
So what happens if what you thought was going to be a success doesn’t turn out the way you hoped? Leslie said, “It’s not what happens, it’s how you recover.” Bridge your story with the recovery. You recover through your performance.
I love hearing “put some respec(k) on my name,” but I love hearing even more “put some respect on my check.” Carla Moore, (VP, POS Strategy and Education) at HBO led us in lessons of negotiating. You can’t just blankly ask for more money without coming to terms with your own worth and values. Carla has worked for HBO for 20 years now, but she didn’t start off with all the confidence she now possesses today. Back then she was making big decisions for HBO by day, but consuming volumes of food and in tears every night. When she topped out at 350 lbs and got in a major car crash it was a wake up call to turn her life around. She shared with us her 3 P’s for success. Passion + Purpose = Power. Passion is your compelling emotions (things that excite you). Purpose sustains passion and is usually singular. Power is a combination of passion and purpose and provides fullness and direction. We all possess the power to change our lives. Carla shared with us “lanes” to lead us in getting that R-E-S-P-E-C-T on our checks.
Research the Market
Explore Recruiter Conversations
Set your number
Plan your strategy
Execute the Plan
Continuous and Intentional Discussions
Track and Share progress
Such a good discussion and I plan on getting Carla’s best seller book on Amazon, Crash: Leading through the wreckage.
The Making Moves 101 session was led by four high powered female executives. One of them was Karla Davis, SR. Director/ Head of Integrated Marketing & Media, at Ulta Beauty. I had a one on one sit down with Karla after the session. One thing that hit home for me was Karla eliminated $125K of debt in 2 years (without a financial planner). Karla herself is not a financial adviser, but I love taking advice from someone who lived the experience and did it themselves. One question I asked her was to share 3 tips on eliminating debt in order to make money moves. Karla said:
1) Know how much and who you owe. You need an actual realization of what you’re working with.
2) Budget – You’ll never get out of debt if you’re not clear what your income is and what your out go is. You need to intentionally plan for those things. It’s planning for everything including that daily Starbuck’s coffee and Uber ride. Mint.com is a source that can help you keep track of expenses.
3) Start debt elimination from the lowest to highest debt. Once you eliminate one debt it’ll give you the motivation to keep going! Momentum helps energy.
Karla and her husband are passionate in helping young professionals eliminate debt. Check out there podcast and website https://www.younganddebtless.org/
You gotta be ready was the next lesson played out right before our very eyes. The session “Don’t knock the hustle: Leveraging your 9-5 to build your 5-9” was definitely right up my alley. As most of you know by day I’m a “Financial Crimes Consultant” but at night I’m a “Urban Socialite” and founder of Chi@Glance clueing you in on all the hot happenings going on in Chicago (like this summit). 🙂 Our session was led by Terri Evans, former Marketing & Sales Operations Manager, at Mini USA. She taught us about the need for 4 streams of income. Until recently she was working at Mini by day and for the last six months started a new venture by purchasing “Windy City Ribs & Whiskey” in the South Loop. Terri’s job came to an end abruptly at Mini and now her focus has been on the restaurant and learning all the ins and outs of the industry. Sometimes things happen for a reason and she realized that being in the restaurant industry you definitely need to take a hands on approach. Although some of the ways she operates in the restaurant is different from how she did in corporate America, there are still many transferable skills she was able to leverage and take with her. One thing she stressed for entrepreneurs is there are so many free resources the city of Chicago has to offer. Tap into your network and leverage your resources.
There’s absolutely no way I can jam all the information from one day into one article. I want to wrap up with a few quotes I loved from a few of the presenters at the summit.
“Leadership has less to do with how far up a corporate ladder you can climb, and more to do with how far you can walk in your own soul.” Monika Black, PHD, CPC, Co-Founder and Chief Leadership Catalyzer Tandemspring.
“Your linkedin profile should be for the job that you want. Not the job that you have. Your profile should have 80% of the buzz words listed for the job that you want.” Tatiana Holifield-Arthur, Vice President/Head of Digital Strategy for Pacers Sports & Entertainment.
So much #blackgirlmagic was ALL in one room yesterday. If you’re ready to make “The Climb” and found the information I shared useful make sure to follow on social media at Instagram and Facebook @Ichoosetheladder and website ichoosetheladder.com
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