From the Heart2

Non-Profit Undergoes Renovation to Serve Future Leaders

Business People Having Board Meeting In Modern Office

I haven’t posted blogs for the past few months, so I thought I’d share a little bit about what I have been doing. Here’s a blog I posted on the Women’s Center for Leadership site earlier this summer.

Have you seen that TV show “Love It or List It?” Couples collaborate with two experts: a designer who attempts to renovate their current home, addressing their issues so they will love it, and a realtor who tries to find a new home with the things they need. I always want the home owners to make the modifications and improvements they need to stay. I like the idea of building on the past and improving a home full of memories. I enjoy the creative process of envisioning how that home can adapt with the family. I am always a little disappointed when they throw in the towel and move, which is sort of ironic because my husband is a realtor. For me, there is something about the emotional connection to the home and optimism for the future. Continue reading

From the Heart2

Make Your Speaking Engagements More Social Savvy

Businesswoman giving presentation at podium

If part of your job as a subject matter expert is public speaking and you put a ton of effort into creating a presentation, why not take it to the next level? Make it more social friendly.

You should be getting the most impact from your time and your company’s investment. Here’s how.

Get Ready

Once you are confirmed as a speaker, go to the event web site and find the registration URL and the event hashtag. Confirm the date, time and room number for your session. It’s always great to have this kind of detail handy when you use social media at the event.

Before the Event

A week or a few days before your presentation at an industry event you can start building some anticipation (and help fill the seats!). Post the event registration URL on your LinkedIn page and let your connections know when and where you are presenting. People in your circles with common interests will appreciate a heads up.

A simple tweet with “Looking forward to…” and the event hashtag really helps let people on Twitter know you will be there. Some of your Twitter followers attending the event may want to catch your session or help give your session a plug. Continue reading

From the Heart2

Taking a More Zen Approach to the New Year

Japan new year

Happy New Year! We all say it and sometimes we toast to it, but often it’s just like another day.

This year, I decided to use the “new year” to really gear up for 2015. But how? I wasn’t sure – making big resolutions last throughout the year can be pretty tough. I needed a way to ease into it and something that would work for me.

Before the holidays my teenage daughter wanted to build a loft in her bedroom, using some storage space we had. I agreed, because I had no clue what was stored away in that space anyway. It ended up being boxes of gifts we had received when we moved from Japan, Singapore and Indonesia. Some items like the Japanese zabuton (large floor pillows) were over 20 years old. With my daughter peering in the boxes, I couldn’t really argue that the stuff in this space was useful or serving our family. But some of it had some good memories. I’m going to get the zabuton cushions recovered and use them in our family room. Other stuff – it was time to let go of. Continue reading

From the Heart2

Setting a Deliberate Path to Principal Engineer

two beautiful businesswoman office worker discussing in the office

two beautiful businesswoman office worker discussing in the office

I ran into Cathy Spence (@cw_spence) at the Intel IT Leader’s Summit in San Jose. She mentioned she had just found out she was promoted to Professional Engineer. I realized I didn’t know much about the process or what that really means, so I interviewed her recently after everything was announced. Here’s our conversation.

Tell me about what you do at Intel.

I have two jobs.  First, I’m the Hosting Portfolio enterprise architect and my domain expertise is in Cloud Computing.  One area where I go deep is in Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) where I am the technical domain owner and have overseen the path to production. In short, I provide direction on how Intel IT can use the cloud to better run Intel’s business. Continue reading

From the Heart2

Fast-forwarding IT Careers with Social Media

Fast-forward IT Social

I have been encouraging all Intel IT employees to get on social media (internal and external) for a few years and really embrace mobility (i.e., start by downloading the Intel IT Business Review mobile app for the IT industry And I am so happy to see so many of my peers in IT now on Twitter or LinkedIn — and blogging on our internal collaboration platform and our external community. 

But it’s 2014 and there are still a lot of people “on the fence” — watching and waiting, but not quite jumping in. Here’s what I am learning about shifting the fence sitters.

It’s about the Benefits 

One thing that seemed to help was collaborating with my peer in Intel IT Training to create an online training series, “The Benefits of Being Social.”  The 5-part courses cover both internal and external social media platforms typically used by IT people (including LinkedIn, Twitter, HootSuite, and Jive). The first portion of the course reviews the benefits to the employee and to the company.

Each of the Benefits of Being Social courses walks through getting set up and creating your profile, how to follow and just lurk for a while, how to comment on things others post, and then how to post your own ideas or share useful information and start to really engage. It’s quite methodical – you do these same actions for each platform. Online training is great because people can go at their own pace. Continue reading

From the Heart2

Igniting Social Communities of Women Leaders

Young business woman in social network

Originally posted April, 2014  on Women’s Center for Leadership

For Women’s Center for Leadership (WCL), we are, at our core, all about community. Our mission is about our members.

 WCL is a consortium of professional women joined in developing leadership skills, sharing knowledge and building community in the Pacific Northwest.

I’ve been a member of WCL for about 10 years. My participation has evolved: from sporadically catching a monthly breakfast event at first, then attending more regularly as my daughter got older and could do more to get herself ready for school, and ultimately joining the WCL Board of Directors. I think many of our members have times when they are active, and times when they have to check out for a while to attend to other things. Many just do their best to stay in touch, even if it’s only reading the email updates and checking out a blog or two.  Having to make tradeoffs like this is just part of the reality for a lot of professional women.

Continue reading

From the Heart2

On Humble Confidence


This blog is more of a short story about a leadership lesson I learned.

One summer when I was in college, I came home and took Thermodynamics at a community college. When I had some free time so I helped my mom by taking my grandfather, her dad, on his errands. One day when I picked him up, I had my Thermo textbook on the front seat. He went to get in and put the book on his lap. As I drove, he thumbed through it, then closed the book, looked up and said, “Kelli, I really like you because you are smart but you don’t show it.” Hmmm, was that a compliment? Oh yeah, it was. You see, my grandfather was a machinist who never went to college, but he was naturally smart at math. I know this is where my mom and I got our aptitudes for math. He knew it too.

Then he went on, “When I worked in the shop, I would get plans from the engineers. Sometimes they’d be wrong. You know I could figure it myself, so I knew if those numbers were wrong. I would go back to them, but they didn’t want to hear it from me. I was only a machinist.” I stopped the car at our first errand and my grandfather looked over at me and said, “I am so proud you are studying these books and going to be an engineer. Just never act like those fellas.”

I didn’t realize it at the time, but he was urging me to be competent but not arrogant or too full of pride. He wanted me to act with humble confidence.

Over the years, I have realized that my grandfather gave me some really solid leadership advice. We all know leaders need to be competent and confident. But a leader who is that and also humble, is more human, more approachable and maybe even more respected.

Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.  -Thomas Merton

A humble leader listens because they can learn from others and they also own up to their mistakes (unlike those arrogant engineers my grandfather had to deal with).  This is the kind of leader that inspires me. The kind of leader I aspire to be.  And I think my grandfather would approve.