How important is Creativity in your career?

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I love this message from Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo Chairman, in her fireside chat at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Enjoy the interchange between Ms. Nooyi and CEO Doug McMilon of Walmart.

I think there are many important points you may take from their talk. There are a couple that got my attention. Part of this is due to my background which consists of Fashion, both retail and wholesale, being the CEO of my own corporations for many years, and the importance of presentation and design in the marketing of my past products and my current business–writing novels.

Fashion: well, of course, that’s easy. We know design and creativity are integral to fashion.

We don’t have to think about it all. And we all know the expression, “Don’t judge a book by its cover!” But we still do! The marketplace is saturated with competition for your reading dollar. So if my covers don’t stand out from the crowd, no matter how great the stories will be, my work will not be noticed. Packaging is important. It’s really that simple.

When Indra Nooyi took over PepsiCo, she had a history to live up to, a brand image that was doing well, an iconic product.

So her challenge in 2006 was to set the tone of change, moving forward with the times without rocking the financial boat in the process. She set about doing this by gentle persuasion. Many silently ignored her and kept on doing what they had always done. But that wasn’t good enough. One of the comments Ms. Nooyi made was she wished she had done more executive buy-outs sooner instead of waiting, hoping that she could persuade the people running different parts of the company, for the need to move forward, the need to change.

I was quite fascinated by this chat. One of my ongoing challenges as an author in this era of fast-paced-technology is how quickly things change.

When I think I’ve mastered a way of doing something, someone moves the bar, and I need to learn a new approach. The task is challenging. But as Indra Nooyi states, it doesn’t matter how successful you are, the market is continuously expecting you to be miles ahead anticipating new tastes, trends, and styles.

At minute 14 she discusses design.

It jogged my memory of this summer when the hype for FIFA2018 hit the marketplace. One of the first things I noticed was how Coca-Cola–my brand of choice–immediately had their design team incorporate the soccer ball onto their product packaging. Subliminally it reminded us of the excitement we all felt here in Mexico and the pride worldwide for our teams who would be participating in this amazing event.

The history of change is openly and transparently discussed.

At the beginning of her tenure, the board and executives were hesitant for change. They didn’t see the need. But slowly over time, they got it! And now, not unlike you and I in our prospective careers, the market is moving so quickly the common challenge we all face is that we aren’t running fast enough to keep up!

I also enjoyed listening to the banter between Ms. Nooyi and Doug McMilon, CEO of Walmart. I’ve been out of the fashion business for many years now, but I admire the job that Walmart has done to update, stay current, and provide what the consumer wants in the manner the consumer expects to get it in today’s fast-moving marketplace.

This video is well worth the time you may take to watch–or in my case, I listen–while getting ready to start my work-day.

 

 

Read more about Lynda Filler in her highly-acclaimed memoir on healing LOVE The Beat Goes On.

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“This is a book every human alive should read and take away the lessons given. If I could give it ten stars, I would. It’s that good.”J. Sikes

When your cardiologist tells you to “Get your affairs in order, your heart condition is incurable,” what do you do?

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When I Was Your Age

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I have a hazy recollection of playing doctor with a boy when I was six. I think my mother caught us. Or maybe I made it up. I really don’t know. Most people can chronicle episodes from early childhood. I can’t. What I do remember is my first job. I was eleven. And I made .25 cents an hour. No I’m not THAT old! Well, maybe I am.

Every week my mother went to the hairdressers. My dad was a military man. We lived in Ottawa in a basement apartment and we were four kids. I think we were poor but we didn’t really know it. Either way every week my momma went to the beauty salon.

I remember her hairdresser so well mainly because she gave me my first job. I got to wash hair on Saturdays for .25 cents an hour. At the end of the day I would take the used towels, wash them out by hand and hang them outside on a clothesline. It’s not that washer/dryers didn’t exist… I’m sure they did. But we didn’t have one at the salon. Can you magine hanging and taking down frozen towels, in minus 10 degrees, in the brutal Ottawa winter?

Momma would tell me stories about her sisters who were born with their amazing Irish curly reddish hair. She was so jealous. So every couple of months she would get what was called a “permanent.” She would sit with chemicals in her hair and rollers that were supposed to make her hair curly for a month or two at a time. I don’t know if that even exists today. And then, weekly, her hairdresser who had the most beautiful Amber Rose blond pixie cut hair would put Momma’s straight/sometimes chemically induced curls,  in metal rollers, and sit her under a huge bubble hairdryer to set. I never ever saw my mother wash her own hair.

Over the years I went to the hairdressers only for a cut or colors–yes I’ve always been a fan of multi-colors. I’ll blame that on my passion for fashion. Beauty parlors were never my thing—until last year. I went from a spiky short cut that had been my trademark for twenty years and let my hair grow shoulder length. And now, going to see Miriam (aka MY hairdresser) every week has become my “thing.” And every time I go, I remember my mother. And my aunt who had those luxurious curls that my momma loved so much.

This morning I sent this photo to my sister.

Momma would have loved my curls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOVE The Beat Goes On

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My amazing birthday ended with fireworks and chocolate lava cake, and two young men who filled my heart with joy. But that’s not where it started.

The beginning of a new decade is a pivotal time in anyone’s life . For me it’s a champagne-popping moment to make a committment to take risks that will take my breath away. It’s also an anniversary. It was almost ten years ago that I was given six months to live and I’m about to publish that story.

I love five star dining; I also love dining on my own. But… The little voice inside my head tells me I should go with someone. What will “people” think? Would you feel pity for a single woman in an elegant restaurant alone on her birthday? It wasn’t an easy decision. I made the reservation and thought about canceling it several times. But I did it!

Every single moment was magical. I held a conversation inside my head of all the wonderful adventures and plans I have for 2017. I let go of control and suggested to the waiter that he surprise me with each course of my meal. He nodded in amazement, but reveled in my pleasure at his choices.

The waterfront bistro nurtured me with understated elegance and candle-lit tables on rattan mats on the sand. I watched the sunset paddle boarders and the twinkling lights of the yachts resting on gentle turquoise waters. And sighed over the soft lilac and rosy glow across the Sierra Madre Mountains surrounding the Bay of Banderas.

But most magical of all, were two young boys that shyly approached my table after my surfboard with chocolate, macaroons and ice cream erupted in delightful fireworks.!

“My Daddy said it was okay for us to come and tell you that we think you are beautiful, and we want to say Happy Birthday.” How perfect is that.

The next 365 days will hold moments of magical living that will take me outside my comfort zone. Do you want to join me?

 

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