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The Lowe’s Difference: My Thoughts From Their Leadership Summit

The Lowe’s Difference:

I had the honor of participating in the Lowe’s Leadership Summit.

It all began a story.  And a packed room of amazing women leaders from throughout the world.


Here’s what I took away!

  1. Lowe’s Women’s Diversity is Strong. Did you know when they send the note out about the Women’s Leadership meeting, it would fill up in less than one hour?   They expanded the room this year, and added more people from Canada, India, and beyond.   They mean business. They are amazing women!
  2. Leadership matters. Robert Niblock, their CEO, stayed the entire meeting.  He didn’t sneak away for calls or meetings and truly participated.   Women’s leadership at Lowe’s is important to him.   Jennifer Weber, the CHRO, of Lowe’s led the meeting and participated the entire time.   This participation showed me that Lowe’s knows that diversity matters.   It is not just a nice to have.

img_73653.  Inspirational Takeaways from Amy Cuddy, Alison Levine and Kristan Seaford

  • Success isn’t always about going up, sometimes it goes up, down and sideways – embrace and learn – Alison Levine
  • Hope can change lives and business – Never give up – Kristan Seaford


  • Feedback is free. Growth is optional.   Anna Marie Chavez
  • The Power Pose is backed up with real data. Make the change – Amy Cuddy


4.   Startups + Enterprise = Innovation and it is alive and well at Lowe’s. Lowe’s Innovation Lab’s is all about disruptive technologies, including shipping a 3D printer to the International Space Station to help astronauts print parts and tools on demand. They also developed the Holoroom, a VR headset to help shoppers visualize bathroom and kitchen improvements. The Woman of Lowe’s have phenomenal ideas that can help innovate Lowe’s into the next generation.


5.  Have common values and goals. The key to making any relationship work is to have a common vision as the foundation. The entire day was based on the value based structure of Lowe’s.

  1. Be a part of something bigger
  2. Make a difference in somebody’s life every day
  3. Listen intently, sense and respond
  4. Be who we say we are
  5. Give your best always

My Summary

My favorite quote is “Tell me the facts and I’ll believe, but tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever!”.   This Summit for Leadership and Innovation was a set of stories that will live in my heart forever.  From Jennifer’s opening, to Robert – the CEO – stories about each of the values, this conference was a driver to more innovative approaches through diversity of thought.

Dads of Daughters – Secret Weapon for Changes in STEM

Diversity Drives Innovation

Diversity drives innovation.  According to HBR, employees of firms with diversity are 45% likelier to report a growth in market share over the previous year and 70% likelier to report that the firm captured a new market.  But companies have driven for this goal for a while attempting to do the same things to make change.   Albert Einstein once said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is insanity.

And change is needed.  While over 50% of today’s consumer purchases are made by women, where products are designed and funded, women are underrepresented.   Only 6% of venture capitalists and 16% of founders and their teams are women today.

What should we do differently to drive a change?

Women have been supporting each other since the early days of quilting circles to lean in circles from Sheryl Sandburg.  And while these groups are important and valuable (I am on the board of Girls in Tech, and WITI as well as on the advisory board of GSV Reboot), we need to do some things differently  to drive change.  To move to the next phase of driving more women into leadership roles in enterprise, startups and venture capitalists, we need women and men working to change structural circles by co creating together.


Dads of Daughters – Secret Weapon for Diversity in STEM

I have successfully run diversity groups in large organizations.  Companies often ask me the secret of the success and while there are a few, one of the biggest was bringing in dads with daughters to play a role.    Why?

Every movement must have a personal passion.   Dads of daughters have the passion for making progress as they do not want their daughters to face what women today face.   Daughters encouraged by their dads are twice as likely to graduate from high school, and score higher on STEM subjects.


By having dads of daughters and women and girls coding, designing, and disrupting around healthcare, safety, wearables, financial services, and more, we can showcase talent to corporations and startups, and really start the movement of change.   I have dads of daughters in the advisory board positions of diversity groups and on my teams.

For one project, I carefully selected my partner in the work effort based on his background.    He was a dad with a daughter.   Once I explained our work to hire more diverse candidates in tech, he got it intellectually but more importantly, he got it emotionally.  He did not want his daughter earning less or not feeling included just because she was a woman.   Winning his mind and his heart showed in his passion and preparedness for our meetings.

If a startup begins with 10 people and 3 of them are women, the ratio as the company grows remains the same.   We are going to fix the gender diversity epidemic in Silicon Valley engaging 100% of the population.   We know that gender diverse companies outperform those who aren’t…so it isn’t charity.  And we know if at least 3 of the first 10 folks in a company are women, it will mean hundreds more women when the company hits 1000 employees.

DoDs:  Dads of Daughters
So what do you do?  If you are a start-up, start early hiring a diverse and talented team.   If you are an enterprise,  engage dads of daughters in your efforts for inclusion, hiring, and promotion.   You will be surprised at how much having 100% of the team on the field makes a difference!

Women Rock! Paper Scissors! TedX Talk!


Honoring Robin Carey, a social media legend at SXSW – Saturday 5pm

Today I am pleased to share my condolences related to a well-known social media figure who passed last year. Robin Fray Carey founded Social Media Today, one of the first companies to manage online B2B communities that connect large organizations with people that they want to influence.

There’s not better place than at SXSW, the land of digital to hold a memorial for such a powerful and innovative woman! Robyn spent years building her reputation as a powerful force architecting strategies that helped companies reach their goals and audiences consume content they enjoy.
Here at SXSW we’re gaining the tools we need to be successful social professionals. Robyn led the charge in discovering that social media platforms offer huge promise to corporations seeking to interact and learn from customers, employees and experts!
Thank you Robyn for being such a powerful female figure and founder, and for leading the way toward a social future!
Much love.

The Global Entrepreneur Program from IBM Rocks!

Find out more about our Global Entrepreneur Program while attending InterConnect 2016!



5 Power Women Who Rocked IBM Interconnect

I loved Interconnect this year due to the great people who I met and expanded relationships with at the event.

Here’s my highlights so that I can share these amazing people!

  1.  Amy Wilkenson – Author of Creator Code – Amy wrote the book that outlines the 6 characteristics of the most successful US entrepreneurs based on her personal research
  2. Tamara  McCleaery – Creator of RelationShift – Social media extraordinaire and passionate supporter of Women in Tech.
  3. Adriana Gascoigne – CEO of Girls in Tech – an amazing speaker and leader of the outstanding group helping to fill our pipeline and help women in tech.
  4. Connie Mester, Founder and CEO of Thrive 4-7 – is driving to help well being with an app that is designed to help chronic stress, illness or workplace behaviors so that employees can live healthier, more productive lives
  5. Jane Russenberger, Director, Genetics and Breeding, Guiding Eyes for the Blind – who is using technology to help increase the number of guiding eye dogs for those in need.

As you can see, these women are not only driving strong ROI for business, and using technology, but they are changing the world.   They touch relationships, health, business, the disadvantaged, and mental health.   I feel honored to have met each of them!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hi Friends!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and I want to thank you for the comments and notes you’ve sent me throughout the years.  Really, you are the best readers any blogger could have.

These start up lessons are among the most valuable!  Did you know that the top 4 startup lessons make up 80% of struggles that startups have?

I love the fact that being an entrepreneur is a club — sharing is part of it.   And that makes the startup nation lessons even more powerful and drives all boats to rise !

Let me know what you think of these lessons or others that have taught you!


HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Fun topic: Why do we call it a Turkey!? #socbiz #cloud #thanksgiving

Why Do We Call It a Turkey?

Turkey—the bird itself—is native to North America. But the name turkey is a geographic pretzel. As you might suspect, the English term for the bird comes from a country called Turkey. But more precisely, the word stems from Turkish merchants who, in the 16th century, imported guinea fowls to Europe, where they were called Turkey-Hens.

When similar birds were found in the Americas, they were mistaken as Turkey-Hens. So the name Turkey stuck and is now used worldwide for the bird.


Happy Thanksgiving! Thankful for each of you including our #Open Source #Developers!

Do you know the TOP Trends? ! Watson does …

WOW!   Today we’ve announced a cool new app!   The IBM Watson Trend .   Try it out  ….  Watson Trend app is live  (  ) and the team is excited to engage consumers to learn where we take this next.

The IBM Watson Trend app forecasts what’s in and what’s not this holiday season. It provides a visual feed of the top 100 trending products and the stories behind those trends across three popular gift categories: consumer electronics, toys, and health and fitness. Insights you can use right now to start crossing off your list!

Try it out and let us know what you think!!!

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