Your One Big Life - WCTF Career Conference, University of Michigan, 2014 Ann Arbor, Michigan


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Be the champion of Your One Big Life by learning how to stay focused on your goals through downturns, upturns and turnarounds. Intended audience: those interested in entrepreneurial ventures that can co-exist with the demands of work, family and fitness to build “one big life.” See the photos and handouts / references that go with this presentation on Deb's speaking page here:

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  • Winfrey was fired from her television reporting job because they told her she wasn't fit to be on screen.But Winfrey rebounded and became the undisputed queen of television talk shows. She's also a billionaire.After Sidney Poitier's first audition, the casting director instructed him to just stop wasting everyone's time and "go be a dishwasher or something."Wikimedia CommonsHe went on to win an Academy Award and is admired by actors everywhere.
  • 2. 10 (20) Why are we here? Our Stories Deb, Leslie Introductions  The more you adapt to change, the more antifragile you become. The more you learn HOW (your ability); it’s your ability to adapt to change and fit it into your current and developing situation, and take care in how you are tied to THINGS (house, car, rental, interest payments, lower priority items in your life, etc.) that are less important. What’s IS important in your life?
  • What creates fragility?What helps you go beyond resilience, which is NOT enough in a turbulent world? It is not enough to prevent isolation either3. AntsEmerging from wasp-like ancestors over 130 million years ago, ants have become the most successful terrestrial macro-scale species this planet has ever seen. Often considered a superorganism on account of their hive-mind composition, their evolutionary success has been attributed to their highly coordinated social organization, an ability to modify habitats, exploit resources, and defend themselves. Nearly 12,500 species have been identified, but it's thought that as many as 22,000 species may actually exist. Ants have also colonized virtually every landmass on Earth, and may comprise anywhere from 15 to 25% of the total terrestrial animal biomass. Put another way, there are more ants on this planet by weight than all humans combined.
  •  (10) Flex to Antifragile, beyond Resilience – Change - Ramping up your ability to adapt, change - Tension is good, Shifts are good, Creative Distruction is generally good, though it may not be good for individuals – at least not at first (DN) Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty. Yet, in spite of the ubiquity of the phenomenon, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile. Let us call it antifragile.Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder - Taleb, Nassim Nicholas-  433-435   “Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.” ― Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragile: Things That Gain from DisorderExample: Over: Career Transition Success Story by Guest Blogger Michelle RogersTru Story Exclusive: Starting OverCareer Transition Doesn't Have to be a Game of Chess by Guest Blogger, Michelle RogersRead Michelle's StoryWhen I think of career transition, I think of it in the traditional sense. You have a long career in one industry, you’re terminated unexpectedly and unable to find employment, so you start to rethink the rest of your working life and decide to take another path. Maybe you go back to school or maybe you have great connections who are willing to give you a chance in a related field or entirely different career. This has happened to many people, including the man I am dating, who was terminated from his sales job after 19 years in the industry and is now back in college. But that’s not my story.My story is about the importance of change and growth professionally, taking advantage of opportunities that come your way, creating some of your own, hard work and self-directed learning. All of this has prepared me as I’ve transitioned into new roles in the media industry.Where it All BeganI started my career, as documented on Ann Arbor Wiki, as a print journalist in 1992 at two weekly newspapers based in Chelsea, Mich. I was the sole reporter for The Dexter Leader, a small circulation broadsheet covering every aspect of community life. Through hard work -- covering every single meeting that town held, from parks, planning and zoning board, to village council, fire board, school board and PTO -- I was promoted to associate editor four years later, after the publications were purchased by Heritage Newspapers.In my new position, I still covered all of those meetings, designed the newspaper’s pages every week and took all of the photographs, but now I was designated the No. 2 point person in the office of five. If the editor was on vacation, I stepped up and made sure we met deadlines and got the newspapers out on time. The promotion came out of nowhere, with no discussion, no offer, no acceptance, just a pat on the back for a job well done as I was informed I had a new title and responsibilities. Of course, I was thrilled and felt empowered knowing the leadership recognized my hard work and was rewarding me.My second promotion came six years later, in 2000, when I was named editor of The Chelsea Standard and The Dexter Leader. Again, this came through hard work and demonstrating my ability to lead, my passion for community news and my commitment to the job by putting in whatever time it took -- often way beyond the average 40-hour work week -- to get the work done. Mavis McKinney, who was filling in during the summer of 2000 after the resignation of our editor, recommended me for the job. At the time, she was the assistant managing editor of one of our sister publications, The News-Herald, in Southgate. To my surprise -- and after telling her I wanted a new boss who I could learn from -- she recommended me and the publisher signed off on the promotion.The next six years was an intense, hands-on learning experience with highs and lows along the way. I learned a lot about myself during that time and grew in how I conducted myself professionally -- now in charge of a team of reporters, editors and interns, and a print audience of 8,000 and later an online audience in the tens of thousands. I took day-long leadership classes with other managers in our newspaper group and read industry publications about what other newsrooms were experimenting with and doing in the field of journalism as news was migrating online.As the industry evolved -- from me typing my articles on a typewriter (yes, even in 1992) and pasting strips of text and photographs on a broadsheet dummy, to the use of computers and design software that allowed us to send pages directly to the press -- I learned new skills. Think about all the changes in that time period. We got email and we no longer needed a typesetter as all I had to do was copy and paste content from an email into an article template for editing. We started using digital cameras and no longer had to drop film off at the local camera store and wait two days to have it developed. We no longer had to wait weekly to share news as we launched our website and posted daily. And we no longer had to restrict our crowdsourcing to official sources as we were able to open it up to everyone, “the crowd,” using social media.As all of this was occurring, I was embracing change, learning and growing as a journalist and editor. Throughout the years, I read up on changes at larger media companies and dreamed about the possibilities as predictions were made of where the industry was heading, with websites, mobile journalism, videos, interactive graphics and podcasting. I experimented with collaboration and embraced new ideas, starting with a children’s writing page called Writing Matters pitched and managed by parents. Our staff won Newspaper-of-the-Year awards for both publications under my watch from the Michigan Press Association in 2004 and 2005.Offering SolutionsIn 2006, when the editor of The Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader stepped down, I volunteered to temporarily oversee all four publications, all part of Journal Register Company, now Digital First Media. The editor of The Manchester Enterprise also left a short time later, and I volunteered again to take on extra responsibility. I think it’s important to offer solutions. In both instances, I was not aware of any discussions or a plan for what we would do in their absence, so I came up with one and it was embraced by our leadership. It was a lot more work for me, but it felt rewarding to help solve the problem and take on extra challenges until someone new was hired.I think problem solving, leadership and a never-say-no attitude were keys to my success as our publisher and regional editor recognized I was willing and capable of juggling multiple responsibilities. The publisher asked if I was interested in interviewing for the Saline/Milan editor position and initially thought it was a lateral move that wouldn’t benefit me or my career. However, after thinking about it more, I decided after 14 years entrenched in Chelsea and Dexter coverage, learning about and focusing on two new communities would serve me well and help me grow. I accepted the promotion, but also let the publisher know I was interested in more. I said my dream job would be to serve as managing editor of the seven publications that, at the time, made up our Heritage Media-West group, which includes the five publications mentioned earlier, as well as The Ypsilanti Courier and Belleville View.Checkmate. Another Promotion...In my new role at The Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader, I embraced social media, launching our first Facebook page and Twitter account months before anyone else in our group -- and many in the media industry as a whole -- got on the bandwagon. I also embraced video and produced a weekly headline news show with news readers from the community, and I was the first in our group to use video in our local reporting. My team was big on community engagement, now a buzzword in the industry, holding food drives and moderating candidate debates.Three years later, in July 2009, I was tapped for my dream position as the company launched an eighth publication in the group called The A2 Journal. Everything I had done earlier in my career had prepared me for my new position, as I transitioned from overseeing a staff of five and two mastheads to a staff of 13 and eight mastheads, as well as personally editing three of those publications, posting all of their content online and sharing on their social media platforms. I created new social media channels for all of our publications, pushing for efficiencies in workflow as we worked as a team instead of in separate newsrooms. I began recruiting blogging partners, teaching blogging workshops, changing newsroom titles and creating new positions (multimedia journalists, online editors and community engagement editors) that better reflected what we were doing and where we were heading.A year after my promotion, more good news. I was among 18 people from across Journal Register Company picked to serve in the inaugural ideaLab. We were told to spend 10 hours each week experimenting with technology and innovating to help move journalism forward and we were given the tools, an iPad, iPhone and netbook, as well as a stipend. I was the only one, out of hundreds of applicants, who had not applied for a coveted spot on the team. My name came up as someone who was trying to move journalism forward on a much smaller scale in her local coverage area. I gladly accepted, despite thinking it may too much in concert with my new role as managing editor.My work in the ideaLab has continued for the last three years -- and is ending next month -- with my final project being the Southeast Michigan Media Lab, which I received funding for through our parent company after a call for proposals. I work there today recruiting and working with blogging partners, and teaching social media and new media tools to the public. I spent my dedicated ideaLab hours experimenting with podcasting, and learning scores of new digital tools, from interactive timelines and maps to curation tools, surveys and polls for crowdsourcing to sound slideshows, data visualizations and audiocasts. I’ve also been on dozens of webinars learning about emerging social media channels, curation practices, digital storytelling tools and industry trends.Advancements in my career have been natural and subtle, from reporter to associate editor to editor of two publications to managing editor of eight publications and the website The big move came in February 2013, when I was named director of community engagement and editorial training for Digital First Media’s Michigan Group, while continuing as director of the Southeast Michigan Media Lab. For me, this has been the biggest challenge but also the most rewarding and fun. While I was initially taken aback when my boss told me the managing editor position had been eliminated, just as a number of other editor positions across our Michigan footprint had been, a sense of relief came over me when he told me he had another job in mind for me. The position was created with my talents, and the needs of our staff and audience, in mind.Moving out of a newsroom and no longer being involved in the day-to-day operations surprisingly has been an easy transition. I work full time at the media lab, which is housed inside a business incubator, SPARK-East in Ypsilanti, Mich., and I am surrounded by entrepreneurs and innovators. I also travel to Digital First Media’s newsrooms across Michigan and work individually with journalists contributing to projects, and conducting training workshops. I serve on a data journalism team, our Corporate Training Council and I am considered a member of the Michigan group’s leadership team. I am currently being trained on a new learning management system, and will be holding more formal training for our editorial staff using this new tool. This is exciting, but something outside of my journalism background and comfort zone. I’ve transitioned into an educator/trainer’s role. Michelle Rogers help Riglee Fisher with a blog post as the boy’s mother, Rita, looks on at the Southeast Michigan Media Lab, 215 W. Michigan Ave., in Ypsilanti.Next month, as I mark my first year in this new position, I think back on the making of my career. It was something I didn’t put a lot of thought in to. I know some people do. They have goals and action steps, and move on to other companies if opportunities aren’t available. I took a different approach, but unconsciously, and I was lucky. I just pursued my interests, challenged myself along the way, demonstrated my loyalty to the company, embraced change, continued to learn and innovate, and accepted any and all new responsibilities given to me. And I think it has worked out pretty well.April Scarlett, a local writer and blogger, wrote a post about me a few years ago. In the interview, I mentioned that what I do doesn’t feel like work and if I wasn’t doing it, it would be my hobby. She noted in her story that that sentiment is everyone’s dream -- to find a career that you enjoy so much it feels as if it’s not work. The tag on my “About Me” page on my blog says “A life where work and play are one.” I hope you find or have found a life where work and play are one.Michelle Rogers can be reached at, on Twitter at @ideaLabHeritage, @digitalJRN or @communityMediaL, or call 734-531-8774. Follow her blogs on WordPress, ideaLabHeritage’s Blog and Southeast Michigan Media Lab.
  • (10)  Reinvent – Intrapreneur - Entrepreneur Mindset - Do’s and don’ts when considering entrepreneurial work while in the university environment including intellectual property, conflicts of interest, navigating supervisor interactions, and developing your online presence/reputation*   (LM, DN)Be the best in the position that you are in WHILE you work toward the position you want. Be aware of your value; if you don’t create value, start.Job Titles Think about WHAT you do, not what your job title says you do. When you meet people, identify yourself by what value your position provides to the U-M, your organization, customers, or clients. You don’t have to use your exact job title on Linked IN, nor do you have to Professional Development How much time/budget are employees allotted within your department? (if you don’t know, you need to know)Navigating Supervisor Interactions Be Smart, watch what you share.Conflicts of Interest If you are at the U-M, study the SPG of Commitment THE LOOPHOLE!! Beware: some supervisors will try and use this against you.Intellectual Property ( Your Online Presence/Reputation Keep your channels separate. What is social networking space, what is professional networking space. Keep email, phone transactions, transportation, finances separate.
  • (10) Access to You – Profile - The power of a digital profile, portfolio and presence - Keep attractive and interesting for your customer stakeholders
  • (10) Access to You – Profile - The power of a digital profile, portfolio and presence - Keep attractive and interesting for your customer stakeholders
  • (10) Multi-Network - Ways to power up your network - BE WITH PEOPLE, live interaction, intersect live communication with online interactions - Ways to power up your network - establish, maintain, and expand your network consistent with your career plans (tool)  
  • In the 1980s, H.H. Owen started exploring how he could combine the synergy & excitement present in the meetings that happen within meetings… During coffee breaks  In the hallways  In the parking lot after a meeting  At the social gathering after the meeting. His exploration was eclectic: West African villages, Native American traditions, the wisdom of the East 3/31/2009Sources:
  • 16. Amid the turmoil and tumult of battle, there may be seeming disorder and yet no real disorder at all; amid confusion and chaos, your array may be without head or tail, yet it will be proof against defeat.17. Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline, simulated fear postulates courage; simulated weakness postulates strength.18. Hiding order beneath the cloak of disorder is simply a question of subdivision; concealing courage under a show of timidity presupposes a fund of latent energy; masking strength with weakness is to be effected by tactical dispositions.19. Thus one who is skillful at keeping the enemy on the move maintains deceitful appearances, according to which the enemy will act. He sacrifices something, that the enemy may snatch at it.20. By holding out baits, he keeps him on the march; then with a body of picked men he lies in wait for him.21. The clever combatant looks to the effect of combined energy, and does not require too much from individuals. Hence his ability to pick out the right men and utilize combined energy.22. When he utilizes combined energy, his fighting men become as it were like unto rolling logs or stones. For it is the nature of a log or stone to remain motionless on level ground, and to move when on a slope; if four-cornered, to come to a standstill, but if round-shaped, to go rolling down.23. Thus the energy developed by good fighting men is as the momentum of a round stone rolled down a mountain thousands of feet in height. So much on the subject of energy.Source:
  • Your One Big Life - WCTF Career Conference, University of Michigan, 2014 Ann Arbor, Michigan

    1. 1. Your One Big Life Leslie McGraw & Deb Nystrom Women of Color Taskforce Career Conference: Transforming the Face of Leadership, March 2014
    2. 2. Connect When have you dealt successfully with change, even when initially, it looked like failure? Wikimedia Commons
    3. 3. Agenda 10 Welcome & Connect 10 The Power of Our Stories 60 Antifragile: 5 Key Practices 25 Open Space 15 Raggedy Close
    4. 4. Stories “After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” ― Philip Pullman
    5. 5. 5 Key Practices to Be Antifragile “If about everything top-down fragilizes and blocks antifragility and growth, everything bottom-up thrives under the right amount of stress and disorder.”
    6. 6. Flex to AntiFragile Beyond Resilience Photos: Sponge, by rob.knight Flickr cc Butterfly, by Deb Nystrom
    7. 7. Anti-Fragile Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty. ...Yet, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile. Let us call it antifragile. Antifragile: Things that
    8. 8. Reinvent Intrapreneur & Entrepreneur
    9. 9. Intrapreneur Mindset Job Titles Professional Development Navigating Supervisor Interactions Conflicts of Interest and Commitment 5-1 Intellectual Property 7 Developing Your Online Presence/Reputation
    10. 10. The Four C’s • • • • Connect Clarify Commit Care
    11. 11. Access To You
    12. 12. Your Online Presence is: •Everything you say •Everything you don’t say •Your actions or inaction •What others have to say about you
    13. 13. Your Online Presence is: •Everything you say •Everything you don’t say •Your actions or inaction •What others have to say about you
    14. 14. MultiNetwork
    15. 15. SOCIAL Networking SPARK Yammer Conferences LinkedIn Staff Classes and Training VOICES Private Online groups Tweet-Chat (Twitter) Ann Arbor Chamber Events Google + Volunteering People Movers Brand Pages
    16. 16. Everythin g Happens in Perfect Timing
    17. 17. What is Open Space Technology? H. H. Owen’s assumptions: If the boss orders it, not much will get done. The best way to get something done is to give it to those who have a passion for it. Photo by nerissa's ring, ccc
    18. 18. Open Space Technology Principles: 1. Whoever comes are the right people. 2. Whatever happens is the The Law of Two Feet only thing that could have. 3. Whenever it starts is the right time. 4. When it’s over, it’s over.
    19. 19. Reflection &Wrap-Up What surprised you? What challenged you? What inspired you?
    20. 20. Agenda Welcome & Connect The Power of Our Stories Clarify 5 key practices to be Antifragile Clarify & Care Open Space Raggedy Close Care & Commit
    21. 21. What are your “Hopenings” to be Antifragile? References from today: