What's your "a-ha" moment?
Maria Huntalas 270007AC2S firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  sally-hogshead moments-matter #girlpower super-women smarter-commerce networking jo-kendrick women scgs smarter_commerce sheryl-pattek maria-winans bonnie-st-john
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A few weeks ago, I attended IBM’s Smarter Commerce Global Summit’s Super Women’s Group Networking Panel and Luncheon, and had the opportunity to immerse myself in pure #girlpower.
Moderated by IBM Vice President Maria Winans, the lively discussion rang true to the themes of the Super Women’s Group: Connect, Collaborate, and Achieve. The panelists featured distinguished women in technology sharing stories of how they made moments matter in their careers, with lots of impactful advice shared on how to recognize these “a-ha” moments, and turn them into meaningful opportunities. This event embodied what I love most about Super Women’s Group events.
The panelists and moderator all shared very human stories, featuring those “a-ha” career moments. These are the moments that tend to open the door to new opportunities for us – whether you realize that’s happening in the moment or not. It’s what truly defines those “moments that matter……most.”
For example, Sally Hogshead, author of FASCINATE: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation, talked about how, when faced with a personal health crisis, she had to pass on a career-defining opportunity while she was still very young. What happened next, she said, was an onslaught of “opened doors” that paved the way for her to launch a very successful career. Sally had spoken earlier that day during the General Session on how to persuade and captivate your audience, and she did just that with this very touching personal story, bringing to light my #1 favorite thing about Super Women’s Group events: It gets real.
Also on the panel was Jo Kendrick, Marketing Director at Homebase. Jo shared with us how her very unconventional background laid the foundation for her “outside the box” approach to innovative marketing that is creating meaningful customer-centric experiences at Homebase. She made history by becoming one of the first women to join Great Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF). At that time, the RAF did not allow women to become pilots, so she went into marketing. Jo went on to head up marketing at Homebase, leading the successful campaign “Make Your House Your Home.” Her story of transforming a “life happens” moment into a career opportunity drove home my #2 favorite thing about Super Women’s Group events: How to turn a defining life moment into a career opportunity.
We also heard from Forrester Vice President Sheryl Pattek, who is a Principal Analyst serving Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs). She provides the strategic guidance they need to succeed in the age of the customer – music to our Social Business ears! Sheryl spoke on the importance of seizing any and all opportunities that come your way, even if you don’t immediately see how to connect the dots.
Maria Winans did a fantastic job of moderating this panel discussion, infusing upbeat energy into the room and providing the perfect environment that both engaged and encouraged the audience to share their stories.
Which brings me to my #3 favorite thing about Super Women’s Group events: Never stop “paying it forward.” I left the room so energized to keep the discussion and interaction going with other women that I signed up for the next big Super Women’s Group event: A Roadmap to Leadership: Discussion of How Great Women Lead by Bonnie St. John, hosted by the Women in Finance Community. Bonnie is a former Olympic medalist, White House advisor, and even IBMer, and she’ll be joining us at IBM Yorktown on May 28, 2014 at 2:00PM – 3:00PM EDT, to discuss her latest book and do a 30-minute book signing session.
In the spirit of “paying it forward,” you can sign up here to watch the livestream, or attend in person if you are located in the New York area.