May 15, 2023

Good morning from New York City. I am very aware that this is graduation season. Several of my friends have children who are graduating, and I always look forward to hearing who’s doing the commencement speeches and hearing what message they have for the world.

Yesterday my friend called me. Her son Max is graduating from USC. Cathy Wood of Ark Invest, one of my heroes whom I follow quite closely, was the speaker at the USC commencement yesterday. I love that my friend called to share with me that her speech was very inspiring, even though it was short. Her basic message to the graduates was this: Let me get right to the point. The speed of growth and change is going to be unprecedented and something we have never seen before, and your job is to be on the right side of that change.

It was fun and it got me thinking, and I woke up this morning thinking  that is a message that applies to everyone, not only to college graduates, right? This convergence of future technologies is going to affect absolutely everything from transportation to healthcare, to all aspects of the financial infrastructure. It is going to be huge. One of the things that’s coming out in fact is that Governments around the world, not only the United States , are facing a massive learning curve, and they’re totally ill-equipped to deal with the legislation.  I think that’s more evident than ever with the whole chat GPT and generative ai. It’s going to be very interesting to watch.

Another thing that came into my mind this morning was a conversation I had a couple weeks ago when I attended an event. I met a woman around my age who was also there as a volunteer. We hit it off like a house on fire and she told me a really cool story. She’s a year or two younger than I am, and she was the creative director in a large advertising agency before going on to to create her own agency. We had a really cool conversation about the fact that  she’s currently working for one of her former employees

At first she wanted to help this younger woman, who she respects a lot. Then she realized that she herself was in business and that perhaps there needed to be some form of remuneration, and she told me this total win-win story. One woman valued the support and the validation and the credibility that the more senior person brought –  and the older woman who is only 60 years old – loves the flexibility, the ability to travel, to be engaged with new business, to support the younger woman and to continue to earn a living, albeit at a lower salary rate,

It really got me thinking and it made me dust off some of my work. I think I’ve mentioned before I’m an advisor to an AI company that has a personalization platform for e-commerce. I’m reevaluating the contribution I’m making there and how we might make that more equitable. I also am revisiting my resume. It’s funny, I thought it’s something that I would never do yet. I have this fear –  well, I don’t want to say fear – but I don’t want to be on the losing side of all this growth and change that’s going to happen. It’s very easy to give up and think I missed that boat, but I have not missed that boat. I want to stay engaged. It might not look the same as it did before. I might not be running my own company and generating the kind of income I was making before, but what I need and desire is to stay engaged and to make a contribution – and to be on the right side of all of this exponential growth that I know is in the pipeline. It’s going to happen very, very quickly.

So, these conversations have really sort of reawakened my desire to. do everything I can to avoid complacency. Now I’m not a complacent person, but in the words of my friend Maya I am endlessly entertained by my own inner world, the things that I’m doing with the podcast, my friends and the life that I’ve created for myself. So, I don’t consider myself a complacent person,  yet somehow I’ve been reawakened to the thought that I shouldn’t let my guard down too far.

This led me to some really interesting conversations this week. I spoke with the SVP of human Resources of a very large, well-known company, and I asked him how these ATS systems work. ATS means applicant tracking systems. That’s how companies manage this inordinate number of resumes that come through their systems. Just to give you an idea, he told me that for their summer internship program alone they received 30,000 applications. So they have this technology that resumes are run through, and it’s important to have keywords and language that line up appropriately to the job description. You can purchase a service to run your resume through, together with the job description, which scores your resume and highlights where your resume doesn’t hold up.

I also spoke to a senior guy who’s the managing director of a division of a high tech company,  and heard some of the challenges he’s having. This all got me thinking  about how I used to interview lots and lots of people in my job as an executive recruiter. I learned so much, and I’m glad this desire has been sparked in me to make sure that I stay engaged and connected to the changes and the challenges happening in the business world.

So all this to say that I was reawakened and I feel very motivated. I’d like to say that I’m fully aware that staying engaged and connected can take many different forms. If you’re working and under pressure and feel like you have no time, staying engaged and connected can be exactly the opposite of what I’m saying. It can be about unplugging and getting silent so you can hear your own voice and reconnect with what’s important to you.

So, I’ll leave you with this thought. Where are you on that spectrum of connection and engagement? I know I was tying this into the rapid change that’s going to happen in the world because that’s what’s on my mind. But connection and engagement may look very different for you. So where are you on that spectrum? Do you need to get out of your bubble and reengage and have conversations with people or do you need to unplug and find your quiet and reconnect with that which is most important to you.

I’ll leave you with that thought today. Until next time, from my heart to yours.

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dear Listeners,

Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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