Speaker Articles

A Boy, His Dog and the Future of Healthcare

Sandra FenwickBy Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO, Boston Children’s Hospital

Last summer, 10-year-old Hunter VanBrocklin visited Washington D.C., and accomplished things he would never have believed possible—things that weren’t possible for him just a year earlier. Hunter, who has cerebral palsy, bypassed the ramp at the Lincoln Memorial, and instead climbed all 58 steps with the help of his Great Dane service dog, Wendy. He crawled, without braces or knee immobilizers, through vents at the International Spy Museum. And he met with lawmakers from his home state of Maine to share stories about the care and services that made his visit—and his quality of life—possible. Read More

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Office Politics: When Bosses Behave Badly

Power may not always corrupt, but it sure can bring out the egomaniac in some managers. That’s what industrial and organizational psychologist Amy Cooper Hakim found while doing research to update her book (which was originally written by her grandmother), Working with Difficult People: Handling the Ten Types of Problem People Without Losing Your Mind.

Of the 10 kinds of bad bosses you might encounter (yes, there are that many!), she says that narcissists are quite common. “Someone who is cold-blooded and ego-driven as a boss was probably like that as a subordinate, but it didn’t affect her manager, or for that matter, her colleagues, the way it now affects her direct reports,” Hakim explains. “When used for good, power can achieve great things. But when used improperly by a narcissist, it leads to bullying, which spirals downward and hurts productivity and morale.” Read More

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Shonda Rhimes on Grit, Success and Her Latest Project

With three TV series returning this season (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder”) and two debuting (“For the People” and a to-be-named “Grey’s” spinoff about firefighters), Shonda Rhimes is a busy woman. Summer was no exception, since the shows resumed production in July. Still, Shondaland’s chief storyteller (that’s her official title at the production company) added a new project to her plate: Shondaland.com, the website.

“It’s been a whole other outlet, which has been great,” says Rhimes, who interviewed straight-talking Rep. Maxine Waters, among others, for the site. The prolific TV hit-maker plans on contributing frequently: “I’m going to write about what’s going on, things I’m interested in, what I’m thinking about.” Though she wants it to be clear that she won’t be the only writer. “We’re going to have a lot of different voices and stories,” she says. “As we’ve been telling people, the site is about life, not lifestyle—covering politics, culture, news and other issues important to women as well as telling women’s stories.” Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Success & Leadership Tagged , |

Taking a Seat at the Table: How I Learned to Use My Voice to Champion Diversity and Inclusion Programs

Samantha SantiagoBy Samantha Santiago, Claims Strategy Director, Liberty Mutual Insurance

A proven asset to all companies, diversity of thought is the idea that our thinking is shaped by our culture, background, experiences and personalities. It is also about different work styles and approaches. In short, each of our unique perspectives is our currency—we all have what it takes.

Yet as a young female executive, I did not bring my authentic self to work. For almost 15 years, I did not contribute my full self, and as a result, I experienced tremendous self-doubt, missed out on sponsorship, lost opportunities for promotions and endured a whole host of uncomfortable conversations. What I held back: the fact that I am gay. I did it out of fear of being pigeon-holed, which led to a fear of being outed, which, in turn, made me hold back even more, refusing to join any employee resource groups. Read More

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Negotiation Tactics That You Should Drop

Leslie K. JohnBy Leslie K. John, Associate Professor, Harvard Business School

Whether you’re negotiating the terms of a contract or the price of a used car, the ability to encourage the other side to be open and forthcoming is key. Yet making privacy or confidentiality assurances or speaking in an overly formal manner can complicate the interaction. In fact, prior research, including research conducted by my colleagues and I, has found that these efforts can backfire and make people more likely to lie and less likely to disclose information, both of which inhibit successful negotiation. Read More

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