Deepak Chopra – The Soul Of Leadership

It was a pleasure and honor today to be interviewed by Deepak Chopra, the author of more than fifty-five books, including his latest one “The Soul of Leadership.”  This book, this interview, could not have come at a more important moment for me and is a perfect example of “Synchronicity.” In the book Mr. Chopra uses the acronym  L-E-A-D-E-R-S to provide us with a very practical guide to the development of these crucial skills. S is my favorite – Synchronicity. He defines it as “the unseen intelligence that puts you in the right place at the right time.” That has been the story of my life….

I chose to go the finance route in college because of a party I went to while visiting the school that was filled with commerce students. They convinced me that a business undergrad would be much more practical then a liberal arts one en route to law school.

In my junior year three amazing men decided to create a portfolio management program  at the University of British Columbia to give students the real life experience of running money.  Their generosity led to some incredible work experience, which contributed greatly to me being hired to Goldman Sachs as an analyst in 1988.

Of all the possible positions I could have been chosen for at Goldman I ended up in mortgage-backed trading where I became the youngest woman and first female trader.   People left at the right time to open up opportunities for me and thanks to amazing mentors my track was very short.

I became passionate about working on diversity and other human captial issues within the firm and the right people were there to make it happen. I truly loved that work and contributed greatly to know my second career, working for the advancement of women and girls around the world.

At the moment I was truly searching for a way to make a difference along came Women Moving Millions.  This initiative to encourage women to make gifts of a million helped me step in to my capacity, not only as a donor, but as a leader.

Now as Co-Chair of this brand new organization I will need all the crucial skills Mr. Chopra so beautifully lays out in his book.  He is encouraging us to be leaders that look and listen, that forge emotional bonds, that have a deep sense of awareness, that do, that empower others, and that accept responsibility.  Imagine our world if these were the characteristics of the leaders in government and business today.

I take this invitation to be on his show as a sign.  A sign that I am on the right path.  A sign that working full-out on the advancement of women and girls is indeed my calling.

The show will air tomorrow and you can find it via this link.

For those visiting because of the radio show please find below the links mentioned:

Women Moving Millions – Our new web-site is coming soon but this will provide an overview of who we are and what we do.

Women’s Funding Network – A Global Network of over 160 women’s foundations around the world.  Please consider supporting a local foundation of one that shares your interests and passions.

A Future Not a Past – To Stop the Child Prostitution of Children in Atlanta

Blessings and Peace.

* Sorry for the dated information – I am a former Vice Chair and current board member of the Women’s Funding Network.

Frank Coulson – A Man Who Truly Made a Difference in my Life

Last Friday I was travelling home from New York City and started a conversation with the man sitting next to me.  In short order we figured out that he was a good friend of the daughter of a dear friend of ours.  A few minutes later another connection was made.  A colleague travelling with him used to work at Goldman Sachs in the Philadelphia office.  In chatting with this gentleman the conversation quickly went to someone I knew we both knew well from that office, Frank Coulson.

Frank was a partner in the fixed income division and a truly legendary bond salesman.  I told my new friend that I would very likely not be on this plane, not be doing what I am doing now, if it were not for Frank Coulson.  I went on to tell him the story about the largest single trade I ever did as a mortgage backed bond trader at Goldman, and that trade was with Frank.  The story of that trade is forever captured in the book “More Than 85 Broads:  Women Making Career Choices, Taking Risks, and Defining Success on Their Own Terms.” 

The story contrasts how two men treated a young woman (me) on the trading floor one particular day, doing her best to be the best trader she could be. Frank was the hero of the story. Frank was the hero because on that day he trusted me, despite my inexperience, to execute a huge trade for his best client when he could have easily gone over my head.  That day, that trade, that TRUST truly changed my life.  It was that day I realized I could survive and maybe even thrive as a Wall Street Trader.

After sharing that story I went back to my seat, grabbed my journal and started writing about Frank. Today I heard that Frank Coulson passed away. My deepest condolences go to Frank’s family. He was a spectacular man and I am grateful to have known and worked with him.  He really did change my life.

Evelyn H. Lauder – Honoring an Incredible Wonder Woman

Evelyn Lauder

On November 12th the world lost a very special woman and one of the leading philanthropists of our time. The cause of her death, at the age of 75, were complications of non-genetic ovarian cancer.  She is survived by her beloved family: husband Leonard A. Lauder, her two sons Willian and Gary and five grandchildren.  Though I could not attend the funeral as I was at a Women  Moving Millions event in Washington, my thoughts and prayers were with her family.  This week, while in New York City, I did have the opportunity to meet with Myra Biblowit, the magnificent President of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. I left the BCRF board last year when I moved to Park City, but what an honor and a privilege it was to serve on it alongside Myra and Mrs. Lauder.

Mrs. Lauder’s life is a remarkable American success story. Born in Vienna, Austria, her parents fled from Europe with her during the Nazi occupation, eventually settling in New York City. Asleep when the ship bringing them to the United States arrived in New York Harbor, she awoke to see the Statue of Liberty. Mrs. Lauder would remember, and be inspired by, that symbol of hope for the rest of her life.

Mrs. Lauder was a philanthropic leader in New York City. She served on the Board of Overseers at
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and on the boards of the Central Park Conservancy and the Evelyn and Leonard Lauder Foundation. Many other charities also benefited from Mrs. Lauder’s thoughtful guidance and renowned generosity, including nonprofits devoted to health and human services, education and inner-city schools, the environment, women’s causes, and the arts.

The public perhaps best knew Mrs. Lauder for her work in bringing global awareness to women’s health, a passion that stemmed from a personal experience with early stage breast cancer. In 1992, she co-created the Pink Ribbon, now recognized as the worldwide symbol of breast health, and launched the Estée Lauder Companies Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) Campaign (www.bcacampaign.com). Each year, the BCA Campaign raises funds through its brands, employees, and retail partners around the world to help support breast cancer research. Mrs. Lauder founded The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) in 1993 to provide crucial funds to breast cancer medical and scientific researchers around the world. BCRF (www.bcrfcure.org) has raised more than $350 million and supports 186 researchers globally. She believed wholeheartedly the the prevention and cure for breast cancer resides in funding innovative research.

I would be hard pressed to name a woman who more fully used her resources – her money, her heart,  her corporate affiliation, her business savvy, her network, her time – to make a difference in the lives of others.  She boldly stepped out in front to be a leader in this movement to find a cure for all kinds of cancers. After sharing many stories about Mrs. Lauder over coffee at the Palace Diner on 57th street with Myra we ended thinking that  “so many have great ideas, but only a small percent act on them, and an even smaller percentage result in sustainable action.” Without Mrs. Lauder there would be no pink ribbon, their would be no BCRF, and the movement to end breast cancer would not be one of the most well funded movements of our time.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Evelyn Lauder Founder’s Fund, 60 E. 56 St., 8th floor, New York, NY 10022, or www.bcrfcure.org . Please consider a donation.  Blessings……………