“Roar” Tops the Charts! Thank You, Katy Perry

Published on LinkedIn Influencers on October 31, 2013

Both my daughter and I love music, and at the moment, there’s one song we both adore: “Roar” by Katy Perry. We can be caught belting it out while driving up and down I80 from Salt Lake City to Park City. Released in August as the first single off of Prism, Perry’s latest studio album, “Roar” has been on constant rotation in my house, and not just because it’s infectious and catchy, although that’s a plus. What we love so much are the word!

“You held me down, but I got up
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up
Get ready cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar”

What a wonderful empowering message for our young girls, and I have to tell you, as a mother to a teenage girl, I couldn’t be happier that one of the biggest female pop stars in the world has released a song that is not only appropriate to be singing along to with my kids, but is also just so freaking awesome. When asked about the inspiration for the track, Perry says that the lyrics come from the fact that sometimes we can all be our own worst enemy, and that by finding the strength within us to stand up for what we believe in, we can accomplish anything. You go Girl!

One of my personal favourite lines in the song comes when Perry sings, “I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything”, and I couldn’t agree more. When you lose your convictions in life and forget what you stand for it is easy to lose your way, but as Perry later sings, “I went from zero to my own hero”; no matter how lost you become, it is always possible to pick yourself up and keep going. I wish this song was required listening for every young girl out there who may be doubting themselves for whatever reason, because I truly believe, and I’m trying to instil in my own children, that anything is possible once you put your mind to it.

So as a mother and as a fan, I want to offer my congratulations to Katy Perry for all the successRoar” is currently enjoying, as well as my heartfelt thanks for releasing such an inspirational empowerment anthem. The full album, Prism, was released last week, and yesterday it was announced that it had debuted at number one on the Billboard charts. I know I for one will be picking up a copy, because with all of the less than desirable female role models for young girls out there, I want to make sure that I put my money behind someone like Katy Perry; someone who uses her clout not to shock, but to inspire. Her movie was pretty good too!

Jacki Zehner with Laura Moore

My First Job: Hockey + Math = Wall Street Trader

Posted on Linkedin Influencers on October 29, 2013

I was born and raised in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. It is a beautiful place nestled along the 90 mile Okanagan Lake in the heart of Canada’s wine region. My parents lived there for most of their lives, with my dad growing up alongside six brothers and one sister. Canada. Boys. You guessed it. Hockey! Even though our television only had two channels while I was growing up, at least one of them seemed to show hockey games 24/7. My dad’s favorite team was the Montreal Canadiens, and we had a local farm team called the Kelowna Buckaroos to support. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to hear that my very first job was working at the concession stand at our local ice arena.

Back in the late 1970s, not only did we not have cash registers (or tills as we call them in Canada), but the only calculators we had to rely on were the ones in our heads. It was during those brief intermissions during hockey periods when everyone would rush up for refreshments, meaning the lines would be long and patience would be short. Thankfully, the prices were usually rounded to the nearest quarter, but you had to do the math on the fly and very quickly. “Two dogs, large Pepsi, a KitKat, and a popcorn” would be blurted out at me, and a sum total would have to be provided nearly instantly. “$6.50 please.” If I was lucky, I made a couple dollars a night in tips.

So what did I learn and how was this connected to what I would do later in life? First, I learned how to deal with pressure. At 14 years old, serving customers is stressful, but this stress was exceedingly magnified when the lines were long and the service was expected to be fast. During those 15 minutes we hustled and the energy was high. I discovered that I loved this feeling, and I would challenge myself to be the fastest server at the concession. A decade later, when I was being interviewed for a job on the trading floor of Goldman Sachs, I realized that the atmosphere felt strangely familiar. The noise, the yelling, the energy, all the men everywhere; it was like coming home.

Second, there was the math. I realize that adding prices in your head is not calculus, but the speed in which I had to make these additions made me really comfortable with numbers. Have you ever gone to a store and tried to give the cashier change after they have punched in what they thought you were going to give them? 99% of the time they cannot do the math. “That will be $9.10 please.” You give them a $10 dollar bill, and then decide as an afterthought to add in a quarter? Most can’t figure it out. This very basic skill seems to have gotten lost, and it is one that I learned at my very first job. Today, I spend the summer with my family at our farm in Canada, and we sell fruit from our orchard roadside. As I watch my kids having to make change, it makes me smile. They also have straight A’s in math!

A first job that involved basic math, dealt with cash, required friendly service, and forced me to be quick on my feet, proved to be an amazing training ground for a career in trading floor finance. From my concession stand job I moved on to flip burgers at Dairy Queen, selling sneakers at Footlocker, being a cashier at my dad’s supermarket, being an attendant in the weight room at my University, and many more. Did I know at the time where any of this would lead? Not at all; I just took one job at a time. I was never without a part-time job for long, working full time during the summers, and I believe these experiences made me a better and more efficient student. Somehow I found time to ride horses and compete in body-building as well. With youth unemployment so high today, many kids cannot find jobs, and are therefore missing out on key experiences that will help them in immeasurable ways later on in life.

Now I know what some of you may be thinking. Most of my jobs seemed to have me working with and around a lot of guys, and jocks in particular. From hockey players at 14, to body-builders at 20, and traders and investment bankers at 24, that would be a correct observation. Anyone who knows me, knows I am a champion for women’s leadership, and I will work to advance gender equity until the day I die, but please don’t ever accuse me of not enjoying working with women and men alike. Was my first boyfriend a hockey player I met at work? You bet. His name was Leon Gabba, and most of those early dates were spent watching him play. Fun, eh?

Global Women’s Leadership Summit – Join Me

jacki_zehner1 I am excited to be presenting this year at The Global Women’s Leadership Summit (GWALS) which kicked off on October 14th. In my session, which will be live online on October 29th, I will be talking about the advancement of women and girls. I am going to share my personal story on why this is so important to me and tie it into how I got where I am today as CEO of Women Moving Millions, who’s mission is to mobilize unprecedented resources for the advancement of women and girls.You’ll have to sign up and register to hear more!

The summit continues through November 1st with two weeks of amazing presentations and talks given by industry leaders, thought leaders, authors, (lets just say there is no shortage of successful, qualified and passionate people presenting at this summit.) But what is GWALS? The Global Women’s Leadership Summit’s mission is to “advance women globally by connecting you to the top women experts for education networking and community. We have the bold mission of advancing the financial prosperity and leadership capability of 5 million women by the year 2020.” Love it!

What makes GWALS so unique is the entire summit is webinar based. With everyone living such busy lives today its hard to find 3 or 4 days to attend these big events, not to mention expensive! GWALS is bring the top experts to you by taping each session and making them available online exclusively to summit participants.  On your personal portal you can catch up on any sessions missed and review sessions you’ve already seen. No travel, no hassle and unbelievable resources are just a click away. See below for a list of other people that are presenting at the Summit. It is not too late to sign up so  Click here to register and check out all the presentations that have taken place over the last three weeks!

Click here for the full summit agenda . Speakers include:

* Cherie Blair – Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women
* Marianne Williamson – NY times #1 bestselling author, spiritual teacher and international speaker
* Betsy Myers – Leadership Expert. Former COO, Obama for President; Sr. Adviser to President Clinton
* Riane Eisler – JD, Named one of the Great Peace Leaders with Gandhi, Dalai Lama.
* Meera Sanyal – Chairperson Royal Bank of Scotland  India.
* Joanna Barsh- McKinsey & Company Director Emeritus, Centred Leadership Project
* John Gray – Ph.D. Best-selling relationship author of all time, communication expert
* Gina Bianchini- Founder & CEO at Mighty Bell, Co-founder Lean In
* Janice Ellig- Named by Business Week, “The World’s Most influential Headhunters”
* John Gerzema – New York Times Best Selling Author, author of the Athena doctrine
* Shelly Porges – Head U.S State Dept. Global Entrepreneur Program, Former Finance Co-chair Hillary Clinton PAC.
* Sally Helgesen – Internationally acclaimed Author, Speaker and Leadership consultant.
* Maya Hu-Chan – Rated Asia’s top Leadership Expert