Archive for April, 2013

“Women in High Gear” – Book Review

Women in High Gear

Women in High Gear: A Guide for Entrepreneurs, On-Rampers, and Aspiring Executives

A Guide for Entrepreneurs, On-Rampers, and Aspiring Executives
by Anne Deeter Gallaher and Amy D. Howell
112 pages. $15.00


What do you get when you mix pearls from Pennsylvania and cowboy boots from Tennessee with a healthy dose of Twitter?  Well, it’s a power-packed recipe for success in the form of Women in High Gear: A Guide for Entrepreneurs, On-Rampers, and Aspiring Executives by Anne Deeter Gallaher (@AnneDGallaher) and Amy D. Howell (@HowellMarketing) .  These two highly accomplished marketing and public relations professionals have co-authored an inspirational and useful guide that transcends gender.

What is High Gear? Anne and Amy recognize that the answer will be different for each person.  However, they provide a guideline of qualities that includes confidence, resilience, intuition and vision.  Following their example, High Gear also means taking charge of your direction and connecting the dots on the road to your success.

I enjoyed the two-voice format of the book with Anne and Amy each bringing their experience and perspective to the subjects addressed. It is a book chock full of advice, examples and tips on areas that include decisiveness, personal branding, emotional resilience and much more.  For me, the most compelling part was learning about the journeys followed by Anne and Amy. Their backstories are the foundation for their accomplishments. Each took a different path to achievement.  The obstacles they overcame and choices they made are similar to those women face every day.


Amy D. Howell and Anne Deeter Gallaher

Amy D. Howell and Anne Deeter Gallaher

Women in High Gear resonates with the reader because Anne and Amy are very High Gear!  I have known and admired Anne for several years.  She is a respected and active leader in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania business community and is involved in many philanthropic activities.  I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know her better through the Harrisburg Social Media Club, which she founded.  Through my involvement with the Club, I’ve made many amazing connections, including Amy Howell.  Amy’s another well-respected leader in her community of Memphis, Tennessee, and like me, an ardent user of smiley faces and exclamation points in her postings!  Seeing Anne and Amy together and in action, you would think they had been friends for decades.  Not so, they met on Twitter.

This brings up another excellent and important theme in the book, the power of social media.  Anne and Amy explain how their digital connections have lead to some remarkable opportunities.  They provide solid and applicable advice on developing an online circle of support and influence.

Recently, there have been a slew of books dedicated to advising women on how to succeed.  Women in High Gear deserves to be at the top of any list of these books.  Although it may be targeted to women, its main message of personal accountability and the wealth of information provided, makes this book a must-read for anyone (including men!) aspiring to High Gear.


For more information and upcoming events, visit The Women in High Gear website.

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Multitasking and 4-Way Stops – Pt 1

“The Streets of San Francisco”


In 1985, Carmen Hass-Klau, an expert in public transportation, introduced Americans to the concept of Verkehrsberuhigung. Translated from German, it means “traffic calming” which is basically the measures engineers and planners use for intentionally reducing or slowing motor vehicle traffic.  I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m sharing this rather long and difficult to pronounce word and what does it have to do with multitasking.


Yesterday, I was catching up with a dear friend who recently returned from a three-week visit to her daughter’s home in San Francisco.  She was saying that driving alone in an unfamiliar city had been the most challenging part of her trip.  She was forced to step outside her comfort zone.  Then she mentioned that it was made tolerable by the fact that many of the intersections had 4-way stops, affording her an opportunity to take a breath and gain her confidence back. WHAM! You know those cartoons where the light bulb goes off over the character’s head…that was me!  Verkehrsberuhigung is working on the streets of San Francisco – could it work in other areas of life as well?


I recently wrote about the downside to doing too much in a guest blog (The Problem with Multitasking) on Spin Sucks and have been developing a plan for eliminating unproductive multitasking.  My friend’s traffic comment was an “Aha” moment. In business and life, we all have hilly, steep Lombard Streets to maneuver, so does creating our own “traffic calming” moments, those times that allow us a moment to breathe and regain confidence, make a difference?  Are 4-way stops the answer to juggling?  Stay tuned…

In the meantime, what kinds of “4-way stops” are effective for you?  I may use your comments in a future post!


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Top Three Takeaways From Social Slam


Why I Love Social Slam


I just returned home from attending my second Social Slam conference in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you’ve never heard of or attended Social Slam I highly recommend you check it out and plan to attend next year.

Social Slam was started by the Social Media Club of Knoxville and Mark Schaefer, well-known author, speaker and consultant, who produces the blog {grow}. In its third year, Social Slam is a premiere conference that draws the best and brightest minds in digital marketing and social media from around the world – folks like Jeff Bullas, Ian Cleary, Gabrielle Laine-Peters, Xan Pearson, Anne Deeter Gallaher, Amy Howell, Rick Wion and John Jantsch to name just a few.

Adhering to the mission to make the conference affordable for all, Social Slam attendees pay less than $100 for a day full of relevant information and unbelievable networking opportunities. For a bit more, VIP packages provide entrée into the pre-event party and some other nice perks.


My Top 3 takeaways from Social Slam:


* Social Media people are FUN! Whether it’s donning fake mustaches, making jokes or cutting a rug, hanging out with social media people is a blast. Just remember EVERYONE has a smartphone camera and they’re not afraid to use it!

*  Social media people are smart! And I mean really, really smart! There were breakout sessions with industry leaders that provided detailed advice on getting started in social media, building a brand online, understanding and using SEO, social media crisis management and more. We were treated to dazzling keynote speakers who informed and inspired.

* Social Media people are NICE! In an arena that operates mostly online, there is nothing like the opportunities that come from connecting with people “irl” (in real life).  I was able to re-connect with folks I had met last year and make amazing new connections.  They graciously spent their valuable time getting to know me, sharing info about their areas of knowledge and providing terrific advice.



I know it will take me awhile to digest, review and implement all I learned at Social Slam, but even if my initial takeaways were all I got out of the event (and they are not!), it was a worthwhile and valuable trip.

Are you using social media in your business or are thinking about doing so?  Make sure you keep Social Slam on your radar for next year.  Registration is usually announced in December.

If you also attended Social Slam this year, what were your favorite takeaways?

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