Category Archives: How This CEO Needs to Grow

Confessions of a Late-a-holic

I’m a Late-a-holic, and I have to admit it.  I’d say about 95% of the time, I’m on time now.  I’m a little bit humbly proud of this fact, because I have made a big effort to respect other people’s time…as it should be.
However, even when I do show up on time, I’m still a Late-a-holic.   Because even when I’m on time, I’m still late in my mind.  I’m not fully healed.  
I run to my meetings.   I slam on my walking pants and keds and run down the stairs.  Running down the street, I miss all the opportunities to listen to nature, greet people, enjoy the special moments

And I get there and that means 2.2 minutes in advance.  Lightning.

I rip off my keds and pants slam them down to the bottom of my bag straighten out my skirt  smooth down my hair bend down look at a small mirror reapply any make-up stand up breathe deeply. I walk into my meeting with presence. 

But in my mind I’m still running, I’m just making it, and even though I am there at 4:00 pm and 10 seconds for my 4:00 pm meeting… I’m still late in my mind.  You’re Late-Girl, You’re a Late-a-holic, and boy do I want to get rid of this brand.

This post is part of “How This CEO Needs to Grow,” Pamela’s series about being transparent in the areas she is working on to be a better person and leader.

How This CEO Needs to Grow Flow Chart

Many of the posts in “How this CEO Needs to Grow” discuss how I try each day to honor people in my life. (For example, “I Run in Half Way Through” and “I Choose to Run“). Living a life that values people can be done simply by being on time or acknowledging a homeless person on my way to work. It requires carving out space and time in your life; it relates to both business and personal relationships.

I have put together a flow chart that incorporates this theme and discusses how important it is to value and respect people, understand their goals and respect their time.

How This CEO Needs to Grow Flow Chart

Daily Prosperity, Starting with Me.

Now I know I have to figure out how to carve out more time in between my meetings, to get there on time. I am finding that in my ‘running’ to meetings, I am falling — full out on the sidewalk, arms splayed, bags spilled all over — about 1-2x month.

I’ve been a runner so I just get up and keep moving. This last Saturday was a tough one. I really banged my knee with a blood and bruise. People drew breaths as they saw me fly on the concrete. But having taken care of my 3 nephews and nieces at a very young age, I always tell myself, “You’re Ok!” I flash big smiles to all around that it didn’t scare me and I am more than ok. Then I stuff every scattered paper, pen, an orange, a book, my cellphone back in my bag and take off. Get there on time.

I did. My dear friend was late for coffee. 25 minutes. So I could recollect myself, but the process, the on the way, made me halt. I need to build on not only the importance of being present for others along the way but also, now, the importance of treating myself with the same care and respect as I do others.

It is not so fun to run and fall and be on time.

My next goal, is walk, smile, connect and be on time.

This is going to be a big one for me. Will I still be able to get all the heartfelt things done I need to? The organization and order which makes me feel peaceful in my home? The important partnership which needs to be follow up on for UniversalGiving?

I am going to trust that it will. Following a sincere intention to care for myself as I do others, I believe, will ultimately bring a higher sense of peace and daily prosperity in my actions….

<< See the previous installment of How This CEO is Growing, “I Choose to Run”

I Choose to Run

There is a difference between being on time, and being on time as an ingrained habit. I have to say I am watching myself closely.

I am finding a few interesting things. First, I definitely choose to run. There are certain items I feel I truly need to get through before I leave to a meeting. So I’d rather run and be on time, than walk and be on time. That extra 15 minutes can help me outreach in so many ways.

I am speaking as much if not more so about emails, phone calls or thank you notes that relate personally in my life, rather than work. There are the messages that seem to be not necessary, such as an extra message to team member to thank them for work well done, or writing a note of encouragement and leaving it on a team member’s desk. But it is so a part of who I am, so ingrained in how I think and would like to act, that it is impossible to ignore. It must get done.

So part of me has made a silent request, putting it out there, that I naturally get up earlier so I can do more of these things. It is happening. Where I normally woke up around 7 or 7:20, I am now naturally waking up at 6:30, or even 5:45 some mornings. And still no caffeine, so that is exciting to see. It give me more time to over my gratefuls and do things for others.

So with that 15 minutes — I run to get there on time. It’s not easy. But I get there. I’ve met my goal to be on time.

The Importance of ‘On the Way’

However, as I watch this, there is a new feeling percolating. I am missing the stream of life on the way. There are so many interactions I have when I do walk. I can appreciate the blue sky or really experience the differing winds of San Francisco.  If you are still, you may hear a thin whistling wind; a low blustering wind which may whip about you, and the low hollow sound of a ‘flute’ type wind.  Nature impresses and moves us when we are silent.

I can also review my gratefuls for the day. I prepare my mind and heart for the next meeting so that I can be kind, giving, listening.

There are homeless people to greet. There is a person at the streetlight to say hello to as we both wait for the light to change. There is a call from a team member which I perhaps need to receive.  There is the daily call I put into my mom and dad, which I love to do.

There is an openness and a flow to natural living, giving and receiving what comes.

There is a giving of myself to that normal, relaxed moment, if I would allow myself that time more. I would still get there on time, which is the first goal.

No Presence

Instead I am intensely programmed. Shoulders down, elbows in, bags tight at side and I am beelined to my destination, no stops, no presence, no other opportunities allowed. On time. Go. Run. Sprint.

The good things I did which shortened my time to get to this meeting, I cannot now do on my way to the meeting.

Being Present With Myself

There is another goal. That is being present not only in my meeting, but also present with myself and the world, on the way.

It is amazing as we strive to improve ourselves, how we uncover other truths, other meaning, other ways to increase quality of life, quality of the moment, quality of the world.  Be in the moment, on the way.

<< See the previous installment of How This CEO Needs to Grow, “When I Walk In, My Mom Beams”

When I Walk In, My Mom Beams

From April 2010

While the following situation takes place in church, these values apply to all aspects of life.

Beaming with a Special Light of Honor

It’s now nearly 4 months later. I’ve made a sincere and strong mental commitment to be on time and it’s working. And I say that humbly because every day is a new day and I need to prove myself. Prove myself and my commitment to respect others, and in this case, my beloved mom.

You want to get to church on time, then this is what you have to do. Back it up and figure it out. I start preparing to leave work at 4:30. I actually don’t end up leaving until 5:30. Things come up. An extra email needs to be answered. A team member has a question. I want to finish a proposal. But now I have a bit more of the space to tie things up.

And often times I don’t or can’t tie it up. And I leave anyways. I am making that commitment, and it is working.

There are times when I leave past 5:30. I know what happens then.

I know you are tired, but you’ve left later. And in order to get there on time, you’re going to have to run. That’s right, bags and all. So I end up running for 30 minutes to get home (it takes me about 50 minutes to walk home.) I’d say right now this happens about 50% of the time. So not great, but I still get to church on time.

A Mom Beaming with A Special Light of Honor

I wish you could see my mom. She’s at the front of the podium….. And when she sees me walk in a few minutes before the service….she is just beaming. Beaming with a special light. It’s almost a special light of honor. I can see it’s one of the greatest gifts I’ve given her. The gift of not just my time, and not just being on time. The gift of respect and true presence.

I have to say here my mom has been amazing. Not once has she mentioned a word to me about being late. She just moves forward working on her own life, not criticizing at all. She is a beautiful leader in her own and different right. I can see, feel and know that she trusts I am growing, too.

So I am starting to see my energy change in other ways, too. And, even my positive view of myself. I have a deeper respect for Pamela. I feel less burdened.

Walk Upright

There is such a relief and joy to not slink, but to walk upright into a beautiful church and congregation. By honoring my mom I am honoring myself. I often think when we take a strong stance for something principled, more good and strength come to you in ways you’d not imagined.

It’s a wonderful thing. Growing, Respect, Caring. And yes, being on time. :)

Of course, I’ll keep checking back. Every day is a new day. A new day to be on time, to respect, and to allow someone else to beam.

<< See the previous installment of How This CEO Needs to Grow, “I’d Run in Halfway Through”

See the next installment of How This CEO Needs to Grow, “I Choose to Run”>>

I’d Run in Halfway Through

From December 2009

While the following situation takes place in church, these values apply to all aspects of life.

I’d run in halfway through.

But I showed up, didn’t I?

My mom is a reader at our church every Sunday morning and Wednesday night.  It is such a joy to hear her read the Bible and I make every effort to hear her, twice per week. I think I have missed maybe 5-10 times in the past two years, only due to travel.   It’s one of my top priorities. I make it.

But I am always late.

I told myself: “Something came up at work.”  “I couldn’t leave in time.”  “Church is too early.”  “I am happy hearing the second half, that’s enough, it’s something.”

It’s something.

But it’s not the whole thing.  And I wasn’t making a commitment.  Why was I always late?

Respecting My Team

I have consistent weekly meetings with my team, both 1-1s and as a whole.  I’d say 95% of the time I am on time.  I make it a point. We said we were going to meet, and I want to honor the team member, and honor our time together. I’m quite simply not late.

Respecting My Mom

So why then does the principle not translate? Why is it Okay to be late for my mom?

How would you feel if you were the leader of your church and your daughter came late everytime?  How would you feel?

Respecting Church

So why then does the principle not translate? Why is it Okay to be late for church? And if I am really going to push myself, late for God?


When I’d come in to church late, people would say, “Oh you had a long commute from San Francisco to Palo Alto!” Or “How good of you to come”, “What a great daughter you are”  or “You are so busy, of course….”

Not of course.  There is no excuse I can think of that puts work above Mom and Church.  Tell me one. I’ll listen but I can’t believe you.

Talking with Pamela

Worry, Rush, Slink, Apologize.

So I had to sit myself down. I had to think about why I was letting this happening.  I was enabling myself to be late.  My inner talk said: “It’s hard to leave work at 5. It’s hard to commute down. It’s hard to….”

Actually, when we think about it, it’s harder to be late. Think of the energy. You worry about being late. You rush in your car. You slink in, tiptoeing in the church with slumping shoulders and guilty “sorry excuse me” whispers to those present.   Then, you need to apologize to your mom. Overall, you just feel badly.

Worry, Rush, Slink, Apologize. It actually takes a lot of energy to be late.  Energy that can be better used elsewhere, for good!

So I am working on this.  I’ll check back with you.  I don’t like this feeling anymore, and I am not doing more for the world by being late, dishonoring my mom and my church. 

It’s not good enough to show up.
You have to show up on time.

Apply the principles of respect across the board.  Especially for moms.

<< See the previous installment of How This CEO Needs to Grow, “From How I am Growing and Learning”

Introduction to: How This CEO Needs to Grow

This is one of the hardest areas for CEOs, or at least for me. “How This CEO Needs To Grow.”

We all have areas in which we need to grow. And since CEOs are often under the light (which they should be because they are leading something of importance), it’s often hard to come forth with how you are growing.

As CEO you already face tough challenges, unknowns, crises. And if you are good, you try to shield your team from them, engaging them only where they can provide value and insight. Otherwise, it’s your job to handle these situations. Let your team focus and thrive on their goals, objectives and aspirations. At least, I hope that is what CEOs try to do.

CEOS already receive a lot of criticism. Good CEOS also know that they don’t and can’t know everything that their external partners or team is thinking. No matter how great a relationship you have with someone, there are parts of your style, execution or communication that they’d like to change… but will probably never tell you.

So you do your best, staying the course in trying to live to the highest levels of integrity you can each day. We watch ourselves, examine ourselves and try to determine our patterns. Laud the good and self-correct the less than stellar.

Then: Keep at it.

At the end of the day, soothe yourself with all you are grateful for. Attain your needed rest.. .and then we start the day again on a quest for continuous growth not only for our organizations, but also for ourselves. I have to say I find this an exciting way to live, a life of continuous appreciation of what it means to be aware, to grow.

As I write this, I’ve found that I believe leadership transcends all levels of your life. I am not sure we simply separate professional and personal, work and home, colleagueships and friendships. There are certainly extremely different dynamics, relationships, means of communication in each realm. But the values remain the same. With this, I am not saying that someone who makes mistakes, or doesn’t live up to their values in their personal life can’t be a good professional executor. But I can’t believe they are reaching their highest level of leadership. To achieve our highest level, our values have to synergize between work, home, play.

So we’ve designed this section How This CEO Needs to Grow to try to be as transparent as we can. Some of the areas might not seem to relate to work at first. But it’s all related: How can we practice the values we hold closest to us, in a way that is consistent? Across all situations…all people….?

As I read that I have to say I took a silent and mental very deep breath, as the times I haven’t been consistent come to my mind. It hurts to think about them. It’s a large undertaking to live honestly, and be honest about how you live. To really exist in accord with your highest sense of right, moment by moment.

So this is one effort toward transparency and the revelation of values in my life. I hope others will be able to grow and learn– from how I am growing and learning.

Warmly, Pamela

See the next installment of How This CEO Needs to Grow, “I’d Run in Halfway Through”