All Posts by Pam Baker

Striking the Perfect Pitch

Friday night at our house is movie night. Which you might think would mean we’re up to date on the latest. You’d be wrong. Our 10 year olds far prefer seeing movies they’ve seen many times before… and so the family polling this past Friday resulted in a victory for Pitch Perfect 2 (often it’s a tie between the second and third in the a capella series).  

While I usually look forward to the singing (seriously, how is this possible without instruments??) this time a different scene struck me. It’s when the Bellas are at the final night of the Retreat, sitting around the campfire. They’re all within a month or so of graduation and Becca, like lots of future grads, talks about all the pressure she’s putting on herself, her worry about failing and belief she could figure it out on her own – but realization that it’s tougher than she thought.

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Five Seconds to Progress

I was going through some of our old family pictures the other night and came across one that made me laugh out loud at the memory. My then-three year old was standing in front of this lovely rock wall with water cascading down. With all the restraint that a three-year old could muster, she waited a whopping three seconds or so to plunge her hand into the water to see what would happen. I’d taken the picture before the result of her decision so didn’t have the version that showed her shocked, and drenched, by the water explosion that ensued. But that visual was etched clearly in my mind.

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Change. One of the Best Leadership Teachers.

I met a woman recently who happened to be part of a team I’d led years ago. Our conversation brought me back to the experience of walking into that job. I’d joined as the beloved prior leader, who had been there for many years, was moving onto a different role in the company. Within weeks of my arrival, I got a new boss who was under the gun to improve our team’s efficiency. The next two years involved an overhaul of our team’s processes, job descriptions, structure and how we measured success. Plenty of people wondered aloud – loudly – how I and all of the changes that came with me could possibly represent progress.  I made plenty of mistakes.

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7 Career Insights….From the Gym

I met with two good friends in the past month who were both struggling to get into a regular exercise routine. I happily offered to support them however I could – because while I’ll fully admit there are plenty of good habits I’ve yet to create, getting to the gym is one I can put in the win column.  In the process, I’ve learned quite a bit about myself that applies well beyond. Continue reading

Want to get 50% less out of your summer job? Skip this step

I hosted a barbecue last week for a group I’m a part of. I was lucky to have lots of help from my family, my husband on the grill and the girls walking around offering appetizers and filling drinks. My daughters enjoy all the accolades and get to hear some of the adult conversation – which they pretty quickly decide isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Continue reading

Want to turn down others’ stress levels? Ask for their help

As a newly minted entrepreneur, I’m learning a lot. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned about myself is that when under stress, I have a tendency to do rather than think about the best way to get things done. Unfortunately this is the kiss of death in my new world. The more I try to tackle, the less I get accomplished, and the worse the ultimate result. So one of my areas of growth is to reach out and get help on the things that are new to me. Continue reading

The Power of Failure To Find Our Fit

I got together with a dear friend over the weekend. He’s someone who I admire greatly for his amazing insight into and knowledge about people, a skill which has proven invaluable to him and those of us fortunate enough to work with him. The talk eventually turned to current events and Wimbledon. Despite being an accomplished tennis player who played at an elite level throughout college, he said he now rarely watches the game on TV and scarcely knew who was in the tournament. A not-at-all accomplished tennis player myself, I said the same, remembering watching tennis on TV when I was much younger but not being able to mention players more recent than the Williams sisters.

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Harnessing design thinking so students can design meaningful journeys

Design thinking has been a hot topic over the last few years and applied well outside of the design world. Businesses that are household names have incorporated the principles. What’s the basic idea behind design thinking? According to the Design Foundation, “designers’ work processes can help us systematically extract, teach, learn and apply these human-centered techniques to solve problems in a creative and innovative way – in our designs, in our businesses, in our countries, in our lives.”  Which is why universities are increasingly interested in adopting this framework as they help students in designing their post-graduation journeys.

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It’s Tough To Reach Your Peak Performance If You’re Not Willing To Try A New Gear

Our picture perfect day yesterday inspired me to get out for a bike ride. As I headed up the hill and downshifted, it took a few clicks for the gears to respond. I realized I was long overdue for taking my bike in for service. Were I so remiss with teeth cleaning I’m quite sure I’d have some lovely false teeth by now. Continue reading