This is the latest entry into a collection of Round Tables put together by people who have caught my eye for one reason or another. The collection exists to introduce you to both the owner of the table and those seated at it.
Whitney Johnson is the president and co-founder of Rose Park Advisors, but more importantly to me, she’s the author of Dare to Dream. In daring women to dream, Whitney uses the hero’s journey as a tool to show them the path. Her book, “Dare to Dream”, will be out soon.
Barbara Corcoran bootstrapped her way to a billion dollar business, and now is an investor on ABCs Shark Tank. I especially like how she comports herself as an investor – she sees opportunities others don’t see, is tremendously savvy – and she honors the aspiration of the entrepreneurs. As I look to cultivate opportunities to invest in women, and to teach women to invest for themselves, she is someone whose advice I would want.
Linda Eyre, a mother of nine children, and best-selling author and parenting expert, whose walk matches her talk. Three of her daughters whom I’ve interacted with over the past few years, Saydi, Saren and Shawni, are close friends; all are genuinely fond of their mother, Linda. I want to nurture a relationship with my children such that when we don’t have to spend time together, we still want to. I can learn from Linda how to do this.
We all need someone who will act on our behalf, who will toot our horn, and get deals done for us – Josh Getzler, my literary agent, is that person for me. Any decision I make over the next year about my book, marketing, etc. I will consult with him. Wouldn’t it be terrific if all of us had an agent as we navigate our corporate career?
When I read Boris Groysberg’s piece titled How Star Women Build Portable Skills in 2008, it was as if he had written my playbook as a sell-side analyst. What a difference it would have made if I’d had his knowledge ex-ante. Further, having now become acquainted with Boris, he is someone who encourages me to infuse my ideas with academic rigor.
A founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, and now the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, a NYC philanthropist, and NY Times bestseller of children’s book, Craig Hatkoff thinks big – in the Big Hairy Audacious way – and then he executes. Whatever I need to get done, I would like to have him there to help me figure it out.
Spencer W. Kimball
Spencer W. Kimball is my Yoda, patriarchal, father figure. As a teenager, he was the spiritual leader within my faith tradition, and I have an especial fondness for him because he was reared in southeastern Arizona, an area in which my family has lived for several generations. Though he’s no longer alive, I would want to consult with Spencer Kimball, for words of advice like, “Real craftsmanship, regardless of the skill involved, reflects real caring, and real caring, reflects our attitude about our self, our fellow men, and our life.”
Having been in the gaming industry for two decades, and continually being required to “translate technical” to either consumers or managements, whenever I have a question about technology, I know Neal can answer that question, or find someone to help me get the question answered, without my lack of expertise being exploited.
Gretchen Rubin is the author of The Happiness Project, a #1 New York Times bestseller. And yet, when I met her earlier this year, she was gracious, and eager to learn. As I prepare to publish my book Dare to Dream, I would ask Gretchen how she has been able to get her message out to a fairly wide swath of the reading public, while keeping the first of her personal commandments, “Be Gretchen”.
Having heard her TED talk, read the Business Week article Why Facebook Needs Sheryl Sandberg, and interacted with people who know her personally — she not only advises women to take a seat at the table, she takes one herself, and graciously. I could learn a lot from her.
A professor at the Harvard Business School, founder of Baupost, tireless philanthropist/fundraiser, Howard Stevenson took the time to read the entire manuscript of my book Dare to Dream, for which I am grateful. Further, he has given my partners and I at our investment firm Rose Park wise counsel. Whether as an entrepreneur, investor, author, I would want to consult with Howard.
The Truth Tellers
We all need one a truth-teller, someone who will tell us “the baby is ugly.” That person needs to care about us deeply, be completely trustworthy, and have the credibility, such that when an opinion is rendered, we will listen. It will be a different person for each of us. For me, it’s my husband, two of my childhood friends, Liz and Kathleen, and my children.
I love Johanna Uurasjarvi’s work, her design sense (former creative director of Anthropologie), and her personal story. I want to dress like who I am, for my outward self to reflect me. It is difficult to do; Johanna Uurasjarvi could help me do this.