For most of my career, both as an employee and as a business consultant, I have worked in a predominately male environment:  First in engineering, then executive management and even in Operations consulting.  I spent the majority of my career censoring how I expressed myself in ‘a man’s world’ because you were often told ‘don’t take it personal’ or ‘don’t let your emotion get in the way.’

In the modern workforce, there has been a shift towards women owned businesses and there is a lot of talk about speaking from your heart and being authentic. This has been a battle for me: How to be me but still be viewed as a professional business woman.  I spent years working hard to do the opposite to conform.  In many ways I became desensitized and quite honestly, not so nice.  I believe it’s referred to as being a shark for a male but a less pleasant word is used for a female with this character.  I didn’t like it and it didn’t fit but it became who I was on the exterior in my life of operations management.  I think we came close to taking a couple of my family members to the ER for stroke when they witnessed me in business mode:  Totally not who they knew.

As I reflect over my career from the earliest days, I have figured it out and guess what, it’s always been personal!

  • When you’re working to keep a company in financial trouble afloat and you’re told everyone is replaceable, it’s personal!
  • When you work overtime trying to keep the boss out of harassment lawsuits because he abuses his staff and you’re told administration does not contribute to the actual income of the company, it’s personal!
  • When you take a company from 0-$3million in three years on excel spreadsheets, build the infrastructure and custom design software, and then when it’s done they say you’re too expensive, IT IS PERSONAL!

It’s personal in one way or another so meet the authentic K-LO.  She’s going to tell you how it is and she’s going to speak from the heart.  No more censoring.  I am a person that believes you get when you give.  You concentrate on service to others and God will take care of the rest.  I am a believer in Zig Ziglar’s quote, “You can have everything in life that you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”  Focus on what you can do, not what you can get. Look to be “The One” for someone else and your ‘One’ will show up.  Don’t conform to what others think you should be.  Know that EVERYTHING in life is personal and be true to yourself.