Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dining Etiquette: Help! My Fork Has Fallen . . .

I have dined with them all . . . celebrities, ambassadors, politicians, musicians and plenty of C-level executives. There’s one thing that all have in common: concerns of table manners – the right ones!

What brings this to mind is that Larry and I had the most privileged opportunity to host a dinner for the Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year Finalists. What was this intimate dinner about?

First, personal goals are attainable if you stay the course, enthusiastically explained and exemplified by Dr Pepper Snapple CEO Larry Young. The other purpose:
table manners.

Co-hosting this event was Lynn Duncan, Director of Catering,
Anatole, Hilton in Dallas, who led us through the basics as I pointed out guidelines of appropriate social conversations. Truly, we have all navigated through these waters, and you can imagine who was listening most intently – yes, the adults sitting among the young people.

If you are that executive or ExecuMate overwhelmed at a dinner viewing a sea of glasses or wondering which bread plate is yours, you’re not alone. It is a common concern among executives and spouses when dining. When I address ExecuMates and ask what they need information on, they always express their desire of dining in good graces.

ExecuMate can assist you through attitude-boosting, positive power-of-two building seminars. Upon request, we can also address social etiquette and table manners through a custom-designed seminar tailored just for your needs. If your company would like to plan one of these seminars, contact us at

Are you a good ambassador for your company via table manners? People do notice.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Moving: Making the Transition

Confidence is a great feeling. It can be noticed in one’s facial expression, posture, tone of voice, dress and stride. But when we embark upon a new life in a new place and are shaken in degrees, how can we regain our confidence?

“Fake it until you make it” is an expression we have all heard for those going through difficult times. Even though my insides were unsure of what was going on, my outside appearance needed to show calm demeanor. So, how did I learn this?

Blazing a trail from Missouri to Poland, back to the midwest and onto Dallas certainly has built my confidence in making difficult transitions. But prior to that, 20 years of classical piano performance prepped me for those uncertain moments! No matter where I had to perform, if I had my music inside me . . . prepared, skilled, confident, I could perform it . . . anywhere! Once I took a deep breath, relaxed, and started playing, it all came naturally. The music sailed out as rehearsed.

So it is with being prepared for moving. Prepared? Skilled? Confident? This is where ExecuMate can help you.

ExecuMate can prepare you for your future cultural experience, equip you with the necessary tools for this move, and be in daily contact with you the first 30 days of your new adventure.

Buy new address book – check. Pack boxes – check. Put ExecuMate on speed dial – check. Gain confidence – check. No faking it now!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Building a Foundation

Have you heard of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation? It was back in the news today, when Melinda Gates announced that the organization would spend $1.5 billion dollars over the next five years on health programs for women and children in poor nations.

The foundation was created by the Gateses in 2000, and demonstrates acceptance and teamwork in their successful executive/spouse relationship. And it also provides some lessons about what can happen when an executive and his or her spouse set goals together.

When you and your spouse are heading down the same path, following a plan you both had a part in creating, you have reached the crucial element of acceptance in your relationship. You’ve each accepted working toward common goals that will benefit both of you. Doing this, and persevering along the way, can provide very rewarding and fulfilling results.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was a dream the Gateses had as a team, and they followed through on making it a reality through a lot of hard work - together. Their joint dream has rewarded the executive/spouse couple with an organization that is changing and improving lives on a daily basis. Two of those lives they have changed, on their journey, are their own.

What can you and your spouse work on to accept and commit to? You both could be pleasantly surprised with what the power of two can do, and you will become a stronger executive/spouse team as a result.

To learn more about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation click

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mutual Support

A recent article in Reuters reminded me of one of the critical components to a successful and committed relationship, the component of absolute support.

The article focused on John Stankey, President and CEO of AT&T. When John was asked what he does with his limited free time, he responded he spends it with his family.

If you read the rest of the article you will realize what a crucial time it is in John’s life. He is playing a large role in making AT&T more successful than it has ever been with the addition of the iPhone into the AT&T operations. Yet, even with the obvious stress and complications of John’s career, he still maintains a level of commitment to his wife and three children, by spending his free time with them.

John demonstrates his absolute support of his executive spouse by balancing his commitment to AT&T and making her and his children his focus. He also says in the article that he wouldn’t wish his lifestyle on any of his family members, but by being there for him, his ExecuMate is showing her absolute support for him in return.

Demonstrating unwavering support for your executive spouse, and him or her demonstrating it in return, is one critical piece of the puzzle that will make your executive/spouse partnership a rewarding and successful journey.