Book: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

During my early graphic design days at church, there was nothing more that I wanted than to be the church’s video editor. I remember being in a meeting with my senior pastors and was asked if I would one day like to be the video department head. I was 24 years old then, and so much of my future was unknown. I knew I wanted a family and I would want to be a stay a home mom, so my answer was, “One day, I want to be married with kids.” They all looked at me and said,”Yes, but would you like to be the video department head in the future?” I smiled, and said, “Yes”. The thought of having my own family, was about to make me draw back from what I knew was my calling. I am very glad that no one listened to my answer in that meeting and still decided to developed me as a leader.

There is a similar story in Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. She is the CFO of Facebook and is passionate about encouraging women to never stop leaning in towards new opportunities at their job. As I read, I was horrified at the different studies of women drawing back or giving up. Also, at the different challenges women have to overcome in order to be taken as a leader. I am fortunate that at my work place, the men believe in the women, and I know that’s because of my senior pastor who broke the mold and is an amazing woman preacher and pastor. I started to see I was my bully, telling myself I can’t or I’m scared or I’m just a girl.

“We internalize messages that say it’s wrong for us to be outspoken, aggressive, and as powerful as – or even more powerful than -men…We hold ourselves back not just out of fear or seeming too aggressive but also by underestimating our abilities.”

“At Facebook, I teach managers to encourage women to talk about their plans to have children and help them continue to reach for opportunities.” 

And this was true for me at meetings:

“If you take the chair on the side of the room, he will take the seat at the table because he knows he’s awesome. So please remember that you deserve a seat at the same table..and that you are awesome too.” 

The book is full of encouraging words and shared experiences from other leading women professionals, to believe in yourself, that you are more than capable, to have a thriving career. To develop a true partnership with your husband, and being co-parents to take care of the daily house hold items and to never stop leaning in towards promotions and leadership positions. I realize I am apart of a new generation of women who work, and its awesome to read I can have a career that I am passionate about and have a family.

“The goal is to work toward a world where those social norms no longer exist. If more children see fathers at school pickups and mothers who are busy at jobs, both girls and boys will envision more options for themselves. Expectations will to be set by gender but by personal passion, talents, and interests.”

Whether I decide to be a stay a home mom or keep working at a job. I am encouraged to keep taking a leadership role in my life. Either way I will be leading my kids or leading others.

Creativity is easy.. Or is it?

20131227-131159.jpg
I’ve been making a living from my creativity for twelve years, I passed most of my classes in high school because of it. I owe most of personality to my creativity.
But when it comes to my work ethic, I owe it to my desire to do the will of God. I owe it my parents examples who still come home tired and worn out. Hard work is apart of my faith and life. So what to do when my gift becomes work? Should I say I’m not creative because it’s requiring more than I’m use to? Maybe the gift has left?
Fear not, I’ve learned creativity is asking you to dig deeper and to try something new. One of the biggest contribution to having a healthy flow is the right amount of rest. Too much rest can make you lazy not enough rest can make you anxious.
My brain works better when I’m using it. (Duh). Reading books and reading articles ask my brain to work and exercise. When I’m spending too much time watching TV or on entertainment I notice it hinders my creative flow. When you do something that doesn’t require your imagination your imagination isn’t being challenged.
Creativity can be hard work. It requires you to sacrifice your time, attention and focus. It requires you to go read a book and to complete it. It requires you to think. We live in a time when we can download an app to think for us. I may not come home physically tired like my parents but I come home mentally tired. The new generation of hard work is using your mind. You can’t afford to waste it on things that don’t matter anymore.
If you’re planning on making a dollar off your creativity, you’re going to have to learn how to think….and people, employees or customers will pay for that.
If I wrote a self help book it would be called, “My zombie days are over!” 🙂

Life Lessons from TV

Remember when TV use to teach us valuable life lessons? Full House taught us how to be a family, Save By The Bell showed us how to survive high school, and The Wonder Years brought out those life lessons.

Today, television is full of extreme shocking characters and stories that are so unrelatable, it leaves me returning to reruns. But I know how to be a family, I survived high school and because of The Wonder Years I have a full time narrator in my head.

It’s been a year since I started my position as a media director and lately I’ve been in search of great examples to follow. I’m learning how to supervise and respond professionally basically the old fashion way – trail and error. I searched Netflix for a show who would teach me some life lessons though entertainment and story. Who could I relate to in this 21st century world?

Felicity taught me how to find myself in a big city, but now I’m in need of learning how to be a women in the modern work place. A woman who isn’t afraid to be her awkward self, a woman of authority doing a man’s job. A character who get’s asked weekly if she will ever marry.

2013-07-23 19.46.42
Liz Lemon!
Its a show I never had the chance to finish. As I watched 30 Rock, Liz Lemon ran around the NBC studios trying to fix everyone’s problems, encouraging her staff to be more creative and still trying to maintain a happy personal life. Watching Liz Lemon make mistakes and seeing her overcome them reminded me there is always a solution. That each challenge is a new battle to overcome and another episode of life to enjoy. I don’t know how her journey ends, but I’m sure she’s ends up stronger than ever before.

[Roll credits]

Photos from NBC.com

Command D + Me

When I started editing for church the only thing I was worried about was me and my deadline. I’d often joke that I needed to clone myself. I remember working with other young editors and seeing them make mistakes while thinking, “they’ll learn.”

A lot has changed since then especially the way I work. I train others as if tomorrow I will not be there. I’ve learned that training other people will not only benefit me or them, but the team. I use to be hesitant to teach my job to others in fear of losing it but it took me years to learn, that is what suppose to happen. When I step out of my old position, I am able to move to a new level.

I now see each individual that is interested in learning production as an extra set of hands. Though it may seem easier to work alone, there are times when more than one person is necessary. The time it takes to teach another person will be time given ten times over in the future. In the video office, I want to create a culture of command D’ing. I am now training others to train others..  I love adding to the team, I enjoy witnessing a new comer give me a perfect shot.

When we teach others, it re-teach us and sharpen our skills.

On that occasion I have to critique, I then explain to them the ‘why’. The next time they are faced with a similar problem, they are able to find a solution on their own.

Though I wanted to command D+ me something better took place.. new artist and storytellers were born. And when its time to say good-bye to them. I can stand as a proud parent knowing that God is at work in their life and I was just a set of helping hands.

As you grow in skill and knowledge, also grow in number. Don’t try to do it all by yourself. Command Dimage*.

*command D is a short cut in After Effects that duplicates a layer.