Susanne Goldstein studied mechanical engineering and theatre/film studies in college before resourcefully creating the first 20 years of her career. She has been a screenwriter and producer in Hollywood, consultant to Silicon Valley internet business leaders, and strategist in social media for the US Marine Corps to help returning veterans re-enter everyday life. Her pragmatic life and career shift book is Carry a Paintbrush:How to be the Artistic Director of Your Own Career. Also known as “The Accelerator”, Susanne has a keen ability to quickly understand complex challenges, crystallize concrete and effective concepts and plans, and accelerate their execution. She is a master storyteller, practical problem solver and self-made business woman respected for a tell-it-like-it-is style, with a “little tough love, and a lotta technique” in the mix.
How to be the Artistic Director of Your Own Career: It’s one thing to search for a job, it’s quite another to create a fulfilling career by intersecting opportunities with who you are and what you want to be. This goes beyond “doing” to searching out the sweet spot for your passions, skills and experiences to manifest a true personal brand that will shine and be recognized as value to an organization. Paint your own doorways through which to confidently walk on or into “what’s next”.
Being the Pilot not the Passenger of Your Life and Career: Only we can set the course of our lives. Slowing down at times to find a new pace and lifestyle balance can allows us then to our accelerating forward in a chosen direction. Reflecting from a place of stillness can help us tap new resources, plus mitigate the social pressures that entice, drive and trap up into being crazy, busy, and “crazybusy.” Being prepared when luck strikes requires more than having your resume ready.
The Cure for GSSD (Graduate Season Spectrum Disorder): Are you suffering from graduatia-phobia, job-itis, networking dread, parental annoyance or a long list of other symptoms? Being equipped with unique job search tools and techniques plus avoiding common mistakes made by job seekers can get you on the right track. Job hunting is an art and benefits from candid human interaction.
Navigating Change – Be adaptable, Stay Fluid, Remain Strong: When organizations are heading in a direction and because of market conditions or other challenges the direction of the ship has to change, it is the time to invoke openness and to ask the unpopular questions. Get very clear on who are the drivers, navigators and passengers at this time, being mindful to listen to all inputs, regardless of role. Do not be deceived by the “bright shining object” syndrome that lures leaders in the wrong direction, or to stay fixed on a course of action without realizing the sea change around them.
Recognizing YOU need to Change and Acting on It: People often criticize others most what they see as a reflection of themselves. Susanne discusses three areas for personal change: a) overcome being a “time optimist,” which results in being habitually late for commitments, b) procrastination and techniques to get through what keeps us from starting, and c) how to shift to 45/55 to clear up the messes in our lives and get focused.
Taking Control of Your Brand On- and Off-line: When leveraging the evolving worlds of social media and the internet to build a business brand or your personal brand – your value proposition – take time to really know what you are dealing with. Have a strategy. It is important to keep personal and business (and dating) social networks separated. Being sure on the content of what you plan to post is critical, but so are understanding beforehand the context (timing, visibility, what other information from others will be with yours), and copywriting (will someone else have say over what really gets posted?). Both your on- and off-line reputations are at stake.
What Kind of Doctor Does Your Business Need?: Businesses, like people, need to maintain their health. Leaders must be aware of the inner workings of their organization and know when it is time to take action. As a radiologist peering into your business, what would you see? Have you first really identified the problem before trying to solve it? As an endocrinologist who understands the body’s systems, strive to keep your organizational trains running on time and in balance through inside and outside feedback. Your management team is like the pulmonary system that maintains circulation through the heart, the core of your business, and an effective cardiologist, the leader, takes special care to keep communication – fresh oxygen – moving at all times.
Custom Consulting for Continuous Change: Not just anyone should hang up a shingle and call themselves a consultant, although many talented individuals have skills and experiences to share at times of surge to improve organizations. True consultants are paid to come up with answers and focus on organizational performance, striving for objectivity and providing both quantitative and qualitative knowhow for decision making. Susanne and Zara discuss the distinction between those consultants who merely observe and recommend action, compared to those with relevant experience to be engaged as partners to work organically side-by-side with management teams for sustainable change.
Successful Entrepreneurship Lessons for Life: Over 95% of all employment in the US happens within small businesses, firms with 500 or less employees. And with 25-27 small businesses today, if each could grow by one person, we could employ the reported 13 million out of work, plus have openings for 13 million more! Supporting the entrepreneurship skills training through organizations such as the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (www.nfte.com) is one way to help others to learn how to look at the world in different ways, take calculated risks, more estimated guesses, and make asks of others to help do what some may see as impossible.
Copyright The Larsen Group: Architects of Change 2008