By: Tamara Fields

As tough as the pandemic, the Texas winter storm, and the last twelve months have been, they have also shed light on extraordinary acts of leadership.

I am proud of the Austin Chamber quickly mobilizing robust survival resources to help local companies. Water supplies and other support that Texas businesses readily offered to employees when the icy weather struck were nothing short of lifesaving for many — I count my family and me among them. These are reminders that my fellow Austinites have big hearts and rise to the occasion during times of need.

But, this is…


By: Judy Gielniak

Life is not about how fast you run, or how high you climb, but how well you bounce. -Vivian Komori

Resilience. It’s the key factor to get us back on our feet after experiencing one of life’s losses or letdowns. It helps us succeed when circumstances aren’t in our favor. It allows us to “keep the faith” and carry on despite setbacks.

What happens when you’re resilient? You gain motivation to overcome roadblocks and find ways to persevere and succeed no matter what. The fact is that we all fail at times in life. We are all…


By: Michaela Dragalin Young

When my law firm announced we would be working remotely more than a year ago, I, like so many of you, did not know what to expect. When my children’s daycare announced it would be closing, I really did not know what to expect. Suddenly, my husband and I found ourselves both working from home with an almost three-year-old boy and six-month-old girl. Oh, and I had just found out I was pregnant with our third child.

As a lawyer at one of the largest law firms in the world and my husband a recruiter (they’re…


By: Shannon Huffman Polson

As one of the first women to fly Apaches in the US Army, my years in uniform leading teams and flying around the world, from Bosnia to Korea, taught me above all the importance of taking care of people.

My first battalion commander, later to be MG John Macdonald, gave me the words to articulate that value. As he and my father pinned the silver bars of a 1st Lieutenant on my shoulders, he said:

The only good use of increased power is the increased responsibility to take care of your people.

I took the lesson…


By: Randi Levin

Looking to be fearless?

With so much unknown in our lives, it is understandable that you would seek a faster, more streamlined way to navigate this. Yet, honestly, not having fear is actually more of a negative in your life than being a bit scared!

You need a sprinkle of fear to create an edge, to navigate and measure growth, to reach and respond. Fear is what keeps things spicy. The relationship that you have with your trigger points is what you want to shift, not necessarily the fears themselves.


By: Jamie Martin

It’s a question we were all asked as a kid:

What do you want to be when you grow up?

You probably had a really good idea back then. You said you were going to be: a doctor, a teacher, a lawyer, a firefighter, a police officer, a mom…

And if you were anything like me, you still can’t stop asking yourself:

What do I want to be when I grow up?

You hold onto the idea that the question should have one single, clear answer. And when someone asks what you do, you should be able…


By: Michelle M. Campbell

We have all at one time been a bad mentee. Allow me to repeat: At sometime in our career we have all been a bad mentee.

Over my career I’ve been a mentor and a mentee. By being in both roles, I’ve been able to have differing vantage points on the roles, responsibilities, and best practices. In my role as a mentor, I have observed that mentorship is often viewed as a one-way pouring of knowledge from the mentor into the mentee.

I do not agree with this viewpoint, but even if it were so, there…


By: Melanie Hicks

In Steve Jobs’s commencement speech at Stanford University, he said:

You can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.

Purpose can feel like that sometimes. We can look back at our lives and see where we’ve come, but we may not have the same confidence that we’re going where we’d like to when we turn around and look ahead. …


By: Shannon Huffman Polson

Want to achieve organizational excellence? Join the club. Organizational excellence comes from an empowered and diverse team, but getting there takes work.

In nearly every organization I have a chance to speak with, from financial services to restaurant businesses to healthcare, diversity is an area of interest and of focus. After serving as one of the first women to fly the Apache helicopter in the U.S. Army, I’ve experienced what works — and what doesn’t — as a leader.

Here are three of the most critical actions to take as a leader to ensure a successful…


By: Caroline Dowd-Higgins

I am a firm believer in the power of sleep and do my best to get eight hours every night to maintain my health and wellness. I thought I was honoring my need to rest, but my mind was blown when I read a piece about Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith in Maria Shriver’s: The Sunday Paper that delved into the nuances of rest beyond sleep and why we need to change our perspective about how we recharge.

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is a board-certified internal medicine physician, work-life integration researcher, and author of the best-selling book, Sacred Rest: Recover…

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