Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Article of Interest: It's The Pure Entrepreneur Who Often Leads The Way


It's that time of year for expressing gratitude and this article is for all you pure-blooded entrepreneurs. Before you read it, are you curious as to how the author defines pure entrepreneur? Pure entrepreneurship, by author Scott Kirsner's definition, is often driven by a belief that a major shift is coming -- and thus it's hard to find customers who already understand that they need the product a pure entrepreneur is developing.

Click here to read the rest on what Scott has to say: It's the pure entrepreneur who often leads the way

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Top Ten Strategies Women Business Owners Will Use in 2005

In Press Trust

Women business owners are always looking for an edge to make their businesses more successful. With more than 70 percent of businesses failing at the five-year mark, taking inventory of how others achieve success can save your company. Dr. Letitia Wright, D.C. from the Wright Place TV Show has been interviewing show guests with this specific question in mind. Here are two of the top ten strategies she has found.

1. Blog -- blogs are easy to use (that's why we launched the WPO Chicago blog in 2004!) and maintain and give you the freedom of updating as little or as much as you want. You can have blogs where you write, create audio or even video if you want.

10. Mastermind -- having a group of peers (that's what WPO is all about!) that you can brainstorm with, or try ideas out on is great. Your mastermind (WPO) group needs to be functioning at the level you aspire to. Everyone working together to help each other grow their business. Have a set meeting time that cannot be changed.

To find out the other eight, visit:
Top 10 Strategies Women Business Owners Will Use in 2005

Monday, December 13, 2004

The Executives' Club of Chicago Women's Leadership Breakfast January 19, 2005

The Women Presidents' Organization is a proud co-sponsor of The Executives' Club of Chicago Women's Leadership Breakfast Series. The next one is January 19, 2005 and is on, "Thanks, But No Thanks: You Are My Role Model, But I Don't Want You To Be." Sign up information can be found here:
The Executives' Club Women's Leadership Breakfast January 19, 2005

Please let me know if you plan to attend. I will be there. What a great way to start the new year! I look forward to seeing you.


Friday, December 10, 2004

The First Fast Company and Women Presidents' Organization Awards (Deadline 1/15/05)

Fast Company, in partnership with our Women Presidents' Organization, is pleased to announce the first annual awards competition for women entrepreneurs. Entitled, "Playing by Their Own Rules: 25 Women Who Are Changing the Game," these awards seek to identify and celebrate women business owners who are innovating new business models and leading the organizations that are redefining the way we all live and work. Already, two out of every three new businesses are started by women, and women-owned businesses employ more than 19 million people nationwide. Women-owned firms grow at twice the rate of other companies and these awards will allow their leaders to stand up and be recognized.

Finalists for the awards (the winners need not be WPO members) will be selected through an open application process and vetted by the editorial staff of Fast Company magazine. A panel of accomplished judges will then help select the 25 winners, who will be featured in a special section of the May 2005 issue of Fast Company and honored at the annual Women Presidents' Organization conference, to be held in Toronto, Canada in April 2005.

To apply for the Fast Company/WPO Awards, enter online here. All applications must be received by Friday, January 15, 2005.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Article of Interest

In Wisconsin's Business News Source

Who is Henry Ford? Why do they call it Disneyland? What did Mary Kay do? Virtually everyone knows that these dreamers turned their ideas into realities through good, old-fashioned entrepreneurship.

To find out more, visit:
Entrepreneurship: More than Fame and Money

Friday, December 03, 2004

Partner: The National Women's Business Council

We are proud to announce another new "national" partner to the Women Presidents' Organization Chicago chapter community: The National Women's Business Council (NWBC).

The National Women's Business Council is a bi-partisan Federal advisory council created to serve as an independent source of advice and policy recommendations to the President, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women business owners. The Council's mission is to promote bold initiatives, policies and programs designed to support women's business enterprises at all stages of development in the public and private sector marketplaces, from start-up to success to significance.

Our very own Women Presidents' Organization founder, Dr. Marsha Firestone, serves as a council member of the NWBC.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Articles of Interest

Two excellent articles, one on succession planning for a business and the other on the importance of vision:

1. Sudden Death of An Executive May Test How Well A Business Has Planned

2. Have A Vision, Make A Difference

Entrepreneur magazine and other WPO Chicago chapter partners

We are pleased to add Entrepreneur magazine to our "national" WPO Chicago partner roster. Entrepreneur magazine is the definitive magazine for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses grow. But did you know this? They recently launched Exchange, the magzine for entrepreneurial women! I am so excited to learn about it and it fits in so nicely with the mission of WPO: Sharing ideas with some of the world's most successful women. If you cannot find a copy, let me know. Alternatively, check with the Women's Business Development Center in your area or look for it at an upcoming WPO or Women's Leadership Exchange event.

In addition to the folks at Entrepreneur magazine, we have added many other important organizations who are keen advocates of entrepreneurial women, including the Midwest Entrepreneurs' Forum, Women's Leadership Exchange and Women Entrepreneurs, Inc.

Keep a look out for more partners over the coming weeks. We are on a mission to let you and the world-at-large know more about the Women Presidents' Organization and its windy-city Chicago chapter.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Article of Interest: Transformational Leadership Fits Entrepreneurship, Not Always Corporate Culture For Women

In (Online Recruitment, U.K.)

Transformational leadership begins with different beliefs about oneself and others. The first changing belief is that leadership isn’t a job but a way of being. The second is that, whereas in the past leadership meant power and control over others, today leadership beliefs begin with a desire to enable others to realize their own power and leadership potential. Thirdly, leadership in the past was based on believing it made people do things that you wanted done whereas, today, leadership is about a mutual relationship where each can transcend to a worthy purpose and behave with moral fibre, courage, integrity and trust.

In 1990 Judy Rosener published an article that showed how her research had found that women tended to be more transformational than men who tended to be more transactional. She argued that women encouraged participation in power and information and sought to enhance the status of employees. If we look at women entrepreneurs, such as Steve Shirley of F1 and Anita Roddick of Body Shop, a different leadership does emerge from that of many men.

Other interesting findings in this article published in the U.K.:

• It was found that women, on average, were more effective and satisfying to work for as well as more likely to generate ‘extra effort’ from their people.

• Women measured higher on all of the four elements of the transformational leadership tool, but the difference was closest on intellectual stimulation (men were better at intervening to correct followers’ mistakes).

• Women were more likely to be trusted and respected and show greater concern for individual needs.

• Women tend to be more nurturing, caring and sensitive than men and that these characteristics are more aligned with transformational leadership.

• Other studies since have found no significant differences in transformational leadership and gender in managers in equivalent positions. Is this because women are now being promoted by taking on male attributes or that men today are changing?


... What I have found is that when gender and transformational leadership is studied there is a remarkable difference when the women in the study are entrepreneurs rather than corporate women. ***Women entrepreneurs were much more likely to be transformational. With many women choosing to leave corporate life for self-employment, it is clear that transformational leadership doesn’t always fit the corporate culture.***

This excellent article goes on further to provide four ways in which women can bring their transformational leadership skills into the forefront whether it be through corporate work, entrepreneurship or using it on boards of companies and in public appointments.

To read the entire thought-provoking piece, visit: The Role of Gender in Transformational Leadership

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Articles of Interest

In Entrepreneur

I actually thought I knew every mistake that could possibly be made in running a business until I read the following article which provides some NEW mistakes to anticipate that are easily avoidable provided you listen up: "17 Costly Mistakes In Running A Business and How To Avoid Them"

In Businessweek

If this is a question you still keep asking yourself, then read the short take on whether women business owners should certify: "Should Women Biz Owners Certify?"

Friday, November 19, 2004

The University of Chicago Women's Business Group Nonprofit Event (11/18/04)

Good morning --

Great to see many of you yesterday at The University of Chicago Women's Business Group's dynamic nonprofit event. Keynote speaker Susan Crown, President, Arie and Ida Crown Memorial Foundation, gave a wonderful talk and one of the points she made that I remember the most is to encourage people -- whether working at a for profit or nonprofit enterprise -- to "assign yourself." In other words, don't wait for things to happen -- make things happen. I could not agree more.

In addition to Susan's keynote, there were dozens of nonprofits represented along with nearly 300 people in attendance. Networking was fabulous and the food scrumptious. Support for this event was generously provided by lead sponsor Hewitt Associates and other important organizations, including Financial Women's Association, Chicago GSB Club and the Women Presidents' Organization (WPO).

The Women Presidents' Organization looks forward to working with the UCWBG again on its 5th Annual Networking Event in 2005.

Have a great day,


Saturday, November 13, 2004

Women Becoming Entrepreneurs: No Glass Ceiling Here


This introduction to the book "Clearing Hurdles: Women Building High-Growth Businesses," provides an overview of the history of women in business leadership, and outlines a plan for women to succeed in entrepreneurial positions.

This is a fabulous book and if you haven't already read it, I suggest you do. It is a book for and about women entrepreneurs -- women who desire to become their own bosses, gain personal control, grow their business, and create independent wealth.

To read the intro and learn more about the powerful impact "Clearing Hurdles: Women Building High-Growth Businesses" will have on women in corporate America, visit: Women Becoming Entrepreneurs

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

For WPO Members Only: "Growth Connection" series by Dr. Jana Matthews

The Women Presidents’ Organization launched "The Growth Connection," a new series of programs for members created by author and entrepreneurial expert, Dr. Jana Matthews. Every month, Jana explores a topic of vital importance to women entrepreneurs through a combination of articles, web-based discussions, and teleconferences. Participation in "The Growth Connection" series is open to all members of the Women Presidents’ Organization.
Two not-for-profit national foundations concerned with entrepreneurship education teamed up to make this innovative series possible. The Annenberg Foundation ( is sponsoring the program. The Edward Lowe Foundation, ( ), in conjunction with Dr. Matthews, provides development and administrative resources. After the initial "Growth Connection" series is completed, material will be made more widely available in a Web-based format for the benefit of other entrepreneurs.
Throughout 2004 and 2005, participants in "The Growth Connection" will be exposed to new ideas and new ways of leading and managing growth. In addition to expert guidance, members share their own experiences and discuss challenges and opportunities that they and their companies face as CEOs. The topics addressed each month in "The Growth Connection" were selected by the members of the Women Presidents’ Organization and include essential entrepreneurial areas as leadership, financing, people, and strategic planning.

The computer technology used for this series is provided by a Chicago suburban WPO member's business: Catwalk Conference.

To learn more about this dynamic series, visit:
"The Growth Connection."

Monday, November 08, 2004

A DIY Tool Kit For Executive Women Interested In Getting Ahead

In (11/8/04)

Test Your Career Savvy: What Holds Women Back?

To learn more about the differences between men and women executives’ attitudes and work lives, read this. They also include a pop quiz to test how much you know about what helps and hurts women on their way up the corporate ladder (applicable to running a biz too):

Read it here:
What Holds Women Back

Why Women Executives Must Be Overachievers?

This interview addresses eleven key questions on why women executives need to be overachievers in corporate America.

Read it here:
Why Women Executives Must Be Overachievers?

Four Negotiation Tips For Women Executives

Many women who think they aren’t good negotiators simply have never been taught how. In this article, four typical mistakes women make when negotiating and how to correct them are highlighted, so you can get what you want in business and in your personal life.

Read it here:
Four Negotiation Tips For Women Executives

Professional Women Want To Be Authentic At Work

The desire to express their true selves in their jobs has become the No. 1 issue for women executives. Many are opting to go elsewhere or start businesses rather than repress the feminine side of their personalities.

Read it here:
Professional Women Want To Be Authentic At Work

For the complete section on Women to Watch (excluding 50 Women To Watch), visit:
Women to Watch section in WSJ 11/8/04

Corporate America At Its Brightest: Through the Glass Ceiling as reported in the WSJ (11/8/04)

In The Wall Street Journal (11/8/04)

Good morning!

If you have a chance, pick up a copy of the WSJ today. In it, they have a special Women To Watch feature entitled, "Through The Glass Ceiling" and it talks about how 50 women got where they are and why they bear watching. From what I scanned, in Chicago, three women made the list: Oprah, Mellody Hobson (who I met and tried to recruit for WPO!) and Brenda Barnes.

Find the article here: Women of Rank

Have a great day.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Member News: All About Careers “Dream Job Bootcamp”

A WPO member wants you to start the new year off right! Attend a "Dream Job Bootcamp" targeted at young adults 19-23. The first bootcamp will be held in Chicago, with New York and other locations soon to follow. If you are looking for information about how to best find a job after graduation, then you should attend. Otherwise, just spread the word!

For further information, visit: All About Careers “Dream Job Bootcamp”

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The University of Chicago Women's Business Group Presents Their 4th Annual Networking Event 11/18/04

On Thursday, November 18th, our community partner, The University of Chicago Women's Business Group (UCWBG), will present their 4th Annual Networking Event, "Linking Professionals to Nonprofit Boards," at the Mid-America Club, featuring Susan Crown as the keynote speaker. Susan Crown, president of the Arie and Ida Crown Memorial Foundation, has been chosen as one of Chicago's 100 most powerful women and one of the 10 most powerful women in philanthropy. The program runs from 4:30-8:30 p.m. including pre-event breakout sessions, reception, keynote address and networking.

This pathbreaking event brings more than 60 nonprofit organizations seeking board members together with 300 or more women professionals who are interested in board service. It is the only event of its kind and it has become the flagship community service program of The University of Chicago Women's Business Group. Event sponsor this year is Hewitt Associates.

The Women's Presidents’ Organization is a co-sponsor of this wonderful program and I will be attending. WPO members receive a special discount due to our partnership and co-sponsor status but other interested attendees are free to register at a very affordable price.

To find out more and to register (deadline is November 12!), visit: UCWBG Presents 4th Annual Networking Event (11/18/04) Focusing On Nonprofit Boards

Please let me know if you plan to attend! I will look for you.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The Executives' Club of Chicago Women's Leadership Breakfast Series (2004-2005)

The Women Presidents' Organization is a proud co-sponsor of The Executives' Club of Chicago Women's Leadership Breakfast Series. This morning I attended -- along with four WPO members and about 350-500 other executives (predominantly women) -- a panel discussion on "Line or Staff: Are There Two Roads to the Top?" The presenters were interesting, knowledgeable and informative -- not to mention the fabulous networking that took place before and afterwards.

Due to our sponsorship arrangement, WPO members receive a generous discount on their ticket price but for anyone else who is interested in attending future breakfasts, please visit: Executives' Club Women's Leadership Breakfast Series. The next breakfast takes place January 19, 2005 and is on "Thanks, But No Thanks: You Are My Role Model, But I Don't Want You To Be."

If you plan to go, please let me know. I hope to see you there in the new year!

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Welcome to the Women Presidents' Organization Chicago Chapter!

From Chicago chapter facilitator Laurel Delaney

The Women Presidents' Organization, Inc. (WPO) is a nonprofit membership organization with a mission to improve business conditions for women entrepreneurs and to promote the acceptance and advancement of women entrepreneurs in all industries.

Members are a diverse group of entrepreneurial women presidents who have guided their business to generate at least $2 million in annual sales (or $1 million for a service-based business). Each chapter serves as a WPO peer advisory group. The synergy of the peer advisory group empowers members to achieve increased business and financial success as well as individual growth. As a result, each member exceeds performance expectations for her business and develops a more balanced personal life.

The international WPO is headquartered in New York City. The leadership consists of the founder and president, Marsha Firestone, Ph.D., and the Board of Directors. The international WPO web site can be found here: Women Presidents' Organization. Feel free to browse through the site to learn more about the organization. We have over 41 chapter locations and more than 750 members spanning across the United States and Canada. In Chicago alone we have two chapters (one downtown Chicago and the other in Schaumburg) embracing nearly 30 members.

This blog is set up to accommodate inquiries from prospective members and the world at large on WPO Chicago. It is here that you will find out what the latest and greatest is on WPO activities. In addition, if you are interested in becoming a member, go to How To Join the WPO for further information or if you are based in Chicago, just email me Either way, we are more than happy to assist.

Thank you for visiting. Come back again soon with your interest and particularly if I can answer any questions you might have about the Women Presidents' Organization Chicago chapter.