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Women in Leadership: Lori Vande Krol

The Wallace Centers of Iowa leadership and civility lunch series continues this week with the theme of  Women in Leadership.

Our guest speaker for the April 13th lunch is Lori Vande Krol. After receiving a BS in Mathematics from Iowa State University, Lori worked 13 years as an Actuary and Risk Manager before leaving the corporate world to found Life Made Simple, LLC in 2005. As a certified productivity consultant, Lori helps individuals and businesses implement and maintain systems to increase efficiency and effectiveness.

Prior to the lunch, The Wallace Centers of Iowa (WCI) reached out to ask Lori (LVK) a few questions:

WCI:  When one looks at your background in actuary science and talent for helping businesses, it is easy to see you are a leader because of the impact you make. Which of the eight civility practices, that are taught through Wallace Centers of Iowa programs have helped you in the work you do?

LVK: There are three civility practices that really stand out for me:

Paying attention to detail or noticing things other people might miss yet are important for results to occur is a civility practice I use every day in my career as a Productivity Consultant and business owner, as well as in my position as a board member for my industry’s national association.  While being detail-oriented is a large part of organization and productivity, it is important to balance this with a big picture view in order to determine where to place the highest priority for use of time, energy and money.

And listening to others and asking questions to understand his or her perspective.  I can’t help my clients, or contribute in a team environment such as a board meeting, without being a very good listener and learning to ask the right questions to lead to the best solutions for all impacted. There is an important piece of risk management involved here as well.  I often tell my clients “I am going to play devil’s advocate in order to be sure we are thinking through all potential barrier’s to success.”

In just about everything I do – my work as a Productivity Consultant and business-owner, my volunteer time on committees and boards, and in every-day life as a wife and mom – I am constantly looking for ways to build or model productive routines and processes so others can be effective. My passion is in helping others to lead balanced, productive lives and implementation of effective habits, systems and processes is the basis of this.  I’ve also learned how important this is in my own life in order to juggle all of the things I want to do and ultimately, to reach my career and life goals.Quote from LVK

WCI: Lori, those are great examples. Thank for taking time to help bring these civility practices to life with practical insight.We look forward to your presentation on Wednesday, April 13th.

Gather 510 px squareThe Wallace Centers of Iowa shares tips, tools, and programs for leading with civility in business and the workplace. 

Women in Leadership: Christina Moffatt

cmquoteEach spring, The Wallace Centers of Iowa offers a leadership and civility lunch series. The theme for 2016 connects with a broader trend around the expanding awareness about the lack of women in leadership roles. For example according to an article published by Fast Company magazine:

Men and women score nearly equally in their ability to drive businesses, but fewer women are able to get beyond lower-level leadership positions.

 The premise of the article is that more are more women are having access to education and lower levels of leadership opportunity yet the higher level positions remain out of reach.

The legacy of the Wallace family includes strong female leaders, like Nancy Cantwell Wallace who was the founder of the Women’s Press Club.  This pioneering sense of change is what drives The Wallace Centers of Iowa to seek out and share the stories of women leaders from the Des Moines community.  The goal is to highlight women who do lead as a model in a state that comes in near the bottom in terms of ranking for women owned businesses. The first lunch on April 6, 2016 from 11:30 to 1 will feature Christina Moffatt who owns Crème Cupcake + Dessert and is the regional director for the Mid Iowa Small Business Development Center.

Christina is a graduate of DMACC and Iowa State University, Moffatt also devotes her time and talents to local boards including the Women’s Reciprocity Group, Winefest Grand Cru, and the Des Moines Downtown Chamber, where she serves as 2011 President. Moffatt has won several awards for her business including DSM Top List Best Bakery, Cityview’s Best Dessert, Sweet Equality Best Dessert, runner-up for the Iowa Mixology Competition and runner-up on The Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. Moffatt is also a Business Record’s 40 Under Forty, and the 2012 Deb Dalziel Woman Entrepreneur Achievement Award

Prior to the lunch, The Wallace Centers of Iowa (WCI) reached out to ask Christina (CM) a few questions:

WCI:  Looking at your background and talents anyone can see you are a leader because of the number of accomplishments you have achieved. Which of the eight civility practices, that are taught through Wallace Centers of Iowa programs have helped you in the work you do?

CM: Three civility practices come to mind. The first, paying attention to detail or noticing things other people might miss yet are important for results to occur, comes from my experience as an entrepreneur. Crème’s dessert lounge launched on this concept as I thought there was a lack in Des Moines in the dessert world. Thus, the dessert lounge concept was born with beautiful plated desserts that pushed the palates paired with handcrafted cocktails.

WCI:  That is true, your concept is unique and if you weren’t paying attention it would have been a missed opportunity.  What are the other examples?

CM: The two other examples go together: giving constructive feedback in order to improve relationships or results and being able to see and articulate the possibilities so people can dream and grow. At SBDC (Small Business Development Center) we do this daily with our clients. We discuss their business and possibilities so that they can grow. We give constructive feedback so they make wise decisions moving forward and hopefully see possibilities of what they can become.

WCI:  Thank for taking time to ponder the eight civility practices. We look forward to your presentation on Wednesday, April 6th.

Gather 510 px squareThe Wallace Centers of Iowa shares tips, tools, and programs for leading with civility in business and the workplace. 

 

Little Seeds, Big Results

treeThe little seeds of civil behavior, planted each day in your workplace can have a big result. Customers and employees respond and with each interaction growth becomes mighty.

How does one begin to plant the eight civility practices at work?

Begin with a self assessment. Ask yourself, do I…

  1. Notice details that others are not seeing?
  2. Listen well and ask questions as needed for clarification?
  3. Recognize the effort of others and give skilled positive feedback?
  4. Speak up and address concerns directly?
  5. Utilize systems and practices in order to be more productive?
  6. Skillfully give and receive constructive feedback?
  7. Convey a sense of possibility?
  8. Accept responsibility for the actions I can take when things do not go as planned?

No doubt you already act in ways that support these practices. The practices that are less familiar can become skilled behaviors with a little focused attention.

Gather 510 px squareThe Seeds of Civility is a blog that is created by The Wallace Centers of Iowa.  Here we gather tips for leading (and developing emerging leaders) with civility.

 

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