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How do you see people?

I sometimes worry that we don’t see each other as fully formed human beings… instead we see a cardboard cut out of “a manager” or “the guy in Accounting”. When we don’t know each others’ stories, it becomes easy to misunderstand each other. If you hear me speak on stage, for example, you might be … Read more

What’s Your Secret?

Someone recently asked me whether there are any “secrets” to entering a new organization, whether as a board member, new executive or even at a more modest level? Three things came to mind… First, no matter how great your experience, recognize that you don’t yet know this organization. So start with an open and curious mind. … Read more

Healing in an Ever-Changing World

The events of the past year and a half since the beginning of the pandemic have been difficult, confusing, unpredictable, and traumatic for many. However, despite all of these challenges, a spirit of resilience has shown up. Humans have an amazing ability to adapt to many circumstances and find their way to thrive. This doesn’t mean that traumatic events don’t leave their mark on our ability to cope with the world. As we move forward through the pandemic, paying attention to healing as we navigate our way through the events of the pandemic is critical to personal and professional health.

The Importance of Saying NO

One of the hardest lessons I’ve learned in my life and in my career is the significance of saying NO. For me, as I suspect for many, saying NO didn’t come naturally, especially since I was always eager to do good work and to be a good team player. And yet, it wasn’t until I learned to say no to opportunities, projects, and people that were not consistent with my vision and core values that I was able to make major strides in my life. The ability to say NO is a valuable skill. In fact, without it, it’s nearly impossible to achieve your vision and your life’s dreams.

How to be a Mother and an Advisor

How do you balance out being a mother and at the same time an advisor and coach to help your children accomplish their dreams, find financial successes, and achieve their personal joy? I’ve been asked this question because I take on mentorship roles in my professional and personal life. And I think it’s an interesting question and a hard balance to strike. To me, none of this starts when your children become adults. I believe it starts much earlier in life.

Trying New Things

In the past year, I’ve been trying some new things – like I had never done before. It’s been both challenging and intriguing. What has pleasantly surprised me is that trying these new hobbies not only helped my brain and body develop, they’ve actually been very helpful in growing my business skills! Having worked full-time since I was 17 years old in fairly structured roles and companies, I had not devoted much time and energy to pursuing hobbies – like painting and riding a bicycle.

Taking Risks as a Catalyst for Growth

The genesis of many businesses is an individual or group taking risks on an idea. Where would the world be if the Wright Brothers had stuck to fixing and selling bicycles instead of taking on the risk of flying? The history of business is filled with similar examples from FedEx founder Fred Smith taking $5,000 to Vegas to raise capital to Blake Mycoskie, who founded TOMs on a business model of “buy one, give one pair free to a person in need”. Wonderful, exciting, innovative businesses are founded because somebody took the chance to do something new, something unprecedented; someone took a risk.

What Overcoming a Life-Threatening Brain Tumor Taught Me About Leading with Purpose

Many of us are still struggling with the hardships that 2020 brought to light, which reminded me of one of the most challenging periods of my life and the invaluable lessons it taught me. We cannot always see things clearly in the moment, but adversity provides us with the opportunity to learn more about ourselves and extend those experiences to other areas of our lives, ultimately helping us thrive.

Shirin shares lessons learned from a career of success in business.

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