January 4, 2011 | by Jan Blomstrann | Leadership

When the idea of doing a company blog was initially raised, I remember my immediate reaction, “How am I going to make time for this?”

I now realize that just about a year ago I stood in front of a Women of Wind Energy group in San Francisco telling them the importance of talking and writing about what you do. Let me set the scene…

I was thrilled to be there. My charge was to speak about the great things the WoWE organization was doing. That was easy. At the time, the organization was 1,300-members strong with more than two dozen chapters around the nation and doing so many wonderful things with its mentoring and networking programs, awards and communications outreach. Developing talking points for that part was no problem. I found further inspiration for my talk from several recent articles discussing the status of women in the workplace.

Many of these articles discussed the important role of women in organizations. Other articles suggested that we were still not capturing the immense female talent pool out there. The one that really hit me suggested that women were less likely to realize their dreams than men and give up on them more frequently for two main reasons: mastery and recognition. I talked a little about mastery and the importance of education and training in developing skills. But recognition was a little tougher. It's an area where we tend to be our own worst enemies. Women, true to the Feminine norm, tend to be a little uncomfortable with it, deferring that kind of attention and attributing success more to luck than skill.

So what did I tell this group we must do?

  • We must speak with a common voice-have an agenda and pursue it.
  • We can't expect things to turn out the way we hope; we need to make it happen.
  • We need to develop structures for recognition.
  • We need to be comfortable blowing our own horn.
  • Realize it's never too late to welcome the opportunities before us.

I wrapped up that day talking about Amelia Earhart and her secret to success and fame. She loved to fly her plane. She would write about and speak about her experiences and then get up the next morning and do it all over again. The take-away I shared with the group was this: Do what you love, talk about it, write about it and do it all over again.

And now I realize that's exactly what this blog will enable me to do. Instead of dreading the time commitment, I am learning to welcome this opportunity so I can add my voice to the conversations out there and write about what I love doing and hopefully it will inspire someone else to do the same.

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Jan Blomstrann

Jan Blomstrann is the former Chairwoman and CEO of NRG Systems. Jan wrote about the issues she cares deeply about: strengthening the role of women in the workplace, leadership, organizations and corporate culture, energy policy, climate change and sustainability.

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