The Businesswoman's Handbook

The Businesswoman's Handbook: Practical Tips for Moving Up the Corporate Ladder is a real-world guide for women professionals looking to navigate the challenges of today's workplace. Based on the author's nearly 30 years experience working her way to the top, the book offers concrete examples and prudent suggestions for young executives on the move.

Topics include choosing the right career, acing interviews, corporate travel, handling awkward work situations, working while being a mother, and more. Any woman who has her sight set on an executive career will find valuable lessons within.

The Handbook is now available for purchase at the Harrington Handbook eStore and at

Learn more >

Recent News

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Setting Realistic Expectations and Goals

2013 is shaping up to be one heck of a year.  I think everyone is ready to shake off the recession blues and get back to living - myself included!

I had the opportunity to attend the Silver Spurs Rodeo in Kissimmee, Florida and watch the bull ride.  For those of you who have never seen a bull ride in person the goal is not to "tame" the animal, but to stay on for  eight seconds.  This made me start to think about how we set goals and meet expectations.

I think we often set ourselves up for failure by aiming to "tame the beast" instead what is actually necessary to accomplish our goals.  Do we try so hard to surpass our goal that we don't meet it?  For example: If a rider aims to tame the bull, but injures himself along the way, he won't even make it to the next round.  If we can reduce a lofty goal down to smaller, incremental pieces - like staying on the bull for eight seconds - is it easier to attain? That was the philosophy of the tortoise as he plodded his way by the hare to win the race.

When we set our expectations too high and then fall short, we feel like a failure instead of appreciating what we did accomplish.  Instead of setting a goal to lose 10 pounds or run a marathon, how about aiming for something easier like losing half a pound a week or running a mile.

My advice to you as you start 2013 is to set realistic expectations!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Taking My Message On The Road

WOAMTEC Conference

It has been a busy few months and I have had the opportunity to do a number of interesting presentations.  Balancing work, family and speaking engagements hasn't been easy.  I put a lot of effort into preparing my remarks so they are relevant to each individual group and this takes a lot of time.  However, preparation is essential in order to do a good job.  I don't ever want an attendee to feel like they are listening to a canned speech. Here's a brief update on my last few speaking engagements.

I met with a group of women attorneys at Baker Hostetler, a major law firm in Orlando, and spoke about Bridging the Generational Divide and how to be sensitive to the preferences and communication styles of various generations in the workplace.  The women were wonderful and we had a great group discussion.  It was a lovely after-hours event complete with catered food and wine!!

Next up, I had the opportunity to participate with four other wonderful women on a View-style panel for Women At The Top (WATT).  Helen Donegan, Vice President of Community Relations at UCF was the moderator or "Barbara Walters".  Joining me on the panel were Karen Dee, Southeastern President of 5/3 Bank, Carolyn Fennel, Director of Public Affairs for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) and Leila Nodarse who recently sold her geotechnical engineering firm, Nodarse and Associates where she was president.  We really had a good time fielding questions from Helen and the audience.  After the event, I got to meet a number of attendees who purchased my book.  I really enjoyed this event and felt like the format was fun and interesting for the attendees because they got to hear a few different perspectives on each issue raised.

Two weeks later I was one of four speakers at the Women on a Mission to Earn a Commission (WOAMTEC) Conference.  What a great group of women!  I could tell when I walked into the ballroom for the luncheon that they were a fun just by the elaborate decorations and the high energy pop music.  The room was beautiful.  You can see part of the stage in the photo above.  I spoke about business and personal branding since many of the women have their own companies.

Lastly, I got to do what I love most and that is to step into the classroom and speak to a group of MBA students at Rollins College.  I speak to the Strategic Marketing class every semester on branding and it is always fun.  I feel like I learn something from the group and I love the educational environment.  We can go into nitty gritty detail on topics or current events.  Special thanks to Dr. Greg Marshall for inviting me each semester.  Greg is also the guy who encouraged me to write The Businesswoman's Handbook.  

Well, that's it for now.  My full-time job is extremely demanding right now since I took on some additional responsibility so I will have to scale back my after-hour presentations through the holidays.  As I mention in my book, you need to have a work-life balance and right now life is pretty busy!

Design by WGridley