Saturday, January 27, 2018

My take-aways from “How Do Some Women Find Their Way Through the Labyrinth” [to become leaders]

Chapter Ten is the only chapter I read of Through the Labyrinth : The Truth About How Women Become Leaders .  The titles of other chapters did not convey any likelihood of saying anything different from prevalent information on their title topics (glass ceiling, discrimination, comparisons to men…)


“First Principle: Blend Agency with Communion” … citing Dawn Steel “… a tough balancing act, … gauging how to juggle my masculine side and my feminine side… where the lines how to be drawn. In your dress, in your talk, in your body language, for starters.” (p.163)

  • “establish an exceptional level of competence as a leader because… [exceptional level]… needed to convince others she is equal to men…it isn’t fair, but women often need to be exceptionally good to be credited with the abilities of less competent men… ‘Perform beyond expectations’… Deliver more than people expect. Impress over and over again… build a track record” (p. 164)
    • eg “gain superior task knowledge”
    • eg “be exceptionally well prepared for meetings and negotiations.”
  • “Leaders competence derives from a confluence of tasks involving monitoring, advising, encouraging, directing, sanctioning, and solving both interpersonal and technical problems… etsablishing a record of competence in such activities requires the cooperation of followers.” (p. 164)
  • Will need to seek out and put yourself forward for more challenging scenarios (which are not usually offered to women) in which to demonstrate the above, even though that may seem (from cultural expectations only of women) ungenerous and selfish. “Finesse the double bind… by combining assert[ion] with kindness, niceness, and helpfulness.” (p. 164)
  • When directing, and being assertive and decisive – do so with warmth (smiling, looking at people rather than away) & per example from Hilary Clinton, arrange environment to give warm appearance (eg children at event – what other environmental factors could be arranged to balance a woman’s assertiveness with warmth?) (p. 165)
  • “encourage subordinates and reward positive contributions” without coming off as inappropriately mothering. (p. 165)
  • may be particularly effective in situations requiring transformational leadership, eg Meg Whitman (eBAY) “known for listening to her company’s customers and employees and thereby running a flexible and responsive organisation.” also ref Cynthia Caroll (Anglo Mining) and Amanda Burden (New York City Planning Commissioner) (p. 166)
  • in Highly Masculine / “hyperagentic” settings the above recommended blended approach will either be less likely to be effective , or face greater challenges, wish such attributes perceived by some as weakness, eg Angela Merkel “So much passivity makes you wonder whether she will be able to make decisions quickly when teh going gets tough…brought a dose of discussion, discretion and collegiality” (p. 167)
  • “avoid crying when upset” (p. 167/168)
  • “not every good leader is universally liked .. women should lead in an assertive, competent manner, accompanied by especially nice, friendly behavior only to the extent that it does not undermine their authority” (p. 168)
  • Take Credit for Accomplishments … “in a friendly and collaborative manner” (P. 168/169) eg call attention to your excellent proposal by inviting others to react to the suggestion and help her develop it further. Or when accoladed, acknowledge help of collaborators while accepting personal credit.
  • If you see men taking credit for women’s proposals say something like “John I see that you agree with Emily’s suggestion. Emily can you tell us more about your idea?” (p. 169)
  • Overcome reluctance, INITIATE negotiation over salary (after obtaining “as much information as possible about typical salaries and benefits”), and in doing so “present a alance picture displaying both task competence and social skills”,  (p. 171)
  • Either choose to work where your values are shared, or be prepared to feel somewhat inauthentic when you must represent values you do not hold.

Second principle: Build Social Capital

  • Join and participate in networks, both male and female, even though it will often mean doing it yourself almost all of the time (p. 173)
  • Find a good mentor (male most likely will result in higher compensation), both informally and formally. (p. 174)
  • Form good relationships at all levels (above, same and below) (p. 174)

Sunday, December 10, 2017

There and back again: returning to Blogger from self-hosted WordPress?

Bilbo: Back again... [water colour by Kinko-White] beautifully conveys how I feel about coming home to this blog after my adventure in self-hosting elsewhere

Who cares?

I hope anyone else who lands here after pondering whether to switch from to Blogger comments below – so we can compare thoughts. Were you wondering how, or why? Are there as few articles about that journey now as there were when I searched--let alone any promise of ease in such a transition?

During my search for tips back in July 2017 I found that my experiences and rationale almost totally matched Jenn’s Wordpress—>Blogger transition story, even to the fact that Google assumed I really meant to ask about switching the other way. (Did hers happen in 2014, or was the post re-dated when she shifted it with her blog, Hello Brio over to Squarespace?)  Like Jenn, I want to tell you why ; and in case she decides to ditch that post, I will reflect on her suggestions.

Why I decided that the experiment with self-hosted Wordpress was over

--posting infrequency + not finding the right handle for a static portfolio = insufficient value for $$$
--under my name = wanting it to be perfect
--struggle to get it "just right" too time consuming
--needing to spend less time at the computer

Why I am switching [back] to Blogger from Wordpress (despite the p tag issue).

  1. Nostalgia.  I loved learning to blog here, and have fond memories of when some of my posts made a difference to people.
  2. I still have a hefty collection of posts here, which people are still reading.
  3. It is free.
  4. I think Blogger can do more now than it did then, but I do not need most of the extra functionality self-hosted Wordpress could do.
  5. moonflowerdragon.blogspot looks better on mobile than

moonflowerdragon_v_micameerbach on mobile screens

As Jenn suggested, I reconsidered my goals:

  • Return to one FREE online spot
    # no particular deadline, although the sooner it is done the sooner I can stop paying for the other domain, yet let’s give enough time to be sure it will work comfortably.
  • See whether I return to posting more frequently under the pseudonym
  • It was always about skills/professional development, and it still is, with a few new questions:
    • What would it take for a blogspot site to be a professional advantage rather than the opposite?
    • How much of that which I did at micameerbach will remain relevant if republished?
    • Are any of those posts that stayed so long in draft worth actually posting?

How I plan to switch from Wordpress back to Blogger = Slowly

Tracy Thomason over at 15 Minute Monday posted about exporting one’s files to move from Wordpress to Blogger.

However, I figured that as I would need to check each post for peculiarities anyway, I might as well consider each of the 111 posts (61 published, 49 drafts, 1 private) manually.

Those peculiarities?

  • both Jenn and Tracy mentioned that image URLs don’t transfer
  • inbound links would be broken
  • internal links would be broken
  • comments would have to be exported or mapped over

First: I made sure that the Internet Archive WaybackMachine is capturing micameerbach occasionally – some busy posting months were not captured at first, but the Internet Archive WaybackMachine lets us add.

Second: This post here, and a (semi)final post there

Third: Up to 111 iterations of:

  1. Pick a post, either the next highest viewed, or any post,
  2. Check whether its URL is cited anywhere else online.
  3. Read it,
  4. Consider: does it offer or demonstrate anything useful?

If it is worth transferring,

  1. in html view, copy and paste everything across to a new post here, but in Open Live Writer (unless Google decide to support p tags in their Blogger editor),
  2. append note about where I had originally posted it, perhaps hyperlink to archive version?
  3. reupload photos and basically re-link everything.
  4. retag & add tag Republished_from_micameerbach
  5. Do not try to anticipate whether formerly internal links will also be transferred, just relink to their WaybackMachineversion, and note them in a Google Doc for later checking
  6. At old post append note about and linking to republication
  7. At old post tag with Republished_at_Moonflowerdragon – let’s me track which ones I’ve done.
  8. If the URL was cited anywhere, contact citers to inform them of new post/archive to avoid broken link.

If it is not worth transferring,

  1. Check whether it is at WaybackMachine
  2. If similar topics/posts here, append at top – link to tag/post]
  3. Tag as Not_republishing
  4. If the URL was cited anywhere, contact citers to inform them of archive version.

For drafts, I could just copy & publish, but that would not help answer the learning questions above, so I could

  1. if publishing: tag it something like drafted@mm / published@MFD
  2. if not publishing, don’t delete but tag it notpublishing@MFD

Finally: Unless I give up earlier, when all 111 iterations are complete:

  1. Count the tags & maybe talk about what if anything I got out of the process
  2. Wind up that account
  3. Celebrate

Image Credit: The beautiful watercolour above is “Bilbo: Back again…” by Kinko-White who kindly gave me permission (via shuzzy) to use it here to symbolise my return home here after an adventure.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Testing Open Live Writer for p tagging

First, well done me for finding out why I had trouble installing Open Live Writer, and fixing it.

Now to find out how OLW handles paragraphs.

OpenLiveWriter automatically inserts proper p tags

Cool. So next, whether Blogger will respect them.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Can I get '<'p'>' tags in Blogger? (Test 1)

Test 1: Write post in Docs with space before paragraphs & copy across?

Remember to either: never edit the html in Blogger, or if I do edit the html, do not return to Compose view before publishing.

This is a bit of a nuisance, but could it be a way to keep my first blog, and my tags too?

Result: NO

Friday, July 28, 2017

Back? Maybe

I had forgotten the problems managing post content in Blogger, because <p> tags keep disappearing. I seem to recall reading a suggestion that it is the Blogger editor at fault.

And I forgot how *&^%$#@! bad that gets when I want to structure my content around images:

1. put tags in HTML editor

2. switch to Compose view = no paragraphs

3. switch back to HTML view = tags gone.

This seems like a fairly significant problem--one that may send me looking elsewhere, maybe switching to if I leave .

However -- if it is possible to blog here easily using a better editor, perhaps I could happily return. Do you have any suggestions?

Sunday, July 09, 2017

I'm baaaack

Later, maybe, more on why and how...
 In the meantime, I'm listening to (and occasionally watching) this:

Motiversity. (2017). Best Motivational Speech Compilation EVER #4 - GET BACK UP - 30-Minute Motivation Video #5. Retrieved from

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Spreading my wings: a double-barrel experiment

For the next few months most (if not all) of my blogging will be at my latest experiment.

A self-hosted, Wordpress, blog in my own name: 

How I feel about it (in pictures):

and a little fragile?:
Enter the Dragonfly


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