Are Leadership and Management Mutually Exclusive?

Are you a LEADER? Do you even want to be? One of the hottest topics of conversation in business and education today is leadership. We talk about it in the boardroom; we look for it in our elected officials, and integrate it into the classroom from the elementary school to the university. Back when I was in school, we focused on learning how to manage. Today we focus on learning how to lead. But, we may have shifted the focus too much. Contrary to so many things we read today, management and leadership are not mutually exclusive skill sets.

innovation 4The reality is that we need both managers AND leaders depending on the circumstance. Probably the easiest way to know what style is needed when is to look at what you are doing. When we are involved in making sure an event comes off smoothly, a plan is executed cleanly, or we are keeping track of important things at home or at work, we need to manage. When we are motivating people, changing directions, or exploring new areas, projects or things with our family, friends, or work teams, we have the opportunity to lead. Note that we have an opportunity – not necessarily an obligation – to take the lead. In many cases, too many leaders can be worse than too few. If multiple leaders are pulling the team in different directions – you don’t have leadership – you have confusion. But if you build your team with a solid mix of managers and leaders – with both respecting the contribution the other brings, you have a better chance of getting to where you are trying to go.

To manage or to lead? That is the question.

Much has been written on the difference between management and leadership. Two of my favorite writers on the subject are Warren Bennis and Ken Blanchard. Both have created great models that explain the difference between managing and leading and both draw the distinction between managing processes and leading people. The following table is a combination of their ideas and mine. It gives you a nice short list of the styles and behaviors we use when we manage or lead.  

Managers Leaders
Are Systems Focused Are People Focused
Direct Activities Encourage People to get on board
Control Assets Create or find resources
Risk averse Risk tolerant
Administrative by nature Innovative by nature
Focus on How and When Focus on What and Why
Emphasis on doing things right Emphasis on doing the right thing
Goal/Plan Oriented Visionary
Monitor near term results Look to the far horizon

As you look at the differences between the two, it is very clear – great leaders are important for our future direction – but it is the team and the managers that actually get the work done and make sure things happen. It’s like Oreo® cookies and milk – both are good individually, but together they are even better.

Preparing mangers and leaders…

So often we hear of people who are born leaders. Implying that leadership is instinctive or programmed into your DNA. You either have it or you don’t. But if you look at the games we played as children, they actually laid a foundation for our future management and leadership skills. In our early years the best follower was usually the winner. Think about games like Simon Says, Mother May I, and of course, Follow the Leader. Paying attention to details, following directions, and doing things just like your ‘leader’ was the key to success. If you were the best at observation and imitation, you won the game and moved to the front of the group.

As we grew older, new activities began to focus more on our talents and skills whether it was in the class room, scouting, clubs, sports, or music. Normally we chose the person we would follow based on their skill or experience. The games or activities had rules or guidelines, but within boundaries, we were encouraged to be creative in order to achieve our goals or win as a group. We also quickly learned who was best at a particular activity and more often than not, they became the leader for the day. Our parents, teachers, coaches, or troop leaders became our role models. How they managed or led were the examples we used to develop our own individual style. When we saw things we admired, we emulated them. In other cases, we may have rejected what they did and how they did it. Creating our own style based on the way we wish we had been treated. If you follow this logic, managers and leaders are not born. They are formed by the examples and the experiences we give to them. When I think of it this way – it makes me think twice – suddenly it’s just about what I need to accomplish, but it’s also about the way I will do it. If someone is always watching, how I choose to manage or lead will impact not only today’s activities but can have a lasting impact on the future managers or leaders who are watching what we do.

If no one is following you – how can you be a leader?

As every good drum major knows – they may be marching out in front – but the band makes the music. Good leaders and managers know that it is their team that makes the difference on whether or not they will reach their objective. Leadership implies that there must be followers. Management implies something to manage. Good managers and leaders must also not be afraid to step back and follow when another’s skills, talents or experience would provide a better solution. And as role models, we can demonstrate the value of being a follower as well as the person out in front. Our job is to recognize what skills to use and when so that the team is successful, the job gets done, and the vision becomes reality. After all – that’s what management and leadership are all about.

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

Want More Opportunity? Be Strategic.

Who doesn’t want more opportunity? Here’s a simple idea for more and better opportunities – create a personal strategic plan for your business, career or job search and start with a Personal SWOT analysis. 

Image converted using ifftoanyWhat’s SWOT? The letters stand for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Businesses have used this tool for years.  Why not put it to work for you at a personal level to manage YOUR own growth?

Take out a piece of paper and draw lines so you have 4 equal quadrants. Label the top two: Strengths and Opportunities. Then mark the bottom two Weaknesses and Threats.

Start with your strengths – list as many as you can think of. Then move down the page and list all the things you wish you were better at.

Now look at what you have written as Strengths and in the Opportunity column list one potential opportunity that can come to you from each strength.

Now look at your Weaknesses. What could keep you from realizing these opportunities. Write it down and think about what you might do to keep your weaknesses from becoming threats to the opportunities you have listed. Write them down and take action.

Whether you are running a business, managing your career, or looking for a job, this simple strategy works.  Just give it a try. (Oh and don’t forget to look at your resume and make sure that all of your strengths show up in what your resume says about you!)

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

Partnering – You Can’t Succeed Alone

“If the company with the best partners wins, how do you create great partnerships that last?”

Having a great product or service is not enough. In today’s world of competing technologies and services – the company with the best partners wins. But how do you create great partnerships that last? Partnerships that take your product or service and build it into solutions that make customers want to buy and investors want to invest?

Our partners are all around us.

They are the people and organizations that help us get from where we are – to where we want to be. Partners include our employees, our customers, our investors and the outside suppliers of goods and services we work with to make things happen.  Having spent two decades in the electronic distribution industry, I saw a lot of great products come and go. Some were wildly successful while others faded away. The companies that succeeded long-term understood that making their product accessible took partnerships with a broader network like distribution. At the same time, distributors with staying power understood that to build a lasting partnership, they had to add value to what the manufacturer had to offer. Pure transactional relationships don’t work in this world. The levels of investment and time horizons for payback are too long. For both parties to receive the maximum benefit – they have to commit for the long haul.

Are our perceptions of partnerships changing?

As I look around, I am amazed at how transactional we have become in our partnering relationships. A great example is the change in how we look at our employees. In my father’s generation – the partnership between employer and employee was often a lifetime commitment. Through good times and bad, you worked towards a common goal. You grew together. You helped each other. You were partners. You did not talk about it. You just did it. That’s the way it was. Today, we talk about employee satisfaction. We talk about growth and empowerment. We talk about strategy, teams, and commitment to a common goal. But when things get tough, do we stick together or part company. I don’t need to answer the question. The answer is all around us.

And the scariest part of this partnering shift is what it is teaching our next generation.

“There is no partnership. There is no commitment. Look out for yourself.”

If this is what we are teaching our future workforce through our example – we’ d all better watch out!

Successful partnerships are a lot like successful marriages.

My father worked for General Motors for over 40 years. He and my Mom will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on August 1st. It started me thinking. There is a connection here. 

Whether we’ re looking for a date or scanning the field for a business partner, we look around for the most attractive person we can find. The one that sparks our interest – answers a need – has what we want. In the beginning, it’s not hearts and flowers – just the basic laws of attraction. There is no commitment at this phase, just a lot of checking each other out. It’s superficial like an advertisement, a website, or a resume. We see what they want us to see. And, if we like what we see, we reach out to learn more.

The next step is the courting phase. Here we check each other out to determine the right fit. Courting is like dating. We’re getting to know each other as individuals. What we really want and what we really do. In the beginning everyone is on their best behavior. But as you start to spend time together away from the day to day
distractions, you start to get more comfortable and relax. That’s when you start to see the real person you are looking to partner with. In business we call this due diligence. We test the water comparing long term goals and how we like to do things. We match our values. We explore how we can help each other. We listen to what the other person says and we pay attention to what they aren’t saying. Just like when you’re dating, each side wants to look their best for the other person. Sometimes you need to look a little deeper to see the real partner underneath. When you like what you see – when your values match – then you are ready to commit.

Next you get engaged. It’s more than just setting a date. You are setting expectations, making promises, setting goals. As you get ready to take the plunge, you are mapping out the future of the partnership. What you will do. How you will do it. You learn to handle details and who does what best. You start to come together as a team. By the time you get to making it legal, the deal is done. The contract – whether a marriage license, a contract or a purchase order is simply confirmation of what you will set out to do together. Over the life of your relationship, you learn to work with each other, to compromise, and to adjust so that each person is getting what they need.

Like a marriage, lasting business partnerships are personal. They take thought, effort and personal attention to make them work. But most of all they require and open mind and a willingness to negotiate.

We negotiate with people, not companies.

Partnerships that last are built through a continuing series of negotiations. The relationships in the partnership are not based on the life of a contract – they last generations. This key is so simple we often miss it. Each new objective starts with a negotiation. As the partnership grows, we learn more about each other. We take that knowledge and use it to set new plans and higher goals based on each other’s strengths. 

Companies don’t negotiate – people do. Traditional styles of win-lose or win-win negotiations focus on the tally sheet between the contracting parties. Keeping score of ‘who got what’ does not make for a lasting marriage and it doesn’t work in lasting business partnerships either. To keep things working, we must develop a new form of relationship based negotiations. Each party looks at a longer horizon, acknowledging that there will always be conflict and compromise but always placing the health of the overall relationship as the highest priority. When we do this, we anticipate our partner’s needs and care enough to help them fill them. Each time we do so, the bond grows stronger, the partnership better, and we benefit. Not just today, but long into the future.

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay tuned…
Joan Koerber-Walker

Welcome to the Board.

One of the questions I get frequently is “How can I get chosen to serve on a Board of Directors?”  There seems to be a caché attached to these positions, and since I have served, and continue to serve on multiple Boards of Directors and Boards of Advisors, sooner or later the question comes up.

At Parenting AZ BenefitThere are many types of boards.  They range from those in the non-profit world, to community associations, industry associations, government agencies, private companies, and public companies.  And in each case the role is a little different.  But, the one commonality across the continuum is that the role of the board member is about service.

Boards look for individuals who believe in the organization’s mission and can help move it towards it’s goals through a combination of Time, Treasury, and Talent.

So, where do you fit?  It might be helpful to look at each of these different types of organizations and the associated board roles so that you can see what type of service is expected of a quality board member and then you can look at your own skill set and see if board service might be for you.


Advisory Boards exist in both the for-profit and not-for-profit worlds.  In this case, board members are chosen specifically for their expertise.  Here TALENT and experience is the main determining factor.  Advisory Boards come in all shapes and sizes for advisory of government agencies, to start ups, to scientific organizations. 

The major difference between Advisory Board positions and the other board roles discussed here ties to the concept of Fiduciary Responsibility.   In the case of advisors, your role is to observe, council, influence, and to provide knowledge, contacts, or input.  Conversely, in the role of Director or Trustee, you have the additional legal obligations to oversee and hold in trust and support not only the mission of the organization but to also protect it’s real and intangible assets, including oversight with legal compliance.  This is known as fiduciary responsibility.

Directors and Trustees

Non-Profits: Charitable Organizations, Community Organizations and Agencies look for board members that meet the specific needs of the organization in addition to fiduciary responsibilities.  Financial compensation (paying for board service) is fairly uncommon, and often prohibited by the organization’s by-laws.  But don’t be surprised to find that board members are expected to contribute generously of both time and or talent as well as cold, hard cash to support the organization through either sponsorship, donations, or rolling up your sleeves and doing real work to move the mission forward.  In these organizations, the public and the employees are the primary stakeholders board members are expected to safeguard and support.

Membership Based Associations can be either for profit and not for profit.  But in both cases, the board has a new constituency to look out for – the members.  Often board members are elected by the membership and from the membership of the association.  As an association board member, expect to be asked  to be very visible and engaged in the activities within your membership community. 

Start Up Companies, Privately Held Firms, and Public Companies.  As we move onto the for profit arena, all of the fiduciary obligations apply – but you have a new set of stakeholders you must satisfy – the investors.  At this level, board members get paid.  Compensation comes in the form of cash, equity or a combination of the two.  Just remember, people expect more from you when they are paying you.  Be prepared to deliver.  The larger the organization, the more compensation is normally involved, but with that also comes more responsibility, more meetings, more committee work, and more people you ultimately have to keep happy.  Once you get to the highest levels, shareholders look to the board to safeguard their interests AND be responsible for ultimate company performance.  At one time, being on the board of companies like General Motors, Lehman Brothers, or a major bank were envied positions.  Would you want to be one of those directors today?

Still interested? 

As you can see, board service can be a lot or hard work and responsibility.  The key to being invited or elected to a board is to reshape your thinking.  Board service is not just standing up and graciously accepting applause from the crowd at a fundraiser or being seen as a leader at public events or in the media.  It’s about making a contribution of your time, treasury and talent. 

Take a look at the various organizations in your community.  What do you have to contribute?  How can you help them?

Get involved, start volunteering, share ideas, show them what you can do. 

When you make a difference – you won’t have to ask to be involved at a higher leadership level.

They will ask you!

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker


What’s Right?

Right, wrong, and somewhere in between.  How do we know sometimes what is right?  Over the last few days, all of us have been barraged with words and images of what is happening on the other side of the world.  Some of the images have been heart breaking. Others have been uplifting.  Many have been disturbing. Some have simply been sad. 

 believe in the goodness of peopleI’m not gong to fill this page with the images and words that have been moving across the airwaves, the blogs, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.   You know where you can find them if you choose to search. 

Even before June 12th, I had been reading about the Iranian elections.  When violence erupted, I got the first news, like many others through my Twitter stream. The news was frightening.  That first night I stayed up  until the wee hours of the morning re-tweeting information on basic first aid, what embassies were open for the wounded, and other information.   As the days went on, the stories grew more disturbing and the tweets more frequent.  I definitely was not alone in my efforts.  Many others were doing the same. 

At first I rotated through my multiple Twitter accounts, but soon the number of tweets were still too much.  On Monday, I set up a new account (@JKWphx) dedicated to only sending #IranElection, #gr88 or later #Neda oriented messages. 

At times the information was so sad or disturbing that I needed a break or a pick me up.  Some of my friends, who knew what I was was doing, would tweet me with happy thoughts, inspiring quotes, or silly sayings.  At other times, I would turn and pull out a book for a short reading break. 

On Monday, I pulled out a dog eared copy of The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and began to read the words of someone who lived and died decades ago.  She was living in hiding during times of fear and oppression and telling her story through a her notebook journals.Anne Frank's Journals

Here are some of her words:

It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.” Saturday, 15 July, 1944, pg. 237

As I write this Thursday evening in Arizona, the sun has already risen on the people in Iran.  I have no idea if any of the people I was trying to help ever saw the words I sent to them. 

I know the Iranian government agents did — THEY sent some lovely notes. I wonder if it would frustrate them to know the satisfaction I got each time I went in and BLOCKED them?

But either way, I did what I could to help because I thought it was right.  At the end of  the day, that’s all any of us can do.

Thanks for stopping by, and if you get a chance today, say a little prayer for the people in Iran.

Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

Photo and other information from and the Anne Frank Museum, Amsterdam.

Quote, from The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Five Strategies to Grow Your Business

We are moving into the the peak days of the Summer.  While there’s lots of talk of ‘green shoots’ appearing on the economic horizon, as business people we know that often things slow down in the Summer heat.   

So what better time to focus in on some tips and tricks to keep your business growing even during the lazy days of Summer. 

Grass Clipart

Growth Strategy #1 – Call a customer today

Call a customer you have not talked to for a while and ask how things are going.  Find out what can you and your company do to support them in achieving their goals. It is a great way to get MORE business.

They already know you and trust you. Having done business with you before, they may need what you have again.  Even if they don’t have a requirement today, they’ll remember that you checked in and offered to help them.

Growth Strategy #2 – Look at your Company from Your Customer’s Perspective.

So often we talk about all the great things our company can do rather that focus on what our customer wants or needs. Empathy is a great tool for building business.

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What are your challenges?  What would help you achieve your goals? What do you need? Then – put your marketing hat on and communicate with current and potential customers. Demonstrate that you understand what THEY need and show them how your products and services can help THEM satisfy their needs and meet their goals.

Growth Strategy #3 – Share information or opportunity

A great way to exceed your goals is to do something to help your customer exceed theirs.  Send them a great article you have read. Nominate them for an award.  Share a business tip that has worked for you.  Refer a customer to them.  When you do, they just might return the favor and you both win!

Growth Strategy #4 – Get up from your desk. Get out of your office!

To stimulate your business, make time to get up, get out, and move around.  If you are managing a team – go over to where they are working. Join in conversations – ask for their ideas. They are closest to the work and the customers and have information you need.  If you are the person responsible for creating sales – go out to one of the many networking opportunities that abound in your community. Talk to others – ask them what they are doing to stimulate their business – share good ideas that are working for you.

Yes, I know – gas is expensive and time is money – but choosing to stay back closed in at the office can be the decision that makes you miss out on great opportunities.
So get up from your desk – get out of the office – and go find one.

Growth Strategy #5 – Work Smarter

We’ve all heard the saying “Work smarter not harder”.   In tough times as well as good ones, how you do things is as important as what you do.  To give yourself and your company and extra advantage, ask yourself these questions:

Am I making the most of the resources I have already invested in?

Is there a different way to do what I am doing that is more efficient or could get better results?  

Is Ease of Doing Business a mantra in my company.  Do our processes make it easier for our customers to work with us and for our team to get the job done?

Being proactive and focusing on growth can keep your business from falling into the Summer slump.  These are some of the things that I’m doing in our business.  Try them.  You can put these ideas to work in yours too.  So come on, let’s get growing. 

Thanks for stopping by – Stay Tuned…

– Joan Koerber-Walker 

Grass Clipart


Ethics, Integrity, Leadership, and Change

We live in times of change.  In good times and in bad, change is the one true constant.  But in any era and any economy, there are some  human characteristics that, when we hold true to them, form a solid foundation that we can build on. 

Business challenges fill the Twitter streams, the papers and the airwaves today along with the fears these changes bring to the people living through them. 

As I read about and experience the changes of our times, I draw on the lessons my grandparents taught me in times long past.

John Carmichael, c.1965The first lesson was learned from my Grandpa Carmichael when I was probably about five years old.  We were looking at a picture book and I asked him what a word  meant.  He took me by the hand, walked me down to his home office, and pulled a Webster’s dictionary from the shelf.  Opening the book, he said “let’s look it up and then we can talk about it.”  And so we did.  The word that day was dromedary.  A bit easier to define than complex issues like ethics, integrity, and leadership.  But the lesson still holds.

 Ethics: definitions from Merriam-Webster Online

  1. the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation
  2. a set of moral principles : a theory or system of moral values 
  3. the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group
  4. a guiding philosophy
  5. a consciousness of moral importance
  6. a set of moral issues or aspects (as rightness)

Integrity: definitions From Merriam-Webster Online

  1. firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values
  2. an unimpaired condition
  3. the quality or state of being complete or undivided

Leadership: definitions  from Merriam-Webster Online

  1. the office or position of a leader
  2. capacity to lead
  3. the act or an instance of leading

William G. Koerber and Ida Mae Koerber MassnickLater that evening, we visited my other grandparents at their home on Port Drive in Detroit.   Sitting in Grandpa Koerber’s lap,  I held out my favoite picture book.  Pointing to the picture, I asked.  “Grandpa – what’s this?” “A camel” he told me.  “No Grandpa, it’s a dromedary – see only one hump.”  “Why you are right, Miss Smarty Pants, it is a dromedary after all.”

Grandma told me, a few years later when we went back for his funeral, that Grandpa told that story to all his friends.  He would laugh and brag about how amazed he was to be learning lessons about dromedaries from a five year old girl.  But what stuck with me from that long ago night was what both Grandma and Grandpa had explained to me.  “It’s not just what you know that is important.  It’s what you do  with it.”

So as we look at the definitions above, we know what the words mean.  The question is not what we know – but what we do with it.

As I look at the definitions above and think about my own experiences and what’s changing in the world around me, I still draw on the skills my grandparents taught me. 

Studying the the words, as defined by Merriam-Webster, a definite and interrelated pattern emerges that allows me to synthesize my own understanding and beliefs.

Ethics becomes simply knowing what is right.  Integrity is the act of then doing what is right – even when it is inconvenient or uncomfortable.   Thus, leadership is taking the personal responsibility to step out in front while basing your decisions on your own ethics and integrity as you move forward. 

My grandparents must have also known this.  For during their lives, each was a living example.  They taught these values to their children and their grandchildren. Just as I am trying to pass them on to mine.   I guess some things don’t change that much after all.

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay Tuned…

– Joan Koerber-Walker

What shall I be?

When I was a little girl, one of my favorite games was What Shall I Be? The Exciting Game of Career Girls. (Selchow and Righter, 1966).  My Mom gave it to me for my eighth birthday.  Frequently, I would negotiate with my friends to trade off Barbie time for game time when we got together in my parent’s basement. 

Careers for women – how cutting edge was that?  Our choices:  Airline Hostess, Ballerina, Nurse, Model, Actress, and Teacher.  For a review of this edition and the 1976 edition (much more enlightened but still a ways to go) see Deanna Dahlsad’s  Blog.

My friend Jeanne Craft was very focused and almost always chose the nurse.  She wanted to help people.  Maybe the game was a bit prophetic.  Today, Dr. Jeanne Craft is a five star rated physician practicing Pediatric Critical Care Medicine.  Her courageous quick thinking in diagnosing and saving  a baby with infant botulism brought her to international attention when she was profiled on Roma Downey’s “It’s a Miracle.” 

As for me, I never could decide on just one career. I would pick a different one every time.   The choices were not exactly what I was shooting for but some of the roles had things that I liked about them.  The funny thing is that over my own career I did end up exploring a few of these roles.  Modeling turned out to be a great way to earn extra money when I was in college.  Community Theatre helped me forge a closer relationship with my future mother-in-law early in my career. (A great actress I was not and will never be.)  As the Mom of two active boys,  I’ve nursed my share of bumps and bruises. In 2008, teaching graduate courses on Leadership at Innovation at Grand Canyon University was both challenging and enlightening.  And, my love for travel by air was satisfied when my role as a corporate executive had me flying around the world 13 times in a 3 year period.  Never did master the ballerina thing.  That was way too much hard work. 

While my feminist friends probably shudder at the very thought of this game, I remember those days fondly.  It was a simpler time and a simpler place.

If I was redesigning this game today, my game would have choices like CEO, Entrepreneur, Investor, Author, Mom, and Speaker.  You see, that’s what I grew up to be.  I’m enjoying being a ‘career girl’. It is exciting.  I wonder what’s next.  Time to roll the dice.

Thanks for checking in… Stay Tuned –

Joan Koerber-Walker

When You Screw Up… Admit It and Fix It.

I’ve blogged once or twice on Social Media before, and I always preface my post with “I am NOT a social media expert.”   Today, I proved it.

The day started with an email from a friend on Facebook that read “Hello – check out”  Thinking something great had happened for this friend, I followed the link and logged into Facebook.  Nothing happened – or so I thought.   The next thing I knew, I was seeing messages go out to MY Facebook Friends with a similar message.  Oh No – a worm!

Now,  realizing how dumb I was to fall for this scam,  I had to try to fix it.

Step 1.  Warn others!

Using Facebook and Twitter I immediately let my friends know there was a problem so it did not happen to them too.

Joan Koerber-WalkerJoan Koerber-Walker If you get a Facebook message from me or anyone else that reads, Don’t Open it. It is not from me. It’s a worm. I got one and it sent a message to my friends on Facebook!

Step 2.  Clean up  your mess!

Figure out how to fix your mistake.  Do some home work, call on experts, fix the problem so it does not keep happening.

Step 3.  Help others fix the problem!

Since I started this mess on Facebook, I used Facebook to send out the fix:

Joan Koerber-Walker

Joan Koerber-Walker  If you visit a website – “” and it starts sending messages to your friend list on Facebook here is what you should do:

1. Immediately change your FB password.

2. Run a virus scan on your computer – just in case.

3. Post a message like this one on FB, Twitter etc,. telling folks not to open a website at “” and if you do how to fix it.

4. Apologize, like I am doing now, for being dumb enough to do it.

While catching my mistake, cleaning up my mess, and helping others with the problem, I have heard from lots of my Facebook friends thanking me for letting them know before they got hacked .  Others said “thanks for sharing the fix.”  Many shared similar experiences or stories of mistakes they had made and how things turned out when they were proactive about fixing them.

So I learned a few lessons today –

1.  NEVER open a website ending in .AT or sign into Facebook or other sites unless I am SURE I know what they are.

2.  Everyone makes mistakes.  What matters is what you do next.

Thanks for checking in.   Stay tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

Want to Share Your Message? Be Remarkable

Someone asked me the other day, what it meant to be a successful professional speaker and how do I become one.

Hmm, what to say.  I never not set out to be a “successful speaker”. My goal was to run a successful company. For me, speaking was a way to move my company’s mission forward towards our goal. Taking the platform was a way to bring our message out to a larger audience.

jkw big stageThe first part of the process (and the first step we still take today with any new program) is to ask – “What do I have to share – and who cares to hear it?” We all have lots of things to say, but if there is not an audience looking for that message – no one will stop to listen – let alone pay you for it.

The next step is to craft the message so others will remember it and want to share it with their friends and colleagues. In a word, be “remarkable.” Nothing is as powerful as someone who has heard you speak, read your article or blog, or seen you on TV or video and wants to share what they learned from you with others.

Step three is to walk your talk. Don’t just spout witty lines from the stage. Actions always speak louder than words. Do something to demonstrate your message.

· If you speak on how to grow businesses, be sure you are growing yours!

· If your message is to help others in the community – be an active volunteer.

· If you speak on Leadership – be a leader.

· If innovation is your gig – do something innovative.

Get the message? So, you may be asking…”That’s great, but does it work?” The answer is simple. Yes.

I’ve used this simple three step process and achieved what I set out to do. My business has grown and spawned other businesses. Today we have divisions in consulting and publishing. I even got to take two years off – while others ran the business for me – so I could take a two year sabbatical to pursue my personal passion for helping other businesses achieve their goals as CEO of the Arizona Small Business Association. With friends we have founded new ventures in social entrepreneurship, been asked to help lead new and exciting companies – and I’m getting ready to buy and grow another one. And through it all I have kept speaking. Whether the audience is a small group of 15 or a ballroom filled to capacity, following these three steps keeps people talking about what we say and do. It’s remarkable.

Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker