Blog Archive

Sarah Palin: Bold Move or Big Mistake?

Published July 6th, 2009 in Blog, Strategies and Hints

Sarah Palin has given us a lot to talk about this 4th of July weekend. Her announcement to step down 18 months before her term ends as the Governor of Alaska has created quite the buzz. Many people are ready to offer opinions about what it means. I’ve seen everything from “brilliant” to “irresponsible.” Speculation swirls as bloggers, journalists and political commentators analyze her intentions. Was her decision to resign a bold move or a big mistake?

I don’t want to weigh in on the speculation around Sarah Palin. I’ll leave that to the speculators.  Rather, I want to talk about women who make bold moves, whether we agree with them or not, and what we can learn from them. Here is my short list. What would you add?

1. It’s possible to advance in a different direction. Stepping down doesn’t necessarily mean stepping back.

2. Your brand is the platform you build. From the there you can reinvent yourself in surprising ways.

3. Bold moves and big platforms make great targets; make sure you are grounded by your values and a compelling vision.

4. Bold moves will cost you something.

5. If you realize that you can’t achieve your goals from where you are, a bold move may be required.

6. Have your talking points ready, and don’t underestimate the power of social media to get your message through!

7. Be strategic. Make sure your current move won’t limit future moves. Don’t box yourself in with a short-sighted move.

8. You may be invited to defend your moves. R.S.V.P with care.

9. Your moves should reflect and protect what you value most.

I encourage you to step away from the political aspects of Palin’s story for a moment and think about your own bold moves!

. What risks should you be taking?

. What do you need to let go of in order to accomplish your goals?

. What keeps you from taking the next step and making a move?

All the best,


Networking in 140 characters or less

Published July 3rd, 2009 in Blog, Social Media and Networking

Determined to make social networking a real priority, I’ve officially jumped into the  Twitter stream. While relatively new to it, I’m coming up the curve quickly and happy to share my twittering tips with you. These points are also a gentle nudge to get your networking strategy on!

Here’s my TTTT (that’s twitter-speak for Top Ten Twitter Tips) aka “Things I wish I would Have Known Before I Started Tweeting.”

1.       Twitter is free and can be a powerful networking tool. Register your twitter account at and off you go.

2.       You have to get to the point, because you only have 140 characters to speak your mind.

3.       Keep your brand in mind as you build out your profile and “present” yourself to the twittering community. Post a real picture of you and tell us who you are. (Give people a reason to make the connection.) Twitter is actually a great branding exercise!

4.       Twitter is about “Following” and “Being Followed.” Think of it like a community – you build a unique community by following people you are interested in and inviting them to follow you back. Search Twitter for people or topics that interest you. (I network with people who are passionate about mentoring, leadership, and personal development. I am also crazy about horses and have made some wonderful “horse” friends.) Build your following intentionally. When it comes to followers, more is not always better.

5.       Networking is about adding value, and Twitter is no exception. Look for what you can add to the community. Some tweeters shamelessly promote themselves and their products before building trust and credibility within the community. Tweeters are annoyed by the SPAM-like feel to these posts.

(I have a personal rule: If you SPAM me, I block you instantly.)

6.       Begin slowly. Follow a few people and sit back to watch how the dialogue goes. Read the articles and blogs they post. Reply with your own thoughts to start a dialogue. After a little while, you will begin to feel connected, you will find ways to contribute, and you will learn a great deal along the way. Twitter has replaced my newspaper. I can scan current events in 5 minutes and know exactly what is happening in the world.

7.       Posts a few tweets throughout the day. People pop in and out at different times to check on their “peeps.” Posting throughout the day increases the odds that your tweets are read.

8.       Before making a decision to follow you people are likely to read your last several tweets. So, before popping out, post a tweet with real substance. (What you had for lunch probably isn’t the most compelling thing about you.) This isn’t as daunting as it might sound. Substance is content/information people can use. That might be a news headline, the link to a blog you follow, or an inspiring thought. You can even share music and pictures on twitter. Content possibilities are ENDLESS, so don’t get lazy and post what’s in your  lunchbox.

9.       Be authentic! Let your uniqueness come through.

10.   Finally, budget your time. Building and maintaining connections is time consuming. You can be swept down the stream, losing all track of time!

Block out a few minutes for tweeting throughout the day and discipline yourself. (When the buzzer goes are over and out!)

11.   BONUS TIP: Can’t resist just one more. TweetDeck is a great tool for managing your tweets and your peeps. I call it “My Dashboard.” The deck is free and I love it. Check it out at

Even people who see great value in networking have asked me, “What’s the point of Twitter?” I felt that way too…at first. Even as I faithfully tweeted, I secretly felt like I was twittering in the wind. It seemed like I was talking to myself! Then the connections started to click.

I’ve made some wonderful friends and business contacts. I regularly chat with one of may favorite authors, whom I would now call, “Dear Friend.”

I’ve gathered research for the book I’m writing now, and I’ve surrounded myself with people who energize and inspire me. Radio and television interviews have been scheduled on twitter, and I may have found the horse of my dreams.

Join me on Twitter.  I am @dondiscumaci . Or you can click the Twitter logo below to get directly to my Twitter feed!


You were designed for success and built to grow,



Published April 13th, 2009 in Blog, Motivation

Where do you find energy and inspiration? What inspires you to take a risk,try something new, and rise to the occasion?

It’s early on a Saturday morning in San Antonio, TX, and I just finished a radio interview with Tom Chenault ( The conversation ignited a flood of ideas and a wave of energy! That’s what happens when you spend time with people who are optimistic about the future and taking complete charge of their lives. That kind of energy is absolutely contagious! It infuses you with confidence and encourages you to press through.

Now (more than ever) we must seek out the people and relationships that energize us, inspire us, and encourage us. This is not the time to “do lunch” with whiners, complainers, and victims! These people will drain you of the strength you need. Even if (especially if) you are in the middle of the storm, surround yourself with people who are learning, innovating, and producing solutions. (And be that person for others.)

You were built for success. Surround yourself by people who encourage you to grow.

All the best,


What are you working on now?

Published March 9th, 2009 in Blog, Motivation

Networking is all the rage and utilities like LinkedIn, Plaxo, and Facebook provide a platform for both personal and professional connections. All of these in one way or another encourage you to post your status with a question like, “What are you doing right now?” It ‘s a fair question, “What are you working on?” (Even so, I am proposing a change in the way you think about your “status updates.”)

It is entirely possible to mistake activity for progress. Maybe a better question is, “What is the difference you are making?” Yes, I like that question better.

In time management terms, we aim to throw our time, energy, and creativity at the tasks and activities with real impact. That makes perfect sense, but how often do we run toward what has low value in the long term? We check off the tasks (with great satisfaction) without making real progress in our lives. We get “it” done, but we haven’t moved an inch closer to our vision.

There’s another reason to think about the difference you make. It’s a matter of marketing yourself and building your personal brand. Talking about what you did (in a performance review, on a resume, or a meeting with your boss) is less powerful than talking about the difference you made.

I challenge you this week to think about your “status” differently. As you plan your time, look for real impact. Check in with yourself frequently and ask, “What is the difference I am making, right now?”