What do Bumble & your business have in common?

I was staring out the window listening to the rain tapping against the glass when a burst of inspiration and joy came over me.  This is what happens when I hear of companies flip the switch and throw out the rule book to change lives and make a difference and this is exactly what a dating app has done. ✨🙌👏

I recently saw a clip on CBS News with CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder and CEO of dating app, Bumble introducing a new initiative that further empowers women called, Moves Making Impact. 

How it works is, users, pick a cause they’re interested in – human rights, public policy, economic development then, once you make contact with a match, Bumble donates to women making a difference in their community supporting that cause.  For Whitney, she says, “it stands for everything we’ve ever stood for… it’s all about paying it forward and giving them the opportunity to be changemakers through their daily lives…” as seen on CBS News.   

This domino effect is exciting to hear and see, and the numbers demonstrating women making the ‘first move’ has done is jaw-dropping.  Nearly, 1B moves have been made by women on Bumble, with 55M + users, in 150 countries and 19M matches/week.

The lesson I took from this short clip was simple.  Where dating has long had (centuries long might I add) rules and traditional norms, it’s now changed and evolved and Bumble is demonstrating how they’ve influenced those changes since 2014.

So what can you learn from a dating app and apply to your own business?

Regardless of what business you’re in, there is always an opportunity to change the rules.  Innovation doesn’t always have to mean coming out with a product or service that is faster, smarter, more cost-effective.  Industry changes to long-standing businesses where the ways of doing things remain unchanged can always be challenged. You get to decide what that looks like.

The takeaways from Bumble’s new initiative were inspiring in a few ways:

  • There are multiple uses for this app – dating, friendship, and business
  • Users are empowered in multiple ways
  • The company is giving back and paying it forward
  • Users are making an impact simply by using the product
  • They’re making efforts in making online dating safe with creating and introducing features to protect their users

What are your thoughts? 💭

What companies or industries inspire you and are changing the game?

Keep challenging the status quo, keep pushing the boundaries and remember YOU get to decide what the rules are.

Lot’s of love ❤

Lisa xo

Timing is EVERYTHING! 💯

Do you believe that time is unlimited?

So many of us struggle with the notion that time is limited. We hold the idea that in order to do something REALLY big or important in our lives, we need to do it in a certain amount of time… or… we’ll expire?  Of course, we won’t, but it’s a limited belief many of us carry.

The truth is, life itself and the time we have on this earth IS limited.  So, the expression, “life is short”, “seize the day” or “seize the moment” is true.  But these very expressions also mean, to me, that while we DO only have this one life here on earth, shouldn’t we make the most of it with the time we have?

Time is truly a GIFT for all of us and it’s up to US with how we use it. Yet with looking at time in limited terms we allow it to impact all areas of our lives. Pursuing that big dream, getting that degree, whatever it may be for you.  In our daily lives, we hold ourselves back from doing something we want – taking that vacation, signing up for that membership, taking that class, etc. because it’s not the ‘perfect’ time.

Yes, it’s true that patience in the pursuit of your dreams is important and that in itself is a journey, but this is simply accepting that time is unlimited.  The only limits to doing anything you want to do, is YOU.

Time IS precious however it doesn’t ever discourage us from doing something that really matters to us, but rather our belief or perception of what we can do with it. Sometimes, it’s other people’s story or opinion that tells us otherwise.

The next time you find yourself doubting yourself or second-guessing whether you should do something because of ‘time’, ask yourself these questions:

  • How important is this to me?
  • What’s the motivation for delaying —–? (fill in the blank)
  • What’s the benefit from doing this in the immediate term vs. long term?
  • What’s the cost of not doing this now?
  • If time wasn’t a concern, what would the ideal scenario look like?

Use the time you DO have for your advantage vs. thinking of it as a disadvantage and cherish it like the gift it is.

How does time impact you? In your daily life and with your longer-term goals?

I’d love to hear your thoughts, leave your comments below! ⬇

p.s. it’s finally starting to feel like Spring, enjoy the sunshine!! 🌞🌻

Lisa ❤

Team building is great, but an engaged workforce is better!

What do you think of when you think of team building?

The term has been around forever and the very nature of it, to me can be in the form of activities or team exercises that have a social element to it and help to cultivate collaboration and foster a team spirit amongst teams.

While the idea is well intended, as a company, when you’re taking care of your workforce, you don’t often have to resort to a team building activity to ‘bring people together’.  Furthermore, when you invest in them regularly, the time or $$ spent on a team building activity can simply be an outing to spend time with your people.  Why?  Because you care and you want to invest in continuously cultivating your relationship with them.

The benefits of team building I think most will agree are great and ALL companies want to see this:

  • Increased productivity
  • Improved communication
  • Improved and stronger teamwork/collaboration
  • Improved problem-solving skills
  • Increased employee engagement

Many of these benefits can be seen when you’re taking consistent measures every single day in simply investing in your workforce.  Behavior that demonstrates you care for your people and are creating a culture where social outings occur as a way to spend time with your people.  Instead of coordinating a team building activity that you do once every 6 months to help bring your ‘people together’.

In a past life time, I worked for a company where we had a social outing monthly.  We were small enough where we could afford to do that, and it did wonders for getting to know my peers and colleagues on a different level.  Not to mention, the political barriers and professional guards were down, and people were at ease being themselves.

Why does it take a social outing to create that dynamic amongst employees?

This monthly social outing came from the leader at the time who felt it was important to bring everyone together regularly and that’s where it should start.  Yes, we used those gatherings to also celebrate the wins and learn from the misses we had as a company as well.  Set the example as a leader and if you have teams below you, empower your other managers to follow suit amongst their teams as they see fit.

Corporate cultures that embrace their employees as human beings vs. the role they play at work can still generate the benefits listed above.  Team building is a great idea, however, the benefits you can reap from a team building activity can easily be fostered when you create a strong culture of engaged employees.


I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! What are your thoughts?

What are you doing now in your organization that brings your people together?

With so much appreciation,

Lisa xo

Why negotiating ALL benefits when interviewing matters!

Negotiating is a skill we all practice throughout our lives personally or professionally. 

Whether it’s negotiating what restaurant to eat at on the weekend, where to live, what movie to see, etc. as you can see, they range from the smallest of things to major choices we make in our lives.

In our careers, it’s no different and many times, it’s in our professional lives we seem to get tripped up and don’t consider ALL our options as we consider what’s important to us, especially when we’re interviewing.  With enough experience, practice and time, it’s a skill that can be nurtured especially when it comes to negotiating money.

Most candidates when they’re interviewing think of the monetary benefits they’re hoping to earn – a bump on their base salary as they consider their next move.  Salary and bonuses are usually at the top of the list amongst a number of other motivators that are important when interviewing.  Depending on what’s driving your move and desire to change, they may vary in level of importance.

So why do we get choked up when it comes to asking for money?

The truth is, most people are uncomfortable asking for what they want, especially money and more importantly, are not always prepared for the discussion or how to ask.  When I was in the very early stages of my career, I remember sitting across from a manager I had at the time who I admired and happened to be male and I flat out told him, “I hate asking for money…” and his answer to me was, “why?  You work hard, you’re performing, you should ask for what you want.”  That’s it.  Nothing complex, no long lecture, just, ask for what you want.

Of course, there’s more to it and it takes time, experience, practice, etc. to get comfortable with negotiating (and personally, I’m still working at it), but I never forgot that.

Remember, if you don’t ask, the answer will always be NO so if there’s anything you take from this post, ASK for what you want! 

When you’re interviewing and you’re lucky enough to make it to an offer stage, here are some suggestions to keep in mind:

Be open and transparent with your salary expectations – this should really be shared before you get to this stage as most companies will want to understand if they can afford you at the early stages of the interview process.  The last thing you want to do is go through a number of interviews only to reach an offer stage and learn the company just doesn’t have the budget to meet your salary expectations.  Having said that, be clear with what you’re looking for – i.e. 10% increase on my base, $10K sign on bonus to cover X, etc.

Be prepared to negotiate ALL benefits – as mentioned earlier, everyone has various motivating drivers that are important to them and salary is not always the main and only benefit of interest.  What else is important to you?  Work from home?  Vacation time?  Commute allowance?  Think about what these options are.  Also, consider discussing what the flex is around these items early in the process.  Some benefits are company-wide policies that are less flexible to be offered to new hires coming on board.  Again, be prepared to discuss openly the benefits that are important to you.

Ask a trusted colleague or friend if you’re unsure of how to deliver your message and articulate what you want – again, for the purpose of asking for what you want, if negotiating isn’t something that comes easy to you, practice ahead of time with someone you trust and know.  Ask them to role play with you and ask for feedback.  We don’t always see our own blind spots, so asking for someone else’s perspective can be helpful.

Be prepared to get a NO to what you asked for – so this is not always easy to hear and can be deflating especially if you’re trying to seal the deal with a company and new opportunity.  Going back to the above, consider other options you can negotiate, but also, consider this to be a sign that it may not be the right fit if none of your requests or asks were met.  This isn’t about giving up and walking away, however, if you’ve made every effort to explore and consider ALL your options, the one to walk away is also one to consider if you’re requirements aren’t met.

Now, I’d love to hear from you! What would you add to these suggestions? Is there a negotiation strategy you’ve used that’s been effective?

Happy negotiating!

Lisa xo

Gender bias and how YOU can move the conversation forward

On Friday, March 8th, we celebrated International Women’s Day where we honored and celebrated women around the globe for political, cultural and economic achievements to name a few.  While it’s recognized on this special day, I’m personally reminded daily of the brave, courageous and strong women I’m surrounded by and who I admire who are showing up and pushing the boundaries. 

I participated in Lean In Canada’s workshop on Friday where we discussed women’s bias and what we can do to help educate and change the conversation.  My commitment leaving that evening was to write about it through educating you with how you can help increase the conversation and hopefully influence change.

With that said, I’m hoping I can inspire you to be that brave soul who can be informed and offer new perspective regardless of your role in your place of work.

Gender bias is real and happens more often than you probably think.  It also comes in many forms in the workplace.  While it happens to both men and women, studies have shown women have experienced these biases far greater than men.

From receiving fewer promotions than their male counterparts to being passed up on important projects, to the biggest one that I think many of you will agree on where women are still earning less than men.  According to a study conducted in 2017, Pew Research Center showed that 42% of women in the United States say they have faced discrimination on the job because of their gender.

So, what does gender bias look like in the work place?

Some examples include:

  • Performance bias – A simple review of your organization to see if there’s an imbalance between men and women can speak volumes. 
  • Educate your leadership team that balance across gender helps the bottom line and brings different perspectives and experiences to the business.  Where is there an imbalance?  Is it across the whole company, a certain division?  Also, look at your company’s recruitment strategy to see how you’re attracting and hiring talent into your organization.
  • Wage gap – According to the Women’s Foundation of Canada, women with the same experience, socio-economic and demographic background earn approximately $7,200 less than their male counterparts per year, according to an Ontario Government report.  This was updated as of August 2018.
  • We’ve seen some progress in closing the wage gap with examples from companies like Salesforce.com. In 2018, a $6M gap would soon see to pay men and women equally across the company. But there’s definitely room for more improvement.  Where can you improve and how can you close the gap in your organization?
  • Maternal bias – women often face this when their male counterparts are being promoted to leadership roles or being overlooked for special projects upon returning from maternity leave.
  • There is often an assumption made when women leave the workforce to start a family, they won’t be able to handle the same level of work upon their return. Educating your leadership team that all opportunities that can help stretch and advance their employees should be left up to the employee to choose. Empower your employees to decide whether they can take on a new challenge.

There are many more types of biases that we can add to this list, however, I wanted to leave you with just a few common ones.  While moving the needle can take time, increasing the conversations in our organizations and creating awareness is a start. Educating what gender bias looks like, and how we can #BalanceforBetter, takes action.

You change the conversation by witnessing it when it’s happening and educating your leadership team on gender bias, followed by proposing a solution. It starts with having the conversation, bringing awareness to it and coming up with actionable solutions.

Remember, courage over fear, faith over fear and keep in mind, the smallest of efforts can often make the biggest impact. Don’t ever doubt that your words mean something.

What can you do in your organization to continue the conversation?

I’d love to hear from you and encourage you to use your voice and share your perspective!  Let me know in the comments below.

All my love, ❤

Lisa

Lead with the WHOLE you at work – not just the professional


In the past, jobs were about muscles, now they’re about the brain, but in the future, they’ll be about the heart.

Minouche Shafik, Director, London School of Economics

Showing up holistically in every aspect of your life takes courage and knowing who you are.  We’ve been conditioned to believe that, in the workplace, work is work and the parts of you that make you human don’t belong there.  Time amongst others is challenging us to evolve and begin to look at our employee’s or ‘our people’ in the workplace as a WHOLE person.  Not just the professional that’s at work Monday- Friday.

Our work places are changing, the way we work is changing and it’s time we do too.

I’m thrilled to see that there’s increasing conversations on how to evolve leadership. Thereby challenging the way we bring ourselves to work, challenging the way we hire talent, challenging our expectations of what the workplace means today.  Can we start to see more organizations modeling these changes as part of their core values?

Part of adopting this as a core value in your company – one that prioritizes people first, and thereby accepting your employee in full, is leading by example.  Leadership in its truest forms.  It’s leading with people first over profits. 

It’s understanding that as individuals, we’re whole rather than just playing a role in the workplace.  Yes, you need to make money, yes you run a business, yes you need the best people to perform to help run and drive your business. You can do all of that while accepting your people as whole individuals, vs. just professionals.

Brene Brown, author of Dare to Lead. Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts, discusses leadership in the most courageous way and challenges our definition of what leadership looks like. For me at least it has. We need more conversations around brave work, tough conversations and leading with whole hearts.

Having productive discussions on what I like to call, leading with heart, is one thing but modeling this behavior is another.  When you lead as the whole you and not just as the President/CEO/Manager, you encourage others to do the same. You create a culture where it’s acceptable to bring your whole self to the work table. You’ve invested in your people as whole human beings.

When you’re leading as a whole person and not just the professional, here’s what that leadership looks like:

  1. Leading with your whole heart
  2. Demonstrating kindness, openness, and transparency
  3. Leading with self-compassion, compassion for others and empathy
  4. Embracing diversity and celebrating inclusiveness
  5. Getting up after you fall and trying again
  6. Celebrating all wins big and small
  7. Practicing recognition and gratitude daily
  8. Honoring downtime as much as work time
  9. Embracing creative solutions
  10. Mirroring your purpose and values

What might happen if you began to lead with your whole self and created a culture where your employees were free to be themselves?

If you’re motivated to evolve and embrace a new way of leading, a new way of working, start by making a conscious choice to lead differently. Years of ‘doing things the way it’s always been done,’ doesn’t mean it needs to take years to unlearn and embrace a new way of being.

Now I’d love to hear from you!

What’s one thing you can do today to embrace a NEW way to lead?

Leave a comment below and remember, inspired action comes from a desire to change and a willingness to move forward. 👊

With so much love ❤

Lisa xo

Give yourself the gift to BE Present

Photo by Lisa De Nicola

Welcome back!  To a new year, a new start and 365 days ahead of you to DO whatever it is your heart ❤ desires.

Coming back from a relaxed holiday with lots of time for rest, sleep (LOTS of sleep), family time, filling my belly (and soul) with love and yummy treats.  I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.  The return to work after the Christmas holidays can sometimes be overwhelming as many of us are often being greeted by an avalanche of work that is just waiting to get done. 

There’s a sense of urgency to get things started, to gain some momentum having been off and business dormant for a few weeks.  To get some traction on projects that might have been set aside to get done or started on in the new year.  Not to mention, re-adjusting back to your weekday work routine of early mornings, preparing for your commute ahead (mentally and emotionally), early nights and let’s not forget your diet.  Gone are the holiday treats and magically you’re back to morning smoothies, soups and salads for lunch, etc.  😉

So how do you ensure a great start to the year without losing yourself in the hustle and bustle of routine? 

BE PRESENT.

Being present allows us to BE in the moment.  It helps us stay connected in the task at hand, the person we’re having a conversation with, or the meeting we’re trying to participate in, etc.  It also allows us to remain grounded and puts us in a relaxed state.  Particularly if you’re one who easily gets anxious by constantly projecting to the future or playing into the distractions that surround us all.  Just like maintaining balance in your day to day has its benefits, being present is equally just as important.  You can easily notice some of the benefits listed above once put into practice.


Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Believe me, I recognize the number of distractions we’re surrounded by.  Including those convenient devices we all walk around with 24/7, which can seem impossible to let go of all the time.  But the beauty that detaching and being in the moment in just the smallest of ways can offer us, is priceless.

In a world where we’re constantly planning for our futures or worrying about what happened yesterday, it’s no wonder we can’t appreciate the present moment for what it is!  The truth is, you’ll never have that same moment again if you’re too busy focused on the next thing to do.  What time you have to go to the gym, or that you have that appointment you need to make before you forget, etc. etc. etc.

I try my best to put this into practice every day, whether I’m by myself or with people and while it’s a work in progress, the benefits I can confidently say make a difference.  Not just for me, but the people I’m with as well.

Start with baby steps that can help shift your behavior.

Put your phone away when going to a business meeting or meeting a friend for coffee.  Not on the table face down – AWAY.

Take notice of your breathing and the way you feel whether you’re alone or with people.

If you have a nagging or recurring thought, notice it and let it pass.  Re-focus your attention to what you’re doing.  Writing down your thoughts or journaling before starting your day can help let go of any thoughts you might have and clear your head if you have a busy mind.

If you have someone in your life who is FABULOUS at being present – take notice of them!  Being around others who are equally present can make it easier to learn from and adopt simple practices.

Take notice of your surroundings.  Even if you go to the same coffee shop, ride the same bus or train everyday to work.  Try doing so without music in your ears, reading your book or scrolling through Instagram.  Try just sitting there without having to do something.

Again, baby steps to shift behavior.  It’s about progress, not perfection.  Give yourself the gift of BEING present and take joy in the benefits.

As always, I’d love to hear from you and please don’t be shy to share your thoughts!

What are some ways that help you BE present?

Thank you SO MUCH for starting 2019 with me!  I’m looking forward to the year ahead and what’s to come.  Thank YOU again for allowing me to fill your inbox each week, your time, attention, and energy. 🙏

With so much heart ❤ , 

Lisa xo

Leading your company through adversity? 3 things to keep in mind as leader

The workforce has changed tremendously over the last 10 + years.  Virtual set up’s, flexible working environments, social media has exploded and has influenced and impacted business’s and the way we do business.  Not to mention the landscape for talent has changed across the board with an increase in competition and more choices than we had before.

So, with how quickly and how vast the workforce has changed and evolved, shouldn’t leaders also evolve in their approach when it comes to challenging times in your business?

Continue reading “Leading your company through adversity? 3 things to keep in mind as leader”