The Connection Between Increased Responsibility and Increased Expectations


One of my first assignments for Profile Magazine was to interview the inspiring and no-nonsense Raquel Libman. Raquel is the executive vice president and general counsel for the Miami Heat. Yes--that Miami Heat. In our interview, Raquel shared a few speeches and interviews that really impacted her along the way. I took the liberty of doing the googling for you and included the links. Enjoy!

Raquel Libman's Career Advice

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? You’ll be happiest and most successful if you learn and work in ways that make the best use of your natural strengths and abilities.

Who do you recommend young female professionals listen to or read? Madeleine Albright. Most recently she was interviewed for a TED Talk—a terrific resource in and of itself—on being a woman and a diplomat. Also, there is a 2007 interview by Laura Liswood, who spoke at the Salzburg Global Seminar, called “Women and Power: Mechanisms to Advance Women’s Leadership,” which is really excellent.

What is one lesson that you share with younger colleagues? Don’t be in too big of a rush to develop professionally, because the higher up the proverbial food chain you move, the harder the job, the greater the pressure, and the higher the expectations. Telling yourself that you are ready to have the buck stop with you is one thing, really being ready is another.

A closing thought from Raquel: "My role within the company is by its very nature the antithesis of ‘front and center,’ and that’s fine with me,” she says. “The truth is that there is a tremendous amount of preparation involved in putting on a game or a show, managing a facility such as the [American Airlines] Arena and everything in between. The trick of it is to make the end product look effortless.”

Libman has worked hard to prove herself in a male-dominated industry and has been rewarded for the great work that she has done.

Do you agree with Raquel's assertion that you'll be happiest and most successful if you make the best use of your natural strengths and abilities? 

Enjoy the full-length version of this article in Profile Magazine.

What You Can Learn from Taylor Swift About Killing It on Social Media

If you've glanced at social media this week you're no doubt aware that Taylor Swift released her first official pop album. While I haven't listened to it (sorry, it's not on Spotify [yet]), I can't help but notice Swift's impressive public persona--especially how she is killing it on Instagram.

So what can other artists, leaders, and entrepreneurs learn from the way Swift makes social media work for her? Here's a few points.

How Taylor Swift is Crushing It on Instagram

1. She looks fun and accessible. Swift's Instagram is full of cute photos with fans, artsy shots of polaroids, and handwritten lyrics and videos that show that the artist who rakes in $64 million a year is just like us. See here for proof--because who among us has not gotten excited when we saw our friend on TV?

2. She posts regularly. Swift's campaign (yes, it's most definitely a campaign) leading up to her album release includes new content that was posted regularly. We're talking four Instagram photos a day. Each one was an insider teaser for a different song on the album. That sweet spot of not too frequent, not too sporadic posting is different for everyone. But Taylor knows her Instagram obsessed fans are on their smartphones all the time and want their Taylor fix. So she gives it to them. But notice--her face only shows up in 1 out of every 10 posts. Overexposure? Taylor's not having it.

3. Taylor's posts make you feel like you're on the inside. You're not a fan, you're a friend. One of my writing mantras is "write like a person!" and Swift does just that. Each caption sounds like she's writing to one of her best pals. Taylor isn't just "thanking all the fans out there," she is inviting them to her house for album listening parties, baking them cookies and looking person after person in the eye and showing them that she's noticing them. She communicates this same approach to her fans on social media by posting photos with them and writing captions as if she's friends with everyone who reads them. She is not high and mighty; she's the artist of the people. That's why her fans are so fiercely loyal. Tay is their homegirl!

4. She plays to her strengths. Swift's draw is that she is accessible in an Oprah, Jimmy Fallon, Neal Patrick Harris, Ellen DeGeneres kind of way. She is not mysterious like Johnny Depp, Jay-Z or Angelina Jolie. Her strength is being warm, likable and relatable so Swift works that to the max. She is naturally charming and wears her feelings on her sleeve (or in her lyrics) for all to see. That is one of Swift's strongest advantages.

6. The Instagram campaign leading up to the album release was well thought out and planned. The days leading up to the album release included snippets of song lyrics written longhand on polaroids. These old school photographs are about as cozy and familiar as fans can get to Taylor through social media. Even before the countdown to the album was on, Taylor posted hints toward a big event, short videos and images to hint to fans that something was in the works.

The combination of Swift's warm persona, her face time with fans, a creative Instagram campaign and her commitment to posting consistently have made Taylor Swift a social media rockstar. The campaign has clearly been working for her. Her album is set to go platinum this week--a feat that hasn't happened for any artist since, well, Swift did the same thing two years ago with her last album. *Drops mic.*