But even with the pressure of managing careers in business and entertainment, Alba seems to take it all in stride. What’s more, Alba is a wife and mother of three, so besides running a billion dollar company and being an A-list actress, she also has to make time for family.
Alba understands the difficulties of being a mother and having a full-time career. She also believes that paid maternity leave is an essential component for working women.
So in support of International Women’s Day, Alba chose to #PressforProgress and support gender parity by speaking out about the importance of paid maternity leave.
In an article posted on her LinkedIn page, Alba discusses her own experiences, the challenges of being a mother at work, and talks about what it’s like to “navigate the complexities of maternity leave.”
In her post, Alba makes an excellent case for paid maternity leave.
“By extending support for working mothers, not only do we allow them to thrive, but businesses are also more likely to retain those valuable employees.”
She also lists many other benefits that result from paid maternity leave.
“Bottom line: paid maternity leave simply makes it easier for women to stay in their jobs after giving birth and can help increase the percentage of women in the workforce. Beyond that, studies have shown tangible health benefits to both children and mothers, including lower infant mortality rate, extending the duration of breastfeeding as well as positive effects on the mother’s mental health.”
As logical, caring individuals, how we can disagree?
Forget the business benefits. We must offer paid maternity leave to honor women, both for their role in business, and additionally, as mothers.
Of course, not every business can support a maternity program right away. However, as a society we have the opportunity to drive the conversation forward, pushing each day for greater gender equality inside the workplace and beyond.
On May 1, 2004, Berkshire Hathaway held its annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, where nearly 20,000 people attended this annual ritual.
As reporter Jason Zweig tells it, its chairman and CEO, Warren Buffett, was fielding questions from people in the audience.
Among them, a 14-year-old from California, Justin Fong, asked a non-investment question that elicited a great response from the billionaire Buffett.
The question? What advice would Buffett give a young person like Fong on how to be successful.
Buffett’s response, one could debate, may have been geared toward a teenager. Upon closer inspection, a person of every age in whatever stage of life will surely benefit from it, especially as it relates to business and career development. Buffett said:
It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.
Then, Charlie Munger, Buffett’s longtime partner and vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, piped in, “If this gives you a little temporary unpopularity with your peer group, the hell with ’em.”
Better than you at what, exactly?
Buffett wasn’t merely telling a teenager to stay away from bullies or the kid smoking pot in the back of the school. He’s teaching a life lesson for all of us about absorbing the very qualities and traits of successful people further down the path than you — the ones whom have demonstrated the people skills and character traits that will elevate us and make us better as leaders, workers, and human beings.
In growing your influence as a leader, business owner, or professional so others will gravitate to your inner circle, there are four things that you want to look for in people better than you, so you can “drift in that direction.”
1. Hang out with people that have integrity.
Integrity is so crucial for success, Buffett once said that you should never hire someone without it, no matter how smart they are. He said: “You’re looking for three things, generally, in a person: intelligence, energy, and integrity. And if they don’t have the last one, don’t even bother with the first two.” People operating with integrity can be trusted; you never have to worry about their actions, or whether they’re hiding anything from anyone.
2. Hang out with intentionally focused people that know when to say ‘no.’
Buffett learned a long time ago that the greatest commodity of all is time. He simply mastered the art and practice of setting boundaries for himself. That’s why this other Buffett quote remains a powerful life lesson: “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” Buffett’s advice is a bull’s-eye to our conscience. We have to know what to shoot for to focus and simplify our lives. It means saying no over and over again to the unimportant things flying in our direction every day and remaining focused on saying yes to the few things that truly matter.
3. Hang out with people that feed their minds by reading.
Want to increase your knowledge ten-fold? Buffett and Munger credit their success to the fact they are learning machines. So, instead of coming home, sitting on the couch, and binge-watching a whole season of Mad Men or Game of Thrones, pick up a book. Buffett estimates that he spends 80 percent of his working day reading and thinking. When asked how to get smarter, Buffett once held up stacks of paper and said he “read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge builds up, like compound interest.”
4. Hang out with people that are legitimately loved by others.
As depicted in Buffett’s biography, “The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life,” Buffett once was asked by Georgia Tech students about his greatest success and greatest failure, to which he responded: “When you get to my age, you’ll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you.” He adds, “I know people who have a lot of money … but the truth is that nobody in the world loves them….that’s the ultimate test of how you have lived your life.” Buffett nails it with one final statement on the secret to being loved: “The trouble with love is that you can’t buy it … The only way to get love is to be lovable … The more you give love away, the more you get.”
There’s a fun aspect to having coached and spent time with so many thousands of entrepreneurs over the last forty years and that’s watching how the ideology has changed. We all understand the tremendous technological revolution that all businesses have gone through in the last two decades, but the same can be said for the entrepreneurs that start up new companies.
One thing I see more of now than ever?
“Passion” being used as a justification for opening a business.
Over and over again.
“I’m passionate about this.”
“I’m following my passion.”
Ideological stuff that sounds great but, today, seems to ignore that no matter how passionate you are about a business, that business still has to make money. In fact, as important as passion is to my own teachings, I still have to caution new business owners that passion won’t clean the office and “likes” won’t pay the light bill.
By the way, “substance” is what pays the bills. This begs the question: should you build a company by following your passion or should you build a company that pays your bills? Of course, that’s a difficult one to answer, but not as difficult as you might think.
Today, though, it seems that every newly minted entrepreneur is consumed with passion and oftentimes a little short on substance. At the same time, since the failure rates of small business have remained virtually unchanged for decades – nearly 80% within five years, I don’t think that adding “passion” to the mix changes anything – you still need a solid foundation as you construct a company.
When you set out to build a company, I’ve always felt and taught that passion is a critical part of the design – your Dream, Vision, Purpose, and even Mission all need to resonate with your passions. At the same time, you have to understand that despite the fact that your passionate about it, many others – including your customers – might not be. Saving the rainforest, helping out orphans, lowering carbon emissions – they’re all important to a lot of people, but altruism often stops at a certain price point.
Don’t believe me? Look in the parking lot.
We know that big vehicles use more fossil fuels, yet we continue to drive them, either because of the status they denote or the comfort they provide. At the same time, we know that too much sugar in our diet can cause all sorts of health problems, yet we line up every day for a beverage based loosely on coffee that is filled with sugar, then we drink carbonated sodas the rest of the day.
Passion may fuel YOU, but does it fuel enough of your customers to allow you to make a viable business from it? Chances are, it doesn’t. On the other hand, you can still create outlets in your business for the things that you feel are important to act on – but be honest about it.
We’ve all seen the celebrity chef whose restaurant is a failure. Or the socially-conscious online business that is being propped up by other money since it can’t generate enough income to survive on its own.
If you choose to follow your passion, then I say, go for it! But with this caveat – understand that many, if not all, of your customers don’t share your passion and won’t pay for it either. If you can follow your passion and at the same time, provide a great product at a great price, then you should. Design your company to compliment your passion AND appeal to the widest segment of customers possible. You’ll have the chance to pursue your passions while reaching out to many, many more people than you ever could if you segmented down to the very few that truly share your enthusiasm and are willing to pay for it.
Peter Thiel, the founder of Paypal, has an interesting philosophy regarding goals. He believes everyone should have one goal at a time. If you have more than one goal, you’re always going to gravitate towards the easier goal.
While this thinking is extreme, limiting the amount of goals you set makes a lot of sense.
It also makes sense when taking on difficult goals–the ones that provide you with the most satisfaction when you achieve them. That’s why a lot of people tend to set more reasonable goals. No one wants to set unrealistic goals and watch themselves fall short.
But setting difficult, nearly unachievable goals is crucial to your success. This type is called a stretch goal, and they can make all the difference in how you perform over the course of a week, month, quarter, or year.
Stretch Goals Help You Grow
The thinking around stretch goals is if you’ve hit all of your goals, you’ve aimed too low.
Traditional goals limit people in a couple ways. People tend to slow up, or even take a break, once they’ve achieved a goal. They also tend to work just enough to make sure they hit their goal within a certain time frame. So, if you typically have 10 goals for the month, you hit all 10 and consider yourself successful.
On the other hand, stretch goals push you. They seem achievable only under the best circumstances. But they are possible to hit, which causes you to stretch past your traditional stopping point to see if you can achieve them. And even if you don’t, you make it farther than you would have with traditional goals.
Say you set 15 goals instead of 10. Now, you feel more pressure to hit every one. Maybe you won’t achieve all 15, but if you finish 13, you’re more successful than the month before.
Your Mindset Will Change
Stretch goals force you to think about things differently. You push your mind beyond what’s realistic–the normal way of doing things. You may not reach every stretch goal, and that’s okay. But you’ll think about doing things differently to put them within reach.
What could you do to achieve one stretch goal, even if you don’t hit the others?
Another way to think about this is through the lens of running a mile. If you can run a six-minute mile, and you make that your goal, then you’ll probably finish right around six minutes. But if you make your goal a five-minute mile, you’ll probably finish faster. You might not hit five minutes, but you might be able to get your time down to 5 minutes and 30 seconds.
You aren’t necessarily faster than you were last week, you just changed your mindset.
You’ll Build Momentum
Stretch goals provide you with a little extra momentum, like a rocket taking off. The vast majority of the energy goes into getting a rocket off the ground. Once it’s in the air, it doesn’t take nearly as much energy to keep it going. Stretch goals help provide that initial energy, pushing you beyond the limits of traditional milestones and getting your rocket in the air.
When we started using stretch goals at my company, we made it clear that the team wouldn’t hit every goal. They were aggressive goals, and we didn’t want anyone taking shortcuts. We wanted high-quality performance, because it doesn’t benefit anyone to hit a goal in a mediocre way.
And midway through the year, when it looked very tough to meet the goals, people weren’t worrying about it. Instead, they were thinking about what to do differently. Even late in the year, people were coming up with new processes to achieve their goals.
This is really the mindset behind stretch goals. It’s not about hitting each one, it’s about creating an environment where people are always pushing the limits and finding new paths to success.
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The fund will be directly overseen by Kalanick and will focus on the theme of “large scale job creation,” he said in a blog post. He noted that investments will be in both profit and non-profit projects.
While Kalanick left Uber under a cloud of controversy, he nonetheless managed to build Uber into a $69 billion powerhouse, the world’s largest privately held tech company. It’s likely that 10100 is at least partially funded by the $1.4 billion Kalanick reportedly made selling part of his stake in Uber.
Here’s Kalanick’s full statement:
Over the past few months I’ve started thinking about what’s next. I’ve begun making investments, joining boards, working with entrepreneurs and non-profits. Today I’m announcing the creation of a fund called 10100 (pronounced ‘ten-one-hundred’), home to my passions, investments, ideas and big bets. It will be overseeing my for-profit investments as well as my non-profit work.
The overarching theme will be about large-scale job creation, with investments in real estate, commerce, and emerging innovation in China and India. Our non-profit efforts will initially focus on education and the future of cities.
Still, Disney had a few habits and strategies that did stick with him over the years. Some of these practices even helped shape his work.
Here’s a look at Walt Disney’s daily schedule:
In order to get pumped up for work, Disney sometimes woke up at 5:30 a.m., played five holes of golf, and then skipped ahead to the eighteenth hole.
Breakfast was a simple affair for Disney. He’d typically have toast, eggs, juice, and maybe a sausage.
Biographer Bob Thomas wrote that Disney would often come into work around 8 a.m. He’d start the day off by reviewing storyboards or holding conferences in his office.
Disney kept some of his most prized awards on the table behind his desk, including his first Oscar. He won a total of 32 Academy awards between 1931 and 1968.
Later on the in the morning, Disney would take a look around the studio or go check on WED Enterprises, the theme park research and development team that’s now known as Walt Disney Imagineering. He’d typically be back in his office by noon.
He drank coffee around lunchtime and reportedly insisted that coffee at Disneyland only cost a dime.
Otherwise, lunch typically consisted of light fare and a glass of V8 tomato juice. According to his biographer Neil Gabler, Disney thought that “too much food made you think confusedly” and disapproved of employees taking long lunch breaks.
He did, however, snack while he worked. Disney was known to constantly carry around nuts and crackers in his jacket pockets.
As a boss, Disney was never effusive with praise, but Thomas wrote that his employees considered it “a triumph” if Disney shed a tear over the script or scene they were working on.
Whether he was on set or into the studio, Disney “didn’t like to be accosted,” according to Thomas. He did attempt to memorize employees’ names, even as the studio grew, studying files that matched employee photographs to their names.
The rest of Disney’s afternoon was packed with meetings until 5 p.m. Then, Gabler writes, Disney would make phone calls and sign letters.
Secretary Tommie Wilck would prepare Disney a Scotch Mist drink at the end of the workday. The beverage was “mostly ice,” Wilck said, in an interview with The Walt Disney Family Museum. “He may have consumed a lot of liquid but I don’t think he really got much liquor,” he said.
Due to an injury received while playing polo in 1938, Disney would also receive a massage treatment from his personal nurse and confidante, Hazel George. Then, he’d head home for dinner with his wife Lillian and their two daughters.
Disney’s favorite dish was chili and beans. Thomas wrote that he was “a connoisseur” of the food, “preferring to combine a can of Gebhardt’s, which had more meat and few beans, with a can of Dennison’s, which had less meat and more beans.”
When it came to dinner, his tastes were reportedly simple, and he preferred chicken liver and mac and cheese over “expensive cuts of meat.”
Occasionally, Disney wouldn’t even make it home for dinner. He would sometimes remain in the office overnight, and often startled employees with late-night check-ins.
His massive office on the third floor of the company’s Burbank studio even included a place for him to sleep.
Sometimes, he didn’t go to bed until midnight.
When he wasn’t working, Disney had a number of hobbies. He had an avid love of polo, and also tried his hand at calisthenics, ice skating, and dancing. Many of these activities came about due to his 1931 nervous breakdown, brought on by overwork and anxiety.
Gabler wrote that Disney’s studio headquarters also featured a number of outlets for employees, including a penthouse with a soda fountain, gym, showers, a snack shop, and lawns on which people could play badminton, volleyball, and baseball.
Outside of work, Disney also had a lifelong fascination with trains, and he even built a model steam engine and tracks that circled his house in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles.
In one 1957 Time magazine profile, Disney claimed to have foregone vacations and worked 14 hours a day at certain points in his career.
But, as the Walt Disney Company stabilized over time, Disney and Lillian took time away to go on cruises, take road trips, and visit resorts.
Still, even as his company expanded and developed over the decades, he remained unable to stay away from it for long. “People often ask me if I know the secret of success and if I could tell others how to make their dreams come true,” he wrote in a 1959 edition of Wisdom magazine. “My answer is, you do it by working.”