SESSIONS FROM OUR SPONSORS: A Discussion with Huffington Post Women, brought to you by AOL
Friday, August 5, 2011
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Success On Our Own Terms:
A Discussion with Huffington Post Women
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>> Hi, everybody.
Thank you so much for coming. It's amazing to be here with all of you and to be here with these incredible panelists to talk about success on our own terms.
And this has been a great exciting week for us at Huffington Post, we launched a new site, Huffington Post Women and our new parenting site. Huffington Post Parents. I am Lori Leibovich, the executive editor. I like to introduce three very important people from the editorial staff at Huffington Post, who I have the great pleasure to work with. Sarah Wilson is our divorce editor.
[ Applause ]
She is a great title. It's a great title. Margaret Johnson is our women's Editor. And Farrah Miller is parenting editor.
And I know you have information about these amazing women in your programs, but I am just going to tell you a little bit. Next to me is Agapi Stassinopoulos. And she is one of -- she has a book coming out later this year in 2012 called Unbinding the Heart; a dose of Greek wisdom, generosity and unconditional love. Things to say about success and win. Next to her is Susan Stiffleman. We are very lucky to have her as our advice Momma, columnist. Huffington Post parents and a therapist in practice in Malibu. And next to her is Christina Norman and we are thrilled this week, Christina took it was announced Christina will be the executive editor of Black Voices at Huffington Post. So we are thrilled.
[ Applause ]
Absolutely thrilled to have her. She is the former CEO of OWN. Next Christina is Janice Min, who personally has been a hero of mine as I came through the media over the years and now the editorial director and on the end, Jane Buckingham, who is the founder of Trendera. And she is also one of the world's experts on Generation X, Y and Z is our new generation. Also the author bestselling Series. The modern girl's guide to sticky situations. Welcome all of you and thank you very much for being here.
[ Applause ]
>> LORI LEIBOVICH: I wanted to start out and this is a question I will pose to Agapi, but I would also love and I want to say first of all, I would love to have as much participation as possible from you. And any time anybody has a question R wants to jump in, please do. We would love to make this as interactive as possible. One of the things we talk about at Huffington Post is what is success for women and how we define it? The traditional notions of success has been climbing the ladder and making money and pretty male notions.
And one of the questions that I wanted to start with for Agapi, particularly is if that's the model we have, how as women, can we turn that around? And we define it and create a new model that's healthier and saner.
>> AGAPI STASSINOPOULOS: Can you hear? Keep talking. It's the Greek way. With your hands even. Better. How wonderful it is here.
Being in a conference that is all about women and having two men here, I don't know it's blog him maybe such an exciting thing at this time where we are just entering this new era of making such a difference in the blogosphere World. I want to tell you a couple of things; attached to the reality of what we are about to talk here. And as we walked in, I run into my old friend Jane Buckingham who told me about her new company, Trendera and the first thing she said, I told her about my book and she said call on my if you need anything, to help you. The first thing is hello and the next is offering support. And that's what we women do and what we are about. And that's our strength and the new paradigm.
And I was brought up in a very matriarchal family with my mother and father and we were totally there for each other while the men control in the Greek way. And we never listened. We just went and marched on and did it our way. And this has been going on for many, many years.
And the way we women can be for each other and the way we can be inclusive is so powerful that there's no male archetype out there that can they have to learn from us, because they have been trained so differently and to go to war and battle. And we have been trained to be nurturers. Where our downfall and stumble ourselves is when we sacrifice our nurturing and taking care of each other to drive ourselves to the top. That's not how we are made. If we do that, we have done a tremendous disservice to ourselves. In a way I think this is what this conference is about, it's about this tribe and gathering of women. We are here to say, I am here to listen to you; to learn from you and offer my support of what I can do for you. And that way, we are not only going to change the world, but we are going to be able to include the men, because we are not going to be exclusive, we will include them to actually take them along with us to help us even make that shift and that possibility available for so many.
Two very basic things and I want to tell that you in my experience, I saw it from the day one that, Arianna started the Huffington Post and it's just an amazing example to have watched the paradigm and the way the direction that when she started, which was not about let's get to the top. Let's make this so successful. It was more like offering a service to people to express themselves. And to really allow people to comment on -- a conversation. And I think when we come from that place of service of what we have to offer and we are authentic to ourselves and our voice, we are so powerful and we can start to shift the paradigm of what's happening. We also have to be ruthless about the way we need to do it, rather than imitating and falling into the trap of trying to do it like the men do it.
>> LORI LEIBOVICH: To jump off that. One of the things I learned about Christina recently was that when she was first approached or first talked about first talked to Oprah about taking a job at the OWN network a high stress paced position she wasn't ready and was open about it not taking a big job then. And when I read about that I thought it was a incredible thing she was able to know herself and say in her professional life that she was she didn't have the focus, the time, the energy, right then to do it. I wanted to talk to you about how do we make that more okay? So that we are all of us work whether we are lovers or therapists whatever they do, I think we can all work all around the clock almost all the time and we are always available and it's easy to get burned out and I think it's difficult to say you are burned out and have people respond to that so I wanted to talk about that a little bit.
>> I think we spend a lot of time judging each other. Sort of like an either/or proposition. Either a good mom or good worker or friend. And I guess the thing that the hard lesson for me and I suck at it, still, is that if I don't figure out how to take care of me first then I am no good for anybody else. I am no good for my husband, kids, friends or parents and those are all jobs that are really important to me and I have been lucky enough to get this period of reflection, I will call it, to sort of reconnect with people. This happens every time. Like you work is more important than me seeing someone I love and then I see them and am I an idiot? Why did I have breakfast we live close to each other and both in L.A. and we were there for two hours and I like her. I like her and miss her. What was more important than that? I think we have to stop judging each other and respecting that the way I choose to define myself and my success may be different from yours and that neither of them is better.
They are just different.
[ Applause ]
>> LORI LEIBOVICH: I also in preening or this, I found a quote that Jane gave, a publication few years ago I wanted to read back to her and also get your responses on and Jane's response how.
And it has to do with balance and keeping and how do we separate how are work and home lives often merge.
Jane said when asked whether she talks about her family in the office, she said frankly I don't think my bosses need to hear about my family job. Hired me to do a job. If going out to dinner or lunch
[ Reading ]
I wanted to read that back to Jane to say interesting. Can you elaborate and why do you feel the need to keep things to be separate?
>> JANE BUCKINGHAM: I have very mean bosses.
[ Laughter ]
It's good to say things like that on camera. It's interesting I have two colleagues here to work with me and they would tell you that's funny because she talks about her kids all the time, annoyingly. Increasingly it's hard to separate your professional life and home life because we are on call all the time and have computers and phones. I think that the older generations expect to us separate it more and quite often they don't. And before they didn't want to hear about my personal problems and the fact that my kids were sick and I couldn't make a meeting and they didn't want to hear about the fact it was important to me to make a Ballet show and that's why frankly I didn't like being owned by someone and I had a company and I was very lucky and I consider it luck to sell that company to another company, but it was part of why I left again to start another company. I don't think having a company is right for everyone, it's just as harder as working for someone else. It's defining the life success, it's the devil you know and the one you don't. Talking about your kids and you can see it sometimes, go, really do we have to hear another cute kid story? Can't we just get on with the meeting? Or complaining to boss or what have you. Increasingly we cross the lines more and more. It just to be a world where we work from home more and you respect the people you work with because technology is going to allow us to do things in different places.
But I think you also have to know the person you are working with to know their tolerance of it. Because I also made the decision when I started this second company I was not going to hire my good friends, because in the first company I hired my good friends and it became really hard when I had difficult decisions to make and when they didn't deliver. And I would say I am friends with all the people I work with, I didn't hire my good friends and that's a big difference.
>> LORI LEIBOVICH: It's interesting, you were saying you knew you didn't want to be owned by a company you felt you needed to be back on your own and I assume your instincts told you that's better for you?
>> Every day.
>> LORI LEIBOVICH: And to get someone back, Janice, you talked about when people you gave an interview to the "New York Times" after you took the job at the Hollywood Reporter and you said not one person in your life told you it was a good idea to take the job.
[ Laughter ]
And you took the job. What were your instincts there and how can we and should we use our instincts to guide us in making our professional decisions.
>> The funny thing was so many people told me afterwards it was a good idea. I think I am not a very good listener or a heard what I wanted to hear. I don't know what it says about me or I am a negative person.
[ Laughter ]
I also felt it was so funny, the Hollywood Reporter for those of you who haven't seen it covers the entertainment business extensively. One 6 our friends I remember calling him saying at that point the Hollywood Reporter was probably pretty much six feet under and couldn't be saved and it was doomed. Why would you do that? I remember when I initially talked to the new owners of the Hollywood Reporter and talked about what it could. Probably all of us when just starting out or further along in the career you can get excited about something and you can picture it in your head I can see myself working there or those people being my colleagues or being successful there and other people approach you about things and you are like, no thanks, not in a million years. I would never want to do that. This was one of those times I felt like conceptually in my head was we converted what was a very sad, daily newspaper into a weekly magazine like a big glossy magazine. Sad.
[ Laughter ]
Christina probably read it received it and threw it out.
So I remember like the first meeting I had with the new owner and he had asked me out to breakfast and he said this is what I want, to convert to a weekly magazine. I said okay send me like a blank paper you are looking at and just like the blank magazine. And he sent me the blank magazine and I could see it, how it would work and would it looked like. The hard part wasn't going to be conceptualizing it, but making it happen. I think it what to kind of answer Lori's question. I think that your instincts, people's instincts are usually right whether you feel bad about someone you meet or you think something fishy is going on or happy doing that. I found people's instincts are rarely wrong. Trust your judgment. When people tell you and even earlier in my career, there was someone who had a terrible reputation who I got along very well with and I worked for that person and that was a very pivotal thing for me in my career.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Pivotal good.
>> Yeah. How we will perceived and most of the time you know what's best for yourself.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Asking a question about what you just said. You said they came to the Hollywood Reporter was six feet under. What happened to the magazine now?
>> I wish I brought a copy of it with me. It's an oversized glossy magazine. Completely overhauled.
>> She will be kind about it, but it was something you would round file and didn't read it. And now it's beautiful and relevant and fresh. Everyone reads it. You still get all the stuff daily online. But it is a huge accomplishment. And they are really lucky to have you.
>> Thank you.
[ Applause ]
>> Yeah, so that.
[ Laughter ]
>> LORI LEIBOVICH: To pose a question to Susan here to cease not only doles out advice weekly on video and blogging on the web she has a practice working with a lot of women and families who are challenged by a lot of these things. I wanted to ask her: What kind of advice would you give or do you give to maybe younger women who are coming up and struggling with these issues about work, life balance, which never seem to go away?
>> No, they never do. My son is leaving in two weeks to go to Senegal. I am happy to be here and honored to be here with these amazing women. I think what I try to do and I keep learning to do is to recognize that there is no such thing as a balanced life so throw it out the windows. Can't possibly get balance so throw it out. For me it's always about when my head hits the pillow at the end of the day. As I reflect on the day and look for the highlights and try to work with parents to focus on the highlights and the time you screamed at your kids and shouted at husband, but when you looked back at what went well those are the string of pearls the moments you want to magnify and capitalize on and a lot of times you will a choice between responding to one more email and getting one more post out and you have a child in front of and you there's an opportunity there and that those opportunities are not repeatable. And they are precious and from my end with a almost 21 year old, it's pathetic, if he's home and, especially with a posse of guys his age. This big group of them come and I can make them food. I try to be not background without being too exuberant about it. He's launching and we are having incredible conversations. He showed up at midnight and I was about to go bed and he came home and we ended up talking about something, this amazing string of conversation that I hadn't expected for planned for. So I think that what you look for, for me if I am talking which I do in my I do coaching and parenting and counseling, with younger moms is really to recognize that yeah, sometimes you will have to do the email. You will have to write the post. But to at least look your child in the eye and say, you know what, I want to spend time with you; let's do it in 20 minutes. Rather than this half hearted. Your partially presents. And I have been writing more about that that we are modeling for our kids what it is to be engaged and a lot of what it looks like is yeah, really? That's so cool honey. So at the very at least to make a decision, am I with you all the way in which case have a conversation or am I working now? Lot of us in this room we work at home so not a clear delineation anymore. I have a office at home, I walk down the hall. I think it's important. And I think the other piece I would advise parents V younger mothers working as well is to recognize what are the values you want your kids to take away and take with them when they launch into adult life, healthy relationships the capacity for listening. You have to figure out for you what those are and here's the sticky part, is you have to actually live that way and model for them what that looks like. It can't be conceptual or theoretical.
>> What about if one of the things you want to model is you love your work and work is important to you?
>> I love that, because many times I say to my son, I would love to talk to you, but this is something I am in the middle of. What I try to explain to my son and the kids and parents I work with is every human being is born with a gift. We are we come with this package, I think, helping the child unwrap the gift. My writing, my counseling and coaching whatever it is, my speaking, and I want my son to know I have this gift and it requires time and energy from me. And that I would hope the same for him. So there shouldn't be in my opinion, a guilt factor. If you love your work, own that. Own that. Make that clear that you know what, this is something I am great at and I love it and I love you and let's make sure that we have our little time together even if 15 minutes telling jokes or singing songs.
>> LORI LEIBOVICH: I wonder if everyone could talk a little bit about personally what, if anything, they do to strike a balance in their life? And if they have any thoughts or advice?
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: My name is Lori Schwartz and work in technology and I have been to a lot of conferences my question to you guys is I find myself as a relatively new mom in the last two years and older mom, jealous of my male colleagues who are fathers, but who are not like I find the killer worker me drifting away and I find this nesting person sort of taking over and then I find myself angry that I don't have the drive and pissed my career isn't further ahead so I find myself battling R be more maternal or be more my colleagues get to go home and be dads. And not be tortured. I want to be a killer and be a fabulous mother and I want those guys to be upset as well.
[ Laughter ]
>> AGAPI STASSINOPOULOS: I don't have children of my own, but have been co parenting of my nieces and I heard this phrase Arianna often says, the child goes out at birth and in goes the guilt. So that somehow, I have watched I was raised by a mother who didn't work and her whole working vacation for her was two daughters and it was a huge luxury and be in today's world you don't see too much of that. But all I can say from my experience of watching Arianna raise the kids and having the children, it's a daily balance. The only way it overcomes is the huge loving for the children. When your heart floods with the love you have for them and the gift they are to you, it overrides the instinct of I have got drive myself to the top, or the way the men do it.
We will never do it that way; we are not made that way. And at the end of the day, I don't know if their way is more fulfilling. Because the fulfillment comes from that moment, that you have with your children, which is nothing can compare to that, I am sure.
You would agree with that.
>> LORI LEIBOVICH: I certainly, Lori have the same feeling at work like I want them to suffer more about being dad.
[ Laughter ]
>> LORI LEIBOVICH: Have you felt that way?
>> I thought I should I am sure some of you might be familiar with some of the studies that came out in the last few years, that we have this perception women work now and therefore spend less time with kids. But a study few years ago in the "New York Times" covered extensively saying women today spend 31% more time parenting the parent's generation. Caught up in the self flagellation. The cop head that's why my child isn't reading yet.
[ Laughter ]
You make yourself completely insane. And I think back to when my kids are 5 and 7 now and when they were very little, insanity, why is that child crawling? And just every little thing, you make yourself so insane. So I think just collectively it's always good to have a reality check. And really think so if I am not on the floor doing letter blocks, but I am over here maybe reading for ten minutes, that's probably okay. There's so many other factors that go into your child's success. That there's so much they absorb not directly, but indirectly through the kind of people you are; their peers they are with and the school they are in. And another part interesting part of that study that said talked about the amount of time mothers spend with children now was also they interviewed children and said, what would you like to change most about your parents? And it wasn't so all the parents in the study said thought they would say parents would spend more time, but the number one answer was less parents were less stressed out. I am of the belief your children will pick up on all the cues that you might like your job, but don't wish you were there, but you are distracted when you are home. For me, and I have had times in my job unbelievably time consuming. Put down the iPhone, and never at the dinner table. You have to just come to the realization like if I don't look at my iPhone for four hours, that's fine and life will go on. And I don't think I know of one email I needed to have read right away. Just also people are so hard on themselves. And I think that just being able to let some of that go. Probably look back to how I was raised and it was like, riding my bike in my neighborhood at 8, just things we wouldn't let kids do today and it ended up fine.
>> At least you were riding your bike and I probably watched 8 hours of television.
>> "Brady Bunch"?
>> Yeah, "Leave it to Beaver".
>> My children. They have watched 40 minutes of TV.
>> On DVR without commercials.
But the best advice that I think I got, but don't always follow it is confident parents make confident children. To your struggle I relate to and have gone through so much, is you need to be comfortable with your choice. And either choice is fine. It's fine to not have that drive. And by the way, you cannot have that drive for four years and put child into kindergarten and go back to be the power working woman is five years out of your life. It's not or your whole life. You can make that choice and then go back, but you have to make the choice or your child will pick up on it. So give yourself time to make the choice and stick with it. Don't spends five years waffling. I say it in part because there were times when I even did that. Also tell you don't hate the men. It's not their fault. They don't feel the same way. They don't do the same things. We can I mean there are times where I just I am like I hate you to my husband. What did I do? He says. Nothing and I hate you. Because he does not have to worry about the pediatrician my daughter didn't want to have a play date. He says, well, she shouldn't have to play with someone. I said, you don't understand. The politics and then the it was an hour and a half and now you have undone what I have craftily dealt with. They just won't.
And the more you accept that I am sorry to say, the easier it gets. Because and I don't know your situation and everyone has own situation, if your marriage is important to you, I have been married now for 16 years with amazing husband to drives me crazy at many times. Why have that fight over and over again? Because appreciate the great things about your marriage and don't focus on the things they won't do and find the specific things they can do. After about two years, I said honey can you drive the kids to school, yeah, is that the one on the right or the left? It's the one on the right.
[ Laughter ]
>> It is about "A," being way too hard on yourself and deciding there are things they will never be good at. How you come home with Hunts ketchup? Have you seen that in that house? It makes me crazy. You know what? Now I do the grocery shopping, because it's not worth it to be mad about something he can't control.
>> They are like, Heinz, no, if I buy the Hunts, she will never sends me again.
[ Laughter ]
>> Tell us your name.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I am on?
All right. My name is Lorie. And I work in healthcare. Which is women dominated industry and also a writer and a blogger. A women dominated industry. And I feel that men this is something they seem to be good at, being able to compete without angst. Comes back to our nurturing nature. Easy when working in a power busy or page views or writing jobs, where simultaneously wanting to be supportive and at the same time, saying goddamn it, why not me? Men don't have the same struggle where the competition turns into cattiness or where would you recommend finding a good balance of not letting go of the nurturing side and competition is simply part of the game?
>> I guess I worked in magazines like almost my whole career, which are very competitive. You know, I think it's always about trying to not personalize the competition is important. And I think yeah, to me it's not just about personalizing the competition and just trying to do you can try to beat outsell someone, beat someone on a story, but I would say in the offices where I have been the editor it's never personal or never like that person I am so glad we beat them, because that person is such a bitch, loser, blah, blah, blah the language you use in the office is important that way.
And I think women are just to bring up the comparison between men and women, women are so fundamentally insecure. It's okay go for and it it's okay to win. It doesn't mean the other person dumb or weak or dressed less well or you don't have to make it personal. And I think that's sort of where women often get hung up on things. And it's just and having worked at a few women's magazines the dynamic that exists, it can be so toxic. Like it's all the head games and women sometimes have a very hard time with the directly speaking and you can have conversations with people and you are like, what? You could have women also love meetings and so you would have these long meetings and then you would walk in and oftentimes you walk out of a meeting and you wouldn't know what was said exactly, what you were supposed to do, but the conversation quickly became, did you see how that person cut off that person and looking at that person? It just becomes too personal. I think for me, as being as an editor of a magazine or leading a group of people, it's just keep it.professional and personal and I also think one of the dangers of the Internet is in a competitive field is that people go staff and read comments on line about what people are saying about your magazine or what story you. Let it go, just because it's online doesn't make it true. Anyway, that's I think men have their whole other issues about their own esteem, masculinity that we are lucky to not have.
>> I would also say one other thing is your success doesn't come at the expense of someone else's failure. And someone else's failure doesn't make you successful. And we have to be comfortable with that. There's a winner, sometimes there's a winner. You got the job. I get the job that's just life, but it doesn't make me any less good at what I do or you any better at what you do. There's so many circumstances that go into that.
>> AGAPI STASSINOPOULOS: The other thing to add is the way I dealt with things that other people got what life taught me over the years is that wasn't mine to get maybe and mine is over there. And if I am looking at a direction I am not getting what I want, and others are, and I had like, for example, for a long time I tried in acting and wasn't getting the jobs. I shifted and realized there were other things that were mine to do, which was writing, producing a one woman show and mine I think we all have ours do and it's the same with dating. To bring up for a minute. Women bring it up and I don't date, but maybe I should do that because they do it or do it their way. It comes back to what is Lori's way? What is Lori here to do? It's like interest, it doesn't matter how other people will do it. And once you tap into that it's so powerful and dynamic in your radar it's not other people are not even there. Because you are riding your star, which is shining at the moment. We can see your smile. So ride that star, Lori.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I just stood up to defend men. I can't believe it. What's interesting is the statistics actually are change.Ing: Last piece I wrote on this included the fact the household chores you are probably read in "Time Magazine" are almost identical in the terms of the time it takes men and women, at least what "Time Magazine" says, but 8 hours 11 minutes for men and 8 hours and 3 minutes a week for men. The other statistic that is startling is men report more stress on life work balance issues on polls than women. So how to explain all of this? My explanation is that we feel more guilt associated with what we are and aren't doing. And we feel more guilt associated with that men feel it as stress, as in I can't do all of this and women feel if as guilt. And so part of my answer would be, if he brings home Hunts ketchup, so what? Will you eat Hunts ketchup. Things we are doing to ourselves. We could make our lives a whole lot of easier.
>> Great advice and I don't know about the rest of you, but it could be my particular husband who as said is great and very similar to a puppy.
[ Laughter ]
>> And I am he's an amazing writer and a great speaker and piece fantastic. Truly. But if I say to him, seriously, Hunts ketchup? Really? Like I am if I say thanks so much for going to the grocery store so sweet of you, you know what, next time you go, could you possibly buy Heinz, because the kids like it. The more you praise them, the more things are better. Kind of like when he goes, honey your legs look awesome but you know what if you did the same exercises for your arms, I bet that weird jiggly stuff would go away. I think they are stressed. You know what I am saying. We do the research and what we found is it's hard for men right now. Roles of men and women are really confusing. And I think for men these days, it's really confusing what role they are supposed to play. Should they be these strong men who take care of these women? Women today are amazing. We are strong; we can provide for ourselves. And have the babies and we don't always needs them and it's confusing for help what role they are play in societies. I am not trying to sound patronize, but I think it's stressful.
>> I want to defend my husband. His name is Charles Hunt, probably why he's buying Hunts. He does the shit out of laundry. There's no man better with Shout and Tide.
>> I want to add something. When I am doing presentations sometimes I will have somebody stand up face me with palms out and I would put my palms against that without giving them any instructions and start pushing. Imagine we put our palms together and started pushing against you what will you do? Push back. Human instinct is we push back against what pushes against us. I am finding with parents and it's universal power struggles I wrote a book it's this idea I have a nifty hand motion if you come alongside someone rather than at them, so you are that you don't engage in a instinct to push to have this power struggle and have this be a competition. We are talking about men and spouses and kids and whatever the genre, when you come alongside without an agenda that says one of us here is going to win, and one of us is going to be right and one will be wrong, it sorts of seeps into the way you approach them and makes a real difference. So you might think about that little image.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: My name is Rachel
[ Off microphone ]
My question I wanted to lead into it by what I was thinking about is what I have learned from men. And one of the examples that I give to myself is the bake sale. I killed myself for six years of my kids in elementary school, because I can't bake and I can't do the bake sale. And drove me crazy and I realized that all of the husbands were not asked do the bake sale. Or asked to chair the gala or any of the stuff that I was asked do. And so I realized okay, I can be like a dad. I can say no to those things. And so I wondered what you guys have learned from men that has influence not only in your personal lives, but perhaps what you are doing professionally?
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER:
[ Off microphone ]
( Inaudible ).
>> How are you feeling today?
[ Laughter ]
>> AGAPI STASSINOPOULOS: I would like to bring the subject of sleep here, a cause of big part of Huffington Post platform. I don't know if you followed it, but you can go back and search it. It's quite amazing. Did research on sleep. The offices at AOL Huffington Post now have nap rooms to take naps. So I remember I was having dinner with a very big powerful CEO. We were in Greece for the Special Olympics and he was bragging that he didn't sleep for two nights, the jet lag was hitting me and I had to sleep. And he said I looked the him and he said you look awfully tired. He was so cavalier about not having to sleep. And something about how little sleep the men need. So what I found that I have to sacrifice is this thinking that if I get less sleep, I will produce more. And it's kind of an addictive thing. It's 1:30 and I email my friend and so you are still up? Then it's 2:00 and suddenly you have energy, because now you are stimulated and it's a terrible pattern that drives us tired and we deplete ourselves and it's a cycle that has great damages to so many things that we do.
And models for the kids. Personally I don't care how if men don't get any sleep or get up at 4:00 or go to the gym. I go to the gym maybe at 9:30 is how my body works. For me I had to come to terms with how my body operates and even with my girlfriends to hike at 8:00 in the morning. That's not how I do it. And I had to back away and say I don't want do aerobics at 8:30 in the morning. Doesn't suit my Greek personality. I like my morning coffee and finding what works for you and honor it and you are a hearing human being.
>> Just say no.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I am interested in following up on the question of working with men, as opposed to working with women
>> I remember the first time I was put in charge of managing someone when I was 27 and it was terrifying to me and some people were older than I was and felt guilty about having to tell older people what to do and you try to think how can I say this nicely and not hurt this person's feelings and sometimes you have to fire people, which is the most excruciating thing ever.
Then you realize, you know what, it's not efficient or going to get done. The one thing from working with men that I absorbed was just like they say it and they don't care if they hurt your feelings or and just say it and in some ways, life is better that way and it's clear and no one leaves your office is what did she say? Some weird double speak? And people esteem seem to appreciate it and there's a certain directness women are so afraid to embrace that sometimes, I think, can hinder them in the workplace. When women have come in colleagues have come in and asked for raise or asked for promotions, they are sort of like fidgeting and so nervous, just say it, it's okay. I don't care. I admire you for doing it. If you deserve it, you deserve it. That's fine. I think this as women you are just continued from the time you are young, put someone else's needs before you. Offer that last cookie on the plate to someone else. Don't take the last thing. And sometimes, in the workplace, especially life is just better if you are direct is my experience.
>> I have had great male coworkers and something I tried to do in business is to do what say I am going to do. Just do what you say you will do and it sounds so simple and you, you would be amazed at the number of people who don't do it. If you consistently do that people respect you and want to work with you and you will have a good reputation.
>> LORI LEIBOVICH: Another question.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I am Nancy my question is not about men. Nothing to do with men.
Bucking the trend. My question is I don't get the sense any of have done this, but I worked for almost I am very old 20 years as a television producer and I took time off and now back with tech start up a 40 hour a day job. And my children really, really resent it a lot.
I am curious I know you said you don't have to the first question to stop being the aggressive businesswoman forever and I am finding it
>> How old?
>> We are talking about your kids, letting them be sad and giving them the opportunity to express their sadness, anger, disappointment without sugarcoating it and making them feel better. So often I call it Act 2 parenting we appeal to the child's left brain R the child makes the complaint of you are always on the phone or working. The appealing to the linear rational part of brain whose mind we might change. Convince them to think otherwise. But when appealing to the left rational part of a kids' brain when upset they don't have one of those. You make more inroads when you start by coming alongside them and joining them, saying tell me about it. I would suggest that you give your kids sort of a free pass to just offload and express it get it off chest and cry about it because in a sense what we are talking about a lot. Anytime you have to choose between two things you are losing one. Acknowledge with your kids before you start coming up with reasons why you want to do this work or why you played Little Pony with her is she is not counting that, just let kids have a voice and express themselves without trying to it right away. And I have seen in my work you can make a lot of progress and movement. At least they got heard and they feel understood. Even if they didn't get everything they wanted.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I am coming from the other side of things. I am 23 years old and working for a start up. So I am just developing my career and it's great to see successful women up here on panel like this. My idols are I am working 60 to 70 hours a week and finding hard a work life balance.
Striving to be there and wondering what advice you have or anything you wish you would have done differently.
>> What else up there for you? You said you want to be up there?
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Up there, speaking I want to continue working hard and being a successful woman, but also want to of a family later in life.
>> You know, work is hard. And we work hard in order to get what we want. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. I think the one thing I wish and I still struggle with is I have carved out more time for myself. I think that's really important. Or else the one resource you have to devote to work kind of gets abused and used.
So I would say that however whatever that means for you, you got to make sure you do that, whether that's an extra hour of sleep, or a phone call with someone you care about, or working out at the gym, whatever that is for you. You have 60 minutes a day. Absolutely and you deserve to devote it to yourself. And that's to me, the place I think I sort of fell short is that for a long time, it was other things first before me. I had my kids fairly young. So it was them, my husband, work. I was not even on the list. So I say keep yourself on the list. Because that's what you will use to get ahead.
[ Applause ]
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi, my name is Katrina blog called working Mom's break.
Hi, Lori. It's about the mismatch between modern workplace and modern lives. I believe the modern workplace is really '60s workplace working the longest hours of any developed country in the world yet we have both parents working or single parents working. What's been interesting to me at this conference is 80% of the conversations I have overheard I have had or have been up there on stage have been about this torment people feel in one way or the other. And what's been a little bit disappointing is that the answer always turns into a discussion about oh, we just need to change our attitude. So what I want to bring to conversation is there are structural issues and reasons we are feeling this way and it's not a coincidence
[ Applause ]
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: And I think we do needs to look at ourselves. Not saying blame everyone else, but look at what's out there in the world so what I want to say to you all as role roles and women as leaders in companies, what you think you can do to redefine success? This is about redefining success. Right now success means a career track where you don't take time off when you have a kid and don't work part time. Doesn't work for most women. Most women have kids. What can you do and what have people done for you are to help you get where you are? I think we have do look at that and that's the kind of change we need.
>> I love everyone's perspective on it and I have so many thoughts on this. First of all, I love any of you who are bloggers, doing a big project for BlogHer or I love to you email to us help us on something which just to press at Trendera.com. We would love to get you involved. Second of all. You can't have it all. No one has it all. I saw Gloria Steinem and what's up with that.
>> No, I never said you could ever have it all. I have step kids I didn't have to take the time of. And, huh? So my whole Life was a typo?
[ Laughter ]
What she was basically saying a was, I wanted women to have the right to choose what they wanted. And if you wanted to have a career, you should have a career and if you wanted to have a kids, you should, no one should tell you. You can't. It's too much. No one can have all the those things at one time and at one time. It's too much. We are saying you can't focus on it's more like a big ship and you should just spend your life making sure you don't capsize so you just don't do all work and fall over that and if falling over that way. What I do think? I don't think we will see any major change until the next generation gets into the workforce. Because they don't want to do an 80 hour work week. The generation of Boomers raised them in a different way to say don't focus solely on the career. So they will probably put different procedural things in place. By the way, yes, you want to take off time when your kid is a baby. My kids are 8 and 10, they need me now more in a different way and you have a 21 year old, when they are teenagers they need you in a different way. You can't say when just young. Unless all working from home all time which running a company doesn't work either. You need your employees to be there to it get stuff done. So there's no easy solution. But should things change? Should we have more vacation like they do in Europe? Yeah, that would be great. Should we be able to have more flexibility?
>> Yeah, great. Ultimately move in that direction? Right now country is screwed we have to work our way through that before getting to more flexible places.
Would be great. But no one is in a point yet where they can make progress and it will take a good 20 years. You're right, what I wish I had lots of things I could have done differently, but what I wish I had was a mentor. I had no mentors. Why's in it's really important to me as I have employees to try to help them. Because and to provide a more flexible workplace, because maybe in our own little microcosm only 9 or 10 of us we can have a better lifestyle than just a profitable business.
>> LORI LEIBOVICH: To answer your specific question about what we can do and I agree with Jane that overhaul needs to happen probably isn't going to happen for our generation that's going to take a little bit of time. But when I was pregnant with my first child my boss was a woman who had a older child and she was definitely a mentor, but the most important thing that she did for me, was when I had my baby, she really took things over and for me in a way that I didn't have to be online 24 hours a day. Working at the news website and literally until 4 hours going into labor I was at my desk. And she having an older child, having some perspective, knowing better than I did what I was going to go through upheaval, she covered for me. As someone who is now hiring people and mostly women, I feel like that's what she gave to me and I want to give that to the women who I am working with who are starting families. Because my kids are older now.
>> There's already been a generational shift. My kids are 15 and 20. I had my I worked at MTV at the time. He was the only person to have a kid. Everyone else is going out drinking after work and I am going to relieve a babysitter.
Where's that boss?
I didn't have that boss? I wanted to be that boss so I hope that's the next wave. With each successive wave as more and more women are dealing with this stuff, hopefully make it better for each other.
I am told we have to stop. It was so wonderful to have you all here and you all here and please come up. We are all hanging out for a while if you don't have to rush to be somewhere.
>> AGAPI STASSINOPOULOS: And a message from the Huffington Post, please blog and keep doing what you are doing.
[ Applause ]