Success Matters: #27 September 2010
What’s the magic number of greatness?

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Gerrie Dresser,
The Executive / Career Coach for High Achieving Leaders and Pivotal Leadership Teams . . .

Coaching you to articulate your unique value, stand out IN a crowd, and create sustainable career success!

Conversations and strategies about how to stand out IN a crowd and create sustainable success while making a difference through high impact contributions.

A Message from Gerrie


In preparing for this month’s message about informal mentoring, I decided to implement my own mentoring initiative, and took into account what I hear from others about why they DON’T initiate mentoring conversations . . . not sure who to contact, I’m too busy and have major deadlines to meet, I don’t know what to say …

Do any of these sound familiar?

As it turns out, it was an inspiring journey as I stretched myself. I’ve made connections on a business AND personal level with over 5 new people who I had thought would be out of reach.

The interesting insight from my experience is that I didn’t initiate a contact for the sole purpose of initiating a mentoring conversation, but they offered help and assistance spontaneously. Our conversation evolved into a mentoring conversation in response to a few questions that I asked about how they handled specific situations.

They also extended an invitation that would further our relationship and offered a few personal news bytes that brought me even closer in their circle.

My experience reflected some of the rules that are changing for mentoring relationships. Although many leaders aren’t able to commit to a ‘formal’ mentoring relationship because of the time commitment, they find informal mentoring very rewarding.

A mentoring / mentee relationship has shifted from the mentor choosing the ‘protégé to the protégé now seeking out the mentor. What used to be a one-sided perspective in which the mentor advised the protégé, the mentor / mentee relationship often evolves into a reciprocal relationship, a much richer experience for both.

Are you ready to stretch your thinking even more about mentoring? Read our Feature Article, “What’s the magic number of greatness?”

Have fun with your mentoring conversations.


Gerrie Dresser
The Leadership Strategist to help leaders
stand out IN a crowd . . . DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF!

Features:  What's Included ...

Unique Genius Virtual Café: Upcoming Events

Our Unique Genius Virtual Café Event is scheduled on the second Tuesday of each month from 12:00Noon – 12:55pm to help you create sustainable success and stand out IN a crowd for your unique, credible expertise.

  • October 19, 2010: JoJami Tyler. Expert in ‘Connecting Women to Their Ultimate Image’. (NOTE: This is the 3rd Tuesday, a change from our usual 2nd Tuesday.)

    We’re going to have fun discussing ‘Making Your Style a Business Tool’.
  • November 9, 2010: Selena Rezvani. Recognized author, speaker, and consultant on women and leadership, and founder / president of NextGenWomen, LLC. Author of “The Next Generation of Women Leaders: What You Need to Lead but Won’t Learn in Business School” Publisher: ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2010

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Unique Genius 6-Question Survey

Snapshot of the Results!!

My heartfelt thanks to so many of you who completed the 6-question survey!

I’ll be providing short bytes about the survey results over the next few months, so you connect with the identified trends and issues, and hear what other leaders are saying …

Here’s one short byte … the second portion of this will be featured in our October edition:

The Unique Genius market research study shows that a leader’s success in their career and leadership role depends on 7 high priority strategies . . . here are 3 of the 7:
  1. Embrace the value of self-awareness and self-management, cornerstones of emotional and social intelligence.
  2. Allocate time for strategic planning to achieve greater clarity and productivity, focusing on the highest priority goals and minimizing distractions from lower return activities.
  3. Commit to self-leadership and personal development.

(Watch for the other 4 in our October edition!)

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Speaking Events!

To celebrate the message about ‘Unique Genius’, organizations and corporations are sponsoring speaking events to inspire and motivate their leaders! Watch for upcoming events in Success Matters.


December 3: “Stand Out IN a Crowd with Your Unique Promise of Value That Is Relevant and Memorable”
  Sponsor: Greater Philadelphia Senior Executive Group – CIO Roundtable, Sub-group
  Location: Aldo Lamberti, Cherry Hill NJ
  Date/Time: Friday, Dec 3 – 11:30am – 2:00pm
  Register: Open to GPSEG Sub-group or Guests who are sponsored by an existing member of the roundtable or obtain pre-approval from the chair or co-chair.
January 27: “Your Unique Credibility Factor . . . the Secret to Standing Out as a High Impact, Strategic Leader”


Sponsor: Greater Pottstown Chapter, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)


Location: Brookside Country Club, Pottstown PA


Date/Time: Thursday, Jan 27, 2011 – 12:00 Noon ET


Register: Watch here for registration link later this year.

To learn more about Gerrie’s speaking and make a referral to your organization, click on link:

Phone: 610-429-0359

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Feature Article:
What’s the magic number of greatness?

You’ve heard of the book, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, right?

According to Malcolm, “10,000 hours is the magic number of greatness”, i.e., it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at anything. In his book, he references a number of studies that link hours of practice with performance. In a study in the 1990s, the researchers found that a musician’s performance was closely aligned with the number of hours of accumulated practice. The 10,000 hours came up in other studies related to athletes, writers, and chess players …

It starts with the question, what do you WANT to excel in? In his book, Instant Wealth, Chris Howard describes how Beyonce Knowles follows this practice/performance principle. Although she is extremely successful as an artist and is financially rewarded ($87M in one year), she is humble about her achievements and was quoted, “Like everyone else, you work really hard and you want it to be great; you want your friends to like it. What makes me comfortable is practice and knowing that I’m prepared.”

Now, you may be thinking, 10,000 hours is a LOT of time! And, yes it is . . . but 10,000 hours would go by whether you practice to achieve your goals or not. Right?
  • So, why not make a list of people who you WANT to know or meet and then, schedule a short meeting or conversation with them?

Did you know … your greatest level of performance results from mentoring? So, take a few minutes right NOW and list 20 people who you want to meet or people who you want to ask about their path to success.

Many leaders feel so busy that they don’t take the time to seek out a mentor. But, is it also related to your not knowing . . . not knowing what to ask an ‘informal’ mentor?

Let’s start with a basic question. What do you think is the most frequently asked question that compels someone to be your mentor?

Is it “Will you be my mentor?” Not any more than you would ask someone to marry you on your first (or second date…) date. And keep it simple.

Start with a request, “May I ask you a question?”

Of course, before you meet with the ‘informal mentor’, outline a few thoughts about what you most admire about them and questions about what you want to learn from their experience.

Then, throughout your conversation, you can easily interject these questions into your conversation. Most of them would start with, “How do you do [what you want to know]?"

How will you know if it’s appropriate to continue your ‘informal mentoring’ relationship? Take your clues from the mentor … Do they offer you suggestions? Do they open the door for future conversations? Do they refer or personally introduce you to someone who would also provide you with some keen insights?

This is the type of leader with whom you want to continue building a mentoring relationship!

Now, is a mentoring relationship only meant for a certain level of leadership? Here are a few examples of people who have excelled because of their mentors … Warren Buffet, Mark Victor Hansen, Oprah Winfrey.

Join the ranks of some of the most celebrated and wealthy people in the world …

  • Who will you call in the next week to schedule an ‘informal mentoring’ conversation?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject … drop me an email at


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Gerrie Recommends

You, Inc.: The Art of Selling Yourself. Author: Harry Beckwith and Christine Clifford Beckwith. Publisher: Warner Business Books, 2007

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Unique Genius Coaching

Coaching is a confidential partnership between you, the Client, and your Coach to help you achieve your next level of success faster and with greater focus and clarity.

Gerrie Dresser is an ICF credentialed Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and practical, innovative executive / career coach, thought leader, and personal brand strategist. She delivers high impact individual and team coaching through the Unique Genius™ Coaching Model. As a result, her clients get UNSTUCK and . . .

  • Articulate their value with confidence and authenticity.
  • Get known as a credible expert.
  • Navigate the corporate landscape with more savvy.
  • Negotiate new opportunities.
  • Leverage today’s successes for longer range strategic goals.

Do you have a memorable and distinctive brand story . . . advocates who know you and what you do well . . . a Plan B for sustainable success?
If not, contact Gerrie for your 20 minute Unique Genius Strategy Session at 

For more information about Gerrie:
click on

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