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Welcome to my first blog post!

In thinking about how I can share my leadership tips and spill stories from my career journey, the idea of starting a blog was interesting, but a bit intimidating. So today marks the day I take yet another leap into something new ---- a personal blog about what I'm working on and its intersection with leadership. Let's go!


I have had a lot of firsts in the past year --- how fitting to do a "firsts" recap for this post. Here we go:


1) Finished my master's degree in human relations (Inclusive Leadership).


What I learned: I was worried about being able to go back to school at age 58, but I learned that if you were a good student in undergrad, you'd be a good grad student. It does take a lot of time and a lot of reading and writing, but it felt good to stretch my brain in a new direction.


2) Wrote my first book.


What I learned: When it comes to getting a book ready for prime time, it is about 20% actual writing and 80% marketing it and figuring out technical/editing issues. I loved telling my story but didn't anticipate all the technical hoops one must jump through to pull a book together. Editor, formatter, cover designer, someone who understands how Amazon works with authors, etc. Writing is not a money-making endeavor - it is done as a means to other work (speaking, workshops, showing others your point of view) or because the words just won't be squashed! I loved the writing and am getting used to the marketing part.


3) Gave my first paid keynote


What I learned: I gave lots of talks and speeches in my corporate career, but they were part of my day job and were never compensated. Getting my first paid speaking gig was big for me and I'm hoping it is the first of many. Not unlike writing, public speaking is about 20% preparing and giving a talk and about 80% trying to find the gigs which does not come naturally to me. Here's hoping with the book and my workshop experience more paid speaking gigs are around the corner! I love the act of giving a good talk --- with a beginning that ties to the end and key takeaways that make people think - I hope I have the opportunity to continue to grow in this area!


Here's to new firsts for all of us! I hope to grow and learn with you in this next chapter of my career journey.


May I present, graduate, Dana Dillard.


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