winner is …
ESTABLISHED IN 2004,
the Stevie Awards for
Women in Business have
become one of the most
coveted business awards.
Recognizing the accomplishments of outstanding
women executives and
business owners, and their
companies, they have been
likened to the Oscars.
In November, the Stevies
were presented at Caesars
Palace in Las Vegas. Several
Costco small-business members were among the honor-ees. Here is a partial list.
• Lisa Drucker, founder
and president of Stroller
Strides ( www.strollerstrides.
com): Best Overall Company
of the Year, Services
• Delia Champion,
founder of The Flying Biscuit
com): Best Entrepreneur,
• Care.com ( www.care.
com): Best New Company
of the Year
• Blue Vector (www.
bluevector.com): Best Overall
Company of the Year,
• Formotus (www.
Innovator of the Year
• Gail Goodman, CEO
and founder of Constant
Contact ( www.constant
• Associated Builders
and Contractors Women’s
Council ( www.abcjax.com):
Best Business Association
of the Year
• Katy Thorban, senior
vice president and general manager of Avenue A
• Linda Passante,
managing partner, The Halo
net): Best Entrepreneur,
Advertising/Marketing & PR
For a complete list of
finalists and Stevie Award
winners, visit www.stevie
ROBIN SHARMA: THE POSITIVE WORKPLACE
Robin Sharma is the
best-selling author of
The Greatness Guide and
the newly released The
Greatness Guide 2 (
HarperCollins). For more insights,
be a leader
LEADERSHIP IS NOT about the size of your office
or the prestige of your title. And it’s not just for
CEOs and VPs of sales. We all can lead—in all we
do. To me, true leadership is more about the depth
of your commitment and the strength of your
character than about the position you hold.
I write a lot about a phrase I’ve been sharing
with business clients around the world. It’s a simple one that speaks to the power each of us has
to craft a world-class career and remarkably successful life: Lead without a title.
To me, leadership is a way of being. It’s about
inspiring all of those who surround you to realize
their gifts and stand for personal greatness. It’s
about taking responsibility for every dimension of
your life (versus blaming others for what’s not
working). It’s about devoting yourself to excellence in every pursuit and making things better—
no matter how good they already are.
Leadership is also about connecting to people.
Deeply. Genuinely. Passionately. Because business
and life are really all about people.
As I write this, I’m reflecting on the death of
a special friend of mine, Greg Brophy, founder of
Shred-it, a huge Canadian success story.
His passing, from a plane crash at the age
of 44, brings so many things to mind. How incredibly short life can be. How we need to dream, act
and be the people we know we can be right now.
How all that we can leave behind in the end are
the great things we have done—and the kindness
we have given. And how success is powerful. But
living with significance is even better. Greg lived all
these elements. That’s what made him a superb
leader and human being.
Any person who wants to lead—and live—a
remarkable life can. Teachers can lead. Entrepreneurs can lead. Artists can lead. Students can
lead. As Mark Twain once wrote, “If everybody
was satisfied with himself there would be
no heroes.” C
Cleaning out the cobwebs
COBWEB SITE: A Web site that
hasn’t been updated for a long time.
A dead Web page.
The phrase “cobweb site” is
only about a decade old, but
every Web site owner is familiar
with the concept. Savvy entrepreneurs are acutely aware that a
Web site is necessary. It gives a
business validation, a wide presence and another potential avenue for revenue. But when a Web
site is not backed up by a thoughtful business process it can do
more harm than good, as people
tend to equate the lack of regular
updating and attention to a site
with how the business is run.
A recent survey conducted by
Hostway, parent company of
Value Web, Costco’s partner in
small-business Web site services,
reveals that while many site owners understand the need for frequent updating, a good portion
still do not, with 37 percent of
• Establish a housekeeping
schedule. Determine how often
you should or will introduce
• Remove or refresh stale content. Remove all expired offers,
products or services and update
information if it has changed. If
the site features spotlighted articles,
replace them with new material,
but be sure to offer an archive of
past articles for reference.
• Make it current. Even if your
product or service is fairly static,
find a way to show that the site—
and the business—is up-to-date.
Add time-sensitive comments or
quotes from customers or associates, then be sure to replace them
before they are old news.
• Check links. Periodically test
all links on the site to be sure they
work properly. This is especially
important if you link to other
sites, as they may change their site
or remove a page completely. C
respondents saying they update
content daily, 16 percent weekly,
16 percent monthly and a whopping 31 percent annually.
John Enright, vice president
of business development and
marketing for Hostway, offers
these tips to ensure a fresh and
vital Web site.