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I'm the Boss of Me

I'm the Boss of Me

A Guide to Owning Your Career

Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn

Apr 2017, Paperback, 384 pages
ISBN13: 9781587204326
ISBN10: 1587204320
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If you’re like most people, you’ve had good bosses and bad bosses. Some bosses have inspired you. Others have caused you to scratch your head and think, “How did this person get to be in charge?” But you might not realize that you have one amazing boss, someone who’s capable of incredible accomplishment and legendary leadership, probably the best boss you’ll ever have…YOU! Yes, you. There will always be bosses, teachers, parents, and others to whom you are accountable. All those people will influence and guide you. But only you can choose your ultimate course—and I’m the Boss of Me will show you how.

Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn left childhood behind when she became fatherless at age 12. From this financially unstable starting point, which she calls contrast, Jeanne developed a philosophy of life based on love and meeting life’s challenges with resilience and a deep willingness to learn. Now with more than 20 years of executive-level experience in the technology industry and having founded the Internet of Things Talent Consortium, Jeanne shares career-building lessons, strategies, and tactics, interspersed with stories about how she and others have used contrast, courage, resilience, and persistence to propel themselves forward into stellar careers in music, sports, real estate, technology, and many other fields.

With a passion for mentoring others, Jeanne offers this guide to developing a self-empowered approach to work, career, and life. The book delivers easy-to-follow instruction on how to

  • Build a Vision-Strategy-Execution plan
  • Develop a personal brand statement
  • Use networking to develop a bench of supporters who will help you bring your career dreams to reality

Visit Jeanne at jeannedunn.com and https://www.facebook.com/jbeliveaudunn


Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiv


Chapter 1 You Are Who You Are Because of Your Choices . . . . .1


A Challenged Beginning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1


Building Resilience and Strength. . . . . . . . . 3


Empower Yourself . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6


How Successful People Create Their Success. . . . . . 7


Contrast Shows You What You Want . . . . . . . 8


Contrast Doesn’t Need to Be Big to Work for You. . . . . . . . 9


Push toward Change or Shrink from It,


It’s Your Choice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11


Choose Love When Fear Calls. . . . . . . . . . . . 12


Two Operating Models: Love and Fear . . . . . . 13


Stay Out of the Bubble, Stay Off Autopilot . . . . 15


A Bucket List for Success . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16


Build the Self-Empowered Road to Success . . . . . . 17


Happiness First. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19


Getting Down to Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21


Chapter 2 You Are a Work in Progress–Challenge


Yourself to Get Better . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23


Give Up the Idea That the Way You Are Now


Is the Way You Will Always Be. . . . . . . . . . . . 25


Practice Self-Control Because It Doesn’t Come Naturally. . . . . . . . 26


Use Self-Talk Plus Self-Control to Choose Your Operating Model. . . . . 28


Using Emotional Intelligence Helps You


Connect with Yourself and Others . . . . . . . . 29


Don’t Check Your Feelings at the Door . . . . . . . . 33


Build Self-Awareness So You Can See Where You’re Going . . . . . . . . 35


Avoid Artificial Limits So You Don’t Get Lost. . . . . . 39


Courage and Resilience Will Support You When Things Get Tough . . . . . . . 41


Focus and Discipline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47


Using Discipline to Make Progress . . . . . . . . . . 49


Getting Down to Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51


Chapter 3 Do You Know What You Want from Your Career and Life? . . . . . . . .53


Let Curiosity Lead You. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54


Discovering Your Work. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55


If You Don’t Know, Experiment! . . . . . . . . 57


Exposure Is the Key . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60


How Parents Can Help Their Kids and


Students Can Help Themselves . . . . . . . . . 62


Understanding the Work Environment . . . . . . . . 65


Outside: The World of Work and


Where It Is Headed . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65


Inside: Your Strengths and Interests . . . . . . . 74


Finding Your Strengths. . . . . . . . . . . . 77


There Are a Few Archetypal Jobs . . . . . . . . 83


The Need for Both Soft Skills and Technology Skills. . . . . . . . 84


The Future Is Uncertain, But You Don’t Need to Be. . . 86


Creating a Blue Ocean Career Strategy. . . . . . . . 90


What’s Next? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93


Chapter 4 Vision Strategy Execution . . . . . . . . . . . . .95


Vision, Strategy, Execution . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98


Vision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99


Strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112


Execution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117


Map Your Career to Make the Most of Your Desires . . 122


How Do You Keep Momentum in a Career? . . . . . 124


Build Next-Generation Skills . . . . . . . . . 126


Driving Awareness and Your Personal Brand . . . 129


Chapter 5 Becoming Your Vision: Aligning Your Behavior . . . .131


Use Contrast to Drive Learning. . . . . . . . . . . 134


The Learner’s Mindset . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135


Learner’s Mindset and Growth Mindset . . . . . 139


Be a Learner to Stay Engaged in Your Work. . . 142


Many Ways to Learn and Work . . . . . . . . . . . 143


How You Hold Yourself Back . . . . . . . . . . . . 146


Blind Spots: Overconfident and Under Sighted . . 148


Blind Spots: Under Confident and Over Sighted . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149


Blind Spots: Ego Nurturer . . . . . . . . . . 150


Learning as a Core Skill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150


Love, Emotional Intelligence, and Mindsets. . . . . . 154


Chapter 6 Becoming Your Vision II: Articulating Your Brand and Building Your Bench. . . . . . .161


Communicating with Others About Your


Vision — Sharing Your VSE . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162


Developing a Personal Brand Statement. . . . . 162


Value Proposition and Making the Match . . . . 164


Gathering Information and Writing Your


Personal Brand Statement . . . . . . . . . . 165


Socializing with Your VSE . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170


Working Through the Fear and Enjoying the Process . . . . . . . . 171


Purposeful Networking. . . . . . . . . . . . 176


Spheres of Influence. . . . . . . . . . . . . 178


Invest in Your Relationships. . . . . . . . . . 181


Building Your Bench. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184


The Close-In Sphere . . . . . . . . . . . . 186


Mentors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187


The Advisor Sphere . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189


The Alliance Sphere . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189


Chapter 7 Attitude, Altruism, and Altitude . . . . . . . . . .191


Attitude and Altruism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192


Living with Intention . . . . . . . . . . . . 198


Tame Your Mind, Feed Your Heart . . . . . . . 199


How Choosing Love Over Fear Supports


Altruism and Propels You to the Next Level . . . 203


Taking Flight with Outside-In, Inside-Out Thinking . . 208


The Inside-Out, Outside-In Career Process . . . 210


How to Create Your Dream Job. . . . . . . . 221


Chapter 8 Myths and Murders: Getting Past Roadblocks and Barriers . . . . . . . . . .225


It’s Not About You. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227


Obstacles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228


The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of


Mental Habits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230


Problem Fighter or Problem Solver . . . . . . 236


Disengaged or Just in the Wrong Job?. . . . . . . . 237


Being Miserable in Your Job . . . . . . . . . 238


Self-Destructive Spirals . . . . . . . . . . . 241


Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. . . . . . . . . . . . 243


External Limitations: Mailroom Syndrome . . . . 247


Feeling Trapped . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249


Working with Intention . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 250


Chapter 9 Planning and Making Choices. . . . . . . . . . .255


Planning for Balance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257


A Case in Point . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 260


How Planning for Balance Works on the Personal Side . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262


To Plan or Not to Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263


Blending Your Life and Experiences:


An Older Lifestyle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266


Saying No Means Not Having to Say You’re Sorry . . . 271


Beyond Saying No. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 276


Saying Yes or No to New Roles and


Stretch Goals: Know Yourself. . . . . . . . . 278


Balance Requires Trust. . . . . . . . . . . . 280


Contrast and Stress Are the Teachers,


Balance Is the Lesson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281


Chapter 10 Self-Leadership 2.0: Success in the Face of Obstacles . . . . . . . . . .287


Self-Leadership When Things Don’t Go Your Way . . . 289


-Isms: Sexism, Racism, Ethnocentrism, and More. . . . . . . . . 290


Begin with Understanding . . . . . . . . . . 291


The Need to Bridge Differences . . . . . . . . 294


Self-Fulfilling Prophecies. . . . . . . . . . . 297


Handling Gender Bias . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 298


Handling the Cultural Bias Toward Extraversion . . . . 301


What Do You Do When Things Go Wrong or


You Can’t Influence Someone? . . . . . . . . . . . 302


The Benefits of a Third-Party Perspective . . . . . . 302


Working with Differences in Thinking Styles . . . . . 306


Working Around Subtleties in the Workplace . . . . . 308


Build Your Bench . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309


Do Your Homework and Share It . . . . . . . 310


Volunteering: How Can I Help You? . . . . . . 312


Working Around Cronyism. . . . . . . . . . 312


Being Open About What You Want, What You Can Deliver, How You Want to Grow, and Boundaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . 315


Creating Inspired Success for Yourself and Others. . . 320


Endnotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .323


9781587204326, TOC, 6/3/2016


Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn is a recognized thought leader on the workforce of the future and an expert in education, the social enterprise, and knowledge systems. As an expert in the workforce of the future, she consults and presents to business and government leaders across the globe. She was recognized as one of “The 2015 Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Technology” by the National Diversity Council, which features the most influential female executive leadership across America’s leading corporations.


During her more than 20-year career with Cisco, Jeanne brought the first social education system in the industry (The Cisco Leaning Network) to market in 2008. In 2015, while finishing this book, she founded The Internet of Things Talent Consortium to empower and accelerate a more agile workforce in the digital economy.


At Cisco, Jeanne’s work is best described as helping customers and partners be successful, creating capabilities and innovative new services and solutions, moving through disruptive changes in technology, identifying new market opportunities, and helping others to disrupt business models and create growth opportunities. In other words, she’s on a crusade to move the entire technology industry forward.


But she doesn’t want to stop with the industry. Jeanne has a passion for mentoring people. This book is her way of doing that at scale. Her philosophy of self-empowerment and love fuels her professional and personal calling to help people develop themselves and their careers, work together, collaborate, innovate, and be better together.


Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn is Vice President and GM at Cisco Systems, where she leads several businesses including education. She is president and chairman of the Internet of Things Talent Consortium. She also serves on a number of advisory boards for organizations committed to continuous learning and talent. She lives in Northern California with her husband, Larry, and their four-legged furry child, Hunter.


Expert Reviews


"Everyone, regardless of age, will benefit from reading I'm the Boss of Me because professionals have to be accountable for their careers and take charge of their lives, instead of relying on companies to guide them. Jeanne reminds us that we are all a work in progress and can improve ourselves so that we become more valuable as we make career transitions in our lives."

~Dan Schawbel, New York Times bestselling author of Promote Yourself and Me 2.0

“One of the most influential women in technology explains how she took control of her own life and career … an exceptionally thoughtful, systematic and practical guide to what worked for Jeanne and why, and how lifelong learners of all ages can apply these lessons to themselves.”

~Peter Hirst, PhD, MBE, Associate Dean for Executive Education, MIT Sloan School of Management

“In I’m the Boss of Me, Jeanne Dunne has written a heart-felt guide to self-improvement that is crammed with wise advice from someone who pulled herself out of a family tragedy and learned to craft her own happiness.”

~ Ellis Rubinstein, President and CEO at The New York Academy of Sciences


“In working with Jeanne on the IoT Talent consortium, it is obvious the she has a passion for helping people create their own success. But it is more than passion; she plans, sets goals and takes action to achieve her goals.

In her book, I'm the Boss of Me she shares the operating model that allows her to be successful, not only in business, but in life.

Jeanne tells of the survival skills she has used to overcome adversity and talks about the people she admires and what she has learned from them. Jeanne gives her readers the strategies and tools to define and achieve their own success.

I’ve found it to be a great read. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to enhance their career, whether they are just beginning or well established in their journey.”

~ Dave Vasko, Director Advanced Technology, Rockwell Automation

“Jeanne’s personal story and her amazing career offer excellent advice for anyone ready to own their career. And, that's all of us, no matter where you are in your professional life!”

~ Sherri Hammons, Chief Technology Officer for IQNavigator and Board Member of IoT Talent Consortium and Cisco's Customer Experience

“Jeanne has created an engaging roadmap to living a ‘big and joyful life.’ Grounded in her own humble and challenging beginnings, and her determination to move beyond ‘survival mode,’ she guides readers through the qualities and actions needed to live a life of purpose. It’s refreshing to hear a successful business executive talk about every person’s ability to choose love–not in a romantic sense, but instead related to passion, creativity, and connectedness–to become their own boss in life. Readers will come away energized and empowered to activate their own game plan.”

~ Celina Morgan-Standard, Senior Vice President, Digital Learning Solutions at The New York Academy of Sciences



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