About Erika Andersen

Over the past 30 years, Erika has developed a reputation for creating approaches to learning and business-building that are custom tailored to her clients’ challenges, goals, and culture.

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Archive for April, 2010


I Heart Entrepreneurs

Virginia Council of CEOs – Home.

I'm sitting in the Norfolk, VA, airport (and a very nice airport it is), having just spoken at the annual conference of the Virginia Council of CEOs.  I walked them through the Being Strategic model and skills – having them identify a real business challenge to work on as they learned – and then they got into small breakout groups for an hour or so to go deeper into their challenges, using the process.

Entrepreneurs are great: hopeful, can-do, high-energy folks, for the most part, who spend their days creating something from nothing.  They grabbed  Being Strategic as a useful approach and set of tools (I had the same experience at the Inc. Conference) and immediately began trying it out.  Big fun.

The downside of most entrepreneurs (and I saw this, too) is that they often have a hard time stepping back from the action – even momentarily – to get a larger sense of where they're trying to go, and where they are now relative to that hoped-for future.  Their tendency is just to leap in and start problem-solving.

Unfortunately, the problem that's yelling loudest to be solved is not always the one that's in your best interest to put all your (limited) resources toward solving. 

Many of the participants acknowledged that the biggest stretch for them is to take a breath, step back, and ask – "Is doing this the best use of my time and resources?  Will doing this really contribute toward us achieving the future we've envisioned?"

But it's such an important thing to learn to do — it's at the core of being able to grow your business sustainably.  Good reminder for me as a small business owner, too! 

Posted in Leading People


Fun with Public Television

Image001 This week I had one of the most eye-opening, exhilarating, joyful experiences of my life: I teamed with a marvelous group of people to make good TV.  Maybe even great TV.

We were in Wixom, Michigan, at Detroit Public Television's impressive state-of-the-art  HD TV studio.  I got to meet the group of smart, collaborative, flexible women that I'd been partnering with for months via phone and email – Diane Bliss, Jamie Westrick, Josette Marano, Rosalind Kimbrough and Aimee Longato.  And then I got to work with a whole new group of smart, collaborative people – Alex, Larry, Greg, Tammy, Todd, Leo, Fred (both Freds), Matt, Brian, Lisa…

And at the end of two days of (for me) learning and huge fun for all: voila – television!

Being Strategic with Erika Andersen will air first in Detroit on WTVS, Channel 56 on June 6th at 10:30am, and then starting in August, it will be airing nationally.

It's an hour-long program of me with a live studio audience, teaching them the Being Strategic process and skills, and helping them start to apply it to a real challenge in their lives. The DPTV folks built a great set, pulled together an enthusiastic studio audience, and were consummate professionals throughout.

If you don't find it being shown on your local public television station, you're more than welcome to call them and tell them you need to see it!

Posted in News


Talking with Zane Safrit

Today's Guest: Erika Andersen, author of Being Strategic – Zane Safrit.

In just a few minutes, I'll be talking with my friend Zane about all things strategic…listen in live or catch it streaming.  Zane always ask great questions, so it should be fun!

Posted in Thinking


Asking for Help


When there’s a choice between being too self-reliant and not self-reliant enough…I generally err on the self-reliant side. It’s my basic wiring, and it was exacerbated by many years of having to do most of the heavy lifting in my life on a lot of levels.
Now, though, I have enormous practical and emotional support in all parts of my life – most especially from my dear Patrick, my wonderful business partner, Jeff, my long-time assistant, Anne, and my daughter, Rachel. And as I’m getting better at recognizing when I need support and accepting it when it’s offered, I’m seeing all the benefits of asking for help.

Letting others share the load creates wonderful bonds of mutual respect and appreciation.  It allows you to benefit from others’ strengths and skills as they benefit from yours.  It reinforces the reality that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts; that two or more people truly partnering and fully supporting each other can accomplish much more than the same number of people working individually.

I really enjoy Mary Jo Asmus‘ blog; she writes clearly and well, she talks about interesting stuff, and I find her insights illuminating.  I especially like today’s post, about how to  ask for others’ help when you’re stuck on a problem or in a situation. It especially resonated for me, given my recent reflections on allowing myself to be supported….I thought you might enjoy it, too.

Posted in News


Being Strategic Goes on Air

FREE IS MY LIFE: FREE PBS Show Taping "Being Strategic" 4/23 5:30pm Wixom.

15453 Faithful readers – just wanted to share my excitement with you about this: on April 23rd, PBS will be taping an hour-long special with me, focused on the Being Strategic process and skills.

It will be aired in Detroit in June (10:30am June 6th, for any of you who are local), and then nationally starting in August.

I'm thrilled about having the opportunity to offer so many people these tools for creating the life they most want!

Posted in Film