Monthly Archives: May 2013

10 Things I Would Tell Myself if I Could Travel Back in Time One Year

It’s been a full year. I knew it would be when I agreed to be marketing chair for the Miller theater at the same time I was slated to be board chair for Leadership Augusta, at the same time the dealership was embarking on our “World Class” campaign. As with all ventures, I will walk away smarter for my experience- I know how to take the knocks on my head and learn from them. The year taught me a lot about leadership, and even more about myself. Here are some of the take-aways from my year as LA board chair, written in advice form to myself, as if I could travel back in time.

1. Expect the unexpected. You will get some curveballs you did not see coming. Before you load up your own plate with all of your grand ambitions, go ahead and save a pocket full of time and energy for some unplanned drama.

2. It’s not all about you. Don’t forget that this year is also designed to help your vice-chair get a feel for the job, so make sure you include him in all of the activity. You will be glad when you can pass the gavel to someone who is as ready and excited to receive it as you once were.

3. Balance is your favorite word. Besides all of the work, be sure to get some rest, take good care of your health and keep up with the fitness. You will need your body to be strong.

4. Focus on what matters. You have a lot you want to accomplish, more than is possible. Look hard at your list of goals and pick the ones that are sustainable and will make a difference after you are gone. Let the others go.

5. Be prepared to have some honest conversations when you know in your gut that the train is de-railing. Someone you trust to do a good job will not live up to their promise of excellence, (or they define excellence differently), so be prepared to step in and keep the train on course.

6. There will be times when people delight you with how well they do their job. Savor it, celebrate it, and thank them well.

7. Don’t try to be anything other than the leader you are. Be gentle with yourself.

8. There will be people who will make your job much easier, and a couple that make it it significantly harder. Spend more time thinking about the former and give less consideration to the latter.

9. Set aside a designated time each week for your planning and assessment. Scheduling that time in advance will help keep you on track.

10. Enjoy the year and have some fun. Relish the small happy moments and know that in the end, it is going to work out just fine.

The Sixth Lexus

It’s hard to believe I’m already getting the first maintenance performed on my 2013 ES350; it’s even harder to believe that this is my sixth Lexus. My first one, a red IS300, will always be a sentimental favorite. It had unique styling for Lexus, created for the performance-based driver, with racing cues on the interior.  There were so few of these cars on the road; I took pride in knowing that mine was one of only 3 red ones in the area.


I was so enamored with this car that I broke up with my then-boyfriend because he wanted to drive it, and I didn’t want to share. (There may have been some other reasons to break up, but they seem inconsequential and fuzzy today.) The only thing I did not like about this classic Lexus sedan was the dangerously hot metal gear shifter; it required an oven mitt in order to put the car into gear during the scorching Georgia summers. The engineers who thought it looked cool and sporty must have lived in Minnesota or something.


After the red IS, I enjoyed a series of great Lexus vehicles, including a red IS350, a silver IS250, a blue ES350 and a silver ES350. My current gold ES350 (or “Satin Cashmere”, as they say in Lexus-speak) is the new favorite, because the changes that Lexus made to the 2013 generation ES have taken it to the same stratospheric level that they reached with the RX350 in 2010. You drive a 2010 RX compared to a 2009 RX, and you will feel like you are in a vehicle that costs $10,000 more. Same with the 2013 v. the 2012 ES. The fit, finish, amenities, styling and ride of these upgraded models amazes me.  Here is a picture taken right before I bought my ES, in late December.


I told Kevin that I had to buy this car because as the Jim Hudson Lexus PR girl, I needed to represent the latest and greatest model, which is true. I consider it my duty to drive vehicles which inspire others to notice the product, much like when I worked for Clinique and they asked us to wear the new lipstick colors. Kevin gave me his blessing, as he is always kind to do, and by Christmas I was tooling around in the nicest car ever to grace my driveway.

In addition to the styling and the smooth driving performance, I fell in love with this car for the same reason I fall in love with most people: the little things. I will share a few of the countless small things I enjoy in this Lexus, which I must mention cost very close to the same price as my last 2 ES350’s.

1. Back-up camera: while not new to the ES, it is a first for me and I LOVE it. I am a notoriously bad parker, and the red lines show me when I’m heading in the right direction.

2. The appearance of the dash. The stiched trim and the contrast of beautiful materials is strikingly elegant.


3. The control knob which allows me to navigate vehicle functions-I use it to change settings, radio stations and more- it functions much like a mouse does on a computer, which is what cars essentially are these days.


4. The display feature which tells me everything from how many miles I have left on a tank of gas, to how much pressure is in each tire. There is a world of vehicular information at my fingertips, and sometimes I scroll through all of the options, just because I can.


5. Satellite radio. Again, not new for the ES or even for me, but the way the song info is displayed is something I really like. I am a consistent channel-changer, always seeking the next great song or joke, so the functionality of the audio screen with the control knob is a good fit for me. (Yes, I actually took a picture of the screen during a Barry Manilow song.) For the record, my most favorite XM channels are 7, 8, 17 and 32.


While I could continue to go on about favorite features of my Lexus, I think it is clear that although I now have 5,000 miles on my car, I truly am still in love. I will close with the feature that ultimately sold me on the car, and it will seem silly, but I think it adds the classiest touch of all. It is the ultimate in elegance, and makes the interior look entirely fresh and classic: the clock. This is the real reason I had to buy my sixth Lexus. (Don’t tell Kevin.)


With so much to love-big and small- I have to say I made a good decision with the 2013 ES. I think I will keep this Lexus for awhile.