Virginia Bianco-Mathis
University professor, author

Virginia Bianco-Mathis

Business department chair of management programs at Marymount University and author of two books on executive coaching.

Archive: Virginia Bianco-Mathis

Repackage your act

As, say, an older football player or dancer, you stay in the field as a revered virtuoso as you gradually fade into the sunset. You pass on but leave a legacy that influences future generations.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | December 21, 2010; 10:09 PM ET | Comments (13)

A winning combo

Let's take a closer look at Scarlett O'Hara. She is tenacious, scheming, politically savvy, forceful, smart, and flamboyant. She possesses an inner force that continuously drives her forward.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | December 13, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Self-selected success

The workers leaving Google are doing themselves and the company a favor. Success happens for both a company and an individual when there is a match between an employee's values and a company's culture.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | December 6, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Redefine yourself

Three game-changers -- an old boyfriend, a mentor, and my husband -- forced me to redefine myself at three different crossroads.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | November 29, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Nothing succeeds like success

Michael Vick has 'redeemed' himself with his blinding success at America's favorite sport because everyone loves a winner. He has also been much less arrogant since his return from the Big House.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | November 22, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

Hit the reset button

Humans are wonderfully adaptable. Those of us who have had major setbacks know that we've been through it before and survived. Thus, we are mentally stronger.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | November 15, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Eye of the beholder

Being singled out for doing a good job is not the Japanese way. So our chefs clamor for a Michelin star and Japanese chefs just shrug their shoulders. Different paradigms.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | November 1, 2010; 04:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

Adapt and overcome

By being knocked down, I was forced to look inward and rely on my true strengths and passion. That gave me the energy to forge another path.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | October 18, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Inspiration is just a start

I might have had an innovative idea or two in my life, but it didn't go anywhere until I engaged with others in order to 'get it out there' and make it a success.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | October 11, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Manage your molecule

Use your molecule protocol -- Obama does, apparently -- to keep your group of associates active, smart, loyal, trusting, and results-oriented.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | October 4, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)


An empathetic leader can focus his or her vision, structure his energy, and motivate managers. But it's very difficult to transform leaders who only possess management expertise.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | September 20, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (3)

A pebble in the pond

I believe success only 'seems' to come in big spurts because it is the published book, fabulous performance, or diploma. What is not seen are the hours of and sleepless nights.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | September 13, 2010; 09:42 PM ET | Comments (0)

Faulty Fenty

The leadership lesson from Fenty's reign is obvious: Isolating yourself from the people and listening to advisers whose interests are not aligned with your vision can jeopardize your career.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | August 30, 2010; 02:41 PM ET | Comments (0)

Smart, calm, old

As an older woman, I'm much more confident in myself. I know who I am, leverage my strengths, and manage my weaknesses. I compete only with myself and don't give two hoots about what others think.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | August 23, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Flights of fancy

Sorry, I don't buy that this was totally an unexpected meltdown.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | August 16, 2010; 04:51 PM ET | Comments (0)

Leap of flexibility

Offered a job as a professor, I thought I might be able to start a consulting business and leverage one role off the other. What did I know about starting my own business? Nothing.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | August 2, 2010; 02:37 PM ET | Comments (0)

Embrace the insight

Analyze all of your mistakes. Talk them through. Embrace the insight and then put it to action.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | July 29, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

A textbook case

It boggles the mind that nobody in Vilsack's office called Sherrod and asked for her side of the story. She was tarred, feathered, and fired without a hearing.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | July 26, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (6)

An adaptive mind

Just as we went from all fours to two legs, our minds are now creating new synapses to deal with bombarding information.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | July 21, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Our own sports

Too often, soccer fans are nationalistic jingoists who revel in taunting other countries' teams, brawling and insulting each other.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | July 15, 2010; 12:07 PM ET | Comments (19)

From books to boardroom

Stay away from quick-fix books. Read books that challenge and force you to think beyond your daily grind. Or pick up the paper and read Dilbert.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | June 24, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Find your anchor

First I was an English teacher. Then I was a training manager and later, a human resources director. Then I got a doctorate in organizational psychology. Now I teach graduate school and coach, counsel, and consult. Notice something about all of these jobs?

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | June 21, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Good to great

When we see a true phenom, we watch and awe. Like a beautiful dance or virtuoso violinist, we are lifted above and beyond.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | June 14, 2010; 12:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

The lost art of integrity

Galarraga will be known not only as a great baseball player, but also as a great man. As the years go by, people will remember "the story" long after the statistic.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | June 10, 2010; 10:58 AM ET | Comments (2)

Shared visions

Can a marriage that falls apart still be considered successful? Yes. For as long as it lasts, there can be "good" in a marriage. Al and Tipper Gore raised productive children and were engaged in outstanding projects.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | June 7, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Plan B

To solve the oil-well crisis. leaders must work with others, make the process transparent and seek nontraditional avenues.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | June 3, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The tortoise or the hare?

Some might say that the notion of 'success coming too fast' is a moot point in this age of instant fame and recognition. You are noticed and thrown in to the limelight.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | May 27, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

A primal scream

Voters seem disgusted with the status quo and seem to be reaching for straws. Unfortunately, their choices are disjointed and unfocused, a primal scream of distrust.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | May 24, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Ignore the man behind the curtain

The notion of hiding the truth is such an interesting phenomenon that some leaders pick up along the way. Actually, I don't think it's something they pick up. Rather, it is something they lose -- their integrity.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | May 20, 2010; 11:29 AM ET | Comments (0)

Elegant solutions

In my experience, it is collegiality that has been the key to what I call 'elegant solutions.' What is needed is not just compromise, but actual collaboration.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | May 13, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

A new type of activism

In the Internet age, 'people' skills and personalities have been replaced with organizational skills and networking savvy.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | May 6, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Buyer beware

The 'little guy' stands little chance in this casino because he has no way of understanding the risks that even the 'big boys' don't understand.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | May 3, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Leading the way

Due to a sticky situation with accelerators and the beginning of the Volt-age, it is possible American automakers are making a comeback.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | April 26, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Outside looking in

We love the opportunity to pass judgment on others, and the voyeuristic excitement of seeing the highs and lows of someone who is living in the limelight.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | April 22, 2010; 12:01 AM ET | Comments (1)

One goal

Coach Bruce Boudreau epitomizes the hard-working, low-key coach who can great performances from players who aren't necessarily the most renowned in the league.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | April 19, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (5)

Woozy and rich

True, this has that questionable aspect of exploiting a minor, but no harm has been done.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | April 12, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

Palin pixie dust

In the short run, I think Palin can help McCain. But in the long run, Palin might be the best tool the Democrats have for winning.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | April 1, 2010; 12:01 AM ET | Comments (10)

Drunken success

Arenas did not "get off easier" than Joe Everyman. He had a clean record, and no one was hurt.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | March 29, 2010; 11:24 AM ET | Comments (4)

Hazardous win

A price should be no surprise to any of the Democrats, and they should be ready for the backlash. That's politics.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | March 22, 2010; 07:12 PM ET | Comments (0)

Finger-jabbing motivation

The human psyche gets energized by passion, and with Gary Williams, the passion comes in the form of sweaty suits.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | March 15, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

Crossing the line

This was a drunk father taking out his frustrations on his daughter. Some folks might relate to that. Others may find it unacceptable but can understand the circumstances.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | March 11, 2010; 12:01 AM ET | Comments (0)

D.C.'s lack of style

Evidently, Rogers was getting a bit more attention than the rule book allows. So what if she was doing a great job? Time to reel her in.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | March 8, 2010; 08:06 PM ET | Comments (0)

Killer floormats

Customers' complaints were routinely ignored, regulators were persuaded to abandon investigations and absurd reasons were given for obvious problems -- attack of the killer floormats!

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | March 1, 2010; 12:02 AM ET | Comments (3)

Despite All Odds

Most of the time success seems out of reach, meant only for those who already have an advantage--the biggest, brightest, most beautiful, most connected, etc. Underdog stories, such as the year the little known men's basketball team from George Mason University made it to the NCAA Final Four, make us smile.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | February 20, 2010; 08:11 PM ET | Comments (0)

Family ties

In all walks of life, there are family dynasties. When enough talent and energy emerges in the next generation, the baton is passed and future generations ride the wave. But over time, the line tends to peter out.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | February 18, 2010; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

True Talent

The Miss America pageant title is a legitimate win with no less pageantry than that of American Idol, the election of a political candidate, or the selection of an Oscar-winning movie. And if the pageant is outdated, someone better tell the media and newspapers.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | February 8, 2010; 12:01 AM ET | Comments (0)

A heroic rebel

On the emotional side, Steve Jobs is a hero and a rebel. He represents someone who refuses to accept the Microsoft regime. He took on Goliath and won.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | February 1, 2010; 12:02 AM ET | Comments (0)

Kiss a lot of frogs

In real life, success or failure isn't the main issue. Rather, it's how you handle the failure -- what you learned and how you get things back on track.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | January 14, 2010; 12:07 AM ET | Comments (0)

The long view

While the tall, beautiful people have an initial advantage that allows them the first shot, success does not happen in the first shot.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | January 4, 2010; 12:11 AM ET | Comments (0)

Offering delight

We love our symbols because they deliver multiple messages in the embodiment of one entity.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | December 22, 2009; 04:41 PM ET | Comments (0)

Depth and breadth

Any outreach program must be focused over a long period of time and include a dedicated measurement effort to make sure it is done.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | December 14, 2009; 10:09 AM ET | Comments (1)

Becoming public

These role models turned around and displayed behaviors that ran contrary to the images they themselves fostered.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | December 7, 2009; 09:36 AM ET | Comments (1)

To what end?

Our society tends to foster celebrity status and fame as a measure of success.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | December 3, 2009; 11:45 AM ET | Comments (0)

Getting it

Rather than asking whether millionaires should give away money, the more important point seems to be that truly successful people are driven to do so.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | November 23, 2009; 08:41 AM ET | Comments (2)

Flip the switch

Successful people do tend to talk straight, name the elephant in the room, put their cards on the table, and "discuss the undiscussable." They do this because they have learned the power of dialogue.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | November 16, 2009; 10:28 AM ET | Comments (1)

Find your own path

If you step out of the shadow and find your own way, a successful sibling is merely someone on another path, someone to celebrate in his/her own right, but not someone in competition with you.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | November 9, 2009; 01:46 PM ET | Comments (0)

Learning leads to improvement

Continuous learners of organizations turn around and provide a journeyman culture within their teams. They learn together, fail together, and succeed together.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | November 6, 2009; 02:46 PM ET | Comments (0)

Vision, not luck

We must have a predetermined vision of what we want. Without such a vision, crucial moments pass us by. With a vision, we are able to connect the dots in each encounter and continue to lay bricks towards our goal.

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis | November 2, 2009; 02:11 PM ET | Comments (3)

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