Misti Burmeister
author, speaker, executive coach

Misti Burmeister

Misti Burmeister, author of "From Boomers to Bloggers," founded Inspirion Inc. and specializes in speaking, executive coaching, and generational diversity in the workplace.


Focus, focus, focus

Q: Was Desiree Rogers too interested in the spotlight to be successful as White House social secretary? Do some jobs require more discretion and less acclaim? Will Julianna Smoot be more suitable for the job -- or just less flashy in it?

Change is difficult. So too is keeping a laser-like focus on the vision for our country, or any organization for that matter.

Just as Dennis Rodman's self-centered behaviors alienated other players and shifted the focus off the team, Rogers' insistence on self promotion ultimately took the focus off the greater vision of country and Obama knew it.

Even people like Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama and Maya Angelou must keep their eye on the greater vision of their popularity. If the sole purpose of their popularity was to "look good" or "be known," I doubt any of them would have achieved such incredible acclaim.

Being in the spotlight is one thing -- being in the spotlight with real purpose is another. Whether Smoot enjoys the spotlight or not, she has and will likely continue to gain attention. She was chosen because of her ability to remain focused on the larger vision for our country. While the light will shine on Smoot, I believe she is well poised to direct the attention to the right conversation.

On another note, I must admit my distaste for the attention brought to clothing with the women involved in this story. What does it matter whether Rogers' gown overshadows anyone's choice of clothing? It's this kind of dialogue that perpetuates the pettiness between women.

Let's keep our focus on the greater cause here: the success of America.

By Misti Burmeister  |  March 8, 2010; 12:01 AM ET  | Category:  Success from the sidelines Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Desiree Rogers was NOT the right person to be the Social Secretary for the White House -- it was "all about her." There is one Pres and one First Lady, and the job of the social secretary is to be DISCREET. The only photo of her should have been at her desk. As well, she didn't need to travel around to "make contacts" for the White House -- I am sure a call would have been sufficient -- it isn't like people don't know what the White House is. Also, if she wanted to be some kind of arts czar, she should have applied to work at the Kennedy Center. WRONG person to work in a President's administration -- she was trying to outshine the First Lady -- major faux pas.

Posted by: sceptic1 | March 12, 2010 8:58 AM
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Ms. Rogers did a good job and she did it with style. A lot of people seem to resent her because she isn't a wallflower and doesn't dress like one. It is doubtful that, in the chain of command, the Social Secretary has authority over the Secret Service!

Posted by: treez123 | March 8, 2010 4:26 PM
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Secret Service did do their job. Rogers checked the DNC donor database and let them in after the Salahi's held up the line (it was raining, no canopy). She got caught because they had no idea that the washington post reporter who was there knew all about the Salahi's and knew they weren't officially invited. Check out the picture of Mikhail shaking hands with Obama. He knows her! The only cardinal sin in this town is getting caught with your pants town.

Posted by: biffgrifftheoneandonly | March 8, 2010 2:42 PM
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I couldn't disagree with you more. Had the Secret Service Agents done their Job, the incident would never happen. Ms. Rogers was doing her Job. I never read any where in the Washington Post from 2001-2009 about any Bush official not doing their Job, but I'm sure the Post would never speak out against a Republican Administration, that would be "SACRILEGIOUS".

Posted by: austininc4 | March 8, 2010 1:37 PM
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I disagree with your comment about the attention paid to clothing with regard to this story. Rogers was a SOCIAL secretary, I think it is very appropriate to discuss what she chose to wear at a state dinner. A part of her job description was to establish the dress code for each event and to make sure that it is followed. It's not as if these comments were about what Pelosi wears on the House floor. Additionally, I think as the social secretary, it was her role to be more discreet. It would be akin to a wedding planner showing up at the wedding in a white dress.

Posted by: begben | March 8, 2010 10:25 AM
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