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Lessons from a Legend: Lisa Hannum

Wednesday, July 12, 2017   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Catherine Roman
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By Jill Fiebelkorn


Lisa Hannum started Beehive Strategic Communication in 1998 and is focused on developing an energized culture that inspires and values her team’s well-being, creativity and growth. The company's office includes a Wi-Fi-free meditation room, exercise space and a complimentary fruit bowl. Beehive recently earned a national award from the American Psychological Association as one of the top five places to work in the country.


This fall, Beehive looks forward to starting a mentoring program for other women-owned businesses. Hannum believes this is a strong step toward closing the gender pay gap in the professional world.


Lisa will be sitting down with Minnesota PRSA next week as part of our Women in Leadership panel during our summer Coffee with a Legend series. We recently caught up with her for a sneak peek at what attendees can learn.


What challenge(s) did you face as a woman starting your own company?


“The year 1998 was a great time to own your own business.” Hannum started a family and business simultaneously and acknowledges that technology played a large role in her ability to do so. In 1998, it was just becoming possible to work from almost anywhere. Hannum also had a dozen years of experience and a solid network that helped her business flourish. It was balancing parenthood and business that was the most challenging.


Do you feel woman still have a distance until equality is reached in the professional world?


The data shows clearly there is inequality in the workforce. Hannum feels fortunate that the public relations industry is filled with successful women. With many points of view, role models and mentors to help guide success, women need to use all the available resources. Women have proven they can create and run extraordinary brands across the globe. “We can’t be content with progress toward equality. We need to keep focused until there is equality in opportunity and pay.”


What can women do to achieve equality professionally?


“Women need to believe that together we rise.” The recent election cycle magnified the gender inequality gap and pushed the younger generation to see more clearly where we’re at and inspired them to push for change. If driven solely by competition, the women’s equality movement will fail. It’s important to gain support from men and women and to take action. Hannum suggests volunteering as a strong way to take action and create change. Beehive’s commitment to mentoring women-run businesses is an example of putting our team’s energy to work.


How do you start your day?


"Daily habits support my mental, physical and emotional health — and they create positive energy." Hannum believes in exercise, meditation and staying hydrated. She has a morning-evening reflection practice to ensure she stays on track, and she suggests doing daily reflection to review accomplishments and look for how to improve. Set small goals, know boundaries and carry the momentum forward to the next day.


What goals have you set recently?


Hannum envisions the entire calendar year and then breaks it down to quarters and weeks in order see the big picture and break it down into realistic goals.  At Beehive, the team posts weekly goals on a team whiteboard. Then the team meets for an end-of-week happy hour to discuss accomplishments and unfinished aspirations. The office works together to create the energy and support needed to help each other reach those goals.


Are you interesting in hearing more from Lisa Hannum? Join us on July 18 for our Women in Leadership panel. Register today.



Rebecca Martin says...
Posted Thursday, July 27, 2017
At the event, one of the male attendees asked how men could advocate for women in the workplace and be good mentors/leaders. Here's some good advice:

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