Apple Watch

What are your thoughts about owning an Apple Watch? Does it make sense for a busy executive?

I ordered mine within 20 minutes of it becoming available online. I have a ‘thing’ about Apple products and am usually in line outside the retail stores by 5 a.m. the day of a new release. This time I had to set my alarm for the middle of the night as they became available online only on April 24. I missed the drama of standing in line with my fellow fans but it IS easier ordering online.

Milanese Loop

Milanese Loop

I have no statistics regarding Apple Watch purchases (officials aren’t saying how many have been sold) but I sense there are folks holding back who are likely to buy one some day. I think they are reluctant to get into yet another learning curve, but that’s just my opinion.

A fellow gadget guy I had dinner with last weekend has so far resisted buying one and remains a bit skeptical. He asked a great question: ”What ONE thing do you use the most on the Apple Watch?’

I didn’t offer my real answer, but rather said:  “Texting.”

Siri on the Apple Watch is eerily accurate when responding to texts. So much so, you need to be sure your radio or GPS is turned down or you’ll be sending very strange messages.

But the real ONE thing I use the watch most for is to tell time. Not an answer the guy sporting an expensive traditional watch could relate to so I went with the answer of ‘texting’.  I haven’t worn a  wristwatch in years but relied on my smartphone to tell me the time. Watch buckles made my wrist break out or were just a hassle to take on and off, so I just used my phone to find out what time it was.  The Apple Watch Milanese Loop band is comfortable, stylish, easy to take off and on, and doesn’t make me break out. Yea!

The other advantages of the watch are becoming more and more a part of my daily life. Even the Heart Beat monitor that just seemed like a curiosity to play with until I started to feel a bit woozy the other day and noticed my resting heartbeat was quite elevated, according to the watch. This caused me to check in with my doctor a good 24-hours before I might have otherwise, and he put me on an antibiotic for an infection that could have festered had I not checked my heart rate. Who knew?

I drove a car from Chicago to Florida the recently, solo, and found a couple features come in quite handy. I raised my wrist and asked Siri how far it was to Nashville and she quickly told me ‘five hours’.

When texts came in I could easily reply by text dictation – far less distracting than having a conversation on the phone even with Bluetooth technology.

The Utility watch face I selected allows me to have several ‘complications’ (odd term) that lets me check the temperature, next item in my calendar, favorite stock, moon phase or other options.

Switching time zones happens automatically – this really comes in handy for those of us who travel.

The Apple Watch is attractive. Especially the Milanese Loop which is about $100 more than the sport watch band. Well worth the upgrade in my opinion. I’ve had waitresses, motel clerks, CEOs all admire it. I let them try it on and each and everyone says: I want one. Even a professed watch snob who had said earlier he wouldn’t wear anything but a traditional watch. After fondling mine, he says he’s going to get one.

I love my Apple Watch and I know it’s capabilities are just in their infancy.

So, does it make sense for a busy executive? Absolutely.


When is the last time you had a ‘What if…?’ conversation?


A lot’s changed since my last post. I said ‘good-bye’ to my Vistage group in Baltimore and started a brand new CEO group in Chicago. Both the transition of the JulieheadshotBaltimore group to my friend and chair colleague Ed Robinson [Ed’s blog:  was as smooth as can be, and so was starting the new group. Changes are rarely easy, but when handled with sensitivity and respect, disruption is lessened.

Not that this blog gets thousands of unique visitors (although a lot more than I thought it would)  this is a site where I send candidates for Vistage membership or to learn my view of what it’s like to be a chair, so it is something I want to keep current.

And now, one year later, I can give a more complete report about what it is like to say farewell to a long-standing group and begin anew in a brand new city (to me).

When you chair a Vistage group it’s much more than a ‘practice’ or a ‘business’. We come to know our members in ways that are much more toastpersonal. We feel some stake in the triumphs as well as  the pain of the inevitable stumbles. So, building a group, sustaining a group, and holding one-to-one meetings with our members along with facilitating the group meeting, makes it hard to say good-bye. Especially after 13 years with many of the same people. But we did just that in February of this year during our retreat in Florida. We had a lovely farewell dinner on Valentines Day (yes, the spouses agreed) and they gave me a lovely John Hardy ring which I wear regularly. We toasted each other with specific examples of how we’ve changed each others’ lives and my eyes were moist most of the evening.

The idea for the transition to Chicago came about as my husband and I were having dinner in a northern suburb of Chicago on Sheridan Road. He pointed out a condo building overlooking Lake Michigan and commented that it had been one of his favorite places to live. At that time, we otherwise divided our time between Annapolis and Florida, but my husband commuted to Chicago once a month for his Vistage group.  Whew! The plan was for me to continue my Baltimore group even after the house sold and we would spend the rest of our time in Florida. A workable yet complicated plan. Although we were finding it burdensome to get on separate airplanes twice a month, we both love the work and weren’t willing to let it go.

Curious, I pulled out my iPhone and called up the app and discovered several units for sale.  As luck would have it (for us) the condo housing market hadn’t begun the upswing so our timing was perfect.

“What if,” I said, “I built a Vistage group in Chicago?”  

This is much easier said than done, but the vision was set and the pieces started falling into place. We got the cart a little before the horse by buying a unit before we knew this was all going to come together, but like a young filly, once I had the bit in my mouth there was no going back to the barn. It was going to happen.

And with 100% focus, the support of highly respected Vistage members, and four great events from January through April, this new group launched in April – about four months from the time we had that ‘what if’ conversation.

Have you had a ‘What if?” conversation lately? For some, the natural response to a ‘What if…’ can steer toward the negative and all the reasons whatever the idea is can’t work. If that’s you, think of your ‘what if…’, set the time for ten minutes, and list all the upsides of taking the risk. As negative thoughts enter your mind, push them aside.

What if… you did?



A room with a view!

What is YOUR ‘What if…’?