Maura Nevel Thomas Gets Empowerment!
Contributed by Ami Kane, Chief Development Officer
When I first joined the Girls Empowerment Network staff in 2010, I was 25 and just 10 months out of grad school. While I had several years’ experience in girls’ services and the nonprofit world, I hadn’t yet established my professional workflow and behaviors. Thankfully, the very first Girls Empowerment Network board member I ever met was Maura Nevel Thomas.
This was back when Girls Empowerment Network was housed in a portable classroom on the campus of the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders. Maura was often around the office, and her biggest volunteer role was helping us implement better document sharing/storage systems and a naming strategy. But soon enough, I was invited to participate in one of “Maura’s trainings” as they were referred to around the office. “Maura’s trainings,” my coworkers at the time told me, were really helpful for managing your workflow.
What I didn’t know is that I was about to go through a training that would forever transform how I approach work. The concepts that she trained me on are contained in her first book, “Personal Productivity Secrets.” Those secrets that I learned from Maura helped me understand the concept of “attention management” and gave me practical tools that I could implement into my day so that I was able to be not only the most production professional I could be, but also one who felt less anxious overall and more empowered as a professional.
Almost 10 years later, I was invited to be a part of Maura’s book talk for her new work “Attention Management: How to Create Success and Gain Productivity” at BookPeople. In a discussion led by KUT’s Jennifer Stayton, I was excited to hear new information and tips from Maura. The new book, I was pleased to see as I received my copy, was designed to be easily integrated into your life—not something collecting dust on the shelf. Each chapter has sections with concrete action steps and activities you can do in real time, like plotting your current attention state against a “Four Quadrants of Attention Management for Productivity” matrix.
What I personally love most about Maura’s methods is that she uses a word and philosophy we love at our organization…she calls it her “Empowered Productivity™ System—a process for achieving significant results and living a life of choice.”
Just like Girls Empowerment Network works to help girls be in the drivers’ seats of their own lives, Maura’s methods teach each of us as busy adults that we can actively take control of our own attention. We don’t have to be at the mercy of the pings and bells and alerts and notifications from our phones, apps, and emails which try to demand and dictate how we respond and behave, often to our detriment.
If any of this piques your interest, I highly recommend that you check out “Attention Management: How to Create Success and Gain Productivity.” Even integrating just a few of Maura’s many concrete action steps will get you closer to feeling empowered, confident, productive, and living a life of active choice instead of scattered, distracted reactivity.
With all of the synergy between Maura’s methods and the Girls Empowerment Network mission, it’s no wonder that Maura has been one of the agency’s most dedicated sponsors, advocates, volunteers, and champions for many, many years now! In fact, Maura not only personally supports us, she also donated $10 of every book sold at the event at BookPeople last month to help sustain our work empowering girls in Texas.
On behalf of the whole staff, I want to offer Maura a huge thanks again—for helping us empower girls and for directly empowering us both as professionals and humans!