Boston Recap: Changemaker Chat with Lisa Tanzer

Lisa Tanzer with Amanda Houser at Changemaker Chats Boston

Life is Good. Lisa Tanzer is Great. 

“You can either focus on the negative in life, or you can focus on the positive,” said Lisa Tanzer, president of Life is Good and inaugural speaker of Changemaker Chats Boston.

We choose positive.

Welcome to Changemaker Chats Boston, and thank you to those who joined us on a gorgeous spring evening for our first chat with Lisa Tanzer.

Lisa is a woman who practices what she preaches. Her positivity and can-do approach to life – professionally and personally – is infectious. She’s the kind of person that you want as a coach, mother, friend, and boss all in one. During the hour-long chat with Lisa, she gave us an inside look at her philosophies for living the good life:

T-Ball with the Boys.  Lisa recounted a story of her mother pushing her out the door to play t-ball with the boys. These little moments of motherly encouragement paid off in big ways. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Lisa truly believes that if you put your heart and soul into your work, you can do anything.

Say Yes to Opportunity. Even if the challenge seems daunting, Lisa advises women to know they deserve a seat at the table, and to hold strong to your Yes. Lisa shared that when first offered the role as president of Life Is Good, she knew that working at a company where she could grow and learn, and lead, meant that this was an offer she could not refuse.

Be a creative problem-solver. A former employer suggested to Lisa that she work five days a week and then if she did a “good job” she could get Fridays off with her children. Seizing a moment for creative negotiating, Lisa instead requested to work a four-day week and if she did a “bad job,” she’d return to the full workweek. The same holds true for when you are stuck. Flip the script and focus on creating new options before you settle on an answer.

Give more than you take. In line with the ethos of Adam Grant, author of Give and Take, Lisa learned early that it’s a good idea to give first—by helping others and nurturing important relationships. Nothing is more irritating than that colleague who reaches out only when they need a favor. Instead of being transactional, Lisa urged women to build connections over time and give more than take.

Permission to Fail. “If there isn’t poison in the water, it’s fine—we all fail; let’s just do better next time.” Having this sense of resilience enables Lisa and her teams to take risks, recognize faults, and move forward.

Thank you again to Lisa Tanzer and to our host, Life is Good, as well as a special thanks to our partners: Alexis Picheny PhotographyRoche Brothers, Wegman’s, our volunteer bartenders Margot & Julie, Frank Anthony’s, J.W. Lopes, and Sam Adams Beer.