How New SMART Leaders Get the Position, High Level Project, Promotion, and Raise

Within the next 15 years, nearly 15% of the global workforce may need to switch jobs, according to the McKinsey Global Institute. By 2030, 75 million to 375 million workers will change occupation categories; another 400 to 800 million could be displaced by automation and need new jobs entirely. Workers may not have the necessary skills to transition into these roles. As highly repeatable tasks become increasingly automated, soft skills and emotional intelligence — critical thinking, communication, and collaboration — are even more essential.

You are a leader who has already mastered the SMART method of reaching goals that you learned in business school. You know that goals must be: S – Specific, M – Measurable, A – Attainable, R - Relevant and T – Time based. In today’s work environment that is not enough. At a certain level in leadership, everyone is smart, knows how to set goals, experienced and highly capable; those traits are no longer...

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5 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Executive Coaching


At a certain level in leadership, everyone is smart, experienced and highly capable; those traits are no longer differentiators. Unfortunately, at this level, there are less supports for leaders who are struggling with an issue. Doubt shatters progress. More hours are not the answer.

At some point in a leader’s career, there may be an opportunity to hire an executive coach. Your organization may hire the coach but lately more individuals are hiring a coach themselves.

An executive coach is a qualified professional that works with individuals (usually executives, but also high performers) to help them gain self-awareness, clarify goals, advance to new roles, change industries, create better relationships, let go of something that holds them back, manage a difficult behavior, unlock their potential, achieve other developmental objectives, and act as a sounding board. They ask questions to help a leader clarify and resolve their own problems, some of which the leader may...

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What the Oxford English Dictionary Doesn't Tell You About Moving Forward After Getting Fired

Recently a client of mine was terminated. He saw it coming. He wasn't happy in his role. He had been struggling with what action to take. Still, he is demoralized.

Below is the letter I wrote him.

I share it with you in an effort that it may bring comfort, direction and hope to you or a friend who may experience or have experienced the same thing.

If you are a manager you may have to layoff or terminate someone someday. Please do so with respect and grace.

If you are looking for resources to improve your leadership skills, this free Guidebook will be a great resource.


Dear __________:

I am so sorry to hear what happened. That must feel so degrading and devastating after all you have accomplished in your life both professionally and personally. I would encourage you not to turn away from that pain but to “see” it, spend some time processing it and then stand up and say goodbye to it. You might even write down what you are feeling after you have witnessed it.


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Why You're Failing at Embracing Your Success

If you ask the average person what they are most afraid of they will likely tell you something regarding failure – “I’ll make a mistake and embarrass myself.” “I won’t get picked.” “I will not pass the test.” “I will mess up and get fired.” “They won’t like me.”

Could You be Afraid of Success? 

As humans we are wired to protect ourselves from danger with a negativity bias. This is how we have survived as a species. We are always scouting for threat. Except today it is not likely that a Mammoth will trample us so this fight-or-flight bias often does not serve us well. And sometimes the threat we fear isn’t even failure. Sometimes it can actually be the unknown consequences of success.

ARGHHH you say.

Not you.

You can’t wait for the Holy Grail of career success, romance, a thin waste, a beach house, or if you live in Pittsburgh – two sunny days in a row to arrive. Stay with me...

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From Welfare to CEO - How to Retire the Story You Tell Yourself

As a coach, mother, wife, friend, leader I am struck by how often we interpret events in our lives a certain way then play to those stories until they become a self-fulfilling prophecy. This can be good if the story is empowering and positive. All too often it is not. It’s as if we get sucked helplessly into someone else’s story that flips quickly to the last page where the ending reads the same for us every time – disappointment.

Several years back I was a stay-at-home mom with four children under seven-years-old living the country club life on the surface but was in an unpalatable marriage. I filed for divorce as a leap of faith and six months later the children and I were on welfare, food stamps and medical assistance, homeless, and without an automobile. I did the big, “Why me?” I kept waiting for justice that doesn’t likely come when you represent yourself in court. I was certain my children would never go to college and I would be considered...

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