I learned this lesson as a new manager. I used to think if everyone worked like I did there’d be no problems at work. How wrong I was.
I learned along the way that my direct reports aren’t in my head. They don’t know my motivation either. When I started to ask more for their opinions and give them more information on my thought processes and strategies - the “Why?” behind what we were doing they felt more included and part of the process.
People are inspired by different motivations. They work, play and think differently. Our job as leaders is not to tell them what to do and expect them to do it our way. It is to role model excellence, support them, get out of their way and hold them accountable.
If you fear age bias or sense that you are too old to compete in the workplace here is the link to a free plan to help differentiate your value proposition. You are NOT too old. You just need to position your value proposition. Learn how with...
At work we often measure our self-esteem by what our boss or colleagues think of us. This is based on two flawed assumptions.
1.) You think you know what they think but you don’t. How they perceive you is through their own lens not yours. That lens may hold bias. You will never know how they truly feel. Even if you ask them they will filter their response through their interpretation of their feelings. Your job is not to change their mind. Your job is to be effective.
2.) You think your value is measured by their behavior toward you. Of course we all want to be liked and appreciated. Good leaders know how to reinforce their teams with positive feedback and coaching moments. But your value is measured by your effectiveness not your efforts so focus on whether or not you are effective and allow that to be your gauge.
The operative phrase here is “be effective.” If you focus on that your self worth will grow. You’ll build trust and favor by...
I really like the line, “Are you operating as an emotion scientist or a judge.” Emotion scientists observe their and other people’s emotions from a third party perspective and get curious about what’s behind them. Judges judge to get away from the discomfort of feeling uncomfortable.
Scientists process and name the emotion to release it. Judges turn and run from it with it nipping at their heels forever. Scientists have executive presence. Judges get stereotyped as difficult, emotional and ineffective.
There’s always a choice. One is harder and requires looking inward with humility and curiosity. One is easier and demands externalization with blame that results in underlying shame.
Practice being the scientist. It makes life and leadership far easier in the long run.
If you want to create your career by design here is a link to my FREE Career and Life Planning Tool. If you don't know where you'll be at the end of the year you are...
Clients often ask me how they can become a better leader. I tell them this: Anticipate. Know your industry - what is coming 2 -5-10 years down the road. Know your products and services - their uniqueness and vulnerabilities. Know your end user - their needs and wants. Know your team - their strengths, opinions and what they need from you.
Healthcare is a reactive not proactive industry. Most say it is more profitable that way. That is shortsighted. People are living longer. Chronic disease has become more difficult and costly to manage. The emotional and financial suffering from COVID-19 could have been minimized if we'd been prepared.
This quote from a recent Harvard Business Review article by Pete Schultz speaks truth. "Imagine how many lives we could have saved, how much economic distress we could have mitigated, if, at the onset of Covid-19, we had one or more safe drugs that were highly potent against coronaviruses and could be immediately advanced into human trials. Investing...
We personalize other people’s behavior in an effort to guard against their wrath. This isn’t helpful. Your colleague’s frustration, anger, condescension or dismissiveness might be vented at you but is not rooted in you. There is nothing wrong with you because someone treats you poorly. Good people know how to communicate without making you feel small.
Try asking them this: “If we were to have a better working relationship what would that look like?” This forces them to articulate action not victimization.
Then don’t speak or interrupt. Say only, “Tell me more about that.”
Let them feel heard. DON’T defend yourself - just repeat back what you heard. In there words will be things they are likely wrong about. But let them be validated.
Ask them if they want a better working relationship with you. This is important because if they say “yes,” which they likely will, now they’ve made a...
Short and sweet today because enough said in a few words.
I first saw this image twenty five years ago when my four children and I were homeless, on public assistance and without an automobile. I never forgot it. If I were on this poster today it would say, “Mary Lee Gannon, corporate CEO of a $24 million organization and executive coach, was told by her ex-husband, “You’ll never make it on your own.”
If you want more executive presence tips here’s a link to my FREE report: 31 Success Practices for Leaders in the High Stakes Corporate World
P.S. Feel free to forward this email to someone who could benefit from it. We are all walking down the same road in life looking for a hand to hold. Sometimes we must be the hand that reaches out.
Mary Lee Gannon, ACC, CAE is an executive coach and 19-year corporate CEO who helps leaders have more effective careers, happier lives and...
Years ago I read a book called the Seven Deadly Sins and agreed that the first among them was the most deadly - Pride. The greater our ego, the greater our pride, the lesser our humility and the greater propensity we have for failure. The people you have the most difficulty with have far greater difficulty with their own egos, need to be heard, desire to be recognized and rush for validation. Don't let that person be you.
The Seven Deadly Sins of Management
This week I had to give a presentation at work not unlike others I’ve given throughout my career, yet I was nervous. Every time I thought about it my heart started to race and I got tense in my neck and shoulders. Public speaking is one of the leading causes for workplace fear. But I speak often so my nervousness didn’t make sense. As an executive coach I know not to turn away from fear but to bring it closer like you would a hurting child. That self-nurturing was hard in this instance. But I kept getting curious about what I was really afraid of.
When I could stand open and vulnerable without judging myself, I realized I had a lot of personal distractions this week that made me feel anxious and irritable. Just the day before I had argued with an online bank customer service representative who refused to cancel a credit card they had sent to my home for my deceased father. I kept trying to convince him that this was the bank’s problem and should not be my...
When I was a new manager I used to personalize why members of my team weren’t engaged. I made it about me. I was the reason they were under-performing.
I did everything in my power to re-engage them and when it didn’t work I then started to resent them for being disengaged. What I didn’t do was hold them firmly accountable to clear goals for fear of push-back and confrontation. I didn’t do my job as a manager and they became entitled.
When I set clear goals and began meeting with them regularly on their performance on those goals we began a dialogue around the challenges they were having and could role play alternative scenarios. The feedback depersonalized for me when I made it about their performance on the goals and not their attitude versus my expectations. Very objective. Them against the goal, policy, company value - not me.
Wishing you the power of regular feedback on clearly defined goals today.
Listen to a recent...
My husband and I were sitting alone on the beach of our home on Hilton Head Island last week on Christmas eve. COVID had altered the travel plans of our six children and their families. We had decided if we were going to be alone for Christmas we'd be in a place we love. We sat there talking about how COVID has changed so much for everyone this year. I deliberately got up from my chair and snapped this photo as my commitment to moving forward with a fresh perspective. Hope is on the horizon. Though hope is not a strategy, it reminds me that it is time to plan.
Would you take a trip without a map? Of course not. So why do we think we can create a New Year’s resolution and get there just because we want to? The reason most resolutions fail is because they are simply notions centered on “getting” something and not grounded in your values - the root of what drives you. They aren’t authentic and aligned with your core. ...
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