As an executive coach I see three main challenges repeatedly surface for leaders seeking to better their careers, teams and relationships.
When things aren’t going well people get stressed and think that if they just try harder the situation will get better. They focus on one size-fits-all strategies such as – work more hours, hold more meetings, take a course, call a recruiter, network more, get another degree, put in for another promotion, change for the sake of change, read more self-help or business books. They think things will improve because of their fierce dedication when in fact doing more of the same just brings more disappointment, let down from unmet expectations, stress, lack of confidence and makes them feel exhausted on the treadmill to nowhere. They seek “more” instead of less. They can’t slow down enough to be vulnerable – to risk searching inside themselves where the answers always lie. So...
Last summer my father passed away. It was a difficult time for me as I know it is for any of you who have a dying parent or who have lost a loved one. I did a lot of journaling during that time and I share the passage below with you in hope that it inspires you to embrace the difficult feelings of grief. My wish is that you may process and won the feelings you turn away from - that you allow them to flow through you - not get struck inside you and fester. That is how we have freedom. Namaste.
Last night I held a hand for the first time. Indeed throughout my life I have held many hands - extending myself to help, reaching for comfort, joining in an act of love. But last night I held the hand of a man who knows he is dying and it felt like we were the only two people in the world.
My father is the epitome of grace, leadership, and strength. At the end of his life all of these qualities still stand in spite of a failing body. I coach and train on mindfulness, the...
Recently I had the honor of attending a mindfulness presentation and meditation session by Buddhist Monk Dr. Barry Karzin, physician for The Dalai Lama, sponsored by UPMC in celebration of Nurses Week.
He reminded us that one of the kindest things we can do for someone we are serving, no matter what the industry, is to ask them, “What’s the most important thing I can do for you today?”
There is no word in the Tibetan language or in Buddhism for “guilt” because when we have healthy confidence no one is ever condescended to. There is no putting down - especially of one’s self - only compassion. Compassion is the desire and action to alleviate suffering. Loving others, especially when their behavior makes it difficult, helps us to be compassionate.
We all want to be happy. No one wants to hurt.
P.S. Money replenishes itself. Time does not. Click here to request a call with me and let's talk about your...
The Seven Deadly Sins is a group of vices within religious teachings that are known as excessive versions of one's natural faculties. Though identified by desert fathers in the third century as passions one needed to overcome, these shortcomings play out today in the workforce. And they can make you pretty scary to deal with.
When you are in that high-stakes meeting, sales presentation, interaction, or conflict your executive presence is both emotional and physiological. Your thoughts race and your heart rate escalates. People watch you. How do you execute when the pressure is on?
Confidence and self-esteem are two different things. Both are essential for executive presence. Confidence is being capable, but that isn’t enough. Self-esteem is feeling worthy – that you belong. We build both intentionally by challenging ourselves and regulating our emotions in the moment. That means you know the goal but focus on being your best without pre-occupation with your performance. Slow down your breathing and move your focus from anxious thoughts to following your breath. That clearing allows you to observe your behavior before emotions move you into a fight-or-flight mentality.
A prime athlete trains to win. When the game is played she isn’t focused on the score, just...
Before you spend time preparing to answer difficult interview questions here are some questions to ask yourself. If you can answer these questions you will better be able to position your signature strengths in alignment with the company’s goals.
Create a five-column matrix and fill in the blanks with responses to the following points. When we have humility to mindfully accept the truth of our situation on paper, it gives us a tangible and actionable plan to execute and track.
If you aren’t sure, imagine you were giving your retirement speech. Looking back, what would you comment on as your most fulfilling accomplishments?
Ask yourself this: What would be said about you at your funeral by 1) a friend 2) a family member and 3) a work colleague? What would those who don’t care for you say?
Send an email to five unbiased people with whom you have worked over the last year. Tell them you are working on your leadership...
This past holiday weekend held a moment where I realized that with all we work so hard to achieve and how we strive for perfect experiences that the greatest feelings in life come when your hair is down and no one is watching. Fortunately for me my daughter was watching and captured this one with my grandson. Love on the Chesapeake.
With work, with family and with just about any situation we can get stuck projecting what we want the situation to be like to suit our needs. I used to do this a lot with family get togethers. As leaders we repeat this blind habit because we think our almighty discernment is always necessary. My life is so much more peaceful and rewarding when I don't have to direct it like a movie but when I can watch it like entertainment. Believe me - there are plenty of comical moments. When I think back to how often I wanted things to be on my terms and how really silly I was to think I could actually make that happen it makes me chuckle. Insight is...
Slow down. Recruiters and talent acquisition professionals get an overwhelming number of applicants for each open position and must eliminate most of them. Your resume only stands out from the slush pile as a keeper when the hiring manager can 1) tell you understand the mission and goals of their organization, 2) have aligned your past experience with the role at hand and 3) have positioned at least one distinct “It-Factor” that intrigues them. Fashion your resume with the detail of a fine tailor. Reference organizational qualities you’ve learned from the website. Site news on the company or industry that you’ve researched online. Position internal contacts you’ve developed on LinkedIn and elsewhere as advocates to give you insight into the culture and to open a door for you.
One of the tests of being a leader is knowing how to navigate a boss who doesn’t score highly as a leader him/herself.
Mapping a Course to Manage a Difficult Boss
Start from the perspective that the disconnect might be a miscommunication. “I want to make sure I understand what you need from me.” Then clarify.
If you internalize a bad boss’s anger, insecurity or lack of skill you could allow your weaknesses to show instead of your strengths to shine. Their lack of confidence, disorganization or lack of inclusiveness is about them. Not you. Don’t mirror their insecurity. Be self-aware. Who are you when under fire? How do you demonstrate grace and grit – executive presence? If your work life were a movie who would play you and what would he/she do in your situation?
Be a mindful third-party observer of your own thoughts and feelings. Ask yourself what is really going on with you? What are you afraid...