I'd Rather Be Happy Then RIght

If I learned anything this week it’s that we must cease our need to be right and then listen more than we speak. People want to be happy more than they need to be right. Though often they don’t know it. Be the “rent-an-adult.”

Be the leader who can set ego aside and view the situation from a third party perspective. Winning is not the goal if it’s at the expense of your or another person’s self-esteem. Being right is not sustainable if someone else has to be wrong.

That doesn’t mean to suggest that trying to reason with the unreasonable will build alignment - that arguing with fools will get you anywhere. Sometimes we need to walk away and let the masses isolate them. The pain of staying the same must be worse than the pain of change. The biggest fools end up in a diminishing group and ultimately alone. That’s pain enough.

Ask yourself this question before you speak: “Does what I’m about to say advance collaboration or...

Continue Reading...

Vacation Please

We work hard all year then put pressure on ourselves for the perfect vacation. The concept of vacation is out of balance with an integrated life. This image exemplifies how I live my life. It’s always served me well. I don’t have a bucket list. I do what I want now. I make time, space and energy for what resonates with me and the people I care about. It requires focus and commitment. It requires setting priorities. It requires saying no to things that don’t resonate with my priorities and yes to things that scare me or that I don’t yet know how to do. But perfection is not my goal because I’m certainly not perfect at anything I do or even good at some of the things I try. But I have fun, keep an open mind, laugh at myself, and that’s good enough. And I fiercely love the people around me. 

Because if life isn’t vacation then the other 51 weeks a year are what we are trying to get away from.

If you are not sure where you will be in a year...

Continue Reading...

Do You Have the Courage for This?

How often we feel negative emotions - despair, sadness, frustration, fear - and we don’t ask for help. It might be because we don’t know what we need or we think nobody will care. Yet we turn away from the discomfort instead of being curious about it. 

At work this shows up often as feeling overwhelmed and afraid. What if the next time you felt overwhelmed you asked yourself, “What do I need right now?” 

Then instead of feeling alone and let down by others you said to those close to you, “I’m feeling (insert feeling.) Right now it would really help if I could count on you for (insert what you need from them.) It would make all the difference to me.” 

They may not deliver. But you’ve just moved closer to knowing what you need and that you deserve it.

For more executive presence tips here's a link to my new FREE eBook - 31 Executive Presence Practices for Leaders in the High Stakes Corporate World click...

Continue Reading...

This is Where Change Begins

No one can make you feel the way you won't allow yourself to feel. 

I can’t stress enough how this concept is where change begins. Fulfillment is not external. Yes, work on skillset and strategy. But you won’t see yourself at your full potential until you are ready to release your old mindsets that are only assumptions, name what you deserve, and fully accept it. Behave as if it is already happening. 

Yes, you deserve the promotion, relationship, love and new job. Discard the trap your thoughts have set to keep you safe and free from pain. They are an illusion that keep you from calculated risks. Be vulnerable because that is innocent and fresh. It draws people to you. It also draws opportunity. 

Let go of perfectionism and expectations that only leave you with disappointment. You will grow from the experience either way. Goals are not expectations. They are metrics. Expectations put your worth on the line if the goal is not met. Never helpful. 

...

Continue Reading...

When You Want to Re-enter the Workforce

If you've been out of the workforce a while and are trying to re-enter it here are a few strategies to keep in mind.

Organizations today are seeking professionals who are committed to excellence, mastery and are a good cultural fit. If you are a candidate who has been out of the workforce for any reason, here are a few recommendations to consider:

1. Don't bias yourself against yourself. If you are focused on how you are irrelevant because of not being in an active career role so will others. How have you kept your product/service knowledge up to date? What meetings have you or are you now attending? What groups or organizations are you active in? What news sources/professional association posts do you read regularly? What volunteer activities keep you current? List these things in your cover letter and resume.

2. How has your hiatus from full time employment been an opportunity for you? Have you been able to level set how to build healthy work/life integration? What mindset are you...

Continue Reading...

Culture Has Done This to You - Here's How to Undo It

Our culture imposes a sense of urgency that isn’t helpful to well-being. The internet is the worst culprit. Social media defines what we “should” look like. What we “should” feel like. What we “should” be doing. And what we “should” have. 

A sense of urgency is good in a crisis. Our lives are not a crisis. You already have everything you need to look, feel, do and have what you want. Your perspective is the key. Your looks are gorgeous when you feel they are. Your soul is fulfilled when your values are aligned with your actions. Your career is rewarding when you are leading in a way that resonates with your core. And the stuff you have will make sense when it is purposeful to your personal mission. 

May this year be the year you are ready to sail your boat out of the harbor and into a sea of opportunity, creativity and contentment.

If you don't know where you'll be by the end of the year you are already there. Don't...

Continue Reading...

People Fear Three Things

People fear three main things in life: pain, death and abandonment. The worst behavior I see is usually around abandonment. Knowledge is power. This intel means that if we can show people how we value them and that they belong they will feel lighter and more worthy. And they’ll behave like people who feel valued.   

Think how this applies to talking with employees, family members, customers, friends and just about everyone. Compassion is king in effectiveness - authentic compassion not put-on solicitousness. 

If you want more executive presence tips here's a link to the FREE eBook - 31 Executive Presence Practices for Leaders in the High Stakes Corporate World

If you are struggling with uncertainty and feel exhausted and ineffective watch my FREE Training on Three Ways to Move to the Next Level In Your Career Right Now to 1) identify the right role for you, 2) position your transferable skills and 3) create a career portfolio that sells you...

Continue Reading...

Hate

Can we please stop hating? Hate has become more normalized in our culture over the last several years and it is killing our compassion, culture, productivity and peace. It is also dividing us as a nation. For what? So someone can feel superior? How’s that working? I only see more anger and hate. 

Hate is not a sustainable solution to unrest. It is only an externalization of one’s own feelings of despair and unworthiness. So they keep hating as an escape from feeling trapped and powerless in their own self-hate. 

It takes a lot of humility in the midst of a heated exchange to remind the other person that you care about them. Just saying that helps to diffuse the vehemence of the discussion. Imagine what would happen the next time you are in an argument at work if you said to the other person, "We are both angry. In spite of that I want you to know that I have your back. I want to come to a solution that serves both our goals."

Happy people don’t hurt one...

Continue Reading...

Replace "Striving:" With This for Executive Presence

Recently, I heard a podcast by a very successful businessman who said he grew up poor, never got over the need to strive for better and he likes that because he thinks that’s the key to his success. Additionally he also never feels satisfied and is ok with that. This made me sad for him - very successful yet ok with not being fulfilled. Later in the podcast he talked of being impatient with himself and staff. Hmm. 

Striving is never the goal. Success is not the measure. Mastery is the goal and the measure. It’s internal - not determined by anything outside your control. 

Shallow wins are where you hit a goal, high five everyone and then move right on to the next goal because you fear failure and rejection are around the next corner if you don’t. Your team feels they are just tools in your success and ends up resenting you. Enjoy deep wins where you sit back and celebrate the difference made for the good of all. Identify every person's part in the...

Continue Reading...

You Owe Me for the Years Not the Minutes

Some days I sit in my office and think how easy my job is until I see someone else make a decision or take action that I know is ill advised and will have negative results. Then I remember the countless 12-hour days and weekends I put in to have the breadth of perspective I’ve learned. I remember the negative results I experienced when I didn’t know better. And I think about the really stressful days in my work that try my patience and bring me sleepless nights. 

Your time is valuable. This is why I don’t hire lawyers, accountants or consultants who are not mavens at what they do because they make you pay for their learning curve. 

Be an expert. Work for a company that values your expertise.

If you want more executive presence and career planning tips here’s 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 already there. 

Your coach,

Mary Lee

P.S. Feel free to forward...

Continue Reading...
Close

50% Complete

Sign up for the Executive Coaching e-Newsletter