I saw this license plate in front of me at a traffic light this morning while I was stopped in front of a church, talking on the phone with my daughter who is experiencing “mean girl” behavior at work. I decided it was a sign and sent her the photo. (Also, it's not often that we see a car from North Dakota in Pittsburgh.)
Happy people don’t hurt one another. Never lose your executive presence and get emotional with hateful people. They hate themselves far more than they hate you. Their internal barometer is far more angry than you could ever feel toward them. Don’t become them. Don’t defend against them. You’ll only look small. Smile and say, “Help me understand what you mean by that” as you give yourself space to remember that you’ve got this.
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
As you head into the Thanksgiving holiday please remember to take care of yourself. We often set expectations for holidays that set us up for disappointment. Or we’re sad about who won’t be there. Or we tire ourselves striving for perfection making a meal that gets eaten in 30 minutes.
Thanksgiving is a time when we appreciate all that we already have and already are - a sweet kiss to a child that lives out of town, a laugh shared over a family memory, a favorite smell, the touch of a hand that says, “I’m here and I love you.”
Remember to see people as individuals and not part of a scene you’ve prescribed in your head. Don’t let the holiday go by where you’ve not been fully present for at least one individual precious moment with each and every loved one, including your pet. And sometimes just pause, take a deep breath and say to yourself, “I am grateful to feel good!”
All of our six children will be home...
At first I didn't believe this graphic. Be careful how you interpret your responsibility for an unhappy person’s environment. I do believe as leaders we have to nurture our team culture and provide a safe place for mistakes to happen without shame. I believe we must encourage and be accepting. But when someone is stuck and their behavior is disrespectful and uncalled for boundaries are necessary. We don’t own or placate someone else’s bad behavior or it just enables more bad behavior. If we constantly need to rescue someone from themselves by making excuses for them or declaring that others do the same and cater to them we’ll be rescuing and enabling for a very long time. And the person being rescued’s behavior will only get worse as will their unhappiness.
It’s not our job to fix the flower. It’s our job to create boundaries around what we will and will not allow for ourselves. We can’t change them. Only our own behavior. That...
When I made my journey from welfare to CEO four succinct guideposts became crucial to my transformation. Malcom Gladwell said that to master anything you must do it 10,000 hours. The only problem with that is that if you are doing something that doesn’t work – you’ve just become proficient at being stuck.
Guidepost #1: Seek Your Childhood Innocence.
If we go through our lives expecting one challenge after another, that’s what shows up – life becomes a problem to solve instead of being fun like when you were a child and could play outside all night long, catching fireflies and naming stars. We start to adopt messages from experience as truth when they are nothing but interpretations. Soon life is merely solving one challenging interpretation after another. I know this well because I mastered it with what seemed like 10,000 hours.
I was a stay-at-home mother with four children under seven-years-old living what looked on the outside...
You know that head trash that keeps you up at night - I’ll never find the right job - I’m getting old - He doesn’t like me - I am stressed from work - She doesn’t love me - I’m not smart enough? Self-inquiry questions start the journey to clear a path through mind clutter for clarity:
Who am I?
What do I want?
What is my purpose?
How can I serve?
What am I grateful for?
This self-inquiry brings awareness of what is true to you - the open soul, free of assumptions and expectations.
You are not your thoughts, experiences, sensations. You are the observer of them - free of them whether positive or negative.
Don’t fake positive thinking. That is artificial. You’ve undoubtedly seen people trying too hard to be positive. “I can handle this. It will be fine,” when they really feel exhausted and defeated. Pretending only makes you more stressed. Admit and be curious about how you feel without attaching any future or...
In today’s hiring environment companies are screening not only for experience and attitude but for presence. Competency and grit are not enough. You must also have good internal and external self-awareness and self-regulation. In leadership positions that translates to executive presence.
Executive presence is a sense of being that indicate to others that you know what it takes to lead and be effective. It sends a commanding signal that you know how to harmonize your temperament, confidence, skillset and awareness to get the job done. You know when someone has it. And you know when they don’t. The people who have it are the ones other people look to first.
Can executive presence be developed? Yes - if you have a baseline of self-confidence and a willingness to find ease when dealing with the unpredictable situations at the executive level.
Know What Executive Presence Is
Qualities of Great Executive Presence:
Women often do two things at meetings:
Both decrease their value. High performing women and men with executive presence have keen self-awareness. They anticipate their emotions, become a third party observer of them and allow them to pass like clouds before the emotions show.
Tips for women at a meeting:
This was me - utterly exhausted as a homeless welfare single mom of four children under seven-years-old, putting on that everything was ok. I felt judged, tired, and inadequate at almost everything. I was edgy, unhappy and anxious that I wasn’t doing enough or being good enough.
Did I make time to take care of myself or remind myself that I am awesome as is with all my imperfections? No way. No time. I just kept surviving and wearing myself down while pretending I was superwoman. I wore busyness like a badge of honor.
As I look back now I see that this treadmill to nowhere left me not only stuck but exhausted. I already had everything I needed to go from food stamps to where I am today - CEO of a $24 million organization, a mom, employee, friend, leader and wife. I just needed to slow down enough to be gentle with myself. I needed to release my need to be perfect which had become a shield for shame. I began to accept that I deserved all that is good and quit...
Since my father died a year+ ago I have thought a lot about death - why are we here, my own mortality, suffering, how to maximize each day with meaning and connection. In the end I’ve realized that life is precious and the only thing we are guaranteed is this very moment. When I was early in my career I used to worry about what people thought. Now I try to pay more attention to my own actions and behaviors. That has built my confidence, and efficacy.
I guess for me the point of life is love. To love and to be loved. At work that means being a servant leader and to be revered. Not to achieve or get anything. When I stay in that perspective I feel what it is to live.
WIshing you a vibrant day today.
If you are ready to get off the treadmill to nowhere and have peace, confidence, executive presence, career advancement and high performance in the face of challenges, personal agendas, cynicism and bureaucracy request a free consultation call to see if coaching is a good...
Having gone from being a single parent of four children on welfare, food stamps and medical assistance, homeless and without an automobile to a CEO of a $24 million organization and married to a wonderful man I know a thing or two about evolving versus repeating old patterns. Both are hard.
The difference is that the with latter, the end of the story is familiar yet you deny the truth and feel like a victim when you get to the last page and already knew the ending. With the former you have no idea where you might go, it scares you to death because you don’t want to believe happiness is attainable yet sustainable for fear of being let down. Then you risk openness and release all the assumptions disguised as excuses you used to grasp onto. Here you realize you deserve all that is good and your tory keeps unfolding.
When we repeat old patterns we are stuck. Most achievers tackle being stuck by getting back on the treadmill to nowhere and working harder only to find that not...
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