Here's a Practice to Have the Certainty Essential for You 

I see a lot of my corporate executive coaching clients struggle with the balance of certainty and humility as a leader. They want to have the presence of a strong leader yet they don’t want to appear arrogant or they have some self-doubt. Too often they dial back their executive presence as well as their voice. Here is a good strategy.

1. Listen intently to everything being said - from the 30,000 feet perspective not the 3 feet view.

2. Before you speak take a deep breath.

3. Ask a question before you voice an opinion. “Can please you clarify...?” “Help me understand....”

4. Make a declarative statement that is unarguable and hasn’t been expressed - no uptalk at the end. “What I’ve heard you say is (X)..... I’m thinking we could......”

In the end the pause, the deep breath and the asking of questions gives you a moment to observe yourself in real time so that you may be deliberate not sporadic or guarded.

Your coach,

Mary...

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I had to layoff four people in the first 30 days

I had to layoff four people in the first 30 days of one of my roles as a CEO. It was very difficult.

As a leader you most certainly will have to make a difficult decision that will affect someone’s life if you haven’t already. When we can lean in to the difficult feeling this brings us and deal with them first, we can better bring compassion to the situation and others. These decisions can leave us feeling hurtful, frustrated, too practical, disliked and more. Name the feelings. Being comfortable with our own discomfort is a good place to start.

Open communication with others is the first step to building bridges not road blocks. I met with each person in the office and asked very specific questions about what they thought the direction of the office should be, what our strengths and weaknesses were and what they would do if they were me.

They saw the layoffs coming. I placed as many people elsewhere as I could and promised those left behind that we would eliminate...

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Impossible is Nothing

If I believed anyone who told me it was impossible to go from being a single mother of four children under seven-years-old on welfare to getting hired as a CEO it might have dragged me down. So I didn’t ask anybody if they thought I'd succeed. I just went about my work and goals as if I could not fail.

Over the last 20 years I have led organization with up to $26 million in assets. I increased trade show attendance 150% my first year as executive director of a trade association. I led a campaign to add a patient pavilion and healing garden when people said, “That will never happen.” And I led a $10.4 million capital campaign for a heart center, new ER and Women’s and Infants' Center on the heels of the largest hospital bankruptcy in U.S. history.

“Impossible” is just a lofty word thrown around by people who play it safe. It is a notion to believe that just because something isn’t mainstream or the norm it cannot be done. More significantly -...

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Warm is the New Cool

MINDFUL OF SELF AND OTHERS - OUCH!!!! Have you ever gotten off the phone with someone who called to ask you for help and felt like you'd just been worked over? Have you ever found yourself thinking, "There is something about that person I do not like or trust?" Trust your gut. Your head is too analytical and your heart is too emotional.

This happened to me yesterday when a person called me to help them regarding a positon I happen to know a lot about. This person was referred to me by a friend. It was for free advice. I agreed because of my work relationship with the other party. I was annoyed and put an end to what felt like an interview quickly after first turning the 'interview' on this person - to help this person realize the rudeness of the behavior. It didn't work. No self-awareness.

Don't doubt yourself. Believe in your instinct. Instinct has kept us alive as a species for centuries. If a perspective is that visceral it is trying to tell you something. Listen.

Note to Self -...

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Your Resilience is Not Just Your Ability to Bounce Back

RESILIENCE is not just bouncing back after a difficult challenge; it is the speed at which we bounce back.

I watch clients struggle with things that have been ongoing or happened years ago. We carry with us the burdens we don’t know how to release. We can’t release something we don’t want to face and own.

Maybe what's happening was not at all your doing. But we own that we might be taking it personally or blaming it away. Own the feeling. It hurts.

Feeling the hurt is the first step of letting go. Don’t armor up against it. Sit with the discomfort and it will flow through you. If you turn away it will just keep chasing you down. Release it once you've processed it. And use it as a stepping stone.

Don't let it hold back your leadership, vibrancy and executive presence any longer.

Mary Lee Gannon, ACC, CAE is an executive coach who helps leaders get off the treadmill to nowhere with confidence, candor and calm so they can be more effective leaders and have...

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Mary Lee's Advice on Big Life and Career Reinvention: DISCOVER

You learned about statistics, cash flow, engagement, profit margins and productivity in college and business school. But you didn’t learn the tenets of how to uplevel your career or presence for higher performance and better income. It starts with the personal transformation of your mindset. If you are at a crossroads and ready to make a shift in your life here are eight steps that you can use right now to find clarity and disarm doubt.

Eight Discovery Steps to Make a Mindset Shift Right Now 

D – Decide to Change. Tell people. Write it down. Be self-aware without judgment. Set deadlines to monitor your progress.

I – Investigate Yourself. What do you love to do? What do you observe in silence? What have you forgotten about your strengths?

S – Sit on Your Ego. Say nothing. Listen only. Forgive. Be kind to the unkind. They need it most.

C – Confront Your Head Trash. What fear is running your life? Face your fear. Talk to it. This...

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Your Vision - Where to Start

Uncategorized Mar 21, 2018

People search their whole lives for what will make them happy – material goods, a spouse, a home, vacations, freedom, better health, etc. Usually they frame happiness in the caveat of “more.”  If only I were a little more thin, more healthy, more rich, had more time, more friends, etc. “More” is not a qualifier for vision. You can’t ultimately end up in a fulfilling place if you cannot define what fulfills you. That's where creating your vision of what you want makes a difference.

When you craft your vision make it the best, richest, juiciest, scariest vision you can imagine!  Do NOT take into consideration what you perceive today to be possible. I work diligently with my clients to define the crispness of their vision and a vision statement because that clarity is crucial for results. When creating your vision only consider your ideal dream – your friends, your home, your family, your career, your business, your creative outlets,...

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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.

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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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