The Dos and Don’ts of Executive Presence When the Pressure is On

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...

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Self-Awareness Building Questions to Answer Before the Interview

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. 

Self-Awareness Building Questions to Answer Before the Interview 

  1. Do you understand the purpose of the business for which you are interviewing? Study it on their web site. Ask people who know the organization questions about the culture. Be able to describe what your impression is and ask questions about it. Say it out loud.
  2. Why are you passionate about the company mission? How do your values align with the company’s values? Say this out loud.
  3. Have you defined your transferable skills - click here for free training on Transferable Skills and other ways to advance in your career)- from your education and experience that can be applied to this position? Can you recite them out loud?
  4. What signature strength do you...
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Five Ways to Establish a Strong Leadership Brand

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. 

  1. Your Aspiration: List three things you want to be known for.   

If you aren’t sure, imagine you were giving your retirement speech. Looking back, what would you comment on as your most fulfilling accomplishments? 

  1. Their Perception: What do you suppose your colleagues would say about you now? Be honest. 

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? 

  1. Your Reality: Ask five people you work closely with how they would describe you at work.

Send an email to five unbiased people with whom you have worked over the last year. Tell them you are working on your leadership...

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Holiday Weekend Aha Moment

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...

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The Five Biggest Mistakes People Make When Looking for a New Job

  1. They apply for jobs online with mass production speed, using the same resume. 

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.     

  1. They limit their search to the same industry and same size company....
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Three Ways to Manage Up When You Have a Bad Boss

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 

  1. Manage Yourself 

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...

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8 Tips for When You Fear Age Bias in the Workplace

I see a trend in the American workforce and as a coach struggle with how to make sense of it. This week alone one of my clients was terminated, one was put on a 90-day Performance Improvement Plan that is likely to end in termination, and another had his compensation decreased by $100,000. I find it no accident that the ages of these three people respectfully are 56, 57 and 61.

In many ways, our culture does not value the seasoned wisdom of decades of experience or appreciate the dedication of years of service. Companies see that they can replace “aging” employees with younger people they can pay less. It’s as if they feel “younger” energy will bring more innovation and greater results at a lower cost. They feel the aging employee’s mindset is outdated and that they can’t keep up with technology. That is just plain and simply — Age Bias — and short-sighted.

Employees see this coming. Organizations send people they have...

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Eight Signs You Have Reached the Glass Ceiling

I receive a lot of inquiries from leaders who don’t understand why they haven’t advanced in their careers. Often, they don’t realize the magnitude of being in a stagnant position nor have they interpreted the important signals that have come their way. Once they agree that the following scenarios have occurred it becomes apparent that they may have been identified as “not executive material” and that a strategy is needed to ascend the plateau.

Eight Signs You Have Reached the Glass Ceiling

1. You’ve been told they will look outside the organization to fill the position you want.

This is code for “We don’t have anyone internally of whom we think highly enough to mentor or put in the position.” Unless the opening is for an executive management position or a new skill specific role, this also speaks to the company’s lack of leadership development as an organization. Ask what specific qualities they are looking for in a capable...

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Top Questions You Ask on the Interview to Raise Eyebrows

Job interviews are laced with questions that give the interviewer the opportunity to get to know a) if you will be an asset to the company and b) if you will fit into the company culture. As a prospective hire, use the interview as an opportunity for YOU to ask questions that will not only show how your character aligns with the company mission but, shows the interview team that you care about their long-term strategy and are already thinking of how you will align with it to ease the pain that keeps them up at night.

Talent acquisition specialists have as many as 80 or more resumes for each position and may not know enough about a specific role to understand your transferable skills. They must streamline the interview process of find top talent to forward to hiring managers and look for reasons to eliminate as many borderline candidates as possible. Mix speaking and listening 50/50. Your main goal is to put down all the red flags. Seek to interview with the hiring manager as often...

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How do I move up in my career?

Uncategorized May 15, 2018

People ask me all the time, “How do I move up at my company? What will make me stand out?” 

The simplest answer is this >>> Anticipate and present options. 

Your boss is busy. Busy people like to make decisions, not create options. 

Anticipate what will bring value or address a problem you see on the horizon. Research a few options and most importantly PUT THEM ON PAPER. Present the options document in person to your boss. Bosses are good at making the right choice. They’ll notice that you can pinpoint opportunity, plan and measure results. 

So, the question of the day becomes, “Bossperson, you said you wanted to have more participation at (X) this year and here are three options I researched. (Present options document.) Which do you like best and what feedback can you give me?”

Trust me - you’ll be noticed. 

Check out my video where I walk you through how to get a new job or promotion >>> Three Ways...

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