Why Sometimes You Feel Small

Judgment is never helpful. It makes us artificially feel big when in fact it is a covering for feeling small. Life isn’t binary. There is a lot of grey between black and white. When we can be still enough to be aware of the grey we can honor the emotion that needs to be released so that we may see the clearing that calls us. Everyone is not called to the same path. The world is big. We can allow for lots of paths. We just have to be willing to walk our path alone. That’s self-acceptance. That’s knowing that we’re always evolving and learning. That’s being satisfied. That’s peace. 

We aren’t victims of our lives, we are conductors. 

We need reminders to help us stay on our path. Mindful routines do this. Each morning I do yoga, drink a slow glass of water, meditate, set three daily goals and set a daily intention. These routines take less than 30 minutes and help me start my day fresh, aware and totally focused on how I choose to...

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Managing Staff in Today's Culture

Every office is struggling with hiring and employee retention. I read and study it with fascination. The Industrial Age left employees with few options and they stayed because it was safe. The Information Age inspired a standard of living that employees aspired to and climbing the corporate ladder was what kept people motivated. After the economic crash of 2008 the Social Age emerged where people want quality of life because the economy and jobs are too unforgiving and unstable. We have to adapt because creating cultures that play to past Age dynamics are not working. 

Create an environment where employees have an opportunity to learn, grow, expand, explore. Options are abundant for employees. Contracts and incentives to stay don’t work. Don’t expect their loyalty or that they need you because your company is the biggest, or that the safety of their secure job will keep them. They’ll leave for a better opportunity to challenge themselves. You must be their...

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When People Around You Are Quiet Quitting

How many of you have seen this? You work in a culture where mediocrity is the norm. Where there is no incentive to be more dedicated because the underperformers are allowed to do the minimum. Where much is expected and there is little appreciation or reward.

There is a term for people who want to do the minimum of what is expected and nothing more. "Quite Quitting." I've seen this term debated and justified many times. Some cultures are so toxic that people quiet quit just to maintain their sanity. Other people become so disgruntled with their boss, having been passed over for promotion, an unfair distribution of work, or some other practice that they become tired, burned out and angry. Quiet quitting is intentional and becomes a survival mechanism.

My take on it is this - We don't get chosen for employment. We choose employers. We apply, interview and accept a position. We aren't entitled to work anywhere. We choose to. If we aren't happy there we can choose to have a...

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Two Phrases to Use When Giving Your Boss Negative Feedback, According to a CEO and Executive Coach

     Your boss is driving you crazy. You feel as if they don’t understand what it’s like to actually do the work. They aren’t considering the consequences of their words or decisions. They play the political game too often to be trusted. And their vision is self-serving or flawed.

     Collaborative teams where character rich colleagues work in alignment with servant leader bosses are ideal but not often the case. Everyone has an ego and bad bosses usually have the biggest.

     Managing the dance with ego is essential at work and in life. There are two egos in a boss/direct report relationship – theirs and yours. You want to anticipate theirs and regulate your own. This requires subduing your need to be right. You don’t need to be right, just get it right.

     Negative feedback is a misnomer in todays’ work environment. The purpose of feedback at work is to help a...

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It's Cost You Too Much Already to Stay Stuck

You’re a leader in a high performing role but deep down you understand that emotional intelligence and clarity are critical to your success. You’ve started to doubt yourself. You feel you don’t have a clear career path and feel you need more executive presence for greater influence and efficacy.

You’ve noticed your relationships are frayed, you’re resentful, you’re not sleeping well and other healthy habits have gone by the wayside too. 

Here is what I know to be true:

  •   When you have the humility to see yourself honesty you free yourself to be a more powerful leader.
  •   When you stop focusing on being right and start focusing on getting it right you take your leadership to a whole new level.
  •   The path you seek is directly in front of you. When you push aside the doubt, cynicism, bureaucracy and personal agendas so you can see it clearly.
  •   Sitting back and waiting for others to notice your value is like sitting back and...
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When You Think It's Your Age

Everyday I see something posted regarding a new Diversity-Equity-Inclusion officer hired, a new DEI initiative, a DEI role posted. Rarely, if ever, do I see any content related to age discrimination. It’s hardly ever discussed, neglected from many DEI trainings and is a huge problem. I know this because of the number of clients I have who experience this. It’s the largest segment of my executive coaching practice. 

DEI Officers: When you omit this as a priority from your programs you undercut your effectiveness because you lose buyin from this audience who start noticing ageism in their 40s. They are sitting there, but not buying in. No other group of constituents is larger or better posed to help you advance change than those from 40 to 67. 

Everyone Else: You may not think a lot about discrimination because it doesn’t effect you. Don’t discriminate at any level because it’s wrong and demonstrates your lack of compassion, intelligence and...

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TRANSCRIPT The Still Space Podcast Episode #3 - The Three Things

TRANSCRIPT Episode #3 The Three Things

The audio podcast can be heard here: https://www.maryleegannon.com/podcasts/the-still-space-podcast/episodes/2147754071 You can subscribe there as well.

The Three Things

    I used to think that being good at something and working hard was all it took to succeed. I taught myself a lot of skills, many at which I was a rock star. I rose quickly in the corporate world. By most measures I was a success. But it didn’t feel that way. No matter how many president or executive director roles I had I never really felt satisfied. I felt like I was practicing the lead role as an understudy and that any day the real star would show up and steal it away. Being divorced only made it worse. So, I put my head down and just kept working harder and gaining more for corporate America. The only thing I achieved for myself was exhaustion.

     That’s when I started observing people who truly understood peace. I...

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This is Not Self Care

     I used to think self-care was my bubble bath or reading my self-help books after a crisis moment. While these provided a breath of fresh air they weren’t helping me to deal with raw emotions in the moment.

     Do you see self-care as after-care? Do you wait until the let-down, crisis, doubt sets in and then try to play catch-up to snap you out of feeling inadequate and question why this pattern keeps happening to you?

     You deserve better. And only you can give that to yourself.

     It’s freeing to be able to see the hurt coming, slow down, and be still. Still. Understand that things come and go. Emotions come and go. The important thing is to accept them all. Nod at them. Embrace them all - not turn away in fear. Then you can choose to do with them what you want verses being controlled by them.

     Fear will consume you to the point of convincing you that you...

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The Regret of Starting Over

This is so important. Often we dread starting over because of regret. We beat ourselves up for being in a place we dread. We become risk averse so as not to repeat regret. We wonder if we might even deserve to be in a bad place and if it will ever change. 

Regret is ok. We learn from it. Just don’t stay there too long. 

I had to start over with four children under seven-years-old in the middle of a difficult divorce. We had gone from the country club life to public assistance, homelessness, and no automobile. I believed life would never be fair because of how we had ended up. I started to believe this was personal - like there was something wrong with me and that it was permanent. 

The truth is nobody said life is fair. It that we’re true the lion wouldn’t eat you because you didn’t eat him. I worked very hard in survival mode and rose quickly to the C-suite. I was grateful. But I was detached and unhappy. I had lost touch with what fun is and...

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It's Their Fault

Reflecting on what I’ve learned from the clients I have the privilege to work with. Human behavior has always fascinated me. I’ve studied it for years. It’s amazing how we can repeat patterns over and over and don’t see the regularity of them as we continue to victimize ourselves by externalizing the origin of our unrest. 

“It’s their fault.” “This is so unfair.” “Why does this always happen to me?” “Only I get treated this way.” “This is never going to change.” 

Strong people who are uncomfortable enough with the unrest of failing relationships, lack of career advancement, poor sleep and health habits and frustration with a stagnant life commit to do something about it. 

But if that commitment isn’t a look inside themselves they’re just busying themselves with change for the sake of change on the treadmill to nowhere. Then when nothing changes not only are they...

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