How Honesty Saves Time and Builds Executive Presence

Jason’s boss is the new CEO of a company that has not met budget for two years. The organization is merging with two other organizations, making the culture guarded and tentative. Jason is afraid his position isn’t secure because the CEO continually questions his opinions and doesn’t affirm that he brings any value to the team. Additionally, the executive management team is posturing at their weekly meetings whereby one dominant personality is allowed to single him out with criticism outside of her authority. Jason is feeling judged by his boss and threatened by his peers. 

How we conduct ourselves in a tense situation is paramount to how we are viewed as a leader. Maintaining executive presence is extremely challenging when you feel as if you are negatively critiqued. Self-management is key. Being honest with yourself and others is the first tenet to presence. We must be vulnerable enough to accept our discomfort internally before we externalize it with...

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I Am Struggling

I am struggling with what we’ve been seeing in the world - the blatant lack of respect for fellow human beings. I’ve read everything I can on it, talked with close friends, ordered books that I think will help make sense of it all. It wasn’t until I stopped “seeking” answers and turned inward that I found what I was looking for. 

I got out my watercolors, sat down on my front porch and painted a favorite scene of Hilton Head Island from a photo I had taken   recently. In the solace of this mindful activity clarity began to emerge.

The world is full of scarred souls - souls who don’t know how to love because they’ve never been loved or feel they don’t deserve love. Love is the very basic of all emotions. Everything emanates from there. So if we can’t love, we can’t connect, be open, grow, be happy, feel liked, love others etc. When we are void of fulfilling emotions and don't turn inward to work on what needs...

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When I do Something in 30 Minutes It's Because of This

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. And if you are feeling age discrimination when your company should be putting your expertise to good use, this link to the strategies I share with my clients might help >>> 10 Tips When You Fear Age Bias 

If you are struggling with uncertainty and...

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Four Things You Can't Get Back

We all have regrets. It’s healthy to reflect on what we’d do differently. I certainly regret some things I’ve said and done as I was figuring out the art and science of parenting. I’m still figuring it out and my children are in their twenties and thirties. I regret how self doubt showed up in my behavior at work early in my career. I overreacted, withdrew and often blamed myself far more than was helpful.  

Corporations today value, promote and hire for self-awareness because it makes the employee coachable. The more self aware we become the more we can release assumptions that hold us back before we adopt them as mantras. “He’s never going to respect my work.” “I’m always the one left out.” “Every time I try harder the same thing ends up happening.” 

Notice the thread. “Never...” “Always...” “Every...” Absolutes are deadly to progress. If you hear yourself...

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Nine Lessons from the Corner Office

Ten years ago I began my role as President of a $25 million Hospital Foundation within an 85,000 employee organization. I went to a very nice employee appreciation lunch and was able to select a special gift of recognition from an array of items. 

Mostly, I am grateful for the opportunity I have to lead and serve alongside consummate professionals I respect and under board members who trust me and have challenged me to be the best leader I can be. 

I’ve earned a number of awards from various community and professional organizations for my leadership throughout my tenure here. But nothing has meant more to me than knowing that when I get up and come to work every day, I get the privilege to make the world a little better. That might mean providing a walker for an elderly gentleman or a hearing aid for a new mother. It might be paying rent for a patient with cancer, so she doesn’t get evicted due to lost wages while in treatment. It could be as big as a $4.5...

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A Fun Remote-Work COVID-19 Plan for You Today - Fill in the Blanks

You're at home working remotely and worried about getting Coronavirus, your income may decline, your investment portfolio is tanking and that retirement may be a mirage. Let's focus on what needs to go right not what is going wrong.

1. We need to get comfortable with uncertainty.

Difficult, yes. But think back to the last time you were uncertain - got laid off, moved to a new town, started school or a new job. How did you get through it? You'll get through this the same way.

We want to shrink back to the ways things were. We were comfortable there. Much of the predictability of our lives is gone. We are all grieving that loss. 

The sooner we accept that change is inevitable, uncomfortable and out of our control, the more resiliency we have to move forward.

2. Focus on the professional or personal development you've complained you've never have time for.

You're bored. You're as productive as you can be considering much of your work flow is controlled by a stagnant economy. So...

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COVID-19 and Your Staff Meetings

I work in a hospital setting where everyone is on site and the COVID-19 crisis has people worried. This week at my staff meeting in addition to insuring good social distance I opened it with, “This is a difficult time. Let's just stop for a minute and share how we’re feeling about what’s going on with us right now.” That moment of reflection allowed everyone to step back, take a breath and exhale all of the emotional churn that had built up.  

In this safe space I witnessed a human sigh of authenticity. There were tears. There was fear. There was frustration. And after all of the emotions were out, shared, and discussed there was compassion. People offered to help each other, solutions to personal concerns and shared meaning. We saw each other instead of just ourselves. Compassion was king.

What was even more amazing is that then we were able to get some innovative work done with total focus on a crisis management plan and how we’d work...

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How to Deal with Anger from Your Divorce

I spent a lot of years angry. Very angry. I was in a neglectful and abusive marriage as a stay-at-home mother of four children under seven-years-old. On the outside it looked like we were living the country club life while in reality my life was unpalatable. Every day I felt as if a noose around my neck was choking my ability to breathe. Finally, I filed for divorce as a leap of faith and was completely unprepared for the avalanche to come. 

Within six months of filing for divorce my husband placed his businesses into bankruptcy on loans I had cosigned. He canceled his children’s and my health insurance but not his own. Our home which was nearly paid off and in the most affluent suburb of town went up for Sheriff’s Sale whereby 100% of the proceeds went to offset his business debt. The bank repossessed my minivan, not his car. And I had to chase him through the courts for a child support and alimony award at its highest of $269 a week – which he appealed. The...

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Every Leader Should Be Required to Read this Book

Every leader should be required to read this book I read on a recent trip to Greece. Spiritual and political power are not mutually exclusive. Imagine if business schools taught that the more compassionate you are the more effective leader you are. 

Or the power of The Five Spiritual Powers: 1) FAITH (better translated as confidence and trust); 2) DILIGENCE to practice not watering the seeds of anger, fear, hate, despair but to replace and water seeds of joy, peace and happiness; 3) MINDFULNESS to recognize things as they are without projecting bias so emotion can pass; 4) CONCENTRATION on the reality that nothing is permanent so value this moment, unhappiness is born from discrimination between self and others, and that everyone is interconnected; 5) INSIGHT where we realize that all of our suffering can be avoided by living the previous four powers. 

As you cultivate these FIVE POWERS you naturally acquire the power of leadership because people flock to you for advice...

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When You Can't Let Go of the Past

In my executive coaching practice I see wonderfully talented clients suffer from life messages dished out by inept bosses, well meaning family members, and misguided colleagues. We don’t thrive when we are controlled from the outside in. We thrive in our natural mindset - from observing the outside world and accepting ourselves internally no matter what.  

If someone chooses to be biased or unkind, their behavior says more about them than you. But sometimes we internalize the outward world and make it personal to us. That leaves us a victim. 

The only way to deal with this is to build self-awareness so that you can see when you start to interpret other people’s behavior as the root of your feelings. ‘I’m unhappy because my boss never appreciates me or my family always held me back or my coworker triangulates the office against me.’ 

Separate assumptions from facts. When you sense assumptions made in desperation from a mindful...

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