This image is so powerful to me. I’ve been an executive coach for more than 10 years and in everyone I’ve ever managed or coached I see a common theme coined by Mary Kay Ash that everyone wants to feel important. The more people seek validation of their relevance externally the more they are on the treadmill to nowhere. Imagine if you could feel important internally - knew that you were valuable and stopped seeking affirmation from outside sources. You’d show up differently - more at ease, less needy, more confident, less judgmental, more yourself. That’s the shift to freedom.
People often ask me, “How do you know if you have executive presence?” I tell them, “You have an understanding and acceptance of yourself with all your strengths and opportunities, know you have much to contribute, are curious and have a greater desire to get it right than to be right.”
Here's a short video I recently made if you are...
Releasing what no longer serves you it is harder than seeking what does because the answer is inside us, not external. It is far easier to blame and look outside of ourselves for a reason than own our part in the chaos.
Release requires awareness and humility. It demands giving up control. It calls us to name what we’re feeling that is in the way. It insists that we stand naked with vulnerability and say, “This is scary. I feel alone and without power here.” And then you breathe. And breathe again. And breathe again. And you realize the world didn’t end, you’re still alive and that something has changed. You feel lighter.
And you ask yourself why you didn’t do that earlier. Why you wasted so much time in misery. It’s because you weren’t ready.
Wishing you readiness today.
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...
Our culture imposes a sense of urgency that isn’t helpful to well-being. The internet is the worst culprit. Social media defines what we “should” look like. What we “should” feel like. What we “should” be doing. And what we “should” have.
A sense of urgency is good in a crisis. Our lives are not a crisis. You already have everything you need to look, feel, do and have what you want. Your perspective is the key. Your looks are gorgeous when you feel they are. Your soul is fulfilled when your values are aligned with your actions. Your career is rewarding when you are leading in a way that resonates with your core. And the stuff you have will make sense when it is purposeful to your personal mission.
May this year be the year you are ready to sail your boat out of the harbor and into a sea of opportunity, creativity and contentment.
If you don't know where you'll be by the end of the year you are already there. Don't...
Your day is going well. You’ve done your research and are a maven on your project. You’re in a meeting and out of nowhere someone blindsides you with cynical inuendo, overt criticism, passive aggressive posturing or their personal agenda. Your body gets stiff. Your face feels flushed. Your heart is racing. A voice inside your head is screaming, ‘Danger!’ And then in your own defense you do or say something you later regret.
We’ve all been there.
Some people can weather these situations without losing their presence. Others cannot. The difference is that some people have trained themselves to be able to notice what is happening to them, both emotionally and physiologically, lean into it with curiosity as opposed to away in fear, and allow the immediate physiological and emotional response to subside so they can respond appropriately.
Initially, you may think you don’t have time for this transition to take place before you need to react. Like most...
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...
People ask me all the time for my best tip for career advancement. It isn't who you know or what company you work for. It isn't what title you have or what social group you belong to. It is unequivocally the ability to self-regulate your emotions in real time so that you exude the executive presence that draws a loyal following. Period. There are plenty of smart people who don't advance and it isn’t because they aren't capable.
At any moment you may be called on to have confidence to risk, to have candor to create connections or calmness to cool fury. They don't teach this in business school because it's personal to you.
This graphic illustrates one process my clients work on to build executive presence. Become good at untangling life messages that are really only assumptions. You assume you will be judged when in all truth people want you to succeed. You assume you'll be overwhelmed when forging ahead has served you before. You assume your idea isn't important yet when...