Do meetings drive you crazy?

Dear Friends,

Did you ever feel that everyone is so busy but nothing important is getting done and meetings just add to your to-do list? Interacting is easier than ever, but true, productive, value-creating collaboration is not. Quality engagement is deteriorating. Every minute spent on a low-value interaction takes time away that could be used for important, creative, powerful innovation and activities. 

Most leaders say they frequently find themselves spending way too much time on pointless interactions and meetings that drain their energy and produce information overload. As an alternative to weekly meetings where people share a look-in-the-rear-view-mirror perspective, short daily stand-up meetings or check-ins with the entire team can drive horizontal connectivity, creating the space for teams to understand what others are doing and where they need help to drive work forward without having to specifically task anyone in a hierarchical way. 

Good questions when you are...

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Not in Your Resume

People ask me all the time to look at their resume to which I suggest they step back and craft a resume based on a career plan that takes into account their transferable skills, measurable key accomplishments and fits into an overall comprehensive structure that ties together companies that match your values, ways to market your value proposition and a voice that speaks your unique career stories.

This is the document I give my clients to help create that synergy. Don’t have an accidental career. Often more planning goes into a vacation than a 40 year career or a 90 year life. Success is freedom. Not more hours. You deserve fulfillment.

I am giving away this new executive career planning tool I give to my clients because so many people are suffering with anxiety about the future right now and need direction. Don't wander without direction. Be purposeful. >>> Eight Tip Career Plan When You're Not Sure What Industry or Position.  

If...

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Do You Have the Courage for This?

How often we feel negative emotions - despair, sadness, frustration, fear - and we don’t ask for help. It might be because we don’t know what we need or we think nobody will care. Yet we turn away from the discomfort instead of being curious about it. 

At work this shows up often as feeling overwhelmed and afraid. What if the next time you felt overwhelmed you asked yourself, “What do I need right now?” 

Then instead of feeling alone and let down by others you said to those close to you, “I’m feeling (insert feeling.) Right now it would really help if I could count on you for (insert what you need from them.) It would make all the difference to me.” 

They may not deliver. But you’ve just moved closer to knowing what you need and that you deserve it.

For more executive presence tips here's a link to my new FREE eBook - 31 Executive Presence Practices for Leaders in the High Stakes Corporate World click...

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This is Where Change Begins

No one can make you feel the way you won't allow yourself to feel. 

I can’t stress enough how this concept is where change begins. Fulfillment is not external. Yes, work on skillset and strategy. But you won’t see yourself at your full potential until you are ready to release your old mindsets that are only assumptions, name what you deserve, and fully accept it. Behave as if it is already happening. 

Yes, you deserve the promotion, relationship, love and new job. Discard the trap your thoughts have set to keep you safe and free from pain. They are an illusion that keep you from calculated risks. Be vulnerable because that is innocent and fresh. It draws people to you. It also draws opportunity. 

Let go of perfectionism and expectations that only leave you with disappointment. You will grow from the experience either way. Goals are not expectations. They are metrics. Expectations put your worth on the line if the goal is not met. Never helpful. 

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When You Want to Re-enter the Workforce

If you've been out of the workforce a while and are trying to re-enter it here are a few strategies to keep in mind.

Organizations today are seeking professionals who are committed to excellence, mastery and are a good cultural fit. If you are a candidate who has been out of the workforce for any reason, here are a few recommendations to consider:

1. Don't bias yourself against yourself. If you are focused on how you are irrelevant because of not being in an active career role so will others. How have you kept your product/service knowledge up to date? What meetings have you or are you now attending? What groups or organizations are you active in? What news sources/professional association posts do you read regularly? What volunteer activities keep you current? List these things in your cover letter and resume.

2. How has your hiatus from full time employment been an opportunity for you? Have you been able to level set how to build healthy work/life integration? What mindset are you...

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Culture Has Done This to You - Here's How to Undo It

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...

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Hate

Can we please stop hating? Hate has become more normalized in our culture over the last several years and it is killing our compassion, culture, productivity and peace. It is also dividing us as a nation. For what? So someone can feel superior? How’s that working? I only see more anger and hate. 

Hate is not a sustainable solution to unrest. It is only an externalization of one’s own feelings of despair and unworthiness. So they keep hating as an escape from feeling trapped and powerless in their own self-hate. 

It takes a lot of humility in the midst of a heated exchange to remind the other person that you care about them. Just saying that helps to diffuse the vehemence of the discussion. Imagine what would happen the next time you are in an argument at work if you said to the other person, "We are both angry. In spite of that I want you to know that I have your back. I want to come to a solution that serves both our goals."

Happy people don’t hurt one...

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Just Calm Down

Telling someone who is visibly upset to "Just calm down" is like saying, “Just stop overeating” to someone who wants to lose weight. Intellectually, you know what you need to do yet your self-management skills aren’t keen enough to cease the behavior or the unresolved feeling. And quick fix advice such as “be positive” makes you feel worse because it denies the inadequacy you feel inside. 

I used to be more of what could have been labeled a ‘distant’ leader. Calming down was not my issue. Relatability was.

Three things changed that for me and for my clients struggling with how to manage emotions:

1) Allow them.

2) Be curious about them.

3) Be compassionate to yourself and others.

This wasn’t a quick fix. It was a repeated practice of continually taking myself through this exercise of self discovery which lead to self acceptance.

I was a single mother and only provider of four children who was stuck in survival mode. I neglected...

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Great Executives Know the Difference Between Goals and Expectations

    Corporations calculate success by metrics – return on investment, productivity, key performance indicators, cost savings, balance sheet, cash flow, retention, number of goods sold, quality metrics, speed to market, profit margin. Goals are created in the aggregate of these measurements. Performance at work is tied to goals. Goals are always measurable. If it isn’t measurable, it is only a notion, not a goal.  

    When a corporation doesn’t place the same value on its people as it does on its metrics often employees get sucked into believing that their personal worth is tied to the goal. And if they fail to meet the goal, they are a personal failure. There could be many circumstances that affect the realization of goals – resources, team culture, time, talent, a crisis, market share, competition. Yet individuals often lay expectations on top of goals, leading to despair. I am expected to hit the goal, or I...

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Your Emotions at Work

We were taught for a long time that showing emotion was weak. “Just suck it up, Marine” was the mantra. Today we finally realize that denying emotion denies the feeling behind the emotion. And when we do that it eventually bubbles up later in an outburst, passive aggressive behavior, withdrawal, lack of compassion, poor communications, emotional immaturity and even post- traumatic stress. 

Though we don’t want to be an emotional leader, exhibiting extreme emotions that are inappropriate at work, cause negative attention to ourselves and halt progress. That strips your executive presence. But we are human, and humanity is honest. Being honest with your team, about what you struggle with builds trust. "Honestly, I struggle with this and value your insight." 

Sometimes emotion takes over our good judgment. Then we need to decipher the internal roadblock before it derails us. It takes far more courage to admit the feeling than to...

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