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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If I wainted...

This is profoundly true. Yesterday I was having a discussion with a colleague about rule following and it became apparent that those who succeed don’t pay as much attention to the rules as they do results. They know not to discard the rules. They respect them. And they know how to work around and within them to get things done. Their focus is on the end game. 

Procrastination is simply denial. 

I’ve been the CEO of three organizations. There is no question that I would have never been recruited for these roles if I’d been known for following the rules. I was recruited because I was known for getting things done against the odds and for making it fun along the way. 

What’s your brand? If you don’t know, you don’t have one and that’s a problem. What do you do better than most people? And working hard is not enough. At the top everyone does that. Start taking risks in the areas of your strengths. Failure is learning....

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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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