Special Offer - 90 Seconds to Ease Cards for Executive Presence

I AM SO EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE THIS! I have spent the fall writing and designing a very special set of go-to practice cards that capture the essence of how I teach my clients to have and maintain executive presence. They are ready in time for the holidays!

When tense moments threaten your executive presence 90 Seconds to Ease Cards bring you confidence, connection and calm before you do, write or say something you regret.

What you'll get:

• 10 beautifully designed cards with 90-second go-to strategies to serve as your private coach in difficult moments.
• The ease of having something quick and sturdy at your fingertips to address anxiety with flow on the go.
• A unique and thoughtful gift for congratulating someone in a new role, a special occasion or for yourself.
• An easily accessible tool to carry with you anytime or have handy in your desk, briefcase or nightstand.

You don't want to get emotional at a meeting. You don't want to lash out or withdraw at a...

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The Difference Between Confidence and Self-Esteem

"Being an upstander very often means standing alone, which takes guts," writes Jennifer Merritt, Editor in Chief, Digital at PwC.

“Most people are bystanders--not because they don't want to stand up, but because they're afraid to speak up, afraid of repercussions, don't observe the world around them enough, or simply because they don't know what to do or say in the moment. To be an upstander among bystanders takes courage and conviction.”

In my work and in my coaching practice I often see people with confidence who do not have high self-esteem. They are not the same thing. Confidence is being competent. Self-esteem is knowing you belong. 

Out the limiting false-belief that holds you back - that message that plays like a broken record in your head. It usually sounds like this....”I’m not _______ enough.”

Then name everything believing that has cost you. Now what would life be like without that thought?

You are resilient. And you belong living your...

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Holding a Hand for the First Time

Last summer my father passed away. It was a difficult time for me as I know it is for any of you who have a dying parent or who have lost a loved one. I did a lot of journaling during that time and I share the passage below with you in hope that it inspires you to embrace the difficult feelings of grief. My wish is that you may process and won the feelings you turn away from - that you allow them to flow through you - not get struck inside you and fester. That is how we have freedom. Namaste.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Last night I held a hand for the first time. Indeed throughout my life I have held many hands - extending myself to help, reaching for comfort, joining in an act of love. But last night I held the hand of a man who knows he is dying and it felt like we were the only two people in the world. 

My father is the epitome of grace, leadership, and strength. At the end of his life all of these qualities still stand in spite of a failing body. I coach and train on mindfulness, the...

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The Dos and Don’ts of Executive Presence When the Pressure is On

When you are in that high-stakes meeting, sales presentation, interaction, or conflict your executive presence is both emotional and physiological. Your thoughts race and your heart rate escalates. People watch you. How do you execute when the pressure is on?

Confidence and self-esteem are two different things. Both are essential for executive presence. Confidence is being capable, but that isn’t enough. Self-esteem is feeling worthy – that you belong. We build both intentionally by challenging ourselves and regulating our emotions in the moment. That means you know the goal but focus on being your best without pre-occupation with your performance. Slow down your breathing and move your focus from anxious thoughts to following your breath. That clearing allows you to observe your behavior before emotions move you into a fight-or-flight mentality.   

A prime athlete trains to win. When the game is played she isn’t focused on the score, just...

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Five Ways to Establish a Strong Leadership Brand

Create a five-column matrix and fill in the blanks with responses to the following points. When we have humility to mindfully accept the truth of our situation on paper, it gives us a tangible and actionable plan to execute and track. 

  1. Your Aspiration: List three things you want to be known for.   

If you aren’t sure, imagine you were giving your retirement speech. Looking back, what would you comment on as your most fulfilling accomplishments? 

  1. Their Perception: What do you suppose your colleagues would say about you now? Be honest. 

Ask yourself this: What would be said about you at your funeral by 1) a friend 2) a family member and 3) a work colleague? What would those who don’t care for you say? 

  1. Your Reality: Ask five people you work closely with how they would describe you at work.

Send an email to five unbiased people with whom you have worked over the last year. Tell them you are working on your leadership...

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10 Ways You Are Killing Your Executive Presence

If you enter a room with 15 leaders one of them will stand out. She will have an air of confidence that people notice. Others will stop talking and listen to him. That person will have an overall decorum that exudes the message, “I belong here.”  

Executive presence is a blending of mindset, competencies, and delivery that gives the overall impression that this person has dignity and can get the job done. Can executive presence be developed? Yes – if the person has a foundation of self-confidence and a willingness to build their self-awareness and self-regulation.

10 Ways You Are Killing Your Executive Presence 

  1. You don’t demonstrate an even temperament.

 Learn to manage emotions in the unpredictable moment by taking a deep breath and asking yourself, “What is going on with me?” Don’t be quick to give a biased opinion that may not be politically correct. If you feel threatened, don’t act out. Your insecurities...

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When You Aren't Sure What To Do

New SMART Leaders ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS. You know that risk you’re avoiding because it makes you uncomfortable and you’re really unsure about what will happen if you take it? Maybe you should pay attention to that. 

Get curious about it. Is now the right time? What would change if you waited another month? Is it really an either or choice? What other options might there be? Who might be good counsel on this? How can you be gentle with yourself as you vet the decision? 

Trust your gut and ask questions. Your pinhole perspective will start to open. You’re head is too analytical and you heart is too emotional. Trust instinct and challenge assumptions. It’s how we’ve stayed alive as a species for centuries. It will serve you in doubt. 

Check out my latest column for The Ladders - $100,000+ job site here.

Your coach,

Mary Lee

P.S. Feel free to send this link to someone who could benefit from it. We are all walking down the same road in...

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Thinking of You

Recently I was not feeling well and missed an event where I had hoped to extend my deepest appreciation to several hundred volunteers at St. Margaret Hospital. I was so disappointed that I couldn’t be there to thank these outstanding stewards of our patients who struggle with the biggest challenges of their lives. The next day I received this note from the two directors of the event - simply run off on their printer that said:

 Thinking of You -

Hope you’re feeling much better

and hope you’re remembering, too

The many warm thoughts and good wishes

that always are right there with you.

If you think personal notes (talking hard copy here and not email) are a thing of the past you are wrong. This totally captured my attention, warmed my heart, made me smile and immediately inspired me to reach out and thank them.

I keep a drawer full of informal note cards for this very thing - from personalized Crane to Kate Spade to convenience store birthday cards. And I...

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