Don't Do This in Your Leadership During COVID19

These times are a test of resilience. Adjusting to working remotely is challenging for leaders and teams. Adjusting to working on site during a pandemic is the same. It’s a lesson for all of us on how to adapt to and manage what is inevitable - change. Resistance comes when people are afraid. At its most severe it’s like trying to stand still in an earthquake. “Why is this happening to me?” People feel victimized and want to escape.  

Leaders need to be sensitive to their own fears and those of their constituents. Everyone needs to accept that uncertainty is part of life. The sooner we accept that the more resilient we become.

As leaders we need to be change neutral - not change agents. Don't coddle, over-sympathize, or try to protect your team or you send the message that change is painful and unmanageable. Instead of asking, “How can I make this change easier for you?” as if you are personally choosing to push something down on them...

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When You Want to Quit

Patience. Yesterday I helped a client understand that her efforts will be far better placed in seeking a new role as opposed to struggling in a culture out of alignment with her values. There was freedom in that decision for her.  

Now instead of questioning her worth she is positioning her value proposition on a platform that showcases her specific and unique talent so that she may be effective in a rewarding setting. In doing so she had to let go of thinking she failed if she moved on. She had to walk away from feeling ineffective and unwanted. Now she sees light where there had only been despair. That’s power.  

Hope is not a strategy. It is a springboard to new beginnings that start with necessary endings.  

Wishing you the patience to allow yourself to see an opportunity in letting something go to make room for alignment with your values. In that space you can plan and execute at your best instead if doubting and worrying at your worst. ...

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Mean Leaders and Executive Presence

I’ve never understood why overbearing people think they have power. It’s obvious they don’t. Nobody trusts them or authentically has their back. They are always exhausted trying to make themselves look good at other’s expense. Their insecurities reek in their behavior. And their leadership has no sustainable affect because the people they play to are the first ones off the ship when it starts to go down.  

If you can’t achieve your goals without manipulating, controlling, condescending to, backstabbing, and intimidating other people along the way you’re weak and you will ultimately fail. Period. I’ve seen it in corporate America time and time again. It may not be right away. But it will happen. And your legacy will precede you everywhere you go after that. 

The real problem with mean people is that they are intrinsically unhappy, insecure and have minimal self-awareness. The root feeling behind their behavior is anger coupled...

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Don't Fake that It's Ok

Positivity is a powerful concept but not a strategy. Pretending that you have a positive attitude when it is inauthentic is exhausting. And it doesn’t work. When you can’t get think positive and sustain it even though everyone tells you to be positive you feel worse - another failure.  

Honor the hurt. Go deeper with it. Own it. Name it. Blame all you want. Realize the shame. Write about it. Journal about it. Tell someone. Get it out. We can release what we own. When you own your feelings, you can purposely RELEASE the negativity. Otherwise it keeps hanging around. 

Next, name what you feel you DESERVE - happiness, career, opportunity, love, friendships, etc. 

Open yourself with vulnerability to ACCEPT all that is good and that you deserve. It means releasing the expectation that failure and negativity will continue. Be curious about the process. Yes, it’s scary not knowing how the story will end. But so is a life of negativity. 

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This Happened Sunday

Two nights ago I didn’t recognize myself. I got home from a wonderful weekend at the beach to find that all the packages that had been delivered were left in the rain in my driveway instead of on the porch. Many of my Christmas card envelopes had gotten stuck together from the moisture and I had been shorted 25 of them.

As I sat there putting labels on envelopes and trying to pry apart envelopes without ruining them I heard myself say, “I hate doing this. I don’t even know why I send Christmas cards” followed by a few words I can’t even write down.  

Now, this is not me. I think all year about the photos on my Christmas cards. It’s my way of sharing a joyous hello. I love opening the cards from friends.  

Finally, my husband had to tell me, “OK, that’s enough now” to shake me awake from my funk. 

Perfection. Holidays inspire perfection. And that inspires expectations. And that inspires unmet expectations....

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11 Reso-YOU-tions for Results in 2020

Would you take a trip without a map? Of course not. So why do you think you can create a New Year’s resolution and get there just because you want to? The reason most resolutions fail is because they are simply notions centered on “getting” something and not grounded in your values - the root of what drives you. They aren’t authentic and aligned.                         

11 Reso-YOU-tions for Results in 2020 

  1. Set and talk about goals. These are not resolutions. Write down your big goals for the year using the guideline “Does this align with what is important to me?” Studies show that people who write down their intentions and talk about them reach them far more than those who don’t. 
  1. Use a daily planner or app to track daily activity toward that goal. Way of Life is the app I use for this. I also use a hard bound very pretty daily planner. 
  1. Define...
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At first I didnt believe this.

At first I didn't believe this graphic. Be careful how you interpret your responsibility for an unhappy person’s environment. I do believe as leaders we have to nurture our team culture and provide a safe place for mistakes to happen without shame. I believe we must encourage and be accepting. But when someone is stuck and their behavior is disrespectful and uncalled for boundaries are necessary. We don’t own or placate someone else’s bad behavior or it just enables more bad behavior. If we constantly need to rescue someone from themselves by making excuses for them or declaring that others do the same and cater to them we’ll be rescuing and enabling for a very long time. And the person being rescued’s behavior will only get worse as will their unhappiness.

It’s not our job to fix the flower. It’s our job to create boundaries around what we will and will not allow for ourselves. We can’t change them. Only our own behavior. That...

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Four Career Guideposts for Women

When I made my journey from welfare to CEO four succinct guideposts became crucial to my transformation. Malcom Gladwell said that to master anything you must do it 10,000 hours. The only problem with that is that if you are doing something that doesn’t work – you’ve just become proficient at being stuck. 

Guidepost #1: Seek Your Childhood Innocence. 

If we go through our lives expecting one challenge after another, that’s what shows up – life becomes a problem to solve instead of being fun like when you were a child and could play outside all night long, catching fireflies and naming stars. We start to adopt messages from experience as truth when they are nothing but interpretations. Soon life is merely solving one challenging interpretation after another. I know this well because I mastered it with what seemed like 10,000 hours. 

I was a stay-at-home mother with four children under seven-years-old living what looked on the outside...

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Four Key Ways to Have Better Executive Presence

In today’s hiring environment companies are screening not only for experience and attitude but for presence. Competency and grit are not enough. You must also have good internal and external self-awareness and self-regulation. In leadership positions that translates to executive presence. 

Executive presence is a sense of being that indicate to others that you know what it takes to lead and be effective. It sends a commanding signal that you know how to harmonize your temperament, confidence, skillset and awareness to get the job done. You know when someone has it. And you know when they don’t. The people who have it are the ones other people look to first. 

Can executive presence be developed? Yes - if you have a baseline of self-confidence and a willingness to find ease when dealing with the unpredictable situations at the executive level. 

Know What Executive Presence Is 

Qualities of Great Executive Presence: 

  1. Curiosity
  2. Tenacity
  3. Certainty
  4. ...
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Their Ego Versus Your Ego in the Executive Office

You know that leader who annoys you more than anyone else – the one you can’t believe got to their level? He likely has a primitive and impulsive ego that needs to be repeatedly reminded of how wonderful he is to feel good about himself or he’ll erupt, pout, manipulate or control. Inside is a little child screaming for attention who feels very unsafe. When that child gets triggered to feel the feelings she desperately tries to avoid, her behavior turns hurtful and dangerous. She’s tired – exhausted from the lack of self-acceptance that haunts her. He’s shattered at the thought that someone might actually discover how unworthy he is. Unconscious defense mechanisms are deployed. And worse yet, without mindful self-awareness she might not even realize any of this. So, she keeps putting on the take-no-prisoners exterior, feeling less than enough, drained and victimized. Sad. 

Don’t engage. They are in the fight-flight-or-flee mode of a...

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