You’re a leader in a high performing role but deep down you understand that emotional intelligence and clarity are critical to your success. You’ve started to doubt yourself. You feel you don’t have a clear career path and feel you need more executive presence for greater influence and efficacy.
You’ve noticed your relationships are frayed, you’re resentful, you’re not sleeping well and other healthy habits have gone by the wayside too.
Here is what I know to be true:
Do you ever look out at the world and wonder why with so much beauty there is so much tension? Why at work there is a sound mission yet there are personal agendas, bureaucracy, posturing and cynicism.
Why at home and with friends there is love yet there are interpersonal struggles.
Why with your free time there are interests but there never seems to be enough time to get to them.
I took this photo on the beach recently because it reminded me that when we slow to a standstill we can actually canvas the landscape to notice not only what we need but more importantly what we want.
You think you need a new job. You think you need a different partner, more love, new friends. You think you need more time.
What you really want is to show up at work with confidence, influence and strategic execution that matters, gets noticed and opens opportunities for you to serve in a stronger capacity.
What you want is to go home, not reach for cookies or wine,...
This is so important. Often we dread starting over because of regret. We beat ourselves up for being in a place we dread. We become risk averse so as not to repeat regret. We wonder if we might even deserve to be in a bad place and if it will ever change.
Regret is ok. We learn from it. Just don’t stay there too long.
I had to start over with four children under seven-years-old in the middle of a difficult divorce. We had gone from the country club life to public assistance, homelessness, and no automobile. I believed life would never be fair because of how we had ended up. I started to believe this was personal - like there was something wrong with me and that it was permanent.
The truth is nobody said life is fair. It that we’re true the lion wouldn’t eat you because you didn’t eat him. I worked very hard in survival mode and rose quickly to the C-suite. I was grateful. But I was detached and unhappy. I had lost touch with what fun is and...
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...
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.
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...
When I was a new manager I used to personalize why members of my team weren’t engaged. I made it about me. I was the reason they were under-performing.
I did everything in my power to re-engage them and when it didn’t work I then started to resent them for being disengaged. What I didn’t do was hold them firmly accountable to clear goals for fear of push-back and confrontation. I didn’t do my job as a manager and they became entitled.
When I set clear goals and began meeting with them regularly on their performance on those goals we began a dialogue around the challenges they were having and could role play alternative scenarios. The feedback depersonalized for me when I made it about their performance on the goals and not their attitude versus my expectations. Very objective. Them against the goal, policy, company value - not me.
Wishing you the power of regular feedback on clearly defined goals today.
Listen to a recent...
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. ...
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.
This week I took in two new executive coaching clients and had another client renew for the year - all three having the courage to address the same issue. They’re smart, educated and have good roles. Yet they want a plan that delivers tangible career and life reward and mostly want to address their inner critic that inserts itself in their heads such that they adopt its voice as fact when it’s only an assumption and end up with less results than they are capable of.
There is nothing wrong with these three leaders. They’re just human. We are wired really well for avoiding danger. This is how we’ve evolved over the centuries and are not extinct. But the fight or flight mechanism does not serve us at a staff meeting, in a conflict situation, when receiving feedback or when challenged in the board room.
Patterns of thinking lead to patterns of behavior. We have to turn into the thinking - not away - to understand and challenge it. We need...