Important Discussions with Your Boss – Everything is a Negotiation

Often, I see clients put off important discussions with their bosses because they aren’t really sure how to structure them and fear they may come off as expecting too much and eventually feel rejected. This is unwise. A little preparation can earn you respect and what you want. 

How to prepare for the meeting: 

  1. Ask for a specific meeting date/time. This will underscore its importance. Don’t have the discussion after another meeting or as a sidebar conversation. Label the meeting something that is important to the organization – not yourself: ABC Company Priorities and (Your Department).
  2. What’s the goal? This meeting is not a discussion. You are not mind mapping here. It is a negotiation. Know what you want to occur by the end of the meeting: i.e., I will now spend my time working on important projects, not things that are randomly assigned to me. I have an idea on how to minimize those things and who is more appropriate to do them.
  3. Know your...
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Can We Please Nomalize PTO?

Can we all please normalize appreciating PTO. Arnie and I decided a long time ago that we have to be the ones to prioritize our wellbeing. We didn’t wait for retirement to get the beach house. We don’t wait for retirement to travel. We don’t wait for retirement to regularly visit our children out of town. We don’t wait for retirement to take up hobbies, new sports, creative endeavors, meet new friends. We don’t have a bucket list. We live it every day. 

I've spent most of my career as an execuitive at hospitals all to often seeing people retire, think they're going to do everything they've been waiting their whole lives to do, and an illness stops them in their tracks. Don't wait. Scale your dreams to what is reasonable and live them now.

Arnie and I are both high achievers and realize that sometimes doing our best means reflecting on what’s in the way of that happening. 

The American culture has convinced many people that the work...

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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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When You've Been Through a Lot and Feel Alone

You know who you are, super heroes.

Here’s to you for not sitting back, for not whining, for making it work despite the odds, for taking risks in the face of doubt, for holding true to your priorities sometimes at the detriment of yourself, for having vision and finding a way, for listening and caring when you thought you had little to give, for being gentle with yourself when it seemed nobody was.

Here's to you for failing and starting again this time with wisdom, for swapping assumptions for the truth, for not letting comparison distract you from your goals and achievements, for wearing all the hats even when they didn’t all fit, for not needing to be right but for getting it right, for not being perfect but still awesome.

Here's to you for lying awake at night worrying about things outside of your control and accepting that no matter what happens you’ve got this, for understanding that judgment only makes you judge yourself far worse, for having the courage to...

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The Seven Deadly Sins of Management

Years ago I read a book called the Seven Deadly Sins and agreed that the first among them was the most deadly - Pride. The greater our ego, the greater our pride, the lesser our humility and the greater propensity we have for failure. The people you have the most difficulty with have far greater difficulty with their own egos, need to be heard, desire to be recognized and rush for validation. Don't let that person be you. 

The Seven Deadly Sins of Management 

  1. Pride that you are more capable than your employees. How gratifying is it to be dubbed ‘King Know-It-All’ when everybody hates your guts? When you make all the decisions and give continual directives it cuts off their ingenuity, independence and desire to take risk.  
  1. Sloth in your dedication to develop your team. You develop projects but how often do you develop talent? When is the last time you asked an employee, ‘Where do you see yourself a year from now? What project would...
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When You Personalize Your Employees' Behavior

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...

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Three Things to Say When You Feel Threatened by a Bad Boss or Colleague

You have probably heard people talk about boundaries at work. A boundary is an invisible line between what you will and will not allow. Insecure bosses and colleagues often don’t have them. They don’t know what to do with their unrest, so it turns into anger and despair that gets vented in an inappropriate way at people who don’t deserve it. It’s only a short fix for them so they must keep venting to feel better - dreadful for you. 

All conflict stems from a need to be right so the first thing you want to do with a difficult colleague is to let them be right. This is difficult to achieve when your ego is in the way. Therefore, when you are working on your executive presence you must start first with learning to self-regulate – manage your emotions in the crucial fight-or-flight moment. 

In that crucial moment where you have been offended or feel threatened, take a deep breath and assure yourself you are safe. Be an observer of your own...

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Age Bias is Alive and Well

Ageism in the workforce is palpable. I have many clients experiencing it right now - getting phased out because they’re viewed as not tech savvy or sharp enough. Not only is that biased and discriminative, it’s just not true. But some work environments minimize this subset of the workforce so much that the workers begin to dummy down their own performance to play it safe and in that self-sabotage state live up to the stereotype they’ve been dubbed. Viscous. 

People in their 50s and 60s taught themselves how to use computers, survived wars with resilience and without the post-war armed services suicide rates we are seeing today, are loyal, can handle conflict, have no problem cold calling, can negotiate, can start and carry a conversation longer then a minute, can close a deal, and can build alignment. They also have institutional memory and want to serve and develop others. Is there no value for these skills? Of course there is. But just as our culture...

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How Honesty Saves Time and Builds Executive Presence

Jason’s boss is the new CEO of a company that has not met budget for two years. The organization is merging with two other organizations, making the culture guarded and tentative. Jason is afraid his position isn’t secure because the CEO continually questions his opinions and doesn’t affirm that he brings any value to the team. Additionally, the executive management team is posturing at their weekly meetings whereby one dominant personality is allowed to single him out with criticism outside of her authority. Jason is feeling judged by his boss and threatened by his peers. 

How we conduct ourselves in a tense situation is paramount to how we are viewed as a leader. Maintaining executive presence is extremely challenging when you feel as if you are negatively critiqued. Self-management is key. Being honest with yourself and others is the first tenet to presence. We must be vulnerable enough to accept our discomfort internally before we externalize it with...

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You Get It First - Just Released my FREE Report on Leading Through the Uncertainty of COVID-19

I'm so excited to have finished this report for my clients and my newsletter list. So many of you have told me the struggles you are dealing with in this pandemic. I've been working for weeks on tactics and strategies you can apply right now to lower anxiety and build peace, relationships  and effectiveness for yourself, your team and your family. 

FREE Report: Leading Through the Uncertainty of COVID-19

> Avoid the most common mistakes leaders make in a crisis.

> Trade the treadmill to nowhere for a revered strategy. 

> Build influence dynamics that make your team want to succeed regardless of where their office is.

> Execute a plan that anticipates opportunities in spite of adversity. 

Wishing you peace and effectiveness without worry today. Enjoy my free report on Leading Through the Uncertainty of COVID-19.

Your coach,

Mary Lee 

For more FREE Career Resources go to >>> www.MaryLeeGannon.com 

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