Eight Success Practices for New Leaders to Navigate the Corporate World

1. Be YOU-SMART first.

Self-awareness is a leading indicator of happiness and success because if you are aware of what is in your mind you can self-regulate a negative thought before it triggers bad behavior and cripples your executive presence. Don't retreat to a default behavior of lashing out, withdrawing, defensive posturing or paralysis. Be mindful of your thoughts. Become an observer of them without inserting yourself into the emotion of them. Be gentle with yourself. Be self-compassionate when you doubt yourself. If you know your strengths, play to them. Surround yourself with people who have your weaknesses as their strengths so that you may observe their behavior.

Define your personal values so that you know when you are out of alignment with them and can readjust in situations as opposed to trying to achieve an expectation that isn't in alignment with your authenticity. Personal values are simply the things you hold dear that no one can take away from you such as humor,...

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Seven Tips to Find the Right Industry and Position for Your Next Career Move

Don’t have an accidental life or career. Often more planning goes into a summer vacation than a 40-year career or 90-year life. Spend purposeful time creating an actionable plan for your next career move and you can trade the treadmill to nowhere for fulfilment. 

  1. Know Your Values 

If you are considering making a career change and aren’t sure where to start, start with what you know best. Nobody knows you better than YOU. Recommit to your values – your principles or standards on what is so important such that living these values makes you more fulfilled than anything else. 

Values are principles or standards of behavior – your judgment on what matters most in life. Examples of values include: Balance, Autonomy, Freedom. Creativity, Listening, Humor, Family etc. Write down your values. 

  1. List Your Transferable Skills 

Transferable skills fall into the three categories: 1.) Communication - speaking effectively, writing concisely,...

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And They Said You Could Have It All

Dear {{first_name}},

Four years ago, I saw an opportunity to take on a dual role where I would be the CEO of two operations and expressed interest in doing so. I knew I could do both jobs but ultimately the organization wanted a CEO devoted only to them. Instead I developed with much more seriousness my executive coaching business and never looked back. 

Recently that same organization came to me and asked me if I would now run both organizations. I said no. 

My priorities are clear now. I like helping my clients far more than having more corporate power. And I love spending time with my family, friends and creating things. The one CEO role I have is enough. Imagine that - feeling like what you are doing is rewarding enough - high performing in an area you love. Not needing to do more to be happy. What a relief that is. 

If I take on more responsibility now I now evaluate it against whether or not it aligns with my values. If it does – it will ultimately be...

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Don't Make This Mistake When They Call for the Interview

Recently a client told me of a firing squad interview experience that warrants a share and checklist. 

Thirteen candidates were interviewed in a large room, 20 feet apart, by 12 people who scored them on three questions. Their names were drawn from a hat as to who would go first for all three questions. Candidates could hear other candidate’s responses. There would be a second round of these interviews to reduce a pool of 26 candidates to 4. 

Question Checklist for When They Call to Schedule the Interview. Ask:

  1. Who will conduct the interview and their title. Who else will be present/title? 
  1. Where will the actual interview occur? Not just where do you meet the HR professional. 
  1. How much time is allocated for the interview? 
  1. What do you see as the biggest challenge of the position and what should I focus on in my preparation?  
  1. Please send me the complete job description? It may have not been posted online in its entirety.  
  2. ...
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The Tool to Narrow the Gap in the Equation of Career Happiness

Throughout my years as an executive coach I have seen people triumph over immense hardship while others falter over minutiae. I’ve seen a sense of urgency spearhead achievement while chronic victimization hamstring progress. I’ve been party to personal transformations because people risk vulnerability with great courage and I’ve seen stagnation be the end-product of complaining about unmet expectations. Most often the underachievers carry self-doubt that they don’t know how to convert to confidence. 

It’s pretty clear to me what makes people happy and empowered to create the life they want and what does not. It’s a simple equation. 

The Golden Rule of Happiness

The shorter the distance between what you want and where you are the happier you will be and the more risks you will take. 

You Want a Better Job

Let’s say you want to move up in your career, possibly changing companies. And right now you are in a miserable role. There...

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Breaking the Cycle of the Treadmill to Nowhere

As an executive coach I see three main challenges repeatedly surface for leaders seeking to better their careers, teams and relationships. 

  1. The Treadmill to Nowhere 

When things aren’t going well people get stressed and think that if they just try harder the situation will get better. They focus on one size-fits-all strategies such as – work more hours, hold more meetings, take a course, call a recruiter, network more, get another degree, put in for another promotion, change for the sake of change, read more self-help or business books. They think things will improve because of their fierce dedication when in fact doing more of the same just brings more disappointment, let down from unmet expectations, stress, lack of confidence and makes them feel exhausted on the treadmill to nowhere. They seek “more” instead of less. They can’t slow down enough to be vulnerable – to risk searching inside themselves where the answers always lie. So...

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8 Tips for When You Fear Age Bias in the Workplace

I see a trend in the American workforce and as a coach struggle with how to make sense of it. This week alone one of my clients was terminated, one was put on a 90-day Performance Improvement Plan that is likely to end in termination, and another had his compensation decreased by $100,000. I find it no accident that the ages of these three people respectfully are 56, 57 and 61.

In many ways, our culture does not value the seasoned wisdom of decades of experience or appreciate the dedication of years of service. Companies see that they can replace “aging” employees with younger people they can pay less. It’s as if they feel “younger” energy will bring more innovation and greater results at a lower cost. They feel the aging employee’s mindset is outdated and that they can’t keep up with technology. That is just plain and simply — Age Bias — and short-sighted.

Employees see this coming. Organizations send people they have...

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How New SMART Leaders Get the Position, High Level Project, Promotion, and Raise

Within the next 15 years, nearly 15% of the global workforce may need to switch jobs, according to the McKinsey Global Institute. By 2030, 75 million to 375 million workers will change occupation categories; another 400 to 800 million could be displaced by automation and need new jobs entirely. Workers may not have the necessary skills to transition into these roles. As highly repeatable tasks become increasingly automated, soft skills and emotional intelligence — critical thinking, communication, and collaboration — are even more essential.

You are a leader who has already mastered the SMART method of reaching goals that you learned in business school. You know that goals must be: S – Specific, M – Measurable, A – Attainable, R - Relevant and T – Time based. In today’s work environment that is not enough. At a certain level in leadership, everyone is smart, knows how to set goals, experienced and highly capable; those traits are no longer...

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