Learning and Leading

So let's talk about continual learning, and specifically when you've invested money or time or both to advance or strengthen your skills as a leader. 

Perhaps it's a small investment relatively speaking like reading or listening to a book. Maybe it's a course or seminar you attended, or training your company has sent you to for the day.  Or perhaps it's working with a coach or consultant. And even it didn't cost you money, it was your time spent there, including the time spent creating the space to go and getting caught up again (or close to it) once you returned.

When you first went through the course, the seminar, or even worked with your coach, you probably took some notes as a way to help you process what you're learning. Once the course, seminar or coaching sessions are finished, you have every intention of fully implementing what you've learned.

Then more time passes, and although you know you learned a lot, you might feel like you should have learned more or that...

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Why CONFIDENCE is so Important to Leadership

To show up as the confident business leader you're meant to be, you need to share your strengths and stay true to your vision and values and that's where confidence kicks in.

The more confidence you have, the more you will:

    • Know what your strengths are and be willing to put yourself out there and share them over and over again
    • Push yourself to desire a big vision and realize you're fully capable of making it happen and with confidence you declare it as yours
    • Trust you can turn that vision into reality by creating an actionable and achievable plan to get there
    • Make decisions that need to be made and execute them, especially difficult ones, without second guessing
    • Know and trust what to say yes to and what to intentionally say no to
    • Communicate effectively what the vision is and work with others to help them know what it is, why it's important and how they fit, so that they are able to buy into the vision because they're buying into you
    • Develop and grow your group from high...
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Leveraging Your Curiosity

As a leader, you are presented with new information each day.

This process of continually receiving and synthesizing information helps you to make informed decisions in order to support your team and achieve the company’s overall vision.

Sometimes it may feel like you have too much to work with and other times, it may feel like you don’t have enough.

To compound the waves of data, as the leader, you are viewed as having “all the information”, so it might feel like saying “I don’t know” is not appropriate.

The thing is that although it may seem like you are expected to know all of the answers, you won’t.

You are expected to know how to get the answers and be clear with what is happening on your team or project, even if that means you know you need to learn more.

So how to do work with the information that you have?

I suggest leveraging your curiosity by accepting that you won’t have all the answers, but that you will be open to...

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How to Receive Feedback - Part 1

Let's set the groundwork for this two part series with a definition of feedback, which is information about reactions to a product, a person’s performance of a task, which is used as a basis for improvement.

Part 1 - Detach from the Outcome

Part 2 - Your Filter and Decisions

 

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What Are You in the Business of?

What are you in the business of? (HINT: it's probably not the thing you think it is by itself).

It sounds like a simple question, but it's important to know and understand this answer. 

Let's start by saying it doesn't matter the industry or role you have within your company. It doesn’t matter if your leading hundreds or leading five – or even if you technically don’t have anyone who reports to you, but instead you’re over projects or you’re an individual contributor vs a VP of an organization.

It doesn’t matter if you’re in hospitality, healthcare, the military, manufacturing, the government, publishing, or fashion.

It matters that you see yourself as a leader because being a leader means that the real business you're in is the people business.

When you're a leader, you are in the people business because you’re taking care of people.

And when you’re taking care of people, they will take care of your processes, and that...

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Upleveling as a Leader

It seems that we go through various cycles in our life of mastering something and then starting over as the student.

When we start a new job, even if it's with the same company or group of people, or transition from the corporate world and into our own business, there are new responsibilities, processes, and systems for us to learn.

Each time we try something new, we are breaking out of our comfort zones.

Sometimes it's not a matter of trying something new, but rather breaking a system that made sense at one time and now no longer serves us.

At that point, we have a choice – we can choose to view change as positive growth instead of negative or scary.

We can choose to stay where we are or to rise to the next level and allow ourselves to be the student once more. It’s easy to stay where we are because it’s comfortable and known.

Because moving to the next level requires more from us.

So, what can you do to better prepare for the next level?

The first step is to...

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The One Thing That Will Stop Your Vision in its Tracks

It’s the start of another day and you’re thinking about what needs to happen to turn your vision into a reality.

You check out your plan and the specific tasks for today, and you get started.

You feel like you are making progress and after a while, you decide to take a break.

So, you check out the latest post from one of your favorite go-to resources or listen to a podcast that talks about the latest tips to do A, B and C so that your business or team will be able to do X, Y, and Z.

And they make it sound so easy, like it was nothing for them to figure out what was needed to discover some incredible results.

Or maybe you take a few minutes and scroll through your social media feed to find some inspiration. Yet what you notice are how many likes and shares or comments that post has.

And your recent post has none.

Maybe the first few distractions are welcomed and inspiring, and you are encouraged to keep going on your journey. But slowly they start to get to you.

You feel...

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Get Curious

When I think of curiosity – I’m looking at it as someone who likes to learn. Someone who actively wants to find out more because they want to grow.

Deepen their practice

Deepen their knowledge

Try something new

As a leader – being curious is a big part of trying out new ideas. You are curious about what will happen. If something doesn’t pan out well, you’re curious as to why and trying something else to see if that creates success.

Being curious is about growth and learning

The inspiration for this post came from an experience when I was traveling home from Boston.

On the first leg of the return flight, I had a wonderful quick chat with a flight attendant. What stood out with this trip was how he engaged with those in first class. He specifically greeted each of them by name, then asked what they wanted to drink.

As I observed from my seat, it didn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary, until I heard what he said. The fact that he greeted each...

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Are You Thinking Big Enough?

Today’s chat was inspired by one of my all time favorite books – The Magic of Thinking Big by Dr. David J. Schwartz.

So my parents gave me this copy when I was in high school, and I’ve re-read it many many times since. It’s about a growth mindset. Having a mindset that says I can figure it out or I am more than capable.

If you haven’t read this book, I hope you’ll check it out, but in the mean time – are you thinking big enough?

Meaning – are you brainstorming and whole heartedly pursuing goals that are exciting, audacious, meaningful and scary at the same time?

Do they push you out of your comfort zone?

Another way to think big is to day dream. What would just be amazing for you if it happened?

Don’t just keep these ideas in your head – write them down.

Take out a piece of paper and for 15 minutes, just brain dump everything that comes to your mind of what would be amazing to accomplish, do, have, or experience.

It...

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What Happens When You're Not Invested in the Vision?

Regardless if the vision is for a specific situation - like an event or project - or for something larger like your business or organization or company, to be able to effectively drive change and lead, you must buy-in into the vision.

Your team and clients are looking to you to be excited about the vision and help them to understand it and why it's important.

If you're tasking others with projects or responsibilities that are intended to drive the vision forward, but your heart isn't in it, your team will know. Not only will this make it more challenging for your team to effectively do their jobs, it will create pressure on them to help you get on board with the vision, when it's really the other way around. Your job is to remove the barriers for your team, and if you aren't fully bought into the vision, then it's essentially adding a barrier for your team to overcome. It's a barrier you need to remove, but once you do, your team and clients will feel the difference. They may be...

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