How to Successfully Move From Stagnating to Flourishing

Did you ever start down a path of improving yourself and think, “Oh boy, what am I getting into here?” Did you turn back or did you keep going? Professional and personal development is not for the faint of heart. It is often a winding road with various twists and turns and sometimes even a few U-turns and caution lights. Inevitably, you will come face to face with some things that you may not want to know about yourself, things that are uncomfortable to acknowledge. And yet, the path forward is through that acknowledgment. How do you keep moving forward? Here are three keys  [Read more…]

What Can Set You Apart as a Leader?

Recently, I was asked to give a talk on accountability and an associate’s initial reaction was, “why would anyone come to a talk about that?” His reaction, though not atypical, made me smile and think. Has accountability become a foreign concept? What does it mean to be accountable? How is this competency impacting your leadership or your performance efforts?  It is an important topic given its impact on success.

Why do people tend to shy away from accountability? My thought is that it sounds a lot like blame. Let’s define accountability according to Merriam Webster:  “an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.” As a leader it also means to hold oneself and others accountable for high-quality results that are measurable, timely, and cost-effective.

It is not unusual to find avoidant type of behavior in leaders and teams particularly around accountability. It is almost as though accountability has become a four letter word.  Many leaders see it as conflict or confrontation and would rather do anything else. Allowing others to hide or point fingers when responsibilities are not met will tear apart a team. It takes strong leadership to shift that experience to one of appropriate accountability.

Doing the Hard Work of Leadership: A few years ago high school football coach, Matt Labrum, [Read more…]

How to Successfully Navigate Holiday Family Dynamics

Holiday family dynamics can be very interesting and often trigger an emotional response within people and negative expectations (this may have already occurred at your Thanksgiving gathering!). Couple that with the stress of the holidays and we can get a potentially toxic brew of tension.  What can you do about it? You do not need to dread this holiday season or the time you will spend with family; self-mastery is just a few steps away.

Many of us would like to be more aware of our emotional intelligence and how we use it every day. What is emotional intelligence?  It is an awareness of our emotions, the emotions of others and using that awareness to manage ourselves and our relationships with others. The thoughts we have about ourselves, our lives and others can drive our emotions which impacts our behavior. You can enhance your [Read more…]

Four Common Ways You May Be Sabotaging Your Success

In the pursuit of success, too often we look beyond those things that we do that impede our progress.  We can see it daily in others all over the news, whether in politics or entertainment. Derailers come in many forms, and they are often self-inflicted. The following are some common ways I see people derail their success which often leaves them confused about why they are not moving forward in their work and relationships, and some tips on how to turn things around.

  1. Catastrophizing- When people engage in catastrophizing they blow things out of proportion and often assume the worst case scenario. It involves over exaggerations, a pessimistic or negative focus, and [Read more…]

Are You Successfully Navigating Interpersonal Rabbit Holes?

How often do you experience behavior in someone else that you cannot understand?  What do you typically do to make sense of that behavior? Part of the human condition is to jump to conclusions based on assumptions about people and that is like diving down a rabbit hole. When that happens, we plunge into murkiness, unclear of where we are heading only to run into a dead end or an alternative reality. As defined by Oxford, “an assumption is a thing that is accepted as true, or certain to happen, without proof.”  These assumptions are often negative as are the attributions ascribed to people regarding their actions and behavior. When we come to believe these assumptions and attributions [Read more…]

How to Strengthen Your Credibility

Some years ago when I started my career in medical sales, my mother gave me the most helpful piece of advice. She was one of the pioneer women who blazed the trail for women like me when she left nursing to sell surgical supplies. When I started my career, I was calling on many of her prior customers.  She was incredibly successful, and her customers liked her very much. During my growing up years, she had also shared stories about me with those customers. They then had a preconceived idea of who I was and how I might show up in this profession. Thanks, Mom!

The advice my mother gave me seemed elementary. As I quickly learned, few of my competitors either knew this secret to success or were weak in its implementation. What was this golden nugget? She taught me that no matter what, [Read more…]