How Do You Fit in and Yet Be Known for Something?

Square peg, round hole. Not a fit. Round peg, round hole. A fit. Yet nothing stands out. If the fit is really good, the round peg blends right in with the rest of the surface. How do you fit in and yet be known for something? This is a dilemma a client recently faced as he took on a new role at a new company. There are those awkward few days of simply learning how …

How to Get Known for Something

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“Your reputation precedes you.”  Is this a compliment or a condemnation?  You are known for something.  Or are you? Reputation is a matter of perception.  You view yourself as a team player that contributes specialized knowledge and experience to the project.  The other ten people in the room also view themselves as team players that contribute specialized knowledge and experience to the project.  Who’s right?  Everyone.  So that means your contributions compete with those of …

Lost at Sea! Navigator Needed

lost-at-sea

So you’ve gone and done it. You pushed off from the safe harbor and have ventured into the vast sea of “something new.” You prepared by charting a course yet along the way tides, headwinds and storms have blown you off course. With only the sea on the vast horizon you’re not sure if you are even rowing in the right direction. Not rowing is not an option as it would leave you “lost at …

Can’t Never Could

cant-never-could

“Can’t never could” and other well-known encourager statements exist to remind us that we are more powerful than we imagine. When we lose that bit of edge, “can’t never could” tells us that yes indeed, I can! Powerful in the moment, you are going to need much more than an encourager statement to get you to that next level.  If you haven’t done something before, you will need to develop in new ways.  How can …

Opportunity – Would You Recognize It?

recognize-opportunity

If I just had the chance to…  If only there was an opportunity to… There likely isn’t one of us who hasn’t uttered those words.  When we are feeling hemmed in and the future looks bleak, we wish for the opportunity to…  do something different move up in the organization make that big presentation Waiting and wishing won’t make that opportunity appear.  It doesn’t arrive with a bow and a gift tag.  In fact, it …

A Worthy Challenge

In this time of resolutions and promises made, I want to ask you a different question. How will you challenge yourself this year? Answer that question and you can answer this next one: What makes this challenge worthy of effort? Is it the lure of the pay-off? Why would you do something if there is no pay-off? What would the point be? If pay-off is what makes the challenge worth it, how do you measure …

Are You Training or Untraining?

In the sport of dressage, the trainers’ adage is you are either training or untraining.  Every step counts.  Every step counts as it prepares you for the next.  There is no middle ground.  You are either training or untraining your horse and yourself with every step. Dressage originates from the military.  Horses were trained to carry their riders into battle and to serve as weapons before rifles and artillery made it onto the scene.  In …

A Gift for You

It is that time of year for giving gifts. Here is a gift for you as we move into the new year. Grab your favorite warm beverage and settle into your reading chair or that special place by the window. Give yourself the gift of a few quiet moments to consider the following: What is it that you most want to get in 2018 for your professional development and career? Do you know what that …

Your Next Best Step

Do you know what that is?  What will 2018 bring for you?  What do you want it to bring?  Opportunity doesn’t show up like presents under the tree with a bow and a gift tag.  Most of the time it arrives disguised as something else; usually NOT what you were wishing for. Or we miss the opportunity altogether.  We don’t see it, even when it is not disguised because we don’t know what we are …

Is This Year’s Gift a Lump of Coal?

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A lump of coal has a negative connotation in our holiday traditions.  Misbehaving children would receive a lump of coal in their stockings instead of gifts as a reminder to do better next year.  Is the delivery of a few lumps of coal on your list this year as a leader?  How can negative feedback, that lump of coal, be a gift to both the organization and the recipient? Just the thought of delivering negative …

Feedback with Meaning 👍

social-media-feedback

“Like.” “Like.” “Like.” “Thumbs up.” “Heart.”  This is the feedback we give and receive on social media. It’s a thrill to see someone like what we shared. It’s also fun to give this feedback, sharing with others that we agree in some way.  But what meaning does it have? Not much in most cases.  This feedback is done quickly with the press of a finger. Some apps don’t even require that the article or post is …

All I Want for Christmas is Some Feedback

feedback

Feedback, feedback, feedback. Sound familiar? Except it is not just for Christmas or any other holiday; feedback is something employees and team members are demanding more and more on any day. Point the finger at overly-involved parents and school and sports programs that provide feedback constantly to the younger generations in our workforce. And only positive feedback some might add! This sea change to more feedback is not simply a cry from the younger generation. …

Those Darn Millennials

millennials

Those Darn Millennials make up a good portion of my client base.  For all the disregard and disrespect that is heaped on them, I find them to be eager, exciting and enthusiastic clients to work with. They are hungry for self-development, focused on making the most of their professional careers and willing to learn and experiment with different ways of thinking.  They face the same challenges that all of us do in balancing careers, family …

Are You Searching For Talent?

talent

A company I work with has recently employed a Talent Manager.  The term is becoming more common in the Human Resources function as the search moves from just warm bodies to the identification of talent to ensure the best and brightest are part of our organizations.  What is not to like about this? Nothing.  Not one darn thing.  Assuming we know talent when we see it, this is a win-win for both parties.  Only it …

Do You Know What is Really Expected?

really expected

In a recent workshop on time management a participant shared that he had created blocks of time on his calendar for his various projects.  “Time-blocking” helps ensure you actually have time available to get the task done.  But it hadn’t worked for this participant.  When he got to the time block he didn’t know which project to work on.  That is not a time management problem.  That is a contribution “I know what is expected …

What Could Adjusting Your View Do For You?

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It was fifth grade when I was found out.  Sitting at the front of the classroom demonstrated I was an engaged student, yes?  But at some point, my guise was up.  A trip to the eye doctor put me in bifocals at a young age.  I remember being amazed at how many individual leaves were on the trees.  Wow! The amazement soon turned to clumsiness and embarrassment.  Exiting the school cafeteria, I stumbled down the …

Navigating the Crossfire

crossfire

“Things are challenging — there are those who will oppose anything if it is not their idea…scheduled a team meeting tomorrow to do some work planning and I think that will help disperse some of the responsibilities a bit and give me some more time to manage the personalities.” A client recently shared this status update.  Does it sound familiar?  Anytime change is afoot you can expect crossfire.  It can happen with a recently promoted …

Finding Confidence in Your Understanding

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What happens when we don’t understand someone?  Don’t think.  Give your initial response. By saying “don’t think” you likely did and came up with the “appropriate response” that we all want to give.  If the person you don’t understand is important to you, you attempt to uncover what is mysterious or confusing.  You ask questions of the other person, probe a little and search for that something they share that creates an “Ah-ha” for you.  …

Managing for Exponential Impact

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Growth is exciting but not if you aren’t prepared.  If you said “grow” today would your team be ready? The capacity of your team and organization to grow depends on the capabilities of your managers.  Much like the pebble in the pond, their impact is felt across the organization and is exponential. Consider the role of the manager.  Not only are they responsible for direct reports, they also manage upward to leadership and sideway with …

Harness the Ripple Effect

ripple effect

If a pebble dropped in a pond ripples the surface to the outer edges, what happens when you drop a larger pebble?  The ripple effect is bigger.  Not only does it impact the surface of the water, the waves rippling across have more power and energy and move things further below the surface. But is that impact just a wave washing over the rest of the firm roiling their world for a few moments until …