Category Archives for success

Why you’ll never get promoted if you follow the rules

Will 2014 be the year you finally get promoted?corporate_climb_up_500_wht

 

Why not?

You have followed all the Spoken Rules of Getting Promoted:

  • Worked hard and long hours to be a strong contender for the promotion to fill the position as the newest Director or VP in your company.
  • Listened to upper management who has given you what seems to be good, well-meaning advice.
  • Read the employee manual that defines all twenty seven leadership competencies identified by HR and expert consultants specifically to be considered to fill the leadership role.
  • The company’s mission and vision statement is framed on your office wall, strategically placed right behind your desk so all who enter your office can’t help but know you live and breathe “The Code.”

Here’s the bad news:  If you only listen to the spoken (or written) rules and are unaware it is actually the Unspoken Rules of how to get promoted that determine what it really takes to get promoted in your company, you may be passed up (again) for the next opportunity to advance your career.  Click here to get the inside scoop you need to get promoted in 2014 over at ManagingAmericans.com.

What is Unspoken Rule #1 in your company and how did you discover it?

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What Do Frogs Have To Do with Brain-Based Leaders and Learning?

Riddle:  “Once upon a time, two frogs were sitting on a log in the middle of a lake, and one frog decided to jump off, how many frogs were left sitting on the log?

Answer: Two frogs.

Why? The same reason only 3% of the population set and actually achieve their goals or maintain positive, well-intentioned change in the first place. The frog missed three critical steps of Achieving his Goal: Ask, Announce, Act (and Ask again).

The frog understood WHY it was a good idea to jump off, because he was an intelligent, high achieving, upwardly mobile frog.  He understood there were more opportunities and freedom if he left the comfort of the log.  While the frog understood why, and although he did decide … he didn’t take action.

What about accountability and following up? Perhaps if the first frog told the second frog he was going to jump off, he would have followed through on his promise and lived happily ever after. Does this story sound familiar? Whoops, wrong story. That’s enough about frogs …Now let’s make the story relevant.

Leaders and Learning:  Which skills are more critical to your success strategic skills or soft skills?

“Almost 50% of newly hired or newly promoted leaders quit or get fired before their 18 month anniversary …”  (Hint: The majority of failure is not a result of lack of business savvy or technical skills, but a lack of interpersonal or communication skills.)

… and another statistic:

“The divorce rate in the US is around 50% …” As a marriage counselor for 14 years, I will also bet the reason is the same … lack of effective communication skills by one or both people.

Question: Which is easier for you to achieve: your company’s strategic goals or your soft skills or interpersonal goals? “What are ‘personal development goals’ and why would I, Mr. or Ms. Super Successful CEO need them?” you ask?

Because you don’t want to be a statistic.

By lack of interpersonal or soft skills I mean the inability to manage your emotions. You, who growl and snap when your assistant forgets an important detail about a meeting. You, the exhausted Senior VP who feels like you start your day in at a jog and feel like you’ve run a marathon by the time 8 pm rolls around. You, the up and coming leader who promised your son you’d get home in time to see him play baseball and you missed it again. Yes, you, the human part of the executive equation.

What difference will it make when you have mastered the higher level communication and relationship skills that prevent these conflicts? You understand why personal skill development is important, may have decided to make a change, but are you ready to take action and jump off of the log?

What if you had a simple, 3 step brain-based learning strategy to make lasting, positive changes in your actions, your communication style or your interpersonal skills as easily as you develop and achieve your strategic company objectives for 2012? I said it was simple, I didn’t say it would be easy …

AAA: The Triple Threat Solution … 3 Simple Steps: Ask, Announce & Act (Repeat)

Step #1: Ask. Ask others what they see you can improve upon. After all, perception is reality and their perception of how you communicate rather than your perception of how you communicate matters most.

Step #2: Announce. Tell people what you are working on. This not only holds you more accountable for change, it also subconsciously invites people to look for and more likely notice the positive change you will be making.

Step #3: Act. Just do it. Look for opportunities to interrupt an old pattern. Try taking a few deep breaths next time you feel tense going into a meeting (holding our breath triggers Lizard Brain). Instead of saying “No” immediately to an idea proposed in a project meeting, take a moment and respond “Interesting, let’s consider that idea.”

Then, repeat #1: Ask. Remind others of what you are working on and then check in and ask “How am I doing?” Where are you inviting them to focus? Right. On what you are changing, because otherwise, people may not notice, allowing the negative things you say or do to stand out more automatically.

So, what are your waiting for? Jump!

 

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Leaders: How to Manage Work Stress So You Can Leave Work at Work & Become a Sustainable Leader

Leaders:  You cannot lead with excellence if stress is an underlying problem!  To become a sustainable leader, you must first resolve or eliminate unnecessary stress:

For your free video:  7 Simple Strategies to Eliminate Stress for Busy Managers & Leaders – Get access now by signing up for access to the video to your right:

Here’s a terrific article on how to manage work stress for everyday or extraordinary leaders:

5 Daily Rituals to Manage Work Stress 

How ordinary (and extraordinary) leaders can use the practice of mindfulness to feel happier, satisfied and more productive at work.  Oh, and leave WORK at work so you can truly enjoy your family time … read Judy Martin’s blog post on Forbes.com here: 5 Daily Rituals to Manage Work Stress

Post below and share your favorite daily rituals to manage work stress:

 

 

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21 Ways for Managers & Leaders to Eliminate Workplace Stress

21 Ways to Eliminate (Leadership) Stress: Myths & Solutions for Managers & Leaders

 Here’s #1 …

Watch your language!

To eliminate “lizard brain” (the emotional hijack caused by stress) avoid asking questions like “Why did you ..??” “WHY can’t you …?” “WHY don’t you …?” “WHY?” not only results in the listener feeling defensive, but also rarely matters when we are looking for solutions to a problem.

A better question effective leaders ask begins with “what” or “how” and helps people think. One example is asked with genuine curiosity (remember to manage your frustration first) … “What did you hope would happen by doing XYZ?”

Then, if you want people to trust you, shut up and listen.

To get the other 20 Ways to Eliminate Leadership Stress for You AND Your Team, click the link below to register for a free webinar:


Stress causes more than just physical symptoms. Did you know stress in the workplace erodes trust, productivity and creativity of you and your team?

Discover 21 Ways to Eliminate Stress to be able to do your best work, feel happier and more satisfied at the end of the day (and help your team do so, too!)

Free training: Share with your networks, your boss and your team:

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Dangerous territory: Do you confuse what you do with who you are?

What is the first question you are asked when you meet someone at a business or social function?  “Hi, my name is …. What do you do?”

If you are the VP, CEO or have another prestigious title, the answer comes automatically and easily often with a tone of pride in your voice.

Let’s dissect the conversation for a moment and notice you aren’t really answering the question in the way it’s being asked. In our culture, we often answer the “What do you do?” question with an “I am …” answer.

Never mind that in doing so, we aren’t really answering the question; more importantly, is what you do really who you are?  Read the rest of the article here in my post for Smartblog for Leadership …

 

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3 Questions retiring CEO’s must ask themselves (radio interview)

Today’s radio interview on #boomerbeat BlogTalk Radio on the biggest pitfall of executives … failing to plan for your transition into retirement:

Listen to internet radio with beverly mahone on Blog Talk Radio
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The cat’s out of the bag: Even successful CEO’s need hugs

Scott Mabry posted this article from McKinsey Quarterly on his blog and all I can say is it’s about time the cat’s out of the bag …

Leading through times of exponential change is not for the faint of heart … and requires more character, stamina … and hugs than we ever imagined (or even Donald Trump would admit).

Sustainable leaders will be able to lead through the 21st century … and beyond.  Because these leaders will come back to center and know what REALLY matters.  And lead from who they are.  But first, a reality check …

Read what Josef Ackermann, formerly of Deutsche Bank; Carlos Ghosn of Nissan and Renault; Moya Greene of Royal Mail Group; Ellen Kullman of DuPont; President Shimon Peres of Israel; and Daniel Vasella of Novartis have to say about what it’ll take to be a highly successful CEO who won’t burn up or burn out:  Click here to read more in the McKinsey Quarterly journal …

To Your Sustainable Leadership,

Christina Haxton

Leadership Speaker, Author & Executive Consultant

Powerful Connections … Sustainable Leadership … Extraordinary Peace of Mind.

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One famous cowboy’s secret to success in life and business …

“Community happens when people serve selflessly to achieve a common purpose, neither for

Out West Leadership

duty nor cause, but because they truly love and care about the people they are serving with. When this transformation happens they will do, with joy, tasks that would otherwise be perceived as burdensome or even impossible.”

In the 90′s movie “City Slickers” the cowboy character, Curly, shares with Billy Crystal the secret to life (and business)…“ONE THING”.

Do you know your “one thing”? Does your organization have a “one thing”? Is there a word or idea that is at the center of everything you do…can you name it? Can the people in the organization name it? One of my favorite sayings is that unless you have a bigger “YES” it’s hard to say “NO” to the things that don’t really matter. Often times your “One Thing” provides that bigger “Yes”.

Click here to read the rest of Scott Mabry’s post on “Out West Leadership …” (and my response)

 

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A “heads-up” for newly promoted or recently hired leaders: How to keep from losing your new position …

Congratulations on your promotion (or maybe you are in line for one) … but don’t celebrate too soon. Did you know almost 50% of newly promoted or newly hired executives get fired or quit before within the first 18 months on the job?  

Are you wondering whether you are meeting expectations or falling short in your new position?

The expectations are high (yours and theirs) and yet there’s so much you don’t know about the people, the culture and the “unspoken rules.”

On top of that, you must get up to speed quickly so you can hit the ground running and feel satisfied at the end of the day.

You’re invited to see the webinar replay now available through June 17th:

 “Just Promoted? Discover 3 Powerful Strategies to Keep Your Leadership Position”

Discover the pitfalls you need to avoid and understand the critical strategies new leaders must practice to eliminate “leadership stress” and earn the trust of your new team … so you don’t end up a statistic.

Here are just two of the biggest mistakes new leaders make:

Pitfall #1: Failure to understand why change (even “good” change) is hard and most change initiatives fall flat (and this includes your presence, even if your predecessor was a miserable manager). Hint: Small change over a period of time leads to lasting, long term change.  Scale down a change initiative into an “experiment” in one department or with one small group first, instead of rolling it out company wide and crossing your fingers it takes hold. 

Pitfall #2: Believing that understanding the problem alone is enough to make change happen.  Don’t fall into the trap of “over-analysis” or worse, who’s to blame for the problem.  Ask better questions to find solutions and take action as soon as possible.  “What is good about this problem?” and “What is not perfect yet?” are just two of the five questions teams need to feel creative and take decisive steps to action.

For more pitfalls to avoid for new (and seasoned) leaders, click here to get access to the replay through June 17th

“Just Promoted? Discover Powerful Strategies to Keep Your Leadership Position”

(The bottom line is you’ll want to have these tools to accelerate your leadership effectiveness for the long haul, too.)

Questions? Comments? Advice for new leaders?  Post your thoughts below!

Leaders: How to keep your cool even when everyone else is acting like an idiot

Your behavior is a result of your feelings … which is a result of BS

Yes, I said “BS.”  Let’s start at the beginning:

Question:  What makes a problem a problem?

Before I answer this question, how would you answer it?  Think of a recent situation you’d define as a problem.  Got it?  Now, describe that problem.  For example, “I was frustrated because I was stuck in traffic.”

What was the problem?  Being stuck in traffic wasn’t the problem.  Being late wasn’t the problem.  Was feeling frustrated the problem?  Almost.  My feeling or emotion of frustration (interpreted by my brain as a negative, painful emotion) resulted in my behavior (honking my horn).

But where did THAT feeling come from? It came from BS. 

Answer:  Bulls*&t?  Could be.  Belief System (which are often interchangeable concepts).  My BELIEF (or my “rule”) was that if I was late to my meeting, then I would feel pain.  Was that bulls%t?  Maybe, maybe not.

Recent studies in the field of social cognitive neuroscience show our human brain works harder to avoid pain than to seek pleasure.  My brain was working hard, very hard.  Maybe as a child being late was severely punished.   Maybe I had one negative experience being late for a meeting (and feeling embarrassed or ?) which combined to create a cellular memory (or rule so I didn’t let it happen again in the future) of pain so my brain could keep me safe.

So what makes a problem a problem is the not only the negative or painful emotion attached to it, but the rule or pattern your brain created when it connected the feeling to a situation in the past and projected it into the future.

So, why is this important?  Empathy. The #1 secret to keeping cool under pressure is drumming up the feeling of empathy.  Because of the wiring in our brain, we cannot feel empathy and angry at the same time … the experience of empathy occurs in a different part of the brain and we can’t feel both at the same time.

Next time a peer or colleague gets upset about a situation you feel is “no big deal” and you wonder why she’s so upset, just say “it’s not her, it’s just her brain.”

Perhaps empathy on your part could subvert a potential conflict or misunderstanding and you both could get the job done more easily.

For more strategies for success, sign up for the Sustainable Leader’s Newsletter as you leave this page – your coworkers (and maybe your spouse) will thank you for it!

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