Your annual review or performance conversation can either be an opportunity to advance your career or, feel like a failed parole hearing, condemning you to another year of being stuck in-situ.
This week, I was coaching a Senior Director in charge of Enterprise Strategic Planning. He has an upcoming quarterly performance review and asked me how to prepare. In my experience, coaching hundreds of executives to senior leadership and C-Suite roles, I have noticed that the ‘difference that makes the difference’ is proactivity.
Proactive Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance (PPPPP). Here is the 3-phase strategy I shared with my client so that you too can ace your next review or performance conversation.
Your boss is likely to start the conversation by asking,
“How do you think you have done?”
This opening invites you to show your self-awareness of your achievements, but so many people trip over themselves with this first question....
Conventional wisdom suggests that for career success, you need to show your value by working above and beyond. But is this the full story?
In the opening scene of The Godfather (1972 Francis Ford Coppola. You can watch the clip above), Don Corleone is receiving requests for favors, on the day of his daughter’s wedding. The undertaker asks for revenge against two boys who beat his daughter when she refused their advances. Don Corleone grants the favor, but not before saying,
“Someday, and that day may never come, I’ll call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day accept this justice as a gift on my daughter’s wedding.”
The Godfather movie is a case study of the power of reciprocity for influence. If you are going to give value, know your value, and seek value in return.
I am currently coaching a Senior Vice President, who has her eyes on a C-level promotion. She has made her aspirations known to her organization and is...
False humility, or more importantly, not understanding the true definition of humility will kill your career. I know this because I’ve spent 20-years coaching people to senior leadership positions and the C-Suite.
Before you react, please note, I am not advocating arrogance. Arrogance and humility are not even on the same continuum, and misunderstanding this will cost you.
To be successful as a man or woman in today’s business world you need to project confidence, have a voice and be visible – in short ‘Executive Presence’.
My experience is that there is a ‘humility barrier’ – a cultural, gender and mind-set inhibitor to developing, presence, influence and leadership.
The first step in breaking through the humility barrier is to look at the correct definition of humility and how it has been misinterpreted.
The definition of "humility" comes from the Latin word humilitas, which translates as "humble", but also as...
Whether I’m working with graduate trainees or managing directors, there is always a realization of the need to improve presentation skills. Why are presentation skills such an important skill to accelerate your career or secure your position as a leader?
Well, I’m sure you have sat through many mind-numbing, ‘death by PowerPoint’ presentations, but have you also experienced listening to an engaging story-teller, who has you on the edge of your seat and inspires you with new insights?
Being the engaging storyteller gives you visibility, credibility and influence. These 3-factors are essential to your career Success.
The ability to present or speak well is within everyone’s grasp. With 20-years’ experience as Motivational Speaker, I have coached the most boring of CEO’s and the most timid individual contributor to speak and present with impact.
Regardless of your current position or skill level, to become effective...
Think of the most confident person you know. Think of how they stand, how they hold the space and how, when they speak, everyone listens. This is Executive Presence.
"Executive Presence is the ability to project confidence and gravitas (substance) under pressure."
In addition a person with executive presence can present effectively and has the ability to 'read the room', so that they can influence an audience.
In a complex, fast paced world it is vital to be noticed, heard and trusted. Executive Presence is therefore an essential competency for both individual contributors and leaders.
In my 20-years of experience as an executive coach, working with C-level executives and those that want to crack the C-Suite, I have observed that those who are successful have mastered executive presence.
I have created a free Masterclass on how to to develop executive presence and you can watch it here. You can also read these 12-Strategies...
To succeed in any organization, you must understand 'office politics'. The first rule is to be visible, doing good work is not enough if you're not associated with it. You must learn to shine.
Let me tell you about Chris who's an experienced pharmaceutical Healthcare Executive. He's delivered results as a sales head early in his career and had been moved to head office in Europe in an administrative role.
Chris made everything run smoothly. However, he did it in an under-the-radar manner, so when he wanted to step up to a country manager role he was not deemed ready.
Chris had not followed the first rule of office politics:
How could Chris have gained visibility instead of just quietly making things efficient?
in a previous post, "How to Influence Your Boss", I explored how to influence upwards, but just as important is how to influence laterally.
When I teach programs on influence or influence without authority, I ask participants to create a circle of influence like this diagram:
I then ask them to put ticks or crosses, representing ability or inability to influence, against each circle. Obviously some circles will need sub-circles to represent individual key people. This is a useful exercise to map out where you need to develop or strengthen your influence.
In a modern matrix style organisation, your success will be determined not just by what you do, but by what you can influence others to do. The effective manager/leader learns to find out what is important to the people in their circle of influence and communicates to them in terms of what matters them rather than directly stating their own needs.
The "How to Influence Your Boss" post expands on finding needs and...
Research has shown that the inability to build a successful relationship with the boss is a significant reason for managers failing or not reaching their full potential.
When I approach this topic, I encounter several mindsets that lead to an inability to effectively influence, these include:
Do any of these, sound familiar?
The problem with blaming the boss is that you have created an external locus of control which is the exact opposite of self-leadership. To influence you must ask yourself, “what can I do that will make a difference?” The purpose of this blog is to provide some ideas to get you started:
Allies have open and honest conversations; they may not always agree but they will listen to what each other wants and assertively communicate what their own needs. "But my boss doesn't...