David was in his 30s and had already achieved more than his years in terms of career success. On paper his resume looked great, he had worked hard for a prestigious degree and had been hired by a top-tier consulting company. But David's hands would sweat when he needed to give a presentation or sit for an interview, he had a secret saboteur.
This saboteur was stealthily undermining David's confidence, making him feel miserable, and behaving in inauthentic ways. Eventually, David reached out to me for help, and today he is free of the saboteur and said to me,
"Thank you for reminding me of who I am"
If you find yourself struggling like David, having your confidence drain away at crucial moments, and not reaching your full potential, then read this post and take a moment to reflect.
The secret saboteur operates subtly. Here are some signs that it might be undermining your confidence:
Mentoring has a triple benefit. It benefits the mentor, the mentee, and the organization, so it is not surprising that people and culture, or human resource, departments are keen to set up mentoring programs. Why then do many mentoring programs fail, and what are the pitfalls?
The idea of mentoring can be traced back 3000-years to Homer's Odyssey. In this Ancient Greek epic poem, Odysseus entrusts his young son Telemachus to the care of a mentor, when he goes off to fight in the Trojan War. This history is likely the reason for the stereotype of the older, successful, man mentoring a young ambitious one. It also highlights the current need for those women, who have successfully navigated to the top, to mentor a new generation of women leaders.
In a modern and business context, mentoring can be defined as a developmental partnership between a Mentor, a leader with expertise in one or more areas, and a Mentee, an individual seeking learning and growth in these...
Many companies are, through policies, forcing a return to the workplace for full or part-time.
The often-stated rationale for mandatory attendance is the importance of in-person collaboration. Sounds logical - But not to a Wells Fargo IT executive who told me that he has been forced to return to work full-time in a cubical, on a floor with no other IT personnel, whilst his entire team is situated in different cities.
Apple employees are up-in-arms over a hybrid model of mandatory attendance on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Employees have written an open letter to the executive leadership team challenging the need for, and the possibility of, in-person collaboration within Apple’s siloed structure. This excerpt from the letter calls out the hypocrisy of the mandate from Tim Cook and his team.
“We tell all of our customers how great our products are for remote work, yet, we ourselves, cannot use them to work remotely? How can we expect our customers to take that...
Remember back in 2013, when an employee (Bob) outsourced his job and was fired?
Before being fired, Bob was considered a ‘model employee’, his work was above par, his code was clean, well-written, and submitted in a timely fashion. Quarter after quarter, Bob’s performance review noted him as the best developer in the building.
In many ways, Bob was a 'man before his time'. He chose to spend one-fifth of his salary to free up his life, reduce his stress, and ensure he hit his targets. Companies in 2013 had different criteria, they liked to ‘keep an eye’ on who was doing the work, for both productivity and security reasons.
With the pandemic hitting in 2020, and most people working from home, ‘keeping an eye’ on people seems less important, and keeping employees healthy, and well-balanced with manageable stress is much more so. Security will remain a concern, but solutions have been found for that.
In a previous post, I spoke about how not to get passed over for promotion, and one of those steps was to speak up. Regardless of your seniority your business or your career, there’s a lot of noise out there and if you are not heard, you cannot influence, and if you can’t influence you can’t be successful.
Many people have the mindset that it’s best to fly under the radar, but successful people know that.
"if you don’t want to be part of the herd, you must be heard"
In this post, I’m going to share with you 5 strategies to get heard and pave your way to be heard and be more influential.
Some of these strategies might seem counter-intuitive and earlier in my career, I struggled to apply them, sometimes missing opportunities because I didn’t get my message heard.
I don’t want you to miss out – so listen up!
The evening news, on TV, does not start with a cute story about a baby animal being born at...
Are you driving your career, or are you being a passenger?
In this post, I want to share some actions you can take to ensure you don’t have to swallow the bitter pill of disappointment when you are passed over for a job that should rightfully be yours.
Philip was furious, he had worked hard, stayed late, been loyal, exceeded his numbers, but missed out on the promotion he was expecting.
When he asked his boss the reason, he was told that the other directors felt he lacked, ‘Executive Presence’.
Philip hadn’t realized that he was missing the ‘Secret Ingredient’ to success in a modern organization, and it cost him. It cost him big time. The definition of executive presence is:
“Executive Presence is the ability to project confidence and gravitas (substance) under pressure.”
Executive Presence is about the right kind of ‘visibility’, whether the meeting is in person or on a global call. Having worked...
It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Academy Award Winning Scottish Actor, Sir Thomas Sean Connery (25 August 1930 – 31 October 2020).
The first actor to play James Bond in a movie in 1962, Sean Connery has been an icon for my entire life. My parents were fans, and as soon as I was old enough, I was a fan.
This blog reflects on the impact of Sean’s life, both on and off-screen.
Connery had been an actor in small theater and TV productions before he played Bond, but it was this role that launched his career. James Bond 007, a British Secret Service agent, was created by writer Ian Fleming in 1953, but Connery’s physicality and humor brought the character to life. If you watch an interview with Connery, you will hear the humor, that so distinguished his alter ego’s dry wit.
He played 007 in the first five Bond films: Dr. No (1962), From Russia with...
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...
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...