Go Ahead, Underestimate Me.

In late-November I was contacted by a recruiter for an exciting opportunity with Tory Burch for a truly fabulous role. I love Tory Burch and have been a very committed client and brand ambassador of theirs since 2013. I had a delightful interview with the Senior Vice President of this organization and a few days later emailed the recruiter for feedback and follow-up. The recruiter called me later that day and told me that the SVP loved our conversation, loved my energy and vision, he communicated to the in-house recruiter that I was “impressive” but his concern was that I lacked luxury retail experience and that is “very important to him”. Fair enough – in any of my traditional roles that is absolutelyRead More

Emotional Terrorists In The Workplace

Emotional Terrorists are EVERYWHERE. There is no hierarchy to emotional terrorism. A manager can be a jerk to their colleagues or their people and a subordinate can be a bully to peers as well as upward to organizational leadership and business partners. Regardless of the position they hold, they inflict a tremendous amount of damage and chaos into the environment and hurt the brand – usually on a large scale. The good news, though…surviving these emotional terrorists is a craft, not a science. People are either good or bad at it. If they are bad at dealing with these toxic people, they absolutely get better at it. There is also a chance [if/when we lack or lose self-awareness] that we could be theRead More

Genuinely Fabulous Leaders Are Humble Leaders

Genuinely Fabulous Leaders Are Humble Leaders A ProSocial & Collaborative Leadership Quality A few weeks ago I shared a story about an interaction with a VP of Strategic Planning that was so profoundly bizarre and unpleasant it has consistently popped into my mind as it relates to how toxic that person’s leadership style must be with their team and how damaging they are to the culture of their company. In my first and only meeting with this person they spent 18 of our 25 minutes together detailing how important and revered they are and have been in all of their roles. It was an introduction I have never heard the like of before – it was filled with hubris and a flagrant disinterestRead More

Use Common Sense & Be A Kind Person

Use Common Sense & Be A Kind Person It continues to be evident as I work with so many diverse and unique people/groups that far too many issues of miscommunication start with all the labels we assign and adopt for ourselves. We label what kind of leader we are. We label what kind of learner we are. We label what kind of parent we are. We label what kind of student we are. We have a harmful obsession with labeling ourselves with nicely packaged ideas of what and who we are. We assign labels for ourselves so that others can understand the fundamentals of our behavior. Why is it that in contemporary culture, we appear to have such a strong desire to dissectRead More

I Declined An Offer For My Dream Job. Here’s Why…

I Declined An Offer For My Dream Job. Here’s Why… In early Fall 2018 I was contacted by a company that I – as a consumer – love! The role they were seeking to fill was fabulous and I was really excited, energized, and flattered that they contacted me to discuss this opportunity. This company is a “luxury & tech” driven organization that operates in the home care, personal care/beauty, and environmental care space. The role had been vacant for eight months and according to the executives in the organization, the field was struggling with selling and product knowledge – especially to consumers falling outside the economic description of a “deep-resource” customer. After speaking with nine people over the course of approximately fiveRead More

A Start-Up Culture? Really?

A Start-Up Culture? Really? In the last few months, I have had the unique and fabulous opportunity to visit a number of different workplaces [retail, direct selling, tech, restaurant, wholesale, etc.] to meet and have dialogs with various CEO’s, COO’s, and CMO’s around their vision, values, and workplace cultures. In this period of time, I have learned invaluable lessons on leadership, strategy, and galvanizing communication. I have captured great thoughts on how to stay ahead of the evolution present in most industries. Adopted ideas on how to make initiatives and adaptations sticky and meaningful for the people in the organization. It’s really been an exciting and energizing three months. Conversely, there is a disturbing trend happening in a lot of workplaces that lackRead More

Stop Tolerating Mediocrity Already

Stop Tolerating Mediocrity Already Frequently, when I meet with an organization for dialogs around a consulting project I assess a few things before either accepting or declining the adventure. One of the things I assess is – if recognition [especially around top performance] is or is not a priority with the organization or if they aren’t open to treating their top performers with special considerations…I won’t accept the project. Great people with great attitudes who are highly-productive in the workplace are few and far between. If an organization has a cavalier attitude towards recognition, reward, and/or results there isn’t a lot I can help them with. They will lose their top talent, ultimately, and fade away from relevance in today’s world. A fewRead More

Mature Talent Strategies

Why Mature Talent Strategies Are Necessary Organizations with the most mature talent acquisition functions perform 30% better on business outcomes and are 160% more likely to achieve higher recruiting performance results than organizations with primarily reactive recruiting processes, according to Robin Erickson, vice president and talent acquisition research leader at Bersin by Deloitte. Bersin by Deloitte found that companies with high-maturity talent acquisition functions exhibit 18% higher revenue and 30% greater profitability compared to companies with low-maturity talent acquisition performance. These numbers are real and true reflections of organizations that are investing in a mature and appropriate talent strategy for their business. So, why is it that so many organizations treat their talent acquisition program and candidates so capriciously? Talent acquisition is aRead More

Supporting Creatives In The Workplace

Supporting Creatives In The Workplace The creative genius is “both more primitive and more cultured, more destructive and more constructive, occasionally crazier and yet adamantly saner, than the average person.” – Frank X. Barron As a Learning & Development leader, I am frequently asked how I am able to cater to the various learning styles of people. When I ask the person who surfaced the question to clarify – they usually mean the VARK system of learning. VARK stands for “Visual, Auditory, Reading, and Kinesthetic”. This system is thought to have had something to do with the self-esteem movement of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. So lots of people have clung to their original assignment that they are a certain type ofRead More

Teaching People How To Treat You

Teaching People How To Treat You About three months ago I was consulting with a retail organization and the VP of Stores asked me to visit with him. He wasn’t a person I was directly working with on that project so it was a little unusual but he explained to me that they’d recently promoted two people to District Manager level roles who were having a difficult time assimilating into their new position with their teams. He asked me if I could spend two days with these two new DM’s to identify the issue(s) they were having and give them some guidance. “Yay!”, I said. I missed being in the field, with customers and the hard working people who drive the business. SoRead More

If You Want To Be Successful – Don’t Do These Things

If You Want To Be Successful – Don’t Do These Things Most of us really enjoy reading articles that discuss the habits of successful people. They can be the catalyst for self-reporting and correcting behaviors that may not be helping us move forward. However, the problem with those types of articles is that they give you conditional promises. Sometimes you have to be in the center of a perfect set of circumstances in order to achieve what you want to but because the planets are not aligned – now is not the time for success – and you remain where you are. I am a big believer in perseverance so, I still believe that we need to work each day to give ourselvesRead More

Poisonous Leadership Practices

Poisonous Leadership Practices I was catching up with a friend of mine the other night and we covered a variety of topics during our conversation. We got to the topic of work and I asked how things were going. She mentioned that her new[ish] boss was “weird” but she was waiting for a friend who was planning on recruiting her to another organization. I asked her what “weird” meant. In this context, weird means not accessible, tone-deaf to the needs of anyone that manager didn’t hire, they are profoundly wishy-washy when it comes to approving time off of work, they definitely promote a culture of favorites, and are – in general – a zero-charisma communicator during interactions. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only timeRead More

The Significance Of Choice

The Significance Of Choice So many of the conversations I have with junior- and mid-level talent revolves around how idle they feel their career trajectory is. So, I ask them a lot of self-reporting questions around this: What projects have you taken on that are stretch-assignments for you? Did you ask for this assignment or was it given to you? What is your understanding as to why you were selected? Were you given meaning & purpose as to how this assignment fits in with the organizational or departmental strategy? How do you – typically – go above and beyond your job description? Tell me about the last time you did and what was the reaction by your peers and the person you reportRead More

Obstacles To Effective Learning & Development

Obstacles To Effective Learning & Development It still surprises me to learn about the number of companies that opt to deliver learning & development initiatives in either formal- or classroom | seminar-style training knowing that method of information transfer ultimately sabotages the content being shared. We consistently continue to undermine learning and promote forgetting through out-dated, musty models of knowledge sharing. Here are three [out of six] of the greatest impediments to effective programs today: We Need To Minimize Forgetting And Maximize Learning Research on the “forgetting curve” shows that within one hour of formal learning [classroom or seminar style training], people will have forgotten an average of 50% of the information presented. Within 24 hours, they have forgotten an average of 70%Read More

Prioritize Productivity

Prioritize Productivity Often times I will have a conversation with an executive and almost without exception they will bring up how they are working to make their team more efficient. How they seek to hire leaders who are scrum masters. They require Lean Six Sigma proficiency and certification of their senior and executive level candidates. These are amazing competencies and certifications to learn, have, and know but when it comes to strategy and strategic execution, nothing trumps productivity. Especially in today’s world, when so many organizations are hungry and clawing for growth, senior and executives leaders must bring a productivity mindset to the business, the people they lead, and place accountability around this value. . Company leadership is usually very eager to shareRead More