Keeping Your Cool Under Pressure

Keeping Your Cool Under Pressure Let’s face it – as a leader…losing your cool in the midst of confusion and chaos at work can make you lose credibility – fast – with your colleagues, your team, your customers, and  even the executive team. Unfortunately, there are a lot of workplace challenges that create pressure for individuals. Especially as this is the time of year for annual meetings to take place in many organizations and the start of Q4 in other industries that really rely on elevated business to keep them healthy or get them into a healthy position. These events can create havoc for a team if they lack a strong team mentality and/or lack critical competencies such as time management, focus, communication,Read More

Dealing With The Victim Mentality In The Workplace

Dealing With The Victim Mentality In The Workplace Sometimes it takes me a while to work up to writing about a certain topic – this is definitely one of those. However, it is a topic that is a real and pervasive issue in far too many workplaces. I have always had challenges dealing with people who choose to be victims of their lives. It’s constantly something I am working on – as a leader – because dealing with ambitious, driven, accountable people is energizing and engaging for me.  I find it incredibly frustrating dealing with people who perceive themselves as victims of the universe. These are people that frequently believe that exceptions should be made for them because their lives are more importantRead More

Instilling and Inspiring Confidence In Your Team Members

Instilling and Inspiring Confidence In Your Team Members For the past few months I have had the absolute pleasure of working with an organization that is incredibly open, forward-thinking, and amenable to culture improvements, career path planning, job leveling, and leadership development – it has been a super fun project AND because the entire company from the C-level to the most junior level team members are behind – and eager for – change initiatives and programs to elevate culture, customer experience, employee experience, productivity – it has been an exceedingly poignant and rewarding working experience. One of the greatest opportunities I identified within the first 10-14 days [framework assessment period] was the opportunity to inspire confidence in the junior and mid-level leadership ofRead More

Speak Up! It’s Good For Your Career

Speak Up! It’s Good For Your Career Being great at what you do is only a piece of the success puzzle. Another very important part of that puzzle is to possess the ability to speak up in the workplace with ideas and thoughts that add value to the business and showcase your expertise in, and engagement around, the the organization’s vision and/or it’s goals & objectives. Today’s demand for transparent communication in the workplace is at a premium, employees are simply not speaking-up enough – even though there are lots of thoughts and opinions in most organizations. How you articulate your opinions at work [or not] is a reflection upon how people authentically experience who you are and what you represent as aRead More

7 Ways To Encourage A Culture Of Innovation

7 Ways To Encourage A Culture Of Innovation Effective and smart leaders know they have to maintain a competitive edge within their industries in order to capture their piece of the proverbial pie. Therefore, it is essential that a business continually improves upon what it offers – in product, service, and|or experience – and how it operates to ensure that they are maximizing all opportunities that exist and building a sustainable and agile business. One of the qualities that separates bland and forgettable businesses [even if at one point they were novelty and popular] from outstanding ones is innovation. Organizations that construct a culture that encourages innovation – at every level of the business – allows them to remain adaptable and forward-thinking. ThoseRead More

10 Characteristics of Confident & Compelling Leadership

10 Characteristics of Confident & Compelling Leadership Absolutely regardless of your personal definition of success, there are a number of common characteristics that are possessed and shared by effective and objectively successful people. I have been extremely fortunate to meet and interact with, and learn from, some of these people over the past couple of years. I am always very excited to – following my interactions with well-known CEO’s or successful business people that I meet – identify qualities we share and those that I admire that I want to perfect and embody for myself in my professional, and even personal, life. Following a meeting last week with one organization’s CEO that I profoundly admire, I wanted to reflect on what was soRead More

8 Skills That Are Difficult To Learn [But SO Important To]

8 Skills That Are Difficult To Learn [But So Important To] Some of the most important things to  possess in life aren’t tangible but they do take a tremendous amount of patience, perseverance, and perspiration to acquire, let alone – master. Understanding the benefits of these qualities makes a difference in every aspect of life and – especially – in the workplace. TIME MANAGEMENT: Effective time management is one of the most highly valued skills by employers. While there is no singularly correct way, it’s important to find a system that works for you and be consistent with it. Why is time management important? Time Is Limited: No matter how you slice it, there are only 24 hours in a day. You CanRead More

Saccharin Leadership: Enough Already With The Sugar-Coating

Saccharin Leadership: Enough Already With The Sugar-Coating One of the principles of great leadership and a way the most successful leaders distinguish themselves – in any industry – is by building great relationships with their colleagues. They have unwavering reputations for being authentic, empathetic, and reliably honest. Global research from Edelman’s Trust Barometer reveals that despite integrity being the most desired leadership quality, only about 25% of people think their bosses actually have it. According to Merriam-Webster the definition of integrity is: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values and the quality and state of being complete or undivided. If integrity is the most desired leadership quality and if we commit to being authentic, truth-telling business partners and true leadersRead More

Benefits Of Self-Development

Benefits Of Self-Development I get very excited when I hear about organizations that invest in learning & development for their people. REAL learning and development, not just learning that benefits the organization but information that promotes and enhances the marketability of the employee and their career path – whatever that may be. Unfortunately, organizations that truly and unselfishly make an investment in the growth of their team members are rare but they are out there and they worth their weight in gold. I also get extremely delighted when I meet people who are passionate and completely obsessed with their personal development. People who proactively seek to upskill their knowledge or competencies are unique and engaging as they share with and learn from others.Read More

Defining Culture Through People

Defining Culture Through People Typically, when I begin a dialog with an organization – one of the first things we discuss “culture”. From my perspective, organizational culture is defined by how people inside the organization interact with each other. How a company involves their team at all levels and includes them in building the culture. Culture is learned behavior; not an assigned one; it’s not a by-product of anything other than the people, starting with the CEO. Each company creates their own unique organizational culture by the individuals they invite onto their team and then by actions the people take once inside the organization; not the other way around. Behaviors Are Contagious Research by UCSD’s James Fowler and Harvard’s Nicholas Christakis, has shownRead More

Outsmarting The Workplace Shark

Outsmarting The Workplace Shark Last week I wrote an article about ambition and what a great quality it is. I love socializing with ambitious people. Their enthusiasm is contagious, they want to be heard but they also are active listeners. They are driven, engaging, and have a ton of personality. They ask for help, they share their failures, they support others with the sharing of their best practices. It’s one of my favorite human qualities and along with sense of humor, it is a non-negotiable character trait in people I spend my time with. Ambition is often what separates the good from the mediocre and the exceptional from the great. What I didn’t include in my article in any detail was about theRead More

Breaking Up With Employees In Today’s Workplace

Breaking Up With Employees In Today’s Workplace One of my favorite things about my background is the relationships I have built throughout my career. I love getting communication from past colleagues. Sometimes they check-in just to chat, sometimes they share their success, sometimes they are seeking advice, and/or need support in their current role. I value and appreciate these moments of being available and a source of knowledge for them. An objective voice in what they believe is chaotic and is – usually – actually relatively simple when you extract emotion out of it. One of the biggest differences I see based on where my colleagues have landed in their careers is that when the environment is filled with highly-paid, highly-skilled workers theRead More

How To Support Emerging Leaders [And Why It’s So Important]

How To Support Emerging Leaders [And Why It’s So Important] I have spent the majority of my professional life in the retail industry. I am slowly extracting myself from being exclusively designated as a retailer and voraciously working on some self-development initiatives that will support my skill set and core competencies that are transferable and compelling to different industries. I am currently working with four organizations – two inside of retail and two outside. My resume has always been difficult for retail to digest, my diverse experience inside our industry has absolutely worked against me [as it relates to being desirable to retailers (and more specifically, their ATS)] –  but as I am being contacted by a variety of organizations and exploring opportunityRead More

7 Qualities Of A Remarkable Retail Leader

7 Qualities Of A Remarkable Retail Leader This morning I was browsing retail news and catch up on things that are happening inside our industry and I came across this article from Ashley Lutz at Business Insider. This article is about the decline and impending bankruptcy that online retailer, Nasty Gal, is facing. The story includes this line, “The company has had layoffs, and former workers complained of a toxic environment.“. I remember reading about this organization a few years back and some former employees described their experience as working in an environment of “mean girls”. A culture that was built around back-stabbing, gossiping|rumor spreading, hidden agendas, etc.. And where did this culture start? It typically stems from the leader, of course. InRead More

Excuses & Assigning Blame In Retail

Excuses & Assigning Blame In Retail Excuses! UGH – where do I start? Excuses make me crazy. I grew up in home that didn’t allow excuses. You made decisions – good or bad – and you had to endure the consequence of those decisions – good or bad. You didn’t blame your troubles or successes on chance or luck – you made deliberate and conscious decisions that had a real result and outcome that you – and you alone – owned. You didn’t excuse your lack of performance on anyone or anything. If you want it – you go after it. That has been the case with me as long as I can remember. Have I – on occasion – tried to makeRead More