Category Archives: Executive Presence

Unprepared for Leadership?

Congratulations, you’ve just been promoted to a management position. Now, what do you do?

You’re excited about your new role. But, also a little unsettled because you’re trying to figure things out as you go. Unfortunately, your preparation to step into a leadership role has been minimal to non-existent. Or, given the demands of your new role, not adequate. You haven’t gotten the training or coaching that would help you feel well prepared. Most of what you have to go on are the examples from the managers you’ve worked for or other leaders around you, which may or may not be good examples for you to follow.

Diana David struggled with the same dilemma. She’s a leader whose situation is featured in the new book from the Association for Talent Development, Work the Problem: How Experts Tackle Workplace Challenges. She had moved into a new leadership role in a new company and industry. She had poor leadership examples from her past experience. So, she was uncertain as she tried to figure out how to lead.  Diane inherited a team that was somewhat dysfunctional. She also had a performance issue with one of her employees and didn’t know how to address it. She struggled with what to do to resolve these issues.

Her problem?

Diana was focused on the wrong things. She misread the issues and failed to deal with them before getting out of hand. So, the problems with her team just kept getting worse rather than better. 

Like Diana, you find yourself in situations where your team is impacted by some of your leadership mistakes. As a result….

  • They don’t work together as a team.
  • Your team fell short on an expected goal.
  • The decisions you make sometimes come into question.
  • An employee is not thriving in her role and seems to be just putting in time every day rather than doing her best work.

These are leadership issues you’re all too familiar with. Allow them to linger, and you could also impact your future career potential. Problems don’t just go away by themselves.

How should you handle leadership situations such as these? 

What steps can you take right now to turn things around in leading your team?

In my coaching practice, I help leaders solve these issues and develop into great leaders that people love working for.

Get my take on solving these challenges that Diana, and you, often face.
Download an excerpt from my recommendations in the Association for Talent Development’s new book,
Work the Problem: How Experts Tackle Workplace Challenges.

How To Lead With Your Strengths

Whether it’s feedback during your performance review or after an interview, you seem to always hear about the development areas you need to work on. You begin to compare yourself to your teammates. You feel like you’re not good enough. You seek training for this and mentoring for that. You feel like you’re chasing an elusive dream… “If I can develop this area, maybe they’ll consider me for the promotion.”

That’s the misperception that one of my coaching clients had. She came to me concerned with everything she didn’t have. She felt she didn’t have much to offer, felt under-appreciated by her boss, and was concerned that she would be stuck at the same level in her career.

Yes, you need this constructive feedback. You should seriously consider its relevance and the actions you should take based on what you’ve heard.

But, don’t let the development feedback alone define who you are and what you are capable of. This depletes your self-confidence and self-worth. It can actually cause your work performance to be at levels less than you’re capable of.

While we all have development areas we can improve upon, we sometimes give too much attention to what we can do better. With so much focus on trying to improve, you’ll naturally have less mental capacity to put to use the things you’re good at.

Don’t let your development areas overwhelm or absorb you. Certainly, create a plan to improve them. But, reflect on what your special interpersonal and technical skills are. What expertise do you possess that adds value to your team? Lean into your strengths by using them to do your best work.

Also, remember there’s strength in numbers. Pull in the resources of your network around you to get things done.

Lead with your strengths and let others know you are an indispensable asset to the organization.

How can your strengths begin to change the game for your career starting today?

In my guide, Five Ways to breathe new life into your career, I share some ideas for how you can lead with your strengths.