EJCMOVE https://ejcmove.com Leadership Coaching Fri, 31 Jan 2020 21:23:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 https://secureservercdn.net/45.40.149.159/jzc.791.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/cropped-logi-32x32.png EJCMOVE https://ejcmove.com 32 32 Plan Your Work. Plan Your Week. https://ejcmove.com/plan-your-work-plan-your-week/ https://ejcmove.com/plan-your-work-plan-your-week/#respond Fri, 31 Jan 2020 20:44:00 +0000 https://ejcmove.com/?p=8088 The post Plan Your Work. Plan Your Week. appeared first on EJCMOVE.

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“I have so much to do!” 

Who hasn’t said this at the beginning of a new year, or month, or week? Every time that you “reset” your internal calendar, it can feel like life comes swarming in and threatening to overwhelm you. 

If you’re a person who thrives on crossing off to-do lists, you may get a little rush of motivation every time you start all over and compose your list of tasks and goals.

However, if you’re more prone to deliberate over your responsibilities, it can feel extremely stressful to get started and you may find yourself procrastinating or delaying your efforts because you’re not sure where to jump in first. 

One of the guiding principles of leadership development is that you need to lead yourself first before you can lead others. We’ve put together some ideas on how to kickstart that self leadership, so you can plan your week, then follow that plan for exceptional results.

1. Write it Down. 

In order to decide what to focus on, you need to give yourself a definitive list. 

One of the women I work with has been trained in Agile project management, and she likes taking an Agile approach to her tasks. She’ll sit down and try to empty her mind of tasks, writing down everything she can think of within a 10 to 15 minute time span, then organizing it. 

From things like throwing in a load of laundry to onboarding a new client, she gets it all down on paper, so she can decide how and when to invest her efforts. 

You may not be a big fan of a paper to do list, but there are also plenty of other ways to organize your information – on a shared family calendar, in your email or even in an online or app-based task management system.

2. Get the Big Rocks In. 

What do you have on your mind that you know just HAS to be done? Make sure you think about and focus on those as you’re planning your week. 

It’s like the analogy of the big rocks. If you’re trying to fill a jar with rocks, pebbles, sand and water, you have to start with making space for the big rocks; otherwise, everything will end up overflowing and spilling out. 

If you know you have a 2 to 3 hour project awaiting you, block that time out for yourself now, instead of trying to squeeze it in around other things. 

Once you commit the time by writing it down in your planner or scheduling it into your online calendar, stick with it. That doesn’t mean it’s the only time you can work on those “big rock” tasks; it just means that you’ve set aside specific time to handle the things that are most important to you.

3. Give Yourself Some Instant Gratification. 

Those of us who love to do lists often share a silly compulsion – we’ll write down things just for the pleasure of being able to check them off as “done.” 

If you’re that type of person, give in to it! Don’t be embarrassed to write “shower” or “Call Mom” or other necessary items on your list. You’ll feel a little moment of satisfaction when you’re able to tick those items off.

4. Don’t Just Go For the Low-Hanging Fruit. 

I’d call those instant gratification items low hanging fruit – things that are easy to handle and don’t require too much effort. 

They’re a necessary part of every week; just make sure you’re prioritizing and getting those not-so-fun or more time-consuming items in there too.

One of my favorite ways around this active procrastination is to break the big items down into smaller items, so you can feel a little more productive when you’re chipping away at those bigger tasks. 

As an example, if you’re a business leader, your to do list shouldn’t just have a giant item like “Change company culture” on it – that’s a herculean task that requires more than one effort to get it done. 

If you write it down in this way, you may find it never happens because you keep pushing it back and feeling like it’s too big to get started on. Instead, think about the small steps you can take, things like “Research leadership development programs” or “Invite employees to focus group.” When you make a more bite-size list, you’ll be able to make progress and feel good about it, even if your overall goal takes a while to achieve.

5. Be Realistic About Your Timelines. 

Someone once said that there’s no free time as an adult; there’s just procrastinating other things. Ouch! 

While life hopefully isn’t quite that dismal, the majority of us have far more items on our to-do lists than we can reasonably manage in a week or even in a month. I have two recommendations around this topic.

Estimate your time.

All tasks aren’t equal. You may have one 5-hour task, one 2-hour task and seven tasks that take 15 minutes on your list.

Be aware of the total, as well as of the way that these tasks interplay with one another. Is the 5-hour task a prerequisite to completing some of your other to-do items? If so, look at the time blocks you have available on your calendar and determine how feasible it is to take care of all those things in the time you have available this week. 

Don’t be a yes woman or yes man.

Do you have a tendency to want to please others? You may find yourself saying yes too often or agreeing to timelines that aren’t realistic, just to avoid confrontation.

When you do this though, you’re setting the stage for additional stress in the future, either because you have to come back and say the work’s not done, or because you have to put yourself in a bind to get it done. 

Creating boundaries with your colleagues, clients and self may be difficult at first, but communicating clearly will benefit you and your work relationships in the long run.

6. Ask for Support. 

A good leader doesn’t try to do everything on their own. Instead, they figure out how they can do more by utilizing the strengths of those around them. 

 You may be asking yourself, “What if I don’t have any employees?” You don’t have to have employees to be a leader, and you don’t have to be a manager to ask for support. 

Consider the opportunities that are available to you – can you work on a project with a colleague or ask them for support in reviewing your work? Can you envision a project that would require their support and would be better because of their input? 

You shouldn’t, of course, pass off your work mindlessly to another person, but it can be beneficial to collaborate and get the most from a team. When you’re an emerging leader, showing that you can think strategically and build these alliances can prove your capability to advance and take on a leadership role.

7. Don’t Pour From an Empty Cup. 

When you’re taking on a lot, it’s important to remember that you can’t do it alone, and that you can’t do it if you’re exhausted. Make sure you’re taking time to refresh and building in time to do things for yourself. 

When I say “do things for yourself,” I don’t mean that you have to schedule an hour long bubble bath every day (although that sounds pretty nice!). Doing things for yourself can mean setting aside time for professional development, for reading educational articles or for creating a vision board with your goals for the future. 

When you have a better idea of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, tasks seem less mundane, because they’re moving you toward a bigger goal.

8. Do it Every Day. 

Making a list always seems fun and exhilarating at the beginning of the week. As it goes on, though, you may find your list shoved into a desk drawer or abandoned within your notebook or planner until the next Monday rolls around. 

You’ll feel more dedicated to working your plan and getting things done if you recenter on your list. Even if it’s five minutes, dedicate that time to looking through your list and crossing off or re-prioritizing items. 

A good plan makes for a good week, and stringing several good weeks together in a row can mean that you’re zable to achieve some big strides toward your goals. 

If you’re hoping to achieve and do more, be intentional about it. We’ve put together a free phone image that you can save so you can remind yourself about these priorities – add it as your screensaver or background as a reminder to plan your work each week, and to stick to your plan as the week goes on. 

Are you feeling stuck or overwhelmed when it comes to figuring out a way to make these changes, and ensure your plan works?

If you need support in getting your priorities in order, you may want to consider our Personal Excellence and Emotional Intelligence course to build a plan for self-leadership. Our training programs can help you get clear about your goals as you plan and prioritize for success (take it from me, I meet with my own coach every year to make sure I’m planning with a clear head and thinking through the process!). 

 

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4 Things Effective Leaders Do https://ejcmove.com/4-things-effective-leaders-do/ https://ejcmove.com/4-things-effective-leaders-do/#respond Tue, 28 Jan 2020 17:32:00 +0000 https://ejcmove.com/?p=8103 The post 4 Things Effective Leaders Do appeared first on EJCMOVE.

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No one wakes up thinking, “I want to be a bad leader. I want to be the boss that everyone hates who walks around demanding the TPS reports and squashing time off requests.”

If that’s the case, though, why are there so many ineffective leaders out there?

It might be because they haven’t learned how to communicate effectively. It might be because they’re having a hard time at home and it’s bleeding over into the workplace. It might be because they’re so focused on getting promoted and getting a specific title that they’re unable to create the relationships they need to boost their success.

To be an effective, loyalty-creating leader, that’s something different altogether. Effective leaders can look very different from one another, but most of them have a few key things in common.

1. Effective Leaders Lead Themselves.

To be a great leader, you need to be able to lead and manage yourself first. That means:

  • Knowing your own communication style.
  • Being aware of your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Taking ownership of your personal development.

An effective leader puts in the work to understand themselves and what makes them tick, so they can then be their best self with their teams and bring out their teams’ most exceptional work.

To be an effective leader, developing emotional intelligence is extremely important. Emotional intelligence includes being self-aware, being aware of the feelings and emotions of those around you, and communicating effectively and collaboratively to build relationships.

You’re not just born with emotional intelligence; it can require hard work to develop it and put it into play in the workplace. However, you can learn to use your emotional intelligence to build relationships and to position yourself as a leader people love to follow and support.

2. Effective Leaders Set Expectations.

Effective leaders don’t leave their teams guessing about what they want. They’ll share specifics.

That doesn’t mean micromanaging or creating a multitude of small tasks. Instead, it means giving your colleagues an understanding of the type of leader you are and the way you like to handle communication.

For example, do you want a weekly update on projects or do you just want to know when they’re finished? Do you want your team members to ask you questions when they’re stuck or try to figure things out on their own?

I worked with a woman who put together a list for her employees when she took on a management role of things that they should know about her – from the very serious, like “I need to know if a deadline is going to be missed. I’ll be more frustrated if it’s missed than if it’s pushed back, but I need to know ahead of time” to the less critical like “I send a lot of instant messages. I don’t need an answer right away, but I like to just get the questions out of my brain before I forget!”

Her teams were able to understand why she communicated the way that she did, and she was able to avoid misunderstandings and frustrations when connecting. Creating those expectations upfront meant less time spent on miscommunications and hurt feelings and more time spent on working together to achieve optimal success as a team.

3. Effective Leaders Lead, Whether They’re “In Charge” or Not.

    Some people call it charisma or extroversion, but that’s not necessarily what draws people to love and support a leader. You don’t have to have these specific traits, a certain title or specific place in the corporate hierarchy to lead effectively.

There are plenty of leaders out there who don’t have a management title at all but who are people that are respected within their teams and organizations. They’ve committed themselves to building influence, whether they’re in an official authority role or not.

How do you build influence without the title, though? You can’t just stand up and wave a flag and say, “Follow me!” Instead, influence is built through a series of small steps.

Knowledge.

To be someone that others trust, you need to display knowledge, to show that you have a level of insight and expertise. No one wants to listen to someone who may steer them wrong out of sheer ignorance. However, if you build trust by having the information that is needed in the right place at the right time, you’ll be able to start increasing your level of influence in a subtle, but beneficial fashion.

Capability.

The people others respect are the people who get things done. When you show you can achieve goals and knock challenges out of the park, more people want to be on your team and want to be your advocate.

Connection.

Influence comes when people like and trust you. You can start to create those connections by cultivating relationships within your organization and community. Those connections can start professionally, by working on a project or a team together, or casually, with a water cooler chat, a friendly lunch or a mentoring partnership. The thing they have in common is that you’re showing vulnerability to create a relationship, being willing to connect and grow together.

4. Effective Leaders Build Culture.

Leadership isn’t about one-offs or about making lists of must-dos. The most effective leaders create a culture that bakes their vision and expectations into everything they do.

For example, if a company has a culture of timeliness and a manager is known for starting meetings 10 minutes late, there’s some cognitive dissonance happening there for the employees. The same goes for companies that give lip service to their employees being top priority, then fail to listen to employee needs.

Culture isn’t something that just happens or that you have no control over. Cultures are created by leaders. While different areas of an organization may have a “culture within a culture,” they all connect back to the overarching themes and attitudes of leadership. That’s why, according to the Harvard Business Review, building a culture that highlights your values is one of the best tools at your disposal as a leader when you’re striving to create an organization that’s viable over time.

When you create a culture, you give employees a framework within which they can create value. They’re no longer second-guessing whether something is  the right thing to do or not. Instead, they know where they can jump in and make a difference.

Getting an organization on the same page about culture isn’t always easy.

Too many companies try to do it by getting a handful of C-suite leaders into a room and coming up with some bullet points that they hang up around the building. A better way to strengthen or realign a corporate culture is to build leadership teams that can share a language and be on the same page with each other about how their organization works.

Effective leadership makes sense, from both a personal and a business level. Companies who can find and retain effective leaders will see greater success, and individuals who commit to developing their leadership potential will see new opportunities open up to them as their development is recognized in the workplace.

Are you ready to grow and develop as an effective leader? Take control of your leadership path by investing in your professional development.

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OK Boomer: Communicating Across the Generational Gap https://ejcmove.com/ok-boomer-communicating-across-the-generational-gap/ Tue, 07 Jan 2020 20:32:37 +0000 https://ejcmove.com/?p=7907 Raise your hand if you’ve heard the “OK Boomer” catchphrase.  Generally, it’s used by younger folks to mock the stereotypical attitudes attributed to the Baby Boomer generation.  To be fair, though, the younger people out there have endured plenty of their bosses and coworkers rolling their eyes at the mention of millennials or, even worse […]

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Raise your hand if you’ve heard the “OK Boomer” catchphrase. 

Generally, it’s used by younger folks to mock the stereotypical attitudes attributed to the Baby Boomer generation. 

To be fair, though, the younger people out there have endured plenty of their bosses and coworkers rolling their eyes at the mention of millennials or, even worse (in their eyes) those young whippersnappers of Gen Z. 

All in all, the generational gap has become a little more fraught over the past few years. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Each generation has unique traits and strengths they can share to make their workplace better and more collaborative. 

The Value Millennials and Gen Z Bring to a Multi-Generational Workplace

Millennials and Gen Z-ers are full of energy, driven and ready to work hard for a company that aligns with their values. They also bring some valuable areas of expertise to the table, areas of which Boomers should take notice. 

Technology

The millennial and Gen Z generations have both grown up as digital natives. Gen Z, in particular, probably can’t remember a time when mobile phones and personal computers weren’t a part of daily life. As such, they’re more apt to be tech-savvy and familiar with different platforms and technologies. 

Efficiency

Because of their familiarity with technology and their lifelong awareness of its capabilities, the younger generations aren’t satisfied with “that’s how we’ve always done it” as a reason for status quo. If you’re looking to improve a process or launch a new product, having the viewpoint of a millennial or a Gen Z-er can give you fresh insight that can improve your end product. 

Feedback

Another one of the Boomers’ epithets for millennials has been “the self-esteem generation.” These millennial and Gen Z workers have been accustomed to receiving feedback their entire lives, and the workplace is no exception. 

To win over their younger team members and colleagues, Boomers can focus on giving feedback frequently, rather than waiting for a quarterly or annual review/critique. This approach actually makes sense from a company-wide perspective; after all, who wants to wait five or six months to hear that you have an easily fixable problem or habit that might be holding you back from advancement? 

And, as a side note, Boomers may also need to spend some time thinking about how to receive feedback from millennials who are now in management positions. Remember, while we think of millennials as “young,” the oldest ones are now in their late 30s and are often running departments and companies on their own!

The Value Boomers Bring to a Multi-Generational Workplace

For the most part, Boomers are still running the world from a corporate leadership perspective; in fact, the average Fortune 500 CEO is 58 years old. With this in mind, wise millennials and Gen Z-ers should assume that Boomers can teach them something about how to succeed in the workplace. 

Navigating office politics

“No filter” is a great way to Instagram, but not necessarily a great way to conduct yourself in the office. Boomers can teach their millennial and Gen Z employees how to manage relationships and create influence even if they haven’t yet reached a position of authority within the company. 

Institutional knowledge

While younger generations may push back against the status quo, the Boomers in the workplace may know that there’s a reason why things are set up the way they are – that there’s a technology hurdle or a regulation or a customer preference that requires a process to stay the same. The Boomers in the office can often provide a wealth of knowledge and insight that can guide and inform their younger colleagues’ decision making. 

Leadership development 

The value of Boomers’ mentoring capabilities cannot be understated in the workplace. Millennials and Gen Z-ers are hungry for mentorship, guidance and feedback. 

Having Boomers who are willing to walk the walk and talk the talk when it comes to being in leadership roles; by doing this, they can help to lift up the succeeding generations and make the company stronger as a whole.  

How To Communicate Across the Generational Gap 

For the foreseeable future, there will probably be a lot of intergenerational teams in your workplace and there’s no point in continuing to nurture antipathy on either side. 

The best place to start thoughtfully improving multigenerational communications is focusing on the type of culture you’re creating in the workplace. An office culture that respects input from all generations – Boomers, Gen X (see, we didn’t forget about you guys!), millennials and Gen Z-ers – should be: 

Open to influence from all levels.

Leaders in an organization don’t have to be the ones doing all the talking. The best, most collaborative, most innovative teams recognize that everyone brings a unique perspective to the table and should put that perspective to work. 

Vision-focused.

While different generations and different individuals may not agree on problem-solving approaches, it’s important to keep teams respectful and focused on end results. It’s easy to disagree or get frustrated over opinion; having teams back up their opinions with facts about how they’ll serve the company’s end goals will keep everyone on track. 

Using shared language.

“OK Boomer” is not going to work in the workplace, but a shared team language for conflict management and resolution can. This approach requires a commitment by leadership to bring teams together 

Relationship-driven.

It’s hard to show ageism or disrespect to a person whom you like and appreciate at a personal level. Encourage teams to create relationships and build networks of collaborative partnerships. With these systems in place, you’ll find that colleagues are more likely to give each other some slack rather than assume the worst about one another’s – or an entire generation’s – intentions. 

Let’s work on building those foundations for effective communication. If you focus on creating a culture of leadership and partnership, your Boomers can bring their knowledge, and your millennials and Gen Z-ers can bring their enthusiasm, and you can create something great. 

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Should Being a Good Leader Just Come Naturally? https://ejcmove.com/should-being-a-good-leader-just-come-naturally/ Wed, 04 Dec 2019 10:30:00 +0000 https://ejcmove.com/?p=7812 I’ll tell you a little secret. Just before I kicked off the inaugural Leadership Reimagined breakfast, I was a little nervous. Are you surprised? After all, speaking in front of groups, developing leaders and teaching people about how to become fearlessly inspiring  – that’s my job, and I’ve been doing it for more than 20 […]

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I’ll tell you a little secret.

Just before I kicked off the inaugural Leadership Reimagined breakfast, I was a little nervous.

Are you surprised? After all, speaking in front of groups, developing leaders and teaching people about how to become fearlessly inspiring  – that’s my job, and I’ve been doing it for more than 20 years.

While I find it thrilling to captivate and connect with an audience, it doesn’t come without a little dose of the jitters; I just use my training and knowledge to power through them.

It’s the same way with leadership. While you’ll often hear people mention someone being “a born leader,” that’s not often the case. An extroverted personality or a willingness to jump headfirst into a project doesn’t necessarily make a great leader.

If Being a Great Leader Doesn’t Have to Come Naturally, What Does Make a Great Leader?

If there’s one thing that can move a team member from a contributor to a leader, it’s leadership development.

Focusing time, effort and resources on developing engaged leaders is the most critical component to building leaders that can shape and transform an organization. Through leadership development, you can bring a team together and mold a culture that views people and their talents as its most important resources.

Why Is Leadership Development Important?

Leadership development matters because your leaders and their mindsets shape your overall organization.

You’ve probably noticed that teams tend to look like their leadership. They’re shaped by the people who are above them. Micro-managers tend to have teams who disengage and lose focus on the big picture, and disorganized teams may struggle with focusing on specific goals.

On the other hand, though, leaders who encourage innovation build teams who are forward-looking and focused on success. And, teams with leaders who cultivate engagement are more likely to have engaged teams who meet their goals.

How Can Leadership Development Change My Trajectory as a Leader?

When it comes down to it, there’s one key building block that determines whether a person is a manager, someone who employees report to and who approves time cards; or a leader – a person team members love to follow and support.

It has nothing to do with the raises you approve or the holiday lunches you organize (although those can both help!). The difference between a manager and a leader is the capability to develop and demonstrate emotional intelligence.

Here’s why emotional intelligence matters:

  • Emotional intelligence empowers you to become more effective at managing yourself and your relationships.
  • Emotional intelligence gives you a deeper understanding of the connections between thoughts and behavior.
  • Emotional intelligence provides a clearer and more accurate understanding of your employees’, coworkers’ and managers’ needs, so you can manage your outreach and responses to their own versions of communication.
  • Emotional intelligence allows you to build stronger relationships and trust networks throughout your team and organization, which helps as you build success and seek to rise in your career.

I’m Nowhere Near the Top of My Company’s Org Chart. Does Leadership Development Matter for Me?

If you frequently hear about top-down leadership, it can feel discouraging to wonder about whether you can make a difference when you’re not yet in an C-suite or executive management role.

Here’s the best thing about leadership development: you can start it now. 

You don’t have to have a team of 1,000 or 100 or even 10 employees to be a good leader. You don’t even have to have one.

A good leader leads whether they have the title or not. Even if you’re not the big boss with the corner office, you still have the opportunity to be a leader and to exert influence within your organization.

According to the Harvard Business Review, true leaders can, regardless of their technical role or title, help to shape corporate policy or to distill a corporate vision into actionable steps for themselves and their teams.

You can lead by example; you can lead by developing and demonstrating a strategic mindset; and you can lead by creating influence through your network of relationships and business partnerships.

Again, it’s never too early to start.

The average leader is in his or her role for 10 years before getting the training they need to become effective leaders. Take the opportunities ahead of time to grow, develop and become the kind of leader you want to be, so that when you assume your desired leadership role, you’ll be prepared.

How Do I Get Started With Becoming a Leader, Or With Creating Great Leaders for My Organization?

The title on your desk or name tag doesn’t preclude you from leadership development. Investing in your leadership skills even at the earliest stages of your career will help you hit the ground running when a leadership opportunity is presented.

The same advice rings true for executives and human resources leaders wondering about who to include in leadership development training programs. It’s never too early to begin cultivating potential leaders and instilling the value of leadership development in your team.

If you have a strategic vision for your company, leadership development can help you move your organization toward that goal, because you’re showing your employees and colleagues what your company values and you’re aligning their individual efforts into a cohesive team approach that will get results.

I’ll leave you with this quote from Shakespeare: “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” If you’re ready to achieve greatness, consider investing your time and energy into a leadership development program that can help you develop the emotional intelligence and strategic acumen to lead from wherever you currently are in your career development.

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What Women Do to Lift Each Other Higher https://ejcmove.com/what-women-do-to-lift-each-other-higher/ Tue, 08 May 2018 20:57:38 +0000 https://ejcmove.com/?p=326 Almost daily from the time I was three or four until I was thirteen I watched my mother and her very good friend, Mrs. Wade, have coffee and cigarettes at a tiny table in the kitchen of our three-bedroom apartment. Of course, back then in the 1960s, coffee and drinks throughout the day were common […]

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Almost daily from the time I was three or four until I was thirteen I watched my mother and her very good friend, Mrs. Wade, have coffee and cigarettes at a tiny table in the kitchen of our three-bedroom apartment.

Of course, back then in the 1960s, coffee and drinks throughout the day were common for many housewives. It was their bonding time, and later I came to realize, their time for strategizing and planning. Mama had six children staggered less than eleven months apart and two of them had serious medical needs requiring her daily attention. She was in and out of hospitals on a regular basis. We were poor and struggling most of the time and my mom’s marriage to my dad was extremely stressful and exhausting, both mentally and physically.

But when I saw mama with Mrs. Wade at that table in the corner she looked happy, full of power and energy, and sometimes I would hear them whisper and laugh loudly and high-five each other. Sometimes I would see mama stand up and say something like, “Oh yeah girl! It’s coming!”

Mama’s meetings with Mrs. Wade were crucial to her wellbeing and grew her confidence to boldly live her life more fully. When I was 13 my mom left my dad, took her six children, and started a new life. It was a struggle at first as she was working in a hospital cafeteria- making very little money. But despite her challenges, I watched mama evolve into a happy and confident lady who loved people, God, and life with great intensity. All who met her, even for the first time, would remark, “Your mom gives me peace. I feel settled in her presence. There’s a calming power about her. I feel I can talk to her about anything going on in my life. I feel empowered by her.”

Fast forward 25 years and it was me sitting at a kitchen table.

I was divorced after having gone through a difficult marriage and my self-esteem was at an all-time low. I didn’t believe any good could come to me. But I had a good friend, Barbara, who would visit to encourage me and give me direction. One time she brought me the newspaper with three jobs highlighted and pushed me to apply. Having such low self-confidence and existing in such a severe state of depression I told her, “I can’t do that. I’m not qualified and I’m not interested.” Barbara wasn’t having it. She told me, “You are more than qualified and you WILL apply for these jobs today, woman!” So she dialed the number, put it to my ear… and I got the job as operations manager.

This is what we do.

As women we listen, we encourage, we empathize, and we develop one another. Sometimes we carry another’s potential until she is ready to carry it for herself.

Two of the most powerful natural abilities we women bring to the table is our natural inclinations to empathize and to rally behind our fellow sisters.

Why is it then that in my 10+ years of coaching and training, I rarely see women use these skills for one another in the workplace as much as they do in their personal lives?

Perhaps we feel the need to project a different persona, not allowing empathy, compassion, and forgiveness to show up at work. We fear we may be viewed as too feminine, too fragile, too weak, or emotional. Perhaps we feel that expressing this softer side puts us in a vulnerable position to be taken advantage of, or worse, may come back to bite us.

But what we’ve learned in the study of leadership and what I’ve seen firsthand is that when a woman puts these predisposed mindsets aside and instead, approaches her colleagues from the natural place at the core of her being, that place of compassion and empathy and reasoning, her success follows quickly after. Of course, she must connect this approach with her professional insight, leadership commitment, and accountability – and in so doing she can become an inspirational leader wherever she goes.

You see, Mrs. Wade and Barbara were the uplifting wind that my mother and I needed at our lowest points.

They saw the potential in us when we were not ready.

They held that potential until we could carry it forward.

And mama did. She soared. When she left this world she was powerful, strong, and humble. And when she spoke to me before she passed away she told me, “Liz, I admire you and respect you for all you have done with your life.” There is not one person, in any aspect of my business or personal world who could have made me smile more. I know that my mother knew my journey.

Due to Mrs. Wade’s influence, Mama began to rise. As a result, she then spent the rest of her life encouraging, enlightening, uplifting and promoting other people.

Her intentional elevating of those around her had a mutual result – they became powerful, and so did she.

So, I want to challenge each of you today to take one action to do the same for your colleagues, especially your female colleagues. When we put our personal agendas aside and begin to lift one another up, as Mrs. Wade did for Mama, and as Barbara did for me, we will rise as well. We will create the very wind up under our wings—then, the possibility to soar is made easier!

Let’s focus less on the external circumstances we may perceive as blockades to our leadership growth- things like business structure, institutions, men, laws, etc. Let’s focus more on the personal choices we can make to impact change for all women in business.

As Arthur Ashe so brilliantly said, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

What do better leverage we have than one another?

Question: Who will you lift up now?

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How do you know when you’re walking on Holy Ground? https://ejcmove.com/how-do-you-know-when-youre-walking-on-holy-ground/ Tue, 08 May 2018 20:56:18 +0000 https://ejcmove.com/?p=324 The post How do you know when you’re walking on Holy Ground? appeared first on EJCMOVE.

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Have you ever been caught up in a moment when everything just felt right?

At that moment you felt peace and contentment – you felt like you could relive that experience over and over. Perhaps your heart leaped. “Finally! THIS is what I’m made for.”

I call this place Holy Ground. Holy Ground happens when you are in alignment with your purpose.

In this place, you know that you know that you are on the path to doing what you have been made to do.

I found this place by spending quiet meditative time, prayer time, with God. Perhaps your spiritual source is Buddha or Mohammed or your inner self. You find this place by quietly and openly asking “Who am I?” or “Why am I here in this place, in this space right now?”

When you find your Holy Ground it is a beautiful, peaceful, strong, and vibrant place. There is a peace there that surpasses all understanding. You may sense both power and humility in knowing that this is your calling, especially when it involves serving and creating a better way for others.

You’ll know you’ve found your Holy Ground when sheer joy arises from the simple act of doing your “thing.” You’ll have no other expectations – no monetary expectations, no status expectations, and no recognition needed. Rather you’ve found something better – pure joy from the act of doing it, the presence of your spiritual source, God. You’re on Holy Ground.

For me, there are a few moments when I feel most deeply rooted in my Holy Ground.

SPEAKING:
When I am living my passion by speaking about women empowerment, and encouraging people toward their place of purpose on this earth – I’m on Holy Ground. You see I feel closest to my God there than any other place because I feel His light and presence.  In this place, there’s an abundance of love and it’s humbling.

I feel that God’s light is shining on me because I have chosen obedience and receptivity to His call for me. When I’m speaking I feel love for the ACT of speaking, but also a genuine love for the people around me, my audience. I feel that His presence has taken over my words and thoughts, and even my heart. This unending, untiring love that He has for us – for each of you- flows through me. I call this “flow and grow.”

I know this is my Holy Ground because Elizabeth, in her own flesh and ego-driven body, is incapable of holding this type of love for others. But in my flow, I am transformed and am a vessel so that God can manifest in me his work for me. This is the sweet spot, my dear friends.

My Holy Ground may look and feel different from yours. Indeed most people would not imagine public speaking as their joyful place ?

However, there are some common denominators that exist when you’ve found your place.

1)     You’ll be in peace.

2)     You’ll find a new confidence. You can do it and will do it because Someone else is holding you and working through you.

3)     You’ll experience love. This is not only a love for the act but a genuine love for those you are serving because of it.

If you haven’t experienced this yet I’d like to challenge you to begin paying attention to the moments when you are doing something that brings you complete joy and contentment. Write it down and reflect on it so the next time it comes to you, you’ll recognize it.

But don’t stop there. When we do what we love – we thrive. So my hope is that you’ll find what you love, and do it more. This is when your job ceases to be just a transaction. This is when Mondays become exhilarating.

I’m inspired to hear personal accounts of women finding their Holy Ground.

Question: When do you feel that you are on Holy Ground?

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Welcome to Your Launching Pad for Leadership https://ejcmove.com/welcome-to-your-launching-pad-for-leadership/ Tue, 08 May 2018 20:54:14 +0000 https://ejcmove.com/?p=322 What’s better than spending twenty years in Corporate America? Someone else spending twenty years in Corporate America and relaying back to you her hard-fought lessons to help expedite your leadership journey. So here I am – sharing my absolute passion (women’s leadership) and endeavoring to help you get stronger, more focused, and more deliberate about […]

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What’s better than spending twenty years in Corporate America?

Someone else spending twenty years in Corporate America and relaying back to you her hard-fought lessons to help expedite your leadership journey.

So here I am – sharing my absolute passion (women’s leadership) and endeavoring to help you get stronger, more focused, and more deliberate about what you want out of your career.

I am on fire morning, noon, and night to help women move into key leadership roles. It just makes sense.

I’ve been on earth long enough to know that women have incredible skill and aptitude, and if we are given the opportunity and access we can change the world.

I have developed this platform – EJC –  to do my part. I take this very seriously. As you get to know me I believe you’ll catch on to my heart for women – a passion that has been shaped by many years and experiences. This life has held for me both tragedies and triumphs, yet I wouldn’t trade the challenging days because they’ve birthed within me a deep-seated resolution to become all that I am and to help others do the same.

My hope for you as you journey through your career and life is that you will get clear about the WHY of what you do. Whatever space you fill – whether new on the professional scene or entering the twilight of your career- embrace and love what you do.

So here are a few quick but powerful tips as you set out on your leadership journey (many more to come!):

  1. Strengthen yourself by building great relationships, especially those with female counterparts, because as women, we get it– we get each other.
  2. Strengthen those around and under you. When you do this you inevitably create the very wind that pushes you higher.
  3. Get over the moment and get on with the movement. AKA don’t sweat the small stuff. AKA keep it moving. No more pettiness and eye rolls. Women must support one another. When we intentionally move each other forward WE create a wider space for all women. Our communities, our countries, and our world need our unlocked potential.

I aim to provide the resources, support, and knowledge to help you get there. But I need your help – I want to know about your challenges and triumphs so that I can rally an even bigger community of women behind you. I encourage to give your input.

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How to Create a Meaningful Life https://ejcmove.com/how-to-create-a-meaningful-life/ Tue, 08 May 2018 20:53:26 +0000 https://ejcmove.com/?p=320 Do you know where you’re going to? Do you like the things that life is showing you Where are you going to? Do you know?  – Diana Ross When I graduated high school the theme song played at our ceremony was “Do you know where you’re going to?” by Diana Ross. It’s a beautiful and […]

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Do you know where you’re going to?
Do you like the things that life is showing you
Where are you going to?
Do you know? 

– Diana Ross

When I graduated high school the theme song played at our ceremony was “Do you know where you’re going to?” by Diana Ross. It’s a beautiful and inspirational song and as it echoed throughout the auditorium, I sat full of hope, envisioning my dreams for the future.

My dreams were not uncommon – I had hopes of going to college, landing a great job, and making a comfortable salary. I looked forward to enjoying my independence, good friends, and traveling. I envisioned falling in love and starting a family. All my dreams were ahead of me and I was going to go get them. I felt confident and self-assured that these things would happen easily for me.

Fast forward ten years and I found my former dreams to be radically different than my present reality. Yes, I had finished college and gotten married and had a baby. But I had also I get divorced, and was in-between jobs. Having a child was a gift, but staying home to raise him meant I had to start over again professionally, and I was feeling very disengaged from any meaningful purpose. I had a lot of self-doubt, insecurities, and anxieties- I was a completely different woman than the one that sat so optimistically in the auditorium a decade prior.

For the next few years, I simply wandered through life and my responsibilities. It would take several years for me to discover I could create a significant life for myself.

THE SHIFT

This shift for me happened when I realized what l was lacking was the intentionality about my life. Life was happening to me, but I lacked the confidence to direct it in a meaningful way.

The first thing I did was change my self-talk from negative to positive. Whenever those nagging negative thoughts would arise, I would shoot them down and replace them with kinder thoughts about myself. I began to remind myself that I was worthy, capable, and I had the power to get what I want.

Second, I surrounded myself with forward-moving people – people who were disciplined in accomplishing their goals. I was energized and encouraged by these people who often talked about the visions they had for their lives and I watched as they created plans of action to accomplish these goals. Their influence began rubbing off on me!

Third, I read as much as I could about individuals who had created lives of significance for themselves and I studied how they did it. Their lives were significant not because of fame, money, or social status, but because their influence improved the lives of the people around them. As I studied these figures, I found a common discipline they shared – they wrote down their goals.

HOW TO CREATE A VISION

So I began to follow suit. Each year I would begin a new journal, writing down my most important vision on the very first page. On the subsequent pages, I would outline my approach, my plan, but most importantly – how I would feel to accomplish the goal. I detailed the feelings that I would experience – joy, warmth, satisfaction. And as I moved forward with my vision I would often give thanks as if it had already happened.

For example, one of my gratitude statement sounds like this: “I am thankful that my clients are growing, and are inspired by our interactions. Not only do I get to help them increase their leadership influence, but I also get to help them improve their personal relationships. I am so happy to see them growing exponentially by partnering with me.”

As I review my past journals and visions and dreams it is quite remarkable to see so many of these plans have manifested. These reminders give me hope for each new goal.

Another way that I like to visualize my goals is by creating vision boards. My first vision board was primarily focused on personal things like the atmosphere of my home. For instance, it was important to me that guests in my home would instantly feel relaxed and calm – and I can’t count the number of times people have told me over the years how peaceful they felt when they entered my home. I’ve seen both personal and professional goals manifest in amazing ways.

A huge key to the success of any vision is being explicit about where you want to go and what you want to accomplish. When you are clear about what you want, you become equally convinced about what you don’t want. What happens is you begin to say “no” much more than you say “yes.” By saying no, you weed out things that don’t lend to your goals. Channeling your energies and actions toward your end goal helps you.

Another fundamental part of this is truly believing I am worthy of and capable of reaching my goals. I am confident that the resources and people I need will come at the appointed time. I choose to focus solely on the elements I can control, which frees me. By making my goals emotional – by envisioning how it would feel for these dreams to come true- I ignite an emotion in me. And we know that emotion creates motion – it’s a very powerful force.

So as I prepare for new visions I make sure to keep them ever before me – looking at my goals or my vision board on a regular basis. I reflect on them, taking quiet time to think about and give thanks for what will come to pass. And equally important to me as setting these goals, is celebrating my milestones- the small victories I achieve along the way.

ARE YOU READY?

I hope as you move forward into this new year you will take some time to consider the things you want out of life, how you will feel when they happen, and how you can achieve these goals and visions.

Write them down, share them with someone else, and create a vision to help them stay in front of you. And on a regular basis take some time to reflect, celebrate, and give thanks as if they are already here.

Question: Do you know where you’re going to?

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The Leadership Instinct Women Need to Activate – and 8 helpful tips to begin today https://ejcmove.com/the-leadership-instinct-women-need-to-activate-and-8-helpful-tips-to-begin-today/ Tue, 08 May 2018 20:51:47 +0000 https://ejcmove.com/?p=318 Do you have anyone to thank for your present success? I do. At one of the darkest times in my life, debilitated by my own depression and self-doubt, it took the encouragement of a friend to pull me toward the light. This friend of mine, Barbara, literally shouldered the promise of my potential until I […]

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Do you have anyone to thank for your present success? I do.

At one of the darkest times in my life, debilitated by my own depression and self-doubt, it took the encouragement of a friend to pull me toward the light. This friend of mine, Barbara, literally shouldered the promise of my potential until I was ready to carry it myself. Her encouragement was the wind I needed to take off in flight – toward a new beginning, the first step in a new professional career and life.

I shared this story and a similar story about my mother last week. The common thread in both is how women are marked by special qualities that can make us unstoppable change agents in our organizations and our world – if we choose to use these gifts for good.

Today I’ll provide 8 tangible ways women can help each other get to great.

Two of the most powerful natural abilities we women bring to the table is our natural inclinations to empathize and rally behind our fellow sisters. We do it in our personal lives all the time. Championing our girlfriends is second-nature.

But did you ever think that activating this talent in your workplace by positioning others for success could actually accelerate your success as a leader as well?

When you lift others up around you, you will be automatically lifted as a result.

How? For example, if someone works for you and that person is sharp and great at what they do and your influence has helped them get to a place of recognition- you look good too! You were in on the ground floor with this person. You had the foresight to champion them – you are now viewed as a wise and empowering leader.

The same sentiment applies as you work alongside other women. Don’t worry about being in the limelight or being recognized. If your colleague wants to shine and be at the forefront of the projects or conversation, don’t fight and claw your way with her. Let her have her place. When you operate from a place of abundance rather than lack, you’ll be assured that you too will have your moment. You will find your place, or the place will find you… not by tantrums or cut-throat tactics, but by becoming known as an encourager and supporter of others.

Here’s a true example: When I worked in Recruitment at BMW there was a young lady who worked on the production floor and applied for a position in Quality. This was a jump from an hourly to a salaried position for her. I felt she would be an excellent fit for the department and proceeded to demonstrate, with precision and passion, why I felt she was a diamond in the rough. Though she did not have specific quality experience, the hiring manager was impressed by her tenacity, strategic mindset, superb organizational skills, process development experience, and dynamic ability to influence and inspire others. All she needed was a platform of opportunity to demonstrate her brilliance – and when she was eventually hired for the position she did just that. The hiring manager came to me later and thanked me for causing him to look closer at this candidate.

Fast forward 15 years and this lady, now a friend, was responsible for my invite to speak at Verizon’s Women in a Leadership conference. This opportunity was invaluable to me and demonstrated this very principle – uplifting others will always create the wind that carries you higher as well.

How to Create your Own Wind:

1) Choose to see the best in others. When you focus on one’s strengths rather than one’s weaknesses you begin to appreciate and value that person for their positive contributions. Now focused on what they bring to the table, you’re able to work through their weaknesses or challenges with greater ease and less frustration.

2) Look for ways to stretch others toward professional development. Give one another opportunity for stretch assignments, for recognition in front of senior leaders, for special projects. Today we have many millennials who are moving into the workforce who are eager and anxious to make an impact. Even those who have been in the workforce for years need new opportunities for growth. Perhaps you recognize the budding potential in a colleague who hasn’t been able to manifest this talent due to lack of opportunity. Invite them to participate in your special project.

3) Give credit where it’s due. If someone helped you develop the material for a presentation for senior management- give them an opportunity to present a part of it, or at least put their name on the presentation. If we’re honest, there are always others who make our triumphs possible. Just as the credits roll at the end of a movie, always give credit to the people who supported you.

4) Believe in your colleague until she’s ready to believe in herself. Often, we are our own worst critics. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve coached people who are proficient in their roles but despite their obvious talent, they are doubtful or self-critical. Due to unrealistic self-imposed expectations, or the disappointment from previous criticisms or failures, we can resign ourselves to a limiting mindset. When you see the potential in someone, hold that for them, encourage them in it. You could become someone’s, Mrs. Wade or Barbara.

5) Never badmouth another person, no matter what. Stop gossiping. Cease with the ridicule and snide comments. If you have feedback from a colleague, go to her directly and share your information from a place of genuine care. If you can’t be kind, keep it to yourself. Listen, as women we hear others downplaying our leadership capabilities all the time. There are others who are putting us down, never ever badmouth another woman.

6) Seek to understand by always being on the learning side of the situation. You know what they say about assuming… Rather than jumping to conclusions about the intentions of others in the workplace, approach situations with an open and reflective disposition. If there is conflict, go directly to the source, seeking to learn. The tone of voice and disposition are key here.

7) Forgive one another. Forgiveness is powerful. As much as I aim to encourage women toward the high road, I would be remiss not to prepare you for the darker days of leadership. At some point along your professional journey you will be misunderstood, perhaps even attacked, condemned, or talked about. You may even make a big mistake and others may condemn you, you may condemn yourself. Prepare yourself now to forgive – forgive yourself, seek forgiveness if you need to, and forgive others. Forgiveness, for ourselves and for others, free us.

8) Use your failures to move forward to exceptional leadership. Failure will happen, but it’s not the end. Reflect on the problem, assess what went wrong and what went right, revamp your plan of action for the next time, and then rejuvenate. By learning from your failures and realigning your actions for improvements you teach others to do the same. Our transparency in our shortcomings gives others permission to be human and make mistakes too – credibility also results when your team feels that “we’re in this together.”

So, take these tips and get moving toward the big purpose of it all –  advancing more women into key leadership roles.

Getting yourself recognized, appreciated, and valued starts today with how you treat the other women in your circle.

When women begin to pull together and use the phenomenal resources that we possess to help one another shine, we begin to chip away and dismantle all of those seemingly defeating images and stereotypes that others have of us -including ourselves.

I would like to challenge each of you today to find a way to lift up your colleague.

Question: How do you lift others?

Share your thoughts. We learn from each other and I learn from you!

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Company Culture Begins with Senior Leaders https://ejcmove.com/%e2%80%a8company-culture-begins-with-senior-leaders/ Tue, 08 May 2018 20:49:41 +0000 https://ejcmove.com/?p=316 Do you know what your company stands for? Do your employees? Throughout my 13 years of practice, I have observed many inconsistent corporate cultures. This is a serious challenge to address because employees working within a weak corporate culture will be unclear on the company’s values and how that affects their role within the organization. […]

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Do you know what your company stands for? Do your employees?

Throughout my 13 years of practice, I have observed many inconsistent corporate cultures.

This is a serious challenge to address because employees working within a weak corporate culture will be unclear on the company’s values and how that affects their role within the organization.

INDICATORS OF WEAK CULTURE

When new employees join the company and fumble to understand what is acceptable or unacceptable behavior, that’s a red flag that culture is weak.

When established employees are moving to the beat of their own drum or entire departments are behaving, however, they see fit, that’s an indicator that company culture is weak.

If you can’t get a pulse on the company culture it might be because there are several different cultures existing simultaneously.

Now, it’s important to note that subcultures can exist within departments. However, even the subcultures should be congruent with the organizations overall culture. For example, The organization encourages a culture of innovation which allows for open dialog and a submittal process for creative ideas. Your department’s subculture may go one step further and set aside a specific time of the week or day for brainstorming and innovation.

There may be a written set of company values and expectations that are reviewed upon employee onboarding, but if that’s the last time those values are discussed- beware. Over time employees may begin to mimic the behavior of their direct supervisor or person in authority even when they know the behavior is not acceptable. This is one way subcultures begin to form.

A COMPANY’S WEAK CULTURE IS TYPICALLY THE ROOT OF SEVERAL PROBLEMS:

  1. DIFFICULT PEOPLE
  2. WEAK OR INCONSISTENT LEADERSHIP AT THE TOP
  3. POLITICAL ISSUES
  4. MOTIVATION AND MORALE
  5. ABSENTEEISM
  6. COMMUNICATION DOWNFALL
  7. POOR TEAMWORK
  8. RETENTION AND ENGAGEMENT LEVELS
  9. INJURIES, ETC.

A strong culture is evidenced by the people supporting the strategy and mission of the company each day – living out the values that are aligned to the strategy, with a strong sense of accountability and commitment.

Organizational culture is shared assumptions, values, and beliefs that help people to understand how to behave in an organization. It’s really the accepted as well as the expected behaviors. This has a strong influence on the people because the organizational culture dictates how they will perform their jobs and how they will interact with each other.

SO, HERE’S A WAKE-UP CALL TO LEADERS. COMPANY CULTURE BEGINS AND ENDS WITH YOUR SENIOR LEADERS.

You can write down a well-intentioned set of guiding principles and values and post them in the breakroom and on the company website, but these core values mean absolutely nothing unless people see them lived out day by day.

Employees don’t care what the mission statement says – they care what they see all around them.

For example, if your written value statement champions open communication and respectful disagreement, but you have people in your organization who are speaking down to, attacking, rejecting the ideas and creative solutions of, and not giving credit to their colleagues and direct reports, you might as well take your value statement and make a campfire over it.

Here’s another example. If your customer and/or industry requires your flexibility and creativity, but you have leaders that are suppressing their colleagues and shooting people down because “we’ve done it this way for 15 years” or “we’ve tried that before and didn’t work” then your leaders are not living the culture that you need to support your business strategy.

I’ve seen numerous cases of inconsistent culture and I can tell you confidently – it always starts at the top.

If you’re not holding senior leaders responsible for the way they talk to people, the way they evaluate people, and the way they develop people, then you are setting your business up for failure- or at best, mediocrity.

SPEAKING ON THE TOPIC OF COMPANY CULTURE AND STRATEGY AT 2016 SHINE THE LIGHT SERIES IN GREENVILLE, SC

Until you get your leaders to consistently demonstrate the values that you want to be reflected in your company culture, your culture will become so weak and diversified that implosion is inevitable.

History holds a plethora of examples of bad leadership causing businesses to fail.

One after another, CEOs come and go. When an organization begins to fail the first person that the board of directors will remove is the CEO. An effective CEO will come in and not just look at the company’s technologies, sophisticated processes, and product, but they will look at the senior team and ask, “What do we represent? What are we about? How well do we function as a team? Do I have the right people on this senior team who demonstrate the values that are needed to inspire and create the commitment to our people at all levels of the organization?”

A sage CEO knows it’s going to take a healthy culture to turn the ship. And if they don’t see evidence they will move swiftly to “remove the dead branch from the tree.”

WHERE TO BEGIN

CEOS must hold senior leaders accountable for the health of the organization. They can assist by establishing accountability measures and team development opportunities. They can also provide these leaders with executive coaches who will help them to “see” how their behaviors influence the culture and what modifications are required for successful leadership. By cultivating a supportive network at the senior level, these leaders will be equipped to help one another carry out the company culture with their direct reports, and so on as their leadership trickles through each level of the organization.

I’m speaking today to CEOs, VPs, C-Suite leadership, executive staff, and boards – do you know what you stand for? And who is standing for you?

ARE YOUR SENIOR LEADERS UPHOLDING THE CULTURE THAT YOU’VE AGREED UPON? WHAT CAN YOU DO TODAY TO MOVE THE COMPANY CULTURE FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE?

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