Are You a Designated or Silent Leader?

Remember the Zamboni driving goalie?  He saved the day by rising to the occasion and became a silent leader. He wasn’t the designated goalie that would lead the team to victory.  But he stepped up to the challenge and with each save he brought each member of his team and the fans along with him on an amazing experience.

Silent leaders step up from the ranks.  They bring others along through voice and actions, they listen to what the team is saying, they keep their eyes and ears engaged with learning and tap into that knowledge when the need is evident.  Along the way they continually build trust and appreciation with their teammates.

Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, addresses the power of Level 5 Leadership.  Tapping into humility and will.  The power of Silent Leadership capitalizes on opportunity and maximizing that humility and will.  The Zamboni driver upped his own game and others followed.  His ego stayed in check and the high of his will drove him forward.

Designated leaders carry the position identifier or title, coach, owner, CEO, president, manager, captain, you get the idea.  Silent leaders emerge from within the group and often are the catalyst in critical times.  Our interest and desire impact our decision to take on one or the other role, but our humility and will can be the game changers.

We have all been a leader at some point.  If you ever played Follow the Leader as a kid you’ve been a leader.  Maybe you lead a group in school,  served as captain of a team, perhaps you lead a department at work or even own your own company and carry the title CEO.  All of these carry this common denominator, everyone else was following.  Some leaders are designated while others are silent.  So, what leadership characteristics are natural to you?  What skill set do you need to build?

Are you wanting to take the next steps in your career?  Want to up your game?  Let’s figure it out…..let’s connect!

Be the Catalyst

Does the word Evaluation cause you to get anxious, nauseous, maybe filled with cautious anticipation? Is it usually someone else evaluating your performance? What do you gain?
The reality is, evaluations cannot be just annual events that leave you feeling like you finally just earned a great bonus or completely at a loss for all the hours you invested the last year with no gains.  Gains can be in your hands as easily as in someone else’s, but you have to take control. Be the catalyst! You have to ensure you have a plan that is filled with SMART goals that will provide your next opportunity. Be in control of your future!
Everyone Needs to Self Evaluate:
So whether you are an NFL player being evaluated every day you are on the field, a teacher in any district across the country being evaluated annually or quarterly, or even an engineer with a manufacturing company and an annual performance review tied to your bonus, you are in control. You choose how to enhance whatever it is they are looking for by continually evaluating yourself and applying what you learn.
Create Targets of Improvement:
A singular review of your performance will not be enough to guide you into the next steps. You will have to be the catalyst. Monitor your performance on a regular basis.  Stretch for that next position by gathering additional responsibilities, new experiences, on-going learning. When you expand your learning, either through new challenges, courses, or self-enhancing growth tools, you put a new and improved you at the center of the evaluation process.
How do you measure up next to the individual in your same position? Where are you compared to the position you want? What are you willing to do to get there?
Take the time to evaluate your own performance. Then, be the Catalyst.  What’s your next step?  Need help?  Click Here.

What Will They Remember

I’m usually writing about careers, education, workforce, but on my run yesterday I was reflecting on several conversations with clients and parents as well as family members. Coronavirus has pushed everyone’s buttons. And in a time when so many are out of work or in limbo, a common stress I heard were conversations surrounding the feelings of falling short as the educator in the family in lieu of regular school for their kids. Tears had been shed over maintaining “school hours”, who had or hadn’t logged on or violated someone’s assigned time, and the worst…assignments that were confusing or misunderstood leading to frustration and incomplete lessons.  Has it happened at your house?

The word “CAN’T” permeated lessons, balancing work and family at home and for some the end of the rope loomed way to close. My past life as a principal came rushing back. What would I have done? It hit me….treat it like travel. Yes, being on time, having lessons complete, checking all the boxes for the grade book is important.  But, when a family would ask if they could be excused for an unusual family travel experience, my answer was always emphatically “YES”!  Nothing educates like travel. Learning new geography, currency, customs. They are all genuine life learning experiences that make connections in our brains unlike learning in a book or even catching it on an electronic device.

COVID 19 has put us all in unusual family/work experiences, and we can choose to make our memories of this around the word “CAN’T” or we can frame it around the words “WE DID”. So how bad would it be if a tearful lesson in math got put away until later and a cooking experience commenced. Or how about a distance challenge calculating steps through the house if one was to suddenly become blind…. the possibilities are endless. The point is to use the imagination, take the pressure off of each other. I’m not advocating throwing in the towel on curriculum, but I absolutely advocate that in a time when everyone is navigating this virus as best they can, we need to feel empowered to make decisions that move everyone forward. Learning goes well beyond the walls of a classroom. It goes beyond the walls of our perceived imagination.

So, what will you DO to ensure that when your children look back and talk about their memories during the quarantine of COVID 19, they remember what “WE DID” and not what they “couldn’t”.

Scary Times II

In October 2011 I posted a Blog titled Scary Times.  It was a play on Halloween and the issues facing seniors in high school as they navigated the world of changes ahead…college, work, sports.  Issues that were relevant. Perhaps scary, but also exciting.  Fast forward to today, Scary Times II.

Scary Times II is certainly not aligned with Halloween this time, and it is not targeting seniors in high school.  It targets everyone.  Those in high school as a sophomore or older, college students, and those in the work world already.  COVID-19 has made our world a very different place.  As a result, it has caused all of us to rethink how we interact with each other,  how we address learning, and how we continue in the world of work.  Yes, it is scary.

But, Scary Times can encourage us to spend time reflecting, to engage, educate and empower ourselves to move beyond where we were and into something more.  Who    are    YOU?  Are you an Extrovert?  Do you need diversity in your work, interactions with others, and a common goal?  Are you an Introvert? Need more time to yourself for reflection and recharging?  Are you diagnostic, analytic, experiential or consultative in your Problem Solving style?  How does that fit in your world of work?  If you are not sure, maybe it’s time to find out the answers to these and lots more questions that can guide you in your next steps.

The world of work is changing more rapidly that anyone expected.  Will you be ready?  Now is the time to take a Highlands Ability Battery and find out your Best Fit opportunities.

 

Career Conundrum

When billionaire Mike Bloomberg spoke to the recent graduates of Harvard Business School about their careers, he told them, “Make decisions based on the quality of the opportunity and where you’ll have the most fun and the most room for growth.”  His message to them was rooted in understanding themselves.  It’s a lot like the message Erika Boissiere wrote about in her April 22, 2019 Forbes magazine article, “When You’ve Made the Wrong Career Choice”.  She says, “You can’t shelve unhappiness forever.”

Identifying the Career Conundrum:

Rarely does a week go by that I do not get a phone call, email, or run into someone who is experiencing disappointment in their career choice.  They are in a Career Conundrum, with the nagging questions of:

  • Do I stay or do I go?
  • What else can I do?
  • How do I know I won’t feel this same way 5 years from now?

So, is she right?  Does unhappiness keep you awake at night, distract you while you work and drive, gnaw at your stomach, and diminish your performance?  That feeling of being stuck is a miserable place to live.

People who love their work are highly motivated.  But I believe that everyone has the potential to be highly motivated.  Finding the “right fit” career is key.  In fact motivation is one of the five key pillars of Emotional Intelligence and key to career success.

Counter the Career Conundrum:

Are you ready for a successful process? Contact me about taking The Highlands Ability Battery and creating a new path!  Finding the “right fit” career is a process and requires an investment in self.  Investing is the act of putting something in, like time, money, effort.  We invest in our 401k and we expect an improved outcome.  Why would anyone invest endless hours at a job that doesn’t feel right when there are so many other options?

The Changing Career Landscape

Jobs that did not exist 10 years ago are infiltrating the landscape.  So, have you ever thought of being a Chief Listening Officer, Tech Ethicist, Self-Driving Car Engineer, or how about a UX/UI Designer?  These are just some of the new job titles in a morphing career landscape. The trick is how to prepare. The PROCESS is everything!

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has indicated that within the next two decades, 48% of the jobs we know today will no longer exist. Think about all of the places you already know that have self-serve checkout.  The Career Landscape is Changing. So, is there a PROCESS?

My job is to help you prepare for the Changing Career Landscape.  With that in mind, how do you prepare if you don’t even know what you want to do today?  Good questions in a time when more than 60% of the country is not engaged in the work they do on a daily basis.  Life is just too short to not enjoy what you do.  That’s why I do what I do!  It’s about working the PROCESS.

Your abilities, earning potential and happiness quotient need to be aligned if you are truly going to be “satisfied” in your work and live life in the terms that you are truly capable and desire to live.  It is possible, but it takes work and a defined PROCESS.  Work the PROCESS!!!  Contact me to know more.

Networking is for Everyone – Including Students!

Social media is changing the way we network for career opportunities.  But we can’t forget to develop our in-person networks as well.  This is especially true for high school and college students.  As you think about career directions, this is the time to do some explorations and especially if you are not working during the summer.

Tap into those networks that are closest to you.  Parents and their employers, extended family members and their employers are all great places to begin.  Find out if positions exist within their organizations that you may interest you.  If so, a quick phone call or introduction followed by a couple of questions could well set the stage for an opportunity to spend a few hours or even a week exploring the career options related to the career you shadowed.  By shadowing, you have also extended your own network for future opportunities.  Career shadowing experiences help you to determine if there is more you want to know about a career or if it was just a whim.

In years past we only heard about networking as a business tool.  No longer!  It is a tool for everyone and students are no exception.  Whether you are building a network of coaches, admissions contacts or career professionals, networking is powerful.  While Facebook, LinkedIn and Yelp are all proven social media networking tools, don’t overlook the obvious.  Check out your own family network and the network of businesses and professionals used by your family.  It’s all part of promoting yourself, building experiences, eliminating the potential of stumbling into a profession you later wish you had gone another direction, and creating a path of satisfaction and success for yourself.

Contact me if you need more information or have questions.  Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours!

5 Key Steps to Help You Capitalize on Your Opportunity

Do you click on those internet articles that begin with “10 Things You…” or “The Top 10 Places….”?  I find myself intrigued at times and just have to go for it.  But the truth be told, sometimes all we want is something short and to the point.  So my message this time is for Students…both high school and college.  If you anticipate needing a job or internship for next summer, now is the time to begin making a plan to make connections and get on the radar while you are on Winter Break.  So, here are the 5 Key Steps to Help You Capitalize on Your Opportunity:

  1. Identify where you will or want to be during the summer.  As a high school student that is probably at home, but for college students you may identify a different location.
  2. Identify your area of interest for work experience or an internship in your intended field.
  3. Identify who you know personally in that industry or find out who the industry players are that you don’t know yet.  Key word, yet!
  4. Create your Contact List including name, name of business, email address, phone, physical location and be sure to leave space to make notes of your contact with them and future opportunities.
  5. Identify your available dates and times and take action to set up appointments with those individuals or businesses as soon as your Break begins.

Capitalize on your opportunity to secure a summer job or internship by creating a plan using these 5 Key Steps.  Even if a business isn’t hiring yet it is never too early to develop a relationship with the hiring agent.  That way, you get ahead of the competition, create a relationship with someone who may provide that great opportunity, and you still have plenty of time to enjoy that Winter Break!  Organization using 5 Key Steps = SUCCESS!

Power in Your Dreams

Did you dream of being a fireman, football player, or a teacher?

Who asked you what you want to be when you grow up? What is “Grown Up”?

Did you ask yourself?

Do you still have that dream? What’s next?

There is POWER in your dreams. I’m talking about the dreams in your heart. When you think about what you want in your life and how you are going to get there. What is it that makes you excited?

Dreams motivate us forward, keep us from being “stuck”, and at times propel us in directions we may never have imagined. But dreams have to be backed up with action. Sometimes those dreams are not clear and require action like peeling an onion, exploring multiple layers. And sometimes, when dreams are realized or achieved, we find ourselves asking “Now what?”

Dreams keep us engaged in life. Whether it is a dream about a career, a dream to travel somewhere on a bucket list, meet someone you hold in great regard, skydive, climb a mountain, sit on a beach, write a book, start a business…….dreams keep us engaged. That drive within a dream is the power that keeps us going.

Where is your power? What is your dream? What’s next?

 Love what you do!