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6 Subtle Signs That Indicate You're CEO Material

Posted By Julie McReynolds, Wednesday, February 7, 2018

 

6 Subtle Signs That Indicate Your CEO Material

Are you interested in becoming a CEO one day? The widely accepted path to CEO is to attend a prestigious business school and build a powerful network. I did none of that and still managed to assume the top leadership role at a national healthcare company. I learned business skills on the job such as P&L management, forecasting and budgeting. But what helped me the most besides my hard work and ambition were the softer skills that not only made it easier for people to like me and work with me, but allowed me to manage others successfully and navigate the complexities of the workplace. (Certainly, we’ve witnessed many bad CEO’s over the years who have great business experience but none of the people skills, and they have failed their company, employees, and shareholders.)

Becoming a CEO doesn’t happen by accident. It begins first with the intention and passion to lead a company that aligns with your values. It often involves creating a strategic career plan for yourself to gather the necessary experience and knowledge to assume the top spot.

With all that said, doing an internal audit of your skills is the best place to start.

Here are 6 signs that you are CEO material:

1. You get results. When given a project, you are focused and driven to achieve successful outcomes. You aren’t easily discouraged. You find solutions to reach objectives. You create and achieve realistic but challenging financial goals.

2. You inspire and motivate others. Beyond being a strong individual contributor, you achieve results by partnering and collaborating with others. People get excited about the work from your passion and dedication. It’s infectious. Your team is invested in the work which drives great results and keeps employees engaged and happy.

3. You’re curious. Great leaders are life-long learners. According to a PwC survey, curiosity is one of the most valuable skills a leader can have. Curious leaders don’t accept the status quo. They ask critical questions that stimulate new ideas and innovation. They are avid readers and are always looking to expand their knowledge base.

4. You’re confident but humble. You admit you don’t have all the answers and are open minded and driven to find the best answers even if they aren’t your own. You admit your mistakes and allow others to learn from their mistakes as well. People rise to the occasion and show up doing their best work as a result.

Angela Sebaly, co-founder and CEO of Personify Leadership and author of The Courageous Leader, adds that humble leaders are focused on the big picture of mission and team rather than themselves. According to Sebaly, ‘Leaders with humility engage us and give us a sense of identity and purpose.’

5. You demonstrate empathy. Empathy means having the ability to understand the needs and emotions of others. This allows you to connect and motivate others who relate to you as a human being rather than just a boss.

6. You communicate well. And you communicate well at all levels. You manage up, down and across and have the ability to clearly convey your message to stakeholders, colleagues, employees and customers.

If you want to be a CEO, my best advice is to learn to be CEO of yourself first. Own your ambition and talent. Build your portfolio of experience and develop your soft skills to achieve great results.

--

Bonnie Marcus, M.Ed, is an executive coach, author and keynote speaker focused on women's advancement in the workplace. A former corporate executive and CEO, Bonnie is the author of The Politics of Promotion: How High Achieving Women Get Ahead and Stay Ahead, and co-author of Lost Leaders in the Pipeline: Capitalizing on Women's Ambition to Offset the Future Leadership Shortage.

This blog piece was originally posted on Fairygodboss.com who are partners of NAWMBA.

Tags:  Business  Career  leadership  management  MBA Women  women  WomeninBusiness  WomenMBA 

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Executive Presence?

Posted By Julie McReynolds, Tuesday, January 30, 2018

 

Executive Presence Matters?

By Vivian Hairston Blade

Patricia was considering the candidates from the final round of interviews for her open senior manager position. She asked Ron, her Human Resources partner, to review the applicants with her as she made her final decision.  Both candidates were well qualified with the skills and experience needed for the role, and had a track record of execution. But, the success of this person was largely going to depend on their ability to gain respect, trust, and influence.  As they discussed Shannon’s fit for the job, Patricia expressed her concerns. “Shannon certainly has the credentials for this role, but I don’t think she has the executive presence necessary to drive our strategic priorities.”  Ron tended to agree with her.  “Yes, I know. Something about her makes me feel she’s just not strong enough for this senior level position.” Though Patricia and Ron agreed on this gut feeling, they couldn’t exactly put their finger on why they felt that way.

“Executive presence” is a commonly used, yet nebulous term. Executive presence often is thought of as just your ‘presence’, or the way you carry yourself.  But it’s so much more.  People often use it without being able to articulate exactly what it really means or how to fix it. It’s so challenging to describe executive presence because it’s not a single dimension.

What is Executive Presence?

Executive presence is a combination of demonstrable outcomes and soft skills that come together to comprise your complete package.  Executive presence is the leadership or executive level capacity others see in you.  It is your package of business savvy, relationship savvy, and professional style.  Even if you are an emerging leader, others can sense your executive presence capability.

Executive Presence is comprised of four key dimensions:

·         Business Intelligence – Your application of business & industry knowledge in your work.

·         Business Impact – Your track record of impact on company growth and key priorities.

·         RelationshipsYour ability to build strategic relationships & influence others.

·         Reputation - Your personal brand around your outcomes, leadership style, and professionalism.

 

Why Executive Presence Matters

When the combination of these four dimensions are strong, your executive presence will be identified as strong. You also will feel confident, and be seen as both confident and competent. Leaders are expected to be well-rounded in their business acumen, meaningful contributions to business outcomes, and leadership skill.  Your executive presence shows your ability to fit the character of these expectations at successive levels in your career.  

Executive presence is critical in the success of your career.  The impressions you leave can directly impact your ability to move up in the organization, or to be trusted with important responsibilities. It impacts your ability to earn Invited Reach, where leaders reach out on your behalf as advocates and sponsors to make opportunities available to you.

Who can you think of that has strong executive presence. What are the characteristics that give you that impression?  How do you believe executive presence may have impacted their success?

Like your technical skills, executive presence is a skill that takes work, practice and commitment. Your executive presence will be evaluated. Make sure it’s on your list of things to work on. 

Attend my session at the NAWMBA East Region Symposium for insights on what’s missing in your executive presence, and for tips on making significant improvements. Register by going to nawmba.org. 

Tags:  Business  Kentucky  leadership  Louisville  mba  MBA Women  NAWMBA  personal branding  Professionals  WomeninBusiness 

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Bossing the Boss! – (Managing Up for Better Relationships at All Levels)

Posted By Julie McReynolds, Thursday, January 25, 2018

Bossing the Boss! – (Managing Up for Better Relationships at All Levels)

by Margaret Johnson


Most of us, no matter what environment we work in, have some type of boss. If you are a supervisor you may tend to focus on the people that work for you and managing the process. If you aren't a supervisor/manager, you might focus on your work and keeping the boss informed. But do you consider the part of your job called managing up? 

It is consciously working with your boss to create the best results for you, your boss and the organization. If we don't manage the boss or if we do manage the boss - we are taking a risk. 

Managing up entails really understanding yourself and your boss as far as strengths, weaknesses, work styles, expectations and needs and developing a healthy relationship that effectively works with this information.

How can you do this? I suggest you start by having a conversation with your boss and discuss their goals, problems, pressures, strengths and weaknesses and needs. It’s never too late to start if you aren’t having them already. Test out your assumptions by observation and asking. Pay attention to clues you get from the boss' behavior on what is right and wrong and make adjustments. And don't just have one conversation - occasionally reconnect to reconfirm. 

Easier said than done? Yes. Depending on your boss, it can be stressful to even think about having a conversation around this. But consider what will happen if you don't and how much better work would be if you had this understanding of your immediate supervisor or others above him or her.

When you are ready, make sure you discuss these things - 

  • clarify expectations

  • identify personality and work styles 

  • how and what information needs to be shared

  • what your strengths are and how can you use each other’s in the best way

Work with it - don't fight it!


Be brave. Take the risk and get to know your boss and their expectations. It will make your work life so much easier.


But wait! What if your boss is less than ideal? 

  • Understand the incompetence and ask others for advice on handling him or her.

  • Focus on how you can fill their gaps.

  • Be very careful about ratting anyone out to higher-ups - consider office politics as you handle the situation

  • Remember to take care of yourself and your health.  Indulge in self-care to reduce stress and focus on what you need. 

  • Try a little empathy, set boundaries and focus on the broader good. 

Need help managing relationships with higher-ups? Join me, Margaret A Johnson, at my Managing Up lunchtime keynote session for assumption busting around managing up and tips to make the best of these relationships. You can register here to join me in Louisville, KY on February 22nd!

Tags:  Business  Career  Kentucky  leadership  Louisville  management  MBA Women  NAWMBA  women  WomeninBusiness  WomenMBA 

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Inside out Leadership: Getting People From Where They Are To Where They Want To Be

Posted By Julie McReynolds, Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, November 1, 2017

 

Inside out Leadership: Getting People From Where They Are To Where They Want To Be

Rocío Pérez, Inventiva Consulting


The million-dollar question leaders ask is “why individuals accept mediocre results?”  When they encounter a large number of team members that are stuck with mediocre results.  It’s important for leaders to be able to identify individual mental blocks in order to be able to help them become unblocked.  Often times leaders are frustrated because they don’t know what to do with under performing teams and will fire under performers without understanding the core issue.  This leads to increased costs in the form of time, energy and money.  From Inventiva’s perspective and proven 7-step process, the reality is that people can go from under performing to outstanding results in minimal time.  Everyone has the ability to change.  Leaders and their team members just need the proper tools in order to stay motivated.  Team members are going through the same human dilemmas that many of us go through.  They get stuck and don’t know how to move forward.  


Leaders worry that they will not reach their goals and feel overwhelmed with the reality that their employees simply don’t get it.  Statistics show that approximately 70% of people in the US dislike their jobs while approximately 30% are engaged or inspired by their work duties.  So, the dilemma becomes understanding how a group of people who dislike their jobs can collaborate with their team members, take care of customers, be inspired to deliver outstanding results and be loyal to a brand.  The answer is “it’s impossible.”  Our view of the world creates our results.  The cost to companies becomes more than they can withstand.  Loss of sales, opportunities, productivity, key employees, time, energy, money and personal time are only the beginning of a bottomless abyss.  Companies don’t simply go under.  They go under because the people who drive them have a limited view of what’s possible and may not be aware that they and/or their team are the roadblock.  When leaders realize this, they can go from leading an under performing company to reaping the benefits of what committed, passionate and loyal employees can do to grow the brand, create raving customers, and increase revenues.  These are just a few of the many benefits.


How do individuals bridge the gap from where people are to where they need to be?  Team members must be driven and excited by the vision and look forward to going to work everyday in order to have a strong sense of mutual collaboration and achievement.  A leader’s job is to understand what drives and limits the team as individuals and how to first and foremost transform themselves and then help others do the same.  It’s a shift from reacting to what’s happening to consciously leading teams to transform themselves.  And it requires analyzing and tweaking their approach until they get the desired result.  


A leader’s job is to always be leading and understand that people may see things differently.  Each and everyone of us has a different learning style, personality, set of beliefs and emotional intelligence.  The reality is that we view the world through our own life experiences.  What we say, believe and live are our truths.  We want to be understood even when we may be wrong.  The key is to meet another person where they are, understand and acknowledge them, their resentments, motivations, fears, truths, desires, strengths and weaknesses in order to guide them to where they want to be.  People cannot control what they are not aware of.  Every minute 400 billion bits of information are in our environment; we are conscious of 2,000 bits of that and can focus 7-8 bits of information at one time.  We have 50,000 - 70,000 thoughts per day, 2,000-3,000 thoughts per hour, which translates to 35-48 thoughts per minute.  Ninety-eight percent of thoughts are the same as yesterday.  Could it be possible we are not aware of a few vital pieces of information?  The answer is yes.  We delete, distort and generalize every experience based on our prior experiences.  We are always relating our experiences to what we know.  


Getting from where you are to where you want to go as a business takes investing in people.  The first step is for leaders to conduct an organizational assessment and to gain more in-depth knowledge of available resources.  The second step is connecting and reconnecting employees to the mission, vision, core values and strategies of the organization.  The third step is to set their GPS for success by investing in Inside Out Leadership.  This process accelerates leadership skills, builds stronger teams, leads to a well-balanced life, and a better relationship with self, family and co-workers. It is results oriented and uses a common language. The process focuses visionary leaders on collaboration vs. competition as they lead their teams to become solution seekers and implementers.  The organization will experience an even better organizational culture and effective interdepartmental communication and collaboration with greater performance results. The process transforms knowledge to understanding to wisdom, and inspires leaders to create even greater results as they move from “just management” to true leadership.  


Summary

The above results in people delivering their very best.   When people become aware that they create their own reality, have the tools and know how to use them, they will.


Tags:  Business  Career  leadership  management  MBA Women  NAWMBA  women  WomeninBusiness  WomenMBA 

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Women Play Catch-Up Their Entire Careers

Posted By Julie McReynolds, Wednesday, November 1, 2017

 

Women Play Catch-Up Their Entire Careers

Author: Vivian Blade

 

“Women get less access to the people and opportunities that advance their careers and are disadvantaged in many of their daily interactions.”

 LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company, 2016 Women in the Workplace Report


In my coaching practice, I run across a number of female professionals who are frustrated with their career progression. They feel like they are committed to the company, working endless hours and doing what it takes to get the job done. They feel like they’re pushing through this journey on their own.  In fact, it’s not just a feeling.  Studies on the progress of professional women show this to be true for so many.


The 2016 Women in the Workplace study by LeanIn.org and McKinsey also found that, “Women are less likely to receive the first critical promotion to management—so far fewer end up on the path to leadership—and are less likely to be hired into more senior positions. Women also get less access to the people, input, and opportunities that accelerate careers. As a result, the higher you look in companies, the fewer women you see.”


Women Are Missing Critical Relationships

Professional women are missing critical relationships, such as mentors, coaches, advocates and sponsors. These people help to enable success in their careers.  Why has this situation not improved? Companies don't realize or appreciate the importance of these relationships and don't provide a supporting environment for these relationships to occur. Women lack awareness that they need those important relationships, so they fail to seek them out.


Women also make a number of mistakes that suppress their progress. 


Mistake #1: You lack an awareness of the types of relationships that advance careers

Career success takes a team approach because of the complexity of the corporate environment, with formal and informal processes and networks, and an abundance of office politics. You need people in your network to help you navigate this environment. Allies as mentors and Advocates as sponsors are important relationships in your career. Each has a different role, and may come in and out of the career journey at different points in time. 



Mistake #2: You wait for HR or your boss to give you access to the people and opportunities that advance careers. 

A challenge for women is strategically building and leveraging the types of relationships that act as a support system throughout your career.  You wait for permission or wait to see if you’ll be selected for the official ‘mentoring program’. Stop waiting! You don’t need permission. You are accountable for your own career and for being prepared for each successive step you wish to achieve.  Take the initiative to seek and maintain meaningful relationships throughout your career. 


Ally as Mentor

Allies often are great resources as mentors. Work with mentors to understand the types of skills and experiences you’ll need, and to help you grow in those areas.  They also can help you understand how things really work in the office and help you avoid landmines in your career.  A mentor may be within or outside of your employer, and can be at any level – senior to you, a peer, or a subordinate.


Advocate as Sponsor

An Advocate, or sponsor, is an ambassador who can enable progression in your career by speaking up about your track record and the capabilities they see in your potential. You need to promote your value in order to grow awareness of you and your capabilities among decision makers who could be instrumental as sponsors. 


Mistake #3: You don't manage the mentoring relationship and fail to get the outcomes you need. 

A good mentoring experience doesn’t just happen without planning and care throughout the process. There are four stages of a mentoring relationship that define your progress:

 

  • Selecting

  • Engaging

  • Progressing

  • Closing

 

Each stage has its own set of objectives and tasks. 


Mentoring relationships often fail because of the mistakes in the very first stage, Selecting Your Mentor.


Women Select the Wrong Mentor

Selecting the wrong mentor can be a waste of everybody's time, as well as detrimental to your self-confidence and career progression. 


When I worked for Humana in the early stages of my career, I was fortunate enough to be part of the Management Intern Program.  Though that program came with a formal mentoring relationship, being matched with the right mentor was just as important as selecting my own mentors in other stages of my career. I learned that being thoughtful about and carefully outlining my needs was one of the most important first steps to a successful mentoring relationship.


Before selecting a mentor, know your development areas and the skills you need to build for your career path. Seek a mentor who is knowledgeable about the skills you need to enhance or roles you’re considering on your career path. Find someone who has common personal or professional interests and aligns with your expertise.


Influence Your Own Access

You’ll continue to be left behind until you step up to take more ownership in gaining access to important relationships and opportunities.  Take a deep breath, and make it a priority to take the first steps of learning more about these relationships and engaging with a mentor who can be instrumental in helping you Fuel Your Career Forward.




About the Author Vivian Blade

A professional speaker, author and talent management expert, Vivian works with the world's top companies to fuel incredible leadership, and with professionals to fuel incredible careers. Vivian is a prolific writer whose articles, featured in professional, industry, and business publications, and published books, “FuelForward”, and "Find Your Fit", a collaboration with the Association for Talent Development, have helped thousands of professionals succeed.


Tags:  Business  Career  leadership  management  MBA Women  Mentorship  NAWMBA  negotiate  women  WomeninBusiness  WomenMBA  WomenSupportingWomen 

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