The New Normal

There are times in history when conditions come together to create a large shift in economic, social and technological landscapes: The end of the Civil and second World Wars; the equal rights movement in the ’60’s the birth of the .com boom of the late ‘90s; and more recently the shift in the US political base come to mind. Although not always seen, what happens outside the walls of a business affects what goes on inside. To survive and thrive during these great times of change, leaders and their companies need to have their eyes and ears wide open to the trends affecting their businesses.

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Successfully Managing the Relationship with the Boss

Even with all the assessments, scorecards and performance reviews there appears to be a growing chasm between performance and perception. Why just yesterday a coaching client of mine – we’ll call him Tom – scratched his head when saying, “I thought my work would speak for itself. Now it appears, that in addition to my other roles, I need to be my own PR agency.”

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Non Verbal Techniques: Fake It Until You Become It

Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.

Amy Cuddy’s research on body language reveals that we can change other people’s perceptions — and even our own body chemistry — simply by changing body positions.  — from the TED Talks website

Watch her 20 minute talk here.

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Neuroscience of Leadership

Think of your brain as a gatekeeper for change: Give it what it wants and it will help you evolve and grow into an effective leader. Don’t give it what it wants, and it might make you feel apathetic, dull, fearful of the unknown and suspicious of new ideas.

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Stress: How it’s Holding Companies Back from Moving Forward

In an average week I may interact with 10-20 clients in my role as an executive coach and strategic facilitator, and it seems that everyone has been experiencing the same thing; increasing levels of stress. One person I talked to last week admitted being addicted to stress; and then followed by saying “what am I suppose to do when I have nothing to do?”

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Moving from Expert to Agile Leader

Appeared in the August 15, 2012 edition of the Arizona Republic.

The first question I was asked during my first day of college was “what’s your major?” I thought the purpose of college was to explore ideas not limit options. I was given a college advisor who got the unenviable assignment of dealing with us misfits he labeled “undecided”. The pressure to specialize extends into business as well.  We get trained and hired to be electricians, teachers, nurses and restaurant managers. Being a specialist gets the job. But growing a career requires a diverse set of skills and attitudes.

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Toward a Service-Centered Generation

Is it possible the Me Generation – a term coined by writer Tom Wolf describing the self-involved qualities of Baby Boomers – is being replaced by a generation focused on service? Perhaps. However, there’re still pressures to keep the age of narcissism alive and well: A sluggish economy creates fear for our well-being. Companies still measure and reward individual instead of team results. Some would say younger workers feel more entitled than their older peers. And our national identity is rooted in individual achievement.

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The Cost of Poorly Run Meetings

Would $96 billion in cost savings or added productivity make a difference to our lagging economy? I think so. To get that huge number wouldn’t require a government bailout or an act of Congress. It would be much simpler. Consider a study by Bowling Green State University: Each day 11 million meetings take place in the U.S., 2.6 billion a year. 37.5% of those meetings are considered “poorly run or unnecessary.”  Factor  in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s estimate of the average hourly wage of $30, you get 96 billion a year spent on unnecessary or unproductive meetings a year.

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