The Response That Could Silence Macy’s

I was taken to school at Macy’s last weekend. My teacher was a petite, mature woman with a slow gait, quick smile and soft, gentle voice.

Our classroom was the Men’s Shoe Department. Ms. Sondra alone tended to each person in the very long line.

Someone asked her about being busy, noting the number of customers. She said she was even busier yesterday.

That set up the lesson.

She was given the opportunity to complain. They tossed her the softball: “I bet it was a madhouse, people are just crazy around this time.” 

She didn’t even step up to the plate. She didn’t even bat an eye. Not the slightest hesitation when she responded:

“It’s wonderful, I met so many beautiful people yesterday and today.”

That is perspective. That is joy. That is goodwill toward men. That was beautiful.

If the rest of Macy’s could have heard that, I imagine the entire store would have fallen silent.

Most would see crowds, rude or impolite people and complain.

Ms. Sondra saw beauty, and expressed gratitude.


Thank you, Ms. Sondra, for that lesson and sharing your beautiful soul with me. With us.

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Help Your Team Grow By Not Listening To What They Say

As a leader or team lead, have you ever been in the position to facilitate a change? An improved process, a new system, a change in procedure. Did you get resistance from your team or a person about this change?

Have you heard, “I don’t want to”? Or “I’m not going to”?


You just might be able to turn that around if you don’t listen to what they say.


The words they use more often than not don’t represent the real issue. The words sound like they are being obstinate, willfully defying your request out of malice, stubbornness, or something stuck in their crawl.

But what if that wasn’t the case?

What if the true statement were: “I don’t want to …. because I don’t think I can.” What if they don’t know this is the reason behind their resistance?

Stay with me for a minute:

  • We have millions of bits of information assaulting us all day, every day
  • To filter all that data down into understandable pieces, we delete, distort, or generalize. We take a boulder and make a recognized pebble.
  • Think of a boulder as a bit of external data. Internally, we go at it with several chisels. These are thoughts, beliefs, values, identity, behaviors, skills, experiences, reactions, attitudes, memories, language, and more. We whack the heck out of that boulder using all these chisels to break it down to a pebble we recognize.
  • We’re made up of a big ol’ pile of pebbles – our foundation for how we act and see ourselves/the world.
  • Our chisels are not the same size.

Your person may have a massive “I’m not smart enough” belief chisel. It overshadows all the other chisels. This means that every boulder you throw at them will be shaped primarily by that chisel.

Any change is going to be met with resistance. Because behind the defiance is fear. Fear of looking stupid, fear of failure, fear of the unknown. But the first and strongest reaction is simply no.


They may not know their own real driver because that pebble is buried at the very bottom of their pebble pile.


So how do you help them help you?


With a beautiful dance of communication. The steps are: go general, go detailed, and back and forth we go.

Don’t challenge, it will raise their defenses and shut down communication. Start by asking their thoughts. Start with the problem this new process is going to fix. What do they think of that problem?

  • Go detailed. How has it been detrimental to their work, performance, customers, team, etc.? How has it affected them personally?
  • Go general. Can they remember another time when there was another hindrance in the process? How did it impact the work?
  • Go detailed. With that other issue, how was it resolved? What was put in place? What kind of changes were made? How did they integrate those changes into what they did?
  • Go general. How did it make their job easier? How did it improve performance, service, quality, etc.?
  • Stay general. If we could make that same type of transition, wouldn’t that be helpful? Do you see any connection between this process and the last successful one?

The issue could be they don’t think the solution will work because of their expertise. Listen. You might get valuable insight to improve the process.


When you can guide them to see another time when they did, it will help get that pebble out of their shoe and step forward.

This is a free-flowing conversation. Be engaged. Be interested. listen and watch for verbal/nonverbal. Follow your intuition to pick up the revealed threads. You’re not going to get it right every time. You’re not going to make a 180 change every time.

You may have to respectfully say, this is how we’re going to do it.


Even so, with these conversations, you’ll prove you’re listening, they’re important, they’re heard, and they matter. You will also learn something.

That’s the real win-win.

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I help amazing people get career happy and client-centric companies stay true to brand.

Coaching: Career, Business, Life

Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more.

All opinions and views expressed in this article are my own unless attributed. They’re pretty spot-on (because I’m obsessive about career topics and communications). The humor sprinkled in is Mr. B approved, my dog who thinks I’m hilarious (and not because I’m his meal ticket).

Stop Over-Thinking You

One of the truest quotes is from French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal. Written in 1600’s: “I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.”

This is often attributed to Mark Twain. He did write something similar in 1871: “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter”

History lesson aside, this is a very important concept in communication. Especially your personal brand communication, i.e. your LinkedIn and resume.

I am a wordy person in my first drafts. I warn every single client when getting their rough cut that it is long and wordy. I like words. I like embellishing. I like feeling out different words and phrases to get the feel and sense of them.

People are natural storytellers, even if they don’t realize it.  They have accomplishments they are rightly proud of.  They like to explain, relive, recreate, and discuss. It’s a feel good and can be a wealth of information.

Yet, all my words and people’s stories don’t always meet the needs of the audience: the reader of your profile or resume.

The truth is, what you write isn’t about you, it is about them. You are speaking to their need and how you are a solution. All those words and stories don’t mean anything if they don’t prove that you are their solution or savior.

That’s why the real fun and love comes in the slashing and dashing. Oh, the joy of taking a draft and cutting, slicing, dicing ruthlessly! It’s a game: how can I say all that the reader needs to hear in as few words as possible?

You see, we also need to keep in mind attention spans. No one likes reading long, boring blocks of text. It has to mean something to them or they will gloss over it.

This takes me back to my title: stop overthinking you. One of the most powerful and simplest questions I can ask you is: “what do you want your reader to know?”

We want simple. Simple is powerful, even simple words can be powerful.  A good example is an amazing executive client of mine. He snatches companies from the jaws of death and jettisons them into industry trendsetters. He would never let me put that in his resume or LinkedIn, it sounds awesome, but too bragging for him (although I will run it by him….).

Not my point. He has a hiccup with the word ‘expertise’. The Skills section. Now he’s strong in each one listed, but uncomfortable with that word as a title. He gave a lot of thought to this and was coming up with several phrases as alternatives. 

My advice was this: let’s keep it simple. We can use ‘Proficiencies, Qualifications, Key Strengths”.  ATS recognized any of these as headers.  Each is innocuous to the reader which allows them to focus on the words following the title. 

Mr. Sullivan gave me a great piece of advice that rings true still today. He was my boss from 20+ years ago and an 86-year-old attorney. His advice: “KISS: keep it simple stupid”.

Tell them what you want them to know about what they need to hear.

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As an award winning, published, Resume Writer, Career & Business Coach, I help amazing people get career happy and companies stay true to brand.

Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more.

All opinions and views are my own (unless attributed). They are also normally spot and have a touch of humor because I’m obsessive about career topics and my dog thinks I’m hilarious, not just his meal ticket.

The Why Doesn’t Matter Except To Get You To A Better What

Do you ever feel like you’re in the movie Groundhog Day? But only with certain situations? Like there is a lesson you need to learn and it’s not sinking in so a certain type of events keeps reoccurring?

I can’t be the only one.

My repeated events center around patience. So many opportunities to learn patience. My biggest problem is my incessant need to know why.

Why did this happen? Why didn’t that happen? Why? Why? Why?

But here’s the thing I’m finally getting through my thick skull – the why doesn’t matter much. It doesn’t change the what. Focus on the why and you miss the opportunity.

If you start asking why, let it be your trigger to think, “Uh oh, I’m going down the dead-end of why – let me change that to what.” One big what:

What are my opportunities to:

– Learn

– Grow

– Prosper

– Pivot

– Share

– Inspire

– Appreciate

This is how you take a bad break up with a job and turn it into something life-giving. It’s going to help you in those interviews, too. Even in a fired situation. Being able to turn around a negative to get them to see the positive is huge

Let’s be honest, sometimes getting fired is a blessing in disguise. It doesn’t mean you are a failure. It means it was time for you to move on – there is something better for you out there! I learned this both professionally and personally.

Years ago, I launched my business and got engaged to my childhood sweetheart. Life was all hopes, dreams, rainbows, and lollipops. I was a business owner and a fiancé; he was a cheating bastard. So that ended that.

By finally getting over the why and looking at my what, I let go of all that baggage and be grateful for the experience. Without it, I would not have started this business and be living my passion and purpose. Without it, I would not have met Chief, my better half.

The quicker you can thank the bad situation, the sooner you move on to better opportunities.

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As an award-winning, published, Resume Writer & Career Coach I help you get career happy.

Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more.

All opinions and views are my own (unless attributed). They’re usually spot-on and a little funny. Because I’m obsessive about career topics and my dog thinks I’m hilarious, not a biscuit dispensing machine.

Throwaway Resumes Don’t Give a Reason to Care

I have the blessing and curse of being the blunt one in the family.

Thus, my lifelong lessons in communication balancing blunt with tact, effective with clear, empathy with accountability.

It is a driving factor in being a Career Coach and Resume Writer. I love positively challenging people to think differently and remove their blocks through words, storytelling, and the unexpected.

Bluntness is a great tool to craft a powerful brand and career story. Because it gives you the reader’s bottom line question: “Why do I care?”

The reader is the hiring manager, recruiter, etc.

This question can sound short or even rude. But there is something worse.

All too often, the reader throws away your resume without even asking this question. They cut through all the minutia, ending the review with an “I don’t care.”  

That’s worse.

Your resume is about them. Their challenges, problems, and goals – and how you are a solution to their critical needs. This is your focus.

Put another way: it’s not what you want to tell them, it’s telling them what they need to know.  Stick to the parts of the story that are relevant for them.

Do you know a bad storyteller? Someone who insists on peppering a 30 second story with unimportant, mindless details that drags it to a 5 minute story? All the while you’re screaming in your head: “cut to the chase!” – yeah, that’s how they feel reading a resume with every detail of each job from day one. They just don’t care.

Here’s how you change that attitude: write to what is important to them. Be clear, be direct, be demonstrative, be the solution.

The reader cares only when what is in your resume directly relates to them.

Be kind to your reader – and get an interview – by being rude to your resume. Splice it down to the critical “this is why you should care because it makes your life easier.”

Or, send that fully loaded resume and risk the reader saying “I don’t care” and missing out on a call.

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As an award winning, published, Resume Writer & Career Coach I help amazing people get career happy.

Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more.

All opinions and views are my own (unless attributed). They are also normally spot and have a touch of humor because I’m obsessive about career topics and my dog thinks I’m hilarious, not just his meal ticket.

Avoid Being An Interview Hostage-Taking Talker

I’m at the gym six days a week. I don’t consider myself a gym rat, I do what I’ve got to do to overcome the “…for/at your age….” thing.  If you are over a certain number, you know what I’m talking about:

“You look good…for your age”

“You should expect not to ______ at your age”

Screw that, I want to look good for me, not some expectation. And having a birthday this month, I don’t give a darn what the stupid number is, I’m stronger, healthier, more tone and defined than I was 20 numbers ago. So take that “for/at your age”.

This wasn’t the point of this article, just a side rant. 

Back on track: while I’m at the gym, I don’t talk. I’m not a mean person, I’m not a rude person. I like to do my thing and really, I don’t want people coming that close. I mean, c’mon, I’m there sweating – gyms are not full of pleasant aromas.

Anyway, I’m at the gym this morning on the treadmill, Boo doing his weights and I noticed as soon as he stepped up to a machine, he got the attention of a talker.

If you’re a gym person, do you have one of these at your gym – the person who starts talking and won’t let you go? They are the hostage-taker talker.

This one was a pro. I mean he never stopped!  Boo would go to another machine, kept talking. Walk across the gym, kept talking.  For a good 45 minutes – kept talking.

By the way, if you don’t know if your gym has one of these, you might want to see if it is you.

I know some people like to converse between reps. Cool. But seriously, I think the gentleman burned more calories talking than he did working out.

And just because my mind works this way, it got me thinking about interviewing.

Hang with me here.

All too often interviewees become talker hostage-takers. They get sidetracked from a question, go down a rabbit hole, and then end up taking the interviewer hostage on a rampage for a long, long time which leads to nowhere.

I’ve done it. I think it is a nervous thing. But more importantly – how do you stop it?

  1. Recognize that you’re going down that path.
  2. STOP.  Stop talking. Right now. Stop the momentum.
  3. Collect yourself. Breathe.
  4. Look the interviewer in the eye and smile.
  5. Tell them “I’m sorry, I have no idea how I got so far off course, let me go back and answer only what you asked”
  6. Give a short, concise answer.
  7. Let it go.

Here’s the thing – unlike at the gym where you might be avoided like the plague – if you move on, this incident will, in all likelihood, be forgotten by the interviewer.

We have all said something stupid or gone down a rabbit hole, so don’t beat yourself up about it. The trick is to stop the train and regroup quickly without batting an eye.

It’s even better if you can add a bit of humor or self-depreciation – just a bit. I’ve started my back-on-track with “Wow, not sure how I got here!” or “The blonde went a little too deep this time….”

A bit of humor (if appropriate) gives the appearance of confidence and humility that you can laugh at yourself but get right back on track.

On your next interview, be the hero, not the talker hostage-taker.

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As an award winning, published, Resume Writer & Career Coach I help amazing people get career happy.

Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more.

All opinions and views are my own (unless attributed). They are also normally spot and have a touch of humor because I’m obsessive about career topics and my dog thinks I’m hilarious, not just his meal ticket.

Simplify Your Story, Don’t Dummy It Down

There are three times when there is too much talking going on in your resume or LinkedIn profile:

–         You feel the need to tell the reader absolutely everything you’ve ever done

–         You don’t know what’s important to the reader

–         You have no idea how to tell your own story

One of these is enough to spoil the stew, but add in that special spice of tenure and it can become a train wreck stew.

This is a nice way of saying experience. I’m in that category. I’m over 50 with a lot of experience. I’m what some might consider old – they would be wrong, but hey, I’m cool with it. Although there are potential employers that may not be now or in 10+ years from now.

The problem – or fault – is a feeling of being over-qualified or discriminated by age.

“The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars but in ourselves…”  Cassius is basically telling Brutus, hey man, we’re in control here – take control of your destiny.

I’m not saying age discrimination does not happen. What I am saying is let’s take a more positive, optimistic, we’ve got some measure of control here approach.

Instead of assuming someone is discounting you, what if you were discounting yourself? Maybe you are not being discriminated against because of your age. Maybe you are being passed over because you aren’t telling them what they need to hear?

There’s a thought.

It seems to be almost a knee-jerk reaction to assume you’re overlooked due to a long career history. Then to think the answer is to “dummy down” your resume or profile.

“Oh, well if I sound like less than I am, surely someone will want to hire me.”

Stop it. Never, ever, ever devalue yourself. Not for a job, not for a person, not for anything. Period.

Okay, off my soapbox.

Instead, let’s simplify your story, and tell it the right way, where you’re speaking their language and getting their attention.

Let’s work through this in three steps, because we want simplifying to be simple!

1. Them

Who is them? The reader: who your resume and LinkedIn is all about. Them. The reader, not you. They don’t care what you want, they care about how are you going to make their life easier. If you are dying to tell them 15 things but they only care about 2 of them, how much time do you think they are going to spend listening to you?

Right.

2. Target

Second, what to say. For this, you have to know your target. What job or position are you targeting? Once you have zeroed in on this, let’s simplify it and get a framework with three questions:

  1. What is the bottom-line purpose of the job?
  2. What activities (main) do I need to do to achieve #1?
  3. How do I prove I’ve achieved #1, how is my performance measured?

The answers to these questions are the outline for your resume and LinkedIn. Focus 80% of your content on what supports these questions. The other 20% is your differential that you bring to the table. Those things that make you more awesome than any other candidate.

3. Story

Your story. This is important because now you get to paint the picture. I tell everyone who will listen: the point of your resume is to tell your story the way you want the reader to understand it, not how it looks on paper. (The purpose is to start a conversation – that’s another article…)

Maybe you want to take a step back. Maybe you have run big teams or your own business and now want to go back to corporate. These can trigger the ‘dummy down’ response.

Don’t do it….

Tell the story the way you would to a real person. If you were a business owner, you know what a pain some aspects were. Taxes, filings, blah, blah, blah. So if you were in an interview, wouldn’t you stress that you want to get back to doing that part of the job that you love?

Okay, say that.

This brings up a good side point. We get in stuck in our head somehow that there is a specific decorum to resumes. Stuffy (nope). Distanced (no). Can’t be a real person (wrong). Can’t say certain things (yes you can).

I’ve used “herculean effort” and “Sherpa” in resumes. So yes, you get to have some fun.

We don’t need to focus on everything you did. Not everything adds value to what you are targeting. We need to maximize that finite amount of valuable space available to you.

Think of CIA: keep what is Critical and Important, ditch what the Assumed (not important). Focus what you did – based on the answers to those three questions. Anything outside that will fall into assumed, not important, or differentials.

Owning a business gave you ‘where the buck stops’ perspective allowing you to better support your leadership team. That’s a differential.

Lastly, let me just say one thing: you’re not the only person who has wanted or done this. It does not look like a demotion, step down, or a negative. Many people step back, go back, change it up. It’s all good. How many managers out there remember before they were managers and sometimes wistfully think, oh, for it to be like that again…

Regardless of the length of your tenure, there are plenty of opportunities out there for you. Simplify your story around your audience. Before you know it, you’ll start getting some phone calls!

 

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As an award winning, published, triple certified Professional Resume Writer & Career Coach I do what I love – help amazing professionals get career happy.

Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more.

Stalled career move? It may be due to one little question.

I’m going to give you a glimpse into my world. Chief is going to be retiring soon, which he deserves for decades of dedicated service. We have discovered through the COVID-19 experience, that he will be embarking on something new.

Truth be told, it’s more of me telling him “you’re going to have to find something to do that is not in this house full time.”   I’m cool if he decides to be a professional bass tournament guy.  Can’t fish in the house….

To get back on track, my point is he’s trying to figure out what to do next (besides the fishing thing).

I’m sharing this, not to find commiserating pals of the pains of shared work space all…the…time….   I’m sharing because I have a feeling many people get stuck where he is – figuring out what’s next.

We get stuck before we get started. The culprit is the question he, and most people, ask first:

what am I qualified for?

I’m not a fan of starting with this question. It has an undercurrent of negativity and can go downhill. Fast. Here’s an inside your head conversation – you know, with that little voice…

What am I qualified for?
Lots of things, I can pretty much do anything!
Great, like what?
I donno, how about talking to people – I’m really good at that!
Yeah, and what job has the title “Talking to People”? None!
Okay, but I can use that skill…
Uh huh, that’s not a real thing, prove that you’re good at it, you can’t measure it, you don’t fit any of these jobs’ criteria….

 

And so on. That little voice can get pretty nasty, judgy, and snarky. We don’t like that mean little voice.

Why did it get so mean? Because in your head “what am I qualified for” gets turned around into “what am I good at?”

And that friends, is why I am in business.

Because we are all terrible at talking nice about ourselves. We don’t want to sound like we’re bragging. It’s uncomfortable. We don’t know how to explain what we do without feeling like we’re saying we are all that and the bag of chips.

We allow our little voice in our head to sabotage any positive thoughts.

Let’s shut that little voice up, shall we?

 

It begins with taking a new perspective, one that the little voice can’t turn around into a negative. Here’s the question I want you to start with:

What do I like to do?

 

There is no judgement here! The voice can’t say you’re not good at it because we’re not asking that. We’re asking what you like. Not a prove you’re good at it. You like to do something or you don’t to varying degrees.

Alrighty then – what do you like? Make a list. Tasks, projects, responsibilities, learning, tools, systems, teams – think of anything and everything.

Next question: why? Why do you like these things? Why do you like working on those kinds of projects, doing those tasks, working with those tools?

Again, no judgement, just why you like it.

Next question: when you do those things, does it make someone’s life easier? If you’re a whiz at reports, does that make your Manager’s life easier being able to find exactly numbers at a moment’s notice?

Again, this isn’t about you – it’s about everything outside of you that what you do touches. Maybe it improves a process, cuts time, increases revenues, clarifies instructions, avoids a risk…

If you go back and look at your answers, you are going to find a pattern. You can then summarize your thoughts into key words. Project management, reporting, process improvement, change management, operations, finance, budgeting….

What’s emerging is a list to compare against the market. A list that highlights what you’re good at, where your value lies. This is your starting point. Find positions that line up under your criteria instead of trying to figure out how you fit under theirs.

The extra bonus of this approach is it takes the stress off of not wanting to do something you are good at doing. Let’s say you are amazing at something – let’s use forecasting as a random example. Absolutely spot-on with your forecasts. No one does it better, faster than you. You’re a forecasting beast. The only problem is – you hate it.

If you started with “what am I qualified for?” the voice jumps to forecasting. Then you get discouraged because you don’t want to do forecasting. The voice in your head will then tell you to stick with what you’re good at because you don’t qualify for anything else.

We really hate that little voice, don’t we?

Don’t give it the power by asking it to monitor you. Start with a simple question – what do you like to do – and see where it leads you. You might be pleasantly surprised at all the avenues available to you.

 

 

P.S. I love putting that little voice in your head in its place – if you need some help, get in touch!

 

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As an award winning, published, triple certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Coach & Digital Brand Analyst I do what I love – help amazing professionals get career happy.
Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more.

 

#careerchange #personalbranding #careeradvice #resume

Is Someone Else’s Failure Taking Over Your Resume?

As if writing your resume, LinkedIn or interviewing isn’t hard enough. Let’s not make it harder by taking ownership of things that aren’t ours.

I’m going to touch on the talking about yourself aspect. It’s hard. I get it. It feels like you’re bragging. To avoid this, most people go the opposite way. They get generic, like using job duties as bullet points. Don’t do that.

Instead, talk about what you did, with whom, to make something better. Tell your story. For a crash course in storytelling, check out this article: Do You Know Why No One Calls You For an Interview Youre Telling Them Not To

Now, let’s address something that happens without our awareness. Taking on someone else’s failure.

Here is your mantra for the day: their failure doesn’t negate my success.

  • I spoke to three clients the other day and this theme came up with each one of them.
  • One was hired to complete a project and she knocked it out of the park.
  • Another put together a future-forward, take it to the next level tech/marketing plan.
    The third put together an amazing team who (honestly) is too good for the company.

After all they have done…

  • The company wasn’t ready, and planned poorly, their bottom fell out.
  • The company got scared and is stuck in a outdated comfort zone so the project was shelved.
  • The company isn’t interested in investing in any more training or promoting.

 

Each client killed it. Each company failed.

They no longer saw what they did. They took ownership of the company’s failure. They couldn’t see their own success, value, or contribution. It is as if they were saying, “Yeah, I did do some amazing things but since they didn’t come to fruition, they don’t count.”

Yes, they do.

When you tell your story in your resume, LinkedIn, or any other branding – you control the narrative. You tell the story you want them to know. Don’t let the failure overshadow your victory.

Showcase what you did, learned, achieved, prevented –the value you contributed or gained.

Take ownership – good or bad – of what is yours. Tell your story. Show how you can bring the value others need. That way you get the attention of the company that’s right for you and won’t fail you.

 

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As an award winning, published, triple certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Coach & Social Media Brand Analyst I do what I love – help amazing professionals get career happy.
Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more.

Are You Ready To Take Your Leadership Effectiveness To The Next Level? You Can By Applying These 4 Characteristics That Great Leaders Have In Common

As a leader, your attitude is your most important recourse. No matter where you are in your leadership career: experienced, a novice, or working your way there. Your attitude will determine your actions.

The right attitude can be a positive effect multiplier.

The wrong attitude can suck the life out of your people, team, and company.

“Attitude is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, money, circumstances, than failures and success, than what other people think, say, or do. It is more important than appearance, ability, or skill. It will make or break a business, a home, a friendship, an organization.” ~ Charles R. Swindoll

Periodically examining your attitude is essential to the health of your team. Take stock for the following four components:

1. Realize you are responsible for the care of your people

Not your direct reports, not your staff, not your minions. Your people.

Each has unique talents, gifts, aspirations, goals, motivations, communication and learning styles. What will work for one may not work for another.

You’re entrusted to teach them, help them grown, and to evolve into giving their best for the greater good. (Whatever the greater good is from customer experience to creating a life-saving product.)

What are you doing to care for your people?

2. Lead out of eagerness to serve, not obligation

The best leaders are the ones who love to lead. Their idea of leadership is doing, not dictating (see #4). They want to help people get better. They want to make a difference. They want to be the one that removes obstacles for others. They want to be the one that elevates others.

What are you excited to bring to your team in 2020?

3. Be concerned for what you can give, not what you can get

Great leaders do not look at leadership as a necessary evil in advancing in their own career. They do not take a leadership position because it has great perks, but look at the people aspect as a burden.

What new skill, product, plan, project, or perspective can you bring to your team to help them?

4. Lead by example, not force

Shoulder-to-shoulder, arm-in-arm, boots on the ground. Great leaders are there in the thick when things are not great. They are also in the background, boosting their people up when things are wonderful.

They remove obstacles, they listen, they learn, they provide the tools or resource their people need to succeed. They don’t blame, they look to resolve.

They don’t command respect with a do-it-or-else attitude. They earn respect by walking the walk and demonstrating the first three qualities. They motivate with enthusiasm and a sense of purpose, not with threats.

How would your team rate you one this? Can you come up with an example of how you lead by example?

 

We’ve all known a great leader. They are the ones who are the reason you stayed in that crappy job for so long, because you didn’t want to leave them. I’ve had more than one. Mr. Sulllivan, Marty are two of my most favorite leaders who made a huge impact on me.

These concepts apply not only to your people, but to your tasks. How we approach not only our people, but our responsibilities can influence your attitude as a leader and, in turn, your effectiveness.

For me, every once in a while, I have to give myself gentle reminders about eagerness not obligation. Sometimes, when quite busy, details can morph into minutia, which feeds into a mindset of ‘have to’. I remind myself that every piece is important. Without the pebbles in the pea gravel, no foundation can be laid.

As we start this new year, instead of making a New Year’s Resolution, let’s resolve to take a look at our attitude. Is there any room for tweaking to take us from a good to great leader?

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As an award winning, published, triple certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Coach & Social Media Brand Analyst I do what I love – help amazing professionals get career happy.

 

Click here – Career Polish – to find out more or set up a time for us to have a conversation!