3 Must-Change Habits for Executives

We all have acquired bad habits. The problem is they impede our ability to develop as a confident executive, a leader others wish to follow. Failure to gain others’ respect for you as a leader, regularly use win-win approaches and consistently produce desired results are ticking time bombs to your career!

Poor listening skills. Checking email during meetings, insisting on being right or multitasking when someone is talking will derail many careers. Multitasking is a myth. Active listening is a requirement for successful executives.  When you are able to accurately hear what people are saying – and not saying – you’ll also be able prevent bad outcomes. Executive leadership requires solid information-based decisions rather than poorly informed ones.

Menacing comments. Threatening others covertly (e.g., their job is in jeopardy) when the job is not getting done as you envisioned it, is a bad habit of many leaders. It rarely builds loyalty or intended results. If someone is not achieving the desired outcome, first look at how you communicate. Did you state the needed results? Did you listen to their concerns? Did you work through those push-backs or excuses (think, outside their comfort-zone or ethical considerations) effectively? Create a detailed Action Plan; then, coach them to take one step forward at a time. Involve other team members as appropriate.

Control at any cost. Being a know-it-all. Nit-picking others’ efforts. Fearing someone’s mistake will ruin you. Claiming others are untrustworthy. These behaviors signify an unconfident executive. A leader who doesn’t trust him or herself. You may be someone who achieved a leadership role before it was time. It is not too late to learn how to work with and through others for exceptional results. Hire a business advisor and develop the skills to inspect progress without micro-managing. To ask the right questions in the right manner and elicit the best in others. Good executives enable their employees to achieve even better results than they have achieved!

 

Jeannette Seibly is an international business advisor and executive consultant for privately-held companies with revenues of $1MM up to $30MM. She has created million-dollar results for 25 companies, and 3 millionaires!

(c)Jeannette Seibly, 2012

We’ve earned the right!

As biz professionals, we do a very poor job of selling ourselves and our ideas.  We have not yet learned to brag in a biz-savvy manner. Instead, to put the word out about our achievements, we rely upon endorsements or testimonials, articles, websites and printed marketing materials.

We are accomplished women and men who have achieved amazing results! What’s missing when we lose a deal (or job or promotion) to a less competent competitor?  Investor or banker interest?  Awards we could have won? Belief in our expertise?

Too often we downplay our accomplishments. Or worse, we use “scripted” material that only makes us sound like the competition instead of helping us stand out from them! Either way, we lose. We’ve been taught bragging is wrong all our lives. This misperception carries right over into our business lives. We don’t even apply for awards. We falsely believe it is unwise to brag about ourselves, products or services. It’s why our competitors win the deal, even though they offer inferior products and/or services!

The issue isn’t that you need more confidence when speaking. It’s not that you need to “feel it.” It’s that you need to learn how to quantify your results and share those achievements in a biz- savvy manner. It’s time to brag!

Take this million-dollar coaching to heart and turn things around! Get over your apprehensions! Learn how to brag! You’ve earned the right!  http://TimeToBrag.com

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2012

5 Attitudes to Fast Track Career Derailment

Wonder why so many business professionals, executives and biz leaders are included in the ever increasing statistic of job shopping? These qualified professionals live under the false illusion that finding the perfect career or job will automatically have them earning mega-bucks, working for a great boss, while having fun in life!

  1. I can do anything. Sixty-three to seventy-nine percent of the workforce toil in jobs that don’t fit them. They continue seeking similar work with similar responsibilities only to achieve similar dissatisfaction.  (Think, do the same thing over and over, yet expect different results). Or they leap into a different type of industry that poorly suits them while arrogantly thumbing their nose at their past employers. Stop blindly seeking job satisfaction at the expense of your resume. Build bridges, don’t burn them.
  2. Gimme, Gimme. Most people jump for extra pennies or dollars in their paycheck, but leave those jobs because they are unhappy! Job gratification is personal. Satisfaction can be achieved meeting deadlines within budget, completing work to customers’ needs, etc. Your fulfillment comes from within you by building on your strengths to stretch your skills. 
  3. Grass is Greener. All companies have similar problems. The list is long: bosses who are poor managers; compensation and benefit packages that need improvements; economic focuses on financial results that negates a balanced work-life style. Job fit is critical to minimize these concerns. Employees (and executives) in the right job are much more productive and tolerant than others with the same challenges.
  4. Not My Problem. If you’re someone who creates elephants for your bosses and co-workers, or is continually putting the monkey on someone else’s back, no one wants to hire you! Learn how to handle issues by turning monologues into dialogues with the right person who can make the difference. Be part of the solution. Clean up your elephant tracks. 
  5. More is Better. A bigger company does not mean it is better run, regardless of their bigger budgets! Don’t assume your boss will be more understanding or the tools you need to do your job will be readily forthcoming. Millions of dollars are spent each year obtaining more certifications and more education, hoping this will transform people into fitting their work requirements. If people are not in jobs that fit them, additional education will not transform them into rock stars.

Rather than believe you’re stuck in a job or career, recognize you’re there because of your unwillingness to make an actual and real difference! Only you are responsible for your work-life happiness!

It’s an attitude. The time is now! Take charge of your career. Professionals who hire a career advisor have a competitive edge, with their current employer or their next one. They don’t wait for someone else to show them the right direction. They take a qualified assessment to clarify job fit. The assessment determines thinking style (major component in job satisfaction), core behavior (how they use their job skills vs. how the company needs the job done) and occupational interests (little or no interest equals poor quality, iffy results). They learn to how sell themselves in a biz savvy manner (http://TimeToBrag.com). They write down the top three qualifiers for their next job. The result? New opportunities appear quicker. They are sought after by their next employer or boss. They are on the right track to fulfill their career goals. (http://SeibCo.com)

©Jeannette Seibly, 2012

Leaders! Learn to lead in 3 steps.

There are leaders amongst us today who achieved their status by domineering, controlling and scheming how to use the organization’s resources and connections to their own advantage. For them, it’s not about serving their clients or employees or other benefactors. It’s about “what’s in it for me.” They falsely believe this makes them successful long term leaders. The truth?  It’s a short term fix, with long term consequences. Career derailment is inevitable.

Want to learn how to be a good long-term leader? Want to possess skills and attitudes that consistently work? First and foremost, hire a business advisor to help you see what you’ve been unwilling to see about yourself. To do what you’ve been unwilling to do. Remember, long term executive savvy requires a higher quality of leadership competencies and expertise.

1 – Straight talk. Attempting to out-talk or manipulate people into thinking the way you do is not the mark of a true leader.  Listen to others’ ideas and build upon them. Understand there is always more than one way to achieve the required results.

2 – Goals. Set true and compelling goals on behalf of the company. This is different than focusing on your own personal financial or professional gains. One Regional Manager wanted his people to get out there and sell so he could purchase his dream sailboat. Needless to say, this manager’s self-serving attitude permeated the team and discouraged them from playing full-out. Their buy-in was to achieve the company’s sales goals, not rack up big boy toys for him. His career as a sales manager sunk. Be prepared to understand and communicate what is in it for your team. Focus 100% on your employees winning. You are only as successful as your people!

3 – Elicit the best in others. Lying, playing people against each other, and using punitive threats to get your way or achieve goals does not bode well in the long run, although it may appear to provide needed short term gains. This type of leadership style creates havoc, litigation and bad will with internal and external clients. Learn how to manage people or hire someone else to do it for you. Learn to talk straight and tell the truth appropriately. It will make a difference in people wanting to work with you. It will build your career as a leader.

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2012

Leadership Maturity

Reprint from 2-11-2011

Honestly ask yourself:

Are you able to discuss others’ opinions without being defensive?

Do you know how to take an idea or concept and make it profitable?

Do you laugh at appropriate jokes without taking it personally, even if it’s about you?

Do you have the ability to see the bigger picture and patience to rephrase it into bite-size pieces so that others can get on the same page?

Can you make decisions that balance both the facts and the human interests?

If you answered yes to these questions, good for you! You are on the right track as a leader. The higher up the corporate ladder we climb the more our effective leadership relies upon interpersonal skills such as these and less about technical expertise.

But often as leaders, we take ourselves too seriously. We are unable to build upon ideas or create a consensus that works. We openly disparage others when they disagree with us. We exclude people with broader experience instead of learning from them, and defend our limited experience in an attempt to feel better about ourselves. This is career limiting behavior for any leader!

Persuasive Listening. To truly listen, we must silence our internal chatterbox and refrain from thinking about our response when others are talking. We will hear similarity in arguments even when it appears we are on a different side of the issue. Good leadership skills – like active listening – provide new solutions that might not be readily apparent.

Be open to differing opinions. We can make better decisions for our companies and organizations when we openly hear what others have to say. But if we become defensive or belittle differing perspectives, we make less than adequate decisions, fail to address the bigger picture or miss details for implementation entirely.  We create a negative reputation for ourselves and our organizations. Disparaging others reflects more negatively upon the speaker than the person being belittled!

Be a team player. Many leaders don’t make good team players. They may play at being part of the group; however, they are more interested in how it applies or affects them personally.  Team has evolved into a broader definition this decade: It’s getting everyone on the same page and moving forward together. It’s not about everyone thinking the same thing or using the same signals or jargon!  It’s about learning to appreciate others and elicit the best in them, as they are. Learn this masterful skill and be seen as a leader to follow!

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2011