Persistence and Drive Override Skill

drive
The truth is that persistence and drive override skill. When people say "no," it's a "no" for now. It doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't come back with a new approach. One CEO told me, "I always give 'no' as the first answer, and only if they don't give up but have the confidence to persist and come back at me will I believe their conviction." Bei...
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Four Steps to Manage Conflict in the Workplace

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Solve More Problems Sooner and Better Than Other People Do  You are in your job for one reason: to solve problems, which often means people problems. Business life is made of problems—and thank goodness for that! Interpersonal workplace conflicts truly are opportunities. They're the vehicles for learning, growing, and proving yourself on the j...
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5 Steps to Manage Conflict Better

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Most people say they hate conflict, yet avoiding it causes more problems. In today's culturally diverse, multigenerational workforce it's bound to happen. Conflicts can be frequent, often petty, and very costly between people speaking different languages, from different generations, and having different religious beliefs and cultural norms. Tempers...
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What Is Leadership Charisma

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What is today's charismatic leader like: They are enablers — energetic, spirited, gutsy, feisty, and maybe a little bit of an ass-kicker. Research shows… -They excite their staff by constantly introducing new ideas. -Have a creative ability that inspires others. -Bring energy and focus to implementing new ideas. -Change with the time at breakneck s...
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You’re In Control of Your Brain

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Powerful Lessons from Two Four-Year Olds My grandniece had a rough day at home. She'd soiled the heat vents in her room, roughed up her little sister's toys, spoke some new and inappropriate words, all resulting in extended "time out" in her room. At dinner in between conversation with her parents about the day, she said, "Even though you made me s...
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Leaders Are Constant Learners

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To differentiate yourself, you don't have to have an especially high IQ. No matter who you are or what your background or current circumstance is, one thing is certain: you can always learn, explore, and experiment in new arenas. You only need to be reasonably intelligent and insatiably curious. You can never know too much, and you can never have t...
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You Can Mentor Millennials With This Wonderful Gift

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Mentor Millennials with the Gift of… Connections Recently I was quoted in a Forbes article on "the best presents for the millennials in your life." My suggestion was an introduction/meeting/connection with someone who could be important to the young person's career. It received a lot of positive reaction — especially among ambitious millennials eag...
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To Be Confident, Start by Acting Confident

Sometimes people take offense about "acting the part," as if doing so means that they are fakes. Anyone who has children knows parenting is a fake-it-til-you-make-it experience. Surely confidence deserves the same pass. Comparable fake-it-till-you-make-it action is also what most enterprises are built on. (By the way, a good time to start your acti...
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What Does Self-Confidence Look Like?

The person with confidence is the person we turn to when problems of any kind arise. One of the chiefs I interviewed put it this way: "The CEO weapon of choice is a display of self-confidence." In the business press, confident-appearing CEOs are written about with descriptions like these: •  "He spoke with such tremendous confidence and certai...
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You’re In Control of What Goes On Inside Your Head

Your mind manages all of your life: your outlook, how you approach situations, and how you interact and work with others. It's a feeling of great freedom to think whatever you want. Sure, there are random thoughts that come and go that you can't do anything about. But the ones you put in and hold, you control. Outside of having brain damage, diseas...
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Confidence or Arrogance?

It's arrogance, not confidence, when you: •  Assume you know it all •  Think you're smarter than others •  Don't listen and learn •  Are full of bluster; too sure of yourself in every situation without reason •  Abuse your power, or browbeat, demean, or put down other people •  Act superior •  Think "I'm special. ...
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Make Apology When Necessary

When you need to make an apology for something: •  Take action sooner rather than later. •  Don't avoid and skirt the issue (the way some politicians do when they routinely refer to their mistakes as "oversights") •  Think through what you want to say. •  Phrase it carefully, write it down, and rehearse it. •  Plan where, w...
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Leaders Project a Good Attitude

It's okay to wear an enthusiastic, upbeat attitude on your sleeve. That's a constructive and productive point of view when coupled with plans to make it happen. A positive, optimistic approach will improve the outcome of any situation you are in, even if you're the only one who has one. Yes, I know that life is frequently one darn negative thing af...
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What Pitfalls Should Virtual Executives Beware Of?

Thirty-seven percent of all U.S. workers do some form of telecommuting according to Gallup, which means that many executives are managing employees virtually at least part of the time. What should managers watch out for in the digital realm? Thinking they can get away with sloppy thinking, writing, responding, dress, planning, integrity, dispositio...
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International Personal Bonding

There is about a 100 percent possibility that in the course of your day you will be communicating with someone from a different country who has had a different cultural upbringing and who speaks a different first language than you do. As one of my coaching clients explained, “I was with team members on a call today in which one person was in California and one was in Nepal, and I was in Washington, D.C. I’ve worked with these people for three years, and I’ve never met them.” There are as many ways to behave toward and with people as there are countries on the earth. And even within each country, there are regional variations of the larger culture. You cannot cover every single base, but you can have an approach that works with every single constituent:

Accept differences.Be respectful and extra polite in words and tone.Use an appropriate level of formal title: Dr., Professor, Mr.,Mrs., Ms., Madame, Mssr., and so on.Use lots of “pleases” and “thank-yous.”Don’t be loud and pushy.Minimize being overly direct and abrupt.Use straightforward terminology, not big words.Slow down; speak up.

That same coaching client said, “My secret to success is to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ in the other person’s language. Even if my pronunciation is clumsy, people appreciate the effort.”

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Slow Down and Have an Urgent Calm

Don’t be quick, fast, or in a hurry (all the time). Be unhurried (within reason, of course). Be markedly unrushed. Slow down when you talk, walk, respond, ask a question, enter a room, shake hands, and leave a room. Be confident enough to take time. Move only when necessary. If you slow down, you’ll go a lot faster. The more time you give yourself, the more status people will give you. Quick, jerky motions make you look nervous. Plus, when you talk and move fast, it’s hard for people to absorb what you’re saying. Pause as if you mean it. Don’t let other people take you out of your calm. Talk at a slowed-down pace, but think fast. Be quiet so you can see and hear more. One of my coaching clients told me, “Our CEO has a distinct sense of self-containment. He’s never in a hurry, but he’s still a beat faster than most people.” Your composure will be contagious. People will ask you fewer questions and challenge or attack you less when you’re calm and slowed down.

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What is Most Personal is Most Universal

We all think we’re different, but there are more similarities than differences between us. What is most universal is most personal. Most people:

Feel not fully understoodAre the center of their own universeWant to see what they own go up in value all of the timeWant to be appreciated, feel powerful, and appear clever or smartWant to be happyWant to make their children laughHave a dark side, a part of them the world doesn’t see

In a time of trouble, most people will assess their own exposure first, then gradually assess the implications for their friends, their town, the social fabric, and their country. We are more similar than dissimilar; understanding that helps you relate and get along with diverse demographics in your workplace.

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Prepare Before You Meet, Talk or Click

You can be anything and do anything with enough preparation and work. To be effective in what message you want to get across to others, you must prepare. If you painstakingly prepare more than most people bother to, it will measurably improve your chances of affecting people the way you want. Some CEOs tell me that for every hour they expect to be in front of someone, they give themselves two to three hours of preparation. (The rule of thumb of courtiers in Buckingham Palace is that “a one-minute visit with the queen requires three hours of planning.") Preparation increases confidence and optimism, and makes you more interesting to whomever you are speaking with. People respond well to someone who is sure of what he or she wants and goes for it. Before you communicate, ask yourself, “What do I want to accomplish in this exchange? What are the reasons to do this—both implicit and explicit? Why should she give a darn? What is the likely outcome of this exchange?” And then, after it’s done ask, “Did I accomplish what I set out to?”

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The Similarities In Our Differences

Today’s workforce is made up of mixed generations from boomers to millenials and from a multitude of demographics. Despite the differences we are more similar than dissimilar. I’m an avid cook, and was wondering about a new use of a package of wonton wrappers that I had left over after making dim sum. In a Saturday morning of research I found recipes to use the same “Chinese” wrapper to make maultaschensuppe (a German dumpling), Russian Ramen, Tibetan Momos, Georgian Khinkali, Jewish Kreplach, Sichuan Chili wontons, Pierogi, Ukranian Manti, Slovenian dumplings, Italian Tortellini, and Montreal Peanut Butter Dumplings. Each recipe had the same “outside” but the insides changed a little with geography, history, culture, tastes, available items, etc. All recipes achieved the same goal of satisfying taste and providing nourishment: the same outside wrapper but different inside the wrapper techniques and ingredients. There is an analogy to today’s work force. We are humans who are made up of differences on the inside, but with the same outside goal of the pursuit of happiness – whether with food or a career.

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How to Keep Your Good People

Companies have long recognized the importance of smart employee recruiting. Now they are discovering that it’s just as important to spend their time on retention. This may involve financial factors, of course. AON Consulting studied 1,140 high-tech workers and found that 56 percent would stay at their current job longer if offered a similar job with slightly higher pay.

But issues related to job satisfaction are at least as crucial as financial incentives. “You rehire your employees every single day,” says Gloree Parker-Roden, senior vice president of Enterprise Services at Pearson Technology Centre. “We had no problem with retention until a time period where we went into a maintenance program without a major initiative going. Things felt slow to people. We found that the same people who complained about long hours and overwork really didn’t want to underwork either.” In other words, high retention of valuable employees requires keeping them challenged and interested as well as rewarding them financially.

In a research project, Watson Wyatt Worldwide found that the number-one driver of employee commitment is trust in senior management. If a manager fails to provide the necessary leadership, then people leave. Gloree Parker-Roden speaks for many when she says, “The important thing to me is being able to work with managers I respect and trust. If that was broken, then I would go.”

The Watson Wyatt survey identified other factors that caused people to leave an employer. Here they are, starting with the most commonly cited:Higher salaries offered by other organizationsDissatisfaction with potential career growFeeling unappreciatedRising acceptability of job-hoppingDifficulty balancing work/life issuesBurnoutBenefits offered by other organizationsPerceived lack of job securityConflicts with supervisor or co-workersViability of the organizationConflicts with the organization’s mission or values

Salary is clearly an important factor, but it’s far from the only one. Any manager who has a high turnover rate shouldn’t blamed the company pay scale alone; instead, the manager should examine his or her own practices in the work environment.

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