(6) Ways to turn up your aspirational thinking.

There are plenty of people to want to be like, but what if you are like me?  Someone who has always seemed to have a foggy image of who I wanted to be when I grew up?

Like many little girls, I wanted to be like my Mother.  I have always admired her many incredible qualities.

However, she was in an entirely different profession than I was, so aspiring to be like her professionally was not possible.  She was a nurse and I have always been a business person. My Father was a businessman, but I still am not sure exactly what he did. He never talked about his work. So, wanting to be like someone who does not communicate about their work is difficult, but I absolutely wished to have his and my Mother’s work ethics, which were both impressive.

I believe it is natural to want to be like someone you admire, especially if it helps to motivate you in some way.

I wanted to be like my parents based on some of the aspects of how they modeled their behavior, and which I admired.

Over the years, as a business professional, I had few other females to look to as role models. They were not physically present throughout the majority of my career.

However, there have been a few women who significantly and positively influenced my career. One of them is Myra Hart. Myra was my first real boss when I was working at the corporate headquarters of Staples. This was at the time when Staples had only four stores and were in the process of taking the office supply industry through an enormous paradigm shift.

Myra was the only “C” level woman executive on the team, and she and co-founder Tom Stemberg were both newly-minted Harvard Business School graduates.

Myra was the only woman executive, so I carefully watched her style of interacting with the other executives, and how she led our Growth and Development team.

Since I did not have anyone to compare Myra’s management style to, I was able to, later on, model from her management style in the leadership roles I have had. There were a couple of other business women who influenced me and who I aspired to be like.  As my management career progressed, I realized there wasn’t anyone else I wanted to model.

This was an epiphany, and made me realize I had to strike out on my own and simply make a commitment to be the best I could be at whatever I chose to pursue, including serving as an inspirational and motivational leader for others. I am on my way to do this as I write these words, so keep your eye out for me in places you might not expect to see me.

Having goals and finding people or things that inspire you are important tools, and can serve as your compass when you need them.

You may not be in a place right now where you have a person or something to inspire you, but keep on the lookout as most people can benefit from having one or both of these.

Something that kept me motivated was the ability to travel outside of the United States. I was able to start accomplishing this dream when I was in my early 30s, and have continued to leverage travel as an inspirational tool.

Here are six things to think about when trying to determine what can help you decide what you want to do professionally, or personally.

  1. Print, or cut out images that inspire you, or that you aspire to either possess, or be like in the future. Place them on a piece of poster board, and in a location, you can look at it every day, or on days when you need visual inspiration.

 

  1. Create a list of people you admire.

 

  1. Write down the characteristics of the people or things you want to be doing. Use this list as inspiration.

 

  1. Think about some of the qualities or characteristics you already possess which will help drive you towards who or what you aspire to be, or do. Chances are, you have more of them than you might think.

 

  1. Have you considered whether you might be someone that other people aspire to be like? Perhaps people have told you they admire you, your work or something you have a talent for.

 

  1. Set a realistic goal to work towards achieving what you want to do, and then keep yourself accountable. This takes discipline, but it will be worth the effort.

Now that you have some ideas about how to map out having someone or something to aspire achieving, don’t just give this lip service or put the idea up on a shelf, go out and start making it happen. As the saying goes, “there is no time like the present, and the present is now.”

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whispererand is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

 

Virtual Companies – Do you understand their rules?

There are a number of definitions and perceptions about what a virtual company consists of. Many of them are perceived to exist in an idealistic way, especially if you do not work at one or for one. As in any situation, there are both pros and cons to working in a virtual environment. One thing people do not consider when thinking about virtual working scenarios is how they are generally not prepared for how hard it can be to deal with less human social interaction. There are also a number of unwritten rules associated with how to thrive in a virtual environment, yet not everyone has figured out what they are.

If you work at a company and are expected to be present there most days of the week, one of the things you probably take for granted is how much you actually enjoy the human interaction you derive. The simple pleasure of being able to take a break and wander around the office and have face-to-face conversations with people is not something a virtual worker can easily do. Although, having a Skype conversation can help to mimic actual social interaction so you do not feel as disconnected.

Many virtual workers take advantage of mimicking social office settings by doing their work in coffee shops, or shared working environments such as WeWork. These pseudo work communities can help to fill the social void many virtual office employees experience, and can help to provide the basic level of interaction most people desire daily. There is also a heightened level of energy in most public settings, and this can also be helpful to increase a virtual workers’ motivation. The social and visual variety of public settings can also inspire you, and make you feel more connected socially.

One of the unwritten rules which is often broken by non-virtual workers interacting with virtual office workers, is the sense that the virtual worker should or can work at an accelerated rate and turn work around faster. Perhaps because the non-virtual worker cannot see the virtual worker, they have the perception the virtual worker is always available to accomplish the work being given to them immediately. Of course, this is not the case. However, many virtual workers feel heightened pressure from non-virtual workers that they need to complete their work faster, and with complete disregard for their schedule or priorities. On top of this happening, the normal respect granted socially is often not applied, making virtual workers feel their time is not as valued as a non-virtual worker.

In other words, just because you cannot see the person you are interacting with does not mean you can or should disregard the social respect you would grant to someone you are interacting with in person. This is a common complaint of people who work virtually. They do not often push back on the people they are interacting with who seemingly have a disregard for applying manners or respect for the virtual workers’ schedule. Because someone works virtually does not mean they are available and working 24/7, although many virtual workers feel they are treated this way.

Accountability for your time, the work you are doing and how you communicate with others you are interacting with is another area that is harder to deal with in the virtual world. Thankfully there are numerous tracking tools to help with providing visibility into how projects or work is being accomplished without actual human interaction.

Based on observation, there appears to be less leverage for both the virtual and non-virtual worker in terms of how they go about managing the accountability of one another from a non-physically present perspective. This same conundrum applies to when virtual workers are interacting with one another too. The fact someone is out of sight, does not mean they are less accountable, and actually because they are out of sight, they often need to be hyper accountable to build up their reputation for being dependable.

Working virtually all the time is much harder to do than most people imagine. Although, being able to do so periodically can have great advantages and allow people to strike a better work and life balance.

When you are a virtual worker, it takes a heightened sense of discipline to not be distracted and to stay on track and pace with the work you need to accomplish. You also have to deal with potential social isolation. Mixing up your work environment and incorporating working in public places can help to remedy this. For those of you who work in a place with others, and if you interact with virtual workers, please extend them the same social graces that you extend to the people you interact with face-to-face.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whispererand is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

 

Why are you ghosting people?

Having strong communication skills is a part of the foundation to both your personal and professional success. When you choose to eliminate or not practice aspects of your communication skills, this is equivalent to not taking care of yourself. When you make this decision, just like not taking good care of yourself, there are consequences. Some you might not immediately see, but over time, your Ghosting tendencies will negatively impact you.

For instance, if you repeatedly choose to hit the “ignore” button on people who are legitimately trying to reach you, I guarantee you this will adversely impact your reputation. Sure, there are plenty of people who may be trying to connect with you that you are not interested in having them do so. However, instead of ignoring them, simply let them know you are not interested in having a conversation with them at this time. Yes, it’s that simple, and yes, this is the right thing to do. No excuses.

Generally, when someone is trying to get in touch with you, they have a moderately good reason to do so. Perhaps their timing to connect with you isn’t the best, but they don’t know this. Especially if the reason for connecting with you might be legitimate. In my opinion, you do owe this person a conversation, or a quick email or text to acknowledge them. This is so easy to do, and if you are not doing this, I’m going to call you out on being both lazy, and rude.

Yes, this sentiment may appear to be harsh, but I can’t tell you how many times I have witnessed or heard stories from people about how they had an amazing offer or message to deliver to someone, and they could not get the person to acknowledge them. What a shame.

Ever had this happen to you? It shouldn’t, but the challenge is that people who Ghost others typically do not get called out on this bad social and communication behavior. Hence the reason I am discussing this concept, especially for those who are the Ghosting culprits.

So, should you simply give up on those who are Ghosting you? Some would say yes. However, I think you need to be persistent. Especially if you have something really positive to get through to them about!

Of course, it will be very frustrating to pursue trying to communicate with Ghosters, but it will be worth your patience to do so. I personally have an example of a Ghosting scenario I am contending with. Both my persistence skills and patience is absolutely being put to the test. However, I know when I get through to this Ghoster, they will be regretful of having acted this way.

The scenario involved with this Ghoster includes providing them with an opportunity to elevate both their personal and professional status in the local community. It also includes having others in their professional circle benefit from connecting with me too. Due to the reason so many people can be positively impacted by me getting through to this Ghoster is what drives me to pursue this opportunity. Why? Because I professionally know it is fortuitous for them, and others they have an impact on.

If you recognize yourself as being a Ghoster, I ask that you seriously consider why you are behaving this way. Or, are you not intentionally aware of the fact you are doing so? In the situation I am dealing with, I hope for their sake it is the latter. There is always time and space to increase a person’s awareness and communication skills. Dropping your Ghosting habit is certainly towards the top of the list of eliminating, and retiring this bad habit for good.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whispererand is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

 

Are you a responsible leader?

If you were to ask the majority of leaders if they felt prepared for the role they are in, the answers you would receive might not be what you would expect to hear. In fact, statistically most leaders are under or not well prepared for assuming the leadership role they are in. So how does this happen?

Perhaps you have heard of “The Peter Principle”? If not, it’s basically the concept that many leaders in organizations keep getting promoted until they reach a level of respective incompetence. This isn’t exactly reassuring when you look around and wonder if perhaps the leader of your organization fits this description. Worse, is when this might in fact be you, and you know you are in a role well beyond your capabilities.

When you consider the experience leaders are expected to have prior to stepping into their respective role, you would expect them to have been vetted along the way. For starters, being proficient and capable of assuming this role. However, this is a gross assumption. It is also one of the ways people who become leaders, and who are weak ones end up in a leadership role. The problem is partially with the lack of checks and balances of the leadership vetting system.

Another challenge which allows weak or ill prepared leaders to step into their roles, is the fact there are too many “yes” people in organizations. If you are not familiar with “yes” people, chances are you might be one. In other words, it is far easier for people to agree and say “yes” to a leader, than it is to disagree.

When someone does not agree with a leader, and they are not trusted and respected by the leader, they run the risk of being labeled contentious or difficult. Although in reality, strong leaders would want more people to say “no” or not agree with everything.

So, what can be done to prepare leaders to be ones we look up to, are motivated by and respect? Here are some suggestions to get you started.

  • You probably have heard of an intervention. The ones typically associated with someone who has a severe problem and a group of people gather together to support getting the person with the problem help. The same concept can apply to weak leaders, and should be organized with the support of the head of human resources. If it is a small company, the second person in command of the company, along with the majority of the upper management team should be involved. I highly recommend you consult also with an outside and neutral party experienced in this type of intervention.
  • In less dramatic situations, assigning someone to open the dialogue with the leader about how they view their leadership style is a strong place to start. Often, the leader is unaware others perceive their leadership capabilities and style in a less than desirable manner.
  • Don’t assume your leader has had recent or relevant training to help support their role.
  • Leadership training is something which should be ongoing throughout their career.
  • If your leader has not taken leadership training in the last 6-12 months, it’s time for them to take a course. This can be monitored by the head of HR, or if you are the leader, make sure you have recently taken a leadership course.
  • If you are a leader, consider joining a group of CEO’s to help support your leadership evolution. There are a number of these groups throughout the country, and chances are you might have one in your city. If not, there are virtual CEO “round table” groups you can consider joining.
  • Determine what type of strengths the leader relies upon the most. This can be done with the assistance of a number of different and objective testing methods. Being a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, I can highly recommend the StrengthsFinder survey which can determine what their top (5) strengths are. I have leveraged the results of this survey to help numerous leaders, as well as the people and the teams who support them. I guarantee it will be one of the best and most affordable investments you can and should consider.

Having responsibility for others and their careers and livelihood is an enormous responsibility. Since most people are not born leaders, but instead become and evolve into this role, recognize they are generally not prepared well for the role they are in. When you look at and realize your leader is in this situation, your expectations will be more realistically set for the outcome of what they are capable of achieving.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whispererand is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

 

How travel provides you with more opportunities.

Not having had the opportunity to travel outside of New England until I was 20 certainly formulated my initial thinking about the rest of the world. I knew there were many things I could learn from travel. So, when I began my career search, I looked for positions that would allow me to travel. That was one of the best decisions I ever made, from many perspectives. Having had the opportunity to explore the world, primarily thanks to the companies for which I have worked, changed my life.

I appreciate the fact not all jobs come with the chance to travel, but if there is the slightest opportunity, do not let it pass.

If you have not done much traveling, you might want to start slowly, like I did, and not go too far away. However, simply taking one trip will introduce you to a whole new world and open your eyes to both the joys and some of the drawbacks of traveling. I believe there are many more advantages, so I do not focus one bit of attention or energy on any of the negatives.

So, what are some of the hidden advantages of traveling? Here is a list, gained from over 30 years of travel.

  • You will have an opportunity to see places far different from where you have been living. Although some of the differences are subtle, you will notice. Keep a list of your favorites – for example, soda vs. pop, or hoagies vs. subs or packies vs. liquor stores . . .. Keep your eyes open to see both the indirect differences, as well as the major ones.

 

  • No matter where you travel, you will have a chance to meet new people. My family will confirm that talking to people is one of my top five favorite things to do! This comes naturally to me, so you might have to make an effort, but please do. Decades later, I am still in contact with folks I have met from all over the globe.

 

  • Traveling to other parts of the United States, you will see that others live basically the same way you do, with some exceptions for extreme climates such as Alaska or Hawaii. Appreciating that others around the country have similar living challenges can be a uniting element, especially if you live in an area which is very homogeneous.

 

  • When you travel outside the U.S., you will have an opportunity to go through customs and the border of the country to which you are traveling. No two experiences in doing this have ever been the same for me. The people who work in customs take their job very seriously, and I’m happy they do. Recently I had the good fortune of traveling to Fiji. Going through Customs, I noticed numerous signs about how they do not allow you to bring in food to their country, which can potentially introduce harmful elements. I was traveling from Sydney, Australia where I had purchased some mixed nuts, which I packed in my suitcase. Luckily, I remembered they were in there and took them out, otherwise I would have been fined $400. The point is, pay attention to things you might not normally need to worry or think about when you are traveling, but this is also a respectful habit.

 

  • Make sure you take photos of the places you visit. “A traveler without observation,” said Persian poet Saadi, “is a bird without wings.” You will appreciate looking back on these images for years to come, and it makes it easier to show people what you saw. Be sure to date them, and add the names of people you just met, contact info, or perhaps their business card.  If there is really a strong connection, that could lead to business, be sure to send a “It was nice to meet you” note when you return home.

 

  • If you have not done much traveling outside of the U.S., when you do, one of the things you will notice is the different regional customs in each of the countries you visit. One of the software companies I worked for trained me to learn about the customs of the people in the places to which I was traveling. For example, in Japan, silence really is golden and valued over an overabundance of talk. It is easy to learn what the proper manners are prior to visiting a country. If you’re traveling on business, making connections in a foreign country is critical. Observing another culture’s etiquette opens doors to more successful communications.

 

  • We know that other countries may do basic things differently. This could include their own currency, driving on the opposite side of the road, or even unique living arrangements. Whenever I have a chance, I make a point of going to the supermarket or convenience store to see how different items are displayed. I also take a look at the packaging of items, which is often unique. Seeing common things in a different way is part of what makes traveling fun.

 

  • I only speak English, but I can understand both French and Spanish when it is spoken slowly. When you travel outside of the U.S., and especially to Europe, prepare to be surprised by how many different languages other people are able to speak. The fact that most do not natively speak English but can carry on a full and intelligible conversation, never ceases to amaze.

 

  • Every time I travel, I am pleased with how genuinely nice people are. There are certain countries that are known for, and take pride in being kind, and they sure do live up to their reputation. Getting out of the region in which you live can open your mind to the fact that most people are decent human beings.

 

  • Do not shy away from any opportunity you have to travel. Be prepared to see the world through an entirely new lens. Seek out as many travel opportunities as you can, even if you have to pay for them yourself. However, look for opportunities in your role which would afford you the chance as part of your job. It is one of the best investments you can make. A well-traveled person is fascinating, has created an international circle of friends, and is able to tap into many more resources than one who stays put.

So, where is your next trip? Perhaps I’ll see you there.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whispererand is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One .