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 .

Invest in yourself to be interesting

How often have you said to yourself, or others, “I just met the most interesting person!” If this is a frequent experience, consider yourself fortunate.

If you’re like the majority of people who simply go about their daily routine, and you do not work in an industry with tons of opportunities to meet interesting people, chances are you are not putting yourself in enough situations to warrant meeting cool people. In general, if you ask someone enough questions, you are bound to learn something intriguing. Or, perhaps you are, in fact, an interesting person and either do not realize this, or give yourself credit for falling into this esteemed category.

What one person considers an interesting person, another might find to be a bit of a bore. Thankfully, we live in a world where there are a variety of people and types of work they do, hobbies they have, places they have lived, experiences they have had . . .

Some people take a more calculated approach to enriching their lives, hence putting themselves into a category of being a more interesting human being. Depending on your interests or goals are, and what type of finances you have or are working towards, can restrict some of your potential for doing or having out of the ordinary experiences.  For example, when’s the last time you . . . dove in the tropics, climbed a mountain, sailed around the world, learned a new language, or any of a dozen more adventures?

Having limited funds should not be an excuse. There are a myriad of things you can do that cost little or no money, and can head you towards becoming a more well-rounded, fascinating person. Here are five suggestions to help you become a more dynamic and interesting human being.

  1. Think about who you find interesting. What makes them interesting? Could you be like them at some point in the future?

 

  1. Lots of people talk about creating a bucket list, of things they want to do before they leave this earth. Put one together so you can have something to strive for, and to talk about once you have ticked off the various items.

 

  1. If the things you want to do will cost money, start saving – set aside a separate account or lock box. Saving for things you want to do is great way to make them happen, and ultimately an investment towards making you more interesting.

 

  1. Are there things on the list that you are afraid of doing? If you cannot get past the point of giving them a try, consider talking to a professional to work through any issues. Chances are, you might regret not doing what you always wanted to, because you were afraid. Have you heard that F.E.A.R. is an acronym for False Emotions Appearing Real.  Don’t let your mind prevent the rest of your body from doing what it wants to accomplish.

 

  1. Find a friend, work colleague, or anybody else who might be interested in doing the things you want to do, but do not want to fly solo. If you ask enough people if they want to do X, chances are you will find someone likeminded. If you are a salesperson, you already know this and should apply your sales skills to developing your interests.

There really is no excuse about why you cannot invest, improve upon, or strive towards being more interesting than you are today. Everyone has an equal opportunity to invest in themselves. So, why not go for it? Start applying some or all of the tips above and before you know it, you will be on your way towards creating the person you always knew you could be.

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 do you talk to others?

If communicating with others was simple to do, we would all be much better off from a relationship perspective, have greater appreciation and an understanding of others, and far less angst in our lives. Does this sound promising? It should, and it can all begin with taking a step back, and pausing to think about how you communicate with others.

While I was commuting back from Manhattan to Boston recently, I overheard one of the most heartwarming conversations. It was between a young father and his son who was probably around 3-4 years old. The son was obviously very bright.

During the course of the four-hour commute, the son asked his father well over fifty questions. The son was in the process of learning how to read and do math. It was obvious the math being discussed was well beyond the elementary school math level. So, basically the son knew how to do math before he could read. Yes, I was impressed by this.

What I was more impressed with was the level of patience the father had with teaching his son how to read, and how to solve problems involving fractions, division, multiplication and basic algebra. Each time the son became stuck in trying to figure out how to sound out a word, or understand the math computation he was working on, listening to the father’s explanation was like listening to classical music.

It was seriously beautiful the way the father communicated and interacted with his son. If you did not know how old the child was, and I am only guessing he was pre-kindergarten, the most amazing part of listening to their conversation was how sincerely and articulately the father communicated with his son. Independent of his actual age.

Upon listening to this conversation, I began thinking about how I communicate with others, and about how whether people are aware of their own communication style. Do they vary and tailor their communication style based on who they are speaking with, or do maintain a predictable and mechanical style when conversing? If they aware of their communication style, is it a style which has served them well, or held them back personally or professionally?

So, how do you know what your communication style is, and have you considered the impact it has had on your life or others? If you haven’t, here are some tips on how to have perspective on your style.

  1. Think about your typical day. Do you spend most of it talking or listening to others? Is there a 50/50 split, or more one sided? People with strong listening skills tend to be good at problem solving. Are you?
  2. Do you find that you get really excited when you are speaking with someone and find yourself talking over them? Many people do this, and it is a communication style which can hold you back professionally. Why, because you can appear to be less capable of controlling your ability to hold onto your thoughts. People who also talk over others are also perceived to be rude.
  3. Are you the type of person who interrupts others during your conversations? You may not be aware you are doing this, so pay close attention to whether or not you are. If you are, slow down your communication, and allow the other person to finish what they are saying. If you find this really difficult to do, ask them if you can interject your commentary to get your point across.
  4. Have others referred to you as “chatty”? This can actually skew towards both a positive and negative reference. So, be sure to tilt to the positive side. Sometimes people who are referred to this way simply talk too much, and do not allow others to have their fair share of the conversation.
  5. Some people are natural born teachers, regardless of whether this is their actual occupation. The father I was referencing to earlier easily falls into this category. Perhaps you do too? If so, embrace this communication style, as we can all certainly benefit from having more and thoughtful teachers in our lives.

There are numerous other communication styles which I have not referenced. I have left them out intentionally, as the point of this story is to get you thinking about having a better understanding of what your style is. When you better understand what your communication style is, you can work on either accepting it, or striving towards becoming better or a different type of communicator with practice.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coach, author of Wisdom Whisperer, and 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.

 

Regrets are a waste of time.

A friend of mine asked me if I had any regrets. Upon seriously and carefully thinking about this question, I said no. I do not have any regrets. How could I think this way? This is possible based on the way I have trained myself to think, and it comes down to having eliminated the regret category as an option in my life.

When I think back to when I made the conscious decision to do this, I can tell you with almost one hundred percent certainty when this was. Without going into personal details, I can tell you it was at a point in time when I was at a critical decision crossroad. Would I have evolved my thinking about eliminating regrets had I not been in this situation? Possibly, but the point is I’m sharing this with you, because you do not need to be in this exact situation to have the same benefits I gained from eliminating regrets in my life.

Freeing yourself from pondering and carrying a load of regret is truly liberating. It also allows you to have a new lens on the opportunities around you. Your energy level increases, your outlook on possibilities skyrockets, and life can be so much more enjoyable.

Sure, many people will easily succumb to taking the easy road and continue to harbor and carry their regrets around. Some may even consider these regrets to in a morbid way be a badge of honor. I feel sorry for you if you do, and can only encourage you to give some of my tips a try. If you are serious about moving past your regrets, chances are in your favor you these tips will direct you towards a far better place emotionally.

Where do you start to change your mentality with casting your regrets aside? Here are some tips to consider.

  • You know I love lists. So, I’m asking you to first make a list of all of your regrets. Don’t leave any off this list, no matter how trivial you may think they are.
  • Put your list away for a few days.
  • When you come back to your list, cross off the ones you can mentally come to terms with dropping. Starting immediately.
  • The regrets that remain on your list, are there for a reason. However, you need to give yourself permission to forgive and forget them. The key to do this, is to allow yourself to go through the process of mourning these regrets. Now, put a timeline on how long to do this, and then literally tear up, burn or throw away the list and say goodbye to them.
  • If you think analytically about regrets, but remember, we talked about them not actually serving any constructive purpose. We can be our own worst enemy with allowing ourselves to build up our regret inventory, and we have the same and greater power of eliminating them from our mind.
  • If some of your regrets are associated with offering an apology, then go ahead and make the apology. In person apologies are best, but a written one will do too. Perhaps both.
  • Most regrets are based on decisions, inaction or actions we chose to take. Stop thinking about the decisions you made which are regret based, and allow yourself to come to terms with owning them. You may not be happy or proud of these decisions, but they are part of your past. Emphasis is on the past, and they do not have to define who you are going forward.
  • Write down the date you will begin your journey of not having any regrets. Consider it to be similar to a birthday or holiday, and worthy of a celebration. Look forward to celebrating on this day annually, and do not dwell on what the regrets were. Instead focus on all of the amazing things you have done since the day you released yourself from all of your regrets.

What can you do now that you have a new set of tools to eliminate the regrets in your life? Help someone else to get to the place you have arrived at, and give them the gift of not having any regrets. In other words, pay it forward, as I have done so for you with this advice.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of MarketMe Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, author of Wisdom Whisperer, and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer who has a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Our expertise is in uniting and bridging teams (sports & business). What does this do for our clients? It provides them with an acceleration boost to reach their goals sooner, and interact with a renewed efficiency, focus and energy level.

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.