Leaders, please be yourself, not who you think you need to be.

Some of the most effective leaders I have worked for, and with, have a few characteristics in common. All of them understand the importance of commanding respect, while simultaneously remaining true to their personality.

They are not afraid to show a softer side when interacting with their teams. In fact, this is one of the most endearing and important traits that makes people want to follow the leader.

If you are a leader, work for one, or want to be one, think about whether you or the person who is the leader possesses this quality. Perhaps they do, sometimes, but you only get a glimpse of it, and not consistently. Now imagine what it would be like to work for this type of leader.  Or to be this type of leader.

Some people take on a different persona at work.

Are you a big bad wolf at the office and a cuddly teddy bear at home?  As Dr. Phil might ask, “How’s that workin’ for ya?

The other thing people do is to develop their leadership qualities based on being collaborative, and approachable. They allow their naturally ability of high emotional intelligence to flourish.

Unfortunately, emotional intelligence is not something that can be taught, but it can be mimicked.  If you feel you are lacking, pay attention in scenarios to which you are exposed on a regular basis.

For example, watch as successful leaders properly greet a guest and make them feel comfortable, or ask someone you notice who seems sad, or upset, if they need to take a moment, or want to talk.

Leaders who are open to the human experience, are in no way weak.

Sometimes we conveniently forget that our leaders are human, too, and typically under constant pressure. Having to mask their emotions is difficult, but doing so is not a sign of weakness.

When our business leaders reveal that they are experiencing emotions, it sends signals to the people who work for them that they are simply human.  This makes them more approachable.

Contrary to what you might think, when a leader exhibits emotion, many people either do not notice, or do not comment, if they do.  Some may simply be oblivious, while most are probably reluctant to approach the boss.

It’s okay to ask how they are doing, and do so sincerely.

You might be surprised by the reaction you get.  Be prepared to respond in a kind and empathetic manner. This sentiment will be appreciated more than you can imagine. What’s more, the leader will perceive you in an entirely different light the next time you interact. Why?  Because you allowed them to be themselves for that moment. This is not something many leaders feel like they can or should do.

Climbing up the proverbial corporate ladder can take years, but some people reach the top faster than others. How? There are a number of factors, but one of them is that they are likable, and part of being likable is being human. These people are also typically bright, and able to access both the right and left sides of their brains equally. They have a personality that makes others believe in and want to follow them.

Of course, this is an over simplification of the other criteria one needs to climb the rungs. Typically, it is much harder for those who reached the top because of an inside connection to earn the respect of their team. Authentic leaders who have earned the right to be placed into leadership roles are the ones whom we admire, potentially aspire to be like, and ultimately respect and want to follow.

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.

 

Focus on Joy

Do you have someone in your life who when you are around them, there is no way you can even think about anything negative? I hope you do, and I did. However, I lost this dear friend to her battle with cancer on December 18, 2017. Her name is Anna Maria Soriano.

We met each other while working at Constant Contact. She was on the sales team, me on the marketing team. When I first met her, I had the feeling I had met her at some other point in my life. We became instant friends. She was also the type of colleague who you could count on. No matter what. She also would always go well beyond delivering in any circumstance, what at Constant Contact we referred to as “Wow”.

Anna Maria grew up in the North End of Boston. For those not familiar with Boston, it is referred to as the Italian section in Boston. It is still considered to be the Italian section, but like other Boston neighborhoods, has become more ethnically diverse in the last 15 years.

Anna Maria took great pride in having grown up in the North End. She loved sharing stories of what it was like to grow up there, including the neighborhood debate about whether Mike’s Pastry or Modern Pastry was the better bakery. Her favorite was Modern Pastry. Magically every time I visited her home outside of Boston, she seemed to have Modern Pastry’s on the table.

Having a sweet tooth, this was a perfect arrangement for me, and if you have ever had a treat from Modern, you know how hard it is to say no to the offer of one of their confections.

While we worked together at Constant Contact, I learned a number of things from Anna Maria.

One of them was that your voice and its tone could have an influence on people. I also learned from her how people paid attention differently by when you fully leveraged the power of your vocal cords.

Something you might not know, is that Anna Maria was the “voice” of Constant Contact. When you called into the company, it was her voice you heard to direct you to where you were trying to navigate. She also was the lead webinar producer of content for the last five plus years. This included giving live presentations around the country.

Her voice was infectious. She captured your attention and made you want to pay attention to everything she was teaching you. Although you may have thought her voice and the way she presented her material was an act, it wasn’t. It was genuinely who she was. The best part? After talking to her, you could not help but feel better or more enthused.

No one is immune from having a bad day. However, it was not possible to end your day on a negative note if you worked with, or had the fortune of being Anna Maria’s friend. She made every day you worked with her fun and interesting. She also challenged you to see the joy in whatever it was you were working on. Clearly, she had “Positivity” in her Top 5 strengths.

During work breaks, or post work, one of the places she talked about going to included travel. Specifically taking a trip to Italy. This was one of the places on her bucket list. I was thrilled when she told me she was going to take a trip there this past summer. What was significant about this, is that she had stage 4 cancer. This meant she had to time her trip around her cancer treatments. If you saw any of the photos she took on her trip to Italy, you could see the joy on her face of being there.

Attitude plays a large role in whether you can find and have joy in your life. My dear friend Anna Maria was able to accomplish this every day I knew her. How? Because of her amazing attitude.

I wish more people could be like Anna Maria, and I hope to embrace her concept of incorporating joy into every aspect of my life. I hope you do too.

Rest in peace my dear friend. Thank you for teaching me to be able to find the joy in all aspects of my life. I will never forget you, and your memory will live on in my heart and soul for the rest of my life.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon, and has had numerous strong reviews.

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, which produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Think of me as a “people are like diamonds – polisher”.

If you want better results with what you are doing, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.T

What if it all works out? (7) Ways to make this happen.

Maybe it’s just me. I don’t think it is, and too many others have told me they first start with thinking about all of the reasons their plan, project, idea or dreams will not work out. Sure, there is deep psychology behind this type of thinking to explain why this happens, but what if we could change this narrative in our minds and put our mind only on the positive thinking track?

Even though my number one strength is positivity, I’ll admit to sometimes not automatically deferring to this type of thinking. At least not all of the time. However, I can generally talk myself out of going down the negative track, and quickly get back to positive thinking. You can too, and it is really important to be able to do this, as everything in your life and the work you do will be much more satisfying when you adopt this approach to thinking.

Backtracking for just a moment, think about how different your day would be if you always thought everything was going to work out in a positive way? I can’t imagine someone not wanting to sign-up for this. Well maybe a few people, and you know who you are. For the majority of people who would enjoy transforming their way of thinking to be in alignment with everything working out, let’s take a look at how to make this possible.

I’ll walk you through what I recommend as ways you can course correct when the negative talk pops up in your brain. The intent is to have you be able to override this channel, and get back to focusing on your positive outcome.

  1. Your negative thinking is just that. Negative thinking. It’s not real, and you have to remind yourself it isn’t.
  2. Everyone wants to achieve some form of success, or have as many positive outcomes as possible. If you switch your thinking to having a mindset that everything will all work out positively. Guess what? The odds are greater than 50% they will.
  3. Do you believe you deserve to fail? Of course, you don’t. Change your inner minds narrative to thinking you deserve to win or have a positive outcome, and watch what can happen. It’s truly incredible what you will experience.
  4. Enlist a trusted friend, partner, colleague or someone to help you by talking positive outcomes through with them. Hearing yourself express a positive outcome to someone helps to reinforce this thinking, and the outcome.
  5. Make a list of the things you want to have workout well. Do you have ways to influence the positive outcome beyond just thinking you want the outcome to be this way?
  6. If your list has items on it which you can help to positively influence the outcome to be in your favor, are you committed to doing what you will need to do to make this happen?
  7. Think through a couple of scenarios when the outcome didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to. Did you expect to have a negative outcome? There is a high probability you did. Is there something you can do to change the outcome you didn’t want? Potentially there is, and one of them is to come up with your Plan B to alter the outcome to be in your favor.

One of my articles was about Daydreaming, and there are a lot of sound reasons we should all be doing more of this. Daydreaming aligns well with positive thinking, as we tend not to daydream about negative situations or outcomes. So, when you need to warm-up your positive thinking to allow your brain to wrap around providing you with more positive outcomes, start with daydreaming how it will all work out in your favor.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me TooMarketMe Too has expertise in uniting and bridging teams. This provides organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon.

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, which produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results. 

If you want better results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339)987-0195.T

Why Do People Micromanage Others? Do you?

Here’s the thing. Most people who micromanage others do not realize they are doing this. They also tend to manage this way for a number of reasons. One of the reasons is because they have not had strong examples and role models who would have shown them via examples of how to actually manage people well. Another reason people micromanage others is because they are not confident in their own abilities, and this lack of confidence manifests itself in how they treat and manage them.

Lack of trust is also a reason people micromanage those who work for them. Establishing trust is something we know takes time, and unfortunately even with a fair amount of time working for a manager who has micromanagement tendencies, will not change their behavior. So, what are you supposed to do when you work for someone like this? I’m going to assume this management style does what I refer to as rub your fur the wrong way each day.

The first thing I can tell you is that most micromanagers can change, although if you are working for one, it might be hard to imagine this. Generally, the first approach I take when I come across someone who is a micromanager, is to ask them the following questions:

  • How would you describe your management style?
  • What type of communication style is your preference for interacting with me and the rest of the team?
  • What provides you with a sense of comfort in terms of reporting on results of projects or tasks being worked on (e.g., verbal, visual, both)?
  • How much autonomy are you comfortable with giving me on all of my projects on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the most comfortable)?
  • What does it take to earn your trust on being able to work independently?
  • What level of involvement (e.g., hands-on, hands-off) do you prefer to have as it relates to the work your direct reports are doing?
  • Describe your ideal management style.  

Once you have answers to the questions above, you can then start to better understand why and how this person manages the way they do. However, if you are unsure about how to go about indirectly helping them to change their management style to one which better suits you –  and no, I do not think a micromanagement style suits anyone, here are some options to consider pursuing.

  • If you think you can reduce the micromanagement level of your boss by better understanding why they manage the way they do, you might be able to continue working for them.
  • Altering a person’s management style is a complex thing to do, and they have to first recognize this style is not ideal, and want to consciously change and not manage this way. If you can get them to recognize they are a micromanager by talking to them about the style of management which best suits you, you might have a shot at getting them to reconsider and work on changing their current style.
  • People in general do not like change, so the chances of someone altering their micromanagement work style is going to take both time and patience. It will also take having this manager learn alternative ways of managing, and this will take coaching and mentoring from others who are not micromanagers.

So, how do you know if you are a micromanager? 

  • People do not tend to work for you very long.
  • Your team does not seem to be as engaged or productive as other teams.
  • Direct reports do not often seek your advice.
  • People who report to you often appear to be frustrated.
  • Your management peers do not engage with you as much as they do with other managers.
  • You have not received many promotions, or opportunities for growth at your present or prior companies.

We all would agree that being or working for a micromanager is not ideal, yet there are many people who fall into both of these categories. If you recognize you are, or have tendencies of being a micromanager, this is a good thing. Why? Because a person can only change when they first recognize these management traits, and then realize they are not ideal. Seeking guidance on how to change your management style is highly recommended, as no one wants to be a micromanager, or work for someone who is one. Please ask for help. Getting help could save and alter your career in a really positive way.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief PerformanceStrategist and CEO of Market Me Too. MarketMe Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called WisdomWhisperer which is available via Amazon, and has had numerous strong reviews.

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, which produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Think of me as a “people are like diamonds – polisher”.

If you want better results with what you are doing, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen atkathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.T

Progress – Are you making some?

Sometimes you can recognize progress. Usually, though, it takes much longer to see or experience any type of forward motion. There are many ways to measure progress. In the high technology marketing world I have lived in almost my entire career, just about everything I have worked on had some type of measurement tool available. This became normal to me, but not every job has this high level of what I refer to as disciplined scrutiny.

Feeling like you are under the microscope every day can be exhausting, and more stressful than I care to think about. Although it can take its toll, especially if you don’t know how to inject a sense of counter balance into the mix, being professionally trained to make progress on a daily basis does have benefits.

Let me tell you about a friend who was also a former client – I helped her to produce her first Jazz CD. For most of our lives, she has been the complete opposite of me in almost everything we each did, professionally. When I would give her marketing, branding, or business advice, she either did not listen to my suggestions, or she would do the exact opposite.

As you can imagine for someone who is used to making daily progress, working with her at times was incredibly frustrating, but I knew what we were working on would pay off one day. I just didn’t know how long it would take. Fast forward almost 20 years. As we reconnected, she reminded me how I used to tell her, “I know the person who can accomplish doing what we are talking about is hiding in you, and will someday make their debut.”

Well this day arrived, and for the first time I witnessed an example of progress being made as I watched her giving a voice lesson to a promising future Broadway singer. Teaching voice lessons and getting paid to do so has always been something my friend wanted to do, and she was doing this right in front of me.

The next example of progress I saw from my friend occurred as she was skeptically listening to financial advice. I later learned that she took the next step and scheduled a time to review and put into action the financial advice given to her.  She was listening!

This woman had always wanted to make a living from her ability to sing. After more than two and a half decades of pursuing this dream, it is now a reality. Seeing this type of progress is something that took far longer than I imagined, but it did happen. The best part is that the progress my friend is now making is at an exponentially swift pace. She now has perspective on what it means to achieve the kind of progress she has made.

My friend has always believed in her ability to be able to make a living from her natural gift, but the most gratifying part is seeing her now be able to make longer-term decisions, including living in an artist’s loft in New York City. The most remarkable part of where she lives today, is that she only came across this space after she lost her last apartment and everything in it to a building fire. Luckily, she and her dog were out walking when the fire occurred, and no one was hurt.

How progress is measured depends on the type of work you are doing, and can be subjective to measure depending on what it is you are trying to quantify. My profession is a creative, strategic and heavily people-oriented one, designed to have a positive influence on people. The measurements are unique to the work I do. The point is that even a small amount of progress can be beneficial.

Sometimes it is important to take time to celebrate our small progress wins, as over time they accumulate and can produce amazing results. My friend is a great illustration. I hope you will soon have your own examples of progress you can appreciate and be proud of.

This story is dedicated to my long-time friend, Ellen O’Brien, who also happens to be an incredibly talented Jazz and near future Broadway singer. Listen to some of her songs at www.ellenobrien.com

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon, and has had numerous strong reviews.

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, producing repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally.