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.

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How’s your attitude? Is it helping or hurting you?

For the sake of conversation, let’s assume you have a good attitude. About most things. However, what if you don’t realize your attitude fluctuates throughout the day, and not in a good way? Do you have people who would tell you that your attitude needs to be adjusted? If you are fortunate they will.

Confronting someone who is less than enthusiastic with their attitude can be intimidating, especially if their attitude is more often on the side of a bad one. The added challenge is wondering what to say to them about their attitude, and how they will react to you calling them out on a bad one.

The good news is that even if it will be a challenging conversation to have with them, doing so can be beneficial to both parties. You will benefit from potentially having them change their attitude to a better one, and they will be in a more positive mood.

When you work with or live with people who are chronically agitated, or who you would classify as having a bad attitude, it can be more stressful for the people who have to deal with them. Sometimes the people who have the bad attitudes are not aware of how they are acting. I know this might sound ridiculous, but it is possible. The problem is that they are not aware of how they are coming across to others.

Being unaware of how your attitude is impacting others is a serious problem, and one you will need to address if you fall into the category of having attitude challenges. If you are fortunate, you will have colleagues, a boss or friend who can call your attitude issue out to you. When they do, you might be defensive and deny you have any issues. Don’t do this, it won’t serve you well. You are going to need to be open to hearing about the fact you have challenges with your attitude.

Consider the fact that it wasn’t easy for the person or people confronting you about your poor attitude. The fact they are is because they want to help you, not hurt you. Listen to what they have to say, why they think your attitude needs adjusting, and what can be done about it.

Since we do not have on and off switches, it might not be that easy for you to remedy your poor attitude. However, you are going to need to do some thinking about what got you into this situation. The challenge you have is that you might be unaware of why you have a poor attitude. Or, you may not be aware that you are not actually hiding your negative emotions which are spilling out in a less than desirable way.

What if you are in the category of someone who isn’t surrounded by others who would tell them their attitude seriously needs to be adjusted? Here are some tips on determining whether your attitude is erring on the side of hurting you, potentially both professionally and personally.

  • Others have started to avoid including you in on social opportunities.
  • Colleagues who have collaborated with you in the past are now avoiding having to work with you. Even if it means more work for them.
  • Fewer people are having conversations with you.
  • People may be treating you differently, as they are intimidated by your attitude, and not in a good way. You are in fact potentially repelling people based on your bad attitude.
  • You have less patience than you have had in the past, and you are taking your lack of patience out on others by being either rude to them, or less polite than you usually are.
  • When you are thinking about future work or interactions with other people, you are less motivated and have trouble focusing and doing the quality work you generally are accustomed to performing.

The good news is that attitudes can in fact be adjusted back to a positive one. However, the first step is recognizing that your good attitude switch has been turned off, or put on pause. Consider yourself fortunate if you can recognize the fact your attitude needs adjusting, and even more fortunate if you have others who care about your attitude negatively affecting you and them. Good luck with resetting your attitude back to a good one. It will serve you much better professionally and personally when it is back in good attitude alignment.

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.

 

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.

 

How do I make my company relevant?

No person or company wants to be classified as irrelevant, especially by their employees, customers or prospects. So, what if your company is being classified this way? Would you know this is happening? Would you know what to do to change the narrative and perception others have? These are tough questions, and ones every company has a chance of confronting.

Let’s make the assumption your company is being classified as irrelevant. Now what? Who is responsible for addressing this? Is this a Human Resource challenge? Perhaps, but the person at the top of the organization also is going to have to play a critical role in helping to remedy this label, and they can’t do it alone.

Based on the fact our economy is relatively strong at this point in time, and that employees have many options to consider if they are not satisfied with the company they are aligned with, retaining employees has become a top concern. One of the many reasons employees decide to abandon their present company has to do with relevancy, and whether they feel a strong alignment to the brand, or perhaps the mission of an organization.

Not all companies have the luxury of being easily aligned with a mission or brand that everyone feels compelled to support, and if they do, then they are more fortunate than others. However, this is only one factor to consider. The fact is, many companies were not founded on the principles and desires that employees, customers and prospects are now looking at via a new lens of having the company they work for also be socially and culturally responsible.

So, the real questions to consider are to think about whether your company is relevant, and then if it is not, what can you do to become relevant in the new lens that you are being looked at? Let’s start with these questions and considerations:

  • You first need to define what relevancy means to your company. This should be tackled from all levels within an organization, as you do not want to only have a top down perspective. This could be in fact what originally got your company into the irrelevant territory.
  • If you were to ask your employees what your company mission statement is, would they know what it is?
  • Would your employees feel indifferent to what your mission statement is? Or, would they feel a stronger alignment with your company when they know what it is?
  • Have you asked exiting employees why they are leaving? There could be enormous clues you will uncover if you have this conversation.
  • Do you happen to know the reason most people who have been at your company for more than three years, enjoy working at your company? Do they actually enjoy working at your company, or are they just buying time on their resume to jump to the next best opportunity?
  • How in touch are the top-level executives at your company with the pulse of the company culture?
  • When was the last time any of your executives informally met with or cruised the halls simply to engage in conversation with employees?
  • Are your executives and non-executives getting out in front of customers to have a better sense of what your company can do to make your services or products better? Is this a function you solely rely upon sales or product marketing to do? If so, you have a huge opportunity to benefit from doing this.
  • Is anyone at your company having fun?
  • Do employees seem to get along well with one another, or is there tension throughout the organization?
  • Do you have someone on your staff who you can rely upon to keep a pulse on the organization, who is not in an HR role? Ideally this would be a mid-level manager.
  • How united would you say your teams are? All of your teams, not just your sales, marketing and executive teams.
  • Would you know what kind of plan you need to course correct to make your company more relevant?

Wearing the badge of being irrelevant is similar to a scarlet letter. If you think or know your company is becoming or is irrelevant in any number of categories, there is hope to turn this scenario around. However, if you do not know how to go about doing this, make sure you align with the right type of expert to help you to course correct your direction. Similar to other situations, the first thing which needs to happen is to admit there is a problem, and then commit to addressing and fixing it.

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, motivating 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

Authenticity sparkle. Do you have it?

Not everyone is charming all the time, but those who are both charming and authentic certainly have advantages over others. You know who they are, and you quite possibly could be one of these people. Most salespeople can pull off a version of being charming, but the exceptional ones also do this authentically. Of course, I’m referencing salespeople because this particular career requires them to have what I refer to as ‘authentic sparkle’.

When someone has authentic sparkle, it’s incredibly obvious to others, and yet it may or may not be obvious to the person who possesses this ability. This may sound absurd, but I have seen this phenomenon so many times, I decided to share my take on how others who do not have this combo can either work on obtaining it, or hire someone who possesses it to be on their sales team.

So, the first thing you need to be aware of is the main characteristic traits for authentic sparkle. This is how I would break down being able to recognize them, although chances are you too have recently come across someone with these traits.  This is a limited list, but will provide you with enough clues on how to recognize the signs of this person.

  • When you first meet them, you feel like you have known them forever, or have met them before, but can’t remember exactly when it was.
  • They have the ability to converse on just about any topic you can imagine, with ease and beyond simply a surface level.
  • This is the type of person you want to invite to your next party or family gathering, even if you just met them.
  • They have an uncanny ability to put you at complete ease, even if the situation is stressful.
  • Although it seems unrealistic, you immediately have a sense you can trust this person, but you can’t put your finger on exactly understanding why you feel this way.
  • You want to help this person, even if you do not normally extend help to people you have just met.
  • This person literally makes your day better instantly when you meet them. Who doesn’t want to align themselves with this type of individual?

Have you met someone recently who you could describe as having some if not all of the characteristics above? If you have, what was the experience like for you?

Now, let’s switch gears and talk about how you too could attempt to acquire some of the characteristic traits noted above. These traits do not have to only apply to salespeople, as having a persona type which includes the characteristics above can be beneficial to lots of professions, and can carry over into your life too.

If you are interested in adding authentic sparkle to your life or profession, here are some tips on how to go about doing so.

  • Just be yourself. Seriously, too many people are attempting to be like others, but in my opinion, most people I have met are all pretty incredible in their own unique way. Embrace it, or like my article titled “Embrace Your Weirdness” encourages, don’t be afraid to show others who you really are.
  • Focus more on listening versus talking about yourself. Apply the 80/20 rule, which consists of listening 80% of the time, and limiting your talking to 20%. When you do this, you automatically come across as being more authentic.
  • Commit to once per day doing one nice thing for someone else. Both you and the person you did the nice thing for will add to your what I will call “sparkle bank”. I have also referred to this as your “karma bank”, and essentially, they are similar.
  • Look for opportunities to practice being authentic. If you do not provide yourself with chances to practice being charming, and your genuine self, you are not going to automatically become better at this simply because you want to. Sorry to burst your bubble on this, but it’s true.
  • After around one month of applying these basic tips, see if anyone notices or tells you that you seem happier or more fun to be with. Or, perhaps you will start to be invited out more or included in experiences you were not in the past. If this happens, you will know your authentic sparkle is starting to kick into gear for you.

Whether you want to have more authentic sparkle or hire someone who possesses it, I hope my take on how to go about upping your sparkle will work for you, or allow you to find people to hire which have this trait. One last hint, people who have “Woo” or “Positivity” in their Gallup Strengths Top 5, generally will have the authentic sparkle you are looking for.

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, motivating 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.