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 .

What’s your business energy level?

Having spent decades crafting my marketing and indirectly my sales skills, there is one thing which always sticks out in my mind about each of these disciplines. It is how every aspect of what we were doing was measured.  Talk about feeling like you were always under a microscope. Or, being constantly judged on the metrics associated with your discipline.

Being under continuous surveillance can take its toll on people. Although there may be some exceptions. Granted measuring results is a fundamental part of business, but what if and what are the measurements used to determine employees or the company’s energy level?

The first thing which comes to mind is the annual employee satisfaction survey which is sent out. Does this really reveal how satisfied employees are, or does it simply give them an opportunity to vent? This method isn’t going to be helpful in determining energy level’s, but short of applying medical practices (e.g., taking your temperature, blood pressure), is there a way to establish people and company energy levels?

Leaders of companies who are gifted in the emotional intelligence (EI) category are generally perceptive of how other people, and collectively what the energy level of their company is. Although this gets harder to determine when a company has over 50-100 employees. However, even if a leader is able to assess their company energy level, it is still hard to quantify this level amount. More importantly to note, it is certainly subjective.

So, is it possible or reasonable to think there are ways to determine a company’s energy level? If a company knew what it’s energy level was, and let’s say it was low, what could they do about this?

Here are some suggestions I have seen companies apply to help boost their collective energy level:

  • Rally around an organization or cause which could be in alignment with what your company does. If this is too challenging to find a direct alignment with another cause, then mutually determine one to work with. Focusing on helping others is an excellent way of changing a company’s energy level.
  • Consider physically moving to another work area within your company. Several of the companies I worked at had us move our desks every 3-6 months. The energy level of our teams soared when we did this, and it caused people to have to collaborate well together to make the move happen. When you change your physical location, it also does wonders for your overall attitude too.
  • Give your employees something to look forward to. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive to invest in, as it could be as simple as asking a food truck which specializes in desserts to randomly show up outside of your building. If the company can pay for this treat, even better.
  • Dedicating a day a week to do something different at your company also can pick up the energy level. For instance, how about having teams take turns to BBQ for each other one day a week, make waffles or ice cream sundaes or perhaps something healthy?
  • Borrowing from one of my other story ideas, how about having weekly or once a month lunch-and-learns ? The topic can either be work or non-work related. The non-work ones of course will be more fun, and you will be impressed to hear about the hobbies and subjects that your employees are enthusiasts about!
  • Pot luck lunches are lots of fun, and a low-cost option which I have seen the company energy level increase. For those employees who are competitive, throw in a prize or prizes, either monetary or simply bragging rights to who has the best, fill-in-the-blank for the item they made. Hint, pies, chili and cookies are easy contests to run.

Although I do not presently have a subjective measurement for you (yet), to help you know what your energy level is, start out with trying some of the suggestions above and see if you notice if your company energy level improves. Also, be aware if your own energy level improves too. Most importantly, be as creative as you can be with trying out different activities to give you the energy boost you are looking for.

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,

 

 

You are better than you think you are. Seriously.

Let’s face it. Not all days are a perfect ten. Sometimes we feel like even getting close to a ten is impossible. Generally, when we feel this way, we are in what I’ll refer to as a rut, or a place we feel we are trapped in. Or, can’t figure a way out of. This is not where any of us want to be, but at some point, most of us have experienced this feeling, or will. I’m hopeful you might be spared from this experience, but in some ways, there is a lot to learn from this happening to you.

There are a various physiological, mental and environmental reasons why you might feel like you are in a place you would not rather be. The good news is that most of the time, this feeling is temporary. However, if you have been feeling this way for longer than a few weeks, then I can tell you this is something you need to seek help to resolve. No one should feel badly about themselves for any length of time, and no, it’s not normal for anyone to feel this way.

We are wired to mostly feel neutral, and lean towards feeling more positive than negative. Luckily there are also many things you can do to feel better, and no I’m not suggesting that pharmaceuticals are the only answer to feel better. Actually, this should be a last resort. However, in my opinion, too many people opt for this as a first-choice solution. It’s easy to go this route, and many people succumb to this as their way of addressing and temporarily resolving or masking their real challenge.

The real challenge people tend to either dance around, or avoid is not taking the time to figure out why they are down on themselves. Perhaps they are this way because they chose to listen to people who told them they couldn’t do or achieve something. Even worse, they believed this to be a fact.

Most of the time when someone tells you that you are not capable of doing something, it is not in your best interest to always listen to their opinion. However, if what you are thinking of doing is going to be potentially dangerous to you or someone else, then I would make an exception to this thinking.

A perfect example of someone not listening to, or giving others credit for limiting what they could achieve is a young woman named Bella Tucker. Without going into the details of what happened to her, Bella at a young age lost the full use of all four of her limbs. Did this stop her from pursuing her dream to swim, ski, draw or apply to college? No, it didn’t, and she will be attending the University of Massachusetts in Boston in the fall of 2019. She will be entering their Nursing Program, and I can’t think of a person who would have more compassion and drive to become a nurse than Bella.

Bella had an incredible support system. Her Dad Richard Tucker was one of her biggest champions throughout the course of the time she was adjusting to her new life as a quadriplegic. I’m sure there were days when Bella and Rich wondered what her future would look like. I guarantee you that Rich never once told Bella she couldn’t accomplish anything she wanted to do. Imagine having someone like this in your life?

Obviously, Bella’s situation is an extreme situation, and she is certainly a person I admire and draw inspiration from. The point is, most people are not in Bella’s situation. Not even close. However, they chose to feel sorry for themselves and sometimes seemingly enjoy their own pity party. This does not serve them, or anyone else well, and here are some suggestions to make you realize it’s time to get out of your rut, and start living the life you deserve to live.

  • Commit to a date you will end feeling sorry for yourself.
  • Have three people you know write down 5-10 things they like and admire about you. You are not limited to three people, and the point is to begin to see yourself via the eyes of how others positively perceive you and your talents.
  • Change up your routine. Get up 15 minutes early and give yourself extra time to do anything constructive and positive (e.g., yoga, listen to classical music, take a quick walk outside, make yourself a nice cup of tea or coffee).
  • Write down one thing you will accomplish each day. This can be a personal or professional accomplishment. Then, commit to making it happen.
  • Schedule time to meet with one person you know each week, for a minimum of one month. Spending time socially with others can do wonders for us mentally.
  • Challenge yourself to do something you have been putting off doing for a while, and then commit to accomplishing this item.
  • Set aside 1-2 hours a week to volunteer your time to an organization or person who could benefit from you helping them. When you help others, you will feel much better about yourself.
  • Consider talking to a nutritionist or researching how to improve your daily diet. You will feel much better when you eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet. Sugar is not your friend, but most vegetables are.

I wish I could tell you there is a perfect and magic solution for everyone, but this isn’t the case. Each person requires a different solution to their challenge of seeing themselves in a more positive light. The effort you put into helping either yourself, or someone else get out of their ‘rut’ will be worth it, as no one wants to be in one, or deserves to be there. The good news is that I know you will find a solution to your challenge. If you can’t, you know I’m a pro at helping people who are “stuck” in their rut.

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