Why do we follow leaders?

I’m not known for talking about politics, and in fact I don’t talk about them for obvious reasons. However, similar to business and sports team leaders, the people in these positions all play an important role in our society. Although their respective assents to their leadership roles are generally remarkably, and curiously different. 

Take for example just about any CEO or leader of a sports team organization. Or, a head sports team coach. If you were to ask them where they went to leadership school, most would look at you oddly. Why? Because there are limited ways for leaders to obtain their skills from an educational perspective. Skills that are truly meaningful.

In other words, leaders learn how to lead from actual experience of leading others. Not by simply reading about how to lead others. I’m not disparaging the wonderful leadership books out there, I’m just stating that I have yet to come across a leader who said they learned everything they needed to become an amazing leader via reading about the topic.

Similar to a trade role (e.g., plumber, electrician, welder), leaders gain the majority of their skills by practicing and applying them in a physical way. Although trade persons are highly skilled, they do not have to master the soft skills that effective leaders need to gain. Unless of course they are the owner of the company. Then I would place those individuals in the same category as business and sports team leaders.

The most impactful skills that leaders need to acquire and master are ones which are more difficult to measure. I’m referring to the skills of communication, influence and emotional intelligence (e.g., EQ). Granted I want to stress that the EQ skill isn’t something one can learn, as this is one of the skills in the innate category. You are either fortunate to have lots of it, or not enough for your or others liking. Having common sense is also one of the beneficial skills the top leaders possess. However, it’s one of the other skills you either have, or you don’t.

Of course, all leaders start out as followers. The interesting factor to consider is at what point is the cross over to leadership made? Depending on the type of leadership role, it could in fact take years before someone steps into that role. However, we have all seen instances where an individual is placed into a leadership role they are ill prepared to take on. Everyone suffers when this occurs. With a few exceptions.

One of the exceptions is that the newly minted leader is supported by others to buffer their learning curve. The supporters will play the role of advising the majority of the new leaders decisions, until they reach a point when they can make more of the decisions on their own. However, without this arrangement in place as an exception, the new under prepared leader will experience a steep and often painful learning curve themselves, and for those they lead. I guarantee you have seen this. Perhaps you have even had the misfortune of being led by this individual? The good news is that most of these ill prepared leaders will be filtered out, and replaced by an actual experienced leader. Although not always.

At what point do people know they are ready to lead and make the crossover into leadership? Below are some ways you will know when the time is right for you to make this leap.

  • Gaining experience takes time. Most leaders will need a minimum of a decade worth of experience to have had enough opportunities to learn, and to have made enough mistakes along the way to be effective when they step into their role. With this said, having 15-20 years of experience is even better.
  • You have had the opportunity to learn about multiple facets of the business, or acquire deep knowledge about the sports team you are leading. Additionally, you have had a minimum number of roles (e.g., 2-4) to provide you with insight only gained from having exposure to critical functions which impact the company, or sports team you will be leading.
  • You are at a point where you are able to mentor others.
  • People you respect and who are in leadership roles begin seeking you out for advice or your opinion on how to handle different situations.
  • You are able to see the big picture, and can effectively communicate strategically as well as persuasively to your peers and leadership members above your current role. 
  • You have made enough calculated mistakes and recovered from them without tarnishing your reputation.
  • Others trust your judgement and are comfortable with letting you make critical decisions, as you have solid track record for demonstrating this.
  • Not everyone who can step into a leadership role wants to do so. In fact, many shy away from the enormous responsibilities that go along with being the leader. It’s not a role for the faint of heart, or those who have difficulty with making, sticking to and applying decisions to be carried out effectively.

Moving into a leadership role is a privilege, and not one to be casually entered into.  In fact, I can tell you that you will intuitively know when you are ready to take on becoming the leader. If you can’t trust your gut instinct with this decision, then it’s not likely your time to step out of the follower role yet. 

Tags: #Business #Success #Leadership #Teams #Sportsteams #Headcoaches #Sportscoaches #Coaches #Headsportscoach #HeadSportscoaches #Strategy #Management #BusinessManagement

The perception of success

I’m positive others do this too, and I often consider what shapes our thinking about the definition of success. It’s possible due to the type of profession I am in, and that since its foundation is focused on helping people to become more aware of who they are, this notably has immense influence on my thinking.

The fact I am regularly working with others to define and achieve their goals isn’t easy work. In fact, it can be extremely challenging, but it’s exactly the type of challenge I thoroughly enjoy taking on. By working with others to assist them in guiding them to achieve their goals, is by definition a type of success. For both parties. It’s the type of win, win scenario that most would agree is highly desirable. Even potentially for those that define themselves as being hyper competitive.

You could argue that everyone is successful. Especially when looking at the surface level, and you are casually considering anyone’s accomplishments. How is this possible? It’s possible because going back to what I mentioned before, everyone defines success differently for themselves. The challenge of the perception of success is when you allow others to define it for you. Are you saying to yourself, yes, this has happened to me!

If you have allowed others to define success for you, take comfort in knowing you are not alone. What I can tell you is that this isn’t a permanent state. In fact, success is more similar to water, as it’s often in a fluid state. Of course, the exception of this is when it’s frozen. My point is that success can be achieved, but it might not be sustainable in all situations. In fact, arguably, you might not want it to be. Especially if you are the type of person who is driven to keep on achieving more. However, you define what “more” means.

Often success can be perceived, and may simply be an illusion of reality. Take for example social media posts. We all know that what gets posted by the majority of people are carefully edited versions of the perception they want to convey to others. Most of the time the crafted images or messages are fortunately happy or positive. Sometimes they are not.

Each day, what you want others to see is controlled by you, or potentially by what you think others expect from you. Possibly not, as it appears some people socially post with complete abandon. More concerning, with the absence of thinking through the outcome. We have all seen too many examples of this.

Circling back to the concept of the perception of success, below are some thoughts to consider to help you wrap your mind better around how you can define success for yourself, versus being subjected to feeling the pressures of succumbing to what you think others expect your definition of it to be.

  • Being happy, and happy as often as possible could be included in your definition of success.
  • Success and its definition can and should in fact be modified around circumstances.
  • When you lock the definition of success into either an unattainable measure, or one that isn’t sustainable, you will always be disappointed with the outcome.
  • Consider whether you have allowed others to define what your definition of success is.
  • The definition of success doesn’t always have to be tied to a monetary number. In fact, having good health and maintaining it could be someone’s ultimate definition.
  • I have written about the importance of not comparing yourself to others. So, when you are developing what it means to be successful for you, either in writing, or in your mind, be sure to consider whether you are being true to yourself and not letting others influence your definition.
  • Everyone has different abilities, so focus on capitalizing your success being partially defined by having your strengths support what goals you are striving to reach.
  • Your ideal version of your life and how you will define what it ultimately it will shape up to reveal; at any point in time, can be influenced by circumstances beyond your control. Keep in mind many situations are temporary, and don’t let setbacks allow you to redefine what you want to accomplish.
  • No one is perfect. Our world would be quite boring if everyone was. Embrace who you are, how you think, how you act and most importantly, be proud of how you represent yourself. If you are not proud of who you are, you have the power to change this. Perhaps with help, so make sure to ask for support when you need it.
  • Our perception of our own and others success only matters if we allow it to matter. Always keep this in mind.

Even people who perceivably have attained success; defined either by themselves or others, have tough days. Please remember that everyone’s success is going to be different. More importantly, I ask you to not be critical of this, but instead supportive of them being content with their own definition.

Tags: #Business #Success #Definingsuccess #Leadership #Perception #Perceptionofsuccess #Whatissuccess

Need a boost to your confidence? Who doesn’t? (Limited Holiday Offer)

Need a boost to your confidence? Who doesn’t?

I have often been described as a “Confidence Mechanic”.

I’m the person people turn to when they need to have an upwards adjustment made to their confidence level, or a boost of positivity.

No one is immune from having their confidence level depleted at some point, especially after living through this year. The good news is that our confidence level generally bounces back. However, sometimes you simply need a “nudge” to get it back in place.

These (2) individual coaching sessions are designed to get your confidence back on track. I’m highly qualified to help you to do this, and I’ve also been doing this for decades. Included below is information about my professional background.

Let’s get your confidence back on track. Here’s what you will experience during your (2) individual, “virtual”, one-hour coaching sessions with me via Zoom or Google Meet:

• Find out what your Top (5) Strengths are
• Find out how to apply your strengths to gain more confidence on a daily basis
• Gain access to tips on how to maintain your confidence levels (e.g., videos & written material not available anywhere else)
• Learn how to re-set your confidence level if it’s not at the level you want it to be
• Be given (2) written, comprehensive reports about your Top (5) Strengths
• Get back to the confidence level you want to be at

Schedule your first Confidence Boost session with me: https://calendly.com/kathymurphy

Promo Price: $99

Offer valid: December 16, 2020 – January 31, 2021

About Coach Kathleen E.R. Murphy:

Author and Market Me Too (www.MarketMeToo.net) Founder and CEO, Kathleen E.R. Murphy is known for radiating enthusiasm, her positive energy, entrepreneurial approach and highly creative problem-solving ability. Many have referred to her as a business and sports team muse.

Her business career started in marketing, and has spanned more than 25 years. Her marketing executive management background was focused on technology (e.g., APC, Black Duck, Constant Contact, EMC/Dell, Hitachi) and start-up companies in a variety of industries. She is a globally recognized motivational and strengths performance coach, and regularly blogs and leads workshops on related topics on leadership and business and career management. Additionally, she is an inspirational speaker and social commentator and influencer.

Since 2016, Ms. Murphy has been a highly sought-after mentor in the exclusive United States Women Unlimited Executive Mentor Program. In 2018, she became a Certified Gallup Strengths Coach, and a multi-published book author (e.g., Wisdom Whisperer and Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer). She has mentored (5) Babson College MBA students, and hundreds of individuals during her career. In 2019, Ms. Murphy was appointed as an Advisory Board Member to the University of Maine Business School (Undergraduate and Graduate Schools). In April of 2019, she was named Chairwoman of the Board of Directors for the Spring of 2020 Merrimack Valley Women’s Conference.

Ms. Murphy works with individuals ages 14-100+ (Her Nana lived to 102). She also works with business teams and individuals just starting out in their career, all the way up to the CEO and Board of Director level. Additionally, she works with sports teams’ coaches and their athletes. Ms. Murphy focuses her talents helping teams and individuals who are seeking far better or different results, which are achieved via her strengths based coaching expertise.

Ms. Murphy grew up in Lexington, MA and graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in Journalism and minor in psychology. She has been published in Advancing Women, Ask the Expert, Boston Voyager, Fast Company, The Huffington Post, i4Business, Money, Readers Digest, Recruiter, The Economist, Thrive Global and US News and World Report. Since 2018, Ms. Murphy has also been a featured guest on a number of popular business television and radio shows, and credits her family lineage of inventors and entrepreneurs for shaping her career path. Her own TV Show, Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk, launched in July of 2019.

In April of 2018, Ms. Murphy released and published her first business book called Wisdom Whisperer. Her book shares secrets and insights to success in business and life from what she learned in her 20’s, 30’s and 40’s as an upcoming executive, and full-time working Mother. Wisdom Whisperer is available on Amazon. Her second book, Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer, was published in December of 2019, and her third book will be published in 2021.

Please contact me if you need additional details:
kathymurphy@me.com Market Me Too 339-987-0195

(YouTube Video) Adaptability is a Super Power.

Overview: There are certain traits which have a higher value than others. Being adaptable in both the work place, and in life is one of them. Given the choice, I would always hire someone or want to spend time with someone who had this trait over someone who wasn’t this way. Are you adaptable? Please check out my newest show below to find out if you are, and learn tips on how to be even more adaptable.

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate this holiday.

Click HERE to access the video.

Why I don’t waste time criticizing people.

People who are constantly criticizing others are typically insecure and because of this, they focus their attention on other people instead of being reflective about themselves. When you come across someone like this in the office, steer the other way, as they probably have already taken on the reputation of being a negative person, and who wants to be around “Debbie Downers”? No one, and it is not advisable to be around them, as others could also perceive you are this way too. However, what if you have tendencies of being overly critical of others and do not realize this?

Let’s take a virtual walk around your office and come up with some scenarios of interactions you might be having with others. The first scenario takes place in the morning shortly after you have arrived at work. You exchange your pleasantries with others, or so you think, as you may not have realized you provided negative commentary on an interaction you just had with one of your other colleagues about what they told you they did over the weekend. Did you need to be judgmental about what they did and share your opinion with others? Let’s say…..no, you did not.

The next scenario involves talking with one of your colleagues post a meeting you were both in. Instead of providing constructive feedback or potentially something positive about the meeting and the person who was running it, you criticized the person for how they delivered the information, and about how you did not like the meeting format.

Another interaction which is ripe for negative people to spread their criticism is during the afternoon walk around the building. These walks are generally short walks, and can be highly refreshing and opportunities to have upbeat conversations. However, if you are an overly critical person, you tend to leverage this interaction to share your negative commentary on whomever you have recently interacted with. Does this sound like you, or someone you work with?

If you are “the” person who is highly critical of others and do not realize this, there are ways to determine you are behaving this way, and to course correct on this type of behavior.  Here are ways to first recognize you are behaving this way:

  1. After interacting with someone, think about the conversation you had with them. Did the conversation involve passing judgement on another person in a negative format?
  2. Consider the interactions you have had the last few days. After the interactions did you feel better, neutral or worse after you spoke to your colleagues? If you felt better or neutral, was there a positive outcome from the conversations you had, or did you simply feel relieved about sharing your opinion on someone?
  3. If you had to rate your conversations with others like you were rating a restaurant on Yelp, what rating would you give yourself and why?
  4. Are there situations or people who “trigger” your overly critical nature? Begin to recognize whether these are routinely happening, or only periodically.

and here are some tips on how to stop being overly critical of others:

  • Write down positive things you can share and say about others you work with, then sprinkle these positive expressions into your conversations with others. Did you notice if the person you were sharing this information with reacted differently?
  • Create a list of the typical things you converse with others about. Categorize these topics and take a look at what percentage of them are critical versus being constructive or positive. Do this exercise for one week to work towards changing the conversational type of exchange you have been having.
  • Ask someone you are friends with outside of your office if they think you have tendencies to be overly critical of others. If they are a true friend, they will be honest with you and tell you that you are. Do not be mad at them for being honest with you, and instead thank them for their candidness.
  • Challenge yourself to work towards being a less critical person, and check your progress from week to week to see if you recognize you are decreasing your negative commentary about others or situations.

No one sets out to be overly critical of others, and sometimes behaving this way is also a result of picking up this bad behavior from observing others who might be doing the same thing. The trick to becoming less critical and ultimately more fun to be around, is to acknowledge you might be this way, and then to work towards overcoming this bad habit. Once you become less critical of others, you will become a much happier person when you are conveying complimentary comments about others versus the negative verbal exchanges you are accustomed to expressing.