Getting Promoted

Lots of people ask me about this…sometimes it seems like there’s a rule book that everyone knows about but you. I’ve talked about the 3 Ps: Performance, Platform, and Perception as being key for promotion, but here’s some lessons learned about how to navigate this tricky space.

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This is What A Feminist Looks Like

Do you know someone who’s really special?  I mean, off the charts. I have, bar none, a totally amazing and awesome niece who’s unbelievably passionate and great at basketball (and many other things-we can talk about Grey’s Anatomy all day long). So, I saw this shirt and had to get it for her.

Sports is such a great way for girls and women to develop confidence, self-esteem, and learn how to perform under pressure. It teaches teamwork, discipline, graciousness, tenacity, and how to appreciate your body, not for how it looks but for what it can do.  I love that she has a sport that means so much to her.

So encourage our daughters, nieces, friends to find a sport they love. Sure, talent is important, but my brother and sister-in-law are with her every step, play, and game, and that is what makes the difference.

Dealing with Dementia

So my dad has Parkinson’s disease. I’ve started meeting other people who are also dealing with a parent who is ill. This disease has no cure, but I’m happy to say Dad is doing ok…meaning he’s happy, he’s not in pain, and he still enjoys life. Dementia is growing more and more , so here’s my lessons learned so far: [Read more…]

Catching the Next Big Wave

There will be times in your career when others come to the conclusion you are ready for the next move (as opposed to you thinking you’re ready). Sometimes it’s to take the role of your boss, lead a project that’s going poorly…’s almost always something that is outside your comfort zone and a surprise, since you weren’t looking for it.  When people asked me to take roles, my reaction was often gratitude, followed by a compelling argument as to why I wasn’t qualified for the role. Lucky for me, I was overridden. Some things to think about:

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Walking the Talk

This is a great article from Inc. about how the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella dealt with a very public fail by his company.  An excerpt of the email which was shared in a profile piece was “Keep pushing, and know that I am with you … (The) key is to keep learning and improving.” The article also says ” Nadella says he also urged staffers to take the criticism in the right spirit while exercising “deep empathy for anyone hurt by Tay.” [Read more…]

When It Feels Personal

It’s only natural to interpret work interactions personally. Because someone doesn’t respond to your emails, accept meeting invites, it’s easy to think that it’s because they don’t like you. Before you make that leap, it might help to think about the following:

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The Make or Break Quality

There’s been a lot of discussion on the importance of IQ and EQ in the workplace: I generally categorize the IQ as how smart are you….ability to grasp complexity, figure out problems quickly, get to the answers. EQ is “how well you play with others”: self awareness, empathy, the ability to get others to want to be on your side. But here’s the make or break quality that is key….even if you are great at the other two things. [Read more…]

The Value of Junior People

I don’t mean the title to sound snobby, but so much of what you hear is about mentors and sponsors…who typically are more senior than you.  I find there is tremendous value in those people who are lower in the organization who are high performers, tell you the truth, and can be trusted to have a conversation. (Here’s my litmus test: would I hire them if I left the organization?  If the answer is yes, they are probably someone I trust).

Often my conversations with more junior people tend to be about the questions they want to ask: about career, awkward situations, difficult people. What I have found to be interesting is their perspective on how things are going: what’s working, what needs improvement. “If there was one thing they could change, what would it be?” is the question I often ask if they seem reticent.

It’s easy as you get more senior to lose touch with organization: the higher you are, the more people want to please you by telling you what they think you want to hear. It’s important to have those people in the organization who you trust to give you their perspective. Chances are, it’s closer to reality.

When Someone Wants to Hire You Away

So sometime in your career you will have the very flattering moment when someone you’ve worked for in the past wants to hire you away.  If you already have a job, this becomes riskier because you’re leaving to go somewhere else…so you want to be wise. A couple of things to keep in mind: [Read more…]