“Leverage” has become a significant if not dominant concept in the corporate lexicon and it’s now a buzzword used every day in many ways. Here are examples of how I’ve heard “leverage” used: “He carries a lot of leverage” and “You’re not exercising the right leverage” and “How do we leverage these relationships?” and “We need to leverage this negotiation” and “We have to leverage our human capital.”
So just what is “leverage?”
Leverage is using something you already have—in the case of human capital the skills, knowledge, and experience possessed by the employees of a company—to achieve something new or better.In other words you don’t have to invent something to achieve your objective. You can use what is already present. Continue reading
It’s easy enough to say that everyone should “own their own career”—but how do you do that?
Assuming you desire upward advancement, here’s a get-started checklist:
- Ask your manager or Human Resources for the criteria for promotion to the next level
- Determine the areas of expertise where you need to grow and improve
- Request the help of a mentor or coach (or even your manager if appropriate) to support your promotional determination
- Ask for a larger role or larger project to help you demonstrate your abilities
- Make sure your participation at meetings is respectful of differences of opinion, inquiring when you need more information or clarification, and adds value when you speak rather then merely repeating something that’s already on the table
- Behave at all times as if you already have the promotion: think ahead, propose creative ideas, engender greater collaboration
- If it’s appropriate, ask people senior to you who know your work to give you endorsements
Having read that list, check in with yourself to see how you feel. Continue reading
It may seem strange to start with the story of Cinderella but the story’s millennial popularity sets the ground for the idea of “saved from being saved.” The stories of Cinderella and Aladdin, her male counterpart, focus on the main character who possesses excellent qualities and talents but is in a situation where those attributes cannot be seen. Then through a magical circumstance the character is saved—discovered and recognized for the wonder she or he is.
Some version of this story is told worldwide, from China to Southeast Asia, through India to the Middle-East, Europe, North and South America. The theme of recognition and rise from obscurity to splendor resonates with men and women across the globe. So why am I using it here? And why does the title of this post suggest the opposite of magical deliverance? Continue reading
My husband Jim Sniechowski, PhD and I just completed a series of interviews dedicated to discovering what makes career management so difficult for most people. And the majority of the answers we repeatedly received fell into these three categories:
- I shouldn’t have to toot my own horn. My work and my team’s work should be enough.
- It’s demeaning to play politics and run around to the top brass, glad-handing, and polishing the mirror.
- I’ve never thought about my work in terms of an elevator speech, or the benefits I provide, so I don’t even know where to start.
Do you identify with any or all of them? Most people do. Continue reading
Knowing the difference between what is urgent and what is important can make or break your day, can make or break your career, can produce a lifestyle, at work and at home, that is effective, productive, and rewarding—or not. The difference between “urgent” and “important” can serve as the cornerstone for the way you live and work.
In this post I want to look into the difference in emotional impact produced when you focus on the distinction between what is urgent and what is important.
A situation that is considered urgent has special characteristics:
- the problem involved requires immediate action or attention, very often there is little time to do anything but react;
- the problem is pressing and insistent and limits the field of options;
- inherent in urgency is a sense of danger. Like a forest fire, something must Continue reading
Hear Yea! Hear Yea!
Let it be known across the land:
Receiving Praise and Compliments for Your Excellence Does NOT Make You Big-headed!
Yet, in a recent workshop “Overcoming the Fear of Being Fabulous: It’s Time To Shatter Your Inner Glass Ceiling” (which my husband Jim Sniechowski, PhD and I present quite often as a career building and leadership boosting opportunity for corporate audiences) predictably some of the main reasons people gave about their difficulty receiving acknowledgment of their excellence were:
*** I’ll seem big headed
*** It will make me feel Continue reading
Numerous studies have been conducted exploring and testing the power and promise of expectations. And it’s been proven that many people make their decisions and understand themselves in the light of what others expect of them. When we know someone expects something from us—our attitude, how we act, what we want and don’t want—we will try to meet those expectations. It’s thought that we do so to try to gain respect, position, likeability, belonging.
Succinctly describing the power of expectations: what is expected happens.
Studies have established the fact that people tend to live up to what’s expected of them whether negative or positive and do so mostly unconsciously.
To make this post a working document for you, please bring to mind a time when you either consciously tried to Continue reading