Some time ago my wife Judith Sherven and I were coaching a marketing exec regarding her desire to be promoted to VP. We talked about it from various angles: how many VPs were there in the company; as a VP what specific freedom and further authority would she have to impact the company; what would it be like for her to report to her boss, another VP, and how would her boss feel; what kind of support did she have among the executive team; etc. The conversation flowed easily and was very productive. And then I asked, “Why would you not promote you right now?”
What?” She was stopped dead by my question.
“Why would you not promote you right now?” I repeated.
“Are you serious?” she blurted, seemingly put off that I would pose such a question.
“Think about it,” I said gently, “no one is perfect. We all have limitations. The point is to admit them so they don’t come up and catch you off guard.”
“Oh,” she whispered.
“Well? Why would you not promote you right now? I’m not saying you shouldn’t be promoted. Not after all your successes and the preparation you’ve done. But what in your own mind about you do you feel might stand in your way?” Continue reading →
While there are numerous books, courses, and online trainings for improving your managerial skills, seldom do they address the psychological underbelly of wise and wonderful management. That’s understandable since they aren’t created by people with a psychological background.
But over the past many years we’ve seen how understanding and incorporating the following psychological truths have enabled good managers to become great:
Everyone Knows How To Follow – Everyone was once a small child whose very existence depended on following their parents or other caretakers. So the act of following is built into each and every one of us. And while some chronological adults rebel against managerial leadership in an unconscious carryover from their youth, the vast majority of people welcome clear, supportive leadership they can readily follow.
The other day we were talking with a client in Canada and the topic of desire came up. It was okay for him to desire more responsibility and more leadership development for his team. But when we said, “In other words, you want to expand your Influence and Professional Power” he balked claiming, “No, that would be arrogant. I don’t want to be pushy or competitive.”
Before I continue with the remainder of this dialogue with our client, I ask you:
What are your negative reactions and judgments about:
Which one(s) are you allowed to want, work for, develop, and ultimately enjoy? Continue reading →
Success is highly sought after, for the rewards: money, status, professional respect, personal fulfillment, continued opportunity, and because it’s fun. Success is fun. It’s the satisfaction of applying talent, ambition, and determination to make something come alive in the world: the vision, ability to execute, and creativity to take an idea, an elusive thing, and harness and shape it into something that works. And then stand back and own the results.
In reading the previous paragraph please note that some of the rewards are external, based upon what others think. And some are internal. These latter bring gratification and peace-of–mind knowing that what you know about yourself is true: you decided, followed through, and you have the internal power, personal authority, and the emotional maturity to make it happen.
Success, however, can be hit-and-miss, frustrating because it worked one time but can’t be assured to work again. Although nothing can be guaranteed, here is a set of five mindset conditions that will give you the best chance to experience repeated success.
Regulated by a Vision
Yes I’m sure you’ve heard that you have to have a clear vision. And that’s true. Otherwise you won’t know where you’re going. But without it you can’t even start. And without it you can’t know when you’re off track. Success is a process not an event. Granted it has a detectable beginning and end that, as it is reached, morphs into something else, perhaps a new beginning marked by new circumstances that contain a new problem and a new motive to pursue a solution. However many people pay attention to the end and are blind to the necessary steps along the way.
All too often, at different types of companies, we hear from our clients that the promotional process is a big mystery. People don’t know why they received their recent promotion, nor do they know what is required to achieve the next career level up.
These are not uneducated people nor are they professional neophytes. Most of them have been in the corporate world for some time. Yet the ways of management remain baffling, frustrating, and sometimes quite suspicious. Words like “political,” “opportunistic,” and “self-serving” are sprinkled through conversations aimed at trying to figure out how to understand what’s going on in the promotional arena.
While many of our clients have been savvy enough to not fall victim to company politics, some of them have been so averse to being caught up in the mystery they’ve decided they need to work for themselves as a form of protection resigning and in short order creating a start up under their own command.
Have you ever had the experience of being excited about something, something you wanted to go after, and then, as if sneaking up from behind you the feeling of self-doubt crept up and stole away your excitement? It’s like it steals your life, it steals your Self. Then you have to wonder—“Am I confident that I have what it takes to handle the challenges, surprises, uncertainties, and desires that arise in my life?”“
For those who suffer from self-doubt the answer is an agonizing “I don’t know.” To answer “Yes” is best because you have a foundation for action. And even “No” is better because, although it’s negative at least it’s certain. But “I don’t know” creates doubt for any chance of resolution that could lead to action and change. It leaves behind an emptiness that can’t seem to be filled.
Self-doubt is a soul killer. It erodes and undermines the very basis of the Self. We are plagued by the question of our competence—“Can I really count on myself to act in a way that realizes my intentions?” Continue reading →