Career Tips

So you’re working your way up the corporate ladder, when you realize…….your boss – a fairly new member of the “old boys club” – isn’t pulling his weight? What do you do? What can you do about it? How can you get him to pull up his socks?

So you are working your way up the corporate ladder when you realize that your boss – a relatively new member of the “old boys club” – isn’t pulling his weight? What do you do? What can you do about it? How can you get him to pull up his socks?

You consult!

However, truthfully, there may be nothing that you can do unless you already have influence with your boss. Given the predicament, to move forward, accept this potentially real limitation as a fact, then consider a leadership perspective. Ask yourself, not how can I get my boss to change? Rather, ask yourself, how can I handle myself in this situation, to show off my best attributes?

Tip # 1 – Do not complain or attempt to manipulate the situation. Take this as an opportunity to demonstrate how you best handle yourself in a challenging situation. Other people are watching. To show off your best attributes, you need to know what they are, and the answer is not technical ability. The strengths that compare, in this situation, are interpersonal in nature. Leadership skills. If these were simple characteristics or behaviors to implement, you’d already be doing so, but they are often shrouded in narrowly focused overconfidence. Either consult with your Psychologist or find a seasoned business coach that will work with you during this exacting moment of truth. Hint: your process may begin with “leading by example.”

Tip # 2 – At the core of all great leadership skills, lies safe, healthy functioning relationships. Have them and thrive. Die without them. Alliances – usually the type that has depth and meaning to them – provide a platform to all long-lasting success stories. Infuse strong leadership skills into your relationships. Hint: empathy can go along way in developing these types of alliances. Share your healthy vision of the future, one that benefits all those concerned, not just the fortunate few at the top. Your efforts often impel a desire to be supportive and helpful from those around you, once you have shared vision for the greater good. Your boss may just pick up on the vibe that they, too, better make some changes of their own.

Tip # 3 – Once you have cultivated strong affiliations, your communication needs to be focused and purposeful. Utilize impeccable timing, strategic direction, and an intention to improve authentic business relationships. Taking things just a step further, you can and should create your personal agenda, with a focus to target certain people to get to know better or influence. Don’t be superficial in your attempts to capitalize on any and all opportunities, rather demonstrate your allegiance to your underlying values for yourself and others.

Chiefly, my point regarding this dilemma is that you will likely be more efficient, more influential because you have taken the time to nurture and cultivate mutually respectful relationships with others, including your boss. Leadership is not about controlling others, using force or manipulation to make them bend to your will. It is an opportunity to breathe life into the type of person you want to become. Cultivate and nurture your character, your relationships, then simply observe and appreciate the power that others start to bequeath to you.

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Our Personal Best

What is our personal best? Who knows for certain? But one thing is for sure. You know when you feel good, and that means something! One theory that I’ve been considering for a while now suggests that in order to perform at our best tomorrow it is going to take more of us than ever before! Whether we’re preparing for a presentation, sitting for an examination, or aiming at exceeding targeted goals, our best simply isn’t what it used to be. Don’t take it personally.

Change and competition have become such an important aspect of life, that we have now reached a point in history, which demands greater effort, just to meet yesterday’s standards. Consider your parents or grandparents. Unless they were a doctor, lawyer, or engineer, their professional success didn’t require the same education that is mandatory today. The same effort that has helped us to achieve in the past, is the same effort that will produce only mediocre results today.

Carol S. Pearson, author of the Hero Within, said “Virtually all of us understand that we are entering a time so challenging that qualities we once expected to find only in exceptional people now are required in everyone.”

It is a time for all to recognize and to champion our “inner resources.” Could we, ourselves be our best competitive advantage? We are more sophisticated now than ever. Just a decade, or so ago, the President of the United States made reference to “the nation’s journey.” Business texts reference leaders’ “heroic journeys.” Today’s Psychology provides therapy that encourages clients to accept the challenges that we have inherited, take up the struggle whatever it is, and create a life worth living. Engage fully in our lives, for this is our path, this is what life is all about. Allow ourselves to evolve, to grow, develop beyond our wildest dreams. These are really the only dreams worth striving for.

Imagine yourself just slightly missing your target and achieving mediocre results. How do you feel just imagining this? Now contrast this negative emotional image with a positively charged image of you throwing everything you’ve got into your next effort, in an attempt to, not merely meet expectations but to, join the ranks of those who have exceeded them. I’m not referring to gritting your teeth and putting pressure on yourself. I’m referring to consulting your Psychologist, increasing your self-knowledge, learning more about some of your subtlest strengths and weaknesses, then consciously and deliberately displaying your strengths and avoiding your weaknesses. This is the nature of sports psychology. This is the 212-degree message.

At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And steam can power a locomotive.

This must become the image that you see in your mind. Increasing temperature by a single degree is sufficient to move a 130-ton locomotive. The smallest changes can make all the difference in the world. Let yourself step up and really engage with the image of struggling to join those who have already made it.

Whatever your personal best means to you, I think this will help. This will push you over the top!

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Strategy

We all need a strategy for life.  A plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result: a strategy for getting ahead in the world. What we get in life or how we feel day in and day out, reflects our activities – our daily habits. We presume our activities will get us what we want and where we want to go because we figure our desires point us in the right direction. Right?

We both know that what we want, our urges, are not the same as our goals, things that we put careful thought to. Most of us learned about delayed gratification in our families or in grade school, college or university. Oh ya, remember? Delayed gratification is still actively robust in my life, almost daily. I’m one of those guys that just can’t have too many shirts. But what if I’m hoping to buy a new Lexus in the spring? Or I’m looking forward to a romantic vacation with my spouse on the Mexican Riviera this March. Well maybe I can have them all and maybe I can’t.

One thing is for sure, that whatever you want from life, if you don’t stop to plan and reflect upon your more long-term goals, you’re more likely to end up pushing them further away, substituting them with short-term immediate gratification. Living life spontaneously, responding to the day to day pressures of life, we don’t stop to plan, days come and go, and we wonder why life is the way it is. I may have a closet full of shirts but I’m driving a 10-year-old Civic.

The fact is, we all strategize, even if at a subconscious level. Perhaps we should be more careful of how unconscious decisions are affecting our lives. Maybe even give “time for reflection” a modicum of respect. I’d like to remind us all to consider creating regular opportunities to discuss and reflect. If we’re not slowing down, actively gaining control over or deliberately instituting positive goals, beliefs, and expectations into our psyche, maybe we’re really living a life of unconsidered habits, evolving in a way directed by our short-term urges, and not our well thought out plans. Be cautious, for one day your future may come calling and you may not like what it has to say.

So is there any good reason why we don’t devote some regularly scheduled time and effort to increasing our level of conscious awareness of our individual strategies?

Let’s get things going in our favor. Let’s make things happen. Let’s change the direction of life so that it’s unfolding in our direction. Let’s experience more joy, better connections, let’s explore, feel proud of our lives, what we’re creating and what we’re contributing. Because we cannot, not contribute.

What if we both had all the time we needed to talk and reflect upon our own personal strategies?

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