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6 Strategies for Becoming a Persuasive Speaker

Many years ago, as I prepared for one of my first presentations as a leader, I remember filling each PowerPoint slide with information, ready to “wow” my audience. I don’t remember the outcome of that presentation, but I’m pretty sure my audience was glazed over as I went through and read each slide in detail. Although I have learned to be more concise and persuasive over the years, one of my biggest challenges as a…

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5 Things to Start Doing This Year

Do you want to elevate your leadership impact this year? Leaders are busy, and sometimes it’s a challenge to just get through the day. But we often put off doing the things that will help us make a bigger impact and get better results for ourselves and the organization. Where we focus our time has a significant impact on our success in leadership. Here are the top five things I think leaders should start doing…

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Small Changes Lead to Big Results

It’s the start of a fresh, new year. The opportunity to break out of old patterns and instill new habits. For years I wrote “New Year Resolutions” and got ready to change my life when the clock struck midnight. Whether it was eating healthier, exercising more, or being a better leader, my approach was that when the calendar turned to January, I hit the reset button and dove into my new and improved self. And…

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How I overcome self-criticism

I found myself getting anxious a couple of weeks ago as I realized that the end of the year is approaching. Before the start of each year, I set goals for my personal and professional life. The anxiety began to build as I realized there were a few goals I haven’t made any progress toward. For example, one of my business goals this year was to start a video blog. I started to feel bad…

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Building Accountability in Your Team

One of the biggest challenges leaders express to me is getting people to be accountable for results and take ownership and responsibility in their jobs. When people aren’t accountable, the challenge often grows into a cultural issue with a lack of accountability across the organization. Leaders often ask me, “How can I better hold my people accountable?” First, I believe we can’t “hold” people accountable. Accountability is about taking ownership; it’s taking responsibility for one’s…

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Eight Ways to Overcome Perfectionism

I was recently working with one of my executive clients on the area of perfectionism. She talked about the standards she places on herself; feeling inadequate if she makes one mistake, mulling over it for days as the uneasiness builds.  This is an area I know all too well. I’ve struggled with perfectionism throughout my life, and have often wasted a great deal of time and energy striving to create the perfect business plan, the…

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Do top grades in school predict great leadership?

I was a good student in high school, but not at the top of my class. If I didn’t find a subject appealing (um, chemistry) I didn’t put as much effort into it as I know I should have. So I was relieved when I read an article that said emotional intelligence is more important than IQ when it comes to being a successful leader. It turns out you don’t have to be valedictorian to be…

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Why you should never vent to your boss

Several months ago I was facilitating a workshop on communication, and the topic of venting came up. One manager shared that she consistently vents to her boss about challenges in her position, like interpersonal issues with employees or coworkers. She felt since she has a good relationship with her vice president, that it seemed natural to vent to her when she was having challenges. “I need someone to vent my frustrations to so I can…

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Why learning is overrated

I’ve always loved to learn. I read almost every day and often push myself to get through as many books as possible. I consider myself a lifelong learner, but I sometimes find myself overwhelmed with information. I often struggle to keep up with the books, ideas, articles and resources there are to improve my leadership and my life. Up until a couple months ago, I thought learning was an important aspect of being a successful…

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How you may be sabotaging your relationship with employees

We are getting ready to remodel our kitchen, and I contacted several contractors to visit our home to discuss the project and provide an estimate. One didn’t return our initial calls, one came out and we had to follow up three times before he sent the estimate, and one called us back within a day and sent his estimate within two days of our meeting. It was not a hard to decide who to hire…

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