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Management

The Best Holiday Gift for Your Employees

The holidays are upon us, and if you’re anything like me, you are already overwhelmed trying to keep up with work while you prepare for holiday parties, find those perfect gifts, get the holiday cards out, and bake four dozen cookies for the school holiday program (my deadline is Friday). Beyond all the stress there is also anticipation and joy that this season brings as we spend time with those we love and feel grateful…

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A Day in the Life of a Leader

Right out of college, I worked in the IT department as a help desk representative for an insurance company in upstate New York where I grew up. I was the person you called if you had a computer problem, forgot your password, or couldn’t get your macros to work in Word Perfect.  I didn’t really know much about leadership or managing, but from the outside, it looked pretty cool. Better pay, better title, a nice…

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An Important Skill for Parenting and Leadership

Last month I attended an event for professional speakers where a well-known keynote speaker shared ways to create connection with your audience. During his speech, he mentioned the town in upstate New York where he grew up. He grew up only 15 minutes from my hometown, so I was excited to talk with him afterwards. He certainly created a connection with me in that moment. We had something in common. His speech was excellent, and…

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The Benefits of a Personal Retreat

A couple of weeks ago, I spent two days in West Virginia for an individual business retreat. I used this time to review my goals and progress, make necessary adjustments, and work on some strategic goals that I find challenging to complete during my everyday work. It can be hard to find time to really focus and get meaningful work done when you are surrounded by distractions, interruptions, and a calendar booked with meetings. Sometimes…

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How to Calm Type A Tendencies

I’ve often admired people who are flexible and laid back; who have a more carefree approach to life and live in the moment. I know I can benefit from a dose of that approach, although I’ll admit those traits often trigger my Type A tendencies. I like to seize the day, get a lot done, check things off my list, and feel a sense of accomplishment most of the day. When I took the StrengthsFinder…

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How to Develop Your Leadership Brand

What value do you bring as a leader? What do you stand for? How do others see you? When you think of branding, you might think of marketing strategies used at big companies like Disney, Apple, or Zappos. But we all have a brand, whether we realize it or not. Your personal brand is how you appear to the world. It’s how others see you. It’s your reputation. Your strengths, values, behaviors, and habits all…

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5 Ways to Earn a Promotion or Raise

I was recently facilitating a leadership program and a participant expressed her frustration that she hadn’t been promoted. Lately, her supervisor had assigned her some extra work, and she felt she should be recognized and compensated for the additional effort. She went to her boss to advocate for a promotion, and was surprised when her efforts were unsuccessful and her manager was annoyed by the request. There may be times when asking for a promotion…

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Millennials Are Not The Problem…You Are

I was preparing breakfast for my three kids last weekend, and my three year-old son was whining and crying like someone had stolen his blankie. “What’s wrong, Luca?” I said (sort-of) calmly. “I wanted the blue cup!!” he yelled. I could feel my impatience start to creep in as I poured his milk from the green cup into the blue cup. As I set it down on the table he yelled, “Not there! I want…

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The Top 5 Reasons Employees Leave

In 1998, I moved from my native New York to Washington, DC searching for a fresh start. I needed to get away after some of the toughest months of my life: my parents were divorcing after 25 years of marriage, I had just broken up with my boyfriend, and my grandfather had just died of Alzheimer’s disease. I figured things could only get better. My best friend from college lived in DC, so I quit…

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Characteristics of Influential Leaders

My first job after college was as a help desk service representative in an insurance company. I knew it wasn’t a position I wanted to be in long-term, but it was a way to get my foot in the door. After working in that position for a few months, I realized that I wanted to work towards a leadership role. It seemed so glamorous–having the authority to make decisions, being in charge of a department,…

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