5 Ways to Develop Executive Presence

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“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.”

~ Epictetus ~

When Connor walks into a room, all eyes turn toward him. He commands a presence that is unmistakable. He projects confidence, and people instinctively trust him. He speaks with authority.

Connor has executive presence.

As I describe the traits that Connor and other successful leaders possess, ask yourself: Where do I stand? What do I do well? What needs improvement?

If you have executive presence, you have an aura or magnetism or charisma that draws others to you. You’re a compelling force inside your organization or work group. When you speak, people listen, feel inspired and uplifted. You convey confidence, are respected as an authority, know how to create impact, provide value and know how to get noticed.

Think about your peers, your bosses, other executive leaders, famous people and your friends. Who has EP? Who doesn’t? Executive presence is your secret to your success. Exploit your potential. Your own greatness. It all comes from executive presence.

You can cultivate executive presence through training and practice. You’ll know you’re making progress when you:

1. See the Big Picture. 
You’re a strategic, “big picture” thinker who doesn’t become mired down in tactics. You think “outside the cubical” and take a whole company perspective when solving problems or seeking new opportunities. You’re able to communicate in financial terms to show your worth where it matters most – the company’s bottom line.

2. Are Willing to Take Risks. 
You capitalize on ambiguity and change. Leaders are revealed and careers are made for those able to navigate stormy seas. You challenge yourself and stretch your capabilities. You’re able to conquer self-doubt and break through self-imposed limitations by seeking out opportunities to move beyond your comfort zone.

3. Develop Strong Interpersonal Skills. 
You build confidence, trust and credibility by speaking clearly and persuasively. You think and act more like a leader than a manager. As a leader, you’ll inspire and motivate others by advocating what’s best for the organization, not just your work group. And, when you’re successful, you’re willing to share the limelight with others.

4. Focus on the Things that Matter Most. 
You improve your productivity, influence and reputation for high-level achievement when you focus on the things that matter most. Not only will you be a peak performer, you’ll maintain a healthy balance in your life.

5. Constantly Seek to Improve Yourself. 
You find personal fulfillment and professional success by capitalizing on your strengths and minimizing your mistakes. You encourage feedback to demonstrate your passion for self-development and desire to contribute to your company’s success. You increase your growth potential by investing in the most important asset you possess – yourself.

Developing your executive presence may seem like a daunting task. There is a lot of work involved, but it’s the kind of work that will have far-reaching, long-lasting benefits. You will become more motivated, you’ll learn how recognize and promote your own value and you’ll develop a meaningful and effective career plan. These are all things you can accomplish on your way to becoming a better leader.

If executive presence is something you need to work on, consider taking advantage of Joel’s executive presence coaching services, and start developing traits that will make you stand out in any leadership role.

Talkback: Do you know someone whose presence makes them stand out? What about you? Is this an area you need to work on?

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The “Swiss Army Knife” Tool for Optimum Leadership Development

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“Using coaching instead of sending executives and managers to seminars two or three times a year can be more beneficial to ongoing career development, not to mention less expensive…”

~ PC Week ~

Client Fahad Asks:  There are so many programs out there claiming to develop leadership in people. It’s hard to know which are effective and which are money-stealers.  Isn’t there one tool that can do it all?  Can’t it be simple?

Coach Joel Answers:  Great question, Fahad.

When you’re looking for a tool, you want something simple, effective, and right for the job.  You want best value and precise results.  We all know what happens when we try to use the wrong tool for the job.  It can ruin things.

To answer your question, there is something that works for developing leadership in people. It works in all cases. Like the Swiss army knife, it holds all the implements needed to solve the problem at hand.

Let’s discuss how leadership coaching can be your tool of choice.

1. Simple. Rather than buying dozens of books or manuals, courses or online lessons, choose one qualified coach.  It simplifies the decision making process.

You don’t have to spend hours figuring out the trade-offs between programs.  With a coach that understands your business and your succession management, you have the best possible tool.

2. Effective. Rather than programs that give a blanket approach, your coach offers leadership development keyed directly to the individual. The give-and-take feedback allows for optimum growth. People can solve their concerns, increase their skill levels, and be prepared to rise to the top.

3. Best Value. Leadership coaches can address the issues faster and more directly than any program or training series. Instead of wasting money on generic training that only is partially effective, use 100% of your funds on meaningful achievement.

Coaches can focus on the specific areas that need improvement and bring fast results.

4. Precision Results. The shot-gun effect of most training programs may leave some of your potential leaders still searching for answers to their problems. It may be they just have a few questions that could be simply addressed.  But those questions are unique to them.

When you have a live coach and the give-and-take feedback, these concerns can be addressed quickly bringing instant results. Rather than taking a course to accomplish the job, a coach may build the leadership of your people very quickly.

5. Right for the Job. Because every individual is unique, the tool to help them needs to be individualized. To insure your leadership development is exactly fitted for your people, you need a leadership coach.  They will adapt and fit the needs and goals of both your employees and the management.

They can offer specialized and unique training that exactly fits the needs of your rising stars. They understand the value of company culture and can work directly with management to formulate training that gives maximum results.

Fahad, you ask a good question. Rather than waste time and energy on expensive training courses, focus on individual coaching to give you effective, precise results. You’ll find that as you develop a relationship with that leadership coach he or she will be able to give you stronger leaders who are immediately effective.

If you’re seeking to develop great leaders and want a leadership coach who can give powerful, prompt results, contact Joel.

Talkback: How have you found leadership coaching effective for you or your company?

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Business Leadership Program – 6 Skills you MUST Teach

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“Promotion means finding new ways of being successful- and walking away from the old ways that defined success.  A leader who tries to be the same leader across all levels is not going to be successful at all.”

~ Matt Pease, DDI Vice President ~

Client Jamie Asks: There are many people in my organization that could benefit from increased executive presence. What should I look for in a business leadership training program? What skills can I expect my people to gain from such a program?

Coach Joel Answers: This is an important step. Your executives and those you are grooming for leadership need to have a whole company perspective. To be successful they must move from a tactical day-to-day approach to a more strategic overview. Here are six skill sets you’ll want your business leaders to develop.

  1. Step away from the day-to-day. There’s a saying: When you’re up to your ankles in alligators, it’s hard to remember you’re here to drain the swamp. Executives face many compelling day-to-day problems that can eat up all their time. Help your executives learn how to set aside a specific part of their day to reflect on ways they and their team can contribute to the company’s bottom line.
  2. Look at the big picture. It’s no longer enough to excel in your area. You need a clear view of how your work contributes to the overall success of the company. Get your program to help your leaders elevate their sights.
  3. Gain self-confidence. This is a mind game, but it’s based on past performance. People need to know they are doing a good job. A key training program will help your leaders assess their past ideas and work. This builds self-assurance which will give then that executive presence that makes people want to follow them.
  4. Do the work. Find a program that focuses on teaching skills that give real, measurable results. People need to deliver on the high profile jobs they are given. When they manage every project so their work shines, they demonstrate their abilities to co-workers and supervisors. And it gives your people confidence they have the necessary skills to perform at that high level.
  5. Recognize and seize opportunities. Part of situational awareness is looking beyond current tasks. What else needs to be done? Is there a gap that someone is not filling? Can you take the initiative?  Successful executive training courses help with the mind shift necessary to look beyond the average and take those opportunities.
  6. Focus on solutions. Far too many people spend lots of time discussing the problems. They may lament the shortcomings or complain about the problem. Good leadership seminars will show people how to find solutions.

Jamie, you are wise to look at training your leaders from within. You already know their work ethic and they know the company culture. But leaders don’t just grow on their own.

They need extra and different skill sets. They need a professional to coach and train them to perform at their optimum level. The abilities that have grown them to this point are not sufficient to get them to the top. Unless you train them in those new ways of thinking and acting, you will not help them acquire that executive presence.

Of course you and I both know it can’t be a façade. It can’t be for looks. That leadership, that executive presence has to be backed by a history of success and by skills and vision.

If you need one or two people to gain these skills, I recommend individual coaching. If you want a group of people to grow, a business leadership course can be brought to your executives and tailored to their challenges and the needs of your company.

For more information on how Joel can help your leaders gain that executive presence, contact him.

Talkback: Have you found programs that were successful in developing your leaders?
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Use Talent Management Articles to
Super-charge Your Company’s Human Resources

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“If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings—and put compensation as a carrier behind it—you almost don’t have to manage them.”

~ Jack Welch~

Carlos oversees the human resources department for an expanding oil company. As part his goal to educate and improve abilities of HR and the staff to manage human capital, he decided to find and share great articles. “I wanted a resource that would be of value for our employees and managers,” Carlos said.

“I wanted our people to understand that they could have more control over their advancement,” Carlos said. “It’s not just HR that controls talent management, leaders and workers have a say, too.”

Carlos researched talent management articles for human resources he could draw on for information to share. “Often I’ll ask the writer of a great article if I can repost it for my people,” Carlos said. “I know it’s unethical to just lift it from the web without permission.” Even without permission, however, it is acceptable to quote excerpts and provide a link back to the original article.

Great talent management articles can offer education and value nearly equivalent to semesters of coursework. Carlos looked for articles with depth and vision.

Ten Ways to Keep Your Star Employees is a great example of the best kind of article for his managers. “It fit right in with both empowering employees and managing talent, Carlos said. “Look at some of the points it covers!”

  • Empowering employees use their own gifts.
  • Discovering tasks your top talent loves to do.
  • Focusing on what workers are doing right in feedback and less on what’s wrong.
  • Communicating effectively so each person- management and staff- understand the task, the company policies, and what’s expected.
  • Helping your employees work smarter, not harder.
  • Offering quality of life enhancements—even when the tough economy doesn’t let you pay them more.
  • Letting employees focus more on what they enjoy.
  • Looking for advancement opportunities for your employees and helping them find those openings within the company for themselves.
  • Coaching and mentoring as a way to increase skills, value to the company, and chances for advancement.

Carlos also found cost effective ways to improve employee morale with this article: How Managers Can Improve Their Workplaces for Employees. The article covered the value of:

  • Keeping lines of communication open so employees feel their comments matter.
  • Adjusting work schedules with flex-time and other ways to keep talent that might otherwise leave the workforce.
  • Recognizing accomplishments—which have been show to add satisfaction to workers.
  • Developing programs and plans for workers to increase their skill levels. This increases the talent pool and makes the job of human resources easier.

“As I looked at talent management articles, some were particularly appropriate from a human resources perspective,” Carlos said. “3 Reasons to Invest in Leadership Development added to my understanding of the value of outside coaching in ways I hadn’t considered.” It said:

  • Coaching and training is cheaper than bringing on new recruits. The cost of training them and bringing them up to speed is much higher than training or coaching current employees.
  • Outside coaching relieves a burden on managers and allows managers to focus on their company job. Plus, you have an expert trainer teaching your employees, instead of a manager whose skills lie in a different direction.
  • Talent development benefits both the company and the employees. The company creates a succession plan of rising leaders and keeps proprietary information within the company. Staff knows they are valued and appropriately challenged.

“I found great value in reading talent management articles to help me with my company’s human resources,” Carlos said. “It also gave me insights into breaking news and new ways of using traditional strategies.” Carlos likes the fast learning that comes from articles and plans to continue mining top articles for more valuable information to help him retain his company’s top talent.

If you’re looking for articles on leadership, management, and work issues, visit Joel’s website. For assistance building your company’s human resources, contact Joel.

Talkback: Have you read a great article? Let us know so we can all enjoy it.

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Six Articles to Fix Your Employee Retention Issue

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“An employee’s motivation is a direct result of the sum of interactions with his or her manager.”

~ Bob Nelson~

Client Joan Asks: We’ve been really struggling with an employee retention problem.  I’d like to help my managers determine where the problem may lie and come up with some solutions we can implement to keep our employees productive and happy.

Do you have some articles I could recommend to them that would help?

Coach Joel Answers: I like the direction you are going, Joan.  If you allow your managers to read up on the way other people have resolved this problem, you get some buy in.

Then when they come to the table to discuss their ideas and solutions, you already have them taking ownership of the problem. They will be more interested in working toward a solution.

Here are six articles that will get you started.

1. How Managers Can Improve Their Workplaces for Employees.  Joan, the fact is, most employees leave because of their boss and the management.  The great thing about the suggestions in this article is that you don’t need to bust your budget to accomplish these strategies.

You’ll find seven simple steps you and your managers can take immediately to help retain more employees. Read Employee Retention Article.

2. Ten Ways to Keep Your Star Employees.  Anytime you have top talent, you want to have them happy and secure with you.  One of the issues that surfaces with rising stars is they will not stay if they don’t feel they are doing fulfilling work. Also, if they feel they are totally inundated with work they may become discouraged. Read Star Employees Article.

3. Highly Engaged Workplace.  Sometimes you find workers just “biding their time” at their job.  They don’t feel committed to the work. They stick it out because of the down economy, but don’t feel any loyalty to your company.  This article helps you identify the key things that bring your employees fulfillment.

When you find those benefits and work situation that engages your workers, you change them from “waiting to leave,” to “wanting to stay.”  It changes the entire workplace environment. Read Engaged Workplace Article.

4. How Men and Women in Leadership Can Help Employees Succeed.  When employees are properly trained and feel they are using their skill sets to succeed, they enjoy their jobs more.

Use this article to examine the training opportunities you have in place. Do your workers need tutoring, mentoring, coaching or on-the-job training to feel more valuable?  Are your employees confused about expectations and how you define success? This article will help you evaluate your workers better. Read Help Employees Succeed Article.

5. Give Employees What They Need. Sometimes as you evaluate your employee retention issue, you may discover that you have not given your staff the tools they need to succeed.

When workers stand on uncertain ground, they seek the security of another job.   With this article you’ll find six tips to strengthen your employees’ commitment to succeed at your job instead of looking elsewhere. Read Keep Employees Motivated Article.

6. Why Did They Leave? How to Retain Workers by Surveying Employees After They Resign. What’s the best way to determine whether your employees are happy or unhappy and why? Ask them! This article explains the importance of surveying current employees and provides examples of questions to include on your survey. Read How to Retain Workers Article.

Joan, as your managers look at these employee retention articles, they will see where they can strengthen the workplace and their management skills.  When employees enjoy their job, their manager, their work environment, and their pay you will find your retention problem disappears.

Looking for the solutions to your employee retention issues? Contact Joel for options specifically designed for your situation.

Talkback: What articles have you read lately that could help managers keep their workers satisfied? 

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