“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.”
~ Lao Tzu ~
Dennis felt excited at this new recognition. He’d just been asked to take a considerable promotion. He wasn’t new to leadership, but this was certainly a new position. A stretch. He was moving into a position of greater responsibility. He now had five teams to oversee. Some of the people he didn’t even know.
Dennis knew in order to succeed at this new job, he needed extra preparation. He didn’t have a lot of time to be up and running. He had to learn the essentials of this new leadership position right away.
One of his first steps was to Google “first 90 days as a leader online resources.” There he found articles and resource books. “I wanted to follow the principle of ‘Be. Know. Do’,” said Dennis. “I didn’t want to shoot from the hip.”
To get himself up and running in the shortest amount of time, Dennis decided to focus on these qualities.
- Resilient. Every leader will face some opposition. He needed to be prepared for a lack of agreement with his vision and direction. Also, managers, especially new leaders, make mistakes. That’s part of the risk taking. It’s why they were hired to lead. Dennis realized he needed to accept that mistakes and failures were part of the job. The important thing was to be resilient. Keep going. Keep confident. Keep motivated.
- Unique. Dennis was not hired to do the same old thing. “I needed to recognize my unique strengths and abilities,” Dennis said. “I bring my own brand, my own personality to the mix—and that’s a good thing.” Dennis knew he was good at cross-pollination, bringing ideas and methods used in other industries and finding applicability in his area.
- Thoughtful. The last leader had been autocratic. Dennis wanted to thoughtfully consider the merits of every team member’s ideas. He expected to research—online, and with company resources—to thoughtfully asses the strengths and limitations of the choices. “I wanted to avoid the ‘ready, fire, aim’ I saw in some management,” Dennis said.
- Vision. Dennis needed to know the course he wanted to go. He had to have a clear vision of his position, his responsibilities, and his goals.
- People. There were many new people for Dennis to get to know. He wanted to understand their strengths, their personalities, their attitudes, and how they fit with the teams.
- Culture. Even though Dennis was pretty familiar with the corporate culture, this new position put him in a different aspect of it. He needed to learn what was expected of him in as a leader in this particular place.
- Lead with Confidence. “Once I determined I was the kind of leader I needed to be, and I knew what I needed to know, I wanted to lead with confidence,” Dennis said. “I wanted my people to feel confident I knew what I was doing. I wanted them comfortable following me.”
- Set an Example. Dennis liked leaders that led by example. He wanted to make sure all his actions were impeccable. “If I asked my people to do something, I wanted them to know I was willing to do it too,” Dennis said. “I had skin in the game.”
- Embrace Change. Dennis works in an evolving industry. It is constantly changing. Rather than being reluctant to move in a new direction or cling to established ways, Dennis determined to embrace the change and lead the way.
Dennis implemented his plan. He used online resources freely and felt that he learned new leader essentials faster than he had anticipated. “I’m glad I put in the work early on,” Dennis said. “It really paid off. I feel comfortable in my position and I’ve heard feedback that my workers respect me.”
Just landed your dream leadership position? Contact Joel to learn the new leader essentials that will launch you to success.
Talkback: What have you found most helpful as a new leader? What tips or techniques would you recommend?
“Don’t confuse Career Advancement with Career Development or Career Counseling.
Career Development is about work skills. Career Counseling is about work placement skills. Career Advancement is about political skills and working the system.”
~ L. Flores ~
Carter works as a healthcare executive in a large regional hospital. “The new healthcare law changes the whole game,” he says. “The hospital is scrambling to find new ways to cut costs. Long time positions are under the ax and people need to expect to do more.”
Career development is important to Carter. He not only wants to keep his job, he wants to grow with the new changes. Carter entered healthcare because he loves serving and making a difference to people. Now his goal is to find a way to make the new laws work in his hospital. At the same time, he wants to continue to grow his career.
“I asked myself a series of questions so I could position myself for success,” Carter said. “I wanted to continue to add value to the hospital and to advance myself.”
1. What’s Changing? To stay on top of things, Carter needed to know what would be changing. This meant reading up on the trends, the commentaries, even going into the thousands and thousands of pages of the new law.
He checked with other hospitals to see how they were dealing with the impact.
2. What’s Essential? Carter looked at all the hospital staff to evaluate what could be cut and what was most essential. Who was adding value?
Next he examined how he could add value. What could he do in his current position to best assist the hospital transition? Which positions above him would likely be retained?
“It would be stupid to try to work into a job that might not be there in a year or two,” Carter said. “So I needed to be strategic in looking at my career development.
3. What New Qualifications Do I Need? “As I looked at that next position, I evaluated what additional skills, education, and leadership I would need to step into that healthcare executive spot,” Carter said. He listed them and worked to put himself in the place to get them.
“Ideally, I didn’t just want to match the skills of that executive,” Carter said. “I wanted to be better. I wanted to be more qualified.”
4. How Can I Make Myself Indispensable? “I decided to develop my career by making myself as valuable as I could. Both in my current job and my desired advancement, I wanted to be known as the guy who would always come through.” Carter said.
He looked at what was important to his boss. And he tried to make sure that everything he did added to the bottom line of the hospital. Cost-cutting ideas. Streamlining processes. Technological advancements.
“I felt if I added value to my boss and his goals, and if I made a difference to the hospital’s focus of both patient care and cost cutting, that would be the best use of my time and efforts,” Carter said. “I also worked to make sure my work was visible to key people.”
For Carter, his questions and answers paid off. He saw his career develop as he moved into the healthcare executive position he’d wanted. And he continued to gain fulfillment in the industry he loved.
If your healthcare job may be at risk, contact Joel and learn the skills and resources to keep your job and advance your career.
Talkback: What have you done to keep your career development on track in the midst of the healthcare law changes?
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“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”
~ Nelson Mandela ~
Gayle wanted to move up in her HR job. After careful consideration, Gayle decided to complete her Professional Human Resources Certification. She had been working in HR long enough that she could move forward with certification.
“I really wanted to be more competitive. I know HR can be a tough field,” She said. While the course was not easy and the test challenging, it really lifted her to a new level. She gained knowledge and skills that were exactly what she needed to grow.
She hoped the Professional Human Resources Certification (PHR) –and the initials behind her name–would give her a competitive advantage. It did.
“But I was surprised at all the other ways the training helped me,” Gayle said. “It really made a difference.”
Here are six ways a professional human resources certificate will help your hr career.
- Life-long learner. ”You need to be re-certified every three years,” Gayle said, “So people know you are current on the newest best practices in HR.” Gayle feels the program motivates her to keep learning and growing.
- Increased credibility. Those with the HR Certification can put the letters after their name. Immediately, peers, leaders, and prospective employers know this person has reached a standard of ability.
The rating and testing is unbiased and demonstrates absolute knowledge of core skills. ”I feel like it gives me credibility,” Gayle says. ”I don’t have to toot my own horn. The letters do it for me.”
- Master of core HR principles. The certification courses requires both learning and application in a real world environment. Participants must demonstrate proficiency in key skills. Employers know there’s less need to train new hires who have passed these exams. Their skills sets and understanding of HR has already been validated.”
Because you need both education and practical experience for the test, employers know it’s not just theory,” Gayle said. ”You have practiced and applied it, too.”
- Initiative and leadership. ”Not everyone takes this step,” Gayle says. ”It takes effort and really makes you a leader.” Gayle has also appreciated the professional group she’s become a part of. ”Having that connection to other PHR’s and SPHR’s creates a community and a network.”
Only about 130,000 people in 100 countries have mastered these exams. That gives Gayle a leadership position.Respect from peers. “I find that my word seems to carry weight,” Gayle says. Peers know her training and skills. If she declares something as a best practice, her peers don’t question her.
- Confidence. The skills Gayle gained as she studied and prepared for the Professional Human Resources Certificate have been a great benefit. ”It’s really given me self-assurance,” Gayle said. “I feel a great deal of confidence in my ability to do my job. And I know that I stand out as I market myself.”
Certification combines education, experience, and an examination to insure knowledge. It acts as a standard and a path to exceptional opportunities. After getting her PHR certificate, Gayle was able to advance her career quickly. She said, “My new boss said that the certification weighted in my favor for getting the promotion,” Gayle said.
Are you wondering if certification is the next step to advance your career? Contact Joel for guidance in your career path.
Talkback: In your experience, how essential are these cognitive traits for successful leadership?
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“If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.”
~Daniel Goleman ~
Henry is in high level management of a dominant retail company. Because it spreads nationally with global products, Henry deals with leaders on all levels.
“We’ve learned that intelligence, determination, and vision alone, will not guarantee a successful leader,” Henry says. “When we can accelerate cognitive development, we have a better chance at creating successful managers and executives.”
Henry explains that they like promoting from within. The more they can understand and accelerate the abilities of their team to grow these leadership skills, the more successful their leaders become.
“Cognitive development is a way of thinking differently,” Henry says. “How do they interact, motivate, and regulate themselves? How do they think about themselves and to what degree are they concerned about others?”
Henry feels these five specific skills give them a higher probability of becoming successful leaders.
1. Realistic Self-Confidence. Good leaders understand who they are. They recognize their moods, emotions, and what drives them. They know that their moods affect those around them. Their excitement is contagious. Their displeasure can be motivating or discouraging depending on how they use it.
People with cognitive awareness of their strengths and weaknesses tend to not take themselves too seriously. They can laugh at themselves as they build up others.
2. Self Control. Powerful leaders learn not to react immediately to problems or situations. They have the ability to suspend judgment and to think before acting. This gives them time to consider alternatives and options, to step back and evaluate more thoroughly. They can be open to change.
Self control also helps leaders avoid leading with negative emotions. When they master themselves, it’s easier to act with integrity and to be trustworthy.
3. Motivation. Every leader must be a self-starter. Sometimes it seems leadership is swimming upstream. It takes that inner motivation to move forward and influence your organization to produce.
Leaders need a passion beyond money to motivate them to want to work. Even beyond status. “This is one of the traits we discover,” Henry says. “If the leader we are grooming doesn’t have this motivation, there’s not much we can do.”
You’ll see evidence of a manager’s motivation through his team’s commitment to succeed and his or her strong desire to achieve.
4. Understanding People. Leaders need to know what makes people tick. What emotions cause them to work hard? What concerns reduce efficiency? Good leaders are adept at seeing things from someone else’s point of view. Then, the master leader uses that knowledge to help each person be their best.
Leaders develop cognitive awareness of the people around them. This accelerates their leadership expertise as they build trust and retain talent. They exhibit more cross-cultural sensitivity and give better service to customers and clients because they have empathy.
5. Relationship Management. “We find our successful leaders understand how to build networks,” Henry said. “They listen. They respond. And the employees respond to them. It can’t be a manipulative kind of thing. It has to be genuine.”
Leaders use social skills to find common ground, build rapport, and persuade. This is essential in team building. The majority of our communications are non-verbal. A raised eye-brow. A nod. A pat on the back. Leaders with great social skills connect with their organization.
As Henry works with his succession plan, he tries to develop these cognitive leadership traits and increase their strength in each prospective leader. “When we do this, we find it accelerates or amplifies all their other virtues of intelligence, skill sets, and experience,” Henry says. “We are pleased with our results.”
Are you looking for a way to ramp up the effective cognitive development of your leadership? Contact Joel to help you expand on these traits.
Talkback: In your experience, how essential are these cognitive traits for successful leadership?
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“Figure out what you are meant to contribute to the world and make sure you contribute it. If this requires public speaking or networking or other activities that make you uncomfortable, do them anyway. But accept that they’re difficult, get the training you need to make them easier, and reward yourself when you’re done.”
~Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking~
Kevin works as a compliance officer for an insurance company. “I have always been an introvert,” Kevin said. “I really enjoy quiet, alone time.”
He looked for careers that would be suitable to his introverted personality. “They say that engineers, scientists, accounting are all great jobs for introverts. But I hated math,” he said.
Sophia Dembling, author of The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World says, “What careers are good for introverts? Whatever interests them.”
Kevin realized he couldn’t be in tech fields, because they just didn’t interest him. Rather, he chose a field he loved and then figured out how to adjust to it.
Every job has a mix of skills that require both quiet time and time with others. Introverts can adjust and balance those times.
Use Your Strengths
Introverts are good listeners. They can be quiet and give others the opportunity to share. They can think and ponder.
“When I talk with others on compliance issues, I find they are much more amenable to doing things the necessary way after I’ve given them a chance to talk and explain their position,” Kevin said. “Sometimes they bring up valid points. But in any case, they feel like they’ve been heard and understood. It makes my job easier.”
Introverts can use quiet time efficiently.
“I have a program or a pattern I use that works for me,” Kevin says. “When I get to my office, and it’s quiet, I accomplish a lot.”
Structure Your Work to Suit You
There are times when things get very busy and Kevin needs to interact with people… sometimes with high emotional content. He organizes and balances his work time to regenerate.
1. Take a Break. There may be times introverts just need to step out and take a break. Lunch time may be taken in the car, at a quiet park or even in the library.
You may schedule breaks to take a rest from the din. You know your capacity. You know your work location. Find quiet spots to restore your equilibrium.
2. Turn it off. When Kevin comes back to the office after stressful meetings, he turns off the phone. He hangs a sign on the door that says, “Focusing. If you’re not dead or dying, please don’t disturb.”
He has trained his colleagues to respect his time for silence and thought.
“It’s not just introverts that need quiet to focus,” Kevin said. “In our office many others have taken to scheduling blocks of time for focused work. They tell me they are amazed at how much they accomplish.”
Kevin said he’s learned that as he understands and takes care of himself, he’s more successful. “Introverts can succeed at any job,” Kevin says. “Who’s to label these jobs introvert jobs and those extrovert jobs? Steve Martin, the actor, is an introvert. Warren Buffet’s an introvert. People in sales can be introverts and still be very successful.”
Kevin’s advice: Choose the job you love and you’ll figure out how to make it work for you.
Need help figuring out how to adjust your job to your introvert tendencies? Contact Joel for individualized assistance.
Talkback: How have you adjusted or arranged your job to support you as an introvert?
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