Get the Most Out of Corporate Executive Coaching?

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“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

~Peter F. Drucker~

Client Jakob Asks: I’m in upper management in an international corporation and I want to move higher in my company.  My peers have leveraged corporate executive coaching. Sometimes I see great results, but sometime I don’t see that it made a dramatic difference for them.  What can I do to make sure my executive coaching boosts me up the corporate ladder?

Coach Joel Answers:  Executive coaching is a significant investment, not only in money, but in time and commitment. You want it to be meaningful to you.

What you get out of it depends on how much effort you put into it.

Be an Active Participant

A tepid response to coaching will produce weak improvement.  To get the most from your coaching you need to approach it with goals in mind.  Discuss them with your coach and then focus on them.

1. Build New Skills. The skills and traits that have gotten you to this point are not sufficient to take you to the very top of the corporate ladder.  Your coach will help you build skills sets and habits for the level of management you will be doing.

2. Be Present.  When you meet with your coach, close off all distractions.  Don’t answer the phone or email or search the web. Focus.  Give your entire attention to presenting issues and seeking solutions.

3. Be Teachable.  Humility sometimes seems at odds with confidence that comes with a top corporate job. But true confidence allows you to be humble and teachable. Jakob, when you resist criticism or new ideas, you stop your progress.  Be willing to accept ideas without rebutting or rationalizing. Consider their merit.  Be eager for growth. Then you set the stage for great progress.

4. Be Committed to Success.  In the beginning, you gave me the top 3 goals you wanted to gain from this engagement.  Make it meaningful and achievable goals.  Then be willing to do what it takes to accomplish it.  Your coach will guide you and give you suggestions and insights that will help you reach your goals faster than you could on your own.

5. Take Action. Learning without doing is like sitting at dinner without eating.  It accomplishes little.  The natural next step to learning is putting what you’ve learned into action.  There is a tendency to think you don’t know enough.

Often people enter this learning mode without moving forward.  Resist it.  Once you know, take action.  Yes, you’ll need to refine and correct.  But your learning increases as you act on what you know.

6. Overcome Fears.  Change involves risk.  It’s moving out of the safe zone into the unknown.  Your coach understands that, and you should too.  Be willing to take that risk.  Dare to be great. Stumbles are a part of life.  Don’t stand still because you are unwilling to make a mistake.

7. Break Habits. Powerful, significant executive coaching takes place when clients are willing and ready to break habits that are holding them back.  Your coach will help you recognize what traits are limiting you.

But only you can make the decision that your success is more important than those old habits. If you want your coaching to have the desired results, you must be willing to leave the restraining behaviors behind.

Jakob, you are smart to start achieving now.  Building new skills takes time. But when you commit to achieving your goal and are willing to put in the focus, time and effort, you’ll see that your corporate executive coaching will take you where you want to go.

When you connect a skilled executive coach with a willing, motivated manager you will see the dramatic results you desire.

If you’re interested in making the most of your corporate executive coaching experience talk to Joel.  He will help you focus, step out in new ways, and build habits of success. Connect now.

Talkback: How successful has your executive coaching experience been?  What was the thing that had the most impact on your upward advancement?

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Stuck in a rut at work?
How to Escape From Desperation Swamp

Stuck

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”

~ Henry David Thoreau ~

Client Kevin Asks:  I am so stuck in a rut with my present job—it feels like walking through quicksand. I know what the next step is, the promotion to the job I want but I’m so busy doing what the current job demands that I have no time to even plan a strategy for moving ahead. How can I get out of this swamp?

Coach Joel Answers:  Unfortunately, many companies easily overlook the people who labor in silence, who do what it takes to get the job done, but never manage to get ahead. If you really want your paycheck and your job title to match your capabilities and the amount of work you do, you need to focus on creating visibility—and you need to be happy while you’re doing it. Appearances count for a lot, and you need to love the job you have while planning your next move. Here are three important steps you can take right now.

  • Love the one you’re with
  • Divide and conquer
  • Create a new model

1.    Love the one you’re with. I see you stressing out a lot because you don’t have the band-width or energy to do everything that’s on your plate right now. Before you can move ahead, you need to enjoy being where you are. Start having fun at it. A few things you can start doing today:

  • Ask for positive feedback. Don’t wait for your annual review. Look at your current projects and ask your team members or your boss for some positive input. Focus only on what’s going well.
  • Start the day on a high note. When you look at your current projects or to-do list, pick the most enjoyable item and start there. It will change the tone of your whole day by creating energy and enthusiasm.
  • List your accomplishments. Once a week, write down everything you’ve accomplished—from small things to big projects. You’ll be amazed at what you’re getting done.

2.    Divide and conquer. Even though you’re doing a great job now, what got you here won’t get you there. First, lay out all your current projects and responsibilities. Ask yourself what HAS to get done to continue your success at a base line level so you don’t create any red flags. You might have 1/3 that has to get done, 1/3 that relates to the job you want to have (visible stuff) and the other 1/3 is the stuff you might be able to get rid of, or put less time on. This will create more time and energy for new activities. Here’s the key to making delegation work: keep your name on key projects so you are getting some of the credit while not actually doing the work.

3.    Create a new model. You need to show continuously visible productivity, or put plainly, work on the things that everyone sees. Make sure you understand your boss’s priorities and make them your priorities. Volunteer for high profile projects or new company initiatives. Speak up in meetings. Be enthusiastic and make sure everyone knows you’re happy to be part of the team. Call attention to your successes while sharing plenty of credit with those around you.

Keep your eye on the prize. You already know what your next career move looks like. Keep focusing on that. Ask yourself each day, “What did I do today that fits my new model? How did I move closer to my next dream job? Before long, you’ll be exactly where you want and deserve to be.

If you’re struggling to break out of the pack and move to the next level, contact Joel today for more strategies you can use to move to the next level.

Talkback: Are you stuck in a rut? Do you have some success strategies that have helped you break free? Share your experience here.

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The Seven Steps to Success in Your New Management Job

Person on Phone

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~

While it’s hard to walk into a new job, sometimes the most difficult jobs to take are in-company promotions.  You have the advantage, of course, of being familiar with the company and its policies.  You know the work and the people.  But… you need to transition from peer to boss.

In a job in a new company, you can more easily step into that leadership role, but you must get to know the people, the policies, the company and the workload.  How can you step into this new management job and be successful regardless of the new circumstances?

Here are seven steps to help—whether it’s a new job or an in-house promotion.

1. Talk to your boss.  You want to clearly understand your role.  What does he or she expect of you in this new position?  What are your added responsibilities?  You might ask the boss how he has dealt with a similar transition. How did he relate to his former peers?  Don’t just talk at the start of the new job.  Keep in frequent contact with your boss asking for feedback on your performance on a regular basis.  That way, you can make sure you don’t stray far from his or her goals without correction.

2. Remember why you were promoted. Sometimes, when we’ve been working with talented successful professionals, we wonder why we were chosen over them.  There’s always a reason. Make a list of your skills and talents.  Look at the projects you’ve accomplished and the value you’ve brought to the company.  You are ready and capable of taking this step.  Own it.

3.  Read up.  Your new management job may call for new skills.  Certainly you will need to step up your leadership qualities.  Read books on management and leadership.  Schedule your time to include learning leadership skills for your new role.

4. Consider coaching or finding a mentor.  When you are in a new job, you’re uncomfortable.  There’s so much to learn.  At times like this, an experienced voice can be invaluable.  If there is someone you admire within the company, take him or her to lunch and ask for advice.  Most people are generous when they know you’re interested in learning.  If there are no mentors at hand, you may want to hire an experienced coach to streamline your progress.

5. Choose leadership.  When you are interacting with former peers, it’s easy to slip back into old ways.  Even in new situations there are times where you can to choose to be a leader or choose to minimize yourself.  Be aware of those times. Be conscious of them.  Then make the decision to lead.

6. Give yourself time. When you’re new to your job, you can’t expect to be perfect right away.  Not any more than a young basketball player can have the same skill sets as a Michael Jordan. You can, however, practice like he practices and value what he values.  As a new manager deliberately make choices to lead.

7. Adapt management attributes. Make a list of all the qualities a great manager has.  Perhaps you’ll list organization, follow through, listening, authority, decisiveness, or integrity.  Each day write one of these qualities in a place you’ll see it throughout the day.  Make each action, decision, email or interaction deliberately considering this quality.  Own the quality for the day.   As you do this each day, these attributes will become yours.

Whether you are promoted from within or hired from outside, these seven steps can assure you fill that new management job successfully… and set yourself up so you can advance again.

If you have questions about your new job, contact Joel.

Talkback: What have been some of the difficulties you’ve faced in a new management job?  What tips can you give others to successfully overcome new leadership challenges?

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It’s NOT Too Late to Take
Personal Responsibility for Your Career

Man and Arrows
“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.”

~ Jim Rohn ~

Without the right tools and knowledge, finding a job that you truly want or getting a promotion at your present company can be challenging.

When I hear people complain about their current job I’ve only got one answer for them: Be responsible. Choosing to be a victim of your circumstances makes you lose control over situations that come your way. Being responsible about your current situation gives you the power to take action to change it.

One of the best ways to be responsible is getting the right education and learning the appropriate skills to face challenges. Once you’re more informed you’ll have greater confidence because you know tried and tested methods that have worked for others and are probably going to work for you. Nobody but you is responsible for your success.

How can you get the right knowledge to advance your career? Here are a few ways: get advice from senior executives, read self-help books that teach you the steps to career success, and read articles on popular leadership blogs. Of course, all of this reading and advice will only help if you put it to use by taking action.

If you want to get ahead in your career, read a review of the book on Tim Milburn’s leadership blog. Or, order Getting Ahead on Amazon.

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How To Shine When the Competition Gets Tough

Eco Energy Saver Light Bulb
“Nobody’s a natural. You work hard to get good and then work to get better.”

~ Paul Coffey ~

You’ve always been a star worker—respected by your peers and looked up to by your employees. Using your quick wits and technical skills, rising up the ranks was smooth sailing until you moved to a larger firm.

You took on the responsibility with zeal and excitement, awaiting the same recognition and esteem only to find that you’re now surrounded by other star workers, each with their own unique skill sets and talents, and you find it hard to stand out from your peers.

The star status that seemed effortless at one time seems to be getting harder and harder to achieve with the tougher competition. You strive to get noticed as you see others shining in the limelight of success.

If you identify with the above, you’re not alone. As an executive coach, I see this happen all the time. Clients come to me feeling confused about how they should tackle this difficult adjustment and what steps they should take to up their game.

If you’re in the same boat and want some immediate answers, my recent guest post for Successful-Blog.com will tell you how to stand out from the talent around you. You must have done something right to get to where you are; keep your confidence high, and with the right know-how you’ll shine again.

If you need a little help getting your star to shine again, executive coaching career coach Joel Garfinkle can help. Contact Joel today to reach your full potential through his executive coaching services.

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