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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4 Questions – Grow Your Executive Career in Healthcare

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“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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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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Finding Free Executive Job Training

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 “The best way to predict your future is to create it”

~ Peter F. Drucker ~

Samantha was ready to move up. But she was pretty much at a dead end at her current job.  She knew she needed more executive job training before she’d be ready for a profitable transition to another company, but as a single mom, she couldn’t afford to pay for it.  Her current job wouldn’t cover it. The executive training had to be free.

“I knew I needed to think and act like an executive before I’d ever have the chance to be in that position,” Samantha said. “I was close.  But not there yet.  I came up with 4 free sources for executive job training.”

1. Observation.  “It cost me nothing to observe other leaders,” Samantha said.  “I looked for executives within my current company—ones I liked and admired.”  She made a conscious effort to watch their management style.   She took notes on how they presented ideas, how they listened to responses, and interacted with team members.  “I not only listened to what they said, I watched how they acted, how they moved.”  She paid attention to details.  “I even listened to their voice inflection and watched other’s reactions.”

2. Books. Samantha started with the free books at the public library.  Those books she found especially valuable she bought so she could underline them, cross reference, and add them to her library. “There are a lot of books on job training and executive leadership,” Samantha said. “And they vary widely in quality.”  Samantha spent some time on Amazon and other sources reading the reviews.  While they were not always accurate, she found them generally helpful in choosing the best books for her.

3. Online Sources. While the quality also varies with web sources, Samantha found plenty of free executive job training there.  Some sites offered free white papers on different aspects of leadership.  She found blogs, articles, websites and business leadership books that delivered meaningful content. “I downloaded every piece of free training I could find,” Samantha said. “Some coaches and trainers are very generous with their information.  It was like getting an MBA.”

4. Study Leaders. “I decided that my leadership style was like Meg Whitman’s—or I wanted it to be like hers,” Samantha said.  She felt her personality traits and the way she liked to lead dovetailed into the way Meg was currently leading.  So she did an in-depth study of Meg. “I watched her on YouTube.  I read every article I could find on her.  Then I “put on” her leadership style.  I stepped up to a more direct approach.  I realized I can be pleasant and still be insightful, deliberate, and exacting.”

Samantha was surprised at how completely her free executive job training paid off! “First co-workers started coming to me for advice and problem solving.  Then the management actually created a new position and moved me into it.”  Samantha realized that executive training requires work and application whether the training is free or paid.

But in this case, Samantha’s efforts paid off very well.

If you are looking for free training for your executive goals, be sure to visit Joel’s website and access the leadership articles and information there.

Talkback: Have you find great free sources for executive job training?  Tell us about them.

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How Can I get the Skills I Learn from Executive Coaching to Stick? How can I get that training to actually become part of me?

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“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it”

~ Dwight D. Eisenhower ~

Q:  Jamie asks:  I read lots of material on how to improve in organization, skill level, and leadership.  I work at it for a few days.  Then I find myself going back to my old way of doing things.  How can I actually change myself permanently?

A:  Coach Joel Answers: You ask a great question, Jamie. This is the secret to success in all walks of life:  Knowing how to take information and apply it in your life.

One technique is to take your Executive Coaching and train like an athlete. Athletes take their training seriously.  As you think of yourself as an “Executive Athlete,” you may be motivated to stick to your plan.

1. Think about it daily. Athletes make training a priority.  They think about it and plan time to practice their skill every day.  Calendar your training.  What can you do today to exercise your skills and train you to build the habits you want?

2. Make a commitment to train. You already know what you need to do.  This is a great step forward.  You have the desire to change.  That, too, is a valuable piece of the pie.  Now you need to make the decision to train every day.   Like an athlete, you will start small.

Too often, athletes… and executives… find a great skill and think they can master it immediately.  They train so vigorously for a few days that they are exhausted by the effort and stop training.

Instead, start at a deliberate, achievable pace.  Master one trait and then go on to the next.

3. Hire the best executive coach and follow his training plan.  Athletes don’t try to go it alone.  Most often great athletes work under skilled coaches.  You will find you progress more successfully when you have a coach at your side to help with your training.

An executive coach will keep you on track and make sure you take logical, necessary, and most meaningful steps.  They will cheer your progress.

4. Measure your success and improvement. Every great athlete has goals to reach.  They measure their progress toward those goals in milliseconds.  Measure and celebrate every increment of change you see in yourself.

Set benchmarks and standards.  Evaluate your improvement daily, weekly, and monthly. Soon you will see your habits of leadership developing.

5. Challenge yourself to do better.  Only you know if your pace is too easy or strenuous. Challenge yourself to become the best executive you can. Use coaching and training to help you reach this goal.  Don’t settle for okay.  Reach for the best you can be.

6. Take a set-back, learn from it, and move forward.  Know there will be setbacks.  Athletes get sick or injured and have to regroup and start training again.  There will be days you slip.  Don’t let one failure stop your training.  Get back up, give yourself a break for the moment, and get started again.

7. Reward yourself.  You may not earn an Olympic metal, but you can still reward yourself for your success in executive training.  You’ve followed your coach. You’ve seen success.  Celebrate!

When you take the challenge to change your habits, you’ve started on a new venture.  With executive coach training, you join the ranks of professional athletes. You establish goals, training methods, and measure your successes.  The end results are habits of leadership that will benefit you and your organization.

To jumpstart your executive coaching and become the executive athlete you want to be, contact Joel.

Talkback: What methods have you used to change knowledge into habits? Let me know.

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