This is How a Brand Walks its Talk!

It is pure joy working with clients who show their “leadership presence” in so many ways. Recently, while at a Fortune 500 energy company, the leaders demonstrated their values of being committed to success, doing what's right, and being respectful. Here are some examples of how these values have served them well.   From the moment I arrived at their corporate headquarters, the front desk security guards were friendly and welcoming. One of the executive assistants had everything set up at the workshop PLUS food delivered to me personally during our coaching sessions. Both groups of participants – senior executives and high potential candidates – were totally engaged throughout our Personal Branding program called, Make Your Mark & Make It Count! Respect was evident even walking their halls receiving a friendly hello along the way. It’s all about CULTURE – and this is evidence of a brand walking their talk in every way. Valerie Sokolosky is … [Read more...]

How Strategic Relationships Can Make or Break Your Career – Part Two

In part one of this blog series, we interviewed Dr. Kathy Kram, formerly OB Professor in the MBA program at Boston University, and well know expert on mentoring and strategic relationships. Kathy and her colleague, Dr. Wendy Murphy of Babson College, recently released their book, Strategic Relationships at Work which highlights practical insights for creating and maintaining strategic relationships. In part two of this series, we’ll look deeper into Dr. Kram’s advice on how to find these relationships and to ensure that you maintain a robust constellation of career advisors/mentors. The Top 3 Must-Haves Before we dive in, it’s important to understand the key traits needed to pursue and maintain strategic relationships for your career. Dr. Kram notes three important skills, which include: Self Awareness: Knowing what you need, what you’re seeking and what you bring to the table. Relationship Skills: Ability to initiate a conversation, ask good questions and provide positive … [Read more...]

How to Create a Career Advisory Board

Networking is critical for building your personal brand, especially in a competitive job market. You may have the experience, education and work ethic to be successful on paper, but a lot of us lack a crucial social component that’s necessary to take a career to the next level. Building a career advisory board is a strategy that works, whether you’re fresh out of school or a seasoned professional. Rather than having just a couple of mentors, a board offers multiple points of view which can help you examine your challenges from different perspectives. Turning to a group of individuals that you trust, respect and admire to give you advice and guidance provides the foundation a lot of professionals need to thrive in their field. Here are 5 steps to help you build your own career advisory board:   Address Your Goals First, figure out where you are going and exactly how your advisory board can help. You’ll need to be very straightforward, otherwise you’ll be wasting … [Read more...]

Empathy: An Effective Leadership Tool

We’ve all experienced a manager that just doesn’t get along with their team. Or seen a supervisor who shuts themselves off from their colleagues and doesn’t take the time to understand the employees working under them. What were these leaders missing? The key to not becoming that type of leader is putting to use a basic human quality:empathy. Using empathy as a leadership tool helps us put ourselves in the shoes of our colleagues or employees. When you are an empathetic leader, you understand how other people’s feelings can impact their perception of a situation. Why is demonstrating empathy important? Using empathy as a leadership tool helps: Build trust with your employees or team Strengthen relationships Increase collaboration Encourage others to do their best and be more productive Create more engaged employees While empathy is commonly mistaken for its cousin, sympathy, a crucial part in becoming an effective leader is differentiating between the two traits. … [Read more...]

Don’t Let This Ruin Your Brand’s Reputation

It was unbelievable what happened! This is a true story. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. I simply have to share how a great company brand was dissed by the employee serving us. While attending a recent workshop out of town, a colleague and I headed for a quiet lunch at a nearby “respectable” hotel. No one was in the restaurant at 12:00 noon. That should have been my first clue. We ordered our sandwiches, ate them (still the lone customers), and were ready to get our check. Alas – no server could be found. That should have been my second clue. After waiting ten minutes, I left the table in search of our waiter. At the checkout, I was told the waiter was nowhere to be found, but she would help me if I told her what we had ordered. The next comment floored me – “Are you staying at the hotel?” Our computers have been down since this morning and we’ll have to bill this to your room or take cash only.” “No,” I said. “We came from across the street at a … [Read more...]