Class is Earned and Learned

People notice more about you than you might think. One of my favorite clients shared, recently, that she was so appreciative of having a boss who walked his talk and was a leader everyone respected and enjoyed working for. “It’s the little things people notice and appreciate about him,” she explained. That conversation led me to think about some of the “little things” we can all do that reflect professionalism. Here are a few to keep in mind: Keep your word! If you tell someone you’re going to do something, such as get your resume done on a certain date, follow through! Continuing to ignore promises or to break your word sets up a pattern. Many people have wonderful start-up skills and then drop the ball sometime before the project is completed. Following through is as important as making the commitment. Never burn bridges (unless you’re a carpenter)! Ever had a confrontation over a misunderstanding? Taking responsibility is the mark of a true professional. No matter what … [Read more...]

5 Easy Ways to Do it Right- In Gratitude

Stay alert! Or you might miss a blessing. In our hurry scurry world, it’s easy to miss those little things that can make life more meaningful. Someone went out of their way to help you. A stranger said something nice to you. A friend from the past called you out of the blue. Here are easy ways to show gratitude! Say thank you in person. Texting and email is the easy way out. It is much more impactful to acknowledge someone in person. Learn together. Strong leaders teach others to be leaders! If you’ve learned something relevant, share it. If you’ve read a great book, share it. If you’ve attended an exciting webinar, share it. Give - just because.  It’s always nice to receive a card for a special occasion. It’s extra special to give someone a “just because card” when they least expect it! Thankful Thursdays. How about setting aside a few minutes on a Thursday to do or say something in gratitude? It’s a habit worth repeating. Give with no strings attached. When you see … [Read more...]

4 Tips for Being Comfortable at Events

Research tells us that 60% of people in America are shy when it comes to attending events with a room full of strangers! Does that make you feel better? Additionally, 75% said they don’t know what to talk about and 40% are anxious even when they know people in the room.  So, if you aren’t comfortable socializing—you’re not alone. Try these proven tips that are part of my Professional Presence program. 1. Know your value. Recognize and appreciate your BRAND ATTRIBUTES that could include your talents, gifts, expertise and wonderfulness. Own them and walk into that room full of strangers knowing YOU have VALUE that you could bring to others. What are those things about you that someone might find compelling? What brand impression do you want to leave with new people in your life? How can you let others know where you shine? Don’t diminish those things that come easily for you and maybe not for others. Things like: You know a lot of people You have expertise in a subject You … [Read more...]

How Can Your Brand Engage People’s Hearts and Minds?

I’ve learned that leadership in business is about three things: Your head, your hands, your heart. Here’s what I mean. If you wonder how effective you are as a leader, look behind and see how many are following you. The fact is ... you earn the right to be respected as a leader IF… * You have the knowledge, the experience and the intellect it takes for your role. * You secure the resources necessary to run the business and you give others the tools, training and ability to do their job. * You are not self-centered. Self-centered people are not leaders, no matter what their business card reads. It’s about actions that are observable – not just talk. As the saying goes, "walk the talk." If you don’t, you’ll look behind and see you are more of an individual contributor with few followers committed to giving their best for the success of the company. So how can you engage people's hearts and minds? 1- Get Together Just for Grins — Work is all about work. But don’t … [Read more...]

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...]