executive presence

Creating your Leadership Manifesto

CEOs and other leaders have certain expectations for the way they want their lieutenants to act - and they should! Each member of the leadership team has two jobs: 1) the function and 2) being a leader in the company. That leadership aspect is often unstated.

Creating a "Leadership Manifesto" helps you clarify your own thinking as well as communicate to the team your expectations.

What should be in your Leadership Manifesto? Qualities and behaviors you want your entire leadership team to embody. Here are a few examples:

  • You are quick to learn new things, open to feedback, and overall have a growth mindset. You transfer that thinking to your team so that everyone is learning on the job rapidly and learning from mistakes

  • Part of your job is to inspire and buoy up everyone around you, including the CEO herself from time to time. We absolutely need brutal realism, but bubbling just below the surface is a can-do spirit and determination that we can overcome every obstacle to win. Emotions are catching; make sure you manage yours.

  • I can count on you. I know that you will take on what I ask you to or help me think through why it's not a good idea. I know that you will do new things with wise judgment and in a way that works with our culture.

How about you? What's in your Leadership Manifesto? I'd love to hear what you come up with!

It's not about being nice!

It's not about being nice!

One of the biggest misconceptions about how leaders talk to people is that they are supposed to be "nice." It's not about being nice! It's about using the right tools to come across clearly and not shut people down - for some that can be harder than it sounds! Use these tools: 1) Manage your tone 2) Frame it so they can hear you 3) Be specific.

Performance appraisals that aren't terrible

Performance appraisals that aren't terrible

It's that time of year! Performance appraisal season. There is plenty of confusion and dread about this process. How do you make it most useful? The best way to approach it: 1) Measure outcomes; 2) measure leadership behaviors; 3) get feedback from others. 

Scaling your leadership

Scaling your leadership

Stepping into a much larger role is exciting and nerve-wracking. It requires you to expand yourself - to get as big as the new job. You need to scale your leadership. That may sound good, but what does that really mean? Three things to do: Three tools for you: 1) Set the big picture; 2) Scale your communication; 3) Reshape your network. 

Getting buy-in for your ideas

Getting buy-in for your ideas

When you want to do something innovative, you have to get buy-in from the people around you. It doesn't just happen! Three tools for you: 1) Build alliances in advance; 2) Start small; 3) Appeal to their interests. 

Building your business confidence

Building your business confidence

Having business confidence is essential to getting you to the executive ranks and making you successful once you are there. Confidence has two related but distinct aspects: feeling confident and coming across as confident. Three tools will help you get both: 1) increase your knowledge base; 2) get validation; 3) stand your ground. 

Influencing your enemies

Influencing your enemies

Enemies, rivals, antagonists. The hard truth about corporate life is that now and again you find yourself on the wrong side of someone. And yet, you still have to work with them productively. Learn to influence your enemies: 1) Communicate openly; 2) Do them favors; 3) Influence those around them. 

Small changes drive big results

Small changes drive big results

The new year brings big resolutions. But, the truth is that small course corrections are your best bet to actually make progress. Today's article focuses on the framework to make a powerful small change stick: 1) Pick a high-leverage change; 2) Get specific; 3) Make it a habit. 

Improving your executive presence

Improving your executive presence

Executive presence is one of those terms that people throw out there and then have trouble describing. We all know one thing: executive presence matters. Today's article focuses on 3 ways to get your arms around executive presence (these are well researched by Sylvia Ann Hewitt, Center for Talent Innovation): 1) Gravitas 2) Communication 3) Appearance. 

Getting out of your comfort zone

Getting out of your comfort zone

The most important thing you can do for your career growth only happens when you find ways to learn new skills. At the senior levels, these are mostly subtle, and rather than requiring a class, they force you to step out of your comfort zone. Even though this is a cliche, it's not so easy. Today's article focuses on 3 tools to help: 1) Commit to being uncomfortable, 2) practice new skills, 3) create opportunities.