Success can be elusive. The building blocks of success are subtle and nuanced. For those who have made it big, the real reasons for their success are rarely the things they remember and write about.
This is where mentors come in.
In our quest for growth, progress, and success, we have this latent desire for someone who will take us under their wing and co-pilot our journey from the mailroom to the corner office. Or, more realistically, we imagine a relationship with a mentor who meets with us once or twice a month over a long period of time and imparts wisdom like a college professor working through a syllabus.
It doesn't work that way.Read More
Think back to the last time you were at a wedding — or any event with a dance floor. There was no shortage of well-meaning people encouraging the wallflowers, “Come on … get out on the dance floor … it’ll be fun … you’ll have a good time.”1Imagine this line the way Bruce Willis says “Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs” in Die Hard. In many ways, networking is like…Read More
"The only way to change the world is through strong organizations. No visionary leader, no charismatic leader can change the world unless they know how to build an organization and a team around them."
— Sally Blount, Dean of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
We all need a livelihood. For most of us, that means going to work at companies and in organizations. Unfortunately, too many of those organizations manage to suck the life out of us. It doesn't have to be this way.Read More
The world is awash in myths and bad advice about networking. The most frustrating of all might be the myths that involve the notion of extraversion, often prodding those of us of the introvert persuasion to “just be more extraverted.” While it’s absolutely true that you must be visible to be successful, building professional relationships in a meaningful way is infinitely more nuanced than simply being more extraverted.Read More
Whether it’s with a new company or a new role within your existing organization, new positions are tremendous opportunities to leap forward in your career. However, beware that you and the hiring manager may have very different ideas as to your actual start date.Read More
Good bosses matter. The context you create for your top talent can mark the difference between a mediocre and a top performer. At one point in my career I went from being ranked a mediocre performer by the worst boss I ever had to being in the top 10% by the best boss I ever had. I was working just as hard for both bosses. The only thing that changed was my boss.Read More
Disengaged employees outnumber engaged employes by more than 2:1. To put this in perspective, imagine you have ten people rowing in a boat:
- Three would be rowing in the right direction.
- Five would not be rowing at all.
- Two would be drilling holes in the boat!
This is crazy. There is no need for the modern workplace to be so dysfunctional.Read More
Alfred Sloan, when he ran General Motors in the 1920s and 1930s, would refuse to make a decision at a meeting if no one could argue a strong case against what was being proposed. He felt that if no one had any objections to what was being decided, it was because they had not thought long and hard enough about the question under consideration.
Alfred Sloan understood that the best ideas — along with the best decisions — are forged in the crucibles of healthy conflict. If there are no objections leading up to a decision, then either people just aren’t trying hard enough or your team isn’t working on hard enough problems. Clear thinking, innovation, and good decisions depend on diverse perspectives and opposing points of view.Read More
Change is hard. Influencing change is even harder. Sometimes — when we are trying to lead, or influence, or help someone grow — it can be baffling to see people stuck, unclear on what to do or unwilling to move ahead.
We may explain every way from Sunday and still they don’t get it.
The reality is, something is clear to us because we understand it. For someone who doesn’t understand, they can’t even hear what we are saying. The german writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, a person only hears what they understand. He was right.Read More
Heather Hollick has been helping others become better leaders and craft more meaningful careers for more than 25 years. Her experience spans both business and technology, operations and organizational development. Oh, and she was born in Canada, so she can't help but be helpful. 😉