07/10/2017

  I don’t know about you but I feel bombarded with information on a daily basis. I am one who enjoys sifting through and synthesizing information but admittedly, I’m not always clear on what it all means. In my line of b

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07/10/2017 - Ask That Question!

  I don’t know about you but I feel bombarded with information on a daily basis. I am one who enjoys sifting through and synthesizing information but admittedly, I’m not always clear on what it all means. In my line of business it’s critical that I leverage the information available to do my job well and provide the right mix of information to my clients. While I take advantage of all the available “free stuff” (even subscribing to many of ...

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06/13/2017 - Get Ready for Change!

 Several years ago as part of a promotion, I was recruited to oversee a start up organization within a newly realigned department. I had to build this organization, its structure and framework from scratch.  Hard work for sure but I was surrounded by outstanding leadership and excited about the opportunity to do things right from the start in terms of developing operating principles and building staff. 


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05/18/2017 - Recognize Career Moments....Make Them Count!

 You work hard.  You do good work - much of it worthy of recognition and positive feedback.  But sometimes it is one unexpected thing that gets you attention.  And, if you're lucky, the attention comes from someone who is in a position to impact  your career.  

My earliest moment was unexpected.  My company was changing its core practices and product construct and this required eight hours of Saturday training for the entire workforce.  We...

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04/18/2017 - For Effective Presentations - Know your Audience!

I was asked by a colleague to discuss compliance procedures with his executive team.  As the subject matter expert,  I was in a good position to verify that actions in consideration within the organization would align with the "rules". He suggested that all that was needed was perhaps a “friendly review” of the regulations, methods and procedures, some Q&A and an offer to meet with their direct reports as appropriate.  He also mentioned that this wo...

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03/15/2017 - The Multi-Generational Workplace is the New Normal - Embrace it!

 If you’re reading about workplace trends, or leadership in organizations, it’s likely that you are reading plenty about the challenge of managing in a multigenerational environment. A few years back, one of my direct reports left our business because she believed that she could no longer communicate with her younger subordinates. In her mind, they rejected or challenged the methodology that underpinned a successful organization without legitimate right or reason.&nbs...

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02/06/2017 - Compromise is Good. Collaboration - Even Better!

 As organizations become increasingly functionalized and projects become more and more complex it's likely that program tasks and timelines will be impacted.  I assumed a cross functional project that had been going on for a couple of years and cost my employer millions.  I assumed responsibility for this project understanding that I was expected get this deployed and do it quickly. Several functional teams were depending on this program to simplify their operations ...

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01/03/2017 - Be SMART in 2017

 According to The University of Scranton, Journal of Clinical Psychology (1/1/2014)  almost half of us – 45%- to be exact - will make resolutions as the New Year begins while only 8% will be successful. How come?  Most of us will make plans to do something this year that we haven’t done before and are optimistic that this time we’ll make it happen. Many of us, however, will break  resolutions as real life distra...

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05/18/2016 - Leadership Matters - Part 2

 In my last blog I wrote about how leadership matters.  Specifically that the leader's image and hidden messages  impact their teams' behaviors.  I believe that wholeheartedly.  I believe it because I've observed it and nothing is more observable than our presidential primary races.  Again - this is not a political blog - I am a leadership/management blogger.  However, we are learning a HUGE amount about leadership and the leader's impact on o...

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03/15/2016 - Leadership Matters!

 Last week's episode of Scandal was "A Fish Rots From the Head".  Olivia Pope scolds President Grant (her ex-lover, Fitz), about his bad personal behavior and how it impacts the behavior of those around him (the Secret Service, it seems had a party and killed a prostitute).  This is true.  Leadership matters.  How a leader behaves impacts team behavior and performance.  There are lots of studies that address good and bad leadership and the traits ...

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01/19/2016 - Working Through the "Too Much To Do" Paralysis

 Things are so hectic now.  More so than in the past, I think.  Business, family and social events all conspire to eat up your time leaving little room to reflect on what comes next and how you want things to go.  Ultimately, everything gets squeezed into ever shrinking slivers of time making concentration and focus difficult.  So how do we do it?  How do you maintain your focus and concentration when handling the day to day, the family emergencies and the nee...

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12/15/2015 - The Holidays - Time for Refection and Resolutions

 Almost a decade ago, I left corporate america to achieve balance.  My position in a Fortune 50 company was demanding and I found myself too often scheduling my family responsibilities around the needs of the business - unfair to both my employer and my elderly mother for whom I was primary caregiver.  When push came to shove I had to find a way to balance both.  

I spent a considerable amount of time reflecting on what I had accomplished throughout my career an...

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11/16/2015 - Real Leaders Show Empathy

 When leaders reorganize, the process generally calls for and results in new market segmentation, department names, support functions and promotions.  It also calls for a road trip.  Typically, the leadership team irrespective of size takes off for a resort/conference center for work and play.  

My team conferences were structured in the usual way:  the daily agenda allowed for each team to present their identify, goals and reciprocal support arrangements u...

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10/22/2015 - Processing Too Much Information

 I am addicted to facebook.  It's how I keep in touch with old friends, post pictures, get my news and take useless but fun quizzes.  Checking facebook is baked into my morning ritual right after my inbox and how the futures are looking.  

Pictures of all sorts, opinions on everything and anything, political and religious beliefs are there for all to see and comment on.  Postings speak more to being (who I am) than behavior (what I do) and sometimes when...

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09/15/2015 - Make Things Real - Move Thoughts Into Actions!

 Wisdom from my Facebook News Feed yesterday: " I've learned two important lessons in life.  I can't recall the first one, but the second one is that I need to start writing stuff down."  Very, very true.

We are bombarded on a daily basis with a tremendous amount of information.  And, this information often prompts new thinking, generates ideas and even reminds us that there are tasks that need to get done.  Recording these thoughts and acti...

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08/14/2015 - Step 1 - Have a Networking Plan!

 With unemployment numbers at the lowest level since the great recession, I've been working with clients on opposite ends of the employment seesaw; those who are in transition due to a restructuring or downsizing and those who are actively seeking new opportunity in a revived workforce economy.  While the specific challenges facing these two groups are fundamentally different, each will need the ability to leverage a professional network.  In my opinion, it's the most ...

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07/15/2015 - Make the Best of a Power Struggle

 I sometimes have a problem keeping up with my blog bits during this season.  Truth be told from May 1st through October 1st I head off to the beach for the weekends.  Most times they're long weekends which means that business happens for me in sort of a compressed work week.  I do try my best though, to draw insights from all my summer experiences - even those that take place at the beach! 

We've been going out to this beach community for close to ...

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06/15/2015 - Use "The System" to Convert Criticism to Feedback

 Three years ago Greg Smith resigned from Goldman Sachs by way of an op-ed piece in the New York Times.  He resigned and told - arguably - the world what he thought about his former employer.  The gist of Mr. Smith's article was that Goldman had lost its way in terms of valuing its many clients.  Goldman Sachs on the other ha...

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05/13/2015 - Another Constant - The Overhang of Downsizing

 Unemployment numbers are finally improved.  In fact, these are the best numbers we've had since the great recession.  In spite of these improved indicators,  I am still getting requests for assistance from friends and clients who have lost or are in jeopardy of losing their jobs.  Most recently a dear friend called and told me her husband was laid off.  Her husband is a smart and personable guy - the kind of guy that would normally find a spot with li...

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04/20/2015 - Can You Have it All? Some Thoughts About Balance...

After spending the last several years as primary caregiver for my mother I often asked myself what's next.  I suspended most of my business so that I could be available when needed. Some of my friends and colleagues thought this was a mistake.  I saw no other option.  But, it begs the question : can we have it all?  Some claim it as their feminist right and others will say the sacrifices are too great.  The juggling act needed to balance elder care, family, work...

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03/13/2015 - Embracing Change and Weathering Transition

 Two summers ago we left a beach house that we had occuppied with many friends for almost 20 years.  All of a sudden it was just the two us in this big, old, moldy beach house.  So, we decided it was time for a change and found a small, modern, apartment with all the amenities just a walk away.  We packed up all our stuff and said goodbye.  It was the right thing to do but very unsettling  The emotional struggle resulting from what was a positive and pragmatic...

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02/17/2015 - Manage Up for Success

After I was promoted to replace my boss, I had the tough job of finding a replacement for myself.  I selected a well-respected manager who was in succession and set about to make our transition as seamless as possible. Two things motivated me: continued client satisfaction and making sure that my replacement had access to all of the resources necessary to hit the ground running – something that had not been provided to me when I assumed that position. I assembled ...

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01/15/2015 - Let Your Team Own Their Success and Failure

 My partner has a music production company and works with many performance and vocal coaches.  Personally, I can't think of anything more stress inducing than singing in front of hundreds of people on a big stage in formal wear which is something she absolutely loves. One thing that does stress her out , however, is  the interaction that she has with one of the coaches on her team.   This coach has a cognitive bias whereby when her client is successful, it's...

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12/15/2014 - It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Reflection, Accomplishments and Appraisals!

 The holiday season is hectic.  It's difficult under normal circumstances to carve out time to document accomplishments and provide feedback to your team.  However, to be a truly great boss, this is an absolute requirement.  I had a boss once that thwarted company policy by formatting his team's appraisals as a letter.  So it would read like this:  "Dear Beth, this year was a tough year but you managed to accomplish..." or "...

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11/17/2014 - Spinning Out of Control

 Image and message are everything!  Anyone who doubts this need only look at this year's political process and the reporting of it.  Politicians on both sides are spinning anything and everything to maintain standing; even things pertaining to the most critical issues of the day.  And, notwithstanding that the foundation of any business is its core values and code of ethics, the spin or the story is all too prevalent in business as well.

Recently, I was discu...

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10/15/2014 - Thoughtful Risks or Risky Business?

  I love cooking competition shows.  I enjoy seeing the cheftestants create wonderful dishes from strange ingredients in crazy locations with less than enough time to do it right.  They sweat! They run! They cook and then submit themselves to the brutality of the judges for our entertainment and their desire to be victorious. I relish every success and shamefully, every humiliation.  And, there's always the added bonus of the learning experience you get from watch...

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09/15/2014 - A Great Boss Makes All the Difference

 I had this boss who was a real “tough but fair” type with heavy emphasis on the “tough” part. He called me into his office one morning and asked me this:”How hungry are you?” I said nothing at first because I had no idea if this was a trick question or he was really concerned about my appetite. I got up the nerve to ask him what he meant. “Your career”, he said, “how badly do you want to get ahead?” ...

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08/18/2014 - Are Ready to be the CEO?

Managers do a balancing act every day working on developmental activities and positioning while doing the work that needs to get done.  Work is complex and immediate and - let's face it - what we get paid to do so execution and tactics often trump making sure that you know where you stand and what you need to do to reach your career goals.   Clearly both are important given the fact that the job for life is gone.  Managers must differentiate themselves by doing both: meet a...

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10/04/2011 - Unemployed Need Not Apply....Are They Serious?

There is plenty of buzz on the news and the blogs about what's happening on the "help wanted" front: some companies are actually stating that only the employed or recently unemployed should apply for vacant positions.  This is making me furious! As if the long-term unemployed don't have enough problems without being told that they shouldn't bother; most likely to stem the paperwork In some HR department.  Unbelievable!

Look - businesses have every right...

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10/12/2010 - New Priorities for Employers Mean New Priorities for You

Business thinking has changed as we emerge from the great recession and there are now new priorities for employers as per a study by Boston Consulting Group and the World Federation of People Management.  This study,  Creating People Advantage 2010  (September 27, 2...

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09/01/2009 - Hello World!

 

This is Beth and this is my first of what I hope will be many entries on the Real Leadership Associates (RLA) BLOG.   I am the founder and principal of Real Leadership Associates, LLC and my goal is to tell stories, share experiences and provide commentary on issues that impact executives, managers, teams and associates in business. 

RLA offers mentori...

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