To increase your chances of getting a promotion, wise career coaches often advise you to dress like you have the job you want, not the one you have.
Why is dress so important? Well, the clothes still don’t make the wo/man, but often they do help you feel like you’re ready for that big step. And it’s that feeling — of confidence and readiness — that communicates most powerfully about your ability in the moments after the person across the meeting table notices your new outfit.
What’s with that “feeling”? Isn’t that a bit squishy?
People know “boardroom presence” when they see it, but how can you develop it if you’ve never been in the boardroom hot seat? It seems like a chicken-and-egg problem, doesn’t it?
The good news is that the kind of executive presence that works in the boardroom also works in your day-to-day job, so you can develop it anywhere and any time. (read more…)
A recent piece by Forbes contributor Liz Ryan extolled the Millennial Way, or at least some of the logic behind it. In her column, Ryan sought to assuage concerns of baby boomer parents and frustrated executives, telling them that Gen Y’s approach to life and their attitude about employment is healthier and more balanced than we think and something that all of us should have done years ago.
“Anyone who argues for a more human-centric approach to work,” she wrote, “is a hero in our book, and that quality is what millennials are most well-known for. They aren’t willing to fall in line and take a lousy job just to get an apartment that’s the envy of their friends. What good would the apartment do them, if they hate their job and therefore hate their life?”
In her well-articulated defense, Ryan highlighted two millennial propensities: an aversion to drinking the corporate Kool-Aid and a capacity to reinvent themselves as circumstances and interests warrant. (read more…)
Mike Krzyzewski (pronounced “sha-SHEF-ski”) is amazing. As Coach K prepares to lead the Duke men’s basketball team to yet another run at the Final Four, consider what he’s already accomplished:
- Four national championships (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010),
- Four gold medals as head coach of USA men’s national team, and
- 980 career wins (most in NCAA history).
To truly appreciate the magnitude of his accomplishments, look at his 14-page biography on the Duke men’s basketball website.
Coach K’s phenomenal success as a coach and leader begs the question: How does he do it?
Obvious reasons are that he’s talented, disciplined and works hard. A lot of coaches fit that description, though, so there must be something more that differentiates Coach K and provides Duke men’s basketball a sustainable competitive advantage.
Coach K grew up in Chicago. He attended an all-boys Catholic high school then went on to an all-male West Point, where he played basketball under the driven, domineering, perfectionist coach Bobby Knight. (read more…)
Recently, social psychologists discovered a problem most of us have in preparing for the future: we think of our future selves as strangers — as different people altogether. Valuable insight into this problem is provided in research by two university educators — Hal Hershfield, an assistant professor in the marketing department of New York University’s Stern School of Business, and Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University and author of “The Willpower Instinct.”
In experiments with undergraduates, Hershfield discovered that students who were shown a digitally aged image of themselves allocated twice as much to their retirement accounts as those who didn’t see themselves as they aged. Hershfield says that “looking ahead in time and feeling a sense of connection to one’s future self can impact long-term financial decision-making, converting a consumer into a saver.” People with this “future self-continuity” also accumulate more assets than others, including owning their own homes and having bigger bank accounts. (read more…)
“The average person tells four lies a day, or 1,460 a year; a total of 87,600 by the age of 60. And the most common lie is ‘I’m fine.’” This quote appeared in a friend’s recent blog post and got me thinking.* Does the average manager tell four lies a day?
Much of corporate America has an unspoken doctrine of “business masks.” Act a certain way. Dress a certain way. Downplay (or hide) your failures. Don’t ever show weakness. Observe corporate politics carefully to avoid land mines. Play by the rules. Say, ‘I’m fine’ even if you aren’t. Oh, and while you are at it? Be authentic. Employees and customers cherish authenticity.
If “I’m fine” is a lie, what else is? What about purposeful non-disclosure of business information — holding back details that might influence a listener’s decisions?
Where’s the line between spinning a yarn and acceptable communication spin?
In many organizations, polished “business masks” become essential for rising to the most senior roles, and many C-suite executives go on to create “organizational masks.” Gary Mitchiner, a management consultant, describes the phenomenon this way: “I dislike when leadership tells employees pieces and parts of what’s going on, being selective with content to share, instead of conveying the full story of what’s really happening. (read more…)