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Fri 25 August 2023
High-achieving employees sometimes find themselves doubting their capabilities even though they are more than qualified. 

Imposter syndrome can be defined as “a behavioral health phenomenon described as self-doubt of intellect, skills, or accomplishments among high-achieving individuals.” Those who possess imposter syndrome cannot internalize their successes and subsequently feel fraudulent despite verifiable evidence that they are successful. 

In order to combat imposter syndrome it can be helpful to identify how the imposter syndrome is presenting itself. 

  1. Perfectionism
While attention to detail is important, it can become detrimental when it reaches the point of perfectionism. Individuals who strive to create flawless deliverables at all times may possess imposter syndrome. Since they doubt their intellect, they want to ensure that everything is entirely correct before finalizing anything. These individuals tend to be overly self-critical and hold themselves to higher standards than the standards they set for those around them. This pursuit of unattainable standards cannot be sustained in the long run and may ultimately lead to self-sabotaging.   

2. Super-heroism 
This frequently presents as over-preparing for tasks to appear capable of completing them. Individuals may feel compelled to be the best at everything and that overpreparation will allow them to achieve this. Oftentimes, super-heroism leads people to overwork themselves and can cause serious mental health implications. 

3. Fear of Failure 
Individuals with imposter syndrome may fear being shamed if they fail to properly complete a task. They fear being exposed as an imposter in the event that they were to fail. This can lead to avoidance of certain tasks altogether because it is believed that not trying at all is favorable to underperforming. 

Although fear of failure is commonly perceived to be related to externally imposed tasks, however, it can occur with self-imposed achievement-related tasks as well. Ultimately, avoidance of self-imposed tasks out of fear of failure can prevent progress toward personal career goals.

4. Denial of Capability 
Discounting one's intelligence, experiences, and skills is another manifestation of imposter syndrome. People who have imposter syndrome may attribute their successes to external factors or even random chance. Even if evidence can be provided to validate their contributions, individuals may continue to discredit their influence in their achievements. 

5. Fear of Success 
Although contrary to the previously discussed fear of failure, imposter syndrome may lead to fear of success. This occurs because an individual perceives failure as a positive feedback mechanism. They may have difficulty recognizing their successes as success can lead to high future expectations or additional workloads. 

Multiple of these characteristics of imposter syndrome can appear simultaneously and amplify the negative implications of imposter syndrome. Characteristics may present differently depending on the person and their workplace environment. 

If the previously discussed characteristics of imposter syndrome are present, there are some ways to decrease the fraudulent feelings that arise. 

  1. Focus on strengths 
Imposter syndrome often leads individuals to emphasize their weaknesses. It is imperative that individuals struggling with imposter syndrome focus on their strengths as much as they are considering their weaknesses. If there is a particular area that is difficult, consider exploring a skill that feels more natural. Making a list of individual successes or even analyzing data of successful past initiatives may allow for the recognition of personal accomplishments. 

2. Talk to someone 
Reaching out to peers or mentors is a beneficial way to combat imposter syndrome. Having an open dialogue about doubts and struggles in the workplace can work to diminish the sense of incompetence. Groups such as horizontal mentor groups can serve as a great resource for those struggling with imposter syndrome. Peers within these horizontal groups likely have had similar experiences and can provide strategies they used to overcome their self-doubts. 

3. Counseling
Speaking with a counselor about imposter syndrome can bring awareness to what is contributing to feelings of imposter syndrome. Specifically, compassion-focused therapy can be a helpful tool in combating imposter syndrome. Compassion-focused therapy is designed for patients who are highly self-critical and works to manage those behaviors. 

Most importantly, it is important to recognize that there are others who struggle with imposter syndrome. Taking active steps to counteract feelings of imposter syndrome will provide immense career benefits. 

Combating imposter syndrome can also be influenced by management. Managers must recognize the impact that they can make on imposter syndrome in the workplace and take action to limit it. Although counteracting imposter syndrome is largely a personal journey, external factors may also have implications. Here are some approaches managers can take to improve the workplace experience for individuals who have imposter syndrome. 

  • Watch for Triggers 
What provokes imposter syndrome varies on an individual basis, however, managers can take note of situations or responsibilities that contribute to employees' imposter syndrome. For example, on a team with many experienced employees, a younger team member may feel uncomfortable leading an initiative despite their qualifications. This situation may potentially contribute to imposter syndrome and a manager can help by reassuring the team member of their capabilities. 

  • Recognize Accomplishments 
Individuals dealing with imposter syndrome may have difficulties recognizing their own achievements. As a manager, it is important to help acknowledge when employees have successes. This helps validate that they are capable and a valuable contributor to the team. 

  • Foster Psychological Safety 
Managers should foster an environment that celebrates all individuals and that isn’t limited to solely embracing successes. Encourage employees to experiment in the workplace and do things for the sake of learning rather than only for accomplishments. Developing a strong sense of psychological safety will help ensure everyone that it is acceptable to make mistakes. 

Another method to increase psychological safety while reducing feelings of imposter syndrome is to encourage open dialogue between team members. Ensuring that all team members feel comfortable discussing their experiences within the workplace with their manager is a crucial aspect of counteracting imposter syndrome. 

  • Be Conscious of Effects on Underrepresented Groups 
Underrepresented groups may experience amplified effects from imposter syndrome. Recognize that these individuals may need additional support ensuring that there is a sense of belonging within the workplace. It is also important to be conscious of how personal biases may alter the treatment of individuals from underrepresented groups because this can contribute to their imposter syndrome characteristics. 

Imposter syndrome can be very prevalent among individuals who have achieved great success. Recognize that some characteristics of imposter syndrome such as self-doubt are natural and occur among everyone on occasion. If characteristics of imposter syndrome persist for extended periods of time, it should be explored since it can limit one's ability to succeed. 


Thu 17 August 2023
It is challenging to demonstrate your company's culture in an interview yet, the hiring process is fundamental to organizational success, growth and innovation. The makeup of your team determines productivity, efficiency and the culture practiced in the workplace. 

In interviews, candidates are considering if this is the company for them, if their values align with your firm, and if they will be able to thrive on your team. As the interviewer, you should evaluate the same things. Recruiting “matches” for your company is a crucial part of the sculpting of your company culture. 

You may also struggle with how to be genuine and inclusive of all different backgrounds and experiences. Working towards embracing differences allows companies to enhance problem solving and creativity, encouraging employees to work together in growing through different sets of strengths and weaknesses. In addition to bettering the current workforce, practicing inclusivity will help attract candidates to strengthen the team. 

Using the hiring process as a mutually beneficial proceeding allows both you, as the recruiter, and the candidate to have insight on the potential and future possible. This allows both parties to better understand how aligned their future paths and values are. Being analytical and intentful throughout the process can help you better identify strong candidates who will fit in as a teammate and colleague, both professionally and socially.  

Here are 4 steps on being able to demonstrate your company culture throughout the recruiting process:

1. Get Employees on Board
 To best demonstrate your company's culture throughout the recruiting process, start by focusing on getting employees on board with your decided culture and values. If every employee is able to effectively demonstrate your cultures, it will be reflective in recruiting. If employees fail to follow set culture practices and examples, it will be challenging to express the culture your firm either has or is working towards. 

To help find employees that will hop on board with your company culture, carefully select behavioral interview questions that will reveal if this person's ideal workplace culture and values are aligned with your companies. To best get employees to follow new goals, select values that a lot of employees already believe in or prioritize at work. 

2. Be Transparent about your Opportunities and Challenges
In exhibiting company culture, many recruits will find honesty, transparency and authenticity in the recruiter to be important. In hiring, you should be open and willing to talk about future opportunities, learning and development that may be available to participate in. Take this as an opportunity to demonstrate the firm's dedication to its employees and that they are valued members of the team. 

This also brings the counter, being honest about your challenges. Whether it be within culture, technology or any other aspect of your operation, share what you see needing work to help pinpoint your strengths while acknowledging you may still have some weaknesses and opportunities for growth. To help clarify this step, consider using cultural terms and values in the job description. This will help filter to those who are aligned with your values. 

3. Engage Outside of the Interview
Consider bringing candidates to lunch or to a more casual event other than an interview. This will help you showcase the authentic culture of your company. Instead of explaining your culture and values, show it. Allowing you to get a better look at some of your recruiting candidates, see how they act and if they will fit in socially and professionally with your current workforce. Teamwork is key in all offices and having a difficult team member can heavily detriment projects or discourage teammates.  

4. Seek Feedback
For improvement in recruiting, seek feedback from all parties involved. Just as your firm may provide potential hires with feedback, you should ask the same. Ask what could have run smoother or been done differently and if they have enjoyed their interactions with all of the firm's personnel. Internally, seek feedback from interviewers, new-hires and executives that are involved in the process. Find new ways to improve and exhibit the culture you have cultivated. Additionally, requesting feedback builds a culture of transparency and openness from an executive level. Being available to hear new ideas or revisions to the process can sincerely aid you in further growth.

Moving forward in the hiring process, be intentional and cognizant of your actions. It is crucial to consider your potential recruits’ perspective and outlook on the process and how an executive outlook may differ in intentions and perspective. 

Consider references and establish a pipeline of candidates, whether that be at the university level or on hiring from within. Being able to have a reliable network of potential candidates will allow you to be more selective with their hiring and lead to better fits. 

Another aspect that executives can sometimes struggle with is finding a genuine way to approach diversity, equity and inclusion in hiring. Be conscious of diversity in all aspects, diversity of thought, background in addition to physical forms of diversity. Focus on genuine hiring practices, and prioritize finding value in diverse experiences that allow your company to grow and for new backgrounds to influence for a better future with your team. Be authentic and genuine, be inclusive and be considerate of others' experiences. 

The key to having a strong recruiting process and good experience is investing in your people, creating an authentic culture and being transparent in your conversations. Be intentional with the impact you leave with each candidate and focus on your company brand to produce an appealing and accurate image to those in the job market. 


Thu 17 August 2023
Diversity of thought and different backgrounds have become increasingly recognized as invaluable aspects of a high-functioning team. They are attributed to high levels of innovation and the consideration of diverse perspectives. 

Companies can only harness the value of having diverse perspectives when team members feel comfortable vocalizing their thoughts.

An incredibly important aspect of an effective team dynamic is psychological safety. This term was introduced by Harvard organizational behavioral scientist Amy Edmondson and is defined as “a shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking.”  A team that embraces diverse ideas and allows members to challenge the status quo can allow for increased success and higher team retention rates as members will feel more comfortable making contributions. 

Posing a simple question like “What is the goal for this project?” may sound simple, but often times people fear that asking such questions will present themselves as ignorant. Creating an environment that encourages team members to feel comfortable sharing their questions, big or small, is a crucial aspect of cultivating psychological safety. 

To determine whether a team has psychological safety consider the following: 
  • Do all team members feel valued? 
  • Can team members take risks without fear of backlash? 
  • Do team members openly voice their concerns? 
  • Is curiosity encouraged or deterred? 
  • Can team members ask for help? 
  • Is it okay to fail?

If these questions reveal areas that require team improvement, the next 3 tools can be incorporated to create a safer workplace environment:  

  1. Demonstrate Engagement
Being present when conversing with colleagues will make them feel more valued during interactions. Things as simple as closing a laptop or silencing a phone can decrease distractions during conversations. Body language is another powerful tool when creating an engaged presence. Nonverbal cues such as facing the speaker, making consistent eye contact, and nodding occasionally demonstrate active listening. 

Equally important listening habits include asking thoughtful questions and presenting follow-up questions if necessary. Once an idea has been shared, recap what has been said to demonstrate understanding. If further clarification is necessary this is the opportunity to ensure both parties are on the same page. 

During conversations, it is imperative to avoid placing blame. Trying to find someone at fault will discourage team members from taking risks and may lead to dishonesty in the future. Rather than pointing fingers, work to find solutions for the problem at hand and develop methods to prevent future issues. Use this situation as a learning opportunity. 

Leaders can determine the engagement of their team members through pulse or engagement surveys.

2. Cultivate Inclusivity in Interpersonal Settings
Actively developing an inclusive environment for team members can create an open environment that facilitates sharing. Provide information about personal working habits and preferences. Encourage other team members to share their working styles as well. Knowing more about how different people work allows for a greater understanding of what to expect from each other in the future. 

Expressing gratitude for team members' work establishes an inclusive environment since members know that their contributions are valued. Along with spreading positivity, preventing negative talk among colleagues is equally important. When overseeing a team, complaints about team members should be listened to and taken into consideration, however, spreading gossip or unnecessary negativity should be shut down immediately. 

Creating inclusivity can also manifest through building rapport. Ask team members about their life outside of work and try to remember important aspects of their personal life. If team members share important upcoming events, inquire about the event later on. 

Establishing open communication about meetings is another important aspect. Prior to or at the beginning of meetings, communicate the intentions of the meetings so everyone can be on the same page. Also, make it easily accessible for team members to schedule meetings and provide ample availability to allow for such meetings.

3. Facilitate Open Decision Making 
Ensuring a collaborative decision-making process will allow team members to feel valued. Encourage input and feedback from all individuals. When working to create a more open environment, team members may not initially feel comfortable voicing their insights. To counteract this, invite the team to share criticism and vocalize questions. This can be done by posing open-ended questions or areas of personal concern. 

When facilitating meetings, restrain from interrupting members of the team. Cutting others off may discourage members from sharing in the future. Furthermore, prevent team members from interrupting one another. This can be done by immediately shutting down the interrupter or even circling back to the individual who was interrupted. 

Another effective method for open decision-making is communicating clearly. Make sure to articulate soundly and speak at a volume that is audible to everyone. Prompt others to speak at an appropriate volume as well. If everyone can hear the conversation and understand what is being discussed, they will be more likely to contribute. 

When reaching conclusions, explain the decision-making process thoroughly and articulate how the final decision was reached. While relaying the conclusion, acknowledge input and positive contributions from other team members. Although not all team members will be on board with each decision, this will show that their work in reaching the conclusion was beneficial. 

4. Encourage Risks 
People often try their best to avoid facing failure. By doing so this limits potential successes or learning opportunities. Have an honest conversation about failure and why it shouldn't be a point of fear. This conversation can be a moment to be vulnerable and share personal experiences dealing with failure. Open the conversation to others to share their thoughts on failure as well. 

Encourage team members to take educated risks by leading by example. Team members will feel more comfortable taking risks if they see this in action. The team as a whole will shift from a mindset of perfectionism to a mindset of growth. Embrace mistakes and discuss takeaways one on one or in a group setting.  

When creating a risk-taking environment, team members must be supported to other executive members. Celebrate the successes of team members during the risk-taking journey and share the learning moments as well. Ensure that these risks aren’t portrayed negatively to executives as this will prevent team members from employing creativity in the future. 

Utilizing these steps can build psychological safety among existing team members. Focusing on a culture of psychological safety is equally important during the employment process. During hiring be conscious of candidates that possess a positive mindset. Consider which candidates would empower their team members and further the progress toward a safe team environment. Team members who are motivating and proactive bring out the best in those around them and can positively impact the productivity of the team. 

Achieving psychological safety takes a conscious effort from the entire team. As a manager, it is crucial that a positive example is set to encourage a risk-free environment for all. 


Thu 17 August 2023
Being a great individual contributor doesn’t equate to being a great leader. As you advance in your career, you’ll need to continually enhance your leadership skills. Prove to your boss that you have what it takes to lead and inspire your team members whenever a new opportunity comes your way.

For example, if you’re a Director looking to become a VP, you should also work toward developing specific qualities that will make you a better fit for a leadership role. These include delegating tasks effectively, prioritizing assignments, setting clear goals, empowering team members, and helping motivate others at work.

Oftentimes, the path towards being an executive requires being a player/coach - meaning that you have to both lead a team and accomplish individual goals. It's crucial to maintain a delicate balance, avoiding burnout and overwork along the way. 

When you’re passionate about what you do, or maybe you just really want that promotion, it can be easy to forget that long hours, nonstop work, and saying yes to extra assignments may boost your career in the short term. But in the long run, it can send you into a terrible spiral.

You may not even see that burnout coming; it creeps up on you as you drive yourself to physical and emotional exhaustion.

The best way to avoid it—without sacrificing your commitment to success? Take a few proactive measures while your star is rising, and when you get to the top, you’ll have a great set of career best practices that will take you wherever you want to go.

Embrace the Journey of Growth

To embark on this exciting journey, embrace a growth mindset—one that celebrates the transformative power of dedication and hard work. Visualize the path ahead as an opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. This mindset not only fuels your motivation but also demonstrates to decision-makers your capacity to adapt, learn, and thrive in the face of challenges.

Unleash the Power of Prioritization

It's easy to get overwhelmed by a sea of tasks and responsibilities. However, the key lies in mastering the art of prioritization. Channel your focus into areas that align with your long-term goals and resonate with the organization's vision. Embrace delegation as a means of empowering your team while you concentrate on tasks that genuinely propel you forward. Remember, it's not about doing more; it's about doing what truly matters.

Lead from Within

As an aspiring VP, the journey isn't solely about attaining a title—it's about leaving an indelible mark through your leadership. Lead by example, guiding your team with unwavering dedication and passion. Showcase your unwavering commitment to excellence, and you'll inspire others to do the same. Authentic leadership not only makes you stand out but also paves the way for your team's collective success.

Embrace Feedback 

The road to greatness is paved with feedback and self-improvement. Invite constructive criticism from peers, team members, and mentors. Let go of any defensiveness, and instead, view feedback as an opportunity to refine your skills and approach. By humbly embracing growth areas, you demonstrate your commitment to becoming a more effective leader—one who is attuned to both successes and areas for development.

Nurture Meaningful Connections

As you ascend the corporate ladder, never underestimate the power of relationships. Cultivate strong connections within and outside your organization. Engage in meaningful networking, driven not solely by ambition but by a genuine desire to learn and support others. Building relationships fosters a supportive environment, one that recognizes your potential and fuels your pursuit of success.

Champion Your Own Journey

Your accomplishments deserve recognition, and advocating for yourself is crucial on this journey. Celebrate your achievements while humbly sharing them with key decision-makers. Articulate how your contributions align with the company's vision and values. Be confident, poised, and authentic in showcasing your potential and aspirations.

Balance and Thrive

As you strive for success, don't lose sight of the importance of a balanced life. Avoid the trap of overworking yourself to exhaustion. Remember that sustainable achievement stems from a foundation of well-being. Make time for hobbies, relaxation, and loved ones, as these elements provide you with the resilience and clarity needed to thrive on your journey to VP.

In your pursuit of the VP role, you'll inevitably encounter obstacles and challenges. Rather than being deterred, approach these hurdles with a solutions-oriented mindset. Your ability to identify innovative and strategic solutions will set you apart as a leader who thrives under pressure. Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth and showcase your resourcefulness when faced with complex situations.

The path from Director to Vice President is both thrilling and transformative. Embrace the journey with a growth mindset, prioritizing meaningful tasks, leading with authenticity, and embracing feedback and challenges. Nurture relationships and be your own champion, advocating for the recognition you deserve. Most importantly, maintain a balanced approach, caring for your well-being along the way. 

By mastering the art of climbing the ladder with purpose, you'll not only ascend to the VP level but also leave a legacy of inspiration and leadership.


Mon 31 July 2023
As professionals, everyone has different hopes for the workplace culture they want to experience. As leaders, many may find it difficult to actualize culture changes that every employee will embody. 

The main struggle of enacting new change is that humans are creatures of habit. Routine work habits and communication patterns become repetitive and can get anyone stuck in a rut of redundancy. After years or decades of the same unwavering schedule and workplace practices, it is hard to motivate divergent values throughout your company. As leaders, it is hard to get everybody on board with enacting a cultural shift, even when it is for the better. 

Changing company culture can be a daunting task. It can take time to unwind cultural norms that have developed over years and people can be very resistant to change in all facets of their lives. Initiating culture changes takes consistent time, effort and resources, and patience in the results. 

How do company leaders motivate change and get each employee to practice a new wave of  cultural values? 

From a bird’s eye view, it is easy to imagine the differences culture can cause in the overall makeup of a business, including increases in efficiency, improvements in workplace comradery and overall happiness at work. However, employees can sometimes be affected by tunnel vision and find it challenging to see the bigger picture and importance of workplace culture. Here are four steps on how to get your employees to join in on a new wave of culture changes:


1- Include employees in forming new values 
From an executive position, it can be difficult to know what those several levels below you can most benefit from. In forming your new company values, the most crucial step for getting every employee on board is making sure the new values are important to employees and inspire them to create change throughout the company. Find what values upper management wishes to prioritize and collaborate with other professionals at the company to find a set of values that will enhance everyone at the company. The best way to have employee buy-in is to prioritize values many already find important. Additionally, resistance to change can be minimized by transparency in new values. Many people have anxiety and growing pains when change is in effect due to uncertainty, but if the unknowns are minimized, the change resistance may be too. 

2- Initiate Training Curriculum
To implement your company's culture and get everyone on board, start at ground zero. Implement portions and examples of your culture into training and development throughout your company or better yet, create training programs tailored to specific goals and values. To ensure this is impactful, consider using different training platforms and methods, and include real life applications and examples on how you expect this culture shift to affect your company as a whole. For example, if you want your company culture to reflect a value in innovation, explain to your employees how you are working on embracing mistakes and finding creative solutions  in the workplace. 

As a second portion of training and development, consider implementing a leadership program to teach leaders how these cultural changes should be exhibited in each of their teams. Teaching leaders to lead by example can be tricky when it is in unprecedented areas for individuals. As part of a leadership training, it is important to emphasize a united front to the rest of your company to ensure buy-in from all employees firm wide. 

3- Practice what you teach
One of the most impactful methods of leadership is leading by example. If you want your company's culture to prioritize its people, show that in your everyday actions. After beginning training and development to adjust your company’s culture, be sure to exhibit these values in your everyday life. By demonstrating your ideal culture, you gain credibility and support from others, and inspire others towards new goals. Those in lower level positions look up to those within leadership and will follow your lead of implementing different priorities in your company's culture. Finally, practicing what you teach is crucial for holding yourself accountable and working towards self- growth. If you want to lead a company that prioritizes compassion but you yourself have trouble exhibiting this, your employees may have a hard time endowing such a shift. Self-growth allows us all to become more aware of ways we can better ourselves, and will exhibit to your employees that you are all working on growing and learning at the same time and that it is a team-effort that will result in improved culture for the entire company. 


4- Monitor Feedback and Celebrate Success
Sometimes from a leadership position, it is challenging to see the effect of changes from a top-down view. It is impossible to grow without feedback so, once you have implemented your cultural shifts, be sure to collect feedback at specified intervals from all levels to better understand the execution of changes throughout your employees.  In receiving feedback, it is also important to celebrate success and keep an optimistic view moving forward. Consider using different systems to celebrate success, maybe publicly recognizing those who exemplify your new cultural changes and values. Finding time for both of these items can sometimes take the back burner nevertheless, it is important to collect feedback and celebrate success for continuous execution of your revised culture. 

Remember that these changes won’t happen overnight. It is important to be patient and understanding as everyone begins to enact new habits and values throughout their professional life, it can be a long process to unwind decades of repetitive habits and values. A good leader is able to understand and empathize, be patient in understanding that it is hard to change something as broad as culture and that in practice, your company’s culture will develop and with passion, people will follow. 
Mon 31 July 2023
When we think about curiosity many of us revert back to our childhood. We are reminded of the freedom to discover new characters in books or find different approaches to attacking a math problem or fun ways to cause an explosion during a science experiment. We may even think about playing in the sand and exploring the perfect mixture of water and sand to build our best castles. Being curious comes naturally to children. It’s part of childhood.

But curiosity is key to growth and discovery for leaders. 

Curiosity is the secret ingredient to helping leaders understand new trends and grow their leadership skills. Being curious empowers leaders to take risks, deal with failure and regroup to make a comeback. 

How curious are you? 

It may seem easier to just keep doing the same things over and over that we have mastered through the years, yet eventually that thinking will just get us stuck and bored. To remain relevant in our fields, leaders must develop a keen sense of curiosity and commitment to continued learning.

Five Strategies To Grow Curiosity In Leaders:

  1. Understand the Importance of Curiosity 

Curiosity is essential for leaders to grow as it drives continuous learning, adaptability, innovation, and creativity. Curious leaders listen actively, empathize with others, and make better-informed decisions, fostering engagement and motivation within their teams. 

By seeking out diverse perspectives and investigating problems deeply, they develop a growth mindset and build a learning culture, leading to personal and organizational development. Ultimately, curiosity empowers leaders to navigate complexities and embrace change, staying relevant and effective in an ever-evolving world.


2. Identify An Area To Grow

No matter where we are leading from or what point we are in our career trajectory, leading is synonymous with learning. The first step in developing our leadership curiosity is to decide on the area we need to grow. Leaders can do this by:

  • Evaluating how they stack up to the current skills required in their field
  • Choosing an interest that fascinates them that may add to their leadership toolbox
  • Asking colleagues what experiences or knowledge could help them become stronger performers
  • Joining a networking group that shares information about their industry.


3. Look For a Mentor

Another great way to cultivate our curiosity is by reaching out and finding a mentor. Mentors can be bosses in or outside of our departments or they can be friends or even relatives. 

Ambition in Motion's executive mastermind group is a valuable resource for executives and managers as it provides access to experienced mentors who offer personalized guidance, networking opportunities, and valuable insights for navigating leadership challenges. The program enhances leadership skills, emotional intelligence, and self-awareness while promoting continuous learning and professional development, ultimately empowering mentees to achieve greater success and fulfillment in their roles.

The magic of a mentor is that they can:

  • Help leaders see possibilities and even connect them with interesting leaders.
  • Discuss helpful skills and experiences to grow their careers
  • Share their powerful stories of missteps and mistakes
  • Guide leaders how to best approach difficult obstacles


4. Practice Your New Discoveries 

Of course, the best way to master what our curiosity has led us to is by using the new- found knowledge, experience or skills. Try applying it on the job or in a volunteer position. Test it out with colleagues or incorporate it into a project you are working on. Even think of sharing it with a co-worker because if we can teach it we have truly learned it.


The Ripple Effect of Leadership Behavior

Curious leaders are always on the lookout for new ideas and approaches. When leaders encourage curiosity among their teams, they create a culture that fosters innovation and creative problem-solving. As team members feel empowered to explore different possibilities, the organization as a whole becomes more adaptable and can respond better to challenges.

Additionally, when leaders judge themselves based on their intentions rather than only the outcomes, they can better understand their actions' impact on their team. This self-reflection enables them to admit mistakes and learn from them openly. Such vulnerability and transparency contribute to creating a culture of trust and psychological safety, where team members feel safe to voice their opinions without fear of judgment.

A curious leader is naturally more inclined to listen to their team members actively. By showing genuine interest in their employees' perspectives, ideas, and concerns, leaders can boost employee engagement and foster a sense of value and appreciation within the workforce. Engaged employees are more likely to be motivated, productive, and committed to the organization's goals.


Mon 31 July 2023
Effective prioritization is essential for achieving success and developing a competitive edge in organizations. The implementation of an efficient prioritization management process is critical to optimize productivity, streamline operations and best utilize available resources. 

Why do other teams work the same amount of time, but yield greater results? How can my team use resources effectively and meet deadlines consistently? 

Developing an effective process to prioritize tasks involves more than arranging tasks in order of importance. A well-designed approach considers various factors such as complexity, resource availability, impact on the organization, and relation to other tasks. Crafting a system that is tailored to the specific goals of the organization can allow leaders to direct their teams toward success. 

Here are some key components to consider when creating an effective prioritization model. 

  1. Reflect on the Team's Objectives: Understanding the goals of the team and the company as a whole will keep in mind the bigger picture. From here, you can align your priorities in the direction of the organization to ensure all business values are adhered to. 

2. List Tasks: Create a comprehensive list of tasks that need to be completed to visualize everything. All tasks can be placed in different categories based on their importance and urgency. Tasks that are incredibly time-sensitive and important can be included in one group and create similar groups for tasks that lessen in time sensitivity and importance. 

3. Determine Task Dependencies: Identify tasks that must be completed before starting other tasks. Ensure that tasks with dependencies are prioritized before their dependent tasks. 

4. Consider Resources and Constraints: The availability of resources is extremely important when prioritizing tasks. Consider time, budget, and manpower requirements when considering each task. Assess whether each task can realistically be completed given the available resources. 

5. Avoid Overloading: Assigning too many tasks to team members can lead to burnout and overall decreased productivity. When delegating tasks it is important to be realistic about the number of tasks assigned to individuals and teams. 

6. Establish Deadlines: Specify realistic deadlines for tasks based on their predetermined levels of urgency and importance. Ensure that these deadlines take into account the dependencies identified in the previous step as well. All deadlines should be communicated to team members, relevant managers, and any other pertinent stakeholders. 

7. Gather Team Member Insights: After establishing deadlines get input from team members on the prioritization of tasks. Team members might have key insights into the complexity of each task. This step is valuable in ensuring that individuals and teams can handle tasks as additional insights can ensure that time constraints are appropriate. 

8. Utilize Management Software: Incorporate software to help organize tasks effectively. Tools can be helpful when keeping track of upcoming deadlines, task progress, and even individual team members' performance. 

9. Evaluate and Adjust Regularly: Goals, resources, or other factors may shift over time and affect how tasks are prioritized. Evaluate task priorities regularly to ensure that tasks continue to be aligned with the evolving goals of the organization. 

10. Communicate Clearly: Articulate all tasks effectively to team members and ensure that they understand the importance of the priorities. Communicating clearly mitigates misunderstandings and focuses on goals. 

Recognize that in dynamic work environments, priorities should mirror the ever-changing landscape. While priorities are essential, being flexible is important when handling unforeseen changes or emergencies. Prioritizing may be perceived as a rigid structure for organizing tasks, however, adaptation is an important aspect that must be implemented in real-world applications. 

Remember, effective task prioritization is aligned with the organization's overall goals. Continuing to adjust and optimize the prioritization system can enhance productivity and achieve optimal results in the workplace. 

When discussing prioritization, delegation is another important skill to implement. Delegation can develop employees' skills, allow managers to focus on higher-level responsibilities, and ultimately increase team productivity. Here are some important guidelines for productive delegation. 

  • Identify Tasks to Delegate: Determine which tasks require critical decision-making and which can be delegated without compromising quality. Delegate tasks that provide learning opportunities for team members while allowing you time for more strategic work.

  • Play to Team Members Strengths: To effectively delegate, it is crucial to recognize the strengths of team members. Understanding each individual's skills and expertise will guide you in delegating appropriate tasks that best align with their abilities. Delegation can also serve as an opportunity to develop skills for team members. Creating these growth opportunities can strengthen the team as a whole. 

  • Set Clear Expectations: Clearly communicate desired outcomes and expectations for each delegated task. Communicate specific deadlines, quality standards, and any task constraints. 

  • Provide Resources: Ensure team members have the necessary support and tools to complete the delegated tasks effectively. Identify steps they can implore if they are struggling throughout the process. 

  • Establish Check-ins: Set up regular progress checkpoints, offer guidance, and provide feedback. These meetings can be used to address any issues that arise and ensure sufficient progress is being made. 

  • Encourage Questions: Foster an open environment where team members feel comfortable asking questions and seeking clarification. This can be achieved through avoiding micromanagement and asking for their feedback as well. These initiatives can build trust and open dialogue for them to share their perspective. 

  • Recognize Efforts: Acknowledge the hard work of all team members and celebrate accomplishments. Positive reinforcement builds motivation, confidence, and commitment to the tasks. 

  • Reflect on Experiences: Regularly take time to reflect on your delegation and assess what can be improved upon in future delegation efforts. Be open to delegation feedback from team members too. Gathering feedback can generate new ideas for implementing more effective delegation practices. 

  • Defend Team Decisions: At times, team members may make decisions within their delegated tasks that create tension with executives. When responsibilities are delegated, managers must support their team. Delegation can be used as a tool for the development of skills and provide growth opportunities. Team members must feel comfortable their manager will support them to other executives as this will build team strength. 

Implementing strong delegation techniques along with task prioritization will create systems that allow effective time utilization. A system that incorporates both strategies can provide growth opportunities for your team, utilize resources effectively, and successfully manage deadlines. 


Mon 31 July 2023
Regardless of the field you work in or your level of experience, it is highly likely that at some point in your career, you will be in situations where your manager or supervisor may not completely understand your role or responsibilities. As you continue to progress in your career, this will become more common. Navigating this can be confusing and frustrating but with the right strategies and mindset, you can maintain productivity, foster strong communication, and build successful working relationships.

A lack of familiarity can arise when individuals are promoted or assigned roles before they are fully prepared to handle them or when they are given responsibilities they don't fully comprehend. When your supervisor displays this unfamiliarity, it can lead to various issues that affect your work experience.


For instance, you might find yourself facing unrealistic expectations, being expected to complete tasks without the necessary resources or time. This can result in a decrease in productivity and suboptimal results. Moreover, the strain of working under such circumstances can negatively affect the relationship between you and your supervisor, potentially leading to communication breakdowns and workplace tension.

The first step in navigating this difficult situation is to reevaluate your own judgment and mindset. It's necessary to understand that your manager may not have experience supervising a role like yours or may not have experience in your skills. Additionally, being mindful of the challenges and stressors others may be facing in their lives is important, as these factors can impact their attitude and behavior. Keeping this in mind will allow you to approach the situation with a more open mindset and problem-solving approach.
 
To navigate this situation effectively, embracing a proactive approach is key. You should look at this situation as an opportunity for personal and professional growth. By utilizing the right strategies, you can bridge knowledge gaps and collaborate more effectively with your supervisor, leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction.
 
1. Establish a two-way communication channel:
Starting by creating an open and strong communication channel between you and your supervisor can help foster a positive work environment and increase overall productivity. You can start by setting clear and realistic expectations from the beginning, giving regular updates on what you are working on, and requesting and offering constructive feedback and suggestions. Consider participating in a horizontal mentorship program, where all participants must be open-minded enough to learn from each other, regardless of their age or experience. A horizontal mentorship program encourages asking questions and sharing past mistakes, creating a two-way communication process that stimulates mutual growth.
 
 
2. Facilitate Regular Meetings:
Regular check-ins with your manager are an important aspect of navigating a work environment where your manager may not fully understand your role. These meetings provide a comfortable platform to discuss your progress, challenges, and any additional support or resources you may need to succeed in your role. By scheduling these meetings, you can ensure that your manager is aware of your progress and efforts. Moreover, it allows you to show your dedication and commitment to achieving success.
During these check-ins, it's necessary to communicate openly and honestly about any issues you may be facing. Instead of becoming frustrated with your manager's lack of understanding, view these meetings as a chance to bridge the knowledge gap. Clearly explain the nature of your tasks, the skills required, and the challenges you encounter. This can help your manager gain a deeper understanding of your role and the complexities involved, fostering a more supportive and productive relationship.
 
3. Be Proactive in Seeking Clarification:
When faced with unclear instructions or expectations, adopt a proactive approach rather than dwelling on your supervisor's lack of familiarity with your role. Instead, view these instances as opportunities to seek the support and clarity you need to perform your tasks effectively. Don't hesitate to ask questions or request additional information when something is unclear. By seeking clarification, you not only demonstrate your commitment to understanding your responsibilities thoroughly but also show a proactive attitude toward problem-solving. This approach can lead to better outcomes for your projects and tasks, as you can work with confidence, knowing you have a clear understanding of what is expected from you.
 
4. Demonstrate Willingness to Learn and Establish Credibility:
It's important to approach your work with an open mindset and attitude of continuous learning. Express your eagerness to expand your knowledge and skills in your role. This willingness to learn demonstrates your adaptability and growth mindset, which are valuable attributes in any professional setting.
At the same time, share your expertise and insights whenever appropriate. By showing your knowledge and competence in certain areas, you establish credibility within the team and with your manager. This can help build trust and respect, even in situations where your manager may not fully grasp the intricacies of your role.
 
5. Seek Support and Guidance:
Working under a manager who may not fully understand your role can be challenging but remember that you don't have to navigate this situation alone. Seek support and guidance from colleagues who have faced similar circumstances or have expertise in your field. By utilizing the knowledge and experience of your team, you can build a strong support network that empowers you to thrive, even in complex situations. Remember that seeking guidance is not a sign of weakness but rather a proactive step towards continuous improvement and professional development. You can also choose to seek a mentor. Mentors can offer valuable advice and insights, helping you develop strategies to overcome challenges and enhance your performance.
 
In conclusion, navigating a work environment with a manager who lacks a comprehensive understanding of your role can be a demanding experience. However, by adopting the strategies outlined above and maintaining open communication, you can turn this challenge into an opportunity for growth and advancement. Focus on building a strong working relationship with your manager, clarifying expectations, and seeking the necessary support to excel in your role. Embrace the chance to learn and develop professionally, as this mindset will advance your career regardless of the challenges you encounter along the way.
 


Fri 14 July 2023
At some point in your career, you will have to deal with a problematic colleague. Someone who is negatively impacting your day, having a bad attitude, or a detriment to your company's culture. 

How do you deal with this? How do you find enough patience to continue working with someone? What do you do if this person is not your superior or subordinate but a peer working at the same level as you? 

Being able to maintain a valuable workplace culture is challenging when having to deal with a disagreeable teammate. Nevertheless, it will happen to just about everyone sometime in their professional career. Being able to shift away from this disruptiveness, promote a positive attitude and encourage your company culture identifies outstanding leaders. 

A pessimistic co-worker can be the cause of several problems affecting a wide variety of professionals. A defeatist attitude can impact productivity, teamwork, communication, and morale within a company in addition to personally affecting team members' mental health and work-life balance. If you notice a colleague with a consistently unfavorable attitude, it is important to address it to minimize the disruption and reduce the impact of their demeanor. Focus on open communication and balance to help foster a healthy and comfortable work environment for everyone. 

Dealing with a supervisor or subordinate with an unpleasant attitude is strenuous, but dealing with a negative peer presents a whole new challenge. Superiority and titles no longer impact the relationship, one of you does not directly report to the other one, but collaboration is crucial. Understanding a discouraging or disruptive coworker is exhausting but here are some tips that may help you better conduct a beneficial relationship with a fellow employee that has a poor attitude:

  1. Lead by example
Although it may be challenging, it is crucial to keep an optimistic attitude when dealing with a difficult coworker. Even if this colleague is not your superior or subordinate, they may still learn from the work environment you are fostering compared to theirs. Being able to successfully lead people and create a warm and welcoming culture demonstrates your leadership and attitude. Being able to lead by example and exhibit a positive attitude changes the dynamic, especially when you need someone's cooperation to finish a project or meet a deadline, ensuring you are maintaining a positive attitude is important. 

2. Practice empathy
We all can get caught up in emotion. Being empathetic and working to understand where a peer's attitude stems from. Nothing can create an adverse environment like an uncooperative and adverse leader. When working in a professional environment, consider perspective vs. intent, and take a closer look at what the situation may be. You may understand a workmate to be abrupt or hasty but, maybe they have another meeting to attend. Examining a situation from the other's point of view and being able to further break down your perception of someone's attitude and actions compared to the intent behind it will help you understand how to best move forward in dealing with a teammate you perceive as hostile. 

3. Offer constructive feedback 
While it may be awkward, getting feedback is what allows us to professionally grow. Professionals may have an unpleasant attitude but do not realize how they present it, how they communicate, and how they disrupt the culture and attitude of others in their company. Work on cultivating a culture that embraces mistakes and allows employees to grow through feedback. Being able to effectively communicate constructive feedback is a great skill for all leaders. In preparing to give constructive feedback, be sure to consider timeliness and be specific in your feedback so they know exactly what they are doing that portrays them as uncooperative. It is also important to find a balance between criticism and appreciation for the work they do and ask if they have any feedback for you. Requesting feedback for yourself is crucial because not only does it allow you to grow, it creates a conversation between the two rather than a scolding of the person with a poor attitude. If this seems too overwhelming, consider talking to human resources and seeing if feedback can be worked into a performance review. 

4. Focus on self-care 
When working with a resistive colleague, be sure to take time to focus on keeping up your positive outlook to foster a productive work environment and, celebrate the small success within that relationship. Working with a troublesome coworker slowly damages your resilience and patience. It is crucial to take the time and recuperate and rebuild so you can put your best foot forward in maintaining a positive attitude and encouraging the company culture you would like to see. Some steps you could take to focus on your self-care could be setting work boundaries to make sure this doesn’t affect your personal life or setting transition times before or after your meetings with this team member to debrief and decompress. Build time into your day to do whatever will help you realign after working with this challenging teammate. 

5. Seek mentorship  
Dealing with a negative attitude can be emotionally draining. Finding a mentor who has had similar experiences that will be able to provide specific advice and guidance can help you maintain your productive attitude and continue to foster the workplace environment you want to have. To avoid gossip, seek connection with professionals outside of your company in a horizontal mentorship program to learn how others in the same position are dealing with problems similar to your own. 

When working with a frustrating peer, it is important to maintain professionalism, gossip is inappropriate in a professional environment. However, being able to vent about these problems is a great way to release some frustration. Consider reaching out to your company's human resources department, you can request an off-the-record meeting, and explain you do not want to have this person notified but just need someone to talk to about the situation. 

Remember that moving on from a difficult co-worker takes time and effort, do not expect to see changes overnight, stay focused and committed to maintaining your optimistic attitude and fostering a productive and healthy work environment for those around you, and do not let others' negativity hinder your happiness. 


Fri 14 July 2023
Bad news can come in many forms and at unexpected times. Getting passed up for a promotion, receiving undesired project results, or even recognizing disparities in workplace treatment are just some experiences that can decrease motivation and divert progress. These experiences may feel detrimental with little hope for recovery. 

A large contributor to how adversity is handled relies on ones mindset before, during, and after receiving the news. Even during unsuccessful moments, prioritizing your frame of thinking will allow for the best future steps. 

When encountering difficulties, it is natural to default to a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset is a frame of thinking that inhibits the ability to look past the issue at hand. Individuals who possess a fixed mindset believe that their skill set is relatively inflexible so there isn’t much opportunity for improvement. Setbacks are perceived as limitations of their skillsets which leads those with fixed mindsets to avoid challenges. 

To overcome hardship implementing a growth mindset may lead to honing adaptability, embracing creativity, continued optimism, and the motivation to acquire a new skill. A growth mindset stems from the belief that everyone has the ability to continue to develop skills and make improvements based on continuous efforts. One isn’t stuck in their current position with a growth mindset because they can take steps to improve and continue to learn in any given situation. This perspective is particularly important when dealing with setbacks, and can be implemented daily to concentrate on your objectives.  

The growth mindset recognizes that challenges will arise and these setbacks serve as opportunities for growth. Possessing a growth mindset may even lead to the pursuit of new challenges as they will serve as further areas to expand knowledge and experience. Utilizing this framework can encourage passion and purpose in both personal and professional settings due to the ability to maintain an optimistic perspective. Overall, this perspective aims to work towards a more fulfilling life because one isn’t self imposing mental limitations. 

Maintaining a growth mindset in the face of bad news is a challenge, but it is achievable with diligent effort and continued practice. These are some initiatives geared towards developing a growth mindset during challenging moments to increase your ability to take productive first steps. 

  1. Process your emotions: 
Acknowledge your emotions and why you are frustrated with the situation. When receiving bad news it is natural to feel disheartened or frustrated with the outcome. Allow yourself the opportunity to embrace these emotions and process them. Recognize the root of your feelings and why it made you feel that way. Initial negative reactions are common when dealing with difficulties and are part of life. 
2. Reframe the situation as a learning opportunity: 
Seek potential lessons you can learn from the situation and ways you can approach this problem differently going forward. Reflecting on what went poorly may direct you to a new skill you can learn that will be beneficial in the future. Spend time analyzing tangible things that can be enhanced rather than dwelling on things out of your control. 
3. Acquire feedback: 
Gathering feedback and receiving constructive criticism work to determine areas that need improvement and are good ways to prevent the repetition of similar setbacks. Reaching out to others who have more knowledge of what occurred can provide clarity and prevent you from wondering what went wrong.  
4. Identify alternative solutions:
Depending on the situation at hand, there may be additional pathways to pursue to achieve your desired outcome. Pursuing alternatives may mean having a conversation with a coworker about different processes that can be implemented, or a conversation with management to learn what opportunities are available/ feasible. Identifying alternative solutions may ultimately lead to pursuing a position at a company that aligns better with your interests and will value your skill set appropriately. Allow time to use your creativity to find different solutions. 
5. Seek support from peers or outside resources:
When managing a setback, speaking with peers can allow you to gain perspective and recognize that others have experienced similar hardships. Vocalizing your outlook on the obstacle will allow for collaborative problem-solving and lead to informed decisions. Surrounding yourself with individuals who positively support and encourage you is key to maintaining a growth mindset. An alternative approach is to seek a mentor removed from the situation and learn how they may approach the current difficulty. A mentor's guidance will allow you to be accountable in your pursuit of growth. 
6. Establish Goals: 
Goal setting is a powerful tool when working towards a growth mindset. After enduring a difficult situation, creating attainable ways to move forward will allow you to have productive results despite obstacles. Determine what your current goals are and then break them down into smaller more achievable goals. By breaking down your goals, you can maintain motivation and gain a sense of accomplishment. Goal setting creates a strong foundation for accountability and motivation for improvement. 

Successfully navigating a setback isn’t an easy endeavor, but maintaining a growth mindset will work toward more rewarding results. Bad news isn’t a determinant of continued misfortune if it is used as motivation to pursue new goals. 

Remember that upholding a growth mindset is a continuous process and one that takes time. Commit to embracing challenges as opportunities for development and recognize that a growth mindset can help achieve success in difficult times. 


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