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Sara Canaday
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Leader as Coach: it’s an enormous movement in corporate America today. In fact, the concept of a leader operating as a coach or mentor has never before taken such a prominent role in the leadership development arena. Why? Research clearly shows that leaders who take the time to coach their team members have direct, positive impact on their employees’ productivity, engagement, retention and development. Given this trend, I was delighted to have a master level training opportunity last month in Colorado with the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL). The event was part of an intensive on-boarding process in preparation for... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2015 at Blog
When I’m working with leaders to identify their most critical development needs, often factors related to Emotional Intelligence become part of the discussion. So imagine my surprise when I read a post on LinkedIn titled, "Emotional Intelligence is Overrated". Read my response at Huffington Post. Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2015 at Blog
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Life in the business world is expensive – but don’t let your next career move take a back seat! Take a second to raise your nose from the grindstone (or the yoga mat, or the keyboard) for this reality check about your career priorities. Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2014 at Blog
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Last month, I had the privilege of delivering a keynote speech to 500 incredibly talented professionals at Working Mother Media’s annual Multicultural Women’s National Conference in New York City. As I took the stage on the first morning and began to share my story, I was struck by the remarkable vibe in the room. These women (and a few brave men) weren’t just present; they were fully engaged. I was surrounded by current and emerging leaders representing a wide range of industries, ages and cultures, and they were all totally plugged in. The message was genuinely resonating with them. The... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2014 at Blog
I'm delighted to introduce you to my friend and colleague David M. Dye. I asked David to share his wisdom via a guest blog because of his experience working with leaders who want to get more done, build teams that care, and meet their goals. He is the President of Trailblaze, Inc, tweets from @davidmdye, and welcomes your LinkedIn invitation. His book, The Seven Things Your Team Needs to Hear You Say is available on Amazon.com. Uh-Oh Joanne handed me an envelope. Inside was a single page. I unfolded the paper with its neat creases and found a letter, typed... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2014 at Blog
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I love this saying because it conjures up images of a highly charged, “just do it” kind of person who is making things happen. On the other hand, I must admit that sometimes this phrase stops me cold in my tracks. I know the value of giving it your all, and I can intellectualize the idea of pushing through my fears and letting go of my aversion to risk. However, I also have a keen sense of my tolerance for a “burn the ships” mentality. Some would argue that a Go Big strategy is essential for entrepreneurs. Every day we... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2014 at Blog
As many of you know, social media can lead to some great connections. I learned of Gerardo A. Dada via Twitter in 2012 and we have been following each other ever since. Gerardo has been at the center of web, mobile, social and cloud revolutions for more than 15 years and drives business strategy and product marketing for leading technology companies. Gerardo is the author of the blog www.theAdaptiveMarketer.com where he writes about leadership, marketing and business. Today he is offering his wisdom on my blog and I'm happy to introduce him. I was still working at Microsoft a couple... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2014 at Blog
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It’s what they hear that is most important. Give the audience what they came for. Audience analysis is the most critical aspect of developing a message for the audience. Don’t just focus on “why are you speaking?” it is more important to focus on “why the audience is listening?” They came for something, so give it to them. Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2013 at Blog
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I'm delighted to introduce to you my friend and colleague Thom Singer as my guest blogger. Thom is known as the “The Conference Catalyst” and is an expert in branding, positioning, and networking. Thom has trained thousands of professionals in the art of building professional contacts that lead to increased business. You can learn more about Thom at www.ThomSinger.com The New Year can be a time of renewal. Each January we are presented with the opportunity of a “fresh start” and the chance to look back on our victories and stumbles along the way. Creating goals for the upcoming year... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2013 at Blog
In Part 1 of this blog (“Corporate Blind Spots”), I discussed the link between a company’s success and its reputation (perceptions held by customers, partners, vendors and even employees). Many organizations don’t have a clear picture of how they are perceived, and these blind spots are often holding them back. Uncovering that true reputation and working to improve it are the keys to accelerating corporate success. In this blog, I’ll provide some steps that companies can take to help eliminate those blind spots. According to a recent survey by global PR firm Weber Shandwick and KRC Research, 70% of consumers... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2013 at Blog
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Just like our personal reputations have an enormous impact on the success of our careers, a company’s reputation ultimately determines its profitability. That concept has never been more critical than it is now in our always-online, über-connected world. Companies today are faced with a competitive playing field that has expanded exponentially. Consumers are no longer limited to product choices in their immediate areas or regions. With a click of the mouse, they can buy chocolates from Switzerland or furniture from Denmark. Twenty years ago, these options would have seemed mind-boggling. Price comparisons are almost effortless, too. Shopping around for the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2013 at Blog
As I travel across the country speaking to management groups and meeting with operations leaders, I am consistently seeing a common problem. While companies fully recognize that reaching their goals and being successful is dependent on quality leadership, the vast majority of them struggle to make that a priority. They simply don’t have the time, energy and budget required to grow and develop their leaders in a meaningful way. Many times these organizations make well-intentioned and valiant attempts to offer leadership development, but their efforts are often watered down to a non-customized “training in a box” with little or no... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2013 at Blog
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Here is Part 2 from my guest blogger Elizabeth Gibson. Elizabeth is a prolific writer, speaker and business psychologist, who uses her behavioral sciences acumen to help individuals and organizations transform for bottom-line business results. She uses the framework she describes below with her business clients and for large scale organizational change, such as the one she describes in "Big Change at Best Buy," by Elizabeth and her co-author, Andy Billings. Head: Why should I change? The challenge of the Head arena is that you must truly understand the reasons for change and its benefits to you. The way you... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2013 at Blog
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I'm delighted to introduce to you my friend and colleague Elizabeth Gibson as a guest blogger. Elizabeth is a prolific writer, speaker and business psychologist, who uses her behavioral sciences acumen to help individuals and organizations transform for bottom-line business results. She uses the framework she describes below with her business clients and for large scale organizational change, such as the one she describes in "Big Change at Best Buy," by Elizabeth and her co-author, Andy Billings. Jumping the curves. Like jumping from the top of one tall building to another. Letting go of one secure place to try and... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2013 at Blog
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Though I help others craft their value propositions and enhance the way they communicate their personal brands, I recently recognized that I might need my own refresher course. I was at a dinner event last week and faced the inevitable question: “Tell me about what you do.” I found myself in the trap of brushing off the question, assuming it was a polite conversation-starter. You know…mandatory cocktail-party banter. I gave a quick answer and moved on to the next topic. Later that evening, a friend delicately pointed out that I hadn’t genuinely described what I do so that others could... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2013 at Blog
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OK, I admit it. Being uber-organized feeds my need to feel somewhat in control of my time, resources, and results. I love the feeling of being over-prepared for a presentation with a solid framework, rocking transitions, and a theme that seems to magically appear with each and every story. However, beyond the selfish and seemingly productive advantages of being highly prepared, I've seen some disadvantages that could slowly, but surely impact the overall quality and texture of my presentations, my ability to grow as a speaker and, ultimately, the depth of the connections I can make with my audience members.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2013 at Blog
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I frequently talk with corporate audiences about the concept of "blind spots” and the impact they can have on our professional success. In a recent guest blog, I shared the story about my personal epiphany on this subject. And let’s just say, it wasn’t pretty. Blind spots affect all of us, including me. To find out more, I invite you to read about my experience in a guest blog for Whitney Johnson, the co-founder of Clayton M. Christensen’s investment firm Rose Park Advisors, a former Institutional Investor-ranked sell-side analyst on Wall Street, and a regular contributor to the Harvard Business... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2013 at Blog
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Renowned leadership expert John Baldoni has a compelling and insightful viewpoint on this subject. John was kind enough to write the foreword for my book, You – According to Them, and I would like to share an excerpt. In this essay, John discusses his thoughts about a style of leadership that has proven to be worthy of the highest honors in many organizations. "Leadership lives in the high visibility of center stage. We all know certain leaders who crave the spotlight, while others accept it reluctantly. Either way, their success positions them at the front of the corporate theater. Some... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2013 at Blog
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I'm happy to introduce you to my husband Brandon Canaday and to share his most recent post. In it, he does a beautiful job reflecting on the year's many blessings and capturing the essence of my new book. You can read it here. As you will see, Brandon likes to use drips of inspiration related to his love of fine wine and all that goes into producing it. Brandon is Vice President of Strategic Accounts with Caringo. Prior to his current role, he spent 12 years with Dell in various Senior Management and Director positions. His career evolution has given... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2013 at Blog
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With the presidential election upon us, it’s safe to say that we’ve all had a chance to experience the power of perceptions in the last few months. No matter what side of the political fence we live on, we tend to make judgments about the candidates based on how they deliver their messages – their facial expressions, tone of voice, body language and demeanor. Think about the recent debates. Does a candidate seem to be exhibiting strength or is he being combative? Does he sound confident or flustered? Does he appear energetic or disengaged? As the fluctuating poll numbers demonstrate,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2012 at Blog
When we are introduced to new co-workers, we typically don’t receive copies of their resumes along with the nice-to-meet-you handshakes. We might sit through an hour-long meeting with the new guy on the team and not have any idea about his experience, accomplishments or degrees. But chances are, at the end of that hour, we’ve already decided whether he will be great to work with – or not. Did he look bored and apathetic? Were his papers rumpled and disorganized? Did he avoid eye contact and refrain from contributing to the discussions? We mentally give this guy the “thumbs down”... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2012 at Blog
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OK, I admit it. Connecting via technology feeds my need to feel somewhat in control of my time, my contacts and my conversations. I love the fact that technology allows me to talk on my office phone, send a text message on my mobile device, and review an email on my computer at the same time. However, beyond the selfish and seemingly productive advantages of being über-connected, I’m seeing all too many disadvantages that are slowly but surely impacting the way we work, our ability to develop as professionals and, ultimately, our success potential. I recently wrote a blog about... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2012 at Blog
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It’s the classic battle of Perception versus Reality. We all hope that our “messages” (verbal and nonverbal) are received by others the way we intended them, but many different factors can prevent that from happening. We may not be aware that our behavior or tone is inadvertently contradicting our message. The “disconnect” can take many forms. Here’s the problem: good intentions don’t count in the workplace. Perception always wins, hands down. We judge ourselves based on our intentions, while others judge us based on our behaviors. More specifically, they make judgments based on their perceptions of our behavior. And the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2012 at Blog
Most of us have watched it happen in the workplace. There’s a go-to person in the organization who gets everything done. Never misses a deadline, never forgets a detail, but never gets promoted into a senior position. Meanwhile, others break through to the next level. Leaders listen to them; subordinates recognize their authority. What do those people have that the other highly competent manager lacks? Some professionals become known as implementers rather than leaders, and they get pigeonholed as what I refer to as a Perpetual Doer. Organizations can’t function without some Perpetual Doers who delight in making lists of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2012 at Blog
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Thousands of messages fight for our attention every day. When it comes to promoting ourselves for jobs and promotions, we face a mountain of competition when we try to get our unique story through the communication clutter to the right people. For some, the solution is cranking up the volume on their personal sales pitch. They believe they'll be overlooked if they don't shout their value from the rooftops, every chance they get. To them, it's a necessary part of self-promotion in today's global, 24/7, social-media-soaked business world. To their co-workers, it looks like constant bragging. Let the exasperated eye-rolling... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2012 at Blog