Lesson in Personal Leadership 1: Define and Focus on What’s Important

In beginning to discuss lessons in personal leadership, I want to first define what I mean by “personal” leadership.  Quite simply, this is the ability to lead yourself.   It’s difficult if not impossible to have the capacity to lead others if you don’t have the ability to guide yourself in achieving outcomes that are important to you. To do this though, you have to first know what is important to you! Unfortunately many people, don’t sit down an actively consider what their priorities are based on what their purpose is, so therefore they end up letting things that aren’t aligned

A Final Word on Talents and Passions

A WAY TO AVOID BEING MISERABLE Coupled with understanding your talents, discovering what your passionate about is a critical piece in determining career direction.  I find, though, that many people forego incorporating their passion and even their talents into career choices because they don’t think they can make money doing it or they are afraid they will fail.   While I’m an advocate for understanding the marketplace and the demand for certain skills before making career choices, I also believe that people putting aside their gifts and passions end up leaving themselves in very undesirable states. Consider this quote in A

The Focus on Women and Personal Leadership

DO WE REALLY WANT TO HAVE IT ALL? I’ve been overwhelmed the last few weeks with the emphasis in the media and through random conversations about the focus on women.  Women and their choice to stay at home or not to stay at home, to feed Cheetos for breakfast or fix homemade heart shaped pancakes instead, to take a job that demands more travel or not.  About women and equality from the extremes of equal pay to the need for basic human rights for women. Women having it all or wanting it all, or “leaning in” for it all, or

Passions: A Real Life Example

The last two weeks have been devoted to finding your passions through your Holland Code and through examining people, things and ideas that you are passionate about. To make the exercises more concrete, back to the example of Graham: His Holland Code ESA (Enterprising, Social, Artistic) is his Holland Code with a strong bent towards the E.   I like to call him the ultimate capitalist. Job titles connected to these areas: Enterprising Social Artistic His Top Passions Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Provide Consultation and Advice to Others Selling or Influencing Others Monitoring and Controlling Resources Getting Information Analyzing Data

2 Questions for striving servant leaders

WHERE IS YOUR CAR AND YOUR NURSERY? Is your leadership philosophy one of servant leadership?  Wonderful!  I would challenge you this week to consider if you are behaving in ways that demonstrate servant leadership.  Here are some simple questions to ask yourself: Where is your car parked at the office? Do you have an assigned spot with your name or title on it right up front, or do people simply just know the front row is your parking spot whether a sign is there or not?   Or do you discretely park in the back row of the parking lot even

Passions through People, Things and Ideas & Other Cool Tools

Identifying your Holland Code is a good starting place to consider your passions, but it isn’t the only way to discover what truly cranks your tractor. You can use the Find Your Point Worksheet to identify passions through the categories of people, things and ideas to determine career areas (the passion section starts on page 11).   Each item underlined in the worksheet is a link to jobs connected to that dimension. Cool tools for finding your passion Stanford Resources Bureau of Labor Tool Who Do you Want 2 B? Questions to ask yourself What do you spend your free time doing? What do

What I’ve found out about employment testing vendors

I’ve been vetting different off-the-shelf employment selection instruments for a client.  Here is my advice through questions you should ask yourself in the vetting process as well as some good sources I’ve found for off-the-shelf instruments.   Questions to ask yourself if you are considering adding a selection assessment:  1. Have I done a job analysis?  If not, you need to do one to know which dimensions your assessment needs to help you select for. 2.  After a job analysis, are my main issues in selection skill or will issues?   Do I need an aptitude or skills based test

Passions via your Holland Code

You’ve analyzed your talents and realize you, lets say, have knowledge and skills in the field of biology coupled with the ability to solve complex problems which may lead you to believe a career in medicine is appropriate for you.  But you don’t particularly enjoy any of these things and the thought of working with sick people isn’t appealing.   Just because you are good at something, doesn’t necessarily mean you enjoy doing it, but oftentimes it does. We typically enjoy what we can do well quite simply because we are good at it.  This is where it is important to consider

Climbing the Ladder

2 TIPS FOR CLIMBING AND 2 TIPS FOR LEANING YOUR LADDER AGAINST THE RIGHT WALL In talking to some top performing college students today,  I realized that they have what it takes to climb the rungs: 1.  You don’t have to give them m&ms to motivate them.  They are self-motivated and conscientious.  This is a characteristic that employers want.  In fact, coupled with IQ, this is the greatest predictor of job performance across all jobs.  Here’s some more info on the analogy of the m&ms.    2.  They can wait for another marshmallow.  They have the ability to delay gratification