Do You Know Where You Are Now?


At the core of self-management is your self-concept, and how it plays out in your life: the one where you’re a star and the one where you’re a little lost. Reality lies somewhere in the middle. Your self concept inevitably reflects some reality and some fantasy.

The two strategic questions are:

If you’re young, you may not know yourself well enough to answer these questions. If you’re older, you know by now that you can do better.

Ask yourself: “Is this the best I can do? If not, where can I focus that will really make a difference?”

This is one reason so many people are turning to a coach to help them gain perspective. In the work I do, some of my smartest clients are pretty perceptive about themselves. And they know that they need another person if they want to grow beyond what they already know.

Most people insufficiently use their talents because they fear stretch goals and the prospect of leaving their comfort zones. They continue doing what they’ve always done because it’s safe, instead of taking risks and working with a professional coach. But self-discovery—especially of one’s strengths—is critical for any quantifiable success.

Most of us are reconciled to the path we’re on and rarely stop to take stock. Like the Energizer Bunny, we just keep going and going…and going.

Author Peter Bregman, in his book 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done (Business Plus, 2011), proposes two tactics to break this negative momentum:

  1. Slow down.
  2. Start over.

Where Do You Want to Go?

Answer the following questions so you can begin to design a successful plan, avoid drifting and ultimately reclaim your life:

  1. What are your strengths? Take a look at your life, work, proficiencies and the activities you enjoy.
  2. What are your weaknesses? What subjects or tasks do you naturally avoid? How can you use your weaknesses to your advantage?
  3. What are your differences? What makes you unique? How can your experiences, talents and proclivities make a difference to others?
  4. What are you passionate about? Which tasks excite and energize you? How can you become more involved with them at work?

Somewhere at the intersection of these four questions lies your foundation for success and happiness. Your time is best spent on blending these components into something productive.

What are your thoughts about these four questions? I’d love to hear from you. Give me a call, 704-827-4474. Or, you can reach me here and on LinkedIn.

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Are You Doing the Right Things?

Self-ManagementWe start each day knowing we’re not going to get everything done. Every year, we reflect on our progress and wonder where the time went. Why haven’t we completed our to-do lists?

I hear about this all the time in the work I do as a coach. It’s easy to get caught in the trap of wheel-spinning. Read More »

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Egotistic Leaders: 4 Steps to Tame the Beast


Egotistic leaders: it seems they’re everywhere. At least, it seems so, if you watch the news or have been reading my recent posts on working for a leader with a big ego. Read More »

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Countering Egotistic Leadership:
Taking Ground Back

Defeating-EgotismEgotistic leadership can be countered. But it takes a deliberate effort on the part of leaders to refocus and see things from a wider view. Trained coaches are an excellent resource to guide leaders to a helpful perspective. In some cases, a leader can only make progress on becoming less egotistical through working with an experienced professional.

An effective leader requires a life of balance. Some ego tendencies are beneficial. Boldness and confidence are certainly assets in forging direction and inspiring followers. But these tendencies must be kept in check and proportioned with other important leadership attributes. Read More »

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Here’s Why Egotistic Leadership Doesn’t Work

Egotistic-leadershipEgotistic leadership not only affects people, but the whole organization suffers. Because of the egotist leader’s disinterest in other viewpoints, they cannot work constructively with those who disagree. They won’t accept or learn from feedback, and it doesn’t take long for feedback to be stifled altogether. A distorted take on reality leads to the egotist’s overconfidence in tackling major challenges.

The effects of leaders with big egos cause great pain throughout the organization. The egotistic leader: Read More »

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How Leaders with Big Ego Are Less Effective

Big-EgoFor any leader, the risks of big ego are magnified. An inflated perception of oneself distorts reality, both inwardly and outwardly. Author Ryan Holiday, in his book, Ego Is the Enemy (Penguin, 2016), explores what drives this behavior:

  • Egotists regard themselves as superior, set apart from everyone else.
  • They are entitled and important simply because they want to be.
  • They know everything, or at least don’t believe they can be taught anything of significance in their immediate world.
  • With a rear-view-mirror perspective, they rely on past accomplishments, convinced these are enough to carry them wherever they want to go.

Read More »

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The Risks of Working for a
Leader with Big Ego

Big-EgoIf you’ve ever worked for someone with a big ego, then you know how frustrating it can be. Nothing can be more debilitating in an organization. Leaders with out-of-control egos are responsible for huge losses in productivity and profits.

“Ego is the invisible line item on every company’s profit and loss statement.”—David Marcum and Steven Smith in egonomics: What Makes Ego Our Greatest Asset (or Most Expensive Liability), Fireside, 2007

Read More »

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What You Can Do If You’re a People-Pleaser

People-pleaserIt may be a struggle for people-pleaser leaders to identify their traits, so it’s important for seasoned colleagues or a leadership coach to employ tested approaches when working with them.

According to Dr. Beatrice Chestnut, author of The 9 Types of Leadership: Mastering the Art of People in the 21st Century Workplace (Post Hill Press, 2017), the process begins with encouraging a people-pleaser to step outside their comfort zones and establish healthy boundaries. They’ll need to observe their emotions and responses to uncomfortable situations and learn to grow more comfortable. Read More »

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Is Your Boss a People-Pleaser?

People-pleaserAnyone who’s ever worked for a boss who was a people pleaser knows how challenging that can be. Understanding what goes on inside people-pleasers’ heads can help us work with them.

According to Dr. Beatrice Chestnut, author of The 9 Types of Leadership: Mastering the Art of People in the 21st Century Workplace (Post Hill Press, 2017), people-pleasing leaders are most comfortable when they receive approval, consensus, and mutual consideration. This makes them relationally productive, yet corporately productive only at the peak of harmony. They empathize well and feel the need to serve selflessly. They see the good in others and give them the benefit of the doubt. Read More »

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People-Pleasing Leaders:
The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

People-pleasingSometimes I hear colleagues complain that their boss is too nice. They work for a people-pleasing leader. Working for someone who always wants to be liked is frustrating. People-pleasing leaders tend to waffle, try to please everyone, and don’t make decisions easily for fear of disappointing someone. That’s a breeding ground for mistrust.

Even though people-pleasers view their world through this warped lens, some positive behaviors often emerge. People-pleasing leaders: Read More »

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