Understanding Mid-Career Stagnation

Are you stuck in your career, questioning your path, and yearning for something more? You're not alone. I understand the complexities of mid-career stagnation all too well. I was there, and now, as an executive coach, I guide leaders through similar challenges. 

It's no secret that many leaders reach a point in their careers where the once-thrilling challenges lose their luster. The corporate landscape is riddled with stories of executives feeling uninspired and disconnected from their work. This sentiment is echoed in recent studies and podcasts by the top executive talent management and organizational development firms, such as McKinsey, Deloitte, Mercer, and Korn Ferryall shedding light on the reasons behind executive departures, including feelings of stagnation and a desire for greater autonomy.

But it's not all doom and gloom. Let’s delve into this phenomenon, using insights from data-driven trends and my personal journey, and give you some actionable strategies to reignite your passion and drive for success.

My Journey Through Mid-Career Stagnation

My experience navigating mid-career stagnation taught me invaluable lessons about mindset, resilience and intention. I was at a crossroads, grappling with the disheartening realization that my once-passionate leadership had waned, replaced by overwhelm and disillusionment.

It was during this challenging time that my own executive coach played a pivotal role in my journey. In one memorable session, she gently confronted me with an observation that shook me to my core.

Coach: “You sound a bit like a martyr.”

Me: “What the heck are you talking about?”

Her holding up the mirror to me helped me better understand that I had fallen into a pattern of blame, attributing my dissatisfaction to external factors rather than taking ownership of my own experience. Through this moment of insight, I realized that I had relinquished control over my situation and allowed myself to become a passive observer in my own life.

Through personalized coaching sessions, I discovered the power of reframing my current role as a sandbox for experimentation and innovation. Instead of succumbing to the allure of external opportunities, I learned to harness the resources and relationships to inject excitement and purpose into my daily work. This shift in mindset and proactive ownership of my career trajectory proved to be a game-changer.

Strategies for Success

Now, as an executive coach, I leverage a similar approach with my clients facing mid-career stagnation. Here are two strategies you can explore to reignite your passion:

  1. Reframing Your Current Position: Reframing your current position as a "sandbox": Instead of focusing on jumping ship or making bold changes prematurely, I encourage my clients to view their current roles as opportunities for growth and experimentation. By treating their current positions as sandboxes, they can explore new ideas, test innovative approaches, and inject excitement into their daily work.
  2. Taking Proactive Ownership of Your Career: I guide my clients to step out of the grind and envision their future trajectories. This involves mapping out how they want to add value in future roles, taking intentional steps to make those changes a reality, and reclaiming control over their career paths. By getting in the driver's seat and actively shaping their professional journeys, they can overcome boredom and rediscover fulfillment in their work.

Mid-career stagnation is a common challenge faced by leaders across industries, but it's not insurmountable.

Don't let mid-career stagnation hold you back any longer! Whether reframing your current roles as opportunities for growth or proactively mapping out your future trajectory, my goal is to empower you to reclaim your sense of purpose and reignite your professional journey.

Take the next step and work with me.

As an executive leadership coach who's walked the corridors of corporate leadership, I've witnessed the increasing demands placed on today's leaders and the increased importance of prioritization in leadership. The relentless pursuit of results, the pressure to meet higher expectations, and the evolving dynamics of the modern workforce present challenges that demand a fresh perspective. It’s time to consider a seemingly paradoxical concept—finding ways to "care less"—and how it can unlock a leader's capacity to care more about what truly matters.

The Landscape of Modern Leadership

In a world where job satisfaction is declining, and the workforce is grappling with the stresses of returning to the office or navigating hybrid work, leaders find themselves at a crossroads. Despite efforts to provide flexibility, support, and even salary increases, discontent persists. The distance between leaders and their teams has eroded trust, giving rise to misunderstandings and conflict. The remedy, however, lies not in doing more but in doing things differently.

The Irony of "Caring Less"

As an intentional leadership coach, I often ask my clients a seemingly ironic question: "How can you care less?" It's not a call to apathy, but rather a challenge to shed unnecessary burdens. Leaders must learn to care less about the distracting noise around them - the non-essential matters that hinder their ability to lead with intention. This shift is crucial because caring less about the trivial allows leaders to invest more in what truly matters - leading, engaging and supporting their teams to be their best. 

Prioritization in Leadership & Identifying Less Important Matters

To embark on this journey of caring less, leaders need practical strategies to identify what is less important. Here are 3 ways to navigate this process:

  1. Prioritize Impact: Evaluate tasks and responsibilities based on their potential impact. What actions contribute significantly to team engagement, productivity, and overall success? By prioritizing tasks with a direct impact, leaders can allocate their time and energy where it matters most.
  2. Align with Core Values: Leaders should reassess their activities in light of their organization's core values. Are the tasks aligning with the company's mission and values? If not, there may be distractions that hinder authentic leadership. By aligning actions with core values, leaders can streamline their focus and contribute to a more purpose-driven workplace.
  3. Delegate Wisely: Effective leaders recognize the power of delegation. Identify tasks that can be delegated to capable team members, freeing up time for leaders to concentrate on strategic, high-impact initiatives. Delegating empowers team members, fosters collaboration, and ensures that leaders direct their energy where it matters most.

Embrace a New Era of Leadership

In a time where intentional, heart-led leadership is needed more than ever, the challenge lies in bridging the gap between the desire to lead effectively and the daily grind of overwhelming responsibilities. It's time for companies and decision-makers to invest in developing their leaders, providing them with the skills and support needed to navigate the complexities of today's business landscape.

“Caring less” is not about neglecting responsibilities; prioritization in leadership is a strategic decision to shed the unnecessary and focus on what truly matters. By embracing this shift in perspective, leaders can navigate workplace challenges with resilience, authenticity, and a commitment to making a meaningful impact.

If your leaders are grappling with prioritization of what matters most, it may be time to support them in developing modern leadership approaches critical to sustained success into the future. Let's connect

One of the biggest challenges facing leaders today is meeting fatigue and the epidemic of unproductive meetings. When you ask any leader about their calendar these days, the response is often, "My calendar is unmanageable." It's not just back-to-back meetings, but sometimes two or even three meetings happening at a time.

Some leaders find themselves juggling multiple screens and logins, taking multitasking to the next level, but is it really?

In my own corporate experience, I spent hours upon hours in meetings, but I had an executive assistant who could help protect some small slivers of time each week on my calendar. 

Navigating the Meeting Maze

With the ever-increasing speed of change and the rising expectations for urgency, how can leaders be at their best? They plow through the day, switching contexts like crazy, leaving little room for actual work…or leadership!

As companies require their leaders to bring new thinking to the table, keep up with emerging trends and technologies that significantly impact strategy, and lead differently to meet the new expectations of a post-COVID workforce, leaders struggle to find a moment for a bathroom break or lunch.

Of course, we all have the opportunity to hold ourselves more accountable for our own time, our most precious resource. I've recommended and walked leaders through tools like the Eisenhower matrix, "start/stop/continue", and time tracking. These excellent approaches enhance focus, prioritize tasks, and manage time better. However, we've reached a point where companies need to more actively support their leaders in these efforts and in breaking the meeting culture.

We can delve into what's holding us back from setting boundaries or saying no. Still, it's less effective if leaders aren't provided with encouragement or examples of how to do this.

I've spent the last three weeks with three different clients in three states, discussing various leadership topics. The common theme that emerged across all these leaders' experiences and occupied the minds of everyone I spoke to was TIME — specifically, finding time on their calendars to do more: more of what's expected, more of what their teams need, and more of what makes them feel fulfilled and alive.

Leading with Intention in a Time-Starved World

How can I find time in my day to lead ...and lead like I really want to? The desire to lead with intention is there, but stepping off the hamster wheel and making that desire a reality is incredibly challenging.

Shopify recently confronted this problem head-on by installing a calendar app to track the number of hours spent in meetings and their associated costs. By simply being aware of this data, they are on track to save $322,000 in meeting time costs in the first year alone.

During a discussion and facilitated brainstorming session about strategic priorities this week, one of my clients decided to focus on meeting and email overload as a strategy in itself! 

Sometimes, awareness is all that's needed to drive change. Leaders are crying out for help as they feel conflicted, unprepared, and unsupported in giving their best in today's workplace. If we ask leaders to lead differently in this ever-changing world, organizations need to do something different to support them and their teams in this endeavor. 

Support them in pushing back, support them in changing the trajectory of where we're headed, and support them in prioritizing the true value they bring to the table.

Practical Steps to Combat Meeting Overload

Here are four actions to consider in the fight against meeting fatigue at your organization:

  1. Survey your organization to gather facts: Conduct a comprehensive survey across your organization to quantify the extent of meeting overload. Ask employees how many meetings they attend regularly and how valuable they perceive them to be. Gather insights into common pain points and frustrations related to meetings.
  2. Implement technology to track meeting time and costs: Leverage technology solutions similar to Shopify's approach to track the amount of time employees spend in meetings and calculate associated costs. This data will provide valuable insights into the financial impact of meetings and highlight areas for potential optimization.
  3. Establish meeting-free zones in your calendar: Encourage leaders to designate specific time blocks in their calendars where no meetings are allowed. These meeting-free zones provide leaders with uninterrupted periods to focus on critical tasks, engage in strategic thinking, and prioritize their most important work. This practice helps prevent burnout and fosters productivity.
  4. Implement Meeting Purpose and Agenda Guidelines: Encourage the adoption of clear meeting purpose and agenda guidelines within your organization. Require meeting organizers to define a clear purpose for each meeting and share a well-structured agenda in advance. This ensures that meetings stay on track, focused, and result-oriented, reducing unnecessary meetings and time wastage.

What other ideas do you have to help leaders dig out of the meeting culture of today?

If you are ready to navigate these challenges and invest in your leaders, let’s connect.

Is employee engagement a priority for your organization?

If it’s not, it should be. 82% of employees want their company to see them as a person, not just an employee (Gartner (2022)). 

Being seen as a person looks like:

To meet the rising demand for more “people-centered” workplaces, leaders must lead differently. 

Which type of leader are you?

In my work, I see two types of leaders:

  1. The transactional leader
  2. The intentional leader

Transaction leaders prioritize results, metrics, and outcomes. Intentional leaders prioritize people – while still meeting key targets and performance expectations.

Given what we know employees expect and prioritize, intentional leadership is more imperative than ever. 

Top performers want to work for someone who is focused on cultivating personal connections, digging into what inspires each individual contributor, and creating personalized motivational strategies. 

How can a leader become more intentional?

It’s easy to tell leaders to show up differently and lean into the proven practices of intentional leadership – but it’s a bit harder in practice.

Change fatigue and work friction, increased by remote and hybrid work, leave most leaders feeling unprepared, unsupported, and uncertain about how to be an effective leader.

Enter: Executive coaching.

This is the most effective way to equip today’s leaders to make behavioral changes and perspective shifts to become an effective, intentional leader.

Executive coaching is effective. It’s also one of the top resources and professional development tools requested by leaders themselves

48% of global leaders want to learn from external coaching (DDI 2022).

4 ways to build intentional leadership through executive coaching

Executive coaching has many benefits for leaders – both professionally and personally. Of those benefits, these are the 5 most important ways executive coaching can impact your leaders:

1. Create Space
An executive coaching engagement can provide the forum and breathing room that allows the leader to get off the hamster wheel for a moment and refocus/reconnect to their role as a leader. This space creates room to feel effective and connected to their purpose again.                                     

When leaders are given the gift of time/space to focus their own leadership, they feel seen, acknowledged, and understood. This leads to feeling inspired and supported, so they can show up and create value for their team and organization.

2. Expand Possibility
A skilled executive coach will guide your leaders to their highest potential. Coaches use their skills, like active listening and building trust, to create a connection with each leader. This personal connection and belief gives the leader a conduit to see their own strengths and potential.

3. Increase Self Awareness 
Leaders need to be more aware of their role. Without increased self-awareness, leaders, like all of us, will blindly continue doing things the same way as usual. The trouble with self-awareness is that it’s challenging to develop on your own. 

An executive coach will guide leaders to examine their behavior, reflect on their decisions, and facilitate a powerful experience that allows the leader to become more aware of their values, emotions, and habits – and how they impact the people they lead.

Coaches help people see themselves more clearly and more compassionately. Executive coaching is the best way for a leader to understand their strengths and weaknesses, learning how to see different perspectives and accounting for their own actions as they are mirrored back. 

4. Challenge Beliefs and Support Shifts

Like with self-awareness, it’s almost impossible to challenge long-held beliefs or shift your perspective on your own. Executive coaching gives leaders the power to examine the things they believe and the perspectives they hold to determine how these things affect their team and overall organization. Leaders who feel empowered to reconsider their beliefs and make important shifts are then able to re-engage with their team, recommit to their values and goals, and reignite their impact.

Leaders who participate in executive coaching feel more aligned to their priorities and are better at helping their team members feel aligned to their projects and responsibilities. An aligned leader is an inspired, effective leader.

Using executive coaching in your organization

The engagement, morale, retention, and overall well being of a company won’t change if leaders don’t start doing something different.

The benefits of effective executive coaching include improved emotional intelligence, better ego control, and an enhanced perspective. Is this the “different” you’re looking for?

If you’re ready to develop more effective, intentional leaders – click here to learn more about executive coaching and how our team of coaches can benefit your organization.

Looking Back Over the Past 5 Years of Business Ownership

I recently read a statistic: only 50% of businesses are still operating after 5 years. So, I quickly did some math and discovered that I established my LLC and took my first client after leaving the corporate world in 2017. Looks like I’m officially five years in – I made it!

My passion for leadership development began in my work at Catalina, and after some life-changing events, I left 70-hour work weeks to follow that passion. I knew I wanted more autonomy, flexibility, and fulfillment, and I wanted to make an even bigger impact. I wanted to take my experience and share it with other grow-minded leaders. So I started my company, named White Cap Coaching with inspiration from my kids (representing the things we love to do as a family – be on the water and in the mountains) and grew it from the ground up. 

The topic of leadership resonated with me so much I wrote an entire book about it – Lead with Heart & Leave a Legacy.

And over the past 5 years, I’ve led my company through multiple evolutions. I’ve refined my messaging, impact, and moved from what I knew – traditional corporate speak (the male CEOs I worked with and for over the years taught me well!) – to a more authentic, relatable and intentional message. Now, my messaging matches my experiences and, most importantly, the unique and meaningful value and service that only I can provide to my amazing clients. 

Learning the Keys to Business

I cannot believe it has been 5 years already! I have connected with so many wonderful, intentional leaders and learned so much from them, and I’ve practiced specific strategies for success to help me stay focused and set me up for success

As a solopreneur with a mission to support leaders as they define their own legacy of leadership for a happy, successful, and fulfilling life and career, I’ve learned quite a few things along the way. And today, I’d love to share the 5 keys to business that I’ve unlocked at this point in my business.

1. Show up for the right reasons – and do so unapologetically

In the early days, I was caught in the trap of looking at others who were further along their path. I thought if I emulated what I saw them doing, it would accelerate my success. 

But the truth is that comparing yourself to others knocks you off track from your true purpose. Comparison is the fastest way to forget the reason you started your business to begin with.

For me, it was to help leaders find simplicity in the complex and to be in service to them to find fulfillment, meaning & impact in their roles as leaders and in their lives as beautiful, whole people. Comparison can be evil. I learned that the faster path to success happened when I wasn’t worried about what others thought, or how others perceive me. I learned to practice finding inspiration in others’ successes while staying aligned to the path I was on without any apology for it. 

2. Progress not perfection 

I quickly realized that if I spent too much time trying to perfect what I was working on, I would never move forward. My business has changed in mind blowing ways since it began. 

Over the years, I’ve changed my:

Trying to perfect everything was a distraction from the true work I needed to do. Instead of creating something perfect, stay in motion and keep moving forward – refining and improving as you go.

3. One of my favorite keys to business? Find ease… not easy 

Starting your own business, especially as a solopreneur, requires a lot. The path will never be easy, but it can involve more ease. 

I was working 70 hours a week in the corporate world, and I easily carried that bad habit into my new business at first. But I had to remind myself that I started this business to be different, to enjoy my work, to have more time and freedom.

Starting your own business isn’t easy but there should be some ease associated. Once I figured out how to stay in flow and connected to the work that I was doing and the impact I was making, I felt a lot more ease. It was also important that I operated in alignment, modeling what I was teaching my clients in my own work and business.

4. Intention in all you do 

Intention is a huge reason my business has thrived for five years! In my work, intention shows up in every aspect of what I do: 

Showing up with intention helps me stay in alignment, be flexible with my work, and know when to pivot. 

5. Celebrating your wins is one of the most surprising keys to business 

This month as I celebrate my 5 years in business, I am privileged to gather with clients, colleagues, and friends to celebrate this accomplishment and thank those who supported me along the way. 

The journey has not always been easy, there have been many ups and downs (including a significant health scare!) but starting my own business and following my passion has been one of the biggest wins of all. Over the past 5 years, whenever work became stressful and busy or something did not go my way, I often forgot to count the wins. 

But celebrating even the small wins matters. All of those tiny victories have contributed to my overall success – helping me become a better leader and entrepreneur. 

My journey to unlocking the keys to business

I started my business journey investing 25 years in the same company, learning 7 leadership lessons.

And now 5 years into my business as a solopreneur, I’m sharing the 5 keys to business I’ve discovered so far.

These milestones are the perfect opportunity to reflect on my experience and share all I’ve learned. 

I’m endlessly grateful for the people I’ve met, the leaders I’ve coached, the lives I’ve changed, and the business I’ve created. Cheers to the next five years as a small business owner!

Your early career professionals and high-potential leadership candidates will shape the near future landscape of your businesses. Looking five years to the future,  what are you doing to prepare leaders for the future of your organization? If you’re unsure or unclear about effectively developing the leadership skills of your early career professionals, this post will give you clear next steps and strategies.

Employees are looking for help developing their leadership skills

A recent Gallup study showed that 70% of workers are likely to change jobs to one offering training/education opportunities that upgrade their skills. Today’s employees want to feel supported and prepared for future roles. If employees do not feel properly trained or know exactly what to expect, they will likely search for other jobs and leave the company.

An organization that refuses to recognize the crucial need for targeted leadership development and ignores its employees’ desire for targeted professional development will lose top talent and struggle to retain long-term employees.

The hybrid workplace

In light of the recent global pandemic, many employees have had to rethink how and where they work. Organizations must be aware of these changes to recruit and retain high-potential leaders. A “hybrid” work environment – with work time split between remote work and in-office work – has become an expectation for many.

As a coach, I help many leaders prepare for the hybrid work environment. Successful leaders need the right tools and strategies to excel in the new, modern workplace.

One of the leaders I coach summarized it like this:

“As leaders, we have to recognize change in the workforce. Instead of measuring hours of people sitting at their desks, we need to measure if the person is getting their job done effectively.”  
B.D. Houston, TX.

Developing leadership soft skills

85% of the jobs that college students will be doing in the year 2030 do not even exist today. That means we are preparing our future leaders for virtually unknown jobs, which is why it is so important that emerging leaders develop the soft skills needed to succeed in the future workforce.

Soft skills are usually the hardest to understand. Technical skills are concrete and simple to measure. Performance can be tracked and evaluated. But soft skills can feel unclear, uncertain, and impossible to measure.

Successful future leaders need to develop soft skills like:

A leader’s ability to manage their emotions, and provide context that helps their employees stay engaged, adapt, practice good judgment, and continue to learn are some of the additional soft skills that set leaders apart.

The High-Potential Leadership Program

Given what we know about the ever-evolving workplace and the needs and desires of today’s future leaders – organizations must be forward-thinking and responsive.

You should be considering:

After working with so many leaders considering these critical questions, I was inspired my High-Potential Leadership Development Program.

This program focuses on the soft skills tomorrow’s leaders need to succeed in an ever-changing marketplace.

Over the course of 6 months, I helped my high-potential leaders develop the key skills needed to succeed as a leader of the future.

They learn how to apply these approaches in different work environments – from remote work to in-person settings and the more complicated hybrid work environment.

They learn how to influence others and be change-capable leaders in an ever-changing world.

The High Potential Leadership Development Program is a six-month group coaching, mentoring, and development program that allows your emerging leadership talent to develop skills, discover tools, and practice habits that successful leaders have proved.

I recently onboarded 30 high-potential leaders into this program, and they are making incredible growth and implementing the skills and strategies we’ve learned.

Ready to make an investment in your own high-potential leaders? Click here to connect with me and learn more about how my coaching program can equip your top talent to become the most effective leaders of the near future.

Have you ever considered how self-awareness affects your career success? Self-awareness, for leaders especially, is the foundation of authenticity and impact. 

How can you expect to understand and influence others if you don’t first understand yourself? 

Once you know your leadership style, you can see how your approach and perspective impact those around you. Self-awareness helps you better understand others and improves how you collaborate and work together.

Assessing Self-awareness for Leaders

The challenge with self-awareness is that it is often hard to see ourselves accurately. Any number of factors can skew our perceptions. I was recently introduced to an assessment that facilitates a deep, meaningful understanding of self: the Profile XT

Profile XT assesses your:

This specific combination of insights creates powerful self-knowledge that would not be possible on your own. 

Self-awareness in Practice

I work with a client who was just promoted to VP of Information Technology, receiving a considerably more significant scope of responsibility. He now has more visibility and the ability to impact his company’s strategic results. This is his chance to make the most of his opportunity to prove he is ready, capable, and a clear candidate for a C-level position in the future.

We kicked off our work together with the Profile XT so we could understand his current leadership style and elevate his skills. This client is naturally reserved. He brings a highly analytical perspective to his work and needs certainty before making decisions.

However, the organization relies on him to bridge the gap between data and technology, expecting him to accelerate their shift toward leveraging both functions to support their growth strategy. 

Given the high stakes of his new leadership role and the self-awareness he gained from the Profile XT, he could see where he needed to make some changes and where he should focus his development.

My client could clearly see where his analytical, results-driven, and low-risk style interfered with his ability to be a vulnerable, connected, intentional leader. Together, we identified actions he could immediately put in place to communicate more often, communicate more clearly, and practice active listening to help his team feel seen, valued, and heard.

The Benefits of Increased Self-Awareness for Leaders

When you are willing, like my client in this example, to invest in yourself and dig into your leadership approach, you can improve your skills, hone your talents, and expand your capabilities. 

The main benefits this client experienced during our self-awareness work were:

Because the Profile XT was so powerful with my 1:1 coaching clients, I’ve recently begun leveraging it in group coaching. (You can click here to see the coaching services I offer.)

How Can Self-awareness Improve Your Leadership?

After seeing how useful the Profile XT assessment has been for my clients, I decided to put my time and energy into becoming PXT Certified. Now I can support my clients even better while efficiently and effectively accelerating their leadership and career goals.

While there are several benefits to improving your self-awareness, there are 2 key benefits to engaging with coaching and the Profile XT assessment: 

  1. Increase understanding of your leadership style.
    Understanding your leadership style benefits not only you but also benefits your entire team. By digging deeper into how you think and act as a leader, you can better understand yourself and lead with intention. Understanding your strengths and style increases your productivity. You’ll also learn how to work more efficiently with other leadership styles.
  2. Intentionally engage with your people.
    When you understand yourself, you are better at understanding others. You can engage your people more intentionally by being vulnerable at work and showing care and interest in the lives of your employees. Increased self-awareness will help you become a better active listener, taking the time to listen, understand, and respond to your team members. If your employees are happy and engaged, you will also be more productive as a team and company. (That’s what we call a win-win!) 

Experience the Power of Self-Awareness Yourself

You’ve seen all the evidence and witnessed what is possible when you engage with your self-awareness as a leader. Now you’re ready to put the Profile XT to work in your own professional development, and I’m excited for you to see what’s in store!

When you join a small group coaching circle – intimate, truly small groups of like-minded leaders committed to growing together – you get access to the robust PXT assessment alongside numerous other resources and tools. The group accountability and support facilitate deeper learning and more effective coaching, helping you reach your goals and develop new skills. 

Interested in taking your leadership to the next level? Click here to contact me about joining a group coaching program and intentionally engaging with your self-awareness. 

Leading leaders is a complicated, complex task in the best of times. And I think we can all agree that the past two years have been more challenging than easy. 

Do you have a newly formed team of leaders?

Have the changes required by the state of the workplace (and the world) over the past two years challenged your team of leaders?

Have you found yourself focusing more on the short-term, immediate survival and results instead of prioritizing nurturing and communicating with your leadership team?

These scenarios cover a wide spectrum of experiences, but all of them have a similar effect – your team has become a “working group,” focused on their individual performance and only interacting on a transactional, informational basis.

This helpful graph shows how your team’s performance and effectiveness affect each other.

What To Do When “Working Group” Is NOT Enough

A “working group” of leaders should not be the goal. Effective leaders and CEOs want to foster a truly high-performing team.

Given the challenges and setbacks of working in and through a global pandemic, you may have had a high-performing team that has slid into “working group” mode.

You may have a new team that hasn’t reached its potential yet.

Or maybe you have a team that has just never gotten past the “working group” stage.

Regardless of how you got here, you know that “working group” is not where you want your leaders to stay.

But how do you initiate change?

It all comes down to building connections and TRUST.

Trust is the foundation of a high-performing team. When trust is present, your leaders experience the psychological safety they need to make mistakes and learn from them, be vulnerable with one another, hold each team member mutually accountable, and be ready and willing to share professional wins and failures.

That is the true picture of a high-performing team.

Let’s look at an example in action from one of my recent clients.

Developing Leaders with Trust: A Case Study

I was introduced to our case study team in early 2021. They were a newly-formed executive team that was brought together in a restructure post-acquisition. (Never an easy position to be in for any leader.)

The team members joined the new team from different functions in different companies with the goal to provide a new analytics function to the organization.

This group of individuals – the very definition of a “working group” – had the opportunity to move through the “Team Performance Curve” (see graph above) to establish a common purpose, performance goals, trust, and accountability.

We had 12 months together, and I needed them to make significant progress in the 5 core behaviors of a cohesive team:

I pulled the team together for monthly leadership development sessions where I covered these behaviors and then helped them apply what they learned in their own monthly meetings. They could practice demonstrating each behavior in real-time as they came together to address their business agenda.

This approach supported and developed an effective, cohesive team post-merger and reorganization.

Developing Leaders: The Results

In our first meeting, I had the leaders on this team score themselves in the 5 core behaviors. After 12 months of working together, I had them re-assess and we saw significant improvement across all FIVE behaviors.

Their growth in the 5 core behaviors helped this team move from a “working group” all the way through the curve to a high-performing team.

The leaders’ results were also seen across the organization, and our team’s mission became a new corporate pillar for the entire organization!

Want to Improve Your Team’s Performance? Start with Trust

It can feel overwhelming and impossible to make changes with your senior team devolves or can’t seem to move past the “working group” stage. But you will see results when you start with trust.

Building trust among your team is the foundational first step to moving through the performance curve and becoming the established, high-performance team you want to have. And when your team of leaders becomes high-performing, you’re going to elevate the performance of your entire organization.

Ready to get started with your team? This is a simple trust-building exercise I encourage you to try in your next team meeting.

Personal Histories Exercise

  1. Give everyone 2-3 minutes to think about their responses to these questions.
    • Where did you grow up?
    • How many siblings do you have and where do you fall in the sibling order (oldest, youngest, etc.)?
    • What was an important or unique challenge of your childhood - of being a kid?
  2. Ask for a volunteer to begin. Each person as 3 minutes to share
  3. Once everyone shares, discuss what you learned about your colleagues that you didn’t know.

When you try this, you’ll see the level of psychological safety increase as your team starts to actively build trust. It’s simple, effective, and productive.

Ready to Increase Your Team’s Trust and Performance?

Once you see the benefit of building trust – and the other 4 core behaviors – with your team, you’ll wish you had started this process even sooner.

When you’re ready, I provide customized team development programs based on your unique team needs, personalities, and goals.

Reach out and schedule a call to talk about how I can help your leaders become a high-performing team and elevate the results and efficacy of your entire organization.

You have big goals for your team – but are they rooted in a relationship?  Meaningful professional development can help you enhance your team's skills and build stronger relationships - the key to a strong year with much bigger impact.

Your team will see the most growth when you take the time to truly invest in getting to know them on a personal and professional level.

What are their individual goals and dreams?

What does success look or feel like to each member of your team?

What do your team members want to learn?

As a leader, you’re responsible for driving the overall vision and plan. You’ll make a lot more progress (and have a much more significant impact) when you use professional development to enhance your team’s skills and build stronger relationships.

Leaving a Legacy

The first time I met my future father-in-law, I hadn’t been dating my now-husband for long. We traveled up to Georgia to stay with his parents, and I ended up staying up late to chat with my father-in-law. Those late-night chats became something I looked forward to every time we would visit. And once, over a nightcap or two, my father-in-law told me that once he started working less and spending more time with his family, he realized his son (my husband) was his best friend.

It was a privilege to know my father-in-law for the ten years we had together. I came to realize that he was a genuine, humble family man who had scores of friends, family, former law partners, and colleagues come to pay their respects when he passed, even during a global pandemic.

At the end of his life, his relationships were what mattered.

He left an indelible legacy because he valued relationships and took time to get to know people.

The Importance of Meaningful Professional Development

My father-in-law lived and led by the belief that his team members wouldn’t remember the metrics they hit, or the goals they achieved – but they will remember how he made them feel.

One of the best ways to get excellent results is to build strong relationships with your people. And strategic, intentional professional development can help you do exactly that!

What if instead of investing in professional development courses that teach your team the exact skills they’ve been working on for years, you invested in deepening your teams’ relationships while focusing on their individual and group areas of growth and improvement?

What could your team be capable of if they prioritized their professional growth and personal growth?

Group Coaching as Professional Development

Group coaching is an ideal professional development opportunity for your team. Not only do they get to ask specific questions and focus on their skills and competencies, but they also get to bond with their teammates, learn from one another, and ultimately build strong relationships that are difficult to create in their daily work lives.

Group coaching can help your team:

Ready to help your team reach new levels of success with group coaching? Relationships matter – and your team needs you to help them create a shared legacy that will extend beyond your team’s impressive results!

Click here to schedule a call to discuss group coaching for your team.

We just turned a fresh new page on the calendar, and we are ready to take on the new year. As leaders, specifically female leaders, a new year has us wondering how to start the year strong.

Here’s what I see happening with a lot of women in leadership – you start in the hole, with one arm tied behind your back, feeling like you are already “doing it all” and feeling incapable of adding one more thing to your plate.

You put yourself last, worrying about helping your team and those around you, sacrificing your own career goals in the process.

This is not the picture of a strong start. But it is often reality.

And it leaves many of us wondering how to start the year strong.

That’s why I want to talk about how starting the new year from a position of strength – instead of a position of exhaustion – is the key to hitting your goals, increasing your impact, and finishing 2022 on the best note.

What’s On Your To-Do List?

I have a coaching client who is focused on her career growth. She has big goals and wants to do the things necessary to level up her skills and prepare for upcoming advancement opportunities. But she doesn’t know where to start, because she doesn’t know where she is heading. 

This client hasn’t even taken the first step because she’s so overrun by her day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. She is highly motivated and a high-achiever, but her to-do list runs her day and she feels like she can’t keep up… resulting in her feeling exhausted, defeated, guilty, and further from her goals as each day passes.

Maybe you have experienced what my client is struggling with, too.

Do you find yourself spending all of your energy on checking off to-do items so you feel like you’re contributing… but not actually focusing on the things that actually have the most impact?

You and my client are not alone. In fact, 88% of business people don't accomplish their top three priorities on any given day. Of the time given to a workday, 80% is spent doing tasks with little to no value and only 20% is spent doing something important.

That means almost all of us are struggling with getting the right things done. But why?

You Need to Address Your Priorities

That always-open inbox and never-ending to-do list? Those keep us consistently inundated with smaller, trivial tasks. The constant presence of these insignificant responsibilities draws us in and sucks all our energy.

Want to end the overwhelm and start each day from a position of strength?

You must be intentional in deciding what matters most – with your own goals at the top of the list. 

Your goals and high-impact tasks should drive your day, not the mile-long to-do list of little time-sucking tasks.

When you’re ready to take back control of your day and step into your strength as a leader, there are three steps to take to make sure your overall vision, goals, and priorities are in line.

  1. Redefine
  2. Redesign
  3. Realign

Everything starts with redefining. It’s vital that you have a clear idea of where you want to go before you take off. You can’t work toward a goal without knowing what you’re working for.

When you take the time to redefine, redesign, and realign, you will be confident and ready to strike with the right opportunity coming your way!

How Do I Redefine, Redesign, and Realign?

Taking on these reflections and major life decisions on your own can be daunting.

That’s why I’m here to help you take the first step!

Download my Leadership and Career Dashboard to give you a head start in “redefining” the vision you have for your career & your leadership in the new year.

And when you’re ready to truly accelerate your growth, overcome any challenge, and realign your values to reflect what matters most – consider partnering with a leadership coach and accountability partner to help you get where you want to be!

Click here to schedule a call to discuss what coaching can do for you.

Tricia Manning © 2024 All Rights Reserved.
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