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Take a Hike, Take a Cruise, Take a Vacation!

June 2nd, 2017

By: Karen Colligan

Vacation-7 The average American worker earns 22.6 days in vacation. Yet in 2016, they only used an average of 16.8 days, leaving 662 million vacation days on the table.

I find this amazing. We need our R&R, people!

Why are US workers so reluctant to use their vacation time? A survey by GfK, who studies American workers and time off, found the following:

26% worry they’ll be seen as less dedicated

23% worry that they’ll be replaced

21% worry that they’ll hurt their chances for a raise or promotion

But here’s the thing. In a comparison of vacation takers and vacation forfeiters, GfK found that:

“Employees who forfeit their vacation days do not perform as well as those who use all their time. While they may believe sacrificing vacation time will get them ahead, these employees are less likely th..... Read More...

Health, Jersey shore, Life, wellness, Work-life balance


Giving New Leaders a Strong Start

May 25th, 2017

By: Karen Colligan

NewLeaderDev-1 Imagine yourself in the shoes of someone who has just been promoted to their first leadership role. This may have been you some years ago. Or perhaps you are early in your career and it’s something you aspire to. Either way, chances are you felt/would feel: excited, proud, curious, and maybe just a tad bit…anxious. What’s expected of me? What will change? Will I succeed? How…do…I…lead?

As I discussed in my last blog, Sink or Swim is Not Leadership Development, all too often new leaders are thrown into the role and left to their own devices for answers to these questions. Expectations are not clarified until the unspoken goes unmet. No preparation for the change in peer relationships and broader accountability. And the answer to “how do I lead?” usually becomes, “the way I..... Read More...

Leadership, leadership development, learning and development, New leaders

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Sink or Swim is Not Effective Leadership Development

May 17th, 2017

By: Karen Colligan

NewLeader-3 Organizations spend a fair amount of their corporate training dollars on leadership development. And the biggest chunk goes toward senior leaders and executives, instead of to those who need it most -  first time, frontline leaders. All too often these new leaders are put in a “sink or swim” situation as they try to navigate the transition from individual contributor to people leader.

A survey of HR leaders and practitioners conducted by the Human Capital Institute (HCI) found that “the sink or swim mindset toward new managers is ubiquitous.” Although 96% of respondents said that frontline managers are vital to driving business success, only 48% felt that their organizations adequately invested in frontline manager development.

In an article for Harvard Business Review, author.....

Leadership, learning and development, New leaders

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Leading to a Great Company Culture

April 24th, 2017

By: Karen Colligan

[ File # csp6853095, License # 1788243 ]
Licensed through http://www.canstockphoto.com in accordance with the End User License Agreement (http://www.canstockphoto.com/legal.php)
(c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / PixelsAway We hear a lot about the importance of company culture and its role in attracting, engaging and retaining employees. But what is company culture, and how do you go about creating a “best-place-to-work” caliber of culture when there’s so much other stuff to get done?

First of all, a great culture is more than fun after-work events, casual dress, and catchy slogans. It’s how employees, customers and the outside world perceive an organization based on its attitudes and behaviors. I can’t imagine that many of us perceive the skies to be as “friendly” after that paying customer was dragged from his seat recently on a United flight from Chicago to Louisville. If that’s how they treat customers, how do they treat their employees?

Culture is synonymous with behavior. And it stems from leadership behavior at all organizational levels.

To build a great culture, start by bec.....

company culture, Engagement, Leadership

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Don’t Give Up, Give Back!

April 10th, 2017

By: Karen Colligan

teamwork concept, colorful hands with heart, vector illustration It seems that everywhere I go these days, people tell me that they’re not feeling like their “best selves.” In some cases, it’s winter fatigue – tired of the rain, tired of the cold; in others, it’s a feeling of being overworked and overwhelmed (so ready for a vacation!); and in others it’s just a general malaise brought about by the uncertainty of our world today. It feels like one…big…collective…SIGH out there.

I get it. And…I’m proposing that the way through these doldrums is not to just sit back and wallow in them. Don’t give up, give back! Help yourself feel better by helping others.

Most of us try to give back in some way during the holiday season – we write our annual check to our favorite charity, or we volunteer at a food kitchen. The fact is, though, that organizations who serve need volunteers all year long. Where can you carve out a couple of..... Read More...

Gratitude, Health, Life, wellness

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Women Supporting Women – Getting Real About Your Career

March 27th, 2017

By: Karen Colligan

CareerWomen-2 One of the most satisfying aspects of the work I do is helping other women create a strategy to achieve their business or career goals, keeping them accountable, and then seeing them attain those goals. As I like to say, women supporting other women – just as it oughta be.

In my last blog on this topic I talked about tips for women entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses. This time I’d like to share some tips for women who want to grow their careers in the corporate environment. (Men, these tips will work for you, too!)

First of all, it’s important to understand that you are in charge of your own destiny.  You need to keep an open mind, be curious, and get really clear about what YOU want for your life and career, and stop listening to those voices telling what you “should want.” Remember the old saying, “if you don’t know where you’re going any road will g..... Read More...

Career, Career planning, Development, Learning, The Get Real Guide to Your Career, Women


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