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When Opportunity Knocks, Be Ready!

March 29th, 2019

By: Karen Colligan


Imagine this. You've been in the same role and company for some time now. You're ready to move on, but haven't been able to get started looking for a new opportunity. A friend invites you to a networking event and introduces you to a senior leader from a company that you've always wanted to get into. Turns out they're searching for someone with the skills and experience you know you possess.





You chat. She asks, "What would you say are your two greatest accomplishments?"





How do you respond?





Would something quickly come to mind? Would you be able to easily describe your accomplishments in a way that is clear, concise and compelling? Or would you hem and haw while searching your mental database and then say th..... Read More...

Career planning, Leadership, leadership development, Personal development

Leadership and Learning – An Essential Combination

March 27th, 2019

By: Karen Colligan


The best and most successful leaders recognize that the learning journey never stops. They know their strengths, and look for opportunities to leverage them. They also acknowledge that there are areas where they aren't as strong and need to continue to develop.





One of the challenges for new and emerging leaders is determining what skills and behaviors - competencies - are the most important to be an effective leader today and into the future. A Google search will result in myriad lists of "top" skills for leaders. "The Top 10 Leadership Competencies" (Psychology Today), "The 5 Most Important Competencies for Function..... Read More...

Career planning, Leadership, leadership development, learning and development

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What’s Holding You Back?

February 26th, 2019

By: Karen Colligan


In my last blog, Becoming a Leader, I shared that self-awareness is the first step in becoming an effective leader. This means understanding your strengths, values, accomplishments, development areas AND…recognizing (and admitting) any beliefs and behaviors that may be working against you. These are what I call your internal barriers; the “show stoppers” that are preventing you from getting to where you want to be.





Here are some examples.





You’ve been unhappy for several years in your current role. You’re bored. You know you have more to offer, but you don’t see yourself getting an opportunity to do so in this organization. And you can’t seem to crank up the in..... Read More...

leadership development, Personal development, self-awareness

Becoming a Leader: Start with Self-Awareness

February 12th, 2019

By: Karen Colligan


Studies show that nearly half of new leaders do not receive any leadership training. This is both unfair to the new leader and detrimental to the organization.





Most people are promoted into their first leadership role as a result of their high performance as an individual contributor and/or because of their technical skills. Yet what has helped them succeed as an individual will not necessarily contribute to their success as a people leader – where the challenges and responsibilities require a different set of skills.





New leader training needs to be a key component of every organization’s learning and development plan. And it should not be just a one-day event around policies, performance reviews and disciplinary actions.  It needs to be structured in a..... Read More...

Leadership, leadership development, New leaders, self-awareness

To Change Your Habits, Change Your System

January 29th, 2019

By: Karen Colligan


If you followed the advice in my last blog, "Look Back Before Planning Forward," you now have a plan of intentions/goals for 2019 along with specific actions that will help you achieve those goals. Bravo!





Often the work we need to do to achieve our goals involves changing our habits - either eliminating habits that work against our intentions, or creating new, more supportive ones. Either way, it involves change. And change can be difficult.





For example, maybe one of the things you want to do in the area of "eating healthier" is to limit dessert after dinner to weekends. No more weekday after-dinner sweets! But you've been having dessert after dinner since you were a kid. T..... Read More...

Goal setting, Life, Personal development

A New Year: Look Back Before Planning Forward

January 14th, 2019

By: Karen Colligan


Admit it. How many of you, as you rang in the new year, secretly (or maybe even publicly) said, "Thank GOODNESS 2018 is over!" or words to that effect?





Certainly, there were things in the past year we'd all rather forget. And yet, you are doing yourself a major disservice if you don't pause to reflect on - from a personal and professional standpoint - some highlights of your year. What did you accomplish? What did you learn? What challenges did you overcome? What new skills did you develop? Taking stock of these items will not only improve your view of the past year, it will also help guide your thinking as you plan your goals, intentions, whatever you want to call them, for the new year.





So. Grab a tablet, a pen (or your laptop), and a beverage of your choic..... Read More...

Goal setting, Life, People, wellness, Work-life balance

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