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Transitioning from Peer to Leader

July 16th, 2019

By: Karen Colligan

Kudos to the companies that promote from within. Leveraging internal talent is a great way to keep employees engaged and to prevent a vast and valuable source of company knowledge from walking out the door.

Yet all too often employees are promoted internally to leadership roles without the benefit of the leadership training to help them succeed. This is critical. Especially for those employees who transition from coworker to team leader. Not only do they have to learn their new responsibilities as a people leader, they may have to deal with resentment from their former teammates who didn’t get the job.

Sound familiar? If this is something you’re experiencing, here are some tips.

Start by building trust. You may be following in the footsteps of someone everyone loved, in which case the expectation will be that things remain the same. Or you may be following s..... Read More...

Leadership, leadership development, New leaders, Professional development

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Stressed Entrepreneur? Try This!

April 25th, 2019

By: Karen Colligan


Most of us become entrepreneurs because we're good at what we do, and we want the flexibility to do it on our own terms. We want to put our personal stamp on something meaningful. It's exciting, it's hard work, it's fulfilling, and...it can be exhausting and stressful.





A recent Fast Company article, “How to prepare yourself for the ups and downs of entrepreneurship” talked about this confluence of opposites.





“The reality is that entrepreneurship is an emotional roller-coaster–it’s either going to kill you or make you stronger. Most entrepreneurs out there are wrestling with this flux day in and day out. No doubt, the lifestyle can be ..... Read More...

Personal development, wellness, Women entrepreneurs

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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