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Career Stalled? Spiff Up Your Skills!

October 15th, 2012

By: Karen Colligan

This whether you are currently employed or among the many who are “between opportunities,” keeping your skills and knowledge current and relevant can mean the difference between moving ahead and lagging behind.

What’s next for you? Is there a promotion you’ve set your sights on, or a job that’s just slightly out of reach? Now is the time to “get real” and put a plan in place to increase your skills and knowledge, improve your marketability, and build your confidence. Here’s a 5-Step Plan to get you going.

1. Take inventory. Get a piece of paper and make a list of your strengths and your development areas. Think about what you want to do next. Do some research to determine the skills and knowledge required to get you there. Is there anything you’re currently lacking? Add it to the list. Is there a certification or license required that you haven..... Read More...

Career, Career planning, Job search, Performance, The Get Real Guide to Your Career

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Imagine this: sitting on the beach, feet in the sand, watching the ocean waves. There are surfers, and kids playing, and swimmers riding the waves. Laughter is all around. You cannot believe you are lucky enough to be surrounded by so much beauty. Oh my…you are actually relaxing…NOT!!!

Suddenly your PDA rings and texts start flying in…there’s another crisis at the office…they need you…and just for a 15-minute call. They promise. Only one, 15-minute call. And…we all know what happens next. You are walking back to the cottage, turning on your laptop and logging in. You tell the family, “I promise, I’ll be back in less than an hour!” They all nod knowingly…there ain’t no chance that will be happening. Three hours later you are back at the beach. Clouds have rolled in, the ocean is roaring, and the lifeguards have called all swimmers out of the water. The de..... Read More...

Career, Performance, Uncategorized, Work-life balance

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Adapting Your Leadership Style for Improved Results

October 15th, 2012

By: Karen Colligan

As leaders, each of us has a certain leadership style. Much of it stems from who we are at our core, flavored by the experiences and examples we’ve had on the journey here. With that said, it’s important for us to continue to learn new skills and adapt who we are based on our audience.

As we grow in our leadership role, we need to be very clear about our leadership competencies – both strengths and weaknesses. There are a gazillion leadership models out there. But what does leadership mean to you? Do you lead with vision? Do you lead with drive? Do you lead to deliver? Or do you lead through people? You probably tend toward one or two over the others, but you should have capability in all four competencies. The key is learning to flex them appropriately based on the situation.

Think of the best leader you’ve ever had. What do you think their leadership preference was – Visi..... Read More...

Communication, Diversity, Leadership, Management, People, Professional and team leadership, Uncategorized

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Communicating from Your Strengths

October 15th, 2012

By: Karen Colligan

Have you ever walked away from an interview, a meeting or a presentation and had that sinking feeling that what you were saying wasn’t what your audience was hearing? Or have you ever wondered why you can have an amazing connection with someone you’ve just met, yet never seem to be on the same wave length with someone you’ve worked with for ages?

Each of us leans toward a particular communication “style.” Understanding that style, and adjusting it to meet the needs of a situation and/or your audience, will help you communicate so that you are truly “heard.”

Rate the following statements from 1 to 4, with 1 being “most like me” and 4 being “least like me” to determine your preferred style. Then read the corresponding tips to learn how to leverage your strengths and adjust your style for more effective communication. We’ve labeled the four styles A through D as ..... Read More...

Communication, Leadership, Uncategorized

Cranky Employees Rule!

October 15th, 2012

By: Karen Colligan

Yep…you read it correctly, Cranky Employees are Ruling our world. And…that is not a good thing.

There have been two surveys providing us the data. The first one, Right Management’s snapshot survey, showed the satisfaction of the U.S. and Canadian worker: 19% Satisfied; 16% Somewhat satisfied; 21% Somewhat unsatisfied; 44% Unsatisfied.

YIKES…that means 60+% of employees are not happy!
Mercer’s What’s Working™ survey showed that a third of employees throughout the U.S. and Canada are looking to leave their organization. To translate, this means 1 in 3 employees are thinking about moving to another company.

No matter how you slice and dice the above numbers, it’s not looking good for business. Think about this – if you are leading an organization of 9 people, 3 of them at this very moment are thinking about jumping ship. Do you know who they might be? Can you affor..... Read More...

People, Teams, Uncategorized

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Building Your Bench Strength – The 4 Key Steps

October 15th, 2012

By: Karen Colligan

As the economy begins to rebound and more opportunities become available, many companies will be faced with the harsh reality of losing their brightest stars. Worn down from increased workloads and fewer perks and growth opportunities, high potential employees will be quick to answer the call to greener pastures.

Companies succeed in large part because of strong leadership. And yet, according to a recent ASTD (American Society for Training and Development) study, less than half of the companies surveyed had plans in place to ensure ongoing leadership strength. Of those who did have succession plans in place, only 14% characterized their succession plans as effective.

Effective succession planning involves four key steps:


  1. Identify the critical talent needed – key skills and competencies


  2. Create individual development plans for high potential employees, bas..... Read More...

    Leadership, Professional and team leadership, Succession planning

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