What’s In Your Wake? 3 Questions to Assess Your Impact

For good or for bad, we’re always influencing. What are you leaving in your wake? Here are three questions (and a few follow ups) to consider for a quick leadership litmus test.

Are you influencing the culture for the better or worse?

A great company culture takes a long time to build and a short time to damage. Are you contributing to the improvement or decline in your company’s culture? How are you leaving teams, projects, and colleagues better off from your involvement?

Do you explain or blame?

Every leader faces challenges, not all leaders are adept at working through them. The Question Behind the Question is a favorite quick read that is effective at teaching leaders and teams how to ask “what” and “how” questions that pertain to me rather than “who” and “why” questions that shift blame.

How are your relationships at work?

Do your colleagues seek you out or avoid you?  Are you respected or tolerated? Do your teammates know you have their back? Are you included in projects because of the value you bring or the title you bear?

Effective leaders are good at building relationships. In fact, relationship building is a deal breaker when it comes to influencing others. You can have every other leader quality in the book, but if you can’t relate to others, your leadership sustainability and effectiveness will not last.

So, how do we build relationships? Here are four actions I’ve found that work: (more…)

Graduation season is upon us! Whether your child is graduating from high school or college, the anxiety can easily mount as we get used to loosening our reins (Note: I did not say let go! Ha!). I’ve been a blessed mother of three beautiful children, two who graduated from college and now our baby of the family who is graduating from high school this week. In light of all the graduations, I wanted to share the following tips that I learned from my children and from other young leaders who I’ve been blessed to watch in the early years of their careers.

1. Relationships matter.

There are very few “individual” jobs in the real world. Now, we’re all individual performers at one level or another, but we’re also almost always part of a larger team, whether that’s our department or just the company as a whole. When we learn how to build relationships with our coworkers and focus on working with our teammates, we care about each other, our customers, and the work that we do. It makes work enjoyable, and when everyone at work enjoys their work, the company enjoys heightened success. (more…)

Before the New Year I crafted a message that I wanted to share with a few key leaders at one of Impacting Leaders’ clients. Though crafted for some particular leaders, we can all work to live out these ten actions as we strive to grow. (more…)

You know that job you have now? You won’t have it forever. Someday, you’ll accept another offer that seems like a better fit. You’ll accept a more demanding job for better pay. You’ll accept a less demanding job to have more time with your family. You’ll change professionals as your industry revolves. Your employer will reorganize or downsize or move out of state or get bought out. Even if you’re a “lifer” at your current employer, you’ll eventually retire. (more…)

Sometimes our efforts to negotiate with our leader lead us feeling about as fruitless and frustrated as the adorable toddler in this viral video. (more…)

Impacting Leaders is a virtual organization, and this setup works well for us and our clients. The flexibility has allowed me to cherry-pick the people on my team because location is not an issue. Our clients are spread across several states, so there is no need for a brick-and-mortar headquarters. (more…)

If you want to be a good leader you have to realize that it is all about the numbers. Producing the numbers is more important than anything else in business. Most of my clients will be astonished with this point of view. Let me be clear: A leader who cannot produce the numbers will not be successful taking a company into the future. (more…)

I’m definitely not a parenting expert. I haven’t read a lot of books on parenting, and I don’t intentionally speak or write on the subject. But I am a parent, and I’m both honored and respectful of this enormous responsibility.

In my occupation, I get to meet and work with some amazing people. These people lead at all levels within their organizations, and their organizations are in a variety of different of industries.

Because everyone is so unique in his or her style of leadership, I often wonder about the type of environment they were exposed to while growing up. I think our home life is one very important factor that shapes our outlook on leadership and affects our approach to leadership as adults.

This thought prompted me to send an e-mail to my team earlier in the week pointing out that as parents, we aren’t just raising children; we’re raising leaders. So what are our children learning from their surroundings? (more…)

We know that establishing good relationships are essential to a team’s overall success. It’s how we develop trust and influence. It’s what makes our work more enjoyable. So why does it sometimes seem so hard to develop solid relationships with our leaders or our teammates? Here are five of the most common relationship breakers we should all take care to avoid.

1. Limited connectivity

I hate it when I’m working in a Wi-Fi hot spot and I see a pop up on my laptop warn me that there’s “limited connectivity” because then I know I’m going to have a hard time getting online, which means I’m probably going to have a hard time getting my work done. The same is true in our work relationships! (more…)