Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. – Mark Twain

Charisma is not leadership

People often confuse charisma for leadership and consider it one and the same. While charisma is a component embraced by many successful leaders, it is not what makes one a leader and as such it should be considered as one of their attributes, not an entire representation of that individual.

Leaders put others ahead of themselves; they act with benefits of others in mind and while being charismatic can certainly help, it is not what defines them in any sense. Charisma is not leadership.

I’m stressed, help me!

Sooner or later, a time will come for most when they will feel overwhelmed, stressed and stretched too thin. It will feel like 24 hours in a day are simply not enough to accomplish it all. Well, when that time comes (or if it is already here) please note that you are not alone and that solutions exist.

Focusing on your professional lives only, I would strongly recommend speaking with your boss (director, manager, supervisor…) and have them understand what’s taking place (details are not necessary, it’s the overall sentiment that is of importance). During this conversation you will find that the overwhelming majority of people are understanding and supportive and will do what they can to help you during this process by lightening your workload if possible (which can be done in several ways).

No matter what may be happening, talking to others will frequently be very helpful, even therapeutic and have actual, positive results which will get you that much closer to the place where you belong, a place of happiness.

Why value is greater than recognition

In all you do, focus on providing value to others over getting small wins in a form of a personal recognition. While it is nice to be recognized for your accomplishments that cannot be your focus as it has a potential of developing into something very negative which is an impression of a self-centered individual.

Continue providing value to your clients, employees, coworkers…and the recognition will arrive once it is earned and often least expected.

Providing value > Individual recognition

Build diverse teams

Build teams that are as diverse as possible. Hiring carbon copies of yourself is counterproductive and provides no value to you, the team or the organization as a whole. You want and need people of different races, ethnicity, education, experiences…as you never know where that next great idea may come from. You want originality and uniqueness to be embodied in this diversity where each person is valued, appreciated and respected.

Finally, each individual needs to equally respect others on their team and work collaboratively towards common vision, mission and goals.

Don’t blame others, help them

A mistake was made, what should one do next? The easiest thing for some people is to point fingers at others and take no responsibility for their own actions. While this selfish behavior might help them in that particular instance, long term, it will hurt them, their reputation, integrity and future relationships within the organization.

Be a man or a woman of your word and step up when you make a mistake, don’t blame others. Also, focus on helping those who are in a bind instead of standing over them with a judgmental attitude and condescending approach.

Finally, remember that tables can turn and they often do. Be of service to others and help them when they can’t do anything for you in return.

How long should you stay in your current job?

How long should I stay in my current job?

It is a question asked by most (if not all) of us at some point in our careers. However, the answer is not as common and varies widely across industries, positions and individuals. No matter how long you may have been at a particular job, if it is no longer challenging, rewarding and if it doesn’t provide opportunities for growth, learning and advancement, you should consider looking elsewhere.

When it comes to positions which satisfy the above conditions, one must look at other factors, their age, expected time until retirement and their career goals.

Taking all of that into consideration, what have you found to be that optimal time frame to begin searching for new opportunities?

Honest communication

Demonstrate clear appreciation and respect for your community, staff, clients and partners by communicating honestly. While at times you may not be able to disclose everything known to you you should still be honest when it comes to the direction, planning and strategy that you intend to take. Don’t lie to people and don’t go out of your way to cover up the truth as your actions will reveal it.

Finally, your decisions and communication of such choices needs to be focused on providing value and improving lives of the greatest number of people possible. Put others ahead of yourself and communicate in a manner that supports that philosophy.

Office drama must end, today

The moment you notice negativity, arguments and drama in the office you must do whatever it takes to end it as soon as possible. You must learn from it as well, but negativity and fighting among team members is not acceptable and has no place on high performing teams.

Diversity and differences in opinions should be welcomed, embraced and celebrated, but the moment it goes way beyond that and results in arguments and tension, it must be stopped.

Believe in yourself and move forward

I know that Mondays can be a bit more challenging than other days for some people, but today has set a new record. The amount of self-doubt and lack of belief in future success was overwhelming. Nearly half a dozen people have expressed how difficult work was; how challenging school was; how hard it was to commute and the list goes on and on.

My dear friends and colleagues, life is not easy at times and it presents us with numerous events and challenges for us to deal with and persevere through. I have lived through certain significant challenges (two notable moves being some of them) so I may not be the most compassionate person when it comes to some fairly inconsequential things by comparison. So please, for your sake, dust yourself off, stand up and move forward in resolute fashion towards your goals. If you want them, go get them!

Stop faking it

Contrary to a popular saying, don’t fake it ’til you make it. Focus on what you know, have experience in and enjoy doing. Please stop pretending to be someone you are not, especially when it comes to work. Leverage your strengths to provide value to others and by doing so you will be providing value to yourself.