Tips for WorkLife Blending [VIDEO]

Last month, I moderated a great video discussion with Anne Loehr, leadership consultant, and Jasmine Watts, Editor of Miss Millenia Magazine about the reality of worklife blending across generations. It was a great discussion! Watch below and if you’d like to join in our next conversations about Women and Negotiation and Women in Leadership, register for the series!

 

 

Here are a few highlights from our discussion: Continue reading

Sidestepping the Peter Principle for Career Success [VIDEO]

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Laurence J. Peter famously coined the management theory that everyone rises to their level of incompetence in his 1969 book, The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong. But rather than predicting that everyone must ultimately be promoted to a level where they will fail (the most common interpretation), Peter was really talking about the sad reality that many people who fail are promoted for the wrong reasons.

Watch this video preview of some InPower advice for how to sidestep the Peter Principle in your own career. Then register or login to the InPower Coffee Break Community to take the self-diagnostic and find out what personal development work you should be doing now to make sure your next promotion isn’t your last.

 

The Upside of Office Politics

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Sometimes my clients start falling into a pattern, and it gives me an opportunity to look more deeply at common challenges we all face. Lately, too many of my clients have fallen into the “victim of office politics” trap. This looks different for each person, but in every case it feels like several people you work with are conspiring against you to undermine your credibility and impact.

As a victim of office politics, it’s very easy to start to feel powerless and to act powerlessly. It feels terrible and causes you to question who you are, whether you’re in the right career path and what your value is.

Even successful people fall into the office politics trap and begin to feel persecuted by both their colleagues and the Universe. Why?

I believe that these kinds of career experiences – painful as they are – actually come to us to help us learn lessons critical to our future success. Based on my own experience, and the experiences of my clients, I think the office politics quagmire gives us a special gift, which is to learn to stand up for our values and grapple with forces out of our control. After all “The Universe” – in which I dump our unconscious, fate, luck and everything else we can’t fathom or manipulate directly – is a key player in our success. Continue reading

5 Steps to Getting Back In Control

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Sometimes we feel yanked around by our work—our life—or both. We can’t get on top of the pile. We can’t even stop to catch our breath. The list of stuff we’re not doing crushes the list of stuff we’ve accomplished. We can’t breathe and feel helpless and out of control. All this means is that we’ve forgotten to deploy the basic process of control: plan, do, adjust, review, repeat.

Remember when you learned to ride a bike? That first hill was terrifying until you went down it, practiced using the breaks and stopped to rest and look back up the hill when you were done. Then you wanted to do it again!

Control is an illusion and we all know this, but that first bike ride taught us how to maintain a practical sense of control that can keep us from getting overwhelmed. Continue reading

3 Ways Managing Millennials Will Make You a Better Leader

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My son is 21 and in his second year of a summer office internship. He’s working hard, getting good reviews and privately developing a chip on his shoulder because he believes all us old people think millennial workers (18-30 year olds) are lazy and too full of themselves.

I thought he was just being overly sensitive until I started to see the anti-millenial posts pop up on my feed recently. Really? We’re going to do this again? We’re going to complain about the younger generation the way our parents complained about us? They’re going to take over our jobs and run our world someday. Let’s get on with helping them be effective and – more importantly – allowing them to make us better leaders while they’re at it.

1-Millennials require us to be vision driven

Millennials are driven to make an impact. Maybe it’s because so many of their parents told them they could; maybe it’s because they feel like the post 9/11 and financial crisis world (all they know) is crumbling around them, maybe they’re just not afraid to want to make a difference the way so many of us are and were. Continue reading

Leadership Strategies: Leading From the Middle

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Traditional leadership paradigms are pretty “top down,” but as modern leadership gurus help us see that such hierarchical decision-making structures are reaching their limits, it’s time to start exploring ways that employees can lead from the middle.

Conveniently for those who want to rise in the organization, “leading from the middle” is also an excellent way to be recognized as a high-potential employee by potential executive sponsors who can help you get ahead.

So what does it mean to “lead from the middle”?

I believe that the most important implication of this concept is that you have to envision yourself as a leader, voluntarily shoulder the burdens of those above you and act in alignment with the interests of the organization as a whole – all while doing your job extremely well. This is easier in some positions than others, but working to imagine yourself at peer level with your boss and bosses’ boss can help you elevate your perspective and make your work more relevant. (I explore this concept more and provide exercises in my complimentary eBook.) Continue reading

3 Ways the Millennial Generation Can Help Your Company Get Real

As a species humans love to complain, and we seem to really love to complain about the younger generations. However, it’s time to give the kid-bashing a rest and look at the ways that working with the millennial generation (18-30 years old) helps us be better leaders and build better companies.

Overall, I love working with millenials. Where some see entitlement, I see self-confidence. Where some see a lazy work ethic, I see a respect for work-life balance. Where some see an unwillingness to get with the program, I see people who want meaning in their work. Who doesn’t want self-confidence, work-life balance and meaning? We all do; this is just the first generation to have the guts to ask for it at the outset. Continue reading

The Future of Work Unleashes Human Potential

Ever want to look into a crystal ball and see the future? 

How will you lead in the rapidly changing future of work? Start by understanding that the workplace is changing and becoming more fluid. Organizations are beginning to resemble organic systems more than mechanical ones. People are the dominant value and system in the work-world and to succeed you must master human systems. Develop your emotional intelligence and soft-skills, and you’ll be the kind of leader the world needs in the future of work. Start with yourself.

 

Why Does Equal Pay Really Matter?

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There is no question that women and minorities are not at salary parity with white males in our business culture. They are not. But the prevailing myth that this is an evil plot to oppress us doesn’t fly with me, because when you look under the covers of equal pay, things get much more complex. In sum, the current wage gap serves a purpose, both for businesses and for many women themselves; and in doing so it’s undermining the interests and needs of us all.

What a deeper dive into the data shows, on the surface is this:

  • There are generational influences and younger women are at less of a disadvantage than older women. (This may change – time will tell.)
  • The wage gap differs when looking at hourly vs. annual wages.
  • Wages for women are trending up while wages for men are trending down — leading to a future crossover point?
  • Women and men view work vs. life in dramatically different contexts, and make their choices accordingly, leading women as a demographic to drop in and out of the workforce more often, with less emphasis on upward career momentum.

The Truth Beneath the Wage Gap

Even with the factors above accounted for, there is still a significant and meaningful wage gap, but the explanation for it is simply less clear. Combine these insights with the fact that companies incent hiring managers to get the most value for the least price — a generally “good business practice” in our capitalist society — and what we see is a system that is designed to take advantage of women and men who don’t strategize and negotiate their value. Continue reading

Managing People – Do We Really Do That?

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My first management experience was a disaster. I had a poor manager myself and was told to “be in charge” of a group of my peers, who did not report to me and had no particular reason to do what I told them to do. It turned into a backstabbing circus within hours.

What I learned from that experience is that “management” comes in all forms and that reporting relationships are only one of many dimensions that matter when it comes to getting things done and building a professional reputation.

Over the years, and working with professionals in many professions and at levels I have come to understand that the very term “managing” can be misleading if we assume that it has much to do with “control.” Sometimes we do control resources, budgets, job descriptions and other assets, but we never control people.

What we do control is ourselves.  Continue reading

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I'm dedicated to supporting leaders driven to fuel their professional success through their personal development. In addition to supporting executives individually, InPower Consulting offers unique soft-skills development programs, team dynamics seminars, and leadership development workshops.

Be sure to check out InPowerCoaching.com for online professional development and InPowerWomen.com for inspirational insights from women leaders.

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