How to Thrive Under a Critical Leader

We have all been there. We report to a person who is a workplace bully. No matter how hard you try, at the end of the day, you feel like a failure. Meetings are depressing, work is overwhelming and, despite your best effort, you just can’t seem to please that one person who decides about your paycheque or career. How can you thrive in such a situation despite all that is going on around you?

1. Surround yourself with positive people

Every workplace has good people and bad apples. You need multiple positive people to balance off one bad apple. Find those who will become your cheerleaders will help fuel your fire and keep you excited. You might as well survive that one negative Nelly (or Neil).

2. Keep in mind that some people come into your life as a blessing and some as a lesson

What can you learn from your current situation? Do you need to toughen up? Do you need more patience? Do you need to stand up for yourself? Or do you need to make faster decisions? How can this person help you move forward and upward with your life? What should be your next step?

3. Propose a better plan

There is always a way. You can sit down with your leader or someone else to discuss what’s going on, try to resolve the issue and dissolve the conflict. Come up with a plan of action that changes the status quo. Don’t let things get off the rails, take action and change the circumstances.

4. Be the change

How can you set a different example? Can you be a light in the darkness? Can you bring smile and positivity into your current environment? Can you set an example of how things can be done differently? Your behaviour might inspire others to act differently.

5. Walk away

There are places and situations when you need to have enough courage and self-respect to just walk away. If you have done your best, acted differently, talked, proposed a better plan, and nothing changed, it might be time to move on. None of us can change the other person. If they choose to remain the same and the company is fine with it, your best bet might be to say “enough” to an emotional manipulator and bring your skills where they will be appreciated. It’s a mission impossible to thrive in a toxic environment. Your value is far too great to be wasted.

If you suffered under a critical leader, learn from it and never do this to others under your lead. I encourage you to be a leader who inspires, grows and supports others, helping them to reach their full potential. Choose to blossom into a beautiful rose in spite of those painful thorns.

 


 

Blogger: Silvia Pencak, founder & CEO of Powerful Life Consulting, a boutique consulting company located in Ontario, Canada.

Silvia is a consultant, speaker and an award-winning blogger. Her specialty is in change leadership and strategic team development. With hands-on experience on over 500 mission critical initiatives across four continents, Silvia helps business leaders establish proven, actionable strategies to keep essential projects on time, on budget, and on the mark with client expectations. Connect with Silvia at SilviaPencak.com or on Twitter (@SilviaPencak).

What is Your Top Ten?

David Letterman had a top ten. I have a top ten. Do you?

To me, the top ten is the list of activities you need to incorporate into your life on a regular basis that lead to a feeling of greater fulfillment and overall well being.

My Top Ten includes:

  1. Have a massage or spa treatment at least once a month.
  2. Go on a date night with my hubby every two weeks.
  3. Plan a few moments every day to do something enjoyable by myself. This could be reading or going to a Starbucks and indulging in a latte while people watching.
  4. Exercise every day for at least 45 minutes.
  5. Eat nutritious food, but have one night a week (usually Saturday nights!) that is my cheat night.
  6.  Spend time with others I love.
  7.  Do something kind for someone else every day. That could be sending a note to someone or taking the time to hold the door for a stranger while smiling.
  8. Plan a fun vacation several times a year.
  9.  Meditate 5 times a week or more.
  10.  Listen to uplifting music. I have quite an eclectic taste in music. I am a country girl by birth so I like country music. I also like AC/DC and my kids keep me up-to-date on all the latest pop music that I must admit, I really like too!

Think about what activities make you feel alive. Many of them may even feel like a luxury. But when you stop to think about it, you really should be pampering yourself. We invest in our education, our homes, but we tend to overlook investing in our most valuable asset. Take care of your well-being and happiness. Trust me, the payoff will be worth it! Now, go ahead, and create your own Top 10!


Blogger: Carey-Ann Oestreicher, Chief Engagement Officer, Potential Unlimited

Recipient of a Top 40 Under Forty Business Achievement award, Carey-Ann Oestreicher, owner of the career development firm for women, Potential Unlimited (www.potentialunlimited.ca), holds an MBA and has worked in a variety of senior positions including vice-president level. Her focus is her family and helping women in business find true peace and happiness in their lives while achieving new heights in their careers.

Carey-Ann has been featured in a variety of media because of the success she has experienced with her holistic approach to developing women leaders and entrepreneurs. Her appearances include: CTV’s Canada AM, TSN, CBC News, Global Television, City TV News, The Globe and Mail, Canadian Business magazine, The Toronto Star and The Canadian Press.

How to Succeed at Digital Transformation

WXN Digital Brand Ambassador Karima-Catherine Goundiam shares important steps businesses and organizations must take to succeed at digital transformation. 

In a previous article shared on LinkedIn, I addressed how digital companies are seen from a customer’s perspective. Today’s post addresses the complexities of transformations that occur within an organization. To make a successful digital transformation, McKinsey Quarterly addresses several key points.

1. What direction is best?

The choice of where a business will go needs to be based on the future instead of on the present. Digital innovations are constantly evolving to transform how customers interact with brands and businesses. Being stuck in the present will limit the imagination and creativity an organization can tap into, which will, in turn, limit its future growth.

Fifteen years ago, many of today’s internet stocks didn’t even exist. The same will be true fifteen years from now. By looking to the future, you’ll have an easier time choosing the best possible direction.

 2. Who will lead?

Transformation is not a project to delegate. The CEO and the supporting executive team need to take it up directly. CEOs are responsible for their organization’s vision and direction. The executive team is responsible for implementing that vision and direction. Sometimes team members may resist this leadership. That is why putting the right team of people in place to drive the change beforehand is critical to a successful transformation.

Teams don’t need to be large to drive great success. For instance, Starbucks has adopted numerous digital initiatives since 2005 with a team of three executives leading the way.

3. How will you sell the vision to stakeholders?

Communication is critical to success, but it’s not the only element you need to address. Deciding who receives the communication and who offers it will also affect how your stakeholders accept the information.

You need crisp, clear messages in all relevant channels and formats. The goal of communication is often to inform, but what you should really be accomplishing with your communication is creating allies. By bringing your stakeholders on board with the transformation, you’ll begin to form a culture of change.

4. Where will you position the organization?

It’s easy to say something like, “I want to be the best social media integration company in the world.” Unfortunately, having the desire is often seen as the equivalent to having already accomplished the goal, and that encourages digital to fail. You need to be completely honest about the skills, capabilities and technologies that are available to your organization and how these fit within the industry.

Honest information will help you reach realistic decisions. Being overconfident will lead to poorly structured decisions.

Remember that being aggressive is not the same as being overconfident. If you consider your brand’s and business’s full scope of strengths and weaknesses in terms of resources for every decision, you can transform quickly and successfully.

5. Who makes decisions?

 Somebody needs to take responsibility for a final decision. Businesses are not generally democracies. When push comes to shove, the CEO, president, or designated decision-maker must be willing to make the tough calls.

To ensure that the choices being made are positive and encourage transformation, you must collect information through analytics and create meaningful metrics. The executive team should be filtering this need down to their direct reports. Then, you can summarize the information, put it into a meaningful format, and communicate it to the CEO or designated decision-maker.

 6. How are you going to allocate funds?

Business leaders already allocate funds to make sure resources get to where they’re needed every day. In a digital transformation, however, these allocations need to happen faster.

Instead of operating as a standard business, it may be useful to operate more like a venture capitalist. This helps you stop immediately if they don’t promote the mission or vision that you’re creating through the transformation process.

Shifting to a VC-style of operations also means speeding up the budgeting cycle. Many organizations operate on an annual cycle. With a digital transformation, it can be beneficial to shift to a monthly cycle so that funds are available when needed.

7. When should you take action?

You need to take action now. Even though up to 70% of digital transformation programs fail, many businesses will also fail if they have not sought out digital.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider the risk vs. reward calculations before going all-in. You want to be able to take advantage of what digital can provide so that you can increase revenues and reduce costs. Then the gains that you make can be reinvested into the transformation process so that the business continues to grow.

“Going digital” is often treated as a catchphrase. But digital is more than having a website or being able to accept online orders. The Digital Revolution requires brands and businesses to look at what they do in a very different way so that they can meet their customers’ needs right now.

Redefining Leadership with Disruption and Humanity

“Regardless of where you work or what you do, it’s really important to always change the way you approach things. . . .Redefining what we do and how we do it, shows the evolution of our society and its needs,” says Top 100 Winner, Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia.

In her recent insightful TedxKelowna talk, Bahr-Gedalia challenges us to redefine our traditional perception and understanding of leadership using two key qualities – disruption and humanity. The outcome, she says, can be extraordinary.

Bahr-Gedalia was joined at TedXKelowna by fellow Top 100 Winner Tasha Kheiriddin – find her heartfelt talk on how autism can make a better world here.