Duck, Duck, Loosey, Goosey

June 22nd, 2011

Inspiration can be found in the simplest of places if we are open to see it. Recently I was watching one of my favorite programs “Sunday Morning” and there was a touching story about a retired executive named Dominique and a goose that developed a friendship at a park in Los Angeles. The man would go to the park to walk and somehow one of the geese ‘took a liking’ to him and would walk every step of the way with him. The goose even tried to follow him home! Watch it here…. Read more »

Are you Reflecting Light or Casting a Shadow?

June 16th, 2011

The giant presence of a lighthouse, topped with a powerful beacon, conjures images of safe guidance and the warning of imminent danger for those travelling by sea.  Historically, lighthouses have been used to mark points of hazardous coastline as well as to indicate the entrance to a secure harbor.  It is unfortunate that the number of operational lighthouses continues to decline as their purpose is replaced by advanced geo-location technology.  Still, the lighthouse itself remains an iconic symbol for a safe journey home and for an illuminated path during difficult times.

Like the lighthouse, a leader is also in a position to provide guidance and to cast a concentrated light on the unseen perils facing people and an organization.  Through their personal light do they light the way for others, and from the brilliance at the core of their being are they meant to shine out!  Read more »

Go Take a Walk in the Park!

June 15th, 2011

I am fortunate to have a lovely park near our home. As a matter of fact, we have three parks within a five mile radius of our home! This is gift that is not missed on me and I am truly grateful. My favorite park has a large body of water or pond in the middle of it. There is something about water that calms and soothes my mind and soul. As I walked at this park this morning all of my senses were acute and I noticed the myriad faces of Spring — from the gentle breeze, the delightful aroma of honeysuckle and more activity with people running, walking and fishing.

Some people walked slowly, some more briskly. The same was true of the joggers – some were running ‘full out’ and others a more leisurely pace. Some people wore earplugs and listened to music,  while others sang out loud. There were men playing soccer and laughing as much as they ran. There were parties at two pavilions preparing for a cook-out. They had the charcoal grills going, tablecloths on the picnic tables full of hamburger buns, chips and drinks. The people who were fishing seemed so peaceful and relaxed. Read more »

Reasons Why Poor Employee Performance May be YOUR Fault (Part II)

May 31st, 2011

Last week I discussed one reason why poor employee performance may be the leaders fault. The following are two additional reasons that employee performance may suffer and what you can do about it.

Expectations are Not Clearly Defined

Our experience has shown that across different industries people are hired but the results that are expected from these new employees are not clearly defined. In most companies the on-boarding process is weak and inconsistent. Employees are hired and expected to navigate this process on their own. The results are many times disastrous and expensive.

Consider these examples of expectation misalignment. Many of the companies we work with have expectations of Business Development but fail to explain the parameters or the numbers they are expected to achieve. Read more »

Reasons Why Poor Employee Performance May be YOUR Fault (Part I)

May 26th, 2011

I have recently met with three different companies who are interested in Executive Brilliance’s services and they ALL had almost identical needs and challenges. Top executives at each of these companies expressed the need for assistance in closing the gap between what management expected and how employees were performing. They need their people to step up their game and be more proactive in business development or for their managers to develop employees within their departments. This is especially important as the economy is beginning to improve.

This challenge of aligning expectations and achieving results is so common and pervasive; I thought it might be beneficial to discuss them as YOU are probably experiencing them as well. What we find at Executive Brilliance is most organizations make the same mistakes over and over again and are unaware of what they are doing – they simply know they are not achieving the business results they desire. I’ll start with one common mistake today (along with the solution) and address two more next week. Read more »

Your Body Talks – Do You Know What It’s Saying?

May 12th, 2011

Recently my husband and I saw the Blue Man Group in Las Vegas. The show was absolutely fascinating and totally entertaining from beginning to end! It was hard for me to watch the show while wondering what all that blue ‘stuff’ was on their heads, how they thought up the different activities they do, wondering if we were going to get splattered with paint, and trying to figure out how they come off stage and walk on the chairs of the audience. I was totally enamored with the entire performance.

What was most fascinating to me was how they communicated so clearly without ever saying a word. There were sounds from the different instruments and their drums but not a single word was spoken for two hours! They did, however, speak clearly with their expressions and movements. Not only did they communicate with each other but when they invited a woman from the audience to come up and participate she knew what to do without ANY verbal words being spoken.

”What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

This was tangible evidence of how our bodies, eyes, facial expressions and movements speak volumes about us. A study at UCLA revealed 93% Read more »

Three Ways to Turn “Blah” into Brilliance

April 29th, 2011

Have you had one of those days that you should have just stayed in bed or took a play day?  I recently had one of those days.  Phone calls were not being answered, voice mail was not being checked, and typos and misspelled words were everywhere! I was just feeling ‘blah’. So rather than continuing to fight it – I took a nap.

I definitely felt better once I woke up, but things still weren’t flowing for me. So I decided to write about No Flow days.  What do you do when the flow is clogged, you feel dull and listless instead of full of life and brilliance?

Some people will try and ‘power’ through it. However, my recommendation is to ”be easy” and let it pass. Pushing through it will many times make it worse. So back off, relax, and start over tomorrow.

Here are some suggestions you can apply when life seems to stand still or (heaven forbid) moves in reverse! Read more »

Three Leadership Lessons we Can Learn from a Fairy Tale Wedding

April 26th, 2011

The Royal Wedding is only days away and is all the buzz. There are Specials about it almost every day on all the networks.  What will Kate wear?  Why isn’t William going to wear a ring? Who is designing and making the wedding gown?  Oh, the fun and thrill of the dream of living happily ever after!

So what’s the rationale behind all the buzz of the Prince finding his Princess – and more importantly the future King and Queen?  And what does all this have to do with Inspirational Leadership.  The following are three ponderings to consider ….

Fantasies Can Stretch Us

We long for the happily ever after. We dream of finding the perfect mate to share our life with.  We are thrilled by the temporary distraction of an event that takes us out of the ‘daily grind’ and may even help us to dream a bigger dream for our own lives. Doesn’t a part of us want to believe that dreams really do come true, that there just may be a fairy in the bush, or we can hold a moonbeam in our hands? Read more »

The Sheen or Shine Factor

April 18th, 2011

What can Tiger Woods and Charlie Sheen teach us about leadership and life?

executive brilliance lighthouseThey are both highly skilled and competent at their craft. Until November 2009 Tiger Woods epitomized impeccable discipline, honor and integrity, and unquestionable dedication to excellence. Thanksgiving night his life and reputation came crashing down literally and figuratively. He admitted his transgressions, promised to do and be better. Eighteen months later he is still trying to find his game in golf and life and redeem his name and openly admits it’s an ongoing process.

Charlie Sheen, in contrast wears his dysfunction with pride, loudly proclaims his narcissistic superiority and continues his self destructive path. Sheen and Woods are two people with very similar downfalls that resulted in massive negative publicity and exposure of human frailties. Yet, their responses are very different. Read more »

Butterfly Brilliance – Three Questions that can Transform Your Life

April 15th, 2011

brilliant-butterflyI love Spring! Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, a brisk walk calls all of us to come out and play.  I love new beginnings – and we have them year round.  Fall is about luscious golds, reds and cooler temperatures. The first of every year is about a brand new unblemished calendar that awaits our design.

But the Spring, to me, is especially invigorating. Spring is so hopeful – what was dead, blank and barren is now budding with new life in the form of buds, birds and butterflies. I married in the Spring, we had our son in the Spring, I have often started new jobs or projects in the Spring.  Maybe it’s hormonal – but whatever the reason I love Spring and feel especially alive and like it’s time to step up and out in new and bolder ways! Read more »