Category: To The Graduates

Professionalism: How Do You Demonstrate It In Your Own Personal Way?

Leadership Lesson: When working toward something, it’s key to balance what we perceive as important in what we want to learn with the value that we already have, making sure not to let go of what is so special about ourselves.

What does it mean to “be professional?”

Last week, I was approached by a recent graduate who had reached out for some advice on how they could build up their professionalism. They had sent me a message based on a presentation I had given on emotional intelligence and leadership in the virtual world and my own coaching experience.

What ensued was a great conversation, with me asking them certain questions to get them thinking about enhancing (and not diminishing) their own value…


Share It!: The Power Of Paying It Forward With Your Story

Leadership Lesson: Sharing our personal story with others — not just our technical expertise — can provide some guidance, insight, and hope for those who feel they still have most of their own path left to go, encouraging them to keep their eyes open to the lessons and possibilities in both work and life.

We don’t know what the hell we’re doing. Well, most of us anyway.

Recently, I got to sit on a discussion panel at my alma mater the University of Hartford. I shared the stage as, I guess, the old man with other….fresher-faced (?) UHart alumni – Alexandra, Laura,…


To The Future Leaders: Know Your Value, Or No One Else Will

Leadership Lesson: You need to know and understand what your value is, as best as possible, before anyone else can recognize it, tap into it, or benefit from it.

In this previous post, I introduced this current series which covers a top-ten list of ideas I had provided to students at Quest 2017, a one-day summit hosted at Southern Connecticut State University by Connecticut’s Chapter of Prospanica, in partnership with its community and corporate partners. The annual event is filled with motivational presentations, speakers, and workshops providing students with tools for the next chapter in their lives.

The list is made up of tips students should consider as they continue on in their life, work, and careers and…


To The Future Leaders: It’s Your Move To Position Yourself For Success

Leadership Lesson: Your definition of success should begin by determining where you need to position yourself in your various environments to have your value realized and tapped into.

In this previous post, I introduced this current series which covers a top-ten list of ideas I had provided to students at Quest 2017, a one-day summit hosted at Southern Connecticut State University by Connecticut’s Chapter of Prospanica, in partnership with its community and corporate partners. The annual event is filled with motivational presentations, speakers, and workshops providing students with tools for the next chapter in their lives.

The list is made up of tips students should consider as they continue on in their life, work, and careers…


To All The Graduates: From Now On, You May Be At The Mercy Of Other People

At this point in life, more than any other, every one of you is bound to receive tips and advice from your various circles of family, friends, and confidants. Some of those bits of advice you may have already heard, while others you may have not.

Regardless of whether you have or not, or whether you believe you understand the meaning or not, when it comes to that advice, whoever it is who provides it to you, get their story. Be curious enough about their experiences to reconcile what it is they’ve seen in life to the advice they’ve decided to share with you.

Don’t let words of advice ring hollow, becoming, in effect, clichés. Follow up. Ask why the few…


Leaders & Followers – How Do You Treat The Workplace Script?

Leadership Lesson: It’s vital to understand the culture and environment you’re coming into but even more important to maintain your objective, critical lens through which to objectively analyze it.

In coming into any endeavor or environment, it goes without saying that the more information one has, the quicker he or she can get up to speed so they feel comfortable making their own autonomous contributions.

To work toward common success, it’s important to provide methods and a foundation of knowledge to help those individuals acclimate to the environment as smoothly as possible. The more they know as they start off, the better they can do as they progress.

Everyone needs to be provided with the right tools to get started. They need to come into a baseline…


What’s In Your Collection? General Leadership Lessons Can Transcend Across The Ages

True leadership ability has no face. It has no title. Leadership isn’t limited to the few, but possible by the masses. It can be practiced by anyone.

Leadership is not about demonstrating power but encouraging it. Through that encouragement, it sets the tone and example for one’s environment, partners, colleagues, and acquaintances. It’s about being able to make the most out of one’s surroundings, through that encouragement and other proactive steps.

Leadership is not just going along with the crowd due to what’s popular or simple, but instead seeking betterment and improvement for all in new ideas where and when available, necessary, and possibly risky.

Much like confidence, leadership is not a learned skill but a realization of an ability, followed by ongoing refinement. You could even call it an…


As A Professional, In Addition To “Yes,” How Do You Say “No?”

In the game of chess, for each move made and piece utilized, there is a reason which could be revealed either immediately or a few moves later.

Whether the moved piece is used in that instant to make a fatal blow to the opposing side or for setting the stage for another piece to make the blow in a coming step, its action has meaning and purpose.

Much in the same way, there are also instances where moves or steps are foregone on the chess board for similar reasons. They are given up either for a better strategy or to be part of a strategy in a later move. There can be numerous reasons why, but the reasoning is always likely revealed, again,…


My One Message To The Graduates In Order To Help You: Challenge Me

To you, as a graduate, here is a tip of tremendous value I can provide to you: Challenge Me.

Before we get to why, let me offer you congratulations on your graduation! This is a tremendous achievement in and of itself, but even more tremendous if you do all that you can to build off of it.

Whether it’s a high school diploma, or an undergraduate, graduate, or doctorate degree, you’re further along your path of knowledge (and self-discovery) than when you first entered your most recent program or institution. And with that progression you advance into a new level of development and self-awareness.

Do you know how to approach it?

Do you know enough to stop and ask, or think about how you should approach…


If You’re Stagnant And Spinning Your Wheels, You May Be B.O.B.

Leadership Lesson: If you don’t take advantage of the skills and knowledge your people want to contribute, they’ll burn out because they have no platform in which to burn off that energy.

Burnt…Out…Bored.

Are you Burnt Out Bored? So much of your talent, not only not taken for granted but not taken…at all.  You might have been hired or brought into a position that you now feel doesn’t necessarily tap into your true ability and drive.

It’s safe to say that there are limitations in the candidate interviewing stage as an interviewer and an interviewee can only get to know each other so much over the course of the process. In that stage, there’s no way to know the full potential of what can be delivered by both…


When It Comes To How Success Is Achieved, Is Everyone On The Same Page?

What does success mean to you? Is it your success? Success of the mission? Success of the team? Success of others?

The impact on all of these groups should be considered as you proceed in carrying out your particular idea of success. More specifically, as it pertains to these constituents, each member should make sure that any actions taken to work toward what they believe is the true success does not impede on the work of others.

Do your strategic steps for success work in stark contrast to the actions and message of others? Do they undermine the work of others?

It is ok for one to have a perceived idea of how things should work to achieve success but with so many stakeholders impacted,…


During the Up’s and Down’s In Your Environment, Keep Your Fire, Not Just Your Cool

Sometimes, you just have to let it out, expressing what’s on your mind. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Common practice is to err on the side of caution, which is fine, but many do it to the point of paralysis. This inhibition stems from a misconception that a leader always has to be composed and can’t show the normal reactions or negative emotions that one might be able to convey in any other situation. Yes, part of being a leader is remaining cool, calm, and collected, but that doesn’t mean that a leader can’t show passion through emotion. It doesn’t mean a leader can’t get worked up. Unfortunately, most times, people of any level or title are often keeping the peace so as…


Do You Understand The True Value You Provide To Others?

Your value, in large part, is made up of your skill, experience, time, work ethic, and quality, among other things. It is what you can deliver, what you can be, and what you can provide to make any situation, person, or experience better, whether inside or outside of the workplace.

Value is also the measure by which we might be perceived.  It provides the answer to the question What is it a person can provide to make something better?  It is what we provide to others, and vice versa.  In those exchanges value can be provided through guidance, help, and support as well as enhancement, betterment, and success.

It can serve as a currency, demonstrating worth or reputation, and some people have or provide more value than others.


It’s Time To Find Your Confidence When It Comes To Interviewing

Confidence can make or break you.

Your level of confidence may vary, increasing or decreasing from situation-to-situation. This variation is based on past experiences, and our understanding and level of certainty from one situation to the next.

Like with most things, confidence in the everyday is a matter of perception-it conveys what we think we see and feel. More specifically, confidence is the face demonstrating that which we understand and of which we are certain.

If we are, at least, seemingly certain of all the factors in one situation, the next time we’ll be more certain (or confident). If we’re not as certain or feel uneasy in one instance, the next time we’ll feel just as uncertain (or less confident).

“…We tend to get tripped up on the unknown…


Do You Seek Out Those Whose Approach Might Align With Yours?

Growing up in school one would see cliques everywhere. They were, for the most part, homogeneous—there just wasn’t too much of a difference from one member to the next.  But those younger cliques were traditionally about similarities at that one point in time, a snapshot of now as opposed to long-range goals.

In the workplace, there are still cliques, or “groupings.” They are those groups that have to do mostly with what their interests and similarities are in the moment. We might belong to some of those groupings, tied to the other members by our interests in sports, photography, gossip, age, etc., or any number of other varied criteria. There’s a group for most people. We’re all guilty of it. We’re just on cruise…


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