THRIVE: Getting back in the saddle after a setback

THRIVE: Getting back in the saddle after a setback

By guest blogger, Liza Provenzano, SparkHR.

It’s understandable to feel lousy when a setback occurs. Several setbacks in succession can really throw us off. However, at some point, it’s time to get back in the saddle, tap into that wiser side of oneself, and look at the next step. Ignoring the negative mind chatter opens up space in our minds for more useful thinking to emerge. This is the thinking that is practical, composed and wise.

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Leadership and Inspiring Positive Emotions

Leadership and Inspiring Positive Emotions

The ability to inspire positive feelings in others is a key leadership quality. The ability to cultivate our own positive feelings is equally important for our own health and well-being. When we feel good, we perform better, are more creative and more productive. Good feelings are like lubrication to the brain—mental efficiency goes up, memory is sharpened, we can understand directions and make better decisions.

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THRIVE: Make it count: Self-exploration of purpose and fulfillment after critical illness

THRIVE: Make it count: Self-exploration of purpose and fulfillment after critical illness

Critical illness impacts every aspect of our lives and our work-selves are not excluded. Experiencing critical illness can certainly drive the importance of living well and connecting to what feels true. On top of everything we are managing, this process can be daunting. When feeling overwhelmed, most of us tend to shut down and understandably so when we have gone through the trauma of managing life-threatening illness. To live as wholly and completely as we are able, thinking about what will bring real fulfillment is worthwhile. The comforting news is that you have the answers!

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Lopsided leadership - Goldilocks leadership

Lopsided leadership - Goldilocks leadership

Too much strategic thinking leads to not enough attention to operational details. Too much dominance and hard-driving encouragement leads to not enough listening and empathy to individuals.

How can leaders manage people by using their strengths “just right” without overextending them to the point where they become liabilities? How do leaders take full advantage of their natural talents, without going too far? The first step is to acknowledge where you overuse your strengths. 

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THRIVE: Realign and reinvent after critical illness

THRIVE: Realign and reinvent after critical illness

After experiencing a life-changing and traumatic event such as cancer or other critical illness, some of what used to take up our thought space might seem to matter less and other aspects of our lives and desires become more important.

For many of us, high performance or reaching a certain financial status have been key priorities. While these goals and all our remarkable achievements have played a vital role and we have worked hard to get to where we are, ultimately work is unstable. This part of life can change in an instant, as most of us experience at some point.

Something that we all can access that tends to be fairly reliable is our inner wisdom or intuition. Tapping into this personal resource can serve as a guide on our path to discovering what is meaningful, what feels most authentic for ourselves.

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Lopsided leadership - Competencies come in pairs

Lopsided leadership - Competencies come in pairs

Most leaders are familiar with the concept of leadership competency skill sets coming in pairs. Multiple assessment tools classify people’s preferences as either “task-oriented” vs. “people-oriented", “big picture” vs. “detail-oriented” or “analytic” vs. “intuitive”.

There are many different models of leadership competencies. One model proposed by Kaiser and Kaplan in their book Fear Your Strengths: What You Are Best at Could Be Your Biggest Problem (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2013) illustrates the tension of dualities that arise in the execution of leadership responsibilities. 

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THRIVE: Using critical illness as an opportunity

THRIVE: Using critical illness as an opportunity

When our contract as a full-time patient comes to a close, we are often left in a surreal circle of “what’s next”? For some of us, returning to previous employment is not an option. Some of us consciously make a choice to disengage from a past role that does not support our on-going healing.

However we land and no matter how difficult it is to piece life and work back together in ways that fit into changed realities, there are meaningful possibilities waiting for exploration.

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Lopsided leadership - When leaders overplay strengths

Lopsided leadership - When leaders overplay strengths

When leaders overplay their strengths, they risk being typecast leading to compromised performance and bland careers. Most likely you are well-known for and acknowledged for your strengths. Acknowledgement and accolades can be seductive - and very limiting. Think about actors who have been typecast by overplaying their strengths. Typecasting severely limits actors from expressing their full-range of talent. 

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Lopsided leadership - Too much of a good thing

Lopsided leadership - Too much of a good thing

Who hasn’t worked for a star-performing leader who was exceptionally brilliant at operational details and has been micromanaged to death? Or for a supportive boss who asked for everyone’s input but delayed making timely decisions?

Leadership strengths when overemphasized are often overused. This is the downside of strengths-based leadership development. We need to take into account how the very strengths that leaders depend on can be detrimental to careers and to the people they manage. 

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Letting go of what got you here

Letting go of what got you here

By guest blogger, Susan Edwards, PCC, CHRP, Development By Design.

Sooner or later after a significant promotion, this challenge seems to hit all leaders between the eyes. Letting go of previously successful approaches is one of the most frequent coaching topics for Sue Edwards executive coaching clients. It’s especially a challenge when the approaches that are no longer appropriate to rely on are the very behaviours that led to the promotion. Why this sudden about face? Why would certain behaviours be considered strengths one day and weaknesses a week later? Are organizations this erratic? 

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