Coping with a difficult business situation



courage2

“Courage does not always roar”

I really like this quote from Mary Anne Radmacher.

I write this in a week when all of my best laid plans and commitments have been washed away by the flooding rains and power outages in California.

This, the week before my new book MOVE is released…when there were many important things to do.

One of the themes in MOVE is that leaders need to have Valor. And sometimes Valor is the patience and willingness to cope — to simply show up and try again tomorrow.

Authentic Success

My first book RISE was about individual effectiveness and success. It focused on building career success in an authentic way, that respects others and the fact that you have life outside work that matters.

MOVE is the next step. It’s about organizational effectiveness and success.

People have asked me, “Were you able to keep the authentic theme in MOVE too?”

Absolutely! That’s the point.

The Middle is the hard part

Here’s what I mean.

A primary theme in MOVE is about “The Middle,” meaning that while the kick-off of a new strategy is exciting and well supported, and the end goals are very motivating, it’s the Middle that’s the hard (and not most exciting) part. Strategies tend to fall apart and lose momentum in the Middle.

As a leader it’s important to keep showing up every day because:

The Middle is where literally everything needs to happen!

And the Middle is fraught with surprises, changes, challenges, short term pressures, apathy, skepticism, boredom, and sometimes even personal attacks.

The strongest leaders are often the ones who are willing show up again tomorrow — to try again, and to keep going, and to continue to engage their team in an authentic way — throughout the whole Middle.

Leadership takes courage, patience, and often stubborn persistence.

Coping is adding value

A mentor of mine taught me a very important lesson. He said to me, “Patty, never underestimate the value of simply coping”.

Courage does not always roar.

Don’t underestimate the value of coping — coping, and being willing to show up again tomorrow.

Authentic success is a wonderful thing

In MOVE I give lots of practical strategies for coping, having Valor and preserving your energy and sanity as a leader throughout the entire Middle.

Because if you keep showing up, you can really do great things together with your team.

Every manager should read MOVE. And I’m not saying that just to sell books. I’d really like to help.

MOVE is a practical handbook for dealing with the reality of how hard business execution is, and for mastering the things that can make the difference between success and stalling out. I’d like to help every leader gain the business and personal success they desire.

Keep going!

Download a free preview of MOVE

azzarello_final_3D trxDownload a free preview of MOVE now

What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on my Facebook page Patty Azzarello Practical Business Advice for Humans.


About Patty
patty blog image crop

Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook

Everything is impossible and everyone is a shark


Screen Shot 2017-01-08 at 9.28.17 AM

The Monday MOVE Idea

Each Monday until the launch of my upcoming book MOVE, I’ll be sharing an important idea from the book. This week: Everything is impossible and everyone is shark.

Leadership is supposed to be hard

There will be times when you face ugly challenges and personal attacks.

I coach a lot of senior executives and with pretty much everyone we reach a point where I tell them,

You’ll be better off if you start your thinking with the idea that, everything is impossible and everyone is a shark

Treat it like work, not like injury

If you can get your head around the fact that everything is supposed to be hard/nearly-impossible, and that you are likely to be swimming with predators, you can start using the same talents and energy that you use to solve sensible business problems, to address these personal challenges too.

It’s possible to treat this type of obstacle like any other project or program and get busy working to overcome it.

If instead you spend energy thinking, “But this is totally unreasonable and others are out to get me,” (while that might be true) that line of thinking doesn’t give you an action plan to deal with it.

Waiting for the rest of the world to get reasonable is a bad strategy because it doesn’t happen.

Once you embrace the fact that YOUR JOB = Your job description PLUS all the crap that gets in the way of delivering on your job description…You will feel (and BE) in a lot more in control.

Read MOVE

I’m really excited to share the important ideas, and all the tools I put in my upcoming book MOVE to help you get your team (at any level in the organization) to execute your strategy more decisively.

MOVE will be available in February, but you can download a free preview now or pre-order your copy now.
Click to download
Click to Pre-order
Move thumb

What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on my facebook page.

Who else would like to see this?

If you found this article useful, please help me share it with others and encourage them to subscribe to this Blog for free.


About Patty
patty blog image crop

Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook

Burn the Ships at the Beach


Screen Shot 2016-12-12 at 9.27.11 AM

The Monday MOVE Idea

Each Monday until the launch of my upcoming book MOVE, I’ll be sharing an important idea from the book. This week:

Burn the Ships at the Beach

Leading Transformation is Hard

One of my more challenging leadership assignments was to lead a transformation in a software development organization for how we developed products. It was a process improvement initiative.

As we got into it, people would tell me, “You are being stupid, you are killing our business, we’re going to lose our top people over this”, and I’d say, “I understand your frustration, but this is what we are doing, and I am committed to it. I promise you in the long run it will be good for the business, as we discussed at the beginning.”

I would go to my boss and say, this is really hard, everybody hates this, and they argue with me every day. And he would say to me, “Patty, you have to burn the ships at the beach”.

There is no turning back

He taught me that you have to make it very clear at the beginning of a difficult journey that there is no turning back

If you go back, there is nothing there for you. You can’t get back. The only way through is forward – Even though forward may appear threatening.

And he taught me that the way you “burn the ships at the beach” is to be completely consistent in your message and your decisions.

Don’t undermine yourself

There were so many times it was tempting to cave in to the pressure and go back to the old way. It takes Valor (V=Valor in my MOVE model) to not undermine your forward progress by making inconsistent decisions about it.

In the end the change we were driving worked. (The whole story is in the book)

Everything was better.

We began to deliver on time, the quality was higher, the product was more competitive, the customers were happier and the morale of the team skyrocketed — Because we finished our transformation and it paid off.

But it’s can be really hard as a leader along they way through the long Middle (M=Middle) when people are discouraged. You need to have the Valor to stick to it.

**The brief historical reference: 1519 AD, during the Spanish conquest of Mexico Hernán Cortés, the Spanish commander, scuttled his ships, so that his men would have to conquer or die, no matter how hard the mission became and how much they might have wanted to turn back. There was no turning back because the ships were gone. Forward was the only choice.

Read MOVE

I’m really excited to share examples of moving from Situation Discussions to Outcome Discussions and all the tools I put in my upcoming book MOVE to help you get your team to execute your strategy more decisively — including building your own confidence and courage as a leader.

MOVE will be available in February, but you can download a free preview now or pre-order your copy now.
Click to download
Click to Pre-order
Move thumb

What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on my facebook page.

Who else would like to see this?

If you found this article useful, please help me share it with others and encourage them to subscribe to this Blog for free.


About Patty
patty blog image crop

Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook

Using Your Strengths to Thrive More at Work



This month’s Professional Development webinar was on the topic of Using Your Strengths to Thrive More at Work.

strengths

Get the webinar

If you missed it you can download the recording.

Members of Azzarello group can download this webinar for free.
Join now and get this webinar and all the webinars for free!

TODAY ONLY!
JOIN NOW AND USE CODE: STRENGTHS
AT CHECKOUT TO SAVE $30 ON YOUR MEMBERSHIP

Don’t take your strengths for granted

As humans we tend to take our strengths for granted because when we are working in our area of greatest natural strengths, what we are doing feels easy. And because it feels easy, it doesn’t seem impressive — so we fail to value our own strengths, and focus instead on the things we are not good at.

In this webinar we talked about the value and the magic that happens in your career when you recognize your strengths and start to build on them instead of focusing so much on your weaknesses.

Once you learn how to build upon your strengths your performance will increase, your career will progress more naturally, and you will be much happier!

I shared practical ideas for how to build on your strengths to put yourself in a position to truly excel.

Find your strengths: There are also pointers to strength assessments and exercises to help you discover your strengths included in the worksheets for this webinar.

Build your confidence

Never disqualify yourself from an opportunity because you are scared. Everyone is scared!

By using your strengths as a platform you can step outside your comfort zone with more confidence. Your strengths are the key to finding a more secure and confident place to work from.

We talked about how to build your confidence to take on new and challenging situations successfully by starting with your strengths

Tune Your Job

The most successful people figure out what they are really good at, and then put themselves in a position to do that most of the time!

It’s up to you to negotiate your performance objectives in a way that puts you in your power alley. Change your job over time. We talked about how to negotiate a business case that lets you use your strengths more.

Also, volunteer. Find and create opportunities to use your strengths — and get famous for doing so. You’ll find that you will attract more of that type of work over time (because you are good at it!) We discussed some examples of how to do this.

Build a team

No one person can be good at everything, but a team can! Learn to develop a team where you are all using your strengths and benefiting from each others’ contributions.

Like your job and life more!

When you are using your natural strengths, it feel great because your are succeeding without torturing yourself! You are making big gains and big wins. You feel proud. The crowds are cheering…

When you are thriving at work, when you have energy for your work, when you are confident at work because you have found a way of working that really suits your strengths and you feel appreciated, you will have much more energy to enjoy your life.

Also it feels great when you don’t need to turn yourself into someone else on Monday morning when you go to work. The more you can focus on your natural strengths the more your true self will feel welcome at work.

You have more control than you think

You have the opportunity to define how you work. By focusing on your natural strengths, you will feel happier and more confident, and you will succeed more.

Want some help?

To get some help with this and learn the specific ideas and techniques that we talked about, download the webinar: Using Your Strengths to Thrive More at Work, now.

Members: Download the webinar for free.
Non Members: You can purchase this individual webinar or podcast (links below).

There are some other really useful webinars in the Member Library related to this topic.

Members get these additional webinars for free:

So if you are not yet a member, you might as well join and get them all for free!

Let me be your mentor

Members of Azzarello Group basically get me as their mentor.

Every month you get new insights and tools in the form of these webinars, as well as the chance to call into a monthly members-only coaching hour where you can get direct personal coaching from me.

People tell me that membership gives them a totally new way of thinking about their career, getting promotions, solving difficult problems with bosses, peers, employees, and other annoying people, communicating better, being more influential, becoming a stronger leader, and enjoying their work more. I love to hear this, and I love to help!

If you join now, you’ll not only get this webinar, but all the other webinars in the Member Library.

AND you’ll get the opportunity to participate in monthly Coaching Hour conference calls with me.
Check out what we talk about.

AND as a member you’ll get to download your copy of the Career Year of action Guide (a $30 value) for free.

Membership is a great resource (and a steal at $179 for a whole year) to help you advance your career.

Join Now
Join Now.

TODAY ONLY
USE CODE: STRENGTHS
AT CHECKOUT TO SAVE $30 ON YOUR MEMBERSHIP

Other Options:

Purchase just this webinar ($19.99)
Purchase just this podcast ($9.99)


ABOUT PATTY:

patty blog image
Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor.
She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or Facebook, or read her book RISE…3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, AND Liking Your Life.

Rise_CVR_3D_300

Free eBook Download

Don’t try so hard to be impressive


Mideast Egypt Antiquities

When you need to Impress…

If you are in a situation where you need to be impressive, a job interview, a sales call, a negotiation, a presentation — one of the worst things you can do is to try, on purpose to be impressive.

When you think about trying to be impressive you immediately put yourself in a defensive mode, and you immediately put yourself in mode that is not-authentic.
Trying to be impressive makes you behave in a way that you are “trying” vs. “being”.

You are always better off starting from an authentic place because you are never actually more impressive when you are trying to be impressive!

Think Useful vs. Impressive

At one point I learned to stop being afraid of not being good enough, and to just give up on ever trying to be impressive on purpose. Instead I focused on trying to be genuinely useful.

The first step in actually impressing someone is to give them something useful or valuable. The value is what creates the impression. So before you walk into the siutation, put some thought into what the person or audience will truly value and prepare to deliver that.

Think “Helping a Friend”

When you prepare for a communication of any kind, if you think about being impressive, it will weigh on your nerves. Your heart rate goes up, your voice gets higher and your whole demeanor betrays, “I’m really not confident but I’m trying to impress you!”

I needed to figure out a way to manage my nerves. The way I ultimately solved this problem was instead of trying to be impressive, I would get myself in the mindset of:

“What would I be saying and doing if I were trying to help my best friend?”

Instead of thinking of positioning and selling and marketing and convincing, I would think, “What would I say if this executive, client, hiring manager or prospect sitting across the table from me was actually my best friend?”

More comfortable, more useful

First and foremost I would be much more comfortable and less nervous. I would be thinking, hello friend…1. How are you? I’m actually interested. What’s important to you? And 2. How can I help?

And if what I have to present is not genuinely interesting or helpful to them, then I wouldn’t drag them through my presentation! I wouldn’t do that to my best friend. I’d talk about whatever would actually help them.

This doesn’t mean you cannot have the intention to persuade or to sell, it just means you’ll actually do a better job persuading and selling because you put yourself in the mode of genuinely trying to be helpful!

I can tell you that I’ve spent 52 minutes of a 1 hour meeting discussing their problems with teen-agers, their boss, a challenging project or colleague…and in that conversation have found an authentic hook to offer something of value to get to the next meeting or the next step in the last 8 minutes. And I can tell you that this was a much more successful outcome than I would have achieved if I had tried to be impressive with my presentation starting in minute 1.

Drop the Business Speak

Another hazard of trying too hard to be impressive is focusing on sounding smart instead of focusing on really communicating.

I tend see these big-word, business-speak, smart-sounding people coming across as arrogant and contrived — which, by the way is also not impressive. It puts people off. And it’s not the way you would talk to your best friend.

It always amazes me how some people actively insist that talking in big words will make others think they are more impressive. It doesn’t work. Because clarity is more useful than simply sounding smart.

Never confuse being clear for not being smart.

Start with what is true for you

We all have situations that make us nervous where we need to make a good impression.

The good news is you have the secret formula already — Be yourself. You will never be more credible than when you are being authentic.

When you get scared, find something that is true for you. When you do this it has wonderful way of increasing your confidence and settling your nerves. I am always the most nervous when I am pushed to do or talk about something where I have not yet found the base thing that is true for me. That’s where I start.

Identify something that you truly care about or that you are genuinely enthusiastic about, and then start your preparation or presentation from there.

You’ll be so much more impressive!

What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on my facebook page.

Was this useful?

If you found this article useful, please help me share it with others and encourage them to subscribe to this Blog for free.


About Patty
patty blog image crop

Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook, or read her book RISE…3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, AND Liking Your Life.

Rise_CVR_3D_300

Free eBook Download