Tag Archives: Careers

What Does Leadership Mean To You?

24 Feb

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. -John Quincy Adams

I had lunch with a former colleague the other day and when I asked him about how things were going at work he launched into a story about how his manager – who is very concerned with perceptions – has been reprimanding him for his out-spokenness. Apparently, the manager did not perceive voicing a dissenting opinion during a meeting as good leadership. Now I thought this was a major crock of BS. Being strong enough to share an unfavorable outlook is, in my opinion, a great leadership trait. But what really bothered me was that my friend was being forced into someone else’s idea of what leadership truly means.

I believe leadership is one of those terms that is bandied about quite loosely. Everywhere you turn you hear about which leadership qualities we should be working on and which leaders we should admire. However, I believe that leadership and how one defines it is a completely personal thing and can totally vary from person to person. By attempting to squeeze into a narrow “leadership” box, we’re trying to live up to someone else’s expectations. And we all know how I feel about living up to other people’s expectations.

Here’s an exercise. Get a blank piece of paper and bullet out what being a leader means to you. Does it mean only working on projects you find interesting and noble? Does it mean being an inspiration to others by following your heart? Does it mean always being honest and out-spoken? Or maybe it means always taking risks and being bold. Remember you don’t have to have a fancy job title and a company car to be a leader. There are probably at least 3 people right now who already think of you as a leader. Identify what leadership means for you and then harness it. Strive to perform your specific leadership qualities everyday. By being in touch with your true leadership qualities, you’ll be much better off than those who are simply trying to fit into someone else’s idea of leadership.

Until Next Time,



How To Make The Best of Job You Can’t Stand

22 Feb

When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home. ~Betty Bender

There’s nothing worse than waking up every day and dragging yourself to a job you despise. But sometimes quitting isn’t an immediate option so we just have to suck it up and endure. Enjoying a crappy job (or any crappy situation for that matter) can be as easy as changing your perspective. Here are a few tips to learning to love (like? tolerate?) a not so fun job.

  1. Change your perspective – It sounds cliché but having a negative attitude about something completely sets the tone for your entire experience. Set an intention to be happy every morning. It’ll be easier to let crummy situations roll off your back if you are in a genuine good mood.
  2. Learn all that you can – I once worked for a corporation that was really poorly managed. Instead of letting it frustrate me I focused on what skill sets I could develop and what I could learn from that specific industry. Additionally, once it was time for me to launch my own business I knew exactly what not to do. Every situation has something to offer you, make sure you take advantage of all it has to offer.
  3. Focus on what you do enjoy – There’s usually some task or aspect of a job that you truly do enjoy. Focus on that. Is there a way you can make that a bigger part of your responsibilities? Try and schedule the enjoyable aspect into every day. At least then when you are working on the boring tasks you can know that the fulfilling task is on its way.
  4. Bring your passions to work – Sometimes you are able to bring an outside passion into you work life. Are you passionate about women in business? Maybe you can start a Women’s Leadership Group at work. Do you enjoy organizing events? Perhaps you can begin organizing the office birthday parties.
  5. Be positive – Start focusing on what is good about your job instead of the bad. Again, reframing how you think about your work situation will do wonders in how you actually feel about it.

Now I’m in no way advocating you stay in a miserable situation forever but these tips can definitely make your job more bearable as you figure out where you’d like to transition

What do you think? How have you coped with a bad work situation in the past?

Until Next Time,


Are you feeling stuck career-wise? Do you know you want to make a change but you’re not sure how or to what? Contact me [nblades@gmail.com] for information on my Career Coaching Packages.