Executive Coach Executive CoachExecutive Coach
Scott Eblin offers his take on lessons in the news and his advice on your pressing leadership questions.
ARCHIVES

How to Avoid the Disaster of Leadership Vertigo

Is there a gap between how you view the impact of your leadership and the way others view or experience it? If there is, then you’re suffering from what leadership expert, speaker and author Tanveer Naseer calls “leadership vertigo.” That’s actually the title of a new book that Naseer has co-authored with S. Max Brown. As Tanveer explains it in a recent conversation he had with me, leadership vertigo occurs when your brain tells you one thing and the facts tell you another. Just as vertigo can lead to disaster in the rest of life, leadership vertigo can lead to disaster in organizational life.

In this recording of our brief conversation, Tanveer clearly outlines four principles that can help you avoid leadership vertigo. Even if you don’t think you need to, you’ll want to give this a listen. It might just save you from a leadership disaster.

Play

First Reflect, Then Project

We’re very close to the time of year when people start thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. There’s just something about that blank calendar (or at least more blank than your end of 2014 calendar) that makes hope spring forth that the coming year will be different in the ways that matter most. It’s a good exercise for sure. As the Cheshire Cat said to Alice, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” It makes sense to set some goals for a new year and to reverse engineer back from those goals to identify the specific actions that will likely get you there.

I’m going to lead you through a process for doing that on December 29, the last Mindful Monday of 2014. That process will be based on my new book, Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative (which is now out in an audio edition – perfect for those who are too overworked and overwhelmed to read the book and just in time for those holiday road trips!) In the meantime, though, I want to encourage you to take some time to reflect before you project.

Between now ...

Leaders Behaving Badly

You don’t have to look very hard in any given week to find examples of leaders behaving badly. This week had a couple of doozies.

First, we had the story of Heather Cho, the vice president of in-flight customer service for Korean Air. She was traveling on her own airline and as her plane from taxiing away from its gate at JFK, a flight attendant gave her macadamia nuts without asking if she wanted any and (worse!) left them in the package. Cho flipped out and called the lead flight attendant to her seat to dress him down. She ordered him to look up the correct macadamia nut procedure in the KAL customer service manual. When he couldn’t produce the manual, she fired him on the spot and ordered the pilot to take the plane back to the gate so the lead attendant could get off the plane. The story went viral and created a PR problem for the airline. They apparently didn’t see it as that big a deal, however. Cho lost her job as head of in-flight service but is still a vice president with KAL. The fact that her dad is chairman of the ...

Why You Need to Breathe

Sometimes the smallest things can make the biggest difference. A simple act like taking three deep breaths can make a world of difference in how you show up at work and at home. As the pace becomes more hectic in these last few weeks of the year, slowing yourself down with some intentional breathing is a great idea.

I was reminded of this last week when I was meeting with a couple dozen rising executives of a well-known retailer. We’re in the middle of a four month leadership development program based on my books, The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success and the new one, Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative. In the first session we spent a lot of time talking about and working on the routines that can help busy leaders show up at their best. As we began the second in-person session last week, I asked the group what they had been working on over the past four or five weeks.

Almost everyone said they’d been working on their breathing. When I asked them to describe the work they talked about taking deeper breaths from their belly, taking deep breaths when they were ...

Five Things to Do to Find a Great Mentor

Over the course of my career, I’ve had the good fortune to have a number of mentors who have helped shape my life and career. I wrote about one of them in a pre-Thanksgiving post I wrote last week.

I don’t think I ever set out to recruit a particular person as a mentor. The relationships just sort of naturally evolved with the people who ended up being my mentors. At this point in my career, I’ve been both mentor and protégé (I can’t stand the word “mentee” – it sounds like a candy you’d eat after dinner.)  Considering both of those perspectives, I’ve identified five things to do to find a great mentor. With the hope that they’re useful to you or someone you know, here they are:

Volunteer: I long ago lost track of the number of times I’ve volunteered for a big job or project. Sometimes, the answer has been, “Thanks, but no thanks.”  More often, it was, “Heck, yeah.” There’s some risk involved in volunteering, but there’s also risk in keeping your head down. Most senior leaders appreciate it when people volunteer for tough assignments. That ...