Why Channeling Anger Can Be A Leadership Strength

Anger is underappreciated and expressing it is underutilized. Instead of dismissing anger, we should better understand it and learn how to channel it. We should study leaders who wield it strategically to achieve their aims — regardless of whether we like these leaders or not.

Read my latest article in Forbes HERE

Spectacular (But Very Contrarian) Advice

Win the “jury in your head” to gain credibility — Don’t be Authentic — and Focus on body language and tone.

Spectacular advice from award-winning trial lawyer Heather Hanser, and startup CEO Coach Alisa Cohn in Forbes, on advocating for yourself, winning and leading.

Their article is counter-intuitive but spot on, highlighting what a lot of the “feel-good leadership industry” overlooks.

Article Link HERE.

The Value of Experiential Learning

We need in-person contact, face-to-face dialog now, more than ever:

— my recent article on the Value of Experiential Learning, in China Currents, publication of the China Research Center.

Article Link HERE.

Proud to have started and continue to support the Chang-Lan Fellowships at Carleton College, set up in the memory of my Chinese grandparents. 

“Amid the pandemic, polarization, people living in their own social media echo chambers, and the deteriorating US-China relationship, we need fellowships and initiatives that create dialog and understanding, now more than ever.”

Thanks to Marynel Ryan Van Zee Christine Solso RJ Holmes-Leopold Rachel Leatham and C-L alums Nicole Catchpole Anthony Wong Jessica Lilu Chen David RiedelKyle Schiller David Jinkins Sara Karbeling Pierce McDonnell Sebastian Tovar Montanez for sharing insights that became this article… and to the Editors Penelope (Penny) Prime and Jim Schiffman for accepting it for publication.

Good News For Those Who Struggle with Having Diverse Interests

To all who struggle with having diverse and seemingly un-related interests, or who studied one thing but moved to ‘unrelated’ jobs and places, take note and take heart: 

Not being a singular-focused specialist does *not* have to be a handicap. In fact, having diverse interests — even being contrarian — fuels creativity, innovations and cutting-edge thinking.

For me, people often don’t see any connection between my Executive Coaching, focused on Power and Leadership (mainly with American and European executives) — and China, which I write and teach on.

It took a fantastic set of questions (mainly # 4 and # 5) from Kerry Parke at IE Business School to help me explain the link. 

Article Link HERE [5 min read]

As Steve Jobs once said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. … This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

Now when people ask me about my diverse interests and “unconventional career”, I just send them her great article.

Thank you Kerry and IE Business School – great organisation that encourages diverse exploration and moving across silos.

Don’t Set A Goal This Year, Set This Instead

You probably set your 2020 Goals or Resolutions — and left out one important step:

If you are like most of the type A, hyper-driven Executives I coach, you probably are packing too much in to your Goals.  No problem being ambitious, but more often than not, you need to *stop* doing something in order to get more done.

Ask yourself: what is likely to de-rail me, and then how can I avoid it?

–> In other words: Set an ANTI-GOAL.

Type A people love Anti-Goals, because they can set a “goal”, and then cross it off… by not doing it.

So set up your top Anti-Goals. You’ll become more effective and efficient, and be a lot more focused.

Read a great summary on the “Power of Anti-Goals”: HERE

Women Fall Behind Early at Work: 3 Things We Can Do About That

More than the glass ceiling, it’s the first rung that sets women behind.

Excellent article by Vanessa Fuhrmans on what companies and individuals can do to address the gap, which growing research shows leads to better financial performance.

3 actionable takeaways:

– “Just putting your head down and doing the work” won’t get you ahead. Build key relationships and get known. Bias is real.

– “Assemble your own career ladder.” Get mentors and be strategic.. identify and take on jobs that can accelerate your career, like managing high profile clients or building a business (vs being steered into support roles).

– for Companies: “Apply the same rigour to cultivating junior female managers.” Identify what roles and actions are springboards, position people to succeed – and track the data.

The findings, from the 2019 McKinsey & Company and Lean-In Report, map closely to what I see in my Executive Coaching practice, and the strategies outlined long ago by Prof. Jeffrey Pfeffer in his Stanford University course on Power.

Full article in the Wall Street Journal, HERE.

How to Strengthen Work Relationships and Advance Your Career (my article in HBR Ascend)

* Proud to have my piece shortlisted as a Featured Article of the week by the Editors. *

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Delivering solid work is sadly not enough to always move the needle — at work, or in your career.

Strong interpersonal relationships are critical, and Seeking Advice — the focus of my recent article in Harvard Business Review Ascend — is one widely under-utilised strategy. 

See the full article HERE.