Brenda's Blog

Watch an interview I did where I share international learnings about leading during a crisis.

What a joy it was to be a guest today on John Baldoni’s LinkedIn Live series, GRACE Under Pressure! During this 30-minute interview, I share international learnings about leading during crisis – learnings I’ve gathered from coaching executives around the world during these times of uncertainty. Watch to find out the key actions global leaders are taking to sail through this current storm and thrive, despite the challenges.

Watch my interview on LinkedIn Live!

I’m looking forward to being interviewed by John Baldoni on Linkedin Live about what I’ve learned from coaching global executives as they lead during crises. Join us on Monday, August 10, at 8 pm. EST / Tuesday, August 11, at 8 a.m. SIN, here: www.johnbaldoni.com/LIVE.

A surprising and inspiring tale from the past that applies today… and what’s the moral of the story?

Since the first time I heard it, I’ve been fascinated by this gripping tale which took place almost 100 years ago. I’d love to hear your thoughts: What do you believe is the moral of this story? (Everybody I share it with seems to interpret it differently!) And how does it apply to leadership and to what we are experiencing in our world today?

Top 10 self-leadership routines: how do you rate yourself?

Executive Coaching clients consistently tell me they don’t do well sticking with one of these Top 10 Self-Leadership Routines. Can you guess which one it is? I look forward to hearing what you think, below!

In the meantime, for fun, score yourself one point for each “yes” answer. How many of these important routines do YOU do consistently? Here is a legend to help assess your results:

If you scored this many “Yes” answers…

10 = Congratulations! Your self-discipline is an inspiration to others. Based on my experience, you rank in the top 2-5% of all leaders.

7-9 = You’re doing excellently! What is one routine you could add to your already strong list that would make the biggest difference for you right now?

5-6 = You’re half-way to becoming a great role model to others. What are two additional routines you would like to adopt, and how can you get started in the next few days?

4 or less = You’ve taken the most important step toward strong self-leadership: awareness of what you’re doing well and the areas you’d like to improve. Now focus on the single-most important routine you’d like to take on, make a list of the benefits of doing that consistently and find an accountability partner to help you stay on track.

Happiness as a leader

The best part of being a leader is feeling happier about your direct reports’ successes than your own. This holds particularly true for me right now because one of our team members, Jagdish, just completed a major, multi-month project with flying colors. Congratulations to Jag for a job well done!

Which aspects of leadership bring you the most joy?

Grateful for today’s virtual connectivity

Our ancestors would be in awe of how we connect today! I’ve always been a fan of connecting virtually, but the events of the past few weeks have really underscored its incredible capabilities. I’ve engaged virtual audiences in 23 countries, coached executives on five continents, and have had more social interactions with my global network than I could have dreamt possible, even just a few years ago… and all of that from my office chair!  Feeling extremely grateful for technology…

How have you benefited from this increased global virtual connectivity? I’d love to hear your experiences!

Embrace this fascinating paradox to calm team members’ anxiety during tough times

With so much uncertainty in the world right now, how do leaders inspire, maintain calm, and communicate in a way that helps others do so, too? In this short video, I share a fascinating paradox that has helped many executive coaching clients pull through tough times and manage anxiety in their organizations. I’d love to hear what you think!

What do you do when nobody knows what to do?

Years ago, when my niece Niki was still developing her vocabulary, she fell and scraped her knee. After a fit of tears and an examination of the wound, Niki turned to her mother and, with a quivering lip, pronounced, “I need some pig stuff!”

Perplexed, her mother asked, “What do you mean by ‘pig stuff?'”

“You know,” Niki responded, “that pig stuff… oink-ment!”

As I sat down to write this blog post, I thought about that story. I get a feeling the whole world could use a bit of “oink-ment” right now, as we collectively try to find our way through these unprecedented, unsettling times.

Throughout these past weeks and months of the global COVID-19 pandemic and unrest and violence in many countries, I’ve been coaching executives from all around the globe, and I’ve noticed common trends and challenges they are experiencing.

As a result of that, I created a series of videos in which I share several simple yet impactful tips that can be implemented immediately, to help you, your family, and your teams thrive during this experience, not just “survive.”

I hope you will find these helpful – that they will serve as a little bit of “oink-ment” for us all.

What do you do when nobody knows what to do? How to lead yourself and others successfully, during times of uncertainty

Over the past weeks and months, I’ve been running webinars/virtual presentations to help clients’ companies and their leadership teams manage effectively through the myriad of unprecedented events that are unfolding across the planet.

At the start of each presentation, I pose a simple question to all participants: “What is one word you would use to describe the biggest challenge you are facing right now?” Attendees type in their answers, and there has been one word which has received the most responses by far during each and every single session. Can you guess what that word is?

“Uncertainty.”

That makes sense. In the modern world, no one has ever been through anything like what we are currently experiencing.

In life – and as leaders – we usually rely on experiences from the past to make plans for the future. But, what approach do you take when something completely unprecedented shows up on your doorstep? When there is no experience to fall back on and there is no clear indication of what is coming?

In essence, what do you do when nobody knows what to do?

I suspect no one will have “the” definitive answers to such a profound question. But I can share with you some tips and tools my clients are implementing which have helped them move forward into this vast unknown.

Below are links to a video series I’ve created that provides some answers to the key questions many of us are asking. In these short-length videos, I share several hints, tips, and tools that can be used immediately to succeed in times of uncertainty.

Here are links to YouTube videos with more hints, tips, and tools:

How to Inspire Others during Challenging Times: “How do I address the sense of uncertainty among team members, when the future is so unclear?”

How to Master Virtual Connections: “How do I make meaningful connections with clients and keep business growing, while working remotely?”

Inspiring Self-Leadership during Challenging Times: “How do I stay productive and focused as I move into this ‘new ab-normal?'”

I hope you found these videos to be helpful as you navigate our new “ab-normal.” 

The COVID MBA

In the last week, two C-Suite coaching clients both mentioned being disappointed by the cancellation of executive education courses they had planned to attend. I asked them to make the longest list possible of all the leadership learnings they are gaining through COVID. The outcome: Both executives realized this virus is delivering a leadership education you couldn’t buy! What are YOU learning from leading through these unprecedented times?

Overcome the “virtual mental barrier”

From executive coaching clients, I’m hearing phrases like, “Connecting with clients via video is just not as good as in person!” and “Video is definitely second best to communicating with clients live!” I encourage them to get over this “virtual mental barrier.”

If we believe video is second best to in-person, we’ll prove ourselves right — we’ll subconsciously discount it and not bring our best selves to remote conversations. Click on the video below, reframe your thinking, and embrace video as a powerful tool with many strengths and advantages.