Brenda's Blog

All articles from the 'News and Press' Category

Start building (or re-building) your brand now!

What makes right now a great time to start building (or re-building) your brand? In this interview with Success Labs, I share key reasons why YOU should consider building your brand, and reveal the foundational steps that are quick and simple to help you do just that.

This week’s virtual GlobalGurus celebration

Wow! I am incredibly grateful to have attended this week’s GlobalGurus virtual celebration, along with so many esteemed thought leaders/fellow award winners! Thank you to Marshall Goldsmith for hosting and to the GlobalGurus team for organizing. I was honored to receive 2020’s designations of #1 Branding Guru and #10 Professional Coach worldwide. Again, just … wow!

Watch me being interviewed on how to build an inspiring leadership brand

What a fun interview this was! Gil Petersil, host of Mastermind.Space interviewed me and asked some great and powerful questions related to leadership personal branding.
In this interview, I shared many different dimensions of branding yourself, including details around the five activities you do each and every day that help build your individual brand.
I also shared simple, effective, and fun exercises you can do to get clear on what your brand really stands for.
Click on the links in the video description to see various segments, and to jump to those parts of the video.
I hope you have as much fun listening to this as I did engaging with Gil!

I don’t see the world falling apart…

“The world is falling apart!” someone told me recently. I respectfully disagreed, pointing out that I actually see us coming together:

  • Companies are donating resources to help create and deliver vital PPE and medical supplies to places that need it most.
  • People are proactively social distancing and staying home to do their part to prevent spreading this virus.
  • Families are spending more time together: indeed, some executive coaching clients tell me they are eating three meals a day with their children and spouse, for the first time in years.
  • Through posts on social media, people are spreading positive notes to lift spirits.

What other unifying actions are you seeing and experiencing? I’d love to hear!

COVID-19 challenge: How to lead remotely, maintain productivity, and avoid “social isolation”

Corporate clients across the world are working from home due to quarantine or as a part of their company’s Business Continuity Plans. Without the conveniences of a “real” office and having no in-person interactions with colleagues, working from home can present leadership challenges and take a hit on productivity. It can also leave you feeling a bit “isolated.”

Below are some actions Executive Coaching clients are taking to successfully lead organizations from remote locations.

I’d love to hear additional suggestions you have for this list. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

  • Honor your regular work rhythm: Establish work hours at home as per your norm.
  • Clarify up front with key colleagues and team members how you will communicate while working remotely. Which medium works best based on what you are trying to accomplish? Phone, video, WhatsApp/texting, emails…?
  • If you do choose to email team members, send a few points in one note, rather than sending an email each time something comes to mind.
  • Avoid “complete” isolation—stay as connected as you can by liaising with at least two people per day via phone or video.
  • Designate a specific space in your living quarters where you will work.
  • Have open, honest conversations with household members to establish “new rules of the game,” asking their help to honor your workspace and allow you to have focus time while you are there.
  • Thank your family/household members at the end of each day for having given you that focus time and for respecting boundaries. (*If you want to learn more about the importance of thanking and acknowledging others, read fellow coaches Chester Elton’s and Adrian Gostick’s new book called Leading with Gratitude.)
  • To keep things personal, set up a rotating “virtual coffee meeting”: you and a colleague each grab a coffee in your respective locations, then get on a video call together. Rotate your virtual coffee buddies regularly, inviting one or two key team members per day. Make sure to talk about things outside of work, too.
  • Build a sense of “we’re in this together.” Take advantage of today’s great video chat capabilities (Zoom, Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp, etc.) and host a full-team meeting once every 2-3 days.
  • Ask team members to share photos of their at-home work environments, and provide tips and tricks to make each other’s home work spaces better. This helps to build bridges and improve engagement (and have a bit of fun) when everyone is working from different locations.

Exciting news to share!

Wow, February sure is off to an exciting start! Not only did I find out that I have been ranked in the Top 10 of two GlobalGurus’ lists—both for Coaching and for Branding—but I was also able to mark Palindrome day (02-02-2020) by turning in the final manuscript of my 11th book, The Forgotten Choice. (If February keeps this up, March will have a tough act to follow!) In all seriousness, a sincere and heartfelt THANK YOU to all of my blog buddies for your support – I am extremely grateful!

How well do YOU™ score on this inspiring leadership quiz?

I recently attending a showing of the hit musical Hamilton, in which there is a scene where the lead character (Alexander Hamilton), Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison are all in a private room, having a secret dinner meeting. Out of that meeting came the decision for the capital city of the United States to be situated on the Potomac River – clearly an important and historic moment.

The musical dramatizes the event with a song called “The Room Where It Happens” which highlights how important it was to have been in that room, since those leaders were the only three people who knew exactly what  occurred. This has spurred a new phrase used today: You must “be in the room” in order to be in the know.

In mid-November, I was myself fortunate enough to “be in the room where it happened” – a room of a different kind. I attended the Thinkers50 event in London, a biennial event which honors the best leadership and management thinkers in the world. I was honored and humbled to be recognized as a World Leader in Coaching, along with some of the best and brightest minds in this professional. It was truly an inspiring time.

At the Thinkers50 event speaking with New York Times bestselling author Subir Chowdhury

Even though I was in the room where it happened, I don’t want to keep anything I learned “secret!” I want to share with you my key learnings from the event, which I am doing, below. For fun, I have turned my key takeaways into a “quiz” of sorts – hopefully an engaging way for you to gain some potentially eye-opening information related to today’s leadership and management practices. Have fun!

How well do YOU™ score on this inspiring leadership quiz?

Here are some of my key takeaways from the Thinkers50 2019 event, in quiz form.  (Scroll to the bottom for answers.)

People Leadership

1. Only ____% of people make natural managers, according to Gallup.

A. 10%

B. 20%

C. 30%

D. 40%

2. What percentage of people in the UK say that they would accept less pay to get a new boss?

A. 23%

B. 30%

C. 48%

D. 54%

3. What do people want most on the job?

A. A friendly work environment

B. The ability to work independently

C. A good salary

D. A deep sense of purpose in their work

Organizational Transformation

4. What percentage of transformation intentions fail?

A. 25%

B. 40%

C. 65%

D. 70%

5. What is the single biggest obstacle to transformation?

A. Employees must embrace the change.

B. Leadership of the organization

C. Lack of expertise

D. The cost involved in transformation

6. Unless ______ transforms, the organization won’t transform.

A. The workforce

B. The culture

C. Top leadership

D. The hiring process

Senior Leadership Findings

7. The higher up in the organization you are, the more ____________ you are.

A. Unhappy and deluded

B. Stressed and deluded

C. Optimistically deluded

D. Overworked and deluded

8. Ask yourself as a senior leader: True or False? “My thinking has been challenged in the last five working days.” (If not, there is a likelihood that you are not creating an open enough environment for employees to raise up issues and allow change to take place.)

9. What is the “Superiority Illusion?”

A. When you believe you are superior to other employees

B. When you are promoted to lead an organization

C. When you think you are better at something than others think you are

D. When you believe you can outperform your colleagues

A few additional comments made / learnings gained from Thinkers50 that I feel are worth sharing: 

  • At work, organizations try to “fix” employees who are quiet. Instead, try fixing the system so that quiet employees are heard.
  • The act of speaking up is relational-you will speak up when you feel you have a relationship that supports speaking up.

From the CEO of Haier (Zhang Ruimin):

  • Shareholders cannot create value, only employees can. So put employees first – focus your leadership attention there.
  • Compliments about your product are in fact compliments about the “experience” of your product.
  • What is the best way to avoid losing your job to artificial intelligence? Be a good human being.

Answers to the Inspiring Leadership Quiz

1.A 2.C 3.D 4.D 5.A 6.C 7.C 8.(It depends on you, as a leader.) 9.C

A message of gratitude

Having lived overseas for the past 25 years, I believe that one of the greatest American exports is its Thanksgiving holiday. Gratitude is a universal language, so I enjoy seeing this tradition enjoyed all across the world. It’s a wonderful time to acknowledge friends, family, clients, and work colleagues. This Thanksgiving, I am particularly grateful to my husband, Daniel, for his ongoing support. (He joined me last week at the Thinkers50 gathering in London, where I received an award as a World Leader in Coaching).

I am happy to share that I received a Thinkers50 World Leader in Coaching award from Marshall Goldsmith

Yesterday, I am happy to share that I received a Thinkers50 World Leader in Coaching award from Marshall Goldsmith, for whom this award is named. I am honored to have spent a wonderful, thought-provoking day in London with fellow recipients as well as with the #mg100, sharing ideas around the future of coaching. A fantastic, inspiring opportunity to connect with so many great influencers within the coaching field.

May I ask for your vote?

May I ask for your vote? I’m excited to have been nominated again this year as both a Top 30 Global Coaching Guru and a Top 30 Global Branding Guru! A portion of the final ranking is determined by votes, so I would be incredibly grateful for yours. I appreciate your support! Here’s the voting process:

1) Visit https://globalgurus.org

2) In the menu at the top of the home page, click on “VOTE HERE.”

3) In the drop-down menu, you will see the various voting categories. Please select “COACHING.” [You can return and choose BRAND to vote a second time, if you would like – thank you in advance!]

4) Login via Facebook, Google, YouTube, or LinkedIn [this step is a requirement to make sure the voting stays honest].

5) Scroll down, find my photo and name, then click on the button next to my photo.

6) Scroll down further (near the bottom of the page), and select either Inspirational, Exceptional, Great, Very Good, or Good.

7) Once you have made your selection, click the “VOTE” button to confirm.

As I mentioned, the steps are the same to vote in the Brand category, except for step #3, select “BRAND” from the drop-down menu. Once again, I sincerely appreciate your support. Thank you again, and all the best!