Personal Brand

Why Consistency Is the Key to Honing Your Personal Brand

Jen Roberts Communication, Leadership, Management

Anyone who’s worked in or around a marketing department for long knows the importance of branding. Good branding can not only increase your business’s value, but can also provide your team with direction, and make it easier to attract new clients. Luckily, businesses are not the only ones who benefit from establishing a clear brand. A strong personal brand can act as the foundation of a successful career. It can provide you with personal direction, increase your ability to find new opportunities, and help others see the value you bring to the table so your worth will be acknowledged. Many people associate branding with a business’s logo, online identity, or mission statement. What could that have to do with you personally, as a leader within the organization? While how we use language and imagery as individuals is important, authentic branding goes much deeper. Your reputation, professional values, and the style …

management team

[VIDEO] Building Alignment Within Your Management Team

Jen Roberts Communication, Leadership, Management

This article originally appeared on How would you describe the alignment between you and your management team? Although having a cohesive management team is important in driving workplace culture and productivity, many teams struggle with making it a reality in their work environments. A management team that is aligned in terms of communication, decision-making processes, modeling core values, and working with a common vision and purpose can positively affect many aspects of the work environment. These behaviors lead to greater respect, trust, and productivity within the team. On the flip side, however, lack of alignment in a management team can be disastrous for those they lead. Problems that can arise from a lack of leadership alignment include: Confusion: When employees get different answers or directives from different leaders, they often don’t know which advice to follow, and may not do anything because they don’t want to make a mistake. …


Gratitude: The Secret Ingredient to Inspiring Leadership

Jen Roberts Communication, Leadership, Management

What inspires you? When we’re asked that question it can be tempting to focus on big, momentous acts. In business, leaders imagine standing up in front of their team during a challenge and having the ability to motivate the masses; saying just the right words to make a powerful impact and move people into positive action. When it comes down to it, however, employees don’t need for you to be the Master of the Universe to inspire them on a daily basis. In fact, it can be as simple as taking the time to share your appreciation for their hard work. That’s it. Really. A truly inspirational leader sees the best in each individual and the gifts they possess. Inspiring, in this sense, is a way of stimulating and lifting people to a new level of creativity and energy. It’s about seeing the greatness and value in someone and going …

Ignoring Emails

Leaders: How Much Does Ignoring Emails Cost You?

Jen Roberts Communication, Leadership, Management

How many emails are sitting in your inbox right now? Do you have hundreds or thousands of messages sitting there awaiting action? Email has become one of the most used technologies leaders use to communicate with their teams. The average leader spends nearly 2 ½ hours each day managing email and text communications. That’s average. You might be spending more or less time depending on your personal communication style and business culture. So, with the volume of emails you’re likely receiving each day, do you make the time to respond? In recent years, it has become more acceptable to delay a response—or worse—not send a reply at all. In the busy-ness of corporate environments, leaders may forget that these messages come from human beings. People understandably get upset when their messages go unanswered wondering if the message was received and, if so, why they weren’t important enough to warrant a …

environmental effects of leadership

Climate Control: The Environmental Effects of Leadership

Jen Roberts Engagement, Leadership, Management

How much control do you feel you have over your work environment? Many leaders and employees alike feel as if they are at the effect of things going on around them. People say and do things, decisions are made that affect them, and all they can do is deal with the situation at hand. While attending a meeting recently, I heard a great analogy: “As a leader, are you the thermometer or the thermostat for your environment?” Think about the difference. A thermometer provides useful information, but its job is to measure the state of the environment, and is merely a reflection of what’s going on externally; a reaction to changes in energy in the atmosphere. A thermostat, on the other hand, senses the temperature of a system and makes changes to the environment so that the system is maintained near a desired setpoint. Many leaders operate on autopilot, meaning that they don’t consciously …


The High Cost of “Good” Advice

Jen Roberts Balance, Leadership, Management

Think back to your early days in leadership when well-meaning bosses, mentors and co-workers shared their personal opinions and advice to help you quickly advance up the corporate ladder. While I learned many valuable lessons from seasoned corporate leaders, I got a few really bad tips as well. The worst piece of advice I ever received sounded something like this: “If you want to be successful—be seen as ambitious; someone who really cares about the company and your career—you need to be the first one in the office in the morning and the last one out.” The idea, of course, was that if I demonstrated my undying commitment to my job that I’d be rewarded in the future. And, being an eager young career woman, I wanted to do whatever it took to be viewed as a committed and competent employee. In those formative years, I tried to follow this …

Sam Dushey Undercover Boss

#UBPub Shopper’s World (The Hidden Leadership Secrets of Undercover Boss)

Jen Roberts Leadership, Management, Undercover Boss

This week’s #UBPub features President and CEO Sam Dushey of Shopper’s World (Season 7, Episode 3). As a third generation leader in this New York based family business, Sam Dushey has taken Shopper’s World from 8 stores to 40 locations states across the northeast– And his vision doesn’t stop there! Sam has plans to grow to over 500 stores in the next few years. Having grown up in his father’s and uncle’s shops, Sam lived and breathed business and saw the retail potential of these stores from a very young age. Watching his family’s success inspired Sam to scale the business beyond the modest scope they’d always cherished. As the last family member in the business, Sam is proud of the changes he’s implemented as CEO and of his tremendous accomplishments at such a young age. He resists his father’s conservative (and outdated) ideals for how these businesses should be …

Leadership Secrets

#UBPub Nestle Toll House Café by Chip (The Hidden Leadership Secrets of Undercover Boss)

Jen Roberts Leadership, Management, Undercover Boss

Last week I wrote about my love of the show Undercover Boss and why the show is both fun and inspirational. I also mentioned starting a new type of post I’m calling the UBPub (Undercover Boss Publication) to share the juiciest leadership moments from my favorite shows. In case you missed it, you can read the full article here! For my first #UBPub I am featuring Season 7, Episode 2 with COO Shawnon Bellah for Nestle Toll House Café by Chip. As a single mom with no college degree, Shawnon Bellah worked her way up through the company to grow the brand to over $55M in revenue selling more than 17 million cookies last year alone! Shawnon prides herself on being one tough cookie (pun intended!)—both at home with her kids and at work. She attributes her success and that of her company to working harder and faster than the …

#UBPub Marco’s Pizza (The Hidden Leadership Secrets of Undercover Boss)

Jen Roberts Communication, Management, Undercover Boss

This week’s blog combines two of my favorite things – pizza and #UndercoverBoss – as Bryon Stephens, President and COO of Marco’s Pizza dishes on his vision for the $400M pizza giant (Season 7, Episode 7). Not unlike many of the “bosses” featured in the hit show, Bryon Stephens came from humble beginnings. Starting out as a dishwasher at Holiday Inn, Bryon was given a “paradigm-shifting” opportunity to launch his management career at a young age. Bryon sees himself as a visionary leader, and is a self-professed hyper-competitive egomaniac who has always “vaporized anything that tried to stand in his way” on the path to success. Bryon admits early in the show that his drive for excellence caused him to put his job and career first; even ahead of his family. He recognizes that his definition of success negatively affected his relationships with his eight children and led to failed …

manage energy

6 Ways Leaders Can Manage Energy During Transitions

Jen Roberts Communication, Leadership, Management

How do you feel about change? In times of transition, some people thrive and are filled with excitement about new possibilities, while others cringe at the uncertainty and ambiguity of the situation. I personally love change. I see transition as an unfolding of a new chapter, and I have a tendency to tackle more than one change at a time. Like when I got married, moved to a new city, started a new job, and began building a house all in the span of a year. Or, when I left my corporate job and started my coaching business full time. Big change = big fun! Regardless of how you feel about it, one thing is true: Change is constant. And, in business, it’s necessary. After all, if things stay the same for too long you risk stagnation. Here are a few examples of transitions my current clients are experiencing: • …

leadership actions

Leadership Actions Speak Louder than Words

Jen Roberts Leadership, Management

You’ve probably heard the phrase “consistent action leads to consistent results,” which makes logical sense. The more important, and perhaps unspoken, truth in this statement is that the quality of our results depends not on merely doing something, but on taking intentional action that fits our end goal. In other words, you get out of something what you put into it. Consistency, or lack thereof, can be the defining factor between failure or success. If you have children (or know anyone who does) you’re probably aware of the importance of consistency. Children learn how to behave through reinforcement and punishment and also through observation. To feel secure, children need parents to be consistent with them and are trusted not to send conflicting or confusing messages. Consistency as a parent can be difficult and exhausting, but it is of paramount importance. The same is true in business. One of the most …

Build Mental Resilience

5 Ways to Toughen Up and Build Mental Resilience

Jen Roberts Leadership, Management, Stress

Truth: stress and adversity can pop up anywhere, any time. Just when you think you have it all under control when–BAM!–you get hit with something that derails your best intentions and sends you into a tailspin. You got up early and are walking out the door on time and ready for your day, then you spill your coffee on your lap in the car. You spent the week preparing for a big presentation at work and are ready to rock their socks off. At 9am the meeting gets pushed out for 3 more days! Seriously?! You get the drift… Things change, pressure exists, stuff happens. What you do with that pressure and how to move forward are the keys to success. Why is it that things seem so easy for some people? They go about their daily lives seemingly without a worry, while others around them struggle and muddle through …

Undercover Visit

What Would an Undercover Visit to Your Company Reveal?

Jen Roberts Communication, Engagement, Leadership, Management

I have a confession: I love the CBS show Undercover Boss. If you know me well you’re probably already aware that I can kinda geek out over things related to leadership and coaching. I play games with people in line at the store and I eavesdrop on bosses’ phone conversations with people when I’m in the airport then blog about it later. But #UndercoverBoss is one of my favorite downtime activities. I even have my family watch with me and we have a big discussion afterward (our kids are 8 and 10 and nerdy like us). The show is currently in its 7th season. If you’re a leader and you’ve never watched before, you should. Here’s why I love it so much: 1) As a self-professed rule-breaker, I love the sneaky component of the boss going into their own space without anyone’s knowledge. 2) The boss rarely does the other …