performance reviews

Performance Reviews: From Transactional to Transformational

Jen Roberts Communication, Engagement, Leadership, Productivity, Stress

As a leader, how do you usually feel when the time for performance reviews rolls around? Let’s be honest. Most leaders don’t enjoy the performance review process for several reasons. Usually, they feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of meetings they have to hold in a short period of time. Often these conversations are also tied to employees’ compensation. With many companies making budget cuts these meetings can be tough when you don’t feel like you have much to offer beyond praise. The result is that many leaders end up viewing the performance review process as tedious and time consuming (and it shows). Employees, on the other hand, can fall on both sides of the fence when it comes to performance reviews. Mostly, employees just want a chance to sit down and chat with you, offer up some ideas, and walk away feeling like it’s worth getting up each morning. …

leadership autopilot

Are You on Leadership Autopilot?

Jen Roberts Engagement, Leadership, Productivity

How much of your day do you actually spend engaged in leading others? Most leaders say things like, “I give 110%,” or “I can’t work any harder than I already do,” and even, “I put out fires all day. Then I do my work.” Sound about right? When you think back to your first leadership role what did leadership mean to you? What did you envision for yourself and the people you’d be leading? What kind of impact did you imagine your leadership would have on not just the individuals you lead, but the entire organizational culture? Actually, many people haven’t put much thought into these types of philosophical questions about leadership.  For most workers, assuming a leadership role (or management/supervisory if you must) is just the next logical step in their career; a reward for their hard work and success. Perhaps you imagined having people who could help do all the work; a team that …

engaged leader

Are You an Engaged Leader?

Jen Roberts Engagement, Leadership

This  post will be short and sweet. Why? Because if you’re like most people, your attention span is pretty short (so I included a video). After all, you have a lot going on! We all have our own unique way of viewing the world. Everything you experience passes through this filter, and your perceptions shape how you think and feel about, and behave in response to situations. We tend to attract into our lives what we focus on and pay attention to. You’ve probably heard of the self-fulfilling prophecy: If you expect something to happen and focus your energy on it, you’re more likely to get the experience you expected (whether positive or negative).  We also have a tendency to selectively look for data that supports our belief systems–this is called a confirmation bias. That’s the reason that we choose to pay the most attention to the things we care about and are …

Micro-Management Creates Macro-Problems!

Jen Roberts Engagement, Leadership, Productivity

Micromanager. Just that word alone might make you have a visceral reaction. Along the path of our careers, we’ve all probably encountered the dreaded micromanager. You know, the boss who always seems to be looking over your shoulder, inspecting, controlling, or criticizing everything you do. But have you ever stopped to wonder if you’re one, too? Yikes! Leaders micromanage for lots of reasons, not all of which are to intentionally make your work life difficult (I know this might be hard to believe!) Some of the most common reasons for micromanaging are often well-intentioned but leaders fail to see the negative effects these behaviors bring about. For example, leaders might micromanage because of: Concern about the details of a project (and ultimately feeling responsible) Feeling like they’re the only one who can do a particular task (or perform it best/fastest) Time or performance pressures from others Insecurity about his/her own …

Inspiring Leader

Are You an Inspiring Leader?

Jen Roberts Communication, Engagement, Leadership

Inspiring. It’s a word most people think of as an important leadership quality. But what does being an inspiring leader really mean? Oftentimes when leaders imagine inspiring, they think of 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. This is about them. On the flip side, what would happen if leaders shifted their awareness to inspiring for the benefit of others? My son came home from school with a handmade bookmark that captured several statements about “Luke’s Super Star Qualities” written by his classmates (not all of whom were close friends). I was so moved to read some of the things that were written. Among them were… “Luke is helpful!” “Luke is strong.” “Luke is a great writer.” “Luke makes people laugh a lot.” …

habits to build awareness

Three 5-Minute Habits to Build Awareness & Enjoyment at Work

Jen Roberts Balance, Engagement, Leadership

I went shopping the other day while my car was being serviced. I decided to go into a home and craft type of store where I can get lost for more than an hour. I couldn’t believe my eyes; there were Christmas decorations lining the aisles. “Christmas decorations in June!?” my disgusted inner voice shouted. Ridiculous! As I stood in that store, frozen in place for more than a minute, I wondered when we started getting so ahead of ourselves. What ever happened to enjoying the season we’re in? This, of course, made me think about my corporate clients and the workplace equivalent of “Christmas decorations in June.” It occurred to me that many leaders I coach struggle with being present in the moment. The typical corporate environment supports—even rewards—futuristic thinking. Don’t get me wrong: strategic planning serves a great purpose in guiding work, and I love a good plan. …

Winning leadership brand

3 Factors to Create a Winning Leadership Brand

Jen Roberts Communication, Engagement, Leadership

When you think of a typical career trajectory, most people start out as individual contributors—the doers of the office—and aspire to getting promoted one day. However, many people don’t CHOOSE to be a leader with intention (they take on the role because it’s the next logical step). Once in a position of power, they often feel they’ve arrived. In leadership, there is no arrival. You’ve probably heard the famous Woody Allen quote, “Eighty percent of success is just showing up.” Have you ever stopped to wonder how you “show up” as a leader? I hear people all the time complaining about their employees’ behaviors: they can’t be trusted, they aren’t good communicators, or they just don’t perform up to par. Here’s the reality: Much of what you see in your environment is a reflection of how you lead, both good and bad. Remember that employees often model the leadership behaviors …