Executive Letters

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  • The Executive Surrounded by Tigers

    The Executive Surrounded by Tigers

    Pressures in the workplace have gotten worse, not better. Clutter is enormous. In addition to what comes at us – in the office alone, we are inundated with the constant flood of digital clutter. Whether our computers, smartphones, iPads or other devices; whether email, social media, texts, or calls, we are under a barrage of communication woes. Our offices, themselves, are not just physical anymore they are also virtual. An executive in Denver might have contractors in Hong Kong, Romania, Australia and Germany. The pressures to keep up and maintain are enormous. We feel chased by those tigers, we feel worried about the tigers who may appear below and even inadequate to handle all of the pressure, the thousands of “mice” who are gnawing away at us.

  • Gripping Too Tight versus Holding Too Loose

    Gripping Too Tight versus Holding Too Loose

    At first glance, Melissa and Barb couldn’t seem to be more different. They are, in fact, more similar than you might imagine. Melissa’s problem is that the grips too tightly because she is afraid of losing control of the people who work for her. She is afraid of letting loose just a little and as a result her employees are not happy. Barb longs to be everyone’s friend. She jokes, she “plays,” she’s at the center of any party and always needs to fill blank spaces with what in her mind is creative energy. She is so loose, her people see no structure, no manager and no place to go when there is a serious issue.

  • Before You Throw in The Towel

    Before You Throw in The Towel

    The secret to staying on top of the changing workplace environment is not hidden in some futuristic piece of software found on the cloud or an app available for $4.99 on the app store! In fact, I would submit that the key piece of management wisdom cannot be bought and downloaded at all, but carefully and preciously practiced and cultivated.

  • The Entrepreneur Who Tore Down His Walls

    The Entrepreneur Who Tore Down His Walls

    As his company grew, he initially hired an office manager (very protective) and junior programmers who were very devoted. The company kept growing and he put in a small human resources department and then, a sales and marketing team. The company sales began to skyrocket, and I might add he outsourced some of his manufacturing functions to China (where they were amazed by his Mandarin fluency). He had all of the trappings of success, except with each passing month the walls around him grew taller. Only a few were allowed into his inner circle, then the circle.

  • The Executive Leader Who Practiced Kindness

    The Executive Leader Who Practiced Kindness

    George was once a combat medic. He had seen horrific action. He did not elaborate except to say that he had been “very lucky.” He did not elaborate on his mental health either, except to say he had no choice but to be thankful and to learn to have gratitude. The conversation was ended over someone talking baseball scores.

  • When it is Best to “Choose Nothing”

    When it is Best to “Choose Nothing”

    The virtue of Choicelessness is hardly a new concept, but goes back to antiquity. Yet in most ways, this ancient concept is as relevant now as was when it was first put forth. It essentially says that life is not a choice of “A” or “B” but of numerous choices – an entire alphabet of choices. Furthermore, there is no magic intuitive process or in the moment gift any of us have to charge into a situation and immediately know the correct answer. Obviously, I am not referring to a first responder situation or the decision a pilot must make when encountering turbulence (in both cases, there is extensive training behind those types of decisions).

  • The Divisive Executive

    The Divisive Executive

    Several years ago, VIM Executive Coaching worked with a marketing manager who came to us devoid of confidence and self-awareness. When we started working with her, she told us her manager had not liked her from the day she arrived in the company. Over time, the new vice president of marketing created a situation where the marketing manager had become totally isolated. She isolated her by undermining the marketing manager to the manager’s subordinates and then she demeaned the marketing manager’s subordinates to the marketing manager.

  • The Weight of Decisions in the Digital Age

    The Weight of Decisions in the Digital Age

    The question that we are frequently asked at VIM Executive Coaching is if there are any techniques that executives or entrepreneurs might employ – in real time – that can at least “slowdown” the digital pace. There are certainly techniques, but the techniques are often surprising. In fact, the way executive leaders might solve some of the most modern decision-making problems are through the use of ancient techniques. This is not all that unusual a phenomenon. There are tried and trusted ways of dealing with workplace challenges that are “evergreen.” The real issue is whether executives are being trained in using those techniques.

  • Isolation is Not Meditation

    Isolation is Not Meditation

    When we isolate ourselves in the work place as well as in life, we reach a point of tunnel vision. Instead of our decision-making capabilities being heightened, in isolation we tend to take counsel only in our own narrow view of the world. It is a “dangerous” practice. Taking the counsel of others into our hearts, or listening to alternate points of view with our hearts, can often lead us to a place of greater understanding and wisdom.

  • The $36 Executive Leader

    The $36 Executive Leader

    Many executives go through their entire careers “looking down for loose change.” They enter and leave organizations and hardly make an impact. They may be exceptionally nice people and are effective when it comes to following code, or laws; rules and regulations, acts and orders, but they never make an impact. They never address needed changes. They allow big picture problems to fester or worse, never get involved to bring about positive changes.

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