Signature Leaders Blog
Reminders to Inspire

Carol Seymour

Carol Seymour
Carol Seymour is a sought after business advisor, speaker and catalyst for growth. An accomplished and experienced global company executive, she has built a reputation for enabling senior women leaders to accelerate their careers. Through Signature Leaders, she helps others discover and leverage their true Signature style and share the wealth of wisdom across the network that makes a difference in executives’ careers and lives.

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Are You Climbing the Career Ladder or the Learning Curve?

Posted by Carol Seymour on Feb 24, 2020 10:00:00 AM


It is predicted that half of the S&P 500 will no longer be a part of that list within 10 years.1

Disruption is all around us, and it is continuous. There will always be new markets created, financial market crises, election years, trade wars, virus breakouts, floods and other natural disasters, and more. Last year alone, the amount spent investing in digital technology reached almost $2 trillion. The creation and pace of new business models such as Uber, Airbnb, Tesla, and others will continue to disrupt the way we innovate, organize, develop and train, and most importantly, lead.

When we are the business that is getting disrupted, it’s easy to fall ball back on what we know. Neuroscience tells us that when we are in high-stress situations, it’s easy to resort to familiar patterns and experiences that have worked for us before. Unfortunately, our tendency is to back away from learning during stress, but we do our best thinking – and learning – when we are in uncharted territory! When we are not the experts, we become the “interns,” and we begin to ask thoughtful questions, take in new data, and pull diverse thinkers and experience into the discussion.

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Topics: Leadership, Managing Your Career, Setting Priorities

10 Years of Celebration

Posted by Carol Seymour on Feb 6, 2020 10:00:00 AM


Every conversation I have had in the month of January, I started it with, “Happy new year, happy new decade! Think back to 2010 – the last turn of the decade. Where were you? What were you doing? It’s likely you can remember the city you lived in, the company you were with, and the role you had. You might remember something particular about a relationship, the age of your children, or perhaps a major milestone. But I want you to think about your mental state: where you were inside your head. Were you thinking of the coming decade and what you wanted to learn or how you wanted to grow? Did you celebrate any of that good stuff you had along the way: your achievements, milestones, etc.

In a recent conversation with 4 Signature Program alumni, as I walked through this questioning, one commented, “You made me stop and reflect. The last decade was so intense and full, that it flew by. I’m not sure I stopped to think about those achievements, let alone celebrate them. Do you have any counsel for how we do that better for the next decade?”

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Topics: Intentional Mindset, Setting Priorities, Self-Care

The Sun Always Rises

Posted by Carol Seymour on Dec 10, 2019 10:00:00 AM


As we are in the holiday season, I’ve had a little time to pause and reflect, and I want to share this thought with you.

“The sun always rises” is a simple phrase, in which the meaning is intended to provide comfort to those going through a tough time. We all experience times when life doesn’t go the way we hope. Unless we need the sun to shine on our day as a sign that things will be better, it is easy to ignore. How often do we take the time to reflect on the hope that a sunrise brings?

Every day, our schedules are jam-packed with meetings, phone calls, child drop-offs, grocery runs, and a host of activities that make life busy. We don’t have time to take in a moment like a sunrise because it feels like we are at full capacity all the time. Remember, our capacity is full not only from doing things, but also from thinking about things. Our energy is constantly zapped because of our mental load; we just don’t turn it off.

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Topics: Presence, Intentional Mindset, Setting Priorities

Delegate: The Wrong “D” Word

Posted by Carol Seymour on Nov 13, 2019 10:49:38 AM


Years ago, my five sisters and I visited our brother in his high-rise executive office with the mahogany wood desk, the leather chair, and a view of the city. He was in a president role at a major financial institution. As we walked in, five of us ran immediately to the window to see the city, but my little sister instead noticed a strikingly clean desk with a few sheets of paper on it. She asked my brother, “Why don’t you have any work on your desk?” To which he replied, “By the time it gets to me, the work has already been done.” To be clear, my brother wasn’t just enjoying that stunning view all day. At his level, he was being paid for his strategic thinking and decision-making, and for setting priorities and direction.

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Topics: Leadership, Developing People

If You Can’t Build a Castle, Tell a Story Instead

Posted by Carol Seymour on Oct 23, 2019 11:08:23 AM

Why the Best Leaders Tell Stories

There was a semicircle of some of the world’s highest profile CEOs surrounding him, and you could hear a pin drop. Mark had come today to share his story with his peer group in this CEO network – his story of failure.

“Last month, I was fired from my position as CEO after only 18 months on the job. When the Chairman of the Board was suddenly standing in the doorway of my office and asking, ‘Can we talk?’, I knew it wasn’t going to be a good conversation. He said, ‘Mark, you are a great guy, and we know you have been working hard, but we haven’t seen any marked improvements on any of the initiatives you started. We need a different CEO to lead this team.’ My lesson in this was that if I spread myself too thin, I can’t impact anything. I should have focused on my top 3 priorities and spent the majority of my time making those happen.”

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Topics: Leadership, Presence

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