Signature Leaders Blog
Reminders to Inspire

5 Keys to Personal Agility during Crisis

Posted by Carol Seymour on Mar 24, 2020 10:00:16 AM


“I never lose. I either win or learn.”  Nelson Mandela

We are in one of the biggest learning chapters of our lives.  

With COVID-19 changing our daily routines, we feel many things are out of our control. It would be easy to fall into despair and feel stuck. But I know when we get through the other side, we will look back on this time and acknowledge how much we were pushed, pulled, and forced to grow. Now is when we can think outside the box and try doing things differently than we have before. There is goodness in this if we take advantage of the opportunity.

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Topics: Leadership, Intentional Mindset, Setting Priorities, Self-Care

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

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

Why Career Aspirations Backfire (And How To Keep It From Happening To You)

Posted by Carol Seymour on Sep 27, 2019 10:00:00 AM


Jan aspired to be the COO. It wasn’t something she had planned on early in her career, but when she got to mid-management, she was put in charge of a major initiative to help fix an operationally deficient business unit. She found she was good at identifying quick wins and quickly making a difference. She began to be recognized for her work and was given more of the same. Her mentor told her she should think about the COO role in her future. She felt honored that he thought of her that way, and the recognition invigorated her to strongly consider that path. Pretty soon, the vision crystallized in her mind, and she began to articulate that, one day, she wanted to be the COO.

This sounds like the beginning of a story with a happy ending. Jan capitalized on recognition, took in the counsel of a mentor, and began to vocalize her aspirations. But there was one thing she didn’t know until it was too late. Jan had the wrong goal. When she became COO, she immediately knew she was in the wrong job. It was not what she anticipated it to be.

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Topics: Leadership, Managing Your Career, Advocating for Yourself

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