November 24, 2014 / Wise Talk Teleconference

The Customer Rules

WISE TALK December 2014: Sue Bethanis hosts Lee Cockerell, a leadership, management and service expert, speaker and author of the new book The Customer Rules:  The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service.

Drawing on extensive experience in the hospitality and entertainment industry, including a stint at Walt Disney World® Resort as Executive Vice President of Operations, Lee shares insights on customer expectations and tips for creating magic in your interactions with customers to win them over and keep them.

Follow him on Twitter: @LeeCockerell

October 31, 2014 / Articles We Like

On: "Free Your Strategy from Annual Planning"

How does your company define strategy? For many, the answer is through planning, budgeting, vision or metrics, among others. And that’s why we suggest reading this blog post by Ken Favaro.

In the strategy+business article, “Free Your Strategy from Annual Planning,” the author reminds us that strategy and planning are distinct and separate activities. Yet most companies merge them. Yes, strategy is hard, but combining it with planning creates a mess out of what ought to be a positive driving force for the health of your business instead of capturing opportunities. In this article, you’ll find three key tips for unlocking the true power of strategy in your organization. Read it now.

How does your company approach strategy?

Comment below! Or pose a question via Ask Mariposa.

September 12, 2014 / Coaching Skills / Influencing Skills

“Can you help him have executive presence?”

execpreseAs coaches, we receive this request frequently.  And most often, when we ask our clients to describe what they mean, it’s clear that executive presence is one of the least defined leadership qualities.  We know what it looks like in action, but it can be hard to describe and the definition of executive presence can shift a bit from company to company, depending on the culture.  Yet, executive presence is a critical quality for successful leadership in any company.

In a previous post, we mentioned the importance of observing other leaders who are advancing and attempting to define what sets them apart from their accomplishments.  As a place to start, this helps put your company’s leader profile into focus, and from there you can begin to deduce the intangible leadership traits and behaviors that will make you more effective and fast track your success.  Likely, your observations will fall into one of these categories:

  • Confidence:  Confidence can be communicated via body language or the way you talk.  But it’s also about sharing your point of view, regardless of the audience.
  • Courage:  Leaders who have courage stand up for what they believe in, and take a well-measured risk to initiate and drive change.
  • Credibility:  Credibility is living up to commitments and walking the talk. It’s also about appearance and “looking the part.” (see leader profile comment above).
  • Connection:  Effective leaders achieve results through the strength of their relationships up, down and across the organization. By actively listening to their colleagues, they let them know they care and are supportive of their peers and direct reports.  Emotional intelligence plays a role in establishing connection with others, as does empathy.
  • Clarity/Crispness:   The ability to communicate complex information so it is easily understood by others is an important leadership quality.  Crispness is also about getting to the point quickly and avoiding unnecessary details unless asked.
  • Calmness:  During a crisis, who would you likely follow:  an even-keeled leader or one who emits panic and stress?  Calmness when in the midst of a storm communicates trust.

Try defining your company’s leader profile and then on a scale of 1 (low competence) – 7 (high competence) assess yourself in each category.  Then, create a plan.

What actions do you need to take to increase your Executive Presence?

August 29, 2014 / Articles We Like

On "Curiosity Is as Important as Intelligence"

In our work, we notice complexity either challenges leaders or presents an opportunity to thrive. So what sets apart those who can manage it well from those who can’t?  As this author explains, it’s more than intellect.  It’s curiosity. At Mariposa, we are big believers in the power of curiosity as a leadership quality, and that’s why we share this article.

In the Harvard Business Review blog article written by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, “Curiosity Is as Important as Intelligence,” three key psychological qualities enhance our ability to manage complexity:

  • Intellect Quotient: mental ability
  • Emotional Quotient: this concerns our ability to perceive, control, and express emotions
  • Curiosity Quotient: having a hungry mind

Read the article to learn more about how and why these three qualities help leaders manage complexity.

Do you agree that these three qualities help leaders manage complexity?  Why or why not?

Comment below! Or pose a question via Ask Mariposa.

July 3, 2014 / Coaching Skills

The Art of Receiving Feedback

Recently I wrote about the importance of giving feedback to your direct reports and others—openly, candidly and in a way that’s actionable for them. I think 50% of the feedback equation rests on the side of managers, who have to be willing and skilled in giving it.  Today I want to share a few tips on the other 50% of the equation: how to ask for and receive feedback.  How you receive feedback helps set the tone for your whole team.

  • Ask for feedback more than once a year
  • Listen to the feedback with everything you’ve got
  • Clarify the feedback
  • Say thank you

To read more, visit the Sierra Leadership blog.


About the Author:

Eric Nitzberg, M.T.S., is the Principal of Sierra Leadership and an Executive Leadership Coach at Mariposa Leadership, Inc. Visit his blog.

July 1, 2014 / Press Releases

Mariposa Leadership, Inc. Hosts Steve Reynosa, Director of Organizational Development at Citrix Systems

Steve Reynosa, Director of Organizational Development for Citrix Systems, will be interviewed by Sue Bethanis, CEO/Founder of Mariposa Leadership, on the popular Wise Talk Leadership Forum for executives on July 18, 2014.

San Francisco, CA – July 1, 2014 – Mariposa Leadership, Inc. is pleased to announce that Steve Reynosa, Director of Organizational Development for Citrix Systems, will be a guest on Wise Talk, a popular monthly leadership forum for technology executives, on July 18, 2014 at 11am PT/2pm ET.

Download PDF

June 27, 2014 / Articles We Like

On: "Charles Eames on Design"

Charles-Eames-400x466In this blog post, Charles Eames on Design, Maria Popova shares one of Eames’ little known interviews. Forty-two years later, the master’s words resonate now more than ever.  He was the forefather of customer-centric innovation and design thinking.

I often say to my team and the leaders I work with, “an idea is only as good as its usefulness.” In this interview, Eames brings home the centrality of customer “need” in design over and over again, and he offers leaders a different way of seeing the world.

Charles & Ray Eames are design heroes of mine, and I favorite Maria Popova (@brainpicker) more than anyone else on Twitter.  I hope you get something out of the interview like I have, and please share your thoughts!

Comment below! Or pose a question via Ask Mariposa.



June 26, 2014 / Book Reviews

Book Review | Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation

DT for strat innovationDesign Thinking for Strategic Innovation: What They Can’t Teach You at Business or Design School
By Idris Mootee

Head: (5 out of 5)
Heart: (3 out of 5)
Leadership Applicability: (5 out of 5)

Executives today will agree that the complexities of doing business have grown exponentially.  Our global world is smaller due to technology that connects us all at the speed of light, driving customer expectations high.  The world’s population consumes natural resources faster than we can replace them, if at all.  Competition in the market is fierce.  Despite all this, most executives have been operating with an outdated management model, one designed for an outdated world.  That’s why this book is a timely and important read for leaders.

Design thinking can be used to make sense of all of this complexity. It connects the dots and drives innovation by allowing us to experiment in the midst of chaos and complexity.  Creative solutions can emerge for complex problems.

This book, written by management guru Idris Mootee, defines design thinking and introduces readers to the applications of it.  As a framework, the author links the application of design thinking tools to eight key challenges most businesses encounter: growth, predictability, change, relevance, extreme competition, standardization, creative culture and strategy and organization.  Each chapter offers tips and thinking points.

Executives interested in a guide for applying design thinking will want to read this book.  Buy it now.

/ Leadership

Ask Mariposa | My Performance > My Confidence

Ed asks: I’m a senior executive with a track record of high performance.  My performance levels have led to interesting career growth opportunities as well as increasing amounts of responsibility over the years.  Given all I’ve achieved, my peers and colleagues believe I have a high level of confidence.  But, the truth is, I don’t feel that way inside. I wish I felt as confident as my performance indicates it is. What steps can I take to work on closing this gap?

Eric Nitzberg, Executive Leadership Coach, responds:

Your confidence levels have not become a barrier to performance.  However it will take some work to unwind the stories you’ve been telling yourself over the years about your limitations.  One way to start working on this is to recognize when your internal narrative is at play.  When you are in situations when you are feeling unsure, what are you thinking?  How does your body feel?  Begin to notice what transpires in these moments, and write them down.  Once you’ve identified your internal narrative, you can work on interrupting these habitual responses with more positive experiences.  Reflect on prior successes when you’ve overcome similar feelings and have pushed through to positive outcomes.  You can also try positive affirmations to change the narrative in these moments, as well as any meditation or mindfulness technique to get centered.

Somatic work might also help you embody your own leadership.  Work on getting more into your body to feel and experience your own strength.  Practice several ways you might walk into a room, perhaps to give a presentation.  Observe the sensations in your body and where you feel them. Notice your posture.  What feels good to you?  Meditation or mindfulness practices can help with this as well.  Practice tightening and relaxing your body while you sit with your eyes closes and notice what you feel.  The idea is to consciously embody the strength that resides within.

You might also want to watch Amy Cuddy’s 10-minute TED talk, Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are. In this talk, you’ll learn how standing in a confident stance even when you’re not feeling confident can impact success.

Good luck!

May 30, 2014 / Coaching Skills

Saving Your Job

Sometimes I coach leaders who are afraid they are at risk of being fired.  They may have good evidence to support this. For example, they may have just been transferred to a different department or moved to a more junior position; or they may have gotten direct feedback from their boss, HR, or others that there is a problem with their performance.  They may also just “Have a feeling.”  If this sounds like you, here are a few tips:

  1. Find out what your most important stakeholders want you to do differently.
  2. Write down your goals for change.
  3. Do your very best to work on the areas your stakeholders care about.
  4. Look for other ways to shift perception.
  5. Stay positive and take care of yourself.

To read more on these tips, visit the Sierra Leadership blog.


About the Author:

Eric Nitzberg, M.T.S., is the Principal of Sierra Leadership and an Executive Leadership Coach at Mariposa Leadership, Inc.  Visit his blog.

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