Managing Careers

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Join us at The Conference Board’s 20th Annual Leadership Development Conference and Succession Management Seminar

I am delighted to speak on Assessing and Developing Global Talent at the Succession Management Seminar on June 3 in San Diego, CA.

The seminar  includes:

  • A personal assessment of your current global capability using the Transglobal Leadership Assessment;
  • Tools and techniques to move your organization’s succession management capability

For the Agenda, see Global Leaders . To register, visit the sign up page.

Where is your organization in the global maturity curve?

global assignment– Your company has just expanded globally

– You want to apply for a global role but you do not have the experience

– You have just been selected for a global assignment, but are unsure about your own capabilities

You may be experiencing these or similar apprehensions about being a global leader, but you do not need to be concerned.  Join a select group of leaders at the 20th Annual Leadership Development Conference of the Conference Board on June 3-5 in San Diego, CA 

The Succession Management Pre Conference will help you:

  • Learn a global assessment tool to identify and develop high potential talent
  • Understand where your company is on the global organizational maturity curve
  • Identify tools and techniques to build your succession plans

For the Agenda, see Global Leaders . To register, visit the sign up page.

We look forward to seeing you.

 

What is Your Global Acumen?

Global HR Academy

Have you ever wondered how effective you are as a global leader?

What are the key competencies you need to have to be successful in your global assignment?

How do you identify, attract and retain your global talent pool?

Are you ready to take your global leadership to the next level?  Join us with a select group of leaders at the 20th Leadership Development Conference of The Conference Board on June 3-5 in San Diego

At the Succession Management Pre Conference on June 3,  you will learn how to:

  • Recognize, assess, and select talent global talent
  • Analyze and refine your development practices in light of global demands
  • Develop a network of senior professionals who are addressing similar challenges

To learn more about the Conference, please visit our website https://www.conference-board.org/conferences/conferencedetail.cfm?conferenceid=2609

 

 

Three Valuable Lessons I Learned in my Global Assignment

woman globeIt has been several years since our expat assignment in Belgium but the experience remains fresh in my mind. The two years we spent in Belgium strengthened not only my career and understanding of global business but also my family’s bond.  The experience enriched our lives. Being an Asian American female executive in Europe sent by an American company holding the top job was not common those days.  I was not the typical expat, therefore I was not stereotyped and eventually, I think my uniqueness worked to my advantage.

 

  1. I learned what it takes to work closely and intensely with people from different countries. I learned to accept and appreciate differences including my own uniqueness. I learned that No did not necessarily mean No and Yes did not mean Yes.  I learned to probe further to understand others. I learned to flex my style to be effective.
  2. Since time was limited and we knew this experience would not last, we made instant friends.  We valued our new friends and chose which ones were going to remain our friends even when we moved back home.
  3. I learned a lot about myself. My executive coach was invaluable to me.  At our very first meeting he said since I am Filipino American, I am viewed as an Asian in Europe even if I came from the US.   They expected me to demonstrate typical Asian norms, because this what they know.  I realized how much I’ve forgotten or abandoned being Asian having lived in the US for most of my career years. I took a journey back to who I really am. It was quite an experience to have the freedom to be me again and get in touch with my “Filipina-ness”.

I will never forget my coach, Robert Brown, who helped me navigate through several difficult situations. He became an ally to me, a trusted advisor, mentor and friend.  He introduced me to a new business network who helped me understand local business better. He genuinely cared for my success and became a close family friend.  Sadly, Robert passed away a few years ago.  His influence on my life, career and our family was invaluable and we are forever grateful.

If you are in an expat assignment today or working outside your home country, you may be experiencing a range of emotions – from excitement to frustration.  From loneliness – missing your friends and family , to enjoying meeting new people and discovering new sights and experiences.  How are you viewed by your local colleagues?  What impact does your presence have on them?  How can you make the most of your expat assignment?

 

Join us at The Conference Board, Global HR Academy on June 9-12 and learn more about what it takes to be successful in a global role.  To read more about the Academy, click here http://www.conference-board.org/globalhrleadersacademy/.

 

To apply and receive special pricing, contact Fana Tekle at fana.tekle@conferenceboard.org or call her at 212-339-0210.

 

Invitation: The Global HR Leaders Academy

The Global HR Leaders AcademyHR Colleagues:

Wondering how to take your career to the next level?  Want to ensure you are prepared to take on broader global responsibilities? Join a small cohort of colleagues across diverse industries and  a practitioner faculty that will deepen your acumen, broaden your network, and prepare you for expanded responsibility in your organization on June 9-12 at the Conference Board in New York City.

The Conference Board’s Global HR Leaders Academy welcomes experienced, mid to senior-level HR leaders with growing global responsibilities. Led by an expert faculty in a small group environment, the Global HR Academy experience includes:

  • A personal, confidential assessment of your current global capability using the Trans-Global Leadership Assessment
  • A 3-day intensive learning experience, coupled with pre-and post-event webcasts
  • Simulations, interactive case studies with experienced practitioners from leading companies, individualized coaching and a personalized action plan
  • Tools and techniques to help move your organization’s HR capability up the maturity curve
  • Global HR Leader Certification and 13.5 HRCI credits

To learn more about the Academy, click here. https://www.conference-board.org/globalhrleadersacademy/

We are offering a one time special rate of $2,500 for the June cohort only.  To avail of the discount, contact Fana Tekle at fana.tekle@conferenceboard.org or 212.339.0210 and mention this posting from me.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Academy.

 

Transition with Ease and Grace. 3 Powerful Coaching Questions to Ask Yourself

golden gate cloudyOne of my potential clients is going through a major transition and called me to inquire about executive coaching.

She is a new mother of 15 month twin girls and is having a tough time balancing her work and personal life.  After working in a senior role for 15 years in a major company, she felt compelled to put in her resignation.  She needed time to rethink her career, finances, and family life and hopefully find a family friendly employer.  She is now in the process of winding down and closing this chapter of her life.

Transition times are tough and can be very stressful.  There is a sense of loss, maybe some humiliation, and a lot of anxiety about the unknown future.  There is also a tinge of excitement and anticipation about creating something new.

You may find yourself in the midst of a major transition.  Here are some coaching questions that could help you during these times.

  1. As you go through this process, notice how you are feeling.  Label it and acknowledge your feelings of the moment.  Do not judge or make this feeling wrong.  Whatever you are feeling is yours and you are entitled to this. Notice the change in your feelings as the transition progresses.  Do not be alarmed if it gets tougher before it gets better.
  2. Notice your thoughts.  What would you like your team and colleagues to remember about you?  What would you like your transition theme to be?
  3. Who are you being throughout all this process?   I’ve been through several transitions throughout my career and continue to do so during my encore career.  We moved 17 times and lived in 3 continents, all transitions have been very stressful, some more than others.  I have a theme or mantra that helped me tremendously whenever I am in transition and that is — “Move with Ease and Grace”.  I meditate on these words every spare moment I have and it never fails to center me.  It keeps me calm and greatly influences how I behave.

Transitions are wonderful, they give us hope, enable us to change to have a better life.  When I think of my major transitions, I was fortunate to have a coach guide me through it.  My coach helped make a cloudy and foggy journey clearer and certainly made me aware when I have reached my destination.

How to Succeed while on a Global Assignment

global assignmentHave you just moved halfway around the world, sold your belongings or placed them in storage? Do you struggle to learn the local language? Are you on a plane most of the time, constantly jet lagged and have a huge fog in your head? Is headquarters calling you for regular updates? Do you feel like you owe your company for sending you in this assignment that you are willing to work day and night to prove your worth? You take conference calls at all times, they seem to forget that you are in a different time zone.

In the meantime, your personal life is non-existent, business pressures don’t seem to lighten up and you have not had the time to explore your new world.  You set some goals before you took this assignment – trips to explore the local sights, learn the local language, make friends with locals, but your work and travel have taken priority and you are stressed and lack sleep.

As glamorous as the word expat may sound, the reality of many expats lives are far from it.  Expats do not travel for leisure or live a life of discovery and exploration. Expats work long hours and take on the pressure of running the local business. They do not have their support system and they miss their family and friends.

The difficulties of expat lives can be managed and the assignment can be memorable and career enhancing.  Handled well, this could be a period of huge growth and development for the expat, their family and their careers.  What are some of the ways that your expat assignment can be successful?

  1. Keep headquarters regularly informed.  Set up regular calls or emails to let your bosses know the local conditions.  Try not to surprise them.  If you have bad news, deliver bad news in a timely manner with a couple of solutions that you have vetted out with your local team members.  Stay connected with mentors back in the home country and set up regular calls with them.
  2. Develop a new support system locally.  Find people who you can trust inside the company and outside.  Join your local professional organization and make the time to nurture new relationships.
  3. Learn at least 10 most popular local words – words of greeting, respect, agreement or disagreement, common courtesy words.
  4. Find a way to exercise regularly or find ways to keep your mind, body and spirit clear and centered.
  5. Figure out the number of weekends or vacation days that you have and plan to see the local sights.  Book your tickets.  Before you know it, your assignment is up and you would not have been able to see the sights if you didn’t plan in advance for it.
  6. Plan your home vacations yearly so you have something to look forward to.  Keep connected with friends and family through social media.
  7. Hire a local coach, find a trusted mentor.  This has been the most valuable thing I have done while on expat assignment, one that I would recommend to everyone outside of their home country.  Your trusted coach will help you gain perspective, reframe your thinking, challenge you when needed or push you out of your comfort zone to grow.

 

Being out of your comfort zone, while difficult, is a period of high growth and eventually high rewards.  An expat assignment is not for everyone, but you have that call inside you and you have it in you to succeed. With the right moves and a trusted support system, the benefits of an expat assignment far outweigh the challenges and difficulties.  Enjoy the journey.

6 Personality Traits You Must Have for a Global Assignment

global assignmentMy clients often ask me – What does it take to be successful globally?.  Aside from the many details of a relocation, learning a new role, a new language or new culture, there are some internal reflections you need to do if you are thinking of taking a global assignment.  What are the key traits that will make you successful in a career move outside your home country?

1. Curiosity – are you interested in what is going on in another part of the world, or even in another part of the country or the other side of town?  Do you have an inner desire to learn how new environments work, how people live and work?  Do you care to know?  Are you wiling to try  new experiences, taste new food, see new places?.

2. Determination.  You must really want it. Moving globally for a career entails a lot of sacrifice.  You will be pushed into new situations that seem strange or difficult for you.  If you are determined to have this experience, you will view problems as situations that have solutions and will not get easily frustrated.

3. Courage.  This is the heart of global citizenship.  Are you willing to take risks and are not afraid to make some mistakes?

4. Respect.  This means unconditional respect for others, their culture, their norms, their way of life.  Do you respect others who are very different from you even if they have not earned your respect?  Are you willing to suspend judgment and criticism?

5. Ease of meeting new people and making new friends.  Is it easy for you to approach strangers even if they do not speak your language? Can you comfortably meet new people and foster a positive friendly attitude? An international assignment can be very lonely, you will miss your close friends and family.  Meeting new people, joining groups or activities that you enjoy will make the assignment more enjoyable.

6. Can you have fun even if you sometimes feel embarrassed or frustrated? You will not always be understood by others, sometimes you will feel dumb.  Are you willing to laugh about it and enjoy the experience, good or bad?.

We are comfortable within our own culture, our own ways and therefore think this is normal and good.  Something new, or strange may be uncomfortable or awkward to us, it doesn’t mean that it is wrong.

Before you raise your hand for that special project that would take you to far and exotic places, think again and be very honest with yourself.  Do you have what it takes to handle a global assignment?  Ask your coach to help you assess your skills and work with your coach to prepare you for your global assignment.

 

 

Defining Your Non-negotiables, Part 4: Is it about child care or is it about my job?

work life balanceAnother non-negotiable for high achieving women is ensuring that they have the best child care available when they go back to work.  This was the case for Lynda Kitamura, Chief Financial Officer.

When Lynda’s first born was 3 ½ months, her baby started sleeping well. Lynda brought in a nanny and felt comfortable that this arrangement would be good for her child. In the meantime, her company was introducing a new platform that was both exciting and challenging to her and she wanted to be part of this change.

Lynda was able to go back to work feeling entirely comfortable with her choice. It was not a burden to get back to work, and she did not feel any pressure making the decision; it was simply a case where her daughter started sleeping well at night and she found a terrific nanny.

She harbored no guilt, because she felt like she had  a choice and was not doing something wrong. It’s not that she did not have fears—fears like the children would prefer to be with their nanny or their father rather than her. But she kept her relationships with her children strong, and that fear did not materialize. In fact, her children fondly recall how fun it was to go to work with her on some weekends with their crayons and snacks.  In spite of this, she prepared herself for this possibility and was willing to accept the consequences if this happened. The preparation and acceptance of the consequences of her choices empowered her to proactively manage a tough situation.

To keep herself going, she focused on the good and acknowledges what she feels really bad about or could feel bad about. This keen awareness of her feelings guided her priorities – what she scheduled, how she spent her time, and she tried to avoid anything that would make her feel bad. For example, she did not miss a birthday or an important school event—this was part of her priorities.

Achieving this priority entailed careful planning and communication with her managers ahead of time. She feels fortunate to have had understanding managers throughout her career. It is important to be clear in communicating what you want to your manager: “This is a very important date and I need to be there.”  When she respectfully makes these requests, she found out that her managers are equally respectful.

Some working women fear speaking up for family or personal needs because it might reflect negatively on them. Based on Lynda’s experience, it is probably not going to be as bad as they think it will be. This is where she thinks parents feel guilt or suffer quietly. For Lynda, avoiding feeling bad is the balance, the compromise of balancing work and personal life.

Ask yourself questions like: Why am I doing this? Is it important? Is it healthy? Do I care about my children? Absolutely! Is this a reasonable request? Are they safe and cared for? And how much of this is me and my ego, vs are they truly going to be ok?

Could it be that those who feel really bad about working and unable to achieve balance, really do not want to work? Or are not happy with their work and they prefer to be at home? There is nothing wrong with wanting to stay at home, but it is really important to recognize the distinction – Is this something I’m really worried about for my child or is this something about myself?

Asking these tough questions help you get to the bottom of what’s really bothering you about being a working mom. Some working moms choose to blame the company, the government, the system, their boss. Taking honest ownership of how one feels about their children’s care and how much they love their job are the more important questions. Finding the appropriate care support system for your family eventually pays off. You will have peace of mind and can focus better on your work.

Being clear of her priorities is key to Lynda’s work life success.  She loves her job and gets fulfilled in her career.  She loves her family and her children’s growth and development is very important to her.  With her priorities and non-negotiables clearly set, Lynda found a way to make multiple priorities work.  Lynda is a high achieving woman.

Do you know a high achieving woman?  Describe what she is doing.

 

Are you a Corporate Refugee? Part 2. 6 Ways to Cope with Your Corporate Transition

work, stress, familyThe other day I blogged about the signs of a corporate refugee.  A corporate refugee is someone who recently left the security and comfort of a corporate job and feels burned out.  While they know it is too early to sit in a rocking chair and do nothing, they also cannot gather enough energy to pursue or accept another corporate job.  What do you do if you find yourself in this situation?

  1. Be honest about how you really feel.  Do not blame yourself for feeling this way.  If being a corporate refugee sounds about right to you, be ok with it, acknowledge it.
  2. Take some time off.  It is automatic for us to start the job hunting process immediately.  If you can, try to do nothing for a few days, or weeks.  Try to control yourself  from jumping back.  Your mind and body needs space and healing.  It takes time – months, sometimes years, to distance ourselves from our corporate identity.
  3. Surround yourself with supportive and positive people.  These are people who you can share how you feel and who will not judge you.  See a career coach or begin a support group in your local community
  4. Cultivate new interests – something totally new or different from your regular activities.  Gardening, reading, art work, travel, or cooking.  New activities will not only keep you busy, but will also ignite your passion.  Experiment on activities that make you happy.
  5. Recognize that you are in transition and this is a process that you need to go through.  Read Transitions – Making Sense of Life’s Changes by William Bridges or Life Launch – A Passionate Guide to the Rest of Your Life by Pamela McLean and Fredric Hudson.
  6. Hire a coach.  I had a coach when I transitioned from my corporate life to my entrepreneurial life. My coach was my supportive partner.  He helped me figure out not only what I could be doing next, but also who I am again.  I looked forward to our conversations and even if the coaching process lasted only for 6 months, we continue to be in touch and work on certain projects together.  His perspective is invaluable.

Once you acknowledge that you are a corporate refugee, the magic begins.  Don’t feel that you need to go through this alone.  There are many resources out there that will help you transition.

Feel free to share what transition strategies worked for you.

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Why Hire a coach?

Top Reasons Coaches are Engaged:

(HBR Jan 2009)

    • Develop high potentials or facilitate transition: 48%
    • Act as a sounding board: 26%
    • Address derailing behavior: 12%