Don't Let This Relationship Undermine Your Success

“The opposite of love is not hate– it’s indifference.”
– Steven Pressfield

Megan approached me as soon as I left the stage.

“Karin, I’m so with you on this not losing your soul thing… I resonated with everything you said… but for me it was the reverse.

I wasn’t losing my soul at work, I was finding it.

You see my boyfriend was always tearing me down. Or worse, acting like everything I was accomplishing was no big deal.

I would come home from work so excited, but the minute I started sharing my day, he made me feel like crap… like I was stupid to care that much.

I really love my job and I’m good at it. I know I’m making a difference.

My manager started really paying attention to what I was doing. Seeing my potential. Investing in me. Encouraging me. Giving me opportunities.

My confidence was growing.

And that felt good.

When I tried to explain all that to my boyfriend  he would roll his eyes.

I tried to talk to my mom, but she said maybe I was a workaholic.

She cares about me and wanted my relationship to work, so she took his side.

But one day it hit me.

He was scared of my success and my new-found confidence.

I tried to help him understand for a long, long time. I encouraged him in his career too.

I finally had to leave.

I feel like I’ve regained my soul.

I’m so much happier.

Been there. Amen sister.

Don’t Let a Naysayer Undermine Your Confidence

God knows I’m no relationship expert.

What I do know is that I am asked almost every day to help high-potential women show up with more confidence.

There are many factors at play.

The unspoken challenge some of the women I work with face is that they’re dealing with a naysayer:  at home, or in the next cube, or in the form of a childhood friend threatened by their success, or even lingering words of someone who’s no longer around.

There’s someone in their lives with their own confidence challenges questioning their next move.

If this story sounds familiar you are not alone.

How to Outwit the Naysayers

If you have a ground swell (or even a spark) of confidence building up in you… don’t let anyone talk you out of it.

  • Surround yourself with people who claim their own confidence– do everything you can to encourage one another
  • Limit your exposure to the naysayers
  • Create boundaries with the people you love to limit confidence-crushing conversations
  • Take time to acknowledge your own success and growth– write down your personal and professional accomplishments, even the small ones
  • Identify the situations where you feel more confident, notice the behaviors that are working for you in those scenes and try them in other environments
  • Do something that scares you every day. Nothing builds confidence faster than succeeding at something that scared you

Remember, an important part of confident humility is to know that other people’s behavior is almost always more about them than you. If you’ve got a naysayer trying to undermine your confidence, throw some compassion their way– but don’t let their negativity impact your growth.

For more discussion and tools on the power of confident humility in getting results that last, read or listen to or book, Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results Without Losing Your Soul.

Also, our Winning Well online course is now live! Contact me  for a demo, or to talk about getting a discount for your team.

Frontline Festival: Leaders share tips about professional development

Welcome back to the Let’s Grow Leaders Frontline Festival. This month’s festival gives tips about professional development for leaders. Thanks to Joy and Tom Guthrie of Vizwerx Group for the great pic and to all our contributors!

Next month’s Frontline Festival is all about favorite apps and technology. What tools do you use to stay productive? There are two ways to participate…either submit a blog post on the topic, or your 1-2 sentence answer to the question. Click here to participate!

This month, we invited leadership experts to either submit a blog post, or answer the following question.

How do you invest in your professional development on a regular basis?

Beth Beutler of H.O.P.E. Unlimited commits to finishing one book per month (some take more than one month) and keeping a list. Sticking with this realistic goal has helped her be continuously successful at it for a number of years. She also often listens to podcasts while driving. Follow Beth.

According to Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership you can’t lead others if you can’t lead yourself. Here is a baker’s dozen of things to master to be the best leader you can be. Follow Wally.

As part of her commitment to life-long learning, Michelle Cubas, CPCC, ACC, of Positive Potentials, LLC  makes an effort to learn something new daily.  She finds this is also a terrific way to connect with children, to have them teach the adult something—parent-child, teacher-student. Follow Michelle.

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
~ Benjamin Franklin

Mike Henry of reads and listens to audiobooks. Guess which one he happens to be listening to currently? Thanks for #winningwell Mike!  Follow Mike.

One way John Hunter of Curious Cat Management Improvement continues to learn is by reading posts of bloggers he follows.  Another good way is to write a blog. He shares that he helps you clarify and develop you thinking on topics you are interested in (plus it can build your reputation and potentially help you find work).  Follow John.

Paula Kiger of Big Green Pen has made many connections on social media which inspire her to pursue certain avenues of professional development. She admits it takes follow-through and that there’s no magic (in her opinion) white paper to revolutionize her life. However she has made connections which have made a measurable difference for her.  Follow Paula.

Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.
~ Albert Einstein

Lisa Kohn from Thoughtful Leaders Blog continues to learn and grow by finding thought leaders to add to and challenge her views and knowledge – through reading (articles, online, books) and connecting one-on-one to learn what others are facing and learning. Follow Lisa

Paul LaRue of The UPwards Leader  makes a “To-Be” List for the week and reflects on it daily in conjunction with his “To-Do” List. His “To-Be” List governs the to-do list and helps him stay on track of what behaviors he wants, versus having his tasks define his growth. Follow Paul.

Michelle Pallas of advises to stop thinking about professional development as an event! Learning is a part of every day. Leaders learn from mentors, coaches and the people we coach. Coaching is a critical skill and, unless you are an expert, coaching as a competency should be in your personal development plan.   Follow Michelle.

The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.
~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

Skip Prichard of Leadership Insights shares that his leadership as a CEO of a large global company was influenced heavily by his mom, These 9 lessons have been extraordinary to helping me lead. #Winningwell leaders should study these 9 lessons and see their influence increase. Follow Skip.

Becky Robinson of Weaving Influence meets regularly with a coach. She appreciates having an outside perspective. Her coaches challenge her thinking, help her identify blind spots, work through challenges, and give her encouragement.  Follow Becky

Shelley Row of Shelley Row Associates participates regularly with her professional association where she learns from her peers and invariably gets practical tips she can use. She also knows that sometimes you have to turn your brain off to increase its performance.  Follow Shelley

Learning never exhausts the mind.
~ Leonardo da Vinci

Linda Fisher Thornton of Leading in Context follows global trends across disciplines that impact leadership, business and ethics. She reads trend reports and books and attends webinars and live speaking events, looking for insights into leadership challenges, mindsets and approaches that will help leaders succeed in the future as the world changes.  Follow Linda.

Dr. Artika Tyner of the Planting People. Growing Justice Institute suggests that movies can help you grow. These top 10 movies will provide you with the tools to serve and lead in the global community. Follow Artika.

Thank you so much! We welcome anyone looking to participate in the next Frontline Festival.


When Transparency Goes Too Far

My phone rang, “Karin I’ve just been told there’s going to be a restructure and significant downsizing. My team may or not be impacted. I have NO additional information, just that it will be months before all the dust settles.”

Now, if you’ve been following my writing for any period of time you know I’m the poster child for  transparency. I believe strongly in telling the truth, avoiding spin, and never making crap up.

But frankly the above scenario is a clear example of TMI. Too Much Information.

It’s too much information, precisely because there was not enough information. All my client received was enough insight to cause stress, uncertainty and disruption.

I see examples of pre-mature disclosure wreaking havoc all the time.

Yes. Transparency goes a long way in building trust.

At the same time, over-disclosure can send your team off the deep-end worrying about all kinds of issues for which they have no control.

If you’re like most managers there are times you didn’t shared enough and your team made crap up, and there are times you said too much and your team freaked out.

Questions to Consider When Deciding How Much To Communicate

Here are a few important questions to consider when determining how much to communicate.

  • Have I been told the information is proprietary? As long as nothing unethical is going on, when your boss asks you not share, don’t share. If you don’t understand why the information is sensitive, ask. Even those who seem to appreciate your bringing them in to the inner circle, will wonder if they can trust you with sensitive information moving forward.
  • What is my motive for sharing this information? If it’s to assuage your guilt or to have someone to commiserate in your stress you’re probably getting ready to share too much.
  • Does my team need this information to make informed decisions?

If you’re team is going down a path that this new information will derail, it’s important to share what you can or to slow them down.

  • Will having this information make it easier more difficult for the team to do their work effectively? One of your biggest roles as a manager is to remove roadblocks and grease the skids for success, that includes sharing the right amount of information to support the team in doing their work without creating unnecessary distractions.

The Winning Well Tour Continues

Winning Well Book SigningThis week, the Winning Well tour stopped in CA for the ICMI conference. We would love to speak to your organization or work with your team. Please call me at 443 750 1249 to learn more.




Is Your Mom a Winning Well Leader?

Moms are full of wisdom, aren’t they? Many leaders credit their moms for their influence, such as:

Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. If love is as sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love.
~ Stevie Wonder
All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.
~ Abraham Lincoln
My mother said to me, “If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope. Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.”
~ Pablo Picasso

In honor of Mother’s Day, we want to take the month of May to honor moms and their words of “Winning Well” wisdom. Things like:

  • Do your homework. (Get to know your employees.)
  • Don’t be late! (Be true to your commitments.)
  • Call me when you get there. (Stay connected with your team.)
  • It’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game. (Concentrate on the game, not the score.)
  • Do your best. (Your competition is mediocrity.)
  • Because I said so. (Well, not all advice is perfect.)

How about you? What wisdom did you receive from your mom that helps you win well at work (and in life?) What did your mom teach you (or model for you) about the importance of balancing confidence and humility and results and relationships?

moms adviceWe’d love to see your answers and we know it would honor your mom, too! Here’s a template to write out mom’s wisdom. Share a photo of it (even better if it’s with you and your mom!) and tag it #winningwell on whatever social media channel you want. We’ll watch for some to share on the site and our social media channels throughout the month!

Winning Well on CBS Baltimore with Gigi Barnett

Today I’m delighted to share my Winning Well interview with Gigi Barnett on CBS Baltimore.

Thanks for all you are doing to help spread the Winning Well word. Excited to see so many teams using it for their Spring Book groups. Would love to hear your insights and application. If you’re enjoying Winning Well, we would really appreciate your leaving an Amazon review.winning well bookmark