From Stress to Stroke to Soaring

Today is World Stroke Day, which is the perfect time to share my experience with a sudden interruption in the blood supply of the brain. Among my focuses as an executive coach is assisting clients in understanding the genesis and impact stress has in their lives. Few realize the amount of pressure they inflict upon themselves while consistently performing at their peak. Nor do they acknowledge the high costs of chronic stress in terms of their health and continued success. Adding to that equation is the pressures they inflict on their personal lives and those they love.

Wold Stroke Day Blog Post

The coaching I provide my clients is backed by personal experience. I was a member of that same “club,” wherein professionals subject themselves to chronic stress in order to gain ever-increasing levels of success. I paid the price, experienced a left cerebellum hemorrhage stroke, learned from my mistakes, and am now succeeding like I never dreamed possible — all the while maintaining a low-stress rhythm throughout all areas of my life. My hope is that by reading this story, those who suffer from chronic stress might learn from my experiences and seek help before tragedy strikes. I also want to inform readers how to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Early intervention is the key to a positive outcome. By recognizing the symptoms of a stroke early on, you can significantly improve the outcome for yourself, a loved one, or even a complete stranger.

Here is my story.

The early years

From the time I was a child, I placed inordinate pressure on myself to become a top performer and a perfectionist. My parents did not push me, as is often assumed in families that produce over-achievers. In fact, I enjoyed a normal childhood with a great family, which naturally transformed into participating in life at a fairly low stress level. I grew up in a household that emphasized Continue reading…

9 Steps to Navigating a Difficult Conversation

Any relationship, personal or professional, requires a means to address and resolve difficult or distressing issues. In fact, the ability to address and resolve issues is a good barometer to measure a relationship’s health. An inability to confront issues that are disturbing or hurting anyone in the relationship allows counterproductive patterns to persist, making the issues more pronounced over time.

Difficult conversation

Although we can never make someone change or force them agree with us, we can help to foster positive change in others and ourselves by engaging in constructive dialog. Speaking truth in a non-combative, loving, and kind way fosters growth emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, and relationally. And even if the other person does not respond favorably to our attempt, at least we can rest in the knowledge that we tried and did not merely sit by and wait for change that would probably never otherwise occur.

The key to navigating a difficult conversation is the ability to confront the other person without appearing confrontational. In this post, I offer guidance on how to do just that.

Establish a constructive mind-set for confrontation

Before you approach anyone about an issue that is troubling you, establish a constructive mind-set. I suggest the following: Continue reading…

It’s Time We Stop Normalizing Narcissism in the C-Suite

There’s an elephant in the C-suite. CEOs and others with narcissistic tendencies and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) are running the show and have been for years, and we’re not saying a darn thing about it. As shareholders and board members we’ve been silent. Others on the sideline include analysts, VCs, and the colleagues and mentors of those who exhibit narcissistic tendencies.

CEO Narcissism

Enter the 2017 presidential election, and we as a nation elected a candidate with classic narcissistic traits as leader of the free world. That decision made sense for a lot of reasons, the least of which was a promise to follow through on a very specific agenda for our nation (an agenda vastly different from that of the incumbent party). We were still hungry for “hope and change,” but now in the form of draining the swamp, stopping endless foreign wars, and Making America Great Again.

The result has been what may be described as a transactional presidency for members of the GOP — they get the judges, social policy, and the stance on globalism they’ve wanted for years, and to the victors of that election rightly go the spoils. In the meantime, we can expect more national and international drama, more gridlock, and a continuation of the revolving door of the cabinet members and key staff.

Has the fact that the leader of the free world is permitted to engage in narcissistic behaviors emboldened the board room to ignore the same at the companies they’re entrusted with? Because if that guy can get away with it, why too can’t our CEO? After all, if the Continue reading…

Why It’s Important to Analyze Your Organization’s Corporate Culture

2021-03-12T08:54:03-08:00By |Categories: Corporate Culture|Tags: |0 Comments

If recent news about the counterproductive corporate cultures at WeWork, Uber, Wells Fargo, and Lululemon are any indication, perhaps it’s time you took a step back and invested in truly understanding your organization’s corporate culture.

Corporate culture comprises the beliefs, values, and behaviors that determine how an organization’s management and personnel interact with one another in-house and conduct business outside the organization.

Your Culture is Your Brand

While some organizations have healthy, thriving cultures, many organizations are dysfunctional as a result of having a toxic culture. Symptoms of a toxic culture include the following:

  • Micromanagement
  • Frequent miscommunication
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Rampant rumors/gossip
  • High turnover
  • Palpable tension
  • Unethical or questionable business practices
  • Harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Little to no innovation, high resistance to change
  • Low risk tolerance and constant need for reassurance
  • Little or no collaboration
  • Exhaustion

If you notice any of these symptoms of a toxic culture in your organization or you have a gut feeling that the people in your organization are not achieving their full potential as a group, having your organization’s corporate culture analyzed can provide insight intoContinue reading…