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These 3 career tips will move you ahead March 16, 2010

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", 21 Ways Women in Management Shoot Themselves in the Foot, Action Plans, business intelligence, business strategy, career success, CBS Interactive, DIRECTV, Tech Republic, The Four Windows Process, Veracity, women in management.
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Executive and leadership coach John M McKee has helped a lot of people move their career forward while others stalled and fell by the wayside.  In today’s Veracity Blog, he shares 3 of his favorite tips for career success.


Career Tip #1: Results = Rewards. There will be times it seems that form and process are the most important things in your company and consequently to your boss. They aren’t.

Over thirty years, I don’t recall a single person getting a monster bonus at year’s end or awesome promotion for following the company’s process better than the rest of us. Over the long run, great rewards and promotions go to the one who gives great results.

Career Tip #2 Face time works to your benefit. So your boss is incompetent; & doesn’t have a clue about the company, your job or even his own. Do you really have to waste more your time meeting with him (or her)? Yes, absolutely. And it’s not a waste.

It’s actually smart to spend time with your superior. Don’t rely solely on email or voicemail. Your boss probably receives too many electronic messages already. And while it seems like efficient time management to communicate through email or voicemail, it does little good for your career if (s)he doesn’t know much about you beyond the role you perform.

Go out of your way to talk to the boss about your responsibilities and accomplishments in person. Leave it to everyone else to fill up the boss’ in-boxes.

Career Tip #3: A good listener is hard to find. Recognize that all bosses expect to be heard and then have their directions followed. So – “Listen, listen, listen. And remember that you have two ears and one mouth for a good reason.”

Don’t be one of those misguided types who debates everything they’re instructed to do. After the first 1 or 2 times, it doesn’t show anyone how smart you are. It just becomes tiresome. If this is tough at times, keep in mind that someone else in your company is ready and willing to listen to the boss. Better it’s you.

Here’s to your Future!

–   john

Interested in more tips and career advice?  Check out John M McKee’s weekly blog on CBS Interactive’s Tech Republic.


Women are still being held back. Unacceptable. March 2, 2010

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", 21 Ways Women in Management Shoot Themselves in the Foot, business intelligence, Business Success Coach, career planning, Career Wisdom, Coaching, executive coach, leadership coach, business consultant, career advice, life balance, Notes for Business, Personal action plans.
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Catalyst’s recent research shows that more progress is needed for women in corporations Executive and leadership coach John M McKee has ideas for those caught in this no-win situation.


I wrote my first book, 21 Ways Women in Management Shoot Themselves in the Foot, back in 2006.

One of my goals with that book was to help women overcome “invisible” barriers to moving up the career ladder.  A second one, also stated loudly within it, was to help overcome the persistent inequity in compensation that women had at the time.

I was disappointed to see Catalyst’s most recent report on this issue last week. I suggest you read it and make some decisions about what you, personally, can do about what it says.

It shows clearly that progress is not moving quickly enough.

Great leaders get things done. Most leaders don’t. September 10, 2009

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, business strategy, business success, career success, Coaching.
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Successful managers and leaders often share similar approaches.  In this article, executive and business coach John M McKee provides 12 characteristics that are common to effective leaders across all levels and organizations.  Use them to improve your own success.


Great leaders get things done.

When you think about it that statement could be their job description. After all, when giving an individual the role of leader, we almost assume that they, more than others, can get the job done. 

And yet, so many do not. So – what is it that makes a great leader, great?

Over the course of my career, I’ve been very fortunate to have spent time with many great leaders. I’ve worked one-on-one with the leaders of large, well-known organizations like the former chairmen of General Motors, DIRECTV and AT&T.

I’ve spent quality time with top politicians from both the United States and Canada including Bill Clinton, and the former Prime Minister of Canada, Jean Chrétien as well as the secretaries of the US Government and the Ministers of the Canadian one. I’ve also been lucky enough to have worked with great leaders in small businesses and start-ups as well.

During that time, I came to realize that there are certain characteristics that all the truly great share. The following was created as a result:

1. They live their lives and run their organizations “On Purpose”. They know what they stand for. They recognize that their organizations are a reflection of their values and standards, and behave accordingly.

2. They help others to succeed. They mentor, train, assist, demand, challenge and model for others to help them become better.

3. They get results. With teams that know where the organization is going, and who are better trained and capable, they overcoming the odds. They usually beat expectations while others fail.

4. They put back into their communities. Volunteering, tithing, and giving; they support non-profits & other initiatives dependent upon others’ for support

5. They excel in difficult environments, making their own success. Macro issues are often incidental to their approaches. Through Intention, they overcome difficult obstacles that slow down others.

6. They are great listeners. To everyone. Customers. Employees. Competitors. Consequently, they are more likely to be innovators, testing new ideas which others in the same sector may not.

7. They can make tough decisions. When action is required, it’s taken. They can admit mistakes and correct them. Merely “good” leaders often falter when it comes to decisions affecting people, money or strategy.

8. They are honest and ethical. Like a ‘business Karma”, they know that what goes around comes around. As a result, more people will help and support them.

9. They understand the differences of power vs. force.  Many others fail to realize that forcing outcomes ultimately causes negative results. Helping to build new understanding of the motives on both sides, and the benefits one can realize using new approaches ensures long-term success.

10. They don’t need all the recognition, all the time. Loyal and stronger teams result, in turn making better organizations more inclined to go the extra mile in tough times.

11. They continually upgrade their skills. They recognize that the marketplace is constantly changing and that they must as well.

12. They have a clear, actionable plan for their life. Managing their plan, they lead balanced lives while delivering great results.  In our research at my coaching practice Business Success Coach.net over the past few years, we’ve seen that over 80% of those who say they are satisfied with their lives also have a plan.  This is not a co-incidence.

Here’s to your success!


Anxiety, sleeplessness and performance March 12, 2009

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, Business, career success, Coaching, DIRECTV, life balance, Personal action plans, professional speakers, replenishment, Satisfaction, small business coach, Tempur-Pedic, The Secret, Veracity, wellness.
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tn_john-002.jpgI was recently invited to become a Wellness Advisor for Tempur-Pedic, the company famous for making sleep products.

Subsequently, I did some research on them.  When they invited me, the folks at Tempur-Pedic didn’t know that I’d been in the home furnishing business earlier in my career.  I was one of the leadership team at a large chain of retail stores that was very big in bedding and mattresses.  But Tempur-Pedic had come to me because they’d seen and heard me when I addressed about the importance of sleep in regards to one’s performance on the job. They came to talk to me as a coach, with no knowledge of my former corporate experience.

I was interested to see if Tempur-Pedic offered anything different than those other brand names we all see advertised by retailers across the nation every weekend.  And I was impressed with what I learned.

I found out that they really are an interesting company with cool products.  Their beds and pillows are created using a proprietary Tempur pressure-relieving material, it’s not just a “memory foam bed” which I had mistakenly assumed.  And the Tempur material is made using a formula and manufacturing process known to just a handful of individuals (like the recipe for Coke or KFC).

The company sells products that are usually associated with furniture in the medium high and higher prices.  I wondered if these products were really worth the difference in prices than say a mattress from IKEA or a Simmons sleep set from Macy’s.  They are.

I went to a retail store and working with a very knowlegable sales rep I tested a bunch of beds and asked a lot of questions.  I found out that I really liked their beds compared with others of similar prices.  They really have something with their secret formula.  And, as anyone who saw the recent Jim Carey move, Yes Man, will know – it’s as good for 2 people as a bed can be.

I am now a Wellness Advisor for the company.

I took them up on their offer because it came with no rules or obligations that might put me in a compromise.  I am not expected to talk about sleep all the time.  I don’t have to  pitch their products.

However, Tempur-Pedic will provide me with information I can use as a coach. Some recent research they’ve caused shows conclusive evidence that the economy today is causing increased anxiety which, in turn, is affecting people’s sleep patterns.  This type of research can be shared with others to help them improve their game:

For a professional who is trying to keep employed, or someone who is out of work, this type of insight and information could be something never considered.  And it’s important because factors affecting one’s performance could result in a layoff; or hamper their ability to get another job.

In closing, I’m going to get a Tempur-Pedic bed to ensure that I really know what I’m talking about when it comes to pro’s and con’s.  But I think I know that answer already.  Will keep you posted.


So who uses a coach anyway? February 9, 2009

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", American Dreamers, Business, Business Success Coach, Career Wisdom, Coaching, Job advice, Personal Success, Satisfaction, Women.
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John M McKeeI’m often asked by journalists and reporters about what type of people use coaches.  In general, they ask me about who is the “average” client.

It’s not an easy question because there are really quite a few different (major) categories of coaches – athletic, artistic, life, career, executive, leadership and business. However, people using each of the different categories, for the most part, do share some commonality of course – they want to do better / improve their results / move ahead in their fields.

Recently, the International Coach Federation released the results of a worldwide survey they did with their membership – of which I am one.  The ICF is the largest coaching association in the world and, this won’t surprise you, it’s growing quickly across the world.  There are coaches in every country I’d guess.  I haven’t found one without coaches, and at BusinessSuccessCoach.net we’ve had clients from 45 countries using our products and services.

So I think the results of this survey probably answer the question: who uses a coach?

Here’s what we learned from the study and how it compares with my client base:

65% of clients are female  ( my experience is about 78%)

The majority (36%) of clients are between 36 and 45 years old, and have advanced levels of education like a post grad degree  ( in my practice it’s about 70%)

Duration of a coaching relationship was 12.8 months  (for me: about 5 months)

3 top motivators for using a coach – self confidence, life balance, career opportunities.  ( at Business Success Coach.net I think it is the same although the sequence is different with career being first)

96% of clients say they would repeat their coaching experience ( I have never asked this question but I know a big share of our clients are referals which is very powerful)

82% of clients reported they were very satisfied with their coaching results ( again, I’ve never asked the question of my clients at the end of our relationship but I do ask after each session so it’s at least that high based on their feedback which can be extremely honest)

I’ve used a coach since 1990.  The first coach I used didn’t call himself that back then.  And I have used different coaches at different times in my career. I’ve been involved with it since 1990 when I started doing coaching internally at the company where I was a line manager, so I may have a strong bias about its value.  But the numbers of the ICF speak for themselves.