How to Be a Successful New Leader by Kimberly Wiefling (Wiefling Consulting)

iStock_000007246830XSmall new leader

(This article is first published in Japan in the English Journal by my agent ALC Global Leadership and Talent Development Division.)

QUESTION: “I’ve just been promoted to leading a new team and don’t know where to start. What should I do first?”

ANSWER: Congratulations on your promotion! While a strong start is not a simple matter of following a recipe – we’re dealing with human beings, not baking cookies – here are four key areas important to a new leader’s success. Continue reading

Changing Jobs or Your Career by Kimberly Wiefling (Wiefling Consulting)

iStock_000002267483XSmall-150x150 Change Job Coffee Cup

(This article is first published in Japan in the English Journal by my agent ALC Global Leadership and Talent Development Division.)

QUESTION: “After working for 20 years in the same kinds of jobs I realize that I don’t enjoy my work, but it’s all I know. How can I change to a new career that really inspires me? The work I’m doing now isn’t at all what I wanted to do. But I don’t have guts to change careers; I’m afraid of failure and losing everything.” Continue reading

From Mentor to Colleague by Kimberly Wiefling (Wiefling Consulting)

Ladies Using Laptop by stockimages

(This article is first published in www.svprojectmanagement.com. Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Some mentoring relationships last a single meeting, but others last a lifetime. Sometimes a mentoring relationship will turn into a long term relationship. (No, I don’t mean that you sleep with your mentor, or marry them.) I mean that they will come to value and enjoy the mentoring relationship as much as you do. This has happened in several of my mentoring relationships. Because we enjoyed our mentoring sessions so much we continued them beyond the point where I was seeking advice and guidance from them. Eventually they started to ask me for advice. Mentoring turned into co-mentoring, and eventually friendship. (I sometimes have joked that they were the mentor, but I was the tor-mentor!) Continue reading

Communicating with More Experienced Team Members by Kimberly Wiefling (Wiefling Consulting)

Business Team Discussing Work by Ambro(This article is first published in Japan in the English Journal by my agent ALC Global Leadership and Talent Development Division. Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

QUESTION:  “I’ve just started to manage a new department and I don’t know how to communicate with my more experienced subordinates. Some of them have worked for this department for more than 5 years and they know much more than me.  It’s not that they make light of me, or put me down or anything, but I’m very worried about what they think of me. What can I do?” Continue reading

Too Tired to Care? Regain Your Perspective with 5 Proven Practices

(Originally posted on ProjectConnections.com)

Somewhere around the spring of last year I started to forget to take care of myself. Maybe it was brought on by the shock of repeatedly watching the video of the March 11 tsunami sweeping away tens of thousands of lives on the east coast of Japan, a country I travel to on business nearly every month for the past five years. Or maybe it’s just an old habit resurfacing, like a recurring rash. Either way, I started ignoring my need for balance in my life, and focused single-mindedly on the enormous pile of tasks and projects I had accumulated.

By December, I was a mess! As I said my end-of-the-year goodbyes to my colleagues in Tokyo, I bellowed (only partially jokingly), “I know you’ve all been working just as hard as I am, but frankly I’m too tired to care!” And I truly was. In exhausting myself, I had lost my ability to care about my teammates. What a pity!

This is a place that a leader cannot afford to end up. And yet, in the demanding, deadline-driven business environment, it’s all too easy to exhaust ourselves to the point that we’re ineffective (and not much fun to be around).Continue reading

Weed Your Life

Originally posted on SVProjectManagement.com December 2011.

Here’s another personal musing promoted by what I’ve come to call the “alcoholidays”.

This time of year my mind wanders to gratitude. I’m grateful for the incredibly talented colleagues who have made this year’s relentless stream of work border on enjoyable. And I’m thankful for friends who have made life’s normal burdens lighter through their kindness and support. A garden of friends and colleagues has made this terrifically challenging year much more pleasant for me. But, like all gardens, it occasionally needs weeding.

Many years ago when I was exiting physics graduate school, and sad to be leaving friends behind, one of my professors advised me to let go of relationships that had passed their time, and not to grieve for their loss. While many relationships grow more satisfying over the years, he cautioned that clinging indiscriminately to all past relationships can burden a person – like accumulating too much baggage on an around-the-world tour. This was a man whose life’s ambition was to get all of his worldly belongings into no more than 2 suitcases. I must say, now I see his point.Continue reading

Following Your Wellbeing North Star

Originally posted on http://wholelifewellbeing.com/ Desiring wellbeing is one thing – attaining it is quite another. I’ve spent my entire career helping people achieve what seems impossible, but is only difficult, and lately I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to help people achieve wellbeing. It seems to me that my own sense of wellbeing is created by two main factors: 1) My circumstances, and 2) my expectations.  When circumstances exceed my expectations, wellbeing increases. When they fall short of my expectations, wellbeing suffers. So one obvious way to improve wellbeing could be to lower expectations. While that might not sound like an appealing solution to everyone, let’s give it a little thought.Continue reading