It’s Just Lunch – Asking an Executive to Mentor You by Kimberly Wiefling (Wiefling Consulting)

Businessman-Clock-300x280(This article was originally published on www.svprojectmanagement.com)

Some of the best mentoring I’ve ever received is from executives. Even when I was a mere pawn in the corporate chess game I longed to understand the game from the view of the king. Working in the basement of the building which is now the Facebook headquarters, I mostly had a view of the shipping and receiving dock. Although I had plenty to do in the bowels of what was then an analytical instrument manufacturing facility, I found working without a clear vision of where we were headed as on organization unsatisfying. And in my state of youthful exuberance I was truly convinced that I could make a meaningful difference to the success of our organization if only I knew what the goals were. Continue reading

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

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

Being Great Project Leader with a Mortgage and Kids in College by Kimberly Wiefling, M.S.

Happy Family w older children by photostock (Originally posted on ProjectConnections.com)
Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

One of the strong beliefs that I have about effective project leadership is that it cannot be done by someone who has a mortgage, kids in college, or a spouse who doesn’t work. I don’t have kids, my spouse does work, and I am totally open to living in my car, if necessary. In my experience, a project leader must often operate in an environment where the very people who sign their paychecks are also the biggest obstacles to success. That’s why I developed Scrappy Project Management, a take-no-prisoners approach to getting the job done no matter what, with little or no regard for your own professional future beyond the end of the project.Continue reading

No, We Can’t “Be Like Steve”! Learning From One of the World’s Most Admired Leaders by Kimberly Wiefling

431459_522085357813472_268713462_n(Originally posted on ProjectConnections.com)

In my endless pursuit of becoming the kind of leader I admire, and helping others do the same, I review scads of research on what makes leaders admirable. Recently I came across a shocking ad hoc study where people were asked “Who is your most admired leader?” What was so startling was that the most frequent response was . . . wait for it . . . nobody! That’s right, these people couldn’t think of a single person whose leadership had earned their admiration. It gets worse, though. The second most frequent answer was a cartoon or fictional character, such as Harry Potter. I guess that shouldn’t surprise me since my #1 response to this question is Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the starship Enterprise, mostly because he has enormous power at his disposal combined with the wisdom to use it with great restraint.Continue reading

Feedback – Painful, but Essential to Growth

Initially published on http://careershorts.com/startalk-blog/

Do you work with a global team? Have you ever wondered how your colleagues from around the world perceive you? If not, you should. We’re often unaware of how we are perceived, even misperceived, by others. You might be surprised if you took the time to inquire. Getting co-workers to share their impressions honestly may be a bit challenging, especially with a language barrier. (After six months of absolutely no feedback from his boss, one colleague from Eastern Europe asked his Japanese manager “How am I doing?”. The manager stopped checking his email momentarily, looked up and grunted “Hmm.  Good.” . . . and promptly returned to typing.) If you can tease out a bit more than this fellow was able to extract from his manager you’ll gain enormous insights into how effective you are as a global professional, and what’s getting in the way of improved relationships and results.Continue reading

7 Deadly Sins of Global Biz Leadership Development

black devil with curly hair and angel on background

Originally published in collaboration with Yuko Shibata, executive at ALC’s Global Leadership and Talent Development Group, in a series of articles in KIGYOU TO JINZAI 企業と人材  Magazine.

Thomas Friedman said The World is Flat, and I certainly feel that the business world is getting smaller.  Many companies today are looking overseas for new markets and new customers in order to sustain the profitable growth of their businesses.  New behaviors, skills and thinking are required to succeed globally, and companies must act strategically in order to secure the talented people required to fulfill their increasingly global vision.  This has led many HR departments to pursue what they often call global leadership “training” programs, but you don’t “train” humans to be global leaders.  You train dolphins to do tricks in a swimming pool to earn fish treats.  Continue reading