Productivity Secrets Of Successful Leaders

The following article is all about increasing your professional productivity by improving your relationship to time management. #ProductivityHacks


Have you ever looked at some of the most successful CEO’s around the world and asked yourself just how are these people able to achieve their goals and possess a sense of ease?

The answer is a secret to some but widely known to the many who work closely to these women and men.

We’re talking about a person

and not an app or some online resource. Not just any person but an incredibly skilled individual sometimes known as the “gate keeper” to the boss. I prefer “Executive Assistant or “Administrative Assistant” because that is what they do – assist the executive(s) in their productivity (as well as a slew of other support items).

For more productivity insights:

There are a number of resources online for any senior leader to visit to broaden their people, technical and leadership skills. When I Googled this topic, I was shocked to see there were close to 58 million results.

Fact: not all CEO’s are created equal. 

Who exactly are EA’s and what do they do?

Highly educated, ambitious with off-the-map “soft skill” IQs and EQs and are equipped with the talents and political savvy needed to thrive in a role that many would see as beneath them. The reality is that similar to a secret service agent protecting the president, their role is to protect their leader from the non-important stuff. During this,q they also provide the necessary diversions to elude, evade or escalate a situation, or schedule.

EA’s increasingly attend top schools for undergrads and even have advanced degrees — MBAs, masters, even the occasional Ph.D. – Nicole Budovec, Recruiting Manager at GoPro

Currently, nearly 11 jobs per 1,000 in San Francisco are executive assistants, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For San Jose proper – the epicenter of the tech world, the number is 8.36 per 1,000. Executive assistants in these areas are also among the best paid. Employees in San Francisco earn an annual mean salary of $68,850. Women dominate this profession. Close to 95% of the nation’s 4.1 million executive and personal assistants are female, according to the Executive Assistants Organization.

Executive Assistants can wear many hats and their work is largely unnoticed and not publicized. However, without them, many of the benefits you (as an employee) enjoy are only possible with the input, insight or follow through at one point in time that EA provides. Their worth is sometimes only known by those select few who they support but the results are plentiful.

According to a recent Harvard Business Review Article:

  • Ensure that meetings begin on time with prep material delivered in advance.
  • Optimize travel schedules and enable remote decision-making, keeping projects on track.
  • Flter the distractions that can turn a manager into a reactive type who spends all day answering e-mail instead of a leader who proactively set the organization’s agenda.

For anyone who is fortunate enough to have the support of an EA, there are some actions you should always be doing to ensure a healthy partnership is cultivated:

  • Include your Executive Assistant in strategy meetings.
  • Listen and pay attention to their needs and keep a scheduled weekly touch base outside of your day-to-day interactions as this will ensure their time is valued and allotted for them versus shared by anyone else.
  • Keep them informed about important business issues.
  • Use them as a sounding board and not an ironing board. Meaning, they are not there to do household errands.

You may be thinking that’s nice but how can this help my career and me? Good news for you – even if you aren’t the CEO of a large company, you can still reap the benefits of having an EA. There are some great resources online to find support. Here are some popular companies that offer EA benefits to get you started but I would advise you to do your research before engaging:

Make sure when screening people, you are looking at your present and future needs based on the following criteria:

  • Communication:What do you need them to do or say on your behalf? Is this person articulate and understand your needs? Can they be forward facing or speak to your type of clients if warranted?
  • Organization:What’s the current and future size of your company? Does this person or online tool support that? What’s their experience in working with a company of your size and aspirational growth?
  • Technology:Do they use and/or understand what your company uses? What’s their proficiency level in that program? Are they current and savvy with what’s happening in the industry?
  • Culture Fit:Even if your company is you and your dog, that still constitutes a culture. Do they like dogs? If this person (although virtual) is managing any part of your company or tasks, you want to ensure they are true extension of yourself or your culture. Here is one of hundreds of articles on the topic to get you started:
  • Teamwork:If you are working with a virtual EA and/or company, you still want to make sure they work well with you and others. An excellent EA understands they are part of a larger machine and their value and worth is appreciated and acknowledged. Screen for the same (type of) level of respect and engagement.
  • Pay: This is a no-brainer but many people seamlessly get it wrong. Know your budget first before your worth. EA’s whether in person or online are providing you a service, which is not free (sorry). Know what your spend is and your needs before engaging as this will save time and also present you and your company (and possibly a dog) in the best light possible.

Final Thought:

There is no denying the power and impact the EAs of the world possess and rightfully so. You should always strive to stay in the good graces of these individuals. Recognize the pressures that they experience is real and as important as your needs. Treat them with the professionalism and respect – the way you would want to be treated. When it comes to being successful, strategically aligning with the right people can be the difference between success and failure. The next time you need something from your boss, make sure you take a moment to first acknowledge their EA. Remember they are much more than just a “gatekeeper”.

What do you think? The floor is yours.

Have an extra 2 minutes to discover more about yourself? Take the quiz to find out if you’re happy or comfortable.

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With Leadership,

Joshua Miller

Joshua Miller is a creative leader and impactful executive coach.

His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator. He’s supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

Joshua studied at Syracuse University, NYU and Stanford. He combines that background with his deep knowledge of organizational behavior, performance and change management. He focuses on the analysis, design, development, delivery, and evaluation of scalable and global talent development solutions programs.

Joshua is a Master Certified Coach. He trained with the International Coaching Federation and CTI (The Coaches Training Institute).

Goodbye C-Suite. Hello C-Sweet.

It used to mean something to have a few letters after your name on your business card or your office door. It still does, but those initials are changing. Even the initials that remain take on new meaning as the face of companies and businesses change.

If the way we do things and, in fact, the job itself changes, then so will the job titles. As the job titles change or adapt to the new methods, it follows that the names of the jobs will change, adapt or become obsolete.

C Suite

The term C-suite comes from the level of upper management. It usually refers to the ‘Chief’ of something within the ranks of executives. Chief of Staff, Chief of Finance and so on. They are widely used terms and familiar to almost everyone.

It signifies hard work and advancement through the levels of the company and meant to mean achievement. It also comes with plenty of expectations, such as management at the C level which can be anything from operations to technology.

But many companies are changing the name game.

Titles are not so important any longer and many people no longer feel the need to strive for them. It used to be a power situation. Now, it’s more of a situation.

The Power of Letters

There was a time when it meant something to have a series of letters after your name. MD, CEO, Pres, and so on. But, many companies are changing the way these titles are used. Many feel it creates a divide among employees and that the terms are mostly meaningless.

While the titles and the acronyms still exist for dealing with customers and people outside of the company, they have either been dropped or changed to something more fun and more current.

The Holacracy Way

Incorporating the method of holacracy (most notably know from Zappos) into a company doesn’t completely eliminate the titles. Many still retain the title outside of the workspace for a meeting, financial dealings and other business functions.

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People also still have to report to someone within the company to ensure the jobs are being done. But there are less higher echelons and massive wage discrepancies and the work is more divided.

This also means that everyone has input, but not necessarily final say. You couldn’t just fire someone but you would be welcome to give opinions on issues that concern yourself, the staff and the company at large.

The Changing Face of C-Suite

While these titles do still exist, even if not in the workplace, many companies have taken a different spin on them. Here are a few.

●    CEO – Chief Energy Officer

●    CYO – Chief Yoga Officer

●    CFO – Chief Fun Officer

●    CHO – Chief Heart Officer

●    CLO – Chief Lounging Officer

●    CMO – Chief Mindfulness Officer

●    CDO – Chief Disruption Officer

●    CPO – Chief People Officer

●    CFRO – Chief Freelance Relationship Officer

●    CEO – Chief Ecosystem Officer

●    COO – Chief Offsite Officer

●    CMO – Chief Morale Officer

Many companies simply make up their own acronyms and fun titles or change the existing ones. It doesn’t mean the job changes, it means that everyone takes on more responsibility.

When everyone has a hand in many different jobs it makes for a better, more well-rounded company. Spreading the work out also means that everyone had a far better understanding of how things work.

If someone is absent or leaves the company, then it’s not such a problem as many people will be more than qualified to fill in the spot and make sure the work gets done.

It’s Not Just a Phase

These acronyms and the changing of job titles and descriptions are here to stay. The workplace is changing, the work is changing and it makes sense the titles and responsibilities change.

These changes are not just a trend, but a positive turn in a new direction. Why not have a chief officer of fun? Perhaps it’s their duty to plan staff events, keep track of everyone’s birthday and plan monthly potluck lunches.

These types of small gestures make a huge difference. They bring people closer together, they help staff bond and make people happy. Happy staff means a happy workplace and that positive vibe means productivity and a healthier culture.

To Sum It All Up

With the changing of the titles and what they mean, it brings everything around to a new level and playing field. When you transform the higher manager positions and titles, you open the door for other positions that are more suitable for today’s workplace and your companies culture.

Soon it may be completely normal to have a CTO, Chief Taco Officer or CPO, Chief Picnic Officer.

When the company culture changes, so does the way the work is done, the people who do it and their titles. Many older titles can divide the workforce and there is no reason to do so. It’s meant to be a team. Just ask your new CEO, Chief Elevation Officer.

The Floor Is Yours: Are titles on the way out in the corporate workplace & What title would you give yourself?

*Would love to hear from Recruiters*

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Joshua Miller is a Master Certified Executive Coach, creative leader and bestselling author. His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator, supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

Please ‘Follow’ if you would like to hear more from me in the future.

Embrace The Fact You’re Going To Give Up. Here’s Why.

News flash: Technology has made us (more) impatient.

Who hasn’t stood in front of their microwave, waited for an Uber or stood in line for something and shouted, ‘hurry up’. We have become spoiled for choice and we are still not happy.

It seems the faster our access to anything, the faster we seem to believe we should have it. It’s made us lazy and impatient. We’ve become a society of simply giving up because we don’t get it fast enough.


We have high-speed internet access all the time. We have access to all the world and its secrets in a flash. Yet, we still complain. Why?

You sent a text but the little ball is spinning and suddenly the phone is crap and technology is crap and your life is ruined.

Why do we think that we are owed something?

People seem to want things when they want them without putting in any effort on their end. In a world where everything is continually coming at us faster, perhaps we are just tired of trying to keep up.

The Fear

We likely all know someone who seemingly had it all going on and then just walked away. Maybe a promising music career or a university degree. So the question remains, “why do people bail when it appears they are on the brink of success?”

Well, the fear of success or is it the fear of failure?

Maybe it’s the fear of the unknown, and for many people, it’s easier to simply not ever know the true outcome than face the truth.

The fear of success is real. Many people expect to fail and believe that those in their social and family circle expect it, too. Sadly, it’s easier (and far too common) to fail and say, ‘oh, well. I tried’ than to follow through with something. 

The Success

To finally succeed at something albeit personal or professional should be a celebration. So why do people bail at the last minute? Not only is it often easier, but it’s what we have come to expect of ourselves. True, some people don’t like to celebrate things but that doesn’t mean it should go unnoticed.

The flip to celebration means that your new-found success comes with it new expectations on us. You’ve accomplished something – now what are you going to do? It’s as if the window to acknowledge yourself closes quickly. No matter how you slice it, the fear of what’s next can be too much for people.

There is risk involved when we choose to complete something and the fear of winning or losing can overwhelm some people. The choice for them is to stop just short of the finish line.

Don’t Judge Me

What other people think of us or how they see us has a massive influence on many people. The fear of letting them down can be too much and it may be easier to have people see us fail early on in the venture than later when there is more at stake.

Also, if we are used to having people close to us tell us we are not good enough or we lack the ability, we start to believe it. In a way, we allow them to be proven right when we pull out of our journey, thereby giving them our power. Don’t do this. It undermines your ability while empowering their insecurity of you doing something that they aren’t confident in themselves to take on.

We’re Just Lazy

Fun fact: each generation has had it easier than their parents.

Parents all realize this and want their children to have things they never did. I know I do. When we are given too much too easily, we lose the drive and desire to work for it. Once we hit the real world, we fail quickly because no one is there to just give us want we want.

We also may give up on something because it seems too difficult to even start. Take getting your master’s degree for example – which could arrive DOA due to the overwhelming amount of work and costs involved. It’s just easier to follow a different, easier path.

Far too often, people give up on their own dreams and follow those that someone else wants them to do. Of course, it’s not what you want and there’s a high probability you will likely pull the plug.

I Need Acknowledgement

Another reason we give up and stop is that there are not enough rewards. Real-life doesn’t have a like button, so if you had a particularly hard day and are not receiving enough pats on the back, it may seem to you like it’s just not worth the effort.

Real-life is hard. It’s thankless and dirty and unfair at times. It’s what makes us who we are. Getting through the hard bits makes the good times all that much better. Work hard and the rewards will follow.

person sitting in disbelief, concerned about life and the decisions they made. #choice #commitment #success #coachingtips #photography

IN CLOSING: Being afraid is a good thing, embrace it. Pushing through your fears is what makes you a better person. Overcoming one barrier only prepares you for the next. Giving up is the easiest way, but who wants easy? I don’t, do you?

The Floor Is Yours: How do you push past your fears?

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Joshua Miller is a Master Certified Executive Coach, creative leader and bestselling author. His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator, supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

Please ‘Follow’ if you would like to hear more from me in the future.

Death To The Social Media #Influencer

The term influencer used to be connected to large corporations, big firms or a particular product. Now, it’s attached to individuals themselves. Now it’s not just a term to refer to someone, but a highly sought after occupation. Or is it?

Why are people so concerned about what someone else thinks?

Why can’t people just make up their own minds?

How did this all become so lucrative and why does everyone want to become an influencer?

On-screen Generation

You can’t go anywhere anymore without seeing people glued to their screens. In restaurants, on public transportation, at their desks at work. Well, it would only be a matter of time before marketers took advantage of that.

It stands to reason that a generation of people who text each other while in the same room would also start taking advantage of that captive audience, as well. It might start with a goofy video of someone being pranked or a cat meme, but soon it takes off into influencing their followers.

Sadly, people don’t talk to each other anymore.

They would rather communicate with their screens and just stay home. Social media has made an entire generation very anti-social.

Please Like Me

Nowadays, we have young Beliebers in their room posting jam sessions suddenly getting thousands of followers. Those followers attract product makers and all of a sudden they wield the power to sell stuff…lots of it, without ever leaving their room.

Some influencers will post a picture on their Instagram account and if it doesn’t get 20,000 likes within half an hour, they take it down. Many of them pay for likes, followers and comments. We’ve become a world of vanity metrics and verification badges. People place their entire self-worth on how many people like a picture of their lunch

Follow Your Calling Not The Crowd

People can’t make up their own minds. Often, they start following someone because their friends do. Or one of their favorite celebrities told them to and now you hang on their every word and recommendation.

Some people depend so deeply on what a few people have to say about a particular brand or product, they can’t live without it.

It’s one thing to buy something because your favorite singer is promoting it, they are paid to do so. It’s another when a total stranger who managed to garner a lot of followers is telling you what to eat or wear.

It’s gotten to the point where the term influencer is now broken down into categories depending on how many followers and how much money they make.

You Do You

Do you want to look and sound and smell like everyone else? Of course not. That’s not how you express your individuality.

Go against the trend and the popular choice.

It’s actually very brave to step away from the trends and express yourself the way you choose. Wear what is comfortable and what makes you happy. Eat what you want, not what a pseudo-celebrity thinks you should.

Break Free

Maybe, just maybe it’s far cooler to not follow the lemmings off the cliff. Maybe, you can be far more interesting by expressing yourself in a manner that makes you happiest.

Take a moment and look up from your screen. What do you see?

Find the people who are also looking around, doing their own thing, not giving two emoji poops what anyone else is doing. Them. They are the ones who have broken free and reclaimed their power from online to off.

While influencers on social media may be raking in money right now, what happens next week?

Will they still be relevant?

Will they have dropped down below 100,000 followers and fallen right off social media altogether? What then?

How will you know what kind of toast to eat or shirt to buy?

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IN CLOSING: Rather than be influenced by a bunch of people you don’t know and will likely never meet, why not just do what you want. Buck the trend, break free from the sheep following the next avocado toast craze and find your own path.

Maybe you will find out you never really liked avocado toast, skinny fit jeans and Boba tea after all. It’s so much more satisfying to discover yourself than allowing someone else to define you. In the end, the most important like you will ever receive is from yourself.

The Floor Is Yours: When is it OK to call yourself an “Influencer”?

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Joshua Miller is a Master Certified Executive Coach, creative leader and bestselling author. His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator, supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

Please ‘Follow’ if you would like to hear more from me in the future.

Stop Asking Leaders To Be Authentic. Here’s Why.

In an age of ‘alternative facts’, ‘fake news’ and leaders who blatantly lie without blinking, we can’t be blamed for our search and desire for authenticity.

It’s exhausting. But what are we looking for? The Truth?

Maybe, we can’t handle the truth.

Asking for authenticity from our leaders, be it our employees, teachers, mentors, bosses, or world leaders might seem like a logical move but is that what we really want?

Let’s take a closer look at what ‘being authentic’ means and why we may not want it after all.

Social Media vs. Authenticity

Speaking of real and authentic, how about a trip through someone’s social media. It’s all sunshine and rainbows, to hear them tell it, but it’s typically a facade or arranged to make others, and moreover, them, believe it. Everyone is guilty of doing it, but is it okay?

If you are looking at a picture of someone’s new car and feeling a little jealous, don’t. If you are wondering how they can manage to pay for it, so are they.

If we were all to be authentic on social media, and let’s face it, some people are, it could become a depressing place to be. There is the other extreme, as well, where people feel the need to blow up and exaggerate every little snag and flaw, but we don’t want to see that, either. It makes us feel guilty.

When people are honest on their social media, “I’m scared, I’m hungry, I’m broke’, people look away. It’s a TMI, too much information situation we are not ready to embrace. If we read that and react, then we also feel a responsibility to them to lend an ear or a hand or money (cue the ‘donate’ button).

Where Does That Leave Us?

Authenticity comes to us in many forms, and depending on who we are and what we want, it depends on how much of it we really want. We live in a world of knock-offs, reproductions, and life-likes.

So what? We may ask. We should ask.

When we ask our peers or leaders to be authentic, what does that really mean? We don’t see people as authentic on their terms, but rather, ours. There is a famous quote by author Anais Nin that says, ‘We don’t see things as are, we see them as we are’.

It’s our own version of authenticity we crave to see.

If our leaders or society performs in a way that we don’t agree with, we are all too quick to deem them false. But we are judging them based on our core values, not theirs.

Please Be Authentic.

No, The Other Authentic

We may ask our leaders to be authentic but what we are really asking is for them to be authentic to the organization or companies’ values. True to what we deem to be real, not necessarily what their own core values are.

Herein lies the challenge.

Asking for leaders to be authentic and then condemning them for stepping outside the lines is a slippery slope. What companies are asking is for them to assimilate with the company values, not necessarily their personal ones.

Go Ahead, Ask

People always blur the truth on their resumes, in interviews, and on the job all the time.

Perhaps for potential employers and employees, there needs to be more rigor around the interview questions each has – to truly gauge if, how and when someone is a true culture fit. After all, everyone wants this relationship to work out right? It’s not easy for either side and you both want to get it right.

Maybe the answer is in the question. Don’t be afraid to ask the questions you really want the answers for. Skip the standard down-pat questions and opt for situational and behavioral interview questions. Cut to the chase and find out if:

  • Will they enjoy working with you?
  • Are you genuinely excited about the opportunity?
  • Do you have the core capabilities to do the job?

Feel Like An Imposter?

Curious if you’re suffering from a lack of authenticity? Here are several questions to get you thinking:

  • Do you lie to yourself about what really matters to you?
  • Do you compare yourself to others and come up lacking?
  • Do you run on empty in order to impress others?
  • Do you pretend to have a picture-perfect life?
  • Do you hold back when you are not sure of the next steps?
  • Do you need brand name clothes and shiny cars to prove your worth?
  • Do you spend your time proving to family or your culture you are worthy?
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IN CLOSING: Asking for authenticity from your newly acquired Pablo Picasso is wise. Asking it from our leaders requires patience and a clear understanding from the beginning to ensure you get the masterpiece you are hoping for.

We all have a version of ourselves we have to put on. One at home, one at work, one in social situations, etc. The key is to understanding who you are when you are by yourself and have no one to answer to.

The Floor Is Yours: Is it asking too much for others to be authentic?

Creating An Emotionally Safe Workplace: What Managers Can Learn From Effective Parenting

An effective leader must possess various qualities and attributes in order to successfully motivate employees and create a safe, productive work environment.

Many managers often overlook the importance of creating a workplace

that is conducive to their employee’s emotional needs.

If you want to ensure that your employees are productive and satisfied with their position, it is vital that you work diligently to foster open communication and conflict resolution.

You should never underestimate the importance of developing an effective company culture and work environment. Companies that don’t support their employees and who allow morals and ethics to fall by the wayside will often see a decline in employee productivity rates. This can lead to lower profit margins as well as a poor public reputation.

Executive Coach standing next to inspiration and motivational quote #quote #executivecoaching #personaldevelopment #culture #workplace #hr #people

Below are several helpful tips you may want to take into consideration in order to build an emotionally safe workplace as well as what anyone in a leadership role can learn from parents about behavioral management:


Conflict is a part of every workplace, and while it is important to take steps to prevent it from occurring, it can often be inevitable. This is why it is important to develop effective conflict resolution skills as a manager. It will allow you to deescalate situations before they progress into something more serious and will help to create a safe and positive work environment in which your employees are able to thrive and reach their full potential.

This is a skill that many parents must-have, especially if they have more than one child. Many parents find that it is beneficial to establish healthy boundaries and to teach beneficial coping mechanisms, both of which can also be helpful in any work environment.

  • You might want to consider properly training employees so that they are able to interact with one another in a positive and productive manner.
  • You may also want to set clearly defined rules so that employees fully understand what type of behavior is expected from them while they are on the job.
  • Additionally, when conflict does arise, it can be helpful to teach your employees how to effectively deal with their emotions. You might want to suggest that they take a break to calm down or that they open up about their feelings in order to work through an issue.


Another helpful skill that managers can adopt from parents is the ability to successfully lead by example. Many parents realize that their children develop similar traits and behaviors that they themselves exhibit. This can often be a good thing, but it can also mean that the people around you may pick up on your negative habits as well. Therefore, it can be beneficial to be a good role model at work. This will show your employees how they should act in order to be taken seriously in the workplace.

  • Your employees will often look to you for guidance, and taking responsibility for your actions, respecting others, and maintaining a high standard of morals and ethics will help to promote these qualities in your employees.
  • The way that you present yourself will reflect on your company and will set a precedent for the entirety of the workplace. If your employees see that the company values loyalty, inclusiveness, and integrity, they will know that, when they come to work, they need to adhere to these standards.


Taking disciplinary action against employees is never easy. However, this is another vital skill that managers can take away from parenting. It is important that you set rules and expectations for your employees. These should be clearly defined and made known to all employees so that they know the potential consequences of negative behaviors. Letting things slide that damage workplace morale and that may make other employees feel unsafe at work, should be avoided. For example, if an employee begins harassing others within the workplace, this should be addressed.

  • If you ignore it, this will give other employees the impression that the company does not take these issues seriously and that they are free to do the same.
  • Therefore, you need your employees to understand there are consequences, which will help to prevent creating a workplace that is out of control and in which negative behaviors thrive.

IN CLOSING: There are many similarities between effective parenting and management skills if you pay close attention. Both roles require strong leadership, disciplinary action, conflict resolution, and setting a good example. If you are able to handle workplace conflict in a professional and productive manner, this will help to create a safe environment that makes your employees feel good about coming to work each day. When you are able to lead by example and become a manager that your employees respect, this will show them how to properly present themselves in a professional setting.

The Floor Is Yours: How else can managers create healthier work environments?

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🔴  Let’s Connect: | Follow Joshua Miller For More

Joshua Miller is a Master Certified Executive Coach, creative leader and bestselling author. His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator, supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

Please ‘Follow’ if you would like to hear more from me in the future.

5 Reasons You Should Fire Yourself From Your Client

You have probably been there before when a client seems to think they are the only client in the world.

Where they expect you to give them all your attention, to be constantly on call, and will complain when you deliver anything they believe is less than 100 percent. Over time, you may find yourself dreading to pick up the phone when they call. You may feel overworked, underpaid, and frustrated.

All of this is enough to rip your hair out. And there are very few clients that are worth losing hair over.

But the great news is, you do not have to put up with them.

“You are in charge of whom you choose to take on as clients and when you say no more.”

There are many reasons why you should consider firing yourself from your client, here are five common ones to watch out for:


  • This should be a huge red flag for you if you’re working with a client and they start to ask you to do something unethical or outright illegal. Not only do you not want to get tied up with this kind of work, but you also should see this as a red flag about the person. Sacrificing your integrity to make money is not something that will be sustainable long-term. Instead, get rid of this bad apple as fast as you can and make room for a client who values good business practices.


  • You talked it over. You decided on a rate. They made it seem like everything was peachy and they may have even seemed reliable and trustworthy. But then it happens, a late payment. You think it’s okay, it happens. You accept the excuse and promises it won’t happen again. But it does. Again and again and again. Maybe the excuses continue or maybe they just give up. They aren’t giving 100 percent, but they’re still expecting you to. Somehow they believe they’re money is more valuable than other peoples and worth waiting for.
  • One thing is for sure, they have no business being your client anymore. Prioritize your self-respect and basic needs before holding onto a relationship that degrades your sense of value. Find some potential leads to replace them if needed and let them know that if they’re unable to make payments on time then you can’t work with them any longer.


  • It’s hard to get something done when a beginner keeps interjecting their half-formed opinions. You may then have to take the time to show them over and over why it won’t work that way. This can quickly become exhausting. A project timeline will start to drag on as huge chunks of time are eaten up by fighting with the client and trying to assure them that you know what you’re talking about.
  • Save yourself now from the fatigue and just get rid of any client that is making your life harder. You want to work with people who uplift you or at least don’t make you worn out and exhausted in an hour’s conversation. Set a boundary by asking them to step back and trust you with the project. If they’re unable to respect the request, replace them with a client who will.


  • Some interactions may leave you speechless. You think to yourself, “Are they serious?” You may wonder what just happened, and find yourself feeling from the whiplash of sudden changes in tone, attitude, and aggressiveness. Seemingly sweet clients lash out or make disparaging remarks that leave you feeling stunned and wondering whether you are good enough for the job.
  • If they’re insulting you and your work regularly, it’s a huge sign it’s time to make a plan of escape before your self-esteem is affected. If they’re a big client, downscale the time spent on their projects and find work to replace theirs.


  • An important thing to keep in mind when deciding on a client is whether they are helping you get closer to those goals. This may be harder because they could be good clients or decent individuals. But at some point, you’re going to want to be selective enough that you’re only taking on the clients that can also help you get further in your life plan. Look for clients who will give you the projects, experience, and networking needed to move towards your dream and fill your schedule with reaching out to them.
Executive Coach sitting with Motivational and inspiration quote #quote #coaching #selfworth #clients #business #success #tips #inspiration #value

IN CLOSING: It’s critical to be willing to leave any bad relationship, including working relationships. Doing so can improve the quality of your life and help you move towards more fulfilling and satisfying work and in the end, you are worth it.

The Floor Is Yours: What other red flags should you watch out for?

It’s Okay To Be Bold. Here’s How To Start.

Advancing in your career, let alone life takes a little luck and a lot of work but in the end, you hopefully land where you want to be which is happy and successful.

How you get there is the real question.

We all know the folklore about the famous success stories paved with failure after failure only leading to success but what you don’t hear much about is the actual make up of these individuals – insert definition:

  • adjective: bold; comparative adjective: bolder; superlative adjective: boldest (of a person, action, or idea) showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous.

According to Costa and McCrae who are known for the development of the OCEAN modelbelieve there are ways to measure one’s openness to things like: ideas, actions, feelings, values, fantasy and aesthetics. Here are their six factors to consider when determining your level of openness:

  • Openness to ideas. Do you like a mental challenge? Rather than reading only popular novels, do you enjoy dabbling in philosophy at least once in a while? Are you open to ideas and solve problems just for the sake of keeping your mind active?
  • Openness to actions. Are you willing to try new things or do you prefer the same-old/same-old? If you’re high on this openness facet, you’re willing to try new foods, visit new places, and perhaps you’re always ready to check out the latest tech.
  • Openness to feelings. At any given moment, can you identify whether you’re happy, sad, or afraid? Do you find it easy to read the emotions of others? People high on openness to feelings are receptive to their own feelings and those of others. If you’re open to feelings, you’re both passionate and compassionate.
  • Openness to values. Do you think that there is only one “right” way to live? Should anyone who commits a crime be punished, or do you think that criminals can be rehabilitated? If you’re open to values, you’re able to see that life is full of gray areas. You also appreciate that other people’s views have validity and are willing to learn from them.
  • Openness to fantasy. Do enjoy imagining possibilities that don’t yet exist? Are you prone to daydreaming? Being willing to engage in mental flights of fancy suggests that you’re high on this openness trait. You like to turn new ideas over in your mind and even if you don’t act on them, you enjoy thinking about them.
  • Openness to aesthetics. If you’ve got free time, would you rather go to a concert or art museum or would you prefer to “veg out”? Is gardening or taking care of indoor plants one of your favorite pastimes?

Being bold can look like a lot of things. Take this quote from Sir Richard Branson. Wildly successful and equally known for being bold and taking risks. It’s served him well and if you look at the factors above mapped against his career success, the OCEAN model becomes a lot clearer to understand.

Call it “hustle”, “grind” (well actually please don’t as I can’t stand these terms) or simply call it being proactive, assertive, fearless or even courageous. No matter the label – there is an art to being bold without being overbearing. In order to move forward in life and get what you want, you will undoubtedly have to move beyond your comfort zone requiring you to take action, be open, be bold and hopefully not brash. Here are 5 ways to do just that:

  1. Speak up & Stand up: The only given if you don’t is that the answer will always be no and the situation will most likely never change. Don’t overthink it and put your fears about being judged to the side. Everyone gets scared but it’s the ones willing to breakthrough it who choose to be bold. Bold people actively express their needs with the intention to have them heard and fulfilled.
  2. Stop apologizing: There is an old expression that says never apologize more than once as it’s a sign of weakness. Never make excuses and own your actions as this shows both maturity and confidence. People who give a lot of excuses are typically fearful of being judged. Bold people understand this and don’t dwell on the negative and look to move forward.
  3. Don’t crumble at criticism: We all know the stories of Oprah, Disney, Dyson, Einstein and so on. If these people gave up on their ideas and pursuits because of public opinion, who knows where we would be today. Bold people know this and keep moving forward without allowing the naysayers to completely stop them in their tracks.
  4. Take measured risks: Bold people know that in order to exercise their courage, they will need to do something they haven’t done before and out of character. Being bold means experimenting. It doesn’t mean being irresponsible, it simply means you are able and willing to see past your current circumstances and open to creating new ones.
  5. Act “as if”: Or as many like to call it, “fake it until you make it.” It turns out there is something real to this. Pretend for a day that you are bold, no seriously try it. How would that make you feel? What might you do differently? Find bold people that you admire, research and study them and examine what and how they do things. Then model them and act as if you, too, are bold. Then when situations arise, don’t act as you would normally but pause and ask yourself what that person would do. Bold people know that this works and in order to grow in this area, it will take both time and putting yourself in new place and situations where you can expriment without feeling judged.

Final thoughts:

One could argue there is a fine line between being bold versus brash and they would be correct. Take our pal Sir Richard Branson, many have called him the latter but in the end, his boldness and of course his heart has won more people over in his achievements. Finding where the line is for you is your mission should you choose to accept it. Just remember along the way to be authentic, be vulnerable, be open to learning from failure, challenge the conventional ways, ask for help and if you do these things, you will undoubtedly begin to trust yourself more and increase your ability to be bold.

The floor is yours: What’s your advice on how to be bold?

Please leave your comment below as your insights are greatly appreciated and a learning opportunity for everyone reading this article.

With leadership,

Joshua /

Please ‘Follow’ if you would like to hear more from me in the future.

Career Engagement

Career Engagement Begins With You

Got a case of the Mondays?

No seriously.

You wouldn’t be the first, and you’re probably not the last.

It’s no wonder why come Sunday, people dread going to work the next day. The reality is that the vast majority of Americans hate Monday not because it’s the beginning of the work- of week, but because of their lack of enthusiasm at their j-o-b.

Career engagement has become the holy grail of culture design for many companies.

Each year, Gallop (the gatekeepers of employee engagement): releases a survey around professional engagement on the job, and year-after-year the results are staggering.

70% of those surveyed say they are unhappy on the job – they’re either disengaged (not giving their all) or actively disengaged (consciously not contributing) employees.

Recently, I sat down with Tom Perry, founder of Engaged Pursuit based out of Seattle. Tom’s a 20-year tech leader with experience launching huge products and running global teams across Fortune 50 organizations. He left his corporate gig after experiencing his own professional disengagement to build his own company to address this massive problem.

I asked Tom one simple question: “How can employees stay out of that 70% and create career engagement?”

Here’s what he had to say:

Know your “Professional Story”

What’s that you might ask? You can think about it in a couple of ways. It’s not only your elevator pitch highlighting your strengths/interests, but it’s really knowing (and articulating) what makes you “tick” professionally. The most commonly asked question in an interview (from the informational to the intense in-person) is “So tell me about yourself?” The VAST majority of professionals don’t know how to answer this simple question in an inspiring, confident, and impactful way.

For more on career engagement:

His Advice: Paint-a-picture of who you are professionally, highlighting your previous paths, your home runs, your style and your intent for the future. This should take about two mins of time, not even touching the specifics of your resume. Check out how his approach, and, with his help, discover (and articulate) your Professional Story clearly and confidently.

Network, Network, Network.

If you’re looking for something new, 90% of the time a more engaging role will come through direct connections, peers, previous managers or friends-of-friends. To date, none of his clients (zero!) have secured a better gig by applying through a corporate career/job-portal (even though that’s where the vast majority start). All found something new through networking. Tom says the most effective work he does with his clients is on the art of networking, as it actually takes a ton of work to be successful – especially for those who aren’t comfortable in this type of experience (or never done it in the first place).

His Advice: YOU have to own every single element of the networking experience. No more “Keep your eyes out for a position that I might like!” From the initial sit-down request, to creating a clear picture of what’s desired, to managing the contact’s next-steps, to making it super-easy to say “yes” at every step of the way, it’s the job of the candidate to do all of this work. It takes time and practice but the investment is worth it.

Own the relationship with your boss.

You’ve probably heard it time-and-time again – the manager/employee relationship is a major contributor to employee engagement and one of the main reasons why professionals leave and/or start looking for something new. This partnership is crucial; however, Tom thinks individuals are not taking enough ownership of this relationship. As a former people manager, he found it frustrating when team members would come to him asking “for more opportunities” or wondering what they needed to do to get a promotion. In addition, he encouraged employees to tell him what they were good at and what they wanted to work on next.

His Advice: TELL your manager what kind of experience you’re going to create for yourself (in the parameters of your job description, of course), TELL your manager how you’re going to onboard yourself if you’re starting something new, TELL your manager how you want to utilize your strengths to maximize long-term impact, TELL your manager your ideas around getting that promotion to the next level and TELL your manager how they can most effectively manage you/your style. Having intent around this relationship is crucial – try it!

Final thoughts:

Tom’s employment engagement point of view and advice focus not on providing employee perks but focusing on how you can empower your own career journey. If you are reading this on the weekend and thinking, “Oh great, I have one more day before I have to head back to the office it may be time to think about how you can empower yourself to be more engaged in your career. If you get stuck, check out Tom’s company’s Linked-In page or reach out to him directly … there’s a reason his company is called Engaged Pursuit

The Floor Is Yours: Are you too happy or just too ehh? Take this quiz

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With Leadership,

Joshua Miller

Joshua Miller is a creative leader and impactful executive coach.

His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator. He’s supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

Joshua studied at Syracuse University, NYU and Stanford. He combines that background with his deep knowledge of organizational behavior, performance and change management. He focuses on the analysis, design, development, delivery, and evaluation of scalable and global talent development solutions programs.

Joshua is a Master Certified Coach. He trained with the International Coaching Federation and CTI (The Coaches Training Institute).

The Real Reasons Your 2019 Commitments Won’t Last

In a world that appears to be heavily divided at times, it’s comforting to know that regardless of your race, religion, or political views, we’re most likely all going to fail together on our 2019 commitments before Valentine’s Day even hits. Not exactly the storybook ending you hoped for, but the harsh reality nonetheless. Read more