7 Books Every Senior Executive Leadership Should Read for Inspiration

By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS, CELDC

You know what you need to do and the skills you need to be a successful leader. The dilemma is implementing and developing those skills. These seven inspirational books will provide you with real-world examples and actionable advice. You can then use the knowledge that you obtain in the book to develop your leadership skills. 

1. Leadershift – The 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace
by John C. Maxwell

One of the hardest challenges that leaders face is change. Humans are creatures of habit, making the task of embracing change one that people struggle with. Leadershift provides practical ways for leaders to innovate and influence others to evolve with them. This is essential in an ever-evolving economy. 

In the book, there are 11 shifts that can change your trajectory and expose you to new potential achievements. By changing the way you think and process information, you can evolve with the economy and your industry while also supporting your team to do the same. 

2. Shoe Dog – A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
by Phil Knight

The story behind the international brand Nike is one that is inspirational. If you are the leader of a startup, this encouraging book will help you stay motivated and focused. It tells the story of Phil Knight, the founder of Nike. Take the journey with him from selling shoes out of the trunk of his car to producing $30 billion in sales annually. Not only is it an interesting story, but it will remind you that the road to success is not perfect, easy, or straight. Don’t be discouraged by the challenges and failures that you experience along the way. 

3. Developing The Leader Within You 2.0
by John C. Maxwell

This is an updated version of the original published over 25 years ago. The author includes insight and wisdom that he has gained through his over 40 years of leadership experience. Learn about what it takes to be a successful leader and use the book’s guidance to develop your values, vision, and motivation. 

4. The Innovator’s Dilemma – When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail
by Clayton Christensen

All too often, people focus on innovation and forget that there is a business to run. This book highlights that the most innovative companies do not fare well in the market. The book explores real-world examples of companies that succeeded or failed at navigating both innovation and market share. 

5. The Rules of Management
by Richard Templar

Sometimes you need real-world examples of how to handle certain situations. It’s one thing to say that a great leader should have a specific trait. It’s another to give a specific example of how a leader with that trait would respond to a particular situation. This book shows you how to be a great leader by giving real-world examples of leaders’ responses to different situations. 

6. Managing Oneself – The Key to Success
by Peter Drucker

Learn to develop your career beyond your current position by learning how to manage yourself. This book will help you understand your mission, your target customer, and what your customers value. You can then use the tools outlined to develop your chosen career path. 

7. The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team 
by Patrick Lencioni

Stop resorting to outdated and often ineffective methods of team building. This book provides a new approach to this vital piece of the business puzzle. It shows you how to identify each team member’s strengths and utilize them for the greater good. 

Talk About Your Reading of Inspirational Books

The best way to get the most of your reading is to talk about what you read. Working with a career coach can help you develop your understanding and comprehension of the books you read. You could connect with other executives and gain insight from other’s perspectives. 

Let’s get to work!

If you are ready to move your executive career forward contact me today at lindavan@myexecutivecareercoach.com .

5 Goal-Setting Tips to Always Be Improving Your Leadership Skills

By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS, CELDC

One of the best ways to improve as a leader is by improving your goal-setting abilities. These five goal-setting tips will help you focus on your goals and achieve them.

The majority of people who set goals for themselves never achieve them. This could be for a variety of reasons. However, if you are a leader, then the stakes are higher for achieving the goals you set. You have executive-level leadership looking to you for performance and a team below you looking to you for leadership. 

An effective leader knows how to manage both long and short-term goals. This guides the team step by step to reach the desired end result. By achieving goals, you solidify your effectiveness as a leader and improve personally to achieve your own career goals. 

These goal-setting tips will help you become a better and more effective leader. 

1. Eat the Frog 

Don’t actually eat a frog. Instead, take to heart the message in Mark Twain’s famous quote. The idea is to prioritize your worst, largest, or most dreaded task first. Then everything else you do won’t be as bad as that first task. Doing this helps you to stay motivated and feel accomplished. You’ll tackle the worst task while you’re mentally and physically fresh, allowing you to perform better. 

2. Break It Down 

It’s ok to have a high-level lofty goal. However, you don’t want to focus on it because this won’t help you accomplish the steps in between. For example, you’ve set a goal for the company to increase profits by a particular percentage. This is a great goal to have, but how will you accomplish it? 

Break the goal down into manageable and attainable tasks. Perhaps you decide to reduce unnecessary overhead costs, release a new product, increase current product sale prices, or enter a new geographic market. These are all actionable tasks that may not get you to your goal on their own but, when done together, contribute to your overall profit increase goal. 

3. Interview Yourself 

Pretend that someone is interviewing you about your goals. Ask yourself the questions someone else would ask. This could include why you’re setting the goals, potential pitfalls, and the intended outcome. The idea is to step outside of yourself and the goal-setting task. This can help you gain a new perspective and ensure that you don’t become too focused on goals that aren’t going to help you achieve your desired results. For example, increasing profits is a great goal to have, but it may not be the most effective goal for growing and strengthening your company. 

4. Reduce Your Timeline 

It’s always better to under-promise and over-perform than over-promise and under-perform. As a leader, you’ll have to answer to those above you for the performance of your team. If you have a set deadline, then you’re expected to meet it, or it will reflect badly on your team and your leadership skills. Instead of using your given deadlines for your goal setting, build in some time. 

By reducing your timeline, you and your team will be more motivated to meet the shorter time frame. This also gives you built-in leeway in case something delays your work. The result is the tasks getting done sooner, your team meeting deadlines, and your leadership skills confirmed. For this to work, though, your shorter deadlines still need to be realistic. Setting too short of deadlines can have the opposite effect of demotivating and frustrating your team. 

5. Implement These Goal Setting Tips 

The best leaders can see the high-level, long-term goal and break it down into manageable tasks. They can then guide the time through the process of completing tasks by setting realistic deadlines. Focus on accomplishing the hardest and most unpleasant tasks first. Then, periodically interview yourself to ensure you are on the right track and focused on the most effective goals.

Let’s get to work!

If you are ready to move your executive career forward contact me today at lindavan@myexecutivecareercoach.com

C-Level Executives Say These Things Are Critical to Their Success

By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS, CELDC

Do you know the skills it takes to have C-level executive success? These skills go beyond just being a strong leader of an individual team. You’ll have several teams to lead and an influence on the overall direction of the company. 

Whether you currently hold an executive position or you’re hoping to progress in your career into one, evaluate your leadership skills. Focus on developing these five skills as a part of your leadership style. 

1. Decisive Decision Making 

You should never rush to make a decision. You should also not make rash decisions without having all of the information. However, once you have the information and carefully consider your options, you need to act. 

Decisive decision-making means you can make decisions promptly to lead effectively. The more you do this, the more you can develop these skills to make decisive decisions when you cannot obtain complete information or the situation is ambiguous. 

When a leader takes too long to set priorities or to make a decision, everyone else is left in limbo waiting. Teams grow frustrated by the stalled progress and become unmotivated as their projects grow stagnant. 

2. Confident Actions 

If you don’t have confidence in your ability to lead, how can you expect anyone else to? Effective and successful leaders make decisions with convictions, even if they are unsure of the right next move. They understand that no one is perfect, and they will make mistakes. 

The key to becoming a successful leader is having confidence despite risks or the potential for failure. This confidence from the ability to address issues and establish solutions to problems. Confident and successful leaders also understand that sometimes, making a wrong decision is better than not making any decision at all. It’s easier to undo and correct a wrong decision than it is to fix the chaos that ensues from no decision. 

3. Engaging 

As the leader, it is your job to get everyone else to buy into your ideas and plans for the company’s future. You need to be able to engage with a wide range of people and effectively communicate your ideas. 

This could require you to adapt your communications based on your audience. You’ll need to communicate to a board of directors, shareholders, fellow executives, and employees. 

4. See and Adapt 

As an executive and leader of the company, you need to be looking towards the future. This means monitoring both the future of the company and the future of the industry. You then need to be able to act upon your observations. 

This ensures that the company and your team have direction and focus. It also establishes you as a thought leader who is capable of steering the ship. 

5. Reliable 

Nothing is scarier for an employee than a leader that is unpredictable. It creates an unstable environment and a lack of security. It’s hard to feel good about your position and company when you don’t know what each day will bring. 

Leaders who are reliable and act consistently create positive morale. Their team knows that when the leader says they will do something, that it will get done. Demonstrating reliability from the top can set the expected standard for everyone else. 

Develop Your Leadership Skills 

Do you have these five leadership skills? If the answer is no or that they could be better, then there’s no better time than the present to get to work. It can help to work with a professional career coach who can provide guidance. With a dedicated commitment to improving your leadership skills, you can enjoy C-level executive success. 

Let’s get to work!

If you are ready to move your executive career forward contact me today at lindavan@myexecutivecareercoach.com

What’s Your Story? How Your Experiences Can Inspire Your Teams

By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS, CELDC

Inspirational leaders are sensitive to their team’s needs. They act with integrity, practice open communication, and ensure broad inclusion. This creates an environment where team members feel supported and encouraged to experiment, learn, grow, and contribute. 

Great inspirational leaders aren’t born; they’re made. You can take the first steps towards becoming an inspirational leader by sharing your story. By storytelling your experiences for inspiration, you can motivate your team to perform better. 

Try sharing your story with your team and experience these benefits. 


Sometimes your teams need to hear that you weren’t always in an executive or leadership position. There was a time when you were the new guy and lowest man on the totem pole. Sharing your story of how you grew into your career can help motivate others. Try sharing a challenge that you had to overcome to move up in your career. 

Sometimes people need to be shown the way to see that growth is possible. Sharing your story can show them how to move up in their career. It can also inspire them to approach you about possible growth within the team or company. Now you know who is committed and interested and have a shortlist of people to turn to for special projects. 


Sharing your story can demonstrate that you are tolerant. This means that you have respect and understanding for your team. You can’t expect your team to respect you if you don’t respect them. Try sharing a story that called for you to be open-minded or work with others that were very different from yourself. 

Demonstrating tolerance is leading by example and fostering a positive work environment. Everyone wants to feel respected, and having it within your team creates positive morale and a healthy work culture. People work harder and are more productive when they are happy and feel valued. 


Sharing your story can show that you don’t view yourself as above anyone else. While you may be the leader, it hasn’t gone to your head. Demonstrating humility means that you’re self-aware. You’re open to new ideas and feedback. This will encourage your team to come to you with their ideas and suggestions. Try sharing a story of a mistake that you have made and what you did to correct it. 

Fostering a collaborative environment means you’ll introduce more ideas and contributions. When people work together by openly sharing their innovations, your final work product will be better. 


Having empathy means that you can understand the needs of others while taking into consideration their needs and thoughts. Your team wants to know that you care about them and their best interests. After all, as their leader, you are their best advocate. Try sharing a story about the challenges you face in a particular position. 

Telling your story shows your team that you’ve been in similar positions as them. You can understand their thoughts and feelings. This makes them more likely to come to you when they have a dilemma. When you’re more readily made aware of problems, you can fix them sooner and prevent larger ones from developing. 

Try Storytelling Your Experiences for Inspiration 

It can be tough figuring out how to share your personal story with your team. You don’t want to aimlessly ramble, getting off track of your message and end goal. You also shouldn’t share too many personal details, which can also distract from the work related topic. Working with a career coach can help you draft an effective narrative that is both relatable and inspirational. 

Let’s get to work!

If you are ready to move your executive career forward contact me today at lindavan@myexecutivecareercoach.com

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Drastic Career Change

By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS, CELDC

You wake up in the morning and give yourself the daily pep talk. There was a time when you looked forward to work, but now you dread it. Perhaps a drastic career change would be the perfect solution. 

Before you start making drastic life changes, take a moment for some self-reflection. This will help you figure out what’s making you unhappy and what changes will make you happy again. 

Life is short, and you spend a lot of time working. You deserve to have a career that you find fulfilling.

1. Why Do You Want a Change?

Delve deep into your current situation to figure out what is making you want to leave. If it’s your coworkers or boss, then you may not need an entire career change. You only need to change positions or companies. 

However, if your dissatisfaction runs deeper, you may need to take more drastic steps. Perhaps your current industry is no longer thriving the way it once was. Or you don’t find the industry as engaging or interesting as it once was. Maybe you no longer feel challenged, and no change in duties or company will change that. 

2. What Motivates You?

Some people work for the paycheck they will receive. Others work to gain prestige and notoriety. Others like setting goals for themselves and then achieving them. 

Figure out what your career does for you and why you go to work every day. This will help you find a new career that’s more fulfilling than your current one. For example, if your current career has a generous paycheck, but has you sitting alone in a corner all day, then it may lack the prestige you crave. Your career change could result in a smaller paycheck but still, be more fulfilling if you gain visibility. 

3. What Does Your New Career Have? 

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence. Before you decide to leave your current career, do your research on your new one. It should offer you benefits that your current career can’t. This ensures you’re leaving one situation for another that will improve your career. 

4. Am I Qualified? 

It’s great that you want to make a change and are willing to take the steps necessary to effect that change. Before you leave your current career, evaluate yourself against the required skill set. You should have the talent, knowledge, and skills to excel in your new career. 

Your future employers don’t want to hear about how you want to try something new. They want to know that you have the knowledge and experience to excel in your new position. Some career changes may require you to obtain an education or qualifications to be able to complete your career change. This can delay your plans as you secure these credentials. 

5. Is the Change Realistic? 

Combine all of your answers to one analysis for an overall yes or no answer. 

  • Will you gain your desired benefits?
  • Do you have the required skills? 
  • Do you have the required education?
  • Do you have the required experience?
  • Will the change address your current struggles?
  • Is the pay enough? 
  • Are the long-term prospects good? 

If the majority of these questions have a negative answer, then perhaps a career change isn’t the answer. Instead, you may need to do some preparation work before making the change. 

Pursue a New Career Today

Life is too short to be unhappy or unfulfilled in your career. If you find yourself stuck in your current career, then it’s time to consider making some changes. Perhaps you can look for a new position with a different company within your industry. 

However, this may not be enough and what you really need is a drastic career change. 

Let’s get to work!

If you are ready to move your executive career forward contact me today at lindavan@myexecutivecareercoach.com

Giving hard news the right way!

By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS, CELDC

The importance of giving criticism correctly as a leader.

If you want your team to succeed, you need to give them feedback and guidance. This helps them know where the issues and weak points are to focus their efforts on improvement. 

However, the way you deliver this criticism can make or break your team. Great leaders know how and when to deliver constructive feedback for it to be the most effective. It’s important to develop this skill just as you would other leadership qualities. 

Do you do these four things as a part of your constructive leadership?

1. Get the Timing Right 

There’s a time and place for delivering effective feedback. The best time to provide feedback is when the event or issue is fresh in the employee’s mind. This means not waiting for yearly reviews to deliver guidance and feedback. 

However, do not give feedback while you’re emotional. This turns into a venting of sadness or anger, which isn’t effective. Allow yourself and the employee to cool down before having a calm and rational conversation. 

2.  Prepare the Feedback 

Your team takes your feedback seriously. So give them the respect they deserve by properly preparing for the meeting. Prepare your feedback by gathering data and facts. This quantifies your feedback with hard numbers and examples. 

Look for both positive and negative data to balance your feedback. This acknowledges what your employee does well while also identifying things that could use improvement.  

Preparing for your meeting also ensures that you cover everything that needs to be covered. The last thing you want is to meet with your employee and then bring them back for a second meeting because you forgot topic points during the first meeting. This drags the issue out longer than necessary. 

3. Eliminate the Sandwich Approach 

It’s time to say goodbye to the positive, negative, positive formula. Employees see right through this approach. The result is disingenuous compliments and increased anxiety as you delay the negative. You’re doing more harm than good. 

Don’t waste your time and theirs. Be direct and tactful as you deliver negative feedback. You can then follow it up with a solution for correcting the issue. 

If you do have positive feedback to give, make sure it’s genuine. Separate it from the negative feedback to have it be more meaningful and less like a diluted afterthought to soften the blow of the negative feedback. 

4. Know When to Give Positive and Negative Feedback 

Studies have shown that novices and beginners prefer positive feedback. This is because they are new to the venture and need encouragement. Consider this when giving feedback to new employees or those who are inexperienced. Positive feedback can motivate them to work harder and hone their skills to become more productive. 

Conversely, long-time employees or those who are experienced in their field prefer to receive more negative or critical feedback. These employees have already committed themselves to their position and career. Negative feedback is instrumental in refining their skills. 

Be a Great Leader 

Delivering feedback is a part of constructive leadership that will help your employees improve while not destroying their morale. This is key to cultivating a strong and happy team. To be a great leader that can deliver effective constructive feedback, you need to prepare, get your timing right, be direct, and know what type of feedback will be the most effective. 

Sometimes it can help to practice your delivery with an expert. Working with a career coach can help you test-run your feedback delivery to hone your skills. 

Let’s get to work!

If you are ready to move your executive career forward contact me today at lindavan@myexecutivecareercoach.com

Do You Lead By Example? The Importance of Integrity in Business

By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS, CELDC

When asked, 75% of workers will say that integrity is the most important attribute of a corporate leader. As a leader, if you lack integrity, your employees won’t trust you. It’ll foster a culture of deception, immorality, and distrust. These are the last adjectives you want someone to use when describing your leadership style and company culture. 

As the leader, change starts with you. Strive to embody the qualities that you want in your employees. Show them what integrity looks like and foster a culture where integrity is valued and praised. When you lead by example, you can enjoy these benefits by having integrity in the workplace. 

Better Work Product 

When you and your team act with integrity, you take pride in the work product you produce. By encouraging people to step up and do what’s right when they find an issue, your overall product or service will be better for it. Sure, this means facing the problems head-on, but a temporary setback is better in the long run than ignoring a problem and allowing it to grow into a debilitating issue. 

By showing your employees that you take pride in your work, you’ll also inspire them to take pride in what they produce. 


When it comes to business and your career, your reputation is everything. The people you work with and do business with need to be able to trust you. When you say you can deliver, the people around you need to trust that you will deliver on your word.

When you act with integrity, you build a positive and strong reputation. With a strong professional relationship, more doors will open for you, and you’ll find more opportunities available to you.  

Better Company Culture 

You want your employees to act with integrity, so you’ll behave in a manner that shows you embody this quality. This behavior will spread throughout the company. Your employees will make better decisions that are in line with having strong moral principles. 

This leads to improved employee satisfaction. People will be able to trust each other, which reduces the amount of conflict. The fewer conflicts you have, the more you can focus on collaboration and innovation. 

Clear Focus and Direction 

Deception and cheating take a lot of time and energy. Imagine what you could accomplish if you redirect this energy to more important tasks. 

You wouldn’t have to keep track of your lies or what story you told to which person. This web of deception only grows and becomes more complicated as time goes on. 

Don’t waste energy on this. Redirect the time and effort spent on nefarious activities to something more honorable or noble. Own up to a mistake and face it head-on. You can address the issue and immediately begin searching for a solution. 

This sets your company up for long-term success. While deception and cheating may benefit in the short run, they fail to measure up in the long term. 

Learn to Lead by Example 

As you can see, leading by example and having integrity in the workplace can bring several benefits that reach beyond you personally. It will permeate the company culture, which in turn spreads to a higher quality work output. Your employees and people you work with will trust you more and recognize that you have integrity. 

If you aren’t sure how to get started, it can help to brainstorm with other leaders. This gives you the opportunity to create an action plan with specific examples of how to show integrity in the workplace. 

Let’s get to work!

If you are ready to move your executive career forward contact me today at lindavan@myexecutivecareercoach.com

How to Be a Strong Leader

By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS, CELDC

Think back to your favorite boss. What made them your favorite and why did you enjoy working for them? Now think about your least favorite boss. Chances are, these two leaders had polar opposite leadership styles. One style complemented your personality, and you identified with the qualities of that leader. 

Now, consider your leadership style and what you hope to get out of your employees. Which one of these leaders are you? 


If you’re this type of leader, then you’re willing to let everyone voice their opinion and give input. Then as a group, you’ll come to an agreement about how to move forward. As the leader, you’re accountable for the outcome, but this doesn’t mean you get a stronger say than everyone else on the team. These leaders act more as a guide to ensure the company stays on track. Their advantage is that everyone feels heard and as though they are equally contributing. 


If you’re an autocratic leader, then you have the exact opposite approach as a democratic leader. You lead and make all of the decisions without asking for input. There’s no collaboration and no team vote as to the best course of action. This type of leadership style tends to be the least popular because it leads to employees feeling unheard and disengaged. These leaders may not achieve the most because there’s a lack of collaboration and growth through the sharing of ideas. 


This old-school style of leadership goes by the book and only the book. They toe the corporate line and refuse to be flexible. The difference between this style of leader and an autocratic one is that bureaucratic leaders will listen to and consider ideas. However, they will only encourage those that comply with company policy and standards. 


Leaders that are transformational want their employees to grow and develop. These leaders are continually looking to the future for development and change. This style of leadership excels in companies that are looking for growth. While this type of leader can bring the best out of employees, it can also create a high-pressure culture. Employees could potentially feel pressured to produce results. Others can feel stressed by the ever-changing work environment. 


The anti-leader is the laissez-faire leader. They take a hands-off approach and let their employees call the shots. This is the most progressive leadership style and can quickly lead to chaos if you aren’t careful. However, it can also lead to innovation through the encouragement of creativity. To make this strategy a success, the employees need to be able to manage themselves and have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities. Otherwise, you risk your team leaving a lot of potential unfulfilled because a strong leader didn’t push them to achieve more. 


This style of leadership is similar to that of a football coach. As the leader, you are the coach of your “team,” and it’s your job to find each employee’s strongest skill. Then you put them in a position that allows them to excel by using that skill. The advantage of this type of team is that you have a strong unit that works together to create results. 

Develop Your Leadership Style 

As you can see, there are several types of leadership styles out there. However, you’ll also notice that none of them are perfect, and none of them will work for everyone. Instead of focusing on finding the perfect style to adopt, focus on developing your skills. 

Staying true to yourself and your personality will have your leadership style feeling authentic, which is almost more important. Being true to you will make you trustworthy and garner respect from your employees. 

Let’s get to work!

If you are ready to move your executive career forward contact me today at lindavan@myexecutivecareercoach.com

How to Improve and Manage Your Work Reputation

By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS, CELDC

A Harvard Business Review study found that 58% of people trust a complete stranger more than their own boss. If you’re in a leadership position, this is a poignant statistic to consider. Does your team trust you?
Trustworthiness is just one of the many positive qualities that you hope your fellow employees say you have. If you want to progress in your career, it pays to reflect on your current reputation and how you can improve or maintain it. Follow this guide to develop your work reputation and become someone everyone wants to work with.
Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone can own and admit to their mistakes. By taking responsibility for your mistakes, you earn respect and trust of those around you. It also allows you to focus on the problem and how to resolve it. This develops your reputation as someone who has maturity, confidence, and professionalism. It also improves your work performance by resolving problems faster and developing stronger processes.
Avoid Complaining
No matter how tired or frustrated you are, avoiding complaining in front of your team. This creates a toxic atmosphere by spreading negativity. Those who are viewed as negative do not have the best professional reputations.
If you find yourself complaining, focus on redirecting your efforts. Change the conversation to be about resolving the problem you want to complain about.
Follow Up
All too often, people make a promise to follow up, and they never do. Make yourself stand out by following up with people. There are two ways you can do this. The first is to follow up with someone when you promise you’ll get back to them. This could be to provide an answer to an unresolved question or check in on the status of an ongoing project. The other is to check in with professional contacts. Most people only reach out to their network when they need something. But this portrays you as someone who uses people. Change this by checking in with your professional network and ask how they’re doing. This develops your reputation as someone who is genuinely interested and cares about others.
Make the Extra Effort
There’s a line of thinking among employees that says you should only do the bare minimum. You’re only getting paid for specific tasks, so why do more than what you’re getting paid for?
This approach will not make you stand out or develop your professional reputation. Instead, look for ways you can go above and beyond. Sometimes this means finding a solution to a problem without being asked. Other times it could be staying late to help a colleague meet a tight deadline. It could even be something small, like sending a thank you note or flowers to a colleague who is experiencing a significant life event.
Pay Attention to Your Body Language
Sometimes it isn’t what you say that influences how others view you. Focus on your body language to ensure you’re sending the right unspoken signals. Show that you are actively listening and engaged by maintaining eye contact with the person you’re communicating with.
Have good posture to convey confidence and authority. This makes you seem more likable and makes people more willing to follow you as a leader.
Don’t be afraid to smile genuinely. This projects positivity and friendliness. Be careful, though; people are surprisingly good at detecting fake smiles. If yours are perceived as fake, this will make you look fake and deceptive.
Develop Your Work Reputation
Sometimes it can help to work with an outside party to develop your professional skills. You could work with a career coach to identify areas where you can develop and grow. This lets you improve and maintain your professional reputation.

Let’s get to work!

If you are ready to move your executive career forward contact me today at lindavan@myexecutivecareercoach.com

Accelerate Your Career with a Top Recruiter

By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS, CELDC

If you want to grow in your career, sometimes you need to venture beyond your current employer. This means entering the job search market. As you move higher up the ladder, you’ll find that these positions are harder to find independently. Companies tend to use trusted sources and networking to find top talent. That means you need to attract recruiters instead of searching through job listings. This guide will show you how to attract the right recruiters for the industry and position you want to be in.
Know Your Goal
This is not the time to be a jack of all trades. Know what you want to do and what your strengths are and focus on those. Remember, you can either do a few things very well or many things mediocre. You want a recruiter and future company to understand what you can bring to the table.
Focus your resume and online profiles to use the same keywords as your goal job title and position. This makes you a better fit and look like the ideal candidate.
Become More Public
In this day and age, we all understand the importance of privacy settings on our social media and other online profiles. However, locking down your professional profiles can hinder your career efforts.
Consider making your profile more public that it’s searchable beyond the immediate platform. Websites like LinkedIn let you make your profile searchable on Google. If you’re concerned about privacy, you can make individual sections visible to public searches.
Give Yourself an Action Job Title
Did you know that the headline is the most crucial part of your LinkedIn profile? It’s the most searched part. Unfortunately, most people waste this opportunity to be found by putting their actual job title. Most actual job titles are not descriptive or intuitive as to what the person actually does.
Try changing yours to be more engaging with someone who would be searching for candidates. Think about what search terms someone would use to find someone like you. Instead of being “Director”, you could be a Sales Director, Operations Director, Administrative Services Director, or Marketing Director.
Prioritize Skills and Endorsements
Look for ways you can have previous employers and clients endorse your skills. It’s significantly more powerful to have others sing your praises than to boast about them yourself. This gives your professional profile and experiences an air of legitimacy.
Don’t underestimate the importance of your skillset. Be honest and detailed about your level of experience with tasks, technology, and processes. This gives the recruiter a better understanding of your experience and how you’ll fit into a new position.
This old fashioned tool is still relevant today. Whether you’re doing it in person or through online methods, don’t underestimate the power of networking. You never know who someone knows who can connect you with a top recruiter. This is your chance to find out about someone else’s experience with a particular recruiter and how they assisted in an important career move.
On this same note, be mindful about who you form connections with. You want to create positive and uplifting connections. Look for people that you can provide a benefit to and who can then provide you with one in return. This creates a mutually beneficial and growth encouraging relationship.
Attract Recruiters Today
If you need help attracting recruiters to further your career, then we can assist you. Our team of experts knows what you need to create a focused and attractive professional profile. We can assist you with job search strategies, resume writing, LinkedIn profile writing, and branding.

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If you are ready to move your executive career forward contact me today at lindavan@myexecutivecareercoach.com