Strategic Teams Achieving Results

Ask Your Team and Leadership Coach

The Dangers of Assumptions

Posted on October 7th, by Mary Elizabeth Murphy in Ask Your Team and Leadership Coach, Blog. No Comments

We are unique, complicated creatures, aren’t we? That’s something I was reminded of when reading this very short and to-the-point post by Seth Godin. He reminds us of 3 assumptions that we shouldn’t make:

1) That people are rational.

2) That people desire change.

3) That once on the same page, other’s views will align to your own.

Here’s an idea – go into every human interaction (well, those that you desire to be productive, profitable and pleasant) without holding onto assumptions and be prepared to be curious about the other person’s perspective. This way you won’t be blind-sided when things don’t go “your way.” Two people with very different views of the world can come to mutual decisions and form very solid partnerships – this very dynamic is what makes some of the most creative, innovative and productive teams in the world.

Remember that … Read More »

Self Promotion, Getting Picked and “The One Thing”

Posted on May 28th, by Mary Elizabeth Murphy in Ask Your Team and Leadership Coach, Blog. 2 comments

Ken Bator and I were recently at the 10th Annual Police Officers’ Credit Union Conference when he asked the audience what the “one thing” is that they would like to get out of the day; what’s the major takeaway that will resonate after weeks, months, or even years later?

A couple days later I was catching up on Seth Godin’s blog and found a post about “getting picked” – which essentially talked about waiting for people to pick you to advance your career versus creating your own path for success. Thinking this was an excellent discussion topic I posted it in a couple LinkedIn Groups and some wonderful conversations began taking place. Read the LinkedIn Discussion.

What’s the link between the “one thing” and “getting picked”, you ask? Well, creating your own path to success has much to do with self-promotion, … Read More »

Turning Curveballs Into Leadership Home Runs

Posted on May 11th, by Mary Elizabeth Murphy in 2012, Ask Your Team and Leadership Coach, Blog. No Comments

Sometimes situations and team members at work throw us curveballs. What causes this and how to you handle it? No one expects a curveball. But when they hit, they can cause you to feel blindsided, stunned and moreover, disappointed.

While you may feel a particular situation or employee let you down or impacted your leadership, the reality is that disappointment arises from a lack of possibility to meet expectations. It breeds where there is no opportunity for success.

Surviving a curveball comes down to the difference between a self-directed and an other-directed person. If you allow a situation at work to let you down, if you believe that a project itself is controlling whether you’re happy or miserable, then you will spend a good deal of your time at work being miserable. If, however, you are able to turn misfortune into opportunity, … Read More »

Are You Reacting From Fear?

Posted on May 9th, by Mary Elizabeth Murphy in Ask Your Team and Leadership Coach, Blog. No Comments

How does fear affect your life and your decisions? Does it limit you?  Does it keep you safe?  My good friend and longtime client, Mike, introduced me to this quick video on YouTube – take a look:



It is believed that these Amazon Indians are from one of the world’s last uncontacted tribes.  These striking images, made public recently by, show the Indians painted bright red or black, hurling bows and arrows at the photographer’s helicopter.

Can you put yourself in their place?  Are you already there?  How do you measure whether something new is a threat or a brave new world?

What do you think?  Are there opportunities in your life you attacked, out of fear?  Was that instinct a good one?  What will you do differently next time?  I’d like to hear your story.

Leverage Leadership Opportunities

Posted on March 1st, by Mary Elizabeth Murphy in 2012, Ask Your Team and Leadership Coach, Blog. No Comments

“If [women] understood and exercised their power they could remake the world.” ~Emily Taft Douglas

 In honor of Women’s History Month, it seems only fitting to talk about women in leadership.

There have been times in my life when, much to my surprise, I have been chosen for a leadership role. I’m strolling along, locating my path and I turn around only to find people are following me. It’s at that moment that I am sure they didn’t see the bumper sticker stuck to my butt that reads, “Don’t follow me. I’m lost too!”

Then there have been times when I have been asked to take on a leadership role and, after a certain amount of arm twisting and cajoling, I agree only to fail somewhat or miserably. I did it for their reasons, not mine.

And then there was this time … Read More »

How do you create a successful work culture?

Posted on June 2nd, by Mary Elizabeth Murphy in 2011, Ask Your Team and Leadership Coach. 1 Comment

The first step in creating a culture of success with a new team or partnership is to establish an atmosphere conducive to partnership. This is a multi-step process that I teach over the course of several modules with new business alliances. This month, I’ll share some tips on how to instill an atmosphere of cooperation in a partnership right at its outset.

Before a partnership can truly be finalized, it is important for the partners involved to ask themselves a series of questions. First, ask yourselves how you want to be together. That is, what roles does each member feel that they would be best in? What roles do your partners think you should play? When you interact with each other, how would you like those interactions to go? Most people, of course, want smooth and respectful partnership overall, but fail … Read More »