Four Strategies for Dealing with Discomfort at Work

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bigstock-Help-787861Sometimes problems at work can take up a disproportionate amount of time and brain-space. Whether you are a top-level executive or anywhere else on the organizational chart, you might find a particular issue churning over in your mind at night and draining your energy during the day. It could be about anything: the future of your business or your career, a problem with your boss, colleague or your employees. But the stress can build, and, as your brain defaults to freeze, flight or fight mode, you can feel trapped, with little room to maneuver.

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Lessons from an Inspiring Leader, Nelson Mandela

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bigstock-Follow-The-Leader-On-Blackboar-38237431Clients in my leadership coaching practice have asked me: “Which business or political leaders should I model myself on so I can develop myself more fully as a leader? What should I read?”

The answer is a complex one.  There are hundreds of inspiring and admirable leaders, from today and throughout the ages, from whom we can learn valuable lessons.  And there are dozens of books, articles and blogs (such as this one!) written by eminent academics, former practitioners and self-proclaimed experts, offering tips, tools, philosophies and programs to enhance the effectiveness, productivity and performance of leaders.

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Talent Management Tips for Time Pressed Professionals

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I'm busySo many people are just too darn busy to think straight.

Being busy is seen as a statement of worth, a badge of honor for how important, invaluable, or in demand you are.  And yet, at some point, you start to see rapidly diminishing returns.  Exciting and challenging work becomes draining or overwhelming.  The once-manageable to-do list turns into an oppressive nightmare.  Vacations are less desirable, because of how much you will have to pay when you get back. And there is just no time for the kind of thoughtful approach to making decisions or managing people that leaders really need to invest.

Read on for some suggestions that will provide a short-cut to raising your game as a leader, and could release some time too: Read more

Value Builder – a unique career and leadership development program for women

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stretchingDo you want to power up your confidence and value as a leader?

This program is for you if you are:

  • A woman at a critical point in your career –  ready to take action to reach your potential and realize your value. You have technical mastery, but are not sure how to build awareness of your accomplishments in a dignified way.
  • Keen to advance in your career, but concerned about what’s hindering you, whether it’s organizational barriers or unhelpful self-talk.

What can the Value Builder program do for you?

It is designed to help you build your credibility and confidence as a leader, and experience greater career satisfaction and success. You will learn:

  • How to achieve more with less effort and struggle
  • How to be more influential and productive in your relationships
  • How to be more strategic, and therefore, more in control
  • How to communicate and negotiate your full value

How does the Value Builder program work?

The “5-V” framework empowers you to gain insight into your Vision, Values and Value, and to develop your Visibility and Voice.  By implementing new approaches and actions, you will create sustainable breakthroughs that will enhance your performance, effectiveness and impact.  There are two forms of the program:

The Value Builder Self-Study Program

This consists of five modules, one for each V in the model. Self-study assignments include tools, templates and readings, and are sent to you online for completion in your own time. They are designed for maximum flexibility and self-empowerment.

Module 1: Value

Identify, articulate and develop strengths, and build a value-based resume

Module 2: Values

Recognize your personal bottom line, set boundaries, resolve internal conflicts, and make trade-offs

Module 3: Vision

Create an inspiring personal and/or business vision, and clear the obstacles to action

Module 4: Visibility

Make strategic choices about where, when and how to be visible and how to create an outreach strategy

Module 5: Voice

Develop confident “executive presence”, and communicate effectively at all levels, both within your organization and outside of it.

The cost of this program is $125.  

The Value Builder Group Coaching program

There are six virtual meetings over a period of four months, with no more than 8 participants. This is a “Leadership Lab” and participants follow the curriculum outlined above, but have the added benefit of working with and receiving feedback from a confidential, supportive group of peers.   A coach facilitates the sessions and helps participants organize their personal reflections and insights, strategize, experiment, and implement new mindsets and behaviors that can have a transformational impact on their effectiveness and career.

What do participants say?

“I feel as though I’ve mastered many levels of leadership.  I’m better at managing myself, and have a stronger presence.  I give my opinion, run meetings with more confidence, and the questions I now feel empowered to ask have saved hours of time and helped my team to be much more productive.”

“The exercises were really helpful.  Last year my performance review took six hours, this year it took one.  And the 360 exercise was super helpful – it set the ground work for the direction I have taken.  The program helped me break through the barriers that were holding me back.”

“I appreciate Fredia’s approach. She is serious and pragmatic, and there is also fun, playfulness, humor.  She gives permission to be oneself by modeling authenticity, shows up as “real”, “present”, and non-judgmental. I always receive useful, actionable information or insights, and after every session, feel motivation and energy to address problems that have been lingering.”

The cost of this program is $495.  Special offer: $445 if two sign up

What is Woolf Consulting?

Please visit for more information. I am passionate about helping women leaders realize their potential, and enhance their value and impact. I have distilled the lessons from my own experience as a leader in global capital markets firms and as an executive coach, to catalyze breakthroughs, facilitate positive change and advance women’s leadership.

Next steps?

If you are looking for the skills and support that will allow you to flourish and get to the next level in your career, please consider signing up for the self-study program (if time and budget are tight) or for the group-coaching program (if you want an instant advisory board for feedback and encouragement).

This program can be tailored to meet specific group or corporate sponsors’ needs.


The Hi-Po Dilemma

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“Hi-po’s” are people who are partway up the mountain, but still have some way to climb.  They are recognized as having high potential, and can be groomed or promoted as future leaders in an organization, but don’t always have the strategic vision or breadth of skill set required to successfully take on senior leadership roles.

Many managers have an instinctive sense of who those high performers are, but there is no certainty that hi-po’s will realize their full potential. As a manager of hi-po’s, you need to ensure you and your organization offer consistent, conscious support or you will risk demotivating or losing the hi-po talent it is so hard to replace.  Here are some typical pitfalls that prevent the successful identification and development of hi-po’s: Read more

  • Testimonial

    “I highly recommend Fredia as an executive coach. As a result of working with her for nearly two years, I have grown as a leader and have deeper insight into my strengths, but more importantly she inspired me to overcome mental blocks that limited my effectiveness as a leader. Fredia continuously pushes you slightly past your comfort zone, without making it feel daunting. Over time, I began to realize these little steps of progress have transported me to the next level. My newfound confidence is elevating me and my team to new heights. I will be forever grateful for her insights and techniques.”
    Senior Vice President, Global Technology Organization