Q & A With Maribeth Renne

Maribeth D. RenneThe Leader’s Edge/Leaders By Design is proud to introduce January’s featured coach, Maribeth Renne.

Throughout this month Maribeth will be answering your career and leadership development questions. If you have a specific question you would like Maribeth or one of our future feature coaches to answer please submit it to askthecoach@the-leaders-edge.com.

 


Dear Maribeth, 

I have been in my current position with my company for over five years.  Although I have done everything I can think of to be promoted, there is just no place to go – no ‘up’ – for me in this organization.  I know it is time to start looking elsewhere and I have updated my resume and am beginning to search for new opportunities.  My question is this: do I need to write a cover letter when I respond to job opportunities?  Won’t my resume suffice?

Sincerely,

Bethany

 

Dear Bethany,

A well written cover letter provides another opportunity to demonstrate to the employer that your qualifications match their requirements.

Cover letters:

  • give us an opportunity to make a positive impression and distinguish ourselves;
  • provide an opportunity to make a case for fit and build rapport;
  • give us a chance to cover things we can’t express in our resumes such as passion for the role;
  • enables us to show our professional communication skills to a potential employer.

My recommendation to you is to write an original letter for each job opportunity.

RESEARCH:  Prepare to write your cover letter by doing your research.  Look at the company’s website, its executives’ Twitter feeds, and employee profiles on LinkedIn. Check various news sources. Take notice of culture and adapt your tone in your letter. Know what the company does and some of the challenges it faces so that you can share your relevant achievements and accomplishments.

MATCH: Match your accomplishments and real-life experience to the needs and requirements in the job posting. Highlight achievements that are relevant to the position. Highlight pertinent “soft” skills and strengths. Show your fit. Use the same terminology as the company and whenever possible, try to find out who will receive the letter and use their name.

SHOW PASSION: Show passion for the position and tell the reader why you would love to join the organization. In the first sentence, state why you’re excited about the job and why you are the right fit.

Finally, Bethany, always remember to make the letter eye-appealing. Make sure it is not too long. Keep it to one page only with not more than four paragraphs and lots of white space. Remember to check and double check for grammar and spelling errors.

I commend you for actively managing your career and recognizing when it is time to look for new challenges. Good luck, Bethany!

Regards,

Maribeth


Dear Maribeth,

I was recently given responsibility for an additional business unit and I’m thrilled because it provides me the opportunity to prove that I’m ready for the promotion I’ve been long seeking. An extremely organized person, I’m fully utilizing all my project management skills to keep all the balls in the air. I’m well supported and have the resources I need. So what’s my problem? Since taking on the new unit, I have been SO stressed out!  I always feel like I’m in a big rush and hear myself barking out orders and sighing audibly when faced with long-winded colleagues in meetings.  Instead of making my mark, I’m afraid I’m going to ruin my good reputation! 

Help!

Ginger

 

Hi, Ginger and thanks for writing.

First off, congratulations on being selected for this opportunity that you have wanted for so long and have worked so hard to get. With your drive, expertise and skill, and support and resources, it sounds like you have an excellent chance at being successful. You just need to take a few steps to ensure that you don’t derail.

Too often, when we finally get a chance like this to shine, we put so much pressure and stress upon ourselves that it can be detrimental to our performance. Too much stress can cause us to be irritable and impatient and make it difficult for us to focus. It sounds like this may be happening to you, Ginger, but the good news is that we can alleviate stress and be at our best by learning and regularly practicing some stress management techniques.

Ways of Alleviating Stress at Work

  • Give yourself a break: It may sound counterintuitive, but one of the best things you can do when you feel overworked and overwhelmed is to step away from the work. Invite a favorite colleague to go with you for a healthy snack or take a walk around the block. Put lunch dates on your calendar so that you will remember to give yourself a midday break. Keep conversations light and refrain from talking about work topics.
  • Stand up and stretch: Breathe slowly and deeply through a few of your favorite stretches and yoga poses. Just five minutes will rejuvenate you and help you center yourself.
  • Laugh: Yes, laugh! The fastest way to recover from stress is to laugh, let go, and move on. Laughter serves to put thing back into perspective in times of stress. Keep a ‘funny file’ on your computer that you can go to when you need a good laugh.

Ways to Keep Your Body Strong and Able to Fight Stress

  • Eat and sleep: Choose healthy, good-fuel foods to keep you at your best and get enough sleep.
  • Engage in exercises with relaxation as the goal: Swimming, rowing, running, and walking are all repetitive-type exercises that serve to zap stress.
  • Enjoy time with friends and family: Sharing time with people we love nourishes and replenishes us.
  • Begin a mindfulness meditation practice: As ABC News Anchor Dan Harris says in his book, 10% Happier, “meditation is simply exercise for your brain. It’s a proven technique for preventing the voice in your head from leading you around by the nose.”

Basic Mindfulness Meditation

I suggest that you begin your practice by scheduling three minutes in the beginning of your day and three minutes at the end of your day to engage in the following steps. Slowly over time, you may want to work up to twenty minute practice sessions.

  • Find a quiet, comfortable spot
  • Set a timer so you are not distracted by watching the clock
  • Sit comfortably in your chair with your spine straight, feet flat on the ground, hands in your lap or on the arms of your chair. Relax and focus inward
  • Now focus your attention on your breath
  • Breathe slowly and normally and really feel your breath. Notice as it moves through your nostrils, into your chest, and gently pushes out your belly button.
  • Slowly exhale, concentrating on the air being released from your belly and chest and traveling over your vocal cords. Notice the tension the breath takes out with it and the sense of relaxation that takes its place.
  • Each time your mind strays from the breath and begins thinking of something else, gently return your attention to the breath. It’s okay if your mind wanders; just bring it back to the breath.

Learn and engage in some of these stress management techniques, Ginger, and with your drive, skill and expertise, you will perform at your best in this new challenge and stand a great chance at being promoted to that dream job.

Best wishes,

Maribeth

THIS IS A TEST POST FOR NILA

Nila Betof has extensive experience coaching executives in the C-Suite through emerging level talent and brings over 30 years of operational and management experience to The Leader’s Edge/Leaders By Design. She has substantial experience in career development consulting, assessment, leadership development, executive coaching, and organizational change. She has personally consulted on establishing hundreds of leadership development programs and organizational change initiatives. She is certified in a variety of assessment tools and behavioral interviewing techniques. Nila, for her hard work and dedication, received the 2011 SmartCOO Award from SmartCEO magazine honoring her outstanding leadership efforts. Continue Reading

THIS IS A TEST POST FOR MOLLY

Molly ShepardMolly D. Shepard is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Leader’s Edge/Leaders By Design, a company dedicated to the advancement of executive and high-potential leaders. She has more than 30 years of experience in career counseling, leadership development, executive coaching and executive search. Through her leadership as Chairman, President and Co-founder of Manchester Inc., one of the world’s largest career development consulting firms, she helped develop the highest standards of excellence in program design and delivery. Manchester became one of the nation’s top human resources consulting firms helping thousands of people a year transition into new jobs and reach their potential as leaders under her guidance.<!–more–>

Prior to co-founding Manchester Inc. in 1983, Molly was Regional Vice President for Hay Career Consultants, a division of The Hay Group. Prior to joining Hay, Molly was Vice President of Diversified Search, Inc., a Philadelphia-based executive search firm. Early in her career, Molly was Director of Admissions and a member of the executive committee of the Institute for Paralegal Training in Philadelphia.

Molly has served as a member of the Boards of Directors of: The American Heart Association of Southeastern PA, Keystone Financial Inc., Keystone Bank N.A., Rosemont College, Liberty Savings Bank, a subsidiary of Equimark Corporation, the Kimmel Center, the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education Board of Overseers, and
the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. She is currently active as: Chairman Emeritus of The United Way of Southeastern PA, Chairman Emeritus of WHYY Inc., President Emeritus of the Pennsylvania Women’s Forum, and is a member of the Board of Directors of The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. Molly is also a member of the
Boards of Directors of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society–Greater Delaware Valley Chapter and WHYY Inc.

Molly is frequently recognized for her outstanding commitment to the community. In 2013, Molly was honored with the Woman of Spirit Award by the Greater Delaware Valley Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society for her commitment to raising MS awareness. In 2012, she was awarded the Alice Paul Equality Award, given to strategic, visionary leaders who are dedicated to breaking accepted tradition and barriers. She also received the 2012 Brava! Achievement Award given annually to top regional female CEOs for their entrepreneurial endeavors and commitment to community by SmartCEO Magazine. In 2008, Molly was honored as the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s Woman Caring About What Matters Award for her dedication to their women’s initiatives. In 2006, she received the Trailblazer Award from Philadelphia Magazine and the Citizen Volunteer of the Year Award from United Way. In 2005, Molly was the recipient
of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Women of Distinction Award and in 2004 received the Beta Gamma Sigma Award from the LeBow College of Business at Drexel University. In 2003, Molly was honored by the March of Dimes as a Montgomery County Woman of Achievement. In 2001, she received the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Paradigm Award as the outstanding woman business leader of the year and also won the Pennsylvania Best 50 Women in Business Award. In 1998, Molly was awarded the American Heart Association’s Heart of Philadelphia Award for her leadership and dedication to the community.

Molly is also a prolific author publishing three books thus far. Her works include: Preparing for Your Prime Time (2012) a retirement guide for women boomers that helps them strategize and prepare for a successful, fulfilling retirement; Breaking Into the Boys’ Club (2nd edition in 2014) focused on the roadblocks that keep women from reaching the top of the corporate ladder and offers eight powerful strategies to overcome these hurdles; and Stop Whining and Start Winning (2005). In addition, she was a contributing author to The Coachable Leader: What Future Executives Need to Know Today (2012).
Molly holds a B.A. from Wheaton College, a Masters degree in Psychological Services and Counseling from the University of Pennsylvania, a MSM in Leadership from The American College, and in May 2006 received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from West Chester University. In 2009 she received certification as an Internationally Certified Career Management Fellow (CMF) with ICC International.

Molly, with her husband, Peter Dean, are partners in business. They are parents of four children.

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Aenean nonummy hendrerit mauris. Phasellus porta. Fusce suscipit varius mi. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nulla dui. Fusce feugiat malesuada odio. Morbi nunc odio, gravida at, cursus nec, luctus a, lorem. Maecenas tristique orci ac sem. Duis ultricies pharetra magna. Donec accumsan malesuada orci. Donec sit amet eros. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit.

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Praesent vestibulum molestie lacus. Aenean nonummy hendrerit mauris. Phasellus porta. Fusce suscipit varius mi. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nulla dui. Fusce feugiat malesuada odio. Morbi nunc odio, gravida at, cursus nec, luctus a, lorem. Maecenas tristique orci ac sem. Duis ultricies pharetra magna. Donec accumsan malesuada orci. Donec sit amet eros. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Mauris fermentum dictum magna. Sed laoreet aliquam leo. Ut tellus dolor, dapibus eget, elementum vel, cursus eleifend, elit. Aenean auctor wisi et urna. Aliquam erat volutpat. Duis ac turpis. Integer rutrum ante eu lacus.

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Aenean nonummy hendrerit mauris. Phasellus porta. Fusce suscipit varius mi. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nulla dui. Fusce feugiat malesuada odio. Morbi nunc odio, gravida at, cursus nec, luctus a, lorem. Maecenas tristique orci ac sem. Duis ultricies pharetra magna. Donec accumsan malesuada orci. Donec sit amet eros. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit.

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Aenean nonummy hendrerit mauris. Phasellus porta. Fusce suscipit varius mi. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nulla dui. Fusce feugiat malesuada odio. Morbi nunc odio, gravida at, cursus nec, luctus a, lorem. Maecenas tristique orci ac sem. Duis ultricies pharetra magna. Donec accumsan malesuada orci. Donec sit amet eros. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit.