Job Survival Strategy: According to Executive Coach Lisa Parker, You Can Learn to “Lead Change and Drive results at Your Company Using Executive Presence”

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In a new 30 minute career podcast on Total Picture Radio, executive coach Lisa Parker said "many employees could be damaging their careers and reputation in a desperate attempt to keep their jobs." She reveals the “Three keys to executive presence, giving professionals the tools to lead with confidence.”

Lisa Parker

Though her network, by being flexible, and open to opportunities, she landed a new job as office manager at a nonprofit whose mission was meaningful to her. She took a huge cut in pay, but was recently promoted to new COO position created for her, and is back to making six figures.

In a new 30 minute career podcast on Total Picture Radio, executive coach Lisa Parker said "many employees could be damaging their careers and reputation in a desperate attempt to keep their jobs." She reveals the “Three keys to executive presence, giving professionals the tools to lead with confidence.”

Lisa Parker is founder of the New York City-based executive coaching firm Heads Up Coaching and Consulting. “I teach group seminars at Fortune 100 companies,” Parker told Peter Clayton, host of Total Picture Radio, “and I can tell you, people are terrified. They’re canceling vacations, chaining themselves to their desks with stacks of PowerPoint presentations everywhere, hoping they look busy. You know what?” she said, “They’re not busy, everyone knows it and hunkering down is not the way to save your job.” Using a favorite metaphor she continued; “If your in a river raft in whitewater conditions, with boulders all around you and you freeze -- take no action at all, what’s going to happen?”

Lisa Parker has a term for the recession induced unemployment panic: “spinney-spin. “My advice when I'm working with my clients: it is really important is for people to get re-focused. Let’s figure out what has to get done, right now. Let’s get away from the spin cycle that has you running in circles.”

Back to the headline: Executive Presence. As an important part of her coaching practice, Parker trains business professionals to strengthen their presentation and communication skills to lead change and drive results through a very popular, and very successful two day program she designed called Building Executive Presence. “The idea that presence is something you were born with is just plain wrong,” she told Clayton. “Presence is the sum of actions, and behaviors, and therefore can be learned. I teach people how to do this. It works. We see a significant transformation in every seminar we conduct.” Pausing for emphasis, “There are three keys to understanding presence: self awareness/self management and then, interpersonal skills, and finally, communication/brand."

The way these attributes interact, they add up to heightened emotional intelligence and leadership skills. "So now," according to Parker, "you’re not that person frozen in a raft, hanging on for dear life, about to capsize. You’re taking control, you’re seeing the dangers that lie ahead, you’re engaged, and you are now indispensable to your organization and to your team.”

An important set of interpersonal and leadership skills discussed in the interview focuses on a web-based seminar Parker recently initiated with fellow coach Jill Diamond called The Courage To Communicate:  Finding Your Courageous Voice at Work. “We had initially designed this seminar for professional women, thinking men had already cracked the code,” Lisa said, “but we’ve found just the opposite. Men have many of the same issues as women in becoming more confident and effective at work.”

Lisa gives examples of real world disasters in the podcast: “One woman I’m coaching, whose at the number two level in the organization, reporting directly to one of the founders, said she hasn’t seen her boss come out of his office in about two-and-a-half months! What kind of message does that send to employees?”

She also shares success stories: A client, VP from a large financial institution lost her job last year. “Though her network, by being flexible, and open to opportunities, she landed a new job as office manager at a nonprofit whose mission was meaningful to her. She took a huge cut in pay, but was recently promoted to new COO position created for her, and is back to making six figures.” Flexibility is a mind-set Parker emphasizes throughout the interview. “If you’re looking for a new job, you need to put your ego and previous job titles aside and think about what you want to do. What makes you happy? What are you good at? Don’t expect you’re going to get the same money, the same title in the same industry you just left. Chances are very good that’s not going to happen. Just ask the former senior executive I’ve been working with, who scoffed at an offer of under $200k last year.”

About Lisa Parker
Lisa Parker, founder of the executive coaching firm Heads Up Coaching and Consulting, based in New York City. She is an experienced and sought-after professional executive coach with over fifteen years of corporate and non-profit coaching experience in the U.S. and abroad. An executive in her own right, she held leadership positions with Aetna Life & Casualty, Phoenix Life Insurance Company, and MetLife, before dedicating herself full time to coaching in 2002. Heads Up Coaching, offers training in executive presence, presentation skills, communication skills and leadership effectiveness.

Lisa has been quoted in numerous periodicals on the subject of executive development, including USA Today, FORTUNE, Barron’s, the Financial Times, and The Christian Science Monitor. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in English Literature from Ohio Wesleyan University and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Lisa did her graduate work in the field of Industrial/ Organizational Psychology at Springfield College in Massachusetts. She is a Full Member of the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches (WABC) -- the highest level of accredited individual membership.

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