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Being the Only Minority in the Room​ 

Cynthia Murray: Posted Wednesday, June 3, 2020

(Deep topic, long post that's worth the read)


In the wake of the turmoil and sadness surrounding the death of George Floyd in 2020 every American is thinking about racial disparity and how they may be impacted and how they may be part of the problem or part of the solution. Good. We all should take a long pause and reflect on how we can make this world a better place, indeed a more just, free and equitable place. That equity being sought for minorities (and frequently women) is in every area of life and community, including the workplace.


If you are part of a minority group and a professional, then you (like many others) may find yourself being the only representative of that minority in the room or at the table in a company, organization or other professional groups, like local bar associations. Perhaps, if you are female, Black, Latino, from a different nationality or ethnically diverse from the majority in your workplace, you may have experienced this professional challenge first-hand.


Yes, you or someone close to you may know exactly what it feels like to be one-of-a-kind or at least a member of a small group in a prep school, organization or field of practice in your community. It can be uncomfortable, unsettling, even intimidating. However, with education, intentionality and sensitivity, it doesn't have to be a bad experience. Truth is that it is the painful reality for so many minorities and women. I'll admit that I am an eternal optimist and I truly believe that things can and will get better, but first let's take a look at some specific circumstances, data and solutions. Please keep in mind that this article is NOT an attempt to bash or shame anyone, but rather to identify a real sociological challenge and find best practices and attitudes to overcome it.


The Current Condition:

So often, the higher minority professionals go in any organization or company, the more this "being the only one in the room" occurs. In fact, this is even more true if you may fall into multiple minority categories at the same time. That was my case. I personally know what that's like as a black female. You see, I was the first Black Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney for the County of Albemarle which is in (Photo cred: Wikipedia) my hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia - an area with a storied past (a mix of both good and bad history) and the place of the awful white supremacist Unite the Right rally that took the life of local resident Heather Heyer on August 12, 2017. That was an event which our entire community still mourns and laments, but by which we refuse to be defined.


In over a decade of public service as a prosecutor there were never more than about five or six actively practicing African American attorneys in our entire legal community with me, which is quite large, (as lawyers seem to love Charlottesville)!

I transitioned from the courtroom to the boardroom in a career change that took me to Northrop Grumman as a Senior Business Management professional in the military defense industry. The absence of diversity relative to Black females was even more noticeable in the field of military defense which mostly male dominated. I am compelled to say that I rarely felt looked over, undervalued or ostracized because of my race or gender, but that was in large part due to the fact that I am intentional about being bold and confident so as to been seen, heard and given opportunities to perform and obtain upward mobility. I definitely had to learn when to fight for such opportunities and when to simply let things go for one reason or another.


The Statistics:

In July 2011 Diversity Inc published an article which emphasized the fact that there are very few Black, Latino, Asian and female CEO's of Fortune 500 companies in the United States. At that time, Blacks comprised only 1.2%, Asians 1.4%, Latinos occupied 1.2% of the top corporate roles and women topped the list at 4.2%. The article also highlighted some of the top 50 companies that have a strong showing overall in diversity in the CEO position. A few of the companies and CEO's were:


Black CEO's:

Kenneth Chenault of American Express (whom I have personally met)

Kenneth Frazier of Merck & Co

Don Thompson of McDonald's (Wikipedia photo right)

and Ursula Burns of Xerox

There were and are now others, but the list remains short, even though there is no shortage of talent to fill the positions.


The Challenge:

Being a senior or high level minority professional in your company or field creates unique challenges. By the time you are the CEO of the company those challenges are perhaps completely overcome, however, they likely still exist within the industry at various levels beneath the C-Suite level. When you have not quite risen all the way to the top there are probably still obstacles to overcome.

Work as a minority professional is somewhat of a sociological experiment for each person. Since people naturally tend to associate with others like themselves in appearance, background or beliefs, when someone who is different for whatever reason shows up on the scene, there can be an unspoken chasm between that individual and the rest of the majority group. In today's environment this isolation tends not to be as overt as in decades past (think of the movie Hidden Figures) and may in fact be unintentional. Nonetheless, this separation is a natural social phenomenon that is harmful at work.


The good news is that this silent division can be overcome in most cases, and must be overcome in the workplace to foster unity, productivity, innovation and a happy, healthy "home away from home" where every employee feels welcome and valued. Creating an inclusive work environment is not always easy, but it's definitely worth the effort!


5 Unspoken Do's and Don'ts of Diversity and Inclusion: These keys will help to make your professional experience easier a minority professional. And, oh yes, if you're not part of a minority group and you took the time to read this post and/or talk about it with your work team - Thank you. Bravo for reading and for caring about your amazing minority coworkers whom you can help to feel welcome at work!


1. Confidence counts. As a minority in the workforce, don't lose your confidence or think less of yourself in comparison to others in the group simply because you look different and are not a carbon copy of the culture of the majority. You must recognize that you are in the room because you are value-added. You would not even be there if you did not bring skill, talent and expertise to your team. They need you there.


2. Be open. Try not to take the initial feeling of separation so personally. Remember that everyone involved must adjust to working with people who do not look, sound or perceive the same way that they do. The good news is that over time with the right attitudes of and strategies employed, you and your coworkers can grow to develop trust, friendship, mutual respect and admiration.


3. There are no cookie-cutter fixes. Don't feel the need to always be defensive or to overemphasize your differences thereby antagonizing other coworkers in your group. By allowing yourself to let your guard down a bit, you just might see that you have more in common than first meets the eye. If you do encounter instances of prejudice and discrimination, decide what you are comfortable with in terms of the best way to handle the situation for redress. Sometimes you might choose to have a candid talk with the individual offending colleague, but at other times you may need to raise the issue to higher levels of leadership and/or Human Resources. Do what you feel is best for you. Not every circumstance will be the same. As with most challenges in life, you'll need to choose your battles and remember that every conflict is not always about race. You may just work with an "equal opportunity jerk!"


4. Break stereotypes. Do not settle for being "the best in your minority group." Instead, set your goal to simply be the best. Period! I like the statement of Danica Patrick, the female race car driver who in the last few years became the first woman in history to obtain the top spot at NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series race having qualified at the Daytona 500 International Speedway and topping speeds of 196 MPH! In a statement to the press Danica stated, "I was brought up to be the fastest driver, not the fastest girl."


5. To quote legendary singer Billy Joel, "Don't go changin'!

Never, never, never try to change to be like anyone else in order to fit in. Sure, there is organizational and corporate culture and there is nothing wrong with embracing that so long as in doing so you do not sacrifice the essence of who you are as a person. That includes standing by your values, and to a certain extent, your own personal culture - the very thing that makes you so unique, awesome and a diversity gem on your team! Do celebrate both your similarities and differences between you and your colleagues. Above all, just be who you are and bring all of your wonderful talents to the table each and every day.


Cynthia Murray is the CEO of Cynthia Murray Enterprises LLC and has more than 20 years of experience leading in local government, corporate America and with her own international non-profit organization of which she is founder and Executive Director. She is a published author and sought-after keynote speaker. Cynthia teaches, trains and speaks globally and is expert in leadership development and team-building.

Can We Talk? Workplace Conversations and Current Events

Cynthia Murray: Posted Wednesday, June 17, 2020

There is a lot going on in the world right now and it's impossible to escape being in the middle of it all even at work. COVID-19, race riots, a teetering economy...Everywhere you turn there is a breaking news report on TV in the lunch room, a protest sign or even an actual protest on your way to work.


You might see an inflammatory political headline on the newspaper in your office waiting room or a group of coworkers could be huddled together to watch the latest conspiracy theory video in the kitchenette.


Indeed, there are probably topics that you would rather not discuss at work which are the proverbial "bear in the room", but the conversations about those things loom all around. So, unless you work alone from home you, like so many others, work with people who are experiencing and witnessing the same things that you are, but perhaps from a different perspective

.

It's not hard to understand that those in your circle of colleagues may hold vastly differing opinions about current events than you. How you choose to handle those conversations in your workspace will likely make the difference between working in an environment of peace and unity or chaos and division.


Not only that, you might have clients, patients or customers that walk through your doors who will hear your conversations or just feel the atmosphere that has been created. Their experience may mean the difference between keeping or losing their valued business.

Of course, personal interaction is good, but in stressful times like the ones in which we are living we need to know how to handle these topics of conversation appropriately. Let's talk today about some ways that you can best handle these issues in your office or in your work space with tact, professionalism and compassion.


1. If you are the boss or office manager, you might have a blanket policy that such discussions are off limits at work, but that will be very hard to do with feelings, opinions and emotions running high. I'm not an expert in employment law, but I am not even sure that would be legal. Of course you can require conversations at work to be about work only, but what about break times? You should consult with Human Resources to be sure.


So, you don't have to enforce an absolute "No Discussion" policy, but you certainly want to set expectations of all staff to maintain an atmosphere of professionalism. For example, it might be appropriate to avoid all conversation about such sensitive topics in front of clients and customers. If a client or customer actually initiates the conversation, a helpful strategy could be to tactfully steer the conversation in a different direction, being careful to always express your appreciation for them by thanking them for their patronage and wishing them to stay safe and well.


Further, a reminder to employees to avoid the use of profanity, name-calling or raised voices (even when not directed at any particular individual) may be necessary due to the high emotions around such topics. I recently experienced such a situation at a local home and garden store. The employee's voice was raised as he was just speaking to another employee about an issue. This caused the tension in the area to be tremendous! You could have cut it with a knife. Patrons shopping were uncomfortable and wanted to just check out and leave. I certainly did!


2. Depending upon the situation and environment at work, it may not only be appropriate, but healthy and compassionate to formally address the issues with your staff and reassure your team that they are valued and welcome. Let them all know how sorry you are that the community is going through these storms, but you are there for them. They will appreciate it. Some of your staff may even need to take time off or leave work a bit early to process, avoid an anxiety attack and just regroup to be their best selves. Be sensitive to that and fair in the application of such policies. The point is, be aware of your employees' needs and be sensitive to their suffering in these challenging times.


3. As a co-worker, you are under no obligation to engage in any conversation that is brought to your desk or to answer when asked what your opinion is. You have the right NOT to talk about certain things. In most instances, people will respect your right to say, "I respect you (all) and your opinions, but I really do not want to talk about it." You could also say, "I hope we can turn things around for the good for everyone, but I don't want to share my opinions at work." Such phrases are non-confrontational, but clear and direct.


If you do not want to be that direct, then perhaps you can just change the course of the conversation. This will not always be received well though, as some people will try to insist that you communicate about it or interpret your wanting to talk about something else as being callous and insensitive. That is not fair to you, but you cannot control how people think. You can only control the way that you act toward and treat others. Hopefully, that will always be with professionalism, genuine care and respect. That's the key to peace and harmony in the workplace.


Here's believing with you for better days ahead. Sometimes it gets worse before it gets better, but I believe that together and with the right attitude of mutual respect, we will supersede and rise above this adversity.


Cynthia Murray is the CEO of Cynthia Murray Enterprises LLC and has more than 20 years of experience leading in local government, corporate America and with her own international non-profit organization of which she is founder and Executive Director. She is a published author and sought-after keynote speaker. Cynthia teaches, trains and speaks globally and is expert in leadership development and team-building.


Small Business Matters

Cynthia Murray: Posted on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 1:07 PM

Hi CME friends!


I hope that you are all safe and well as we try to navigate the new conditions and parameters as a result of COVID-19. Our thoughts and prayers have definitely been with you all! It's been a long while since I've sent you a blog and I'm super excited to connect with you all again. I want to know how you're doing. I'm pulling for you...


We know that the economy has taken a hit, but some of the hardest hit have been small businesses in the US and around the globe.These businesses are the foundation of our economies and they are owned and operated by our parents, siblings, friends and many of you. I understand. I'm in this with you and your businesses matter to me and my team.


I'm always thinking about how we can help and support our friends and colleagues out there and we got the idea to roll out a new CME series supporting amazing small businesses called “Small Biz Shout Outs!”


Each week we intend to feature a great small business that operates in excellence and integrity and always goes the extra mile for clients and customers.


Today we're featuring Femi Adun, a certified leadership facilitator, author and publisher with Grace House Publishing. Femi is the founder of Eagle World Outreach and PactLeadership where he teaches and trains on effective leadership principles. Grace House Publishing published my last book and it will soon be released in Spanish. They’re awesome!


You can connect with Femi on Facebook and Instagram following @PactLeadership CME offers some of the same services, but there’s no competition here, just respect!


If you’d like to nominate a business in your area, please contact us with your recommendation as to how they meet the criteria and provide their contact information and a photo.


Thank you and keep being awesome!

Surviving in the Midst of Change

Cynthia Murray: Posted Sunday, March 15, 2020

If you are one of our local readers, you may have noticed what happened here in Charlottesville, Virginia only about two weekends ago. It was a lovely Saturday morning in the upper 70's F, which was ridiculously warm for these parts. Folks were out in shorts and T-shirts enjoying the summer-like weather. Then, around 2:00 pm the sky became ominously dark and a strange sound was heard outside. Loud thumps battered the cars and the ground as small, perfectly round balls of hail came through in a storm. Heat one minute and ice the next!


The climate has still been up, down and all around in the last few weeks, causing one to turn on the air conditioner in the car one day and put salt on the ground for ice the next day. Ah, spring! This wacky season brings a lot of change and, at times, frustration. It's the same in the professional world right now.


There are many things that are in flux in the United States at this very moment. Those things have many business people scratching their heads wondering which direction to go or what action to take as the country adjusts to a new federal administration. The economy is also changing and unpredictable. This makes for what some might call a "wild ride" until things normalize.


So, how do you, as a leader or as an entrepreneur hold on, survive and hopefully, continue to thrive during this volatile season? There are a few principles that can help you to succeed even during times of unpredictability and rapid change:


1. Remind yourself and your team of your core values. Core values help you to maintain true to your goals and principles when having to make decision about the future. It's best to stay true to your values in every decision-making process.


2. Remain steady and consistent as much as possible. Like most people, your customers, clients and staff will find great comfort in relying on your same excellent products, services and policies when so many other things are changing around them. They will appreciate the stability and be more likely to stick around as a loyal partner with you and your company.


3. Avoid making knee-jerk reactions. As is true in so many situations requiring change, it's best not to react to a changing situation too quickly, but to take time to adequately analyze and review the situation and then to take the best appropriate action based on all the relevant information. This will avoid making decisions that are too drastic, causing unnecessary loss or damage.


4. Be proactive. If you can identify reasonable possible changes that could affect you or your business, your leadership team can analyze what protective measures might be put in place to be prepared for some eventuality. Perhaps that are cost effective measures that could be put into place now that will minimize loss and adequately manage risk. Think of it this way, it may not rain during your trip , but it's not a big burden to carry a small umbrella when you travel!

Following these simple tips can help you to keep your business running smoothly with minimal interruption, damage or loss while the political and economic climate is changing daily.


Thanks and happy Spring!

 It's Okay Not to Be Perfect!  (An Open Lett​er)

Cynthia Murray: Posted Friday, May 22, 2020

One of the major principles of successful leading that I have come across in my years of training and working with supervisors and staff is that a little appreciation of those who for you goes a long way.


I have encountered many people who stated that they were pleased and satisfied with their employer's various ways of saying, "Thank you" to them for a job well done. The converse is also true, I have spoken with people who said that one of the main reasons that they resigned their job was the fact that they did not feel appreciated by their supervisor!


I found it interesting that the employees did not always expect or need to have a raise or any monetary gift of appreciation. In fact, most people stated that they were very pleased with a verbal thank you, and other recognition in front of their colleagues, family or friends.


One of my business coaching clients recently hosted a gourmet catered Thanksgiving Employee Appreciation Luncheon at her home for her entire staff!


She invited me to the event to come and facilitate a team building workshop after lunch. The meeting included team

(Not all staff pictured here)

building games and an opportunity for the staff to (1) provide valuable feedback about any workplace challenges, (2) discuss new changes in the company and (3) to take a fresh look as a team at ways to start the new year off well in January. It was great fun and a tremendous success!


One staffer was quick to share how much she valued a simple certificate of appreciation for her very valiant effort to complete a challenging project. The certificate meant so much to her! It was a simple, but valuable gesture that went a long way toward her job satisfaction.


Here are some examples of what you or your company might consider as ways to show appreciation to your employees:


1. Present a certificate in the presence of colleagues and family, such as this elegant certificate sold by Staples.


2. Host a special lunch at work or off site for the whole team.


3. Give a bonus or other gift.


4. Make an announcement of a job well done by someone at a team meeting or on the PA system.


5. Give some other token of appreciation such as an Employee of the Month parking spot.


These tips will surely help to keep your team happy and satisfied in your employ! If you would like to host a team-building and/or an employee appreciation meeting this year, please feel free to contact me, Cynthia Murray, using the information below. It will be my pleasure to help you!

There is Power In Your Pause

Cynthia Murray: Posted Friday, May 29, 2020

During the COVID-19 Pandemic I cannot tell you how many people have told me, "Cynthia, I'm working from home or work at my company has dropped off, but I seem to be busier than ever!" I know the feeling and I can see how that happens. With what appears to be a slowdown or extra time on our hands, ideas begin to flood our minds such as home improvement projects. Then there are those recently thrust back into the job search due to a layoff or an entrepreneur whose work has slowed, both of whom are working feverishly trying to generate business, new leads and income.


Let's not forget the professional who, because of company furloughs, is now doing the work of 2 or even 3 people! Everyone in the above category is doing their best to stay well, sane and relevant in these most unusual times!


Whew! That's a rat wheel for sure, and oh boy, do I get it! In fact, I've been on it! I am definitely a person who works hard and, sometimes, to an extreme. Honestly, I wear many hats as CEO Cynthia Murray Enterprises, a practicing attorney and Executive Director of a non-profit organization (Divine Women of Destiny Ministries Intl), I have to make a conscious effort to balance my work load and stop working at a reasonable time.


I understand that there are times when you and I have to work overtime to complete a project or prepare for a big meeting or presentation, but that should be an exception, not the norm. Now, more than ever, you must take care of your primary asset - YOU! I've made it a habit of working hard, but stopping work at a reasonable time like 6:00 PM on most days and 4:00 PM or 5:00 PM on Fridays. I try super hard not to work on Saturday. We need rest for our bodies and our minds to be at the top of our game!


I am certain that when we set reasonable work-hour boundaries for ourselves, we will get so many great ideas so that we can be innovative and work more efficiently. I've tried it and it works. I'm encouraging you to do the same and let me know how you feel. I'm confident you'll say, "Great!" So please remember to come up for air! There is power in taking a pause.

Cynthia Murray is the CEO of Cynthia Murray Enterprises LLC and has more than 20 years experience leading in local government, corporate America and with her own international non-profit organization of which she is founder and Executive Director. She is a published author and sought-after keynote speaker. Cynthia teaches, trains and speaks globally and is expert in leadership development and team-building.

Leadership Development is Vital to Your Organization

Cynthia Murray: Posted Thursday, May 21, 2020

I am passionate about leadership and not only helping individual people to become excellent leaders, but also helping organizations to develop a culture of leadership for sustained growth, longevity and the creation of an amazing place to work. In that environment employees feel valued, they are more productive and the organization becomes a center for excellence to be admired and emulated by other entities.


Leadership development is vitally important to the success and sustainability of any company or organization and it takes intentionality and hard work to cultivate.

In fact, recent statistics indicate that 83% of companies say that they value leadership development at every level, and indeed, the vast majority of training money is spent on this area, yet recent those same studies indicate that only 5% of companies have fully implemented development at all levels. Not only that, there is wide consensus that most leadership programs have not produced the kinds of results anticipated.


So...what the heck is going on? Why is money being thrown at an issues and yet there is still a gap in leadership preparedness between retiring baby boomers and younger professionals who are expected to take the reins of leadership?


I have a few thoughts from my research on what is happening:


1. The leadership training is probably not lacking (except perhaps they are not including enough hands-on opportunity learn skills like communication, etc.). More likely, the real culprit is the organization's failure to actually allow the participants in the leadership program to practice leading projects and teams. They learn great principles, but are never given the chance to use them.


2. The organization talks a good talk and their rhetoric about valuing leadership development stops after the meeting ends. They spend large sums of money on a program, but then do not adjust the corporate or organizational structure to support and demonstrate the skills and values that were taught in the leadership course.


All of these problems CAN be fixed rather easily. An organization must invest in leadership training programs for all levels from high-potential workers with no leadership experience to seasoned managers and even C-Suite officers and VP's that allow participants to practice the skills hands-on during the training.


Next, they must allow the employees to practice what they learned "back at the ranch" giving them increased responsibility as they prove that they are mastering the concepts and leading teams or projects to success.


Finally, the company must show a commitment to value and support the leadership principles that have been taught and not simply go back to business as usual by allowing poor leadership practices to continue.


If an organization or company can do these three basic things, it will help to secure its future with a happy employee base that looks forward to coming into work everyday, takes pride in the work produced and gets winning results!


At Cynthia Murray Enterprises LLC, we'd be delighted to help your organization reach that happy place in leadership development. If we can help you, just reach out and give us a call. We'll be there for you when you need it most!


Cynthia Murray is the CEO of Cynthia Murray Enterprises LLC and has more than 20 years experience leading in local government, corporate America and with her own international non-profit organization of which she is founder and Executive Director. She is a published author and sought-after keynote speaker. Cynthia teaches, trains and speaks globally and is expert in leadership development and team-building.

Private​ Practice Pays 

Cynthia Murray: Posted Thursday, May 7, 2020

At first glance, one might think that when I say "private practice" in this blog title I am referring to a solo career outside of the normal corporate or organizational setting. As many of you know, I'm also a lawyer with my own private practice, not working for or with another firm. And yes, I enjoy that facet of my career, but, I am not trying to persuade you to quit your job and hang out your own shingle or go it solo. That's not the kind of "private practice" that I'm talking about here.


I am talking about practicing your skills alone, by yourself when no one else is watching. Yup, perfecting your craft behind closed doors. I've always said, "What you practice in private will get you praised publicly!" It's a fact.


So many people are at home and away from their office or job environment. Some may still be working, but have far more time on their hands than they normally have due to things slowing down. I want to encourage you today that it's the perfect time to practice whatever skills that you have so that when you come out into the main stream again you are at the top of your game!


The skills are innumerable and can include things like writing, inventing or producing media. Whatever it is that you're already good at doing, take it up another notch by practicing a few extra hours behind the scenes. After all, the old adage is true: Practice makes perfect. I guarantee that over the next months and into next year you'll be so glad that you did!


Stay safe and well~

Cynthia Murray, CEO

A Little Appreciation Goes a Long Way

Cynthia Murray: Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2017

One of the major principles of successful leading that I have come across in my years of training and working with supervisors and staff is that a little appreciation of those who for you goes a long way.


I have encountered many people who stated that they were pleased and satisfied with their employer's various ways of saying, "Thank you" to them for a job well done. The converse is also true, I have spoken with people who said that one of the main reasons that they resigned their job was the fact that they did not feel appreciated by their supervisor!


I found it interesting that the employees did not always expect or need to have a raise or any monetary gift of appreciation. In fact, most people stated that they were very pleased with a verbal thank you, and other recognition in front of their colleagues, family or friends.


One of my business coaching clients recently hosted a gourmet catered Thanksgiving Employee Appreciation Luncheon at her home for her entire staff!

(Not all staff shown here)


She invited me to the event to come and facilitate a team building workshop after lunch. The meeting included team

building games and an opportunity for the staff to (1) provide valuable feedback about any workplace challenges, (2) discuss new changes in the company and (3) to take a fresh look as a team at ways to start the new year off well in January. It was great fun and a tremendous success!


One staffer was quick to share how much she valued a simple certificate of appreciation for her very valiant effort to complete a challenging project. The certificate meant so much to her! It was a simple, but valuable gesture that went a long way toward her job satisfaction.


Here are some examples of what you or your company might consider as ways to show appreciation to your employees:


1. Present a certificate in the presence of colleagues and family, such as this elegant certificate sold by Staples.

2. Host a special lunch at work or off site for the whole team.


3. Give a bonus or other gift.


4. Make an announcement of a job well done by someone at a team meeting or on the PA system.


5. Give some other token of appreciation such as an Employee of the Month parking spot.


These tips will surely help to keep your team happy and satisfied in your employ! If you would like to host a team-building and/or an employee appreciation meeting this year, please feel free to contact me, Cynthia Murray, using the information below. It will be my pleasure to help you!


© 2012-2017 CYNTHIA MURRAY ENTERPRISES. All rights reserved.


To contract CYNTHIA MURRAY for your next special event, conference or training workshop on this topic and other professional and personal success strategies, contact us at [email protected] or go to our Contact Us Page.


Cynthia Murray is the founder and CEO of Cynthia Murray Enterprises, LLC. She is an international speaker, author, consultant/coach and attorney.


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Do Rules Rule?​

Cynthia Murray: Posted Friday, November 4, 2016

A lot of people don't like rules in an organization, but they are necessary to maintain order, efficiency and even accountability and fairness. A company or organization without rules will lack consistency and eventually fail due to the absence of structure. However, In order to be of maximum benefit and respectfully observed, it is important to allow flexibility as well.


I'm not advocating "rule-breaking", but I am encouraging people to be sensitive and aware to times when a rule may not need to be applied. I know that may sound strange coming from a lawyer and a judge, but even judges look to the "spirit of the law" in application of justice for the litigants before them. No one wants to strictly apply a rule that doesn't make sense in it's context. One must use discretion.


I recently watched a movie entitled "Deepwater Horizon" in which an oil rig exploded and many people were unnecessarily killed because, in part, some people in authority decided to forego a require safety testing. Then, when things started literally blowing up, another person in a supervisory role would not allow his colleague to implement shut down measures because he had not been give the "go- ahead" from his supervisor. The only problem? His supervisor was badly injured in another part of the vessel and was not able to quickly get to them to lead! As an instructor in leadership, this movie had me on the edge of my seat identifying all of the internal problems that caused this disaster in Louisiana a few years ago.


So, my afternoon matinee with friends last week prompted me to give a few principles in dealing with rules in our business or organization and how to best apply them:


1. If a rule is consistently causing an undesirable result, then the rule likely needs to be changed or eliminated. It could be that a certain rule was good and necessary when it was first instituted, but is no longer relevant in the current operation of your company.


2. In your process of making rules, be sure to legitimately allow for flexibility in their application so that people in authority can avoid unfair consequences. It is important to note that when there is a diversion from the stated rule, that is not done haphazardly or capriciously, but rather based on a rationale that is fair and transparent to be recorded.


3. If an organizational rule does not make sense or will cause extreme hardship in its application in a particular instance, consult with decision makers and stakeholders about departing from the rule in that instance.


4. Again, do not break governmental or regulatory rules which are instituted for the legitimate purposes of the government, but be an advocate for change where the rules no longer make sense. To do otherwise could jeopardize your organization and your job.


5. In drafting rules, make sure that they are (a) reasonable, (b) clear and understandable and (c) properly communicated. This will help to ensure that they are consistently followed to the benefit of all involved.  

Don't Be Afraid To Lead

Cynthia Murray: Posted Friday, October 14, 2016

 It's October and the month usually associated with scary things because of Halloween. It's curious how some cultures actually like being terrified...but I don't think being afraid is something that we should embrace. Unfortunately, some people are afraid to be a leader, though by choice or selection, that is exactly what they are.


Let's take a look at some reasons why people fear leadership and what can be done to turn the lights on those fears and kick the "boogie man" out of the office!


1. What if I fail? This a common fear among people whether they are in leadership or not. No one likes to fail and leaders are (or should) be the one ultimately responsible for the success of a project or program. But, we don't always get it right the first, second, third time or more that we try something. There are many factors that attribute to the success or failure of an endeavor. The greatest of champions did not always win every match, but we remember them for the victories that far outweighed their defeats! So, do the best you can, be proactive and look for obstacles to success to overcome them. If you make a misstep, learn from it and move forward toward victory on the next go around.


2. I don't like to tell people what to do. Some people think that if they give people orders and hold them accountable for their work that they will not be liked...and we all want to be liked. However, no team can function properly without direction. It's chaotic and frustrating for everyone. As a leader you owe it to your team to give them clear and concise instruction and direction on what needs to be done. Keeping them accountable is simply part of the job for program success. Keep in mind that you don't have to be mean or even micro manage if that is not your style. It's not necessary to bark the orders to get them done. Be kind, respectful and grateful, but also be firm and consistent so that your team knows you have expectations of them to fulfill your requests.


3. I am not expert in all of the aspects of our product, service or program. It's okay. Many successful leaders say that they are not expert in everything or have all the answers, but they surround themselves with competent experts who advise them. That takes a great weight off of any leader's shoulders. You should not be expected to be a know-it-all on everything. It should be sufficient for you to have the skills to lead your team so that they can provide the best answers and expertise to the team. So relax! You don't have to be a one person show!


I hope this helps to remove, or at least abate, your fears about leadership. If you've been tapped for such a position, someone had confidence in your abilities to lead and perhaps this article has boosted that confidence in yourself!

© 2012-2016 CYNTHIA MURRAY ENTERPRISES. All rights reserved.


To contract CYNTHIA MURRAY for your next special event, conference or training workshop on this topic and other professional and personal success strategies, contact us at [email protected] or go to our Contact Us Page.


Cynthia Murray is the founder and CEO of Cynthia Murray Enterprises, LLC. She is an international speaker, author, consultant/coach and attorney.


subscribe to her blog Weekly Winning Strategies! sign up on our Home Page and start receiving them now in your in box FREE! Click here.


To purchase a copy of The Power of A Plan and other books by Cynthia Murray, simply click here to buy now so you can succeed and win even more!

Remove the "Bad Apple" From The Bushel

Cynthia Murray: Posted Friday, September 30, 2016

 You have likely heard the phrase "One bad apple spoils the whole bunch." That statement is not only scientifically true, but socially true as well. A rotten piece of fruit produces a substance called ethylene. When that rotten apple is in contact with other perfectly fine fruit, it causes the good fruit to ripen too quickly, produce ethylene and begin to rot as well.


This scientific phenomenon with fruit can easily be seen among a group of people such as work teams. It literally only takes one person with a nasty attitude and rotten behavior to negatively affect the rest of the team with which he or she works...and it doesn't take long to do it.


If you have a "bad apple" on your team, you must identify them immediately and take the appropriate actions to help them change their negative behavior or you will unfortunately have to remove them from the group, team or even the entire organization.


So, how do you identify such people? What are the behaviors and attitudes that they exhibit? Here are a few to watch out for:


1. Bullying behavior. This is especially concerning for people in a supervisory role. Such individuals are excessively critical of their subordinates and undermine the efforts of the team.

2. Rude behavior. The rotten behavior is exhibited by that person who is rude and disrespectful to others. This lack of courtesy and mutual respect causes those around them to feel unimportant and not part of the team.


3. Always requiring unrealistic expectations. This may be part of the bullying behavior where other's work is never good enough. When the work is in fact excellent, they take all the credit, but when it's less than perfect he/she berates the worker and belittles them, often threatening them with some negative consequence or being fired.

This behavior over a period of time will literally infect the rest of the team. Morale will drop. Few people will want to communicate or work with that individual. Others will begin to reflect the same negative behavior as the perpetrator and, at worst, those great employees who work with or for that negative individual will leave the organization, often never to be heard from again.


So, if you want to keep great talent, then you have to be willing to remove bad talent from the equation. Consider the fact that it's more beneficial to rid the organization of someone with this rotten attitude and behavior than to risk losing a slew of less talented people with great attitudes, high morale and a desire to constantly improve for a team win.

© 2012-2016 CYNTHIA MURRAY ENTERPRISES. All rights reserved.


To contract CYNTHIA MURRAY for your next special event, conference or training workshop on this topic and other professional and personal success strategies, contact us at [email protected] or go to our Contact Us Page.


Cynthia Murray is the founder and CEO of Cynthia Murray Enterprises, LLC. She is an international speaker, author, consultant/coach and attorney.


subscribe to her blog Weekly Winning Strategies! sign up on our Home Page and start receiving them now in your in box FREE! Click here.


To purchase a copy of The Power of A Plan and other books by Cynthia Murray, simply click here to buy now so you can succeed and win even more!

Executive Presence and Work-Life Balance

Cynthia Murray: Posted Thursday, September 8, 2016

We've all been hearing and reading about executive presence and how developing it can greatly increase your ability to be noticed for your "it" factor, and, ultimately, promoted on your job or elevated in your business or profession. But, there is more to executive presence than confidence and being well-dressed and well-spoken. What about just being "WELL"? It is so important for you to be healthy, happy and whole in your life. This has a powerful and direct impact on your executive presence.


I recently had the privilege of teaching a one hour webinar for the School of Executive Presence, founded by EP expert, Angela Nuttle. Angie (as I call her) asked me to teach at her "Mastermind Coaching Call" on this subject which is so near and dear to my heart - work-life balance and how it affects one's executive presence. The things that we discussed were simple truths, yet so very profound!


Angie and I did not want to hold these nuggets of wisdom from those of you who are not enrolled in the School of Executive Presence. So, we've agreed to publish this link to this valuable one hour webinar (with audio and visual) FREE to bless you with this one hour that just may change your life...

Please set aside just one hour to listen to this powerful teaching: https://fccdl.in/AHyPxvnfk


I urge anyone reading this who has a desire to develop executive presence and live a happy, fruitful and satisfying life while maintaining a successful career to sign up for this program as soon as possible. I am a coach in this dynamic program with many other highly skilled coaches where high achieving professionals and executives from around the country participate together with great success!


To learn more, please go to the website for the School of Executive Presence to learn more about the opportunities awaiting you! If you are interested in private professional coaching sessions with me, just contact me on this website or by phone. I would be honored to help you achieve your professional goals as I have with my clients around the United States!


© 2012-2016 CYNTHIA MURRAY ENTERPRISES. All rights reserved.


To contract CYNTHIA MURRAY for your next special event, conference or training workshop on this topic and other professional and personal success strategies, contact us at [email protected] or go to our Contact Us Page.


Cynthia Murray is the founder and CEO of Cynthia Murray Enterprises, LLC. She is an international speaker, author, consultant/coach and attorney.


subscribe to her blog Weekly Winning Strategies! sign up on our Home Page and start receiving them now in your in box FREE! Click here.


To purchase a copy of The Power of A Plan and other books by Cynthia Murray, simply click here to buy now so you can succeed and win even more!

The Five "P's" of Professionalism

Cynthia Murray: Posted Friday, June 24, 2016

Being a professional is not just about the education that you have and the skill with which you work. It's really so much more than that. But, somewhere along the way modern society seems to have moved away from professionalism to the detriment of the people whom to be served.


This could just be a reflection of the times in which we live, but the reality is that professionalism is valuable and timeless. Those who truly master it are successful.


This phenomenon about professionalism was recently brought to my attention by two people: first, a pilot sitting beside me on a flight back home from Atlanta and then a young man who is a physical trainer for the NFL and the son of a close family friend. As the pilot and I struck up a lively conversation, I soon asked him about the job market for pilots in today's economy. His answer shocked me...


He said, "I am not only a pilot, but also one of the people who interviews and hires new pilots. The market is wide open for anyone wanting to become a pilot because of the very great need for more professional pilots. The problem is that the industry is almost accepting anyone who applies and the pool of young people applying is often disappointing." He went on to say that they come in dressed sloppily in wrinkled khaki pants and a disheveled appearance. Their documentation is inexplicably missing or in disarray when handed over to the interviewing panel. This brings me to the first "P".


THE 5 P's:


(1) Polished. As a professional, one should always look her/his best in a professional setting, especially when meeting people for the first time. There is an expression that says, "The first impression is a lasting impression." Further, a disheveled appearance gives the impression that the individual does not care about the task at hand or take it seriously. It communicates that they don't pay attention to details. So, the reasoning goes, if they don't care much about their own appearance and organization, they probably do not care too much about you or the product and services that they are providing to you.

(2) Polite. I'm sure that at some point in your life you've gone into a professional office and been offended by the rude manner in which someone treated you. Perhaps they served you with disdain or an attitude of superiority or entitlement to your business. That is a huge mistake!

A real professional and his/her staff should treat all of the people in their professional sphere of influence with dignity and respect. This goes without saying...And yet, I'm saying it! Everyone deserves respect: the janitor that dumps your trash, your best paying client, the new client and the client with a complaint. As professionals, we must always apply the Golden Rule. It creates an atmosphere in which others feel welcome and they will surely refer others to you for the professionalism and respect that show to all.


(3) Punctual. It is so important to value others' time. If you have an appointment with a client, it is imperative to be on time or communicate a valid reason as to why you cannot be on time. With schedules as busy and packed as they are today, people really appreciate punctuality from their professionals. Waiting a few extra minutes in a doctor's or lawyer's office may be expected, but long delays from any professional don't bode well with clients and you may lose their business if you cannot consistently respect their time.


(4) Personalized. Today we live in a world in which many services are computerized and it can be long before you ever speak to a live (or at least the right) person when you call a professional's office. However, the more personalized attention that can be provided to a customer or client, the better they will feel about keeping you as their preferred provider.

The young man who is the trainer for the NFL is so personable and the players just love him because of the specialized attention that he gives. They invite him over to eat and socialize. He will do some things with them, but certainly not over do it. He told my friend (his mom), "Mom, I don't want to spend too much personal time with them because I need to maintain a proper professional boundary with the players. Wow! This wisdom came from a twenty-something year old! Now, that is real professionalism!


(5) Performance-oriented. This facet may be the most important of all. A consummate professional takes proper care of the task at hand for his or her clients and customers. After all, no matter how polished you look and clean your office is, no matter how polite your receptionist is to all who walk in the door, at the end of the day, if you don't do what your client is paying you for with your very best effort, the work is all but a waste of time. Clients deserve our best efforts to get the job done for them as though we were receiving the service ourselves.

These points in this article are not so much for you CME polished professionals, but helpful for some young or new professionals that you might encounter and, perhaps, mentor. Feel free to share these points with them for their own growth, development and ultimate success!


© 2012-2016 CYNTHIA MURRAY ENTERPRISES. All rights reserved.


To contract CYNTHIA MURRAY for your next special event, conference or training workshop on this topic and other professional and personal success strategies, contact us at [email protected] or go to our Contact Us Page.


Cynthia Murray is the founder and CEO of Cynthia Murray Enterprises, LLC. She is an international speaker, author, consultant/coach and attorney.


subscribe to her blog Weekly Winning Strategies! sign up on our Home Page and start receiving them now in your in box FREE! Click here.


To purchase a copy of The Power of A Plan and other books by Cynthia Murray, simply click here to buy now so you can succeed and win even more!

Avoid The Communication Crash!

Cynthia Murray: Posted Monday, June 20, 2016

Over the past two months in various situations I have become even more aware of how crucial proper communication is between people for optimal results within a team, organization and even within families. Proper communication is fundamental not only to the viability, but to the sustainability of any group.


If members of a team fail to follow the law of good communication they can expect, sooner or later, to be involved in what I call a "communication crash"! But, have no fear. There is a way to insure against the crash and ways to repair damage should one occur. Let's look first, however, at the ways that such a communication accident can happen:


THE COMMUNICATION CRASH!:


1. When people do not communicate early enough.


If information or instructions are not provided with enough advance notice you run the risk of team members being unable to assist and perform their job due to prior commitments. They may also be unable to access necessary resources, tools, etc. by the time they are needed. Emergencies happen and that is not the issue here. I'm talking about regular meetings, events or other requested action. When team members do not have the information that they need to do their jobs, it creates inefficiency in last minute rearrangements which can even lead to time wasted and spending excessive amounts of money for having to pay more for something at the last minute...think plane tickets and hotels for example.


The same crash happens when team members do not give advance notice to their leaders of their own unavailability or the need to change schedules, causing their employers to scramble to cover for their absence. People have been fired for that very thing. INSURANCE TIP: So, be sure to communicate needs and expectations often allowing people time to fulfill their responsibilities.


2. When people do not communicate complete important and relevant information to the entire team.

The result of this lack of communication is that the whole team is disadvantaged. They are unable to perform to maximum ability and excellence due to missing details, and not being on the same page with the leader. Confusion sets in because vision and expectations, are not clear.  

Further, if some members of the team have the adequate information and others do not, it raises doubts about loyalty to everyone. A person may ask, "Why didn't I receive all of the information? Am I not in good graces with the leader? Is there a clique forming and I am not in the loop? Am I not trusted with the information?"


It's vitally important that no one on the team feels left out and that each person is appreciated and included as much as possible. If people do not feel like they are a part of the team they will likely leave. INSURANCE TIP: Make sure to include your team on important communications in whatever form and provide full information, not bits and pieces.


3. When people do not respond for long periods of time.


For the sake of this discussion, we are not talking about someone simply forgetting to return a phone call, text message or email. That may happen from time to time. We're talking about failure to reply when there is no real reason not to respond. When that happens, relationships can be seriously damaged because lack of communication (even with no malicious intent or problem) because it creates doubt about the reason behind the silence.    


First of all, not responding to someone with whom you are in relationship is just plain rude, unprofessional (in a business setting) and will leave a bad impression of you and the organization that you represent. Moreover, without explanation or apology, people will come to their own negative conclusions about your lack of response to them.  

They will begin to ask questions like: "Is she angry with me? Is the situation or organization unimportant to him? Does she care about me? Have I offended them? Do they no longer want to have this relationship?" All of these questions and doubts can be avoided when there is proper communication. INSURANCE TIP: If you receive a communication which obviously requires a response from you, reply as quickly as possible, even if you tell them you have to get back with them later. If you replied late, apologize and provide an honest explanation for the delay. It will be appreciated!


4. When problems go undiscussed.


If you don't talk about problems, they go unresolved (and only get worse with time). Failure to communicate regarding problems, complaints and dissatisfaction only causes such matters to fester and creates the scene for more damage down the road. INSURANCE TIP: Don't be afraid to talk openly and honestly about situations for the overall health of your team or organization. Failing to do so will cause a crash in the form of people, even the leader, leaving the team on a moment's notice, and that is never good.


AFTER THE CRASH...THERE'S HELP!


If you could not avoid the crash, then you probably can repair the damage. Just like with car accidents, get help immediately. Get the best advice that you can on how to repair and get started making those repairs right away. Reach out to the people or person affected by the poor communication and acknowledge what happened.  

Be aware that your explanation or excuse should be coupled with a sincere apology. Then, make every attempt to assure the person or people that you do care and that you will make efforts to avoid this crash happening in the future. It could be the difference between a long and happy relationship or one that ends in a total loss. So, happy driving to you and/or your team on the road of success with good communication!


© 2013-2016 CYNTHIA MURRAY ENTERPRISES. All rights reserved.


To contract CYNTHIA MURRAY for your next special event, conference or training workshop on this topic and other professional and personal success strategies, contact us at [email protected] or go to our Contact Us Page.


Cynthia Murray is the founder and CEO of Cynthia Murray Enterprises, LLC. She is an international speaker, author, consultant/coach and attorney.


subscribe to her blog Weekly Winning Strategies! sign up on our Home Page and start receiving them now in your in box FREE! Click here.


To purchase a copy of The Power of A Plan and other books by Cynthia Murray, simply click here to buy now so you can succeed and win even more!

Communicate Your Opinions

Cynthia Murray: Posted Thursday, June 9, 2016

 By nature I am a people-pleaser. The best part of that character trait is my ability and willingness to help people and to sacrifice my own needs and wants in favor of others. On the flip side, the thing that is dangerous about this same trait is that, at its worst, it has caused me in times past to suppress my own opinions, needs and desires for the wrong reasons, i.e. to be liked, accepted, approved, etc.


That coupled with my desire for everyone to be at peace and just get along caused me to refrain from speaking up and communicating my opinions from things that were wrong with goods and services that I received to telling people what I really wanted in work situations.


That kind of reticence is not helpful to anyone and can cause problems that can be avoided if you only speak up and voice your preferences. When you give your opinion about things that may be wrong, corrections can be made which will bring needed improvements.

Let me give you a prime example. At a previous place of employment assignments were being redistributed between my co-workers and me. The new assignment that my supervisor wanted to give me was more than a stretch assignment. It was almost a disaster waiting to happen because of an over-extended workload and my lack of experience in that particular area of work which was very specialized.


In a nutshell, I did not think it was a good idea and I simply did not enjoy that kind of work nor did I want the assignment. However, I agreed to take on that job to at least give it the "old college try" and to be a team player, both of which are important. Fortunately, I was able to do the work for over a year, but it was a considerable burden in time and effort for the reasons that I mentioned above. As it turned out, any benefit that could have been derived from the change in assignments did not outweigh the burden.


When it came time to review the change, I voiced my concerns with constructive criticism and my supervisor saw the wisdom of removing that assignment from my workload. If I had not spoken up about what I really thought and wanted, the train wreck surely would have occurred sooner or later!

Today, I don't hesitate to express my preferences, concerns or complaints in any setting, from poor service at a hotel to concerns on a board on which I might serve. Of course, you have to pick your battles and sometimes it's best to be silent. But, there are many times when it is better to speak up, so long as it is done in a courteous and professional manner.


So, I want to encourage you to address issues head on and do not let your opinions and concerns be swept under the proverbial rug. Your opinion matters and you should voice it even if it goes against the majority. Trust me when I say that you and everyone around you will be better off for your openness and honesty.


© 2013-2016 CYNTHIA MURRAY ENTERPRISES. All rights reserved.


To contract CYNTHIA MURRAY for your next special event, conference or training workshop on this topic and other professional and personal success strategies, contact us at [email protected] or go to our Contact Us Page.


Cynthia Murray is the founder and CEO of Cynthia Murray Enterprises, LLC. She is an international speaker, author, consultant/coach and attorney.


subscribe to her blog Weekly Winning Strategies! sign up on our Home Page and start receiving them now in your in box FREE! Click here.


To purchase a copy of The Power of A Plan and other books by Cynthia Murray, simply click here to buy now so you can succeed and win even more!

You Must Take Risks To Succeed

Cynthia Murray: Posted Thursday, May 12, 2016

 No one ever reached great levels of success by always playing it safe. The people that you can think of who made great achievements were all dreamers...risk takers, but the outcome was well worth the risk.


Why? Because they took the time not only stretch their imaginations, but to assess how best to make their dream a reality.


Such success from great inventors like the Wright Brothers, political leaders such as Abraham Lincoln and Nelson Mandela and entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs comes from the mind and soul of someone who saw not only the value of their dreams, but carried the belief that their dreams could come true!


It's that vision and belief that is the driving force for the action required to bring the dream to fruition. And, so often, the vision is far bigger that what you could achieve without taking a leap of faith. What does that leap of faith look like? I'm so glad you asked! Here are three common chasms on the road between you and the realization of your dream and the key to building the bridge.


1) Show me the money! You likely don't have all of the money, resources and support readily available that you need to accomplish your goal. This will require you to be creative and build the support that you need by sharing your dream with others who will join in and invest in your vision.


2) Am I in the wrong place? Your dream may require you to move to another city, state or country or even to resign from your current job. Those are major decisions, but it may be the single most important risk for you to take in order to fulfill your dream.

3) If at first you don't succeed... Like most successful creators, you may not succeed the first, second, third time, etc. that you attempt to bring your dream to life. Don't throw in the towel so fast! It may take multiple tries. Just ask Thomas Edison, the inventor most famous for inventing the light bulb, who said, "I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

Now, by encouraging you to take risks I am not suggesting that you throw caution to the wind by investing everything in a mere idea. Whenever you have a great idea, project or dream that requires you to take a leap of faith, my advice today is simply "look before you leap!"

My theory and experience has always been that even the biggest dreams and goals are best reached when a person takes the time to assess what is required to get the job done.


In essence, to achieve big dreams you have to step out of your comfort zone into a "promised land" that you have already surveyed. When you step into the promised land and see that giants live there, don't give up hope. 

The key to your success is realizing that you have what it takes to defeat those giants and obtain the victory!

Today, assess your dream and what it takes to fulfill it. if you have faith that you have a winning idea, then go ahead and take the leap. The world is waiting for your dream!


© 2013-2016 CYNTHIA MURRAY ENTERPRISES. All rights reserved.


To contract CYNTHIA MURRAY for your next special event, conference or training workshop on this topic and other professional and personal success strategies, contact us at [email protected] or go to our Contact Us Page.


Cynthia Murray is the founder and CEO of Cynthia Murray Enterprises, LLC. She is an international speaker, author, consultant/coach and attorney.


subscribe to her blog Weekly Winning Strategies! sign up on our Home Page and start receiving them now in your in box FREE! Click here.


To purchase a copy of The Power of A Plan and other books by Cynthia Murray, simply click here to buy now so you can succeed and win even more!

Challenges for Women in the Workplace

Cynthia Murray: Posted Friday, 29, 2016

I have been working with MSBCoach this week as an Executive Coach for the Women's Leadership Program at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business and it has been a wonderful and eye-opening experience (as it is each year).


Yesterday, we identified some unique challenges that female professionals face in the workplace. The following is a list of stereotypes and issues that we ladies have had to and must continue to overcome. Some of the challenges are internal and others are external, necessitating a professional and effective way to deal with the stereotypes, opinions and biases of others. Here are just a few of the issues and my thoughts on a good way to overcome these unique challenges.


1. For women who work in a predominantly male field/environment, it may be a struggle to speak up and be heard. This tendency to be too quiet can be balanced by an understanding that you are there to be a contributor to the team. You were hired for what you bring to the table, including your ideas, challenges and questions. By not speaking, you may actually be doing a disservice to your company or organization. If you are not encouraged to speak or are consistently criticized or belittled, then it may be time to seriously consider if you are working in the right place.


2. Frustration can evoke strong emotions. A stereotype is that women are always emotional and weepy not logical and calm when tensions, challenges or conflicts mount. First of all, emotions are not bad, but they have their purpose and place. Women and men should be aware of emotions, but not allow them to control you. It is best to know your emotional triggers and remain calm while discussing an issue. If it's not possible to "keep calm and carry on" at the moment, then it's just not the right time to discuss the issue at hand. Schedule the meeting after you have had a time to compose yourself and then review the issues with the team. Watch out for those who will try to bait you into an emotional state. Don't let 'em see you sweat! Remember to tell yourself, "It's not personal, it's just business."


3. Women may hesitate to ask for a promotion or to make supervisors aware of their successes. Some women may be tempted to think that it's not polite to toot your own horn, and for the most part that is wise. However, if you are a female professional and this is your way of thinking, you must realize that you are a value-added person to your organization. You owe it to yourself and your company or agency to let them know when you have had a professional success or academic achievement. If they don't know how good you are, then they cannot accurately assess your for promotions and special assignments. In addition, you know yourself better than anyone else. If you know that you have the skills, experience and drive to go to the next level at your job, step forward and let your supervisor(s) know that you're ready to take on the new responsibility. Be sure to back up your statement with a list of accomplishments that show your preparedness for the task ahead.


© 2013-2016 CYNTHIA MURRAY ENTERPRISES. All rights reserved.


To contract CYNTHIA MURRAY for your next special event, conference or training workshop on this topic and other professional and personal success strategies, contact us at [email protected] or go to our Contact Us Page.


Cynthia Murray is the founder and CEO of Cynthia Murray Enterprises, LLC. She is an international speaker, author, consultant/coach and attorney.


subscribe to her blog Weekly Winning Strategies! sign up on our Home Page and start receiving them now in your in box FREE! Click here.


To purchase a copy of The Power of A Plan and other books by Cynthia Murray, simply click here to buy now so you can succeed and win even more!

10 Signs At Home That You May Need to Improve At Work

Cynthia Murray: Posted Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Okay, so I had a revelation the other day as I was (of all things) changing the toilet paper roll my guest bathroom and putting the extra rolls in the stand: A lot of people use the last roll of paper and don't replace it for the use and convenience of others. That's when it dawned on me! (I know you're surprised that this is how I get the inspiration for my blogs, but it's true!)... People who consistently exhibit certain habits at home likely carry that habit or mentality into their workplace as well. 

For example, failing to replace the toilet paper roll can be an indicator that the person lacks responsibility and accountability for their own assignments. Is it the next person's obligation to replace the toilet paper roll? No, of course not!


1. Dirty dishes piled in the sink for days. This shows a potential lack of follow-through in completing simple, daily tasks.


2. Dirty clothes on the floor. This could be an indication of chronic disorganization which we all know leads to frustration and lost time looking for things not in their proper place.

3. Clothes left in the washer or dryer for days. Can be a sign of procrastination in doing tasks that need to be done.


4. Lawn grass is way too high. This shows a potentially low level of pride in the appearance of the business or organization to others. An "I don't care" attitude is a turn-off for customers and clients.


5. Leaving the door unlocked. This inattention to security may reflect that same inattention about the security of your company's intellectual property or assets thereby making it easy for those who want to steal what is valuable.


6. Items remaining broken or missing. Leaving burned out light bulbs, broken cabinet doors, etc. for a long time may indicate apathy and a willingness to work at less than full capacity. (* Please note that this assumes you have the money to do the repairs/maintenance, you just don't attend to it.)


7. Clutter in the closet. A closet that is jam packed with old shirts from the 1990's and is completely unorganized probably has way too much stuff that you don't wear or need. This could be an alert for the need to assess if you have excess and unnecessary stuff around the office or even in your processes that are obsolete and taking up too much space!  

8. Leaky roof. If you have a leak in the roof, that can mean serious problems, damage and expense if not taken care of immediately. Allowing serious problems to persist without taking action to correct shows a potential lack of concern for the welfare of your team or the ongoing future and success of the business/organization.


9. Plants dying. You don't have to have a green thumb or be a botanist, but you should at least pay attention to the plants' need for water and sunlight around your home. If you have dying plants all around you, then be aware if you may need to also show more concern for the needs of those around you in the workplace and on your team.  

I am the first to admit that at some point or another I have been the guilty of every single one of these ten bad acts, but they were never bad habits that developed. The fact is that everyone may leave a dirty dish in the sink, a piece of clothes on the floor or have a project that is waiting longer than you hoped. The point here is not to allow such things to persist for a long period of time or become habitual neglect at home or on the job. I hope this has helped you to be a bit introspective so that you can make any changes toward improvement at work.


© 2013-2016 CYNTHIA MURRAY ENTERPRISES. All rights reserved.


To contract CYNTHIA MURRAY for your next special event, conference or training workshop on this topic and other professional and personal success strategies, contact us at [email protected] or go to our Contact Us Page.


Cynthia Murray is the founder and CEO of Cynthia Murray Enterprises, LLC. She is an international speaker, author, consultant/coach and attorney.


subscribe to her blog Weekly Winning Strategies! sign up on our Home Page and start receiving them now in your in box FREE! Click here.


To purchase a copy of The Power of A Plan and other books by Cynthia Murray, simply click here to buy now so you can succeed and win even more!​

Continuous Improvement Keeps You Out Front

Cynthia Murray: Posted Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The day that I decide that I've learned all I need to know is the day I lose the my edge. It's a ridiculous and erroneous assumption to think that we know it all and can't get any better than we already are! Everyone, even the most able, prominent and successful people in the world must continue to learn and grow. Not convinced? Here are three reasons why I believe that my theory is correct:


1) Continuing to learn in your chosen career keeps you relevant. This world is moving at break-neck speed with the proliferation of information, technology and advancements in every area. Success principles are constant, but methodologies are continuously evolving. If you want to stay at the top of your game and your field, you must continue to study and learn more. If you do not, others who understand the importance of staying current will out-perform you and cause others to look at your goods and services as "outdated", lacking cutting-edge efficiency.


2) There is always an area in which you can improve with big returns. You don't have to necessarily spend an exorbitant amount of focus and energy on your weaknesses. In fact, you should leverage your strengths, but working on areas that need improvement only serves to enhance your overall skills, abilities and performance. So, don't throw in the towel on your weak spots, but give a little extra effort to get better and you will surely boost your own confidence and show your clients and customers that you care about being and doing your best.


3) Continuing to improve underscores your commitment to excellence. As you continue to improve weaknesses, you, your clients and customers will all have increased confidence and renewed satisfaction knowing that you have a spirit of excellence with your products and services. You will increase repeat business because existing customers and clients know that you always strive to give the very best that you can. Loyalty will be your big reward for even the slightest efforts to do a better job!


© 2013-2016 CYNTHIA MURRAY ENTERPRISES. All rights reserved.


To contract CYNTHIA MURRAY for your next special event, conference or training workshop on this topic and other professional and personal success strategies, contact us at [email protected] or go to our Contact Us Page.


Cynthia Murray is the founder and CEO of Cynthia Murray Enterprises, LLC. She is an international speaker, author, consultant/coach and attorney.


subscribe to her blog Weekly Winning Strategies! sign up on our Home Page and start receiving them now in your in box FREE! Click here.


To purchase a copy of The Power of A Plan and other books by Cynthia Murray, simply click here to buy now so you can succeed and win even more!

It's Okay to Ask for Help When You Need It

Cynthia Murray: Posted Friday, March 25, 2016

I hate spring colds (well, all colds actually), but with the change of seasons, my rigorous travel and work schedule, and a nasty virus going around town, I got sick with a full blown upper respiratory infection. Yuck! It hit me from one day to the next and "Whammo!" I was down for the count with a lot of work still to do. I needed help.


If you're busy like I am, then you know that we just don't have time to be sick. Business meetings, clients, work orders, exercise class, and other must-show-up events all clamor for our attention daily. No one is used to seeing Superman of Wonder Woman out of commission, but when it happens, you need to be willing to do what you dislike so much...ask people for help.


I am fully aware of just how independent you are and how much you accomplish on your own, but one adage is, and always will remain true: No man is an island. We need others to help us more than we allow ourselves to believe. In fact, it's quite healthy for the soul to realize that you're not God and even super heroes have super friends to help in a pinch!  

Listen, whether you're hit with sickness, overloaded with work or simply stuck in unforeseen circumstances that have gotten the best of you, don't feel badly about asking others to help you out. It's a reminder that we were actually meant to work with other people, relying on one another, and that we will sometimes be needed to help someone else out when they need a hand too. We should always be willing to help when we can, even when don't expect anything in return. The reward is the satisfaction of helping someone else out.


Trust me. In this condition, I've called on my work team, my pastor, my mom and my friends for everything from prayer for healing and picking up medicine or chicken soup to helping with logistics for a big upcoming event.

I won't lie. Even knowing this truth it is still hard for me to ask for help, but I've learned through the years that pride is the only reason not to ask people for help, especially from those who are more than willing to help you in the first place! Yes, I understand that you also don't want to be a burden on people. I feel that way too, but, did it ever occur to you that those closest to you actually are pleased to help you when you need it?


So, the next time you just can't do it all, be willing to humble yourself and ask for help. You and your trusted circle will be glad that you did!


© 2013-2016 CYNTHIA MURRAY ENTERPRISES. All rights reserved.


To contract CYNTHIA MURRAY for your next special event, conference or training workshop on this topic and other professional and personal success strategies, contact us at [email protected] or go to our Contact Us Page.


Cynthia Murray is the founder and CEO of Cynthia Murray Enterprises, LLC. She is an international speaker, author, consultant/coach and attorney.


subscribe to her blog Weekly Winning Strategies! sign up on our Home Page and start receiving them now in your in box FREE! Click here.


To purchase a copy of The Power of A Plan and other books by Cynthia Murray, simply click here to buy now so you can succeed and win even more!

Spring Forward to Your Success!

Cynthia Murray: Posted Monday 14, 2016

In the United States we just changed our clocks forward one hour for Daylight Savings Time. To remember which way the clock moves twice each year, we say "Fall back, spring forward." Spring is always the harder of these two changes because everyone seems to focus on losing one hour of sleep, but there is a "bright side". We gain extra hours of daylight to work and enjoy the season.


This year, the time change made me think about something in a different way. In your career, business and profession, it is normally wise to take small, but consistent steps forward. Just as with investing, this strategy brings most people out on top over the long run. But, there are certain times when you have to make a bold, big move. You must spring forward.

In other words, there are certain seasons in your professional development and journey when you have to take a quantum leap. You'll know when it's time. Everything around you will begin to beckon you to stretch yourself beyond the normal parameters in which you usually work.


For someone that may mean accepting a promotion or job offer far above what you think you're prepared for. It could mean expanding your business to another location or launching a brand new product or service. Perhaps you, with no political background or connections, are supposed to run for office! Someone in your district retires, resigns or moves on leaving an opening for you to fill. It's your time to leap ahead.

Every person's goal is different, but there is a leap inside of you. There is a set time for you to spring forward. You'll know when it is, just like in double \-dutch. Keep watching the rope long enough and you'll know just when to jump in. Maybe you never jumped rope as a child, but that's okay. Just know that there is a rhythm for you to be in tune with concerning your professional progress. Pay attention to the conditions around you and soon you will know it's time to spring forward!

I won't lie to you. After you take the leap, it's not always a bed of roses. You'll likely be tired at first because of the effort that you must expend on the front end. But, after you adjust, you'll be singing and in perfect step with the beat of your new professional rhythm. So, get ready and spring forward into your new great place!


© 2013-2016 CYNTHIA MURRAY ENTERPRISES. All rights reserved.


To contract CYNTHIA MURRAY for your next special event, conference or training workshop on this topic and other professional and personal success strategies, contact us at [email protected] or go to our Contact Us Page.


Cynthia Murray is the founder and CEO of Cynthia Murray Enterprises, LLC. She is an international speaker, author, consultant/coach and attorney.


subscribe to her blog Weekly Winning Strategies! sign up on our Home Page and start receiving them now in your in box FREE! Click here.


To purchase a copy of The Power of A Plan and other books by Cynthia Murray, simply click here to buy now so you can succeed and win even more!

The Team that Dreams Together, Wins Together

Cynthia Murray: Posted Friday, February 26, 2016

I recently returned from an intense mission trip in Ecuador. We were a team of seven people, five men and two women from New York, Florida and the United Kingdom.


We went to do a job, to complete an important mission and by phenomenal team (Photo missing Solanda Gomez) work, we did just that!


Our team was very culturally diverse consisting of Americans, Puerto Ricans, Nigerians and Ecuadorians. I knew some of the people, but not all of them. I met three of the people the very same day that we would arrive in Quayaquil and begin our intense work.


When I say intense, I mean "intense!" My portion of the team flew in from the frigid air of JFK Airport to the extreme, humid heat of Ecuador. We became accustomed to the sweat, the heat and the near exhaustion each night as we piled into the van back to the hotel each night at 2:00 a.m. after a grueling day of ministry to individuals, entire churches and the public in the stadium where we spoke.


In reality, there was very little, if any, "getting-to-know" one another time before we dove into our international assignment. Missionary work is demanding and can be taxing on your body and emotions, but we clicked immediately and there was no gap in our bonding. In fact, this team was able to accomplish astounding things that made us ponder, celebrate and sometimes cry.


We all hugged at the airport in Ecuador saying goodbye as we returned to our cities of origin saying, "We did it! Mission accomplished!" I felt as though I had known these people since my youth and they said the same of me.


At the end of the week I had time to finally consider carefully what was it that made a team of relative strangers work so well together, under such demanding circumstances and achieve the victory. I concluded the following factors that will work for any team in any situation:


1) Unity of Purpose. Each member of our team had a common goal to be of maximum benefit to the people that we came so far around the world to serve. When individual team members share a common purpose and desire to succeed, their efforts will be exponentially intensified. You could say, "Go big or go home!"


2) Understanding the Goal. Our team leader had communicated his goal of teaching and equipping the local people so that we were all on the same page as to what exactly we would be doing. Clear communication cannot be underestimated in achieving team success. If communication is lacking, at the very least the goal will be delayed or underachieved due to inefficiency despite the willingness and good intentions of the team.

3) Diversity of Skill. Our team was not only ethnically diverse, but also diverse in skill sets as well. While many of us shared similar skills, we each functioned in a unique way that helped to balance out the team and complement our efforts as a whole.


4) Mutual Respect. Our team members shared a mutual respect for one another. We appreciated the different gifts of each team member. We also showed genuine concern for one another's well-being, whether it was an illness or some other negative issue that we confronted.

5) No Room for Egos. Though each one of us teammates is extremely capable and accomplished, not one person had an attitude that they were better than the other person, should receive more recognition or teaching time than the rest. In fact, we all recognized other team members' areas of strength or expertise and quickly deferred to him or her so that s/he could maximize the benefit to the group or individual with whom we were working. It was common for us to call one another to assist or take over. We didn't care about who got credit or recognition. We just wanted the job done.


6) Appreciation for a Job Well Done. Though we were not seeking appreciation and it was not the motivating factor for what we did, it sure was nice to receive it from one another on that mission field. There is a tremendous satisfaction in giving and receiving praise and recognition of a job well done from one's colleagues and teammates. We could often be heard telling each other, "That was absolutely awesome! I took notes on what you said. That was powerful, excellent!"

As I stated earlier, these are strategies to contemplate and tips to utilize with your own team whether you're on the mission field or the board room. If you can assemble a team that works according to these basic principles of team work, you can expect to succeed just about every time!© 2013-2016 CYNTHIA MURRAY ENTERPRISES. All rights reserved.


To contract CYNTHIA MURRAY for your next special event, conference or training workshop on this topic and other professional and personal success strategies, contact us at [email protected] or go to our Contact Us Page.


Cynthia Murray is the founder and CEO of Cynthia Murray Enterprises, LLC. She is an international speaker, author, consultant and attorney.


To subscribe to her blog Weekly Winning Strategies! sign up on our Home Page and start receiving them now in your in box FREE! Click here.


To purchase a copy of The Power of A Plan and other books by Cynthia Murray, simply click here to buy now so you can succeed and win even more!

The Sacrifices and Struggles of Great Leaders

Cynthia Murray: Posted Monday, February 15, 2016

When most people think of successful leaders, I would be willing to bet that images of wealthy, intelligent, beautiful people living the life of luxury without a care in the world are conjured. While that may be the case for some leaders, it's not true for all. We ought not stop at such a shallow view of these strong ones at the top of the pyramid.


They are, after all, people, just like you and me with many of the same struggles common to mankind.


The thing is that we rarely know about the challenges in their health, marriages and other relationships. In fact, they may even bear the load of financial struggles, but theirs are in the million-dollar range. Nevertheless, the struggle (as the saying goes) is real.


Leaders of every level face challenges which cause them to sacrifice their own personal desires, comfort and ambitions for the benefit of the team or the end goal, even if only temporarily. Below are just a few things that great leaders have had to sacrifice for the greater cause:


1. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had to sacrifice his very life for the cause of civil rights. He knew the danger and accepted the call. We live with equal rights today because of his sacrifice.

2. Abraham Lincoln sacrificed his popularity among the social and political elite of his time in order to abolish slavery. It cost him dearly. Like Dr. King, he too was assassinated for the greater good.

3. Benjamin Netanyahu and world leaders like him must spend an exorbitant amount of time away from their spouses and families tending to the national security interests of his country. This makes for an often lonely existence on the road and in the air or even just a few miles away in an executive office.


These kind of leaders make sacrifices to keep the world a safer place.

4. Cancer did not care that Steve Jobs was one of the world's most prominent, successful and likable CEO's of the Twenty-first Century when it knocked on his door.

Through it all, he continued to live and to lead as long as he could.

5. Diana, Princess of Wales, endured enormous struggles in her personal life and marriage to Prince Charles, though her humanitarian work and iconic, demure smile would not have told a story of such deep pain and loneliness.


Let us be careful not to judge leaders too harshly simply because they seem by outward appearances to "have it all together". Instead, let's be mindful to be compassionate towards everyone, no matter their station in life, and hope that others show us the same kind-hearted compassion when we rise to the top.


Then, we will be able to make the necessary sacrifices and handle the struggles that life throws our way during leadership to make a positive and lasting impression on the world. 

© 2013-2016 CYNTHIA MURRAY ENTERPRISES. All rights reserved.


To contract CYNTHIA MURRAY for your next special event, conference or training workshop on this topic and other professional and personal success strategies, contact us at [email protected] or go to our Contact Us Page.


Cynthia Murray is the founder and CEO of Cynthia Murray Enterprises, LLC. She is an international speaker, author, consultant and attorney.


To subscribe to her blog Weekly Winning Strategies! sign up on our Home Page and start receiving them now in your in box FREE! Click here.


To purchase a copy of The Power of A Plan and other books by Cynthia Murray, simply click here to buy now so you can succeed and win even more!

Prepare for Unexpected Delays

Cynthia Murray: Posted Monday, January 25, 2016

Many of you readers are on the East Coast of the United States, as I am, and are also digging our from the Blizzard of 2016 that newscasters are calling "Snowmageddon"! We were hit with a huge snow storm that covered the earth with at least twenty-four inches of snow and up to three feet in some places.


Needless to say, almost all travel and work came to a screeching halt to the dismay of many people who hate to slow their schedules down. In addition, those who did not adequately prepare were frantically buying food and other provisions like sharks feeding in a sea of fish. Lots of people who waited to the last minute to try to finish deadlines, send proposals and fulfill important tasks had a rude awakening as flights were delayed and offices were closed.


This experience caused me to pause and think about unavoidable delays that can come up in our professional lives. In the contract world we call such events "Force Majeure", simply meaning an unforeseeable event outside of one's control that prevents performance of contractual obligations. In other words, sometimes things happen outside of our control that force us to stop.


When unavoidable delays or unforeseen occurrences happen, all is not lost...or it doesn't have to be. The key is to be prepared just in case things don't go the way you hoped. Let's take a look at a few scenarios:


1. We all know that the stock market goes up over time and over the decades it has been profitable to invest in the market. However, dips happen in the market and really big ones are called "corrections". 

When your stocks dip really low due to oil prices or the economy in China, you can be prepared with other kinds of investments. Don't put all of your eggs in one basket, the saying goes. Diversify and try to cover for such eventualities. You may even consider buying the stocks in such times when great value stocks are selling for bottom barrel prices. Be sure to talk with an investment adviser, as history has shown us...they will go back up.


2. When creating a schedule to accomplish a project, factor into your timeline the possibility of some unforeseen obstacle. Don't push yourself to the very limits of what is humanly possible in the schedule because if any delay arises, you won't be able to complete on time.


3. Diversify your client base. Be wary of having one client be the primary source of your income and basing your budget on them. If they cancel their services or cannot pay on time, you run the risk of your business toppling because they were not able or willing to continue paying you.

4. When the obstacle is something personal to you such as a sickness, legal matter or emergency that removes you as a player in your own business, be sure to prepare by having additional resources (human or otherwise) to step in while you are absent so that things can continue to run smoothly though you are not physically present to run the business or project.

These are some practical examples for you professionals and entrepreneurs on how to prepare for unexpected challenges and delays in your business or job. I hope it's helpful and that everyone stays safe and warm!


© 2013-2016 CYNTHIA MURRAY ENTERPRISES. All rights reserved.


To contract CYNTHIA MURRAY for your next special event, conference or training workshop on this topic and other professional and personal success strategies, contact us at [email protected] or go to our Contact Us Page.


Cynthia Murray is the founder and CEO of Cynthia Murray Enterprises, LLC. She is an international speaker, author, consultant and attorney.


To subscribe to her blog Weekly Winning Strategies! sign up on our Home Page and start receiving them now in your in box FREE! Click here.


To purchase a copy of The Power of A Plan and other books by Cynthia Murray, simply click here to buy now so you can succeed and win even more!

Let the "Week" Say I Am Strong

Cynthia Murray: Posted January 14, 2016

There is a Hebrew scripture that says, "Let the weak say, I am strong." (Joel 3:10). I chose to title this article "Let the Week Say, I Am Strong" using the obvious play on the word "week" to challenge you to look at the way in which you will use your time to accomplish your big goals in 2016.


The ancient Hebrew command in the book of Joel was given to encourage a person to look beyond his or her natural weaknesses and to make a declaration that despite the odds, despite the challenges and notwithstanding the circumstances or disadvantages, I am strong! It's a powerful motivational strategy to see yourself as a winner and to say it out loud, reminding yourself of the fact that while you might be down, your'e definitely not out and you will prevail.


So, when it comes to achieving your big goals this year, don't be overwhelmed by how large or challenging they may seem. Don't become afraid or discouraged by how long it may take. I challenge you today to set mini goals of just one week which will help you to achieve your long-term goal(s) this year. Just as you would train for a marathon, you need to pace yourself.

Hey, one week is all I'm asking. Seven days is considered the number of a complete cycle. It has a very positive connotation. That's why a lot of people say that seven is a "lucky" number, but luck has nothing to do with your success! Your success will come from focus, discipline and determination. Heck, I'm not even suggesting that you have to do something every single day during that seven-day cycle, just that you complete your mini goal during that time frame to have a successful, strong week.


When you decide to make a positive change or goal, set out to discipline yourself to do it for just one week. Then one week will turn into two and so on. Before you realize it, you have actually established a positive pattern or habit. You will actually feel more comfortable doing that positive thing than skipping it. Don't forget to also reward yourself weekly with something fun like going to the movies or out to dinner to encourage yourself to keep up the good work!

What long-term goal have you set for yourself this year? Commit to a mini-goal for just one week. You CAN do it! Sit down, look at your schedule if you need to and simply verify that the mini goal is one that you have the available time and resources to do. It's your goal, so you don't have to set yourself up for failure! Do what you can.


If you need to set your alarm clock one half hour earlier, make sure that you've discussed it with your spouse so that they can nudge you to actually get out of bed. If you've dedicated to go to the gym, make an appointment with your friend or trainer so that you have extra accountability. It's a lot easier to let yourself off the hook that to let another person down once you've made a commitment.

Want to have a weekly stand-up meeting with your staff? Let them know ahead of time and send out a recurring meeting notice to everyone. You'll have to actually delete that reminder to schedule something else in its place and that will be harder to do since it would be a conscious decision to not follow through.


I want you to begin to enjoy weekly victories and to give you strategies to help you achieve just that! So, make a declaration that you will have a strong week and you'll finish the year as a champion!


© 2013-2016 CYNTHIA MURRAY ENTERPRISES. All rights reserved.


To contract CYNTHIA MURRAY for your next special event, conference or training workshop on this topic and other professional and personal success strategies, contact us at [email protected] or go to our Contact Us Page.


Cynthia Murray is the founder and CEO of Cynthia Murray Enterprises, LLC. She is an international speaker, author, consultant and attorney.


To subscribe to her blog Weekly Winning Strategies! sign up on our Home Page and start receiving them now in your in box FREE! Click here.


To purchase a copy of The Power of A Plan and other books by Cynthia Murray, simply click here to buy now so you can succeed and win even more!

Challenging Your Leadership Team

Cynthia Murray: Posted Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Every organization has leaders and they are vital to the long-term success of that organization. That's why it is important for the CEO, owner or director to assess their leadership team to make sure that they have the right team assembled and that the team has what it takes to move the vision of the organization forward.


Here are ten key challenge questions for making this necessary leadership assessment:


THE LEADER:


1. Do you, at the top of the pyramid, have a clear and concise vision for the organization that is relevant and consistent with your goals and values?


2. Have you communicated your vision and expectations (including what and why) to your team?

3. Are you willing to commit to creating a new leadership team if those in the current role are unable or unwilling to lead according to the vision and goals?


4. Have you been honest with yourself about areas in which YOU need to improve as a leader of leaders? Have you been accountable and transparent by acknowledging those areas with your team?


5. Are you willing to lead by example and be the change that your are expecting of your leadership team?


THE LEADERSHIP TEAM:


6. Have you stopped to analyze if have the right people on your leadership team? 

7. Is the team diverse and comprised of people with varying strengths and expertise?


8. Do the members of the leadership team exhibit knowledge and enthusiasm about the organization, its vision and goals?


9. Does your leadership team have the resources that it needs to successfully carry out the vision?


10. Does your leadership team feel that they have liberty to make suggestions for positive changes that you, as the leader, have not made?


If you answered "No" to any of these ten questions, all is not lost. The first step to improving and solving any problem is realizing that there is a need to change and improve.


So, congratulations on taking the assessment and taking an honest look under the hood of your organization. If you're willing to commit to correct any shortfall identified above (as often as may be necessary), your leadership team and your organization will thrive and endure for the long term!

© 2015-2016 CYNTHIA MURRAY ENTERPRISES. All rights reserved.


To contract CYNTHIA MURRAY for your next special event, conference or training workshop on this topic and other professional and personal success strategies, contact us at [email protected] or go to our Contact Us Page.


Cynthia Murray is the founder and CEO of Cynthia Murray Enterprises, LLC. She is an international speaker, author, consultant and attorney.


To subscribe to her blog Weekly Winning Strategies! sign up on our Home Page and start receiving them now in your in box FREE! Click here.


To purchase a copy of The Power of A Plan and other books by Cynthia Murray, simply click here to buy now so you can succeed and win even more!

New Year, New Mindset

Cynthia Murray: Posted Friday, January 1, 2016

At the start of a new year many people go about the task of cleaning out their garages and closets, wearing or using new things that the received for Christmas and even launching an exercise program to get a new body.


You will see lots of ads encouraging people to get "a new you!" When I think about that, I am reminded that the most important new thing you can acquire is not necessarily the latest tech upgrade or accessory. The most valuable thing that you can do this year is to reNEW your mind.


Every new, successful venture begins with a positive, new mind. You need a fresh perspective. Perhaps that means simply opening your mind to trying new things or daring to go somewhere you've never gone or do something that you've never done before. Maybe you would like to attend a new conference and meet others in your industry or take a course at your local college on a subject that you've always wanted to learn about. 

Allow yourself the freedom to experiment this year. I know the old adage says, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it.". But, by trying new things you just may discover that there is something better in store for you, or at the very least, you can add some variety into your normal routine so that you don't get stuck in a rut! 

You can always go back to the original way if the new way isn't a good fit. That's the experiment! So, don't be afraid of change. Embrace it!


I'm excited for what the new year holds for you and I look forward to hearing back from you about the wonderful things taking place in your lives, families and careers.


So from my heart to yours, Happy New Year!


© 2015-2016 CYNTHIA MURRAY ENTERPRISES. All rights reserved.


To contract CYNTHIA MURRAY for your next special event, conference or training workshop on this topic and other professional and personal success strategies, contact us at [email protected] or go to our Contact Us Page.


Cynthia Murray is the founder and CEO of Cynthia Murray Enterprises, LLC. She is an international speaker, author, consultant and attorney.


To subscribe to her blog Weekly Winning Strategies! sign up on our Home Page and start receiving them now in your in box FREE! Click here.


To purchase a copy of The Power of A Plan and other books by Cynthia Murray, simply click here to buy now so you can succeed and win even more!

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