107: Leading Yourself and Others with Sue Salvemini

Almost everything is easier when we understand what really matters. That is true of ourselves and aligning how we show up with our values, and it’s true of others, so we can engage with them in ways that meet their needs. But knowing what actually is important (to us and them) is often easier said than done.

Today’s guest is Sue Salvemini. Sue is the Founder & President Focal Pointe Consulting Group and Executive and Leadership Coach – bringing over 20 years of real-world experience from leading as an officer in the army, to leading in corporate america in Sales & marketing in the fast paced medical device technology world.

Sue and I talk about leading yourself and others, aligning your leadership style with your core values, and how to talk with your team members in an authentic way to get them to give you honest feedback so that you can show up as a better manager.

Warning: Sue and I recorded this episode during the first week of March, before the Coronavirus pandemic hit the US in a serious way. At one point, Sue references an activity that involves imagining a funeral, which may be a sensitive subject or triggering for some listeners right now. If that feels like too much for you, I suggest you enjoy a different episode and come back to this another time.

Read the related blog article: How To Get Honest, Helpful Feedback From Your Team

Join the Modern Manager community for a free audio version of Sue’s book Leadership by Choice plus some additional resources. Plus, if you join by July 3, 2020, you will be entered in a drawing to win a copy of Be Kind: A Year of Kindness, One Week at a Time.

If you work for a nonprofit or government agency, email me at mamie@mamieks.com for 20% off any membership level.

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  • Leadership is the ability to impact and influence other people, starting with yourself.
  • Just because you don’t have a leadership title or position of authority, doesn’t mean you don’t need to display leadership behaviors. We are each responsible for how we show up in the moment.
  • There is no single right way to lead. It’s important to be authentic in your leadership style and lead from your core values.
  • Think deeply about what matters to you. Project your life into the future – what do you want your legacy to be? How do you want people to describe you?
  • Key value for Managers: Be curious and genuinely interested in what motivates and inspires your people.
  • Ask each of your team members directly: What do you like most about working with me? What do you find most frustrating about working with me? What do you find most meaningful about your job? What do you find most frustrating about your job? These questions help you learn and show you care.
  • To help make the person comfortable with sharing honestly, set the stage that this information will help you better serve them. Acknowledge that this may be an uncomfortable conversation but you know you’re not showing up in the optimal way and want to improve, and need their help to do so.
  • Talk to your manager and offer to share feedback that would help them work better with you. Position it as you know you can do better if they’re open to hearing what you need to be most successful.


Book: leadershipbychoice.com [book – also on Amazon]

Website: focalpointeinc.com [co. website for contact/gen info]

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/suesalvemini


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