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Planning for Success Leads to Success

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Funny how that is! The more I plan, the luckier I am. Luck you may ask? Success doesn’t just happen. It takes thought and preparation.

Here are five steps for this month!

1. Separate the nuggets: Become skilled at separating the nuggets of information from the sludge that crosses your desk daily. Be aware that there is such a thing as too much information that can easily cause your leadership brand to get bogged down in minutia. Know what is MOST important to get done in your day – according to your boss and his or her expectations. As the saying goes, “What’s important is what important people think is important.” Craft your strategy to get done the “have to do’s” without getting caught up in the “nice to do’s.”

2.  Become a ninja: Anticipate your clients’ needs. If you’re well informed it’s easier to stay ahead of the trends. They change in a twinkle of an eye. Remember when American Airlines started the Advantage rewards program? Today just about every industry has a rewards program of some kind. Is your niche recognized as a value proposition, one that differentiates you in the marketplace? What about tomorrow? Strong brands evolve and always deliver on their promise of value. That’s how you get customers to become your brand ambassadors.

3.  Keep your brand relevant: Condition yourself to learn fast. The speed of today’s business demands it – and your clients deserve it.  Keeping your skills current is mandatory. What can you do to show your personal brand attributes in a way that demonstrates strong leadership capabilities? If you’re a life-learner, that shows you’re current. If you’re uber responsive, that shows you deliver above expectations.

4.  When you make a mistake, correct it fast. It takes a strong leader to learn from a mistake, minimize it, and immediately move from recovery on to the next challenge. You’re human, you make mistakes and will likely make others.  Sometimes those risks you must take at work just don’t turn out the way you had expected. Or maybe you’re buzzing around so fast that you miss a key detail. The point is that it does more harm than good to stress over a mistake and beat yourself up. That’s an unnecessary energy drainer. The sooner you can come to grips with your mistake, the less drama you will create for yourself and others. Learning from a mistake, fessing up to it (remember, bad news over time only gets worse), and correcting the mistake is what leaders do.

5.  Above all else, create an environment of trust, integrity, and high expectations. Enable others to show their strengths, strong brand, and leadership competencies. Then align talent with tasks and encourage people through empowerment and reward.

That’s My Voice: What’s yours? Let me hear your wisdom and I’ll send you a free article I wrote for SW Spirit Magazine

Valerie@valerieandcompany.com

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Find out more about my books here:

Do It Right!

“Do it right in the presence you exude. Do it right in how you communicate. Do it right in how you demonstrate a strong personal brand. Do it right in how you look, act, walk, talk and ARE from the inside out. Valerie’s tips will build your self-confidence knowing you can Do It Right.”

do-it-right-3d

“Business leaders refer to communications, teamwork, and etiquette as “the soft skills.” They are not the soft skills if they can get you fired. They are the foundation of business relationships, and nothing happens in business until there is a relationship. This book fills an important gap in the education of new and seasoned professionals.”

~Tom Trotter-IBM Executive & Community Leader

Monday Morning Leadership for Women

MMLW 3D

“Monday Morning Leadership for Women is a treasure of timely insights and action plans that can advance any woman. It’s terrific!”

~ Candace O’Keefe -Executive Director, Leadership America, Inc.

Nuggets Of Wisdom From A to Z

Since so many of you have told us that you like these A-Z articles, here’s another one to chew on this summer.

one-hundred-706878_640Attitude affects activity. If you add all the letters in the word ATTITUDE – they add up to 100. Attitude affects 100% of how you approach life – at work and at home.

Begin now! As Mark Twain said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

Capitalize on your strengths. Don’t let your weaknesses get in your way – outsource them!

Don’t if you doubt. If you are questioning whether to say something or not, then don’t say it. If you question whether to wear a garment to that party or not, then don’t. Better be safe than sorry.

Everyone counts! Respect others and you will be respected in return.

Family is forever. Spend time with them.

Gratitude for what you have is a better focus than grumbling over what you DON’T have.

Image Courtest of Freedigitalphotos.net by Andersen RossHappiness is in your control. Don’t let anyone steal it.

Invest in others and others will invest in you.

Jealousy drains your energy. It isn’t worth the time spent on it.

Keep relationships nurtured. Burning bridges can smoke you out.

Let it go. If you did your best and had good intentions – let disappointments go.

Make memories.

Never gossip.

Open your paradigm. Someone just might have a better idea.

Pass along your wisdom.

Quit working hard. Start working smart.

Rest on Sunday.feet-768633_640

Savor your wins and remember their taste.

Talk with conviction if you really believe it.

Under no circumstances should you brag. Bragging is boring.

Visit someone home bound. They can feel forgotten.

Welcome the day with a smile.

X-rated jokes don’t add value.

Zeal means fervor for a cause or enthusiastic diligence. It’s what drives your purpose.

 

That’s My Voice: What’s yours? Let me hear your wisdom and I’ll send you a free article I wrote for SW Spirit Magazine

Valerie@valerieandcompany.com

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Find out more about my books here:

Do It Right!

“Do it right in the presence you exude. Do it right in how you communicate. Do it right in how you demonstrate a strong personal brand. Do it right in how you look, act, walk, talk and ARE from the inside out. Valerie’s tips will build your self-confidence knowing you can Do It Right.”

do-it-right-3d

“Business leaders refer to communications, teamwork, and etiquette as “the soft skills.” They are not the soft skills if they can get you fired. They are the foundation of business relationships, and nothing happens in business until there is a relationship. This book fills an important gap in the education of new and seasoned professionals.”

~Tom Trotter-IBM Executive & Community Leader

Monday Morning Leadership for Women

MMLW 3D

“Monday Morning Leadership for Women is a treasure of timely insights and action plans that can advance any woman. It’s terrific!”

~ Candace O’Keefe -Executive Director, Leadership America, Inc.

What Are the Chances?

Image courtesy of Keerati at FreeDigitalPhotos.netWhat are the chances? There’s no way humanly possible that I could have planned that! But ol’Sara…Dippity is her last name…arrived that day and she turned my business to a new dynamic offering – Executive Branding…a perfect addition to my niche Executive Presence. That day was a divine appointment.

Nine years ago at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon the speaker mentioned that Tom Peters had written an article in Fast Company magazine saying professionals needed to know and develop their Personal Brand. He said bluntly that we could no longer rely on having our success tied just to a company’s brand strength in the marketplace. The hard truth is that companies can no longer promise job security. And when left on your own, what brand is left? Your Personal Brand – that’s it.

Fascinated, I searched the internet and found one man – William Arruda – who was and is the expert in Personal Branding. William and I have been colleagues these past nine years, working in major corporations and firms using his process.

Now as one of only 15 Master Brand Strategists worldwide, I’m passionate about working with executives to fine tune their Presence and Brand, to help them identify what makes them unique in the marketplace, to gain a promotion, to build their book of business, or even to find a new career path.

Here’s the point! Ask yourself if you are even aware of those turning points that come your way. How often have you looked back on missed opportunities you didn’t pursue? When ol’ Sara visits…recognize that she may be bringing a dynamic message – by divine appointment – just in time, just for YOU!

Let’s talk! I’d love to be your executive coach…and I’m just a phone call away.

 

That’s My Voice: What’s yours? Let me hear your wisdom and I’ll send you a free article I wrote for SW Spirit Magazine

Valerie@valerieandcompany.com

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Find out more about my books here:

Do It Right!

“Do it right in the presence you exude. Do it right in how you communicate. Do it right in how you demonstrate a strong personal brand. Do it right in how you look, act, walk, talk and ARE from the inside out. Valerie’s tips will build your self-confidence knowing you can Do It Right.”

do-it-right-3d

“Business leaders refer to communications, teamwork, and etiquette as “the soft skills.” They are not the soft skills if they can get you fired. They are the foundation of business relationships, and nothing happens in business until there is a relationship. This book fills an important gap in the education of new and seasoned professionals.”

~Tom Trotter-IBM Executive & Community Leader

Monday Morning Leadership for Women

MMLW 3D

“Monday Morning Leadership for Women is a treasure of timely insights and action plans that can advance any woman. It’s terrific!”

~ Candace O’Keefe -Executive Director, Leadership America, Inc.

The Relationship Between Leadership and Empathy

Image courtesy of bplanet at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I just recently returned from facilitating at a 3-day leadership conference for Abbvie Pharmaceutical Company. A main focus was discussing the importance for leaders to have genuine empathy for others. Now that’s interesting – in a world where we often see people focused on ME, rather than WE. I call this WAM (What About Me)!

Webster’s dictionary defines empathy as the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner. Wow! Isn’t this a robust definition?

To better understand how leaders can be effective in their jobs, Center for Creative Leadership conducted a survey to address two things:

1.Successful job performance – Is empathy needed to be successful in a leader’s job?

Results? Empathy is positively related to job performance.

2.Cross cultural issues – Does empathy influence success more in some cultures than others?

Results? There is definitely a relationship in more advanced cultures between empathy and job performance.

Here Are Some Key Points from the survey:

1. Ineffective managers make up half of today’s organizational management pool.

2. Leaders today need to be more person-focused internally, externally, and cross culturally.

3. Empathy is positively related to job performance.

4. Empathy skills can be learned through coaching and training opportunities; empathetic leaders are assets to organizations, in part, because they are able to effectively build and  maintain relationships.

(To read the report, click here: Empathy in the Workplace: A Tool for Effective Leadership.)

Here’s my belief!  It’s about PEOPLE SKILLS….the focus of Valerie & Company from the start! And that impacts productivity. And that impacts the bottom line. So what’s not to like?  Our slogan for these many years is right on—“Companies improve when people improve.”

I’d love for you to send your thoughts on this topic. How have you seen empathy make a difference in your workplace?  And if you need help in developing your leaders or their teams, give us a call.

 

That’s My Voice: What’s yours? Let me hear your wisdom and I’ll send you a free article I wrote for SW Spirit Magazine

Valerie@valerieandcompany.com

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Find out more about my books here:

Do It Right!

“Do it right in the presence you exude. Do it right in how you communicate. Do it right in how you demonstrate a strong personal brand. Do it right in how you look, act, walk, talk and ARE from the inside out. Valerie’s tips will build your self-confidence knowing you can Do It Right.”

do-it-right-3d

“Business leaders refer to communications, teamwork, and etiquette as “the soft skills.” They are not the soft skills if they can get you fired. They are the foundation of business relationships, and nothing happens in business until there is a relationship. This book fills an important gap in the education of new and seasoned professionals.”

~Tom Trotter-IBM Executive & Community Leader

Monday Morning Leadership for Women

MMLW 3D

“Monday Morning Leadership for Women is a treasure of timely insights and action plans that can advance any woman. It’s terrific!”

~ Candace O’Keefe -Executive Director, Leadership America, Inc.

Executive Presence is Coming Full Circle

business-suit-690048_150

Can I make an observation? And I mean this with due respect. Your clothing does matter!  Listen to the marketplace. You’ll find the term Executive Presence is coming full circle. It’s just flat important!

Clients who dress for success get the higher marks. Don’t think for a minute that they don’t. Oh, I know what you’re saying – “Why should I be concerned with what I wear when I’m technically proficient?” Because it’s just that edge that makes a difference in how you are perceived.

John Malloy, author of Dress for Success, researched and listed the judgements others make about  us by what we wear, not just how talented we are. Be it right or wrong, fair or not – people DO make judgements about us in the first 30 seconds we meet. This has led to the books I’ve written on presence and the coaching that ensues. Here’s what it can sound like when I’m called for coaching on this topic.

“Bill is a nice guy and we value his skills. There’s just a few things that could make a difference in getting a promotion. Bill could benefit from some “polish.” Or, “Kristine doesn’t understand that her image is out of date. I don’t want to hurt her feelings, but could you help her improve her professional image?”

The biggest challenge can be confronting the employee with the reality that they need help with their image. Here’s what I suggest to say: “Bill, because we value you and your work we’d like to invest in your career opportunities here. I’ve found a credentialed executive coach who I’d like for you meet. She specializes in professional presence.”

Learning how to present yourself professionally doesn’t necessarily come easy. It’s a teachable skill if you want to learn. Consider asking yourself these three things:

1 – Do I care about investing in my image knowing that it can make or break career opportunities?

2 – When was the last time I changed my hairstyle and bought an updated wardrobe?

3 – Do I know how to select clothing that fits me, my personality and my role?

It brings me great joy to provide my clients’ tools to improve their image. 

That’s My Voice: What’s yours? Let me hear your wisdom and I’ll send you a free article I wrote for SW Spirit Magazine

Valerie@valerieandcompany.com

Light bulb

Find out more about my books here:

Do It Right!

“Do it right in the presence you exude. Do it right in how you communicate. Do it right in how you demonstrate a strong personal brand. Do it right in how you look, act, walk, talk and ARE from the inside out. Valerie’s tips will build your self-confidence knowing you can Do It Right.”

do-it-right-3d

“Business leaders refer to communications, teamwork, and etiquette as “the soft skills.” They are not the soft skills if they can get you fired. They are the foundation of business relationships, and nothing happens in business until there is a relationship. This book fills an important gap in the education of new and seasoned professionals.”

~Tom Trotter-IBM Executive & Community Leader

Monday Morning Leadership for Women

MMLW 3D

“Monday Morning Leadership for Women is a treasure of timely insights and action plans that can advance any woman. It’s terrific!”

~ Candace O’Keefe -Executive Director, Leadership America, Inc.

5 Ways To Create A Spring Spark In Your Business

Image Courtest of Freedigitalphotos.net by Andersen Ross

I love the descriptive words for spring! Refresh.  Renew.  Re-energize.  

Recently our team was talking about how ready we are to tell Old Man Winter to take a hike. And ask Spring Sunshine to show herself soon.  I echoed their sentiment that when spring comes, most of us are more than ready to re-energize and do something exciting, something new.

Let’s look at 5 things you can do to create a spring spark into your business.

1 – Work on accomplishing one of your goals with spending just 9 Minutes a Day. My friend and colleague William Arruda researched the fact that 9 minutes a day is the actual amount of time you need to focus on your career—as opposed to working in your career. As a Forbes contributor, here’s his article for more information.

Check out this video: LinkedIn: 9 minutes can change everything

2 – Work on your LinkedIn summary. In becoming a Master Brand Strategist my training included a deep dive into ways to use LinkedIn to bring more visibility to your business. Example:  your Summary should be a Branded Bio that tells about YOU as a person, not just one that lists your accomplishments. That’s a resume – NOT a Brand Summary. Consider the picture you posted. Does it show your personality?  What title do you use? Does it say what you do, not just list a title? How personable is your Summary? Do I get a flavor for who you are and how you deliver your services?  And why would I want to do business with you, just from reading your Summary?

Click here to contact me to take a free LinkedIn Quiz to see if you are a LinkedIn laggard or a LinkedIn leader. It’s fun and insightful.

3 – Meet each week with someone who can be your brand ambassador. Someone who believes in you and in what you do. Someone who can influence your success and help others keep you top of mind when an opportunity knocks that’s in your wheel house.  Sometimes your greatest opportunities come from having strong relationships. That’s the essence of business today.

4 – Get a great new outfit. Just do it!

5 – Read a good book.  Do you get caught in only reading reports and business articles? Take a break – lose yourself in something interesting OTHER than work.

That’s my POV (Point of View) and I’m stickin’ to it!

That’s My Voice: What’s yours? Let me hear your wisdom and I’ll send you a free article I wrote for SW Spirit Magazine

Valerie@valerieandcompany.com

Light bulb

Find out more about my books here:

Do It Right!

“Do it right in the presence you exude. Do it right in how you communicate. Do it right in how you demonstrate a strong personal brand. Do it right in how you look, act, walk, talk and ARE from the inside out. Valerie’s tips will build your self-confidence knowing you can Do It Right.”

do-it-right-3d

“Business leaders refer to communications, teamwork, and etiquette as “the soft skills.” They are not the soft skills if they can get you fired. They are the foundation of business relationships, and nothing happens in business until there is a relationship. This book fills an important gap in the education of new and seasoned professionals.”

~Tom Trotter-IBM Executive & Community Leader

Monday Morning Leadership for Women

MMLW 3D

“Monday Morning Leadership for Women is a treasure of timely insights and action plans that can advance any woman. It’s terrific!”

~ Candace O’Keefe -Executive Director, Leadership America, Inc.

Executive Presence Includes Being in Control

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Here’s interesting information to consider on those days when you feel like you haven’t been as productive as you had hoped.

Taken from Mark Batterson’s book, Draw the Circle.

“It may feel like you are sitting still right now, but you are not. You are on a planet that is rotating on its axis at 1,000 miles per hour. Like clockwork, it makes one full revolution every twenty-four hours. And if that isn’t amazing enough, planet Earth is moving around the sun at speeds approaching 67,000 miles per hour! So the next time you feel like you’ve had an unproductive day, remind yourself that you did travel more than 1.5 million miles through space today.”

Some of my work days get so interrupted with unexpected events, drop bys, or meetings that it drives me crazy. My to-do list is shot and frustration sets in around 3PM as I stare at those tasks I  needed to complete that haven’t even begun. Sound familiar?

In reflecting on how I could be more productive and less stressed, I began to identify no more than THREE to-do items per day. That seems to work and certainly keeps me focused, focused, focused on the absolute MOST important tasks to accomplish.

To have executive presence includes being in control over things that come your way….(as they will)….and not showing stress. Let’s limit the number of priority items to three so we’re not dealing with an undoable list. Then we can better manage our day. Some days all three can be accomplished. Other days you’ll have to be satisfied with one or two. Business happens but let’s stick with the 3′s.

That’s my point of view and I’m sticking to it:)

For my tips on time management click here.

That’s My Voice: What’s yours? Let me hear your wisdom and I’ll send you a free article I wrote for SW Spirit Magazine

Valerie@valerieandcompany.com

Light bulb

Find out more about my books here:

Do It Right!

“Do it right in the presence you exude. Do it right in how you communicate. Do it right in how you demonstrate a strong personal brand. Do it right in how you look, act, walk, talk and ARE from the inside out. Valerie’s tips will build your self-confidence knowing you can Do It Right.”

do-it-right-3d

“Business leaders refer to communications, teamwork, and etiquette as “the soft skills.” They are not the soft skills if they can get you fired. They are the foundation of business relationships, and nothing happens in business until there is a relationship. This book fills an important gap in the education of new and seasoned professionals.”

~Tom Trotter-IBM Executive & Community Leader

Monday Morning Leadership for Women

MMLW 3D

“Monday Morning Leadership for Women is a treasure of timely insights and action plans that can advance any woman. It’s terrific!”

~ Candace O’Keefe -Executive Director, Leadership America, Inc.

How To Exude Your Professional Presence While Networking

Exude

Last month was a flurry of events and conferences where I found myself in the midst of people I had never met.  What fun to stand back and observe first hand some people who exuded executive presence from the minute they entered the room.  What a dilemma to watch others struggle throughout the evening, glancing at their watch as if it was going to ring when their time was up and they could leave.

Showing up with executive presence is not a matter of being an extravert with the gift of gab. Rather, it’s showing up exactly as who you are – authentically – while practicing some basic skills anyone can learn. So lean in as I share these stories.

1 – Be prepared: Watch and listen to those who have executive presence. 

John came over to our group as we were deep in conversation about the last speaker’s messages. It took a moment for him to enter into the discussion. Instead of disrupting  the flow, he waited for the “right time” to share his point of view that was relevant to what we were talking about. Clearly, he had knowledge of the topic plus awareness of when to join in with something meaningful to say.  His behaviors and knowledge validated his presence and credibility.

2 – Your image matters: What you wear says so much before you open your mouth.

Leslie just looked like she belonged. As I walked from one workshop to the next, Leslie drew my attention by her intentional stride, her upright posture and her choice of professional business attire. As we entered the room together her smile made it easy to introduce myself and begin a conversation. As I’ve often said – executive presence starts with your image – that opens the door to whether someone engages further with you or not. As a result of me introducing myself, we started a conversation of collaboration which I believe will be one of lasting value to both of us.

3 – Be an SME with a POV: Be known for something – not everything.

William Arruda, my friend and personal branding guru, often says – having a strong personal brand means you are known for something – not everything. During a dinner meeting, several of us were seated with people we had not met. As we made introductions around the room, I was listening for connection points where I could find common interests. One woman in particular seemed to be the expert in everything. As a consultant, she had services from soup to nuts. To hear her spin it, she could have done any workshop for anyone in any industry. That’s not a brand – that’s trying to be all things to all people.

Watch this short video on how to feel comfortable at networking events.

 

That’s My Voice: What’s yours? Let me hear your wisdom and I’ll send you a free article I wrote for SW Spirit Magazine

Valerie@valerieandcompany.com

Light bulb

Find out more about my books here:

Do It Right!

“Do it right in the presence you exude. Do it right in how you communicate. Do it right in how you demonstrate a strong personal brand. Do it right in how you look, act, walk, talk and ARE from the inside out. Valerie’s tips will build your self-confidence knowing you can Do It Right.”

do-it-right-3d

“Business leaders refer to communications, teamwork, and etiquette as “the soft skills.” They are not the soft skills if they can get you fired. They are the foundation of business relationships, and nothing happens in business until there is a relationship. This book fills an important gap in the education of new and seasoned professionals.”

~Tom Trotter-IBM Executive & Community Leader

Monday Morning Leadership for Women

MMLW 3D

“Monday Morning Leadership for Women is a treasure of timely insights and action plans that can advance any woman. It’s terrific!”

~ Candace O’Keefe -Executive Director, Leadership America, Inc.

11 Ways to Master Your Professional Presence

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Who has a presence you admire? What words would you use to describe that person? Is it how they communicate, how they give engaging presentations, or how they hold meaningful conversations? They may bring a spark the moment they enter the room. They may have a profound self-awareness, naturally knowing how to take control in most situations, being rarely intimidated. Typically they are well dressed and groomed, exhibiting a professional presence at all times.

What I’ve just described is executive presence! It’s a dynamic mix of gravitas (how you act), communication(how you speak), and appearance (how you look).
 
According to Sylvia Ann Hewlett, founder and CEO of the Center for Talent Innovation, and an economist with 20 years of experience in global talent management, “No man or woman attains a top job, lands an extraordinary deal, or develops a significant following without this heady combination of confidence, poise, and authenticity that convinces the rest of us that we’re in the presence of someone who’s going places.” Recent surveys conducted by the Center for Talent Innovation found that 268 executives said that executive presence counts for 26% of what it takes to get promoted. 60% surveyed said that poor communication negatively impacts others perception of you. Lastly, 75% say that making mistakes in appearance diminishes men and women’s executive presence.

So how do you start mastering your professional presence?

  1.  Observe and emulate
  2. Ask for specific feedback
  3. “Invoke your vertical” in times of crisis and chaos
  4. Fake it until you make it
  5. Increase your visibility
  6. Be “several questions deep”
  7. Expect and embrace imperfections
  8. Smile more often than not
  9. Less is more
  10. Invest in attire that fits your body and business environment
  11. Above all, do not distract

 

That’s My Voice-What’s Yours?

Click Here to Send Me Your Thoughts and Ideas!

 Let me hear your wisdom and I’ll send you a free article I wrote for SW Spirit Magazine.

Valerie@valerieandcompany.com

Light bulb

Find out more about my books here:

Do It Right!

“Do it right in the presence you exude. Do it right in how you communicate. Do it right in how you demonstrate a strong personal brand. Do it right in how you look, act, walk, talk and ARE from the inside out. Valerie’s tips will build your self-confidence knowing you can Do It Right.”

do-it-right-3d

“Business leaders refer to communications, teamwork, and etiquette as “the soft skills.” They are not the soft skills if they can get you fired. They are the foundation of business relationships, and nothing happens in business until there is a relationship. This book fills an important gap in the education of new and seasoned professionals.”

~Tom Trotter-IBM Executive & Community Leader

Monday Morning Leadership for Women

MMLW 3D

“Monday Morning Leadership for Women is a treasure of timely insights and action plans that can advance any woman. It’s terrific!”

~ Candace O’Keefe -Executive Director, Leadership America, Inc.

Give Your Professional Presence Some Spring!

Are you ready to put up the winter coat and bring out your spring clothing? Sometimes the cloudy, cold, and even snowy days make us long for Spring. As you get ready for the new season, keep in mind the trends for Spring/Summer 2015 and how you can incorporate them to keep your brand presence fresh. You’ll find that many of the designers’ top picks can be worn at the office.  Who says a professional can’t be on trend?

1.Blues and White- Black and white is always in. To change it up a little, try pairing blues with white. Both colors can be paired with other pops of color like custard yellow or a military green. The subtle change is refreshing and cuts through the clutter. Your brand presence will be on trend and look effortless.

2. Gingham, Patterns and Florals – When styled properly, sophisticated patterns such as Gingham (or tiny checks) and florals make a professional statement without going overboard. Coordinate patterns with a neutral or solid complementing color. Also on trend is head to toe white and a floral pattern to accent.

3. Shirt dresses and the Judo belt- Shirt dresses are a comfortable option for the office. They’re made in several cuts and patterns to flatter various body types. A judo belt is a flattering alternative to the traditional belt and can add style to a shirt dress or top.

4. Asymmetrical and Relaxed cuts-The season’s trends brings combinations of relaxed silhouettes and asymmetrical lines for pants, dresses, suits, and skirts.  Even relaxed styles can be styled to look refreshing and professional unless an occasion calls for a more traditional look.

Enjoy these outfit ideas for Professional and Business Casual Looks!

Men’s Spring 2015 Trends

1. Blue is in! – Invest in a blue suit. You don’t have to limit your wardrobe to only black and grey. Blue suits coordinate nicely with lighter shades of solid blue dress shirts or shirts and ties of a trending pattern. Popular this season is wearing a tie with a similar pattern as the shirt and combining patterns that do not clash. For a business casual look, separate the blazer and pants and wear with other pieces, with or without a tie(when appropriate).

2. Stripes, Prints, Plaids – Men have more options than ever for freshening their professional wardrobes. Designers have presented endless ways to layer patterns and prints like Gingham and stripes, while combining them with different textures to create crisp looks for the office.

3. Business casual classic – A nice pair of dark denim jeans styled with the right blazer and crisp shirt is a fresh option. A popular choice now is to wear this outfit with a “fancy” sneaker. If that’s not appropriate for your work environment, a nice loafer is also a top pick.

4. Brighten up!- You can incorporate seasonal colors while keeping a professional look. Monotones are a popular choice, such as the blue options mentioned above, or the grey combination pictured above. Yellows and army greens are color choices that are not “too much” for the office and even lavender shades can create a handsome look.

Here are a few  articles on how to transition your wardrobe to Spring.

That’s My Voice-What’s Yours?

Click Here to Send Me Your Thoughts and Ideas!

 Let me hear your wisdom and I’ll send you a free article I wrote for SW Spirit Magazine.

Valerie@valerieandcompany.com

Light bulb

Find out more about my books here:

Do It Right!

“Do it right in the presence you exude. Do it right in how you communicate. Do it right in how you demonstrate a strong personal brand. Do it right in how you look, act, walk, talk and ARE from the inside out. Valerie’s tips will build your self-confidence knowing you can Do It Right.”

do-it-right-3d

“Business leaders refer to communications, teamwork, and etiquette as “the soft skills.” They are not the soft skills if they can get you fired. They are the foundation of business relationships, and nothing happens in business until there is a relationship. This book fills an important gap in the education of new and seasoned professionals.”

~Tom Trotter-IBM Executive & Community Leader

Monday Morning Leadership for Women

MMLW 3D

“Monday Morning Leadership for Women is a treasure of timely insights and action plans that can advance any woman. It’s terrific!”

~ Candace O’Keefe -Executive Director, Leadership America, Inc.

Valerie Sokolosky

Valerie Sokolosky

PCC, Master Brand Strategist

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