Leadership and time management

Time management is something we all struggle with.


When you’re in a leadership position, time management is very important. Nothing can substitute time. And the worst part is that once you’ve wasted that time, you can never regain it. 


Leaders know that. Effective leaders use their time management skills to ensure that they maximize their time and accomplish their goals. They also know that when time is managed properly, they can accomplish more in less time.


Here are my tips for today:


  • Leaders set the vision, and work backwards from then on. They set long, medium and short term goals so that their teams know what to work on.
  • They set priorities or help prioritize activities. Are they urgent or important? What is the impact versus the effort? 
  • Leaders get rid of distractions. They make sure meetings are run efficiently. True global leaders do not waste time and know when to stop a task. They keep things simple


I could talk more about time management but I’ll stop here for today 🙂


This post was also shared on Linkedin and fyi.to.


👉 Contact me for help on multicultural leadership, women leadership, communication, diversity or team performance! 

#vlvcoach #leadership #professionalwomen #timemanagement




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True global leaders embrace diversity and include everybody

True global leaders embrace diversity and include everybody. They never assume they already have all the answers. 

Global leaders keep and open mind. They value diversity and include everybody.


They know that having a diverse team can be challenging. However, they accept and respect everyone. No matter where they come from, their nationality, religion, sex, age, background, ability/differentability, etc.


In addition, global leaders know that everyone has something to offer.  They ask for feedback and ensure that EVERYBODY is included in the process. They know that everyone can offer a different perspective, provide different ideas and strengthen the team.


Finally, great leaders know that the big ideas and solutions come from the most diverse teams.

They know that diversity AND inclusion are key! They simply embrace them.


As a conclusion, I want to finish with one of my favorite quotes from Verna Myers.

Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.”

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👉 Contact me for help on multicultural leadership, women leadership, communication, diversity or team performance!

#vlvcoach #leadership #professionalwomen #diversityandinclusion



To be a great leader you need to be a great communicator

Whether you are leading a team, a big organization or a company, you need to be an effective communicator, as otherwise your message will be lost.


To do so, you need to communicate clearly and in a confident tone: if you are unsure, or hesitate, if you keep saying things like ‘well, you know’, or ‘hmmm’ , or you look down, you will not be able to convey a strong message. 


You need to pay attention to your audience. Leaders know who they are and adapt their language/expressions they use to them, they adjust the speed of their speech. They prepare. They practice, rehearse. Record yourself on video and see if there are specific gestures you do you shouldn’t, if you look nervous etc. 


Being a great communicator also means being a great listener. Leaders are curious and know they don’t know everything. They are open to feedback and listen to suggestions. 


For the ladies, some additional tips:

  • Stop using ‘diminishing’ words such as ‘I’m sorry’, ‘maybe’, ‘just’..
  • Often underestimate themselves; it’s all in your head!!! Nobody knows what you’re going to say or if you forgot to say something
  • Dress. Try to match your style with that of your audience. In doubt, dress up a bit (instead of down). And try not to wear too much makeup or too much jewelry. In this case, less is more, You want your audience to focus on your message, not to be distracted by something you wear


This post was also shared on Linkedin. You can view the full video there as well as on fyi.to

👉 Contact me for help on multicultural leadership, women leadership, communication, diversity or team performance! 



Leaders are confident

In my previous 2 posts, I shared a few characteristics of great leaders.


One other important thing they all have in common is confidence.


To be a great leader you need to be confident in your actions AND in your message. 

What do leaders do? Well…


  • Great leaders lead by example. They are not afraid to take risks. They know that they can never fail but that there is always a lesson to learn.
  • Leaders are not afraid to make decisions. Once they have gathered feedback and received the information/data they need, they are not hesitant and decide what they think makes sense/is best for their team or organization.
  • They believe in themselves

This post was shared on Linkedin.

If you need my help on communication and/or confidence, don’t hesitate to contact me!

#vlvcoach #leadership #professionalwomen #executivesandmanagement #confidence


Most important characteristic of great leaders

My previous post on Leadership as part of the 10Tips10Days challenge went over some of the characteristics of great leaders (https://lnkd.in/g8DrQgi)

One thing I did not mention, and to me the most important characteristic for leaders, is emotional intelligence (Tip2)

Watch my video to find out about what emotional intelligent leaders do! 😉

👉 Contact me for help on multicultural leadership, women leadership, communication, diversity or team performance!

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Effective leadership is not the exclusive domain of men or women

Effective leadership is not the exclusive domain of men or women!

When we talk about ‘leaders’, we often think of men first: Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Napoleon, Roosevelt, Churchill, the Dalai Lama, Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos, etc.


However, there have been and there ARE also many women leaders: Oprah Winfrey, Angela Merkel, Amelia Earheart, Coco Chanel, Christine Lagarde, Serena Williams, Marie Curie, etc.


What is interesting is this.

All of these people share some common traits:

  • They had/have a vision/goal in mind
  • All of them were/are focused 
  • They inspire(d)
  • Theae leaders stay(ed) positive
  • They took/take risks
  • Each and everyone of them made/make mistakes
  • They believe(d) in themselves


I said it earlier: Effective leadership  is not the exclusive domain of men or women.  

Women usually have a different leadership style than men. Each gender has its own strengths and areas of improvement. 

However, both genders can learn from each other. 

In the next few weeks, I’ll share some tips about leadership with specific tips for all the women out there. 

Watch the full video on Linkedin or on https://virginielemay.fyi.to/home/view


#vlvcoach #leadership #leaders #womenleaders #professionalwomen


How an escalation can be something positive

I was in an all day performance review meeting when I got an escalation. My boss had received an email requiring my immediate attention.

My training and evaluation specialist had been working on a new test for new hires (NH). We had started to pilot it in the UK.

What happened exactly?

The test results were bad.

Not because of the NH themselves. They were bad because we had used the same target as the ‘old’ test and this test required new ones.

The problem was that these NH test results were closely linked to the ‘yes/no’ hiring decision. We had to hire many people in a short period of time and the tests were helping us define who was fit for the job/who could make it or not.

With this new test results, all NHs (+/- 20) seemed to have failed while they had not.

To be sure we were not letting go some of the good potential NH, we had continued to use both the old test and the new test in parallel, but the ‘damage’ had been done… People started to panick when they heard how ‘bad’ the results were,

HR escalated to the UK Site Manager. The UK Site Manager then escalated to the EU Manager. And finally, the EU Manager brought this issue to my boss’ attention.

To make things worse, the EU Manager was actually the backup (the real EU Manager was on holiday). Since this whole situation was new to him, he tought my boss should be made aware…

So when my boss told me: ‘You have an escalation!’, I left the room and went to talk to my specialist to get a better understanding of the situation.

How the situation was solved

My specialist wanted to resign as he felt he had made a big mistake.

I did not accept his resignation and told him I was also responsible. I should have appointed a project manager to help him implement this new test. This person would also have communicated the different steps and timeframe to all stakeholders.

I also told him to stay positive. This was a learning experience for both of us: we did not fail but learned a lot.

I then called the UK site manager and the EU manager. I explained the situation to each of them, what we were doing to correct it and how we’d proceed in the future.

The EU manager apologized to me – 3 times. He said he overreacted. He said he should not have made an escalation and should have checked with me first.

I told him the same thing that I told my training and evaluation specialist:

You actually never lose / fail: you win or you learn 😊

#vlvcoach #leadership #Womenleadership

This blog was also posted on Linkedin.


Good leaders have regular meetings

Managing a team is definitely not easy. It’s even more challenging when you have an international / virtual team. If you want your employees to work as a real team and achieve your organization’s goals, it is very important to ensure you have regular meetings with all your team members. Your team members may be located in different locations, and perhaps even in different time zones. And some of them may not be native English speakers, which adds complexity in communicating with each of them.

In order to ensure they do not feel isolated but engaged, you as a leader need to have different types of meetings with the members of your organization.

Tips to improve engagement and team building

✅ Have a regular weekly 1-on-1 with your direct reports. This is an opportunity for them to provide their highlights, lowlights/challenges & tell you their next focus. You can help them prioritize, give them guidance & provide them feedback on how they are doing.

✅ Have a regular team meeting (ideally weekly as well) with your direct reports. This is your chance to provide updates, ensure everyone is on the same page & to give them the opportunity to discuss challenges they may face.

✅ If you have a bigger team, ensure you have a wider team meeting every 1-2 months. Some people may not report directly to you but want to hear from you, want to know what’s going on in the company & want to have a chance to ask you questions.

✅ Ensure you have a yearly performance reviews & that you provide constructive feedback.


Why is it important?

By having these meetings, you show your team you are taking the time to listen to them & ensure everyone has all they need to do their job.

Have these meetings via video conference call! This makes such a difference with your team. You’ll be able to see each other & it’s a great way to increase team building.


This article was also published on Linkedin.

#vlvcoach #leadership #leaders


Leadership Brand: How to build one


We all have heard about a ‘leadership brand’. But what is it exactly?
According to Norm Smallwood, a recognized authority in developing businesses and their leaders to deliver results and increase value, a leadership brand conveys your identity and distinctiveness as a leader.

It’s a powerful idea or opinion that comes to mind when people think of you.

When we think about people such as Oprah Winfrey, Steve Job or Gandhi, we all have specific words tthat pop up in our head to describe them…. Some words are very positive, some others not so much. However, nobody can deny that these three people are (or were) leaders in their own area…

Things to take into consideration to build a strong leadership brand

To build a strong brand, like these people did, you need to take a few things into consideration. Remember to do the following:

  • Be consistent: you need to keep repeating your message, so that people know your values and what you stand for. They should all be clear of what you represent.
  • Be clear: you need to communicate clearly so that there is no confusion or misunderstanding in your message
  • Building your personal leadership brand takes time. This is not something that is built in one day. This is not something you just do once. No. This is something that takes weeks, months or years to build so that you are being recognized as an expert and a leader in your field.

When you have a strong leadership brand, people will trust you more. You then can inspire, motivate and/or influence others.

However, do not take it for granted! It takes time to build but it can be gone within a few days/weeks!

👉 Contact me for help on multicultural leadership, communication, diversity, team performance!

#vlvcoach #leadership #leadershipbrand #personaldevelopment #communication

This article was also published on Linkedin.


How to communicate effectively and be a true global leader

The definition of communication is: exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium.

We constantly exchange information and yet, communication is one of the most challenging area of our lives… Great leaders know how important it is to communicate the right way. That is why they are very often great communicators.

Whether we talk to our manager during a 1-on-1 meeting or are being interviewed for a job; whether we are trying to sell something to a customer or provide a project update to our stakeholders; whether we write a message to our spouse, friends or present in front of an audience, we all communicate with each other.

Communication is also present everywhere in our daily life. We are constantly bombarded with information on TV, newspapers, radio, podcast, etc.

Many conflicts are due to (poor) communication

But… Have you ever noticed that many conflicts we have are due to (poor) communication?

We all have been in one of these situations:

  • We said something and our counterpart got angry because what we said did not come across as we intended.
  • We were too direct asking/saying something to one of our team members and they took it personally.
  • We were trying to explain a problem and the other person was not listening. Or we were the one not listening.
  • Because we use English as the main business language in a multi-cultural world, we used a word or expression and our counterpart misunderstood because English is not their native language.

Whatever it is, communication can go wrong in so many ways.

The good news is that there are a lot of things we can do to improve communication.

Tips to improve communication

When you want to make sure your counterpart really understands what you’re trying to communicate, take a step back. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I communicating what I want to say the right way?
  • Am I using the right media?
  • Am I clear enough?
  • Am I succinct enough?
  • Am I using words or expressions that my counterpart can understand?
  • Am I making assumptions in my counterpart’s knowledge?
  • Am I giving enough time/space for the other person to react and/or ask questions?
  • Have I tried to make a joke and it was not understood?

One of the best ways to improve your personal and professional relationships is to communicate properly and effectively.

Tony Robbins said it:

‘To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others’ .

In the following weeks, I’ll be providing more details on what you can do to effectively communicate with international audiences. Stay tuned!