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Sara Canaday
Sara Canaday is a national leadership expert, career strategist, keynote speaker and author of You – According to Them: Uncovering the blind spots that impact your reputation and your career. (

Entries by Sara Canaday

Shedding Light on Our Leadership Development Crisis

(0) Comments | Posted April 9, 2016 | 11:38 AM

Here's the very-expensive problem. According to DDI's Global Leadership Forecast, organizations worldwide spend $50 billion per year on professional development, but only 37% of leaders describe their development programs as "effective." Ouch. For the record, that low approval rating isn't a fluke; it's been flat for seven years....

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Next-Level Leadership Attribute: Strategic

(0) Comments | Posted July 9, 2015 | 4:13 PM

This is part of a series about the attributes and behaviors of professionals who have elevated their leadership impact and reached the next level of success. To read previous posts about next-level leadership, please click here. In my workshops...
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Hindsight is 20/20: The Leadership Edition

(1) Comments | Posted April 23, 2015 | 3:34 PM

I have been privileged to coach some amazing professionals over the last few years, and I am always humbled by their capacity to adapt and master new leadership approaches. Throughout our discussions, I am reminded that effective leadership strategies have evolved significantly since I was an Operations Executive 13 years...

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Unleash Your High Potentials: Turning Doers Into Drivers

(0) Comments | Posted March 20, 2015 | 6:57 PM

When I'm working with leaders and high potentials to identify their development gaps, one of the most common hurdles I see is the inability to switch from being Doers to Drivers.

What does that mean exactly? The Doers within an organization have built a successful career on getting things done,...

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Emotional Intelligence: Cult or Competitive Advantage?

(0) Comments | Posted October 27, 2014 | 4:08 PM

A few weeks ago, a headline caught my eye on LinkedIn. Judging by the numerous comments and rebuttal responses, I wasn't alone.

Clearly crafted to raise eyebrows (and clicks), it proclaimed, "Emotional Intelligence is Overrated." After tucking away my initial skepticism and lowering my raised eyebrow, I read...

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Pace and Productivity: When Faster and More Isn't Always Better

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2014 | 12:06 PM

What's your personal workday pace? Maybe it's slow and steady or blazingly fast. For you, it's normal. Perhaps the bigger question is: what's normal for your team? Especially if you are a manager, it's critical to recognize that everyone in your office isn't working at exactly the same speed. Without...

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Marooned in Middle Management? Something Is Missing

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 2:52 PM

Most of us have watched it happen in the workplace. There's a go-to person in the organization who gets everything done. Never misses a deadline, never forgets a detail, but never gets promoted into a senior position. Meanwhile, others break through to the next level. Leaders listen to them; subordinates...

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Rule-Breakers: Reputation Ramificaticatications

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 9:19 AM

Our culture has an infatuation with brilliant rogues. These are the people who are so good at what they do, they consider themselves exempt from the workplace rules that mere mortals have to follow: punctuality, dress code, attending the company picnic. These corporate rebels make great movie characters but not-so-great...

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How Would Others Describe You? Intelligent, Emotionally Intelligent or Both?

(0) Comments | Posted March 11, 2014 | 12:12 AM

When we think of how others perceive us, the tendency is to think about the things we say and whether we appear smart or knowledgeable. However, our perceptions of other people are more rooted in emotion than intellect. So what does that mean for team members and leaders who want...

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Our Ego Is the Enemy of Self-Awareness

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2014 | 10:39 AM

As a proponent of emotional intelligence, I'm often asked to explain this complex and sometimes-elusive concept. Simplifying emotional intelligence is a challenge, to be sure, but it helps to point out that self-awareness is the cornerstone of emotional intelligence. This is a deceptively simple explanation -- in truth, the complexities...

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Promoting Your Value in a New Era

(0) Comments | Posted January 31, 2014 | 7:19 PM

While some companies still collect them, resumes rarely indicate which candidates have the most potential. Today more than ever, companies are looking for employees with qualities that don't typically show up on paper. How well do you communicate? Can you truly connect with others? Do you have the potential to...

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Emotional Intelligence: Your Competetive Advantage in Uncertain Times

(2) Comments | Posted January 14, 2014 | 1:34 PM

Sure, companies might be chock-full of brilliant Harvard MBAs and seasoned executives who can produce impressive forecasts for market share and revenue. But the truth is, we never know in advance precisely what's going to happen -- with the marketplace, our customers or our competition. So which organizations tend to...

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How to Use Feedback to Succeed in the Workplace

(0) Comments | Posted November 15, 2013 | 4:48 PM

Countless studies have documented the significant career benefits of collecting feedback from colleagues about our business performance and approaches. The concept is not new, and the value is real. So why do many well-intentioned professionals fail to take full advantage of this potential competitive edge? In terms of talent management,...

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Why Your Blind Spots Can Stop You Cold on Your Career Path

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2013 | 7:29 AM

It turns out that we all have blinds spots, and the only way to identify them and deal with them is to ask someone who has a different perspective and who will be honest enough to tell us the truth about ourselves.

We can do everything right for our...

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Corporate Blind Spots: Is Your Brand Suffering?

(1) Comments | Posted September 9, 2013 | 10:41 AM

Just like our personal reputations have an enormous impact on the success of our careers, a company's reputation ultimately determines its profitability. That concept has never been more critical than it is now in our always-online, über-connected world.

Struggling with Competitive Overload

Companies today are faced with a competitive...

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The Academy Awards of Leadership

(0) Comments | Posted February 22, 2013 | 4:51 PM

I used to marvel at the extent to which movie stars would go to celebrate themselves, until I learned that the original intent of the Academy Awards ceremony was the more honorable and collective pursuit of enhancing the entire industry's image and to calm labor disputes.

In fact, the Oscar...

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How Would Your Colleagues Vote?

(0) Comments | Posted November 27, 2012 | 6:03 AM

With the presidential election behind us, it's safe to say that we've all had a chance to experience the power of perceptions in the last few months. No matter what side of the political fence we live on, we tend to make judgments about the candidates based on how they...

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Career Success: Perception, Reality and the Hidden Disconnect

(0) Comments | Posted October 24, 2012 | 12:48 PM

How do your colleagues really feel about working with you? Psychological studies show that we tend to believe that others view us the same way we view ourselves. Unfortunately, that self-serving bias can lead to big problems on the journey toward career success.

Many people in the...

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The Surprising Career Disconnect in Today's Ultra-Connected Workplace

(3) Comments | Posted August 28, 2012 | 2:07 PM

Web-based meetings with global teams. Strategy discussions on endless email threads. Social networking with "electronic" associates and friends. While powerful technological advances allow us to make instant virtual connections with our colleagues, they also contribute to a growing problem in business today. Increased connections aren't the same thing as productive...

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