Career Stretch Zone with Nancy Fredericks Career Stretch Zone Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

In Light Of My Future Hopes and Dreams



Aligning your actions to your long-term vision is a powerful force that moves you from today into tomorrow even while facing the nastiest of challenges. By tapping into two character differentials, tenacity and the energy of your dreams, you propel yourself into the future.

It’s significant to note the reaction of successful people when faced with circumstances that would have caused most of us to lose hope. Read More→

It’s Not How Well You Do… It’s Who You BE That Leads To Your Success

At one time, businesses believed professional know-how was the best predictor of leadership success.

Not any longer.

In fact, in most workplaces, your expertise is merely the entrance fee.

Look around your organization. Aren’t your peers likely to be the best and brightest in the field? Well, maybe not all of them! And yet, you know not every one of your highly-skilled co-workers will be promoted in lock-step to the next level.

Why? Read More→

Don’t Count Me As A #MeToo Woman Even Though…..

I stand as a one in five statistic of the sexually abused women in America.

Let me be clear. Am I glad our business culture has done a 180° turn where women speak up and are listened to by the authorities? Yes!

Do I believe some men have injured women? Absolutely!

Am I a stand for men being held legally accountable for their actions? You bet I am!

Am I overjoyed to see men losing their positions merely because of a “she said, he said” accusation? No, I’m not!

Though the #MeTo movement has started the ball rolling, there is a higher purpose in all of this.

While I don’t mean to steal from Martin Luther King, I too have a dream….

where women take their rightful place alongside men in leading our companies and our country into a new era—where respect for everyone, no matter their sex or positional authority—is the model. It’s a world where neither male nor female has the right to bully another merely because they have the masses on their side. We’ve longed for a time, when both sexes are valued and honored, where inclusiveness is the order of the day, where one can argue his or her position for the betterment of all, where men and women celebrate what each brings to the table, and where we work together harmoniously. (Excerpt Taken From Blog: Women, Is That We Want?)

When we build and stand for such an environment the #MeTo movement will no longer need to be a part of our culture’s dialogue. Our businesses and its workforce will experience unprecedented creative power through the synergy of men and women working collectively. We all have a choice, and each of our decisions has consequences whether for good or bad.

What if instead of arguing and blaming we emerged out of this time with a clear commitment to new opportunities and new beginnings? What if we spoke of a brand new exciting time in our business relationships? What if we chose to inspire one another to greatness?

What do you suppose could occur? I believe and hold it will be an entirely new business environment.

Do you want to step into this reality? It begins as we decide to:

Stop Pointing Blame: Before accusing others, do a quick check in of yourself. It is very likely you, also, possess some of the responsibility. (Related Article: When You Point A Finger At Your Boss, Three Are Pointing Right Back At You)

Start Speaking Up and Listen: Healing begins as you courageously and vulnerably share your experience with another, but it doesn’t end there, as listening is, just as if not, more crucial to the process.

Believe In The Power of One: I’ve always coached clients, and know, one committed individual can make a difference.

Challenge The Men And Women In Business: Ask daily…What one small thing can I do this week which will heal the gap we’re experiencing between men and women?

All of this requires individual moral courage and clarity of purpose. Let’s join together and take one small step forward each day.

StoryTelling: A Plot for Success

As a leader—or even if you’re not one, as yet—communication is the centerpiece of your career. No matter what position you hold in a company, your primary job responsibility has you sharing information. You may be striving to persuade others about the worthiness of a new vision or the next project or a breakthrough product or taking on additional tasks or any number of other business issues.

Research confirms 88 percent of millennia’s believe poor communication has a negative impact on career growth.

The most effective way to influence others is to engage your audience’s emotions by sprinkling your messages with StoryTelling. It’s sure to enhance the outcomes you produce.

Why? The human brain, from early in childhood, has become receptive to stories. Think about your experience for a moment. Doesn’t a well-told story stick like a burr in your memory and touches your heart in a way no other communication can. Not surprising, when research reveals messages delivered as stories can be up to 22 times more memorable than just facts.

As this is such a powerful communication tool, let’s drill down a bit:<!–more–>

  • Are Men and Women’s StoryTelling Styles Similar?: No! Numerous research studies confirm there are consistent, observable differences between each gender’s style. Men typically emphasize their storylines on contests of will, showcasing abilities and adventure. The sub-text is more forceful and aggressive in perspective. On the other hand, women tend to center more on detail. A woman’s anecdotes include names or the specifics in a graphic descriptive dialog. As a woman, when creating your pitch, you may want to trim down the details a bit to receive your male audience’s vote of approval. If you’re a man, you need to add a bit of interest to capture a women’s attention.
  • K.I.S.S.: To be memorable and impactful, do not make the story overly convoluted. A good rule of thumb for effective StoryTelling is KISS. No, not keep it simple stupid rather Keep It Simple and Short! Rarely, is it good theatre to tell the entire story from beginning to end. That would be much too long and drawn out and a guaranteed formula for generating low attention. Indeed, not the result you hoped to achieve. You might even want to consider starting smack-dab in the middle where all the relevant information usually resides.
  • Use the Right Words: Choose your words wisely—ones that relate to your audience. Remember, the intention is to captivate the audience through the senses because when done right, the entire brain is engaged. Such a commitment permits your audience to walk a mile in your shoes hopefully transforming any negative perception regarding your presentation. The fact is by using words that vividly provide clarity for the recipient, you create trust. Not a bad thing.
  • Be Real: People are innately attracted to those who are authentic. Stories inspire trust as long as you make sure you aren’t over-the-top centering only on the optimistic everything is rosy You’ve got to acknowledge the struggles, obstacles, and challenges as well as your planned overcoming tactics if you’re anticipating alignment.

In today’s marketplace, once you’re confident with your StoryTelling abilities, you will differentiate yourself. Start test driving your capability. It takes time and practice to become adept, so establish your style now. You’ll reap the rewards for years to come.

When You Point A Finger At Your Boss, Three Are Pointing Right Back At You


Management and employees alike see bosses as the flashpoint of employee engagement whether for good or not. Statistics from Gallup found 67 percent of U.S. workers aren’t actively engaged in their jobs (The highest in over 15 plus years of tracking employee engagement.) and managers continue to play a significant role. Another report by states a factor most highly linked to employee engagement is relationships with your immediate supervisor.

Such an emphasis is disquieting as it doesn’t hold employees accountable for being a proactive force rather it perceives them as only being able to change under the influence of management.

Yes. Its true employees have very little leverage to transform the policies and actions of senior management; and yet, they have all the right, power, and responsibility to impact their career mightily. Read More→