Our daily ruminations.

Employee Engagement Is A Leadership Commitment

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

It seems like so much of what I do these days seems to revolve around storytelling and brands. I thought it would be useful to look at employee engagement through the lens of the five Ws – who, what, when, where, why – and one H – how – to frame up how companies can do a better job of mastering employee engagement.

Employee engagement is center stage in HR and The World of Work right now for good reason. Engaged employees are better producers, they’re more committed to the organization, and they are in it for the relative long haul. One study in The Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology (yes I do read this stuff!) looked at the performance of bank employees over a three-year period.  Engaged employees were more committed to the organization, achieved better business outcomes, and achieved superior customer satisfaction. Interestingly, level of engagement was more important in achieving good performance than good performance was in creating better engagement. It’s a mind-bender, which is why the five Ws and one H might be helpful in charting a path to employee engagement.

Read the full article…

The Most Powerful Words You Want From Any Leader

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

“All I want is for someone, sometime, just one time, to say thank you.”

She works late every night, and pulls long hours. This particular morning she left home at 5:30 to make sure she got in to prepare for the big meeting. She left at 8 that night to go home.

“As she wistfully told me that story,” says Ron Thomas, Managing Director of Strategy Focused Group LLC, “that first statement about wanting somebody to say “thanks” caught my ear.”

Ron has a granddaughter named Peyton. When she was 2-years-old and was learning to talk, her favorite phrase was “THANK YOU.” As she followed her grandparents around the house, everything they did together came back with those two words.

Credit: 123RF Stock Photo

Credit: 123RF Stock Photo

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How to Develop a Culture of Respect and Trust

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Greg Besner, founder and CEO of CultureIQ, a business providing company culture-management software, believes that employee engagement is a huge challenge that every company is trying to tackle today. What makes employees happy? What keeps them around? And what can  leaders and entrepreneurs do about it?

Greg Besner - Founder of CultureIQ

Greg Besner – Founder of CultureIQ

Last year the Society for Human Resource Management released a report stating that “respectful treatment of all employees” was the number-one contributor to job satisfaction. And “trust between employees and senior management” was the second. What an amazingly simple idea for a surprisingly common challenge.

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Mentally Strong People: The 13 Things They Avoid

Friday, May 27th, 2016

A couple of years ago, Amy Morin, a psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker, posted in LifeHack a list identifying the things mentally strong individuals don’t do.

Cheryl Conner, a frequent speaker and author on reputation and thought leadership and also a contributor to Forbes, was so impressed by Amy’s article that she decided to add her thoughts on how each of these items is particularly applicable to entrepreneurs.

What she wrote opened my eyes to a new world of possibilities. Read on…

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The No Complaining Rule: Positive Ways to Deal with Negativity at Work

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

I personally have found that chronic complaining (even silently to myself) accomplishes nothing positive. Then I found this book: No Complaining Rule by Jon Gordon, an inspirational speaker and consultant, which gave me valuable tools and directions to develop a culture of problem solvers rather than problem sharers.

Jon Gordon writes:

“I didn’t invent the rule. I discovered it—at a small, but fast growing, highly successful company that implements simple practices with extraordinary results.

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John O’Leary’s Keynote: The Power of One

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

We watched this video in yesterday’s Team Leadership Meeting at IMS. Our CEO, Roy Hill Sr., also gave us a copy of John O’Leary’s book, “On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life,” before closing the meeting. John’s story in the video was so captivating and his message so inspirational, I started reading his book as soon as I got home.

John O’Leary speaks from the heart with passion and authenticity.

As a nine year old kid in St. Louis in the late 80’s, John was involved in a horrific accident when a five gallon can of gasoline blew up in his hands. John was blasted twenty feet across his garage and burned on 100% of his body. He was given less than a one percent chance to survive.

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Leadership Lessons from Microsoft’s Satya Nadella

Monday, May 16th, 2016

"I think that is perhaps the No. 1 thing that leaders have to do: to bolster the confidence of the people you're leading."

“I think that is perhaps the No. 1 thing that leaders have to do: to bolster the confidence of the people you’re leading.”

Satya Nadella started his new role as CEO at Microsoft two years ago with a promise to “change the world through technology.” Although it’s still early to see if he will succeed in achieving that lofty goal, it’s not too early to hear about the business philosophies that have been guiding his effort since.

In talking with The New York Times, Nadella dished out some leadership tips based on his 22 years of experience at Microsoft. Here are three nuggets from the new man in charge in Redmond that can help you lead your own company.

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Marcus Buckingham on 2 Questions Every Leader Must Ask

Friday, May 13th, 2016


Marcus Buckingham says it’s time that managers – and companies – stop wasting their time on outdated leadership practices and start embracing what will have the greatest payoff for teams and the bottom line.

“I think we’ll see the word ‘leadership’ retired quite soon.  It’s like the word ‘beauty’ that is used in women’s magazines. It’s just an ideal,” he says. “There’s no leadership. There are leaders. So please stop writing books and articles on what it takes to have the qualities of leadership. There’s no such thing. It just makes everyone a bit ridiculous.”

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Patrick Lencioni on Stooping to Greatness

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Stooping to Greatness

“Building a cohesive leadership team demands a selfless attitude,” we’ve all heard that ground rule more than once. But what does it take to be a truly selfless leader?

On his article ‘Stooping to Greatness,’ Patrick Lencioni reminds us why humility is a trait never to be disregarded by leadership teams within any organization:

“A while back, I had the opportunity to spend time with the CEO of one of America’s most successful companies, a legendary organization known for its employee and customer satisfaction, as well as its financial performance. I attended their company’s management conference, listened to various presentations about their culture, and the extraordinary, homey and sometimes slightly wacky practices that distinguish them from their competitors.

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Leadership Traits of a Winner

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Image source: Joshua Earle via


Times are constantly changing and leaders have to think about how they are going to lead their teams into the future. “Success depends on the leader’s capacity to see and develop relationships, take in multiple and often opposing views, communicate a strong vision for the future and be highly self aware.”

In a period of innovation, the people that make up the organization, such as the employees; customers; and vendors, may develop some confusion when a leader decides to make big changes. A leader needs to be ready and able to explain the strategy behind this rapidly growing change. Being self-aware of your surroundings and the situations taking place in an organization is crucial to building the confidence of the stakeholders in the company. You want your team to grow with the company and you want them to be excited about the direction the company is headed.

Making informative decisions is part of the job. Making smart decisions requires leaders to hold multiple perspectives. Having different perspectives on a situation can help a leader towards solving problems and, ultimately, making a decision. “Leaders of the future will need to consciously practice taking multiple and competing views allowing them to generate the unique and insightful solutions needed to deal with complex issues.” A different perspective also shows your team that you aren’t afraid to challenge your ideas, allowing them to challenge your ideas with their own.

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