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In the topic 'Employee Engagement & Empowerment'


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What’s That Musky Smell?

Vocabulary.com defines musky as “a smell might make you close your eyes and smile, or it might make you leave a room. Either way, it’s a very strong and sweet odor that’s hard to ignore…sometimes rotting fruit smells musky as well. Hard to know whether smelling musky is a good or bad thing.” Elon Musk’s […]

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Is Your Culture Attracting or Repelling Top Talent?

Compatibly charged electromagnetic particles will pull toward each other and bind together. When the particles aren’t compatible, they’ll repel each other. We’ve all experienced meeting someone for the first time and feeling highly attracted or repelled by them. We’ve also experienced entering a new office or organization and feeling energized and positive or anxious and […]

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Trusted Leaders Build High-Trust Cultures

Nine-year-old third base player, Juan Miguel, fielded a ground ball and tried to tag a runner going from second to third base. The umpire, Laura Benson, called the runner out, but young Juan immediately ran to her side and said, “Ma’am, I didn’t tag the runner.” Umpire Benson reversed herself, sent the runner to third […]

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Yeah, right. Overcoming Organizational Cynicism and Mistrust

We’ve got a big leadership “opportunity.” Cynicism and trust are falling. According to the General Social Survey, the belief that “most people can be trusted” has dropped from 45% to 30% in the last five decades. It’s a global issue. This year, the annual Edelman Trust Barometer found that nearly 60% of people in 27 […]

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X or Y: Are You Patronizing or Partnering?

  Every workshop or planning session I’ve led since returning to in-person sessions earlier this year has discussed approaches or policies to working remotely or hybrid models balancing in-office and at-home work. These discussions expose underlying values about trust, partnering, and treating team members as adults or children. Last week was an especially clear example […]

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May the Force — of Inspiring Leadership — Be with You

Today is Star Wars Day. May 4th has become an annual commemoration of the Star Wars media franchise. “May the Fourth be with you” is a punny take (I do like to jest for the pun of it…) on the Star Wars catchphrase “may the force be with you.” I don’t dress up on any […]

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A Trust Cause: Leadership Stimulates or Stifles Trust and Engagement

Recently I was asked if I could deliver an online workshop for executive team leaders to “relearn/develop trust and empowerment in his/her team members when the team members feel they are not getting the trust or empowerment from their leader to do their jobs. How does a team lift this message upward, have the message […]

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How Leaders Can Boost Productivity and Reduce Turnover

I was recently asked to contribute to a new leadership book. The author first asked how leaders can boost productivity “apart from salary increases.” Numerous studies show that money can demotivate, but rarely does it motivate. The highest productivity levels come from a good balance of management and leadership. Management is planning, organizing, controlling, strategies, […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on… Strong Leaders Boosting Positive Emotions

Adding to last week’s blog on Emotions at Work… If you ask subordinates what they want in a leader, they usually list three things:  direction or vision, trustworthiness, and optimism. Like effective parents, lovers, teachers, and therapists, good leaders make people hopeful. – Warren Bennis, An Invented Life: Reflections on Leadership and Change   Leadership […]

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Emotions at Work: How Soft Skills Produce Hard Results

Emotions are the heart of life and leadership. Health, happiness, and high performance are highly dependent on emotions. In their seminal book, Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee explain the book title by pointing to emotional impact as being at the very core of leadership. Emotional […]

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Powerful Leaders Go Beyond Empowerment to Empartnerment

To fix organizational problems or make major changes, managers often hire consultants to analyze what’s happening and provide improvement recommendations. The consulting firm usually interviews people, runs focus groups, and gathers input from a variety of sources. Lots of good ideas are gathered and the best ones presented to leaders along with a recommended action […]

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Lip Service or Leadership: Are We Really in This Together?

Over the years, many managers turned, “people are our most important resource” into an empty cliché. Their behavior treated people as “assets with skin” or “human capital.” As one executive put it, “I’d really enjoy my job if I didn’t have to deal with people.” “We’re in this together” is the latest phrase ringing hollow […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on…Partnering not Patronizing

Sam Walton built Bentonville, Arkansas based Wal-Mart into the world’s largest retailer through treating staff as respected partners. One of his legacies was to “treat them as partners and they will treat you as a partner and together you will all perform beyond your wildest expectations.” A scout leader was trying to lift a fallen […]

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Layoffs Rarely Pay Off: Here are 15 Alternatives

Your values are showing. Tough times are when the tide goes out to sea and exposes the jewels or junk that’s been under the surface. Words like, “our people are our most important resource” now prove to be empty rhetoric or compassionate reality. Leaders who care about people and building long-term trust, treat layoffs as […]

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Engaging and Energizing: Are You Leading in the Key of E?

Are people in your organization leaping out of bed eager to get to work? Or is work a four-letter curse word? What’s the Laughter Index in your workplace? In the most effective organizations, leaders are often “leading in the key of E” by engaging and energizing people. It’s so vital. And too rare. Leadership researcher […]

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On The Leading Edge to Cut Wasteful Employee Engagement Efforts

There’s a direct line between levels of employee engagement and service/quality, productivity, innovation, safety, revenue, profitability, and other key results. That’s well documented, and most leaders strongly agree. Where agreement falls apart is how to boost engagement levels. Some leaders feel that running organizational surveys and giving that aggregated data to managers will somehow get […]

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This is Critical to Building an Agile, Change Adaptive Organization

“Workers are more adaptive and optimistic about the future than their leaders recognize.” That’s a key conclusion of a major study by Harvard Business School’s Project on Managing the Future of Work and the Boston Consulting Group’s Henderson Institute. The study encompassed 11,000 lower income and middle-skill workers and 6,500 business leaders in 11 countries. […]

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This One Culture Factor Leads to 5.5 Times Higher Growth

Are your own people your biggest barrier to higher innovation and agility? That’s what recent research from Great Place to Work found in a study of 792 companies totaling about 500,000 employees. In this new study, Innovation by All, Great Place to Work concluded organizations with high-trust cultures involve and engage many more employees than […]

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For the L of It: Leadership and Love

I once asked a manager how many people work for his company. He said, “About half.” After we assessed their organizational culture, we found he was overly optimistic. They had a very large number of disengaged people. It wasn’t hard to see why the organization’s results were poor and getting worse. As someone in a […]

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Are You Doing it…To…For…or…With…Your Team?

Many studies have shown the impact that control of our situation has on our health, happiness, and effectiveness. In one experiment a white-footed deer mouse was placed in a brightly lit cage. The mouse could press a bar to alter the light. The mouse reduced the lighting to a dim level. The next morning experimenters […]

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