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In the topic 'Employee Engagement & Empowerment'


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Love is at the Heart of Strong Leadership

Looking beyond the commercialization of Valentine’s Day, it’s a great time to nurture our inner romantic and express gratitude for our loved ones. As I write I am listening to a randomized Beatles playlist. Of the nearly 200 songs on the list, “The Word” started playing as I began this blog post. Its opening lines […]

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Smartening Up: Boosting Emotional Intelligence

Like the debate on whether leaders are born or made, an early debate in the emerging Emotional Intelligence research was whether our EQ, like IQ, is fixed once we hit adulthood. The debate is over and the verdict is in: like building leadership or other forms of expertise, we can improve our EQ at any […]

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Are You Using All Your Strength?

The cover article in the December issue of Harvard Business Review reminded me of this powerful little story: A scout leader was trying to lift a fallen tree from the path. His pack gathered around to watch him struggle. “Are you using all your strength?” one of the scouts asked. “Yes!” was the exhausted and […]

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Exponential Engagement: The Power of Three

In today’s economic uncertainty employee engagement is critical. Organizational engagement surveys are showing that employee frustration is accelerating as engagement plummets. They feel trapped. With higher unemployment rates and tight job markets, many people on the frontlines — especially those with less specialized skills — are clinging to jobs they don’t enjoy. Employee engagement is […]

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Reflections on “Nine Leadership Behaviors” and a Bad Boss Mirror Check

A recent blog post on “Nine Leadership Behaviors to Build Commitment” provoked a few excellent questions/observations that got me thinking — and responding. Reader input included: How is the measurement and management of leadership effectiveness actually implemented in practice? Most managers let themselves off the hook for the poor productivity of an employee… Aren’t ego […]

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Nine Leadership Behaviors to Build Commitment

So many leadership topics to write about and so little time! I continue to stockpile research on personal, team, and organization leadership. Today’s blog draws from two research pieces I’ve been hanging on to for a while, waiting for a chance to share them with you. The first is about how “CEOs Misunderstand Employee Engagement.” […]

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Learning from Southwest Airlines: Nurturing a Culture of Volunteerism

The New York Times recently published an in-depth look at the zany – and wildly successful – culture that propelled Southwest Airlines to become the largest U.S. domestic carrier over the past 40 years. Entitled “Pushing 40, Southwest is Still Playing the Rebel,” this entertaining and educational article explains how the company’s very powerful culture […]

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It Takes Strong Leadership Skills to Avoid the Deadly Incentives Trap

A few weeks ago one of my Tweets linked to a BusinessWeek article “How Incentives Can Undermine Your Influence.” The article focuses on Danny Meyer “the most influential restauranteur in New York City…today every one of his 10 restaurant brands have appeared every year in Zagat’s top 40 for New York City.” The article’s author, […]

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Engage Younger Workers or Bore and Lose Them

Recently our son, Chris, sent me a link to an article pointing out what a major waste of time meetings are in many organizations. Chris is 26 years old and getting ready to go on someone else’s payroll. In a few months he finishes law school and starts his articling position with a law firm […]

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The Immediate Supervisor or Manager Has Biggest Impact on Engagement

Keeping frontline staff engaged and energized is a growing problem. The leadership opportunities were just illustrated again last week in a couple of leadership development workshops with supervisors and managers who were frustrated by the low levels of morale and commitment from the staff on the teams they lead. They were quick to point to […]

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Retaining Top Talent and Our Self-Worth

Grant’s experience in the e-mail he sent me below underlines the need for manager’s having authentic conversations during performance discussions. His is a vivid example of how people join an organization and quit their boss. Retention is going to become a critical issue in the next few years in many organizations as baby boomers retire […]

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Involved and Active Listening is Key to Strong Leadership

In August I posted my top three “Favorite July Improvement Points” Here are two comments left by visitors: “The challenge that I see as one of the ‘masses’ is there is a huge disconnect between what some leaders say and what they actually do. With the healthcare worker shortage now is the time to start […]

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Leading Generation X

A web site visitor read my The Leader’s Digest excerpt “A Tale of Two Managers: Command versus Commitment” (contrasting Joel and Denise’s management/leadership approaches) and sent me this e-mail. My response follows. “For two years I have been managing a team of thirteen GenX contract staff working in a client’s site. We have twenty percent […]

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Convincing Command and Control Managers to Involve Employees in the Planning Process

A reader asked, “When working with senior managers that come from a ‘command and control’ background, how do you work with them on the power of involvement of more of the employees in the planning process?” That’s a great question! If I had the magic answer I’d be the Bill Gates of the training and […]

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Outstanding Performance is Voluntary

I received an e-mail from a visitor to our web site asking for “your thoughts about leadership within volunteer organizations and what can be learned for people who provide leadership for ‘paid employees.’“ Here’s my response: I have long believed that managers who provide leadership for paid staff can learn a great deal about true […]

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The Final (and Fatal) Ten Percent

Many managers want to increase engagement, ownership, and commitment to the team and organization. This is becoming a huge crisis as retention, innovation, service/quality improvement and the like, become major organization performance issues. A common complaint of people who aren’t highly engaged or don’t feel very committed to their team or organization, is micromanagement. Micromanagement […]

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