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From Control to Trust – Unleash the Rebels!

Posted by on Jul 20, 2014 in Business, Culture, Engagement, Featured, Future of Leadership | 3 comments

“He is totally out of control; always questioning why we do things, coming up with strange and silly ideas of how we could do things differently and showing little respect for authorities, and our well-established routines, rules and traditions. On a number of occasions he has even initiated new activities without asking for my permission. “Thank you, that is exactly what I suspected,” I answered, hung up and then called the candidate and told him that the job was his.

The Art of Complimenting

Posted by on Jul 18, 2014 in Business, Featured, Leadership, Recognition | 12 comments

With any pursuit in life, there is doing a thing – and then there is doing it well. There is activity – and then there is artistry.

This holds true where compliments are concerned. There is little debate as to the importance of having “an attitude of gratitude,” particularly as a leader.

Have a Meaningful Impact on People As a Leader

Posted by on Jul 17, 2014 in Business, Featured, Leadership, Strategy, Work That Matters Podcast | 0 comments

Our personal growth is key to finding joy in our work, and a colleague of mine descriptively said this once: “If you’re green, you’re growing. If you’re ripe, you’re rotting.” I think that’s a pretty descriptive way of saying, “You know what? We’ve got to be in a constant state of growth and reflecting on where we are and where we want to go.” I think we owe it to ourselves to be in this growth loop throughout our career. I’ve heard managers say to me, “Well, I don’t need any more training,” or, “I don’t need any more coaching because I’m a manager now.” You’re never done growing.

How Your Boomers Will Remain Relevant

Posted by on Jul 16, 2014 in Business, Engagement, Featured, Leadership, Mentoring | 4 comments

Very soon, a lot of people will be exiting the workforce.

Baby boomers, or people born between 1946 and 1964 are set to retire soon. A poll done by AARP showed that 48% of companies have no intention to do any strategic planning about how this huge amount of retirement will affect their business.

When I think about this, I see the potential to miss a huge opportunity. Imagine all of the knowledge, skills, and insight this generation has. As leaders, it would be a shame to let that go to waste and profoundly foolish not to tap into that.

The Innovator Next Door: The Business Value of Mythbuster Employees

Posted by on Jul 16, 2014 in Business, Culture, Featured, Leadership, Strategy | 0 comments

I’m currently working my way through the series Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters with my daughters. The premise is this: take a long-held belief or story, and put it to the reality test. For instance, one of my favorites is their test of the common expression “like a bull in a china shop.” Mythbusters ran a series of bulls through a mock china shop. You guessed it – the china was fine (bulls are “daintily” nimble and agile).

Can we use this same concept as we think about accelerating our companies towards growth and improving employee engagement? I believe we can.

The Case For Keeping Commitments

Posted by on Jul 15, 2014 in Communication, Featured, Leadership, Strategy, Transparency | 2 comments

I suppose we can claim no harm/no foul on commitments to projects of our own choosing that we later go rogue on. Who really needs another cross stitch and if all tables were beautifully finished why would we need table cloths? The same can’t be said of commitments that we make to others, whether personally or professionally. Commitments we make to people are important – not only for they mean to them, but also for what they make of us.

Bring Together Brains and Beliefs for Balanced Leadership

Posted by on Jul 14, 2014 in Culture, Engagement, Featured, Future of Leadership, Inspirational, Leadership | 4 comments

The time is ripe for a new kind of leadership that respects brains and beliefs of all humans. A lifetime of studying brains, valuing differences where I work globally, and leading from a center of belief in God, convinces me that brains and beliefs offer lynchpins for a balanced leadership that includes all.

What’s Your Be Be Do?

Posted by on Jul 13, 2014 in Business, Featured, Leadership | 0 comments

You know those BS statements you see wherever you go? The stupid mission statements, lame values statements, and epically unimpressive purpose statements on posters all over your company walls? The really long ones with the convoluted sentences that were clearly written by a committee, each member of which had his own turf to defend? The ones that even your CEO can’t recite without reading off a teleprompter?

Why Businesses Must Stand Up for What They Believe

Posted by on Jul 11, 2014 in Business, Engagement, Featured, Future of Leadership, Leadership, Work That Matters Podcast | 1 comment

According to business owner, designer and author Brian Sooy, a business must know what it stands for to make a difference. In this episode of Work That Matters, Shawn explores with Brian what the elements are to be a business that is clear on what it stands for – what it’s cause it. We dip into Brian’s book Raise Your Voice to guide the conversation.

The Science Behind the Effectiveness of Emotional Stories

Posted by on Jul 11, 2014 in Business, Featured, Leadership | 11 comments

Do you remember the last time you heard a great speech? Chances are high that it included an emotional story. The best TED speeches for example, the ones that get the longest standing ovations, are consistently those that share their message using emotional stories. The same applies to the corporate world where there is a drumbeat now about selling ideas using good stories that grab the heart and not just the mind. It seems like emotional storytelling gets results.

How to Change Your Company Culture One Meeting at a Time

Posted by on Jul 10, 2014 in Communication, Culture, Engagement, Featured, Leadership | 6 comments

Be it General Motors, the Veterans Administration, or the U.S. Congress, the answer to the problems these organizations face is always the same: change the organization’s culture.

Culture change appears to be a daunting task. A task so big, so formidable, we don’t even know where to start. So we give up. We go along all the while blaming the culture for the way things are. This is convenient, but hardly useful.