“Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk.” – Doug Larson, UPI

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

While current investment in employee benefits is at an all-time high, engagement results suggest that the investment is not working. Turnover costs are rising and creating a war for talent. In fact, two of the greatest concerns of senior HR professionals are growing future leaders and finding “good” replacements for employees who leave.

You might wonder why engagement is so low and so many employees quit. According to Gallup (2018), 70% of employees cite their supervisor or manager as the primary reason they leave. Many leaders fail to consider the impact of their behavior and relationships with their direct reports. Too many leaders learn of employee dissatisfaction for the first time with low engagement scores and/or during exit interviews. It is critical to remember that an employee’s relationship with his/her manager is the single most important factor for engagement and retention.

Leaders ask, “Is there something we can do before it’s too late?” There is. The most cost-effective and successful strategy is to learn to LISTEN. Instead of talking and directing, take time to get to know and listen to employees and peers. When leaders pay attention to verbal and nonverbal feedback, others feel important, valued and more inclined to engage. Employees who feel compassion, respected and essential to the business offer more ideas, work to solve business challenges and stay committed. Effective leaders improve their listening skills and act on employee feedback whenever possible—and if they can’t take actions desired by employees, leaders explain why they can’t. They keep the communication flowing. Listening demonstrates that leaders care about their employees’ interests and career success.

Download Improve Employee Engagement and Leadership Effectiveness: LISTEN suggestions to gain insight about what you, as a leader can do to be a better listener.

As the industry leader in listening assessment, tools and services, at Innolect, WE ARE LISTENING! For information about how we help reduce turnover costs, reach out to us today.

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

At times, employees act like crawfish. Rather than helping others succeed or feel included, they pull others down. For example, often without thinking about the impact, employees bring others down through their behaviors, i.e., when they:

  • Tell jokes at the expense of others
  • Withhold information and/or feedback
  • Dismiss ideas or comments from teammates
  • Fail to acknowledge or welcome new employees
  • Take credit for another person’s work
  • Ignore warning signs about safety risks for others

As leaders, it is important to notice how the culture we create influences employee engagement, inclusion and belonging. While a person might see their actions as “getting ahead,” in actuality when employees fail to cooperate, collaborate or support others, they can cause an entire team to fail. Effective leaders consider and build cultures that reward civility and desired behaviors in their employees, such as those who:

  • Take personal accountability for and admit mistakes
  • Courageously speak up when someone says something disrespectful
  • Listen to understand rather than to be heard
  • Keep confidences
  • Pitch in to help others when they have the expertise or knowledge
  • Acknowledge and celebrate accomplishments of others

Crawfish only care about their personal survival. Workplaces that encourage similar practices often experience negative results such as lower engagement, safety, and productivity scores. Leaders who notice and set expectations for how to treat others respectfully develop more civil workplaces, retain employees and build greater business success.

For more information for how to build a culture of civility, reach out to Kittie Watson.

Try a New Orleans Classic Crawfish Boil Recipe.

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer

Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

Target fixation is also dangerous for leaders who focus so intently on a goal that they inadvertently fail to anticipate unintended consequences or consider decision alternatives. Some waste valuable time pursuing a singular path while ignoring warning signs about dangers ahead. Consider the leader who fixates on production numbers without listening to employee concerns or suggestions. Employees may feel pressured to:

  • Take short-cuts leading to poor quality and fewer orders
  • Skip safety checks leading to lost time accidents
  • Quit to find less stressful or more meaningful work

Rather than fixating on the goal, leaders need to look in the direction they want to go and remain open to alternatives for how to reach their goal. While some argue that target fixation is good because it keeps a leader’s eye on the prize, we’re talking about the reluctance of a leader to pursue equifinality, or alternative ways to get to the same objective.

Under pressure, leaders too often seek closure and are reluctant to pursue paths that temporarily slow them down. Yet, with complex challenges, failure to reflect on alternatives and/or pursue different paths can be dangerous. Smart leaders who want to avoid target fixation consider the following guidelines when approaching a problem, obstacle or challenge:

  • Look past the immediate problem to pursue alternatives
  • Seek multiple points of view from those who may be impacted (key stakeholders)
  • Look at factors that influence, yet do not touch the problem directly
  • Hold the vision of where you want to go as your decision guide

Under pressure, all leaders can experience target fixation. The most effective leaders consider the consequences of decisions and seek alternative solutions to ensure desired outcomes.

For more information on how to help leaders avoid target fixation, contact Kittie Watson.

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

During a trip to Glacier National Park, with aspen in their full autumnal glory, we marveled at the trees’ inimitable approach to reproduction and survival. According to the USDA Forest Service website, “Aspen is noted for its ability to regenerate by shoots and suckers arising along its long lateral roots. Root sprouting results in many genetically identical trees, in aggregate, called a ‘clone.’ All the trees in a clone have identical characteristics and share a root structure.” Admiring how these trees thrive through the elements, forest fires and disease, we learned two lessons about Aspens’ resilience important to leaders and teams.

Build a Strong Foundation
The aspen tree connects to every other aspen tree in its vicinity through a robust networked root system—some over 40 feet away. When a trunk begins to die above ground, other trees in the colony send out shoots that become new, stronger trees in the grove.

Lesson: Teams need a strong foundation for collaboration and networking among members. Collective strength and resiliency will develop among team members who are diverse and uniquely connected. In fact, an organization’s vision, mission and values provide the equivalent of the aspens’ shared “root structure.” This foundation helps individual members work together as they embrace corporate values to overcome organization stressors and challenges.

Offer Support to Others
Because aspen thrive at 5,000 to 12,000 feet, most think they are strong and robust by themselves. Yet, arborists describe aspen as weak trees that split easily and are prone to disease. These white-barked trees wear scars clearly noticeable as black marks—that are part of what make the aspen so beautiful in a grove. The way the grove stands strong is through a root system of support and shared resources. What one tree lacks (water, nutrients, etc.), other trees in the grove provide.

Lesson: A leader’s role is to notice what is going on within his or her team and to offer support. High-performance teams face conflict and bruised relationships. Yet, with effective leadership, team relationships are restored and their “root system” is strengthened as team members move toward shared goals and offer their unique talents/skills to complement what coworkers may lack.

Organizations who survive are ones with strong teams and networks like aspen groves. We encourage you to lead with purpose, strive to make your vision a reality and reinforce your values. Build team collaboration and support and include behavioral examples of what organizational values look like when practiced on the job. If you need help, our team is ready to support your efforts. Download our Collaboration Checklist outlining behaviors that help improve levels of trust and collaboration.

Photos by Ted Ringger

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

“True success isn’t the result of playing a good hand, it’s the result of playing a bad hand well.”  Tom Martin

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

Too many leaders come in saying the right things and then make mistakes that limit their success. Before leaping into action, consider the following suggestions for what to do and what to avoid when inheriting a new team.

What to Do:

  1. Set the stage for how you will lead. Gain clarity yourself about your goals and priorities. Explain why you took the position and describe the culture you seek to create. While this isn’t the time to make drastic changes, it is the time to establish your ground rules and leadership preferences.
  2. Build relationships. Meet individually with team members and focus on them. Be clear about the purpose of the meeting, prepare key questions and ask the same questions of each team member. While you’re not interviewing them for a job, you are gathering data about unresolved issues/concerns, how your new team members think, how they add value and what is important to them. This information is invaluable if you need to make staffing and/or structural changes later.
  3. Gain insight about team members’ strengths and weaknesses. Identify top performers who are willing to learn and support others. Look for those who have potential to make contributions.
  4. Communicate changes clearly and make them quickly. After deliberation, demonstrate decisiveness and provide your rationale and supporting data.
  5. Ask for help. Seek out advisors, mentors and coaches to test your assumptions and gain clarity. Identify what you, yourself, need to learn to be most effective.

What to Avoid:

  1. Avoid being influenced by what others say before gathering data on your own. While well-intentioned, some old stories and perceptions about team members may no longer be accurate.
  2. Make changes to roles and structure after the first 30 days. Making changes too quickly may require adjustments later. Especially during times of disruptive change, provide some stability and reduce anxiety so that people can focus on the work of the business.  Use the time to gain team member input, make an accurate assessment of individuals and build your plan.

While promotions and greater responsibility are rewarding, it is important to carefully consider how to onboard and build or rebuild the team you inherit. For more information, contact Kittie Watson.

Note: Tom Martin was a-Marine Vietnam war vet who was wounded in the Tet Offensive. He spent the next 28 years in a wheelchair, as a paraplegic.His life is testament to his quotation: “True success isn’t the result of playing a good hand, it’s the result of playing a bad hand well.”

 

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.”  – Erma Bombeck

If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year. While the stress may stem from good reasons—attending holiday gatherings, spending time with relatives and friends, and welcoming in a new year, you also may be exasperated by year-end deadlines, last minute client needs and final pushes to achieve financial metrics. Times of high expectations personally and professionally often create stress—and a leader’s stress often leads to secondhand stress in employees.

Stress is contagious. Employees who work with leaders who are stressed are more likely to internalize the stress and communicate it to others. Since leaders are responsible for creating workplace culture, they need to acknowledge their own stress and identify effective ways to manage it. The business incentive is that stressful work environments destroy employee engagement, productivity and satisfaction. In addition, a recent study by the British Heart Foundation found that two in every five employees claim that stress at work affected their health and increased bad habits such as excessive drinking, smoking, eating poorly and reducing exercise.

Employees look to their leaders to learn how things are going and how to behave at work. Effective leaders are conscious of their impact on others and have increased self-awareness about the verbal and nonverbal messages they send. Especially during the holidays and in stressful conditions, great leaders are mindful of what they say and how they say it. With a focus on getting the work done, they work to express appreciation, look for ways to support members of the team, encourage collaboration and maintain optimism. Realizing that negativity can be infectious, they take time to listen to those who are overwhelmed, redirect naysayers, help others identify alternatives and provide information and data to move things forward. Remember, your goal is to both manage stress and avoid being a carrier.

For ideas on how to reduce stress in your work team, download: Ideas for Leaders to Reduce Office Stress.

Our wish for you and yours this holiday season is less distress and much success in 2019 and beyond.

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” –Amelia Earhart

There are three big dates on the calendar in November. In the US, Election Day offers the privilege and choice to express our views on those willing to serve. Veterans Day acknowledges those who have served and sacrificed for freedom. And Thanksgiving Day, introduced by George Washington in 1789 and reestablished by Abraham Lincoln in 1963, sets aside time for families to celebrate their blessings. Another date, not as widely practiced, is World Kindness Day on November 13th.

While some leaders roll their eyes and offer skepticism about World Kindness Day, with the cost of incivility in the workplace rising, more leaders are curious about what they can do. They wonder if demonstrating kindness can make a difference. Current research suggests that there are distinct benefits not only for the person receiving a kindness, but for the giver and those who witness a kindness, as well.

A recent book by David R Hamilton, PhD., The Five Side Effects of Kindness (2017) identifies the kindness benefit as: happiness, heart health, longevity, better relationships and positive ripple effects. In fact, kind acts, when witnessed, are contagious and inspire third-party observers to be similarly good, kind, courageous and compassionate. Leaders can build a culture of respect and more positive working relationships by modeling kind actions in the workplace.

A series of Oxford University experiments showed that another benefit of leaders choosing to be kind is that it has a positive effect on them personally. People being kind were happier, more satisfied with life, more compassionate, trusting, regarded humanity more positively and had greater social connections.

You may wonder about the difference between acts of kindness and random ones. Random Acts of Kindness may have a greater impact in the workplace than those that are planned. There is a belief that kind people deserve kindness. When someone receives a kindness, whether they’ve earned it or not, the randomness implies that every person has inherent value and is worthy of kindness. The random acts seemed to boost morale, anticipation and positive outlooks.

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

For suggestions, download Leadership and Random Acts of Kindness.

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

“Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

You may wonder what encourages these men and women to help neighbors…some of whom they don’t even know. Research by the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware suggests that their behaviors of collaboration, generosity, encouragement and kindness are actually typical for groups of people who bond over a common tragedy or need.

Often, leaders want to transform employee and team cultures to model similar collaboration and helpfulness. Yet, with today’s complexity, time compression and self-focus, many leaders struggle to build desired cultures across departmental boundaries. To encourage emergent “barn-raising” behaviors, let’s apply five lessons from the ordinary citizens who transform into everyday heroes as members of the Cajun-Navy brigade and Amish barn-raisers.

1. Structure short-term social engagements. Rather than long-term team assignments, look for time-bound projects with a common goal that includes social interaction. The satisfaction of quick wins helps participants gain greater enjoyment about the project and greater personal satisfaction of a job well-done and/or objective achieved. A barn raising, for example, with preparation ahead of time, is usually completed in one-day. It is experienced as a “frolic” and certainly includes social interaction. In the Amish and/or Mennonite communities, other examples include quilting bees and food preparation, such as canning, baking or shelling peas.

2. Ensure a mutually beneficial activity. Both brigades and barn-raisings inspire volunteers in part because they understand the potential for future reciprocity and/or the favor is being repaid from help already received. Leaders need to identify projects that are valued by all participants and include team members who anticipate working together again in the future. Consider how each project might build on another, for example to reduce start-up time and create social bonding.

3. Everyone understands and agrees to social norms. Especially in the faith-based Amish culture, “Love thy neighbor as you love yourself” guides behavior. They believe in the inherent good in others and that others are participating for the right reasons. Business teams, too, need to establish norms for showing respect for the abilities and skills of others as well as a belief that everyone is there for the right reasons. While business leaders seek diversity of thought and contribution, they also need to consider selecting team members with similar values about work. Initiate a new team by inviting them to establish their own behaviors and norms for working together.

4. Keep the mission and customer in mind. In an emergency, it is very clear what needs to be done. The Cajun Navy mobilizes to save lives…human and animal. They approach the challenge with the tools and resources they know best…their boats and ingenuity. And, they never lose sight of what they’re there for and who they’re there to serve. They focus on their customer’s needs. Helping where needed ensures success of the mission. Similarly, newly formed teams need a clear focus with reminders about their true mission and the customers they serve.

5. Encourage shared leadership. With “barn-raising,” the process is often led by one to two master Amish “engineers,” who lay out plans for the barn and assure the materials are available. In addition, one or more leaders are nominated and then chosen “by lot” (i.e., randomly), rather than by vote, to lead. Nominations are based on experience and/or skills and each person is expected to rise to the responsibility and accountability of the role. Business leaders can adopt a similar approach. Avoid designating a leader for the team. Instead, provide guidance and/or training about self-directed teams who call upon and engage skills and competencies as needed.

As you consider these Five Lessons from the Cajun Navy and Barn Raisers, remember their commonality is a clear shared-purpose. They understand that a community is stronger than the individual and that they always achieve more working together than they do by working alone. You, too, can build business cultural communities that focus on a shared mission and where members collaborate, encourage and have each other’s backs.

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley

Hurricane season is upon us and Hawaii has already experienced the devastating impact of Hurricane Lane’s 50-inch record rainfall. Hawaii has never experienced a storm such as this and officials weren’t prepared for their State of Emergency. With numerous natural disasters as well as human tragedies, leaders are taking renewed interest in preparing for unexpected “rogue waves.” Organizations, large and small, are concerned about the damaging impact of unexpected challenges.

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

At sea, when crew members signal danger ahead, their leaders listen. Corporate leaders need to develop similar skills and develop strategies to gain input and solicit feedback from their employees. Those who do listen can better address issues quickly. Unfortunately, leaders with a single-minded focus on action and getting things done may view listening as slowing things down. Instead of taking time to pay attention, ask questions or consider consequences, they charge ahead and ignore warnings from their own employees. Some leaders actually silence detractors or those with alternative points of view and suffer devastating consequences. Consider the following:

2007 – Officials at multiple levels of government were told that the 1-35 Mississippi River Bridge was “structurally deficient” for nearly two decades. The Minnesota bridge collapse killed 13 people.

2014 – The Flint water crisis first started when the drinking water source was changed from Lake Huron and the Detroit River to the cheaper Flint River. Officials failed to take complaints and information from citizens seriously until 12 people died.

Even after serious consequences or disaster, many of these leaders attempted to justify their decisions and explain why what they did was right at the time. When leaders fail to admit their mistakes, employees are less likely to be engaged, share ideas, and protect their company’s assets. Employees learn to keep concerns to themselves, shut down and remain silent with leaders who:

  • Project a know-it-all persona
  • Fail to acknowledge or value their opinions
  • Ignore the people with the most experience, knowledge and expertise
  • Ridicule or embarrass employees who speak up

If you want to encourage your employees to speak up, hear about issues and be prepared for the unexpected, you must learn to listen and listen to learn.

To test whether or not your team has been “silenced,” check out the download: Build a Team Listening Culture: Sounds of Silence.

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley

At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

Organizations need to anticipate the risk of losing their top talent as well as calculate the high cost of employee turnover. Recent estimates suggest that turnover costs companies 1.2 to 2 times an employee’s annual salary. Yet, that is only the tip of the iceberg. Whenever, someone quits their job, there is also a significant cost to those who must cover their workload, especially since recruiting and onboarding new employees takes time (often 9 months to have a fully functioning replacement).

Now more than ever it is important for leaders to build a highly engaged team and directly discuss opportunities for advancement. Engaged employees make the difference between a company that performs and competes well and one that does not.

What is a leader to do? Many leaders are themselves experiencing work overload caused by employee turnover and poor employee engagement. They often bristle at the request to do more than they are already doing. We need to ask the question: Are leaders focusing on what is most important? Below are three suggestions that translate into higher employee engagement and less attrition.

Listen
At the heart of employee engagement is listening…face to face. Too many companies believe that administering an employee engagement survey demonstrates that they are listening. Unfortunately, most employee surveys have the opposite effect and are attached to company metrics rather than helping employees feel heard. When topics are addressed months after the fact rather than immediately, it’s too late. The best listening leaders stay curious throughout the year about what employees are thinking and feeling. They provide ways to listen and learn regularly to gather information and help protect themselves from employee exit surprises. (Download a list of Listening Leader Behaviors to begin using today).

Demonstrate Empathy
The best listeners also have an ability to anticipate how others will experience and/or react to situations and organizational change. Yet, demonstrating empathy is more than understanding another person’s point of view and seeing the world through their eyes. The best leaders learn how to adapt their approach and messages to needs of their listeners. (Note: Many clients use our Listener Preference Profile to gain a better understanding of how to approach others who listen differently.) Consider what matters most to them, not to you, before communicating a change. For example, you may be most interested in the impact of the change on your stock options while an employee may be focused on whether or not they’ll have future growth opportunities or even a job!

Give Feedback
All generations of workers value feedback and without it become disengaged. According to Hubspot’s latest research, 43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once per week. And, in those companies who offer regular employee feedback, they have 14.9% lower turnover rates. You might be wondering what this type of feedback looks like. Employees want to know how they’re doing – what is working (strengths) and what could work better (areas for improvement or to improve success). Especially for those who are new to the company or in a new role, most employees want to know if they’re on the right track. Feedback is especially important when improvement is needed, but high performers crave reinforcement, too. Leaders learn how to adapt their feedback so it can be heard and applied by their diverse workforce.

Listening leaders make the difference between engaged employees and those who leave. For more suggestions on how to build your Listening Leader capabilities, read previous listening posts, checkout our Listen Up materials or attend a Listening Leader workshop.

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

“Writing is thinking. To write well is to think clearly. That’s why it’s so hard.” David McCullough

The Lost Art of Writing and Now Listening

Ralph Nichols, considered the father of listening, once said, “Our educational system is upside down. We teach least the skill we use most–listening.” With intolerance and incivility on the rise, listening to understand, engage others, encourage ideation and distinguish accurate from misleading data is more important than ever. Executives use up to 80% of their communication time listening to employees to discern how to make good decisions. They expect employees to have done their homework. Leaders rely on others to provide thoughtful arguments, valid conclusions and coherent recommendations based on valid, reliable and accurate information from credible sources and experts. Yet, in today’s world of sound bites, bulleted topics, and “googled” content, is the information that executives receive putting their decisions at risk?

Educators claim two communication skills, listening and writing, are deficient in both high school and college students. Rather than required discussion questions, essays and/or term papers, written responses are being replaced by standardized tests and multiple-choice exams. In fact, according to the Washington Post, up to 76% of high school seniors have inadequate writing skills with over half forced to enroll in remedial college courses (Hechinger Report). And most educators agree that effective writing is directly correlated with clarity of thinking and decision making.

The impact is clear. Without clarity of thinking, information and recommendations offered to executive leaders can put their decisions at risk. In fact, in 2012, Jeff Bezos announced a major change in his executive meetings to require his team to think and write six-page narrative memos rather than deliver PowerPoint presentations. During the meetings, prior to talking about the memos and issues, they have a “study hall” to read, discern and to ask questions about one of the memos. The goal is to ensure clarity and encourage deeper understanding of complex issues. Today, major corporations, government agencies and the military are following his lead and reviving the lost arts of listening and writing.

Consider your own leadership team meetings. What are you doing to:

• Ensure your “thought leaders” make time to think?
• Facilitate high quality discussions with deeper dialogue?
• Stimulate provocative questioning of each other?
• Build rigor into your decision-making process?

Download the Amazon Letter to Stockholders 2018 from Jeff Bezos.

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” – Steve Jobs

According to the Great Place to Work™ Institute, employee engagement is directly related to building and maintaining a workplace culture based on trust. Employees seek organizations and leaders who:

  • Are competent (respected for quality of work)
  • Look after their interests (demonstrate compassion)
  • Have integrity (do the right thing – even when no one is watching)
  • Are predictable (behave consistently to ensure a positive future)

Ensuring a positive future requires courageous leaders who make difficult decisions—especially concerning employees and staff. These leaders look beyond the impact of today to what is best for the organization long-term. In fact, one of the greatest challenges leaders face is waiting too long to make staff changes. When leaders are busy, it is often easier to maintain the status quo rather than making a change. It takes courage to leave the status quo behind, embrace uncertainty and hire smart. When there is an opportunity, staff changes offer new talent who can fill performance gaps, offer new ideas, support others and bring new energy to the enterprise.

Leaders often ask, “When is it best to make a change and/or invest in employees we have?” A better question might be to ask, “Would you hire this person again?” If not, make development investments in those you want to keep. Research studies suggest it is best to invest in employees who:

  • Are aligned to the company’s mission and values
  • Are motivated to learn
  • Fill unique skill and competency gaps
  • Are positive and work independently
  • Take initiative and seek ways to add value
  • Are willing and eager to receive feedback to improve

Courageous leaders make difficult decisions after thoroughly evaluating each situation. These decisions are not made with cavalier insensitivity, but rather with careful consideration and compassion. If you’re considering a staff change, download our When to Let an Employee Go checklist.

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

“Communication is not the message sent but the message received. But when the receiver reacts opposite to our expectations we tend to blame the receiver. We are right and they are wrong.” – Cass Thaler and Richard Sunstein –Nudge

We are grateful that the latest automotive technology helps drivers detect when another car and/or a person is in their blind spot. These devices help warn against changing lanes or backing up and have dramatically reduced the number of accidents. Unfortunately, there are no devices that help leaders notice their own blind spots when it comes to understanding and/or demonstrating empathy for those with diverse life experiences, thinking styles and/or backgrounds.

Blind spots are a natural part of the human condition. In fact, optometrists describe “Blind Spots” as a scotoma, or a small area in the eye where no vision is present. Every person has a tiny gap in the retina. Our brains ignore what is missing and fill in the gap with other visual information. Since we are unaware of our own blind spots, we don’t realize what we’re missing because we literally don’t see it!

Similarly, as leaders, when we are unaware of our own biases, we don’t see the impact on our decision making, hiring practices or behavior in the workplace. A growing number of companies deliver “unconscious bias” training to increase empathy and awareness of what it is like to walk in another person’s shoes. Participants learn that those in the dominant culture or those with more power:

  • Rarely sees a need to examine their own behavior
  • Resist reminders of the existence of inequality or insider benefits
  • Don’t really understand the experience of “outsiders,” even though they think they do
  • Can see “outsiders” as defective, incapable or substandard in some way

Unfortunately, knowing we have biases isn’t sufficient. After training, for example, leaders acknowledge that bias can have a major impact on decision making, but few acknowledge that their biases influence their own decisions. So, what are we to do? As leaders, we must monitor our own behavior, develop greater empathy for those who think differently, and make sure that everyone gets to have a say, is listened to and feels heard. To learn more about how to develop these key skills, contact Harry Hutson.

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

As the Olympics in PueongChang, South Korea have taken Center Stage, athletes from around the globe have converged to compete for the coveted gold. As the athletic accomplishments of these men and women are celebrated, we often forget those looking from the sidelines who had their Olympic dreams dashed by unexpected falls, split second decisions or controversial judgments. Have you ever wondered what happened to those who came so close to realizing their Olympic dreams or the characteristics of those leaders who deal successfully with rejection, disappointment and loss?

Consider for example, Vera Wang. She failed to make the 1968 US Olympic figure-skating team and was devastated. Then, she became an editor at Vogue, and was passed over for the editor-in-chief position. At 40, she began designing wedding gowns and today is a premier designer in the fashion industry, with a business worth over 1 billion dollars. And, never losing her interest in skating, she has designed outfits for figure skating champions, Nancy Kerrigan and in 2018, for Nathan Chen’s short program.

What makes one leader overcome defeat and rejection while another fails to move on? What motivates one leader to learn from disappointment and another to decide never to try again? Research reports suggest that there are distinct characteristics of those who overcome setbacks and those who do not.

Consider these four ways to overcome disappointment and rejection. Successful leaders:
1. Acknowledge it. Instead of suppressing, denying or making excuses, they address the emotions they are feeling and do not minimize the frustration and disappointment. It is a chance to process what happened with trusted advisors and your inner circle about what to do next time.
2. Continue to Push the Envelope. Resilient people and leaders recognize that most aspirations and goals aren’t achieved immediately or at all. Show others that you are pushing yourself to learn and grow even through times of discomfort. Successful leaders model how to lose and handle moments of defeat gracefully.
3. Are Realistic and Encourage Themselves. After a disappointment, strong-minded individuals are realistic and use affirmations to reframe the situation positively. They avoid negative self-talk and focus on the next steps to take rather than letting one moment in time define who they are.
4. Learn from the Experience. Effective leaders seek to learn from each experience whether successful or not. They look for ways to improve the situation or gain insights about how to avoid something similar in the future. They ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself. They ask questions, examine what could have been done differently, and become better and stronger for the next challenge or opportunity.

As the Olympics comes to a close, notice the reactions of the athletes who miss standing on the podium. Most, while devastated in the moment, bounce back quickly with what they will do next, encourage others and celebrate that they ARE an Olympian. (Remember Shaun White who won gold in his first two Olympics, went medal-less in Sochi, and fought his way back to win gold in 2018.) While professional rejection of any kind is disheartening, good can come from it. When lessons are learned and suggestions are applied, the rejection may serve a purpose to help improve your work, develop new skills or implement new practices. Remember, everyone experiences rejection. And, no matter who you are, your life is changed because of it. The question is, will the rejection take you down or will you leverage it for good in your life—or to make the world a better place?

View more Successful Leaders Who Have Experienced Rejection and Defeat Successful Leaders Who Have Experienced Rejection and Defeat.

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

“I never learn anything while talking. I only learn things when I ask questions.” Lou Holtz

With today’s complexity and conflicting realities, some leaders wish for a crystal ball, seek out futurists, or even read the French prophet Nostradamus’ predictions. Whether terrifying or optimistic, predictions are often stated with great confidence and authority. Amy Webb, in her book, The Signals are Talking, claims that the moment we start to figure something out or try to predict the future, our brains work to simplify our thinking. Instead of looking at the big picture, gathering more data or listening to others’ perspectives, we end up looking at the world through a pinhole and often miss key aspects of the complete picture.

While looking into the future is difficult, leaders do have the power to influence, anticipate and manage future changes more effectively within their own organizations and teams. To be most effective, leaders need to avoid a pinhole perspective and expand their view of reality. It takes leaders who stay observant and look for signals from employees to get it right. Mary Cartwright, a British mathematician, and Edward Lorenz, an American mathematician, were both pioneers of chaos theory. They found that predictability is inherently limited. Their “Butterfly Effect” explains how even tiny actions or changes can have enormous consequences. Similarly, a leader’s actions, choices and behaviors, even small ones, without considering the impact on employees, may cause an unintended ripple effect that leads to greater complexity, ambiguity and frustration.

Consider one leader who recently heard that employees wanted more feedback. While greater access to feedback was his goal, his decision to adopt a new computerized performance system had the opposite result. Rather than one-to-one feedback, his managers spent significantly more time entering data that left both managers and employees dissatisfied. What employees really wanted was more “high touch” feedback and acknowledgement, such as praise for team success, written notes of encouragement, being the subject of success stories or even simple head nods of approval. This leader got it wrong. As leaders we need to expand our thinking to examine how even the smallest changes may impact employees and whether or not the end result leads to more healthy and positive work environments.

Consider for a moment whether or not any of your “small changes” or actions have led to unintended consequences in the last year? If so, work to get it right in 2018 and ask yourself the following five questions.

1. What is it that you ultimately want to accomplish?
2. Who will be most impacted by the change you plan to make?
3. How can you invite key stakeholders to candidly express what they think about your idea?
4. How will you actually “listen” to their responses and integrate what you heard in your final design or change?
5. When and how will you circle back to your stakeholders to let them know how you applied their input?

While it is difficult for leaders to predict the future and see the end result of their decisions with total accuracy, they can work to reduce ambiguity and unintended consequences. Leaders need to remind themselves that the best and often least expensive way to introduce and navigate change is to gain buy-in and engage others early in the change process.

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

“We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.”      – Max de Pree

A client described a workshop she attended with a table exercise using colored beads: black, white, yellow, brown, red, rainbow, etc. Each person received a glass jar and was asked to select a bead response to a series of statements and questions. They included, choose the bead that represents:

– “your skin color.”
– “the dominant color of your high school student body.”
– “neighbors on either side of you and across the street from you.”
– “your two best friends.”
– “the team with whom you work.”
– Etc.

Some people had jars teeming with white beads, others had a lone black bead barely visible among the white beads and others a multi-hued selection of beads. Everyone’s jar was potentially different. As participants discussed what they learned, more than one person said, “Wow. I’ve got work to do.”

Leaders in organizations talk about their commitment to diversity, inclusion and even unity. While some are making great strides, others remain stuck on familiar turf, where women and people of color are hired, but rarely invited to join the ranks of senior leadership.

An exercise like this is great for increasing awareness, but real change occurs when we move from awareness to new behaviors and actions. Consider where you and your company reside on the diversity-inclusion scale. Do you have a jar full of monochromatic marbles or a rich, multicolored mixture? If you are aware of your own diversity needs, how are you embracing differences and preparing women, people of color and/or veterans for senior level positions?

Download 15 Ideas for Embracing Diversity in Your Team to consider some of the things you might do as a leader.

For more information, contact Becky Ripley at BeckyR@innolectinc.com.

 

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him. —Booker T. Washington

Companies hire employees for their skills, experience, track-record and potential. And executives want new employee potential to be realized quickly to compete in today’s highly complex uncertain marketplace. Unfortunately, successful leaders in one context may not perform well in another without support from their managers. As new hires onboard to new roles, senior leaders are in the best position to facilitate ongoing learning and development. To help new employees expedite their integration and achieve their full potential, use the following four IZE principles to onboard and help new leaders learn.

1. Strategize. Think about what might serve the new leader best when selecting learning experiences to build future capability. Create a clear path (from here to there) to challenge the leader to do his or her best work. Rather than focusing on what you want this person to do today, focus on what will help the person achieve their potential and become successful in a year or two. When thinking about development experiences, use data such as results from assessments to identify where to gain greater self-awareness, identify blind spots and figure out needs for long-term success.

2. Customize and Personalize. Once you have insight about a new leader, remember that the most memorable learning experiences are ones that are specifically designed for each person. Consider differences in how people listen and learn as well as the written and unwritten rules of the culture. Rather than a one-size fits all approach, adapt to the needs of each new leader. Gear the learning to their needs, motivations and what will most accelerate their success. Even with traditional learning methods (classroom instruction, mentoring, e-learning modules), ensure that applications can be made to connect the work to what they do immediately. Use real-world examples from the leaders rather than offering hypothetical ones. It is much more important for a leader to apply and practice what they have learned than to merely read about what others have done.

3. Optimize. Make certain that time with a learner, whether one-to-one or in a group setting, makes the best use of the time. Get out of the habit of dumping data and rather focus on getting the leader to engage/talk. Make learning fun! Retention of content is directly correlated with how much a person engages with it. In fact, a recent medical school study found that action learning was much more effective for long-term recall of information than lectures. Consider projects that will put the new learning to use immediately and/or have the leader teach the content to others.

4. Recognize to Energize. One of the best ways to inspire new learning is to energize new leaders with recognition when they have been successful and do it quickly. Avoid waiting too long to acknowledge even small success. Since leaders are motivated differently, consider recognition methods most meaningful to them. While some might want a public pat on the back, others may value private acknowledgement of a job well-done. Other ways to recognize success is by sharing the stories others have told…share compliments.

To recap,
– be intentional about your onboarding purpose as you strategize,
– focus on the unique needs of each new hire as you customize their learning experiences,
– create practical, hands-on developmental opportunities to optimize learning, and
– celebrate quick wins to energize new hires.

Download our Onboarding Traps and Success Factors to help with your next new hire.

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

Each human being, however small or weak, has something to bring to humanity. As we start to really get to know others, as we begin to listen to each other’s stories, things begin to change. We begin the movement from exclusion to inclusion, from fear to trust, from closedness to openness, from judgment and prejudice to forgiveness and understanding. It is a movement of the heart.”          – Jean Vanier

Recently, a dramatic piece of art captured our attention. Titled Dual Citizenship, the piece was created and modeled by Adrianna Morgan, a recent graduate of Towson University. While Adrianna is US-born, her parents immigrated from Trinidad. Adrianna embraces both her heritage and her country of birth (see the two images). Becky Ripley, a board member with ManneqART, selected this powerful creation as Innolect’s 2017 Growing Leaders award winner for ManneqART. The piece made us ponder the influences of ethnic duality on who we become as leaders. (For more information on this organization that promotes creative problem solving and sculpture on the human form, visit www.manneqart.org.)

In life, we often have to deal with and explore dualities of life and how to recognize two independent, universal principles such as light and dark, life and death, good and evil. As leaders, we also address dualities between vulnerability and strength or exclusion and inclusion. Because we each have unique life and cultural experiences, we often see the world very differently, depending on where we sit.
While ethnicity can be viewed as a strength, it can also be viewed as a liability. People who have similar ethnic characteristics often engender cohesion, similarity and inclusion within that culture. On the other hand, ethnicity can foster “in and out” groups, resulting in discrimination, segregation and exclusion.

Consider for a moment what you are doing in your organization to celebrate both the unique culture of your organization and the heritage of your employees. In one situation, for example, a leader had each of her team members share a 5-minute story about a favorite local holiday from their country of origin. This resulted in deeper appreciation and improved relationships and productivity. In another case, a coaching client who leads a very diverse technology team wants to celebrate the unique cultural heritage of her employees. She’s planned a potluck celebration where everyone will bring a dish representative of their country of origin. While the Indian, Chinese, Brazilian, Vietnamese, and Minnesotan recipes are sure to please, they will also trigger conversations about “home” and traditions.

While many organizations have formed Employee Resource Groups or Networks to help diverse groups better connect with those who are similar in their organizations, we also want to encourage leaders to explore ways to bridge across and among differing ethnic groups. As we look for ways to increase understanding of differences, awareness isn’t enough. We encourage you to consider ways to increase dialogue, deepen conversations, and provide cross-cultural experiences to help bridge ethnic and culture gaps.

View our download to gain greater insights into Managing Polarities.

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

A team leader encouraged a group of teenagers to hike for fifteen miles through difficult terrain in 90-degree heat to reach the top. When they all got to the summit, the leader asked everyone to sit down. Thinking he wanted to talk about their journey or success, the teenagers were surprised when he quietly pulled out a jug of water and a large bowl he’d quietly carried with him on the hike. He then asked the teenagers to take off their shoes and he gently and intentionally washed each person’s feet. He applied salve over blisters, provided bandages for those who needed it and offered each person a new pair of socks for the return journey. Symbolically, what message did the foot-washing ceremony send to the team?

Are employees looking for servant leadership in business?
Think about the messages you send as a leader, intentionally or unintentionally. While washing the feet of your employees is certainly not expected, what are you doing to encourage others? Today, more than ever, employees (and voters around the globe) are disengaged and less productive than at any time in history. Is it time to consider a focus on servant leadership? According to Robert Greenleaf, considered the Father of Servant Leadership, “Servant leadership begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.”

Greenleaf believed that servant leadership was a long-term, aspirational concept that if applied, could potentially impact the whole society. He viewed servant leadership as transformational in reframing how to treat leadership, service and accountability. Proponents believe that it can improve employee satisfaction, enhance innovation, encourage diversity, boost work-life balance and stimulate continuous learning and development. Critics claim it is unrealistic and that there is a lack of empirical research. Even so, with workplace incivility on the rise, there is a movement to offer a more humane work environment. Take a look at four of the characteristics of servant leaders and consider how these behaviors might inform your own leadership (we’ve also provided a link to our  Behaviors of Servant Leaders Checklist for your review).

Servant Leaders:
1. Are humble. They’re aware of their own strengths and weaknesses. They willingly advance others before themselves and show a charitable and generous nature. They are willing to take on tasks and assignments–including work that others might avoid.
2. Listen first. They ask others what they think and then pay attention to the answer. They believe that each person has unique gifts to offer and look for ways to listen and learn.
3. Focus on other’s growth. They have a genuine interest in others and the contributions they can make. They look for ways to get others to try new things and develop their potential as well as their underutilized strengths.
4. Help others do their best. They identify and remove obstacles that might get in the way of others’ success. When others succeed, they “spotlight” those accomplishments and tell others.
Listen to the Baltimore Ravens’ Head Coach John Harbaugh and his definition of servant leadership.
“No servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.” Luke 22:16

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb

A few years ago, after the merger of two companies, employees were jockeying for new positions, withholding information, sabotaging each other and demonstrating workplace incivility. Exasperated, some leaders were regretting what was to be a great business decision. Before throwing in the towel, we suggested inviting Dr. Bill Lowrey, conflict management expert and winner of the National Peace Prize, to speak about his work with warring tribes in the Sudan. He mesmerized the audience with stories of his journey to peace. He patiently facilitated listening sessions with those who perpetrated and experienced atrocities such as genocide, rape and murder. After hearing his story, the employees in the room gained a new perspective about incivility and made strides to integrate and blend the best of their two cultures.

Maybe your workplace incivility isn’t quite at this level, but social behavior perceived as lacking in good manners may range from being rude, disrespectful of differences, or even threatening–and certainly can defeat morale and impact productivity. It is important to note that people who engage in uncivil behavior do not necessarily have bad or harmful intent. Even so, a lack of awareness can have serious consequences with increased attrition, low morale, little collaboration and an overall discouraging workplace.

At times, it is easy to believe that incivility is the norm in our current society with negativity among politicians, discourteous behavior from customer-facing employees, altercations on airline flights and a myriad of breaking news stories in the media. In fact, in recent articles in McKinsey Quarterly and Harvard Business Review, author Christine Porath, a researcher who has dedicated her life to studying incivility at work, reports that 98% of employees have experienced uncivil behavior and 99% have witnessed it. She does offer hope…

What’s a Leader to Do?

The most effective way to reduce the costs of incivility in the workplace is for leaders to build a culture that rejects and denounces incivility whenever it surfaces. With leaders responsible for setting the norms for a positive, productive work environment, they must have the courage to address and confront incivility. They cannot tolerate such behavior, regardless of who exhibits it. Read Bill Lowery’s Wisdom from the Tribal World– powerful suggestions gained while achieving peace among warring chiefs in the tribal world.

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.”  – Dwight D. Eisenhower

With Spring in the air, golfers are streaming to courses to improve their games, contribute to fundraisers or just to be outside. The most avid golfers, even after a bad day, return again and again with the hope of shaving off strokes, sinking a long putt, or making a hole-in-one. Golf is often called the “gentleman’s sport” with its own language, rules, customs and etiquette. Whether you understand what entices others to the game or not, the five golf principles below offer leadership lessons.

Play with Integrity. Many say that golf is a sport of integrity because several rules of the game are visible only to the golfer. Golfers keep their own score, figure their own handicap, call penalties, determine what is in or out of bounds, etc. Without referees or umpires, golfers, like leaders, have a choice. When a golfer finds her ball in an unplayable lie, she can call the penalty or move her ball when no one is looking. Leaders of integrity do the right thing even when no one is looking.

Let Go of Mistakes. Unless a player has purchased mulligans (free shot) in a charity or best ball tournament, each stroke counts. A common beginner mistake is taking one’s eye off the ball with a resulting shank or miss. Golfers who move on from a bad shot and let go of their mistake are more likely to recover on the next shot or hole. Similarly, leaders who focus on what went wrong may jeopardize opportunities in the future. Leaders must learn from errors, keep their team’s attention on what is critical in the moment, and focus on the bigger picture and desired end results.

Face Fears. Golf courses are filled with obstacles. Sand traps, water hazards and the rough potentially create psychological fears and barriers. Rather than looking at the end game–the pin and hole–many golfers fixate on avoiding the obstacles. Their fear of hitting a poor shot, looking foolish, or losing a ball, creates emotional or psychological stress. The best golfers, and leaders, have a strong “inner game” and acknowledge a fear and tackle it head-on. In practice, they focus on mastering the shots and situations that make them nervous or afraid. Some hit balls from a sand trap, visit the driving range or hit from tall grass until the fear is replaced with confidence. Leaders, too, learn to face the fears that might prevent them from making progress when they challenge the status quo, schedule difficult conversations, negotiate contracts or take on new responsibilities.

Continue to Learn. PGA professionals are excellent golfers and are seldom satisfied with their game. They continually analyze their play and seek advice. Even the best hire their own coaches, get pointers from other professionals and watch video playback, all to shave a few strokes off a round. They realize that even when in their prime, they need to refine their strengths and eliminate bad habits. Just as some golfers are better at the short game and others the long game, leaders have strengths and weaknesses. It is important to seek advice and look for ways to refine their skills and learn and grow new capabilities.

Focus on What They Can Control. Golf is a game of skill and luck. No matter how well one plays, someone else might play better. No matter how solid you swing, your ball may bounce into a terrible lie. With golf, as in leadership, it is best to focus on things you can influence and control rather than on the last shot. The most successful golfers and leaders use energy to think and work on what they can change. Even after a “lucky bounce,” golfers and leaders need a strategy and plan for what to do next to stay competitive.

While the game of golf can seem frustrating, these lessons for golfers and leaders demonstrate that there are no shortcuts to winning. Golf and leadership require integrity, practice, strategy and execution. And, the best golfers and leaders remember to have fun!

For more information for how your team can engage our golf pros to learn about leadership, please contact: Becky Ripley, Innolect’s Excursion Learning℠  Practice Leader, at BeckyR@Innolectinc.com.

Special Tribute: Ed Sehl
Ed Sehl, our friend, colleague and golf professional, passed away earlier this year. He was a man of great faith, integrity and presence. He taught PGA and PGM Apprentices at Universities around the country as well as designed, facilitated and coached during Innolect’s Excursion Learning℠  Golf Events. We miss him…

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

Leading organizations are using data analytics to enhance their understanding for how to make better people decisions. They’ve focused on predictive models that help improve talent retention, diversity, succession planning as well as talent acquisition. The results are promising, especially in certain talent management areas. The question is, do predictive analytics work well when hiring military veterans?

In recruiting and selection, HR professionals hope that predictive models will improve their processes for overcoming unconscious bias. Many companies are also experimenting with automated recruiting processes to analyze job applicants to mitigate unconscious preferences and biases. The hope is that by eliminating factors that might unfairly bias a decision (age, gender, race, etc.), companies will secure the best talent. It is similar to what a judge decides through blind auditions on NBC’s show, The Voice. Judges listen to only a performer’s voice to make their initial decisions – without the distraction of a vocalist’s appearance, age or stage presence. Similarly, with hiring decisions, companies want to make better and more objective hiring decisions.

However, military veterans are experiencing a different scenario. With 250,000 military veterans or more entering the civilian workforce each year, most have had little or no practice in translating military work experience to civilian language. Based on numerous interviews and recent research, the military’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP) hasn’t effectively focused on resumé translation, and recruiters find that veterans need additional support to understand how to position themselves to stand out in the realm of electronic screening. Successfully navigating the automated algorithms is a major challenge facing veterans today. The military promotion process, for example, is very different from corporate America and veterans may have difficulty describing how their skills meet organizational needs and/or how their past experience relates to the civilian workplace.

According to a study by iCIMS in collaboration with RecruitMilitary, a majority of veterans believe their military experience is an obstacle to getting a job. Forty one percent believe hiring managers do not understand their military experience and 37% believe hiring managers devalue their military experience. In addition, veterans believe that job postings require more specialized experience than they have (36%) and have trouble translating military skills to civilian roles (28%).

Until veteran resumé translation and transition programs improve, HR data analytics may not be the best option for identifying and hiring top veteran talent. As corporate leaders and managers consider the barriers of automation for veterans during the veteran recruiting process, Innolect services provide insight and guidance for better ways to identify, decipher and manage veteran talent. Consider our Veteran Onboarding Employer checklist to see if your company is applying industry best practices.

For more information on how to enhance your programs, contact Mike Perry, Ph.D. at mikep@innolectinc.com or Kittie Watson, Ph.D. at kittiew@innlectinc.com.

 

 

 

 

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.”  – Isaac Newton

“What I do you cannot do; but what you do, I cannot do. The needs are great, and none of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.” –  Teresa Calcutta

Picture this…you are attending a leadership offsite and the facilitator asks you to form dyads and distributes one mousetrap per dyad. She invites each participant to write on the mousetrap a fear that they have about collaboration within your company. She then explains that the objective of the activity is to coach your partner (whose eyes are closed) through placing their hand on top of a set mousetrap to release it. The skills required are:

  • Clear planning and goals;
  • Contracted expectations;
  • Effective communication and coaching;
  • Navigation of uncertainty; and especially
  • Trust.

While the activity is designed to be a challenge by choice, you might imagine that some people embrace the possibilities immediately, others might choose not to participate at all or observe, and still others may stop participating half way through…right before coaching them to put their hand on top of the trap with their eyes closed. Similarly, we see comparable patterns with those who collaborate in business settings.

This activity is a powerful reminder of how difficult it is to overcome both the fears and challenges faced when we collaborate with others. Consider this example. A corporate board directed their Executive Leadership Team (ELT) to improve their company’s financial and operational outcomes and recommended the integration of their four business units into one. The ELT decided to give the four business unit Presidents complete authority and accountability to decide how to make this work over six months. As one can imagine, the four leaders had mixed reactions about the decision. It would have been easy for each to focus on protecting their own organization rather than collaborating to achieve a common goal.

In situations like this one, the power of relationships and collaboration is critical for success. In fact, in low-collaborative cultures with both short-term risks and costs for all involved, we witness barriers such as hoarding of information, a desire to control the power, and more self-interest rather than work toward common goals using trust, purpose, communication and empowerment. Yet, collaborative leaders who have built strong cross-functional relationships and trust are more likely to commit to enterprise-wide goals rather than their own individual or business unit goals. They focus on doing what is right for the organization as a whole.

Download our Building Collaborative Leadership Potential checklist to learn more. To build more collaborative cultures and high performance teams, contact:

Becky Ripley

Excursion Learning Practice Lead

BeckyR@innolectinc.com

 

 

 

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

“Everything in the world we want to do or get done, we must do with and through people.” – Earl Nightingale

The next time you see a school bus, visualize the children inside as your future leaders. Does that make any of you nervous? These grade school or high school students are more technologically adept than ever before, yet aren’t ready to provide relief and fill talent gaps today. In fact, many executives question whether students will be ready in the future. According to recent reports from Deloitte and PWC, as many as eighty percent (80%) of CEOs are concerned about a growing talent gap worldwide.

According to a 2016 SHRM report, C-suite executives claim that both internal and external candidates lack the necessary competencies for future success–especially in three critical areas: Communication, Critical Evaluation and Leadership Navigation. You may wonder, “What factors are contributing to these gaps?”

  • In the past, employees were hired for their deep experience, specialized skills and unique capabilities. Today, employers look for wider breadth and more sophisticated skills as well as cultural fit.
  • Many internal resources are unprepared to assume new, complex leadership positions. Their managers have focused on current roles and job responsibilities rather than on how to prepare them for growth.
  • Recruited senior leaders leave before being fully assimilated. Many new leaders report that the culture is different than expected and/or they feel blocked from contributing. Feeling stymied and unable to use their talent, many choose to leave.
  • There is a current unconscious bias toward hiring new and different leaders rather than engaging older, skilled talent. When hiring managers look and behave as they do, many miss the best talent to fill gaps.
  • Younger workers want to find a greater balance between their work and home lives. Some choose opportunities without the “confines” and expectations of traditional workplaces.

You may be asking; how can we narrow the gap and retain top talent?  Successful organizations:

  • Consider hiring military veterans, many of whom have held significant responsibility, led large numbers of people, and managed more resources earlier in their careers than their peers in private sector roles.
  • Offer co-op programs for college students within key technical areas most needed internally.
  • Provide mentors and/or executive coaches to accelerate onboarding and cultural assimilation.
  • Identify and engage high potential employees in activities and experiences to accelerate their development in the capability areas most needed.
  • Partner leaders with nonprofit organizations to build skills and capabilities.
  • Create corporate environments that are personally rewarding for employees.
  • Work with educators to teach and focus on the skills most needed to succeed in business today.

To win the war for talent, organizations need the equipment and tools to build a “learn, change, and grow” culture. Research consistently indicates that the most important factors in developing and retaining talent are engagement and professional development. It is critical to invest in learning and development to ensure that you have the right talent for the future.

Learn about our new Development for Managers of Veterans program. For more information, contact Mike Perry at mikep@innolectinc.com.

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Many leaders start the new year with fresh goals, plans and strategies. They’re energized with a sense of optimism and purpose. Their purpose sets the context for how to live their lives. With purpose, leaders avoid distractions and keep their eyes on what’s most important. For purpose-driven leaders, it is not unusual for them to literally jump out of bed with determination, a specific goal in mind or a desired intention.

Leaders with purpose are more likely to experience higher satisfaction and happiness, better physical functioning, even better sleep. In addition, according to Patricia Boyle, a neuropsychologist at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago, a clear purpose is  “… a very robust predictor of health and wellness in old age.”

While effective leaders live on purpose, they also have a responsibility to ensure that their employees find purpose in what they do. There is a direct correlation between satisfying work and an organization’s vision and purpose. Work with purpose fuels employees to do their best. How can leaders know if employees see their work as purposeful?

Also, consider incorporating the process recommended by Peter Drucker in The Practice of Management. Encourage your employees to write you a “Management Letter” every six months. In the letter, they write down what they see as your objectives and goals. Then, they write their own objectives. The final step is for you and your employee to review the letter together to see how aligned their perception of your objectives are with the company’s vision and mission as well as how their objectives align with yours. This focused dialogue helps to ensure that your work together is furthering the overall mission and vision of the company.

Living on Purpose is transformational and helps build highly effective, energized teams. Remember, those leaders who work with purpose inspire their employees to do the same. Download our  Living on Purpose questions to help guide you to lead and live on purpose in 2017 and beyond.

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

“Instinct must be thwarted just as one prunes the branches of a tree so that it will grow better.”       -Henri Matisse

 

If you live in a part of the country that hasn’t seen bright blue sky in a few months, you’re probably looking forward to the promise of spring. Master gardeners know exactly when to prune plants to ensure new buds and growth. They accept that pruning is an important step in keeping plants healthy. While the “crew cut” result might look bad initially, pruning is a way of strengthening the plant or tree for the future.

Similarly, business leaders need to schedule time to prune. Rather than constantly looking for and adding new products and services, smart leaders eliminate what is nonessential and focus attention on what is most valuable to their organizations and teams. Unless we cut away what is wasting time, draining resources or simply not working, we risk our business health. Ask yourself questions like:

  • When we added the new product last year, did it make anything else obsolete or unnecessary?
  • If we were to eliminate the bottom 10% of our services, what difference would it make in our profitability–and how negatively might it impact our customers?
  • Have we hired new employees to help support others who are not performing at the level we require? Is it time to let the non-performer go?
  • If we were to stop doing one non-revenue generating activity, would there be a significant consequence?
  • Are the extra meetings we added to get ourselves aligned still necessary, or can we free up that time for other actions?

Before spring arrives, get out your “pruning shears” and courageously examine what you might eliminate that is not serving you and your business well. Ensure your own growth, health and sustainability by cutting away dead wood and allowing new strong branches to grow and thrive.

 

 

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

“The unique nature about the influenza virus is its great potential for changes, for mutation.” Margaret Chan

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) broadcasts, “It is not too late to get your flu vaccine this season.” Flu vaccines are updated each season to prevent circulating viruses from taking their toll. The CDC recommends the yearly inoculations to avoid illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work due to flu-related sick days and hospitalizations.

In a similar vein, leaders can take steps to ensure their organization is staffed with the talent it needs to stay healthy and engaging. Leaders need to take year-round care to inoculate and prevent the unnecessary talent “influenza” such as workplace fatigue and resignations. Companies invest time and money in their employees and then their investments walk out the door when top talent leaves. Rather than scheduling an exit interview, it is important for leaders to use their best inquiry skills throughout essential employees’ tenure to discover how they’re doing. The most effective way to learn about engagement is to block time to talk AND listen. In fact, why not schedule a “stay” interview.

The Stay Interview
A stay interview is a one-on-one session during which a manager shares with an “at risk” employee how valuable they are to the company, finds out how they’re experiencing the job, and learns what would keep them engaged or ensure greater satisfaction with the company. Leaders focus on the positive and use them with the most valued employees. When planning for a stay interview, consider the following:

– How and when to have the interview
– Identify reasons that encourage the employee to stay
– Uncover any issues that might cause an employee to leave
– Take time to talk about the employee’s personal aspirations
– Talk about positive actions you and/or the employee might take to help keep them fully engaged and committed

Since the War for Talent is a key issue with marketable employees, it is wise to identify additional reasons for employees to stay and minimize reasons to leave. Add “stay” interviews to your leadership toolkit to reduce “talent influenza,” keep yourself informed, reduce turnover and retain your best employees.

For more information about how to engage and inspire your “high flyers,” reach out to Kittie Watson at KittieW@Innolectinc.com.

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

Posted by on 9:40 AM in Diversity and Inclusion, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Crawfish Incivility: Actions Leaders Need to Reward

When people from Louisiana hear the word Crawfish (crayfish, mudbugs or crawdads), most imagine crawfish boils and mouth-watering crawfish tail recipes. Locals catch crawfish using a string and bait, trap or even by hand. Once the crawfish are captured, they’re placed in a pail. First-timers are often surprised that these pails rarely include lids. They think that without a lid, the crawfish will crawl out. While they do try, once they reach the rim, other crawfish reach up, climb on and pull them back down. None of the crawfish escape.

read more

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

Posted by on 10:03 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts | 0 comments

Decision Dangers of Target Fixation

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  – Paul J. Meyer Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid one of the most common reasons motorcycles crash – “target fixation.” They look ahead and anticipate unexpected obstacles. Sadly, novices often focus on what is directly in front of them and often steer right into it. Motorcyclists who look past obstacles such as curves, cars in their path or unexpected animals in the road, are better able to navigate around those obstacles and avoid accidents.

read more

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Posted by on 12:43 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

What Can Aspen Teach Us About Collaboration?

Did you know that aspen trees in Trembling Giant grove in Utah are the oldest living organism in the world—over 80,000 years old? You might ask, “how is that possible?” Our answer is twofold: Collaboration and Support.

read more

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Posted by on 3:06 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Leaders, Play Your Hand Well

Leaders who have been recently promoted often discover they’ve inherited team members who they may not have chosen on their own. In fact, many leadership changes and promotions are designed to “clean-up” what other leaders have left behind. A leader’s future success depends on his or her ability to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

read more

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

Posted by on 10:08 AM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

Leaders, Are You STRESS Carriers?

“I don’t have stress, but I may be a carrier.” – Erma Bombeck
If you’ve been thinking there is more to do than there is time to do it, you’re not alone. In fact, the time between Thanksgiving and year’s end is one of the most stress-filled times of the year.

read more

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Posted by on 11:01 AM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, High Integrity Workplaces, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

How Can Leaders Benefit from Being Kind?

Kind acts have distinct benefits for leaders. And with recent natural disasters, violence and tragedies across our nation and around the world, employees seek leaders who offer encouragement and kind acts to help renew the human spirit. Take a moment to choose an act of leadership kindness today. Make a donation, volunteer, send a note or do something unexpected.

read more

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

Posted by on 12:46 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Growing Teams, Innolect Posts, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Collaboration, Encouragement and Barn-raising

The Cajun Navy, an informal network of good Samaritans with small watercraft, mobilized once again in the last few weeks—this time to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Formed as a response to Katrina in 2005, the so-called Cajun Navy has saved thousands of stranded people and lives. Their emergent activity, now an integral component of hurricane disaster relief, has similar characteristics to what many Amish families experience with barn-raising when disaster strikes in their communities.

read more

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Posted by on 9:55 AM in Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

Avoid Deadly Organizational Storms and Employee Silence

Unlike natural disasters, many organizational rogue waves can often be avoided and/or minimized. Effective leaders communicate and prepare their “crews” for rough seas and unexpected weather patterns so that they know what to do. When crews hear “hold fast,” for example, they know to batten down the hatches and get to a secure position. Prepared for changes and obstacles, they are more likely to navigate the challenges without media attention and/or employees abandoning the ship.

read more

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

Posted by on 7:42 PM in Employee Engagement, Growing Leaders, Innolect Posts, Listening & Communication | 0 comments

How the Best Leaders Reduce Turnover and Increase Engagement

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley
At the prospect of finding more satisfying work and/or better pay, 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018. In fact, according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for new job openings. You may be saying to yourself, “Our employees are not in that percentage…or are they?”

read more

“I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.”
– Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing
Approximately 30 years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, the galaxy faces a new threat from the evil force. Millions of movie goers around the world are flocking to witness how the Jedi Knights will overcome the challenge! As leaders, we also face new challenges and begin to anticipate how to overcome these “forces” in the New Year.
Do Smart Leaders Continue to Learn?
One challenge that many leaders ignore or overlook in themselves is an insidious aversion to learning something new or changing their minds. It is not a conscious choice to avoid learning, but an invisible barrier to keeping an open mind to new possibilities. Ironically, the smarter leaders are, the more susceptible they may be to holding onto what they believe and/or already “know.” Consider if you:
– When listening to a news story, change the channel or stop listening when a contrary point of view is presented?
– Purchase books that reinforce your own perspective rather than opening your mind to new ways of seeing the world?
– Seek out information from those individuals who agree rather than disagree with you?
– When facing a new situation, fall back on what has worked for you in the past without considering what is different now?
– Avoid opportunities to question your foundation assumptions and beliefs (think religion and politics)?

What’s a Leader to Do and How Can They Help Others?
It is especially difficult for many leaders to question and/or change their beliefs when they view themselves as “the expert.” And, since many senior leaders have “evil forces” working against their learning something new, we need to consider how to stimulate new learning, promote creativity in the workplace and build learning cultures. How do we stay open to new ideas and possibilities for future success? Build in ways to question status quo thinking…
– Attend a futurist lecture with your team.
– Watch movie clips as a team to see the world anew (Independence Day, The Martian, 2001 A Space Odyssey, Matrix, ET, Avatar, Close Encounters, The Day After Tomorrow, What Dreams May Come, Awakenings). Put yourself in uncomfortable, yet safe, situations and environments.
– Look for and study the habits of “deviant” leaders who can serve as positive role models of reinventing themselves.
– Be an undercover boss for day.
– Ask what a current situation might look like if it were 30 years into the future.
– Challenge your team to bring in divergent points of view during brainstorming sessions. How would Robin Williams see this? What might Eleanor Roosevelt have to say about this? How might a five-year old respond to this?

As you consider what you want to do differently as a leader in 2016, put AWAKEN LEARNING at the top of your list. Use a lesson from Star Wars. Join together with other learners, just as the young duo joined forces with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) to make sure the Resistance receives the intelligence of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the last of the Jedi Knights, to achieve success.
Innolect is ready to join with you in 2016 to grow leaders and build creative, high integrity workplaces to better our world and to open our mind to new possibilities.

Happy New Year…

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

Posted by on 12:44 PM in Growing Leaders | 0 comments

The Disappearing Act: Where Did All the Leaders Go?

In your next meeting, look to your right and then look to your left. It is likely that one of those employees will be working for a different organization next year. With unemployment at 4.4% in May and with 51% of employees actively looking for or willing to consider taking a new job, organizations are at risk of losing their best and most capable employees. The Corporate Executive Board estimates that 12% of all high potentials are actively searching for new jobs and turnover is contagious.

read more