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UPDATE:  Follow this link for a playback of the Seminar highlighted below

A free Webinar will be hosted by Linkage on Thursday June 9th at 11 AM Eastern time on “Leading Your Own Life: A New Approach to Employee Engagement” and featuring Executive Coach (and one of my idols) Dr. Marshall Goldsmith.

Click here to register…oh, and here’s some some pre-viewing…and below that, some pre-reading.  See you there!

Stop Chasing the Wrong Priorities
by Marshall Goldsmith

I’ve spent a lot oftime studying what makes people happy, successful leaders. But some of the best suggestions I can think of came out of a study of a bunch of elderlyretirees, who, as far as I know, never had been CEOs. A friend of mine had interviewed this group about what advice they’d give to youngerpeople. What, they were asked, is the key to having a great life?

Their answers were both simple and wise so I’ll summarize here.Then I will explain what applicability I think they have to your careers.

1.  Be happy now. Not next week, not next month, not next year.Now. The great Western disease we are spreading around the world is “I’ll be happy when.” When I get that BMW, when I get that newhouse, when I get that status. Americans are among the luckiest people in the history of the world. Don’t get so wrapped up looking at what youdon’t have that you miss that, what you do have.

2.  Appreciate your friends and family. When you’re 95 years old andyou’re on your death bed, do you think you’ll be surrounded by your clients? It’s your friends and family who matter most.

3.  If you have a dream, go for it. Want to write a book? Visit New Zealand? Learn to speak Mandarin? Your dream doesn’t have to big–itcould be one that people think is silly, or just plain nuts. It’s your dream, and you should go for it now because when you’re 75, you maynot be able to do it.

Now how does this apply to being a better, more fulfilled leader? It turns out the advice hews pretty closely.

1. Having fun at your job is key.

It’s important not only because life is short, but if you don’t enjoy whatyou’re doing, it will be very hard to make your colleagues enthusiastic. Want the young people who work for you to be happy at work? You gofirst.

2. You need to take the time to help your colleagues.

It can’t be all about you. Coach your subordinates; givefeedback to coworkers. The most important reason to do this has nothing to do with money. The most important reason is that 95-year-old retiree wouldbe proud of you if you did and disappointed with you if you don’t. And if you don’t believe this is true, ask any CEO who has retired:“What are you proud of?” I’ve interviewed many, and not one told me how big their office was or how fancy their car was; usuallywhat they talk about is relationships that meant the most to them.

3. “Going for it” is the most important thing you can do foryourself.

In a fast-changing world, where industries are being overturned, the only certainty is doing what you believe in. You may notsucceed–you could even fail miserably– but at least you would be able to look at yourself in the mirror and say, “Oh, what the heck,at least I tried.”

Originally published in bNet

There’s an old quote, variously attributed, that goes something like “Age is mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”   Sadly that’s how many managers seem to feel about employee engagement, as in ‘Employee engagement is mind over matter. If you don’t mind…”

To that point, a friend of mine was recently volunteered for a project that began with the team lead stating that although they had to get busy on pulling together a pretty big piece of work, and it had to be a ‘quality’ piece of work at that, in reality it wasn’t going to mean anything at the end of the day.  You see, explained her manager, no one receiving the work really cared.  They were just going through the motions.   In other words, it was yet another futile corporate exercise that they, the manager included, had no control over.  But hey, they were in it together!  

I tell ya, this kind of stuff makes my head hurt.

Needless to say this manager’s honest (albeit negative) kickoff made it pretty tough for the team to deliver this project with any sense of urgency or dedication to quality.   The team thought – “Well, if they don’t care, why should we?”    Good point.   

I’m told in the end they did an alright job, but I can’t help but imagine how much better it could have been if the conversation had kicked off with a discussion on the value this work would add to the organization?    I’m going to guess much better.   And who knows how that ‘much better’ work could have been leveraged beyond its original remit?   So sad.

Obviously in this instance, the manager allowed their own sense of frustration to trickle down to the team and, well, that’s just not OK.   After all, not only did the work suffer, but it was a real missed opportunity to create greater employee engagement within that team.   Good leaders don’t do that.  Good leaders make their employees feel that they, and the work they do, always matter.

My point is, lesser leaders who ignore opportunities to raise employee engagement at every turn are making a big mistake.  They don’t see that by acting as though employee engagement doesn’t matter, they’re basically saying their employees don’t matter.   And at the end of the day, all human beings want to feel they matter to those they are in relationship with.  If we don’t feel that, where is the motivation, or the inspiration, to be better?    And as an employee, where would you rather work?   

SO if you’re a team member and you get caught in a spot like this, push your manager to help you understand how your work will contribute to the bigger picture – in other words, engage yourself.  Believe me, you’ll be happier.   And if you’re a manager, remember… don’t ever (ever) miss an opportunity to engage your team.   If you do, you may not get many more chances to get it right! 

So, I attended a ‘women’s networking’ event last night and in doing so I managed to confirm that…                                 

A) I don’t care for ‘women only’ events and…

B) I will never be comfortable wearing a name badge that insists you ask me about ‘blank’.    As in, “Hi my name is Joanie!   Ask Me about that time I was forced to go to a women’s networking event.”

Anyway, I don’t like ’em.  

Ah, but what I DO like is finding ever more brilliant resources that give me a fresh perspective and some new ideas.    As promised let the sharing continue!

  • The factor that separates the men from the boys in Lean Manufacturing is the level of engagement or involvement of the workforce in process improvement efforts.   In this short video Richard Rahn and Gerard Leone from Leonardo Group Americas offer some suggestions for launching an employee engagement effort.   LOVE THIS video!  So practical, measurable and immediately applicable.
  • Campbell’s Soup Company employee engagement essays. Who doesn’t like soup???    NOTE:  To access these papers, you’ll need to create an account.  It’s free, but the ‘toll’ is you need to ‘donate’ a paper of your own.   If you’d rather not…
  • Here’s an article about how Doug Conant, Campbell’s President and CEO, turned the company around.    Love how he views ‘trust’ as the foundation of their people strategy.
  • Some great vids on Social Media can be found here

You know, you have to be careful about assuming you fully understand the opportunities present within social media.   To really (I mean really) understand the value and potential of social media, you’ve got to follow the gurus, do your homework and as Gary Vaynerchuk says – live it and taste it.   The more I learn, the more fascinating I find this stuff and the more fun I have thinking of ways to unlock this potential within my current scope of influence.  

How about you?

August 2017
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