Change is Good

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I’m all for progress, but I don’t want to change. Isn’t that a silly statement? Of course it is. It’s duplicitous.  You can’t have one without the other. One must change in order to progress. Yet, there are many of us who unknowingly insinuate this all the time, whether it’s part of one’s personality, or the outlook by top administrators of a company.

As human beings, we know we are creatures of habit, and as they also say, “Old habits die hard.” It’s true. It’s also true that the older one gets, the more reluctant one is to change. Boy, I feel as though I’m having a déjà vu as I write this, but we may say we are all for progress, but we are doing things that insinuate otherwise. There’s the ambiguity!

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Leadership Tips to Live By

An Interview with Dave Herda Sr.

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During a college course on leadership in the workplace, one of our assignments was to interview a prominent leader of any organization. At the time, I worked for Ameritech when Dick Notebaert was CEO. I tried to get in touch with him, but to my disappointment (and his) he would be in Europe on vacation for several weeks.

There are leaders all around us. They don’t have to be the president of a large corporation, or have a big title. What they do need is the experience of being a good leader in which their reputation attests time and again that they are worthy of recognition and greatness. Therefore, I chose to interview David Herda, superintendent of the Northern Illinois Gas Company.

Below are 8 interview questions on leadership that I asked Mr. Herda.

1. What is your philosophy on leadership?

“To lead by example. You can’t ask subordinates to do something that you wouldn’t do.”

“You can’t compromise your scruples or morals.”

“You must encourage your subordinates and support them.”

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Manager’s Bad Advice Could Lead to Dismissal

managerHere’s one for the books. I know someone who works for a major food chain here in the Midwest. I’ll call her Jane to protect her identity. Jane is just reaching her one year anniversary as a part time florist. A few times she has had to clarify certain procedures and protocols with her boss. Naturally.

Due to Jane’s boss not being able to extend her more working hours as a part-timer, she asked her boss if she could arrange her schedule should she be called to work at another occasional part time job – given enough notice. The boss told Jane that if that opportunity landed on a day she was scheduled to work, she should just call in sick that day. Jane took offense to the advice of lying and calling in sick because she has a good work ethic. Not only did Jane’s immediate boss tell her to call in sick but so did the store manager who has years of experience with this particular food chain.

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Tip 1 – Get to Know Your Employees

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Intro: This blog is written to further elaborate with my own views on the  “8 Tips to Engage Your Employees” booklet written by our experts.

“My supervisor cares about me as a person.” Our research shows that highly engaged employees respond favorably to this survey item by 83%, compared to 4% of the disengaged. I wish there was an item which states, “I can’t wait to get home each day so that I can talk to my loved ones about my work.” If this were an actual survey item, and if it were answered, “Strongly Agree,” then it leads me to think that the person does not confide in others about work or anything else to his or her supervisor. If one were to answer “Disagree,” to that statement, it might be an indication that he or she is satisfied with leaving work at work, and feels free to discuss matters with his or her supervisor without fear of retribution. What kind of a supervisor allows you to feel that way? The answer is one that cares about you as a person. At one time or another, most supervisors were subordinates too, so they should know how the shoe feels on their other foot.

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Good Leadership Drives Employee Engagement

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I read a great “bloggicle” (blog-article) written by Justin Locke which posted today, May 21, 2014. It’s entitled, “The Flip Side of Employee Engagement.” The title tells me a lot already and then after reading it, learned just how vital leadership’s role is.

You can have plenty of engaged employees but if management cannot or will not foster a healthy work environment in order for engagement to thrive, you will soon have a toxic environment that can lead to exiting employees.

Yes, good leadership drives employee engagement, and as Locke puts it, “…’engagement’ is no longer a nice thing to have, it is now essential to your bottom line.” To that end, wouldn’t it be wise to train managers to acquire more people skills? Nowadays, many managers not only have to manage their people, but they too, are doing the work alongside them. Do they have time to work on people skills? Perhaps they should make the time. Even having a manager’s forum or meeting once a month to discuss issues with HR or the organization’s top leaders could provide them with the soft skills required to invoke employee engagement.

Experienced Gens Lead by Example

We are NOT all equal

gens shaking handsHere’s a thought for the older generations in the workplace today, and I refer to mostly Veterans and Baby Boomers: You are NOT equal to your millennial and Gen-Xer coworkers. It is my contention that when it comes to experience on-the-job, or just life experience in general, one cannot deny that “we should know better” so to speak when it comes to certain matters at work. Therefore, it is up to us to be the mature leaders that our younger counterparts will want to look up to. You do not have to be a manager or VP to be this kind of leader. Simply by virtue of your age, you are automatically a leader. HOWEVER, WE OLDER GENS LEAD BY EXAMPLE.

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One-on-One Psychology Needed to Stimulate Employee Engagement

In my opinion, there are several different levels of employee engagement according to how one experiences his or her world. This coincides with several demographics as well, and not just age, tenure, race, work location, position, which are typically surveyed, but also maturity, heritage and family traditions, education and career aspirations, which reflect an individual’s personality traits. Survey items (questions) zero in on how groups of employees feel collectively about certain topics. Even though written comments are recorded and analyzed as well, they are not addressed on an individual level face to face with an employer. Even an item, “My supervisor treats me with respect and dignity,” is grouped with other employees’ responses.

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Recipe for Great Leadership

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When it comes to leadership quotes, one site I recommend is Henrik Edberg’s 25 Great Quotes on Leadership. Thank you, Henrik for the leadership quotes you compiled on your site.

To quote Henrik, “One of the more fascinating topics of life is the leaders of history and how they shaped the world.” Imagine being any of our presidents of the United States, Vince Lombardi, Aristotle, Mahatma Ghandi, or Helen Keller, just to name a few.

What comes to mind when you think about leadership in the workplace? What qualities must a true leader possess? Is it someone who is handsome, charming and charismatic? Is it someone who makes persuasive speeches? Or is it someone who leads by example? If the people follow and do what is asked of them with a happy, healthy attitude, then there is good leadership. Do your people have a healthy attitude? What is that secret recipe for great leadership?

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Cheerleaders vs. Engaged Employees – What’s the Difference?

Great Webinar Takeaways You’ll Want to Learn More About

RobertBerrierPhDToday’s webinar put a new spin on employee engagement from what I thought it was. Our guest speaker and presenter was Dr. Robert Berrier of Spring International, who gave us a lot to think about when it comes to employee engagement.

From Spring International Website:

“Dr. Robert Berrier is the founder, President and CEO of Spring and chief visionary.  Dr. Berrier’s work focuses on understanding how attitudes drive employee behaviors that link to organizational objectives.  Under Robert’s direction, Spring adapted many of the best techniques of segmentation, brand management and attitude-outcome linkage analysis to the area of employee engagement and communications.”

Dr. Berrier explained how employees need to be recognized, have a good camaraderie with fellow workers, a good sense of self-esteem and sense of achievement in their workplace. Empowerment influences employee engagement and people like to work with a “shared purpose.” These are the essentials of employee engagement. Dr. Berrier spoke about the importance of one’s relationship to their peers, feedback and communication, company image and aligned values with employees’, and personal development for advanced opportunities. These are the cornerstones of what management’s influence is on employees in order to foster a working environment whereby employees want to be engaged. “Employee engagement is a mutual accountability.”

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Great Leaders Build Others Up

iconGreat leaders must be able to tap into the skills and resources of those around them. Yet, establishing collaborative relationships is sometimes challenging because people have different backgrounds and experiences.  So, make it a point to recognize each team member’s strengths and weaknesses, understand their capabilities, and continue to nurture and support in a way that allows each to achieve their individual greatness.

Recognize that not all great ideas come from your office but from others on your team.  Tap into the varied skills and wider perspectives of others in order to strengthen organizational goals and objectives.

When you allow people to provide input rather than just tell them what needs to be completed, it builds consensus around goals and is the quickest way to gain success.  Ask your employees, “What are we trying to accomplish?” or “What would you do to accomplish this goal?”

Lead relentlessly, surround yourself with great people and continually build them up!