L2L Book Review “Under New Management” by David Burkus

An Open Invitation To Join The Integrative Leader's Book Club

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David Burkus argues in his book Under New Management: How Leading Organizations Are Upending Business as Usual that the management practices that have evolved from the factory work economy just do not apply to today’s knowledge work economy.

Burkus walks the reader through compelling case studies of companies who have abandoned traditional management and leadership practices in favor of new ways to organize and lead.

His premise is this:

Burkus’s insights are convincing companies to leave behind decades-old management practices and to implement new ways to enhance productivity and morale. Fire all the managers, outlaw email, and make pay transparent.

L2L Book Review

Title: Under New Management: How Leading Organizations Are Upending Business as Usual

by David Burkus

Purpose:

NewManagement_3D

The purpose of David Burkus’s new book Under New Management is to find answers to these questions and more:

  • Do open-floor plans really work – or do they make employees miserable?
  • Are there companies which really put their employees’ welfare first, and their clients second?
  • Are annual performance reviews really necessary?

Premise:

Fire all the managers, outlaw email, and make pay transparent. These are all chapters in David Burkus’ new book “Under New Management”. David argues in this book that the management practices that have evolved from the factory work economy just do not apply to today’s knowledge work economy.

He walks the reader through compelling case studies of companies who have abandoned traditional management and leadership practices in favor of new ways to organize and lead.

A Reader’s Guide:

I found myself starting each chapter thinking that there would be no way that what I was about to read would work. But, by the end of most chapters, not only did I feel it was possible but optimal.

In my opinion, any book on leadership and management that gets me to pause and reflect is of great value. This book provides page after page of things to pause and contemplate.

New Book Club

The Integrative Leader’s Book Club

I was so energized after reading it, that I decided to feature it as this month’s selection in The Integrative Leader’s Book Club.

What is really exciting is, I was able to connect with David and he graciously agreed to join us for a live Q&A session.

Linked 2 Leadership is one of the best forums for leadership exploration. By nature, its readers are actively working to hone their craft. Therefore, I would like to personally invite you to join The Integrative Leader’s Book Club. Each month we pick a thought provoking book to read and discuss.

This club was created to help us lift our heads up from working in our business and allow us to spend a little time working on it. Leadership is a practice and the books read and the wisdom shared will help us all become better at our craft.

Sign-up Here.

I would also invite you to register for the online Q&A session with David on Monday, May 23at 11am Pacific.

Click Here to Register.

At the end of each month, I will post right here on Linked 2 Leadership a review of the book and some of the key learnings that our club gained and shared. Hopefully together, we can all become better leaders and develop future leaders that are well prepared to guide the organizations of the future.

I hope to see you in the club.

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———————–
Elliot Begoun

Elliot Begoun is the Principal Consultant of The Intertwine Group, LLC.
He works with companies to Deliver Tools that Enable Growth
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Google+GROW | Website

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The Leadership Yawwwn-Fest

by Karen Dietz

Yawning Lion

Are you inspiring others to action with your captivating stories that delight your audience?Or you guilty of just providing a leadership yawn-fest?

Your Best Tool For Inspiring Others

I was at a board meeting the other day where an outside organization was presenting its latest project. The vision was in creating a sustainable vision for the future of the region.  The idea provided the perfect opportunity to enroll people in their grand vision!

All they needed was the perfect vision pitch from an inspiring leader.

But what a big “yawner” this presentation turned out to be. What a lost opportunity!

So what was the problem?  It wasn’t for lack of commitment, enthusiasm, or interest.  It wasn’t because a young inexperienced executive was before us.  In fact, the presenter had a lifetime of success under his belt. It wasn’t even an experience of death by PowerPoint.

It was simply because the presentation was dry as a mouthful of sand. In addition, it was without a compelling story to engage people.  The result?  Nice project.  No inspiration.  No enrollment in taking action.

Telling Compelling Stories

Being able to tell a compelling story is an essential leadership skill that bears paying attention to, no matter how experienced or successful you are.

As Howard Gardner says, “Stories are the single most powerful weapon in a leader’s arsenal.”

Just imagine how many missed opportunities that this successful executive has created over his career because he wasn’t sharing stories, much less in ways that inspire others to action.

Brain research (Story Proof, Influencer) has shown time and again how sharing stories immediately engages people and their imaginations.  It is the most efficient method for transmitting knowledge, and is a powerful tool for enrolling others moving them to action.

Authenticity

Every leader who is able to link their own personal stories into specific initiatives will score big on the engagement meter.

Q: Why?

A: Because they are viewed as authentic — one of the core qualities of an effective leader.

Over one thousand studies during the last fifty years have attempted to define successful leadership styles or qualities.  Yet none of this research has produced a clear profile of an ideal leader.  That’s because leadership has many voices and the key to being a successful leader lies in your ability to be you – authentic, passionate, and disciplined.

Leaders are defined by their unique life stories. They are defined by how those stories illuminate their passions and leadership purpose, and by the way they frame those stories for others.  Every leader, whether young or old, has inspiring stories to tell.  Most however, don’t recognized the power in their own stories, much less know how to tell them in ways without sounding arrogant or self-serving.

By being willing to explore, reframe and tell their life stories, leaders set free their passions and the ability to inspire others.

Training is required though.  Just because we can speak doesn’t mean that we don’t need to go to Toastmasters.  Even though we can all tell a story at some level, that doesn’t mean we don’t need to identify our stories and learn to tell them in ways that inspire others.

Core Stories

What stories do you need to tell?  There can be many. And every leader needs to master a set of core stories to get started.

These stories are:

  1. About the founding of your organization and the challenges it is addressing
  2. People and results stories – About customers/clients and the results they’ve experienced, along with stories about people within your organization and the difference they have made
  3. Recovery stories – Those about mistakes that have been made, and the recovery / lessons learned from those experiences
  4. The story about the future you are creating – Why should we invest in you?  How will the future be different through our engagement together?
  5. The My Commitment story – That story of what gets you up in the morning, what inspires and moves you, why you are doing the work you are.

Successful leadership takes deliberate development and necessitates being true to your stories.  You are never too old or too young to share your stories and lead authentically.

Don’t wait.  Don’t miss the incredible opportunities waiting for you when you become a proficient story teller.  It’s all low-hanging fruit.  Spending time on developing your stories now will allow you to leverage them for years to come.

So, how many yawn-fests have you suffered through in your career? How many time have you seen wonderful ideas fail due to a lack of polish on the communicator’s story line? Have you ever been guilty of leaving your audience or team members flat because you could not engage them in personal stories that inspired them? Come on… tell the truth! I’d love to hear your STORIES!

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————–
Karen (Creuziger) Dietz

Karen Dietz is a Principal at Polaris Associates Consulting, Inc.
She helps clients tell their most inspiring stories as an essential influence skill
Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Blog | Skype: karen.dietz

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The Importance of Leading Your Future Today

6 Do's and Don'ts of Reputation Management

Reputation Management

Leadership today requires much more than just doing your job with the people who you lead. It now involves your public persona. 

This reality impacts your ability to influence with the global reach of the Internet. Things that you say and do are now are on display and can impact you, your role, and the organization that you work for. These things also have a funny way of staying around into perpetuity.

Your reputation, your role, and your business can change overnight with just a single Tweet.

If you are online doing business today, then you should understand a few things about your online reputation. First of all, you need reputation management no matter how small – or how big – your company may be. Secondly, you must understand how to properly use reputation management in the modern world of business.

This article will discuss some of the things that you must do as well as things from which you must stay away!

6 Do’s and Don’t’s of Reputation Management

1) Claim and complete all of your social media profiles

Because of the way citations are done, completing all of your major social media profiles will give you a boost in all of the search rankings.

Make sure that you have a profile on these sites:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
  • YouTube
  • SlideShare
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Pinterest
  • Yelp
  • About.me
  • YellowPages

and any reputable niche social media sites that are relevant to your industry.

Fill out these profiles as completely and uniquely as possible. Keep the address the exact same on all profiles. Do not abbreviate if you can help it. List a local number that matches with the zip code that you are advertising instead of an 800 number.

This will help to maximize your search listing juice and will help fill the search engine result page (SERP) with online profiles that you control.

2) Don’t rely on your personal websites alone to get the job done

Most people will find your business from your major social media profiles at the start of your campaign. You may be able to redirect traffic from those places to your landing pages later on, but the major websites will always have a juice that your personal websites will probably never attain.

Starting multiple WordPress or Tumblr accounts to build a link profile will probably serve you in a negative way, as the major search engines are all against this technique. They have protection mechanisms against it. And these thin, minimal blogs will have very little chance of ranking well themselves for your brand or personal terms.

Yet there are many who still try to rely on building dozens of micro-blogs for their business in order to try to overcome negative content on the SERPs.

3) Do take time to build an authentic online presence

Not only does authenticity help you with your human visitors, but the major search engines love it as well. If you are seen as an expert guest blogger and you are on reputable sites, then these sites will often appear high in the SERPs for your branded terms.

If the information that you tout matches your social media personality, this maximizes your effort. As a matter of fact, you may want to take the time to use Google Disavow to disconnect your landing pages from any spam techniques that you may have employed previously.

Poor links to your site are tantamount to being seen in a bad neighborhood.

They’re simply bad for your online reputation.

4) Don’t try to downgrade your competition with fake reviews

Not only is this a waste of time, but review sites like Yelp.com are actually quite good at determining what may be a fake review and completely destroying it. On top of this, if they link it to you, then your business suffers.

Even if you do get a few fake reviews up, your time is much better spent making your own reputation positive, as creating negativity for a competitor does not help your visibility at all.

5) Do be proactive when you see something that needs to be fixed

You should look at authentic negative reviews as an opportunity to fix a problem before your competition gets to fix it and take your business away from you.

Many companies will use an aggregation program to see if there are any trends in the comments that people are making. The company mentioned can then devise a strategy based upon these trends rather than guessing at their next PR move.

6) Don’t ignore your online reputation and try to fix it at the last-minute

Why should you never do this? First of all, it never works. If people have already run your name through the mud, then you will spend a great deal of time trying to play catch up rather than improving your ranking online.

As you learn how to incorporate the tips above into your everyday marketing online, you will see a gradual but consistent shift in your online visibility. Keep this up for the long-term, and your business will eventually occupy a position online that will be very hard to usurp.

As the reputation of your business ages online, it crystallizes. Make sure that you give it the best chance to crystallize as a positive for your business.

So, how well have you done to make sure that your online persona is working well for you? Are you represented well by having a comprehensive mindset and approach to your online presence? What steps can you take to cast a positive light on you, your organization, and the opportunities ahead of you? I would love to hear your thought!

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__________
Tayven James

Tayven James is a Freelance Business and Tech Author
He focuses on Emerging Trends and the Marketing Methods Behind their Success
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On Leadership and Overcoming a Crisis

By Jack Davis

Lemonade

Make no mistake about it, there will be moments when a crisis strikes. Life has a way of making sure that plenty of lemons come our way.

And it seem that none of us can escape this truth.

Leaders often have to manage through crisis. This can only be done with good information. Because of a crisis, you may feel like your life has been a waste. But don’t worry… there are plenty of chances to turn those lemons into something good.

Mistakes are Inevitable

In my experience, no one is always happy, excited, or hopeful. We may not always see progress. At times we see things slipping backwards. Sometimes through no fault of our own, yet often through our own mistakes as well. Everyone makes mistakes, the mistake is not the important part, the lesson is.

Here is a key truth to overcoming our mistakes:

Admitting your mistake quickly positions you to extract wisdom from it

That’s right. You learn when you admit your mistakes openly and transparently.

Laugh them off, brush them off, learn the lesson, and move on to your next (even greater) accomplishment!

You see, pain births a willingness to change. No matter what has to change around you, the first thing to change is YOU. Renew your mind to what a crisis is to you.

These steps may help:

Understand that your feelings are created by your focus

What you are focusing on determines how you feel. Here are a few ways to change your feelings:

  • Through focus
  • Through music
  • Through the people around you
  • Through praise

And if you are so inclined…

  • Through worship

Understand that your feelings can change as quickly as they arrived

Did you suddenly get upset at something? Then you are able to suddenly get happy again! It’s all a matter of what you decide to focus on. That will get your joy back.

Nothing is ever as bad as it first appears

What you see as a loss is actually an investment – if you perceive it through new eyes. Bad times can activate great relationships. Think about it, when the bad time hit, your fair weather friends left, didn’t they? But your true friends stuck with you. Your relationship with them is now cemented even better than before. What a wonderful gift to receive! Absolutely priceless in my book.

Quitting does not improve your life

WOW, WOW, WOW! This one hit me strongly the first time I read it. It just never occurred to me that QUITTING HAS NO REWARD. What does quitting give you? Regret, guilt, shame, more fear, less faith. Nope, I don’t want any of those, I’ve had enough of feeling those things. So I have decided today that I’m not quitting. How about you?

Endurance is a bridge

Everyone walks through a wilderness experience. Everyone walks through the rough places. Everyone experiences crisis, even those who seem to “have it all together.” Get real. They don’t. If you could see deeper into their lives, you would see that they don’t have it all together.

Instead, see that your endurance will increase access to someone – a friend, someone to help you, someone to encourage you, someone to help you solve the problem.

Your endurance is a testimony of encouragement to others

Someone is watching your life. Someone is learning from what you are doing. Someone is secretly rooting for you to win. People love to see the underdog win. So if you are feeling like that underdog today, take courage in knowing that when you do win, it will be a heroic and inspirational story! You will encourage others with it! So today, allow encouragement to sink in. You will win if you do not give up.

Always know that I am here to help put things in perspective and to be your friend and encourager!

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——————-
Jack Davis

Jack Davis is a John Maxwell Certified Success Coach and Speaker
He serves as Coach, YouthMax Speaker & Board Member Team Xtreme Ministries
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web

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On Leadership, Forgiveness and the Authentic Leader

Leading with the Open Honesty called Vulnerability

Forgiveness

It is widely accepted that forgiveness is a sacred act…a sacrifice! But did you know that this single act has a lot to do with our authenticity as leaders?

Not forgiving someone is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.” ~Andy Stanley

Having just written On Leadership, Suffering and the Sacrificial Leader, there is perhaps no better follow-on. From two Latin words: Sacer (sacred, holy) and Facere (to do, perform), nothing seems to touch the experience of both leader and follower quite like the sacrifice of forgiveness.

One of my favorite authors on servanthood and servant-leadership, Chuck Swindoll, describes forgiveness in the most practical, flesh and bone, earthy terms imaginable in Improving Your Serve:

It is tears of deepest sorrow and joyous relief. It is humiliation and affirmation. It is guilt grappling with grace, pain pursuing peace.”

These are aspects of forgiveness that should hold our attention and have our allegiance as leaders. Why? Because as Chuck says this:

…however we describe [forgiveness, it is] one of the most powerful acts of servanthood we can participate in—and one of the most difficult.”

It is powerful because the deeper the sorrow the greater the joy; the greater the humiliation, the higher the affirmation. It is difficult because guilt necessarily grapples with grace and there is pain in pursuing peace.

The Case for Forgiveness and Leadership

The roots connecting forgiveness to leadership in the organizational context run deep in the servant model. Dr. Jeffrey D. Yergler has done all of us a remarkable service by writing the 3-part series The Servant Leader and the Exercise of Forgiveness in the Context of the Organization, and for the sake of space I will simply point the reader there for further study.

Role Playing for Real Leadership

Because leadership is really about influence or impact, there are two distinct roles in the forgiveness process for every real leader and follower: that of the offender and that of the offended. If we are the offender, we need to understand more about repentance as David Augsburger describes it in Caring Enough to Confront:

Repentance is living in the open honesty called vulnerability. Repentance is growing in the decisive honesty we call responsibility.”

Anyone who becomes a student of servant-leadership will have the opportunity to learn many times over the immense value in living vulnerably and growing responsibly through our mistakes—specifically the ineffective impact that our restrictive leadership strategies or passive/aggressive-defensive thinking styles have on others.

But then there comes occasion for playing the role of the offended. Are we as prone to extend forgiveness in the learning process to others as we are in asking for it when needed ourselves? The answer to this question goes beyond vulnerability and responsibility to things far deeper and potentially far more insidious in our character: hypocrisy and accountability.

From Hypocrisy to Authenticity

The basic idea here is that the act of failing to extend forgiveness to others, when we routinely need and receive it ourselves, is hypocritical. This hypocrisy destroys our authenticity and, as a result, our ability to take responsibility for our mistakes or to hold others accountable for mistakes that are clearly within their span of control.

Before going farther, it is important that I explain what is meant by “…holding others accountable for mistakes that are clearly within their span of control.” This is not fixing the blame or playing the blame game. It is first and foremost the hard work of finding common causes of variation and then fixing the system.

In the vast majority of cases, the perceived error can be attributed to a management system that is outside the span of control for most in your leadership impact area. For the vital few that actually are attributable to factors that are truly local faults, I’ll defer the reader again to Dr. Yergler’s series on servant-leadership and forgiveness, with particular focus on Part III:

…forgiveness helps servant-leaders hold employees accountable for the stewardship of the organization in terms of production quality and the return on the investment of assets. Though forgiveness must consistently be applied regardless of the person or performance, servant-leaders should always expect a return on the action of forgiveness (ROForgiveness).”

And here-in lays the relationship to our role as offender. When we seek forgiveness for our mistakes and actually change our leadership behavior as a result, we model this practice for those who will themselves be expected, at some point, to improve their performance.

As forgiveness is extended for mistakes that offend our accountability for proper stewardship of organizational resources and finances, whether in areas of core values or organizational processes, there can authentically (and should rightly) be a connection to personal and/or performance change.

The Return on Forgiveness

The full return on forgiveness comes through the commitment of the forgiven to learn, change and grow and, in the organization, will remain largely unknown and unknowable.

There are a few ways, however, in which some of the return might be measured:

  1. Marked change in attitude or behavior
  2. Demonstrable growth in knowledge, skills or abilities
  3. Improvement of overall effort in performance, etc.

That said, much of the return depends on how it is carried out and the extent of the personal/ performance change demanded of good stewardship. In the worst case, the change may result in reassignment or termination-for-cause. Dr. Yergler again has incredible insight here:

Unintended mistakes, though always forgivable, are in some cases not worth the risk of a repeated failure. Even in reassignment or termination, forgiveness by the servant-leader remains an act of grace and can foster new beginnings for the person and the organization.”

I love that he goes on to describe this act of grace as something “…profoundly restorative, empowering and generative of the human spirit.” For the servant-leader, there is no alternative, particularly when called upon to make the most difficult decisions in the organization…those that directly impact the lives of others at the point of greatest vulnerability.

So, when was the last time you asked for forgiveness as a leader? When was the last time you extended forgiveness to others as a leader? Here’s an even tougher question: How have your actions to forgive as a leader: (a) helped others realize that their self-worth is not tied to their mistakes and (b) reinforced the idea that learning from them is an inelegant, but essential process for worthwhile change and growth? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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——————–
Richard Dillard

Richard S. Dillard is Founder/ Managing Partner at Dillard Partners, LLC
Pursuing Success at the Speed of Leadership!
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Web | Blog | Book

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On Leadership and the Dangers of the Internet of Things

What Business Leaders Need to Know to Keep Safe in Cyberspace

Internet of Things

It’s clear there’s a lot of excitement when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT). The idea of becoming part of a fully interconnected world creates some intriguing possibilities, so much of the excitement is certainly justified.

With new technology, however, come definite fears. Of course, it is possible to take these fears too far. Scaremongering is nothing new after all, especially regarding technology, so it’s easy to dismiss these concerns as overreactions or exaggerations.

Fear stoking aside, the IoT does introduce new risks that are easy to overlook. Simply dismissing them actually does a disservice to the efforts being made to fight them. While overreacting is definitely not a preferred decision, ignoring the potential dangers of the IoT would be just as unwise.

Market Potential

The IoT industry is serious business, one that could be worth up to $300 billion, according to Gartner. With such a lucrative market just starting to find its legs, businesses have been eager to develop their own products, devices, and gadgets that take advantage of a ubiquitous connection, allowing companies to collect tons of data on their customers.

To call it a mad rush to gain a foothold in the IoT market would probably be an understatement. Businesses want their products out there, and they need them out there today.

Security Risk

In all this rush, security tends to take a backseat. Many manufacturers tend to ignore the secure-by-design approach when it comes to making their devices. This approach basically means that gadgets are created from the ground up with security in mind from the beginning.

It requires extra time, resources, and patience for companies to do this, something many aren’t willing to sacrifice. That means many enterprises are more focused on getting their devices out on the market and intend to worry about security later.

Needless to say, this opens up a lot of potential dangers.

Paying Close Attention

It’s a problem that’s getting widespread attention. Even the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent out a warning last year, telling businesses they needed to make security and customer privacy a priority when making their IoT devices.

The FTC said that gadgets need to be designed with security in mind from the very start, instead of just adding new features in after the fact. Considering all of the possible devices that could connect to the IoT, it’s a word of warning that consumers will likely want to hear.

When speaking of the Internet of Things, the basic concept includes connecting nearly everything we use to the web in some way. This allows the devices to communicate with each other as well as the user.  As many are well aware of, the current devices we use (smartphones, tablets, etc.) carry the possibility of being hacked or infected with malware.

Imagine the headaches, expense, lost business, and the opportunity cost for leaders in business who get targeted and hacked. It can be devastating.

Losing Control

Losing control of something as important as a smartphone is painful enough. Now imagine if a household kitchen appliance were to be taken control of by a cyber attacker. Smart homes have long been touted as one of the benefits of the IoT, and they certainly do offer more convenience and greater capabilities.

At the same time, however, smart homes have the potential to be hacked, giving a malicious person control of things like lighting, heating, and even security systems. It’s no laughing matter and has even prompted the FBI to issue a warning of its own.

Beyond Your Business

The dangers go further than our business devices or our homes. Self-driving cars could become a mainstream reality one day, and there have already been examples of tech experts being able to hack cars from a distance. One doesn’t need to be an expert to know what kinds of dangers that introduces to the roads, and when self-driving cars are more prominent, the danger only increases.

Cars are only one hacking target that gets a lot of attention. Many systems and devices fall below the radar, like critical infrastructure (power plants, industrial machines). The IoT has a lot of security concerns to address as more things become connected to the internet.

Lead with Security in Mind

Much like the problems plaguing Hadoop security, IoT security may face similar obstacles if not constructed with security risks in mind from the start. Those fears can be faced though, and security challenges can be overcome.

It will require even more effort and development from the top tech experts and companies in the world, but eventually we’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of the Internet of Things without having to constantly worry if we’re truly safe.

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————–
Rick Delgado

Rick Delgado is a Freelance Writer
He specialized in Technology and Business Growth
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web

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5 Company Benefits Most Valued by Employees

Things Leaders Should Know About Their People

Employee Perks

When people work for a company, they need to know that their company will take care of them. They need to know that they are appreciated. Far too many employees report that they have toiled for years and not received any recognition at all.

For far too many, their employer does not care about them and does not provide them with the benefits they need to live their daily lives. In fact, offering a substantial benefits package to employees can often attract the best talent. People who know that they have a lot to offer to a company will often have the luxury to search around for the employer who offers the best benefits.

The question is this: What are these benefits?

5 Company Benefits Most-Valued by Employees

1) Daycare on Site

The most important question that people ask when they go to work is what their children will be doing. Their children need to be properly looked after and educated throughout the day. Parents will often have to pay for expensive daycare programs that will look after their children while they are at work.

However, many companies have a daycare program on site. Having their children near them throughout the day will seriously reduce the stress of employees and will be of great financial benefit.

2) A Fitness Center or Gym Membership

Regular exercise is proven to reduce stress. An employee who is not stressed out is likely to be much more productive. Further, exercise will increase the IQ. It is not only physical exercise. It is also mental exercise.

Employers that provide gym memberships for their employees are preparing them for a more productive output as well as giving them a helpful benefit that increases their self-confidence.

Also, an increase in self-confidence will be helpful in several industries, particularly anything involving sales.

3) Additional Benefits

Many employers provide health insurance for their full time employees. But what about a dental discount plan? Dental insurance can be important, particularly if you have children. Optimal dental health would involve going to the dentist at least twice every year.

Those visits can be costly, especially if you need a filling. Only 47% of employers provide dental coverage. Talented employees who have children will want to work for a company who offers this amenity and might be willing to shop around until they find one.

This is one of the most valuable benefits an employer can provide for their employees.

4) A Few Days Off for the Holidays

Most businesses will slow down a bit around the holiday season. There are not a lot of people making business related transactions around this time of year. If you give them a few days off, they will remember that and they will know that they are appreciated.

Employees who have a break from the workplace will also have time to refresh and when they return to work, they will be more productive. People enjoy working for an employer who recognizes how important family and time off is to their employees.

5) Host Events

Find out what everyone likes to do together and take them out on a regular basis. If they would have fun bowling, then have a bowling night once every week. If they would like to have dinner, take them out to dinner. This will foster friendships between employees that transcend the workplace.

They will truly become friends. When they really are friends who are freely choosing to spend time together, they will function better as a team. Hosting events, then, is beneficial both for the employee who enjoys the event and the general atmosphere and productivity of the workplace.

So what are you doing to maximize your employee motivation and retention? how can adopting one or more of these suggestions aid your bottom line and overall confidence in your organization? And a big one…  How are your employee benefits and perks competing in the marketplace? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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———————
Dennis Hung

Dennis Hung is a Business Consultant specializing in Mobile Technology and IoT
He’s spent most of his career consulting for businesses in North America
Email | LinkedIn | Web

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On Leadership, Fairness and Judging People’s Mistakes

Mistakes

It just dawned on me today that as human beings, we all are guilty of judging people’s mistakes at one point or another. I sure am guilty of it.

People who have taken the MBTI  assessment know that some people have higher tendencies to judge than others. It is inherent in their personality. While it is not necessarily a bad thing to be judgmental, it is worthwhile to control your thinking and responses.

After all, that’s what emotional intelligence is all about!

Making Mistakes

Some of us are more judgmental about others whereas the perfectionist will be equally judgmental about himself as well as others. As a result, sometimes we can be very hard on ourselves and people around us. Of course, we want to learn from our mistakes and ensure that we don’t repeat them.

Everyone has their own way of handling their responses, but I would like to highlight one important distinction while looking at mistakes in general.

Two Types of Mistakes

I tend to think there are two basic kinds of mistakes human beings make.

Genuine

One is a genuine mistake that most of us have made. Whether we were caught up with distractions or our thinking ability was compromised for one reason or another, a genuine mistake can happen from time to time.

Not So Much

The other kind of undesirable action is when a person makes a conscious choice or takes a well-orchestrated action and then coins it as a mistake to get away with it. And trust me that can happen, whether you are in workplace or any other aspect of your life.

People may have their own reasons for taking such actions, but then is it really okay to coin it as a mistake?

Discerning Leadership

I believe that it is very important for a leader looking at someone’s actions to distinguish between which kind of mistake are they dealing with. I personally don’t delve much over the honest and genuine mistake whether it is me who is making it or someone else.

Of course, if there is any lesson to be learned from the situation, we shouldn’t let that opportunity go. On the other hand, I do make a mental note of conscious action taken by someone disguised as a mistake. People making these kinds of mistakes need to be held accountable in my opinion.

Getting to the root of why a conscious unwarranted action was taken helps.

Be Wise, Analyze

So if you have judgmental tendencies and happen to look at yourself or anyone else’s action, please do analyze the situation carefully so as to not to jump to conclusions.

Give it a thought and please ensure that you are not being harsh on yourself or someone else for a genuine mistake. Of course you don’t want be making genuine mistakes all the time; but every once in a while, it is likely to happen and it is not such a big deal.

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Aditi Chopra
Aditi Chopra is an experienced leader in the software industry
She is a consultant, writer and a leader
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On Leadership, Corruption and The Empire of the Heart

Bribery

The United States is more corrupt than Japan, Britain, Australia, Germany, and the Scandinavian nations.

According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, the US ranks 22 out of 181 countries.

You might take consolation in the fact that America is not endemically corrupt, not a broken society, not an un-drainable swamp, as are many nations in the world.

  • But what happens if you add globalization to the mix?
  • What happens when you sprinkle graft, bribery, and unholy alliances into the new supranational context?

We in the US have known corruption in the past. What we have not known are its consequences in a more precarious global age.

Three Key Factors

There are at least three factors that should concern us.

  • First, leaders today lead in a very different world
  • Second, fewer leaders are prepared to handle the new world
  • Third, the new world enables the effects of ethical misconduct to scale to unprecedented orders of magnitude

In my coaching work with CEOs, it’s abundantly clear that the globalizing environment is acting as a crucible that either melts or refines the leader. Leaders are subjected to more speed, greater complexity, and limited resources—all with the same high expectations. Turbulence is the new normal and there’s no prospect of a spontaneous return to order.

Just look around; the familiar bastion of the conventional business cycle is gone.

If there’s no status quo ante, what’s the result? It’s really quite simple: More pressure to perform and more temptation to engage in ethical misconduct.

Leadership Litmus Test

The litmus test is the collision of stewardship and self-interest. Name a spectacular fall from grace that was about skills, knowledge, or experience? When leaders go down, they go down from the inside out. It’s a collapse of character we witness.

Consider the most recent float in the scandal parade—Mark Hurd, the recently ousted CEO of HP. This is a smart and talented person, but we need to be careful not to cling to a belief that leadership is mostly about IQ points and the charismatic arts, as if they will save us.

They never will—especially not in an ethically and morally interdependent global age.

Geo-Repercussions

The risks of ethical misconduct have become unknown and unknowable. With the connectivity of global supply chains, we are vulnerable to the effects of ethical misdeeds performed almost anywhere on earth.

Bribery

Pet food, peanuts, toothpaste, tires, Bernie Madoff, and the sub-prime lending crisis prove that we have entered an era in which a few bad actors can create a geo-ethical shock that incurs loss for millions of people.

If risk equates to probability multiplied by magnitude, we need to be more willing to take our leaders to task for their personal failings.

Personal failings have not only public consequences, but unintended and far-reaching public consequences.

Dishonorable acts are now globally scalable in their effects.

Resisting Temptation

Leadership is alluring.

It tempts you to use position for personal gain. The culminating test is to resist that temptation. But as we all observe, many succumb. It frequently begins as a flirtation of ego that ends in a vortex of corruption. The ambition to govern one’s fellow beings tends to view leadership as the pathway to a glittering world of personal reward. And so under pretense of leading, those of unbridled ambition seek it out and then let us down.

Hence, we observe a teeming gallery of venal characters auctioned to the highest bidder.

It continues to puzzle me that our public discourse on ethics tends to focus on the back end of achieving compliance and little on the front end of developing moral values. Nor do we talk enough about putting those who want to be our leaders under tougher scrutiny. And yet we live in a society in which we are led by many who have not demonstrated the ability to lead themselves.

So it’s more than antiquarian charm to say that leaders should be honest and morally excellent. Civil society ultimately depends on it as a functional necessity and the last line of defense.

As a practical matter, we need to vet candidates for leadership in every arena on character requirements more rigorously then we do.

We need to test their moral bearing capacity so that when stewardship and self-interest collide—and they certainly will—there’s a good chance the leader won’t buckle.

Empire of The Heart

Let’s not forget that leadership begins in the inner world. It’s about the empire of the heart. It is about meeting needs and reaching goals much larger than one’s personal desires or aspirations.

To be fit to lead has nothing whatever to do with being rich and well-born, or even charismatic—dogmas from which we are still recovering. We need men and women of unflinching character to step out of the crisis, steeled for the journey ahead.

So as a leader, how can you step up and exercise your empire of the heart? And with the leaders around you, how can you hold them to standards that are above ethical reproach? How can you and those around you stand on strong ground and work for things of lasting value that positively impact you company, organization, or your city, state, or federal governments with integrity?

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Timothy R. Clark
Timothy R. Clark
, Ph.D. is president of management consulting firm, TRClark.
He helps in strategy, organizational transformation, and leadership development.
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The Essence of Life and Leadership

Learn Lead

“Emotions transform energy; energy creates movement; movement is change; and change is the essence of life.”  ~Darren Weissman 

Did you know?

  • Only 20-50% of re-engineering efforts succeed [1]
  • Only 28% of information technology projects are successful [2]
  • Only 33% of corporate mergers are successful [3]
  • 50% of firms that downsize experience a decrease (not increase) in productivity. [4]
  • 75% of all change efforts fail to make any dramatic improvements. [5]
  • An astonishingly high percentage of failed projects had excellent technical plans. [6]
  • Failure to change is the primary source of organizational failure.5

Empowering Interface

These dismal revelations about change management success and failure come right out of the research of real organizations, real projects, real managers, and real leaders.  If we were grading leaders and managers on their change management report card, they would get a ‘C,’ at best.

And wouldn’t you agree that, like life, change is arguably also the essence of leadership?

While there are many change management models, if there is one thing that would help your organization dramatically improve the quality of outcomes, it is empowering interface.  That’s what researchers from the University of Bath and George Washington University called it.5

Empowering interface occurs when executive leadership empowers middle management to interface comfortably between executives and frontline employees breaking down silos and enabling both macro and micro variables to change and cascading empowerment across the firm.

This process requires executive transparency and a “change sponsor” or “change champion.”

Change Champion

What does it mean?

It means that executives need to change the way they look at change.  In order to be successful at change leadership and management, you must break down the silos between executive and frontline levels using middle management, create a safe climate, and generate empowerment and trust through transparency and responsiveness.

If there is not open two-way communication and action, change efforts could be doomed.

Empowering middle management, especially with increasing discourse between executives and frontline, greatly increases the odds of success.

Exactly How to Fail

Macro initiatives designed solely by executives (no middle management or frontline input) creates a “closed system” or silos and spreads disempowerment (through rumors, false assumptions, and miscommunication) and that cultivates strong resistance.  Put another way, when change initiatives are rammed down people’s throats and without involvement, expect contempt, defiance, subversion, and eventually failure.

Successful change leadership and management are all about communication, relationships, empowerment, respect, and responsiveness.

This sounds a lot like love, if you ask me.

Work-Out and CAP

Jack Welch and Steve Kerr of GE developed one of the most well-known and successful change models in the late 80’s and early 90’s and used it successfully at GE.6  They called it “Work-Out.”  Similar to a “time out,” those on a change project take a “work-out” from typical bureaucratic practices and behaviors and instead rely on continuous focus, efficient decision-making, and accelerated implementation.

The Change Acceleration Process (CAP) part of Work-Out became popular because of its effectiveness and has since been marketed to many other institutions and industries.

It is no coincidence that a significant portion of CAP – the first four (of seven) steps – are exactly what the researchers describe as empowering interface above.

They call them:

1.  Leading change
2.  Creating a shared need
3.  Shaping a vision
4.  Mobilizing commitment

The last steps in CAP are:

5.  Making change last
6.  Monitoring progress
7.  Changing systems and structures

Change is at the very essence of life and leadership and “resistance to change” doesn’t have to be a given – at least not strong resistance.

Both the research and successful organizational change models like CAP are telling us that when people are involved in the change process, not only does cooperation increase, but the quality of the outcome dramatically improves, as well.

So how do you effect change with those you lead and your extended team?  What is the change management and leadership model and philosophy were you work or lead?  Do you or your organization even have it defined?  What steps can you take today to improve it?  What other models or techniques have helped you and your organization arrive at successful outcomes?

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Alan Mikolaj

Alan Mikolaj is a Professional and Inspirational Trainer, Keynote Speaker & Author
He is the author of three books and holds his Master of Arts  in Clinical Psychology
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[1] Strebel, P. (1996, May/June). Why do employees resist change? Reprinted in Harvard Business Review on change in 1998. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing, pp. 139–157.
[2]
Farias, G., & Johnson, H. (2000). Organizational development and change management: Setting the record straight. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 36, 376–379.
[3] Dinkin, D. (2000). Unlocking the value of M & A. The Banker, 150(895), 118.
[4] Appelbaum, S.H., Everard, A., & Hung, L.T.S. (1999). Strategic downsizing: Critical success factors. Management Decision, 37(7), 535–552.
[5] Raelin, J.D. & Cataldo, C.G. (2011). Whither middle management? Empowering interface and the failure of organizational change. Journal of Change Management, 11(4), pp.481-507.
[6] Von Der Linn, B. (2009). Overview of GE’s Change Acceleration Process (CAP). Retrieved August 24, 2013, from Bob Von Der Linn’s HPT Blog: http://bvonderlinn.wordpress.com/2009/01/25/overview-of-ges-change-acceleration-process-cap/