The Art of Persuasion

I recently had an interesting coaching discussion with a client, strategizing about how to begin changing the culture within her organization.  She’s bright, well-educated, and very experienced in her field.  As you can imagine, our conversation was interesting and productive. Like many senior executives, she truly wants to succeed.  She wants to shift the culture […]

The Most Valuable Person to a CEO

Whether your title is CEO or President, it’s crucial to understand who the most important person is to your success.  I’m not talking about some self-serving answer like, “your executive coach”.  No,… the person I’m referring to is within your organization. You’ve reached the top executive spot in your organization because (among other things) you’re […]

Does Attitude Really Count?

We’ve all heard the sayings about attitude.  Things like: “Your attitude determines your altitude”, “Attitude is everything”, and “The only thing you can control is your attitude”.  Let’s face it.  No one is against having a positive attitude.  It’s kind of like mom and apple pie.  There’s nothing to be against. But attitude has an […]

Employee Engagement Can’t Be Sustained

Engagement can’t be sustained – at least not the way many (if not most) people imagine it. Let me explain… Many people have the mistaken impression that an engaged employee: Is always enthusiastic about their work Always enjoys their work Regularly feels challenged by their work Feels a sense of commitment to their work, and […]

The Three Secrets to Engagement

Companies are taking an increasing interest in employee engagement, and rightly so.  Studies continue to emphasize the correlation between levels of engagement and levels of productivity, customer satisfaction, and profitability. But improving engagement is a challenge.  Offering better perks and better benefits helps, but not much.  In fact, according to the latest Gallup study, overall […]

Managing People Causes Disengagement

Regardless of whether your title is that of executive, director, or manager, managing people instead of leading them, drives down engagement. I’ve always loved the expression, “Things get managed, but people get led.” It’s a great perspective and it’s true. But how exactly do bosses “manage” people? After lots of reflection, I’ve distilled what managing […]

Why Recognition Programs Don’t Work

It’s widely accepted that an important part of any employee engagement strategy is having a recognition program.  People want to feel valued and acknowledged for their work, so organizations implement recognition programs to accomplish that by offering awards, plaques, mugs, pins, gifts, certificates, and/or bonuses.  All of those things are nice and the concept sounds […]

The Enemy of Effective Execution

There are a lot of smart people in the business world and they come up with plenty of good strategies to grow revenues, to gain market share, to increase productivity and to improve profitability.  And most executives also create a plan which details the tactics that need to be executed in order to achieve that […]

5 Strategies for Driving Performance

Virtually every executive I know is focused on improving the performance of their team. And while there are many ways to gain some improvement, the greatest increases arise from five key foundational strategies – trust, respect, autonomy, purpose, and opportunity. At first consideration these may seem simplistic, but just as with a winning sports team, […]

Compliance vs. Commitment

While there are a number of descriptions and definitions of employee engagement, my feeling is that engagement is a reflection of how they spend their discretionary time and effort. The difference between someone who’s not engaged vs. someone who is, is analogous to the distinction between compliance and commitment.  When someone is compliant, they simply […]