Category Archives: Magnetic Leadership

The Challenges of Change

Businesses are facing change like never before.  Numerous driving forces to this change include a rapidly expanding marketplace (Globalization) and increasing competition, diversity among consumers, and availability to new forms of technology.  Creativity and innovation are often the key to the success of a changing business, particularly when developing new strategic directions or designing new products and services.

It is easy for management to say, “We want to innovate,” yet it is difficult to leave what you know behind for a visit to the unknown and what may even be chaos.  The steps towards innovation include breakdown, breakthroughs, complexity, mystery and manifestation.  These foster an environment for exploration, imagination, acceptable risks and what ifs.

Breakdown means taking the situation breaking it down to manageable pieces.

Breakthrough is allowing people to brainstorm ideas and bounce ideas off one another for all possibilities.

Complexity can be caused by too many options.  Keep it simple!

Mystery appears when the solution is not totally obvious and the pros and cons need to be analyzed.

Manifestation is when people in the organization begin understanding and seeing the benefits and living the changes.

Through these steps toward innovation, you may face challenges.  Being a creative and magnetic leader will help your organization manage through change, and succeed in the end goal!  Remember:  You can’t spell challenge without change!

Appreciation

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“A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.”  -Author Unknown

It seems so logical, obvious and easy, yet it seems to be one of the biggest misses in corporate America.

Appreciation by definition in Merriam Webster Dictionary is as follows:

  • a feeling of being grateful for something
  • an ability to understand the worth, quality, or importance of something : an ability to appreciate something
  • full awareness or understanding of something

I find most places I visit that leaders tend to overlook the value of appreciation and place little to no stock in utilizing appreciation techniques.

Employees who feel someone is grateful for their contributions will want to deliver more.

Employees who feel as though they are worth something, will strive to prove their value day in and day out.

Employees who feel important will produce their best work!

Employee engagement starts with appreciation.  I urge all managers to take a step back and think about when the last time they made their employees feel important and worth something and when you showed you are grateful for ALL that they do!

Try it.

 

Opposing Forces of Success and Balance

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I recently had a conversation with one of my employees about work-life balance and she questioned me on how I achieve my balance.  My response was, “Do I?”  This prompted me to contemplate my life and the balance of work and play.

  • I have always enjoyed working and maintain I have no plans to retire. 
  • I think about work first thing in the morning.
  • I live work all day, and I go to bed contemplating new ideas. 
  • I take time each day to treat my body right.
  • I drink lots of water.  
  • I prepare three amazingly healthy meals. 
  • I am a student of naturopathic health solutions. 
  • I work out.  I meet up with friends. 
  • I watch my favorite television programs. 
  • I read and read and read.

 

So what exactly is balance?

I read once that it is the pull of opposing forces that keeps you balanced.

My life would be incomplete and disappointing if I did not have my business and the satisfaction I gleam from bringing customer service and employee loyalty to new heights.  And, I would be equally disappointed if I failed to enjoy the beautiful city in which I live, cherish and nurture the relationships with my family and friends, and care for and respect my body.

I am resolved to believe that perfectly balancing these opposing forces to a point of static is unattainable and unrealistic.  For me, a balance is achieved by satisfying the tensions created, harnessing energy from both and living my life each day.

Balance for everyone is not the same.  Others looking at my life could say I work far too much.  Yet, the joy I derive at work brings great value to the balance I seek in life.

In the end, you must:

  • Find what you love
  • Love what you do
  • Embrace your values
  • Strive to worship their role in your life

Wisdom of Leadership

 

 

wisdom

As a consultant I have been sharing my wisdom of leadership with others for over 17 years.  There are times when others criticize leaders and their quest for power.  In my opinion, being a true leader has nothing to do with power.

 

Leadership is a mentality.  To lead others with influence and impact you must think through as many issues as you can.  Double checking to make sure you’ve considered every situation and scenario before finalizing any decision is critical.

Leadership is a practice of behaviors.  The crux of leading is doing the right things, doing them well and doing them consistently.  Your willingness and ability to do what needs to be done and doing it with skill and professionalism is what drives the corporate culture and ultimately your reputation.

Leadership is a noble profession.  Leaders should realize their profession is all about those who have trusted them as a guide.  Leadership is a journey of self-awareness that lasts for your entire career as you discover what others see in you as authentic, trustworthy and compelling.

Finally, leadership is a passion.  Not everyone is born to lead.  Some are content to follow.  Successful leaders have a burning desire to engage others and rally them to achieve greatness.

As I motivate leaders around the country I always remind them, leading is challenging, tiring, and thankless at times, but the rewards far outweigh the challenges!

Being Compelling: The Commitment to Winning

You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go.  You lead by going to that place and making a case.” – Ken Kesey, American Author

Followers are compelled by a cause.  I always tell people leaders must paint a picture for those they wish to enroll – a vision of what winners will look like and how participants can contribute their talents in the pursuit of that vision and share in the ultimate success.

Almost any version of success requires committed action toward goals.  And action requires teams of people assembled around leaders aligned with a shared, bold vision.  Compelling leaders create a following that is different from one of “believers”; leaders find and inspire followers who commit not just with their mind or hearts, but also with their time and energy.

Followers seek a vision that expresses a substantial commitment in tangible ways. From the perspective of those who follow, the message is “This vision has a place for you and I want you involved in this process.”

Create a winning vision. Inspire others.  Success will follow!

Orchestrate a Culture of Rock Stars

A performer standing on stage facing the crowd with his hand in the air

Do you wonder what the magic is behind the most successful companies?  OR how YOU can become the next success story?  Rock star performances are driven from individuals with fundamental skills who are nourished by a dynamic, responsive and engaging corporate culture.   Cultivate a garden of rock stars by building a culture of reliability, accountability, and responsibility plus leading powerfully, passionately and purposefully.

Do this by:

  • Capitalizing on individual strengths and exploiting them
  • Utilizing trust as the foundation of your culture
  • Motivating, coaching and developing high potentials

4 Methods for Dealing with Resistance to Change

I have written a lot about change in the last few weeks.  Here are four methods that leaders introducing change into their organization can utilize when dealing with resistance to change:

  1. Education and Communication: educate people about a change before it is implemented and most importantly help them understand the logic behind the change.
  2. Participation & Involvement: allow people to help design and implement the changes (e.g., ideas, task forces, committees). Tell them the challenge and ask them for their input to implement a solution.
  3. Facilitation & Support: provide help (emotional & material resources) for people having trouble adjusting to the change. It’s great to have change advocates who are willing to express their ideas and support the changes.
  4. Explicit and Implicit Coercion: as a last resort it may be necessary to use authority and influence to encourage people to accept changes.

We all know change is never easy.  In my opinion, approaching it from the logical perspective helps a lot!

Face Time STILL Your Biggest Asset

The millennials moving into the workforce come with a big imaginary technology bubble wrapped around them.  Corporate leaders see Generations Y and Z coming and mistakenly make room for the bubble to fit through the door – offering social media, instant messaging, texting, skype, e-mail and other remote communication methods.

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A recent study by Randstad identifies that 51% of Gen Z and 52% of Gen Y chose the face-to-face meeting as their preferred form of communication.  Less than 20% of each generation said they prefer e-mail.

These amazing statistics bode well for your organization.  The traditional, culture-building team meetings are still top on the list, even for your newest team members!  The need for human interaction remains strong.

For generations, it has been proven that communication is critical to the success of an organization.  As corporate leaders in an evolving workplace, maintaining the grass roots communication should be a priority.  It is face-to-face where we can see expressions, emotion and gestures – all things that are very difficult to gauge when utilizing newer forms of technology.

Plan a meeting, invite everyone.  The technology is simple and the results exponential!

Conquer the Biggest Threat to Business Success with Exceptional Leadership

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I recently encountered a statistic stating:

“84% of senior leaders globally say disengaged employees are one of the three biggest threats facing their business – yet only 12% of them report regularly working to address employee engagement.” (The Economist, Reengaging with Engagement Report)

A recent study by Mercer revealed the top five factors that influence employee motivation and engagement globally are:

  • Being treated with respect
  • Work/Life balance
  • Type of work
  • Quality of coworkers
  • Quality of leadership

Quality of leadership is critical for motivating and engaging employees,

What is necessary to boost the quality of your leadership in order to increase productivity and profitability?

The single most important factor in employee engagement is creating an emotional commitment between the employee and the organization.  To do this, leaders need to focus on the following building blocks to become a magnetic leader who conquers the threats disengaged employees present to their business.

  1. Be Authentic:  Being comfortable in your own skin, finding your passion and pursuing that passion will empower people to step up and create their own value within the organization.
  1. Ask & Listen:

Asking questions of your employees and actually listening and responding to their concerns builds trust.  60% of employees with a low degree of trust in management intend to leave their organization, compared to 20% with a high degree of trust. (Center for Creative Leadership, World Leadership Survey, 2010)

  1. Communicate:

Almost 2/3 of all employees are 33% as productive as they could be because they don’t understand what they are being asked to do. (The Conference Board 2010)  Leaders who communicate regularly, clearly and effectively with their employees will significantly increase productivity.

  1. Be Confident:

When you make a business decision considering all factors, potential outcomes and risks and then present those to members of the organization when initiating a change, individuals will be more inclined to embrace the changes presented.  Confidence in your decision is critical to getting others to believe in the change.

As a leader, when you begin to harness the irresistible forces of exceptional leadership, you will create a culture where the emotional connection between individuals and the organization is palpable and inevitably measurable in the increased profitability and productivity of the organization as a whole.

At this year’s ICMI Conference in Long Beach, CA, Dianne Durkin of Loyalty Factor will be presenting a workshop and Encore presentation of  The Power of Magnetic Leadership.  These sessions will delve into the process of becoming a magnetic leader, and provide valuable tools for leaders to improve their organizations through communication, trust and engagement and gather tips on how to create the essential emotional connection between individuals and the organization!  Don’t miss it!!!

Happy Holidays!!

holiday2015

Happy holidays to you and yours from our President, Dianne Durkin, and all of us here at Loyalty Factor.  May your final days of 2015 be merry and bright, and may you have the happiest and most successful New Year!!