Category Archives: Employee Loyalty

Opposing Forces of Success and Balance


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




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

Remote Workers

A short time ago Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!, shocked all telecommuters when she implemented a corporate policy preventing telecommuting.  Her actions left those who work from home defending their privilege!

  • A 2014 study by the Society for Human Resource and Families and Work Institute found that “67% of companies allow workers to work remotely occasionally, up from 50% in 2008” and
  • A Gallup State of the American Workplace report found that people who work remotely are more engaged, enthusiastic and committed to their work — but only if they work outside the office 20% of the time or less.

So where does your company land in all this?

It seems to me as though file sharing, electronic communications, and mobile workplaces have made working from home a very easy solution and one that seems to satisfy younger generations and their need for flexibility.

While I believe the flexibility is critical to recruiting and maintaining the top performers, I also believe in the value of good old-fashioned face-to-face interactions.

There is little that can take the place of the accountability that comes from sitting down with your employee, the communication and flow that comes from employees conversing sporadically to get informed and the  camaraderie that comes from everyone working together to reach a desired end!


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.


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

leadership purple

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!!


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!!

What Keeps Leaders Up at Night

No matter how successful you are, if you’re like most leaders, you’re occasionally plagued by the doubt that accompanies typical management questions.

In her book, What Keeps Leaders Up at Night, Nicole Lipkin provides the following 2 pieces of advice: Don’t be:

  1. Too afraid to lose: A leader afraid to lose will paralyze himself by
  • Worrying excessively about failing to get the right results
  • Questioning and second-guess every step of the way
  • Avoiding decisions and commitments that might cause mistakes
  1. Too busy to win: Excessive busyness can impair performance and productivity, making you increasingly forgetful, fatigued, and prone to poor decision making and problem solving.
  2. Too proud to see: We all get wrapped up in our own ideas by
  • Letting yourself get so tied to an idea that you won’t let it go
  • Refusing to heed the advice of others
  • Relying on your past successes at the expense of weighing different patterns, options or solutions.

To avoid these pitfalls, a leader must be self-aware!  Taking a moment to reflect and eliminate any unproductive behaviors will make you a better leader and help you to sleep better!

For an honest assessment of your leadership style and to learn how to energize your inner powers despite the outer pressures, call Dianne Durkin, author of The Power of Magnetic Leadership, at 603-334-3401!