Our current model of success is not designed to make us happy, to give us fulfillment, to give us meaning. It’s designed to accumulate. And it’s a model that is not sustainable anymore. We need a new way of doing business. But it is not something we just can do differently. It requires a different thinking. It requires a different consciousness.
Peter Matthies, Founder, Conscious Business Institute
No-one doubts that we are faced with increasing complexity and challenges coming at us globally, impacting us professionally, and touching us personally. Examples include climate change, income inequality, employee engagement, diversity and inclusion, stress and anxiety and lack of purpose and meaning.
The current challenge for leaders is how do they navigate this new landscape they find themselves in it. Whilst many leaders recognise that the current ways of leading business are not sustainable as it focuses on profit and margin rather than the planet and people when under stress they revert to their “normal” behaviour. After all, that was the focus of the business which many of today’s leaders were brought up in.
The problem is that as employees observe how the leadership team acts in these critical situations, they withdraw trust. Relationships break down and accountability, ownership, personal leadership, proactive behavior and contribution all suffer– while politics, slow decision making, and self-preservation rise. This does not create an engaged workforce and is one of the reasons why globally employee engagement is at just 13% according to Gallup.
If organizations want to thrive and create healthy and vibrant business cultures with high levels of engagement, then business leaders need to think differently. They need to start focusing on their people and their drivers of success which ultimately come in the first instance from people’s basic human needs being met. In Peak, author Chip Conley distills Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs into three essential levels: survive, succeed, transform. For employees, he suggests that at survival level they need money to ensure their base needs are met. At the succeed level, they want recognition and to feel valued whilst at the transform level employees want to feel inspired, a sense of contribution to the business, and a sense of contribution to society through the business.
Thinking differently about what drives our employees is critical as research shows that behavioral changes are not effective if they aren’t aligned with an individual’s mindset and consciousness. In other words, if we focus on what the individual does (their habits, behaviours, and actions) and expect to get the results we desire then that change is likely to be unstainable as the employee is not aligned with why the change needs to occur.
This is why I am a passionate advocate of the new leadership framework proposed by the Conscious Business Institute which has identified five identities that must be aligned to create a successful organization. These are:
INDIVIDUALS can be fully themselves and contribute their authentic power. Fulfills the human need for self-expression
TEAMS collaborate & communicate well and cultivate diversity & inclusion. Fulfills the human need for connection
ORGANIZATION is values based & purpose-driven with a bold vision. Fulfills the human need for contribution
BUSINESS is socially responsible and measures its success holistically Fulfills the human need for security & growth
LEADERSHIP that’s inspiring, accountable, courageous, & empowering. Fulfills the human need for appreciation & care
Each area speaks to a specific human need. By focusing on the mindset and consciousness of the employee sustainable behavioural change occurs as everything starts with who we are being, before looking at what we are doing and then having as a result. In other words, this structure helps to access the level of consciousness before providing concrete tools to apply day-to-day.
As much as you may have a put together a diverse team, you need to be diverse in how you, the boss/leader-of-the-team/employer/lead dentist, handle your people. Indeed, chaos could easily ensue when bringing together so many kinds of people.
I’m no genius or great leader of men and women, but I knew (or more precisely I learned) that I had to show my employees they had a leader at the helm. I am not, nor would I ever be, a you’re-under-my-thumb kind of a guy; but this was my ship, and I had to be a steady, knowing captain, charting the course or we’d sink for sure. I am not the kind of guy who is going to let details get by me anyway, so I kept my eyes and ears open, tried to let my people do what they were hired to do, but they always knew what was expected of them.
It’s not enough to simply say “job well done” or hand out bonuses. Sure, these immediate positive reinforcements are important. But on a grander scale, think about diversifying how you champion your team, how you can enrich the color palette of your responses to those who work for you, how you appear, time and again, a positive, proactive force in these people’s professional working lives.
Simply put, consider how what you do will keep them working for you for a long time. You’ve done well to hire a good team, made up of a wide variety of folks from a variety of different backgrounds who have varied ways of problem solving, who all have different skills to fit into the whole of your organization. You need, then, to constantly work on the diversity of your thinking. How do you do this?
You have cultivated a staff who might come at you with many different ideas, approaches, needs (religious holidays alone could be many if your staff is made up of people who worship drastically different than one another). I also am open to people needing to leave early on some days for reasonable reasons.
Be ready for the challenges.
You certainly are going to find plenty of them if you hire a diverse staff. The wider a variety of people you get around you, the more you can as much benefit from potential wild flights of creativity as you can combustion. Be ready for this, and cultivate solid emotional intelligence.
Don’t let your desire for diversity cloud your judgment.
Hire the best person for the job. Look far and wide, consider people far from your comfort zone. Certainly don’t let other employees come to dictate, even by their presence, who you come to hire.
Yes, your diverse, fantastic staff, filled to the brim with all those unique thinkers and doers working daily with one another for constant proactive change is a wonderful sight to behold. But you all have to work in the real world.
So often we get so into creating our office culture that we march forward with blinders on building our brand. We get so busy looking to hire just the right people, getting things moving with precision clockwork, that we easily forget that, while hiring and dealing with a diverse staff is important, how they go forth and play with others is the true test of how successful your grand experiment proves to be. An “us vs. them” mentality serves no one.
Dr. Steven Hymovitch (aka, “Dr. H”) is the dentist who gets it! Dr. H is no stranger to hard work. He grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood in Montreal, Canada, the son of hard-working parents who ran a successful “mom and pop” shop. He got his first job at age 10 as a newspaper delivery boy; as a teenager, he sold soda at hockey games in the Montreal Forum. He served with the Canadian Army Reserves for 14 years, and even worked as a meat slicer at a delicatessen in Boston while simultaneously finishing his endodontic residency.
Dr. H received his BS and DDS from McGill University, an MBA from Arizona State University, and a root canal specialty degree from Tufts University. He settled in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1994, and continued his career as a serial entrepreneur. Over the next 10 years, Dr. H grew his Tucson- and Phoenix-based practice, Valley Endodontics and Oral Surgery, into more than twenty offices, making it the largest endodontic/oral surgery practice in the southwestern United States. He received his Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching from the Royal Roads University in Canada, and in 2017, co-founded the Scottsdale Leadership & Coaching Center, helping business owners in the U.S. and Canada build their balance sheets and scale their practices to help more people.
Dr. H is a devoted husband to Julie, and loving father to Stefanie, Hannah, Hallie, David, and Evan. He enjoys traveling with his family, reading, and constant continuing education especially in the realm of emotional intelligence and leadership coaching. He finds great joy in sharing his personal and professional experiences to help others, and is equally excited about learning new things and expanding his colleague bases while networking and coaching.
Although being savvy about office politics is important for both genders, unconscious bias and stereotypes create special challenges for women. Many women focus on performance, thinking that good work garners promotion. Too often, they’re left outside of the circles of power and influence where decisions are made that affect their careers. But politics are the reality of the workplace, one that differs between organizations and fluctuates over time.Learning to navigate these complex rules and customs is the key to professional recognition for women, fostering relationships that reach far beyond the next evaluation.
This week, we celebrate the four-year anniversary of The Politics of Promotion, a book that offers the tools and guidance women need to successfully navigate the realities of their organization, emphasizing the need to understand office politics to get the promotions and recognition they deserve. Written by Bonnie Marcus, a professional coach who focuses on helping women advance their careers, this book demonstrates the impact of relationships and sponsorship on career trajectory.
Schedule some time today to listen in to our content-rich conversation with Bonnie, as she explores the workplace realities facing all women today and how both men and women can navigate the politics. Discover why excellence and achievement aren’t propulsion enough to get ahead; and how networking with power and intention can make all the difference in perception, reputation, and promotion.
Far beyond the typical advice of “be assertive” and “embrace ambition,” Bonnie provides a unique and proven method for becoming a bigger player in the workplace and avoiding unexpected trip-ups that can add years to the climb — or end it for good.
Look Out Before You Lean In with Bonnie Marcus - YouTube
If you enjoyed this video, you may also enjoy browsing some of our other webinars for more inspiration. Find them here.
For most of the time I’ve been in business, that was the metaphor for organizations. Leaders designed machines. Other leaders operated machines. And the machines themselves? Well, they were made up of interchangeable parts. If a part broke or if a part wore out, all you had to do was replace it with another part.
That metaphor comes from the early Industrial Age. It made sense then, but it makes little sense now.
Leaders aren’t super-powerful beings that design and operate organizations. Organizations aren’t machines. They’re made up of unique human beings, not interchangeable parts.
Today, it makes more sense to think of a leader as gardener, not a machine designer or a machine operator. Think about dealing with unique living things, not inanimate and interchangeable parts. Give up control. Instead, create an environment where your garden will flourish. Here are four things you should do.
Choose the Right Plants
As a gardener, your first challenge is to pick the right plants. You pick the plants that will yield the crop you want. If you want delicious corn on the cob, it makes sense to plant corn. As a leader, you should pick a team that has all the skills you need to do the job.
As a gardener, you should choose plants that will flourish in your environment. Plants that thrive in Sequim, Washington, are not likely to thrive in Phoenix, Arizona. As a leader, your team culture is the important environment. Find people who will thrive in it.
As a gardener, you should pick plants that go together. Not all combinations of plants work well. A plant that thrives in your friend’s garden down the street might be choked off in yours. As a leader, you should choose team members who can work well together.
Living things, whether plants or people, thrive when we tend to them. That’s true whether it’s your backyard vegetable garden or your leadership garden. In both cases, there are three things to tend.
Tend the Plants
As a gardener, you must pay attention to each plant. Watch for signs of distress. Then act to make the plant healthy again. As a leader you should spend time with each team member. Help them grow and develop. Give them the resources and support they need.
Tend the Garden
As a gardener, you must pay attention to how the whole garden grows. As a leader, you should watch how the team works together. It’s your job to spot behavior and discord that threaten team performance and act to make things right.
Take Heroic Measures When Necessary
If you’re a gardener, you know that you can do everything right and bad things can still happen. Deer may feast on your tomatoes. A sudden cold snap can threaten your harvest. Children may pull up plants for fun. Those things call for heroic measures.
Your leadership garden is the same. The Powers That Be may come up with an idea that threatens your productivity or morale. A team member may suffer a personal tragedy. A key performer may follow “one true love” to another state. When things like that happen, it’s your cue to do what you can.
Organizations aren’t machines. People aren’t parts. You will do your best work as a leader when you think of yourself as a gardener. Create an environment where living things flourish and produce great results.
We are pleased to present this excerpt from Win the Heart by Mark Miller.
Why Engagement Matters
The life of a leader can be hectic. On most days, we have a dizzying array of problems screaming for our attention… internal pressures such as staffing, quality, and capacity issues combined with external storm clouds propelling the war for talent, competitive pressures, and ever-changing governmental regulations, to name just a few.
In the midst of this cacophony is brewing a threat to our organizations… often unseen and unheard above the daily din – the thief of sales, profits, customer satisfaction, and the pride in a job well done: low employee engagement.
The data on this topic is so consistently shocking most leaders have become numb to the annual statistics. Some have even retreated to denial and actually chosen to stop thinking and talking about engagement. This is not the answer.
Engagement matters for several reasons…
First, there are the people. Their work life matters. As leaders, we have an opportunity to help people find meaning and purpose in their work. We can create a place where they can bring their best selves to work every day. The workplace we create determines, to a large extent, how engaged someone is at work. Do your people go home energized or disempowered at the end of a long day? We really do have the responsibility to decide.
Leaders should also care deeply about engagement because of the opportunity it presents. If we can harness the untapped potential buried deep within the hearts of our people, we can turn engagement from a liability into real, sustainable competitive advantage and usher in gains in productivity unseen since the industrial revolution!
Finally, for many organizations, engagement is the final hurdle to becoming a High Performance Organization. For those who are not familiar with the concepts, here is a ten-second summary.
All High Performance Organizations have four things in common. They Bet on Leadership, Act as One, Win the Heart, and these three ‘moves’ enable them to Excel at Execution.
Here’s my encouragement to you…
Keep an open mind, check your assumptions about engagement at the door, and get ready unleash the full potential of your people and your organization.
Mark Miller began writing over decade ago when he teamed up with Ken Blanchard on The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do. He has since authored or coauthored seven bestselling titles. In his latest book, Win the Heart, Miller uses a clever and entertaining business fable that continues the story of Blake, a young CEO, who sets out on a journey to discover the key to engaging leadership. By the end of his journey, Blake has discovered a powerful philosophy to guide his decisions in the future, and four drivers of engagement to implement today.
In addition to writing, he really loves speaking to leaders. Over the years, he’s traveled extensively around the world teaching for numerous international organizations. His theme is always the same: encouraging and equipping leaders.
He also sells chicken. Mark started his Chick-fil-A career working as an hourly team member back in 1977. In 1978, he joined the corporate staff working in the warehouse and mail room. Since then, he’s provided leadership for Corporate Communications, Field Operations, Quality and Customer Satisfaction, Training and Development, and Organizational Effectiveness. Today he serves as the Vice President of High Performance Leadership. During his time with Chick-fil-A, annual sales have grown to over $5 billion, and the company now has more than 1,700 restaurants in 39 states and the District of Columbia.
Not everyone agrees on what the ideal workplace temperature is. Crank up the thermostat too high and half your employees will be sweating, but set it too low and the other half of employees will spend more time shivering than working. According to one 2014 study, office workers in the UK waste 2 percent of their work hours fighting over control of the thermostat, amounting to a whopping £13 billion a year in wasted productivity.
Is there a temperature you can set your workplace to make everyone happy and keep up productivity? Research says yes, but the answer is a bit more complicated.
What Is the Recommended Temperature for a Workplace?
For many decades, experts recommended working in air-conditioned office environments between 70 and 73 degrees Fahrenheit. However, they studied workplaces with primarily male employees; more recent research shows that, because women have a lower metabolic rate than men, they are likely to feel colder. The recommended minimum temperature for the average office is 71.5 degrees Fahrenheit, but you may need to adjust that setting based on the gender distribution and overall age of your office. Older workers tend to feel colder than younger workers, so they may be more comfortable at slightly warmer temperatures.
In addition to the male-female makeup of your workplace, consider the design of the building. If large windows or high ceilings warm up the office or make it harder for air to circulate, take that into consideration when setting the thermostat. Humidity also plays a role in how warm or cool the indoor air feels to workers; it’s recommended to keep indoor air at around 40 percent humidity year-round. To maintain a comfortable level of humidity and temperature, air conditioning service professionals can help you choose among types of air conditioner models to pick a unit that works best for your building design and is efficient, helping the office save money.
The Relationship Between Temperature and Productivity in the Workplace
Time spent adjusting the thermostat or layering clothes on and off to regulate body temperature can result in lost productivity. According to one study, only 24 percent of workers surveyed were satisfied with their office’s temperature throughout the entire year. Employees who are constantly sweating or shivering are much less likely to work at their best, which has even been measured by real data.
When researchers from Cornell University adjusted the thermostat and measured workers’ productivity, they found that the workers were twice as productive when the office was 77 degrees Fahrenheit compared to when the office was 68 degrees Fahrenheit. However, when the temperature was raised to more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit, productivity fell to 85 percent. Researchers concluded that a slightly warmer office made workers more productive, but the workers’ efficiency fell when it was too hot. This effect was observed in another study in India: after looking at 70,000 workplaces, researchers saw that productivity fell by about 3 percent for every degree the temperature measured above average.
If your workplace includes an outdoor environment, it’s important to keep this data in mind. Your workers should always have access to cool water, shade, and protective clothing during summer to prevent hot temperatures from slowing their work.
Cold temperatures can have a negative effect on workers, too. Employees should have access to warm clothing and other protections to maintain a minimum temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit, which is widely recommended.
Maintaining Ideal Office Temperature and Productivity
Office temperature may not seem like a high priority, compared to all the things your company has to deal with on a daily basis, but it’s clearly in every business’ best interest to keep workers as comfortable as possible to maintain high levels of productivity.
Louie was doing his job well, actively selling Marie on the reasons why she should list his firm’s talent assessment on her company’s website. He mentioned making money three times, and improving metrics four times, in response to Marie’s questions.
“Louie, thank you for reaching out,” said Marie. “Our companies’ interests don’t appear to be aligned, so a partnership isn’t going to work.”
“If I may ask, what interests aren’t aligned?”
“Metrics and money.”
“Wait a minute, Marie. Aren’t you interested in metrics and making money?”
“I am, just in a different way.”
“Money and metrics tell me our business is doing well, but they aren’t the reasons we’re in business.”
Back in the 1950’s, the average lifespan of a business was 61 years; today, it’s around 18. Marie wants to beat both of those metrics. Her moonshot goal is achieving what the Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan Hotel in Japan has done. The hotel opened in 705 AD and is still operating. Impressive.
Professor Makoto Kanda from Meiji Gakuin University studied the Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan Hotel and other long-term operating businesses to understand their longevity. His findings? These organizations focus on a central belief that isn’t solely tied to making a profit. An orientation to something more than money and metrics is hard to find in most Wall Street analyses and reporting.
Quantitative metrics are valuable for tracking and assessing a specific business process. However, making quantitative metrics the only measure of success creates a number of other issues such as:
While many experts promote metrics and AI as the antidote to bias, that’s not really the case. Bias is built into data and algorithms, and that bias can skew greater over time as the algorithms learn.
Initiative, innovation, and risk-taking lose out because they tend to harm metrics.
The long-term is sacrificed for the short-term.
Certain stakeholders are marginalized because of their minimal role in achieving the “right” numbers.
People fall into binary either/or thinking patterns that tend to produce an artificial value hierarchy between business practices. For example, it’s not uncommon for companies to believe that improving the bottom line is more important that employee engagement or development.
Quantitative measurements do help people manage more efficiently. However, using a mix of quantitative and qualitative metrics makes managers both more efficient and effective.
Results vs. Relationships
A study by James Zenger found that 14 percent of employees viewed a manager who focused only on results as a good manager. Twelve percent thought a manager who focused on relationships was good. What about managers who delivered both results and relationships? 72 percent of employees saw them as a good manager. The really sad study finding? Less than 1 percent of managers focus on both results and relationships.
85 percent of managers prefer either results or relationships. Emphasizing one preference means there’s a counter-balancing factor that isn’t being used. Picture the playground teeter-totter with one side up and the other down. A singular focus on metrics (side up) results in workplaces where employees aren’t fully engaged (side down).
Marie’s business, the Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan Hotel, and the 1 percent in Zenger’s study focus on actions that aren’t solely tied to making a profit. They’ve mastered “teeter-totter” leadership in balancing both quantitative and qualitative aspects of managing and leading. They:
Get things done and are kind
Have high standards and give positive feedback
Have a plan and interact with people
Speak directly and are encouraging
Are decisive and consider impacts on others
Are analytical and have good interpersonal skills
Provide direction and listen to feedback
Are candid and show empathy
Think about today and tomorrow
Are self-aware and trust others
Compete externally and collaborate internally
Measure KPIs as well as smiles and laughter
Deliver the numbers and make people feel valued
Think about where you’ve worked. Did you thrive in an environment where you were only as good as your last set of numbers? Or where you felt like you were valued and made a difference?
Now think about your employees and your legacy. Do you want people to think of you as the boss who only cared about money and metrics, or as the boss they willingly followed because he/she focused on a central belief that wasn’t solely tied to making a profit?
I often hear (about) leaders in organizations mumbling things like, “We need to get the dialog going on the subject of . . .” Sounds good, doesn’t it? But what do we mean when we say dialog? Is it just a hip way of saying we should talk to coworkers?
A monolog only works to transmit powerful messages.
The opposite of a dialog is a monolog. Monolog literally means one (mono) does the word (logos). In other words, during a monolog, there is an absence of interaction: the sender sends. They may think (or like to believe) that their words are affecting the listener – and that may be the case – yet there is absolutely no guarantee or check to see what the effect of that monolog really is. In a monolog, you therefore need to transmit a very powerful message before the listener is motivated to listen to you, let alone actually do something with your message. And unless there is an urgent motivation to listen, the sender of the monolog is violating the listeners’ psychological needs for connection, mastery, and autonomy.
A monolog violates basic psychological needs.
Why? There isn’t any real connection, as there is no interaction. A monolog generally ignores what the other is already capable of (violating their feeling of mastery) and tells the other what is to be done, not conducive to them feeling autonomous. So monolog means talking to coworkers. A dialog means talking with coworkers. And there is no way you can talk with someone else, unless you are prepared to listen to what the other has to say and do something with what they say.
What dialog is not
Dialog isn’t a monolog, and it also isn’t allowing the other to make some noise. Dialog isn’t about lip service or collecting various opinions as input and then still making decisions about the subject at hand on your own. The first important point is: don’t enter into a dialog with a coworker unless you are prepared to share the decision-making process with them. If something is too important and you feel you must make the (final) choice in the matter, call it what it is: garnering input in order to make a better decision.
Create conditions for dialog.
So a dialog is about a real conversation. The other (or others) needs to feel safe and know that their ideas are appreciated, that you trust in their competence. This means that the groundwork should already be in place: you are able to listen with an open mind to their opinions, and are genuinely interested in where they are coming from. Rather than first venting all your ideas (which would stem the flow of genuine information from the coworker), always start by asking questions and keep your own communications short, especially in the beginning phases of the dialog. Rather, use your opinions and knowledge of the matter at hand to pose intelligent questions. Questions which deepen and broaden the conversation lead to new insights both for you and the coworker. Even so, now and then summarize where you’re at or ask your coworker something like: “Given our conversation thus far, where do we stand on this subject, would you say?”
Dialog leads to consensus.
A consensus is different than a compromise. It means getting to a place where all agree they have reached an adequate solution or point of view. It means you as the leader should also show your vulnerability by expressing what your concerns are, and consult with the other on how to allay these. In a consensus, all parties’ concerns have been addressed to the degree that they no longer stand in the way. A dialog also means having the guts to suspend the conversation to allow those involved to think matters through. By asking “what can we decide on?” and listening carefully to the other and to your own feelings, you will know when you’re close to a consensus.
In brief: a genuine dialog means connecting with the other, acknowledging their mastery and embracing diversity of ideas, thereby also supporting the other’s need for autonomy.
By the year 2020, the workplace will require some unique skills in order to thrive, to be resilient, and to relish an ever-changing world. Now is the time to begin developing them.
The Institute for the Future teamed up with the University of Phoenix Research Institute to pinpoint skills that are the result of several current economic drivers.
Skill #1: Sense-Making
This requires one to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed. Listening skills will be paramount, along with the ability to withhold judgment and ask critical questions. Listening is a soft skill that is sadly in short supply. You can learn to become a more astute listener.
Skill #2: Social Intelligence
This has nothing to do with Facebook or Instagram. Rather, it is about connecting to people in such a way that you can intuit their reactions. The ability to connect with mind and heart has never been greater.
Skill #3: Novel and Adaptive Thinking
Thinking and coming up with creative solutions will drive products and services. Our challenge is that we continue to respond to events in outmoded ways. This skill will require a willingness to suspend the status quo, to seek information from new sources, and to creatively explore possibilities.
Skill #4: Cross-Cultural Competency
Ethnicity is not the only type of cross-cultural awareness. Rather, innovative teams will consist of various ages, beliefs, cultural backgrounds, religions, and backgrounds. Curiosity and compassion go a long way to understanding and appreciating difference.
Skill #5: Computational Thinking
The ability to turn data and abstract concepts into usable bits of information will be critical. Facts and figures are meaningless, unless placed in a soup bowl of context and connection. Without context, data is meaningless. Connection asks you to consider who can best use the data in meaningful ways.
Every great company has an engaged workforce, and nurturing a culture of engagement is at the heart of great leadership — employees who really care about their work, their coworkers, and the organization can supercharge a company’s success. But for many years, engagement has been suffering. Employee engagement is shockingly low — but it’s not an employee problem, it’s a leadership problem. It’s up to leaders to create a workplace where their employees truly want to be.
Engagement unleashes untapped potential buried deep within the hearts of your people. An engaged workforce is more creative, more driven, and more enthusiastic about reaching company goals.