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Our Perspective on Life, Leadership, and Engagement

Get the scoop from our consultants and creatives, as well as our clients and other thought-leading guests. In addition to our blog and video posts, don’t miss our popular podcasts — they’ve been heard regularly by thousands of leaders since 2012!
  • On the Engaging Leader podcast, we share communication and leadership principles, and tell stories that illustrate putting those principles into practice.
  • The Workforce Health Engagement podcast explores strategies to improve your employees’ health and productivity — and to protect your bottom line.

202: Overcome the Invisible Barriers Holding Women Back at Work | with Michelle King, Netflix’s Director of Inclusion

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In recent years, most companies have been trying to advance the representation of women and minorities in leadership positions.  For example, most organizations have diversity recruitment targets as well as Diversity & Inclusion programs, including initiatives like mentoring, networking groups, and unconscious bias training. read more…

201: 4 Hacks for Bringing Joy to the Workplace | with Bruce Daisley, former Twitter VP

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Burnout and unhappiness at work are a reality for the vast majority of workers. Fortunately, leaders — and employees themselves — can make work better. In his new book, Bruce Daisley shares hacks from science and his previous experience as Twitter’s VP of Europe to transform work from stressful and soul-sucking to fulfilling and fun.

Bruce joins us to discuss four simple practices to improve how your team works together, leading to greater happiness and performance.

Bruce Daisley is the author of Eat Sleep Work Repeat: 30 Hacks for Bringing Joy to Your Job. From 2012 through January 2020, Bruce was Twitter’s Vice President across Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Previously, he ran YouTube UK at Google. Bruce’s passion for improving work led to him creating the podcast Eat Sleep Work Repeat on making work better. It became a number 1 smash in the UK (also hitting the business top 10 in the US).

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200: Discover How You Contribute to the World | with Tom Rath

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Great jobs are MADE, not FOUND. If you aren’t loving your current job, how can you turn it into a job you want? Finding fulfillment in our life’s work requires contributing meaningfully to the world around us. We’re pleased to welcome Tom Rath back to the show. Tom is a bestselling author and research scientist who has spent the past two decades studying how work can improve human health and well-being. Tom shares about his new book Life’s Great Question, which follows up on his earlier work about StrengthsFinder. We discuss:

  • How we can redesign the job we have into the job we want
  • Why we need a whole new way to think about our life’s work
  • How helping others can improve your health and well-being
  • How to align your work with your greatest potential contributions while keeping in touch with how you’re wired, what you need, and what gets you excited.

Tom Rath’s bestsellers include How Full Is Your Bucket?, StrengthsFinder 2.0, Strengths Based Leadership, Wellbeing, Eat Move Sleep, and Are You Fully Charged? During his 13 years at Gallup, Tom led the organization’s strengths, employee engagement, wellbeing, and leadership consulting worldwide. Tom has served for the past five years as an external advisor and Gallup Senior Scientist. His two newest books are Life’s Great Question: Discover How You Best Contribute to the World and It’s Not About You: A Brief Guide to a Meaningful Life.

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If you like our show, please rate us on iTunes. That makes a huge difference in helping more people discover it. We’d love to know your thoughts about this episode. Please submit your comments below! You can also provide feedback on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

199: How to Tackle the 3 Toughest Conversations with Employees | with CHRO Paul Falcone

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Have you ever put off a conversation with an employee for too long because just thinking about it made you cringe? Most leaders know how agonizing it can feel to address inappropriate behavior or communicate other uncomfortable messages.

The good news is that you can acquire the tools and skills that help you not only handle such conversations with tact and compassion, but also sidestep the awkwardness. In this episode, Paul Falcone shares advice for three of the toughest scenarios from his book 101 Tough Conversations to Have with Employees: A Manager’s Guide to Addressing Performance, Conduct, and Discipline Challenges.

A bestselling author and top-rated presenter, Paul is currently the Chief Human Resources Officer for The Motion Picture and Television Fund. He has many years of experience as an HR executive at major entertainment companies. Previously, Paul served as head of HR for Nickelodeon, head of international HR for Paramount Pictures, and head of HR for the TV production unit of NBCUniversal, where he oversaw HR operations for NBC’s late night and prime time programming lineup, including The Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live, and The Office.

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

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If you like our show, please rate us on iTunes. That makes a huge difference in helping more people discover it. We’d love to know your thoughts about this episode. Please submit your comments below! You can also provide feedback on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

198: Want More Collaboration & Team Accountability? | with Kim Nugent

Brought to you by Workforce Communication

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Organizations need more collaboration and teamwork, but how? Particularly when facing large initiatives or other challenges, stress can lead to problems such as burnout, finger-pointing, and project failures. As a leader, how can you troubleshoot the situation and improve the team’s collaboration, accountability, and overall effectiveness? read more…

197: Leading a Healing Organization | with Michael Gelb

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On the Engaging Leader podcast, we’ve often discussed why an organization needs to have a compelling purpose and vision, beyond just making money. There are so many reasons why it’s not only the right thing to do but also smart business – for example, having a purpose that excites people leads to strong employee engagement and a powerful employer brand, making it much easier to attract and retain top talent.

read more…

196: How to Win Like Forbes 100 Most Innovative Leaders | with Jeff Dyer

How do you win the support needed from bosses, colleagues, and investors to bring to life you and your team’s ideas?

Great leaders of innovation know that creativity is not enough. They succeed not only on the basis of their ideas, but because they have the vision, reputation, and networks to win the backing needed to turn ideas into reality. It turns out that this quality – called “innovation capital” – is measurably more important for innovation than just being creative. read more…

Unlock a Better Workplace: The Most Valuable List of 2019

By Jamie Barnes

Your company’s culture is built on human behaviors. The actions that are rewarded are the ones that get reinforced then spread like model behavior throughout your organization. So if you’re not rewarding behaviors that help people work together better, you might be enforcing a suboptimal culture.

The first step to building an effective communication strategy is to define the audiences and barriers to engagement. It doesn’t matter if the client is investing in an equity and inclusion strategy or implementing a massive system change – we need to uncover why employees may not buy in to your initiative.

read more…

Don’t Use Job Title Creep to Communicate Recognition

Or, the Case Against the “Very Senior Associate Manager” Job Title

Job title creep happens in nearly every organization, especially in a slow-growth economy. Merit increases are small, growth opportunities are few. When positions are eliminated, those who remain take on those additional tasks, and they naturally want to be rewarded for doing so. Hard-pressed managers rewrite job descriptions and send them to HR for pricing—sometimes resulting in a new job title, but rarely with any difference in base pay.

A grocery chain realized their job titles were out of control when they counted them up: 126 different job titles existed for their store-based positions. They found titles indicating three different levels for the job of collecting shopping carts from the parking lot. Some of the specialization in job titles were just plain silly, such as Hot Chicken Associate. (“Oh, you want cold chicken? That’s not my area—see the Cold Chicken Associate over there.”) read more…

194: Engaging Generations part 1 — How Millennials and Gen Z Are Reshaping Workforce Communications | with JJ Lahey

With four very different generations making up today’s workforce, how do you effectively engage them all? In particular, a frequent question we receive is how to communicate with younger employees.

Today’s workforce is made up primarily of four generations: Baby Boomers, Generation X, Gen Y (also known as Millennials), and Gen Z (sometimes called Post-Millenials). The two younger generations have been driving huge shifts in how people communicate in the workplace. As a leader, how do you connect with younger employees? This episode helps you get started by understanding their values as well as their communication habits and preferences.

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