These days, we talk a lot about the benefits of embracing diversity in the workplace. Of how intermingling people of different cultures, beliefs and nationalities can allow us to tap into the diversity of thoughts, ideas, and perspectives that go with these unique demographic elements.
Of course, sometimes it can be difficult to appreciate just how these differences can help us to discover new insights, particularly if we live in a fairly homogeneous population. As such, I’d like to share the following four words from languages found in different parts of the world to not only show how these diverse viewpoints can benefit your organization, but also how they remind us of the underlying commonalities that we all share.
1. Meraki – Creating work that ignites our creativity and soul
In the Greek language, there is a word they use called “Meraki” which means ‘doing something with soul, creativity, or love’; that you’re able to put “something of yourself” into what you’re doing. In most cases, meraki is used to refer to how one prepares a meal, arranges a room, or sets an elegant table.
Although meraki is typically used to describe moments in our home lives, there is an important message here for us to take note of in terms of the kind of work environment we create for our employees. Click here to continue reading »
In leadership circles, we’re constantly on the lookout for sage advice on what it takes to succeed; of what skills, competencies, and/or strategies leaders should employ and exemplify to succeed in today’s challenging, ever-changing work environment.
That was certainly part of the focus of a recent conversation I had with a group of colleagues where we shared what we saw as some of the critical factors necessary for leaders to succeed in today’s fast-paced, 24/7 interconnected world.
Of course, in such discussions, the one question that inevitably arises is what do we see as the one thing successful leaders do that more of us need to apply in our day-to-day affairs leading our own teams and organizations.
As we went around the table offering our insights to this query, one clear thought came to my mind and it’s one that I’d like to share with you as the one thing I see successful leaders doing.
So what is it? It’s that successful leaders show up.
Think of all the times we sabotage ourselves – where we hold ourselves back because we think we’re not good enough, or that we might come off the wrong way, or worse, that we might fail in front of others.
Think of all those conversations we’ve had with our employees, with our family and our friends where we’re not fully present – our minds wandering to what we need to do next, or conjuring up a reply to an email we just read. Or perhaps allowing ourselves to be distracted by the sound of our smartphones informing us about a new status update or text message that’s been sent our way.
In each of these cases, our focus remains Click here to continue reading »
The following is a guest piece by HBR columnist (and fellow Canadian) Liane Davey.
I am a strong believer that the scarcity of high performing teams is due to our inability and unwillingness to engage in productive conflict. Often, the problem is too little conflict: teams filled with passive-aggressive members who would rather take their gripes underground. Sometimes, the problem is a dysfunctional or even vicious group who spend all their energy going back and forth instead of moving forward.
So if no conflict is a sure path to oblivion, but too much conflict is equally risky, how do we avoid going from ditch to ditch and instead find a path to productive conflict somewhere in the middle? The secret lies in changing your assumptions.
First, let’s start with a little experiment. Imagine the person on your team who rubs you the wrong way. This is someone you just don’t see eye-to-eye with. Somehow all of your interactions with this person are tense and uncomfortable—even over the most innocuous thing. Can you picture that person? Now I want you to imagine receiving this email from them… Click here to continue reading »
The following is a guest piece by Megan Totka.
People emerge or are elected as leaders in nearly every aspect of our lives, both personal and professional. While leadership does come in many ways, shapes, and forms, there are some people who go above and beyond when it comes to being a creative, inspiring leader. Thinking outside the box when it comes to your leadership style can be the difference in becoming a successful leader or one that people don’t look up to.
I would venture to say that many of us are somewhat immune to conventional leadership styles. That’s not to say that traditional approaches to leadership or management are totally ineffective. But taking the time to think about your leadership strategy and incorporate some ideas that are a little different can really affect those that you lead in a positive way.
While thinking about what to write about for the blog today, I came across an interesting article on Forbes that talked about taking leadership lessons from the military. Now you may be thinking, it doesn’t get more traditional than the military, which I happen to agree with. But not many of us use military-style leadership in our everyday lives, right? So you and your cohorts may not be as familiar with them.
Take a look at some of the military-style leadership tactics that could be effectively implemented as a measure to do things a little differently: Click here to continue reading »