Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

Accountability At Work – How To Describe The Gap


The following is a guest piece by Al Switzler.

At some point during the work week, most of us face a gap—the difference between what was expected and what was actually delivered. Gaps, in a nutshell, include violated expectations, broken commitments and bad behaviour. If you’ve felt let down, disappointed or offended, you have experienced a gap. How you deal with gaps makes a huge difference on the quality of relationships and results as a whole.

So how do most respond when faced with a gap? Let’s look at the three options for dealing with gaps and highlight the consequences of each.

1. You see a gap and don’t speak up
You give permission for what’s happening when you remain silent. By saying nothing, you vote for the status quo. Silence is seldom golden; it is almost always interpreted as approval. By not speaking up, you typically act out in other ways.

Your non-verbals, like frowning, rolling your eyes and gossiping, tend to leak out and eventually erode trust and respect. If you let thoughts and emotions build up until you explode, you may say and do things that further hurt the relationship. This leads to the second option. Click here to continue reading »”Accountability At Work – How To Describe The Gap”

Leadership Biz Cafe Podcast #13 – Doug Lipp On How Disney Creates A Thriving Workforce

Doug Lipp - Leadership Biz Cafe

How does a storied organization like Disney create an engaged, empowered workforce despite the current economic challenges, and what can other organizations learn from their experience? That’s the basis of my conversation with international keynote speaker and former Disney executive Doug Lipp in this latest episode of “Leadership Biz Cafe”.

Doug began his career at Disney as one of the trainers at the Disney University at Disneyland. This lead to Doug joining the Walt Disney Imagineering team where he not only helped with the creation of Tokyo Disneyland, but also with the creation of the first international version of the Disney University.

Doug then went on to lead the training team at the corporate headquarters of The Walt Disney Company, The Walt Disney Studios.

Following his time at Disney, Doug co-developed with Stanford University professor C. Clarke the Interculture Relations Institute, where he taught diverse teams of professionals how to better navigate the intercultural waters of the global market.

In addition to his work as a keynote speaker and consultant on leadership, culture, and change, Doug is the author of eight books, including his most recent, “Disney U – How Disney University Develops the World’s Most Engaged, Loyal, and Customer-Centric Employees”.

Over the course of our conversation, Doug shared many wonderful stories about Walt Disney and Van France, the founder of the Disney University, as well as some of his many insights from his time at Disney, including: Click here to continue reading »”Leadership Biz Cafe Podcast #13 – Doug Lipp On How Disney Creates A Thriving Workforce”

What Does Success Really Look Like?

Discovering what success looks like

A few weeks ago, I shared with my various networks an article from Forbes on the ten resolutions successful people not only make but carry out. While the list provided some valuable points, what was more noteworthy was the discussions this piece generated with a few of my colleagues about the nature of success.

These conversations revealed an interesting paradox. Namely, that while we have no problems identifying successful organizations or individuals, we have a harder time defining what a successful version of our own organization would look like.

Granted, most of us are rather effective at developing strategies and goal-setting. And yet, how many of us have a clear definition or vision of what a successful version of our team/organization would look like? What would it take for us to feel successful in the long run beyond simply achieving our goals or targets?

Here are a series of questions you can use to start a dialogue with your team to help figure this out:

1. How does this fit in with our organization’s values?
One of the reasons why we have a harder time defining success is because many of us are still operating from a reactive standpoint – where our decisions and actions act only in response to what we see our competition doing or as a result of what we encounter or experience.

Another reason is that most discussions on successful organizations or individuals focus Click here to continue reading »”What Does Success Really Look Like?”

Are Your Actions Setting Up Your Employees To Succeed?

At one time or another, we’ve all had to deal with a customer service department whose response and actions left much to be desired.  A recent experience my wife and I had with the customer service department for a major retailer also illustrated how a leader shows up in those moments can influence their employees’ perceptions of their roles and consequently, impact their organization’s ability to turn a problem into an opportunity to succeed.

For the last few weeks, my wife and I have been trying to get some after-sales support for a recliner sofa we bought recently. We took turns calling the customer support number listed on our invoice and each time, we got a voice message advising us to leave our contact information and someone would get back to us shortly.

After leaving several messages with no follow-up reply, my wife decided to change tactics by calling the sales department in order to try and reach someone who can help us with this problem. Her initiative paid off as the sales rep directed her call to one of the company’s front-line managers.

When my wife explained to this manager the numerous messages we’d left that were never returned, his first response was to claim that we were probably calling an old extension that was no longer in use.

After she pointed out how this was a recent purchase and that the voice message didn’t re-direct us to a new extension, the manager changed his answer to suggest that we’d encountered a ‘glitch in their system’ as the after-sales department manager was usually very prompt about returning calls.

At that point he took down our invoice number and contact information, telling us that he’d forward our case to the after-sales department and that someone would contact us shortly to resolve the issue.

As frustrating as this whole situation has been, the experience brought to mind the following four questions leaders should ask themselves to help shed light on how their employees view their roles within their organization, and the part leaders play in fostering the kind of behaviours necessary for organizations to succeed in today’s increasingly transparent and global market. Click here to continue reading »”Are Your Actions Setting Up Your Employees To Succeed?”

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