One of the great joys I get from my work is the opportunity to connect and build relationships with some truly exceptional leaders and people. One of them is my friend, Bob Bennett, the guest writer of this piece. After seeing one of Bob’s talks two years ago, I knew this was a leader I had to connect with, and our conversations and emails since then have been inspiring, informative, and just plain fun. When you read the guest piece he’s written below, you’ll understand why.
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I am blessed to have grandchildren, because they teach me something new every day – even things like leadership and business.
One week shy of their third birthday my wife and I took two of our grandchildren, May and Tucker, to Disney World. They are twins; May is an instigator and manipulator. Tucker is ‘all boy’ and extremely active but sensitive. Both have a quest for knowledge; they can talk with you all day about habitats, inertia, paleontologists, and, as Tucker calls it, ‘gestion,’ the art of turning the food one eats into energy.
We stayed at a cabin in the Wilderness Village. We spent four full days at the separate theme parks, going on every ride that did not have a height restriction.
While packing to leave after the ‘adventure,’ my wife and I wondered which were the kids’ favorite rides. The decision: Tucker – Toy Story; May – Ariel. So, as would any grandparent, we asked them.
The first surprise for us was the speed with which they answered the question. They both answered immediately Click here to continue reading »”How We Can Develop A Culture Of Learning”
As we approach the end of the first month of this new year, many of us are now well under way in implementing our plans and strategies to achieve the goals we’ve mapped out for the next 11 months. In terms of what leaders view as their top goals to achieve this year, a new study reveals some interesting opportunities, and with it, some key obstacles leaders will need to address if they are to help their organization move forward.
In the CEO Challenge 2014 study carried out by The Conference Board, CEOs and presidents from over 1 000 organizations around the world were asked to identify what they saw as the top challenges for their organization. While it wasn’t surprising to see innovation and customer relationships being included in the top 5 challenges, the study’s most revealing finding is how the top challenge for leaders worldwide was Human Capital – namely, how to engage, retain, manage and develop their employees.
In other words, leaders in every region of the world recognize that their employees are the defining factor both for their organization’s ability to achieve their goals this year, and as well as for their overall long-term success. As Rebecca Ray, Senior Vice President, Human Capital at The Conference Board, and co-author of this study points out:
“This emphasis on people-related issues makes perfect sense in a still-uncertain economy. Building a culture that supports engagement, employee training, leadership development, and high performance is something companies can control, and can mean the difference between growing market share and simply surviving in 2014. Moreover, if the focus of individual companies is sustained, Human Capital may well be the engine that revives economic growth.”
This is certainly encouraging news, as it reflects a growing shift from the survivalist/just treading water mindset to one that seeks opportunities for development and growth. However, we do have to be mindful of Click here to continue reading »”Will This Be The Year Leaders Put Employees First?”
With the impending arrival of Halloween, many of us are naturally preparing for our neighbourhoods to be overtaken by ghosts, goblins, superheroes and wizards. Although this yearly event tends to be associated with decorating pumpkins and handing out candy, Halloween also provides us with some unique insights on the importance and value of fostering a sense of community in our organization.
As our neighbours, family, and friends can attest, Halloween is a pretty big event in our household. Every year, we transform the front of our house into this magical place for Halloween – the picture above offers a glimpse of what the neighbourhood children have in store when they visit our home.
Being a parent, it comes as no surprise that one reason why I go through all this effort is because I love kids. But there’s another reason behind this drive to create a unique and memorable display for the children and families in our neighbourhood.
While most of us are familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, researchers have found that we are also driven by three core psychological needs, one of them being relatedness. Studies has shown – and our collective human history repeatedly reminds us – that we are all driven to attain a sense of community; of feeling a connection and sense of belonging with those around us.
We’re compelled at an innate level to reach out and bond with those we relate to and who we share a common interest or experience with, a key driving force behind the popularity and growth of today’s social media networks.
This also explains why Click here to continue reading »”Fostering A Sense Of Community To Promote Organizational Success”
Last month I had the privilege once again of speaking at the commencement ceremony for the regional high school where I serve as Chairman of their Governing Board. It was a privilege not only because I was able to participate in a very important event for both the graduating students and their families, but also because it gave me the opportunity to reflect on the experiences and perceptions these future leaders and employees have of our world.
As I mentioned in the speech below, this latest cohort of graduates represents the beginning of a generation of students who’ve grown up in a world where change has not only been grand in size, but great in speed. Perhaps more importantly in terms of today’s organizations, we’re also beginning to see the next wave of future employees who are not only comfortable with change, but expect it.
For this group of newly minted graduates and for those next in line, change is the new constant. As such, they don’t share our drive to Click here to continue reading »”Will You Be Ready?”
Most of us are familiar with the fact that the more we focus on something, like a particular brand of car or advertisement, the more we’ll notice it occurring within our surroundings. And yet, how many of us are aware of how our emotions can impact how we perceive or experience a given situation? To illustrate what I mean, let me share a personal story of mine from a few months ago.
My wife and I were driving back home from one of our dinner date nights when our car suddenly died just as we had turned onto the access ramp for the highway. After a couple of failed attempts to restart the car, we realized that we had no choice but to call for a tow truck. Given the distance we were from our home and the local garage, we knew that this tow was going to be a pricey one.
When we called for the tow truck, we were advised that given how it was late at night on a weekday, it would take some time to get a truck out to our location. At that point, all my wife and I could do was sit in our car wondering just how much all of this was going to cost us. It seemed that all the enjoyment we had had on our date night was fast evaporating due to this unexpected financial stress and worry.
And then something curious happened. Click here to continue reading »”Helping Your Team To Find The Silver Lining When Things Go Wrong”