Michael Lee Stallard, president of E Pluribus Partners, provides insights about leadership training, team building, communications and executive coaching. E Pluribus Partners focuses on results-driven initiatives that maximize employee engagement, employee retention, employee productivity, innovation and profitability.

Closing Your Company’s “Leadership Gap”

The Office Cast NBC Example of Leadership Gap

The Office Cast, Photo Courtesy of NBC

Historically, leaders have relied on their internal networks and intuition to assess employee engagement and strategic alignment.  Tom Peters and Robert Waterman called it “management by wandering around” or “MBWA” in their classic book In Search of Excellence.

Just as intuition once tricked us into believing that the world was flat and the sun rotated around the earth, it is a flaw of human nature that most leaders are mistaken in their assessment of the engagement and alignment of people they lead. They don’t recognize employee engagement and alignment problems until they feel the pain from underperformance or face reality in the form of poor results from an employee engagement survey. Read more »

To Connect, Learn and Apply the Five Languages of Appreciation

Wrapped gift of appreciation#60 Learn and Apply the Five Languages of Appreciation – Ask your direct reports about memorable times when they received recognition at work. As they describe these times, ask questions to identify their primary and secondary languages of appreciation (also known as “love languages”).

The five languages of appreciation in the workplace are as follows: words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, gifts, and physical touch. (Please note that physical touch is not a primary language of appreciation in the workplace.) To learn more, read Gary Chapman and Paul White’s The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace.

This is the sixtieth post in our series entitled “100 Ways to Connect.” The series highlights language, attitudes and behaviors that help you connect with others. Although the language, attitudes and behaviors focus on application in the workplace, you will see that they also apply to your relationships at home and in the community.

Create a Culture Office to Promote Connection

Southwest Airlines

 

 

 

 

 

 

#59 Create a Culture Office to Promote Connection – Research has shown that connection begins to breakdown when the number of individuals in an organization exceeds 150.  Establishing a culture office or center that reports to the CEO and promotes connection is a best practice.

For example, Southwest Airlines has a Culture Office that reports to the CEO. The Culture Office has 30 people and is responsible for promoting Southwest’s culture. In addition, there is a Culture Committee of 150 individuals who are spread throughout the company.

Texas Christian University (TCU) established the TCU Center for Connection Culture. Its vision is to make TCU the model for Connection Culture in higher education and the Center’s mission is to be the catalyst for intentional connection at TCU.

This is the fifty-ninth post in our series entitled “100 Ways to Connect.” The series highlights language, attitudes and behaviors that help you connect with others. Although the language, attitudes and behaviors focus on application in the workplace, you will see that they also apply to your relationships at home and in the community.

To Connect, Share Your Stories

Honest Conversation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#58 Share Your Stories, Be Open to Connect and Build Trust – The deepest connections are formed when you are appropriately open by communicating who you really are, what you really believe and your struggles in life.

When it will help another person and it’s appropriate, consider sharing what you’ve learned from past mistakes.  This openness communicates humility and promotes connection and trust. If you are uncertain about when it is appropriate to be open in a particular context, seek the advice of trusted friends.

This is the fifty-eighth post in our series entitled “100 Ways to Connect.” The series highlights language, attitudes and behaviors that help you connect with others. Although the language, attitudes and behaviors focus on application in the workplace, you will see that they also apply to your relationships at home and in the community.

Corporations: Lessons from a College Football Halftime

YouTube Preview Image

Enthusiasm and energy will be on full display this Saturday as the #6 TCU Horned Frogs football team host the #7 Kansas State Wildcats at 6:30 pm EDT on Fox.  During halftime, TCU will celebrate the 10th anniversary of “Frogs for the Cure” which began in 2005 when TCU athletics partnered with Susan G. Komen Greater Fort Worth to sponsor the first ever pink-out halftime presentation at a university football game. Read more »

Lead Like a U.S. Marine

United States Marine Corps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great leaders know that task excellence alone is not sufficient to achieve sustainable superior performance. They also know that relationship excellence alone is not sufficient in the end. Instead, truly great leaders realize the vital importance of both elements.

The dual focus of task and relationship excellence can be difficult for many leaders to grasp. In our daily lives, we see many illustrations of what it looks like to focus on task excellence and many illustrations of relationship excellence, but it is rare to find examples of leaders who demonstrate both. Read more »

To Connect, Affirm Your Colleagues

Cookie That Says Good Job#57 Affirm Your Colleagues – When you become aware of something a colleague did well, encourage him/her by saying so in person or sending a note or email. A handwritten note can be especially meaningful given the rarity of receiving such notes in the age of instant communication.

Remember that some people like being recognized publicly while others prefer private praise. Try to match your method of encouragement with your colleague’s preferred style whenever possible.

This is the fifty-seventh post in our series entitled “100 Ways to Connect.” The series highlights language, attitudes and behaviors that help you connect with others. Although the language, attitudes and behaviors focus on application in the workplace, you will see that they also apply to your relationships at home and in the community.

To Connect, Learn Team Strengths and Vulnerabilities

Team Strengths#56 Know Your Team’s Strengths and Vulnerabilities – Have your direct reports take tests that identify their individual temperaments and strengths (e.g. Myers Briggs Personality Type, Gallup StrengthsFinder, VIA Inventory of Strengths, etc.).

In E Pluribus Partners’ work with teams, we often have team members take several tests and share the results with their teammates. We assess the team to determine its collective strengths and vulnerabilities in light of the work they are responsible for completing. You should do the same.

For the greatest impact, hire an outside facilitator to lead this assessment.

This is the fifty-sixth post in our series entitled “100 Ways to Connect.” The series highlights language, attitudes and behaviors that help you connect with others. Although the language, attitudes and behaviors focus on application in the workplace, you will see that they also apply to your relationships at home and in the community.

How to Keep Remote Employees Enthused, Energized and Engaged

Work From Home

By Michael Lee Stallard and Colton Perry. As seen on SmartBlog on Leadership and Fox Business. 

A 49-year-old father of two hits his alarm clock at 6:30 a.m., starts a pot of coffee and prepares for his daily commute. For the past three years, Bill Lewis has worked for a large company based in the heart of New York City; even though his home in Texas is nearly 2,000 miles from the office, Bill’s daily commute only takes him a few steps. Along with a rapidly growing percent of America’s workforce, Bill Lewis is a telecommuter, a remote employee. He completes his daily assignments from his front porch, sends e-mails from a coffee shop down the street, and holds conference calls in his living room.

In the past 10 years, this type of work environment has become one of the fastest growing trends in the corporate world. According to the Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey, it is estimated that telecommuting rose 79% between 2005 and 2012, and with the constant evolution of communication technology, this trend shows no signs of stopping. More and more companies are turning to remote employment as a means to lower costs and lock in skilled workers. It seems like a winning recipe, except for one large downside; technology can never fully replace the intangible benefits of human connection. Read more »

Help Your Direct Reports Create Personal Development Plans

Personal Development Plan#55 Create Personal Development Plans – People are more engaged when they are striving and progressing toward goals. Work with your direct reports to create personal development plans. Help them discover wise goals to advance their careers. Put disciplines in place to help them achieve these goals. Doing so will boost their effectiveness and their connection to you.

This is the fifty-fifth post in our series entitled “100 Ways to Connect.” The series highlights language, attitudes and behaviors that help you connect with others. Although the language, attitudes and behaviors focus on application in the workplace, you will see that they also apply to your relationships at home and in the community.

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