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.

Vince Lombardi’s Success Formula: “Task + Relationship Excellence = Results”

Vince Lombardi Trophy_Noncommercial Reuse

I once attended a meeting where it seemed that everyone was focused on the people or relationships in a business and believed that doing so would bring success.

Don’t believe it.

Great leaders focus on achieving BOTH task excellence and relationship excellence. This dual focus produces sustainable superior performance. Read more »

How Leaders Can Guard Against Unethical Behavior

Ethical DecisionsWhen leaders behave in ways that violate ethical norms and harm customers, it has a devastating effect on connection and employee engagement. A quick glance at business news headlines shows the extent to which unethical behavior has become a problem today. Many of these unethical practices seem to defy common sense, such as the restaurant owner in China who made headlines for lacing food with opium in an effort to get customers to return.

The best leaders, whom we at E Pluribus describe as servant leaders, maintain a mindset that they serve employees who in turn serve customers.  This mindset inspires them to excellent performance and helps protect them from drifting towards unethical behavior.

If leaders don’t maintain this mindset, they are likely to start serving themselves, which makes them vulnerable to drifting into unethical territory to beat competitors and maximize personal wealth, power and status. Ironically, this mindset only diminishes personal wealth, power and status because unethical behavior sabotages sustainable superior performance once a business’ reputation is tarnished.

How do you protect yourself from the temptation of unethical behavior? Leave a comment to let me know your thoughts.

Establish a Team Vision Through Continuous Improvement Meetings

Continuous Improvement Meeting at Work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#52 Hold “Continuous Improvement” Meetings – Periodically pull your team together for a session to identify innovative ways to improve.  The meeting could be focused on ways to increase revenue, reduce costs, improve quality and/or improve efficiency.  List the ideas, prioritize them, select a manageable set to focus on, assign responsibilities and track their completion.  Make this information available to the entire group.  Holding these meetings 3-4 times a year gets people thinking proactively about how to improve and gives them an opportunity to make a difference.

This is the fifty-second 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.

Connect Others Through “Flash Mentoring”

Service Bell_Flash Mentoring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#51 Employ “Flash Mentoring” – One way to match mentors and mentees is to ask them to commit to meet just once to see if both parties “click” (or “connect,” if you will) and if the mentor believes he/she has the knowledge/expertise and sufficient time available to meet the mentee’s needs and expectations. If both parties agree to continue, they should agree to a set number of additional meetings rather than leave the term open-ended. Unless both mentor and mentee agree to a set number of additional meetings, there is no commitment to meet again. “Flash mentoring” was a term coined by K. Scott Derrick in his work with 13L, a group of federal employees who share a passion for leadership excellence.

This is the fifty-first 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 Save “The Shack”

RadioShack Logo

RadioShack logo, courtesy of RadioShack Corporation

RadioShack is on the ropes. What can be done to save it?

Over my career I’ve seen this scenario several times.  Xerox comes to mind.  In 2000, when Anne Mulcahy became Xerox’s CEO, the company was nearly bankrupt.  Her leadership helped save it.  In 2012, I spoke with Ms. Mulcahy in a series of interviews about how she led Xerox’s turnaround.  She described three behaviors that were similar to how A.G. Lafley led the turnaround of Procter and Gamble, how Howard Schultz and Howard Behar led the turnaround of Starbucks and, more recently, how Alan Mulally led the turnaround of Ford.

Our firm’s research over the past decade found these three behaviors in leaders who achieved long-term superior performance. The behaviors brought about an extraordinary degree of connection, community and unity so that people pull together rather than retreat to protect self-interest. Stated another way, these leadership behaviors create a team that pulls together and protects the culture from spiraling down into a dog-eat-dog environment. Read more »

Celebrate Your Organization’s Culture Through a Blog

Typing a Blog#50 Create a Blog to Celebrate Your Culture – Create a blog or intranet site where colleagues can post positive examples of people who live out the core values of your organization.  This provides employee recognition, encourages everyone to bring the values to life, and spreads positive examples and practices.  For example, see the “Nuts About Southwest” blog at www.blogsouthwest.com.

This is the fiftieth 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.

Remembering 9/11: Dave Barry’s “On Hallowed Ground”

American flags at graveWhere were you when you first heard the news of an airliner striking World Trade Tower One on the morning of September 11, 2001? I was in my office near Times Square in Manhattan. At first I assumed it was an accident. Then came the unbelievable news that a second plane had hit Tower Two.

That night I hardly slept, concerned about the fate of people I knew who worked at the World Trade Center. In the days that followed I learned of those who did not survive the attacks and others who lost spouses, siblings, or parents.

Much has been written about September 11 since that day. One piece in particular moved me, although it came from an unlikely source. The humorist Dave Barry wrote a column about the heroism of the passengers on United Airlines flight 93 who organized the first resistance to the terrorists and the grief of those who lost loved ones who were passengers or crew on that flight.

In memory of all the innocent victims and first responders who lost their lives, and to their families and friends, here is “On Hallowed Ground.”

Leaders: Don’t Forget to Make Time for Q&A

Question Mark Make Time for Q&A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#49 Make Time for Q&A – If you directly and indirectly lead a large number of people, set aside times for people to ask questions that you then answer.  You can have people anonymously submit questions or just ask them during the meeting.

Howard Behar, former President of Starbucks North America and Starbucks International, called the sessions he held “Open Forums.” Jim Goodnight, CEO of SAS Institute, holds sessions like this that are referred to as “Java with Jim.”  Vineet Nayar, former CEO of HCL, had people email him questions that he answered on his blog so everyone could see the question and his response.  The founders of Google do this each Friday at the “TGIF” meeting by having people email questions that are then posted on Google’s intranet.  Google employees vote on the questions and Google’s founders answer the questions that receive the most votes.

This is the forty-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.

3 Ways to Improve Your Health and Lifespan Through Work

Happy Businesswoman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As seen on SmartBlog on Leadership and Fox Business. 

Happiness is good, right? Researchers led by Stephen Cole at U.C.L.A recently made a stunning discovery. They studied the gene expression profiles of people who experienced happiness from seeking pleasure and those who experienced happiness from seeking meaningful purpose in life. While both pleasure and purpose seekers reported experiencing happiness at a conscious level, the gene expression profiles of the two groups’ told a different story.

The profiles of the purpose seekers exhibited low levels of inflammatory gene expression and strong levels of antiviral and antibody genes. The pleasure seekers showed the opposite. Their profiles were consistent with people who are more likely to experience adverse health and premature death.  Read more »

The 3 V’s of Connection Culture: An Infographic

At the heart of a Connection Culture are 3 V’s: Vision, Value, & Voice. Explore each of the three in this helpful infographic:

The 3 V's of Connection Culture

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