Why We Long for Leaders Who Actually Care

Employee connection with leader

Do the people around you know that you are for them? Do they know whether you care about them, want them to be able to do their individual best, and will advocate for them? Having this assurance promotes a feeling of connection. It goes a long way in establishing trust and an environment of psychological safety. But if they don’t know with certainty that you are for them, they may feel you are indifferent to them (which is disconnecting) or assume, rightly or wrongly, that you are against them (which is very disconnecting). 

Connection Culture Recommended as a Best Book for Business Leaders

Connection Culture 2nd Edition Book Cover

If anyone has a pulse on the business book landscape, it’s Wally Bock. The author of the Three Star Leadership blog and a professional writing coach, Wally reads and reviews many books each year. His wisdom and practical advice have made his articles some of our readers’ favorites on the Connection Culture Group blog.

I was honored that Wally chose to include the second edition of my book Connection Culture: The Competitive Advantage of Shared Identity, Empathy and Understanding at Work on his list of the top 5 business books he read in 2021.

Check out Wally’s full review and see his other recommendations.

Lasting Change = Head Knowledge + Heart Knowledge

Picture of a light bulb on a cork board to represent bright idea

It’s one thing to know something intellectually—to learn interesting new data, to gain an understanding of why something works the way it does, to be inspired by a message—but if it stops there and you don’t develop heart knowledge, then you’re less likely to see meaningful or lasting change as a result. In our busy and full lives we need to engage both our head and our heart if something is going to “stick” and make a difference. It takes assent and action, knowing and doing, to arrive at “I understand. That makes sense. Now that I’ve experienced it, I get it.” Having a personal experience that validates or reinforces the head knowledge is often what it takes to know it in your heart and for the information to sink in and affect your attitudes, your words or your behaviors going forward.

Connection Culture Cited in PM Magazine

Smiling group of connected employees

Having a healthy workplace culture is important to the success of organizations in any sector, including the public sector.

PM Magazine, a publication of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), recently explored the role culture plays in local government success. In the article, author Patrick Ibarra writes that while conventional wisdom seeks to address government challenges with additional resources, culture is actually the secret sauce to achieving higher levels of effectiveness. He also cites the Connection Culture framework as an example of the type of culture where government employees thrive.

You can read the full article on the ICMA website.

Learn About the Power of Connection at the ATD 2021 International Conference

ATD 2021 International Conference Promo Graphic for Michael Lee Stallard

Is the relational culture of your group sabotaging creativity and innovation? I’m looking forward to speaking about this topic at the ATD 2021 International Conference next month in Salt Lake City.

Learn which culture sparks the identification of new products, processes, and organizational endeavors. I’ll also share which attitudes, language, and behaviors increase creative conversations and fuel innovation.

  • Session Title: Boosting Creativity and Innovation Through Connection
  • Available Session Times: Tuesday, August 31, 2021 from 5:00-6:00 PM and Wednesday, September 1, 2021 from 1:00-2:00 PM

I hope to see you at the conference!

 

IE Insights Video: Back to the Office

Photo of NASA/SpaceX Crew courtesy of NASA

Are you and your team preparing to return to the office after more than a year of remote work?

Recently, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by the talented team at IE Insights, IE University’s thought leadership publication for sharing knowledge on a variety of topics. I shared some insights on what managers can expect from employees based on the similar experiences NASA astronauts encounter when re-entering society after time in space.

Check out the approximately 5 minute video for a quick summary of what to watch for and how building a connection culture can ease the transition.

Photo courtesy of NASA

LinkedIn Live Interview With Lee Newman, Dean of IE Business School in Spain

Lee Newman interviews Michael Lee Stallard at IE University

This week, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Lee Newman, the Dean of IE Business School, in Madrid, Spain. We talked about Connection Culture, the current longing for connection coming out of the pandemic, and how leaders can be proactive to help reconnect their teams.

The conversation was broadcasted on LinkedIn Live and is available to watch on demand.

Preparing for Re-entry into the Physical Workplace: Lessons from NASA

Astronaut Franklin R. Chang-Diaz works with a grapple fixture during extravehicular activity to perform work on the International Space Station

Astronaut crews living and working in space experience as a matter of course what many of us experienced unexpectedly during the SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic. Consider these similarities:

  • They are physically isolated for a long period of time from family, friends, and the majority of their work colleagues.
  • Their daily in-person interactions are limited to the few people they live with and their other interactions are intermediated through digital technology.
  • Their home also serves as their workplace.
  • They are surrounded by a dangerous environment that poses a threat to their physical health. (For them, the dangers include a lack of oxygen in outer space; for us, the danger has been the risk of contracting COVID-19.)