Hope Is What People Need from Leaders Today

Hope represented by green sprout among dead leaves

Wouldn’t it be nice if a new year truly ushered in a fresh start? The optimism we may have ordinarily had in past years as we turned the calendar to January and considered all of the new possibilities that lay ahead of us is a little harder to muster up this time. The Covid-19 pandemic, now in year three, and other stressors have taken a toll. Many people are exhausted and struggling. We’re seeing it in higher levels of frustration and uncivil behavior being directed at others as the Omicron variant sweeps across the globe and further disrupts plans. And while people may be able to put on a happy face at work, underneath the surface their emotional health is probably not great, according to recent research.

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.

Finding Brave Podcast Appearance

Kathy Caprino Podcast Banner

Recently, I had the privilege of being a guest on the Finding Brave podcast hosted by Kathy Caprino. A therapist, career coach, and author, Kathy is on a mission to help listeners – particularly professional women – access the courage they need to honor their true passions, talents, and values in life and work. 

The Role Connection Plays in a Democracy

Lincoln memorial in Washington D.C.

Can we embrace the spirit of E Pluribus Unum and move forward in 2021 as people who value connection, cooperation and making progress together toward the common good? Whether your political leanings are toward the left, center or right, whether you identify as a conservative, moderate, progressive or liberal, the political divisiveness and social strife that marked 2020, and were on full display in the troubling events last week in Washington, D.C., underscore the need for cultures of connection to become the norm in our communities, workplaces and governing bodies. 

How to Prepare for Rising Stress Ahead

Message stating "You Got This" written on asphalt

When a big storm is forecast to come our way, Katie, my wife, starts to plan ahead, just in case we lose power: non-perishable food in the pantry (check), flashlights with working batteries (check), gas in the car (check), some cash on hand (check). She reminds family members to charge up their phones and laptops. The havoc the storm may, or may not, cause is unknown but she has taken proactive steps to get us through.

Is There a Place for Love in Leadership?

The Container Store's We Love Our Employees Day in 2014

“A company is stronger if bound by love than by fear,” the late Herb Kelleher, co-founder, CEO and Chairman of Southwest Airlines, once said. When Kip Tindell, retired co-founder and Chairman of The Container Store, first heard Kelleher’s bold declaration more than 40 years ago he was, in his own words, “completely taken by it.” In Tindell’s book, Uncontainable, he describes how he and his leadership team went on to shape The Container Store’s “employee first” culture in ways that reflect love. He credits the company’s culture for its success.    

The #1 Obstacle to Great Workplace Culture

Game piece breaking through blocks that spell blockade as a symbol of overcoming obstacles

“The level of toxicity in the workplace is at an all-time high,” warns Johnny Taylor, president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (“SHRM”). Taylor’s organization recently set up a pop-up coffee house in the middle of the Oculus at the World Trade Center complex in New York City to bring attention to the issue and its new report titled “The High Cost of a Toxic Workplace Culture: How Culture Impacts the Workforce—and The Bottom Line.”