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.”

How Great Leaders Create Engaging Cultures That Maximize Results

Podcast Appearance on the LEADx Leadership Podcast with Kevin Kruse

Architecture team at work in an engaging culture

Recently, Kevin Kruse, host of the LEADx Leadership show podcast, featured a webinar I created with the LEADx team in one of the show’s episodes. Kevin is a New York Times bestselling author and Inc. 500 entrepreneur who providers listeners with advice from top leadership experts in a format suited for a busy professional’s daily commute.

Listen to the episode to learn more about why loneliness and connection matter to your career and how you can use connection to create an engaging culture that maximizes results.

Addicted to Your Smartphone, To-do List or Busyness?

Business man on his smartphone suffering from dopamine addiction

Are you addicted to your smartphone? Do you feel the pull to constantly check your messages and news feeds?

Are you addicted to busyness? As soon as you accomplish something, do you immediately focus on the next task or problem to solve? Are you always thinking about what you have coming up and so it’s difficult to be present with and focused on interacting with others?

How to Improve Your Organization’s Culture Through Employee Connections

Article Published by Forbes

Employee connection with leader

I believe it’s wise for leaders to develop their organizational culture by being intentional about strengthening the bonds of connection and trust among leaders and employees. As the president of a company that helps coach leaders on improving connections within their businesses, I have seen the importance of strengthening bonds and trust among team members.

There are three steps I’ve developed throughout my coaching practice that can help build strong connections within your organization.

How Cancer Helped Me See the Key to Successful Organizational Change

Article Published by SmartBrief

Empty chairs in hospital waiting room

Sometimes life lessons come from surprising places. In early 2004, just nine months after completing treatment for breast cancer, my wife, Katie, was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. During the months that followed, I learned an important lesson about connection that influenced my perspective on how to approach organizational change.

I wrote about this lesson in an article published by SmartBrief. If you are navigating change in your organization or personal life, I hope this piece is an encouragement to you.

New Forbes Article on How Loneliness And Longing For Connection Are Affecting Today’s Leaders

Isolated businessman who is suffering from burnout

Loneliness isn’t something that people like to acknowledge, but it’s a real issue for many people today. Many leaders are so busy that they don’t even realize that they are in fact lonely. That’s a problem because loneliness is a “super stressor” that makes it difficult to perform at your best.

In a new article that I wrote for Forbes, I describe how loneliness is affecting today’s leaders and why we all need to take steps to address the issue in our lives and organizations. I hope you’ll read the article and consider ways you can boost connection in your workplace.

Why Women Leaders Are Outperforming Men

New Article Published in Forbes

Happy female leader at work

Attitudes toward leadership styles have changed. Characteristics that are common in female leaders are now recognized as essential to the success of any leader – regardless of gender. In fact, studies show that women leaders are outperforming men in many key areas.

So what’s the secret to this success? The answer may lie in many women’s dual focus on both task and relationship excellence. Learn more about this effective leadership approach in an article I wrote for Forbes.

I’m Optimistic About the Future of Leadership

Optimistic business leaders

I highly recommend reading Stanford Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer’s recent books, Leadership B.S. and Dying for a Paycheck. In them he makes a compelling case that most leadership training has failed to produce effective leaders and that the poor state of the vast majority of workplace cultures today is harming the health of people. He provides an abundance of evidence to support these conclusions. Professor Pfeffer recommends boosting connection in workplace cultures (which, as most of you know, is the focus of our work). You could read Professor Pfeffer’s books and become depressed, but I’m not. Below I explain why.