What Steve Jobs, Ed Catmull and A.G. Lafley have in common

Jobs, Catmull and Lafley connect with employees of their respective organizations, although they do so in distinctly unique ways. This is the topic of a webinar Jason Pankau and I will be doing for Communitelligence. You can learn more about it at this link. This topic is relevant today because Corporate Executive Board research shows that 90 percent of employees are either not engaged and giving their best efforts or they are not aligned with their organization’s goals. Research by both The Conference Board and the Corporate Executive Board shows that the solution to this problem to develop the emotional and rational connections that employee have with their organization’s mission and values, supervisor, colleagues and day-to-day work tasks. In the webinar, Michael and Jason show how great leaders do this.

Career Potential Webinars

Interested in improving your career prospects?  Check out Launch Summit: Conversations on Career Potential.  This series of free webinars includes presentations from experts in diverse fields related to career.  It begins tomorrow at 10:00 AM Eastern and continues through Thursday.  I’ll be speaking about healthy work environments at 1:00 PM Eastern on Thursday, April 22nd.

Tom Peters, Top Leadership Blogs, and New Friends

Quote of the day: “Connection is the force that transforms a dog-eat-dog culture into a sled dog team that pulls together.”  – Jason Pankau

It’s been a very good week.  This morning I received an email that Tom Peters was following my tweets. In the early 1980s, as I young employee of Texas Instruments I read In Search of Excellence and went through a training program based on Tom’s book and ideas.  I still have the audio tapes from his lectures!  What I found so enthralling was that he described what was possible, a better work culture and an organization where people thrived individually and collectively.  It put a fire in my belly not to settle for the current reality.  For Tom Peters influence in my life, I am sincerely grateful.

Other good things that happened this week:

Jurgen Noop from the Netherlands recognized my blog as one of the top leadership and management blogs.  Many thanks, Jurgen!

This week I thoroughly enjoyed speaking about the Connection Culture, Fired Up or Burned Out, employee engagement, leadership, productivity and innovation with Zane Safrit on his Blog Talk Radio program, Nathan Ives on the StrategyDriven Podcast, and Roy Saunderson and S. Max Brown on their Real Recognition Radio program.  What wonderful people to get to know.  I encourage you to check out their work.

Yesterday, I spoke at an organizational development network conference on Long Island.  It was a tremendous group with great energy and intelligence.  I’m still buzzing from the experience.

And finally, I connected via email with Parker Palmer, author of Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation.  Jason Pankau, my best friend, business partner, and author of the foregoing “quote of the day,” gave me Parker’s book as a gift some years ago.   It had a profound effect on me.  I still revisit it periodically.  It is a small book that’s packed with wisdom.   If you’ve not read it, I highly encourage you to check it out along with everything else Parker writes about on the website for his organization The Center for Courage and Renewal. He is a man of remarkable wisdom and character.

Over the weekend I’m finishing the remarkable book Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, by Eric Metaxas and working on an article with Howard Behar, the extraordinary leader who turned around Starbucks.

Have a great weekend!

Reenergizing Employees Amidst and Following the “Great Recession”


Jason Pankau and I are delighted to announce we are presenting a webinar for Communitelligence entitled “Reenergizing Employees Amidst and Following the ‘Great Recession.'” The webinar will occur on May 5 from 2-3 PM Eastern. Here’s an overview:

Conference Board research shows job satisfaction is at its lowest point over the 20 years it has surveyed employees. Corporate Executive Board research shows 90 percent of employees are disengaged or not aligned with organizational goals. In this webinar, Michael Lee Stallard and Jason Pankau describe what must be done to reconnect and reenergize employees.

Topics covered include:

Additional details and registration information can be found at this link.

Employee Engagement: Beryl Companies

One of my favorite business books is Paul Spiegelman’s Why Is Everyone Smiling?. Spiegelman is the CEO of Beryl Companies, a call center outsource company for the healthcare industry. On March 24-25 I’ll be moderating a session at the Conference Board’s Customer Experience Management Conference in New York City where Paul will be speaking. You can learn more about the conference at this link. And be sure to check out the above webcast I hosted with Paul.

Leadership Wisdom: Howard Behar

One of my favorite business books is Howard Behar’s It’s Not About the Coffee. Behar is the former president of Starbucks International and Starbucks North America. On March 24-25 I’ll be moderating a session at the Conference Board’s Customer Experience Management Conference in New York City where Howard will be speaking. You can learn more about the conference at this link. And be sure to check out the above webcast I hosted with Howard.

The Blind Side

I highly recommend seeing The Blind Side, a movie about Baltimore Ravens’ offensive tackle, Michael Oher.  It’s worth the price of the ticket alone to see Sandra Bullock’s tour-de-force performance as Michael’s adoptive mom, Leanne Tuohy.  What I especially like about the movie is that it shows how the right social environment helps people thrive in life.

I don’t want to give away the story so let me just say in a nutshell that it was Leanne Tuohy who reached out to Michael.  It would have been easy for her to ignore him, but she didn’t. Instead, Leanne felt compassion for a young man who was wearing shorts in the winter and hanging around a high school gym just to stay warm.  She took the time to get to know him and his life’s story.  While others saw him as “Big Mike,” a quiet, giant, African-American young man from the Memphis ghetto, Leanne Tuohy saw him as a thoughtful boy with a big heart and protective instincts to match.  She called him “Michael,” a name he much preferred to “Big Mike.” Leanne’s insights helped Michael discover who he really was deep down inside and who he could become. These insights helped Michael see himself as a protector who “has the back” of his family and those he loves. It should come as no surprise then to learn that Michael Oher thrived in football as an offensive tackle responsible for protecting his teammates from the defense.

The Blind Side shows how the social environment we live in shapes us for good or ill.

ASTD Webcast Download: Neuroscience Implications for Leadership

ASTD logo

Last week I did a webcast for members of the America Society for Training and Development (ASTD). The webcast covers select research findings from the field of neuroscience and their implications for leadership, productivity, innovation and employee engagement. ASTD is the world’s largest association dedicated to workplace learning and development professionals.  The webcast and slides are available
at this link. (Note: clicking on the link will begin an automatic download of the webcast and slides.)

Employee Engagement Conference, Free ASTD Webcast

This week I’m chairing the Human Capital Institute’s Employee Engagement Conference in Boston.  During the conference  I promised to share some free resources with conference participants.

Here are links to the Employee Engagement Network, the Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement and the New Talent Management Network.

If you like the stories and ideas I shared at the conference, you’ll love the book.  Here is a free pdf download of  Fired Up or Burned Out. The free book download is only available through Friday so hurry!

I’m posting my slides and select published articles so that you can download them for free at Slideshare.

You can participate in a free webcast I’m giving for ASTD (the American Society for Training and Development) at 2:00 PM Eastern on Oct. 29 by signing up at ASTD Michael Lee Stallard Webex.  Nearly 700 individuals have already signed up!  During the webcast I will discuss findings in neuroscience and other research that helps us see what type of work environment is necessary for employees to thrive individually and collectively.  The webcast will address issues such as leadership, employee engagement, productivity and innovation.