Workshop

Leadership Worth Following

Typical change management programs focus on stakeholder management, getting “buy in” from others etc. While some of this is necessary, people are more likely to follow true leaders based on their conviction, confidence, and likelihood of success. This principle explores some of your underlying unexamined assumptions about leadership. In one of our workshops, you will identify your assumptions and beliefs regarding leadership and develop a leadership philosophy grounded in your core values. We can also have this conversation one on one.

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Can You Hear Me Now? Authentic Listening

All of us battle distractions during our hectic days and often do not take the time to truly listen to one another. Whether it’s business meetings or family conversations we do not become “present” to the other person. These distractions cost us in ways we are not always aware of. If you would like to improve your listening by quieting the mind and the listening with your heart, we can help, either with one on one coaching or in a workshop setting.

A Living Business

A living business financially outperforms traditional businesses 2 to 1. It is organic by design, so it will thrive for the long term. With this design,

· The best and brightest will clamor to work at the company

· The best customers and suppliers will want to partner with the company

· The community will actively support the company

· The risk of adverse legal action is minimized

This same approach works for other organizations as well, including non-profits, government agencies, and universities.

We can create a lunch and learn, a ½ day, or a full-day workshop. You will leave this workshop with a blueprint of a living business, and ideas about first steps you can take to help your company become a living business.

Interested? I’d love to hear from you.

Gary Langenwalter

 

Becoming Child-like!

 

Giving yourself permission to be silly will nourish your creativity and is a good exercise in letting go.

Children appreciate all that is silly as a matter of course. Their grasp of humor is instinctual, and even the smallest absurdities provoke joyous gales of earnest laughter. As we age, this innate ability to see the value of silliness can diminish. Work takes precedence over play, and we have less incentive to exercise our imaginative minds by focusing on what is humorous. When we remember childhood, we may recall the pleasures of donning funny costumes, reciting nonsense poems, making up strange games, or playing pretend. This unabashed silliness nourished our vitality and creativity. We can take in this nourishment once again by giving ourselves permission to lighten up and be silly.

Too often we reject the wonderful silliness that is an inherent, inborn aspect of the self because we believe that it serves no purpose or is at odds with the grown-up culture of maturity. We play yet we do not lose ourselves in play, and our imaginations are never truly given free rein because we regard the products of irrational creativity as being valueless. Yet silliness itself does indeed constitute a vital part of human existence on a myriad of levels. Our first taste of ethereal bliss is often a consequence of our willingness to dabble in what we deem outrageous, nonsensical, or absurd. We delight in ridiculousness not only because laughter is intrinsically pleasurable, but also because it serves as a reminder that existence itself is fun. Skipping, doodling, and singing funny songs are no less entertaining than they were when we were children. We need not lose all interest in these cheerful and amusing activities, but to make them a part of our lives we must be ready to sacrifice a little dignity and a lot of fear.

It is precisely because so much of life is inescapably serious that silliness should be regarded as a priority. Through the magic of imagination, you can be or become anything—a photographer, a professional athlete, a dancer, a pilot. Whether you take hundreds of silly pictures, revel in the adulation of your fans as you make the winning catch, boogie down rock-star style in front of your bedroom mirror, or turn your desk into a cockpit, the ensuing hilarity will help you see that lighthearted fun and adulthood are not at all incompatible.

Dare to be silly! Embrace your inner child!

Greg Sievers

Director of Silliness!

Portland Consulting Group

5/1/14

Empathy is the #1 Leadership effectiveness trait!

Empathy & Leadership Effectiveness (excerpt)

What are leaders good at? What makes them the most effective?
· Business aptitude 1. Empathy
· Responsibility 2. Trustworthiness
· Clarity 3. Business aptitude
· Internal attunement 4. Depth

Excerpt from a study of 8,000 respondents rating 1,405 leaders in 47 countries. Blessing White, 2009.

How does empathy translate into competitive advantage?

It’s been said that employees join companies, but leave managers. To realize an organization’s full potential, leaders need to understand the power they possess to affect their employees’ level of happiness and engagement. Empathy is the catalyst for building positive workplaces and moving employees up the engagement ladder because it meets a primary human need: to be valued and recognized as an individual. The greater your employees’ engagement, the greater their loyalty and productivity and the greater your competitive edge.

I attended a very insightful Emotional Intelligence workshop recently conducted by Susan Zabriskie. She did an outstanding job with the content, exercises and facilitation! The role play Susan & I did is permanently etched in to my memory. The first part of the exercise with non-empathetic listening (interruption, dismissed, sharing her story, etc.). The second part, was true empathetic listening as shown by her true caring & genuine interest (acknowledging my feelings, my story & truly being present). Now, I am much more aware of how I might not be as empathetic as I thought I was.

Best Regards,

Greg

Greg Sievers, PMP, CPC

C 503-833-2016

Secret Sauce of Employee Engagement

One of my clients in rural Massachusetts wanted a team of mid-level managers and professionals to work nights and weekends to implement its new computer system. This caused the team members to miss their kids’ soccer games and other special family times. When the system was successfully implemented, the owner planned to pay for the new system by laying off half the team. The company was too far from any major population center for the laid off employees to commute to any new jobs, and the company was the only employer in town, so houses were worth almost nothing and could not be easily sold. Not so surprisingly, the software never met its goals, so the owner was not able to lay off any of the team.

The problem with employee engagement, as it is commonly viewed, is this: it’s all company-centric. Companies use every tool and technique in the book to try to engage their employees into enhancing the company’s well-being.

This also used to be true of how companies treated customers – customers were supposed to buy what the company wanted them to buy. However, companies finally learned that customers will buy what they want to buy, so companies have gotten much better at listening to their customers, so they can sell what the customers want. However, companies have not yet realized that they can do the same with their employees – that they can ask their employees what they really want, and help them get it.

In my consulting on 4 continents, I have found that there is a common thread the grounds what most people want: they want a good life for their children and their grandchildren. If that is the case in your organization, the question that would truly engage employees would look like this: “How can we use our products and services to help make the world a better play for our children and their children?”

Do you agree? Disagree? I would welcome feedback and pushback. I learned a long time ago that I only learn when somebody disagrees. My e-mail is gary@portlandconsultinggroup.com  Hope to hear from you.

Gary

1.971.221.8155