Their Faces Were Glowing!

I spent last Friday at YEACamp, an organization that teaches teens how to be successful change agents. The highlight of the day was when each camper stood in front of their 25 peers and 12 staff, gulped once, and then declared their action plan for the change that they want to bring about. When each camper finished, they remained standing to receive their much-deserved ovation. And they glowed! For most of them, their week at camp, culminating in this experience, is life-changing. It grounds them in understanding that they are a gift to the world, and that they can only be stopped if they allow it.

But, and there’s always a “but”, none of these youth can accomplish great things by themselves. It takes all of us, as a community, to continue to encourage them to greatness.

The same is true in our workplaces and our families and other organizations. We can choose to be supportive, helping each person become all they can be. Or we can choose to ignore people, leaving them to drift, unsupported. Or, we can choose to criticize, to find fault. It’s our choice. And our choice will determine the world that we and our children and our grandchildren live in.

I welcome feedback and conversation on this topic. 971-221-8155, gary@portlandconsultinggroup.com.

Gary Langenwalter

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


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 Sievers, PMP, CPC

C 503-833-2016

Engagement in your Organization

What would your organization be like if 50-70% of your people, at all levels, were passionately engaged in your mission?

What would it be like to work in such an organization?

What results could it produce? How much of a difference would it make in the quality of life of the employees, the customers, the communities in which it operates?

Engagement is what we look for when we walk into an organization. We look for the smiles, the attitude. We look for people on the front lines who enjoy being there, who know that they are valued and trusted.

Not possible, you say? Not in this economy? Not here? I beg to differ. Look at the tens of thousands of people, all ages, races, genders, walks of life, who volunteer at various non-profits. They are engaged, or they wouldn’t be there.

Want to do a little dreaming, about how well your organization could be performing? About what your life could be like? We’d be honored to dream with you. (And, we can help those dreams become reality.)

Gary Langenwalter