Leadership

One Simple Step to Reduce Burnout 

In our book, Meaning-Centered Leadership: Skills and Strategies for Increased Employee Well-Being and Organizational Success we describe how leaders can activate multiple pathways to meaning. When employees find their work meaningful they are happier, healthier, more productive, and three times as likely to stay in their organizations. Unfortunately, recent survey data suggest much work is needed.  Survey research suggests over 90% of employees report burnout. The respondents describe having unmanageable stress and frustration. In fact, they report that high levels…

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The Strongest Predictor of Employee Disengagement May Surprise You

A slew of articles and research attempting to explain the Great Resignation may be causing confusion. Employers are responding in a variety of ways, from raising wages to offering flexible schedules and focusing on work-life balance.  These are all positive steps for employees, but is it enough? Recent research has uncovered that a toxic work environment is 10.4 times stronger at predicting company retention than wages*.  This data suggests that employees are looking for more than just a wage increase.…

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What’s Got You Stressed: 5 Important Questions to Consider

Politics, COVID-19, Work, what’s got you stressed? It seems Americans have several major sources of stress. A recent study by Kevin B. Smith of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found that over 90 million Americans say they have experienced stress due to politics. Smith states, “Large numbers of Americans are convinced that politics is exacting significant social, psychological, and even physical costs on their well-being.”  Gallup’s research also found that the United States and Canada report the highest rates of daily…

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Quality Coaching for Engagement and Retention

The “Great Resignation” has led to a plethora of offered solutions. Everything from flexibility to shared leadership has been suggested, but what do people really want? Research points not to workplace conditions, hours, or wages, but instead points to the need for meaningful work. Workplace meaning is substantially governed by relatedness, autonomy, and competence, or as we state in our book, Engagement, Empowerment, and Expertise.  What people want from work is meaning. Meaning-Making begins with establishing trusting relationships with your…

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Experts Call For Meaning at All Levels of Education

A Meaning-Centered approach is needed throughout the education system. Educational researcher Michael Fullan states, “New meaning must be evident at every level of the system, but if it is not done at the level of the student, for the vast majority of students, all is lost.” (The New Meaning of Educational Change, 5th ed.) He claims that the future depends on deep engagement at the teacher and student levels.  Unfortunately, Gallup research reports teacher disengagement levels at nearly 70%, and…

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5 Reasons I am Thankful for My Service

Whenever anyone thanks me for my service I am always a little sheepish in responding. Not that I don’t appreciate the recognition, but the truth is I owe more to my service than my country owes me. During my years of service in the United States Marine Corps, I completed high school and started college, and I was gifted with several exceptional lessons.  Show up on time and never be late: This lesson has stuck with me, albeit there have…

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Ignite Your Leadership with Effective Coaching

Effective Coaching has been shown to inspire strong employee outcomes.* Coaching has the potential to profoundly deepen employee engagement, empowerment, and expertise. Throughout the book Meaning-Centered Leadership: Skills and Strategies for Increased Employee Well-Being and Organizational Success, we discuss the impact of effective coaching. (Your Coaching Playbook – chapter 13) Effective coaching begins with active listening, which involves hearing the whole statement without jumping to a quick fix or conclusion. It helps to set the stage for deep interpersonal influence. In…

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3 Steps to Inspire and Retain Your Workforce

Recent survey research continues to find high numbers of individuals who are ready to quit their jobs. Of the workforce, 54% are actively considering quitting their jobs, often listing burnout as the number one cause. In relation, 55% of employees report high levels of workplace stress. Combined, workplace stress and absenteeism cost businesses $300 billion annually. While global losses due to depression and anxiety are estimated to be as high as one trillion dollars.  In relation, a recent Forbes article…

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What Research Tells Us About Supporting Teachers

American teachers are approaching another very uncertain year. With COVID-19 accelerating among the younger populations, mask mandates have become a literal battleground. School boards have cancelled meetings, teachers have been assaulted, and guidance is often contradicted by policy. Amidst this whirlwind, teachers are considering leaving the field in ever greater numbers.  Every year 200,000 teachers voluntarily leave the profession. A recent report indicates that there is a 20% increase in the number of teachers who are considering leaving the profession.…

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Trusting Teams Versus “The Great Resignation”

The number of people who voluntarily left their organizations during the months of April (4 million) and May (3.6 million) has been referred to as “The Great Resignation”. Reporting on this topic highlight surveys that suggest upwards of 40% of the workforce is considering resigning. Burnout and lack of growth are often cited as the biggest reasons people voluntarily leave their organizations.  As reported in our book, businesses in the United States are losing a trillion dollars a year due…

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Trustworthy Business Leaders Needed NOW

According to the Edelman Trust Barometer of 2021, 18 of 27 countries experienced an increase in employer trust; unfortunately, the United States was not one of them. The report goes on to state that information quality leads to increasing trust. This seems an especially difficult task given the consensus offered in this report: both government and business leaders in the USA are suspected of lies and misinformation.  The Edelman report suggests four steps businesses should take: CEO’s must act on…

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A Meaning-Centered Approach for the Post-Pandemic School

Educators and communities across the country are preparing to return students to fulltime in-person learning. This is a positive direction and yet the way ahead is clouded with imperatives to assess and remediate learning loss. Many schools are supporting student learning with summertime remediation and credit recovery. This is necessary and supports students’ academic needs. The bigger question is, what do students need as they return to school?

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Trust: The Key to Optimal Performance

In our research into how exemplary leaders create meaning, we discovered that followers want a leader who can build an atmosphere where trusting relationships flourish. So it came as no surprise when a recent global study conducted by ADP research found that the single most powerful driver of resilience and engagement is trust. When trust is present, people are able to optimize their performance.  Sadly, according to this report, only 7% of people feel this level of trust in their…

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What Daily Yoga Practice Has Taught me About Leadership

During the last 14 months of isolation and worry, I began a daily practice of yoga. The breathing, focus, and acceptance required in daily yoga practice connects to many of the disciplines a leader must embrace.  First, a leader needs to be 100% present. Deep breathing is a great way to maintain presence and energy.  Pausing to take deep breaths can help you power through a long meeting or prepare you for a difficult conversation that will require 100% of…

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Choose-Happiness

You’ve Got the Power

This One Thing Can Make a Difference in Your Day Don’t underestimate the power of positive thinking. Your mindset can truly make a difference in your mood and the day’s outcome. We are now six months into the pandemic and many are struggling day in and day out with the situation at hand. It seems the longer the lock-down continues, the less in control we feel. Now is the time to control your mindset. As the saying goes, you may…

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Love what you do quote

What’s LOVE Got To Do With It?

Love What You Do Ask yourself, do you love what you do? Can you ultimately say that you put your heart and soul into your work? Is your job fulfilling and satisfying? How about your team members? Do you help team members find meaning and purpose in their work? Throughout this pandemic, many people are asking themselves if they truly love their work. As a leader, it is your job to help them figure this out. The 3Es of Meaningful…

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