Meaning-CenteredLeadership

The Power of Purpose

In a recent presentation, Sheryl Connelly, a futurist with the Ford Motor Co. shared that people become disengaged because they lack purpose in their work. In our book, Meaning-Centered Leadership: Skills and Strategies for Increased Employee Well-Being and Organizational Success, we share the power of purpose and how it can lead to workplace meaning. In presentations, we often share the hierarchy of meaningful work (pictured below).  We identified the connection between finding purpose and significance in your work and how…

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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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Employee Well-Being for Increased Performance & Health

In our book: Meaning-Centered Leadership: Skills and Strategies for Employee Well-Being and Organizational Success, we focus on describing the importance of Meaning-Centered Leadership as a way to improve physical and psychological well-being. The direct connection between employee well-being and organizational success is central.  Recent research affirms our position that well-being and performance are connected. A study published in Management Research Review found evidence that promoting and sustaining employee well-being is essential because it acts as a significant predictor of performance…

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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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Meaning: The Antidote to Antiwork

The Antiwork Movement is a global workers phenomenon. In an opinion piece in the NY Times, columnist Farhad Manjoo described a recent one-day strike in South Korea by tens of thousands of workers. In China, young workers have called for a laying flat movement to counter the 12-hour 6-day work week expectations. It seems many 20 somethings in China would rather tuck themselves back in bed than join the throngs streaming to work.  Manjoo reports in his column titled: Even…

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Bring The Power of Purpose & Meaning to Your Life

In the third edition of The Power of Purpose: Find Meaning, Live Longer, Better, Richard Leider describes the importance of purpose by declaring, “Purpose is what gives life a meaning.” Throughout the text, meaning and purpose are often paired. He asks, “If we had to name what makes life worth living, what gives it meaning and purpose?” His use of the terms “meaning and purpose” as synonymous or twin tracks was evident throughout the book. He states, “It is clear…

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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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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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