On Leadership and Healing: Striving for Wellness

Healing Hands

We often speak about service and leadership and even servant leadership, but the original word to serve in Greek, the language of the New Testament, was the word “therapy,” that expressed the idea of leading, serving, taking care of, and healing.

 In the New Testament, leadership had two components or facets: teaching and healing. If teaching was the content vision, it was authenticated in healing.

Leadership That Serves and Saves

But, to heal in Greek means to protect from harm, to benefit, to preserve inner integrity, to rescue from harm; these are all aspects of leadership that serves and saves. Leading and healing are two aspects of the same reality that focuses on integrated, holistic approaches to people and their organizations.

Leadership that heals restores harmony within individuals, between people, and within structures, and frees people from unhealthy living.

Health and wholeness are basic, primary values for all human beings, and people see sickness and dysfunctional responses as undesirable obstacles to happiness and fulfillment in life. When health and wholeness are absent people seek explanations and remedies, and when these are not forthcoming they suspect that there are forces beyond themselves, working against them.

Whatever the explanation of sickness, people long for healing. A leader of hope who is attentive to organizational dysfunctioning should feel called to heal. He or she must be sensitive to others’ needs, be a voice for the voiceless, and stress that successful organizations require holistic living.

A leader of hope who wants to have a healing effect on an organization must listen to workers’ stories and anger, call them to community health and wellness, and teach how wellness, leisure, health, personal or organizational growth, and business effectiveness are closely related to each other.

Striving For Wellness

In dealing with others and organizations, leaders strive for wellness, a concept that means the best one can be at any given time. Individuals and organizations come with the baggage of their history, and a good leader cannot expect from followers immediate exemplary responses to his or her challenges.

The first stage in healing is to stop negative influences, the slow erosion of values, and the corrupt influences of power.

Then, healing also includes efforts to end destructive practices such as confrontational positions, neglect of workers, coercion of followers, harassment, paying for support, outright fraud, controlling management teams with salaries or threats regarding job security, dividing to conquer, and using people rather than collaborating with them.

A leader who heals confronts any crisis of quality, changes in standards, neglect of traditional values, and does so because he or she recognizes we are all capable of evil, we often know our flaws and do nothing about them, we live with false values or reduced ideals, and we need illumination and healing.

Managing Wellness

Wellness is more than the absence of dysfunctions in individuals and organizations. It is a holistic concept that includes physical, social, and spiritual components. People can work at wellness through self-motivation and healthy practices.

Components of wellness include a positive outlook on life, basic personal and organizational skills, a sense of purpose, respect and love for each other, being in tune with one’s environment, and having a plan for balanced living.

Like other aspects of organizational life, a leader can manage wellness.

A leader who heals gives special attention to emotions, whether job or people related, identifying causes and potential reactions, and making sure he or she channels positive emotions and controls negative ones. Among the former are acceptance, joy, trust, surprise, satisfaction, and among the latter are fear, anger, hatred, rage, pride, jealousy, sadness, and loss. Each of these has many manifestations.

For example, people can have fear of failure, of embarrassment, of disappointing others, of resentment of leaders, of lack of respect, and of losing self-confidence.

  • Leadership is almost impossible for those who lack the ability to react to these emotions.
  • Leaders of hope partner with followers, understand their emotions, and raise them up to their potential.
  • They have faith in their followers, see they attain their own hopes and contribute to the organization’s, and love them enough to seek what is best for them.

A Leader of Hope

A leader of hope constantly asks what individuals and the organization would be like if all were functioning well. The organization’s product or service, its workers, management, and structure should all perform well. This does not mean there are not irritants in the group who do not think or act the way others do.

They, too, receive healing acceptance and affirmation, for the group needs energy that comes from differences.

Wellness within an organization will include trust, ethics, protection within the working environment, truth-telling, financial integrity, mutual respect, mutual pride, patience with each other, and a sense of responsibility for each other and for the organization. A spiritual leader can achieve much when he or she concentrates on on healing when dealing with others and organizations.

So, how are you doing at leading hope, fostering wellness, and insuring healing with the people in your organization? What can you do to strengthen your “empathy muscles” so that you can be that healing leader that keeps your organization healthy? I would love to hear your thoughts!


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Dr. Leonard Doohand

Dr. Leonard Doohan  is an Author and Workshop Presenter
He focuses on issues of spiritual leadership
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3 Ways Leaders Can Pioneer Effective Change Management

Effective Change

There are two types of leaders: Those who lead from the back, and those who lead from the front.

You can tell these two types of leaders apart when market changes happen and shake their business’s foundations to the core.

Different Types of Leaders

While the leaders who dictate from the back sit in their offices pulling their hair out and cursing under their breath, the leaders in front are those who are completely involved, confronting issues as they surface.

More than anything, front-end leaders have their whole team behind them, while the cowering leaders’ teams are abandoning ship.

In the fast-paced business world, it’s not a matter of if, but when, change will come to your business. If you can derive positive outcomes out of uncertain or volatile situations, you’ll come out on top. The key is staying laser-focused on industry trends.

Contextual Knowledge Is Key to a Sustainable Business

No matter what industry you’re in, reading the market is paramount to your success. Being unaware of your surroundings will severely jeopardize your leadership position and the health of your company.

Remember Pets.com? It was a great idea, but it failed because it tried to grow too fast. Rather than taking the market’s temperature and developing a product accordingly, the company created its product in a vacuum and tasked its marketers with finding a market.

Effective Change Management

Effective change management requires heavy listening, inclusiveness, emotional intelligence, and a common purpose. Understanding the context and being able to read the winds, the currents, and the tides are musts for piloting a sailboat.

Simply cleaning the sails is not enough. But the benefits are invaluable.

Not only will your business remain dynamic in a competitive marketplace, but it will also attract new customers and preserve current relationships.

Nike is a great example of a company that used market knowledge to develop a successful product. In 2006, the iPod was massively popular, and Nike wanted in. It teamed up with Apple to launch Nike+, a digital sports kit that included a shoe sensor and a wireless receiver for users’ iPods. Since then, Nike has sold more than 2.5 million kits.

3 Keys to Effective Change

Use Trends to Bring About the Change Your Business Needs

If you want to create effective change management, you have to harness business trends. Here are three ways smart, effective leaders can do that:

1. Get Involved in Your Industry and Spark Ideas

There’s a good chance your industry has a vocational organization behind it, whether you’re a union pipe fitter or an artisan cheesemonger. The people in these groups are the key to your success, and the networks and friendships you gain through them are priceless. Associations work hard to keep members aware of industry-wide changes, so take advantage of their expertise.

Make a point to engage with colleagues, partners, and clients about trends in their businesses.

These conversations are sure to spark ideas in the minds of prospective clients and employees. Human beings respond to calls to action that engage their hearts as well as their minds, making them feel as if they’re a part of something consequential.

2. Monitor Everything About Your Business

If you’re not keeping a close eye on your business with tools like financial projections and business dashboards, you’re missing out. Tracking trends helps you predict potential problems and opportunities.

Don’t just think about statistics in your own business, either. Government agencies compile mountains of statistics that can help you pinpoint trends among demographic groups, regions, industries, and more.

Your change — or lack thereof — is important to your employees, too. They need to know how crucial successful change is to your company. Ensuring that people’s daily behaviors reflect the imperative of change is vital to the success of any change initiative.

3. Get Outside — and Outside Yourself

When things get hectic at work, go for a walk. It might not help your business immediately, but it will help you clear your thoughts. And while you’re out and about, take a peek at your competitors down the street.

You can learn a lot about yourself by monitoring your competition. Ask yourself: What new products or services are they offering, and are they targeting new audiences and expanding?

You can learn even more about your business by getting outside your own industry. Read news from Japan and Germany. What are the latest developments in the bicycle industry? What about the fire safety industry? Learning about trends in other worlds will spark new ideas for your own.

When you think outside yourself, you get a better handle on how your team functions and what they can improve upon. Oftentimes, leaders are so eager to claim victory that they don’t take the time to figure out what’s working — and what’s not — and come up with next steps.

When you fail to follow through, you’re being inconsistent and withholding the information your employees need to grow and change.

Change Is Coming

Leaders need to be aware of upcoming change in their businesses, in their industries, and in their employees. There’s no way of doing this that doesn’t involve being aware of yourself, your company, your industry, and the world around you.

Smart change management leaders are tuned in to their employees and their industries. Don’t succumb to cowering in your office when the going gets tough. Be the effective, change-embracing leader your employees need and deserve.


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Luis Gallardo

Luis Gallardo is CEO of Thinking Heads Americas
He’s an award-winning author and holds an MBA from IMD in Switzerland
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On Leadership and Truth


I want to work for someone that never tells me the truth,” said no employee…ever”

Leaders are often put in precarious positions when it relates to truth.  They are expected to withhold sensitive information and be authentic, not disclose everything about direction and motivate.  It is dangerous balancing act that often times results a systemic mistrust of leaders and leadership by employees.

A recent study by Harvard Business Review showed that a 25% of employees didn’t believe what their employers/leaders were saying, 52% thought that their employers weren’t upfront.

That is almost 88%!  Essentially, that means employees believe less than 2/3 of what they are told.

Is there really any question why the rumor mill/grapevine talk is so powerful?

Given the nature of the social media, any slip of leaking information of a new product or potential merger could mean the difference between a blockbuster new initiative and an idea that is picked apart before it sees the light of day.

What is a leader to do?

Create a Culture of Truth

Creating an environment where truth is the standard must start far before there is any type of crisis that might demand it. If an organization, department, or team wants to have an open honest environment, then they have to create a culture of truth.

This is more than slipping “integrity” into the corporate values.

It can’t be something that is just talked about. It must be an active, conscious effort to enable truth to be set free all the time.

3 Steps to Creating That Culture

Leaders have to give honest feedback

Leaders need to give honest feedback for both good and bad. and they need to do it often. This means that when there is something awesome that happens, managers should tell their teams right away.  They should congratulate and celebrate accomplishments that move the organization forward.  This doesn’t mean throw a party for coming into work on time, that’s the price of entry.

It’s something substantial or “difference making”- shaving weeks off of a process, saving an irate customer from canceling an account, etc. It also means that when there is a problem, failure or screwup it has to be dealt with immediately.  It’s not about making people feel bad or to get good at yelling at people right after a mistake.

Instead, it’s about having courageous conversations that make a difference for the leader, the person, and the relationship.  These conversations should be occurring all the time.

Leaders should be soliciting honest feedback 

Leaders have to be able dish it out and take it.  It’s not enough to give honest feedback.  That is almost expected.  One of the most important paths to an open honest environment is when employees see that they can be honest too.

It is not about nitpicking or gripping.  It is a professional, measure delivery of feedback that includes a suggestion for correction.

Employees should be encouraged to give feedback to leaders in a constructive way without retribution.  This will show that this kind of straight talk is encouraged.  It sets the tone for peers to give each other that kind of feedback too.

Leaders should promote healthy conflict

“Advancement is only made through conflict.” It is impossible to have a functional, honest and productive relationship of any kind without conflict.  If team members do not know how to resolve issues between each other or come to compromise solutions then we have an environment like the American Congress.  This is the land where nothing gets done except to undermine or hurt the other side.

Healthy conflict can lead to increased camaraderie and higher engagement.  So don’t shy away from conflict.

Promote people resolving issues and creating awesome solutions through conversation.  Its powerful, that’s what Reagan and Gorbachev did to end the cold war…

Seriously Motivate People

Leaders know the folks on their team.  They really know the things that really underlie why they work. Having this information enables they to understand what motivates.

Ask yourself these types of questions about people that you lead:

  • Is it time off to take a trek?
  • Is it a little extra money or help coordinating a family trip?
  • Is it tickets to the new Avengers movie?

Leaders that have gained their team’s trust know.

Treat People Like Adults

Leaders aren’t afraid to share everything they can with the folks on their teams. When you work with people you trust its not a big deal to be honest.
If a leader is expected to to treat team members like adults, then there should be an expectation to reprimand those that don’t follow the rules.

Yes, some rules are stupid and don’t make sense, but they are the rules. Leaders can see when someone is undermining the organization, team or them.  Nothing eviscerate the productivity of a team more than a bad actor who gets away with acting bad.

Leaders should be expected to tell their team everything they possibly can and hold the team to an expectation of doing what they are supposed to be doing.

Address the Rumor Mill Head-On

Since most employees don’t trust their leaders, any lack of information will result in shreds of truth wrapped in lies being shared.  In order too cultivate a culture of trust, leaders have to deal with rumors head on.

Sometimes things said are hard to disprove, but every attempt must be made to debunk or acknowlege the trust in rumors.  There is really no way to stop rumors.  But just like any scary stories, the light makes all those hobgoblins disappear.

Don’t Double Talk

Leaders that engender trust, don’t sugar coat news. If the news is bad, they tell an employee the truth.  If it’s great news they are genuinely excited for the team. Nothing undermines trust and gets the dreaded eye-roll than saying something is good when it’s not or good when its great.  All people need to show more emotion and empathy than just saying “That was good” or “That was bad”.

Leaders, in particular, must be the catalyst for passion and enthusiasm to be unleashed.

Be an Adult

Here is a some advice: If you aren’t supposed to tell anyone, than don’t…not even that person that you really trust in the company.

Most good people don’t like secrets.  But they will respect leaders more if they don’t say things when they REALLY aren’t supposed to.  A trusting culture shares everything they can and understands that there are  aspects of that can’t be shared.

Creating a culture of truth can dramatically increase compliance, productivity and engagement! So give it a try! simply be the leader you’d want to work with.

What kind of leader are you? Does your team believe you? Do you know? What can you do today to make sure that you are building, maintaining, and fostering a culture of truth? I would love to hear your thoughts!


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Anil Saxena is a President & Senior Consultant Cube 214 Consulting
He helps organizations create environments that generate repeatable superior results
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On Leadership, Thoughtfulness and Doing Unto Others

Becoming a Giver

When was the last time someone did something for you with no strings attached? Maybe she covered for you during a meeting that you forgot, or offered unsolicited praise to a supervisor on your behalf? I bet it felt pretty good, didn’t it?

Now ask yourself this: When was  the last time was that you did something for someone else, no strings attached.

So the question comes: Should you “do unto others as you would have them do unto you?” If so, then at what price?

Showing Up as a Giver

In this last of three articles on the importance of relationship-building as the common denominator in successful organizations, the focus is on communal and exchange relationships. As suggested by the name, exchange relationships are marked by a give and take between the parties involved.

Communal relationships are characterized by both parties work for the interest of the other part, regardless of whether or not their actions are reciprocated.

Communal relationship put the focus on the other party by attempting to truly address their needs, even if it means that you or your organization might not benefit. Some companies do this quite well. Southwest Airlines, already recognized for high levels of customer service, again recently demonstrated their unique approach to addressing customer concerns when a pilot ordered pizza for multiple Southwest flights that experienced a several hour weather delay.

Pizza on a PlaneWhile some may attribute this action to the quick-thinking of the pilot (and rightly so!), his behavior reflects the customer centric culture created by Southwest that enables its employees to come up with responsive and creative solutions such as this.

It seems unlikely that the pilot weighed the cost of the pizza and his effort against the likelihood of passengers purchasing another ticket from the airline.

Rather, he recognized that people facing a multi-hour delay around the dinner hour were likely to be hungry and he came up with a solution to address that problem. Zappos is another customer-centric company that has received accolades for the quick, “blame-free” solutions they give their customers.

Organizations that adopt a customer-centric culture can see rewards not only in customer satisfaction, but through more engaged employees as well.

Forming Communal Relationships

Forming communal relationships can result in a variety of organizational benefits; and while certainly there is great value in achieving this standard for relationships, not all organizations are in a place to do so.

In our highly individualistic culture we are encouraged from young ages to distinguish ourselves from others. As such, not everyone is comfortable with the idea of giving or getting something for nothing; or their circumstances may prevent them from doing so.

  • Owners of a small coffee shop may not have the luxury of a national chain in providing a free donut with every cup of coffee when they must rely on the income from the sale of each and every menu item.
  • Or, companies that offer niche products or services, such as manufacturers of unique components for medical equipment, may not have many opportunities to provide extras for their customers.

Leading With Thoughtfulness

Still, “freebies” aren’t the only way to support clients and colleagues. Forwarding an article relevant to a topic a colleague mentioned over lunch one day could save her hours of research; or making a client aware of a service provider who offers a resource he hasn’t been able to find, even if might result in a reduction of in the services he orders from you, truly puts the client’s needs first.

Offering to step in for a co-worker so he can leave work to attend his daughter’s soccer game might not take a great deal of effort on your part, but could make a huge difference in his day and family life.

We are all in a position to provide help sometimes. Whether we do it simply to help someone when she needs it, or because we’re paying back a debt, we have the opportunity to build a stronger relationship with that colleague or client.

When was the last time you went out of your way to give someone something you knew he needed? Do you make it a point to help others freely or is there an (explicit or tacit) expectation of payback? Are you fostering a communal culture within your organization? I would love to hear your thoughts!


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Andrea M. Pampaloni, Ph.D.

Andrea M. Pampaloni, Ph.D is AMP Consulting
She provides Organizational Communication Consulting & Research Focused on
Relationship-Building and Presentation of Image
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Laser Sharp Leadership – Leading with Focus

Leading With Focus

Does this describe you:

  • You are inherently goal seeking.
  • Everything you do has purpose because purposeful action is efficient.
  • Each step you take has been filtered and evaluated; you’ve determined that a step in this direction directly affects your journey toward achieving the end result.
  • While you might appreciate scenery and detours in theory, you understand that these are novelties, not necessities.
  • Like a missile honing in on a target, you advance toward your goals with precision and consistency.

If this sounds like you, then you have the strength of Focus.

The Elusiveness of Focus

It’s extremely easy these days to get side tracked. If you haven’t checked Facebook in 20 minutes, you might be missing something hilarious, there are always Tweets to be tweeted, and if you don’t consistently keep up with your favorite blogs you’ll just have way too much reading to do on the weekend.

Not to mention the consistent flood and consequent overflow both your professional and personal inboxes experience, the necessity of checking your texts and responding, and getting up to date on everyone’s day with their Snapchat story.

With all of that going on, how does anyone maintain focus?

If we are all being honest, some of us just don’t. We would need ten magnifying glasses glued to our heads at all times to keep us from getting distracted. And even then, there are a few folks who would miraculously find a way to lose focus anyway (including yours truly).

That being said, most of us can muster it up when it’s crunch time and get things done with minimal distraction. Chances are, after all that intentional focusing, we are exhausted. It’s a lot of effort to block out, filter and resist the temptation of all the rabbit holes along the way.

>>> That is unless you have the strength of Focus.

Hitting the Bullseye

Their recipe for success:

  • People with Focus are always guided by the question “Where am I going?” How can you create a plan to get “there” if there is no “there?”
  • They constantly create goals that help them track and measure success and stay the course.
  • They do not shoot unless it’s straight for the bullseye.

As a leader, this is extremely helpful, especially for the people described above. Having someone kindly turn you in the right direction and remind you where the target is can be extremely valuable, not just to you, but the team as a whole. Besides the day to day distraction, leaders with Focus help provide guidance in a larger, big picture sense.

Sometimes, as we move along getting this task done, and then another, followed by another, it’s hard to recall why it’s all relevant. Focus leaders instinctively evaluate the value of each action toward reaching the end goal, which they can then relay to their team.

By keeping everyone on the path and avoiding aimless wandering, they also set their team up for success as one that delivers on time and produces results.

Avoiding Tunnel Vision

Leading with a lack of sophistication around your Focus strength can have the exact opposite effect of keeping your team engaged. Perhaps the most frustrating thing for Focus is not having a clear target to aim at.

We have all experienced work environments where deliverables and expectations are ambiguous at best – this is especially trying for Focus.

A sophisticated Focus will be able to manage-up and help their leaders stay on track toward defining clear goals, not only for their team, but the department or organization as a whole.

As a close second on the frustrations list for Focus are obstacles. Anything that delays, sidetracks, or causes tangential discussions will be a hot button. For an unsophisticated Focus, that might translate into an intense micro-managing situation and an imposition of work-style onto your team.

There are very few people who work well under such intense pressure, and frankly, lack of respect. If life is full of lemons, work life is overflowing with them. It’s important for leaders with Focus to understand where flexibility is required, and to create strategies that allow them to act accordingly.

Whether that’s leaning on another of their strengths, like Adaptability, Arranger, or Strategic, or leveraging a teammate, it’s important for Focus leaders to avoid becoming so consumed with their tunnel vision, they become one with the tunnel.

Are you a leader with Focus? Do you find you have an easier go of completing tasks despite distraction? Do you set yourself goals daily, weekly, monthly, all of the above? As a leader, have you found challenges keeping your team on task? How do you make room for inefficiencies or flexibility? Have you ever been accused of micromanaging?


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Alexsys "Lexy" Thompson HCS, SWP

Alexsys “Lexy” Thompson is Managing Partner at Fokal Fusion
She helps building Strong Leaders through Strong People Strategy
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How to Connect With Your Team When You Don’t Have Time

Connecting With People

“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”  ~Carl Sandburg

Having The Time To Connect

A client and I spent about 50 minutes during a recent session talking about all the things he was concerned about—meetings, motivating, and accomplishing the goals and objectives for his team. He had developed a good plan and way ahead, but something was still troubling him.

Toward the end of our call, he said, “You know, I just do not have time to connect with my people.”

“Brad,” I said, “We have talked for about an hour about how you can be a better leader.  Most everything we’ve talked about can be delegated, especially the technical work.  The one thing that can’t, however, and the thing that is the most important thing in helping you become a great leader, is connecting with your people personally, on a regular basis. You just can’t delegate that.”

He said he had never considered that.

Connecting with People 

In his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You, John Maxwell talks about the Law of Connection, and that successful leaders are always the initiator of connections.

In it he says, “They take the first step with others and then make the effort to continue building relationships.”

So how does a busy leader, who feels that they don’t even have time to take a lunch break, find the time to make that personal connection with their team? (I feel that this is the MOST important thing they do!)

Coach and author of the book There’s Not Enough Time….and other lies we tell ourselves, Jill Farmer, says it starts with getting intentional:

“There’s not going to be a magic windfall of more time falling from the sky. It’s a matter of refocusing attention and intention.”

Getting Personal

3 Things To Try to Make It Happen

1) Hone those delegation skills.

If you are a perfectionist (or a recovering one, like me), you know that no one can accomplish tasks quite like you can. After all, by the time you show someone else how to do something the way you want it done, you could have it already finished. This is a common complaint I hear all the time.

But consider this: If you don’t delegate, they don’t learn.

You only grow your team or organization when they learn to do things without you doing it for them.  Time spent up front, teaching and coaching them to accomplish tasks that they can not only learn to do, but will help their growth, is well worth the investment.

2)  Try bagging it.

Try hosting a brown bag lunch in your office, if you have the space, or in a conference room if you don’t. Invite one team at a time, or mix it up to help people connect with people from different teams. Tell them to bring their lunch—it’s informal.

This isn’t about work, so you don’t have to prepare anything, but you might invite them to ask you questions if they desire.

If you are an introvert, and don’t do well with chit-chat, ask them a couple of questions such as: “What would you do if you couldn’t have this career?” or “If money were no object, what’s the one thing you have always wanted to try?” You will be surprised at how little you have to say and how much you learn about people.

 3)  Block out the time

When you have an important meeting, you schedule it on your calendar.  Since these are important meetings, schedule them just as you would any other meeting.  Block out a few minutes every day, or even twice a week, to visit a different work team.  Even if you just to stop and say “Hello, how’s it going?”–that’s a connection.

By scheduling it in small time increments, you don’t have to worry about the day getting away from you and realizing a week has gone by without connecting with anyone on a personal level.  You might want to add a few minutes in to take a walk, or have some quiet time to yourself (really?).

Schedule at least one 30-minute meeting with your direct reports once a month, depending on how many you have.  One executive I know schedules all her team members for an hour with her once a quarter, because that is the time she can afford.

Time Is On Your Side

Nothing can replace the precious time you spend with your team–it affects morale, productivity and your business culture.  It can raise a team from one that is mediocre to one that excels in pushing your organization to the next level.

Earl Nightingale said:  “Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.”

What ideas and recommendations have you used to help you make some time to connect with your people? How have these benefited you, your team, and your results? i would love to hear your thoughts!


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Susan (Chandler) Foster

Susan C. Foster is an Master Certified Coach & Owner of Susan Foster Coaching
She coaches & facilitates in Leadership, Motivation & Building Great Teams
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