1. Appreciative Leadership Changes People

    October 30, 2015 by Elaine Suess

    In the past year, it seems that gratefulness and appreciation have expanded their reach even more so into our leadership lexicon. 

    With Adam Grant’s informative and research-based book Give and Take, he notes that “a single act marked by mutual trust and respect will energize both people.”

    I have found that to be true.

    Positively energizing employees (accent on the positive, as we have all experienced the frustrations of lackluster leaders and negative energizing) through appreciation is part of the recipe that engages them in peak organizational performance, and simply encourages them to keep showing up. (more…)

  2. What Do Values Have To Do With It!?

    March 4, 2015 by Elaine Suess

    No, the title is not about Values and IT, as in computers, but Values and It as in work. You know — alignment, how you show up every day, what you believe, what is at your core, how your values are aligned with your work culture, and how engaged you are at work.

    When was the last time you assessed your own personal values to consider the part they play in why you wake up in the morning, and how they impact your work?

    When was the last time your company focused on the values demonstrated in your current culture at work, and how they align (or not) with the desired culture of the company?

    “Our values reflect what is important to us. They are a shorthand way of describing our individual motivations. Together with our beliefs, they are the causal factors that drive our decision-making. Understanding our values helps us to understand why we may act or react the way we do. Living your values can make you feel in balance.”      Richard Barrett

    Values and the Bottom Line

    The values conversation is not just about personal values, but also about leadership, a desired culture and the bottom line. On page 12 of Deloitte’s Culture of Purpose report, it’s clear that executive and employee views of purpose as part of their business culture vary widely. Not only do they differ there, but 18% of employees say leadership does not set an example by living the organization’s purpose.

    Shared values at work are not just a “nice to have,” but impact the business in important ways. In Corporate Culture and Performance, John P. Kotter and James L. Heskett show that companies with strong adaptive cultures based on shared values outperformed other companies by a significant margin.

    Research by Rosabeth Moss Kanter from Harvard tells us “that companies that are innovative, profitable, and responsible hold widespread dialogues about their values.” She goes on to say as a result:

     “It is not the values themselves that make the difference.  It is the conversation” about the values.

    Start the Conversation

    If you’re ready to start the conversation, take the free, online assessment offered by Barrett Values. There are two exercises included in the free assessment that will help you decide on a pathway forward to live your values more fully, and align them with your work and your culture (or both!)


  3. True Story: Moving Boulders

    August 30, 2014 by Elaine Suess

    Yes, it’s true. The boulders have moved!

    Okay. They’ve actually been moving for years, but we just haven’t been able to figure out why. And the “we” here doesn’t mean the royal we which equals “I”, but the broad we meaning other people besides me who happen to be scientists.

    Before last week, I hadn’t  even heard about these boulders and the plight of the scientists, but I was fascinated to hear about them (my top character strength after all, is Curiosity) all the same.

    The Death Valley

    The story goes that these huge boulders in the middle of the desert, some weighing up to 600 lbs., (more…)

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