Putting Servant Leadership Into Practice:  Listening

effective listeningEvery day, employees across the country receive more than 1,800 messages. From phone calls and emails to memos and face-to-face conversations, our workforce is bombarded with information. How can we manage so many messages throughout our day? The truth is, we don’t. According to the International Listening Association, we are distracted, forgetful or preoccupied an astounding 75 percent of the time that we’re listening—meaning there’s not much listening happening in our offices! Imagine how much more progress could be made as businesses and in our own leadership journeys if we truly valued and practiced engaged listening.

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SHIFTING FROM COMPLIANCE TO ENGAGEMENT

from compliance to engagementAccording to a recent Gallup Poll, more than 70 percent of Americans are disengaged at work. That’s seven out of every 10 employees – the majority of our workforce!

What’s especially challenging is that many of these individuals are adequate contributors. They get the job done. They receive average performance reviews. But, they are largely going through the motions without the passion, commitment or creativity of their more engaged peers. Just think of the untapped potential you could unleash if you were able to help these competent performers truly engage with you, their peers and their professional responsibilities.

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GETTING TO THE HEART OF TEAM PERFORMANCE

heart coherenceFrom the first crudely drawn heart-shaped symbols painted on cave walls by Ice-Age hunters, humans have been fascinated with the heart and its role in our health and well-being.

Over the past 100 years, medical professionals have made great advances in understanding and treating heart disease and injury. However, some of the most significant, and fascinating, research being done today focuses on Heart Intelligence – the physiological mechanisms that allow the heart to communicate with the brain.

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Reigniting the Passion for Servant Leadership

servant leadershipWith all-time low employee engagement levels in sharp contrast to organizations’ critical need for improved productivity and innovation, we at Harmony Crew aren’t surprised at the renewed popularity of Servant Leadership. This leadership framework, originally coined and formally developed by Robert Greenleaf in the 1970s, is experiencing a resurgence as colleges, universities and businesses large and small across the globe recognize the value of following service-driven leadership principles. And, it’s understandable why – servant-led companies enjoy 20 – 40% higher profit margins than non-servant-led competitors.

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DISCOVERING YOUR AUTHENTIC BRAND PROMISE

Photo courtesy of AMC

The critically acclaimed TV series, Mad Men, may be set in the 1960s, but the insights it offers into the evolution of advertising, marketing, and business strategy are timeless. A scene in Season 7 particularly resonated with us. As the creative team gathers to start work for a major new client, Peggy directs each of the copywriters to give her 25 taglines by the next day. When Don asks, “What’s the strategy?” she responds, “They want to see the tags first.”

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Mother May I?

building productive work relationshipsHow to foster “Adult-Adult” relationships with your team.

What do you call someone who lets you cry on their shoulder, mediates your disagreements, solves your problems, tells you what to do – and checks to make sure that you did it?

If you answered “boss,” you’re not alone.

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ARE YOU CONNECTING WITH TODAY’S DIGITAL BUYERS?

digital contentThe search for customers is over. Today, 90% of business buyers say that when they are ready to buy, they will find you. And, recent studies of the buying habits of B2B customers indicate that 8 out of every 10 start their buying journey with a web search instead of a personal interaction. In fact, half- to three-quarters of the average buyer’s decision-making process is completed virtually – without ever having a conversation with a sales person.

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WE FEEL YOUR PAIN

How to use neuroscience for better leadership

The Neuroscience of LeadershipBad days. We all have them. Sometimes it’s a single event that pushes you over the edge – a traffic jam, a missed deadline, or a tense conversation with your spouse. But sometimes it’s a pervasive pattern of events or behaviors that significantly impacts your long-term well being.

When a bad mood becomes chronic it can cause mental and physical harm – to you and others. In fact, neurobiological studies show that emotions are contagious. Leaders’ moods can actually alter the brain chemical state of their followers through a process involving the formation of “mirror” neurons. This means that those in positions of trust and authority can pass down hostility, anger, and depression – as well as joy, gratitude, and happiness – to their team.

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Applying lessons from science helps us feel good – and that’s good for business

It’s not easy to achieve lofty goals if it doesn’t feel good getting there.  So clearly, it makes sense that work should feel good. Then why are so many people stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of fatigue and frustration? Why are so many in the working world – executives included – giving so much of themselves, but feeling disengaged and underappreciated?

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Servant Leadership: A transformative way to lead

servant leadership approachFor just one moment, envision a leader you’d want to follow. What words would you use to describe this person? Do the words boss, captain, foreman or helmsman come to mind? How about headman, honcho, kingpin or taskmaster? We found it almost amusing that Merriam Webster defines a leader as “the person who tells people and especially workers what to do,” and lists these words—as well as the word “man” — as synonyms of a leader.

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