A Checklist For Challenging Times

If you’re feeling the world is changing more dramatically and abruptly than ever, you’re not alone.

Major and unexpected shifts are becoming increasingly frequent. The global COVID-19 lockdown. The Black Lives Matter movement. And the next one…

Photo of a mountain

Photo by Eberhard Grossgasteiger

And these events have left us with incredibly poor visibility into the future. Frankly, no-one has a clue what’s going to happen next! Who knows what the economy will be like, what shifts in demand we’ll see, who’ll be the winners and the losers.

Even on the much smaller scale of a single business, the ecosystem in which our business operates has become so complex and interrelated, it’s not possible to neatly model cause-and-effect.

So, what’s the tool we need to turn to when complexity and uncertainty rises?

A checklist.

A Compassion Mindset Is The Secret For Engagement

What is Engagement?

Engagement is all the rage. Why? Because engaged employees are happier and more productive. Gallup defines engagement as “A belief among employees that they’re doing meaningful work in a climate that supports personal growth and development.” Dan Pink, in his New York Times best-selling book, Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us, analyzed four decades of engagement research to identify three key drivers; autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

Three ingredients for engagement:

At a practical level, engagement means:

  • employees have influence over how they do their work,
  • are learning and growing every day, and
  • are connected to something bigger than themselves.

Companies with the most engaged employees see real business results, such as reduced turnover, improved productivity, lower safety incidents, increased wellness, higher customer satisfaction, and up to 21% higher profitability[1]. Jim Harter, a chief scientist at Gallup Research summarized it this way, “Engaged employees are more attentive and vigilant. They look out for the needs of their co-workers and the overall enterprise, because they ‘own’ the result of their work and that of the organization.”[2]

The Most Powerful Motivator for Leaders

A few words from the prophet Azariah motivated King Asa of Judah to up his leadership performance. The same exhortation can motivate anyone in leadership today too.

The prophet simply told the king to look beyond the vision he had for his kingdom. Beyond the history of accomplishments, current circumstances, and the daily grind.

Book cover for Servant Leader Strong by Tom Harper

He said, “Be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded” (2 Chron. 15:7).

In so many words, Azariah told the king to look forward to the divine reward that would follow a life of perseverance.

The promise of future rewards motivates many leaders. It does me. When we pour into people’s lives, drip our sweat and blood into a business, sacrifice financially to start a church, or give time and treasure to causes that matter to us, it’s incredibly encouraging to know God’s watching and will reward us.

Managing Triggers In The Workplace

Everyone brings their inner children to work with them. Some unhealed parts of us left unattended, however, bleed into our emotions and can affect our behavior.

We see the consequences of unhealed parts of us acting out all the time.

  • A colleague stops talking to you for no known reason.
  • A boss, who has no sense of core values, frantically attempts to make his employees happy and tanks the organization.
man massaging his temples due to stress

Photo by Siavash Ghanbari

As an educator for 30 years, I would be triggered by one or two students in a school year who inadvertently informed me that I had more healing to do.

One year an obese kindergartener, Bella, entered my classroom. She had little academic skills. She did not know any letters of the alphabet or numbers. She had little language development. On top of that, she was very uninterested in learning and would cry when you insisted she finish her assignments.

6 Characteristics Of A Leader

A Guest Article

This is a post by Anne Baum. Anne is the Lehigh Valley Executive and Vice President for Capital BlueCross and the author of the Small Mistakes, Big Consequences series. She is passionate about sharing useful and easy to apply techniques to help people succeed.

There are millions of books and theories that teach leadership techniques and skills. Much can be learned from the experiences and concepts of other successful leaders, though there are six key concepts upon which a leader can focus, that are easy to remember, and can be used every day to achieve success.

The first concept relates to the job of a leader – when, most people describe the job of a leader using actions, e.g.: motivate the team, communicate well, define a vision. While all of these are skills that a leader must possess, their answers demonstrate how a leader succeeds. They are missing the concept that the job of a leader is to get results. It’s simple and straight forward and absolutely the primary job of a leader.  Remembering this, will help you keep you and your team focused on their purpose.