4 Ways to Make Positive Feedback More Meaningful

Posted by John Rutkiewicz - Guest Blogger on Apr 8, 2019

Recently, after facilitating a leadership workshop, I received this question on an evaluation: “Recognition and thank you’s can come across as insincere. How do we overcome that?”

It’s a great question. Giving positive feedback in the workplace is important, especially when you’re the leader. Recognition, appreciation and gratitude for good work has motivational power. It also enhances employee engagement.

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Your Boss Just Gave You an Objective. Now What?

Posted by John Rutkiewicz - Guest Blogger on Jan 25, 2019

The other day, a leader I coach – we’ll call him Jim – said to me:

“My boss gives broad direction about what I’m supposed to accomplish, but she doesn’t give details about what she wants to see. At the end of December, she said, ‘Next year, I want you to increase distributor sales.’ What am I supposed to do with that?”

I asked Jim some questions to learn more about his story. Then we discussed these five suggestions….

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5 Rules for Being a Person Others Want to Follow

Posted by John Rutkiewicz - Guest Blogger on Sep 10, 2018

In his book, The Art of Possibility, renowned orchestral conductor Benjamin Zander shares a simple idea he calls “Leading from Any Chair.” He writes:

“A leader does not need a podium; she can be sitting quietly on the edge of any chair, listening passionately and with commitment, fully prepared to take up the baton.”

I believe the same is true for all of us who work in organizations. Anyone in the house can lead. We don’t need special authority or a title. We don’t need a certain technical expertise. Heck, we don’t even need permission. We merely need the desire to engage others in moving the ball.

The real leadership question is: Will other people WANT to follow you?

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4 Ways Leadership Involves Change

Posted by John Rutkiewicz - Guest Blogger on Jul 13, 2018

The distinction between management and leadership has been debated for decades. Great minds – such as Warren Bennis, Stephen Covey, Grace Hopper, and John Kotter – have argued that management and leadership are different. I've argued the difference, too.

  • Bennis: “Managers do things right, while leaders do the right things.”
  • Covey: “Leadership deals with direction. Management deals with speed.”
  • Hopper: “You manage things. You lead people.”
John Kotter of Harvard Business School put it this way:

Management is about coping with complexity. Leadership is about coping with change. -- J.Kotter, Harvard Business School

I like Kotter’s thinking. A defining distinction about leadership is its focus on change. After all, in the work-world, change is all around us.

As I’ve reflected on this idea over the years, I’ve come to realize the most effective leaders focus on creating change in four key ways.

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"Birthday Week" -- A Leadership Lesson

Posted by John Rutkiewicz - Guest Blogger on Jun 14, 2018

It’s “Birthday Week” at our house. Birthday Week is an annual tradition that begins six days before my wife’s birthday, ending and culminating on the anniversary of her birth. It’s a tradition invented by her dad, my father-in-law.

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Better Leaders Reduce the High Cost of Turnover

Posted by John Rutkiewicz - Guest Blogger on Apr 20, 2018

You may have heard it before: People join companies, they leave leaders. Through decades of working with leaders at all levels in organizations around the county, we’ve found this claim to be true. Employees most often leave because of their immediate manager.

Research also supports this fact. Gallup has conducted more than 30 years of research into employee engagement and productivity. They have concluded that upwards of 70% of the reasons for voluntary turnover relate to elements that can be influenced by managers.

A survey conducted in the U.K. by Approved Index showed that 42% of employees admitted having left a job because of a bad boss. 

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Every Leader Needs Feedback (Including YOU): Four Reasons and Six Tips

Posted by John Rutkiewicz - Guest Blogger on Feb 23, 2018

Frank, a marketing director for an international distributor, was having dinner with Victor, his vice-president boss, on a trip together to Germany. Frank and Victor were visiting from the U.S. for a meeting the next day with Victor’s international marketing team. Frank used this private opportunity to give Victor some feedback.

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Leadership Is Simple But Not Easy

Posted by John Rutkiewicz - Guest Blogger on Dec 19, 2017

In my last post, I shared a simple analogy that equates leadership to rowing a row boat. The two oars of a row boat represent the two fundamental dynamics at play in leadership. These two dynamics are people and results.

The idea is simply this: As leaders, we need to be focused on the needs of the people we lead and on the organization’s need for results – at the same time. To lead effectively, we must operate these two elements simultaneously and with equal force, just like oars of a row boat. Otherwise, we go in circles.

While this idea of leadership as a balancing act between people and results sounds simple, let me be clear: Simple is not the same as easy.

There are three reasons this idea can be challenging to put into practice.

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Demolishing silos and building teams: 5 activities for a more cohesive culture

Posted by E.V. Thompson on Nov 28, 2017

Cohesive teams are engaged and work together, diverging and converging over problems that mean a lot to your business. It’s important to have team members who have a great rapport; who not only trust one another enough to diverge and challenge the status quo but who can also come together over an idea -- regardless of whose idea it was. You need team members who are secure enough in the group to take risks and let one another shine.

Leaders who are looking to balance their results-based style with some people-based energy can start by allowing time for team-building. This can be as simple as morning chats with fresh coffee, a few minutes of padding for casual conversation during work meetings or casual Friday shared lunches.

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"Box of life" thinking challenges us to step outside the box.

Posted by S.Sanger on Aug 8, 2017

It’s a guarantee. On a daily basis, you are going to experience an array of different personalities. Sometimes those personalities -- and the actions that go with them -- aren't going to jive with yours.

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