Inward Blog

If It Feels Good, Do It! Passionately!

Can you think of a job or task that you have performed in the past for which you had no passion or commitment?  Something that you were ordered to do by a superior or even a parent and that you did simply out of compliance or obedience?  How was that different from a job in which you were passionate about what you were doing?  When someone is passionate about a task or job, they are much more willing to go the extra mile and become fully engaged and committed.  Effective leaders understand that they may have the ability to order someone to do something, but they will never gain total commitment until that person shares the same values, passion, and vision as the leader.  Stan Slap wrote a book called “Bury Your Heart in Conference Room B”.  The title intrigued me so I picked up a copy.  Stan builds the case that a leader can buy temporary loyalty from an employee with stock options, bonuses, reward and recognition programs, or even equity in the company.  But they will never capture their heart until that employee feels like they can live out their values on the job.  And that commonality of values and beliefs drives a common passion that results in a strong culture of employee engagement and team alignment. [Read more...]

Posted by Rick DeMarco at 11:00am

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Rome wasn’t built in a day…and why it matters

There is an old saying, “Rome was not built in a day”. It took patience, tenacity, cooperation, a well thought-out plan, passion (and probably some back braking slave labor). History shows it took a cross- functional team to make the magnificence of Rome shine. It was not simply about the Emperor and what he envisioned, it was also about the parliamentary procedures, having an Army and the funding that made it happen. Cooperation. Shared purpose. Clarity of purpose. And vision. [Read more...]

Posted by Allan Steinmetz at 11:00am

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Is taking on social issues good for business or good for society?

Over the last month or so we have been reading reports about how several companies have been adopting new policies in regard to important social issues such as racial diversity and increasing the minimum wage. Just this past week Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, fostered a conversation about race relations in America by asking all of his baristas to write #racetogether on all of their Starbucks cup orders. In January, Aetna raised the public conversation around increasing the minimum wage for its hourly employees suggesting that it is time for American business to be more engaged in improving the lives of people across the country. Walmart has made similar moves to increase hourly wages in recent weeks.

Posted by Allan Steinmetz at 11:00am

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Leadership Has Nothing to do with a Title

When I deliver workshops or keynotes on the behavior of effective leaders, I often look across the room and watch people nodding their heads in agreement and then commenting about how much better things would be if their boss would just shape up.  Although it’s great to see the agreement with these principles of effective leadership that drive team alignment, here’s the problem.  Leadership has nothing to do with title or position and everything to do with behavior.  Remember, this blog is about effective leadership and employee engagement, not about organizational structure, which is clearly defined by title and position. 

Posted by Rick DeMarco at 11:00am

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Basketball great John Wooden on leadership

John Wooden was an American basketball player and coach. Nicknamed the "Wizard of Westwood," as head coach at UCLA he won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period, including an unprecedented seven in a row. An old colleague/friend of mine Ralph Cutcher sent me an email reminiscing about the March Madness season. It got him thinking about John Wooden, who was a favorite leader of his when he was one of the most winningest coaches for UCLA. Wooden was famous for his quotes. Ralph’s favorite,  "Things turn out best for those who make the best of how things turn out", says it all. It's a great “attitude adjuster”. Ralph went on to list a series of quotes that are attributed to John wooden which I found to be quite fascinating. I asked if it would be okay for me to share them on our blog for inspiration and contemplation and he agreed. So here they are:

Posted by Allan Steinmetz at 11:00am

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Leaders Can’t Simply Demand a Culture of Employee Engagement

There are more books written about leadership and culture than anyone could possibly read in a lifetime.  Hollywood often depicts leadership in a manner that evokes images of a strong, powerful figure issuing orders and directives that lead the team to victory.  But the reality is that as we think about the most powerful leaders in our history, we’ll note that they all had one thing in common; they were able to inspire others to share in their vision and purpose and influence them to join the movement.  Leaders like Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, William Wallace (depicted in the movie Braveheart), Nelson Mandela, and Mahatma Gandhi had no direct control over those who joined in their movement, but they had tremendous influence over them by enrolling them in their vision and delivering compelling and persuasive communications.

Posted by Rick DeMarco at 11:00am

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Cultural Transformation Requires Strong Leadership!

If you do a google search for “leadership books”, you’ll get 436 million hits!  And if you search Amazon.com for leadership books, you’ll get 130,000 hits alone.  There are more books written about effective leadership than probably about any other personal development topic.  And yet, why is there such a significant deficiency in effective leadership in our companies, our churches, and our families?  Why do so many perceived leaders disappoint families, businesses, colleagues, friends, and countries?

Posted by Rick DeMarco at 11:00am

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Treat Employee Engagement Like a Romance

Employee brand engagement with employees is a lot like a romance that takes place with your significant other. You can’t just go up to someone after the first date and say, “marry me”. It takes time and patience, understanding and listening. Commitment toward each other. Ultimately after a number of months or even years you pop the question and the response is “Yes!” And you are off on bliss for the rest of your life.

Posted by Allan Steinmetz at 11:05am

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