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Showing posts from September, 2017

Friday with Friends - George Denies - 4 Characteristics of Great Leaders

Friday with Friends - George Denies

I have known George Denies for many years, in fact, we have worked together on several organizational improvement initiatives.

Without further ado: George Denies and his thoughts on the Four Characteristics of Great Leaders.

Organizational success depends on great leadership. Throughout nearly 14 years as a municipal parks and recreation professional, I saw the best and worst of leadership. And though I didn't necessarily realize it at first, at times I was part of the problem. For example, an off-handed comment by a first-year lifeguard made me realize that the supervisory team I had put in place was viewed as lazy, entitled and unwilling to help their fellow team members — both a shock to me, and a disservice to my lifeguards. I wanted a team of great leaders, and I had the exact opposite.




Great leaders motivate, inspire, coach, discipline, encourage and develop their team. Under these conditions, team members have a better work ethic and buy i…

5 Keys to Engagement

I am frequently asked "what are a few things I can do to ensure that I am doing my part in the the engagement process?"  I respond with these "5 Simple Keys to Engagement Success."

5 Keys to Engagement:
Make eye contact.  Eye contact is an art form. For many, it is awkward and uncomfortable. To reduce the fear associated with eye contact, practice it.  Practicing creates an opportunity to work through the awkwardness.Be appropriately physical.  Formal greetings, handshakes, high-fives, etc. allow for the opportunity to create physical communication. Appropriate human-to-human contact communicates a value of importance to all "humans" involved in an engagement transaction.Be present.  Focus undivided attention to the human directly in front of you.  If multiple humans are present, share the attention.Be the active listener.  Truly listen. Other humans know when attention is cursory and inauthentic.Respond appropriately. While responding, make eye contact…

Meaningful Engagement: Relationship

Whether viewing relationship from the perspective of student-to-teacher or follower-to-leader or even consumer-to-sales person; relationship is a critical component in developing engagement.


Relationship is a critical component for several reasons. Consider this; it is through the growth and development of a relationship that we:  Create and build trust.Establish and maintain both safe and healthy boundaries.Decide and determine how we treat one another. In the education illustration, once these attributes are established, students can:
Trust their teachers and peers.Know that there are established safe and healthy boundaries in both the learning and personal setting.Rely on predetermined behavioral attributes focused on how they will be treated - and - the understanding of how they will be expected to treat their peers. The same is true in the leadership illustration. Once these attributes are established, followers can:
Trust their leaders and peers.Know that there are established safe …

Meaningful Engagement: The Fred Factor(s)

A View of Engagement - Fred 1.0

Nine years ago, bestselling author and business consultant Mark Sanborn introduced the world to "The Fred Factor" - a book - with a focus on delivering extraordinary service in simple, yet, remarkable ways. Fred’s story inspired millions. Companies and even entire cities were inspired to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary each day.


We’ve all encountered people like Fred. In this writing, Sanborn illuminates the simple steps each of us can take to transform our own lives from the ordinary into the extraordinary. 
The Four Engagement Based Principles of Fred
Sanborn, through stories about Fred and others like him, reveals the four basic principles that will help us bring fresh energy and creativity to our life and work. The principles are:  Make a real difference everyday,Become more successful by building strong relationships,Create real value for others without spending a penny, andConstantly reinvent yourself. And now - Fred 2.0
Today, wit…

Driving Engagement - Q4 Picks for the Leader who is a Reader

Figure out your WHY - now! One of the pillars of engagement is the understanding of purpose - your why!  In his book - "Start With Why" -Simon Sinek explores diving deep into purpose - your Why! Click it to get it!



Learn to see opportunity! Moving through the engagement cycle - as well as leading effectively - depends on an ability to see opportunities where others may see obstacles.  In his short book and inspirational video - "The Pink Bat" - Michael McMillian - shares ideas to remind us that "how" we see things is a result of "how" we are conditioned to see them.  For every problem there exists a solution… and at the very least … an opportunity.  Click it to get it!




Discover why you may feel the way you do!Achieving meaningful engagement with those you teach, lead, work alongside etc... is built of from emotional connectivity.  In his book - "Emotional Intelligence" - Daniel Goleman - explores the concept that EQ matters more that IQ.…

Meaningful Engagement: Emotional Connectivity

Meaningful engagement is dependent upon both emotional connectivity and relationship. Both of these are dependent upon the other. Emotional connectivity is the gateway to relationship(s).  Without it, a relationship may not unfold.



What is emotional connectivity?

An emotional connection occurs when people interact in such a manner that both their individual and subjective feelings come together in such a way to create or form an unseen,  yet strongly felt, bond.

Ideals that are frequently ignored are that an emotional connection may be:
PowerfulHealthy or unhealthy, andThe gateway that opens individuals up for relationship that may leads to learning, growth and improvement; academically, professionally and personally. Healthy emotional connections are built off of a wide variety of feelings and interactions.  These feelings and interactions may include love, joy,  and happiness.  They may also include anger, fear, shame and much more. 
What - anger, fear, and shame?
YES! It is not the f…

Friday with Friends - Coach D's Corner

A few days back I read a Facebook post from Coach Meghann Dodd - whom I first met while conducting a leadership development exercise for her students.  Her FB post highlights the love, care and kindness that many teachers have brought into their classrooms.  Often, these remain overlooked by the masses.



Meghann Dodd will be successful teaching because she is genuinely interested in her students.  It is these type of behaviors that create engagement "beyond" the textbook.

Without further ado, let's hear it for Meghan Dodd!

*********Coach D's Corner**********Not too many funny ones today more of a prayer request - I'm sure there will be plenty of funny this year with the crowd I have!
Today I tell you moments that have touched my heart over the last 3 weeks of school...
**A student shares with me that he is having a really hard time and just wants to stop coming to school. He tells me that he never had a dad and just feels like he's at the point that he really need…

Meaningful Engagement: The Pink Bat

One question that frequently emerges in my growth development sessions is this: How do I address "bad stuff?"

So often people search for the "right" words to address behavior. Do we call it constructive criticism?

What does does it "sound like" to bring problems to light?

Often I catch people off guard and say "is it possible that what you see as problems may in fact be opportunities?"


Seeing opportunities - not problems - is critical for an engagement based mindset. (This can easily be applied to business by substituting "students" with "employees.")
The Pink Bat
For every problem, there exists a solution…and at the very least…an opportunity.

A critical step in meaningful engagement is learning to spot opportunities. So often, in the cycle of engagement people disrupt it by pointing to "problems" instead of seeing opportunities.

Everywhere you look today there are problems. Turn on your TV or computer—pick up a mag…

Meaningful Engagement : Behavior Matters

Trust me - this post is about engagement - stay with me for a minute!

Let me start by saying that I hope you read my post from 8/30/17 - Meaningful Engagement.  If not, I want to invite you to do so by clicking here.

I intentionally subtitled it "focusing on what matters" as I believe too often educators, leaders, and others charged with similar responsibilities for "people care" focus on variety of topics that simply do not matter.

Further, I also believe those same folks make many of their important and/or critical decisions based on metrics or measurements instead of addressing focusing on "what" creates those metrics.

Please do not hear me say that metrics are not important.  In my mind, metrics are "a thing" and not necessarily "the thing."

Please note the diagram below:



This diagram is representative of research conducted by H.W. Heinrich.  The pyramid is structured - from top to bottom - with numbers of 1 - 30 - 300 - 3000.  Hein…

Meaningful Engagement: The "WHY"

Understanding "meaningful engagement" and "what" creates it can be of tremendous value to everyone! Whether you are a CEO, classroom teacher, instructional leader, engagement officer or and anyone charged with "people-to-people" relationship management, understanding "why" you do "what" you do matters!

So often people simply go through the "motions" of "what" they are doing without ever understanding "why" they are doing it!
The roots of "Meaningful Engagement" begin with an understanding of "why" you are doing "what" you are doing.



"Why" - in this instance - does not mean a cursory understanding of organization mission - but rather a personal, philosophical understanding that resonates with "who" you are - and - your "purpose" for the greater good beyond you!

Failing to understand the impact of not knowing your "why" has on engagement a…