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Archive for April, 2013

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Wow!  That’s all I could think when this morning at 11:00, I had the extraordinary privilege of facilitating the final class and graduation ceremony of Kearney’s first ever Leadership Acceleration Program cohort. It has been an amazing year with these three very smart and extremely busy pioneers in the Kearney program.

The cohort included Farrell Calcaterra from Baldwin Filters, Peggy Dobish from Kearney Clinic, and Jennie Nollette from the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce. These folks made a powerful investment in their future as what we call “prodigious” leaders. I love that word, look it up! Synonyms include wonderful, marvelous, stupendous and exceptional, and each of them is all of that!

Once a month for four hours, the cohort gathered to learn skills and behaviors that exemplify the finest traits of leadership. The curriculum they chose was based on the topics they agreed would give each of them the maximum benefit in their workplace. With 70 such curriculum units to choose from, deciding on the 12 most powerful for them was one of the first of many collaborative actions in the group’s twelve month journey.

The best thing about learning in this manner is that after each session, “homework” was simply a matter of “test driving” their newly learned tool or technique in their day-to-day activities at work. No time or effort was spent on fluffy strategy and theory instead, real-life, rubber-hits-the-road methods were shared and then practiced upon return to their office. Each cohort subsequently reflected on how it was working for them and “tweaked” what they learned until the next month. By then, the new habit had been implemented and taken root in their daily routine.

Each lesson added another layer of learning to the previous one until today, as we reflected over what we had learned during the past year, we fully realized that each session was completely intertwined with the rest; inseparable and vital to the whole. Together it all created a perfect “tapestry” of leadership components, strong and beautiful.

The Leadership Acceleration Program is unique because it is the only non-academic curriculum of its type that qualifies for three Master’s level hours at any accredited college AND the only one designed with metrics that can demonstrate real measurable results in areas of both confidence and competence. For more information, contact Ellison Partners at 402.884.7300. Classes are forming now and size is strictly limited.

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Creating a Team Building Culture

Last time, we reviewed the four things  you must do to create a

Team Building Culture and they are:

  1. Assess the individual employee
  2. Assess the leader
  3. Assess the team
  4. Create a culture that values engagement

Now that you understand the individuals on the team and their leaders,  combine what you’ve learned and develop an understanding of how the team members will interact with each another.  This is when you bring them all together to assess the team dynamics.  A team workshop will help everyone see a big-picture perspective. Each employee brings unique skills, behaviors and interests to the work environment.  This process will allow everyone to understand how those qualities interact.

You will no doubt find that you’ll need to make adjustments. Clarity is easily achieved by having the results and data.  Adjustments to the current work environment become obvious and much simpler to make.  The way your team works together directly impacts on productivity and now that you have clear understanding of where strengths and weaknesses vary, managers can make intelligent adjustments to maximize efficiency.

Once a team is correctly assessed and adjusted, job satisfaction improves significantly!  This happens because with the right job fit and a well aligned team, employees feel fulfilled in their roles.  When all roles are understood and appreciated, employees feel engaged and work to their full potential.  Happy employees also encourage their peers and coworkers to achieve maximum productivity.  Better fit and better alignment creates higher engagement, better productivity and increased profits.  It is that connected!

Next time we will bring it all together when the culture of having strong teams really becomes a part of the fabric of your company’s DNA.  No longer a “flavor-of-the-month” management topic, an organization that genuinely values engagement will begin to see the fruits of their efforts through stronger branding, enhanced company identity, better retention and a leg up on the competition when recruiting.

In our final discussion, we will explore the attitudes that will keep this culture at the heart of an organization.

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