2011

Michael Lee Stallard

Five Languages of Appreciation at Work

Michael Lee Stallard

Let me tell you about a new book that I’m recommending to leaders. It makes a great book for your leaders to read together as part of a book group.

Book Review: Leadership Is Dead: How Influence Is Reviving It

Michael Lee Stallard

In Leadership Is Dead: How Influence Is Reviving It , Jeremie Kubicek, CEO of the leader development company GiANT Impact, makes a clear and compelling case that “dominating leaders” who lead by coercion are on the decline and are being replaced by “liberating leaders” who lead through influence.

Trending Sources

Should Leaders Care About Employee Happiness?

Michael Lee Stallard

Should leaders care about employee happiness or is employee engagement a passing fad? Let me frame this debate in a slightly different way that I believe provides the best answer. As part of creating value, leaders need to be intentional about achieving both task excellence and relationship excellence because our research found that both are necessary to achieve sustainable superior performance i.e. Task Excellence + Relationship Excellence = Sustainable Superior Performance.

Howard Schultz’s Broken Heart

Michael Lee Stallard

A leader I know and much admire is Howard Behar, the former president of Starbucks North America and Starbucks International.

Today’s “Low Grade Boiling Rage”

Michael Lee Stallard

Photo by Liber. My mind must have been on something else as I began to edge out a bit from a side street to make a left-hand turn onto a main thoroughfare. At the same time, another driver was turning left onto the street I was on. I slammed on my brakes in time.

How Leaders Connect to Boost Employee Engagement

Michael Lee Stallard

Here’s a link to an audio interview Jason Pankau and I did with Jeremie Kubicek, CEO of GiANT ( GiANT Impact , Catalyst and Chick-fil-A Leadercast ). Jeremie is the author of a great book entitled Leadership is Dead: How Influence is Reviving It.

Antidote for Widespread Employee Discontent

Michael Lee Stallard

For the second year in a row, 84 percent of American workers intend to actively look for a new job. This according to a recent survey by Right Management. This is consistent with other research. Last year, The Conference Board published a report with the subtitle “America’s Unhappy Workers.” ” The report pictured storm clouds on its cover and concluded that employee satisfaction was at its lowest point since The Conference Board began surveying it more that 20 years ago.

Video Interview: Employee Engagement = Connections

Michael Lee Stallard

Click here to view the embedded video. Here is a video from YouTube of a conversation I had about leadership, employee engagement, productivity and innovation with Dr. Homer Erekson, Dean of TCU’s Neeley School of Business. Our conversation occurred as part of the Tandy Executive Speakers Series.

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Rise of Lonely American Employees Undermines Productivity

Michael Lee Stallard

Several facts recently caught my attention. In 1940, 7.7 percent of Americans lived in one-person households. By 2000, that number more than tripled to 25.8 percent. (In In Manhattan, 48 percent of all households were one-person households in 2000.). Between 1985 and 2004, the number of people with whom the average American discussed “important matters&# dropped from three to two.

We are Human Beings, Not Machines

Michael Lee Stallard

If you look closely there are signs that our culture is beginning to recognize that we are human beings, not machines. We have emotions, a conscience, hopes and dreams.

Gap’s Chief Innovation Officer Recognizes Connection Required to Innovate

Michael Lee Stallard

I’m encouraged to see more leaders recognize that individuals and organizations need connection to thrive. Here’s a video of Polly LaBarre at MIX interviewing Ivy Ross, Gap’s Chief Innovation Officer , about the need for connection to innovate.

Business Leaders in Denial: Emotional Connections Essential to Employee Engagement

Michael Lee Stallard

Click here to view the embedded video. Here is a video from YouTube of a conversation I had earlier this year about leadership, employee engagement, productivity and innovation with Dr. Homer Erekson, Dean of TCU’s Neeley School of Business. Our conversation occurred as part of the Tandy Executive Speakers Series that featured CEOs of outstanding companies such as Nieman Marcus, Southwest Airlines and The Container Store.

Danger: Falling Tyrants

Michael Lee Stallard

Check out this article in the Atlantic entitled “ Danger: Falling Tyrants.&# The article makes a good point: emerging democracies in the Middle East following the Arab Spring may not result in governments that promote freedom.

New Research: Friendly Workplace = Longer Life

Michael Lee Stallard

During our speeches and workshops we conclude the section where we present research from a diverse fields of knowledge that makes the case for connection to thrive at work and in life by stating: “ connection = life&# whereas “disconnection = death &# (we point out that this applies to both individuals and organizations). Now we have additional research about the effect of connection on individuals in the workplace to prove it.

Over-Connected, Are You?

Michael Lee Stallard

Click here to view the embedded video. Check out this thought-provoking presentation by MIT Professor Sheery Turkle. It’s about the topic of her book entitled Alone Together. She does an outstanding job of articulating the risks of becoming addicted to virtual connections. As human beings we need to feel connected to other people during every stage of our lives in order to thrive. I’ve written extensively about this in the Connection Culture Manifesto and in Fired Up or Burned Out.

Personal Connections are the New Currency

Michael Lee Stallard

Many thanks to Deborah Mills-Scofield for complementing Fired Up or Burned Out in her Forbes.com blog post entitled “ Personal Connections are the New Currency.&#.

Blog 27

Kicking Butt: Apple and U2

Michael Lee Stallard

Apple is now the most valuable company in the world in terms of market capitalization and U2’s recent tour just became the highest grossing of all time, crushing the previous record held by the Rolling Stones.

Malcolm Gladwell, Atul Gawande on Connection

Michael Lee Stallard

Several writers at The New Yorker understand how important the force of human connection is to help people thrive. I’ve previously written about Ken Auletta’s masterpiece “ The Howell Doctrine ,” and, of course, there’s Jim Surowiecki’s The Wisdom of Crowds. Two other writers at The New Yorker have made significant contributions on this topic.

Best of the Web Leadership Articles

Michael Lee Stallard

Author/speaker Jason Seiden just posted a “best of the web&# collection of articles on leadership that includes the post I recently wrote about the CEO of Starbucks. Here’s what Jason wrote: For the uninitiated, the Leadership Development Carnival is collection of blog posts, normally maintained by Dan McCarthy of Great Leadership by Dan , about leadership development. A few notes: I read every submission. Not all submissions made the cut. Congratulations to those of you who did.

One Easy Way to Be Happier

Michael Lee Stallard

Click here to view the embedded video. Americans are connection deprived. A quarter of Americans live alone and the number of Americans who haven’t had a conversation with a best friend over the previous six months has tripled since 1985 to nearly 25 percent of the U.S. population. This also likely means Americans are running low on oxytocin, a molecule that is associated with empathy, trust, morality and connection.

Employee Engagement Webinar: The Power of Connection

Michael Lee Stallard

David Zinger and I will be doing a 45 minute webcast on the power of connection to boost employee engagement. David is host of the Employee Engagement Network. During the webinar, we will include: a five minute presentation on connection; 3 poll questions for participants; dialogue between David and your’s truly; invited text questions from the audience; and, 3 tips for connection action. The session has limited enrollment but will be taped for future viewing.

Top 25 Online Influencers in Leadership

Michael Lee Stallard

HR Examiner just named the 2011 top online influencers in leadership. I was delighted see that Michaelleestallard.com made the list as did the blogs of several friends and acquaintances of mine including David Zinger, Dan McCarthy, Judy McLeish and John Sumser.

At Google, Starbucks (and Life Outside of Work), Success = Connection

Michael Lee Stallard

The New York Times has had a number of great articles related to connection and how it leads to success at work and in life.

Top Leadership Blog Posts

Michael Lee Stallard

Dan McCarthy posted a collection of top blog posts on leadership that included a post I wrote.

When a Psychopath Inhabits the C-Suite

Michael Lee Stallard

This post is a continuance of my prior post on evil in organizational cultures. The “dark triad” — psychopaths, narcissists and machiavellians — represents a small part of the population. What unties this group of destructive personalities is that they lack empathy for other human beings and care only about themselves.

Employee Engagement on HRIQ’s “HR Today” Podcast Series

Michael Lee Stallard

Jason Pankau and I recently did an interview on employee engagement and connection cultures with Alexandra Guadagno of Human Resources IQ. The interview was part of the HR Today Podcast Series. You can hear the podcast and download it on iTunes at this link. E Pluribus Partners Media Appearances connection culture employee engagement leadership connection connection cultures employee motivation michael lee stallard teambuilding teams teamwork

New Research: Relationships Make Hospitals Great

Michael Lee Stallard

The New York Times recently had an article entitled “ What Makes a Hospital Great &# that described new research concluding a hospital’s culture and the quality of relationships were the most important factors determining patient outcomes. This finding is consistent with our research that concluded leaders must be intentional about achieving both “task excellence&# and “relationship excellence&# in order to achieve sustainable superior performance.

Virtually Attend HCI’s National Human Capital Summit

Michael Lee Stallard

This afternoon I’ll be speaking at the National Human Capital Summit in Atlanta. You can attend the event online by registering at this link. Online attendees will be able to see my presentation as well as those of consultant and author Gary Hamel, Liane Hornsey of Google, Dr. John Fleming of Gallup, author Dan Pink, Vineet Nayar CEO of HCL Technologies and Suzanne Gordon of SAS Institute.

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Community: Often Overlooked Cause of Good Health

Michael Lee Stallard

A couple years ago I had the good fortune to meet Malcolm Gladwell at a Rotman Business School event and tell him how much I enjoyed his work. One of my favorite stories in Malcolm’s latest book entitled Outliers is about Roseto, Pennsylvania. As it turns out, residents of Roseto were outliers in terms of their good health. A curious doctor set out to understand why. After a methodical study he concluded that it wasn’t diet or exercise that mattered.

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Happiness at Work Podcast

Michael Lee Stallard

Jason Pankau and I were guests on a podcast for clients of The Alter Group , one of America’s leading real estate development firms. The podcast host was Tom Silva, Vice President of the Alter Group. Our topic was happiness at work, leadership, employee engagement and employee motivation. You can check it out at this link or download it on iTunes.

Can We Humanize Organizational Cultures?

Michael Lee Stallard

Check out this thought-provoking interview with Peter Block. During the interview he states the following: “in the context of organization development, what we’re trying to do is humanize systems. The systems of consistency and control and predictability steal our humanity.&#. Do you agree? Can organizations achieve consistency, control and predictability while still preserving our humanity?

New Happiness Research Concludes “Improve Your Relationships”

Michael Lee Stallard

Here’s new research from two Princeton professors that concludes the bottom line to increase one’s happiness is “improve your relationships.” ” Check out an article about it at this link. connection culture

Disconnection: The Subversive Side of Technology

Michael Lee Stallard

When I speak or teach, I’m nearly always asked if human beings can be “over-connected.” ” This question is typically in reference to an obsessive use and reliance on online technologies. Technology is a double-edged sword. On the one side, it allows us to connect with people who share our interests and with those who are not near us in a geographical sense. On the other side, technology can overwhelm us if it crowds out in-person connection.

In Search of Happiness

Michael Lee Stallard

Happiness is much sought after these days. Book stores and magazine stands are full of titles that promise to unlock the secrets of happiness. Positive psychology courses are all the rage on college campuses across America. Recognizing that happiness gets attention, I recently decided to title a chapter I’m writing “Should Leaders Care About Employee Happiness?&# The chapter will be included in the American Society for Training and Development’s new Handbook of Management.

When Beauty Breaks Through Life’s Daily Drone

Michael Lee Stallard

Click here to view the embedded video. Airports can be dull, uninspiring places where it’s easy to drift into a numb, trans-like state of mind. But what if a group of people decided to break through the cacophony of sounds and sights at one of the world’s busiest airports by orchestrating a beautiful symphony of human voices. Thanks to a stunning T-Moble advertisement, we don’t have to imagine what it might look like. Check it out in the wonderful video above.

Emotional Connections Important to a Healthy Life

Michael Lee Stallard

The emotional connections that we write, speak and teach about are just as important outside of work as they are in the workplace. Emotionally focused marriage therapy helps couples develop and maintain emotional connections. It has been shown to be extremely effective at saving troubled marriages. Maintaining emotional connections with children is wise too.

Books 16

Coming Talent Shortage Relevant to Nations, Organizations, Managers

Michael Lee Stallard

Take a look at this fascinating article in Foreign Affairs by Nicholas Eberstadt entitled “ The Demographic Future.&# It has an excellent discussion of how population and labor supply around the world will change over the next 20 years as a result of the nearly 50 percent decline of fertility worldwide over the last half century.

Steve Jobs’ Announcement: Reminder of Need to Make Cancer History

Michael Lee Stallard

Apple’s announcement yesterday that Steve Jobs is stepping down as its CEO, is a poignant reminder of just how important it is to make cancer history. I learned of Jobs’ announcement yesterday while in Houston to share our work with leaders at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Book Ends Interview and Discussion Guide

Michael Lee Stallard

Some time ago I did an interview about Fired Up or Burned Out on Book Ends with Susan Stamm. Susan and here colleagues developed a discussion guide based on the interview. You can hear the interview here and find the discussion guide at this link.

World Visions Connects!

Michael Lee Stallard

One of the relief organizations my wife and I support is World Vision. These people are AMAZING and they do remarkable work that Nicholas Kristoff of The New York Times raved about in a recent column he wrote. What I love about World Vision is that they are a force for connection.