Resilient Leadership At All Levels

With the global business pressures of 7/24/365, only the most resilient leaders can perform effectively on an ongoing basis.   Research has show that individuals, teams and organizations that possess the Four C’s of Resilience outperform their counterparts over and over again.  In our L3 Leadership Learning Program we spend a great deal of time within the L1 Total Life Leadership portion of the program on helping leaders at all levels develop these four C’s.


  • Control – over things which are controllable- these resilient leaders develop a wide range of both hard and soft skills to take on what is in their control. When it is out of their control these leaders use the soft skills related to attitude in order to manage what is out of their control.
  • Commitment – to those things you really care about: these resilient leaders are clear about the strategic horizon and do not get down when execution is failing.  They see this as part of the process of moving forward towards the vision
  • Challenge – view things as opportunities not crisis/problems: these resilient leaders have clarity about the inherent challenges associated with effort and leverage their attitudes to move forward in face of predictable obstacles, OR a sudden change or surprise.
  • Connection – with people for support, teamwork,  and collaboration: these resilient leaders leverage people and collaboration to create great performance.

How are you doing at developing your Four C’s of Resilience?


Social Learning = Organically Sloppy. How business really gets done.

Some of the best knowledge transfer, training and development that sticks and business innovation leading to opportunity I’ve ever seen has been organic and sloppy.

It’s been in non-structured, non-hierarchical yet highly interactive and collaborative social settings: workplace lunchrooms, hallways, parking lots, supply closets, cubicles, company picnics, children’s school functions and sporting events, etc., etc.

And so on.

Call it social learning. Now add social media services and throw in some sidebar conference meetings and/or chats on the expo floor.

And you see how business really gets done.

I’m at the HR Technology Conference and Exposition in Chicago this week and yesterday attended session called Social Learning.

The moderator was Jeanne Meister, co-author of The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop & Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today, and the panelists included:

  • Robert Campbell (VP & CLO, Cerner Corporation)
  • Don McLaughlin (CLO, Cisco)
  • Laurence Smith (VP, Global L&D, LG Electronics)
  • Susan Steele (National TD Director, Deloitte)

It was fascinating to hear how these organizations have embraced social media tools and incorporated them as communication tools like:

  • Blogging
  • Microblogging
  • Video blogging
  • Wikis

In fact, Deloitte managers communicate via internal blogs more than e-mail these days.

Amen to that. I despise e-mail (although I understand it’s still a necessary “evil” communications tool).

Although there was much discussion around how social media has flattened the business world and changed the way we communicate with one another — what I didn’t hear, at least explicitly, was how we learn to transform ourselves and grow the business.

Yes, it was discussed how Twitter-like streaming threads (Yammer) have germinated then generated new development ideas and solutions to other business problems, but I wanted to hear more about how social learning is transforming global experiential learning and “live” real-time scenario-based training that then lead to things that stick, new ideas and innovative business development projects.

Because you know it is. With Cisco’s video conferencing technology alone you know it is.

Social learning welcomes impromptu scenario-based training and development opportunities.

Organically sloppy, the way we really learn to transform ourselves and the business.

Be better and brighter.

Best places to work generate centripetal force


According to Isaac Newton:

”A centripetal force is that by which bodies are drawn or impelled, or in any way tend, towards a point as to a center.”

And that is a best place to work.


What generates that force?

Well, best places to work are often unique in terms of their competitive approaches and internal cultures.

However, they do share certain characteristics—chief among them is trust.

That is the impelling force—that generates the centripetal force.

In fact, trust, superior performance and dedication, pride and enthusiasm are all characteristics shared by the best places to work. And once they begin to permeate an organization, they can generate:

  • Greater profitability

  • Improved performance

  • Higher customer and employee satisfaction

Creating a best place to work: Is it really worth the effort?


Be better and brighter.

Look for our next white paper on the subject next Monday, October 4.

Like a finger wag without a “Like” button, although HR and C’s are in the top 20

Time and again when business executives look at my business card and see the LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook icons, I get a smirk and then:

“So you’re on those social networks, huh?”

Like a finger wag without a “Like” button.

And then, “I just can’t see sharing personal information with people I don’t know. Why do you do it?”

Great question.

It’s not because I want to be liked. I mean, I do, but that’s not why.

I do it for the networking and the learning.

We’ve been networking a variety of ways in business for decades, whether that be at in-person events like the HR Technology Conference & Exposition this week in Chicago, or closer to home for me at the Freelance Camp Santa Cruz next weekend, or on the golf course, or at charity fundraisers, or at our children’s school functions…

Social media is just the new networking.

But regardless of how many of us have been blogging since the early 2000’s or how many Twitter followers we now have or how many connections on LinkedIn we now have, or the fact that there are 550 million folks on Facebook, there are lots of people who still don’t use social media.

At all.

Like many business executives. Although that’s changing.

Last month there was a Mashable post titled How CEOs Will Use Social Media in the Future. As younger execs replace older ones, the slide to social usage will most like increase.

For reasons such as:

  • They grew up using all the tools/services — it’s second nature
  • Increased transparency and authenticity
  • Increased public engagement for an empathic connection
  • To help create the vision around their org’s social media participation
  • Recruiting, scouting and learning (already being done a lot more today)
  • Customer relationship management

Then I came across the NetProspex Social Index (NPSI), which was used to score and rank social network activity across the top social networks, including Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. The data was mined from NetProspex’s expansive database of over 2 million crowdsourced business contacts.

The NPSI (NetProspex Social Index) score is comprised of:

  • Social connectedness: The number of employees with at least one social media profile
  • Social friendliness and reach: The average number of connections per employee across major social networks
  • Social activity: The average number of tweets, number of followers, and number of users following

The top 20 social “jobs” are as follows:

  1. Marketing / Chief Marketing Officer
  2. Human Resources and Recruiting
  3. Communications / Public Relations
  4. Information Technology (IT)
  5. Sales
  6. Chief Information Officer
  7. Technical Support
  8. Investor Relations
  9. Customer Service
  10. Office Manager
  11. Chief Executive Officer
  12. Compliance
  13. General Entry Level Employee
  14. Research and Development
  15. Chief Operating Officer
  16. Chief Financial Officer
  17. Administrative Assistant
  18. Payroll
  19. Treasurer
  20. Maintenance

Marketing makes sense at the top, although I was a little surprised human resources was number 2, even being combined with recruiting.

Kudos to HR!

But check out the C-suite in the mix. You can read the full report here if you’re interested.

Social media is just the new networking and transformation leadership is all about connecting with all your customers empathically, inside and out.

You don’t have to share intimate family secrets or pictures online, but remember that people do business with people and business they know and trust.

Think about that the next time someone hands you a business card with icons.

Adaptability, Inc. is hiring. I wish I would’ve told him that.

“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”

~ Stephen King, American Novelist

He sat on the curb holding a sign.

“I’m desperate. Need money for food.”

He was unshaven and wore jeans and a lime-green shirt. As I got closer to pulling out of the grocery store parking lot, he stood and pushed the sign toward my car, as if trying to give me something. He glared at me, lips pursed.

And I did what most of us do at the point of driving away — I looked away.

I knew nothing about this guy, had no idea why he came to be sitting on that curb holding that sign. Santa Cruz’s homeless population continues to grow while job growth is non-existent and services decline. The greater SC county’s unemployment rate currently hovers at 11% (the state of California is over 12%). The 20th annual Access to Employment Job Fair in Santa Cruz only has about two-thirds of the employers participating compared to previous years.

This dismal outlook continues to play out all over the country. Ambiguity, Inc. seems to be the primary employer these days.

Politics aside, the way we work in this world is evolving rapidly and painfully.

And just as we look to business leaders to navigate empathically in uncertainty and develop adaptability, we must ask the same of our employees.

Because some of them become the next generation of leaders who need to navigate empathically in uncertainty and develop adaptability.

A study released this year by consulting firm Accenture PLC asked U.S. employers why they added employees during the downturn. While 46 percent of the executives reported that they launched new products or entered a new market, 45 percent also said they needed workers with more or different skills for future business. (via Workforce Management)

Some employers work to develop their employees after-the-hiring fact, which when hiring has traditionally been based on resumes, brief interviews, background screening, obligatory reference checks, and/or more recently social media participation. (Of course the mix varies depending on industry, position, etc.)

There is a new trend — employers are starting at the front-end with the following, not in the middle.

  • Emotional intelligence assessments
  • Personality assessments
  • Communication-style assessments
  • In-depth reference checking (more than 3)
  • Talent and skills-based assessments
  • Scenario-based behavioral interviewing
  • Cross-functional panel interviewing

However, it all has to start with You, Inc. Pride of ownership increases confidence and the ability to develop even further, so own your career development.

Own your life for that matter. This is where personal leadership starts — mastering your own state of being — which encompasses who you are, what you believe and how you behave. Your state of being speaks to the sum total of your attitudes, beliefs, actions and values. It spans your vision of the future and presence in the moment.

I’m not saying it’ll be easy, because it isn’t. It takes a lot of hard work. You’ll need to find the resources, the job/skills training, the support of family and friends, the support of anyone who cares, and any other mentors who will help guide you, all on a none-to-bootstrapped budget.

You’ll need to find yourself, then diversify.

Adaptability, Inc. is hiring. I wish I would’ve told him that.

Finding Your Mind In Order To Lead

The Challenge to be a Mindful Leader is pervasive in the global business environment

In response to this challenge thought leadership has given birth to a new catch phrase that is starting to become more prevalent is today’s business  leadership community, the phrase  is Mindful Leadership.

The essence of Mindful Leadership is to take time to reflect, allow your mind to quiet, focus on a specific topic and be fully present in everything you do.   This is more important than ever in our increasingly fast paced world where it never seems like we have enough time to get done with our task list let alone take time away to think about the future and reflect on the past.

Everyone involved in a leadership role struggles with the question of balance and how to get today’s tasks done while also thinking about the future.

Harvard Business School professor William George is fusing Western understanding about leadership with Eastern wisdom about the mind to develop leaders who are self-aware and self-compassionate

His work includes these key concepts:

• People who are mindful—fully present and aware—can become more effective leaders.

• Leaders with low emotional intelligence often lack self-awareness and self-compassion, which can lead to a lack of self-regulation.

• Authenticity is developed by becoming more self-aware and having compassion for oneself, and then offering it to others

• When have peer group support is available for leaders it provides nonjudgmental feedback in order to recognize blind spots, accept shortcomings, and gain confidence.

As leaders in an organization, you are charged with the responsibility of creating environments in which our employees are nurtured and energized, your business innovates and flourishes, your customers are engaged partners and the relationship with your consumers/clients is built on a foundation of mutual trust and satisfaction.

This is quite a complex assignment in a world and global economy that measures time in internet seconds, conceives of the past as the most reliable tool for analyzing and assessing how to proceed into the future, is increasingly interdependent and relational, and dedicates little or no time toward the development of mindfullness of its leaders.

This is the first of a two part post on Mindful Leadership. The second part will focus on ways you can bring more mindfulness to your daily leadership responsibilities.

At Glowan we are interested in hearing from you about the ways you are mindful in your practice of leadership.