C-Suite Network™

Growth Leadership Personal Development

Employee Engagement is the New Safety

Recently, I overheard a business leader referring to “his workers.” For a minute there, I wondered if I’d been transported back to 1920 and he was referring to a sweatshop of some kind. But alas, that is how this leader referred to team members. It seemed like a very outdated way to refer to the people who serve his customers and produce results for his company.

If you see employees as working FOR you or working FOR your company, therein may lie the problem. Employee engagement is not something you do FOR or TO employees, it’s something you do WITH employees.

We’ve ALL got skin in the game. 

If you want to have engaged employees, you’ve got to treat them like they’ve got skin in the game – and they DO have skin in the game.

In my work with clients, whether it’s one-on-one coaching, team coaching, training, or any other of a variety of services, we start out the same way. I remind them that I am responsible TO them, but I am not responsible FOR them. I am responsible TO present information in an engaging and insightful way and to challenge them to think and apply their learning to their work. However, I am not responsible FOR how they participate and whether or not they put the knowledge into practice.

This concept applies to employee engagement. We’ve got to stop thinking of employee engagement as some kind of obligatory HR program, policy, or initiative. Employee engagement is something you do WITH employees. Take responsibility for your behaviors and how you influence others to either be engaged or to be disengaged at work. Urge team members to take ownership of their own engagement. Otherwise, the burden will always be on the leader. Employees will stand there with their arms crossed defiantly saying “Just try to engage me!”

Employee engagement is the new safety.

Do you remember waaay back in the day – like the 80’s, when employee safety was a soft, feel-good catch phrase? The safe “policies and practices” of many organizations went from the admonishment, “Just don’t do anything stupid!” to a carefully crafted HR policy and wordy procedures. It wasn’t until leaders and organizations started making it ABOUT employees and made it everyone’s responsibility, that it became more widely embraced and practiced. To me, that is why employee engagement is the new safety.

The moment employee engagement is no longer a buzzword, but becomes part of the fabric of our organization, a given, if you will, then we know that it’s sustainable. Programs, projects, those things usually have a finite life span. Engaging employees – a verb – should be part of the everyday behaviors of executive leaders and team members.

Focus on relationships and results.

An employee will be more or less engaged and loyal to an organization based on the relationships she has within the organization. The relationship with her manager, boss, supervisor, superior is HUUUGE. As a leader, how well you cultivate positive relationships, build trust, and serve your team members will play a critical role in the results that you achieve.

Don’t commit assumicide. 

All you gots to do is ASK what elements of his job your employee likes, and which elements he dislikes. Find out what challenges he’s facing. You know what happens when we assume. So, don’t do it. Ask learning questions instead of making assumptions. Be genuinely interested and curious.

Ditch the fancy surveys. 

Once upon a time there was a company that invested approximately a guh-zillion dollars on a fancy-schmancy employee engagement survey. Once the results were in, they were filed away and completely ignored. There’s no point in conducting engagement surveys if you’re not going to act on the results. If you’ve got buckets of money that you don’t mind throwing away, then rock on with your bad self and continue to do these surveys. Otherwise, simpler is better.

Engaged employees equals engaged customers.

The former CEO Doug Conant who completely turned the Campbell Soup Company around said, To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace. It’s a pretty weighty statement and a Jeopardy-esque quotable phrase, but it turns out that there’s research to back it up.

Employee engagement is directly linked to customer satisfaction, and customer satisfaction is directly related to financial performance. And the knee-bone is connected to the shinbone. Therefore, employee engagement affects your bottom line.

Realize that it’s a moving target. Each time I work with, and coach teams and leaders, we want to continue to advance to get to the next level. It’s about making constant forward motion, but you never really arrive. Professional golfers don’t hire a coach, master one aspect of their game, and then just stop working at it. Team members need to feel that they are making forward momentum in meaningful work to be engaged. It’s all about progress.

Employee engagement is a daily practice, not a program. The sooner we take it from a responsibility of HR and weave into the very fabric of our organizations, the better off we’ll be. As an executive leader, what that means for you is making engaging actions every day.


  • How do you build relationships with team members and colleagues in your organization?
  • How are you creating an environment where employees feel that they are making progress in their work?

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Jennifer Ledet, CSP, is a leadership consultant and professional speaker (with a hint of Cajun flavor) who equips leaders from the boardroom to the mailroom to improve employee engagement, teamwork, and communication.  In her customized programs, leadership retreats, keynote presentations, and breakout sessions, she cuts through the BS and talks through the tough stuff to solve your people problems.



Best Practices Growth Management Personal Development

The One Big Reason Your Process is the Path to Profit

Everyone loves a process when it produces results. But what about when it doesn’t? What happens then?

I’m a big process guy. I founded my company around them, to the point that the profit-driving selling methodology we teach to our clients is rooted in the process. We believe that when you find and adopt systems that work, you can radically improve your sales using the same baseline methods. You just need to trust the process, follow through and let the results take care of themselves.

In truth, it’s easy to follow processes when they work. They create true workplace cultures by placing value on the same things, generate certainty with your employees, and they drive profit in a way that more spontaneous approaches simply can’t.

The tough part is staying true to the process in the event it doesn’t produce the desired outcome. Those are the true gut-check moments, and if you want to continue growing, it’s key to stick to your guns and trust in the process.

The New England Patriots learned this lesson the hard way in the Super Bowl. Malcolm Butler was the Patriots’ best cornerback for the entire 2017 season, and he played 98 percent of the team’s snaps up to the Super Bowl. Then, suddenly, he was riding the bench. He played just one play in the big game, a meaningless play on special teams. Other than that, he sat and watched from the bench with the rest of us.

The big question: why?

Patriots coach Bill Belichick is also fond of his processes, so much so that it’s become known as the Patriot Way. Whether it was because of a team infraction or just because the matchup favored the backup, Belichick opted to stick to his system and sit Butler. It didn’t work so well. The Philadelphia Eagles racked up 374 passing yards, backup quarterback Nick Foles threw three touchdowns and the Eagles scored 41 points. They also won the game.

It’s all too easy to criticize the Patriots’ system when things don’t go right. Surely they would’ve had a better chance if they started Butler, right? If this was the result, shouldn’t the Patriots overhaul their system so this doesn’t happen again?

This same conversation happens over and over in corporate offices and boardrooms every day. An otherwise successful process doesn’t produce the desired result, and suddenly it’s time to throw it out and start over again. The problem with this thought pattern is that it doesn’t leverage past success and takes a nearsighted look at a farsighted concern.

The Patriots’ system is without a doubt the most successful in the history of the NFL. Under Belichick they’ve won the AFC East 15 of 17 seasons and won five Super Bowls since 2001. But it also hasn’t been perfect. They’ve lost three Super Bowls and even missed the playoffs twice. The temptation during those trough periods is to blow it up and start over. Clearly the process has failed, so it’s time to move on. Or so many of the prevailing theories go.

The truth is that what separates the Patriots from everyone else is that they stick to the process even when they don’t reach their desired outcome frame now and again. Setbacks are inevitable in life. No process is perfect, and even the Patriots undergo some necessary tweaks and maintenance every year. But that relentless and repetitive focus on the process over the results is the reason why the Patriots win so much, not the reason why they lose.

So even if the decision to sit Butler didn’t work out on an individual level, the systematic framework that created that decision is the entire reason why the Patriots were there in the first place. The same adherence to the process produced the Tom Brady draft pick and everything that came after. That’s why Belichick had no regrets about his decision after the game. He trusts his process in all circumstances.

Psychologists call it tunnel vision. In a crisis or a setback, it’s easiest to focus entirely on what’s happened in the moment as opposed to seeing the grand plan you’ve already put in place. Think of a child knocking down an entire Lego village they’ve built because they messed up the placement of a window in one of the houses. You’d teach them to fix the window and keep the rest of village standing, wouldn’t you? It’s vital to view your company’s processes the same way.

This is what separates companies that have long term success over flash-in-the-pan companies that have quick success and then fade away. Companies like Apple and Space X developed processes they trust even when the market dives, or when a product doesn’t work as intended. Companies that hit bankruptcy either didn’t develop a successful process, or they didn’t follow the one they already had.

This is every business’s greatest challenge and greatest reward. Develop a process that works and stick to it through tough times. You’ll be amazed at the results on the other side of the setback.

Best Practices Entrepreneurship Investing Management Marketing Negotiations Sales Skills Women In Business

What Frequency Are You On?

“The frequency you’re tuned to determines what you hear and how you act. Be attuned to the frequency that serves you best, when it’s the best that you need to serve you.” –Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

“… We just can’t seem to #communicate! I don’t know what’s wrong with you.” Such were the sentiments of one person to the other.

Being on the same frequency as someone that you’re attempting to communicate with, is essential for the transmission of your thoughts and ideas; it’s also pertinent for the assembly of the other person’s thoughts and ideas. If you’re not on the same frequency, at best you’ll misconnect, at worse, you can destroy a relationship.

As my astute friend and thought leader David Dadian, CEO of #Powersolution states when referring to frequency, there’s a commonness to the words one uses when communicating with someone else. That commonness enhances the communications; that, in turn, decreases the incidents of #miscommunications. Thus, when people are on the same frequency, they’re communicating on the same level, they’re tuned to the same station, the same network. One is not at 97.5, while the other is at 107.2.

One way to determine that you’re on the same frequency is by the energy level you experience. A higher energy level of experience denotes a positive flow, while a low level can be the signal of miscommunications. A low level also tends to drain people of their energy.

The next time you’re engaged in what you determine to be a serious conversation, note the level of energy present. Even if you’re discussing something of sorrow or glee, they’ll be a degree of energy that’s locked into the exchange of thoughts and ideas. As long as you can relate that energy to being on the same frequency, you’ll know, at least, that you’re really communicating with the other party. If you observe a whimsical appearance, displays of confusion, or any sign that the person with whom you’re speaking is not getting your message, that will be an indication that there’s a frequency mismatch. That should also serve as a signal to reconnect; you’ve lost your WiFi.

When it comes to frequency, the better you and your partner are attuned to the same station, the greater the chance you’ll communicate at a higher level than otherwise would be the case … and everything will be right with the world.

What does this have to do with negotiations?

In every negotiation, the outcome rest on your ability to communicate effectively with your counterpart. Some people don’t communicate as efficiently, because they allow mitigating circumstances to sideline their efforts. That can come in the form of not liking someone appearance, ethnicity, gender, etc.

To enhance your negotiation efforts, be attentive to the distractions that might prevent you from being on the same frequency as your negotiation partner. When both of you reach that plateau, you’ll sense it. It’ll be like the two of you just click when exchanging offers and counteroffers. That’ll also be the time to pursue your negotiation objectives more fervently. That’s the power of being on the same frequency. You and the other negotiator will hear the same things, and you’ll be using common words to speak the same language.

Remember, you’re always negotiating.

What are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

To receive Greg’s free 5-minute video on reading body language or to sign up for the “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

#HowToNegotiateBetter #CSuite #TheMasterNegotiator #ControlEmotions #Psychology #Perception #rejection #leadership #HowToImproveYourself #Communication

Growth Leadership Personal Development Technology

Social Media Is Dead! Long Live Blockchain Social Media!

Something is rotten in the land of social media.  The current behemoth social networks are tearing our country apart, while making money hand over fist.  Even technology executives won’t allow their kids on social networks.    For the first time since 2012, Facebook just reported a decline in daily visitors in the US and Canada.  Inc. wrote that the big social networks “are centralized in every way, decide what you will see and not see through their algorithms, and completely lack transparency. This sounds like something ripe for disruption.”  Queue the rise of blockchain social networks.

Many have heard of blockchain’s application in crypto-currencies, but the technology is now being applied in a variety of industries from financial services to pharmaceuticals.  It has already been tested in voting applications, and could allay voter fraud concerns while generating higher voter turnout.  Social media is one of those nascent blockchain applications.

Why are these new networks different from Facebook and the other large players?  Users of the traditional networks consist of a few content creators and many lurkers.   With few exceptions, there is little incentive to create great content.    The traditional networks monetize the content created by users and sell advertising against the eyeballs it generates. Stealing a page from Reddit, blockchain social networks reward content creators for creating great content.  Users decide what is great content. There are no algorithms.

Content creators and active participants are rewarded with some form of cryptocurrency and the rewards structures are relatively easy to understand.  And, as of yet, they have no advertising.  Consequently, they create a more engaging environment with active contributions from the people you actually want to hear from.

Numerous blockchain social networks have launched over the last year.  Steemit squarely competes with Facebook and Instagram, and its video platform could take on YouTube.   It is the largest blockchain network and will soon have over a million users.  It rewards creators and active users with Steem Power and its proprietary Steem cryptocurrency that can be exchanged for popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Etherieum (https://www.ethereum.org).

Twenty-one-year old Sven Lucas earned $4,000 by posting in his free time. While this is nothing compared to professional YouTube contributors, it is a significant incentive for casual users who earn nothing on the big networks.  He writes that he is “sticking around for the great content.”

Indorse is still in Alpha and is aimed squarely at LinkedIn.  It promises an authentic presentation of skills without the fake endorsements that plague LinkedIn.

So how will this impact the big social networks?  Some of the emerging blockchain networks will certainly be swallowed by the big guys, as Facebook acquired Instagram and WhatsApp.    All of the big networks are already experimenting with blockchain applications and will liberally copy successful features of the blockchain networks.   They will experiment with greater rewards for content creators.  But given their advertising model and huge scale, it is doubtful they could reward all contributors and active participants.

But they may not have to, as the blockchain social networks may be forced to meet them in the middle. As the new networks grow, they will have to figure out a revenue model to keep the lights on, reward content creators, and generate a return for their investors.  Brand marketing will likely play a role.  These new networks will have to balance their need for revenue with the needs of users, many of whom could be fleeing traditional networks because of privacy concerns and intrusive marketing.

But the ripple effects of blockchain social media could extend far beyond their initial impact on the big social networks.   Apple’s current business includes an ecosystem of devices, iTunes, applications and more.  It has disrupted several industries.  But Apple’s business started with the Mac, which made computing easier.  Amazon started by disrupting the book business, but has since built an entire ecosystem that is disrupting the grocery and health care businesses.

Successful blockchain social networks will foster similar ecosystems built on cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies. Cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology are complex and difficult to understand.  The simple rewards of these new networks provide incentives for cryptocurrency adoption beyond cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiasts, which will foster business extensions.  The current plethora of blockchain start-ups, will explode as these networks take off.   Disruption of the big social networks may be an immediate effect of blockchain social networks, but, longer term, disruptions will ripple into other industries as these start-ups gain traction.

As is often the case when new players disrupt the marketplace, the big winner is the consumer.  They will see a more rewarding social media experience. This rewarding experience will ripple out to other industries as well.  Traditional social media may be waning, but blockchain social media is alive and well.

Grisdale Advisors helps current and aspiring C-Suite Executives build a powerful and influential social media presence, which helps their companies, their employees, their communities and themselves.  Contact us here  If you would like to subscribe to the monthly Grisdale Mail, click here.