Forget Work Life Balance – Run Off to The Circus!

By: Jones Loflin

Last year I wrote an article on LinkedIn entitled, Millennials Don’t Want Work Life Balance. My purpose was to highlight the different attitudes about work across generations. It obviously struck a nerve because it has received over 600,000 views. As I read the many comments left by readers, three things became clear about how people feel about the concept of mixing work and life. They include:


Technology makes it possible for us to have choices. Several people commented that if it weren’t for advances in technology, we wouldn’t have the opportunity to work from home, stay connected while out of the office, and keep in touch with friends and family while on the job.


When given a choice, many people prefer to blend work and life activities instead of trying to keep them separate. I heard from lots of Gen Xers and even a Baby Boomer or two who expressed their desire to “mix it up” during the workday.


As individuals we probably aren’t as open to different work/life perspectives as we should be. If the right work is getting done in an organization, and employees feel like they are in an environment where they can deliver their best work, isn’t that what really matters?


juggling elephants


Whether your preference is balance, blend, or blur, I think there is a more important question to ask:


“Is your approach moving you forward in the three key areas of your life?”


In my book, Juggling Elephants, I highlight that the key to work life satisfaction (or balance as some call it) is to manage your time like a successful circus. How does your approach to work/life address the needs of these three “rings?”

1. WORK.  Does your approach bring out your best work? And just as important, does it foster the best work of others on your team? As a manager are you more focused on outcomes… or HOW the work gets done? If your work is lacking because you are constantly blurring the lines and aren’t able to focus on the task at hand, maybe a change in approach is needed.

2. SELF.  We have different “work rhythms.” Some individuals like long periods of focus followed by extended periods of rest and renewal. Others have a “sprinter’s mentality,” and like short bursts. Either approach is fine… as long as you are taking care of your personal well-being. If you are constantly sacrificing what’s important to you as an individual because you are so caught up in your work, it might be time to rethink your perspective.

3. RELATIONSHIPS.  You may be advancing at work and succeeding at taking care of you, but how does your approach to work/life allow for the cultivation of relationships? As the ring suggests, this could be family, friends, and/or coworkers. We can’t deny the importance of quality relationships in making us more effective in the other two rings. How often have you seen a fellow employee struggling to deliver their best work, and the problem was not work? It was due to a strained relationship that was emotionally, mentally, and even physically draining them.




As a leader in your organization, recognizing the need for each individual to address these three areas is critical. For example, some employees may not have the desire to cultivate strong relationships at work, and prefer to build those relationships outside the workplace. Others may feel differently and want those opportunities while on the job. Both perspectives are valid, as long as each can bring their best work, and foster the same in others. Some excellent questions to ask your team to start a discussion on this topic is:

Do we, by policy, culture, or leadership, encourage or discourage individuals from focusing one or more of these three areas? How could we improve?

The issue of how we do work will continue to be an important conversation for years to come as technology continues to transform our workplaces, and people with different perspectives try to find areas of consensus. What will NOT change, in my opinion, is that our individual success will be determined by how we choose to balance, blend, or blur the areas of work, self, and relationships. How well is your approach to work/life moving you forward in these three key areas?




Jones Loflin is an internationally-recognized speaker and corporate trainer. He is best known for his ability to deliver innovative yet practical solutions to today’s work and life challenges. He is also the author of Getting the Blue Ribbon and co-author of Getting to It.

When Heart Intelligence Meets Conversational Intelligence®

by Judith E Glaser, CEO of Benchmark Communications, Inc. &
Deborah Rozman, CEO of HeartMath


For a period of time, Deborah was a psychologist for the Dr. Phil Show. What an awesome opportunity to experiment and research relationships gone awry. She remembers only too well coaching two of the show’s guests – Tammy and Reynir – and how this changed their lives.  Dr. Phil would send people he interviewed on the show to HeartMath for help.  Tammy and Reynir were on the edge of divorce. On the show, they were constantly reacting to each other and arguing hatefully. Dr. Phil told them they should divorce if they couldn’t change with the help he was going to give them. HeartMath changed the course of their lives, and enabled them to rediscover the love they had when they first met.


Imagine there are tools available to enable couples to reset their relationships; tools to learn new ways of communicating with each other; and tools to open up their hearts and minds to new insights and patterns of engaging. These tools allow them to know how to harvest the fruits of their marriage, and discover new value in their partnership.


Also imagine there are conversational strategies and tools available to business executives. Those strategies enable them to create healthy workplaces, and create space and aspiration for Co-creating Conversations® by elevating the their success in the marketplace.


And lastly, imagine you, personally, can have the exquisite ability to develop higher levels of intuition by seeing patterns that lead to bigger insights and ‘ahas’!”  Conversations are not what they seem. They are part of incredible energetic interactions that impact our neurochemistry and activate powerful systems and networks in our brain and heart that ‘read’ the energy and enable us to engage with others either as friend not foe – and all in .07 seconds.


Ten years ago when I first met Deborah Rozman, CEO of HeartMath – I learned about Heart Intelligence®, and I saw that my work in researching and developing Conversational Intelligence® would now have another dimension of connectivity. I knew then that we were destined to work together!  And as we launched our conversations to explore our synergies, new ‘ahas’ began to appear in the way we, together, could expand the insights about the impact of conversations. Not only conversations on the health of marriages, but also in the domains of business, government, and all areas where human beings engage with each other in conversations.



Doc Childre, founder and chairman of HeartMath, writes in their new book Heart Intelligence: Connecting with the Intuitive Guidance of the Heart:

 “Picture heart intelligence as the flow of awareness, understanding and intuitive guidance we experience when the mind and emotions are brought into coherent alignment with the heart…”

Heart intelligence isn’t just a subjective state of awareness. The heart contains its own intrinsic nervous system, called the “heart-brain,” which functions independently from the big brain in our head. It was only recently, in the 1990s, when neuro-cardiologists discovered that the heart-brain has neurons that can sense, feel, learn and remember then sends this information in the form of a heart rhythm pattern to the amygdala, thalamus and frontal lobes. Breakthrough research done at the HeartMath Institute discovered that when we are stressed, frustrated, anxious or insecure the heart rhythm pattern produces an incoherent waveform that is sent through the vagal nerve to the brain, creating cortical inhibition and often a fight/flight stress response.

On the other hand, when we feel love, appreciation, care or compassion, the heart rhythm pattern produces a smooth, coherent sine-wave, creating cortical facilitation and feelings of inner security. This brings our mind and emotions into a coherent alignment, enabling us to be more present to others and ourselves. Research has found that this physiological state of heart coherence helps us bypass unconscious emotional filters, activates the pre- frontal cortex and intuitive understanding. No wonder love is so powerful!

What’s so exciting is that more and more people are intuitively sensing the importance of including the heart in our interactions. They are being prompted from within that the heart’s input is essential for making wiser decisions.  Some have called this emotional intelligence, but it’s actually heart intelligence. As I say, “Heart Intelligence is a scientifically validated intelligence that is deep and powerful and enables higher levels of connectivity with other human beings.”

HeartMath Benefits


So how do Heart Intelligence and Conversational Intelligence work together to enable higher insights into the invisible patterns and the deeper ‘ahas’?


Conversational Intelligence® addresses the “alchemy of trust” in conversations. You could think of heart rhythm coherence as the physiology of that alchemy. When our inner security depends on the approval of others, they may say something that makes us doubt our self-worth, feel insecure. Real trust starts with feeling secure in our own heart. So the alchemy of trust starts with the heart. Learning how to bring our heart and brain into a coherent alignment connects us with the intuitive guidance of the heart and following that intuitive guidance develops that inner security.


HeartMath has created coherence techniques and emWave® heart coherence technology to help us access our heart’s intelligence and intuitive guidance system.  Being able to ‘make the invisible visible’ is the watchword of Conversational Intelligence® (C-IQ). By working with HeartMath’s emwave® we are able to see a person moving from low coherence (distrust) to high coherence (trust) and we can use this ‘state of being’ as an anchor for having healthy thriving organizations.




Now we can see what is going on inside of a person when they are in conversations with others. When we engage with someone and feel trust or not trust, our heart will show the essence of how we are connecting with each person. Look at the three levels of conversation that help define how we converse with others. Each has a purpose and a pattern.

In the Conversational Intelligence framework, there are 3 levels of communication:

 • Level I Conversations are not deep, not outside of what people already know. In fact they are often about confirming what we know.  These conversations follow a very familiar pattern: we tell others and we ask others – with the intention that the other person confirms what we know.

• Level II Conversations are negotiations, where people hold onto their viewpoints. These conversations follow a very familiar pattern: we advocate our point of view and we inquire about others points of view – in the spirit of influencing others to adopt our line of thinking.

• Level III Conversations are where people’s pre-frontal cortex/heart connection becomes accessible to them, creating a secure environment where people are more comfortable opening up; where you can pick up the energetic field of others more clearly, and intuitively sense the appropriate response. These conversations follow a very special and often less used pattern of engagement: we share with others and we discover with others in the spirit of creating healthy, innovative, empathetic relationships with others.



How do we see the patterns and the energy fields that emerge with each different level of conversation?  Heart intelligence turns the concepts of Level 3 into a reality. HeartMath has developed a powerful technique called Coherent Communication™ to facilitate heart intelligent communication: authentic speaking and intuitive heart listening. The HeartMath framework aligns with the Conversational Intelligence 3 level framework – enabling HeartMath to make the invisible visible! HeartMath has identified 3 levels of listening which map to C-IQ’s levels of conversation:

Level 1 is where you only hear at the “word level”.

Level 2 is where you listen from the heart. You hear the words but you also listen for the feeling level behind the words.

Level 3 is where you listen from the heart for the essence of what the person is trying to say. The essence level is underneath the word and feeling levels. Coherent communication guides you to connect with the other person’s heart to intuitively tune into the essence. Feeling love, care, appreciation or compassion for the person activates your heart rhythm coherence to intuitively and energetically sense the feeling and essence levels.


In the Coherent Communication technique you then reflect back to the person the feeling and essence levels to get confirmation. This often creates an energetic resonance between two people, allowing them to access more understanding of each other, more compassion, more insight, and to intuitively track together a solution to a problem or a creative approach to an issue.




When Tammy and Reynir arrived at HeartMath, Deborah gave them each an emWave2 and taught them how to get into heart rhythm coherence, to get their own mind and heart into coherent alignment before letting them talk to each other. Then she had them do the Coherent Communication technique around one question at a time.  She said it was truly amazing to watch each of them shift into their heart and actually hear and reflect back the feeling and essence behind what the other was saying.


As people feel deeply heard and understood, this facilitates their heart opening and enables an inner security they may not have experienced before. People then access their higher potentials and become more who they really are.


Creating this heart space isn’t just a soft skill. In our 35 years of work with global clients, we’ve seen leaders, CEO’s, teams, and whole organizations move into ‘sync’ with each other by understanding the three levels of conversation. As leaders learn to get in sync not just from their minds – but also from their hearts – they discover new ways of engagement, such as Level III Conversations. Over time, those conversations elevate their levels of co-creation and innovation to great heights by impacting the culture and bottom line.



At HeartMath they call this “business heart.” This is where they see leaders and companies start to change and create wonderful measurable results. The emWave technology objectifies heart coherence. It displays colored lights on a screen when you are physiologically in that state to handle access to your heart intelligence.


As I say, “Imagine you can have the exquisite ability to develop higher levels of intuition by seeing patterns that lead to bigger insights and ahas!” HeartMath’s coach/mentor program trains and certifies coaches in Coherent Communication, other HeartMath techniques and the emWave technology, which are add-ons to any coaching practice. The CreatingWe Institute and HeartMath have formed a wonderful partnership to bring these powerful tools and technology to more coaches, leaders and companies.



Judith E. Glaser is CEO of Benchmark Communications, Inc. and Chairman of The Creating WE Institute. She is an Organizational Anthropologist, and consults to Fortune 500 Companies. Judith is the author of 4 best selling business books, including her newest Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results (Bibliomotion, 2013) Visit;; or call 212-307-4386.


Deborah Rozman is CEO of HeartMath, Inc. and a behavioral psychologist. She is co-author of the Transforming book series with HeartMath founder Doc Childre (New Harbinger Publications): Transforming Anger, Transforming Stress, Transforming Anxiety and Transforming Depression, and the recently released Heart Intelligence: Connecting with the Intuitive Guidance of the Heart (Waterside Publications).Visit;

Don’t Chase Relevance – Find It!

by Dan Negroni


I am stoked about the debut of Chasing Relevance. It took two years of writing, research, content development, speaking, coaching, and training more than 5,000 amazing people by me and my colleagues at launchbox. But our systems, curriculum, and book are ready – ready to bridge the gap between non-millennial and millennial generations in the workplace and marketplace to help your business achieve real, BOLD results.


Here is what we learned: Houston, we have a HUGE problem.


  • Thirty percent of organizations lose 15% or more of their millennial workforce annually.
  • It costs companies $15,000 to $25,000 to replace each millennial.
  • 71% percent of organizations report that the loss of millennial employees increased the workload and stress of current employees.
  • Workload and stress combine with disconnection to breed disengagement: Seven of ten employees report being “disengaged” or “actively disengaged” at work.
  • The estimated cost of this disengagement is $450 billion.


Yes, millennials are a HUGE problem. They have taken over as the largest generation, and they don’t just want the power – they are the power.

They will decide what businesses succeed and which ones will be left behind. Those that want any chance of succeeding need to figure out how to win with millennials.


Yet only 22.9% of organizations have a plan in place to engage millennials and future generations.



Oh yes. But it isn’t a problem that needs to be solved. It’s a problem that needs to be embraced. Yes, I said it… we need to be bold and generous and embrace millennials. Because the way most managers are dealing with it now – mainly complaining – is not working.


What I find most curious is, how put-off and deeply frustrated many leaders from previous generations are by millennials. They paint a completely negative picture of “them,” as if millennials are a monolithic group of apathetic, disrespectful, unmanageable brats. They whine that millennials are spoiled, entitled, lazy, disloyal—all they want is power and all they think about is themselves.


Of course, complaining about the next generation is nothing new. But the way this millennial generation grew up? That is new. They had helicopter parents, got trophies for showing up, and had days filled with activities. They were encouraged to question, had a seat at the table for making decisions, and were told they could be anything they wanted to be, and are used to being connected to everyone, everywhere, every minute of the day.


And the world is different too.  Think of where we’ve been and the changes that have occurred in the last 30 years. We’ve gone from information in encyclopedias and microfiche to a crazy ass digital world where we can get any information, whenever and wherever we want. Millennials grew up “wired” and “wireless” and have never known a world in which technology did not impact, consistently change, and
 repeatedly shorten timelines of obsolescence. They know no other way.


Millennials came out of the #womb. And when they did, they disrupted all of the traditional timelines.


We follow the patterns of previous generations. We complain or throw up our hands in frustration and do nothing. As a result, all we do is chase relevance with them, often never finding it.


My book, and our business, have a better way. Our solutions will change your life, their lives, and your businesses.  Guaranteed.


And here is how you start:


Stop doing what you are doing. Realize that the place where youth and experience meet is the best place on earth.


The combination of raw, unbridled enthusiasm, curiosity, questioning and unlimited perspective is pure MAGIC when combined the right way with knowledge, time served, learned failure, and history.


Chasing Relevance answers the question we get asked all the time:  You really think we can connect with the next generation with the huge differences? ABSOLUTELY.


We all need to shift our mindset and trust ourselves.  When we shift our focus to connecting and delivering value to others, we win with our clients, employees, spouses, partners, kids … we become guides and mentors of the next generation and ourselves.


We have a choice: Embrace the opportunity millennials offer by pushing ourselves to be better leaders and coaches, or continue to ignore and dismiss the generational divide. The answer is clear: embrace opportunity.


That’s what our book, our business, and this blog will help you do.


Let us help you stop chasing relevance and make it happen. To learn more about the topics in this blog, get your copy of Dan’s new book Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage, and Maximize Next-Generation Leaders in the Workplace TODAY.



Dan Negroni, Esq and Author, is the Founder and CEO of launchbox. Dan is a business management and talent development consultant and coach. He addresses today’s critical cross-generational issues. He helps companies’ bridge the gap between managers and their multi-generational workforce. In turn, that bridge creates next generation leaders and increases employee engagement, productivity and profits.


Keep Stepping to Master the Challenges of Change

by Joy Marsden

Influential change advocate, Joy Marsden, shares her philosophy on the importance of stepping up and stepping out for leaders of today.


What behaviors do you need to adopt to grow and achieve success in a fast moving ever changing environment, where the people you lead are facing challenges month after month?


Recovering quickly from unexpected change is what separates the expert from the novice. The novice seeks to force new experiences into existing frameworks, confuses luck with personal skill, and relies on routine when a situation changes from simple and stable to complex and challenging.

By contrast, the expert never takes success personally, is always aware of their personal and technical limitations, and uses change as an opportunity to review, improve and innovate.  Whist the novice strives for stability; the expert accepts instability as the only status quo.

Overall, expertise means that we are capable of leading through change with an open mind and resilient attitude.  It means we ‘Keep Stepping!’.  The philosophy behind the Keep Stepping principles don’t just provide a superficial blue print for success but focuses on something more realistic.  When change comes, planned or unplanned, in any area of life, it is going to be difficult.  For the novice, this difficulty means clinging onto routine for comfort.  For the expert, this difficulty means a chance to innovate, to improve. Experts don’t stay still, they Keep Stepping.  So how do you become an expert in personal leadership?

Being the best means engineering the steps that you take in order to become all that you can be.  In order to do this, you’re going to need to ‘Step Up’, ‘Step Out’ and ‘Stand Out’ at different stages of your day, week and year.  It’s a never ending process, but a fulfilling process if you’re prepared to take the steps necessary for success.

As a leader, it’s up to you to make sure that you not only achieve your very best, but that you inspire the people you lead to achieve their very best too. The way you carry yourself, the person that you are, speaks volumes.

Do your employees see you as someone that inspires them? Or are you someone they simply work for that pays the wage at the end of the week.

I’m privileged to use the Keep Stepping program to help leaders and their teams throughout the globe to develop key skills that allow them to be more authentic in the office and at home and to enjoy their daily routines more.

The result, happier workers serving happier customers as they serve them better and see obstacles as opportunities.  This makes for a vibrant working environment where respect, honor and integrity are just a few of the values that start to shine through in the workplace.


Here are some steps from the Keep Stepping program for leadership success:


The way you see someone affects the way you serve them, and the way you serve someone affects the way they see you.  Serve your employees and your customers in the best possible way.



Simple, but not always easy to do, especially when you don’t even like the person you’re dealing with.  Here’s the thing, people respond to the person you are and the way you interact with them way before they respond to what you can do for them.



Make sure you understand what’s really going on. Do you get home from work and completely zone out? You’re in relax mode but not tuned in to the needs of the family?  This is a situation we can often look back and recognize quite quickly in a home situation, but do you notice when you haven’t tuned in at work? Are you missing important conversations, reactions, team dynamics that are essential for getting things done.



When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort circle and learnt something new?  Moments like these are essential for our growth and development.  This is often where the best creative ideas are born. The stretch is where great things happen.



A skilled carpenter gathers tools for his toolbox over time.  Time after time he has to draw on that experience and will use specific tools for specific jobs. How many of these skills do you use? It a wonderful thing when managers learn to draw out all the skills of their employees, when this happens, they will be leading a more fulfilled workforce for sure.


Keep Stepping!® is helping employees to do the things that matter most and make a positive difference both in their professional and personal life.


About the Author

Joy Marsden is an internationally recognized leadership expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader, with extensive experience in working with leaders and their teams.

Joy is the author of Keep Stepping! Essential ways to lead yourself and others through challenge and change (Stepping Books, 2015). A leadership ambassador for the Chartered Management Institute, a Fellow of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management, a Fellow of the Professional Speaking Association and Regional President in Staffordshire.

C-Suite TV Talks Customer Service, Making Change Happen and the Inside Out Approach

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – Aug 17, 2016) – Best Seller TV and Executive Perspectives, two of the top online business shows on C-Suite TV, have announced their broadcast episodes for August. Best Seller TV will feature in-depth interviews with leading business authors Adam Toporek, author of Be Your Customer’s Hero: Real World Tips and Techniques for the Service Front Lines and Joy Marsden, author of Keep Stepping! Essential Ways to Lead Yourself and Others Through Challenge and Change. Executive Perspectives features a sit-down interview with Alan Fine, founder and president, InsideOut Development, talking about the core principles that make success possible.


 Best Seller TV

In his book, Be Your Customer’s Hero: Real World Tips and Techniques for the Service Front Lines, Adam Toporek wanted to take a conversational approach to customer service that could be digested as a reference book, aimed at front line employees. Toporek states that front line employees — those who work directly with customers, whether via phone, email, or face-to-face, tend to skew younger and don’t have time for fluff, but still want to learn to be more effective when working directly with customers.

Toporek helps clarify the distinction between customer service and customer experience. Customer service is just part of the one-on-one interaction with a customer; whereas customer experience refers to the entire journey a customer has with an organization, including marketing pieces or emails from the organization. Toporek’s book aims to motivate front line employees, making them more confident in using the necessary tools and techniques to provide excellent customer service.

Joy Marsden, author of Keep Stepping! Essential Ways to Lead Yourself and Others Through Challenge and Change, talks about why people need to constantly move forward after challenges in order to achieve their goals. She states how a person’s initial response to a crisis is to stop or stand still but stresses that, “If you want to achieve, you have to move.” In order to achieve more, one must shred behaviors — which she defines as taking stock of things we need to let go in order to move forward.

Marsden says that successful companies share one important trait: they stretch boundaries. By stretching boundaries, they become agents of change and continue to move forward, no matter the obstacles ahead.

All episodes of Best Seller TV will air throughout the month on C-Suite TV and are hosted by TV personality, Taryn Winter Brill.


Executive Perspectives

Host Jeffrey Hayzlett talks to Alan Fine about his journey from athletic coach to business coach and how both industries share a core set of principles that make success possible. As a former tennis coach, Fine turned his coaching style from outside in, to inside out — which encourages athletes and entrepreneurs alike to remove the roadblocks that are focused on an internal dialogue.

Fine tells Hayzlett that tuning out the noise is “simple, but not that easy” to do. He says that people tend to choose what they listen to, which is why high performers can easily tune out the noise. Fine also lists the fundamental principles of the inside out approach: knowledge, faith, fire, and focus and adds that focus is the most important of all the principles because, “If you want to change a belief, you need to start on something different.” Everything starts with our choice of focus.

All episodes of Executive Perspectives are hosted by Jeffrey Hayzlett and can be seen throughout the month on C-Suite TV.

Best-selling author, speaker, and former Fortune 100 CMO, Jeffrey Hayzlett, created C-Suite TV to give top-tier business authors a forum for sharing thought-provoking insights, in-depth business analysis, and their compelling personal narratives.

“The dog days of summer are here and so are some of the best episodes of C-Suite TV. Best Seller TV has two incredibly insightful authors in Adam Toporek and Joy Marsden talking customer service and being able to constantly move forward. I’m a firm believer in adapt, change or die and I think these two authors definitely fit that bill,” Hayzlett said. “My interview with Alan Fine draws useful parallels between the world of sports and business that can be applied to any business industry, at any level.”

For more information on TV episodes, visit and for more information about the authors featured in Best Seller TV episodes, visit


C-Suite TV is a web-based digital on-demand business channel featuring interviews and shows with business executives, thought leaders, authors and celebrities providing news and information for business leaders. C-Suite TV is your go-to resource to find out the inside track on trends and discussions taking place in businesses today. This online channel is home to such shows as C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett, Executive Perspectives and Best Seller TV, and more. C-Suite TV is part of C-Suite Network, the world’s most powerful network of C-Suite leaders. Connect with C-Suite TV on Twitter and Facebook.


Jeffrey Hayzlett is the primetime television host of C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett and Executive Perspectives on C-Suite TV and is the host of the award-winning All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett on the CBS on-demand podcast network, Play.It. Hayzlett is a global business celebrity, Hall of Fame speaker, best-selling author, and Chairman of C-Suite Network, home of the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders. Connect with Hayzlett on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or

Let’s talk about Change, Baby!

By: Ilja Grzeskowitz


Some time ago, I read an interview from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, where he made a fascinating observation. He said:

“Today, mankind produces more information, data and ideas than from the stone age until the year 2003 together.“

And he nailed it with that statement. Because the changes around us are getting more and more intense. Everything changes. Permanently. The economy, the organizational structures in our companies, our very own working space. As a keynote speaker and change agent, I have the privilege of working with lots of great organizations. And it doesn’t matter, at which industry I look, whether it’s a big brand like BWM or Lufthansa, or a small company with just a hundred employees. There is one thing they all have in common: The rules have definitely changed.


Change is the New Normal

Especially the globalization, the demographic trend and the digital revolution are the main reasons that markets change dramatically. And, the customers are behaving completely different than they used to do just a few years ago. That means that our ability to deal with this new complexity will be the most important factor if we will still be successful in the future or if we become obsolete. And just to be clear, I’m not talking about change for changes sake, but about change with a purpose, with intention. Change to reach your goals, to become more profitable and to get the results you want. In the near future, nothing will be more important, than to adapt to these new circumstances. Because constant change has long become the new normal.


Go First and Lead the Changes in Your Organization

What does all that mean to your jobs as leaders? First, you need to quickly adapt to all of the changes going on around you and adjust your own mindset. Even more importantly, you need to lead the changes in your industry, your company and your teams. Companies only change, when the people change. And it is your job to make sure they do. Not by telling them or giving orders, but by reaching their hearts and leading with your actions. And believe me, I know what I am talking about. In my own career, I started out as the youngest store manager in Germany’s largest department store corporation and overall, I was responsible for ten different stores all over the country. During that period, not only did I have to deal with tough competition, changing markets and the upcoming phenomena of online shopping, but also with a huge crisis within the company itself. Locations were shut down, profits were decreasing and thousands of employees were facing the fear of unemployment.


During these tough times, I learned the biggest lesson of my life:

Change is not what happens around you, but the way how you deal with it. It is your mindset. Your attitude.

And after all, the culture in your organization. Let me share one of my deepest beliefs with you: A company culture of innovation, flexibility and courage beats every sophisticated business strategy by far. Because there´s one thing, you can be sure of: If you are good, your competition will copy everything. They will copy your products, your prices, maybe even your marketing. But they will never be able to copy your culture.



Create a Culture of Change in Your Company

In my new book “Think it. Do it. Change it.”, you will learn how to develop this special attitude of change. I will show you how motivation really works, why the fear of going new ways is actually your best friend, and how to use your own uniqueness to lead the changes in your company, your community and most importantly, in your family.


At the end of the day, dealing with change is mindset. A certain way of thinking, deciding and taking action, that we have to adjust not only once, but on a daily basis. The more you use that special attitude, the sooner you will develop strong habits. And that’s important, because changes never happen overnight. They are a process with successes and failures. With ups and downs. You have to work hard to make it happen every single day. Isn’t it true? It’s never the one with the best abilities who wins, but always the one who is well prepared, takes massive action and changes actively. Because under the same circumstances it’s always the attitude, the mindset, the company culture that makes all the difference in the world. So dream big. Act bold. And you will get the results you want.




About the Author

Ilja Grzeskowitz (spoken Graesch –ko –witz) is an award winning keynote speaker who has inspired audiences in eight different countries on three continents. He has a University degree in economics and marketing and was a successful manager in retail, before he founded his own company in 2009. As a bestselling author of seven books, he works with organizations and companies on creating a culture of change. Among his clients are BMW, Lufthansa or Deutsche Telekom. The media called him, “Germany’s No.1. change expert.” Grzeskowitz is a father of two and lives in Berlin, Germany. Visit him online:


Leadership – A Sacred Relationship?

By: Lance Secretan


After spending a lifetime as both a leadership practitioner and an advisor and coach to leaders I have learned that approaching the subject of leadership in our traditional ways may have contributed more to our current crisis of leadership than to any leadership successes.



Classical physics invites us to measure matter and energy in a manner familiar through observable human experience, analyzing the separate parts, and this is largely the way we explain science and technology today (see my book “ONE”). We measure and teach leadership in a similar way, using these classical approaches. Without getting into too much technical detail here, we have learned that these concepts do not adequately describe the universe, and that, in reality, the newer science of quantum physics informs us that there are no separate entities—everything is connected. Indeed, the concept of “quantum entanglement” describes the phenomena in which the act of measuring one thing determines the possible quantum state of another.



The outdated approach of classical physics, and therefore “the scientific method”, is what we have been using to study leadership—as a subject consisting of separate parts—leaders, followers, organizations, contexts, goals and more (see my White Paper on why this has failed us and what is next). We have even succumbed to the false belief that behavior displayed and exhibited within an organization is separate from, and sometimes not even appropriate for, life outside the organization—for example, at home. But this is an illusion—everything is connected and everything is one, which is evident in my work every day coaching leaders who are seeking to rebuild their domestic partnerships AND reach their professional goals.



The sacred energy we invest in our marriages and personal relationships, is, in reality, exactly the same energy we need to invest in our work life and our organizations. My own list (everyone will have their own take on this) of practices and behaviors needed for a successful marriage are: personal growth and mutual learning, being fully present, curiosity, freshness, spiritual passion, maintaining individuality AND (paradoxically) oneness, vulnerability, intimacy, humility, empathy, devotion, love, rituals, transparency, trust, reliability

These, when practiced with sacred energy, lead to sacred and inspiring relationships. Since everything is connected, and one—it stands to reason that these necessary conditions for an inspiring relationship will lead to inspiring relationships anywhere—at work, with nature, with each other—even with God. Clinging to the illusion of separateness gets in the way of our potential. To raise our game we need to create inspiring relationships—everywhere.

About the Author

Dr. Lance Secretan is one of the most insightful and provocative leadership teachers of our time. He is the former CEO of a Fortune 100 company, university professor, award-winning columnist, poet and author of 15 books about inspiration and leadership and a recent memoir (A Love Story). He coaches and advises leaders globally (he is ranked 26th most influential executive coach globally), and guides leadership teams who wish to transform their culture into the most inspirational in their industries.

Executive Briefings: Serving on a Corporate Board – Where to Start

By: Thomas White, CEO of C-Suite Network

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I recently sat down with Sheila Ronning, CEO and Founder of Women in the Boardroom. In 2002, long before women on boards was a hot topic, Sheila believed in women’s ability to serve on corporate boards. She believed strongly enough to found Women in the Boardroom. Today, Sheila excels at connecting women executives and professionals with the people and tools they need to succeed in business and the boardroom.  As one of the nation’s top leadership and board service experts, she has built a strong track record and powerful network, which she uses to help women achieve their goals.

You can read more here:


The C-Suite is a vast audience of leaders who all have a little extra insight into their industry and the current business world. I sit down with these leaders to give them the opportunity to share that insight and give a glimpse to their personal stories as a business leader.

Why Do Managers Lead with Fear?

By: Peter Stark


I am currently working with a manager who told his team, “If this campaign isn’t perfect when we launch, some of you will be looking for a new job.” Yikes. That’s almost as inspiring as telling your team, “Terminations will continue until morale improves.” Although the manager didn’t share his threat with us, several of his employees did.

The Big Question Is…

Why would a manager feel the need to manage with fear? It’s tough to get a manager relying on fear to self-examine and admit this, but in most cases this strategy results from the manager projecting their own lack of confidence and fear. When these managers lack confidence and are fearful of potentially failing, they may not even realize that they are projecting their own fear onto others.

When team members operate in fear and focus solely on survival, they no longer have their primary focus set on executing the mission and making decisions that are in the best interest of the organization. Even worse, great employees seldom stick around a fearsome leader. Employees who produce stellar results earn reputations that put them in high demand by other manager and organization, and they won’t hesitate to leave for an organization with a healthier culture.


In addition to his threatening words, this manager exhibited several other characteristics that helped solidify the culture of fear he had created.

Blamed others, but claimed the credit. When things went wrong, this manager was quick to blame his own team members or team members in other departments. When things went well, however, he would immediately point out all the things he had done to make the outcome successful.

Trash talked. This manager had a habit of talking poorly about almost everyone in the organization. This left anyone who ever interacted with him wondering, “What does he say about me behind my back?”

Used threats. When this manager told his team they might be looking for new jobs if their next campaign was not successful, this manager conveyed to team members that they were not qualified for their jobs. By using threats, he also made it clear that mistakes were not acceptable.

Withheld praise. For whatever reason, this manager did not acknowledge the excellent work often done by his team members.

Withheld information. This manager chose to communicate with employees strictly on a “need to know” basis. Very few team members had all the pieces of the puzzle, which made it difficult for them to make decisions. With a lack of honest, direct and timely communication, everyone wants to play it safe for fear of making a bad decision.

Didn’t delegate. Because he didn’t trust his team to get the job done the way he would do it, he spent his time on day-to-day operational tasks instead of working on strategic projects that would have the greatest impact on the team and organization.

Can a manager known for leading with fear change their negative reputation? The good news is that with a significant change in their leadership style, yes, they can. The bad news is that is takes consistent repetition of positive leadership behaviors over a long period of time to earn a more positive reputation.




The following 7 actions were ones I recommended to help this leader build a positive reputation and take his leadership skills to a higher level.



Collect feedback to better understand your strengths as a leader and where you have opportunities for development. This will help you craft a leadership style that will maximize the number of people who are highly engaged and love coming to work to help you and your team succeed.


Most people want to work for a manager with a positive vision of their organization’s future. Employees want to know what goals will turn that vision into a reality, and what they are contributing to the realization of the vision.


Goals are all about “I think we can.” When you take action and accomplish your goals, you develop confidence because you feel you are in control and have mastery over your organizational life.


When things go wrong, great leaders are quick to take responsibility for ensuring that the problem is fixed and doesn’t happen a second time. Great leaders may not say they are personally to blame for the problem, but they are quick to say, “I take full responsibility for ensuring this doesn’t happen again.”


Almost everyone has a high need to be valued and appreciated for their contributions. Great leaders know that providing people with recognition for their successful contributions is a significant part of building strong relationships with employees.


Hold quarterly meetings with each of your direct reports to review their goals and to determine what they are working on to help them grow and develop. This will most likely mean that you are encouraging your team members to be willing to take a risk. Encouraging risk is also encouraging people to be comfortable with the sometimes-scary possibility of failure. Taking a risk, however, is the polar opposite of paralysis by fear.


Trusting others and being able to appropriately delegate is the key to your next promotion. Communicate the desired result, and then put the appropriate safeguards in place to follow up and ensure its success.


Managers who lead with a strategy of fear may be feared, but they will never be respected. When a manager utilizes fear as their strategy, I can guarantee one thing will happen: team members will eventually band together to undermine their manager. In the military and law enforcement, we call this getting hit by friendly fire. These seven tips, when put into action and consistently practice over long period of time, will help you be the leader who instead earns a strong reputation for building a culture of trust and the ability to produce significant results.




About the Author

Peter B. Stark, CSP, AS, is the President of Peter Barron Stark Companies. He and his team partner with clients to build organizations where employees love to come to work. Peter and his team are experts in employee engagement surveys, leadership and employee development, team building, and executive coaching.

Would You Hire You? 10 Ways to Add Value to Your Position

By: Doug Sandler

Ask yourself this question and have the courage to give an honest answer: Would you hire you? If words like passionate, excited, motivated and inspired describe you, you probably will get the gig. If, however, you are struggling to find the right words that fit or more importantly, if you are saying to yourself, “I would be positive, passionate, motivated and inspired by my work, but…(fill in the blank),” chances are good you wouldn’t get a call back or a second interview for the position. Excuses will not help boost your value, only action will.

Here are 10 questions that will help determine your value at work:

Do you contribute to a positive office culture or does your attitude at work fan the flame of average? The overall profitability of the company you work for is attributed to the culture created within that organization. Companies like Zappos, Wegmans, Apple, Nordstrom and dozens more are household words because of the amazing culture created by the people that work there. You have within you the ability to be better than average. Make sure you prove it to yourself and add to your value.

Do your efforts take the customer experience to the next level up or does the effort elevator not quite make it to your floor? If you haven’t already realized it, your effort is felt by everyone around you, not just your company’s customers. Everyone you come in contact with is your customer and they all need you to be positive. Your value at work is directly related to the contributions you make to your company.

Can you add problem solver to your resume or do you prefer to hand issues to someone else in your office? You don’t need to be an investigator like Sherlock Holmes or as smart as Einstein, but contributing to problem resolution or supporting someone trying to solve a problem will add value to your role. It’s valuable to be a part of the solution. Under no circumstances do you want to be a part of the problem.

Do you go the extra mile for your company or do you take shortcuts as you find them? Creating system improvements and working to provide exemplary service are qualified as going the extra mile. However, creating a shortcut that potentially can lead to less than stellar performance grades will diminish your value. Change for the sake of change will not add to your value.

Would you describe yourself as an influencer or someone that is influenced? You do not need to be assigned to a management position in order to be considered an influencer. If you are well respected in the workplace, you are boosting your value.

Does the idea of creating a new and improved system inspire you to look for ways to streamline your work process or would you prefer leaving systems in place? Making simple systems improvements or providing suggestions to make a process easier proves you are not just doing your job but actually thinking about the bigger picture. Creative thinking improves your value.

Are you a good listener or are you at the office water cooler adding to the rumor mill? A good listener knows that he doesn’t know everything but wants to learn from someone more wise and with more experience on the job. Seek out a mentor where you work. Knowledge is power and will contribute to your value. Water cooler conversation and gossip contributes to negative office politics and should be avoided.

When a team is needed to accomplish a task would you describe yourself as a volunteer or a captive participant? Teamwork, partnerships and cooperative effort involves building relationships. Great relationships equal better business. Whether you own your own business or work for a large organization, you should look for opportunities to work on a team. Teamwork sparks creative thinking. If you find yourself in a position to accomplish a task as a part of a team, don’t shy away from role.

Do projects, customers, vendors, phone calls and emails slow you down from doing your job or are they a part of your job? Do not live in a vacuum at work. Remember that communication is a part of your job. In order for your company to exist, these relationships are essential. Each opportunity to communicate with your customers and vendors/suppliers is a chance to strengthen your brand. Lean into these unscheduled moments to gain trust and add value to your position and your company.

Do you have a bright light passion for what you are building or do you see passion as something only dreamers dream about? Increase your value by being more kind than you need to be, friendlier than others expect you to be and put your heart out there for others to see even more than you already do now.

Embrace the role you play at work and don’t just go through the motions. Honestly, anyone can be average. Average offers no value. Being average is not a stepping stone to anything other than mediocrity. Being average will never amount to happiness, it will only amount to getting by. Have the strength to set your sights on your bigger goals and be passionate about the contribution you make at work. Passion adds value. Have the courage to dream bigger and to be passionate about the responsibilities you have at work.

About the Author

Doug Sandler has over 30 years of business experience as an entrepreneur and leader. His book, Nice Guys Finish First is a #1 ranked Amazon Best Seller.  As a podcaster, Doug has interviewed Arianna Huffington from HuffPost, Dan Harris from Good Morning America, Ron Klain, White House Chief of Staff and dozens of celebs. He specializes in teaching others the “how-to’s” of building relationships and strengthening connections. Doug is a nationally recognized speaker and writer.  His weekly posts reach hundreds of thousands of readers. Doug has been titled by a leading social media marketing company in the top 100 of Social Media Thought Influencers to follow.