C-Suite Network™

Growth Management Personal Development

Finding the Lions Within Your Organization

When we talk about the challenges of remote work, the first thing that comes to mind is those that employees experience. However, employers have their fair share of challenges too – ensuring productivity, making sure employees feel connected to the organization. Employers have to solve the problems for the organization to survive.

Another particular area of concern is the lack of opportunity for teamwork and collaboration. The physical separation of employees and the continued reliance on remote teams can often lead to issues with collaboration. Remote work has, in some ways, caused employees to miss out on getting “chance” encounters, which is often the catalyst that births new ideas.

When employees are in the same office, it is “easier” to make people understand the tasks assigned to them. If and when an employee has a question, a quick walk to a colleague’s or manager’s booth can easily get answers. Remote work hinders this.

Remote work presents several issues, however, many of the challenges of working remotely that affect both the employees and employer can be resolved by effective leadership. A leader who can prioritize regular communication, provide the right equipment, and adopt a degree of flexibility in working arrangements when possible is indispensable to organizations.

But the question now is how do you find Lions who are up to the task within your organization?

Internal Leadership Development

This is where internal leadership development comes into the picture. This is a program that provides training to individuals so that they can become effective leaders and players within an organization. Most programs focus on developing and polishing a prospective leader’s abilities to handle crucial responsibilities in an organization by teaching them the dos’ and don’ts’ of a successful leader.

Why is this important? We submit there are two main factors why it’s beneficial for organizations to “build from within.” First, there’s no better place to look for employees who understand your business than those who are already in it. Second, it gives the employees a tremendous boost in morale to see one of them take on a more active role in running the business. It gives them an idea that as long as they are loyal and provide results, they can also be part of the leadership.

Starting an Internal Leadership Development Program

Your internal leadership development program does not have to be complicated. In fact, the simpler it is, the more effective it will be. What’s important is that, first, you have to define the leadership roles of your organization. Leaders function better and more efficiently if they have complete knowledge and understanding of the leadership goals set by the organization.

Second, focus on development versus training. Leadership is a culmination of various skills acting in unison – charisma, the skill of persuasion, the ability to negotiate, and the ability to see the bigger picture. Thus, instead of teaching people how to do this, pick people who have shown results AND already possess these skills and develop them.

This will help participants acquire skills that can help them become efficient leaders.


There are numerous benefits of leadership development programs. Thus, you must come up with a development program that reflects your work culture while aiming to fill the leadership gaps within an organization.

The responsibility for creating the leaders of the future lies with the leaders of today. If you want to learn more about the intricacies of leadership development programs and enter the business sphere, you can visit MarketAtomy.com to know more.


Danna Olivo is a Growth Strategist, Author, and Public Speaker. As CEO of MarketAtomy LLC, her passion is working with first-stage business owners to ensure that they are prepared and equipped to launch and grow a successful small business. She understands the intricacies involved early on in business formation and as such the challenges that come with it. A graduate of the University of Central Florida’s College of Business, Danna brings more than 40 years of experience strategically working with small and medium businesses, helping them reach their growth goals. danna.olivo@marketatomy.com

Entrepreneurship Management Personal Development

Employee Retention: What Today’s Employees Are Looking For

Today’s workforce is a different breed from the dedicated 9-5’ers of yesteryear; this makes employee retention an entirely new ballgame. The current financial landscape has a great deal to do with it. The internet allows consumers to buy more than ever before with a few clicks of a mouse, while real estate prices continue to rise and income rates remain relatively static.

Decades ago, 40 hours a week at a menial job could buy a house, a car, and a middle-class lifestyle for an entire family. Those days are over. Today’s workers may not intend to create a family and sustain it in the traditional sense; both partners in a relationship usually go to work every week. Therefore, the landscape of employees’ expectations has changed, as they attempt to derive deeper satisfaction from employment than ever before.

Employee retention is a matter of ensuring that their expectations are met.

I recently had the opportunity to partner with a company called Beaconforce. They have built software that allows managers to survey their employees a twice a day to determine their employee’s mindset: how satisfied they are with their work, and how comfortable they feel with their managers.

In the process of building the software, Beaconforce learned that the key expectations for today’s employees include a feeling of purpose and belonging, autonomy, freedom, clear goals, continuous feedback, and a sense that they are growing and improving over time. Today’s employees also want to be challenged and have an aversion to boredom.

The software Beaconforce developed creates a chart demonstrating the employees’ level of satisfaction in each of these areas, along with their level of trust in their managers (and the company at large.) It also indicates how often they are in their “flow zone”—feeling fulfilled and constructive in their work, as opposed to stagnant and/or confused.

So, let’s say the software reports that employees are not entirely satisfied. Perhaps they don’t feel a sense of autonomy, they are bored or, worse, they don’t trust their manager. What’s next?

That’s where my partnership with Beaconforce comes in. As a transformational business coach, I work with managers to identify their blind spots and determine which ideas and behaviors are creating a less-than-ideal environment for their employees. In the days that follow, managers have the opportunity to make choices regarding how they relate to their employees, rather than continuing to act in the same way that generated the problems they want to address, to begin with.

If you are in a management position, with or without the Beaconforce software, it is very important to pay attention to each individuals’ satisfaction to ensure employee retention for your company.

If employee retention is something you are struggling with or something you simply feel you could improve, consider a three-month coaching package. Six sessions (once every-other-week) can identify blindspots you were completely unaware of. The resulting changes in management style will make a huge difference in how your employees feel about working with you.

Contact me to set up a free consultation to discuss what this particular program looks like, and how it can benefit you. Also, if you have any questions about employee retention (or how you might create a better work environment for your employees) feel free to contact me directly, or leave a comment below!

Best Practices Growth Management Personal Development

Pay Attention to Support Staff and Behind-the-Scenes Employees

Giving Behind-the-Scenes Staff the Attention They Deserve.

What’s your commitment to your staff? Are you giving your support staff of employees who are behind the scenes as much attention and recognition they deserve? I’d like to give you five ways that you can pay even better attention to your behind-the-scenes employees, and show them how committed you are to their success.

I’ve been privileged to work with my Maria for over 12 years. Now, my Maria is affectionately called the “Queen of Neen” by all of my clients. I could never do what I do without my Maria. I have a position where I am so fortunate to have several people who work with me on my team. Now, notice that they work with me, not for me. These talented team members need to be acknowledged and recognized for the value that they deliver. So, how are you doing that with your support team? Here are five ways I’d like you to consider where you can be even more professionally attentive and committed to your support staff as much as your front line of support.

#1. Train.  First of all, training employees on your mission, vision and values is as important as policy and procedure and the protocols, but in your mission, vision and values.  Send them to conferences and development seminars to help them in their daily work. Encourage them, and provide for them, industry and position-related books that will help develop them.  Share TED Talks and blogs. Training your support staff and committing to their development makes them better at their job and makes your life even easier.

#2. Meet. Maria and I have regularly scheduled one-on-ones, and the reason this is important is not just for me to share with her things I need to be done. It’s for us to talk about her development, our strategy, review all of these things. She drives the agenda, not me. Can you schedule one-on-one so that your support team gets that individual attention from you? Maybe it’s by phone, face time or Zoom. Maybe they actually get to be in your office, but can you meet regularly with your support staff?

#3.  Seek. Seek their feedback and input because they get an unusual view of the world that maybe you don’t get to see. You see, support staff talk to other support staff. People who know me well know that I often say that, “Assistants rule the world,” and assistants do business with other assistants. When you are looking at your process, procedures, sales, and protocols, can you seek their input too? Furthermore, seek their feedback on your ideas and how they may be perceived by others outside of customer-facing teams. Ask them if there’s a better way to do something, a more clever, a more productive way because they look at the world differently to you and their perspective is so valuable.

#4. Review. Now, review in our world means that every summer we take time to review the way the business is going. We look at all of the ways that we organize things for a checklist, for travel, for client work, for invoicing. The team and I review everything coming up in the next six months, operations manual, and more. The summer is better for us because it’s a quieter time for me when many of my corporate clients are on vacation. But review processes do you have in place to truly pay attention and commit to your support staff? We want to always make sure that we are delivering the best value for our clients, and so for us, that means we have to constantly be in review.

#5. Celebrate. Finally, celebrate with your support staff when you’ve had a great win or a fantastic year or closed a sale.  For instance, when we released my book, Attention Pays, we were so excited that it was number one best new release on Amazon. We were super excited that it became the number one bestseller for 800 CEO-READ that month. Now, that was a huge team effort, and my Maria who has been with me for a long time, she and I went out that night and we celebrated. Celebrate your wins with your team too; because they work so hard to help you do what you do.

In conclusion, ask yourself: How are you paying attention to your support staff? What are you doing to recognize and acknowledge the work that they do? For some, it might be just a handwritten thank you note. Others may need a shout-out at the team meeting. It might be tickets to their favorite concert or sending them to a conference or maybe sending them some great books to review. Either way, it’s time to pay attention to those you depend on, your support staff.

Best Practices Entrepreneurship Human Resources Management Personal Development

Answer the Call for Rest and Recovery

You know that I’m Australian. But, I’m also a US citizen. Now for me, my entire family is in Australia. Now my honey and I moved here many, many, many years ago and I still call Australia home, and I call the US home as well.

I think it’s important I go back to Australia to see my family. Now so many people say to me, oh I’ve always wanted to go to Australia, but it’s so far. Well here’s how you think of Australia. It is very simply just six movies from LA. That’s right. Once you get on the plane, have a little snack, have a meal, have a little nap, watch six movies and voila, you’re there.

But why I think it’s so important to share this message about why I go back to see my family, is I think it’s really important to live a life that we don’t have any regrets. I think so often as busy professionals we think, oh, I’ll make a vacation when I have time. I’ll make plans when I have time, I’ll put it off, I’ll put it off, I’ll do it when I’m not so busy. Well here’s the reality. We are all busy. And one of the things I want to challenge you about is as a leader you are role modeling for your team about the importance of recovery. If you don’t spend time with your family or do whatever recharges your batteries then you become a tired leader and honestly, you become a boring leader.

My team knows that I have to go back to Australia every year because I get homesick. There is literally no cure for homesickness except being with people that I love. There is something about the Australian concha, the food, the sense of humor, the beauty the sunshine, the animals and it’s very different to what I experience here. I love living in the US. I love working with my American clients and my Canadian and also love being able to go home to Australia, see my family, wrap my arms around my mom, see my baby sisters, well they’re not really babies anymore, see my nephews and nieces. To shop at my favorite stores, to see my dearest friends there.

What are you doing to take care of your recovery? How do you recover? How do you show your family that they mean so much to you? You see when we pay attention it’s not just about what we pay attention to professionally, it’s who we pay attention to personally. And for me, that involves a trip to Australia every year. Sometimes even twice.

While you may not need to go to Australia. When was the last time you visited with your family? And if you can’t physically visit them, when is the time last time you videoed with them? I want to encourage you, what’s your Australia. What’s a trip maybe that you’ve always wanted to take but you keep it off? Now is the time to book it. I go back to Australia every year because I love and adore my family. I enjoy spending time with them and frankly, I need to see them. They are a recovery opportunity for me. What’s your version of Australia? I’d love to hear from you.