Tag Archives: leadership

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Aspiring Leader Seminar

Aspiring Leader Seminar – Williamsport, PA

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Save $100 when you register by May 25, 2018!

Today’s leaders are more than just supervisors or management team members. They are the heart of inspiration, team work, and create the atmosphere required for the pursuit of common goals.

This seminar covers many of the foundation skills that build great leadership habits. Participants will explore what it means to be a leader, not just a supervisor or manager. We’ll be covering change, communication, and motivating the team. Tough topics that are sometimes taken for granted such as resiliency, understanding priorities, and the difference between facts and opinions. In addition, we’ll examine some tough questions such as, “Where are you most vulnerable?”and “What is most important right now?” 

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things will change

Things Will Change. Will You, Are You?

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Many people just want to move forward, yet they compare and contrast everything to the past. Often people are looking for differences and identifying that the unknown may not work. Things will change, the biggest question may be, “Will you?”

My cell phone failed a drop test last week. I knew immediately that there really wasn’t a choice, but to replace it. Two and a half years is a long time in the technology world. I didn’t really want any change, but I felt that I had no choice. Things have changed, and so have I.

Better Future

There could be lots of argument about technology or society. The big question often is, “Will the future be better?”

We are on the cutting edge of artificial intelligence (AI) and while that has many scary aspects, especially those connected to privacy or jobs, it is our future. It is not even likely, it is a given. AI is happening and it is happening without a stop sign.

Our future won’t be the same. Some things will work, some will delight, and others will cause fear, hesitation, and distrust.

All of this is likely not much different from a first ride at 35 mph in an automobile. Not really different from the introduction of the motorized bicycle, or to be flying several thousand feet high in a winged motorized vehicle.

There were people who likely scoffed at the idea. Said it won’t work, wouldn’t last, wouldn’t stick, and was dangerous. In the early 1990’s some proclaimed the pending emergence of the internet was a fad, it wouldn’t last, and people largely would not be interested to join.

Things Will Change

Many predictors of the future base their predictions on the past. This is often true for individual behavior. It is not so true for society or world cultures.

Things will change if you allow it to happen. Your workplace can become better, more prosperous, and successful. The way you did it three or five years ago may still work, but if you’re not eager about what is next, it is time to start looking.

The question is not about when, because the timing is now.  The only question remaining is, “Will you?”

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Brainstorming session

Brainstorming Session and You Have a Seat at the Table

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Many engage in their job role hoping to get a seat at the table. They often wish for the chance to participate, to tell their story, and offer their idea. Have you been invited to the brainstorming session?

Seat at the Table

We know how to act when we’ve been invited to the birthday party, a holiday meal, or even when we are out for dinner with a few friends. We grab a seat at the table and we prepare to eat.

Many people take this opportunity to eat as much as they can. It is a feast. People dive deep and sometimes eat more than what they probably should, but it is not just another meal it is an event!

Chances are good that they have considered many items on the menu. Perhaps, they have even tried a few items that they were unsure about, perhaps something completely new or different.

When you grab that seat, you have an idea what is about to unfold, lots of eating. If you aren’t prepared to eat there really isn’t much reason to have a seat at the table. In fact, you probably shouldn’t take a seat at all.

A similar scenario exists in the brainstorming or problem solving session. If you are not going to dive in deep, if you refuse to consider things you haven’t tried before, or if you believe you are already completely full, don’t take a seat.

Big Problems

Most problems an organization faces that require a brainstorming session are big. If they were small and simple they would have already been solved.

The thought is that big problems require big solutions. Ironically, many of the problems that most mainstream businesses face today are not as big as they appear.

Brainstorming Session

How to ship on time, how to reduce the friction of the customer journey, or the risk associated with forecasting the ROI of the marketing campaign. All of these things are often only limited because someone is in the way. They are occupying space. They have a seat but they aren’t eating.

Many organizations get stuck, stalled, or stopped by someone sitting at the table who believes a roadblock or the status quo is better than the open road.

If you are invited, grab a seat, but only if you intend fully participate.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Meeting voice

Meeting Voice, Do You Have It?

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It would not take you long to find someone in your workplace who absolutely dreads going to meetings. Are the meetings really that boring and uninformative? Are they a waste of time? Does someone have meeting voice?

Meeting voice is a condition. Many people chairing meetings have it. It is Charlie Brown’s teacher. So now, you know.

Attention Span

How is it in a first world country where there is so much technology people have stopped listening? Many people believe that their uptake on information is at astounding levels. So much so that they don’t even need to listen any more. When in doubt they may just ask Siri.

The reality may be that there is so much noise, so much clutter, that people have stopped listening.

Savvy Marketers

This drives the marketer crazy. It requires a degree in psychology to reach the target audience. The savvy marketer will find a voice though. It is well known that meeting voice won’t reach the target audience, build connections, or sell products. Mad Men knew this in the 1960’s and it is still true today.

People probably aren’t going to listen closely if it is hard. The easy route is faster, safer, and requires less energy.

Technology Surf

Mobile is growing in popularity. People surf their smartphones for nearly everything. They don’t do a deep dive, they don’t want the details. They want headliners, fast punch lines and sub sixty-second videos. People are scanning, they aren’t reading or studying.

What happens with all of this activity? Certainly there is miscommunication. Nobody is reading the fine print, details don’t matter, and who needs to learn when you can just ask.

What does this have to do with meeting voice? Meeting voice is a condition you don’t want. If you’re going to speak you’re going to have to be direct. Hours and hours of meetings are likely not effective.

No More Meeting Voice

There is so much noise in people’s heads. If even they hear you, it doesn’t mean they’re listening. They may be present, but they are not engaged. Some will claim information overload, others will miss the call to action completely.

If you are going to have effective meetings, you are going to have lose the meeting voice. Otherwise, you’ll notice more of the technology prayer. A condition easily spotted when a person is surfing their smartphone while holding it just below the tabletop.

Think more like the marketer. It will help.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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consensus decisions

Consensus Decisions and the Power of the Group

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Working alone, is the sometimes dream of the team member. Frustrated with roadblocks, different opinions, and even unhealthy conflict may make people believe that stand-alone is better. However, when you want a good decision, consensus decisions may be the best option available.

Decisions and Problems

I really enjoy working with groups on learning how to think more critically, how to solve problems, and most of all, make better decisions. Many people enter the seminar thinking that there may not be much to learn and that it will be another hold hands and sing Kumbaya session. It is not.

Our environment often conditions us. Society is an environment that everyone reading this must navigate. Our values and beliefs will shape the ebb and flow of how we process information. This is especially evident when we consider generational differences.

Many argue that our technology driven society is leading to less interaction, more solitude, and social distress. There may or may not be something to that but others may argue it is bringing us closer, just in a different way.

You may also like: Driving Decisions Through Culture In Your Organization

When it comes to making decisions, research says that more people are better than one. Consensus decisions by far exceed the probability of a good decision when compared with those made stand alone.

Through the results of hundreds of seminars that I’ve personally delivered on the subject, I know that consensus decisions work, and work well.

Consensus Decisions

It may be important to understand exactly what a consensus decision is. First, it is not a majority vote. Properly executed consensus decisions welcome and consider the thoughts of everyone in the group. It is not about minority power persuading others. It is about everyone agreeing with a chosen path.

As you may guess, true decision by consensus is often hard to attain. It may require extra time, patience, and a willingness to consider ideas different from your own. However, the quality of the decision makes it very worthwhile.

Technically, the best method to process a decision by consensus is through a round-robin approach. This approach suggests that each group member has an opportunity to express his or her thoughts, experiences, and probable outcomes of a choice.

As the group processes each member listens to understand and consider each explanation and probable outcomes of the choice. In the end, in true decision by consensus, all group members agree with the decision or choice.

In a society that seems to be changing it forms of connection, one thing may still be true. When it comes to brainpower, the power of many is still better than the power of one.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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workplace civility

Workplace Civility, Does Your Organization Have It?

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There are those organizations that don’t believe they need workplace civility. Often this is because they don’t recognize that there are differences between their culture and what the front runners know to be more civil.

While workplace civility is subjective, the results are often reflected in employee performance. Employee performance is reflected on the income statement. It may be hard to develop a metric for civility. However, it is easy to develop a metric for other areas of human performance.

The organization that practices civility is diverse. Not because they claim that they are, but because there is evidence that they are. Evidence would include employment of protected classes. However, that is really just the beginning and may be viewed as a technicality, not a true reflection of organizational culture.

Civil Organizational Cultures

Civil and diverse organizations work hard to keep everything and everyone together. Their habits are consistent with what they preach. Conflict is well managed. Patience is a core value, and if you can’t handle what is happening, a team member will be sure to help.

An underlying philosophy may be that we help each other do well and that is why we are growing.

Room for Improvement

An organizational culture lacking in civility will see things a little bit differently. They often have principles and core values connected with only the strong survive. Rewards are only at the top, bottom feeders are accepted as feeders only, and are feed just enough to prevent starvation.

There is harmful conflict. Those who can’t handle it, are not helped or reinforced, they are told to get out of the way and ridiculed for short-comings. Only the favorites or those who navigate organizational politics well are long-term survivors.

Workplace Civility

Certainly, organizations need all the demographic evidence. Evidence such as hiring across all classes including those that are protected. Yes, they’ll have the diversity posters in the lunch room and near the Human Resources offices, and of course, they’ll express no tolerance for harassment or bullying.

They’ll insist on safety, and they’ll understand that the person who occupies space at the workplace the longest is not necessarily accomplishing the most.

Meal breaks are honored, or better yet, insisted upon. Not because the organization feels that they should, but because they know it makes human performance better and the people healthier. The idea of skipping lunch means I’m working harder doesn’t apply.

Vacations are embraced, generosity is demonstrated, and the importance of family is well supported.

None of this means the people don’t work hard and none of it suggests that there is room for slackers. It is only a reflection of civility. Does your organization practice workplace civility?

A good question is, “What is your culture?”  A better question is, “What is your culture when you think no one is watching?”

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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emotional labor strength

Emotional Labor Strength and Doing Whatever It Takes

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If you were self-assessing, would you indicate that you have emotional labor strength, or is it really one of your weaknesses? Do you procrastinate about your workload, to-do list, or visiting your in-laws?

Are you able to jump to attention at the slightest whimper from your boss? Perhaps you would rather put off that task until you really feel like doing it. Are you really committed to doing whatever it takes, or only when it fits your personal agenda?

Is Easy Better?

A traditional or baby boomer boss may suggest people are lazy. They may suggest that the younger half of the workforce will avoid the tough stuff, or avoid things that annoy them.

Instead of making the follow-up call, they’ll send an email. Instead of responding to an email or voice mail they’ll do nothing. Spending time with the customer, well, that is out too. It is all just too hard.

In customer service circles a lack of emotional labor strength may be mislabeled as a lack of caring. Is it really a lack of caring or is it just too disruptive to the flow of doing little or nothing.

Caring will cost. It costs in hard resources like money and people, and it costs in emotional labor. When people are required to think, be patient, have empathy, be farsighted, encouraging, and do whatever it takes, we may discover who really has emotional labor strength.

Emotional Labor Strength

Waiting until the last minute is not a skill. Broken promises are not someone else’s fault.

Effort should be at one hundred percent and should never be considered as scalable based on the rate of pay.

Doing whatever it takes is what emotional labor strength is often about.

Laziness, procrastination, or putting it off forever isn’t strength, it is a weakness.

Regardless of whether it is about customer-service skills, getting along with co-workers, being flexible, adaptable, staying late, or coming in early, your level of emotional labor strength is what sets you apart.

If you’re wondering about individual work ethic, you’ve either found it, or not.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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simulation experience

Simulation Experience, It Is Not The Real Thing

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Are simulations and real life experiences the same thing? When we want to change or transform an organizational culture, can we do it through simulation? Do you have simulation experience or the real thing?

Real or Simulation

In our organizations, we can experience safety training, productivity training, or be warned of what is, or is not, harassment.

We may also get training about culture, leadership, and the importance of delivering exceptional service.

I can play a fifty-nine minute video on my sixty-inch television that looks like a fireplace burning. This is a simulation. Sure I can turn up the heat and put on some ambiance music and make it all seem pretty cool. Is this the same as the real deal? What have I just experienced?

Is the video game, the scary movie, or reality TV show the same as real-life experiences? We sometimes like to think so, it gives us an experience but that experience exists within a safety zone. It is not real. The consequences are different and as a result so are the experiences.

Simulation Experience

When people have had a close call, a near to the real experience, experience, it may be enough to alter behaviors. It seems that the key may be to simulate as much as possible to create the feeling of reality. This is still, always, simulation experience.

So when we want to transform an organization. When we want to deliver a better sales experience, better customer service, and have a culture of growth and inspiration. A simulation may not be enough.

We can’t live within the comfort of safety that is provided by the simulation. The real thing has to occur. Sure, we may get inspired or motivated to attempt a positive change, but until we actually experience it, it is just a simulation.

The simulation experience provides safety. It shields us psychologically from the real thing.

That makes it pretty easy to turn off the transformation and go back to the comfort of our safety zone.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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job responsibility

Job Responsibility, Is It Given or Taken?

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You have a job to do, is that job responsibility given or taken? This can be a little confusing, and some may argue a point either way.

Given or Taken

Imagine you are about to walk into a meeting with a large contract in hand, or maybe you are about to present a 50 page report to the board of directors, or perhaps launch your new start-up. Was any of that work assigned to you? Was it assigned as your responsibility?

As you are about to step into the metaphorical spotlight, did you tell yourself, “I’ve got this!” Sure, a few friends or a co-worker may have backed you up with, “You’ve got this,” but ultimately you have to take responsibility.

It is interesting sometimes to think about what you assign to yourself as compared with what is assigned by others. Not surprising when you stop to think about it, responsibility can be given, but it also must be taken.

Take Responsibility

In our workplace, the secret may not be about assigning responsibility but it may be more about taking it. If fact, this is applicable in all aspects of life.

Certainly, teams are important, but often someone has to take the shot. We see it in basketball, ice hockey, soccer and many other sports. Who calls that shot?

In the baseball game, we may have the second baseman and an outfielder both running for the catch. What do they yell? If you believe you have the catch, you typically call it. One doesn’t stand back and shout, “You’ve got it, I’ll watch.”

Job Responsibility

In your job, your gift may be taking responsibility. You take it first, you take it the most, and if necessary, you back up someone else who is in the process of taking it. It may still be a team effort, but someone often has to step up.

Someone may assign you job responsibilities, but you still have to take them.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Paycheck only employees

Paycheck Only Employees and Other Cultural Blunders

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Clients often tell me, “We have paycheck only employees.” Their statement is often a cry for help. Does the available workforce, societal trends, or the culture of the organization create this situation, perhaps it is all three, and many other factors.

Facts and Myths

Certainly, there are challenges with the workforce demographics in many areas. This is not a myth it is a fact. Societal trends, certainly, yes, they also condition much of the attitude and temperament about employment.

What about the organization, is it possible that the organizational culture also affects or has responsibility for the creation of this so-called paycheck only employee?

Find What You Seek

Sometimes we find exactly what we seek. Perhaps a parent cautioned you back in the day, “Don’t go looking for trouble.” Did you listen? Most or at least many probably did. They tried hard to steer clear of what appeared to be potential trouble.

What does your organization seek? Does the help wanted ad focus on money or the job?

This doesn’t mean the amount of verbiage committed to describing the organization or the job; it means what is the attraction point and the culture? What are you advertising? Are you looking for paycheck only employees?

Driven By Emotion

People assess the environment by what they feel. Certainly, many authoritarian environments have executives urging people to remove the emotion, but emotion still guides many of the choices.

The unemotional executive probably doesn’t drive a nice car or live in a nice place, with nice things. Nice things are an emotional choice. Perhaps fulfilling some practical needs, but often also expensive. They are beyond need, they are about a feeling and are driven by emotion.

People are driven (or not) by emotion. What are the cultural indicators in your organization? When your organization offers a job, what is the selling point? Is it money? Is it about a career, a stepping stone, or just fulfilling a need?

The employee who only wants money and the organization that only offers to fulfill that need are sometimes a perfect match. The people are there for a paycheck. Caring on the other hand, that is emotional, it is also optional. You’ll expect higher turnover, you’ll get it.

Paycheck Only Employees

When the environment feels like the organization doesn’t truly care about the employee, the employee really doesn’t really care about the organization.

Advertise what you seek, be what you advertise. Deliver on the promise.

You’ll find what you are looking for, everything else is only about the paycheck.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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