Tag Archives: leadership

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bloomsburg university

Management and Leadership Certificate

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This Management and Leadership Certificate program is being brought to you by a special partnership between Bloomsburg University and the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce.

Dennis Gilbert, is serving as the instructor/facilitator for this series.

This five-module series is designed to help participants develop and sharpen skills that relate to leading in today’s workplace environment. It is appropriate for existing workplace leaders, managers, and supervisors; or those who are new or emerging.

Throughout the series, each module will provide specific learning objectives and will be delivered by a subject matter expert who will utilize a pleasing combination of lecture, experiential learning activities and exercises, and real-world examples.

Professional course materials will be provided and will include assessments, activities, and other learning enhancement components to help each participant individualize their learning experience.

The five, three-hour modules are:

  1. Supervisor Effectiveness
  2. Effective Communication for Managers
  3. Conflict Management
  4. Navigating a Multigenerational Workforce
  5. Being a Great Mentor or Coach

Sharpening management skills and your leadership presence are valuable for navigating today’s workforce. This series will help you prepare and improve your role as a leader.

This program is scheduled as follows:

March 17th

March 31st

April 14th

April 28th

May 12th

Currently it is set as a half-day program to begin at 10:00 AM and end at 2:00 PM.

To submit an application to participate or to get more information please contact:  Deb Thomas at Bloomsburg University by calling 570-389-5162.

This program qualifies for WEDnetPA grant funding (for eligible businesses). For additional information please contact: Jennifer Williams at Bloomsburg University by calling 570-389-4004.

More Details

 

Columbia Montour Chamber

bloomsburg university


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problem fixers

Problem Fixers Are Proud Contributors, 10 Questions

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Are you in the group of problem fixers? Problem fixers are important but are they stuck in the mode of tactical assault or productive for the team?

Many workplace employees take great pride in being a problem solver. In fact, they may boast that they spend their day fighting the metaphorical fires.

Problem solving is a good and important skill but is it the answer for strategic momentum?

Unlikely.

Problem Fixers

I still remember the CEO of a group I was working with several years saying in a brainstorming session that, “We’re too big to fail. We have too much history and too much momentum to ever worry about that.” (Yes, he was serious and, yes, this did actually happen.)

Things changed for that organization on a dime about 18 months later. I’ll spare the details but it got really messy fast.

That same group took great pride in the concept that they were expert problem solvers and often spent their days tackling whatever problem popped up at the moment.

They were problem fixers.

Strategic Questions to Ask

Absolutely, problem solving skills are something that every person, especially leadership team members, need. However, when you don’t really have a strategy and you’re only executing tactically, you probably are headed for some problems you didn’t expect to find yourself trying to solve.

The questions you need to ask are the ones that are often hard to answer.

Teams should consider questions like:

  1. How long has this problem existed?
  2. Are we trying to fix the problem at the root?
  3. Are there similar problems popping up and we aren’t even aware?
  4. What is this problem costing us?
  5. Are these problems hurting our brand, image, and customers?
  6. What are we overlooking?
  7. Is this problem unique to our organization?
  8. What is this problem costing in productivity and efficiency loss?
  9. What is the specific challenge about this problem?
  10. Is the problem causing other problems?

Perhaps the best way to solve problems is to incorporate strategy so that the problem is eliminated and will not happen again. Drama filled problems or problems not solved at the root create an endless cycle of firefighting.

Be proud that you can solve problems but execute strategy every day. Firefighting is a tactical approach that should be used in emergencies.

If your day is filled with emergencies you probably aren’t being strategic.

-DEG

Small non-profits to large for-profits, do you want to think differently about strategy? Contact me to start a discussion.

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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next leader

Next Leader, Is Succession Vital For You?

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Are you the heir apparent for a business venture? Have you endured the ups and downs, the in’s and out’s, and have many years of service? Jumping in as the next leader may require more than just being in line.

Many small business owners and entrepreneurs will quickly consider the high failure rate of passing the baton the next person waiting in line. Conducting business, driving culture, and ensuring future success are never just a matter of filling the slot.

Succession Matters

There are at least two high-level conditions for succession.

The first is, can the new leader maintain the flow and culture when assuming the same role as the current or recent past leader?

How will the new leader fit?

This question is the most commonly considered. The assumption is that life needs to continue on as it is currently. Another assumption is that it is a necessity that the disruption is minimal.

The second condition is to consider what changes will be required or should be investigated since the new leader will certainly have some varying strengths and weaknesses? Often the strategy is to play down any differences while quietly and albeit slowly integrating change.

Neither of those approaches are wrong or completely off base. Yet, are they the most productive integration of the passing of the baton?

Next Leader

Succession planning and management for all organizational positions should have connections to the current, or the most recent past leadership competencies (assuming they’ve been successful) and at the same time they should be considerate of the fluidity required for change.

For the next leader, the ability to navigate the transition intrinsically matters, and the ability to navigate it interpersonally for organizational dynamics may matter even more.

The requirements for seamless succession are often underestimated. Being the heir apparent may be a frame that is far too narrow. Skillful navigation and fluidity may matter the most.

-DEG

Do you need help with succession planning and management? Contact me, I would be happy to start a dialog.

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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Organizational purpose

Organizational Purpose is a Planned Path

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Organizational purpose is the single most important aspect of getting to where you want to go. It is an expectation of leadership. Does everyone know your plan?

Create buy-in for the change.

Get everybody on-board.

Rally the troops.

One way to struggle is by not making the path clear. Another way is to state what you want as the end result, only the end result doesn’t connect with any specific mission.

Workplace leaders are sometimes baffled by the lack of understanding among employee teams.

Plan the Journey

When you board a plane headed to Dallas, Texas, you expect to touch down in Dallas, Texas. Where the plane is headed is announced in advance, your ticket matches, and you are usually briefed from the cockpit or steward.

It makes sense. You arrive in Dallas.

A different way is to decide you want to go to Dallas, only there isn’t a clear plan or path. You recognize you’re going to get on a plane, yet there is no specific way you’ll get there. You may decide to swing by Nashville, Las Vegas, Orlando, or Chicago.

Cost of this undefined trip isn’t known or understood. Timing is flexible or undetermined. You need to end up in Dallas, and you’ll get there but no one is sure of when.

When the purpose or the end result is unclear or when the objectives are not connected to the measurement of time anything can happen. It often does, or perhaps, a surprising outcome, nothing happens.

When you pick a movie from Netflix, you’re usually aware of the genre and the approximate length. Sign up for the workshop and you know the date, time, and location. You’ll also have an idea of the topic and length. Even your navigation system in your car sets some expectations.

Organizational Purpose

When your organizational purpose is more like a slogan don’t expect momentum to carry you through the tough spots.

Make lots of money.

Please every customer.

Just do it.

Slogan’s are important and are typically flexible by design. They are not a mission or a road map. They are more all encompassing rather than specific. A catch-all.

Don’t count on your organizational purpose being defined by a slogan.

Worse, who knows when or if you’ll ever achieve it.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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cultural deception

Cultural Deception and Why You Still Have a Chance

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We often try to find a place to put the blame. It’s the economy, it is low unemployment numbers, or it is the younger generations. Cultural deception is problematic and it may be part of your struggle.

It is easy to agree with or make assumptions that are consistent with what we wish is the truth. The danger of false perception and self-deception are problematic. In some cases, the more experienced we get the more these issues raise their head.

Here is a newsflash. In a strong economy with low unemployment numbers the best employees are going with the best employers.

Cultural Deception

Does a strong economy with low unemployment numbers impact businesses and organizations? Yes, of course, yet consider that the people are working somewhere. Why aren’t they working with you?

Many people then shift the conversation to pay, benefits, and flexible work schedules. Again, these situations are a reality, and how does your organization measure up?

Have you ever have discussed the aspect of, “paycheck only” employees? Those people who only come to work for their paycheck?

Certainly, money matters and it is important, but if your employees seem to be in this category you have a problem.

There is a simple truth. When employees don’t feel that the organization cares about them, they in turn don’t care about the organization.

Why You Have a Chance

Your opportunity is to see culture through a different lens. Gain understanding and wisdom about the psychology of work. Manage to the metric that employees are an asset, not an expense.

When you hire a person to do the work of a robot and expect that you can coerce the employee to commit to the organization you are likely wrong.

If you hire an employee to pack the box with widgets for eight hours a day and go home only to come back tomorrow and do it all over again, you hired a robot. Hire that same employee and invite them to help you find a better way, and you just hired an engineer.

Which culture will create more loyalty?

You have a chance. The question is, “Will you take it?”

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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exciting culture

Exciting Culture and What Makes It a Good Time

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Do you have an exciting culture? Do people show up for work, the conference call, or the staff meeting pumped up and ready to go?

There is always the, “One in every crowd.”

One who brings in the motivation, enthusiasm and passion.

There may also be the one who drags their butt around like they walked 100 miles to get there.

The desirable, of course, is the engaging passion for what is about to happen next. How is that created?

Always Up to You

When you attend the meeting, the workshop, or the convention, what makes the difference? Does the power of one change the atmosphere and outcomes?

Like many things in life, it seems that you only get out of it what you put into it.

It is true for learning. If you don’t read, study, and experience something deeper you probably aren’t going to pick up much.

It is true for the artist, the researcher, and the chef, the effort you apply will have a direct correlation to what spins out of it.

Does your contribution affect culture?

Exciting Culture

Think about this when you attend the next event that involves other people. How you show up will have a lot to do with what others will experience. Your enthusiasm, like attitude, is contagious.

The culture then, which by the way is a long-run game, depends on how the vibes are spread. Are you springing into action or dragging around like you just walked 100 miles?

You always have an opportunity to make a difference.

The question then becomes, “Will you?”

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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culture decisions

Culture Decisions Determine the Future of Fit

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There is little room for doubt that your organizational culture determines what happens next. Culture decisions drive what will become the future.

Culture is part of the long-run game. Or it could be the impact of numerous short-run games that build a long-run game picture.

One thing is certain, workplace dynamics vary a great deal from the manufacturing business in the industrial park, to the non-profit association across town, or to the new healthcare facility on the west side.

While many people and organizations believe that their culture is the best or perhaps the most appropriate, social trends will have something to do with the cultures that are most successful.

Different Cultures

One business believes that being a little gruff, leading with an authoritarian approach, and strong disciplinary actions for anyone coloring outside the lines is the secret formula for culture. It is a throwback to, “My way or the highway.”

Another business believes in open floor plans, building a community of employees, and being considerate of employees needs while maintaining accountability and of course profitability of the operation.

It may seem hard to find where these lines cross. If they even do, or if they even should.

Leading in our modern times has challenges, that is nothing new. The diversity aspect of navigating leadership roles continues to challenge the best cultures.

Leadership makes culture decisions. Known or unknown, it is happening around you.

Culture Decisions

The decision you’ll make today about accountability, responsibility, and a respectful (or not) workplace will shape tomorrow. Revenues, profit, and customer relationships are inclusive.

There is an old saying, “People may not remember what you said but they’ll always remember how you made them feel.”

This is true about your culture. People are human, not a machine. Societal trends will determine many of the feelings surrounding your business culture.

In a low-unemployment economy people are going to work at the best places.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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desirable learning

Desirable Learning and Workplace Impact

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Desirable learning is different from learning that is forced. Most workplace skills come from learning which results in competence. Is that competence attractive and desirable?

A good friend telephoned me yesterday. He often phones with philosophical questions. He is a hobbyist researcher, always seeking the facts (or a population to survey) to determine probable outcomes, answers, or solutions.

Yesterday his question was about motivation. He was trying to consider all angles of motivation and especially how it helps determine career paths. His work is always interesting to me.

Workplace Impact and Careers

When it comes to workplace learning, organization development, and career paths it often boils down to motivation. Motivation to learn a new skill, up your game, and do better work. Arguably some of that motivation may be based on desire.

Can you learn to be a salesperson, an accountant, or a graphic designer?

Can you learn to be a computer network technician? What about being a Python coder?

Do people learn how to be a good manager, vice-president, or CEO?

Is learning based on desire to perform the work?

People often discuss talent. You may hear someone suggest that the painter, musician, or actress is very talented. Did those skills come naturally or did they practice their craft over and over again until they honed their skills above the average?

If they developed that talent, what compelled them to devote so much energy to that development?

Desirable Learning

In your workplace or connected to your career is opportunity. Sure, there may be some lucky opportunities here and there, yet you have to appropriately manage your luck.

The best way to manage any opportunity is to be prepared. You develop the skills and competency to be both proactive and reactive to your environment through learning.

Do you believe you could learn to paint on canvas? Can you learn to become a Python coder? What about being a chef, a welder, or an FBI agent? Can you learn these things?

The question is, “Do you want to do it?”

We often limit ourselves, or not, based on our own desires. Desire may be driven by self-efficacy, feedback, or personal interests.

It is probably safe to say that most people can learn nearly anything.

Do they find the opportunity desirable?

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace observations

Workplace Observations And Poor Behavior

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What does your culture illustrate? Is there a focus on poor behavior, attitudes, or role models? Workplace observations often drive human behavior and group focus.

What is going on?

It is a popular question. Depending on the tone and circumstances it can mean a polite greeting, an excited motivational gesture, or it could mean someone is angry or disappointed.

What is the focal point of what happens in your workplace?

Poor Behavior Recognized

Are people waiting for someone to get summonsed to the boss’s office or the human resources department?

Could it be that someone is watching for one employee to give another employee a piece of their mind? Is someone looking to see who arrives to work late and then draws attention to the circumstance?

What happens in your workplace next is largely determined by what the culture decides to focus on.

Workplace Observations

When the focus is not about high performance and metric driven outcomes, people tend to watch for the drama.

Poor performance, bad attitudes, and operating outside of the management described boundaries attracts attention. One problem is that it also takes away from the desired focus.

Perhaps it is more important to focus on good behaviors. Send attention to the things are happening correctly, the behavior that should be replicated, and the role models who are leading with this spirit.

While culture may be inclusive of the rules of the game, the true culture will largely depend on the focal points of the group.

Knowing a good habit and practicing it are two different things.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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Workplace Energy, What Are You Bringing?

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We have choices about everything. What are you bringing to work today? Are you bringing workplace energy or merely just trying to lay low and get through the day?

Many organization leaders blame the individuals. They believe motivation is intrinsic, you either have it, or you don’t. When it comes to workplace energy, they just leave it up to the employees to decide.

Energy of Culture

It may be true that at some level our motivation is intrinsic and it may also be true that each individual has responsibility for what they’ll bring. Does organization leadership have a bigger role?

Chances are good that leadership does play a role. Leaders drive culture. Culture has a direct impact on the performance, attitudes, and even the environment that employees walk into each day.

What do you do?

Workplace Energy

Are you bringing more to your workplace? Are you striving hard, working smart, and staying engaged?

Do you seek to create a bigger impact, be responsible and accountable, and help to stimulate a positive climate?

Some people will try to lay low. Stay out of other more assertive workers way, and watch the clock.

Others will insist that their performance and contribution is industrialized and systematic.

They have set the expectation, lubed the wheels and gears, and have made sure things are efficient. As a result, they can merely arrive and monitor. Anything outside of the established parameters and they’ll take action. Otherwise, it is just roll along and collect the paycheck.

It is a decision you make.

Workplace energy is contagious. Low energy and low output is as contagious as the opposite.

High energy contribution takes more guts. Be the role model you know you should be.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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