Guidance on leadership development & strategic planning.

From crisis to opportunity: investing in your people in uncertain times

By Leadership Resources 05/24/2023
From Crisis to Opportunity, Investing in Your People in Uncertain Times, Leadership Resources

During times of economic uncertainty, businesses often face the challenge of maintaining profitability while managing costs. In such situations, many companies focus on reducing expenses and limiting investments, including employee training and development. However, research has shown that investing in leadership development during economic uncertainty can have significant long-term benefits for the organization. This blog discusses the reasons why times of economic uncertainty offer a great opportunity to invest in developing your employee’s leadership skills.

The importance of leadership development

Effective leadership is crucial to the success of any organization, regardless of its size or industry. Leaders provide direction, inspire employees, and drive innovation and growth. In today’s fast-paced business environment, leaders need to be adaptable and able to respond to changing market conditions quickly. Therefore, investing in leadership development can help organizations build a strong foundation to help catapult their future growth.

Leadership development programs can help employees develop the skills and knowledge needed to become effective leaders. These programs typically include curriculum, peer groups, coaching, and mentoring. Through these programs, employees can learn how to communicate effectively, better manage their time, increase accountability, make sound decisions, manage teams, and develop strategic plans. As employees develop these skills, they become better equipped to lead their teams and help the organization achieve its goals.

the benefits of investing in leadership development during economic uncertainty

During times of economic uncertainty, businesses often face a variety of challenges, including reduced revenue, increased competition, and limited resources. However, investing in leadership development during these times can have several benefits for organizations.

1. Improved Employee Morale and Retention

Investing in leadership development sends a strong message to employees that the organization values their growth and development. When employees feel supported and invested in, they are more likely to feel engaged and motivated at work. This can lead to improved morale, increased productivity, and lower turnover rates.

2. Increased Innovation and Creativity

Effective leaders are often the catalyst for innovation and creativity within an organization. By investing in leadership development, businesses can cultivate a culture of innovation and creativity. Leaders who are well-trained in critical thinking and problem-solving can encourage employees to think outside the box and develop new solutions to business challenges.

3. Better Decision Making

Effective leaders are skilled at making sound decisions based on data and analysis. By investing in leadership development, organizations can help their leaders develop these critical decision-making skills. This can lead to better business outcomes, as leaders are better equipped to make informed decisions that support the organization’s goals.

4. Improved Adaptability and Resilience

Leaders who are adaptable and resilient are better equipped to respond to change and uncertainty. By investing in leadership development, organizations can help their leaders develop these critical skills. This can help businesses navigate economic uncertainty more effectively and remain competitive in the marketplace.

5. Increased Customer Satisfaction

Leaders who are well-trained in customer service can help businesses improve customer satisfaction. By investing in leadership development, organizations can help their leaders develop the skills needed to provide excellent customer service. This can lead to increased customer loyalty, repeat business, and positive word-of-mouth advertising.

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Strategies for investing in leadership development during economic uncertainty

Investing in leadership development during economic uncertainty requires careful planning and consideration. Here are some strategies that businesses can use to invest in leadership development during these times:

1. Focus on Leadership Essentials

During times of economic uncertainty, businesses may not have the resources to invest in extensive leadership development programs. Therefore, it is essential to focus on the essentials. Businesses should identify the key skills and knowledge that their leaders need to be effective and invest in programs that focus on those areas.

2. Use Technology to Deliver Training

For internal training, technology can be a cost-effective way to deliver leadership training during economic uncertainty. Online training programs and webinars can provide employees with the knowledge and skills they need to develop their skills. These technologies also offer a more flexible and judgment-free environment, allowing employees to complete training at their own pace and on their own schedule.

3. Partner with Experts

Partnering with experts in leadership development can provide businesses with access to the latest research and best practices. These experts can provide state-of-the-art systems and proven curriculum while offering facilitated peer groups access to ideas from other companies. Programs also often include specific, targeted, one-on-one leadership coaching for your team. These partners are able to help businesses tailor their leadership development initiatives to meet their specific needs.

At Leadership Resources, we specialize in transforming promising achievers into high-performing leaders through our comprehensive leadership development programs. Our tailored plans empower individuals to reach their full leadership potential, driving organizational success. We are a dedicated partner that is always ready to support you with your people strategy.

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4. Create a Culture of Continuous Learning

No matter what, you must understand that investing in leadership development is not a one-time event but an ongoing process. To create a culture of continuous learning, businesses should encourage employees to take ownership of their professional development. Leaders should be encouraged to seek out new learning opportunities and to share their knowledge and skills with their teams.

5. Measure the Impact

Measuring the impact of leadership development programs is essential to ensuring their effectiveness. Businesses should establish clear metrics for success and regularly evaluate the results of their training programs. This will help businesses identify areas for improvement and ensure that their investment in leadership development is delivering the expected returns.

Invest in your people for sustainable success

Investing in leadership development during times of economic uncertainty can have significant long-term benefits for organizations. By providing employees with the skills and knowledge needed to become effective leaders, businesses can improve employee morale, increase innovation and creativity, and better respond to changing market conditions. To achieve these benefits, businesses must carefully plan their leadership development initiatives and focus on the essential skills and knowledge needed for success. With a strategic approach, businesses can invest in their employees’ leadership development, even during times of economic uncertainty, and build a strong foundation for future growth and success.

Are you ready to invest in your people and navigate uncertain times with strong leadership? Contact us today to explore how our leadership development programs can drive your organization’s success. Let’s embark on a transformative journey together, investing in your people for a resilient future!

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4 Leadership Assessment Tools You Should Try

By Leadership Resources 02/27/2023
Group of individuals in office gathered around a table looking at papers

Do you have what it takes to be an outstanding leader? To answer this question, you’ll need an effective leadership assessment tool.

What are Leadership Assessment Tools?

Some of the best tools you can use to assess a person’s leadership abilities are personality tests. Others may be more of a comprehensive program. There are hundreds of these tools available across the world, so it’s challenging to choose the best way to assess core competencies including leadership style, skills, and potential. Below are 4 well-known leadership assessment tools you can try.

Top Leadership Assessment Tools

  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicators
  • Enneagram Personality Test
  • Gallup CliftonStrengths Assessment
  • Harvard Business School Approach

Myers-Briggs Type Indicators

The Myers-Briggs test is one of the oldest and best-known personality tests in the world and is also often used as a leadership assessment tool. The Myers and Briggs company claims that 88% of Fortune 500 companies in more than 100 countries use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicators (MBTI) in some fashion.

Myers-Briggs test results are often used to help people understand their personalities and communication styles. In business settings, MBTI results can help companies illuminate challenging aspects of their company cultures and determine where they might have barriers to employee engagement.

Before using this test, consider that it comes with caveats. The Myers and Briggs Foundation itself outright advises against the use of the MBTI as a screening tool for potential employee hiring assessments. They also recommend very limited use of the tool for certain business activities, like conducting employee performance reviews. 

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Enneagram Personality Test

The Enneagram test is a tool that explores interpersonal understanding within the framework of nine interconnected personality types. The tool is based on the combined teachings of spiritual advisor Oscar Ichazo and psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo, who gained popularity in the 1950s and 1970s respectively. 

Ideally, discovering one’s Enneagram provides an opportunity for deep personal reflection. Business teams can use Enneagrams to identify areas of potential conflict and overcome them before they become obstacles to company success. Managers can use Enneagram results to understand the human side of doing business and support their team members more effectively. 

However, the Enneagram has vocal critics among experts in the field of human psychology, with some skeptics labeling it “pseudoscience.” An article in the Journal of Clinical Psychology about the Enneagram’s scientific validity found mixed results in terms of its real-world effectiveness, so it’s uncertain whether it can provide your company with valid leadership assessments.

Gallup Clifton Strengths Assessment

Gallup, the widely respected research company, offers an online leadership strengths assessment tool. Also known as CliftonStrengths, this tool assesses how successfully someone is working to reach the level of their full potential and provides guidelines for better strength development.

The Gallup tool’s main benefits are that it’s affordable, it provides an easy online leadership assessment form, and it comes with the well-known name of Gallup. On the flip side, this is not a comprehensive solution for personal/professional leadership development. It simply provides a broad look at the types of strengths most people need for good leadership.

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Harvard Business School Approach

Harvard uses an array of high-potential leadership assessment tools developed at the Harvard Business School (HBS). This is considered one of the world’s premier options for assessing whether someone has what it takes to succeed at the most elite levels of business.

The success of the HBS approach is acknowledged across the globe. Famous HBS alumni include former President George W. Bush, billionaire Robert Kraft, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Senator Mitt Romney, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The Harvard assessment tool comes with two noteworthy drawbacks. To gain access to it, you must first apply to Harvard, provide proper credentials, and be accepted into the highly competitive HBS leadership program. The program also comes with a hefty price tag of $54,000 per enrolled student per module.

Leadership Resources Accelerate Leadership Program

It is important to remember that leadership skills are not inborn; they are developed. Leadership assessment tools provide an understanding of an individual’s personality and current leadership competencies, and this information can be used to create a customized leadership development program for that individual. 

The Accelerate Leadership Program (ALP) from Leadership Resources is this type of robust and personalized leadership development approach. It’s much more than just a tool for leadership assessment because it provides a fully customizable leadership program with instruction, coaching, a resource library, and hands-on skill-building activities.

ALP sets the stage for authentic leadership development by helping people build the growth mindset it takes to inspire others and accomplish big things through teamwork. Each individual experiences a personalized program, discovering where they have room for improvement and learning how to put their new and effective leadership strategies into action. 

Great leadership is about more than conducting leadership assessments. It’s about nurturing emerging leaders so they have the confidence to make bold strides in their leadership journeys and reach the highest levels of success.

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10+ Employee Burnout Signs

By Leadership Resources 02/20/2023
Wooden people characters in which one has fallen down and broken

Are your employees burning out? The American Psychological Association is reporting record highs in employee burnout signs across all professions.

To acknowledge the global impact, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently upgraded its definition of burnout from a phenomenon to a syndrome. WHO’s International Disease Classification (ICD-11) now ranks burnout among health syndromes with profoundly negative emotional and physiological consequences.

Now’s the right time to look within the ranks of your company and spot employee burnout signs. Your colleagues may need urgent intervention to address burnout before it harms their mental or physical health—not to mention the health of your organization.

What is Employee Burnout?

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) defines employee burnout as “unhealthy mental, physical, and emotional states where stress and anxiety rule.” Burned-out employees often appear unmotivated, apathetic, irritable, panicky, and overwhelmingly negative about their roles and employers.

One of the most unsettling aspects of employee burnout is that people often recognize it in others before recognizing it within themselves. Feelings of burnout often simmer for long periods, and as SHRM reports, “it’s not always easy to recognize when burnout is happening to you.”

This leads to the development of poor leadership habits and productivity inhibitors which become ingrained over time. Someone who’s starting to burn out might forget to do essential tasks or refuse to accomplish them as thoroughly as they used to. They might even push work onto other employees who, in turn, begin to burn out too.

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A fully burned-out employee has no desire to grow or progress further with the company. They may even begin to experience personal struggles with clinical depression, anxiety, panic attacks, chest pains, and other serious health conditions requiring immediate attention.

What Are the Top Employee Burnout Signs?

The signs of employee burnout vary among people and organizations, so leaders should check in with employees to see if burnout is an issue. Some people have difficulty accepting burnout until someone has a heart-to-heart with them.

Keep in mind that burnout looks different in various people, so there’s no single “typical” way of displaying the signs of burnout. Leaders should keep an eye out for any of the signs listed below and consider ways they might more fully support struggling employees.

Top Employee Burnout Signs:

  • Elevated stress levels and constant talk about stress
  • Hostility and irritability
  • Low-quality work, missed deadlines, and incomplete tasks
  • Cynicism toward coworkers and clients
  • A sense of detachment from the company
  • Sleep disturbances that lead to daytime fatigue
  • Panic attacks or chest pains that seem related to work
  • Avoidance of supervisors and new assignments
  • Low engagement or quiet quitting
  • Outright threatening to quit or start interviewing elsewhere

Burnout can manifest differently for people with certain health conditions and challenges. Someone with a history of heart disease, for example, may be at a higher risk of a heart attack due to severe workplace stress. Even mild signs of burnout could quickly escalate to a life-threatening outcome for someone in this situation.

A study by the National Institutes of Health found the following long-term occupational outcomes for people experiencing workplace burnout: Overall job/career dissatisfaction, workplace absenteeism, new disability pension, and a need for preventive interventions.

How to Spot Burnout in Employees

Ask someone what makes them feel burned out, and they’ll probably have plenty to say. Forbes reports that the top causes of burnout among millions of U.S. employees are experiencing persistent poor communication, feeling overworked/underappreciated, having unclear expectations, and working for bosses who leave them feeling unsupported or micromanaged.

“Working in a toxic environment” is among Forbes’ top burnout factors, which includes issues like company cultural clashes and hostile work environments. Many burned-out employees also said a contributing factor was “feeling the need to be constantly connected to work.” Even the most engaged and enthusiastic worker needs downtime to prevent burnout.

The Mayo Clinic lists additional factors with strong connections between workplace burnout and negative health consequences. These include working excessively long hours, feeling an uneven work-life balance, working in a helping profession like the medical field, feeling a lack of social support, and working somewhere with “dysfunctional workplace dynamics.”

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One of the best things an organization can do to avoid worker burnout is to provide support and education for employees’ job skills, workplace confidence, and positive mindsets. This includes supporting your organization’s team leaders, who often need extra leadership development resources to rely on during tough times.

Consider adding resources like:

  • Free or low-cost mental health counseling
  • Optional social events to help coworkers feel connected
  • Built-in moments of downtime as part of the company culture
  • Timely reviews with opportunity for two-way feedback
  • Skill-building and leadership development opportunities
  • Personalized coaching to help people feel supported and encouraged

Experts say the best employee development approaches are customized, robust programs with mentors on hand to provide individual attention. Avoid burnout and help your employees feel successful by providing ongoing support rather than just a one-time seminar.

To learn more about your options for developing employee resources and preventing burnout, please download Leadership Resources’ whitepaper about emotional intelligence.

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What is An Ideal Leader in Business?

By Leadership Resources 02/13/2023
Woman standing with arms crossed with group of businesspeople sitting in background.

What would an ideal leader be like for your business? Every company wants to have the best possible leaders to motivate its workers and accomplish its business goals. Although every organization has unique needs and values, ideal leadership usually involves a core set of characteristics, abilities, and skills.

This article looks at the characteristics of leadership in business management, including the traits and talents a leader needs to rise to the top. We’ll also share an important leadership resource any company can use to improve the quality of its organization’s leadership.

What Is an Ideal Leader?

In the workplace, an ideal leader inspires people to be as productive as possible. They have good leadership habits and tend to spread these good habits to others and motivate teams of people to be efficient, positive, and goal-oriented.

What specific style of leadership is best? The answer depends on the organization’s industry, business stage, and company culture. A brand new tech startup may need a different type of leadership than a decades-old consulting company.

For example, one study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that transformational leadership was the most important leadership style for communication and technology organizations. Transformational leadership is an innovation-focused form of leadership that encourages people to strive beyond their immediate self-interest and accomplish greater things.

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Participative/collaborative leadership styles are commonly required in growing companies, charitable organizations, and those that require strong interpersonal cooperation. Healthcare companies often benefit from having participative leaders due to the service-oriented nature of the medical field. The NIH found that during the COVID-19 pandemic, companies with participative leadership styles were better equipped to cope with the crisis successfully than those with other styles, like authoritative and transactional styles.

Transactional leadership is often less than ideal. It views the employee-manager relationship as something transactional or limited in scope. Similarly, authoritative leadership takes a top-down approach where superiors issue directives to subordinates with little power to influence the process. These two leadership methods are generally viewed as less effective because they don’t solicit productive feedback.

Now that we’ve covered ideal leadership styles, let’s move on to the specific characteristics and abilities of ideal leaders. Below, we’ll explain some of the most valuable and in-demand leadership characteristics among business managers today.

Characteristics of Leadership in Business Management

Certain qualities are highly correlated with leadership success. A study of 300,000 business leaders found 10 leadership qualities to be most common among leaders at the top of their fields.

  1. Inspiration/motivation: An ideal leader inspires and motivates others to make a difference in the world.
  1. Integrity/honesty: These leaders always approach situations forthrightly and follow a personal ethical code.
  1. Problem-solving analysis: They rely on their analytical skills to solve problems and assess situations objectively.
  1. Results-driven work ethic: Rather than just letting the world go by, they act decisively and proactively to get results.
  1. Prolific communication: These are some of the world’s most enthusiastic and influential communicators.
  1. Relationship building: They take time to build and preserve valuable relationships personally and professionally.
  1. Technical/professional expertise: They’re leaders in part because of their outstanding professional experience and expertise.
  1. Strategic thinking: Their default mode of thinking is strategic and creative, looking for paths to success.
  1. Personal development: Lifelong learning is important to them, and they maintain a strong focus on growth.
  1. Innovation: They place a priority on thinking innovatively and finding new ways to be successful.

The last point about innovation is particularly relevant in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. A global health crisis leaves workers fearful of innovation and change and in dire need of effective leadership. A new GE global innovation barometer study found that 88% of business leaders say innovation is more important now than ever.

Inspiring and Supporting Ideal Leadership

Where are all the great leaders located? They’re probably all around you, waiting for the right types of nurturing and support. Emerging leadership qualities can be nourished into full-fledged leadership acumen.

At Leadership Resources, we’ve found that people with high leadership potential often display high emotional intelligence. This means they’re good at identifying the root causes of interpersonal conflicts and are eager to overcome their own limitations to find greater success.

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Great leaders also have the ability to build buy-in and use this as an effective strategy for business leadership building. Even if they don’t have a formal leadership role in the organization, they share their insights and spark motivation in other people.

Additionally, leaders know how to care for others as well as take care of themselves. They practice positive self-care habits that keep them in the right state of mind for accomplishing new things. This is also known as having a growth mindset.

An important point to take away here is that leadership isn’t necessarily natural or inborn, although some people are more naturally charismatic than others. Leadership is a cultivated trait that can be learned and honed with effective leadership development education.

To learn more about building the skills for ideal leadership, connect with Leadership Resources. Our programs focus on empowering emerging leaders with the knowledge and skills it takes to motivate successful teams and organizations.

Download our coaching services brochure for more information.

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Best Cities for Jobs (2023)

By Leadership Resources 02/06/2023
Thumbtack pinpointing a city on a map; city is indistinct.

Wondering where are the best cities for jobs in the U.S.? The answer may surprise you. Across the United States, certain cities stand out for their highly favorable work climates.

Below are employment highlights from these cities plus insights about what makes them so attractive, yet challenging. We’ll also look at how leadership development plays a vital role in helping employees and organizations thrive.


Chicago is widely recognized as one of America’s top generators of commerce and innovation. The city has an entrepreneurial spirit and takes pride in serving as a hub for upstart companies. 

In a typical year, 10 to 20 newly founded businesses are both based in Chicago and make the list of Inc. 5000 fastest-growing companies. These fast-paced businesses need constant influxes of new employees, training, and retention strategies. 

Attracting top talent in a large and competitive city like Chicago is an enormous challenge. Executive mentoring and talent development programs are popular across Chicago as numerous employers compete to keep their elite talent fully engaged. In this environment, providing the right leadership development program makes all the difference.


The Dallas-Fort Worth metro region is a major U.S. economic center. Dallas is the nation’s third-largest metro area and third-largest financial services hub, factors which frequently land it on lists of the best cities for finding a new job.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dallas remained one of the nation’s highest-paying cities despite the overall economic slowdown. The Dallas Chamber of Commerce published post-COVID economic data showing job growth rose and unemployment fell in Dallas, bucking a nationwide trend.

With all this in mind, it’s easy to see why the task of training and retaining top talent is an immense challenge in Dallas. Job competition is intense and every company wants to prevent turnover and keep top performers. Any employer that fails to offer outstanding employee development programs is at risk of falling off the list of preferred Dallas employers.

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In the past decade, Denver shot to the top of the lineup in the nation’s tech and startup hiring. It’s a global fintech hub and attracts digital-minded thinkers from all over the world to come join the Denver culture of innovation. 

At any given time, there are usually 5 to 10 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the Denver region. To compete with these big dogs, smaller tech startups vie for employees by offering high starting salaries.

You won’t be surprised to hear that Denver companies have high turnover with ongoing struggles to retain top talent. Colorado is constantly in the news for having the nation’s highest rates of job turnovers, layoffs, job openings, and new hiring. It’s a vibrant but volatile market where professional training and mentoring programs can help companies stand out from their competition.


Nashville might be famous for country music, but it has plenty of big-city economic success. It was one of the fastest-growing city economies throughout the 2000s and is frequently featured on Forbes’ annual lists of America’s Best Employers and Best Places for Business and Careers.

Nashville was recently named one of the nation’s Top 10 Places to Live After the Pandemic due to its economic stability and vitality during the COVID-19 crisis. Its unemployment rate has dropped every year for a decade.

If you live and work in Nashville, you’ll discover a spirited city with plenty of terrific employment options. Still, employees and employers alike face challenges like landing the right job and retaining the right people. Employee turnover is high in Nashville and can be a chronic problem for employers that don’t offer proper workforce development and educational options that keep people fully engaged.


Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska are two powerhouses of commerce and economic development in the Midwestern U.S. Unlike some of the other cities on this list, Omaha has a low cost of living and low housing costs, allowing the average worker’s earnings to provide a higher standard of living than in cities like Chicago and New York.

Major Nebraska cities, including Omaha and Lincoln, have gotten so much attention from newly founded employers that the hiring competition is becoming more intense than ever. Attracting elite young workers from other more expensive cities is a top priority for many employers in this region.

This shows the importance of Nebraska employers offering robust leadership development programs that keep people sticking around for the long haul. With so many other employment options in Nebraska and beyond, an employer that doesn’t invest in its hiring and retention strategies will find itself struggling to keep top talent.

San Francisco

San Francisco is the birthplace of the modern tech industry and hosts the headquarters of more than 30 Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies. Tens of thousands of tech employees filter in and out of these companies every year looking for new job opportunities.

In San Francisco, employee training and workforce retention have been hot topics in recent years as numerous high-profile tech companies have conducted waves of massive layoffs, often followed by fresh bouts of hiring. Although the San Francisco market is sometimes viewed as a bad bet for job security, it’s also home to almost boundless employment opportunities for elite tech workers. 

Bay Area companies build their reputations by providing leadership development opportunities for eager young employees who are just getting started with their careers. Executive mentoring and employee retention programs help set companies apart from the rest in terms of offering benefits for up-and-coming leaders.

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Seattle is known as the Emerald City, and this jewel of the Pacific Northwest has a longstanding reputation as a global tech center. Major enterprises like Microsoft, Amazon, Twitter, Uber, Airbnb, and Starbucks call the Seattle area home and employ millions of people who work for these companies locally and remotely.

Employee training and retention have been major challenges for decades among Seattle’s top employers. This issue has compounded recently as economists forecast a global financial crisis that could hit tech-focused cities like Seattle the hardest. 

In this competitive and volatile environment, proper employee development programs are vital to continued business success. Seattle employees need leadership skills, emotional intelligence development, and other business education that keeps them engaged with their employers and confident about their future working for a Seattle-based business.

Across the Country, Turn to Leadership Resources

Do you work in one of these outstanding cities for elite employment? The country’s best companies deserve the best leadership development solutions.

At Leadership Resources, we provide leadership development opportunities for employees across the country in the best cities for jobs in the U.S. like all of those listed above. We help organizations provide the leadership support professionals need to maintain their focus and accomplish big things. 

Our Accelerate Leadership Program helps companies build strong leadership development programs and nurture emerging leaders to build the confidence they need to stay loyal and productive. To learn more, download our brochure.

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Has Business Growth Stalled in Your Organization?

By Leadership Resources 01/30/2023
An arrow shaped small tree in a pot indicating growth

When business growth slows to a halt, something is wrong. Slowed growth is one of the biggest red flags that your company needs fresh, growth-focused strategies. But do you know how to make a business growth plan? In this article we’ll cover how to identify why your organization’s business growth stalled and what you can do to revive your business.

First, consider overall economic factors that can contribute to decelerating growth. Right now, the world’s three largest economies—the U.S., China, and Europe—are experiencing a major economic stall. The World Bank is predicting a period of growth loss and stagflation that could last into 2024 and beyond.

The full impact of this global slowdown is hard to avoid completely, but your company can blunt the impact. A strong, growth-focused business strategy helps your business function in the face of challenging outside factors. With the right leadership team and growth plan, it’s possible to future-proof your business and stay successful no matter what comes.

Do You Know Why Business Growth Stalled?

Clues to stalled growth are all around you. In some sectors, it’s obvious that business is slowing because the cash inflows are simply smaller than the outflows. When you tally up the weekly and monthly numbers, it’s not adding up to growth.

In other industries, it’s more difficult to understand what’s going on. Perhaps you don’t run a cash-based company. Maybe your leadership team isn’t well-trained on business basics or is heavily dependent on abstract factors like long-term relationship-building.

Broadly speaking, the key indicators of imminent slowing or stalled business growth are:

  • Reduced revenue
  • Lower profitability
  • Poor lead generation
  • Low deal close ratio
  • Dwindling foot traffic and/or web traffic

Your leadership team may also be seeing worrying trends like a slowing revenue cycle, difficulty hiring new people, high employee turnover, poor online reviews, and bad customer/employee satisfaction ratings. These are symptoms of deeper problems, so resolving them requires some digging and introspection.

Why does business stall? When the Harvard Business Review (HBR) looked at the causes of “stall points” in more than 400 of the world’s most famous companies over several decades, the top causes included:

  • Changing customer tastes
  • Lack of plans to sustain ongoing growth
  • Inadequate reactions to falling performance metrics, including poor diagnostics
  • Strategic missteps due to cultural/organizational resistance
  • Inability of senior leadership teams to see changes and adapt

    Most notably, the HBR researchers found that the common causes of stalled growth “turn out to be preventable for the most part.” Although managers sometimes try to blame outside factors like economic forces, new laws, and even acts of God, most root causes “occur for reasons that are both knowable and addressable.”

    To put it another way, your business can prevent stalled growth. Address each of the points above with a solid business growth strategy that guides your leaders and encourages them to stay goal-oriented as they proactively pursue growth.

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    How to Make a Business Growth Plan

    One of the most important growth strategies in business is having a formalized growth plan in place. If your organization doesn’t have one, creating one could be the best way to boost growth and reverse an impending downward trend.

    To learn a step-by-step approach to developing a new growth plan from scratch, or to improve an existing plan, take a look at our related blog post, The Ultimate Guide to Business Growth Planning.

    How to Measure Business Growth Effectively

    After your organization creates and implements its new business growth plan, track its success by using growth and performance metrics. Focus on the 6 main areas involved in measuring business performance:

    1. Financial statements, including income, balance sheet, and cash flow
    2. Customer satisfaction as measured in surveys and ratings
    3. Lead generation/new customer contacts
    4. Employee performance
    5. Market trends
    6. Owner/board/C-suite satisfaction

    Now build a list of mathematical metrics that will allow you to track your company’s performance more closely over time. These metrics put numbers to the trends, illuminating whether your business is growing or slowing.

    Key business growth metrics include:

    • Employee engagement: High employee engagement sets the stage for growth.
    • Customer acquisition cost (CAC): If acquiring a customer costs more than they spend with you, growth is very difficult.
    • Production metrics: These metrics are specific to your industry, like seeing growth in “more widgets delivered.”
    • Time-based measures: This involves activities like shortening your sales cycle for more closed deals or lowering the amount of time it takes to manufacture and deliver something.
    • Profitability: Look beyond revenue alone and see whether your core costs are contributing to rising or falling overall business profitability.
    • Digital metrics: Is your web traffic increasing? Are people downloading your whitepapers? Is your cart abandonment rate looking better with your new growth plan in place?
    • Retention metrics and customer lifetime value (CLV): Measure whether you’re retaining more customers and employees, and track the increased value of their loyalty. Over time, you should see encouraging upward trends in CLV and retention.

    For More Information About How Good Leadership Impacts Company Growth

    Strong business growth requires strong leaders. For help designing and implementing a growth plan that gains maximum results, engage with Leadership Resources. We offer services that focus on leadership skill-building and helping small-to-midsize businesses reassess their growth strategies and find greater long-term success. 

    To learn more, please download our brochure, Accelerate Operating System (AOS).

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    5 Strategies to Increase Employee Engagement

    By Leadership Resources 01/23/2023
    Three employees, two female and one male, laugh together in the workplace

    How engaged are your employees? If your company is like most companies today, it’s experiencing a split between a large group of fully engaged employees and another sizable group of mostly disengaged employees. In this comprehensive article, we will cover ways in which companies can increase employee engagement.

    A recent Gallup poll showed that after a historic drop, employee engagement rose sharply among people who either found more engaging jobs or reengaged with their current jobs. Currently, about 36% of employees are fully engaged, down slightly from a 20-year high of 38% last year. This leaves approximately one-third of employees only partially engaged, plus another third disengaged.

    What’s going on? Workforce researchers say the lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a disruption in employee engagement and is making many workers reevaluate how they view their employers. In addition to dealing with the lasting effects of the public health crisis, people have been facing inflation, political strife, personal challenges, and workforce trends like quiet quitting.

    How to Use Employee Engagement to Increase Motivation

    As someone who manages people, you’re probably wondering what you can do to attract, engage, and retain top talent in the current environment. How can you foster a positive spirit that keeps people motivated? How can you use employee engagement strategies to boost business growth? Here are 5 helpful tips.

    Make Employee Engagement a Priority Within the C-Suite

    Keeping employees engaged is a strategy that must start at the top of your organization. Your C-suite, including your chief executive officer (CEO), chief financial officer (CFO), and other top-level executives, should show support for company engagement strategies. This is part of having an effective management and leadership style that embraces change and encourages everyone to stay open to new challenges. 

    A LinkedIn panel of experts shared tips for ensuring your top officers are on board with engagement and are actively working to help everyone engage down the ranks of your organization. Two of their key recommendations included:

    • Don’t leave engagement up to your culture/HR team alone because your C-suite should also be leading the engagement mission.
    • Make all employees – not just your C-suite – feel that they’re already in the best job of their lives, instead of just waiting for something better to come along.

    To these ends, invest in employee engagement strategies that bring top executives together with your rank-and-file employees. Build succession plans for future professional growth and improved cross-departmental communication, which is discussed in more detail below.

    Download A Whitepaper On Succession Planning

    Improve Company Communication

    Why is employee engagement important? For one thing, engagement has a big impact on communication, and vice versa. When an employee moves from feeling engaged to disengaged, it’s a blow to communication, camaraderie, and customer service.

    The HR research firm McLean & Company found that disengagement costs about $3,400 per employee per $10,000 in employee salary. The cost comes from negative outcomes like losing clients, losing contracts, and lower productivity. The study found that overall, lost employee productivity due to disengagement is costing the U.S. economy about $350 billion per year.

    To prevent this from happening at your company, make communication a top priority. Prevent miscommunications from harming your employees or their productivity. Help your employees understand the full implications of anything that will affect their roles directly, such as changes to company policy. When in doubt, communicate!

    Be Forthright About Social Issues, Diversity, and Inclusion

    Social and cultural issues are top-of-mind for many of your employees. It’s hard for them to work when they feel overwhelmed with concerns about racism, economic disparity, access to healthcare, or preserving their civil rights.

    They also judge your company based on how it reacts to issues like inequality and discrimination in the workplace. One study found that workplace discrimination was among the top causes of rapid disengagement at U.S. employers.

    This is why it’s so important for your company to have a policy of supporting diversity/inclusion initiatives and anti-discrimination policies. Don’t just pay lip service to these ideas. Prove you care. Put someone in charge of these realms of your business, and ensure your employees feel welcome to share any concerns without discrimination or retaliation.

    Guide the Growth of Emotional Intelligence

    How emotionally intelligent is your workplace? The emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) is even more important than the intelligence quotient (IQ) in business settings because it reflects the capacities of people to work collaboratively together.

    Good news: EQ is a learned skill, not an inborn trait. Your company can boost the EQ of its employees and teams by working with a business growth coach or leadership development service that incorporates EQ education into the learning curriculum.

    Emotional intelligence goes hand-in-hand with other aspects of employee engagement, like having a talent development plan. Talent development helps people understand their expanding roles in organizations and inspires them to see that they have the potential to move up as a leader. 

    Emotionally Intelligent Leaders White paper - Download

    Offer Leadership Development Opportunities

    If you want to engage an employee, offer them fresh opportunities to learn and grow. They deserve to have chances to expand their knowledge and strive for new levels of success.

    This should be a long-term approach rather than just a short-term, one-off tactic. Don’t just push short training sessions on struggling employees during annual reviews. You could be missing out on providing rich leadership development experiences for your most talented and high-achieving people. Down the line, this could also cause problems with attracting top talent and keeping high achievers at your company.

    To make meaningful and lasting changes, experts recommend incorporating leadership development programs instead of just using one-off training programs. Most traditional training programs are too short and too simplistic to increase employee engagement. The employee might gain a few helpful hints, but they don’t gain greater insights about professional growth.

    A full leadership development program from Leadership Resources helps keep people fully engaged by giving them the skills and inspiration they need to succeed. We help companies accomplish a wide variety of employee engagement strategies like building interpersonal skills, improving emotional intelligence, creating strategic plans, and more.

    To access more information about building and sustaining employee engagement, please click below to download our whitepaper about strengthening The Success Chain.

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    Top Skills You Need to Ensure Business Growth

    By Leadership Resources 01/16/2023
    Two women having a conversation seated in a business setting

    For a growth-focused business, having talented people with the right skills is essential. Each person contributes to the success of their teams, which in turn creates a groundswell of ongoing success for the company. But what kind of skills are needed to bring about business growth?

    Certain skills are highly correlated with business growth. In this article, we’ll look at how to identify and encourage growth-centered skills like good communication skills, a self-growth mindset, emotional intelligence, and business strategizing.

    We’ll also present resources that help you support and encourage your employees to build the skills your company needs to grow. At the end of the article, you’ll find a link to download a free whitepaper that focuses on building growth-focused business skills.

    Business Growth and Communication Skills

    Communication is the foundation of any strong company. Great communication helps spread your message far and wide, reassuring people that you’re an outstanding company and fully trustworthy as a leader in your field.

    Unfortunately, bad communication does just the opposite. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has found that poor communication costs millions of dollars because when people are deficient in communication skills, they detract from company productivity and profitability.

    An employee who doesn’t communicate well is less likely to spread positivity about your business or serve your customers with tact and diplomacy. They might even anger and frustrate their coworkers and your customers, destroying your business from within.

    One study found that each poor communicator can cost their employers an average of almost one full workday per week due to an array of inefficiencies. Bad communication skills can cause business disruptions like:

    • Inefficient teams
    • Miscommunications that add costs
    • Unmet deadlines
    • Missed appointments
    • Low team and company morale
    • Lost days of work
    • Dissatisfied customers and damaged partnerships
    • Arguments, infighting, and relational breakdowns 

    On the flip side, great communicators build camaraderie and inspire your people to continue pursuing major achievements. Their enthusiastic communication is contagious, making your company a better place to work and increasing its contribution to the community at large. This is especially important in an era where social commerce is extremely important among Millennials, Gen Z, and other young people who are developing connections to brands and businesses.

    At the heart of it all is communication. Good communication greases the wheels of business success, allowing smooth and productive work activities. McKinsey found that excellent communication within teams can increase their productivity by as much as 20% to 25% in the average workplace.

    11 Ways To Create Accountability And Increase Productivity At Your Organization. Download this whitepaper.

    A Self-Growth Mindset

    Do your employees have growth mindsets? Do you? Someone with a growth-focused mindset stays on the lookout for changes that offer new opportunities for success. Rather than approaching change with fear, a person with a growth mindset brings optimism and confidence.

    The term “growth mindset” was coined by American psychologist and professor Carol Dweck, who wrote the book, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.” After decades of research and teaching psychology students, Dweck found that helping people adjust their mindsets had a profound effect on their capacity to fulfill their potential.

    Anyone who struggles to accomplish goals or has difficulty finding their place within teams should consider reading Dweck’s book. You can also explore the same topic in Leadership Resources’ related blog post, How to Develop a Growth Mindset to Achieve Success.

    In a professional sense, having a self-growth mindset means you try to make positive contributions to teams that are working to accomplish challenging goals. When an obstacle arises, you and your growth-minded team look for ways to overcome it together and use each new accomplishment to fuel morale and additional achievements.

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    Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

    Most people are capable of developing their emotional intelligence (EQ) and expanding their interpersonal skills, but they need their employer’s help to do so. Emotional intelligence in the workplace isn’t something that’s inborn and involves learning certain techniques that invite openness and flexibility in thinking for better business productivity. 

    When you support your employees with EQ-building education, they learn how to focus on growth that’s good for your company. Any growth-focused company leader should consider providing all levels of employees with opportunities for emotional intelligence development.

    It’s a worthwhile investment because EQ is associated with profitability and business achievement. Harvard Business School found that emotional intelligence was the top predictor of performance in some of the world’s biggest and busiest companies.

    While intelligence quotient (IQ) is helpful in most aspects of life, EQ is a stronger predictor of success in business settings. Harvard researchers say this is true because the business environment requires strong leadership and team-building, which go hand-in-hand with emotional intelligence.

    The Right Business Strategy Consultant

    Finally, keep in mind that one of the top skills for success is the ability to reach outside oneself and ask for help when necessary. Your company doesn’t have to handle professional development alone because expert help is available. 

    The business strategy consultants at Leadership Resources offer services that focus on skill-building and business growth. We help organizations provide the leadership support professionals need to achieve big things.

    To learn more, you’re welcome to download Leadership Resources’ whitepaper about developing emotional intelligence and building the skills to grow your business.

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    5 Tips for Attracting Top Talent and Growing Your Business

    By Leadership Resources 01/09/2023
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    Why is Employee Engagement Important for Attracting Top Talent?

    Employee engagement impacts almost every aspect of an organization. When effective employee engagement strategies are in place, productivity rises, customer relationships improve, employee turnover drops, and company profits are maximized. These kinds of employee engagement strategies are pivotal in attracting top talent.

    Research on employee engagement shows its power to shape an organization. Gallup reports that highly-engaged business units experience a 10% difference in customer ratings and an 18% difference in sales. Gallup has also found that a highly engaged workforce is 21% more profitable than one with low engagement.

    With this in mind, here are 5 tips to help your company attract outstanding employees and use this new talent to fuel organizational growth.

    Recruit Top Talent With Effective Employee Engagement Strategies

    A major element in attracting top talent is overall job satisfaction. Job satisfaction is closely tied to employee engagement, although they’re not the same thing. Employees’ job satisfaction is a basic requirement that either encourages them to feel more engaged or prevents them from feeling fully engaged. In this way, satisfaction serves as a prerequisite to engagement.

    This is why it’s so important to monitor your organization’s job satisfaction and determine whether people are feeling happy enough with their roles and expectations to engage as fully as possible. If they’re frustrated with their jobs, these feelings will bleed over into how they serve their customers and whether they refer your company to colleagues who are hunting for new employment.

    Some of the best practices in employee engagement include:

    • Communicating the company’s core values
    • Providing clear succession plans for career paths
    • Recognizing and celebrating top performers
    • Sharing opportunities for career growth
    • Offering open, honest feedback between employees and supervisors
    • Fostering a culture of accountability
    • Providing supportive business coaching and leadership development programs
    Download A Whitepaper On Succession Planning

    Attracting Top Talent at All Stages

    Your employee engagement strategy should go hand-in-hand with your recruitment strategy. A job interview isn’t just an opportunity for the prospective employee to impress you. It’s also your company’s opportunity to engage with them and start building a positive impression from the outset.

    The onboarding process should also be an engaging process. Take every opportunity to show new hires that your company cares about them and supports them in their employment journey.

    Meanwhile, beware of focusing too many resources on the attraction stage and not enough on the engagement and retention stages. Employee engagement is the key to keeping great people on board after you’ve attracted them to your organization.

    A study of 600 U.S. businesses in diverse industries found that 63% of employers say it’s harder to retain talented employees than it is to attract them in the first place. If your retention dollars are limited, focus your resources on high-ROI retention activities like business coaching, which has been shown to offer more than 200% ROI on leadership development investments.

    Leadership Resources Coaching Services Brochure Download

    Remember, Growth Requires the Right Mindset

    If growth is a priority at your company, your newly hired talent needs to have a growth mindset. People with growth mindsets are always looking for the positives in times of change, staying alert for opportunities that bring new levels of success.

    The good news is that some of the world’s highest achievers tend to have growth-focused perspectives. Their desire for personal and professional growth may just be what urged them to apply for a job with your company, so don’t waste this opportunity.

    Show applicants and new hires that your company is capable of high emotional intelligence, which is about welcoming openness and flexibility in thinking. Emotional intelligence can be built and refined through leadership development and isn’t something your employees must have the moment they’re hired. Support them with EQ-building education, and your emerging leaders can become superstar achievers.

    Accept That Talent Management Affects Your Reputation

    It’s easy to forget that employee engagement affects your talent management by hurting or helping your company’s hiring reputation. Engagement isn’t just an issue that remains behind closed doors, out of public view.

    When people hear positive or negative stories about what it’s like to work somewhere, they remember these snippets of information when it’s time to apply for jobs. Competitors take notice too and may try to lure away your highly talented and poorly engaged employees.

    Work With Engagement and Retention Experts

    Finally, keep in mind that you don’t have to go it alone in terms of implementing employee engagement strategies. Lean on leadership development experts with the skills and knowledge to support your organization at all levels, from hiring to long-term engagement and beyond.

    The experts at Leadership Resources provide supportive leadership development services including growth-focused employee engagement programs. We help organizations provide the leadership support professionals need for motivation and loyalty.

    To learn more, download our whitepaper, Ensure Positive Business Outcomes & Results: Leveraging The Success Chain.

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    Leadership Development Services: How to Know What You Need

    By Leadership Resources 12/26/2022
    A group of employees working together

    Adding leadership development services to your organization can be a big game changer for your management team and beyond. But identifying what kind of training and development your organization needs can be challenging. What does your organization need from its leadership development program? Before engaging with a leadership development company, it’s essential to answer this question.

    Imagine a successful future where your company is growing and adapting skillfully with the help of leadership development experts. To reach this point, determine what kind of leadership development services would be optimal for your progress.

    Clear Structure For Success

    Your organization deserves a strong, well-structured leadership development program. The best programs use a proven operating system and methodology that has led to success in the past for numerous other organizations.

    Accelerate Operating System (AOS) Brochure Download

    Look for a service that offers business coaching focusing on learning new skills and incorporating them into your company’s daily work. The program should also provide a framework for accountability that places responsibility on each individual to contribute to positive forward momentum.

    Does your company have big changes ahead? Are you trying to accomplish major strategic goals? If so, there could be some hard conversations ahead. You’ll need a leadership development company that builds skills like diplomacy, problem-solving, and building camaraderie even under challenging circumstances. 

    A program will be most successful if it is adaptable enough to be tailored and individualized to your company. If your teams need virtual leadership training, the leadership development partner should provide remote coaching and support. Or, if your company prefers in-person leadership training, there should be enough flexibility to meet your people whenever and wherever will be most productive.

    The Right Mindset for Growth

    If growth is a priority at your company, your leadership development partner should make it a priority, too. Can they help you cultivate a growth mindset? A growth mindset looks for personal and professional opportunities in every new change.

    This stands in contrast to a fixed mindset, which approaches new challenges with fear and negativity. Companies with overwhelmingly negative cultures need leadership development services with extensive experience helping businesses overcome roadblocks to positive cultures.

    Organizational growth goes hand in hand with emotional intelligence, which is about having a high level of openness and flexibility in thinking and interpersonal interactions. A person’s emotional intelligence is something they can improve over time while learning and implementing new ways of thinking. 

    Emotional intelligence is a skill you can build with the help of the right leadership development coach. Before signing on the dotted line with any new leadership development company, ask how they incorporate emotional and interpersonal skill-building into their programming.

    Emotionally Intelligent Leaders White paper - Download

    Personalized, Hands-On Leadership Development

    A three-year study by the Harvard Business Review found that the best leadership development programs of the future will have a high level of hands-on learning. The study found that when it comes to leadership learning in professional settings, 70% occurs through on-the-job experience, 20% happens through feedback, and 10% takes place during structured, formal training.

    The HBR researchers also found that hands-on learning was particularly important in the era of remote work. The researchers incorporated information from a recent Berkeley Haas School of Business study showing that workers are suffering from reduced managerial support in the shift to virtual working.

    To be most effective then, your program should incorporate some level of hands-on learning experiences plus case studies, educational roleplaying, leadership-building activities, and group sessions. There should also be quiet, introspective time for people to reflect and consider what they’ve learned.

    Individual reflection is an essential part of the process because it sets the stage for personal growth. When your people have the support and resources they need to examine and refine their behavior over time, they’re more capable of making productive transitions at crucial turning points in their professional lives.

    This is why the experts at Leadership Resources say the best way to make a meaningful and positive impact on your organization is with fully-engaged leadership development services including long-term business coaching. This is a much more effective approach than a basic one-day leadership training seminar.

    Leadership Development Services and Resources for Your Organization

    Leadership Resources offers numerous free resources to help companies understand what they need to accomplish when exploring new leadership development options. If your organization wants to improve its leadership base but isn’t yet sure exactly what’s needed from leadership development services, the links below will help you get started.

    Leadership development tips from our blog:

    Whitepapers about finding leadership development services:

    At Leadership Resources, we help organizations provide the leadership support professionals need to reach the next level of success. The Accelerate Leadership Program helps companies build strong leadership development programs and nurture emerging leaders along their paths to success. To learn more, download our brochure.

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