LEADERSHIP RESOURCES BLOG

Guidance on leadership development & strategic planning.

How an Operating System Drives Profit & Growth

By Leadership Resources 07/15/2021

Most of us are familiar with the operating systems (OS) on our phones and computers. Just as these electronic devices require optimized software to handle a variety of important tasks, businesses benefit from a strategic operating system of their own. As it turns out, most businesses already have some sort of operating system at play — the problem is often that 1) it’s become background noise rather than a recipe for success, and 2) it could use a major “firmware update.” Moreover, in many cases, a company has several operating systems competing for dominance, creating chaos that hinders growth, profit, and leadership development.

Let’s define what a company operating system is and how the right one can drive profit and growth in your organization.

Defining a Company Operating System

Simply put, a company’s operating system serves as a guide for its inner workings, compiling the processes, structure, and systems needed to achieve certain objectives. Unlike a rigid line of code or instruction manual, a company’s OS is a sturdy yet flexible strategic game plan. Leadership and staffers rally around their central OS to solve problems, make decisions, resolve issues, and prepare for future success. In other words, every procedure should stem from the operating system, whether it’s employee management, succession planning, resource/financial management, marketing initiatives, etc. When every action derives from the same source, a shared vision flows through and informs your entire organization.

How the Right Operating System Can Improve and Grow Your Organization

So, a company operating system provides conscious clarity to an organization by establishing a well-defined structure that removes the guesswork. Ultimately, this framework translates to tangible growth and profit. After all, achieving organizational and profit goals depends on a passionate group of people actively working towards a clear purpose. When leaders and team members know what to aim for and why they’re aiming that way, much of the “fat” is easily trimmed away, revealing a streamlined path toward continued success. 

Neglecting your operating system or adopting an OS that doesn’t quite fit your organization will have the opposite effect, preventing growth, diminishing profits, and impairing your company culture as a whole. As leaders struggle to communicate their message clearly, team members will grow more and more frustrated, hindering morale and increasing turnover, which thwarts talent retention and succession planning efforts. The best way to prevent this self-fulfilling cycle from taking hold of your organization is to invest more time and energy into cultivating the optimal operating system.

Establishing an Operating System that Suits Your Goals and Vision

The question remains, then: how can you create and maintain an operating system perfect for your organization? Synthesizing the best aspects of various company OS methodologies is a great place to start. At Leadership Resources, we help our clients leverage the strengths of many ideologies, tools, and systems to bolster their operating system. When it comes to business and leadership growth, we don’t believe in “one-size-fits-all” solutions — we also understand the value of allowing companies to try new things for themselves. As such, our method starts with a deep discovery of an organization’s specific processes, needs, and strategic goals. This research then feeds into our selection process for the tools and strategies that will fit said business like a glove.

When all is said and done, an optimized operating system will help your organization scale up, optimize data, better manage cash, and meet & exceed goals.

Operating Your Business With a Better System

Most organizations know what factors drive their business and their growth. But working with Leadership Resources and building a company operating system creates accountability around these factors. This process illuminates the leading indicators, where an organization’s energy and effort are consistently going. It allows them to problem solve, see trends over time, and make a real difference.

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most!

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Strategic Growth Advisory Firm, Leadership Resources, Expands its Strategic Advisory Offering

By Leadership Resources 06/25/2021

For more than 20 years, Leadership Resources has provided strategic advisory services for growth-focused organizations throughout the United States. We are proud to have assisted hundreds of organizations in planning for, and meeting their strategic objectives. Throughout the years, we have used many methodologies, strategies, and tools to customize our approach to what works best for our clients. We are now centralizing these services under the name Accelerate OS.

The Power of Accelerate OS

Our executive coaching and consulting services focus on aligning leaders and organizations around a clear, central vision. When leaders within your company become aligned around vision and goals, they’re able to guide their teams at every step of the strategic planning and performance management process. 

Sometimes, strategic coaching programs can be too rigid and lock a company into a particular set of rhythms, tools, and methodologies — even if they aren’t right for a company’s needs. Accelerate OS is different. It draws from the best of the best and is customized for each company’s growth path and goals.

At Leadership Resources, our strategies have helped the growth and development in leadership of countless companies by:

  • Clarifying a shared vision
  • Defining clear direction and priorities
  • Establishing SMART, FAST goals
  • Identifying key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Crafting success-bound strategic action plans
  • …and more

Additionally, Leadership Resources has partnered with Pinnacle Business Guides (PBG). This partnership provides expanded opportunities for our clients through increased options of tools and a unique approach to processes, while providing our team with expanded resources, experience, and knowledge. This relationship only bolsters Leadership Resources’ custom client approach.

The Team Behind Accelerate OS

Dan Sedor leads our team of Strategic Growth Advisors at Leadership Resources. As Leadership Resources’ Co-founder and Director of Strategic Services, Dan has executed thousands of session days, including more than 500 EOS sessions with clients. 

Sedor became a Certified EOS Implementer just five years ago, meaning he’s held an average of 100 sessions per year since 2016 with this specific distinction. While he is no longer affiliated with EOS Worldwide, he brings this past experience to every client he serves. Over the past two decades, he’s facilitated strategic planning meetings for over 100 organizations across many industries, including start-ups, mid-sized companies, and large enterprises. 

In addition to Sedor, Andy Grant, Brian Olson, and Alex Garcia have led hundreds of Accelerate OS sessions themselves. They are firm believers that strategic guidance has to be authentic to the client’s current status and desired staff leadership development.

This diverse team’s work with clients of all sizes and industries provides future clients with a wealth of experience from which to pull.

Optimize Your Organization’s Operating System

The strategic consulting team at Leadership Resources believes that improving your business’ operating system or “OS” allows your organization to capitalize on its potential. Every Accelerate OS engagement is tailor-made for each client to optimize their OS by providing the tools to facilitate faster and more informed decision-making. A more efficient OS also improves teamwork, accountability, culture, and maximizes productivity. 

In addition, with the help of our leadership development offering, called Accelerate OS, you can develop emerging leaders, create more positive outlooks, and even work on your own succession strategy.

Our Goal Is to Help Thousands of Clients

Strategy isn’t one-size-fits-all. We’ll help you tailor your strategic plan to your company for long-term success. By taking advantage of our strategic planning services, you can expect greater clarity of your company’s vision and purpose, as well as a detailed focus on realistic goals and plans of action. All of this should result in measurable growth in profit, productivity, and more.

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. As our strategic growth advisors continue to serve successful businesses in a manner that makes them even more successful, we also continue to grow and evolve our custom approach for the betterment of our clients. Here’s to delivering the next thousand productive, “needle-moving” sessions with our clients. Contact us here to learn more about Accelerate OS, what we do, do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.

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Finding Employees Who Fit Your Culture

By Leadership Resources 06/11/2021
"Culture fit" circled in a job application

Wherever people consistently gather in groups (big or small), a culture is bound to arise. So, while the word “culture” has become a buzzword in the professional sphere, it’s merely a natural consequence of company life. Of course, company cultures can become stagnant, exclusionary, and downright toxic if not properly directed and cultivated at every level — leaders must set positive examples of what the culture should look like, employees should do their best to uphold these values, and new hires should be screened to ensure proper cultural fit. Indeed, finding candidates who fit your existing culture makes team and employee management easier and more productive. The question is: how should your business go about locating these candidates?

Let’s outline some key steps to finding employees that will not only fit your current culture but potentially enhance it as well.

How to Hire a Good Culture Fit

Establish Core Values

Finding the right employees for your company’s culture is an uphill battle (if not an impossibility) if said culture isn’t clearly defined from the outset. You must be able to identify your organization’s values and embed them in your operations. Some businesses might cultivate a  performance culture wherein productivity reigns supreme on the list of priorities; others might prioritize collaboration; some companies gather around a singular purpose (i.e., sustainability); the list goes on. A good test of your culture’s clarity and strength is to try and define it in a simple sentence — essentially a concise mission statement.

Put Your Culture Front and Center

Once your company culture is clearly defined, it’s imperative to get the message out there. In doing so, potential candidates with the right cultural fit will gravitate toward your organization. Your marketing materials (especially those for recruitment) should strongly focus on your business’ values. Make sure your website is outfitted with an “About” page and “Careers” section that both speak to your company’s values. Consider receiving employee testimonials and posting positive images on social media pages as well. Those seeking employment will appreciate getting a glimpse into what it might be like to work for your company directly from current employees.

Keep Tabs on Your Workplace Culture

Company cultures should be strong but not so rigid that they snap under pressure. Simply put, cultures evolve over time, and it’s crucial to remain open to changes that will ultimately benefit your organization and everyone in it. If something about your current culture is causing problems for some (or most) of your people, you must get to the bottom of it quickly. Distributing a monthly, quarterly, or annual company culture survey will give you key insights into what is and isn’t working, and which values require more attention or specific adjustment. Taking the time to constantly check and improve your company culture will allow you to keep up with the competition and deliver the most accurate representation of your organization to potential candidates.

Incorporate Your Values in the Interview Process

If you’re zeroing in on a candidate but still aren’t sure about their cultural fit, the best thing to do is simply ask them the right questions during their interview. It’s often best to start with some more casual questions regarding what they do outside of work, such as:

  • What are your hobbies?
  • What’s your average weekend like?
  • What do you value in yourself and others?
  • What’s your most negative personality trait?

From there, ask questions more directly related to company/employee culture, like:

  • Do you enjoy working with others?
  • In what type of setting do you accomplish your best work?
  • Do you see yourself working here for a long time?
  • Can you give an example of a moment in which you demonstrated one of the company’s values?
  • What are your thoughts about the company’s stated values and why?

Questions such as these benefit both you and the candidate as you inch closer to the hiring decision — they will gain an even deeper understanding of what it means to work for your company, and you will better understand how well they might fit into your culture.

Capturing the Right Candidates for Your Culture

Your company’s values and culture serve as the foundation for everything you do and your overall success. When seeking the most qualified candidates for your company, remember to keep culture in the equation — skills and knowledge matter greatly, but cultural fit is the glue that keeps your organization together.

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.

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Strategic Leadership: Pros and Cons

By Leadership Resources 06/01/2021
Strategic playing of Jenga

There is no single “right way” to operate a business or poise it for long-term success. Every enterprise is unique, after all. Still, specific approaches transcend these differences, offering near-universal benefits to businesses of all sizes and types. Strategic leadership refers to one such approach to business management that can yield several long-term benefits when properly implemented and executed. Of course, it’s worth noting that the upsides of the strategic leadership approach are contrasted with some downsides, too.

Let’s Look at the Pros and Cons of Strategic Leadership

What Is Strategic Leadership?

Strategic leadership can be defined as a leadership philosophy that prioritizes the communication and execution of a particular vision via tangible, streamlined actions and processes. In other words, the strategic leader not only generates and clarifies a business’ vision, but also adeptly leads its team toward realizing said vision one step at a time — the best strategic leaders can simultaneously keep the big picture and key details in mind, which is precisely what allows their business to achieve its short- and long-term goals. The leadership skills required for this brand of leadership include strong communication, a focus on culture, judicious deployment of power, self-control, compassion, consistency, loyalty, and strong motivation.

The Plus Sides of Strategic Leadership

There are several potential benefits that come with the strategic leadership approach. First, strategic leaders are able to unite teams, generate buy-in, and keep everyone on the same page, working toward a collective goal. In this way, the strategic leader keeps departments from losing focus or losing touch with one other, which makes it that much easier to move the business forward. Next, strategic leadership establishes a framework for practical decision-making. When goals are clearly communicated, everyone can better contribute to the collective vision. Strategic leadership also facilitates impartial, long-term thinking, filtering daily decisions through the lens of the broader vision. And lastly, the best strategic leaders cultivate commitment among their teams by acting as models for proficiency and practicality. For all these reasons, businesses should consider investing in strategic leadership training for their top talent.

The Setbacks of Strategic Leadership

A strategic leadership approach isn’t a flawless one, of course. As with all long-term processes and goals, there’s no way to know for certain what the business, industry, or economy will look like in the next year, three years, five years, decade, and so on. In this way, long-term strategic thinking can become a significant expense and source of leadership stress, especially if a seemingly solid plan becomes irrelevant in the face of unpredictable changes. This is why strategic leaders must be as flexible as they are visionary. In a similar vein, strategic leaders can get lost in the bigger picture and start neglecting the business’ present issues and needs, which can cause budding problems to go unresolved and eventually interfere with the very vision in question. Ultimately, this lack of attention to the present moment can halt company growth and even result in long-term harm. Strategic leaders that either take too many risks or are too risk-averse can cause the company to miss out on key opportunities.

Developing a Winning Strategy for Your Leaders

Strategic leadership is not inherently good or bad, but rather a tool that can raise a business up for years to come or sink the ship for lack of seeing the iceberg straight ahead, so to speak. Every enterprise must determine its own balanced approach to strategic leadership development so it’s able to safely navigate the current moment while aiming for the bigger goal in the distance.At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.

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How an Established Leader Can Better Communicate

By Leadership Resources 05/26/2021

The role of “leader” consists of many parts. Not only must leaders excel in their field and manage multiple tasks at once, but they must also unify their teams around a shared vision in order to propel the enterprise forward. This coalescence can only occur with strong communication. That said, leadership communication skills don’t come easily to everyone, and even those who have a knack for it can always seek improvement. Whether you’re struggling to hold your people together or want to level up your emotional intelligence, here’s how an established leader such as yourself can become a better communicator.

Make a Routine of Checking in With Employees

For better or worse, humans are creatures of habit. We can use this feature to our advantage by creating positive routines and adjusting them when necessary. When it comes to bolstering your communication skills as a leader, hosting regular check-ins with individuals and teams is a useful habit to establish. These meetings can vary in frequency and length, so long as it becomes an expected event. Not only will these regular check-ups aid in employee management, but they’ll also make your people feel more comfortable opening up to you. The more you listen to your employees’ ideas and concerns, the easier it will be to discuss these matters honestly with each and every one of them.

Cater Your Message Accordingly

Competent leadership communication is flexible, adapting to the audience in question. By getting to know your people better (as mentioned above), you can figure out the right way to reach them. Put simply, you always want to meet your audience where they are. Otherwise, you risk alienating (or even offending) them. Crafting your communication style carefully is an exercise in empathy — plus, it’s much more effective.

Simplify Complex Ideas

Clarity is key in communication. After all, you can’t get a message across to anyone if they can’t make heads or tails of what you’re saying. In many ways, the biggest hurdle of leadership communication is taking complex ideas and reducing them in such a way that everyone can understand and care about them without sacrificing anything vital. As an expert, you might intrinsically know what a certain data set is saying or how a certain process works, but there’s no guarantee that your employees will share your comprehension. To become a more effective leader and communicator, focus on what’s relevant to your people and build from there; getting into the weeds can wait until you’ve gotten your team on the same page.

Mind Your Body Language

Communication is about more than the words coming from your mouth; it’s also about how you’re delivering the message. Humans are designed to read body language. Indeed, your body language can send a stronger message than your words in some cases. Open arms and smiles tend to be infectious and welcoming, while folded arms and frowns can dampen morale. Ultimately, you want your movements to match and/or elevate what you’re trying to convey (this comes naturally to some but not to everyone). If you’re having a hard time getting your physicality to fit your message, partaking in executive communication coaching courses focused on body language can be a major help.

Ask Your Teams for Feedback

No matter how hard you work on improving your communication skills, you won’t know how well you’re doing unless you receive honest feedback from your people. Asking your employees for their thoughts on your performance is a great way to build trust and cultivate a more transparent company culture. Moreover, taking this feedback to heart will help you grow as a leader and communicator, so long as you make adjustments based on responses you receive.

Establishing Stronger Communication

Even the most seasoned leaders have room to grow. Sharpening your communication skills will only improve your culture and allow your company to reach new heights.At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.

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How a Leader Can Properly Influence a Younger Generation Without Judgement

By Leadership Resources 05/11/2021

Generational gaps are inevitable in businesses that stick around long enough. These age-related rifts can be both beneficial and detrimental. On the one hand, people who grew up in different eras will have unique perspectives on current dilemmas, which can be synthesized into optimal solutions. Unfortunately, these varying perspectives can also create roadblocks, conflicts, and even feelings of resentment — a younger employee might feel like their ideas aren’t being taken seriously, while an older employee might feel undermined by an up and coming workforce that deems their ideas antiquated.

In many instances, leaders within a company tend to have more experience under their belts, which means they’re responsible for overseeing several employees who are younger than them. If such a leader isn’t tactful in their approach to employee management, they can end up pushing this younger generation away. This is a lose-lose situation, as both parties stand to miss out on key insights provided by the other. With that in mind, here are some ways a leader can properly influence a younger generation without judgment or major conflict.

Listen to Your Employees

We often think of a leader’s role as merely giving orders and overseeing projects. While delegation and oversight are key components of leadership, nothing is more important than communication. Leaders should listen just as much as they speak (if not more). Indeed, if you want to steer your younger employees in a positive direction, you must let go of your ego and truly take their ideas into account. You might have more experience, but this doesn’t mean you have all the answers. And if you dismiss your employees, they’ll begin to dismiss you as well. Communication is a two-way street, and if you want your wisdom to reach your younger employees, you must open yourself to their wisdom, too.

Appreciate and Utilize the Younger Generation’s Strengths

As you learn from the younger generation, you’ll quickly figure out that they’re adept at certain things you might not be, such as social media usage, coding, multitasking, etc. Rather than balk at these skills or deem them unimportant, use them to your company’s advantage. Allowing your people to play to their strengths will boost morale and benefit your business in multiple ways. You can then insert your expertise where it counts most.

Understand What Younger Workers Care About and Open Yourself to Change

One of the negative stereotypes younger workers often place on their older counterparts is that they’re stuck in the past and unwilling to adjust their point of view or methodology. Some leaders certainly fall into this category, and it’s natural to resist change no matter our age. If your goal is to reach your younger employees in a meaningful way, however, you must make an effort to understand their view of the workplace and adapt accordingly. Things were undoubtedly different when you were their age, after all. Today, most young people don’t want their work to be their entire life. This isn’t to say that younger people aren’t able or willing to work hard, but rather that they seek a healthy work/life balance. As such, millennials value companies that offer flexible scheduling, remote work options, an easygoing company culture, and so on. Whether or not you share these opinions, cultivating a workplace with more modern appeal will allow you to hire and retain top talent and create a stronger impression on your people.

Establish Common Values

Generational gaps are primarily fueled by perceived differences in values. When you dig a bit deeper, though, it often becomes clear that one generation shares most of the foundational values of the other. People of different eras might have different conceptions of what these values mean or look like, but just about everyone agrees that responsibility, respect, integrity, kindness, family, etc., are fundamental across the board. Simply discussing these values can bring people of all backgrounds together. You might be surprised at how much common ground there is between you and younger generations.

Cultivate Leadership Growth

Time doesn’t stop for anyone, and a new generation will always be there to take the place of the previous one. This can be difficult to accept, but coming to grips with this reality is key for proper succession planning. Simply put, if you want your company to have a lasting legacy, you need to cultivate new leaders and prepare them for more significant roles. In this way, investing in ongoing leadership development for the younger generation is essential to ensuring your business’ ongoing success. Additionally, investing in your people is a display of respect and encouragement. People of all generations like to learn and be recognized for their accomplishments.

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.

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Why Proper Employee Development Leads to Long-Term Success

By Leadership Resources 04/26/2021
Group of employees working on development

The most successful businesses are always looking towards the future while focusing on the present. Indeed, your short-term goals and day-to-day actions should contribute to the bigger picture. The continuous development of your employees, then, should be a top priority. Spending time and resources on your people’s growth is an investment in your enterprise’s prosperity. Let’s dive deeper into why proper employee and leadership development leads to long-term success for both your business and your employees.

The Benefits of Employee Development

More Engagement

Some people truly enjoy their work, but you can’t (nor should you) expect all of your employees to commit their whole selves to your business. That said, you also don’t want your people to feel disconnected from or disinterested in your operations and vision. Ideally, your employees will feel like they have a stake in what goes on, that their contributions matter, and that a win for the company translates to a win for the team. Focusing heavily on performance management and employee development is one way to increase engagement. Recognizing your employees’ accomplishments and providing them with opportunities to grow with the organization cultivates investment — when your people feel like they can expand their skills, influence the company, and earn more, they will become more engaged in every aspect of their work and your organization will thrive as a result.

Increased Innovation

Every company requires fresh and diverse points of view to constantly adapt and improve. If your employees lack avenues for leadership growth, however, the old guard of leadership will eventually exhaust its creative capabilities, and the business will become stagnant. The best way to innovate in your industry is to build up young and budding employees, allowing them to take on new roles and truly listening to their unique perspectives. Of course, your people must feel confident in bringing new ideas to the table — this confidence stems directly from long-term employee development.

Raised Retention

Finding promising candidates for your organization is a challenge all its own; retaining these quality hires is in some ways even more difficult, especially in highly competitive markets. In our previous article, “How Long-Term Leadership Development Helps You Keep Your Best Talent,” we broke down the ways in which investing in your employees incentivizes them to stick with your company and improve your company culture in the long run. Indeed, businesses that regularly give their employees new opportunities and recognize their strengths have far stronger retention rates than those that keep their people in their lanes. Not only does proper employee development help you retain top talent — it also helps you attract other valuable candidates. When a potential hire is made aware of the growth opportunities your organization offers, they’re more likely to want to become a part of such a culture.

Lasting Legacy

Businesses that outlive their founders and make a mark on the community keep succession planning in mind at all times. Simply put, if you want your company to thrive for generations, you must always be on the lookout for employees with the potential to lead it into the future. The best way to ensure a strong transition of leadership from old to new is to constantly cultivate fresh leadership in your organization — the more leaders you have, the easier it will be to fulfill vacant roles and create new ones. In this way, proper employee management and development will help to secure your company’s legacy. At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.

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How to Maintain Strong Relationships and Culture Despite Remote Working Conditions

By Leadership Resources 04/13/2021
Office having a Zoom happy hour

The “virtual office” isn’t a new notion by any means, but the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to ravage the world has made remote work the norm rather than the exception for countless businesses. While some companies saw a smooth transition to these workplace changes, others had a more challenging time adapting to them and continue to struggle with the ramifications of working from home. There’s no denying the obvious differences between in-person and remote work (e.g., no more commutes, less interaction, adjustments in hours, etc.), but these surface-level distinctions have broader implications on productivity, mental health, relationships at every level, company culture, and more. Those companies that can hold onto and even improve these aspects of their enterprise in the midst of such a global shift will have a major advantage moving forward, and every employee will benefit to boot.

Let’s go over how to manage employee relations effectively and maintain a strong culture despite remote working conditions.

How to Keep Relationships While Working Remote

Don’t Avoid Company Culture Conversations

When everyone is suddenly working from home, there’s often an elephant in the virtual room that needs addressing. That metaphorical elephant represents the clear change in communication and culture that occurs when people stop seeing each other face to face. Rather than ignore the obvious, though, leaders should point it out and spark conversations about workplace culture, how it’s changed, and how it can be improved. These conversations will keep everyone thinking about and discussing tangible short- and long-term goals that can be achieved virtually and, when the time comes, in person.

Take Advantage of Modern Technology

We’re fortunate to live in a time that offers so many methods of long-distance communication — phone calls, video chats, text-based chat rooms, and message boards, etc. While there’s no replacement for in-person interactions, there are also countless opportunities to keep in touch with team members throughout the workday when working remotely. If you’re concerned about keeping up with employee relationship management, then use this technology to your advantage in practical and creative ways — have regular video meetings to go over projects and discuss new ideas, host virtual happy hours weekly or monthly to unwind and discuss non-work-related matters, replace the time normally reserved for commuting with remote coffee or breakfast check-ins with employees, have lunch over video call with team members, the list goes on. The bottom line is this: communication is key for maintaining strong management-employee relations, boosting team morale, and fortifying culture. Of course, you’ll want to make sure each of your employees has access to the necessary technology to partake in these various virtual activities.

Encourage a Proper Work-Life Balance

Finding a healthy balance between work and non-work can be a challenge for many people, regardless of extenuating circumstances. Of course, striking this balance is even more difficult during remote working conditions. Working from home creates a dynamic in which it’s difficult to separate one aspect of your life from another. Even if you have a dedicated home office, you’re never far from your living room, TV, child/children, pet(s), etc., during the workday. And when you’ve finished your work for the day, it can be hard to switch your brain from “work” to “play” when you’ve never left your home to begin with. This lack of boundaries between work and life can quickly lead to burnout and negatively affect one’s mental health. It’s up to leaders to encourage and exemplify a healthy work-life balance, so employees don’t feel trapped in their work or too distracted to get anything done. You can do this by:

  • Providing resources for employees regarding these matters to help them achieve a positive balance in their own lives
  • Establishing boundaries that limit or restrict work-related communications to a certain range of hours (e.g., 9 A.M. to 5 P.M.) so employees aren’t tied to work at all times
  • Prioritizing productivity over hours worked, so employees feel free to set their own hours and work at their own pace

Different companies will have different ways of promoting a good work-life balance; making this a priority and leading by example is one of the best leadership qualities you can have.

Recognize Your People and Accomplishments

Lastly, don’t let virtual work take away from the important ritual of workplace recognition. Whether in-person or remotely, everyone likes to feel seen for their contributions and accomplishments, and recognizing your people for their hard work is key in maintaining strong relationships and strengthening your culture. In many ways, employee/team recognition is more important than ever now that so many of us are working from home, as it’s normal for people to feel underappreciated and unseen when siloed from their coworkers and managers. Letting your people know that their work and fortitude haven’t gone unnoticed is an important role for all leaders during this time and in general.

Remotely Challenging Times

Navigating leadership in times of stress and change like the ones we’re currently living in is no walk in the park. That said, current remote working conditions provide the perfect opportunity for companies and leaders everywhere to test their strengths, bolster their weaknesses, and create an even more cohesive company culture that can withstand the most difficult circumstances.


At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.

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How to Lead Despite COVID Burnout

By Leadership Resources 03/19/2021
Woman wearing a mask burnt out from COVID-19.

One year ago, when COVID-19 was just starting to acquire its pandemic status, few people could have anticipated what the following months would have in store. The early toilet paper shortages and panic buying seem somewhat quaint compared to the havoc wrought on individuals, families, and businesses between then and now. With effective vaccines and rapid distribution on the way, there is now a light at the end of this tunnel. That said, even when the pandemic ends, the world will have to deal with its consequences for many years to come. 

Business leaders are already looking ahead to what the future may hold while battling the burnout that has plagued everyone, from students, workers, leaders, and owners alike. As we’ve discussed before, the stress of leadership can be daunting enough to deal with during normal times, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this pressure. Businesses everywhere have had to lay off or furlough employees, suddenly switch to remote work protocols, reduce hours and customer capacity, adjust their supply chain, implement intensive cleaning and disinfection protocols, and so on. One year in, people everywhere are on their last legs, and leaders are no exception.

How to Lead Your People if They’re Burnt Out from COVID-19

Prioritize Self-Care and Stress Management

When challenging times arise and work piles up, it’s easy to fall into the trap of pushing yourself past your limits to keep up with deadlines. You might be able to go on this way for a little while, but eventually, your work will suffer — more importantly, so will your mental and physical health. This common situation describes burnout, and it can take a long time to reignite the flame. It’s better to prevent that proverbial flame from burning out in the first place by maintaining its heat and oxygen through self-care. In our previous blog on managing leadership stress, we discussed key ways to take care of your overall well-being, such as getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, practicing mindfulness (i.e. meditation, yoga), staying hydrated, maintaining a healthy diet, and taking breaks for enjoyment and relaxation when needed. Encouraging your employees to do the same by sharing your experience with these stress-relieving techniques is key for preventing (or at least mitigating) COVID burnout in your workplace. When everyone feels motivated to take care of themselves first and foremost, they will be better equipped to handle the challenges before them.

Keep on Communicating

We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: communication is one of the most important leadership qualities there is. And during COVID-19, strong communication has never been so crucial. At the most basic level, your people should be regularly informed about how the business is navigating COVID-related challenges. Any updates and changes must be clearly delivered, and everyone should feel free to ask questions and voice their concerns. Considering the nature of this pandemic, you may need to convey these messages via virtual meetings, emails, and other means. To keep burnout at bay, your communication style should be steeped in empathy — if you’re feeling burnt out, odds are your peers, partners, and employees are, too. Use your emotional intelligence to understand the shared and unique challenges faced by others to enhance your organization’s sense of community. Hosting virtual and community events will help you maintain and improve your company culture so everyone feels connected and valued.

Simplify Your Processes

If anything good has come from COVID-19, it’s that this pandemic has revealed what matters most, both in terms of everyday life and in business. While the initial shock of COVID sent many businesses into a frenzy, many that have been able to recover have gradually adjusted their priorities and trimmed the fat in key areas. Simplifying your processes by streamlining tasks, delegation, and your broader vision can reduce the risk of burnout and ultimately reshape your business in positive ways. You might, for instance, realize that remote work is a powerful tool for team management and that it greatly reduces overhead costs associated with rent, energy, commuting, etc. Every business and employee is different, of course — while some might appreciate the freedom of working from home, others might require more structure and crave in-person encounters. How you decide to adjust and simplify your processes during this latter portion of COVID-19 and afterward will depend on what you learn during this time. The key is paying attention to what your people are feeling and how it’s affecting your bottom line.

Keep the Big Picture in View

As we stated earlier, the implications of COVID-19 will carry on far beyond its official conclusion, contributing to leadership stress and potential burnout. As such, you must view this situation as a marathon rather than a sprint. The day-to-day doings of your business matter, but thinking too small and short-term can cloud your judgment and impede your view of the future. Of course, looking too far ahead can induce plenty of stress in its own right. To avoid burning out in either sense, you want to achieve a balance between short- and long-term thinking, where the way you handle things each and every day is informed by where and how you wish to steer your team and enterprise. In order to accomplish this, you must focus on becoming more adaptable and resilient, regularly taking stock of what is and isn’t working so you can fine-tune your business for the future.

Providing strong leadership in times of stress and change is no small feat, but it’s essential for alleviating burnout in yourself and your team. Taking care of your own well-being, maintaining emotionally-intelligent communication, simplifying your operations based on necessary changes, and implementing long-term thinking will allow you to lead your organization to a brighter future despite these challenging times.


At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.

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Habits of a Successful Leader

By Leadership Resources 03/10/2021
Group of leaders smiling

No two leaders are exactly alike, but the most successful leaders often have plenty in common. Personal preferences, opinions, and life experiences aside, there are certain leadership qualities that ring true across the board — honesty, responsiveness, passion, integrity, etc. While these traits may be somewhat inherent in certain leaders, the best leaders become successful by honing these skills through hard work and habit formation. Let’s outline some essential habits that allow leaders to acquire and maintain success in their workplace and in life.

What Habits Make a Successful Leader?

Cultivating a Thirst for Knowledge

One of the most important qualities of an effective leader is the willingness and ability to continuously learn. Reading books across genres and fields of expertise, listening to people with diverse backgrounds and experiences, asking questions of peers, employees, friends, and strangers — all of these activities allow leaders to expand their horizons. Even if a piece of information might not seem immediately relevant to a leader’s life or career, the culmination of various bits of knowledge can be synthesized over time in new and unique ways. There is no downside, only upside, to receiving an ongoing education, and successful leaders know there’s always more to discover.

Maintaining a Balance of Confidence and Humility

There are always areas of growth for leaders, and the only way to identify and improve those areas is to put your ego aside and then pick it back up to act on those necessary changes. Leadership comes with power and privileges, and this prestige can cloud the mind of individuals who lack humility. Conversely, leaders who lack confidence can struggle to get things done, create buy-in, and keep their people on track. As such, the most successful leaders strike a balance between confidence and humility, listening closely to their peers and team members while not backing down from bold ideas. Practicing gratitude each and every day is another great way for leaders to stay humble and positive.

Focusing on Physical as well as Mental Health

The aforementioned power and privilege inherent in leadership also comes with its fair share of stress, which manifests both in the mind and body. Leaders who fail to take care of their mental and physical health can burn out, lash out, and/or simply become less effective overall. Leadership success largely depends on maintaining a healthy lifestyle both in and out of work. The best leaders focus on managing leadership stress by exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, eating healthy, taking breaks, practicing mindfulness (i.e. meditation, yoga), and more. Taking the time for self-care allows leaders to operate with a clear mind and high-functioning body — crucial for getting things done and getting them done right.

Staying Organized

Effective leaders are also well-organized where it counts. While a messy desk might be a proverbial sign of genius, it’s not exactly ideal for strategic planning, scheduling, goal-tracking, and so on. Keeping documents and items in their proper places, taking regular notes, journaling, and maintaining a detailed calendar helps keep things straight so leaders can spend less time and energy shuffling papers around and more on other matters like idea generation, performance management, employee check-ins, executive meetings, etc.

Consistently Pushing Themselves and Others

Organizations can only grow if leaders and their teams are constantly coming up with new ideas and taking calculated risks. Indeed, this willingness to push the envelope is one of the key qualities of a good leader, and honing it depends on leaders pushing themselves out of their comfort zones in every area of their lives, not just at work. Successful leaders are always challenging themselves, whether it’s running an extra quarter-mile than initially planned, trying new cuisine, attending an unlikely event or concert, and so on. Living life “on the edge” in this way conditions leaders to be bolder in the workplace and mitigate the fear of the unknown so their organization and people can grow in unexpected ways.

Successful leaders are creatures of habit — not just any habits, but habits that help them gain new knowledge, become more self-aware, improve their mental and physical well-being, stay organized, and try new things. At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.

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