LEADERSHIP RESOURCES BLOG

Guidance on leadership development & strategic planning.

We're All in This Together: Creating Buy-In at Every Level

By Leadership Resources 05/06/2022
high five

A successful organization constantly rides the line between change and stasis. Growth cannot occur without new ideas, but radical shifts also threaten to collapse the entire structure, especially when there’s tension among team members. 

Change brings new interpersonal and leadership challenges. When a new policy is proposed or restructuring is in order, it’s imperative that leaders and staff members come to a sincere agreement and work together to enact such a change. 

This voluntary collaboration is known as “buy-in” because individuals must truly buy into and support an idea to help bring it to fruition. Simply put, more buy-in leads to more success.

How does one create buy-in?

In a perfect world, every member of an organization would agree on what’s best. This would eliminate the need to create buy-in because everyone would already be a willing proponent for change in their growing company

However, the real world relies on proper team management and strategic leadership, which involves taking several different perspectives into account and synthesizing them into an optimal solution. To create buy-in, then, leaders must effectively communicate with each individual team member.

What does this communication entail? First, it involves honesty and openness. Leaders must make it clear why they support change, based on the organization’s culture and values. Team members shouldn’t feel afraid to try new things and suggest changes because it feels that everyone is working together toward a shared goal.

By framing it this way, more skeptical team members can better see how this potential shift can benefit the company’s overall vision or mission. Leaders must stay open to feedback about the process, welcoming concerns and answering questions along the way. Any idea worth buying into should be easily defended against such criticism.

This communication might also require some give and take. You can’t expect every idea to strike the hearts and minds of everyone. There may be a period of negotiation that includes active listening, brainstorming, strategic thinking, and compromise. As long as this flow of communication is positive and fits within the company culture, these negotiations can result in the best possible outcome for everyone.

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creating buy-in at every level

The term “buy-in” often turns our minds to investments. In the stock market, buying in early will yield the highest profits, as long as the stock becomes more valuable over time. This principle also applies to buying into ideas in an organization. 

As a team manager, you want your team to buy into potential changes at every level. If the idea is valuable, this will benefit everyone. As a team participant, you also want others to have buy-in because it helps teamwork flow more smoothly as you move toward accomplishing the group’s and company’s goals.

The key here, of course, is to enhance the value of this change over time. This happens in a couple of ways. First, decisions made by a team tend to hold more value than decisions made by a single person. Consider the three types of decision-making: Command, consult, and consensus. 

There is a time and place for each of them, based on the decision that needs to be made and the amount of time you have to make the decision. Knowing which applies to each situation that arises is a skill of strategic leadership. Below, we’ll discuss each type of decision-making in more detail.

Command, Consult, and Consensus Decisions

A command decision is made solely by the decision-maker without input from the team. It A consult decision is made by the decision-maker but includes input from others. This takes a moderate amount of time within which there is some level of give-and-take, and this approach ultimately results in a moderate level of buy-in. 

A consensus decision is made entirely by the group. It has the highest level of buy-in, but it also takes the most time as the group pursues the full extent of the concept that “two heads are better than one.” Consensus decisions sometimes require a laborious process of building buy-in and working together as a team.

Among these three types of decision-making, consensus decisions hold the most value because they affect everyone involved. Each team member feels personally invested and has a stake in the success or failure of the idea.

Remember, while the real dollars-and-cents value of a decision matters, so does perceived value. When staff members buy into a change at every level, the perceived value of said change increases. Of course, an organization must be careful to not allow this perceived value to run away from the real value of an idea, as this can lead to disaster.

Company Structural Considerations for Building Buy-in

Buy-in isn’t something that happens magically. It takes a commitment to work together cohesively and allot the resources required to thoughtfully share feedback and develop action plans.

During any type of decision-making process, it’s vital to have a strong operating system in place to provide structure and direction for the plan to come together. This involves utilizing processes like strategic planning, succession planning, and retaining the top talent it takes to maintain consistency in leadership over the long term.

In general, the sooner team leaders can build buy-in for a particular change, the better. But first, leaders must approach their team with honesty, focus, a solid argument, and a willingness to listen. If they do this, they’ll more easily create buy-in at every level of the process.

The Accelerate Leadership Program

As you can see, buy-in is an essential part of running a successful company. Leadership Resources aims to enhance the leadership qualities of communication and teamwork in order to create more buy-in for your organization and set the stage for success.

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Any company looking to boost buy-in among its employees and leaders can do it through leadership development coaching. Companies looking to have meaningful, lasting guidance in support of developing leaders should invest in coaching and development programs as opposed to training programs.

Consider the Accelerate Leadership Program (ALP), which helps participants expand their leadership confidence and develop a talent for building buy-in. ALP uses a proven process that involves leadership coaching, peer interactions, educational software, and skill-building on topics like emotional intelligence, interpersonal interactions, and honing one’s personal leadership style.

At Leadership Resources, we help companies identify emerging leaders and nurture emotionally intelligent leadership that builds buy-in. When your company needs to implement an effective leadership development plan, we’re here to provide expert guidance and support.

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How to Maintain Respect and Authority While Still Showing Appreciation to Your Team

By Leadership Resources 12/26/2021
Person appreciating their employee

Employee recognition matters, both in terms of retention and productivity. According to a recent Glassdoor survey, approximately 53% of respondents claimed they’d be more likely to stick with a company for the long haul if they genuinely felt appreciated by their managers — 81% stated they were more motivated when their hard work was regularly recognized. If you want to establish a durable, driven company culture, then you need to let your people know that they’re doing a good job. Of course, delivering positive sentiment for its own sake won’t yield the result you’re looking for either. The recognition you deliver must be earned or else the weight of said recognition will diminish. Moreover, you risk losing the respect and trust of your team and colleagues if your praise rings hollow.

Here’s how to maintain respect and authority while still showing plenty of appreciation to your team.

How to Appreciate Your Team Respectfully

Uphold Strong Communication Always

Some people still associate authority with a sort of reservedness, wherein the person in power is behind the scenes, rarely speaking to others outside of a close circle. However, making an effort to speak directly with team members is vital in building mutual respect and showing appreciation. Indeed, your team is bound to respect your authority much more if you’re regularly in the room with them, listening to their thoughts and concerns and playing a role in day-to-day decisions. By honing your leadership communication skills, you can remain well aware of what each team member is doing so you can highlight outstanding performance when you see it — and since your face will be well-known, your employees will believe your kind words when you convey them.

Set Clear Expectations

Good team management relies on coherent ground rules. Some of your employees will simply want to get their work done while others will actively try to go above and beyond. In either case, you need to set clear expectations so every team member knows what they should be doing, how they should behave, and whether or not their actions are worthy of distinct appreciation. When everyone is on the same page in this way, they can better direct their efforts and earn your recognition on a regular basis.

Manage Individual and Team Performance

In order for your praise to be consistently well-founded, you must keep close tabs on your team’s performance. As part of your expectation-setting, you should lay out key performance indicators (KPIs) that help you and your employees maintain a clear grasp on which metrics matter and why. Some common KPIs include sales targets and changes over time, customer retention rate, amount of time it takes to accomplish certain repeated tasks, etc. It’s crucial that these employee KPIs are measurable, realistic, specific, and understood. Performance management using KPIs and other methods will allow you to point to tangible data that reveals exceptional effort, distinct accomplishments, and other benchmarks worthy of applause.

Find Fresh Ways to Deliver Praise

If you’re still not sure of how to best manage your team and express your appreciation in a genuine way, do your best not to fall into stagnation — recognition is always more potent when it’s delivered in unexpected, novel ways. Employees who regularly go above and beyond deserve more than just another shout-out — it might be time to give them a meaningful reward (which in turn may encourage others to follow said employee’s example). Also, avoid concise, rote appreciation, instead taking the time to cater your praise in such a way that emphasizes an individual’s efforts. Timing and context can make a difference, too — will you recognize someone in the presence of their team or recognize their work one-on-one? There’s no single way to show your team appreciation, so mix up your delivery and wording to make the biggest impact each time.

Recognition with Respect

As a leader, you must strike a balance between expressing appreciation to your team and maintaining your authority so your people continue to feel motivated to do their best work. Pursuing ongoing leadership communication training is one of the best ways to achieve this balance. The better you are at communicating with your team, the stronger your culture will become — making sure your people feel sincerely appreciated is a major part of this equation.


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 obstacles 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 Ensure Your Leadership Style Is Adapting to the Ever Changing Market

By Leadership Resources 12/13/2021
Notepad that says "adaptive leadership"

The world of business is always in flux. Whether it’s a global pandemic like the one we’ve seen in recent years or the accelerating growth of technology across industries, the only constant is change. Rather than run away from change, leaders must be ready and willing to adapt to uncertain circumstances. Getting too stuck in your ways can quickly lead to organizational stagnation. On the other hand, constantly switching up leadership styles can create instability and confusion in the workplace. Sustainable leadership strikes a balance between resolve and flexibility. Here are some ways to ensure your leadership style can adapt to an ever-changing market and world.

How to Adjust Your Leadership with the Culture

Communication Comes First

As we’ve discussed many times before, communication lies at the heart of leadership. In order to continuously adapt as a leader, you must not only keep your people apprised of relevant information — you must also actively seek feedback to make sure your leadership style remains productive. Open and reciprocal communication allows everyone within an organization to stay in the know, address their ideas and concerns, and get ahead of issues before they arise. In this way, maintaining strong communication elevates company culture and allows it to bend with changing circumstances without breaking.

Stay Savvy to Current Trends

The list of important leadership qualities can become extensive. One key quality that’s sometimes overlooked, however, is staying informed — not merely in regards to internal matters but also relevant trends and changes occurring outside the workplace. After all, the only way to ensure your leadership style is adapting to a turbulent world is having a finger on the pulse of said changes. Losing sight of the world around you can silo you and your company in detrimental ways. Knowledgeable and worldy leaders can better anticipate important changes and therefore enter the future with more confidence and direction. 

Never Stop Learning

This piece of advice is related to the previous one. More specifically, however, leaders should never feel as if they’ve completed their leadership journey. There is always more to learn about being a leader, especially considering how often and quickly the world around us changes. Indeed, ongoing leadership development prevents stagnation and opens new doors. Moreover, the more you grow as a leader, the skills you learn will naturally pass down to others in your workplace, promoting growth across the board. So, if and when possible, seek new opportunities for leadership growth — this might mean taking classes, attending networking events, hiring an executive coach, teaching others, and more.

Review Your Progress

Lastly, the only way to stay on the right track as a leader is to track your progress over time. Every business and leader will approach periodic reviews differently, but the idea is to check in at certain intervals and go over how specific strategies and goals are panning out (or not panning out). Taking the time to audit your personal performance as well as the performance of your peers, employees, and business at large will help you identify areas of improvement and celebrate successes. Once you have a more tangible sense of what’s not working, you can take steps to make purposeful change as a leader and an organization.

Embracing Change

We all would like certain things to stay the way they are, but most of these matters are out of control. While we can’t force the world to go in our direction all the time, however, we can respond to a changing world with tact. Focusing on strong communication, staying informed, constantly learning, and holding yourself accountable will allow you to adapt your leadership style for everyone’s benefit.


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 onstacles 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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5 Reasons Why Peer-to-Peer Communication Boosts Morale in the Workplace

By Leadership Resources 11/15/2021
Two colleagues communicating

In previous entries, we’ve discussed the importance of strong leadership communication in any organization. Of course, communication shouldn’t merely flow in one direction. Employees must also hone their abilities to properly communicate with managers and peers alike. Indeed, when team members learn to better communicate with one another, the entire company stands to benefit. Let’s explore why peer-to-peer communication boosts morale in the workplace.

Benefits of Peer-to-Peer Communication

1) Creates a Culture of Authenticity and Transparency

In hierarchical settings, people can feel left out of certain conversations as others might wish to withhold certain information from others. While there are legitimate reasons for gatekeeping sensitive details at different levels, a positive and productive company culture relies on authenticity. If an employee is keeping something to themselves for self-serving or unfounded reasons (i.e., fear, leverage, etc.), an unnecessary roadblock is formed. Over time, employees can silo themselves, cliques can form, and the culture can become one of secrecy and defensiveness. Conversely, encouraging peer-to-peer communication breaks down these walls and builds trust among employees. When all employees are on the same page, there’s less room for petty grievances, allowing for greater productivity and morale.

2) Encourages Mutual Recognition

The healthiest organizational cultures are those that actively recognize team members for outstanding work. However, building a positive team culture relies on more than receiving this positive feedback from supervisors alone — employees also benefit from being recognized by their peers. Strong teams are built upon mutual recognition. One employee’s success should be seen as a win for the whole team, not a slight against other employees. When peers give and receive appreciation to one another, the sense that, “we’re better together,” is solidified. 

3) Empowers Employees

When employees feel like they’re on their own, they may feel less inclined to speak out, ask questions, make suggestions, and take action. Leaders are partially responsible for helping their team members feel empowered on the whole, but one’s peers also contribute to this empowerment. After all, receiving encouragement from a peer is one of the best endorsements one can receive since this advice comes from more of a level playing field. When all employees provide this encouragement for one another, the entire team becomes bolder, strengthening the organization overall.

4) Promotes Productivity

Peer-to-peer communication also helps streamline various processes. In many cases, a simple check-in or question answered is all that’s needed to solve a problem. While leaders may sometimes get involved in resolving or clarifying these issues, peers can often take care of it themselves. The easier it is for peers to communicate with one another, the more productive teams become, freeing up time and resources for everyone and boosting morale in the process.

5) Cultivates Leaders in Your Organization

Finally, a strong peer-to-peer communication network helps budding leaders reach their full potential. Of all the ways to develop leadership communication skills, maintaining a strong connection with fellow employees is one of the most powerful. While there are some differences regarding communication between peers and communication between leaders and those in their purview, the core tenets of strong communication remain the same, such as clarity, consistency, timing, attention, use of language, and more. Leaders who have mastered how to manage communication in teams most likely began developing these skills via peer-to-peer communication.


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 obstacles 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 Coach Your Sales Team to Optimize Performance

By Leadership Resources 10/27/2021
Sales team in a meeting

No one said managing a sales team was easy. With so much money at stake and so many egos involved, managers may often feel tempted to play things by the book and simply hope things will work out — the only problem is that there is no “playbook,” so to speak, that works for every enterprise, team, or salesperson. Just because people used to do things a certain way doesn’t mean they should have in every case, or that those methods apply to the modern workplace. So, while there are many coaching skills for leaders to develop, honing in on antiquated methods will keep you and your business stuck in the past.

Here are some tips for coaching your sales team to optimize performance without resorting to outdated, counterintuitive tactics.

How to Coach a Sales Team

Direct, Don’t Dictate

If you have the final word on every single matter, your employees will soon feel stifled in their decision-making, and their ability to garner interest and close deals will suffer as a result. Remember that you hired every team member in your purview for a reason — they’re intelligent, capable people. Rather than constantly micromanaging their actions, act as a director, guiding their attention, honing their strengths, and checking their weaknesses. Your team members will learn much more with this brand of strong leadership communication than they will simply being told what to do all the time.

Measure Results, Not Face-Time

The workplace is changing fast, which means our conception of the traditional office no longer holds the weight it once did. With the increase in at-home work and virtual office spaces, less emphasis should be placed on one’s physical presence (i.e., hours spent “clocked in”), and more should be placed on actual performance. Different businesses will approach these changes in different ways, of course. When it comes to sales team management, consider whether it’s necessary to have your team together in the same physical space at all times — if your people can perform just as well from home, allow them the flexibility to get their job done wherever they’re most productive. The important thing is setting clear expectations and boundaries so your team is always aware of how and where they should conduct business and how to remain accountable regardless.

Incentivize with More than Money

Raises and bonuses have long been the high benchmark for encouraging continuous improvement and retaining team members. And while no one would deny that money is a strong motivator, it’s not the only means for boosting sales numbers or bolstering company culture, nor is it always the most efficient. In our previous blog, “It’s Not the Money: Why Compensation Models Have Limits in Motivating Workers,” we discussed the diminishing returns of finance-based incentives and explored the importance of inspiring meaning in one’s work. Optimal employee management and motivation require more than the mere promise of money — they also require positive feedback, appropriate placement (i.e., putting the right people in the right positions), continual education and development, healthy work-life balance, and more.

Putting the “Win” Back in Your Sales

If there was a single, foolproof way to manage a sales team (or any business, for that matter), there’d be no need for sales team management training or improvement, more broadly. As times change, everyone must be more willing to adapt in order to uncover the maximum potential of themselves, their peers, and their workers. The old ways simply won’t do — not without some adjustment, at least.


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 Get More Productive Feedback from Peers

By Leadership Resources 10/13/2021
Man receiving feedback from peers

In some ways, we know ourselves better than anyone else does — this doesn’t mean we lack blindspots, however. We’re not always aware of our personal shortcomings, and the only way to grow as individuals and leaders is to receive honest feedback from those closest to us. That said, the exchange of criticism in the workplace doesn’t always go over so smoothly. For one thing, some employees may feel apprehensive about giving their managers feedback — there are differing philosophies regarding how managers should talk to employees and vice versa. Additionally, leaders can feel uncomfortable seeking feedback from their peers or dishing it out. However, a lack of open communication can stifle growth across the board, and navigating these waters skillfully is essential for cultivating a healthy company culture.

With all this in mind, let’s explore how to receive honest, productive feedback from your peers without hurting morale or missing the big picture.

How to Get Productive Feedback

Reframe the Question

The term “feedback” can carry a certain weight to it, shading a conversation in a particular light that’s not always conducive to specific, honest remarks. When seeking constructive criticism from peers, it’s often best to avoid this term altogether and phrase your inquiry in a more direct and answerable fashion. For instance, instead of asking a fellow leader for general feedback on your performance, inform them that you’re trying to improve in a particular way (i.e., improving leadership communication, day-to-day productivity, community involvement, etc.) — then, ask them if they think there are things you could do to make said improvements. Direct questions like these won’t just elicit more honest and pertinent responses — they’ll also open the door for more transparent feedback.

Don’t Dawdle

The best performance management and feedback outcomes occur when no time is wasted. If something happens at a meeting or event that warrants attention, waiting several days (or longer) to address the issue in question can create confusion and close an important window of opportunity. Our minds can only store so much short-term information, after all, so the sooner you receive feedback related to a specific moment, the more accurate and meaningful it will be.

Ask for Feedback in the Right Frame of Mind

While it’s important to seek feedback in a timely fashion, you don’t want to be unnecessarily hasty, either. If something goes wrong or you’re eager to ask a peer about your performance, you might come off as anxious or frustrated to receive whatever feedback they might have for you. These feelings are normal and not always easy to control in a given moment, but it’s important to only ask for feedback when you’re truly able to hear it — this requires some degree of calm and objectivity.

Fully Digest Feedback Before Reacting

You’re not going to like every piece of advice or criticism you receive — if you did, there would be no room for positive change. Once you’ve received feedback from your peer(s), it’s important to remain calm and avoid reacting off the cuff. Remember that your peers are trying to help you and that they have a unique perspective on different situations and your performance (a perspective you can’t see on your own). You might have a knee-jerk negative reaction to certain bits of feedback, but rather than fighting back or rejecting their validity, take the criticism in stride and allow yourself to think on it for a while before taking action. Even if you still disagree with the verdict, you can now respond in a more objective manner. Most importantly, always thank the person delivering feedback, so they’re willing to provide more honest, constructive criticism in the future.

Make Necessary Changes Based on Feedback

No amount of honest feedback is worth anything if you don’t absorb it and use it to grow as an individual and leader. Failing to adhere to feedback that’s been given to you in good faith will prevent you from overcoming certain challenges and most likely put you in similar positions in the future — positions that might warrant disciplinary action. Moreover, taking feedback to heart and making key adjustments will encourage your peers to continue giving you honest feedback because they’ll see firsthand that you’re willing to actively listen to their comments. Ultimately, this “feedback loop,” so to speak, results in continuous leadership growth and a more open work environment for everyone.


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 Entrepreneurs Should Take the Best Parts from Multiple Operating System Methodologies

By Leadership Resources 08/13/2021
Person holding gears

In our previous article, “How an Operating System Drives Profit & Growth,” we defined what a business operating system is and how the right one can bring your organization to new heights. To sum up, a company operating system is a sturdy yet flexible strategic guidebook for the company’s internal processes. Think of it as the core from which all planning within an organization stem. With the right operating system in place, employees and leaders can collaborate with more clarity and purpose at every stage of the game, resulting in leadership development, long-term growth, and increased profits.

Of course, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all operating system. Every business has a unique company culture and specific needs, after all. So, while there are many ways to approach your company’s operating system, the best approach synthesizes the best parts from multiple methodologies. Let’s explore why this fusion of various operating system components results in the best outcomes for entrepreneurs and businesses.

Why You Should Integrate Operating System Methodologies

Bridge the Gaps Between Different Ideologies

Among the various systems, tools, and philosophies that help a business thrive, each one comes with its share of holes. If you think of each of these different methodologies as a piece of swiss cheese, you can cover these various holes by layering different pieces with differently placed holes on top of one another, creating an impenetrable system that bridges all possible gaps. In other words, one company’s operating system might not work for another company, but the system may feature certain advantageous aspects worth keeping — and the same goes for yet another operating system, and so on. By leveraging the strengths of each of these systems, you can achieve the best of all worlds for your unique operating system. You’ll end up with a customized and optimized playbook for everything from employee management  to succession planning to conflict resolution and more.

Set Yourself up for Success

Your operating system isn’t just about your organization — it’s also about your people (the two go hand in hand, of course). Ultimately, your operating system should enable the talent that already exists within your team and place people in the right positions so everyone in your organization shares the game goals. Cultivating this continuous leadership growth is only possible if you take an integrated approach to crafting your operating system. By addressing your company’s pain points and unique concerns, you can begin to build a systematic process for navigating all hurdles standing in the way of personal and organizational growth. For starters, you’ll want to define what “success” means for your entire company and its team members. From there, you can establish consistent accountability, clear goals, and deliver ongoing coaching to fortify these elements, all at the proper pace for you.

The Benefits of an Optimized Operation System

Before you begin crafting your own company operating system, it helps to know the many advantages that can come from this optimization. These benefits include:

  • Scaling up your leadership and profit margins by getting and keeping the right people in the right seats
  • Optimizing data to hone your business game and make intuitive decisions that benefit your brand and bottom line
  • Managing cash with more clarity and control
  • Meeting and exceeding goals by making the most of tailor-made tools tuned for your organization’s unique needs and ambitions

You might already know which factors drive your company’s growth, but receiving outside help from a provider like Leadership Resources allows you to illuminate where your energy and effort are consistently going. We help companies like yours problem-solve and see trends over time to make a real difference. We meet you where you are and help you achieve your vision, handpicking the best components from a wide array of methodologies to support and enhance our clients in their ability to achieve their vision.

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 Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Change Your Leadership Behaviors

By Leadership Resources 07/29/2021
Diverse team with their hands together

The history of the American workplace is complex but largely defined by a push toward better conditions, increased benefits, fairer wages, and more diverse and inclusive environments. Indeed, diversity education entered the U.S. workplace in the 1960s alongside the burgeoning civil rights movement, gradually developing into more rigorous training programs in the ‘80s and ‘90s. While these early days of diversity training primarily focused on issues of race, these programs began to expand to consider other identities such as gender, sexual orientation, ethnic/religious background, class, and more. Today, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives have become three pillars of the modern American workplace, though some companies have done a better job incorporating DEI than others. 

More than a buzzword, DEI has proven to yield practical benefits to businesses that prioritize these matters; a 2018 whitepaper by Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP) entitled “Diversity & Inclusion in Corporate Social Engagement” shows that these organizations have been able to capture new markets with a success rate that’s about 70% higher than their competitors. Of course, these advantages don’t appear out of thin air. Providing your business with the benefits that DEI has to offer begins with committed, competent leadership. While we’ve discussed the importance of leadership training many times before, let’s now go over how diversity, inclusion, and equity should inform leaders in your organization and how DEI can change leadership behaviors for the better.

How to Lead a Diverse Team

Recognizing the Advantages of Diverse Viewpoints

A true commitment to diversity in your workplace is about gathering a multitude of perspectives, especially from individuals and groups that haven’t been given as much of a chance in the past. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t continue hiring the most qualified people, but rather broaden your scope and seek those who can bring new ideas and strengths to the table. Empathy is the bridge between diversity and inclusion. Leaders who actively cultivate diversity quickly realize how much doing so benefits their organization as a whole. 

Developing intercultural competence contributes to a richer company culture by inviting employees and leaders to complement the workplace culture rather than assimilate to an existing, rigid one. In this way, employees and leaders are constantly learning new things and challenging themselves. In other words, diversity isn’t about ticking a box or paying lip service to “tolerance” — it’s about stimulating a more modern, creative, and competitive work environment.

Approaching Employees with Empathy

The term “equity” has many definitions and is often conflated with the related but distinct term “equality.” In this context, equity is about acknowledging that individuals can come from very different places in terms of education level, class, cultural background, lived experiences, and so on. In other words, we’re not all starting on a level playing field. While these differences inform our character and ambitions, business leaders should do their best to recognize the obstacles and opportunities that derive from these deviations with the goal of establishing a more equitable work environment. 

Empathy is at the root of this leadership growth. The essence of empathy, in the context of equity, is the practice of The Platinum Rule: “Do unto others as they would want done to them.” Emotionally intelligent leaders are willing and able to identify the unique struggles of their employees by maintaining strong lines of communication. In doing so, you can provide the right opportunities for the right people, lifting everyone up to their highest potential and ultimately achieving greater equity across the board.

Empowering Employee Participation Across the Board

An inclusive workplace is one where every employee feels comfortable expressing their ideas and opinions without fear of judgment for punishment (so long as individuals aren’t intentionally saying or doing things that harm others). Leaders are largely responsible for cultivating this type of environment by actively engaging with every team member, asking questions, promoting openness, mitigating conflict and bias, and so on. This approach to team management will result in greater participation, which in turn leads to innovation (much in the same way that diversity does).  

DEI Makes for More Adaptive, Effective Leaders

The workplace is always evolving, and leaders must evolve with it. As diversity, equity, and inclusion practices become more prominent and beneficial, they must become more of a focus in leadership development programs. 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 Operating System Drives Profit & Growth

By Leadership Resources 07/15/2021
Company operating system icons on blocks

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.

Benefits of a Company Operating System

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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How an Established Leader Can Better Communicate

By Leadership Resources 05/26/2021
Leader communicating with his team

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.

How to Best Communicate With Your Team

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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