The Great Resignation

resignation
The Great Resignation

The Great Resignation has been upon us for a few months now. In July, I wrote an article for CMI speaker’s blog about the record-breaking statistics of employees leaving the workforce. Then, April broke the record for most people quitting a job when over 4 million people quit. That’s the most since the founding of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Since April, that record has been surpassed two more times. In fact, both July and August saw even greater numbers of people quitting their jobs. 

A handful of months after the great downsizing brought on by the pandemic, most companies are struggling to keep their workforces intact. Why?

What is the giant upheaval grounded in? Why are people opting to be unemployed rather than continuing in their secured careers?

An article from the Atlantic attributes some of this upheaval to essentially a lack of submission or patience. As a result, people all over the country, and now the world, are opting out. The general sentiment? We deserve better.

The Great Shift

I think we can all recognize this undertone. This desire for something more, something different. People’s visions everywhere have changed because of the pandemic. What many used to want is no longer at the forefront of their minds. Everything has shifted. 

As work entered the sphere of home life, the lines became blurry. Work-life balance took on new meaning, and many people’s work and life goals took on new trajectories. Employers were not a part of that work-from-home life. That aspect of people’s careers popped into their homes a few times a day on a computer screen and otherwise played a distant role. Employers did not come along in these new visions that employees started dreaming up. After all, they seemed so far away. 

How to Be a Part of the New Vision

What can you do to minimize the Great Resignation in your workplace?

First, be the employer that goes along with the new vision. Make sure you are present and not some far off Zoom manager. 

I have some tips for how to come along with these new visions. First and foremost, get the voices of your people. You have to listen. Begin by asking to spend time with your people. Once you are in a conducive environment to connect, ask questions like, “what do you see yourself doing now that you didn’t do before?” Or “how has your vision of yourself changed?” In other words, be transparent and dig deeper.

Surface-level questions will just emphasize the distance from you that your employees considering quitting are most likely all too aware of. Instead, connect and spend one-on-one time. When you become part of their work-life, there is a greater likelihood that you and your organization will be part of their new visions.

Attraction vs Retention

With everyone worrying about the labor shortage or experiencing it firsthand, it is hard not to jump into a fastrack hiring process and spur of the moment incentive changes. But what is it that will put a lasting end to the Great Resignation?

Retention. It’s not about how many replacements or open positions you can fill within your organization. That doesn’t matter if the pull to stay wasn’t strong enough for some of your long-term employees. 

Attraction is a powerful asset, but there will always be those that you can’t keep. Sometimes there is no way to mend and bend to everybody’s changes in their visions. Oftentimes, the best thing we can do is focus on highlighting the organization’s values day in and day out. Authentic caring leaders who are examples of the values they profess will work wonders as far as attraction goes. 

The more caring a leader becomes, the more renowned they become among their direct reports. People start to talk about the positive effects you have had on their life as their leader. As a result, word of mouth travels, and suddenly, because you are a good, honorable and trustworthy manager, you will attract vast amounts of talent. Plus, you’ll retain it too. Sadly, many organizations often underestimate the power of an effective referral process. 

The Solution

Recruitment and retention policies must mirror one another and reflect the organization’s values. This can be done by mirroring those policies in your caring leadership behaviors. The processes must be tracked by metrics and enforced through systems and processes. Of course, caring leadership can’t only occur within silos. We need all leaders like you across the board to step up within their organizations and reflect the traits they want to attract and retain. 

After implementing this support through the organization’s fabric, focus on being present to your people again. If you want to be a part of your employees’ future and you want them to be a part of the organization’s future, then you need to be a part of their life every single day. 

191: Leaders with Heart are Willing to Adapt

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In this episode, Heather interviews Matthew Raidbard, Ed.D., the College Athletics Administrator at Hartford University, author of “Lead Like A Pro” and owner of Raidbard Sports Leadership Consulting. Dr. Raidbard completed his Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Chicago State, with his dissertation focusing on determining the best leadership style and behaviors for athletic coaches to practice. His findings inspired his book, “Lead Like A Pro,” where he helps inform coaches about leadership practices and teaches them how to align their perceived and actual leadership styles and behaviors. As a result, this allows them to become more intentional, adapt, and be more effective leaders.

Key Takeaways: 

  • The athletics world needs leadership just as much as corporate.
  • Leading by example is always best.
  • Setting your intention for leadership makes it a more straightforward and more accessible path to follow.
  •  Different styles of leadership are effective for different groups of people.
  • Coaching college athletes is similar to coaching corporate employees.
  • All team members need feedback.
  • Leading with empathy creates more substantial relationships.
Leaders should be providing feedback along the entire process. – Matthew Raidbard #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Matthew Raidbard obtained his Bachelor’s degree in history and classical studies from Indiana University, and then decided to pursue his dream of being a college basketball coach. His first college basketball coaching job was at Western New Mexico University, where in addition to coaching he completed his Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. After leaving Western New Mexico he served as a men’s basketball coach at Dartmouth College, Florida Gulf Coast University, and Chicago State University. While working at Chicago State he completed his Doctorate in Educational Leadership, with his dissertation focusing on determining the best leadership style and behaviors for athletic coaches to practice.

Lead Like A Pro

Firstly, I always tried to work hard to develop positive relationships with my athletes. It was important for me to get to know them on a human level and be somebody who really cared about them. Then when I moved into administration, my leadership became towards other coaches and my staff instead of the athletes. But my leadership practice remained the same. It was and is very centered on serving others. I try to go into every day or every meeting with the mindset of ‘how can I make this better for everybody else?’ Lastly, for me, it’s about making my team have a really good experience. Besides, I like to get them really involved and get their input. It always works best that way.

adapt matthew raidbard change leader

190: Leaders with Heart Share with Others

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In this episode, Heather interviews Nick Lopez, the founder of Lime. LIME Painting is the first and only national high-end painting company. LIME is a franchise brand with a social enterprise in LIME Light Outreach, Inc. that gives franchisees a platform to give back to their local community’s youth through LIME Light’s Four Pillars of Knowledge: Faith, Family, Patriotism, and Prosperity. Take a listen. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Building a successful company requires a clear vision
  • Intention is critical when you’re building a conscious brand
  • Be intentional with who you do business
  • Sometimes it’s better to grow slower when you have a long-term goal
  • Being passionate about your work is the best path to success
  • LIME is a game-changing business model that provides unique opportunities for the community
I'm leveling up and helping others level up as well. – Nick Lopez #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Nick Lopez attended Arvada West High School and left Colorado as a wide-eyed first-generation college student to work on a BS in business marketing from Michigan State University. His plan was to walk on to the wrestling team, which would ultimately pay for the cost of tuition and living. The reality was that a scholarship was a couple of years away, so Nick made the tough decision to hang up his wrestling shoes for an entrepreneurial endeavor to support the cost of his education.

At the age of 19, Nick founded his first painting LLC, and every summer thereafter he painted homes to help pay for tuition, books, and cost of living. By doing so, Nick developed a real passion and love for the craft of home improvement. In his third year as the owner of the company, the “light bulb” went off. He realized that those years of painting didn’t have to be his last, and that a future in the home improvement industry he had grown to love, made sense. From that point forward, Nick focused himself on building a business that would set the standard for excellence in painting and home improvement.

Upon graduation, Nick and his soon-to-be wife moved back to Colorado to start their family. Soon after, Nick launched LIME Painting in Denver. He created, developed, and perfected a game-changing business model for consistently delivering exceptionally high-quality home improvement services. High-quality people were the secret to LIME’s early and ongoing success. They have been the key to making LIME the special home service company that customers have been searching for. LIME has perfected a partnership model that appeals to the most talented artisans within a market and marries them directly to clients for exceptional craftsmanship.

Being Intentional is Key

We now offer over 40 different, and we’re actually the first and only national high-end paint company. When I was planning and building a successful company, I wanted to make sure that I was intentional about how I did that. You know, I’m leveling up in life and want to help others level up as well. That’s why although we could be growing faster, we’re very intentional about the people that we partner with. We want to make sure that they fit our values and their teams do as well. 

 

leaders share nick lopez heart

Are You An Inclusive Leader?

inclusive leadership meeting

We are trying to construct a more inclusive society. We are going to make a country in which no one is left out.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

My daughter had a tough middle school year. She agonized over how she felt left out of circles and discussions and events. I would often coach her to look past it all and realize that many of her classmates were going through similar things.

Her situation felt different. She told me that she felt like her classmates looked past and through her to talk to and include other people. She was really hurt, and so was her self-esteem. I supported her and told her to hang on a little longer since she would be graduating. Then, one weekend, she looked at one of her social media pages and noticed that one of those classmates had a birthday party that included mostly everyone from her class but excluded a few.

She was not invited. And although this was not a new occurrence, it still hurt.

I get it!

Everyone has the right to invite whomever they want to their parties. However, social media changes the impact in many ways because people can celebrate and exclude others in a more public way.

I can’t help but think about how Inclusion plays a similar role in the workplace.

Are there people inside your organization who feel passed over and looked through? Are there high-performing employees who have great things to say but don’t get a chance to say them?

How inclusive are you?

Do you make sure that unpopular voices have a seat at the table? Are they in the room but not really recognized as an important voice? Do you look through certain people to cater to those who look a certain way or speak a certain way?

Below are five considerations if you are striving to be a more inclusive leader:

1. LISTEN AND ACT

Who do you listen to? Do you consider the narrow view of just a few, or make sure you include people with varied backgrounds? Do you act upon the most common voices, or are you courageous enough to act upon the uncommon feedback?

Inclusive leaders both look for and listen to diverse perspectives and take certain actions to show that those perspectives are valued.

If you want to be a more inclusive leader, listen to everyone and commit to taking action on much of what you hear.

2. EXPAND YOUR CIRCLE

Who is in your inner circle? Leaders who take the time to ensure that their circle is only homogeneous in values and purpose and not based upon the same physical characteristics or background are simply more inclusive.

Some years ago, I had a diverse coaching client who recalled a time when her boss held a firm party and excluded her. She found out about it, because others in the office were talking about it and brought gifts back they received at the party. She felt like an outsider and did not understand why it happened. Her boss never gave her an explanation.

Was this type of behavior typical for this leader? Most likely, yes! We are often more comfortable with people who share our same lived experiences. But, unfortunately, when we surround ourselves with people like us, we create more blind spots and minimize our chances of creating more innovative teams.

Inclusive leaders go out of their way to include people who might challenge their thinking and bring innovative ideas to the table.

If you want to be a more inclusive leader, review and expand your inner circle.

3. COLLABORATE OFTEN

To collaborate means to admit that you alone don’t have the answers. Instead, the best solutions spring from the back and forth at the collaboration table.

If you want to be a more inclusive leader, dare to invite many different types of people to the table because that is when the fun begins!

4. AUDIT HIRING AND PROMOTION PRACTICES

Affinity bias is real. It is when we are inclined to include those around us who are like us. When hiring and promoting team members, this type of bias can be a barrier to real Inclusion. Audit your hiring and promotion practices and consistently ask yourself whether you are letting bias get in the way of including others who aren’t like you.

5. MONITOR THE LANGUAGE BEING USED

To be an inclusive leader, we must consider the language we use around those inside or outside our circle. To include also means to make someone feel welcome or like they are important. If we are or someone in our circle is using words that exclude, then we have a problem. Take the time to evaluate and research the right things to say and how to refer to certain situations and people in your space. So often, we or those around us initiate microaggressions against those in marginalized groups and harm them by our words.

Inclusive leaders monitor for this and tweak and adjust along the way.

________________________________

Someone once told me that “diversity is being invited to the party, and Inclusion is asking them to dance.” So let’s all commit to being the kind of leaders who ask many people to dance!

189: Leaders with Heart are Life-long Learners

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In this episode, Heather interviews Rich Gassen, a Print Production Manager at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He’s also a friend, supporter, and devoted life-long learner. In 2018, Heather and Rich had the pleasure of having Rich as a guest on episode 32, and in this episode, they reflect on how much they’ve grown since. Rich has been a supervisor since 2012 and has had to pivot and adapt to the changes of this last year and a half. He considers himself a life-long learner and even went back to college at the age of 40. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Leadership requires continuous improvement
  • Being a life-long learner is extremely rewarding
  • Having a community of like-minded people provides you with resources and unlimited knowledge
  • Leading the whole person is critical to employee engagement and retention
  • Employees have lives outside of work that must be considered
Just show up and participate. – Rich Gassen #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Rich Gassen is the Printing Production Manager at The University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to that, he is also the owner of Flying Button Design. He is also the chair of Campus Supervisors Network, a CoP for managers on campus to network and train to help them excel in their roles as leaders. Rich has 30 years of experience in graphic design, photography, and web design.

He has spent his adult life working in print, prepress and design environments, focusing on supervision and empowerment, marketing, graphic design, prepress, customer service, consulting, and project management. Rich began supervising at UW-Madison in 2012. Before then, he was in lead production roles.

A Different Outlook

Around the time that you and I spoke, three years ago, I went came through a little bit of a health scare that definitely changed my outlook on life and leadership. I became much more empathetic. Also, I have a lot more gratitude in my life now than I did before. That’s why I now always try to lead the whole person. I’m now able to see their situations, and you know, life outside of work more than even I did back then. I’ve really taken on and tried to embody Whole Person Leadership. Whether it’s a family issue, or anything else going on in their lives, I try to be as flexible as possible with my teams. A lot of this new mentality has to do with my health scare, which taught me that everyone has a lot going on in their lives outside of work. 

leaders life long learners

Leading When You’ve Been Beaten

leading manager

Leading When You’ve Been Beaten

One of the hardest roles a leader has to play is managing and reacting in the heat of the moment. Nobody likes when things disrupt our sense of order or upend our plans. It is very telling of a person’s leadership caliber to observe them when abrupt change happens and how they react. 

Airport Adversity

Not too long ago, I was on a flight, and we were just about to take off when the pilot’s voice came over the loudspeaker. He told us there was a mechanical issue that required us to return to the gate. So another 30 minutes go by while we wait on the plane, and then we find out we have to deplane and board a different plane. 

We started deboarding and walking to the new gate, and I could hear and see the frustration. A general sense of grumbling had taken over the passengers because of the inconvenience. To be clear, I wasn’t happy about this sudden upheaval, but then again, I was happy it didn’t happen midair. Moreover, I was glad I still had a flight to catch.  

Leadership in the Unkown

The whole ordeal made me think of leaders in those crucial moments. The kind that you can’t plan for because they will always, always, catch you unaware. Leaders have to remember in those moments that they have an audience. Who is watching you when you are off guard? 

Many leaders are born out of these kinds of unwanted moments. But, who will rise to the occasion and offer support to their peers? Maybe many of you have witnessed the beauty of leadership in this regard. 

Admittedly, I am not the best at these tests of character. In the story above, I was fine, and nothing took too serious a turn. It was a light example of the spontaneous harsh moments leaders might find themselves in quite often. 

Mindset is Key

How can we normalize being cool, calm, and collected during chaos? Amid a metaphorical storm? One of the best things is to practice controlling our mindset and our reactivity to small things each day. This way, if a drastic and brutal change sweeps you off your feet, you will have a series of well-founded habits to ground you in your imminent response. 

In many ways, our greatest asset during these trying situations will be our resilience. I have spoken extensively about resilience and my own experiences building it. We need to expand our influence as leaders so that more will see the good power of resilience. Additionally, let’s practice being intentional about mindset and choosing to see the brighter side. You can listen to how I developed this practice in my own life here, in a TEDx talk where I speak on resilience. 

Light the Way

I chose to be a source of light for others during a difficult time in my own life. Uplifting those around me has always helped me focus on others and serve them, the art of a truly caring leader. I am no master, but I continue to work at it every day. Moreover, I try to help others like you develop these same skill sets. 

Resilient together, we can stand tall against whatever trials and tribulations the future has in store for us. Of course, there will always be a bigger and worse form of opposition. But each day, as we conquer whatever small opposition we encounter, we are better prepared to handle the worst of it. 

Stand Tall

When these moments of adversity arise, we need to remember to be brave. So often, we act like victims and forget how to cope. Plus, this perpetuates a vicious cycle of the blame game. The blame game is a selfish denial of responsibility, an easy way out that causes a deeper-rooted issue. Being resilient, moving past adversity with poise, and looking out for others is the sign of a true caring leader.

I look forward to the next adversity I face to challenge myself to lead well even when it’s tough. I’m ready for the challenge, are you?

 

188: Leaders with Heart Care for All

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In this episode, Heather sits down with Peter Carlson, a Partner at Pet Evolution Franchising. A franchise that focuses heavily on “Helping Pets Live the Good Life!” by providing the best food, care, and supplies for pets. Located in the cities of Arden Hills and Woodbury, MN, they provide all-natural pet food as well as a wide variety of interactive toys that keep pets fit and active. Caring leadership isn’t just about humans. Take a listen!

 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Caring Leadership is not limited to humans
  • Pets play an important role in our mental health
  • Care can be extended to all things
  • Educating yourself in critical for your wellbeing, as well as your pets

Peter Carlson is a Partner at Pet Evolution Franchising, a Regional Developer for OurTown America, a Regional Developer for PROSE, and a Partner at FedEx Ground. He graduated from Augsburg University with a Bachelor’s in Marketing, Economics, and Sociology. He then went on to get his Master’s in Psychology from St. Mary’s University. 

It wasn’t always franchise

You know, I first started as a customer at Pet Evolution. Four years ago. I walked in the door, and I thought, “oh, this looks, feels, tastes, and acts like a franchise.” The branding and the whole customer experience felt like a franchise. So, when I asked and inquired about the fact, they told me that they were independent. Truthfully, that was surprising. Fast forward to about a year ago, last summer, my fourth dog, a standard poodle by the name of Leo, was going through all kinds of problems nutritionally with his wellness. I turned to Pet Evolution for help since they specialize in nutrition for dogs and cats. A woman named Kylie took me under her arm, and she educated me on the crucial differences between feeding your dog properly with good food versus not. That’s how it started.

care for all leaders
 
 

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187: Leaders with Heart Give Hope for the Future

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In this episode, Heather interviews Dr. Kimberly Townsend, President and CEO of Loretto Management Corporation in Syracuse, NY. Dr. Townsend is an expert in the fields of healthcare management, board governance, and leadership. She is also the author of leadership books Lifecircle Leadership: How Exceptional People Make Every Day Extraordinary and Lessons in Lifecircle Leadership: A Guide to Pragmatic Altruism. Finally, in this podcast, you’ll hear all about what Dr. Townsend and her company are doing to help their current staff and ensure that the generations after them are economically secure.
 
Dr. Townsend gives hope.
 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Doing good is good for business
  • Pragmatic altruism works parallel with Leadership with Heart
  • Organizations should involve love in their company cultures
  • Non-profits and for profit businesses can help their people more than they know
Doing good is good for business. – Dr. Kimberly Townsend #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Kimberly Townsend, MBA, MPA, JD, Ed.D, CPA, GPHR, joined the board of Loretto Management Corporation in Syracuse, NY in 2011 and was named President and CEO in 2014. Before that, Dr. Townsend spent 13 years at Welch Allyn, a medical devices and software company, working her way from Attorney to Associate General Counsel to Senior Director of Government Affairs. Previous work includes positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and Ernst & Young LLP.

Dr. Townsend earned a Bachelor in Business Administration, a Masters of Business Administration, a Juris Doctorate, and an Executive Masters of Public Administration from Syracuse University and a Doctorate in Executive Leadership from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY. Other professional development includes Measurement, Design and Analysis Methods for Health Outcomes Research and Leadership Strategies for Evolving Healthcare Executives, both at the Harvard School of Public Health.

In addition to being an attorney admitted to the New York, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. Bars, Dr. Townsend is a Certified Public Accountant and is SHRM-certified in Global Professional Human Resources. She was Adjunct Professor at Syracuse University from 2001-2011, and was the recipient of the 2010 President’s Award-Customer First at Welch Allyn, Inc.

Lastly, Dr. Townsend is a prolific speaker and writer whose work has been published in industry journals and business publications.

Being the Change

At our organization, we look a lot at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to see how we can meet people’s basic needs with our programs. For example, one of the programs that we have is a diaper bank program so every month we give out 16,000 diapers or pull-ups to our employees who are parents. Actually, about 50% of the people in the program are actually grandparents raising their grandchildren. We also have a fund that helps people when they have an emergency come up in their life. Plus, we have a car buying program and we offer free urgent care at all of our major sites to our employees. At the end of the day what we’re passionate about is really helping people move forward in their lives. We actually have the first federally registered LPN apprenticeship program in the United States. We’re now on our third cohort of people who have gone from making $15 an hour to making $30 or more an hour in just 10 months. Above all, it’s so important to take a multi-generational approach to help our employees.
hope leadership dr kimberly townsend

About Loretto Management Corporation

Loretto Management Corporation is a non-profit, post-acute healthcare system with assets in skilled nursing, housing, managed care, short-term rehabilitation and medical adult day services. It serves 10,000 older adults throughout Central New York. It is the 4th largest health system in Central New York, with 2,500 employees at 19 sites and $200 million in revenue in 2018.

Loretto was founded in 1926 as the first Diocesan home for the aged in North America and continues to address the needs of older adults in the community, the majority of whom (70%) are Medicaid eligible. It provides skilled nursing, assisted living and affordable housing, home health, rehabilitation, PACE, and many other specialized programs.

Lastly, Dr. Townsend believes that Loretto has a mission to serve both the people in the community who need Loretto’s services and the employees of the company, 65% of whom are single, women of color, and head of households living in highly impoverished neighborhoods.

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How to Stop Good Employees from Quitting

why good employees quit

Why Good Employees Quit

Once upon a time, I made a decision to leave a job. I wanted to no longer have to mute my voice or my presence. I knew I deserved to belong, to be heard, and be appreciated for all that I have to offer. So I left. I was good at my job, and I even had development opportunities in front of me. But I left. And boy, am I glad that I did. 

Now my story might be unique, but the feelings of being unimportant, unheard, and devalued are not uncommon. I’m sure that every one of you reading this has experienced those feelings in some capacity in their professional life. That is why good employees quit their jobs. I now make it my mission to give employees a voice where I didn’t have one. I work to fix the hiccups, and the ill-fitting feeling that strikes before employees quit so they won’t feel forced to leave. 

To Fit is To Belong

From an employees’ perspective, managers don’t have a clue what to do to keep their best people. So they leave them feeling devalued and taken for granted. As a result, employees feel so disregarded that they mentally and emotionally check out from their work and become overwhelmingly disengaged. 

This occurs often and all over the place. Employees that experience this can be the best in their fields. They can be doing work they are passionate about and serving people in a way that matters to them. But if they don’t fit with the organization, if their managers don’t see that they have a space and a voice, they will continue to quit. 

We all deserve to belong at work. 

Today, more people are quitting their jobs than ever before. Employees everywhere are taking their futures into their own hands and prioritizing what truly matters–their wellbeing. 

I offer a course for managers to learn three crucial ways to make their employees feel like they belong. 

 Step 1

To make your employees feel like they belong, you must get to know them first. Take the time and put in the effort to learn your employees’ passions. By knowing what motivates your team members and what they truly care about, you can better connect with them and connect their work to them. The more invested and connected they are within your organization, the more likely they are to want to stay. The more they will feel like they belong and have put down roots. 

Step 2

The next step is strategic. Once managers build a deeper connection, like the one mentioned in step 1, they must continue to nourish it. For example, managers should lay out a plan for consistent one-on-one meetings. Create a system for checking in and cementing this connection so that it becomes routine. Making your employees and their well-being a priority will never leave them feeling like they don’t belong. 

Step 3

This third step is perhaps the most complicated but also imperative. Have you ever had a good rapport or a solid relationship with your immediate manager but felt like senior leadership wasn’t aware of your existence? Organizations need unity across all levels. Managers need to fill a crucial void and mitigate the disconnect between top management and frontline employees. If an employee belongs, they must feel that belonging in terms of the whole organization, not just their little corner. 

There is much more depth to each of these steps, but take the course, or work to implement them into your management style, and your good employees will know they are taken care of and truly looked after by you, their caring leaders. 

186: Leaders with Heart Assume Positive Intent

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In this episode, Heather interviews Barbara Lovejoy SHRM-CP, PHR, who is the Director of Human Resources at Otelco. Barbara’s parents instilled in her a passion for leadership and caring for others at an early age. Today, as Director of Human Resources, she strives to remain true to that behavior. As a leader, Barbara believes everyone has the best of intentions – and that’s how she approaches her work. She is a strong believer that most people on most days show up and truly try their best. She leads with positive intent. This 35-minute conversation is rich with information, plus, Barbara asks Heather two juicy questions as part of a new segment called “Ask Heather Anything”.

 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Building deeper connections with your teams leads to greater results
  • The best way to lead people is to truly understand who they are as a whole
  • Assuming positive intent results in less conflicts
  • Leading with trust creates a sense of belonging and transparency
The best way to be able to support people and lead people is to truly have an understanding of their whole being. – Barbara Lovejoy #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Barbara has served in HR for over 20 years in various roles and industries, including not-for-profit, healthcare, and currently, telecommunications. She is most passionate about Leadership Development and Culture Creation, and Sustainability. In her current role, she serves as the Director of HR and supports a team of 4 HR professionals. She also volunteers her time serving on the Board of Directors for the local SHRM Affiliate chapter, Central Maine Human Resource Association. In fact, she will be moving into the President role in January. Barbara currently holds dual HR certification from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the HR Certification Institute (HRCI). Barbara also has her Bachelor of Science degree in Leadership Organizational Studies from the University of Southern Maine. 

When she is not busy at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband Mark and two fur babies, Baxter and Sydney. She and her husband have started investing in real estate, and her favorite part is conceptualizing layout, color coordination, landscape, and décor. Barbara also enjoys her own company and loves the idea of curling up on a couch and reading a good book.

Lead with Trust

I have a tendency to trust immediately. Most of the time I give people 100% of my trust. Truthfully, I don’t really make them earn it. Because for the most part, I do think that people want to come to work every day and do the very best they can. So I think that’s an element of the type of leader that I am. Additionally, my team members would say that I am very transparent in that aspect. I really try to find a way to connect with them on a personal level, not overstepping but definitely being personal. It’s important to find an additional way to connect with your teams, which I try to do with every team member.

assume positive intent leaders