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5 Things Every Leader Must Know To Get The Most From Talent

Imagine having more DDA, Mortgage and Trust customers than you can handle, triple digit revenue increases year after year and Twitter, Facebook and Periscope ablaze from customers singing your praises. The best companies are the result of their people. No two alike; each bringing a dynamic difference to the workplace. Does your environment allow your people to bring their full selves, making the unassailable difference for your organization? Or do you force them into your proverbial box like 24 crayons in a box of Crayola?

Employee engagement is a critical consideration for leaders and companies that want to perform at the highest levels. Unfortunately, the research data is staggering. Many like global research and consulting firm Gallup indicate roughly three quarters of American workers are disengaged.

Engaged employees provide many benefits to their organizations: enhanced customer service, increased productivity, and improved retention. Bankers are realizing their firms cannot afford to ignore the responsibility of keeping their team members engaged.

The Strategy To Getting The Most From Your Team Members

While there are five Dimensions to the “whole’ employee, we’ll assume we’re addressing the Professional Dimension here. Diving a little deeper, let’s address the five-part Strategy to getting the most from your employees. Shhh, I’ll let you in on a little secret. This can also be used for product development, significant others and yourself. When wanting to more deeply connect, ample time must be spent around the following:

  • Fields
  • Connections
  • Differentiation
  • Sequencing
  • Impact

Humans, and consequently employees desire to be in a consistent state of growth. Developmental meetings are a great place to discuss the 5 strategy elements to deeper engagement to get the most out of your talent. Understand where your employee is headed. Or said differently, what Fields does she wish to “play on?” Where is it that she would like her career to go? This is a good time to gain insight around whether you have a long-term employee, or one that considers her calling elsewhere.

What are the essential Connections necessary to move from where he is today, to where it is he aspires to be? Whether in another division of your firm, the office next door or The Peace Corp, it is essential that as a leader we understand where our talent aspires to be and how to be helpful in getting them there.

Few of us really take the time to understand our point of Differentiation. What is it that makes us so special in the context of our role or future roles? You’ve likely picked up by now this system is forward looking. You are meeting them where they are, and assisting in their growth.

Equally as important as knowing the Connections necessary and Differentiation, one must understand the Sequence of events that need to occur to get them to where it is they aspire to be. Many of us want to go from midnight to morning in just minutes. Fortunately, it’s not that easy. There are reasons we can’t sell, until we get our Series 6. As we consider the generational differences in the workplace, this conversation may have varying tones and speed aspirations. With Millennials projected to be 75% of the US workforce by 2025, we should get comfortable with an expeditious timeline.

Ultimately, as leaders it is incumbent upon us to assist our talent to realize the Impact they make in their current role and will make in their aspiring position. Depending on the motivation for the aspiration, your employee may realize the position they aspire to, doesn’t align with the impact they wish to make.

Pizza parties and ice cream socials are nice and may in fact make your employees happy momentarily. However, your company would be much better served by implementing plans tailored to the particular capabilities and aspirations of your employees. Not only is this a much more effective way to make employees feel more connected with the goals and mission of the company, it has the added benefit of showing your team members that you are committed and care about them individually, not just to the extent that they fit into the organization at large. As leaders, you are engaged.

#generationsintheworkforce #leadership #employeeengagement #behavioralengagement #employeeretention #millennials

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Leadership Lessons From A Stiletto Wearing Football Coach

Remember the scene from The Blind Side where Mrs. Tuohy teaches Coach Bert how to lead? Coach Bert, barking out orders, and quite clear about his fleeting contempt for young Michael Oher screams onto the field from his perch, “Oher! You got a hundred pounds on Collins and you can’t keep him out of our backfield?” After a few “coaching” words with Michael up close, he heads back to the sideline. Leaning over to commiserate with his Assistant Coach, “Well at least we’ll look good coming off the bus. They’ll be terrified till they realize he’s a marshmallow.” “Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane.” Coach Bert said as his equally as inept Assistant Coach snickers.

Cue the real coach.

Mrs. Tuohy in her fitted skirt and stilettos, like she just exited a Paris runway, steps off the bleachers and onto the field. Walking past Coach Bert and his trusty sidekick, she heads to the huddle. “Give me a minute Bert.” smacking him on the butt as she walks by. “We’re in the middle of practice Leigh Anne!” Coach Bert barked. “You can thank me later.” She quipped, never missing a step. In just two plays, Mrs., I mean, “Coach” Tuohy had assessed the problem, knew what connections were necessary to illuminate for Michael and what motivated her guy; her left tackle.

Physical touch wields power when moving those you lead.

Pulling Michael closer, “Michael, you remember when we first met, we went to that horrible part of town to buy you those dreadful clothes? And I was a little bit scared and you told me not to worry about it because you had my back. You remember that?” “Yes Ma’am.” Michael nodded. Like the most intentional leaders, she makes Michael the protagonist. Michael now has the picture that he is in control. She even gets his buy-in, ensuring he believes he is capable. Real leaders need not to be the hero. Real leaders make heroes. She gave him one more dose of confidence, saying, “When you and R.J. were in that car wreck, what did you do to that airbag?” “Stopped it.” Michael says with more confidence. “You stopped it right!” Coach Tuohy says pointing into Michael’s chest, further cementing the you in “You did that.” Now don’t miss the value of the point. Even with a firm index finger, Leigh Anne touching Michael was intentional and powerful. You see, leadership is personal and sometimes you have to physically touch someone for them to embrace their importance; a transference of power from the leader if you will. I know, I know. Human Resources has everyone scared to touch anyone. To hell with that! I’ll say it again. Leadership is personal. Nothing connects us as humans as much as the power of touch.

To learn more of this social connectedness and the power of touch, check out the July/August issue of Scientific American Mind’s article on The Secret Social Power of Touch. The power of touch, and being 100% present while sharing a teachable moment with the people you lead can be life changing.

Make the connections and build confidence in those you lead.

Coach Tuohy then transfers the confidence Michael has about those situations to his current application. Remind the people you lead of their achievements and capability. She shows Michael that he can be successful and assisted him to see a clear vision of what success looked like. Not only can Michael be successful, he had already done it! She simply traded the “faces” of the characters in the story. Whether trading one project for another project. Or trading one regulatory agency for another, the game remains the same. Only the players’ “faces” change. Momma became the quarterback and little brother became the tailback. He’d been successful protecting the family in the past. So there was no question in his mind, he could do this again. Coach Tuohy confirmed Michael understood and asked just one more question, “Are you going to protect the family, Michael?” And remaining consistent he replied, “Yes Ma’am.”

Now the next thing that happens is crucial. The power of physical touch showed up again. Only this time it’s pats to the shoulder as if to say, “ I know you got this!” Then a powerful directive was issued that only the best leaders believe, “Now go have some fun!” Coach Tuohy didn’t want him to take himself too seriously. Great leaders recognize failure is not fatal. Give people the tools they need to do the job. Then get the heck out of the way and let them do the job.

Coach Tuohy then headed back to her seat in the bleachers. What followed was the foundation for why Michael Oher is an NFL Pro-bowl, Offensive Lineman.

Coach Bert in utter amazement moseyed over to the bleachers, “Ok. What did you say to him?” he asked. Coach Tuohy now back to being Leigh Anne gave the best advice any real leader must learn. “You should get to know your players Bert.”

It’s real simple.


#millennials #employeeretention #behavioralengagement #employeeengagement #leadership #generationsintheworkforce

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The 3 Questions Every Leader Should Ask Their Teams Quarterly – – Then DO IT!

You’re beginning your day, haven’t had your coffee, the phone is ringing and you have a meeting in 7 minutes. In today’s pressing times, less of it is spent with your people. This time has largely been replaced by emails, which require the time to read and sometimes decode. As if the drain on your time wasn’t enough, there are unlimited meetings. Some cultures requiring a “meeting before the meeting;” and sometimes one after. There is one way to maximize the individual efforts of your teams and ensure you are giving them what they need as a leader. Ask. Here’s a tactic I engaged long ago that works. To ensure you’re maximizing the capabilities of your people through your efforts, and they get what they need from you as a leader, ask these three direct questions quarterly. And to the extent possible, DO IT!

  • What do you need me to start doing?
  • What do you need me to stop doing?
  • What do you need me to never stop doing?

Leadership Is Personal

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Don’t Do This If You Want To Suck As A Leader

Like the 1.01 billion people that can’t make it through their day without Facebook, I opened my app in a moment of a little downtime. I was surprised to see the face of a friend in a featured newspaper article her husband posted. It was the mother of the baby that determines where my family sits during Sunday Morning Service. As I read the Star Tribune story of baby Ella’s mommy, a line struck me. The line was about the local actress playing Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz at The Children’s Theatre.

Though remarkable she is, what struck me was what the leader of the company said. What he said, really nailed the essence of “Leadership Is Personal.” It got to the core of what a good leader possesses. Could he have been speaking of some Steve Jobs-esque leader in Silicon Valley? Sure. Or maybe he was referring to the Teacher of The Year in your town? Perhaps. However, in this instance, he identified it in this talented thespian.


Among other things, the Director went on to say he hired Traci because “… she has this openness, this emotional access that totally draws you in.” Further saying, as he and the company had gotten to know her over the years, “…her talent has been like a bouquet. You keep discovering new layers.”


Gallup estimates the 20% of US workers that are actively disengaged costs the US economy roughly half a trillion dollars each year. There’s one sure way to assist in closing the chasm between employee potential and realized capability; connecting.

Are you an “open” leader? One of the many definitions of openness is, “Accessible or available to follow.” Follow? Yes. Follow. Being open gives license to those you engage to also be open. This is invaluable for connecting and coaching. More specifically, in times where negative or developmental feedback is necessary, this openness shines through, allowing the recipient to follow your open lead. This increases the ability for the recipient to objectively hear, absorb and process the feedback in a non-defensive manner. Your emotional accessibility gives license for the recipient to be emotionally accessible and to discuss the feedback openly. Ever try to give developmental feedback to someone that you haven’t connected with? Right!

Are you engaging your workforce? Are you connecting with all of them? What community involvement is your top and bottom performer engaged in? What’s her husband’s name? How old are their children? Engaging on more than just the professional Dimension with the people you share the bulk of your day with, is the foundation of openness and the emotional access they desire, and if you want to be a successful leader, you require. This access is extremely useful in connecting with peers and subordinates alike.

Its power is useful in good situations. However, it’s extremely useful in bad ones. It is simple to be emotionally accessible when covering good times or positive situations. When someone on your team closes a new customer or bags a big deal, it is easy to be happy or excited and emotionally accessible. As a leader, you beam with admiration and are proud of her accomplishment. But have you put in enough work on truly connecting with them in a way that enables you to be equally as emotionally open in tough times?


It’s precisely these moments that call us to not be different, not be sterile. Remain open. It is in these cracks in time, when you can make the difference between someone’s potential and realized talent. To unlock the full potential of the people you lead, you first have to show them the example to follow. Don’t do this if you absolutely want to suck as a leader.

#generationsintheworkforce #leadership #employeeengagement #employeeretention #behavioralengagement #millennials

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The Modern Engagement Challenge

The sad truth of the matter is that workplace engagement is at an extremely low point, and it’s having a negative impact on the collective production of the U.S. economy as a whole. Why is this a big problem? And what factors have caused the engagement level to be so low in the American workplace?

What’s causing employee engagement in the US to be so low?

Part of the problem with employee engagement may be linked to the recent economic downturn that began around 2008. While most experts believe that the Great Recession was over, numbers from the BLS show that unemployment was still above 6% as of August 2014. Between January of 2005 and April of 2008, the unemployment rate never reached over 5.5%. A difficult job market sometimes leads job candidates to take a position that is less than ideal for them, posing significant challenges when it comes to workplace engagement.

Another modern challenge of engagement is the changing dynamic of the workforce: specifically, the rise of the millennial generation, also known as Generation Y. Generally speaking millennials are the generation of people born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s. This generation has a very distinct set of workplace characteristics: Pew says that not only are they the most racially diverse generation in American history, they are also highly educated and very familiar with digital technology. The name “digital natives” is an apt title that many are using in reference to millennials. Innovation Generation is another title that’s been bestowed upon this group.

How is generation Y impacting employee engagement? This generation brings a vastly different set of values to the workplace when compared to previous generations of American employees. According to Time, millennials value immediate answers and feedback from their supervisors, flexible work schedules, and transparent organizations. Further, millennials care about more than just money: half of all millennials reported that they would rather have no job than a job they hate. It is clear that managers thinking about how to engage employees will soon need to adapt their engagement strategies to this generation. Like it or not, by 2025, projections show that millennials will make up 75% of the workforce.

A big part of the employee engagement fix

To engage with millennials and other employees, organizations need to invest in individual development plans that help align organizational goals with the passions and interests of their employees. An individual approach is the best way to handle this task, since it accounts for generational and aspirational differences in employees. Implementing a process that enables this segment of employees’

ability to bring their full selves to work will go a long way at increasing employee engagement numbers across the US.

#millennials #employeeretention #employeeengagement #leadership #generationsintheworkforce

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The Benefit of Engaging The Whole Person: Behavioral Engagement

It’s the holiday season, and again my wife has waited until the end of the year to attempt to use the bulk of her vacation days that she’s not taken throughout the year. While I sat at my desk pecking away at the keyboard I noticed she was on her work laptop. “Aren’t you on vacation today?” I asked. “Yes.” She replied. “I’m just getting this one thing done. Then I’ll log off.” She chirped. I continued to work for quite some time before looking up again; as did she.

Employee engagement is a critical consideration for companies that want to perform at the highest possible levels. Employees that are engaged provide many benefits to their employers: improved customer service, enhanced productivity, and lower employee turnover. As I’ve written in other articles, numbers from global research and consulting firm Gallup indicate that over two-thirds of American workers are disengaged,

Discretionary Effort

Do your employees stay late to get work done without being asked? Will they log on or come into the office over the weekend to get caught up or even ahead for the following week? These are good examples of discretionary effort. Discretionary effort is a display of behavioral engagement and is seen when an employee goes the extra mile, puts in extra effort to get their job done.

Remember though, engagement is not simply measured by the hours that someone puts in. An engaged employee is also more likely to think outside of the box and take a creative approach to their work. They may use skills that they don’t usually draw upon in their daily role to help the company in unique ways. Engaged employees are also more likely to collaborate with their team members and let others share in the spotlight when projects are successful. When an employee loves what she does, going the extra mile is business as usual.

Why Employee Engagement Is Vital

You probably have an intrinsic understanding of why it is so important to have engaged employees, but you may not know that extensive research has been done to collect data about the importance of engagement. This research has lead to the publication of some very telling statistics that use hard numbers to show just how important employee engagement is. According to numbers compiled by Office Vibe:

  • Companies with engaged employees have 2.5 times more revenue than organizations with low engagement levels
  • Organizations with highly engaged employees achieve double the annual net income when compared to organizations with employees that are behind on engagement
  • According to the Harvard Business Review, Sears reported that a 5% increase in employee attitudes lead to a 1.3% improvement in customer satisfaction, causing a 0.5% increase in revenue

What kind of business wouldn’t want more revenue and happier customers? The benefits of improving your employee engagement will have a direct impact on the core goals of your company. You will reap very valuable benefits from more engaged employees. The biggest challenge for employee engagement, however, is in engaging today’s employees the right way.

The Whole Employee and Organizational Goals

Even if you understand how to engage employees, you may be unsure about where to begin when it comes to matching their passions to company goals. Personal development programs are a great way to accomplish this task. Research by the British Institute for Employment Studies showed that employees with a personal development plan that have received a formal appraisal in the past year have much higher levels of engagement than those who do not. Personal development plans also help satisfy a critical component of workplace engagement for employees: input on their job responsibilities. As many studies have found, autonomy drives engagement. The more say that an employee has in their workplace tasks, the more likely it is that they will be engaged and emotionally connected to these tasks and go the extra mile to get them done.

Employee development plans are also important when considering how to engage employees because they are tailored to the individual needs of the people. that work at your organization. Everyone at your company is different: the millennial fresh out of college has vastly different interests and passions than the baby boomer with grandchildren that is only a few years from retirement. What engages one of these employees may be off-putting to the other. Adopting a one-size fits all approach may be a recipe for failure and resentment.

A Better Way To Boost Engagement

What escapes many business owners and leaders is the secret to improving employee engagement is aligning the mission and vision of the organization with as a whole to the interests, passion and purpose of individual employees; the whole individual, professional and personal.

Pizza lunches and ice cream bars are nice and may in fact make your employees happy momentarily. However, iInstead of trying to take a homogeneous approach when considering how to engage employees, companies would be much better served by creating implementing plans tailored to the particular capabilities and interests and personalities of your employees. Not only is this a much more effective way to make employees feel more connected with the goals and mission of the company. It has the added benefit of showing team members that you are engaged, committed and care about them individually, the whole person, both personally and professionally.

Workers in every office in every field face challenges on a daily basis. How they address these challenges and what they think about them depends on a few factors. One of the primary elements is their level of engagement. When an employee can tie their own passions and personal motivations to the overarching goals of the business they are working for, they will be much less likely to leave the company. High engagement levels correspond with high levels of productivity, which is beneficial for everyone. To get started on your journey to improve revenues and customer satisfaction by boosting your employee engagement, look for a wayways to create personalized programs that remind your employees every day of how what they do is integral to the success and prosperity of the entire company.

#generationsintheworkforce #leadership #employeeengagement #employeeretention #millennials #behavioralengagement

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How To Engage The Impending New Normal; Millennials

In recent years, much has been said about millennials in the workplace. Some people praise millennials as a group of employees that are extremely familiar with modern day technology and not afraid of getting things done in a unique way. Others criticize millennials as being lazy and entitled, the product of a generation where everyone wins and parents shield their children from any potential danger. Whatever your opinion relative to the millennial generation, engaging with millennials is extremely important when you consider that by 2025, three quarters of the workforce will be millennials. There are several factors to consider when thinking about millennials and engaging them in the workplace.

Why Should You Hire Millennials?

One of the best reasons to hire millennials is that they give you a unique perspective on workplace issues. Millennials are not used to the traditional office hierarchy, a characteristic that is reflected in their attitudes towards management. In The Denver Post, Seth Mattison says that this generation of workers does not understand the unwritten rules of the workplace. These employees are more than willing to challenge the norm, and while this may cause problems at first, you will eventually find the fresh perspective millennials bring helps you see things in a different light.

Another benefit of hiring employees in this generation, according to Entrepreneur, is that they are more self-sufficient than you might think. 71% of millennials have used Google for an IT solution, and 61% say that they do not call the company IT desk right away when issues occur. Millennials may apply this same philosophy of self-sufficiency to other important issues in your workplace that you need to solve, giving you value-added perspective on business challenges.

Tips For Engaging With Millennials

Now that you understand why millennials can be so beneficial to your business, the next step is to think about how you can effectively manage and engage these employees at your office. According to Forbes, millennials desire a few important things


in the workplace:

  • 88% of all millennials would rather have a collaborative work culture than a competitive one
  • 74% of millennials want a work schedule that is flexible instead of a rigid 9 to 5
  • 88% of all millennials crave “work-life integration,” which is not always the same as work-life balance

Above all, one of the most important concepts to understand about engaging millennials in the workplace is that they desire strong flexibility and the ability to express themselves in the workplace. The days of baby boomer employees that adhere to rigid hierarchies while working with their heads down are passing. Millennials are set to challenge the current conventions of the workplace in a way that some organizations may feel uncomfortable with. However, companies that are ready to accept and integrate this new generation of workers will find that they have a team of innovative, creative employees that are willing to apply their natural talents to achieving company goals.

#millennials #employeeengagement #employeeretention #generationsintheworkforce #leadership #speaker #keynotespeaker

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Hey Leader! Who’s Wearing Your Shirt?

While sitting on a coffee shop patio, sipping my latte, I spot a young couple walking up the sidewalk toward me. They are smiling and chatting as if the world around them is standing still and only the two of them exist. As they get closer, I see their big smiles. I also see their shirts. Now I’m smiling. Their shirts are beautiful in their simplicity. His says, “She rocks! I’m with her.” Complete with the pointing finger. Her shirt says, “He’s the bomb! I’m with him.” Requisite pointing finger in place. The pleasantry head nod transpires between us as they pass. Then my smile widens. I see the back of their shirts. “Who’s wearing your shirt?”

Opportunities To Examine Our Leadership Abound

A simple, yet profound question when considered from a leadership context. “Who’s wearing your shirt?” When you, your character or your integrity is called into question, who will step forward on your behalf. Who’s wearing your shirt? Who will stand in your honor to tell the world who you are at your core, without being asked? Who will share what you do and who you are, when there are no “Likes” to be gained? When there are no “hearts” to be had, who will show you love?

The young men and women of Tulane and some of their parents have made an error in their rush to judgment around having Hoda Kotb as their Commencement Speaker. Their petition was unwise, and I trust they will do their due diligence next time. Equally, I hope they garner the lesson available by reading this note from Karen Swenson. In it, you will find a lesson on leadership that could arguably be a class. It is a gleaming example of how to live your life, so others will wear your shirt. Karen’s shirt-wearing is a sparkling testament to how Hoda lives her life when there are no cameras to see, no wine to be sipped or spotlight to be shared.

One question. As a leader, “Who’s wearing your shirt?”

For all you do Hoda, “Thank You!”

#servantleadership #employeeengagement #leadership

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Better Results – 5 Steps to More Money, Influence and Time To Do What You Want

A bit ago, I took over a group of departments where one of my leaders had been running the organization for several months before I arrived. Needless to say, Sam was no happy camper when I showed up.

Fast forward a couple years and he was still right there with me. Sam was a rockstar! Unfortunately, I couldn’t create any more assignments to stretch him. It was time for him to move on. He was ready for more.

After a number of meetings with other leaders that would offer advancement opportunities, again and again he opted not to go. I really liked Sam and wanted what was best for him. He was ready for more.

Finally, after a good heart-to-heart about his ability to take on more, he responded with a simple response, “When you go, I go.”

Wow! I was floored. I’d like to think I had a little something to do with this, but I knew it wasn’t all me. It was the system. While I was flattered by his loyalty, I wanted him to spread his wings. However, Sam stayed with me until I left that organization. A few of weeks after I left, so did he. Sam had a new role, making more money, with a higher title. He was ready for more.

At a time when people are disconnected from their roles and leaders, and companies lose $11B annually from turnover, I thought it was time to share the system. Employees that feel their leaders are interested in their personal lives are 3X more engaged. We used to be able to simply share what we had to offer customers and employees. Now they tell us what they want; what they expect. These facts and the need to change how we lead prompted me to write Better Results.

Truth is, many organizations conduct engagement studies every year or two. This data is readily available. For most, unless the question is “alignment,” the data is not the problem. Alignment is another article, but for brevity of this post, suffice it to say Better Results solves for alignment. Whether alignment or engagement, the problem is what to do with the data; how to move the needle.

When shareholder return is 19% higher when employees are engaged, it’s imperative we address this issue. Better Results provides the solution to getting the ship and everyone on it moving in synch, headed in the prescribed direction, while speaking the same language.

People don’t leave companies. People leave people. Leadership is Personal! Experience deeper connections with your employees and customers. Experience Better Results!

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Is Your Leadership Too Antiquated For The Era of Trump?

What does the election outcome have to do with your organization and the work that needs to get done? A lot!

With the backdrop of an already disengaged workforce, many chose to further disengage immediately following the election. This impacts an organization’s productivity. Whether the people of your organization’s guy won or woman lost, they are processing what this means. Leader, have you engaged, or is your head buried?

People are not machines and don’t check their thoughts and feelings at your door when they enter their offices. While some were elated, some were “mourning” the loss by Hillary, their scabs open and sore and any brush against them in the office, could ignite an outburst of pain. I heard both sides firsthand immediately following the election, “Let someone say something wrong to me!” “These folk need to man-up. They lost!” Both of these sentiments without guidance and support are counterproductive.

Among the two main parties, it was as if there were four candidates running. For DJT and HRC, there was the candidate supporters saw, and the candidate that the opposing side saw. There was what some saw as the most prepared person and first woman on the planet to lead the free world, yet others saw a criminal that was neither prepared nor capable of running our country unlike her own gang. There was the savvy businessman that would create jobs and “make America great again.” Yet, others saw a narcissistic, xenophobe that was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, who had accomplished what anyone given a multi-million-dollar head start could achieve; four candidates.

Our ears and brains are powerful. They filter messaging looking for that which supports our own ideology. Nin said, “We don’t see the world as it is, we see the world as we are.” We tend to read, watch and take in messages that resonate with our own existing thinking. Because we are moving through this day-by-day, people need the safe place and space to process what it all means. This includes in our organizations. Fact is, some of White America did not hear the messaging of our candidates the same as People of Color. Some men did not hear the messaging of pundits the same as women did. Uconscious bias? Gender bias? The effects of this election are impeding on the synapse in the brains of our employees that would otherwise be utilized to get their jobs done. The same messaging being heard differently by varying groups has the ability to permeate and impact the productivity of our organizations. As leaders, it is imperative that we help our employees to process this quickly, safely and inclusively, so that they can get back to the tasks at hand.

CEO of Kaiser Permanente, Bernard Tyson gets it. He shared a message he sent to the people of Kaiser. Without taking one side or the other, he shared his perspective. He let his voice be heard. This is leadership. Our teams are in search of our voice.

As leaders we can’t bury our heads in the sand and act as if there is nothing going on. Our teams are looking for our inclusive leadership; our insights on how we navigate. They are looking to hear from us on how we process the happenings of the day in a balanced and non-judgmental way. The proverbial line that used to exist between work and home is blurred and the people that we work with are looking for our support. Not to sway or direct, but to say, “I understand what you may be feeling, and you are in a safe place should you need to process.”

Need I remind you, the employee that feels their leader is interested in their personal lives and what they are dealing with is three times more engaged. 300% more engaged! You don’t have to agree. You needn’t celebrate or march with them. Simply hear them inclusively; take an interest. Let them hear you authentically and let them know that irrespective of what happens, we will all be OK.

I often ask my audiences, “What resume are you building?” That is to say, are you more concerned with your position and what you are or in your humanity, who you are? When we close our eyes for the last time on earth, others will remember us fondly. They won’t recollect on us being the best President, Director or Manager ever. They will however, remember how we touched them, how we made them feel, who we were in our humanity.

Again I ask this simple question, “What resume are you building?”