Being a Change Ally

Not all people embrace change with the same level of enthusiasm. A percentage of the population will love and embrace change immediately. Some people simply tolerate change, and others deny, ignore or dislike change. and may try to stop it. Others cynically deny that change will actually ever happen. 

By understanding how your team will either positively or negatively impact the change process, we can predict the potential success or failure of change initiatives.  We can anticipate the barriers to expect and, therefore, the hurdles to overcome during the change initiative.  Ignore these issues, and you increase the probability of delay's in execution  and / or change failure. 

Understanding the impact of change on people’s identity is crucial. People will only own what makes sense to them and fits with their sense of self. Shared meaning is critical- this cannot be achieved by attempting to “sell the change” to your team or thinking you can simply “tell” your employees to make changes. To really engage your team,  you need to know what matters to each individual, what’s going on under the surface - especially if you need to find ways of encouraging them to focus on possibilities rather than what the change is likely to cost them. 

We tend to notice and put our attention on  the cost,  and quality of change. But that is just the small tip of the Change Iceburg. There is a lot going on underneath when change is happening. Underneath observable  behaviors during change, we have many different beliefs, reactions and emotions  that influence whether change will be successful or not. If we do not study what is happening underneath, we often see disengagement, low morale, high turn over, and employee’s resisting or obstructing change. When team members obstruct or try to sabotage change it can be expensive, both financially and emotionally.

There is one powerful,  successful strategy for minimizing resistance: Involve people

                      “People will help support what they co-create” Marvin Weisbord"

1.  Helping your team embrace change starts with painting a compelling vision of the future, Paint pictures for people of what change will mean for them in practice. Involve them in looking at where you are now, and where you want to be. Create a vision for them of how you will get there together, and leave room for their input and ideas. 

2. Know what motivates and drives each team member and connect the change to those meaningful motivators.  What will stay the same? What will be  different? What will people will be doing differently?

 3. Understand the talent you have. Recognize the strengths your team members have, and leverage those by asking people to be a part of helping with the change. Playing to your teams strengths and delegating change management accordingly gives your team a sense of control over the change and increases the chance of it being  successful.

 4. Help people make the paradigm shifts required by acknowledging that you know each member has a different pace for change and different reactions. Make yourself an ally for change and available for questions and concerns so people feel seen and heard.

Lastly, prepare and expect resistance. Resistance doesn't mean anything bad is happening. It simply means something is happening. It is normal to resist. Making yourself an ally for change conveys to your team that change is a collaborative effort, not a mandate. It reminds your team that we all want the same thing: success.

Where Your Culture Lives

At the surface level, culture can present itself as visible symbols, slogans, languages, behaviors, histories, stories dress codes and legends. But underlying these visible signs of culture, are the core values, beliefs and shared assumptions of each employee that help define theorganizations culture.

Do not expect your culture to change simply by changing the logo, rearranging the layout of your office space or repeating heroic stories to your team. They may work to a certain degree but are definitely far from adequate to win your employees’ hearts and their minds, as well as the market. What you need is a deeper analysis and reflection of your people’s collective beliefs and assumptions. Only when you understand these in more depth will you be able to define appropriate steps to strengthen your organizations culture and effectiveness.

A recent study surveying over 20,000 workers around the world, analyzing 50 major companies, in a range of disciplines, came to one conclusion: Why we work determines how well we work (McGregor & Doshi, 2015).  Culture is actually the operating system of an organization.

Unfortunately, our attention, time and money often go to the top of the iceberg:  Behavior, words, meetings, deadlines and P&L statements get our attention and our energy.  High performing cultures have a powerful competitive advantage. Organizations that build great cultures are able to meet the demands of the fast-paced, customer-centric, digital world we live in. More and more organizations are realizing, culture isn’t a soft skill that can be left to chance. Leaders need to treat culture building as an critical foundation for their workers success. It’s no longer an option to attract smart talent and hope the results arrive. Designing a culture that is smart and healthy engineers a healthy organization with a competitive advantage and sustainable results.

When we ignore what is going on below the surface, we see organizations that hire the wrong talent, experience high turn over, burnout, and apathy. The bottom line is, not having a tight, well-designed culture has a pay check. A financial paycheck in on-boarding the wrong people, for the wrong positions. And an emotional paycheck of a toxic workplace where employees are sleep walking through the work, missing deadlines, calling in sick and missing deadlines.

Studies indicate that most employees bring to work around 20% of their potential contribution. With a well developed company culture people will bring much more. Even with a conservative estimate doubling that 20% to say 40%, it’s clear why a more developed workplace, that more fully engages employees, is overwhelmingly competitive and profitable.


Compassion Sucks


I love Anger. Rage is beautiful too. And Disdain? Don’t get me started. These emotions have been, and may always be, my greatest teachers. But these emotions get a bad rap. They always have to sit at the front of the bus so we can “keep an eye on them.” Love, Humor, Joy, Peace, Contentment…. they all get to sit in the back where all the unsupervised fun is happening. We pay very little attention to those emotions. Joy and Love hop on and off the bus without a ticket. Those emotions don’t have to be kept in check. They get to run amuck, throwing spit balls, switching seats, yelling out the window. Ohhhhh, but Anger. Anger gets supervised, micro-managed, scolded, disciplined, put in the seat right near the driver. The driver is watching the road ahead, but frequently glancing into the mirror to keep an eye on anger. Still seated? Hands to yourself? No chewing gum. Don’t raise your voice. Rage, you don’t need to talk to Anger. You mind your own business. Disdain, keep your hands to yourself. No, you can’t share a seat with Contempt, are you crazy? You two together are nothing but trouble.

Anger, Rage, Disdain, Contempt. I have been filled with all of them. They are hot, acidic, nauseous feelings. For a long time, I had them in the category of “bad”. I would control them, ignore them, deny them, eat my way through them, but never choose to learn from them. This was a huge mistake. Big. These emotions are the gateway to solving some of the greatest challenges in our lives today. Do you think Mother Theresa wasn’t enraged by poverty? I can make a guess that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t start his journey feeling luke warm about racism. Princess Diana didn’t troll land mine fields because she needed to stretch her legs. These people were pissed. They were angry. I suspect they had great disdain for a system they saw as unjust and failing. The difference is their anger was not in the driver seat. They listened to their anger, and moved forward with what they were meant to learn from it. And I think we can all agree; our world is better for it.

It’s 3:25 am and I am up writing. I don’t want to be up writing. I want to be in bed. My kids will be up in 3 hours. But I must write about anger because we are all so confused about anger. We are misusing it. We are in an abusive relationship with anger. I don’t know who to call to report this…. a domestic violence hotline? crisis center? Police? Fire? Rescue? Who do you call when an entire country is misusing one of the most important emotions of humanity? We are in an epidemic of misusing anger, and, well, it’s making me angry.

I tell my clients who find me, “Clean your own house first.” Often they want to improve outside areas first: get the raise, quit the job, start a company, get divorced, get married, move. I have to slow them waaaaaay down, because all those things may or may not happen, but you have to clean your own house first. You have to do your internal work before any of those decisions or choices can be made. When you make choices with a house that is falling apart, you are piling more stress and pressure onto a foundation that cannot hold it. What happens next is that the lessons will be repeated until they are learned. That marriage you are leaving? In 10 years, you will be in the same one with a different person. That career that is killing you? You will get back on that hamster wheel and be razor thin in 9 months. That raise you want? It’s going to cause you to build a bigger life, that needs more maintenance, and guess what? More money. That person running for President of the United States that you can’t stand? Yeah, they’ll be back in 4 years. Different name, maybe a different gender, same dysfunction. Lessons will be repeated until we learn. We are not learning, we are reacting. Learning requires curiosity, questioning, studying, respectful listening, and having healthy, safe dialogue.

You might assume that because I wrote about my recent journey with compassion that I am a big fan of it. I am not. It was much easier to be angry. First off, anger is super fun. It’s fun to be certain of something. It’s fun to feel you are right and correct. Anger made me feel smart and sure of myself. If you knew me better, you would know how much I crave to be certain and smart. We all have our drugs. Every one of us. Maybe your drug is being a certain “type of family”, maybe it’s Facebook, on-line shopping, working out, your religious beliefs, gossiping, sleeping, over-working, being perfect, or being liked. My drug is certainty and smartness.

The other thing is, anger is popular. You can have a lot of friends if you stay angry. You always have people around you to kibitz with. And a room full of anger and rage? A room full of adrenaline, cheering all together about how crappy things are…well that’s a real high. It can almost fool you into thinking you are doing something valuable. If your Facebook timeline is filled with clicks and likes and posts that are all in agreement with your views, it feels good. It feels like being invited to the “cool kids” table. Or better yet, troll people on social media who disagree with you and spend the day attached to your phone disagreeing with them, but never, ever really knowing them. Anger is a temporary hit of oxygen. It will get me through the moment, but it will kill me in the end. Compassion requires pausing, thinking, questioning, and changing my mind. Ugh. I want fast answers, certainty,  and to be right. Leaving room for changing my mind feels like failure. Not fun.

Compassion sucks.  Compassion is tough. When you are angry, you have lots people to join with and tell you that you are right, that anger is the way to go, and they fuel it. Compassion is lonely sometimes. It asks you (gently of course) to clean your own house before you go trying to point out how messy other people’s houses are.  It’s a bummer. And you can’t just pick and choose with compassion. You can’t pull up to the compassion drive-through and say,” Yeah, I’d like to try a #3, Compassion for Homeless Vets, Abused Children, and Endangered Salmon please.” Compassion asks for you to include everyone. If you are practicing compassion, you are called to practice it with the person that left a nasty note on your car, the colleague who cut you off mid-sentence, the Presidential candidate that offends every fiber of your being. 

Anger is easy and fast. Anger is fast-food, it’s super-sized, and its dash-n-go.  It’s the “Roller Food” of emotions. Always available, temporarily fulfilling, but within an hour you are hungry again. Compassion is slow food. It’s a small, authentic hole-in-the-wall restaurant that is out of the way with no cell coverage. Fast-food you can eat alone in the car and multi-task. Slow-food invites eye contact, intimacy, conversation, engagement, savoring and appreciating. When I am tired, stressed, under pressure, overwhelmed or confused, anger is a quick fix.  That is how I know I need to clean my own house. When I am taking care of myself, firing on all cylinders, rested and open, compassion offers me a feast of answers, energy, opportunity, growth and connection to myself and others.

Please do not confuse compassion for not liking anger. This is critical.  If your anger causes you to join something; a talking circle, an anti-bullying rally, starting an after-school club, creating a foundation, going on a mission, joining public office, then please, please hang on to your anger. It’s guiding you to your work in this world.  If your anger leads you to owning a cause, or fighting an injustice, I want you to pay attention to me right now. Hang on to your anger. Don’t let it go. Get pissed. Get off the couch. Skip the workout. Leave your neighborhood. Grab your sword and answer the call. Do not under any circumstances let go of your anger if it causes you to play bigger and join the team. We need you. To repair our systems, we need everyone on the bus. Your anger is welcome. No ticket needed. It’s a one-way ride. I would never ever ask anyone to give up what is serving them.

BUT, if your anger leads you to stay home, if it leads you to shrink, hide out under “I’m too busy” and not take a seat at the table, I am begging you to notice that. How is your anger serving you? Is your anger feeding your social media habit? Your drinking habit? We don’t need more clicks and likes of all the articles that tell us where you stand on the election. We know where you stand. Vote. AND THEN DO SOMETHING. We don’t need more angry people numbing out alone at home. We need more people talking, engaging, forgiving and listening.  Join your City Council. Join a board. Teach a class. Write a letter. Make a call. Find what you would wake up at 3:25am on a school night for, and DO THAT.

My anger, my long-term love affair with anger, resentment, rage, disdain, contempt (Dear Contempt: I still love you, no I don’t, we are done…. call me).  MY anger led to pizza. My anger led to craft beer. It led to Netflix. Parks and Rec, The Office, Facebook, endless conversations about how awful things are, and numbing out. My glass of wine on Friday started on Wednesday.  Every day was a treat because we were all going down in flames. My anger did not incite me to join anything to make things better. My anger told me: “Just take care of your tribe. This is not your circus. These are not your monkey’s.” But it is my circus. It is your circus too.

Compassion asks more of me. It asks me to open myself and look with honesty and gentleness. Why am I afraid to let go of anger? Because it feels safe. It’s popular. It feels productive. Somehow I believed if I was angry it meant I cared deeply. But if you care, don’t you act? Anger was freezing me up. Making me hard. Making me protective of my family. Making me feel there was an us vs. them. Compassion thawed me out. It hurts to thaw out. But then the blood flow comes back and you can finally move.

 I worried at first, if I choose compassion, am I approving or consenting to behavior? If I choose compassion, am I agreeing to always be nice and say everything is ok? For me the answer is no. Compassion and accountability are not mutually exclusive. I can be compassionate with racism and ignorance and still march and vote for laws firmly standing for equality. I can compassionately demand equal pay, equal rights, and my seat at the table and not shrink away. Compassion is not soft and fluffy. Compassion doesn’t sit in the corner and wait. Compassion is tough as nails and is at the root of any major social justice change we have ever had our history.  Compassion asks me to clean my own house first, but it also makes one hell of a beautiful mess.

I used to choose anger and hand it a microphone so I didn’t miss a single word. Now I sit with anger. Oh, I feel you anger, wow, you are pissed. Tell me what’s going on here? Anger is never short on words. It tells me what is going on. It rants and rages and tells me, “click that link” “share that post” “stay at home” “don’t give a damn” “people are just idiots” “what a jack-ass”. I sit with that and I don’t do a thing. There is always more to the lesson than name-calling and ranting. Sometimes anger speaks for weeks and months. I listen, listen, listen. When anger is tired and wrung out, I pat it’s back and put it to bed. The answers will emerge in the morning. And in the morning, I make the difficult call I need to make, I have the hard, but important conversation I need to have face-to-face, I say no to the work that is a ton of money, but not right for me, I write the letter or reach out to the organization I need to join, I gently, but firmly, close the door to people pleasing, I volunteer to be of service. 

Anger teaches me the lesson’s; compassion shows me the path. Compassion is not for the bleeding-heart. Compassion is for the brave badass that has the courage to sit and listen when others rant and yell. Compassion has no need for political affiliation or religious doctrine. Compassion has a million lessons and no tests. There is no pass/fail. Compassion is a practice.  Just using the word “practice” implies there will be trial and error, there will missteps and gigantic leaps forward. I would not say it’s fun, but it has been meaningful. While I like to have fun, at this chapter in my life I also want meaning.  Anger has taught me interesting things about myself, but at the same time it’s a little boring after a while. All that ranting and being “right” just got hard on my ears.

Cleaning your own house isn’t exactly fun. But with the right music, and a few trusted friends to help, it has been rich and rewarding to step back and look at the house compassion has built. It’s a small house, on a solid foundation. It’s my house and I love it. I believe it is a house that will be standing for generations to come.

I will leave the light on for you.





Making Peace With Accountability

Accountability is the guiding principle that defines how we make commitments to one another. It is how we measure and report our progress, how we interact when things go wrong, how much ownership we take to get things done. In essence,  it is the nerve center that runs throughout every part of the organization, through every working relationship to every member of every team. 

Unfortunately, people in most organizations only worry about accountability when something goes wrong, resulting in a “run for cover” mentality when anyone mentions the word. By introducing a new view of accountability, a positve and principled view, accountability becomes something that everyone can embrace as a helpful step in making things happen.

A team that avoids accountability… 

  • Creates resentment among team members who have different standards of performance
  • Places an undue burden on the team leader as the sole source of discipline
  • Encourages mediocrity
  • Misses deadlines and key deliverables

Most people view accountability as something that belittles them, happens only when performance wanes, or occurs when problems develop or results fail to materialize. Many think accountability only arises when something goes wrong or for the sake of pinning blame and pointing a finger. Very rarely do people ask, “Who is accountable for this success?” As a result, the notion of accountability for many employees has taken a hard, critical edge.

When used as a tool for productivity and engagement,  accountability asks, “What else can I do to rise above my circumstances and achieve the desired results?” Accountability involves a process of seeing, owning, solving and doing and requires a level of ownership that includes making, keeping, and answering personal commitments.

Accountability is actually a very loving, respectful gesture. Holding someone accountable for something they said they would do is a gesture that conveys, “You said you wanted to do this, and I want to support you by holding you accountable so that you can follow through on your word.” 

We avoid accountability because we see it as shaming others or adding conflict. In truth, when used correctly and respectfully, accountability can increase morale and deepen connection between co-workers. Accountable workplaces are peaceful, collaborative environments where everyone feels supported and valued.

Creating Your Brand of Leadership

A leadership philosophy is the way we see ourselves as leaders. This philosophy guides our actions, our behaviors, and our thoughts. Our philosophies are influenced by external and internal forces. We can change who we are as leaders by simply changing our philosophy of leadership. Leadership philosophies can change as you grow to understand yourself within the context of leading. 

Creating or finding your leadership philosophy means that you must explore and reflect upon your personal values, assumptions, and beliefs about leadership.

Personal values are qualities or characteristics that you value. You would rather leave an organization or step down as a leader than violate your values. Your values guide your intentions and they influence how you lead. When your personal values are clear and you are conscious of them, you create a solid foundation for leading.

Assumptions are ideas that are assumed or believed to be true. As a leader it is important to understand what assumptions fuel your leadership thinking. Often leaders are not aware of the assumptions because they are operating from certain paradigms that will not allow them to see assumptions. Reflection into one’s leadership is an excellent way to uncover assumptions.

Beliefs are ideas that we hold to be true; they shape our realities. If a leader believes that the only individuals in an organization that can make decisions is the management staff, then that belief will influence how the leader treats others. Beliefs can also be unconscious; they are for us a habitual way of thinking and acting that it doesn’t cross our minds that our beliefs may be prohibiting us.

The following is an exercise to help you create, find, or define your personal philosophy of leadership..

Answer the following questions about leadership. By reflecting on these questions, you will find what assumptions are driving your leadership thinking.

1. Write down two stories of leadership. One story should describe a positive experience you’ve had with leadership and the second story should describe a time when you had a negative experience with leadership. 

2. Write down your definition of leadership.. Describe who are the individuals or organizations that influence your leadership definition.

For each of the questions in this section, ask yourself:

1.    What were my assumptions?
2.    What influenced my assumptions?
3.    Would others (co-workers, friends, supervisors) see the situations I described differently?

Understanding Your Leadership Beliefs

Answer the following questions about leadership beliefs. By reflecting on these questions, you will find what beliefs you hold about leadership.

1. Can people who have caused others harm be leaders, e.g. Adolph Hitler?

2. Should leaders have certain qualities to be able to lead?

3. Who decides who leads?

4. How do leaders gain credibility?

5. In general, is there something good about leadership?

6. What do you think is the purpose for leadership?

Your leadership philosophy should be a statement that consists of your responses from the above exercise. It doesn’t have to include everything, but it should encompass the general idea of what you’ve written.  It doesn’t have to be formatted in a certain way – just whatever makes sense to you. You can write one sentence statements or you can write a story explaining your philosophy. Start with an initial draft of your philosophy and write it down. Revise it as often as you need. Remember, your philosophy can change depending on where you are at with your leadership. 

Letting Go of Busy & Exhausted

Some people perceive being “too busy” as a sign of success or a flourishing career. Although this can be true, being constantly overworked and overwhelmed has more detrimental than positive effects. It's gotten to the point where busy and exhausted has become a badge of honor. It's become a competitive sport to see who has worked longest, who is getting the least amount of sleep.  The truth is, there is no correlation between how razor thin you are and your level of success. In fact, exhausted workers make 60% more mistakes than those who get 6-8 hours of sleep. 
Stress can be helpful and motivating to some degree, but substantial evidence shows that chronic exposure to high levels of stress prompts the body to release hormones, which can potentially damage several body systems. Running on over-drive for prolonged periods of time not only depletes your health and wellness, it depletes the quality of your work, your relationships and yes, your level of actual success.

There is nothing wrong with fulfilling your responsibilities, obligations, and duties. However, you must know how to draw the line between working for a living and living for your work. Being “too busy” reduces the quality of your life. Remember that balance is key to everything. The secret to being productive and successful is balance in your life and in your daily routines. Here are some tools to unplug from work and plug in to yourself:

  1. Pay Attention. Allot five to 15 minutes before work to sit and be aware of the sensations of your breath and your body. When your mind wanders to something else, bring your attention back.Repeat as many times as necessary. Practiced regularly, this will build your mental muscles so you have improved attention during the workday.
  2. Take five. Whenever you feel stressed, use the "STOP sign technique." Stop. Take five conscious breaths. Observe the sensations of the body and notice what you're thinking and feeling. Proceed. This can be used liberally throughout the day for best results.
  3. Do one thing. Whenever possible, do one thing at a time. When the mind wanders away from what you're doing, bring it back. Repeat as many times as necessary. The brain cannot do more than one thing at a time.
  4. Time-outs. Take a short break (one to five minutes) every 90 to 120 minutes or whenever you feel stuck on a problem. Mindfully stretch, breathe, or walk. You'll come back refreshed and ready to tackle your work again.



The #1 Thing you Need to Get Where you Want to Go

Remember when you were in middle school and you had to run an errand in between classes? Sometimes you would be walking the empty halls and a hall monitor would pull you aside and ask, “Do you have a permission slip young man/lady?”

Even at a young age we are taught you can’t just roam around without permission. I see that carried out in adult lives too. It comes in all forms. Whether it’s starting your own business, taking a real vacation, or choosing not to jump through hoops, we often adopt the perspective of needing permission first.  

According to one Gallop poll, 70% of workers are reportedly disengaged at work. That concerns me. It should concern you. People who are not engaged at work, unfocused, too busy and totally exhausted are the same people who are parents, wives, husbands and friends. You don’t get to just be disengaged at work. It carries over into your personal life and relationships.We are walking the halls of our lives, heads down, waiting for permission.  As adults we must reach a place of granting ourselves permission. Here are some things I have given myself permission for:

•    Permission to take a day off unplugged.
•    Permission to not write, blog, or be on social media.
•    Permission to desire something that might disrupt others schedules or needs. And asking for it.
•    Permission to do things in a way that is not typically done. 
•    Permission to say no to a networking event and go to bed 2 hours earlier. So sweet.
•    Permission to take something people have made very complicated, and simplify it.
•    Permission to just TRY.
•    Permission to take a nap.
•    Permission to end a relationship that was not healthy for me. And permission to grieve that.
•    Permission to ask for help.
•    Permission to have needs.

Guess what? You can give yourself permission too. Find a piece of paper and write on it "permission slip". Hand it out to anyone who seems to think they know what is best for you or wants to make their agenda your agenda. Give to someone who lost their slip. There are lots of those people, so make sure you have enough copies made.  Just kindly show them your permission slip. You are allowed. You have permission.

And I don’t want to see you walking the halls of your life without it.

How would your business and life be different if you gave yourself permission?





Connection & Belonging

A study by the University of Iowa recently found that a sense of belonging and attachment to a group of co-workers is a better motivator for some employees than money.

In her book “Daring Greatly” Brene Brown writes about the importance of belonging, and how it relates to employee engagement. She makes a distinction between fitting in and belonging that is worth sharing.  She writes, “Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand, doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are. Belonging is the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us.”

You can influence a sense of belonging by creating an environment that allows employees to feel appreciated, accepted, respected and providing opportunities to express their ideas.

Ask yourself what you can do to foster a sense of belonging in your group. Why would they want to belong to your group or organization? Help them discover what is important to them. Fostering an environment where people feel like they can be themselves, where they can engage with work that is meaningful for them personally, where they are accepted and appreciated for who they are, will give you the motivated, cohesive and highly engaged team you are wanting to create.

As humans we are hardwired for connection and belonging. How we attain it is as unique and individual as our own fingerprint. We often assume that to engage the hearts and minds of our empoyees we need to get "buy in" and we need to conjole, convince, or sell them on our ideas. These approaches may get engagement for temporary periods, but it won't create long-term  loyalty. Creating a culture where employees are seen and heard fosters a type of engagement that fuels itself. People show up willingly giving their best work because the company's success is in alignment with what they stand for as individuals.



Why Culture Matters

The reality is that culture and strategy interact and in the best of all worlds, they are mutually reinforcing. Culture creates loyalty and resilience during tough times. Strategies can be copied, but no one can copy your culture. A strong culture creates a competitive advantage that allows you to compete for top talent.  In today’s fast paced, highly competitive environment,  your culture is what will differentiate you within your industry. When strategy and culture collide, culture will always win. Companies like Zappo’s and Tom’s Shoes invest heavily in culture, knowing that it provides a level of risk prevention that strategy alone can not cover.

There are three major costs to not have a strong culture:

The first is health care expenditures. More than $500 billion dollars is siphoned off from the US economy because of workplace stress, and 550 million workdays are lost each year due to stress on the job.

There is also the cost of disengagement.  Employee engagement isn’t just a soft skill relegated to Human Resources. Disengagement is costly. Disengaged workers have higher absenteeism, accidents and 60% more errors.

The third consequence of a weak culture is lack of loyalty. People search elsewhere, decline promotions or resign when the culture is weak. The turnover costs associated with recruiting, training, lost expertise and talent are significant. The truth is found in the numbers: Employees prefer workplace wellbeing to material benefits. Wellbeing comes from one place, and one place only – a positive culture.

If you could change one thing about your current culture, what would it be? What difference would it make?

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