Employee Engagement is Unethical

When I met with three aspiring consultants who are very passionate about parlaying their experience to help companies create healthy work environments and engaged employees. They almost fell out their chairs when I told them that I am starting to see that employee engagement is actually unethical.

What I DON'T mean when I say this is that companies should not strive to have work environments free from unethical business practices and abusive and inconsiderate leaders who make their employees lives miserable. Providing safe work conditions, equitable pay and reasonable management should be considered “cover charges” for the privilege of hiring others to work for you.

What I think might be bordering on unethical is how organizations have shifted from employee satisfaction to employee engagement and how engagement goals might completely jack up our limbic systems. Let me explain.

Back in the early 2000’s, instead of measuring employee satisfaction (which is to...

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Before You Plan for 2021, Do this 2020 Review

 

We're coming up on the end of the year and it's time to review what worked and didn't so we can come up with plans for 2021, right?

Wrong!

If 2020 has taught us anything, we don't always have control over all the things we put into typical annual plans, complete with SMART goals and actionable strategies. That type of planning is OUT.

What is IN is cultivating smart habits that keep you in tune with your market and allow you to respond to them with ease and confidence.

This was our big learning for 2020. 

In this video, Jen and I walk you through the ANTI-planning and business development best practices we gained through trying to merge our companies while adapting to the global pandemic which resulted in our most profitable and happy year ever.

If you want to say a big, fat "buh-bye" to the craziness of 2020 and a big hello to having 2021 be the year where your results are totally in FLOW, this video is must-watch.

You'll learn:

  • Why falling in love with your clients...
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5 Shifts to Instantly Increase Your Consulting Business Success and Impact

The cold, hard facts about the consulting profession is that most change efforts fail. The failure has little to do with the quality of our project plans or recommended message points. Failure has everything do with ineffective change leadership at the top.

It's for this reason, the number predictor of the sustainability and impact of our work is the commitment of the leader that we are supporting, who is ultimately responsible for the change's success.

Related: The Little Known Strategy for Becoming an Executive Advisor

If you want to make a greater difference with your consulting, it begins with shifting your perspective on what your role is ultimately about. It's not about delivering a methodology. It's about supporting a leader through what are often their defining moments.

And Then Make These 5 Shifts

1. The focus of your service isn't a company; it's a leader within a company.

Your clients are not simply buyers representing an organization. They are people first who...

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Stages of Power in Leadership and Organizations

The other day I wrote an article on the difference between power over and power with/within leadership approaches. In a nutshell "power over" leadership is all about control and dominance and finding one's source of power from a position, titles, salary, etc. vs. "power with and with" leadership which is all about mutuality and cooperation and finding one's source of power from inside one's own wisdom, self-esteem and humility. 

 (If you missed the article, click here to read it.)

The next logical question is how then do leaders grow from "power over" leadership into "power with and within" leadership. 

The Four Stages of Power in Leadership and Organizations

To fully understand and appreciate that the differences between the two approaches to power isn't about style or personality. It's about maturity and the values that show up in different stages of a leader's growth journey. There are four stages of power in leadership and organizations.

  • Stage 1:...
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What You Should Know About Power, Leadership and Consulting

At the end of the day, executive leadership is about power.

The quality of an executive isn't defined by whether or not they take the time to get to walk their areas and get to know their employees personally. The quality of a leader also isn't defined by how motivational their speeches are or how shrewd their policies are or how fast they can deliver results.

Instead, the quality of an executive is defined by where they get their power and if they use the power that they hold to make decisions that benefit the entire realm that they are in charge of: employees, customers and shareholders.  

Related: Five Essential Competencies for Executive Leadership

The Two Kinds of Power

There are two kinds of power: Power Over and Power With and Within.  

"Power Over" leadership is:

  • All about control and dominance.
  • The source of power is outside oneself in position, titles, budget, etc.
  • The use of power is all about control - through having more of it than others...
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The Business Empath's Guide to Consulting & Coaching

Do you feel overwhelmed by the issues and challenges your clients are experiencing? Do unhealthy work environments and power-over leadership practices burn you out and drain you?

If so, you might be an empath. An empath is someone with an extremely reactive neurological system which causes them to absorb both the positive and stressful energies around them. 

I'm an Empath.

I didn't realize I was an empath for a long time. I started to suspect that I was when I was presenting some difficult feedback to a client about their sales practices. I had sat with over 100 focus group participants and heard story after story about the impact of the company's unethical sales practices on their lives. And I was heartbroken when the client disregarded the feedback. 

Being an empath in a profession like ours, where you see the underbelly of organizations and leaders, can be hard. You have a superpower because of how well you understand the hearts and minds of everyone in your client...

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How to Confidently Articulate the Value of What You Do

Over the years there has been one particular roadblock that I watch both new and experienced consultants and coaches hit time and time again.  The truth is, I hit the same roadblock when I first started.

We all know we have tremendous value to offer our clients.

We can see the transformation that’s waiting for them….

…But when it comes time to put that value into words and communicate it to those same clients?

We freeze.

Unable to quantify our value.

This is what I want to start to unpack for you in this article.

Three Myths About Your Consulting and Coaching Value

To do this, I have to first expose the myths.

1. What you do isn't the same as your methodologies or tools.

Your value isn't found in your tools. It's in how you use your tools that matters.

A carpenter may have a hammer, screwdriver and drill and perhaps the best ones on the market. But as a customer we don't care about his tools. We care about how what he does with those tools to build something...

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10 Ways To Making Money And A Difference as a Consultant & Coach (Number 2 Is My Favorite)

If you want to start or grow a profitable consulting and coaching business you need systems and processes to consistently attract, impress and convert a steady stream of ideal clients and deliver exceptional results once you land them. 

To experience greater significance, isn't about doing different tasks but going about those same tasks with new eyes.

The perceptive eyes you need to cultivate includes reverence for your client's work and for your own. It's coming to a place of understanding and respect for the complexity that leaders manage when trying to guide human beings to work together. It's seeing your role beyond an "order taker" or "extra pair of hands" and owning your place as an essential strategic partner.

Related: How to Position Yourself as a Peer (and Stay out of the Dreaded "Pair of Hands" Trap)

Here's 10 ways to perceive the significance of your role and why consultants and coaches matter. 

1. Consultants and coaches exist to enhance leadership...

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Nice Consultants and Coaches vs. Good Ones

If you really want to make money and a difference as a consultant or coach, you can't get there by being nice.

You have to be good.

Nice on the surface appears more ethical and in alignment with one's integrity. A "nice" consultant or coach delivers what a client asks for. Doesn't get too aggressive with their marketing. And certainly doesn't push a client to pay them what they are worth.

But in reality - nice isn't nice. Being nice keeps feathers from being ruffled and maintains a surface experience of pleasantness while hiding or minimizing the real issues that are begging for transformation and the real reason why consultants and coaches exist.

Our profession isn't a new one. It's an old one. The office of an executive advisor was created thousands of years ago, at the same time the office of the king was established. In ancient stories, myths and spiritual traditions, the King always had a Prophet, Mentor, Magician, Guide or Jester that spoke truth to power. And helped the King...

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20 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting Your Own Business

As a business mentor, I obviously get asked all the time, "How do you start your own business?"

But the question I WISH I was asked all the time is, "How do you start the RIGHT business?"

Now that's a question! Sure, you need to know the smart and strategic steps to transition from corporate leadership to business ownership. But why settle for just a successful business when you can have a business that also delivers significance, purpose and meaning to your own life and the world?

Related: The Five Steps to a Business Launch

It takes literally the same amount of money, time and effort to build an off-purpose business as an on-purpose one. So, don't limit what is possible for you.

Use my questions to help you start the RIGHT business, for the RIGHT reasons...in the RIGHT way.

The Smart Startup Questions

Below are 20 smart questions that you should ask yourself to ensure that you have a business that you and your future clients will love.

  1. Why do you want your own business? What...
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