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Archive for ‘Workplace Environment’

Leadership – Learning Your Team Members’ Individual Needs, Goals and Strengths

by Kelly Vandever

The group wasn’t happy about being acquired by a new company. They had a successful product and doubted the tenacity of the acquiring company’s offerings. What’s more, they were not impressed with the acquiring company’s executive management that had already visited their offices. And now, the group was getting a new manager who would manage them…from more than 700 miles away! Imagine what you would have thought if you were in this group!

 
Getting to Know You 
Whether you’re managing new people 700 miles away, or working …

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How Do I Motivate Remote Employees?

by Kelly Vandever

 

We’ll call him LT Dan…not to be confused with the LT Dan in the movie Forrest Gump… but this man was a Lieutenant in the US Navy and his first name was Dan.

LT Dan would call me up and tell me what his group was doing.

Let me give you some context.

At the time, I was in charge of officer recruiting in the Southern United States for the US Navy. Indirectly reporting to me were 8 officers who were responsible for the officer recruiting in …

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How Would I Feel if I Were the Manager Who Was Being “Gone Around” Because of the Open Social Enterprise?

by Kelly Vandever

 

As a manager, I’m pretty sure along the way, I said something to this effect…

As the head of this group, I’m responsible for what happens. But I want to know what you think. When things come up, I want to know what you think we should do. I want to hear your recommendations. In the end, I may decide to take your recommendation or I may go a different direction. If I go a different direction, I’ll try to make sure …

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What’s In It for the Manager When an Employee Speaks Up?

 

by Kelly Vandever

One of my bosses (whom shall remain nameless for purposes of this post) had a bad habit.

Instead of the word “organization,” he would say another word that begins with the letters “orga” and let’s just say, the word he used really wasn’t suitable for use in our workplace. He only used the inappropriate substitution when in the company of the senior leadership team. He never ever did it in front of the rest of the employees. And other than the unfortunate substitution, he didn’t swear …

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Could Your Company Be the Next Volkswagen? Create a Business Environment Where Leaders and Employees Have Permission to Speak

by Kelly Vandever

While the details of the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal are still pouring out, the results are clear.  Volkswagen has lost millions… in stock price, in dollars to fix the emissions cheat, and in the trust of loyal fans who believed the automaker cared about more than making a buck.

From what we’re hearing so far, you just have to believe that dozens of people along the way had to have made a conscious decision to cheat the …

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Rock Your Unglamorous Work!

By Kelly Vandever

One of the things I secretly love (well, not so secret now that you’re reading this) is when I’m in a public gathering and for whatever reason, someone asks the military veterans in the room to stand and be recognized.

OH MY GOD, I LOVE TO STAND AND BE RECOGNIZED AS A VET! Yes, I’m extremely proud that I served my country…but I also dig that I’m one of the few…and sometimes the only…woman who’s standing. The look …

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Give Your Employees Permission to Speak – Then Prepare to Be Amazed!

by Kelly Vandever

I’m passionate about giving employees permission to speak and engaging your staff to speak up. I’m passionate because I’ve seen the impact on employees and on business results.

Here’s the story of how I came to believe so strongly in giving employees permission to speak.

 
The Problem: Processing Travel Claims
At my second duty station, we processed all the travel claims of military personnel who transferred to the Naval Air Station in Pensacola for a permanent assignment. We also processed travel claims for those who had to …

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The Leadership Balancing Act – Professional vs. Personal

 

By Kelly Vandever

One of the things that makes leadership difficult is that it’s not a matter of “do these three things and you’ll be a great leader.” Leadership is very nuanced. Leadership is adjusting to dichotomies that both need to be true. Leadership is a balancing act.

Over the next few posts, we’ll take a look at what that balancing act looks like for leaders and give you some thoughts on how you might deal with the gray that comes from your leadership role.

The first of these topics…maintaining a …

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Permission to Speak: The Dignity and Power of Speech

by Kelly Vandever

In their May 2015 issue, Toastmaster magazine republished an article titled, The Hanoi Hilton Toastmasters by Jan Henrikson (the article was originally published in the October 1999).

I was struck by the quote, “The [Toastmasters] activities were aimed at helping the men rebuild their dignity. They spoke to feel themselves alive, to activate the elegance and nobility of the human spirit under impossible circumstances.”

While an Ensign in the US Navy, I had the privilege of hearing CDR Ralph Gaither speak to a group of newly commissioned officers. …

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