Over 100 senior executives attended Positive Strategies
for Extraordinary Leadership, our most recent senior
Over 100 senior executives gathered on January 11th to discuss strategies for exceptional leadership, at the Center for Values-Driven Leadership’s Senior Executive Roundtable, Positive Strategies for Extraordinary Leadership.
Positive leaders result in employees with higher job satisfaction ratings who contribute greater innovation, exhibit more cohesion, and feel happier in their work and personal lives, said keynote speaker Kim Cameron, Ph.D., a professor of management and organizations at the University of Michigan. Cameron’s latest research, which he shared as part of the roundtable, explores the contribution of “energy networks” to high performance. High performing firms have three times as many positively energizing networks than low performing firms.
|Cameron’s research explores energy
networks in high performing companies.
In layman’s terms, energizing networks are the personal relationships and communication channels between employees and teams that facilitate work flow. “Positive energy is an attractor,” Cameron says. When executives are strong contributors to positive energy networks, they can anticipate higher productivity and better team relationships.
How can you develop your own positive energy? Cameron says the first place to start is by smiling more. Listening, giving credit to others, and using appropriate rewards also contribute.
Fellow keynote speaker Paul Spiegelman, an Inc. columnist and the founder and CEO of BerylHealth, echos this approach. The most important words a leader can use, he says, are “I don’t know. What do you think?” Spiegelman says this approach to problem solving engenders team ownership in finding solutions and gives employees a chance to let their best ideas bubble to the surface, making them feel valued and supported.
|An engaging culture makes Spiegelman’s
company more than just a fun place
to work. It makes it profitable.
Spiegelman’s company, which provides concierge call center service for some of the nation’s largest hospital systems, has earned national recognition for its strong, employee-focused culture. As CEO, Spiegelman says he spends the largest share of his time maintaining the culture, including putting processes in place for caring for employees in the totality of their lives. His company uses an intranet system that allows employees to report significant life events – graduations, new babies, marriages, completing a marathon – fellow colleagues have experienced. Spiegelman then writes a personal note to each person.
“You wouldn’t believe the number of employees that tell me how much those notes mean to them,” he says. But this kindness isn’t just a compassionate act from a caring leader. Spiegelman believes the personal interactions and culture-ingrained fun at Beryl contribute to the company’s financial success. “We call it the Circle of Growth,” he says. “Invest in your people, they will make your customers more loyal, this will drive your bottom line.”