Articles tagged with: Community Focus

Community: Five Leadership Keys to Successful Community Building

What do we gain from being connected and engaged with other people? Marianne Williamson wrote, “People crave comfort, people crave connection, people crave community.” So, what does it take to build and maintain a sense of community in the workplace? As a leader, what role do you play? Why is it essential for a good leader to understand the importance of community focus? How does a strong sense of community support employee engagement and retention?

TAGS How To Make Room For More Meaningful Relationships In Business

Being a leader means mastering the art of juggling both the current task and all the challenges it presents, but also keeping an eye on the horizon for new challenges and opportunities. This constant balancing act makes it easy to forget that the value of being connected to your colleagues is equally as important as being effective and efficient at getting the job done. Personal connections enrich and support the work at hand. Thus, leaders must also focus on being personable and engaging in their relationships.

The Intangible ROI of Community Involvement

We are excited to have a new blog contributor on our team, Adrian Felts!  To learn more about Adrian, click here!  Adrian's insights on the ROI of giving back to our community is an imporant way to develop that imporat leadership competency in your organization and for yourself.  So without further ado... enjoy!


When is the last time you were able tell senior management in your organization the expected financial return on investment (ROI, because there's always an acronym) for time spent volunteering?  For workers who find personal value in giving back, this can be very frustrating.  For managers who have financial targets to hit, this too is frustrating. You want your employees to give back because you understand the value is creates for them in their lives and careers, and doggonit, it's good for the community!  But ultimately, time not spent on billable projects is revenue lost, regardless of whether it's volunteer time or time paid for by the company.  So, I have a few thoughts on how to go about doing this so it's a win - win for all involved.


Leadership Through Community Engagement: The Ultimate Win-Win

As we develop and strengthen the leadership in our organizations, as well as our personal leadership development, we should be sure to include time and planning for “community focus.”  More and more organizations have broadened their vision to include community service initiatives. Your career development plan should include the same goals for considering your involvement in  your community. There are many ways to explore ‘community’, both inside and outside your organization and this can become a highlight for your experience and resume. Caretaking for your community can also contribute to your overall wellness and help you to develop as a confident professional.

Let’s start with a definition of what we mean by community focus.  Wikipedia defines community a social unit of any size that shares common values.Values” elicit our energy and emotion because they are principles that we deeply believe in.  We should therefore invest our time and our support.  In our career path, we sometimes get so busy with tasks that we forget to schedule time to “give back” and revisit our values.  Finding time to serve a greater good can be easier than you think and the rewards for you can make a big difference.

 CommunityFocus BHiggins2016



Always Leave a Place Better Than You Found It

Do you remember those things you mother always said to you?  Do you also remember when you realized those things she said were meaningful to life?   One of the things my mother used to always say was, "Always leave a place better than you found it".  She was referring to cleanliness.  She taught me when I stayed at someone's house, before leaving I should put clean sheets on the bed, empty the trash and make sure the rooms I used (including the bathroom) looked better than when I arrived.  I value this lesson and still live into it.  

Leading an Innovation Culture

Organizations today recognize that sustained innovation is essential in order to compete and survive in the global marketplace. However, “innovation” is not just about coming up with radical ideas, nor is it simply about cool products (iPads and iPhones, for instance) or “creative” gurus (such as Steve Jobs and Richard Branson). While these might represent the most visible and tangible evidence that innovation exists, there is far more to the story.

Author and creativity expert Bryan W. Mattimore, in his book Idea Stormers: How to Lead and Inspire Creative Breakthroughs (Jossey-Bass, 2012), says that “Ideation – the term for the collection of group creativity techniques formerly known as brainstorming – is fun but can be hard work. Innovation – getting an idea or product to market successfully – is much harder work still.”

Sustained innovation is more about a supportive and aligned culture than a singular product or individual.

Sustained innovation is more about a supportive and aligned culture than a singular product or individual....

Building your Personal Leadership Brand



Duration: 65 minutes

What will you be known for in your organization?

PERSONAL BRAND . . . a trendy phrase or something of value? We’re all very familiar with corporate brands; Coke, Disney and McDonalds to name a few. But what about a personal brand and do you really need to be concerned about having one? Whether you are a student, searching for your next job or already employed, it’s important for you to be able to articulate your unique value proposition.

View this engaging session to learn:

  •     Why it’s important to your success at “Me, Inc.”
  •     How to create an effective personal brand statement.
  •     How to manage your brand with social media.
  •     What return you receive from living your brand.

GenFlux: Leading with Agility

Many leaders are finding they must deal with more chaos and disruption – and uncertainty – in their environments. The pace of growth and the need for innovation requires a whole new approach to leadership. People who thrive in this environment are sometimes referred to as GenFluxers, a term coined by Fast Magazine, and refers to a mind-set that embraces instability, that tolerates--and even enjoys--recalibrating careers, business models, and assumptions. It’s not defined by age but rather by one’s outlook and agility. The traditional hierarchy leadership structure is no longer the optimum structure in today’s fast-paced world; rather one that embraces informal networks and informal leaders to provide ideas and innovations that move the company forward. In this webinar, Susan will share her experiences in working with companies – and non-profits – in exploring ways for them to take advantage of the disruption by focusing on new skills, new ideas, and new ways of connecting and collaborating. She will also explore the role of informal networks in helping companies become more agile, adaptable, and innovative.

This webinar will answer the following three questions:

  • What are the key success factors in leading with agility?
  • How can a leader encourage the change required to and succeed – and grow - within the chaos and disruption?
  • Are you a GenFluxer?



Susan J. Thomas is Managing Consultant with IBM Business Consulting Services, Human Capital Solutions. She works with a variety of clients and companies to provide consulting services in the areas of skills competency analysis (which includes different types of questionnaires), certification test development and skills assessment, questionnaire development (both paper-based and Web-based), and training evaluation. She also assists clients with data-based decision making by helping them design question-naires and by performing statistical analysis and data mining to help them make recommendations and create action plans. Prior to joining the IBM Corporation, she was a measurement statistician and test development specialist with the Educational Testing Service. She was also an adjunct professor at Rider University, where she taught graduate courses in research methods (including questionnaire design), testing and measurement for teachers, basic statistics, and authentic assessment. Previously, she was a faculty member at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and Florida State University, where she taught courses in measurement, research design, and various areas of educational and developmental psychology. She has directed numerous funded research projects, has presented extensively at the annual meetings of the American Educational Research Association and the National Council for Measurement in Education, and has served as a Divisional Vice President of the American Educational Research Association. She has published several journal articles, as well as Evaluation Without Fear with coauthor Roger Kaufman, and Designing Surveys That Work!, a predecessor to the current book. She conducts workshops for teachers on topics related to assessment and has developed many training guides for these workshops. She did her undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire and received her Ph.D. from Purdue University.

Above the Fray or Head in the Sand?

A few years ago, I was working with a leader who was a department head as well as a member of the organization’s executive team. This leader had a healthy department with positive attitudes, good communication and strong relationships; however, several of the other departments within this organization were not so fortunate. There were many challenges going on in other departments from high turnover, continued gossip, poor communication and lack of trust, just to name a few.

When the conversation would turn to the challenges other departments within the organization were having, this leader would often say, “I am taking the high road and choose to stay out of the drama”. At first blush this seemed very noble; however, the challenge was that the “drama”, so to speak, was real and the other teams were quickly becoming dysfunctional.


The Strategy and Engagement Connection

It’s no secret that MSBC is on a mission to create engaged workforces. And we know you are just as concerned about the lack of truly engaged employees and leaders that are working together to grow the businesses or move forward the missions of your organizations as we are.

No matter what your mission is, it is critical that your employees understand how they contribute to the overall goals as well as vision. Most leaders (and team members) want to feel part of something bigger than yourself and that your contribution is valuable. The best way for everyone to understand the vision is through strategic planning.


Less is More

Goal setting can be an exciting time! You are energized and ready to conquer! Your goals are set and you will continually strategize, plan and monitor them.... as you should.  You are also open and willing to do whatever it takes... and there is often “one more thing” that has the potential to get the result/s you are seeking.  And you’ll often do it without a second thought.

But let’s be honest... all those “one more things” can often be detrimental to the very goal you are after.  Soon you will be doing so many “one more things” that you could lose sight of your original goal, strategy, or plan.  I would like for you to consider a new proposal for your goal setting..... DO LESS!  Consider the five strategies listed below to DO LESS so that you can actually achieve more:

  1. Work less
  2. Take on fewer clients and projects
  3. Talk less
  4. Have fewer meetings
  5. Volunteer less


Do You Truly Want To Make A Difference?

I hear many people (including myself) talk about how they want to make a difference, and I believe most of us are genuine when we make this statement; however, wanting to make a difference and making a difference are completely "different" things.


Investing in Your Organization's Renewable Resources

Over the past few years I have been captivated by our need for development of renewable energy. It was only recently I realized the parallel between renewable energy through natural resources to affect our environment and renewable energy through investing in people to affect our work environment.