Welcome to Engaging Leader

This is your source for principles to communicate, engage, and lead with greater impact. The Engaging Leader podcast, blog, videos, and more will help you inspire trust, passion, and action!


Business people enjoy healthy lunch in the officeAs with any important initiative, it’s vital to have the CEO and other senior leaders actively supporting workforce health engagement. These executives can help to:

  • Articulate why the initiative is important to the organization’s purpose and business strategy,
  • Create buy-in from all levels of the organization,
  • Cultivate a supportive work environment,
  • Dedicate resources, and
  • Serve as a model and champion through both their “walk” and their “talk.”

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Successful business man standing with his staff in background at office

When I was a child, my mother required me to write thank-you notes for relatives who gave me birthday and Christmas gifts. You know the kind … “THANC YU GRAMMA FOR THE WORM SOX.” It was a chore for me, and I’m sure that insincere feeling came across in both the formulaic message and delayed timing of the notes. Some years, I procrastinated so long that my thank-you notes weren’t sent until after the toys had broken and warm socks were lost.

A few years ago, I had a transaction with a businessman. Later that day, the guy’s assistant emailed me to ask for my mailing address. Soon I received a one-sentence thank-you note that felt insincere and vanilla. I learned the guy sent a large batch of thank-you notes every week. I pictured his assistant as Radar O’Reilly from the old TV show M.A.S.H., plopping down a pile of papers for the colonel to sign without much thought. To me, that doesn’t feel like sincere thanks — just routine follow-up for everyone with whom he had interacted that day. [click to continue…]


7 Ways Thankfulness Makes You a Stronger Leader

November 19, 2015

Several years ago, I was helping to plan workforce communications for a Fortune 500 financial services company. Early in the project, I met a leadership consultant from another firm that was serving the same client. Her research revealed amazing insights about leadership effectiveness, and I sent her a handwritten thank-you note expressing genuine gratitude for […]

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124: THX! How Practicing Gratitude Makes You a More Effective Leader

November 15, 2015

Podcast: Play in new window | Download Thankfulness changes things: in yourself, in your team, and in your impact. As we approach Thanksgiving in the US, and the New Year goal-setting that most of us will be undertaking over the coming weeks, let me encourage you to make it a priority to improve your gratitude […]

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123: How to Rebuild Leadership Credibility: Lessons from the Reforging of a Navy Seal | with Jason Redman

November 1, 2015

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadA few years ago, my local gym posted a photo of a handwritten sign that had been posted outside the hospital room of a Navy Seal who had been severely wounded in battle. “The wounds I received,” wrote Lt. Jason Redman, “I got in a job I love, doing […]

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WHE26: Mobile Platforms for Workforce Health Engagement

October 27, 2015

Podcast: Play in new window | Download If you haven’t yet realized it, there’s been a communication revolution building, and it has now reached the tipping point for workforce health engagement. People are now using mobile devices more than desktop computers for digital media, with mobile apps dominating the usage. Text messaging has become the preferred […]

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122: How to Help People Change | with Art Markman

October 15, 2015

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadTo create lasting behavior change, it’s crucial to understand how the brain’s habit system works, and then develop specific techniques to leverage the power of the brain rather than fighting against it. Psychologist Art Markman joins us to provide insight and practical advice to create sustainable behavior change in […]

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121: 5 Gears: Being a Present & Productive Leader When There’s Never Enough Time | with Jeremie Kubicek

October 1, 2015

Podcast: Play in new window | Download[powerpess] When you drive a car with a manual transmission, you quickly learn there is a right time and place for each gear. You start in 1st gear, then shift into 2nd gear, and so forth until you reach the highest gear. If you try to shift into the […]

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My Bad, Your Bad? How to Talk About Mistakes So You Can Move on

September 28, 2015

I’m not a big fan of assigning blame for a mistake or problem. I’d much rather focus on fixing the problem or finding a solution. As a leader, whenever a problem occurs on my team, I can usually drill down deep enough to find that I was responsible at some level. For example, Aspendale produces […]

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GC32: Engaging Employees as Brand Ambassadors | with Ivan Tsarynny of PostBeyond

September 22, 2015

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSocial media has a powerful effect on company sales and recruiting efforts. But just having a corporate communications person post things on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter doesn’t actually bring results. On social media, people pay attention to people, not to companies.

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The Secret Language of Pronouns: How to Drive Ownership And Accountability

September 16, 2015

In my mid-20s, while in Chicago on business, I had lunch with my former boss at the global consulting firm I had left a couple years earlier. “You’ve come a long way,” Laurie commented after listening to me talk about my recent projects. “You aren’t the young greenhorn you used to be.” “What do you […]

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120: How to Lead Through Failure: 11 Ways to Drive Results While Reducing Mistakes

September 15, 2015

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadDoes the way you lead communicate to your team that failure is not an option? If so, you are limiting innovation and development, encouraging cover-ups and lies, and breeding more-serious mistakes. This is true whether you lead a family, a small organization, or a huge business. “The best way […]

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