Engagement Tip # 1 – Connect

Engagement happens when we feel connected to something that bigger than ourselves.  And employees who feel a strong connection to their leaders, cialis their teams and their organizations perform better. They give 100% effort and often they give more. Our job as leaders then, prescription is to foster those connections. Make time every day to connect with your employees. Ask them how they’re doing. Show a sincere interest in what they have to say and listen with an open mind and heart. Show them they matter.


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The Re-Engagement Of Everyday Work

Engagement isEmployee Engagement is, medications at its very core, all about building positive and sustainable relationships that encompass the intellect, emotions, effort and the collective spirit of teams and organizations to maximize performance. Employee engagement is also determined by the degree of connection and alignment employees have with their organization’s vision and goals. When work environments allow employees to flourish, performance is maximized or exceeded. In a nutshell, engagement is critical to the success of every organization, regardless of size. And we know that engaging leadership, at every level of the organization, is the single most important factor that drives engagement. 

A perfect storm is brewing and approaching fast that will create a very important challenge for organizations. In spite of all the efforts that have been put into measuring engagement and creating corporate action plans, research continues to show very low levels of engagement in most organizations. The economy is turning around which often means many employees are considering making a career move. Companies with high levels of engagement will be more likely to retain their employees rather than lose them to competitors. The looming shortage of labour that will be created by large numbers of boomers retiring over the next five years isn’t helping either.

With relentless consumer demands, fierce competition, increasingly restrictive regulations and multi-generational, mobile workforces, is it any wonder that leaders are struggling in the face of this enormous challenge? It’s not easy being a leader today. But there is hope. One of the most effective strategies to address disengagement is to return to a few basics and to let leaders lead engagement at the grassroots level. It’s time to embrace new leadership models that focus on building loyal relationships. Old traditional command and control leadership styles are best left to managing robots. The four basic strategies below are a great place for leaders to begin building a solid foundation for high engagement.

  1. Engage the intellect by sharing information, helping employees focus on what’s most important and creating multi-directional feedback loops to keep conversations flowing and maintain focus.
  2. Embrace your emotional side by listening with an open heart to understand what’s really important for your employees and to address their concerns.
  3. Champion a positive environment where employees can give their best effort, individually and collectively to achieve exceptional performance.
  4. Maintaining a high level of collective team spirit by allowing energy to flow freely and engaging employees in problem-solving and decision-making. Remove the obstacles that get in the way.

When employees feel their efforts are valued, recognized and appreciated and when leaders connect with their employees on an emotional level, magic happens and performance soars. In a series of upcoming blogs, I will offer easy to implement suggestions to increase engagement in your teams without the need for complex and high maintenance programs. Engagement is a contact sport that happens in the trenches, every day.  When leaders and employees engage fully in their work, they perform like a winning team and move the dial of achievement from good to great.


Dianne Gaudet is a Certified Executive coach and business consultant who helps leaders and organizations achieve peak performance, engage fully and successfully manage continual transitions.  She is also the author of an upcoming book: If There Are No Limits… A guide to living with passion, purpose, possibility. 



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12 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You “Un-Retire”

015When my colleague retired a couple of years ago, stuff I felt envious, find lamenting how lucky he was and wishing for the day when I could announce my own retirement. A few months later I saw him and asked how he was enjoying retirement. “I hate it, I never should have retired,” he said. He identified so strongly with his work that without it he felt lost. Unfortunately he’s in good company. According to Statistics Canada, 64% of retirees express some regrets within 1 to 3 years of retirement.

There are a number of reasons why boomers are regretting their decision to retire. The most prominent one is that few take time to consider and really plan for the lifestyle they hope to have. Many plan financially but give little thought to what their day to day will be like. In fact, research has shown that only 3% of people plan psychologically for retirement. The fact that boomers are living longer is also adding to the pressure to un-retire.

One way to avoid finding yourself retired and wishing you hadn’t is to do a bit more reflection and planning, much like you do with your financial plans. Start by asking yourself these questions to gain insight into what un-retirement might look like. 

  1. Work: Do I want to continue to work in some capacity?  If yes, what would that look like?
  2. Health: What activities will I continue or build into my daily routine to stay active and healthy?
  3. Financial: What adjustments will I have to make financially to fit my new lifestyle?
  4. Leisure: What leisure activities will be part of my un-retirement and how will they fit into my lifestyle plans? For example, how much travel do you plan on doing and what will it costs?
  5. Family: What plans do I have regarding my immediate and extended family?  How important is it that I live near my children and grandchildren?
  6. Friends: How do I plan to stay connected with my friends?  Are there common interests and projects we might pursue together now that we have time?
  7. Life Partner: Do I understand the interests my life partner has in retirement and how do they connect with the interests I have?  What individual interests or projects will we want to pursue?
  8. Community: What involvement do I want to have with my community? Is volunteering something I want to pursue? If yes, how much time do I want to spend and with which organizations?
  9. Knowledge: Is there something I’d like to learn more about, studies I’d like to pursue now that I’ll have more time? What opportunities exist locally or abroad?
  10. Environment:  Where do I want to live and what type of home do I want?
  11. Spiritually: Will my spiritual practice change when I retire? How?
  12. Sense of self:  How do I define my sense of self-worth and how will it change as a result of retirement? What activities will help me maintain a high level of optimism and self-esteem?

You may not have a complete answer for each question, but aim to get answers to  most of the questions before you retire, those that are important to you. With a little more planning, you’ll feel good about your decision and you’ll have lots to look forward to. A bit more planning will also help you create a bucket list of things that are important to you during this important chapter in your life. The hard work is done now and it’s time to enjoy all that you’ve worked so hard for. Celebrate your newfound freedom and live life to the fullest.


As a Coach and through her company, Dianne help individuals plan for retirement by actively discovering, designing and directing meaningful activities that address one of the most important transitions in their life.

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3 Indisputable Facts That Drive Boomers to “UN-Retire”

UnretirementBoomers are redefining retirement and it’s looking more like “un-retirement.” Whatever you do, pills don’t tell a boomer that they are no longer relevant, mind that it’s time to slow down and move over for the next generation. According to Stats Canada, 66% of boomers who are currently working want to do more of what they love and that include work.  Un-retirement is also the perfect time to pursue long-forgotten dreams passions.  

In previous generations, retirees continued to be active in their own communities and their extended families. Today, boomers see their community more globally and often live away from family or move to new communities once they retire or slow down their work schedules.  They stay involved as grandparent and in their own unique way. Only a generation ago the experience of retirement was very different. Men worked at one, maybe two companies their entire career, got the gold watch and retired at age 65. Since most women were stay-at-home moms, their everyday routine did not experience as much of a dramatic shift when they hit 65. The typical working boomer is male or female, on his or her 3rd or 4th career and has worked for at least as many companies.  For the first time, women are experiencing a major transition when they stop working and they have few role models to provide guidance on making the transition. Three indisputable facts beg for a new definition of retirement to be written.

  1. Boomers are living longer and healthier. With constant advances being made in medicine, life expectancy continues to rise. Boomers can expect to live well into their 80’s or 90’s.  Where retirement used to signal the beginning of the decline of health in previous generations, today it signals a re-birth of opportunities. Boomers see retirement as having 3 distinct stages. The first stage is very active where old passions are re-ignited and pursued. The second stage remains semi-active where boomers continue to contribute to society in very meaningful ways. The final stage signals the time to slow down, but by no means signals the end of their contribution to society.
  2. Boomers are working longer. With limited financial resources, big dreams and a longer life span, boomers are rethinking their financial plans to support their retirement lifestyle. A number of boomers only realize after they’ve retired that they cannot afford to retire. Boomers also want to work as a way to stay active, connected and challenged. This likely means a combination of work and leisure. With a looming shortage of young workers to replace the bulge of retiring boomers, organizations are struggling to fill the void and are slowly beginning to embrace this generation as a practical source of high quality, experienced labour.  But this trend will take time to be fully realized until the outdated perception of “as you age you’re less valuable” changes.
  3. Boomers have long lists of unfinished business and long bucket lists. They are charting new courses and no longer see retirement as the swan song of their life. Instead, they see it as a transition point where opportunities to re-imagine their life, try new things, take risks, embark on a different journey or start a new career abound.  Boomer idealism is very much alive, albeit tempered with a dose of wisdom. The most important question for boomers is “what’s possible?” They want to take dream trips, start new businesses, work, volunteer in foreign countries, and be fully involved with their grandchildren.

There are few benchmarks and many possibilities to define retirement on new terms. The boomer bucket list of things to accomplish is long and it has changed. It is no longer a list of honey-do items, shows to watch, lawn bowling and bingo night. Rather it is filled with dreams and passions to pursue; once shelved because of work and family commitments. There are new languages to learn, new places to experience, new challenges to take, all of which will keep boomers living longer and healthier. Boomers are un-retiring in droves and that’s good for the psyche, the economy and all of society. It also keeps in step with the classic definition of this generation – “the re-inventors of everything.”


As a Coach and through her company, Dianne help individuals reach peak performance by actively discovering, designing and directing meaningful activities that address the continual transitions in their personal and professional lives.


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Are Leaders Too Focused On Outcomes And Not Enough on Execution?

Outcome LeadersCreating goals is easy.  Measuring results after the fact is easy.  Executing while continuing to engage is another story.  And without the full engagement of those that execute these plans, it’s hard to achieve the success today’s complex business environments are seeking. Today’s leaders must become masters at engaging their teams and managing the activities that lead to the outcomes they want rather than focus exclusively on the outcomes. Lagging indicators and results are no longer sustainable measurement of success of failure. Effective outcome oriented leaders are highly organized, disciplined planners and optimizers of personal productivity. They focus the energy of their teams on successful execution, by setting realistic and achievable goals, by managing risks and removing obstacles. They run effective meetings that achieve the right results and they ascribe to the philosophy that the right people, right role, right time will always achieve the right results.

Outcome Leaders are Execution Masters. Relentless executors translate strategy and vision into operational plans to achieve the desired results. They drive execution of these plans through clear expectations, exceptional communication and leadership that engages employees and compels them to act. These leaders establish high performance standards and hold themselves and others accountable. They are masters at delegating responsibility and authority at the right levels of the organization. Relentless executors find ways to address challenges and remove obstacles to keep moving forward.

Outcome Leaders are Realistic Goal Setters. These leaders establish realistic goals and targets that are clear, measurable and achievable. They involve others to ensure these goals are aligned with the organization’s strategy and vision. These leaders are exceptional at optimizing the efforts of their teams and working with other business units to create synergy, reduce unnecessary work and streamline business processes. They identify potential risks and anticipate problems at the planning stages, so they can develop contingent plans.

Outcome Leaders are Process Reformers. Process reformers are never content with producing anything less than optimum results. The set expectations for quality outcomes by developing common, streamlined work processes that facilitate instead of encumber. They identify and examine core processes on a regular basis and identify areas of improvement. They research best practices, make use of process improvement methodologies and invite feedback from multiple stakeholders to analyze, evaluate and prioritize improvement efforts. These leaders are diligent in ensuring accessible documentation for core processes to facilitate the training of new employees and provide a reference for existing employees.

Outcome Leaders are Astute Financial Managers. Financially astute leaders are exemplary forecasters and use key financial metrics to track trends. They leverage the expertise and financial acumen of their corporate financial department to make well informed decisions to invest the company’s financial resources and excel by conducting “what if” analyses and developing contingency plans to ensure the profitability of new and existing product and services. These leaders understand the levers that pinpoint successful trends and troubling areas and use scorecards, performance checks and monitor progress to redirect efforts when goals are not being met. Astute leaders and understand the benefits of conducting post-audits to glean the lessons that can be applied to future endeavors.

Outcome Leaders are Meeting Masters.  These leaders understand that meetings are critical to achieving goals and operations plans and they are role models for running effective meetings. They set clear, achievable agendas and expected outcomes. They identify the critical participants for each meeting to keep meetings short and focused for those in attendance. Their meetings are focused on sharing timely information, clarifying problems, inviting feedback, finding solutions and making informed decisions to achieve desired results.  Meeting masters jointly set meeting agendas with participants to get the highest productivity and contribution. These leaders ensure follow-up on items that cannot be completed during the meeting and use meetings as learning and engaging environments for all participants.

Join me next time to explore a variety of opportunities for developing the leadership competencies today’s leaders need to excel.

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How Self-Leaders Raise The Bar And Inspire Teams To Excel

Self LeaderTo achieve success in today’s challenging work environments, capsule organizations need leaders who welcome the opportunity to stretch beyond their comfort zone. The main reason Self-Leaders embrace a continuous journey of learning is because they are never content with the status quo. They continually search for ways to reach higher levels of performance and success, order and increase their effectiveness in the process. They are clear about their purpose and the goals of the organization, prescription and they are willing and able to move their teams in new and desired directions. They know how to self-regulate to overcome frustrations, set back and shortfalls. By continuously growing as leaders, they inspire their teams to achieve unparalleled success in every aspect of their personal and professional lives.

Self-Leaders are Courageous. These leaders have a strong desire to achieve. They are resilient in the face of adversity and challenge and they aren’t afraid to hold tough conversations or challenge current thinking. While they are concerned with the bottom line, they are equally concerned with maintaining the rich relationships they have with their employees and stakeholders. They are willing to take necessary risks to make quantum leaps in their organization’s success but not at all cost. Self-leaders are clear about their values and principles and they are willing to do what it takes to ensure these are not compromised for the sake of expediency and profit.

Self-Leaders are Adaptable and Flexible. Adaptable leaders take a confident and optimistic view of the future and they are masters at shepherding their teams successfully through significant periods of change. They are comfortable with ambiguity and able to move ahead when they don’t have all the answers. They look to their teams and other stakeholders to help find the answers. They don’t take themselves too seriously and they work hard to keep the atmosphere fun and light. They know how to take care of themselves and to manage their energy.

Self-Leaders are Continuous Learners. Leaders who are committed to continuous learning actively seek opportunities to accelerate their development and raise their own bar of excellence. They are realistic assessors of their strengths and gaps and know how to play to their strengths while remaining eager to develop the gaps that benefit them and their organizations. They know that their career is theirs to own and manage, that learning is part of their success, and they wholeheartedly embrace new options for continual growth. They model continuous learning and, in the process, inspire their teams to learn and grow.

Self-Leaders are Initiators. These leaders are motivated by a deep desire to achieve for the benefit of the organization, not solely for personal gain. They have a clear vision of what they want to achieve which raises the performance bar for everyone who works with them. They continually seek new ways to move from good to great in everything they do. They focus their energies on working smarter, not harder.

Join me next time as I explore the competencies of Outcome Oriented Leaders.

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6 Ways Interdependent Leaders Create Engagement and Loyalty

Interdependent LeaderEngaging Leaders lead from a position of trust rather than power and title. They understand the value of investing time and energy in building strong interdependent relationships and they excel in their ability to nurture those relationships. These leaders take time to know their employees and all the stakeholders they interact with on a regular basis and they are masters at engaging individuals in meaningful conversations.

Interdependent leaders are Trusted Communicators. Leaders who create trusting, viagra authentic and collaborative relationships through genuine communication with their teams, doctor colleagues, cialis customers and stakeholders are visible and accessible. These leaders are not afraid to confront tough issues and find solutions that are acceptable to all stakeholders. Whenever possible they take a consensus building approach to resolve issues and differences.

Interdependent leaders are Relationship Builders.  Leaders who invest time and energy in getting to know their employees, what’s happening at work and in their personal life build lasting and trusting relationships. They do the same for customers and colleagues. They use empathy and respect when they need to hold courageous conversations to deal with issues head on. They have a laser focus on building and maintaining long-term, loyal relationships.

Interdependent leaders are Engaging and Inspiring.  Engaging leaders share compelling business decisions and rationale and foster open and multi-directional dialogue with employees. They understand that engagement is key to achieving breakthroughs and delivering outstanding performance. Engaging leaders understand the powerful impact of recognizing employee efforts and by making the recognition memorable. They create an environment that empowers employees to achieve their highest levels of performance and grow their capabilities in the process.

Interdependent leaders are Talent Developers. These leaders understand the sum total of the talents, capabilities and motivations within their teams and they inspire employees to stretch and grow. They hold regular career discussions with employees and support the development activities that helps them prepare for their next opportunity. They model and promote self-development and understand that a stronger team makes a stronger organization, even when it means employees in their teams may move to other parts of the organization. They also know how to seek feedback to continually make adjustments to their own development and performance.

Interdependent leaders are Coaches and Mentors. Coaches listen intently and ask powerful questions to encourage employees to find their own solutions. These leaders know the value of providing timely and genuine feedback to help employees learn and continue to reach higher levels of performance. They help employees surpass their perceived limitations and inspire them to think broadly, learn from failures and shape new perspectives about their own capabilities. Rather than wait for formal performance management cycles to engage their employees in meaningful feedback, they see it as a continuous process in their everyday leadership activities.

Interdependent leaders are Collaborators.  Collaborative leaders model teamwork within their own teams and across business units. They remove roadblocks to enable collaborative efforts. These leaders create a culture where employees develop a sense of pride and ownership in the work they do, and as a result, employees hold each other accountable. Collaborators are sharers of information and encourage everyone involved to share and learn from each other.

Join me next time as we look at the competencies of a Self-Leader.

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5 Ways Discerning Leaders Can Thrive in the Soft Underbelly of Any Organization

Discerning LeadershipDiscerning leaders excel in business acumen and in using all of their intellectual capabilities to understand what’s happening below the surface of their organizations and thrive in communicating and engaging their employees in the process. They are tuned into the undercurrent and cultural sensitivities that are part of their organizations. They are excellent in discerning which communication is needed to achieve the results they seek for their business. These leaders take time to step back from their day-to-day activities to regroup and adjust their approach before taking action. While some leaders come by these competencies naturally, dosage the good news is they can be learned.

Discerning leaders are Influencers. Influential leaders share compelling stories with their employees and colleagues to capture the imagination, viagra change mindsets, influence and engage their teams. They don’t rely only on their positional power. Influencers lead by example, which in turn, promotes the right behaviours that are critical to success, and they influence decisions across the company to ensure everyone achieves the results they seek.

Discerning leaders are Change Facilitators. Facilitating leaders understand how change impacts the people, tools, structures, processes, policies and culture of the organization. They prepare their employees in advance, so they understand the nature and scope of the change, the reasons why it’s necessary and they create, share and implement strategies to mitigate the impact of change. They create forums, formal and informal, for employees to raise concerns and to address the preoccupations that could derail change efforts. Facilitating leaders are constant communicators during periods of significant change, they articulate the benefits realization and lessen the impact on all stakeholders through effective communication and thoughtful action.

Discerning leaders are Astute. Leaders who are highly discerning are astute in gaining insights and increasing their awareness and perceptions of their organizations and the environments in which they operate. These leaders understand that there are different sources of intelligence to draw upon and they use these sources to their advantage. They rely on logical, kinesthetic, spatial, naturalist, emotional, linguistic, interpersonal and rhythmic insights, intuition and intelligence to make well-informed decisions.

Discerning leaders are Culturally Aware. Culturally aware leaders take into account the diversity, traditions, beliefs, customs and folklore that make up the organizations they lead. They are knowledgeable and sensitive to the uniqueness and diversity of their culture and they are competent in inclusive environments where diverse cultures can flourish and create value. They ensure that policies, programs and processes are consistent with and incorporate the cultural values they promote.

Discerning leaders are Politically Savvy. These leaders know that politics are part of every organization and they are savvy in managing the political landscapes in their organizations. These leaders understand and appreciate how decisions are made and make sure they are tapped into the right information sources. Politically savvy leaders use their skills to influence decisions. They appreciate that employees are savvy as well and spend their time and efforts to remove barriers that   unnecessary politics can cause. They learn to manage their own political power for the benefit of the organization, its employees and their customers.

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A Contemplative Leader is More Than a Competent Strategist

Contemplate LeaderTo flourish in today’s demanding and complex business environments, pill leaders need more than just good strategic thinking and planning skills. They can no longer rely on old tried and true models of traditional leadership and expect to achieve new levels of success. For starters they need to be customer centric, viagra 60mg strategic visionaries and compelling communicators. As you read the definitions of a contemplative leader, nurse think of someone who exemplifies these competencies. Ask yourself what specific behaviours this leader demonstrates and how is he impacting your employees differently than other leaders who don’t yet have these competencies.

Contemplative leaders are Customer Centric. These leaders are passionate about understanding the key drivers of success for their customers. They find ways to say yes to customers with enabling policies, programs and processes. They remove barriers and promote high standards of customer service at all levels of the organization. Customer centric leaders make it easy for customers to do business with them and are relentless in cultivating an employee mindset which is focused on finding new ways to anticipate needs and exceed customer expectations. They build loyalty by listening and responding to their customers’ concerns and feedback and they make continual improvements to their levels of customer service.

Contemplative leaders are Innovators. Not content with the status quo, these leaders leverage innovation and technology to increase and maintain the competitive advantage of their organizations. Innovators advocate for and are catalysts for new thinking. They foster open environments, seek employee input and ideas; and encourage them to challenge conventional thinking. They remain open to fresh perspectives that lead to exceptional customer service and enhanced business results.

Contemplative leaders are Visionaries. They are highly aware of opportunities in the global market place and the organization’s strengths and weaknesses. They use this information along with analytics to identify trends and shape the vision and mission of their organization. They apply global thinking to shape a vision of what’s possible. These leaders establish and model values that are congruent with the organization’s mission and vision.

Contemplative leaders are Strategists. Strategically oriented leaders create audacious goals to maximize the potentiality of the organization and, at the same time, focus on the right activities. They ensure that corporate goals are cascaded throughout the organization and that they are aligned vertically and horizontally across the organization. These leaders create scorecards and key performance indicators to measure trends and results in all key business activities. Effective strategists build on and leverage collaborative relationships across business units and corporate services to align efforts and create agility in the organization. They allocate resources to maximize profits and productivity while eliminating waste and minimizing costs.

Contemplative leaders are Analysts. They make use of the analytics and tools available to dissect business information and understand what’s happening in the external environment and industries that can potentially impact their strategies. These leaders judiciously evaluate the outcomes of the previous business cycles to learn about the organization’s successes and failures. They make decisions that are well-informed, supported by the analytics and aligned with company values and principles.

Effective contemplative leaders are Compelling Communicators. They create multi-directional channels and relentlessly communicate their vision, values, strategic goals, objectives and organizational changes to all stakeholders. They use a variety of media and platforms to provide information, seek feedback and measure the effectiveness of all communications. Their open door model ensures a constant flow of information and breaks down barriers. Communication channels are top-down, bottom-up, lateral, cross-functional and peer to peer.

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