James McNamara introduces “The Engaging Leader – Notes From The Field”. Click play to listen. Fill transcription included below…

Transcription of James McNamara’s Audio Recording

I’ve just been in the office reflecting on the last decade or so of my experience in leadership development and employee engagement. I just couldn’t resist sharing a few thoughts and ideas…

Firstly, if you consider the statistics on employee engagement, they’re terrible. Even worse, they’re not getting much better. Just take a look at the graph below.

You can see that, for Australia and New Zealand, employee non-engagement or active disengagement accounts for 76% of the workforce. And for my colleagues in North America and in Europe, the figures there are not much different.

WARNING: this doesn’t bode very well for embracing the consistent and accelerating rate of change facing organisations today, let alone what coming in the very near future.

Now, there are a lot of factors that are attributed to employee engagement. Even so, the research has shown that there is one enabler, above all else, that improves employee engagement. It is the direct line supervisor. For front line workers, that’s the team leader. For the team leaders, it’s the middle manager. For middle managers, it’s the executive. The importance of improving communication, influence, and leadership skills across the breadth of your organisation is absolutely paramount! It is more important now than ever before too.

I’m inviting you to come with me on a little journey with me. It’s a journey that I’ve called The Engaging Leader: Notes from the field. You see, I’ve worked with managers for well over a decade now, hundreds of them and I’ve steadily unpacked the leadership challenges that beset managers at work. There is a pattern. A pattern of chinks in the management armour. Fixing these releases new and powerful results.

I’m going to share these insights in my upcoming blog posts.

Firstly, I’m going to talk to you about the importance of speaking the language of why. It’s just so important that managers at all levels, not just the senior executive, develop their capability to talk with the team members about the direction that the organisation is heading in. They need to be able to paint a picture of what the organisation will look like in the future (when we have ‘succeeded forward’ together). It is also paramount that all managers can talk to team members about how we behave on that journey.

In the second post, I’m going to talk to you about a very powerful ingredient to successful leadership. An ingredient that’s as important to leadership as seasoning is to a delicious soup. I’ll be sharing a fabulous analogy about this and some very contemporary research that I’m sure you’ll be interested in.

In the third post, I’ll cover the idea that one size does not fit all. After all, if all you have in your toolbox is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail. I’ll be talking about how to improve a leader’s to enable them to have more than one approach, depending on what the circumstance demands.

In the final post in this short series, I’m going to talk about understanding the patterns of people. Our leaders need to be able to understand how to work with, communicate with, build rapport with and influence all of the different (and difficult) personalities that they encounter at work. This is the key to effectively influencing change in thinking and behaviour that leads to new and improve results.

I’m looking forward to sharing these insights with you and inspiring your own leadership thinking.

Until next time, make a positive difference!