Inspired Leadership Series for Uncertain Times

Boy am I getting an earful as I travel the country speaking and leading workshops. Here are some typical comments:

“Our recent layoffs make it difficult to build trust and engage our apprehensive employees.”

“How do you motivate people to perform with frozen salaries and limited opportunities for growth?

“We need leaders who are committed to developing and coaching their team and most of all—know how to raise performance!

I’m sure you can add to this list. Even if business is good, we need inspired leaders who see themselves people-builders and are focused on getting results. I thought I’d share some practical and fun ideas you can use to create inspired leaders.

Part I. The Servant Leader – A Key to Engage Associates

Ken Blanchard once said, “The role of a servant leader is to do anything possible to help his or her people to win and accomplish their goals.” That’s a pretty profound statement! A servant leader believes it’s a privilege and an honor to serve and lead their team. Do you have any managers who believe they are the most important member of the team? If so, that’s actually a handicap.

Servant Leaders truly care about each employee. As a result, they earn respect and inspire their people to make a contribution.

How do your managers and supervisors see their role? Now, more than ever, we need leaders who can ignite passion, raise performance and keep engagement levels high. You may have managers who are excellent technicians, but lack the skill or desire to build relationships and trust with their staff/

Servant leaders understand when learning, development and participation stops, disengagement sets in. In the current downturn, these three items are even more critical for staff that may feel stuck, apprehensive or stagnant. So ask yourself:

1) Do my people have the opportunity to learn new things?

2) Are their skills and talents being developed?

3) Are they given an opportunity to participate on a team,
contribute their ideas and help get referrals?

If you answered no to any of these, here’s a proven idea you can use. Arrange for employees to go on field trips, sales calls, attend customer meetings, visit internal departments or listen in on a teleconference. Often support employees are disconnected from the actual business and isolated in their own department or area. Exposing them to other areas and your core business will spark a sense of pride and increase their knowledge of the business and referrals.

I recently delivered an inspired leadership presentation for a company at their quarterly managers meeting. As a result of recent layoffs and limited growth opportunities, their staff was a bit disengaged and apprehensive. I suggested they invite support staff to attend client meetings, shadow the sales folks, visit job sites and get exposed to other areas. Since implementing these suggestions I received feedback the staff now feel valued and enjoy learning more about the business. Plus more employees are more inclined to act as an ambassador and bring in referrals to the sales team.

So even with reduced budgets we can all be creative and find ways to develop our staff and get everyone focused on service or revenue generation. One of the keys is to remind your managers to become inspired leaders! Please share this post with your managers and challenge them to rise to the occasion.

I invite you to please share a best practice or a question for my next blog post!

Question: With budgets down for training, what are you doing to develop your leaders or create a learning environment for your staff? What are your greatest challenges or questions?

Thanks and stay tuned for Part 2 coming next!


About Barb Sanfilippo

High Definition People™ is a catalyst for behavior change providing practical tools, motivation and inspiration to help employees succeed personally and professionally. Barbara Sanfilippo, CSP, CPAE and Bob Romano are marriage and business partners who are committed to developing inspired leaders, igniting passion, instilling personal responsibility, encouraging a spirit of serving and helping people to experience work and life in high definition.

Barb is also the author of, Dream Big! What’s the Best That Can Happen? The book outlines concepts and practices employed by thousands of High Definition People™ throughout the world. For additional topics and information on inspired leadership, staff engagement, service and sales workshops, to view Barb’s demo video or to order, Dream Big! What’s the Best That Can Happen?, visit:

Open Printer-Friendly Page
Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInPrint this pageEmail this to someone
Posted in Customer Relationship Management, Member Relationship Management Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,
3 comments on “Inspired Leadership Series for Uncertain Times
  1. Thank you, Barb! Have a nice Thanksgiving!

  2. Barb – thanks. I definitely agree that engagment through making a valuable conribution and feeling a part of the team are tremendously important. Capitalizing on these two elements takes advantage of shared experience and relationship building, allowing positive direction of emotion and energy. Employees want to feel that they are an appreciated and valuable member of the team. This allows employes to maintain an infectious productive focus.

    Hope you have a great Thanksgiving.

  3. Debra Irwin says:

    I was able to answer yes to each of the 3 questions above due to the innovative leadership of my boss. It is wonderful to have it validated in your BLOG. Our quarterly off-sites consist of some sessions for strategic planning and others for fun learning field trips. Working in the vicinity of Washington D.C. offers a myriad of learning opportunities. We also have lunch and learn sessions where we do book or article reviews and discussion. Our staff is motivated and engaged…a great place to work despite being housed in the basement in tight quarters without the benefit of windows. So, as you can see, it really works! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *