As the speed, uncertainty, and complexity of global markets intensify, leaders must learn to navigate this fast-moving landscape—by keeping their businesses on track amid adaptive change. Leaders must develop the agility to confront uncertain times by engaging the workforce through vision, understanding, and clarity. What will it take to achieve all of this? As part of our brand promise to Inspire Change and Grow Leaders GPS Dairy Consulting has included a leadership blog on our website. Our first year of weekly posts will focus on the basic leadership skills that coaches around the world have indicated to be the most important leadership skills. Each month one of these skills will be addressed by four professional leadership development coaches – one each week. Please visit the blog frequently. Feel free to include other leaders in your organization and tell your friends and colleagues. Grow your skills as a leader and inspire change in your organization.

Motivation vs. EngagementClick to open Motivation vs. Engagement

Ok, if motivation is the will to do something and engagement is the active agreement to do something, that is very similar to my behavior last January. I sign up for a membership at my local gym = motivation; engagement is my showing up 3X a week to work out.

As I can attest to years of good intentions to work on my fitness and to lose weight, being motivated is only half of the answer – getting on my bicycle and clocking the miles is engagement toward my goal to be stronger and more fit.

What about your employees? I am sure you can rank your employees as to who is the most engaged and who is the least engaged. How do you inspire engagement? How do you get someone who is motivated to move to the next level and be engaged?

I think we have to build a bridge for the person – step one is to identify the best person on the team to get started, the next step is to connect with their heart, next share the vision and then get out of their way. An employee who has the vision and the passion will be engaged, and their energy will be infectious to those around them. As leaders we have to be open to their vision and ideas and let them be part of the solution.

There is nothing better than to have all the employees on the dairy with a passion for the welfare of the animals; they won’t tolerate someone mistreating the cows. Imagine if everyone who worked with you would do whatever was necessary all the time to make sure all the animals are safe and well treated…. how much better would you sleep at night?

I believe the best path to a highly engaged workforce starts with recruiting highly passionate people. This is the one of the most challenging roles of a leader and is never ending!

An Ongoing BattleClick to open An Ongoing Battle

We as leaders – human beings in general, really – want to do things once, do them really well, and then move on to the next thing. We have a tendency to struggle with things that need doing over and over again. We want to motivate our employees once by doing something fantastic, and then we assume they’ll stay motivated for the rest of their careers. That’s not how it works.

Communication – Conversation at the Core of LeadershipClick to open Communication – Conversation at the Core of Leadership

Most of us take our ability to communicate for granted. Leaders, in particular, tend to assume since they’re leaders they’re good at it. Not necessarily so… The ability to influence others via words and associated actions is the core skill at the center of all the other core skills. Communication either unites, divides or perhaps worst case, does nothing. Your accurate assessment of your own ability to communicate effectively can make you or break you (and those you lead as well). I’m going to briefly outline three concepts you may have heard in Communications 101, but you may not have fully realized the critical role each play in your success as a leader.

Essential Skills to be an Effective CommunicatorClick to open Essential Skills to be an Effective Communicator

Communication…seems like it should be so simple, when in reality it is quite complex. It is essential in everything we do; everything! Communicating successfully and effectively involves sharing ideas, feelings and observations in a way that is clear, while also taking the time to listen and respond to others. When it comes to leadership, it is a core function and characteristic needed for success.

Benefits of Effective CommunicationClick to open Benefits of Effective Communication

As a leader, we don’t want to just say words, we want to communicate; to get someone to understand the what, the why and the how. With so much email, have you had the experience of being misunderstood; taken out of context? Now with multiple virtual meetings, there are even more skills needed to communicate and possible ways to be misunderstood. With virtual communication, how do we check for understanding? I find it pretty difficult to check facial expressions or get feedback on a virtual call.