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Engaged Leadership: Building a Culture to Overcome Employee Disengagement, 2nd Edition by Clint Swindall

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The Application of Engaged Leadership

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Years ago I was scheduled to speak at a management conference for a large corporation. Prior to the event, I spent some time with the leader of the organization, explaining my plans for the talk, which was to be about engaging the disengaged employees in his company. I'll call him Greg.

“Why should we spend time with the lazy, unmotivated employees?” Greg asked. “I want you to teach my management team how to make their good people better! I'm getting rid of the lousy ones this year.”

First of all, I'm a big believer in making good people better. Not only does it improve their performance, but it makes them feel appreciated and helps us retain the people we should be trying to retain. While there was nothing wrong with Greg's focus on his best employees, I needed to convince him of the importance of focusing on employee engagement.

After we spent some time together, I was able to persuade Greg that engaging the disengaged is an important way to make his good people better. Good people get worn out when they feel they're surrounded by employees who aren't dedicated to the organization.

Second, I was concerned with his comment about lazy, unmotivated employees. In his mind, anyone who wasn't one of the “good” employees he wanted to make better fell into the category of “lazy and unmotivated.” Even after a significant amount of time discussing ...

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