As parents, students, and employees within the School District of Menomonee Falls began preparing for the effects of COVID19, Superintendent, Corey Galla, reflects on the remarkableness of his entire staff to come together and accept the challenges they were facing. Rather than focusing on their anxieties, teams across the entire school system got together to identify problems, solutions, and use their guiding principles to make decisions with student safety as their number one priority. [...]
Stories of excellent organizations and the practices behind their success.
What is it about?
Accelerate Your Performance focuses on tactical actions to improve workplace culture. These tactics align to our Nine Principles® for Organizational Excellence.
Healthcare professionals across the country and the world are maintaining a “Warrior Mentality” as they head to the frontlines of the COVID19 pandemic. On today’s episode, Rich Bluni, Studer Group Speaker, and author of Inspired Nurse, who has more than 25 years of nursing, risk management, and leadership experience, shares his perspective on the frontline professionals who are committed to a heroic service during a very challenging time. Whether you work in healthcare, are close to someone [...]
How engaged is your workforce in times of crisis? Have you helped them define what success looks like? Have you defined what customer success looks like? In this episode, Dale Shaver, Director of Waukesha County Department of Parks and Land, reveals how his organization’s investment in culture has paid dividends during the uncertainty surrounding COVID 19. While people are feeling anxious and overwhelmed by change, Dale encourages leaders to be empathetic, trust your team, and make the best [...]
As we all began to experience the COVID 19 pandemic, Dr. Natalie Harder and her team at South Louisiana Community College sprang into action. SLCC was able to have 95% of their courses online and ready for students within 48 hours and enabled 90% of their staff to work remotely within 24 hours. Natalie joins us on the podcast this week to discuss how her team was able to make the necessary shifts to support students and staff in the most efficient way.
Basil Kuloba used his experience with math and science to develop a much-needed nonprofit organization, Inertia, which has quickly become the largest after school program in Escambia County Florida. Basil joins Janet on the show today to share his story of blending his passion and entrepreneurial skills to start a successful organization.
As we close the first quarter of a new decade, it’s a good time to pause and reflect on the past decade before planning for the next ten years in front of us. Are you where you thought you would be right now? As the decades keep passing by, what can we do to ensure we achieve the goals that will matter to us most in life? How do we know we are living a life we will one day look back on and be proud? Today, Janet Pilcher focuses on what to consider as we set goals for a meaningful life.
While attending a company event, Janet Pilcher had the opportunity to sit down with Jim Roth, co-founder and CEO of Huron Consulting Group, to discuss how we prepare clients for their future. Jim’s leadership positions Huron to be highly committed to hiring talented people, building an engaged work environment, and serving clients with the highest level of service. Jim is a trusted advisor to many organizational CEOs around the world, and many of us at Huron.
In a world where we no longer view human connections as natural, and instead, insist on using technology, even in the presence of others, Dr. Janet Pilcher encourages her listeners to get off their devices and start talking to people. Research tells us that people in general feel worse and less connected when they mix face-to-face communication with digital socializing compared to solely socializing in person. When we intentionally create ways to engage with each other, learn from each [...]
Utilizing social media platforms is a natural way to enhance transparency. On a personal level, people use social media to connect with others and stimulate conversations. In time, organizations have recognized the many benefits of using social media to humanize their brand and connect with their communities. If you’re wondering why using social media is critical for organizations, research reveals a lack of transparency on social media leaves 86% of people likely to choose a competitor. On [...]
Every day we are customers to someone we do business with. We buy groceries, fill our cars with gas, dine at restaurants, engage with retail services, and do business with professional service firms. We often remember the negative interactions more than the positive ones, and it may only take one negative interaction for us to shift to another brand or company. As you listen to this episode and reflect on services you’ve received, ask yourself, how do our experiences as customers influence [...]
The way people learn today is continuously evolving, and with the rise of technology people expect answers at their fingertips. The life of a professional skill is much shorter today than it was in the past. Mandy Gagliardi, the Senior Media Manager on our team joins Janet today to share the way she focuses on the customer experience to guide her work. As we design our digital learning system, Mandy listens to our partners and develops solutions for us to make their lives easier. Our team [...]
Does the path you are traveling have a heart? Courage is the quality that distinguishes great leaders from excellent managers. In this episode, Janet discusses why courage is vital to a leader’s success, what can happen when a leader lacks courage, and what we can do when we find ourselves on the wrong path.
John Maxwell’s Law of the Lid explains that leadership ability is the lid that determines a person’s level of effectiveness. Today’s guest, Nannette Johnston, believes it’s true; people can only rise as high as the lid of their leader. Not only does she recognize the importance of professional development for herself, she knows the importance of building leadership in others. Nannette is an award-winning, retired Superintendent from Hardin County Schools in Kentucky. She was awarded [...]
We all have our favorite brands, but what makes them our favorite? Is it because we place value in the organization? Is it the way we are treated by the company? How do we know if the company is accountable? More and more organizations have been making it a priority to increase connection and invite customers to take an inside look. Why? Because increasing transparency between an organization and its customers build trust and credibility increasing customer loyalty.
How can school districts and school boards work together to achieve the goals of the schools and the surrounding community? Faith VanderHorst, School Board President from the School District of Menomonee Falls, joins Janet on this episode to talk about how the relationship between the superintendent and the board significantly contributes to the success of the district.
Sabrina Hebeler, Michigan native, and Chief of Staff at Michigan State University for the division of Infrastructure Planning and Facilities joins Janet Pilcher to discuss one of the key tenets of Sabrina’s role; to help everyone understand and follow the strategic direction of IPF. This comes from her passion for helping people feel successful, feel valued and love their job. Using specific tactics Sabrina supported the breaking down of silos on the executive team to help MSU do the most [...]
As you get ready to put 2019 to rest and welcome in 2020, Dr. Janet Pilcher reminds you to reflect on the moments of joy, and the moments of sorrow over the last year. It’s during those difficult times you can often learn the most about yourselves. This holiday season take a moment to appreciate and celebrate life and start the new year with great strength. If you don’t know where to start, you can’t go wrong with these 8 things dogs teach us!
Executive leaders are the role-models of an organization, responsible for establishing the culture and leading teams to be successful. During this episode, Dr. Natalie Harder, Chancellor of South Louisiana Community College joins Dr. Janet Pilcher to share her story and her secret for building kick-ass leadership teams. Dr. Harder has led her team through a historic merger with multiple campuses, successfully blended cultures, systems, processes, programs, and students all while maintaining [...]
As individuals strive for growth in their professional and personal lives, there is often a gap between where people are and where they want to be. While individuals are excited for growth and opportunities, this excitement can lead to anxiety and tension. These feelings can cause people to give up and ignore opportunities to grow, or instead for motivation to work through the personal discomfort to achieve their goals. In this episode, Janet discusses how to do this difficult improvement [...]
When we establish recognition systems in our organizations or on our teams, we focus on employees by understanding what makes them shine and what keeps them engaged. Focusing on expressing appreciation for the contributions people make to our organizations motivates individuals to continue their hard work. Sincere appreciation changes the culture of the organization. It takes little time and has a tremendous impact on others. A culture of recognition is powerful and contagious.
Rewarding and recognizing the right behaviors and excellent performance isn’t just a nice thing to do. Lack of employee recognition is a top reason for employees leaving an organization. With recognition we are able to engage, retain, and motivate most employees to sustain high performance. Recognition is so important to an organization’s success, it’s our ninth principle and the glue that holds all of our principles together. Recognizing others takes little time and pays great dividends.
Several years ago, the decision was made to transform TeacherReady, a Studer Education℠ online self-paced teacher certification program, to meet students where they are today. Transforming TeacherReady wasn’t something the organization took lightly, Dr. Julie Kunselman was instrumental in helping to review significant data and research to revolutionize this program for the future. As with any organization, they had to work through barriers to change to realize this incredible opportunity to [...]
Organizations are facing more pressure than ever to transform their practices in order to improve their outcomes. Competition is fierce. The speed of information and higher demands from consumers forces leaders to shift the way change is approached. Commonly, there is much anxiety attached to change, people like to do things, “the way they’ve always done it,” but that’s not the attitude that will achieve success in today OR tomorrow’s world. Individuals, leaders, and organizations need to [...]
At some time in your professional or personal life, you have probably experienced the let down of an empty promise. It’s also likely you’ve promised a friend or a colleague something you’ve let slip through the cracks at least once or twice. These empty promises, no matter how small, erode trust and jeopardize relationships with others. In this episode, Dr. Pilcher digs deep into what causes us to make these empty promises and how we can choose our words and commitments carefully in the future.
How do you turn passionate employees and leaders into people who have the ability to make a difference not only in their work, but in their communities? Janet is joined by Dr. Pat Greco today to talk about continuous improvement. Pat is an award-winning retired superintendent who served 38 years in public education and has been a champion of Evidence-Based Leadership℠. She shares her advice and experience on executing the process of improvement within organizations.
As a leader do you tell your teams, “Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions.”? Or maybe as an employee you’ve worked for a leader who believes in this philosophy. While presenting solutions to problems is ideal, it’s not always possible. So, what can leaders do to create safe environments for teams to bring problems forward, while avoiding being bombarded by complaints? In this episode, Dr. Pilcher encourages team members use key words, take ownership, and bring complex problems to [...]
Changes in an organization can occur that team leaders may have little control over. What we can control is how we adapt and react to the change in our daily business. When we utilize team meetings with structured, thoughtful discussions, and analysis, someone will propose a winning solution or solutions for the team to agree on. Using a problem-solving agenda, conversations stay focused and teams can avoid falling into a pit of negativity and conflict.
For the first time in history we are operating with five generations co-existing in the workforce, and there are more young professionals joining every day. Dr. Pilcher talks with Ruthie Christie, the Executive Director of Pensacola Young Professionals (PYP) about their mission and impact in our community. PYP provides young professionals with a community where they can make a difference, connect with like-minded individuals, and learn new skills. Ruthe also reveals the top three skills [...]
Service excellence is more than just being polite or being ready to offer the unsatisfied customer a discount. Join Donna Kirby and Janet Pilcher this week as they conclude their conversation about the value of service excellence. Donna Kirby reveals her top 3 tactics for applying customer service excellence within your organization and how to treat your organization like a living room.
Service Excellence differentiates your organization from others in your industry. Great leaders place importance on how to become the best service provider for what they do. Donna Kirby returns this week to discuss why prioritizing service excellence is necessary for success and what core drivers keep her focused on service excellence.
Donna Kirby, the Vice President of Operations at the Pensacola Blue Wahoo’s AA Baseball team, joins Janet Pilcher this week to talk about Donna’s journey to becoming a leader of best practices in minor league baseball. Donna and her team at the Blue Wahoo’s stadium are sought after as an example for creating the ultimate fan experience.
Many successful, hardworking Americans experience burnout more than once during their careers, even people who are passionate about what they do. High performers can be obsessed with achieving excellence and exceeding results to the point of exhaustion. And when the candles are burning at both ends for too long, we do ourselves, our clients, and our team a disservice. Begin reducing stress by taking small steps to prevent overload burnout.
The way we provide feedback makes a difference in how people receive and act on the feedback. If our goal is to provide feedback to change behavior for the right reasons, we need to message our feedback in the right way. Dr. Pilcher dissects real-life situations where feedback was given that wasn’t asked for, or that hurts the receiver, and offers solutions and tips to improve the interaction.
There’s a fine line between giving feedback for improvements and leaving an employee feeling criticized and deflated. Few of us respond well to someone telling us what to do or how to fix ourselves. Yet when feedback is provided in the right way, individuals are motivated to learn and improve. To create excellent organizations providing others with feedback is necessary. Reshape your feedback conversations to focus on achieving a positive outcome.
Making intentional connections with employees is especially important when the employee is within the first 30 and 90 days. Research shows that up to 22% of turnover takes place within an employee’s first 45 days of employment. 30-day conversations reinforce that leaders are committed to retaining the new employee and provide leaders with a fresh perception of the organization. This week Dr. Pilcher dives into what a 30-day conversation is and then provides a real-life example with Studer [...]
Why is a commitment to excellence important as a leader and as an organization? Dr. Janet Pilcher interviews Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award recipient, Dr. JoAnn Sternke, to get her perspective on what it takes to pursue performance excellence. As a superintendent of Pewaukee School District, JoAnn led the organization to receive a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. In this episode, she reveals the key to seeing results and getting the entire group of leaders moving forward.
It’s difficult to become a great organization, and even more difficult to sustain that success. This week, Dr. Pilcher explores the 5 stages of defeat as identified in Jim Collin’s book ‘How the Mighty Fall’ and what you can do as a leader to get up before you fall too far.
How can organizations set themselves apart and provide their stakeholders with unmistakable value? It all starts with effective leadership and a culture focused on purpose. Dr. KK Owen joins Dr. Janet Pilcher to discuss how she helps organizations mold a culture around unmistakable value in real life.
Are you really listening to your employees? Many employees don’t think so, in fact, more than half of employees say their company fails to act on good ideas, and a third of employees feel their ideas are ignored. Why? Because leaders demand action without input, receive feedback and avoid making changes, and lack a clear process for managing ideas. It’s crucial for leaders to let employees speak and pay ridiculous attention to what they are saying so teams are motivated to collaborate [...]
One of a leader’s greatest responsibilities is to ensure teams are engaged and productive. People are motivated to increase productivity when leaders take time to get to know them personally, make them feel comfortable, and help remove barriers in the workplace. When we connect with employees in ways that are meaningful to them, they become more engaged, productivity and profits increase, meanwhile, turnover, absenteeism, and shrinkage decrease.
Thriving workplaces depend on trust to continue to grow and excel. However, most of us can recognize; trust isn’t given, its earned. Building positive relationships in the workplace lays the groundwork for trusting teams that can perform and adapt at high levels. When leaders start prioritizing trust in the workplace, their teams will follow.
Receiving feedback is an emotional experience, it’s often difficult to take in. Whether the feedback is positive or negative, we humans are quick to respond emotionally, sometimes overreacting, even to the point of denying the data is accurate. Feedback is also a powerful gift, it helps organizations understand what they are doing well, and areas in which they’re falling short. In this episode, Dr. Pilcher coaches us to work through useful feedback to honor the information that is helpful, [...]
Organizations perform at different levels, some are poor, others good, and very few are excellent. What makes an organization excellent? It’s their relentless commitment to continuous improvement. Great organizations are willing to get their hands dirty and face the brutal facts to improve, even when things are going well.
Is it really enough to provide good, or even, very good customer service? When your organization treats service recovery as just another refund, it misses a valuable growth opportunity. Excellent service recovery turns people with a poor experience into your biggest brand advocates. Listen now to hear the 4 steps to customer recovery.
Despite best efforts, sometimes we fail at providing the outstanding service our customers deserve. During these times, a service recovery process can turn a negative customer experience into an opportunity to satisfy the individual and for the organization to improve. Using a real-life example, Dr. Pilcher identifies six actions to sincere service recovery your customers will thank you for.
Why do leaders need to address toxic behavior immediately? Because negative behavior drags the entire organization down. 66% of employees who deal with a toxic team member said their performance declined in a recent HBR Study. In this episode, we reveal an approach you can use to support low-solid performers, the 8 types of toxic employees, and 4 steps to dealing with toxic employees.
It’s the leader’s responsibility to provide a structure within the organization to help people know when they’re not performing at their best. When the right system is in place, leaders can support their employees in owning their own performance. Sometimes that support may appear in the form of transitioning someone to a different role or out of the organization. In this episode, we address actions leaders can take to provide every opportunity for employees to be successful.
How do the varying human performance levels affect the overall organizational results? What happens when leaders avoid managing employee performance levels? We achieve higher performance with less variation when we tighten the performance curve. In this episode, Dr. Pilcher addresses how leaders have an important role in managing performance to keep results moving in a positive direction.
60 – 70% of individuals in our organizations are solid performers, making them the backbone of every organization. When we give them our best, they will give their best to us and our organizations. This week, Dr. Pilcher discusses how to connect with your solid performers. When you give solid performers feedback the right way, a relationship is built that will retain, motivate, and inspire your direct reports.
Are you a high performer? Do you want to retain your high performing team members? This week, Dr. Pilcher offers an approach for connecting with your high performers and Erica Callaway joins her as a guest to model what this connection should sound like. Meeting with high performers the right way, so they know they are valued, moves the organization to achieve results.
Low performers take up the majority of our time as leaders and cause their better performing coworkers stress. Today we address the types of low performing behaviors and what happens if we ignore them.
While we navigate through work and life, we may occasionally find ourselves in over our heads. The harder we try to fight, the deeper we fall. For leaders Dr. Pilcher recommends 4 ways to help your solid performers avoid the quicksand and an additional 3 ways to avoid stepping into the quicksand yourself.
Middle solid performers make up half of our organization and have a lot to offer. It’s important for leaders to give them direction and opportunities to grow. Today we focus on 5 actions you can take to best support middle performers.
When we speak of performance, we think of both an individual’s will and their skill. Do the members of our teams have the desire to do their best work and continue to get better? Today, we focus on the tremendous impact we can have on organizations when we have strong will or fire in our belly.
What are the 5 characteristics of high performers and why they are crucial to keep on your team? High performers do their best and their best makes a difference; they deserve for us to give our best to them. Learn how to identify your high performers, and how to retain them using the 3 techniques provided this week.
Dr. Pilcher explains what an emotional bank account is, and why it’s necessary to maintain a positive balance with your teams and coworkers in this week's episode. Master how you can provide feedback for improvement without damaging your relationships and find out 7 ways to nurture an emotional bank account with your team.
Through kindness we have a greater opportunity to achieve higher results. Individuals who combine their skills with kindness and drive can’t be stopped. Studies even show leaders who project warmth are more effective than leaders that lead with toughness. This week, Dr. Pilcher provides you with 8 quick actions you can do immediately to accelerate kindness. Practicing kindness is one small thing, that has really big results.
Can you recall a time when you’ve been frustrated with another department in your organization, and you were told nothing can be done to solve the problem? Are leaders fighting about who is supposed to be responsible for something and blaming others when things don’t get done? The best solutions come from the people doing the work day in and day out. This episode focuses on breaking down barriers to improve workplaces. Learn how can you utilize your people to improve processes and systems [...]
This week, Dr. Pilcher discusses the common job we all come to work to do each day: Execute Well. Do we take quick decisive, meaningful actions every day? Or do we find ourselves waiting for our next assignment, redoing our work, or missing deadlines? Executing well plays a critical role in moving organizations forward and exceeding results. Dr. Pilcher recommends four actions for executing well in this week’s show.
How can you avoid the trap of negative thinking? Overcoming obstacles is never easy, but when we don’t let shortcomings get (and keep) us down, we become more resilient. This week, Dr. Pilcher exposes how to eliminate this behavior from the workplace.
This week, Dr. Pilcher discusses being an owner versus a renter. Pride in our organizations occurs when we take ownership of our roles, cultivating a positive environment so strong, it is no longer susceptible to negativity.
‘It’s not me, it’s them!’ – We’ve all heard it before, the blame game. But seriously, if they could just get their work done, I wouldn’t have to bring it up right? This default communication has lasting negative effects on team performance and results. Dr. Pilcher advises how to eliminate we/they behavior in the organization, and your life, for good. The results can be dramatic, imagine a positive culture where people take ownership.
56% of American workers claim their boss is mildly or highly toxic. We all deserve to work for high performing leaders, but what can you do if this isn’t your experience at work? Do you grin and bear it? Quit? Confront the boss? To continue the discussion from episode 7 on poor work behavior, this week Dr. Pilcher addresses low performing leaders, from the employee’s perspective.
How do you handle leaders who say they’re on board, but act like they’re not? Leadership team alignment is vital for high performing organizations to be successful. This week, Dr. Pilcher discusses how to address leaders who choose to deviate from strategy. Leaders who exhibit negative behaviors are noticeable by all employees and as a result are actively eroding the company culture.
You’re probably familiar with the saying, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” but how is it that organizations cultivate a positive, inspired culture? And possibly more difficult, how can leaders turn a negative culture around? Dr. Pilcher explains the steps necessary to begin shifting the culture in the right direction. Our people determine our culture, it lives and evolves inside of us every day.
All of us are energized by something. It’s up to us to dig deeper within ourselves to stay connected to our passions as we live through new experiences. Dr. Pilcher returns to her tennis days from episode 4 Losing Our Way to show how she worked through her temporary loss of passion. She addresses the role leaders play to support team member’s passions.
Anyone can fall victim of losing their passion at some point or another. Results from Gallup’s State of the American Workforce reveal disengagement at work happens to over 50% of employees. Yet organizations with higher employee engagement perform at higher levels, so what can leaders do to keep teams engaged. Dr. Pilcher refers to her days as a tennis enthusiast to demonstrate the struggle to maintain passion and how to help each other from losing our way.
This episode is the final part of a three-part series. It introduces and gives a brief overview of Principles 7-9 of the Nine Principles®. These Principles are: 7) Align Behaviors with Goals and Values, 8) Communicate at All Levels, 9) Recognize and Reward Success.
This episode is part two of a three-part series. It introduces and gives a brief overview of Principles 4-6 of the Nine Principles®. Principles 4-6 are: 4) Create and Develop Leaders, 5) Focus on Employee Engagement, 6) Build Individual Accountability.
This episode in one in a three-part series. It introduces and gives a brief overview of the first three of the Nine Principles®. The first three principles are: 1) Commit to Excellence, 2) Measure the Important Things, 3) Build a Culture Around Service.