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Now Hiring: Joyful Leaders

cindy braun joy leaders Aug 31, 2021

Now Hiring: Joyful Leaders, by Cindy Braun

Have you noticed how many "Now Hiring" signs are popping up these days? Across the country, businesses are looking for help and struggling to find it. America finds itself with a bevy of open positions and a shortage of labor to fill them. So, what's missing?

As I look back on my interactions with professionals over the last year and a half, I see more fear and less joy in the workplace. This certainly makes sense given the changes and uncertainty that the pandemic has brought. Looking ahead, I believe leaders who intentionally bring joy to the workplace can make a difference for their companies and their team members. I hope these thoughts will encourage you to take a risk and see what high joy can do for you.

Joy is a funny thing. It strengthens our relationships, reduces our stress, improves our immune system, protects our resiliency after setbacks, and spreads from person to person to transforms lives.

As leaders, we can focus on...

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Three Steps to Finding the Right Coach for You

Three Steps to Finding the Right Coach for You, by Ryan Hansen

These days, more and more professionals are turning to an executive coach to sustain their growth and help them perform at their best. Previous posts on this site have already covered why you should consider a professional coach, and how to get the most out of a coaching relationship, but that first step - finding the right coach - is the most important of all. Here are a few keys to finding the right coach for you:

1. Know Your Purpose

To find a great coach, start with the end in mind. What would you like to accomplish through this coaching experience? Identify your goals so you can identify the type of coaching you need. The more specific you can be in your quest to find a coach, the bigger the impact of the coaching relationship. Do you need a career coach to help you take the next step in your professional life? Do you need a business coach to help you grow your side hustle into a full-time gig? Maybe you...

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Leadership Lessons from a Newborn Baby

Leadership Lessons from a Newborn Baby, by Haley Hansen

Just a few short weeks ago, our family got a little bit bigger as we welcomed Mackenzie Hansen into the world. We were blessed with a healthy, happy little girl who has brought great joy to our home. Two months later, it amazes me how much this tiny little human can teach me. Here are just a few leadership principles Mackenzie has helped me realize in her first few weeks on the job:

1. Rest is Refueling

Any parent can relate to this. If you have ever cared for an over-tired child, you know how they can reach new levels of emotional distress. And the more upset they become, the more they resist the call of sleep. This cycle can be hard to break, and an absolute nightmare for anyone around when it is happening. While it's easier to spot in an infant, I found that the same principle holds true for me. Even though I don't always need to be sleeping to get some rest, taking time for myself can offer similar relief. Already, I have...

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Fire-Fighting is Killing Your Team. Here's How to Quit.

Fire-Fighting is Killing Your Team. Here's How to Quit. by Ryan Hansen

Have you ever had one of those managers who just can't seem to stop? It's not that they don't seem to stop - it's as if they can't. For them, the day consists of bouncing from one project to another, from one problem to another, of answering questions and sorting out issues before they become crises. They don't have a minute to talk - or perhaps they have precisely one minute while they're walking from one meeting to the next. Sure, they start the day with an agenda, but other priorities crop up and demand attention.

You can spot this manager in their natural habitat. You'll see him or her hustling from one meeting room to the next, or half-jogging to a bathroom between conference calls. Their team members say things like "Have you seen Sarah?" and "Hey, if you talk to Chris would you ask him to get back to me about that proposal?" Reschedules are a fact of life for these managers;...

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Stay Constructive with Communication

Stay Constructive with Communication, by Cindy Braun

Two years ago, I worked with a company selling new construction homes. This was a significant learning curve for me, as I was working in sales in a completely new industry. Each project was a massive undertaking to pull together a diverse group of subcontractors and laborers to complete a beautiful masterpiece. I always had great respect for all of the hands and feet that worked together to achieve the end goal of a move-in-ready home.

As I worked in this role, it became clear to me that efficient communication was very important. Three different groups - the construction manager, the sales team, and the client - had to work together and agree on clear timelines to make sure nothing fell through the cracks. The stakes are sky-high when you're working on million-dollar homes, and the client is emotionally invested in the end result.

Perhaps you have managed a project with lots of moving parts and seen the need to set...

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Work-Life Balance: Mountaintop or Moving Target?

Work-Life Balance: Mountaintop or Moving Target? by Jamie Hansen

This post was originally part of our Finish Strong Challenge, which emphasized components of modern resilience to help participants finish the year on a high note and build positive momentum for 2021. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for the latest on future challenges and updates from Alloy!

When I think about work/life balance, I’m reminded of the message license plate of a friend of mine whose husband has had multiple cross-country relocations with his company:  It reads, “HERE4NOW”. I was taken aback when I first saw that because it felt a little bleak – too brief, too short term. But there’s wisdom in the brevity of its sentiment:  acknowledging the present moment and that it won’t last forever can lead to a sense of clarity in making the most of the time we have. I know we may not be in this place for long, but we’re going to have the best time while we...

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Connecting Purpose and Resilience

Connecting Purpose and Resilience, by Ryan Hansen

This post was originally part of our Finish Strong Challenge, which emphasized components of modern resilience to help participants finish the year on a high note and build positive momentum for 2021. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for the latest on future challenges and updates from Alloy!

How many times do you think about why you do what you do?

Why?

It's a simple word, but it can be a complex question. Let's ask the same question a few different ways:

  • Why does my work matter?
  • How does my work help other people (on my team, in my company, or in society at large)?
  • What would happen if my role did not exist?
  • Who am I serving?
  • Who benefits from the work I do?
  • Who is counting on me to do my job?

Many of us get so caught up in the day-to-day grind of our work that we eventually stop focusing on the overarching purpose that makes our work important and necessary.

As we take a closer look at Finding Your...

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Reflecting on 2020, in All of its Weird and Unpredictable Glory

Reflecting on 2020, by Ryan Hansen

2020. What a year it has been. They called it "challenging," "uncertain," and "unprecedented." No matter your preferred descriptors, 2020 has been a year unlike any other.

2020 certainly changed Alloy in many ways. COVID-19 was a significant challenge for our business, as it was for millions of others. Looking back on it now, with the benefit of hindsight (insert joke about 20/20 vision here), it's refreshing to recall the lessons and successes amidst the obstacles and surprises.

The Things We Figured Out in 2020

Virtual Options are Here to Stay
Looking back, it's kind of funny to remember how many times Jamie and I went back and forth on taking our training to the digital space. In March, we decided to start sharing daily live videos on our Facebook page, to share some tips and insights for our online community - and we actually got pretty comfortable with it by around the time summer rolled around! We followed that up with a virtual leader forum,...

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Leading Through Hard Decisions: A Case Study in Decision-Making

Leading Through Hard Decisions: A Case Study in Decision-Making, by Ryan Hansen

Leaders always get stuck with the hardest decisions. It can be a blessing and a curse, but every conundrum, every dilemma, and every head-scratcher makes its way onto the desk of the person in charge.

We have seen a lot of leaders making hard choices this year, and some leaders have done better than others. For the sake of learning and growing together, I thought it would be beneficial to analyze a recent situation and recognize the leadership lessons we can take from it. I picked out a scenario that has made monumental waves here in Nebraska, but the lessons within are relevant everywhere.

Case Study: 2020 College Football and the Big Ten Conference

Let's start with some background. As with everything else, COVID-19 threw a major wrench into the plans for anyone hoping to see college football this year. The outbreak in March canceled spring practices across the country, and fans...

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Podcasts for Leaders: A Playlist for Professional Development

Podcasts for Leaders: A Playlist for Professional Development

For all the disruption 2020 has dealt most of us, this year has been a boon for the podcast industry. The medium was already on the rise, but circumstances have combined to boost its popularity to new heights. A hiatus from movies, sports, tv shows, and most social gatherings make podcasts an easy choice - you can find a podcast on any subject under the sun, and new episodes are never farther away than your smartphone.

Growth-oriented leaders can leverage the availability and portability of podcasts to soak up lessons from the greatest teachers on leadership and professional development. With that in mind, our team put together a list of our favorite podcasts to fuel your fire and make you the leader you want to follow:

The John Maxwell Leadership Podcast
John Maxwell has been called the world's most influential leadership expert by Inc., and we are proud to call him one of our mentors. Maxwell hosts this podcast...

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