Connection Is Key

Each day presents us with an opportunity to be better and do better. Today’s blog post is about focusing on making our people better. As leaders, it’s our responsibility to coach our employees to higher levels of success. In order to do so, we must be in tune with how and what our people are feeling and thinking. One of the best ways to find out what’s on their minds is in our one-on-one meetings with direct reports. How do you utilize your one-on-one time with your team? If your first answer is “I don’t have individual meetings”, then that’s a problem right there. You must carve out the time to meet with each of your reports outside of the team setting. It’s essential in being able to coach them effectively. If you do have individual meetings, but they’re primarily updates on a laundry-list of items, you’re missing out on a great chance to connect with your people.

Build some time into the meeting agenda to check-in on a human level. We’re not talking a big chunk of time here. A few minutes is all you need. I say “human level” because we tend to forget that our employees are people with lives and families outside of the workplace. They have responsibilities and interests that are over and above those at work. They are parents, siblings, children, caregivers, spouses, the list goes on- and they are coping with the obligations that come with these roles. Take the time to ask how they are doing. Then-and here's the tough part-LISTEN. Does he sound or appear stressed? Is she frustrated about her workload or role? You’ll never know if you don’t ask.

Everyone wants to feel that they are contributing to the success of their team and the company. Connecting with your people helps them feel valued and appreciated in every sense of the word.

Social Media for Social Good

Billionaire Bill Pulte, CEO of Pulte Capital, is changing the face of philanthropy by harnessing the power of social media to make a difference. In the space of a few short weeks he's given away tens of thousands of dollars to veterans, the homeless, and people from all walks of life who are in need of assistance. During this time, he's gained over 80,000 Twitter followers and has partnered with nonprofits like Code of Vets and other community groups to kick off fundraisers that have rallied the Twitterverse in an unprecedented movement which Bill coined #TwitterPhilanthropy. Bill has also partnered with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in a campaign to eliminate blight from the world. Follow Bill on Twitter @pulte to learn more about this incredible project and how you can get involved in Twitter Philanthropy.

Bill’s message is that every donation counts. No amount is too small. This is a message we can truly get behind and it’s the same sentiment we reinforce throughout “A Million Dollars In Change”. There is no wrong way to give. Whether it’s dollars, volunteer hours, or in-kind contributions, every act of giving makes a difference.

Are you ready to join the movement? Together, we can change the world!

Happy Birthday, America!

Wishing you all a safe and happy Independence Day. On this day let us celebrate our great nation and also remember the sacrifices made by those who serve to protect our freedom. Thank a military servicemember or veteran today!

Pay It Forward Every Day

Today is “Pay It Forward Day” in the USA, but you don’t need to live in America or wait for a specific day to practice acts of kindness. Paying it forward takes many forms. Helping someone with a task, buying the person behind you in line at the coffee shop a cup of coffee, volunteering with your favorite nonprofit. These are just a few examples of ways you can make a difference. The possibilities are literally endless because no act of kindness is too small.

Every good deed has a positive ripple effect. Whether you’re contributing to a cause that is important to you or offering emotional support by checking in with a friend or relative who may be going through a difficult time.

Let’s pledge to make the most of every day by paying it forward 365 days a year.

A Different Kind of Fun

Looking for a great group activity to do with your friends that's different from the usual Paint Night and "Escape the Room"? How about cooking a meal for the residents of your local Ronald McDonald House (RMH)? The “Meals from the Heart” program provides volunteers with an opportunity to prepare brunch, dinner, or desserts for families who are staying at the House.

RMH welcomes students, families, corporate teams, and any group that would like to volunteer. It's an amazing way to spend a few hours with your favorite people doing something that gives back to the community. Volunteering helps strengthen the bonds between those in the group. Statistics show that when employees volunteer together they feel a sense of unity that is carried back with them to the workplace. For families, it’s a chance to spend quality time with each other while helping those in need.

The benefits of volunteering apply to everyone, regardless of the type of group you volunteer with. Friends, family members, work colleagues, classmates, or church groups - everyone wins! To find your local RMH chapter go here:

Ambassadors of Change

One of the best ways to get your employees engaged in a corporate giving and volunteer program is to include them in the actual development and implementation of your program.  A way to do this is to create a volunteer team of ambassadors who will oversee and execute the planning and logistics of the various events and processes associated with your program.  This team should be one that rotates members every 1-2 years to avoid stagnation and encourage new perspectives and ideas.

There are many benefits to having groups like these in your company.   First, it solves the resource issue.  Having a team of volunteers ready and eager to assist you with these tasks is a godsend because resources are a precious commodity in any organization.  Most of us are doing more with less as it is, so a team like this makes it possible for you to do a lot without adding to your operating expenses.  Second, this is a great way to empower your employees.  Being a part of a team that is tasked with developing programs and activities focused on making the world a better place speaks to a purpose-driven culture.  Providing employees with opportunities that give them the sense that they are doing meaningful work is powerful.  It is a key driver of engagement, as evidenced in research and studies conducted by organizations like Aon Hewitt, considered pioneers in the area of employee engagement.

Choosing the right members for the team is critical.  You’ll want to recruit people who are passionate about community service and are committed to helping you implement and grow your program.   They should have a firm belief in your company’s purpose.  These are people who demonstrate the company culture in their daily interactions with colleagues and customers.  They will be representing your company in the community so great care should be taken in selecting the members for this team.

For more on these teams and how you can engage your employees while helping others, read “A Million Dollars In Change” available on


Making A Difference Just Got Easier

Many business leaders and professionals have told me over the years that they want to be more involved in supporting their communities.  They want to start a charitable giving or volunteer program at their company, but they feel intimidated and have no idea where to begin.  I’ve been told that they are serious about embedding the values of service and community into their organizations but they fear being met with resistance, either by employees or leadership.  Others feel that they are “just one voice” and don’t think they will be taken seriously.

Does this sound like you?  If so, “A Million Dollars In Change” is your guide to starting the conversation about social responsibility with your leaders.  This book will provide you with a step by step plan to creating a program that engages employees, attracts talent to your company, and helps forge measurable, impactful partnerships with nonprofits that serve your broader community.

You can order the book on Amazon or click here to purchase book directly from our distributor (bulk orders of 10 or more receive a special discount!)