Business

Are You a Bosshole? Start Cultivating Awakened Relationships

Are You a Bosshole? Start Cultivating Awakened Relationships 650 360 Catherine Bell

bosshole

Are you a bosshole?

Most people rate time with their bosses as the worst time of their day. Consider what that means: interacting with their manager is less enjoyable than waking up to an early alarm, dealing with a rush-hour commute, or taking out the trash.

Depending on your own personal experience, you may find that surprising—or sadly obvious. Either way, this widespread dissatisfaction should not be ignored. Why? Employee productivity is directly related to an individual’s relationship with his or her supervisor.

A Harvard Business Review study that looked at nearly 3,000 leaders in a financial services company found that people assigned to the least effective of the group (managers rated in the bottom 10%) had satisfaction, engagement, and commitment levels that were lower than 96% of their colleagues. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the top 10% of leaders oversaw employees that were happier, more engaged, and more committed than 92% of the company’s employees. The correlation was clear, and theirs was not the only investigation to come to this conclusion.

Furthermore, studies have shown there’s not much you can offer in the way of perks to balance out the effects of a bad boss, and there’s a seemingly endless amount of rewards—from employee satisfaction to increased revenue—that can be derived from having a great one. While writing The Awakened Company, I interviewed many top CEOs who had come to the same conclusion. As a senior executive or business owner, finding and cultivating great leaders needs to be a priority. (And if you have employees reporting into you, ask yourself, “Am I a bosshole?”)

So how do we make great leaders? Instead of self-preservation, separation, and isolation, we need to cultivate one-on-one relationships in organizations. That means doing more than relying on group meetings to interact with your team. You may be getting face time, but you aren’t getting the kind of quality time that leads to happy, engaged employees. Only by fostering these deeper connections can we create “Awakened relationships” that enable higher employee satisfaction, greater productivity, and broad company success (which cannot only be measured by shareholder value).

Try taking each member of your team out for lunch. If that’s not feasible with your schedule, try taking them out for tea. Making time to connect should be a priority, not a bonus. This can be achieved on a daily basis by recognizing your employees for what makes them unique and valued—comment on what is their awesome. With an open heart and effort, you have the power to be the best part of their day.


Ready to awaken your own business? Get your copy of The Awakened Company, enlist The Awakened Company’s services and learn how companies are achieving a new standard of success. A best-seller within a week, one of Eight of the Best Business Books of 2015, and a Nautilus Silver Medal Winner for Best Business Book for 2015, it explores a new way of doing business: incorporating mindfulness and wisdom traditions to ultimately benefit companies, those involved in them, and the planet itself. It has earned praise from business leaders and industry experts, and is the blueprint for the successful executive search and team transformation company, BluEra.

Catherine Bell is the founder of BluEra, an executive search and team transformation company, and the best-selling and award-winning author of The Awakened Company, a thought-provoking read that explores how treating businesses as communities can transform them for the better. Catherine speaks around the globe, and offers The Awakened Company’s services to help other teams awaken to a new concept of success.

Article originally appeared in Women of Influence by Catherine Bell

Bosshole

Toronto book launch

Toronto Book Launch – October 4

Toronto Book Launch – October 4 3318 4971 Catherine Bell
Toronto Book Launch – join Catherine Bell at The Awakened Company book on October 4
Toronto Book Launch
Join Catherine Bell, author of best selling and award winning book, The Awakened Company at Ben McNally Books from 6-8 pm ET.
Catherine will share research results from hundreds of interviews with leaders of international corporations while describing practical tools for leaders on how to build a company that unleashes human potential by creating a workplace that is both profitable and purpose driven.
Please RSVP here.
We hope you can join us!
Seth Godin

Seth Godin – An Interview with The Awakened Company on Awakening in Business

Seth Godin – An Interview with The Awakened Company on Awakening in Business 1920 1080 Catherine Bell
Fortune

The Real Reason so Many Businesses Fail

The Real Reason so Many Businesses Fail 5560 1500 Catherine Bell

The Real Reason so Many Businesses Fail – as originally appeared in Fortune

It shouldn’t always be about the bottom line.

The Entrepreneur Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in America’s startup scene contribute answers to timely questions about entrepreneurship and careers. Today’s answer to the question “What’s something you wish you knew before starting your business?” is written by Catherine Bell, cofounder of BluEra.

Most new companies perish within nine years of their founding, but no leader starts a business to fail. 

Fortune Magazine, The Awakened Company

The prevalence of failure in business tells us something about the way we start companies. While there are many causes for business failure and economic downturns, they tend to include a mercurial concoction of factors, such as lack of foresight, poor strategic planning, a shortage of capital, insufficient personnel, and inadequately trained individuals. To these we can add the broader factors, such as advances in technology, geopolitical forces, increased competition, and often, just plain greed.

In addition to the ups and downs of the market—with its extremes of increasing wealth for the few and the loss of even hard-earned pension funds for others—a particularly tragic aspect of the modern economy is that the majority of the workforce is disengaged. It’s a factor that increases the likelihood that companies either don’t thrive to the degree they could or fail to survive over the long term.

Underpinning all of these reasons for our economic woes are team members who in some way fail to perform in an optimal manner, both in the head office and on the shop floor. Much of the business world tends to have a dehumanizing effect on people, which ultimately undercuts worker enthusiasm, creativity, commitment, and performance. Let’s not start businesses like this anymore.

When we value people—instead of devaluing them as if they were to be merchandized—we greatly benefit as organizations, as societies, and as a world. Our bipolar boom-bust economy is the result of a workplace that lacks humanity. “Profit above people” is a bad mantra with a poor prognosis for the wellbeing of individuals, families, societies at large, and the planet that sustains us.

See also: Here’s How to Know Your Business Is Headed for Disaster

It’s clearly time to change our metrics of success. We need to bring humanity into our startups by establishing strong, one-on-one relationships in our workplaces, defining a clear reason for our companies’ existence that our people at every level can believe in, and ensuring that everything we do as an organization is responding to the deeper needs of society.

How do you put these principles into effect in your business? Drawing on my own experiences and conversations with inspiring entrepreneurs, leaders, and thinkers, here are three types of practices you can implement at the start:

Energize

Have your team help you create your vision. People support what they create. This isn’t about the executives locking themselves up in a room to write a new business plan. It’s about getting feedback from everyone in your organization about why you exist. Making gobs of money doesn’t capture most people’s hearts, so you need to find out what does. People want to hear about your mission and what problem you’re solving. If it is just you at the startup, what deeper need or problem are you solving? Communicate this. 

Sustain

I made huge mistakes with BluEra’s vision, and learnedthe hard way. In one instance, we had scheduled a planning session with a consultant from Denmark. When the consultant asked what the team vision was, no one remembered. Imagine my embarrassment.

Once the vision for our organization had been solidified, I did a poor job of reiterating and thereby sustaining this vision. Now we have our vision on our website, our blogs, cakes—I’m constantly reminding our team of it in all kinds of ways. If your vision is still right for your company, do something today that reiterates it to the team in a way that they will remember. Booking one-on-one meetings to discuss the vision is also important.

Regenerate

From answering emails in bed to checking messages during meetings, we are burning ourselves out because we rarely stop working. To implement alternative metrics of success, leaders at some of the top companies are increasingly utilizing practices such as meditation, yoga, stillness breaks for staff, and mindfulness training. These practices allow people to be more thoughtful and inquiring. We must have compassion for ourselves as leaders and take time for proper self-care, as well as providing for those who work throughout our company. 

The result of these changes will be greater engagement on the part of personnel, a deeper sense of meaning for everyone involved in and connected to our organizations, and consequently less business failures. Let’s start considering the quality of our experiences in the workplace—not just the bottom line—and thereby become quality companies in every way. It’s easier to start companies this way, and I wish someone had told me about this.

Catherine Bell is a founder of BluEra, an award-winning executive search and team transformation company, a fastest growing company in Canada, and author of the best-selling book The Awakened Company, a Best Leadership Book of 2015. You can find The Awakened Company on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

#FortuneInsider #AwakenedCompany

M Tribe

Women of Influence and The M Tribe

Women of Influence and The M Tribe 1800 1200 Catherine Bell

I recently attended a Global Women of Influence Dinner and it was fantastic.  To have a room full of incredible people in an intimate setting was very meaningful.  To truly connect with people, we all need time and space for one on one conversations and this is what this event allowed for.

I had the opportunity to meet Women of Influence’s new co-CEO’s, Alicia Skalin (formerly VP Events & Marketing) and Stephania Varalli (forWomen of Influencemerly VP Content) and am excited to see what they have in store for all of us.

Here is a statistical overview of women’s involvement in the workplace. We can do better in regards to women’s advancement. In a recent White Paper with Thomson Reuters, Women of Influence suggest the following solutions to women’s advancement in the workplace:

  1. Women of InfluenceMake Gender Intelligence a strategic imperative
  2. Show conduct and character exemplary of a gender intelligent leader
  3. Embed Gender Intelligence into all hiring processes and practices
  4. Embed gender intelligence in all promoting practices including succession planning
  5. Declare your intention to be a gender intelligence organization
  6. Generate a strong female leadership pipeline
  7. Provide support, guidance, and leadership training for women
  8. Generate gender intelligent understanding and behaviours throughoute the organization
  9. Embed gender intelligence in all customer and client facing efforts.

Women of InfluenceWomen of Influence

M Tribe

M is open for business Women of Influenceand we want to let you know about it.  Their mission is to make the benefits of meditation available to every workplace leader, team, and employee.  The people involved in M are people like JP in Calgary, Alison Raby in San Francisco, and Rachel in Seattle. If you are interested in a 12 week meditation program, please check them out here and here.

Meditation is one key to awakening your self and a corporate meditation program is another key to awakening your organization. These are regenerative practices, which I discuss in my book, The Awakened Company.

Lessons on Awakening for Business

Lessons on Awakening for Business 5760 3793 Catherine Bell

LessonsLessons

Many lessons on awakening were discussed at our emergent, presence-based pop-up book signing event at Indigo in downtown Calgary. The Awakened Company is a model for creating a positive ripple in the world. It represents a new model of business that serves people.  Thanks again to Matrix Solutions CEO, Rob Pockar and BluEarth Renewables Founder, Kent Brown for truly creating an engaging event.

During bad times is a great time to create the ripples necessary for awakening. Organizational culture can be changed (e.g. Telus), although it’s easier to start building a great culture with a new company. We, as a business community, need to shift focus from the results to the corporate culture – the “why you exist”. Rob Pockar emphasized that it doesn’t matter if the company is privately or publically held – you still need to demonstrate great value as a robust and strategic organization and you rely on skilled people. It doesn’t matter who your shareholders are, your mindset should be the same.

Co-creation with community is possible when you identify opportunities that are great for the community as well as great for your company. You develop a shared value proposition with the community (watch this short video). Focus on the reciprocal nature of communityship and the several dimensions of community for businesses.

Lessons

Here were some great tips from Rob and Kent:

  • Be aware as a leader.  BluEra’s Blog supports notion.
  • Start with your values (watch this short video) – what are your values?
  • Develop the systems in your business to help develop awakenedness (e.g. performance reviews, interviews, coaching)
  • Be systematic and deliberate.
  • Tap into the awakenedness of your employees and talk to new employees about your values, culture and strategy and where they fit.
  • Give employees ownership over their own work and flexibility and freedom. There are guardrails and guidelines, but within an atmosphere of trust reinforced by your values.

People say all of this is hard to do, but what is the alternative? As Julian Barling states, what is the smallest thing you can do? What does your heart tell you? Your head? And what is it that you want to do?

Thanks again to Indigo, Rob Pockar, Melissa Pockar and Kent Brown, for rocking this experiment.

As the holiday season is in full swing, please take a moment to consider what it really means to you.

Lessons on Awakening from Entrepreneurs

Lessons on Awakening from Entrepreneurs 800 800 Catherine Bell

AwakeningAwakening

 

 

 

 

Lessons on awakening were abound at The Awakened Company‘s recent pop-up book signing and interactive discussion at Calgary’s downtown Indigo bookstore.

BluEarth Founder, Kent Brown and Matrix CEO, Rob Pockar led a discussion of their first-hand, entrepreneurial experience in building and leading awakening companies.

Kent started off with lessons learned from BluEarth. He described his business as awakening vs. awakened – a process and continuous approach that results in a better company compared to “business as usual”. BluEarth grew from nothing to over $1 billion in value in less than five years.

Using a Triple Bottom Line approach to business, Kent’s focus has been to create a great environment and hold an aspiration that’s greater than profitability. Focus on values, culture and people, and the result will be a more profitable company.

BluEarth uses many of the practices described and advocated by author Catherine Bell in The Awakened Company. In this short video, Kent describes why BluEarth has been successful. The proof these practices work? In less than five years, BluEarth accomplished the following:

  1. Profit – not in spite of trying to be more awakened, it is because of this.  BluEarth met or exceeded all of its financial targets.
  2. People – engaged, happy, results driven, caring, no unintended turnover.
  3. Planet – being a renewables focused company is not enough – BluEarth’s team is driven to look for ways to have less impact on the planet.

Rob added to this with his experiences from Matrix, which from 1993 to today grew from 4 people to a team of 600 throughout Canada. Matrix’s underlying reason for being has always been to create a great environment for its people. To have an aspiration that is greater than simply a sole focus on profitability. The result of this aspiration? Happier and more engaged people, more meaningful work and, yes, a more successful organization. This short video discusses how.

With these first-hand, in-the-trenches accounts of Awakened Company practices in action, Rob and Kent were able to demonstrate that awakening companies make better companies.

Catherine espouses in her book and in her life how doing the smallest thing can make the biggest difference. What can you do to start?

You can start your journey of awakening today by reading our book, The Awakened Company.

 

Book Signing

Book signing Today at Indigo’s downtown Calgary location!

Book signing Today at Indigo’s downtown Calgary location! 800 600 Catherine Bell

Come and join us for a book signing for The Awakened Company and an interactive conversation TODAY at Indigo‘s downtown Calgary location @ 317 – 7 Avenue SW (TD Square), from 12-2 pm.

book signing

 

#AwakenedCompany

Book Signing

Join us for a surprising book signing

Join us for a surprising book signing 800 600 Catherine Bell

surprising book signing

A surprising book signing and interactive conversation will take place at Calgary’s downtown Indigo @ 317 – 7 Avenue SW (TD Square), from 12-2 pm on Thursday, November 26, 2015.

Learn what it means and what it takes to be an Awakened Company and how businesses can succeed in the end. Join Rob Pockar, CEO of Matrix, Melissa Pockar, Founder of MoreSo, Kent Brown, Founder of BluEarth, and Catherine Bell, Author & Founder of The Awakened Company and BluEra at THE AWAKENED COMPANY  book signing for an interactive conversation that will have you rethinking the way you do business in today’s difficult times.

Book signing begins at noon and the conversation begins at 12:30 pm. Come and join the conversation.

#AwakenedCompany

W. Brett Wilson

Awakening Insights from W. Brett Wilson

Awakening Insights from W. Brett Wilson 2107 1403 Catherine Bell
W. Brett Wilson

photo credit: Heather Fritz

To enter W. Brett Wilson’s office is an experience in and of itself. I got off the elevator to a flat screen with people’s faces on it.  Hmmm, first time I have seen anything like this.  I touched Brett’s face and immediately got connected to help.  And suddenly what I thought was a wall, opens and I am greeted into a special place with gorgeous Canadian and Saskatchewan art, and a gorgeous chandelier, and welcomed by Brett—who, by the way, was running a bit late, and despite this, still managed to spend some extra time with me.  I felt like I was being invited into a secret cocoon.  The energy was sacred, living, and inviting, not exactly what you would expect for high net worth individual.

 

When Brett greeted me there was deep warmth, energy, and strength.  There was a certain playfulness to his energy, and invitation to experiment.  I also felt, despite his warmth, that this man was bright and clearly does not suffer fools gladly.  I felt throughout the interview Brett was with me, not easily distracted by the phone by his side. There was an open quality to his listening that reflected a commitment toward continued learning and growth.

 

Brett is a Canadian leader in investment banking and investment management (FirstEnergy, Canoe Financial), an entrepreneur and philanthropist.  As a panelist on CBC’s Dragon’s Den for three seasons, he was known as the investor with a big heart.

 

In the late 90s Wilson, although highly successful financially, realized something fundamental was missing: “There was a huge gap between the success of my business life and the failure of my personal life.”  Driven to make money at the expense of his health, marriage, and children, the changes to his outlook in life did not come gently. A divorce and suffering from clinical depression were some of the manifestations of a life out of balance.

 

Crises in his personal life however created opportunities to see himself and his life differently. Sharing custody with his ex-wife, he began to spend less time at work and more time with his children.

 

“I stopped going into the office at 6:30 a.m. I went home for supper. I wanted the kids to understand that I was here for them. So, I was home. I didn’t travel; I didn’t go to charity events. If I had the kids, that was sacred. I went from zero to 60 in a week in terms of building a relationship with the kids.”

 

And being diagnosed with cancer a few years later accentuated the need for a life overhaul.

 

“But cancer may have saved my life. It forced me to look at everything and just say no. If not for that, I may have worked myself to death. So, I changed my priorities. If you don’t have your health, you’ve got nothing.”

 

Brett shares with us his new understanding of what it means to be successful. (This can also be found in his new book Redefining Success: Still Making Mistakes)

 

What is it that you have to say no to?  What is it that you want to prioritize and say yes to?

 

Still a work in progress, as we all are, Brett is now focused on simplifying his life. This includes his business life.

 

“My overarching goal here is to simplify and organize my life. That’s what my team’s here for. Now, what they do with their own personal lives, hopefully, they’ll follow suit. But, I complicated my life, made a bunch of money, made a bunch of investments, and now my life is too complicated. So, we want to simplify it and we really want to organize it…and hopefully, in five years’ time, my strategy won’t be based on simplify and organize. It might be liquidate and distribute, or some other words. Who knows? ”

 

Brett has already planned to “carve off” enough of his wealth to take care of himself and his family, leaving the rest to be given back to the world that has given him so much.

 

“But, the rest of it, if I get hit by a bus before I want to go, my children have ten years to give away what I have. Get rid of it. …Their opportunity is to give my wealth away. That will be my legacy through them. And, by the way, it’s their opportunity. If they don’t want to do it because they’re busy with their lives, their children, or whatever, that’s okay. My staff is empowered to give it away. But, it’s all gone in ten years.”

 

Brett Wilson reminds me that in marketing, it is important to consider product, place, price, and promotion for not only services and products, but also the impact on ourselves, our relationships, and our communities. We must go beyond the traditional thinking of the item we are “selling” or “marketing”; it is our precious moments that are behind those items and that in some way pieces of our soul are also associated with the items. Each item tells a story about who we are as its creators and a story about who we are as human beings and as a society. It’s time to set our spirits free of a mind that cannot perceive how everyone and everything is interrelated.

#AwakenedCompany