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While our annual conference is going virtual this year, one thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to bringing an incredible line-up of inspirational speakers to share their expertise and unique insights. Over the next couple of months we’ll be introducing you to these dynamic and engaging leaders by sharing some of their personal and career advice. Join us for our 2020 Annual Conference, Moments of Impact: Transforming Organizational Culture on November 5 to learn more from these remarkable trailblazers!

Today, we are honored to introduce Garry Ridge, Chairman & CEO, WD-40 Company and this year’s keynote speaker.  In his presentation “It’s All About the People – Don’t Be a Soul Sucking CEO,” Garry will provide a look “under the hood” of one of the world’s most recognized brands, where employee engagement is above 93% and 98% say they “love to work at WD-40 Company.”  He’ll share his unique insights into the value of the emotional connection to a greater purpose, the importance of investing in people who invest in themselves, and the difference between a “team” and a “tribe.”

 

Diversity & Flexibility Alliance: What was the most meaningful piece of leadership advice you have received?
Garry Ridge: It’s not about you.

 

DFA: Who has had the most influence on your career?
GR: Ken Blanchard

 

DFA: What have you learned during COVID that has changed your perspective?
GR: In times of great and real need, people can pivot around fear.

 

DFA: How do you pay it forward?
GR: By sharing my “learning moments” – being a giver not a taker.

 

DFA: What can we be doing to create more inclusive organizations?
GR: Listen, be vulnerable, be mindful, and forgive everyone for being human.

 

DFA: What book is on your nightstand?

GR: Why Are We Yelling: The Art of Productive Disagreement by Buster Benson

 

Don’t miss your opportunity to hear more from Garry Ridge and all of our dynamic and inspirational speakers on November 5.  Register today.

This article was published  April 3, 2020 in THRIVE GLOBAL.

By Manar Morales, President & CEO, The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance

Many organizations around the country have completed their first week or two of transitioning to working remotely. No one knows exactly how long this stay-at-home mandate will last or the extent of the economic or mental health impact. With no clear end in sight, we must prepare for the long haul. Telecommuting 100% of the time for 100% of staff may be the new normal for US businesses and firms for several months.

However, there is a Bright Spot for business leaders during the COVID-19 stay-at-home mandate. This crisis provides leaders with an extraordinary opportunity to demonstrate their gratitude, empathy and commitment to their employees at this pivotal time. My suggestion to business leaders is take this unique opportunity to shine and focus on being optimistic, human, and realistic.

Be Optimistic

Just like Presidents in war time, business leaders are faced with the challenge of setting the tone and sustaining employee morale and engagement. During this crisis-related remote working, it’s essential that business leaders increase their communication to their teams to reassure them and ensure that no one is left feeling isolated or overwhelmed. The more vocal and positive the leader, the less anxious the employees will be. Business leaders must continuously send a message of optimism and hopefulness. Employees will need to sense a “We’re in this together” tone and know that their leaders are there to support them during the crisis.

Be Human

It’s equally important for business leaders to demonstrate their humanity. Undoubtedly, leaders are feeling just as much stress, fear and anxiety as everyone else. It’s critically important for leaders to walk the delicate balance of being positive while also demonstrating that they too are human and they have the same stresses and challenges. Take the time to ask your team members how they are doing personally and share a humorous story about your family life. Explain that babies crying and dogs barking during calls are to be expected. Clearly communicate your schedule of availability and encourage your team to do the same. And, finally, understand that some employees may need remote working training, technology stipends or mental health resources to successfully complete their responsibilities at home.

Be Realistic

The reality is that business leaders will need to temporarily redefine their expectations. While in normal times you may expect to receive immediate responses from your team members, you may now need to be more realistic about deadlines, clarify expectations and prioritize workflow. It’s important to understand that some employees may only be able to work for a few hours at a time while their children are occupied or their babies are sleeping. Understand that some may need to take sick leave if they become ill or to care for sick family members. It’s very important to understand that this is not the same as everyday telecommuting where an employee is expected to perform at the same level as they would in the office. The reality is that with all the obstacles we are facing right now — including school, care center, church, restaurant and gym closures coupled with increased stress, anxiety and illness — this crisis-related telecommuting will look very different.

One day we will go back to business as usual and your employees will remember how they were treated. How do you want to be remembered as a leader? You now have the unique opportunity to increase loyalty…or lose it.

 

We are here to help you navigate your crisis-mandated telecommuting plan. Please contact Manar Morales to schedule a complimentary call today.

This week we were grateful to have Ritu Bhasin of bhasin consulting inc. lead our first of three 2017 Leadership Symposium. Ritu is a globally-recognized expert on leadership and inclusion and is passionate about sharing her knowledge of “Authentic Leadership.”

Ritu’s explanations for why we behave in certain ways and how we can improve our relationships just by being more authentic to our true selves are eye-opening. She shares that authenticity is the foundation on which we build inclusion and therefore is essential to our success as individuals and as leaders. Here are some highlights from Ritu’s presentation for those of you who missed it.

Ritu’s “Authenticity Principle” focuses on the importance of Knowing Yourself, Embracing Yourself and Being Yourself. All three of these are key to success in your personal life, as well as your professional life, and help you to:

– Feel better about yourself;

– Find clarity, meaning and purpose in how you live, work and lead;

– Bring a spirit of authenticity to your interactions;

– Invite others to practice authenticity;

– Build more meaningful relationships;

– Help to create more empowered, engaged, innovative and inclusive organizations.

Ritu described “The Three Selves” or the three different ways we present ourselves:

The Authentic Self – how you would show up if there were no negative consequences for your actions.

The Adapted Self – how you show up when you willingly choose to alter your behavior from how your Authentic Self would act, to meet your needs and others’ needs.

The Performing Self – how you show up when you feel you don’t have a choice but to conform and mask who you are.

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If you missed last week’s Signature Seminar Series webinar with Lauren Stiller Rikleen, you really missed out on some invaluable advice for finding joy and satisfaction in your career. President of the Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership & Visiting Scholar at the Boston College Center for Work & Family, Lauren has spent years researching trends in the legal industry and speaking with leaders of law firms and legal departments. Her book, Ladder Down: Success Strategies for Lawyers from Women Who Will Be Hiring, Reviewing and Promoting You, provides hands-on tips for transforming your career from one that feels overwhelming to one that is truly fulfilling and invigorating.

In a nutshell, these are our notes on Lauren’s ten tips for professionals looking to find more meaning in their careers. However, we highly recommend that you pick up a copy of Ladder Down to fully understand her insights and the advice that she collected from women in leadership around the world.

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If you’re an attorney (or even a law student), you know that it’s not enough to just be good at your job. In 2017, you’re expected to go the extra mile and bring in new business, take on leadership roles in your firm, network with your peers, and join professional organizations. How can you manage all of these demands and embrace them as opportunities to advance your career and achieve fulfillment? Have you become overwhelmed and is your enthusiasm for your career fading?

Join us for our Signature Seminar Series and you’ll hear from Lauren Stiller Rikleen, author of Ladder Down: Success Strategies for Lawyers From Women Who Will be Hiring, Reviewing, and Promoting You. Lauren’s webinar will take place from 1:00 – 2:15 pm ET on Thursday, June 8 and is free to all Alliance Members.

Here are five reasons you should join us and learn how to approach your law career with enthusiasm:

    1. Learn how to create a “niche” practice by developing your own personal brand.
    2. Acquire leadership skills that will differentiate you from others.
    3. Gain insights into effective networking.
    4. Develop successful mentor and champion relationships
    5. Hear tips on advocating for yourself and finding better work-life balance.

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