Win the Heart 1st Edition

How to Create a Culture of Full Engagement

Mark Miller (Author)

Publication date: 03/05/2019

Win the Heart
Every great company has an engaged workforce, and nurturing a culture of engagement is at the heart of great leadership—employees who really care about their work, their coworkers, and the organization can supercharge a company's success. But for many years, engagement has been suffering. Gallop reports that 70 percent of employees are not fully engaged on the job. Mark Miller draws on more than forty years of leadership experience to show leaders at all levels how to change the conversation and create real competitive advantage in the process.

In the fourth book in Miller's High Performance Series, CEO Blake Brown sets out to discover how to create the kind of workplace where everyone feels excited to come to work, passionate about what he or she brings to the company, and energized at the end of the day. It's a journey that takes him literally all over the world—from Italy to Greece to Green Bay and more. What he discovers from the pages of history is as relevant as the evening news.

Engagement unleashes untapped potential buried deep within the hearts of your people. An engaged workforce is more creative, more driven, and more enthusiastic about reaching company goals. If you put the lessons in this book to work, your people will never look at work, or their leaders, the same way again.

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Overview

Every great company has an engaged workforce, and nurturing a culture of engagement is at the heart of great leadership—employees who really care about their work, their coworkers, and the organization can supercharge a company's success. But for many years, engagement has been suffering. Gallop reports that 70 percent of employees are not fully engaged on the job. Mark Miller draws on more than forty years of leadership experience to show leaders at all levels how to change the conversation and create real competitive advantage in the process.

In the fourth book in Miller's High Performance Series, CEO Blake Brown sets out to discover how to create the kind of workplace where everyone feels excited to come to work, passionate about what he or she brings to the company, and energized at the end of the day. It's a journey that takes him literally all over the world—from Italy to Greece to Green Bay and more. What he discovers from the pages of history is as relevant as the evening news.

Engagement unleashes untapped potential buried deep within the hearts of your people. An engaged workforce is more creative, more driven, and more enthusiastic about reaching company goals. If you put the lessons in this book to work, your people will never look at work, or their leaders, the same way again.

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Mark Miller
Mark Miller started his Chick-fil-A career in 1977 working as an hourly team member. Since then, Miller has provided leadership for Corporate Communications, Field Operations, Quality and Customer Satisfaction, Training and Development, Organizational Effectiveness, and Leadership Development. Miller’s desire to encourage and equip leaders has taken him around the globe. He is the author of seven books, two coauthored with Ken Blanchard. Mark’s desire to encourage and equip leaders has taken him around the globe. His writing has reached around the world as well. Today, there are over 1 million copies of his books in print in twenty-five languages. He lives in Atlanta, GA.

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Excerpt

Win the Heart: How to Create a Culture of Full Engagement

Epiphany

Images

Life was good: the kids were thriving, Megan was happy and involved in the community, and their income was better than it had ever been. And yet, at work, something wasn’t right—and Blake was having trouble putting his finger on it.

He had read the reports, studied the financials, talked to customers, and listened intently to what his employees were saying about the state of the business. Blake was not merely listening to the music; he was attempting to hear the space between the notes, attempting to discern what was true but unspoken.

The best leaders all have the ability to see the unseen: changing trends, strategies that are coming to the end of their productive life, the untapped potential in people, and even threats just beyond the horizon. This leadership intuition compelled Blake to seek answers.

As he drove to work one morning, he considered the facts as he saw them: The organization’s performance had plateaued. The competition was slowly gaining ground, but no one had even seemed to notice. People showed up, did their work, and went home.

He believed his people were just going through the motions. Now, their discontent was almost palpable; he sensed it in the shadows, avoiding for now the bright light of the monthly financials. Blake could imagine everyone in the organization calling out in silent desperation, I really don’t care!

That’s it! he thought. That was the problem.

Blake didn’t know what to do with this epiphany. However, once a problem was identified, even the faint outline of one, he wanted to move toward a solution—and fast.

As he made his way into the parking lot, the root cause of this dilemma was already beginning to crystalize in his mind.

A combination of busyness, uncertain markets, surging competition, and turnover on his own leadership team had caused Blake to lose sight of his people. In an instant, it was clear.

Their current reality and the malaise that had now overcome his organization was a direct consequence of his choices as a leader.

Before Blake made his way to his office, he stopped by to see Charles, the head of their people function.

“Good morning, Blake,” Charles said. “How was your weekend?”

“Okay,” Blake began, clearly distracted by his newfound insight. “The kids are good, Megan is good. Everything is good . . . and that’s the problem.”

“Whoa! Where did that come from?”

“I’ve been thinking,” Blake said.

“And . . .” Charles waited.

“Things are just okay . . . and I think that’s a problem. We need to create a plan.”

Their current reality and the malaise that had now overcome his organization was a direct consequence of his choices as a leader.

“Slow down. I lost you at ‘that’s a problem,’” Charles smiled.

“I know. It sounds loony. You and I, and the entire team, have worked really hard over the last few years.”

“We have,” Charles nodded.

“And we’ve seen some improvements,” Blake continued. “But I’m not convinced . . .” His voice trailed off.

“Convinced of what?” Charles asked.

“Let me ask you a question,” Blake said.

“Okay, shoot.”

“Are you happy at work? Are you fully engaged? Do you really care?”

“What?” Charles asked. “Say all that again.”

“Are you really happy at work?”

“What does that have to do with anything?” Charles asked.

“Everything!” Blake said.

“You’re going to have to say more.”

“Are you happy, fulfilled, excited, motivated, and energized to be at work today?”

Charles had known Blake for many years, but he was the CEO and his boss, so he paused before responding. “Well . . .” He paused again and then spoke slowly. “Blake, you are setting the bar really, really high. I am thankful to have a job, I appreciate all you and the company have done for me personally, but I’m not sure what you are suggesting is realistic. It is just a job.”

“That’s it!” Blake exclaimed. “You just articulated what I’ve been feeling. I think that’s our problem.”

“I didn’t know we had a problem,” Charles said.

“It’s a huge problem! If leaders feel this way, what about the people building our products and serving our customers—how do they feel? Do they see their work as ‘just a job’ too?”

“I suppose so.”

“Think about the implications. If people see their work as just a job, why would they bring their full, best self to work? Why would they go the extra mile? Why would they take risks? Why would they challenge the status quo? Why would they help their coworkers? Why would they suggest improvements? Why would they care?”

Blake continued, “I think this explains a lot.”

“Like what?” Charles asked.

“Sluggish performance, low urgency and energy, indifference toward customers and the competition. It may also explain why this place is a ghost town at 5:01 every day. Have you noticed people like to back into the parking spaces?”

“Yes—I always wondered why they do that.”

“Maybe so they can make a quick escape.”

Both men chuckled, but it was forced because they knew Blake’s joke might have some truth to it.

“So, what do we do with this hypothesis?” Blake asked.

If people see their work as just a job, why would they bring their full, best self to work?

“About the parking?”

“No! I don’t think people really care about their work, coworkers, or the organization.”

“Whoa—you’ve just blown this thing way out of proportion,” Charles said. “We have very good people.”

“If I am correct, this is not a reflection on the people. This is my fault, and yours too, and every other leader in the organization. We are to blame.”

“I’m not sure I totally get that ‘leap of blame,’ but we can talk more about that. Why don’t we de-escalate this and see if we can collect some data?”

“What do you have in mind?”

“What we’re discussing is called engagement. There are assessments we can use to find the truth. And if there is a problem, we can fix it.

“Then let’s do that as soon as possible,” Blake said.

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