Recent Blog Posts

By: Beth Flynn, Tuesday, April 02nd, 2019
  1. “Assess individual strengths and behavioral preferences
  2. Select members using a plan to complement strengths and fill gaps to achieve balance and synergy
  3. Develop a charter, define roles, and align on the most important goals and rewards
  4. Proactively create an environment in which teammates can learn about each other personally to better understand their formative life experiences, what drives them, and ultimately build trust
  5. Establish a cadence of team training that incorporates real-world and mission critical challenges and obstacles
  6. Define lead and lag success metrics as well as a process to monitor progress
  7. Establish feedback mechanisms and norms for making decisions and holding one another accountable
  8. Clarify needed support from stakeholders
  9. Finalize rules of engagement and execute
  10. Course-correct via team work session (p. 56-57).”

What suggestions do you have to build a high performance team?

Rake, J. (2018). The bridge to growth: how servant leaders achieve better results and why it matters more than ever.  New York: Skyhorse Publishing.

Posted In:
Comments: 0
By: Beth Flynn, Tuesday, March 26th, 2019
  • "Individuals talk openly about their strengths and their weaknesses.
  • People offer both support and challenge in meetings, clarifying intention and asking questions without appearing judgmental.
  • People know more about each other than just their names.
  • There are references to people's lives outside the workplace (images, artwork, etc.).
  • People seem to assume positive intent with one another.
  • Competition is focused on winning in the market or against the competition rather than internally.
  • Team leaders and people managers walk the talk.
  • Talking to is balanced with listening to.
  • People admit mistakes and discuss learning (p. 172-173)."

What are some additional characteristics of trust-based relationships?


From:  Carrick, M. & Dunaway, C. (2017). Fit matters: how to love your job. Palmyra, VA: Maven House Press.


Posted In:
Tags: leadership, trust, leaders
Comments: 0
By: Beth Flynn, Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

 “Build skill in perceptive engagement, the capacity to take another person’s perspective and discern what would be helpful.

  • Cultivate capacity for attunement, which involves being aware of another person while simultaneously staying in touch with our own somatic senses and experiences. It heightens our sense of interconnection.
  • Develop empathic listening, the capacity to tune in to feelings of concern as we hear another person’s perspectives and experiences. It allows us to be present without needing to fix, solve, or intervene.
  • Foster mindfulness, an awareness of changing conditions in ourselves and others on a moment-to-moment basis. It helps us to remain calm and steady in the face of suffering - our own as well as that of others.
  • Empathy at work helps us to ‘feel our way forward’ together and motivates compassion (p. 123-124).”

What are you doing to encourage empathy in your organization?

From: Worline, M.C., & Dutton, J.E. (2017). Awakening compassion at work. Oakland CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Posted In:
Tags: empathy, leaders, leadership, leadership skills, culture, listening
Comments: 0
By: Beth Flynn, Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

Do ethical leaders influence their employees’ attitudes and behaviors? The answer is a resounding yes. Being an ethical leader is an important end in itself because it is simply the right thing to do to try to live in accordance with one’s values. But it also has tangible benefits for both employees and leaders. Research demonstrates that when employees view their leader as ethical, they are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and report greater commitment to their organization. Employees are also more likely to view their work as important and meaningful. Ethical leaders influence their employees’ behavior too. Ethical leaders promote behavior that is desirable, but not required by one’s job description, that aims to help others in the organization. Employees who are led by ethical leaders are less likely to engage in unethical behaviors, ranging from a minor indiscretion such as being late to a serious criminal offense such as stealing large sums of money. Finally, when employees report that their leader is ethical, they actually perform better on the job.

Why are ethical leaders so effective in influencing their employees? One explanation relates to the norm of reciprocity, which governs much of human behavior. It prescribes that when one person is treated well by another, they are obliged to reciprocate with positive behavior. Another explanation is that when employees are led by ethical leaders, they are more likely to identify with their group and organization, subsequently behaving in ways to help the collective. A final explanation is that employees often look to their work environment to determine the appropriate way to behave. Ethical leaders serve as role models, and employees learn how to act in their group or organization. Because ethical leaders engender reciprocity, an increased sense of identity, and serve as models for appropriate conduct, employees are more likely to feel good about their job and act in ways that serve the leader and the organization (p. 153-155).”

What are some ways that leaders demonstrate their ethics?



From: Dutton, J.E., & Spreitzer, G.M. (2014). How to be a positive leader: small actions, big impact. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Posted In:
Comments: 0
By: Beth Flynn, Tuesday, March 05th, 2019

"The first way that gratitude makes us resilient is that it keeps us hopeful. Gratitude is a game of contrasts. Our circumstances look a certain way; then something happens to improve them. Gratitude happens when we take notice of the distance between the two. Suddenly, we have something to be thankful for. That process teaches us something critical about life. While our circumstances might be bad, they can also get better. And our stories prove it to us again and again. Gratitude keeps us positive, optimistic, and able to keep coming back for more when life throws obstacles in our way.

Next, gratitude reminds us we have agency. Because gratitude involves giving thanks for what others have done for us, this might seem counterintuitive. But that's an illusion. You know what they say about unopened gifts. If we didn't use our agency to receive and act on what others have done for us, we wouldn't have benefitted.

Gratitude also improves our patience. A lot of times we take the easy way out because we're impatient. Achieving big goals takes time and effort. We're apt to cut corners or bail when we face difficulties. Thankfully, gratitude can keep us in the game (p. 119-120)."

What are ways that you show gratitude?


From: Hyatt, M. (2018). Your best year ever: a 5-step plan for achieving your most important goals. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.


By: Beth Flynn, Tuesday, February 26th, 2019
  • "They are on time for meetings, for planes, for phone calls.
  • They make individual commitments (who is taking what actions by when) clear in meetings.
  • They follow up on agreed-upon actions religiously.
  • They make lists (to do, to read, mistakes, people to keep in touch with, useful resources, etc.) - and put those lists into action.
  • They are aware of their mood, words, and actions in their interactions with their teams - are their actions and words having the desired effect?
  • They keep the people who need to know in the loop, so that no one drops the ball (p.125-126)."

What other successful leadership habits would you like to add?

From: Botelho, E. L; & Powell, K.R. (2018).  The ceo next door: the four behaviors that transform ordinary people into world-class leaders.  New York: Currency.

Posted In:
Tags: leaders, Success, leadership, leadership skills, habits
Comments: 0
By: Beth Flynn, Tuesday, February 19th, 2019
  • Personalize recognition. Individuals, not groups, do work.
  • Make recognition motivating, not embarrassing, for star performers. Make those recognized part of an elite group - don't focus on the solo star.
  • Keep recognition a surprise, not routine. When employees become conditioned to expect rewards, they feel disappointed when they aren't acknowledged.
  • Make it clear why the person deserves recognition. Praise the specific performance, skill, judgment, expertise, or accomplishment.
  • Share stories with your group to help them understand the impact of their work on both internal and external customers. Show them that their work makes a difference!
  • Make the recognition personal and heartfelt.
  • Vary the reward (p. 116-117)."

What do you do to recognize your employees?

From: Booher, D. (2017). Communicate like a leader: connecting strategically to coach, inspire, and get things done. Oakland, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

By: Beth Flynn, Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

"If you don't love it, you'll never be great at it. If you don't love it, you won't work to overcome all the challenges to keep doing it. If you love what you do, you won't quit when the world says you should. You will continue to show up every day, do the work, and discover that success is not created by other people's opinions. It's not created by what the media and fearful news says. It's not created by any of the circumstances outside you. It's created by the love you have inside you - love for what you do, for your team, for the organization you serve, and for the world you want to change. The love and grit you possess on the inside will create the life you experience on the outside.

Love powers grit, and it also powers you over fear. I've heard it said that fear is the second most powerful force in the universe because it's the one thing that can keep us from our vision, goals, and dreams. Thankfully, there's a force more powerful than fear, and it is love. People think that fear is strong and love is weak, but love is more powerful than fear. We don't run into burning buildings because of fear. We do it because of love. Love is the antidote to fear. Love casts out fear so where there is love, fear dissipates (p. 222-223)."

Do you love your job?  Please share why you love what you do.

From: Gordon, J. (2017). The power of positive leadership: how and why positive leaders transform teams and organizations and change the world. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley and Sons.

When asked about his best leadership advice, Dr. Jeff King, Co-Director of the OSU Leadership Center and Associate Professor at Ohio State, simply says “Listen”.

He added that most of the time, if we took the time to intentionally listen to one another, we would realize that we’re really working toward the same goals, and that listening allows us to work together to find common ground.

King said that his 4-H educator and program assistant were significant mentors growing up that led him to this leadership philosophy and to the career path he loves today, and that he continues to receive professional support and mentorship from a variety of faculty members at Ohio State.

In the classroom, King loves to see the ‘lightbulbs’ go off for his students as they learn to apply the concepts discussed in class. “Leadership content is different,” King said. “It’s not ‘tell me what I need to do’- it’s a reflection and a change process, it’s a different style of engagement”.

As a workshop facilitator at the OSU Leadership Center, King said that he loves meeting and working with a diverse audience, which includes both ‘front line’ employees and top executives.

In both settings, he enjoys the opportunity to challenge people’s perceptions and disrupt the thought processes that drive our behavior in order to establish behavior change. He is particularly interested in teaching about emotional and social intelligence, and enjoys the challenge of discovering where people are and exactly how he can help them move forward.

Personally, King likes to take on a supportive role as a leader, seeking out ways to encourage others, establishing relationships, and listening to understand, but he is comfortable changing his approach in response to various situations.

“When I need to be upfront I’ll be upfront, whether that’s advocating for a program, person, or organization,” King said. “But I also realize that sometimes I need to take a step back and recognize how I can support others around me”.

King says that every leader can benefit by growing their level of empathy. He added that caring for others genuinely is so important, and that meaningful relationships must be established in order to move people and projects forward.


Blog post created by Courtney Fulton, OSU Leadership Center Marketing Intern

Posted In:
Tags: leaders, leadership, Jeff King, Leadership Center
Comments: 0
By: Beth Flynn, Tuesday, February 05th, 2019

"When you are a leader, most things that go wrong are not directly your fault, but they are always your responsibility. The art of apology can make the difference between lost trust and ruined reputations.

  1. Be personal. Assume personal responsibility rather than simply act as a spokesperson for the institution you represent.
  2. Be focused. Address specific acts or mistakes as well as impacted parties, so it is clear that you understand the ramifications of what went wrong.
  3. Be genuine. Convey in both words and tone honest remorse and atonement for mistakes made and any resulting damage caused.
  4. Make no excuses. Avoid shifting blame, minimizing harm, or whitewashing a bad situation.
  5. Act swiftly. The sooner an apology is given, the better the chance the apology will be accepted by those who count.
  6. Be comprehensive. Get all the facts out, admit all known shortcomings, and clearly articulate what has yet to be determined.
  7. Prevent recurrences. Articulate an action plan to correct what went wrong and to make sure the same problem doesn't recur (p. 70-72)."

Please share a time when you needed to apologize and how you went about making the apology.

From: Botelho, E. L; & Powell, K.R. (2018).  The ceo next door: the four behaviors that transform ordinary people into world-class leaders.  New York: Currency