Last week I shared some great ideas from my pal Mark Sanborn; this week, I reach out to another brilliant friend who is a heck of a teacher – Joe Calloway. Recently I have come across a lot of people who proclaim to be “branding” experts. I am not sure people really understand what a brand is, or what branding is. One person who understands what a brand is is Joe.

Read this most recent work from him. It’s fantastic and will help you. Let’s have a discussion; what is a brand? What does that word mean? Here’s Joe:

You don’t win because of your strategy. You win because your culture made your strategy work.

Some people look at employee engagement as a project…something that they need to occasionally do.

If employee engagement is a “project” to you, then it’s doomed to fail.

Is employee engagement important enough to demand your constant time and attention? Some make the mistake of thinking that engagement is part of that “soft stuff” that they don’t have time for. Hey – that “soft stuff” is what drives your bottom line. Get your culture wrong and you don’t have a chance.

I recently talked with two masters of building great cultures and employee engagement, Scott Kriscovich and Heather Scheiderer of TrueBridge Resources.

Here are 10 great ideas on engagement that emerged from our conversation:

  1. It’s about being engaged. Engagement isn’t something you “do” – it’s something you are.
  2. It’s not about acting like you’re interested. It’s about being interested. There’s a difference.
  3. Don’t underestimate the value of the water cooler. It’s where relationships get developed by just talking about things every day.
  4. You can do our business virtually, but we’re big on being present. Technology is great, but unless you are physically in the same space, it’s hard to get past the business piece and get to forming relationships.
  5. If you are physically present, you can sense that someone is struggling. That’s when you can show that you care.
  6. As a leader, do my actions and interactions reinforce our purpose? Engage by example.
  7. You have to take the pulse of your people all the time.
  8. When we hire, we look for people who demonstrate characteristics that show they engage with others naturally. The people who we’ve hired who didn’t show those characteristics – didn’t work out. When we hire that way then engagement becomes self-perpetuating.
  9. One of our challenges is our growth, which is good. But the accompanying complexities make it even more important to be sure we’re engaging all employees at every level and be mindful of it.
  10. Look again at idea #1 – it’s about being engaged. Engagement isn’t something you “do” – it’s something you are.

What does your culture drive?

Thanks, Joe. You always have great information to share!

PS – Don’t forget you can sign up now for the Selling Symposium in Dayton, March 23, 2012. It is a small group experience where we will focus only on Selling and how to do it better for 2012. Check the website for the details and if you have any questions, please call the office and if I’m in town, I’ll be glad to talk to you personally.

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