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2018

Here are some gifts from 2018 that I’d like to share with you, my clients and associates.

I strongly recommend that you save this url in your contact for “Doug Gray” or “Action Learning Associates.”

You may want to download this new content and add it to your digital folder for “Action Learning Associates.”   There are many great resources here!

Here’s to you, at your best!  When playing with new friends like Spider Monkeys, or not.

doug graydoug gray

Q4 included several customized leadership development workshops.

  • One F500 client wanted to “develop a culture of fiscal accountability using Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).”  If you are a client and want to see the customized app that included that content please contact me here.
  • One client wanted to “introduce positive psychology practices into their organization.”  Over 1,300 people have viewed the content here.
  • One F500 client wanted to “develop the executive presence and the reputations of their leaders.”   A video of that content is here.
  •  Several small business leaders wanted succession planning content to accelerate their leadership to the next generation.

Q3 included trademarking the AD-FIT model for any managers or professional coaches to use.

  • Many clients asked, “What works?”  They needed a process or protocol to cascade consistent expectations to direct reports, to serve clients, to lead others effectively.
  • A 90-second video explanation is at https://action-learning.com/ and here
  • The AD-FIT process for external providers, consultants and coaches is at https://www.whycoachesfail.com/ .
  • The AD-FIT process for managers and leaders is at https://action-learning.com/products/
  • The AD-FIT Level 1 Certification Course is at www.WhyCoachesFail.  If you are a client and would like free access please contact me here.
  • Many consultants, managers and professional coaches have completed the AD-FIT Level 1 Certification Course.  And I have been invited to share the AD-FIT model at the Metrics That Matter conference hosted by Explorance, in March, 2019.  Contact me for licensing details.

Q2 included my PhD in Organizational Leadership dissertation defense from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

  • My dissertation title was “Positive Psychology Coaching Protocols: Creating Competitive Advantage for Leader Development.
  • My abstract / summary was:  A gap exists between positive psychology coaching (PPC) theory and practice because PPC lacks rigorous measurement, evidence-based protocols and standard processes. This quasi-experimental study assessed the relationship between PPC protocols and performance or behavioral outcomes of leaders. The participants were global professional coaches (n = 220) who completed two sets of surveys after delivering 90 days of coaching, and completed approximately 60 minutes of digital training. The primary assessments were (a) the Psychological Capital Questionnaire (PCQ-12), (b) the Values in Action (VIA-72) questionnaire, and (c) the Outcome Measures Survey that included the Goal Attainment Satisfaction (GAS) score. The PPC protocols included compliance using assessments, defining meaningful coaching outcomes, compliance over time, and compliance with the AD-FIT coaching protocol. Those participants with higher compliance to the AD-FIT coaching protocol (n = 16) reported slightly higher goal attainment scores than the participants with lower compliance (n = 18). Open text box analysis was conducted to deepen understanding of the relationship between participation and leader outcomes. The top two performance outcomes (n =100 responses) were increased productivity and focus. The top two behavior outcomes (n =115 responses) were improved relationships and effectiveness. The theoretical, methodological and practical significance of this research indicate opportunities to create competitive advantage in leader development.
  • A riveting 60-minute video of the dissertation defense with research findings is hosted at https://www.youtube.com/user/dgrayful/videos
  • In Q4 the dissertation was finally published online for researchers at ProQuest.  If you’d like a copy in PDF please contact me.
  • Yes, you may now call me Dr. Doug Gray, if you wish.

Q1 included a website redesign and marketing with new content.

A final note for your files…

All of you who are individual or team coaching clients are familiar with this new client intake document.   Here is a very generous gift.  When I work with leaders I ALWAYS use the AD-FIT process.  Since 1997.  It works.  Outcome-based coaching is a straightforward process.   I strongly recommend that YOU adopt the AD-FIT protocols.  Click on the bullet below.  Then download the content.  Then use these 28 validated outcomes for executive coaching or business coaching.  Leaders practice leadership, just as physicians practice medicine and attorneys practice law.

A friend recently asked why I like to GIVE AWAY so much content to my clients and associates.  I have several answers:

  1.   You are my champions and buying agents who will download and share this new content as you see fit.
  2.   My ancestors are teachers and ministers, accustomed to sharing practical knowledge.  I know what works.
  3.   I can share everything I know, and still know it.  Wisdom is meant to be shared.

May you have an OUTSTANDING 2019!

Should You Invest In A Leadership Workshop For Your Team?

leadership workshop

Managers, by definition, must maximize the productivity of others.  When we ask audiences, “How many of you are managers?” over 70% of the audience typically raise their hands.  Many do not have the word “manager” in their title.

As managers, you know that it is your job to maximize productivity and outcomes from your employees.  You need evidence-based best practices in leadership development.  Today.  And you need to demonstrate the ROI of that leadership workshop within 90 – 180 days.  There is a myth that leadership development programs should only be scheduled in the spring and fall, to avoid conflicts with vacations.  The reality is that leadership development workshops include both direct and virtual content that reinforces your outcomes.  Our programs last 3-12 months.  You should invest in a leadership development provider (like Action Learning Associates) because it is cost-effective and efficient.  Your core business is something else.  Our core business is to accelerate leader development.

Here are three reasons why YOU SHOULD invest in a leadership development workshop today.  

 

  1.  Investment in a leadership workshop should directly increase your team’s engagement 

Leaders need to practice leadership, just as attorneys practice law and physicians practice medicine.  Many studies have shown that when employees are engaged in leadership workshops they are then more likely to be engaged in the workforce. An employee who is more engaged is a) more effective at required tasks, b) more efficient on key performance indicators or objectives and key results (OKRs), and c) more likely to stay employed at your organization.  Retention of desired employees is a requirement in today’s competitive Talent Economy.  Be smart.  You never want to retain average employees- but you DO WANT to retain 100% of your desired employees.  And leadership development workshops are the most cost-effective way for you to increase retention of your desired employees.  We recommend that 70% of your promotions are internal, to encourage career ladders and talent succession.  We strongly recommend that you invest in 100% of your top performers with leadership development programs AT LEAST twice/ year.

 

2.  Investment in leadership workshops can help you develop your workplace culture

 

Culture can be developed, and must be developed, in response to changing market demands.  Ask anyone involved in leadership development coaching, and they will tell you that culture cannot be left to chance.   That would be reckless.   The academics describe culture as “how organizations function.”   As an example, we recently provided a leadership development workshop around ONE objective, “to create a culture of fiscal accountability using Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).”  Let me explain…

Culture is best described using three overlapping circles.  Label each circle as: 1) underlying assumptions, 2) espoused behavior, and 3) artifacts.

1) underlying assumptions are the shared beliefs of your organization, including history of acquisitions, traits of key leaders who get promoted faster, competencies of leaders with higher reputations, or that unspoken assumption you have about a market or colleague.

2) espoused behaviors describe what we say we do, including common phrases such as “I’ll solve this” or “that’s not my problem.” Notice the difference between what we say we do, and what we actually do.

3) artifacts are tangible symbols of the culture, such as a new National  office in Nashville, TN for centralized services and consistent management of others. The cultural values posted in the lobby are artifacts of how you work.

Fact:  All three of these aspects of culture can change quickly.  Therefore, you NEED to invest in leadership development workshops to develop your desired organizational culture.   Today.  

 

3.  Investment in a leadership workshop should improve employee morale

 

Many studies have shown that large organizations are investing less time, money, energy and training  in their employees than they did 10 years ago.  Professional development discretionary budgets have plummeted from over $10,000 per person in 2008 to $4,000 per person in 2018.   Today, we invest more into maintaining cars and machines than we do in our most critical variable-  people.  That trend is reckless.   If you are investing less in your people than you did 10 years ago then you are LITERALLY in a race to the bottom of your market.   Look at the fact that only 35% of today’s F500 companies have been there for more than 50 years.  If you want to increase employee morale, then you need to invest in your top employees.  Nothing is a more critical investment.  Today.  Employee morale is NOT a lagging indicator.  If you want to develop agile problem solvers, then you need to invest in leadership development workshops.  You can make employee morale into a leading indicator.  Today.

 

You should not invest in a leadership workshop IF you do not care about 1) employee engagement, 2) workplace culture, or 3) employee morale.  We do NOT want to talk to you.  We wish you Godspeed.

You should invest in a leadership workshop IF you do care about 1) employee engagement, 2) workplace culture, or 3) employee morale.  We DO want to talk to you.  Today.  

We provide outcome-based leadership development workshops that guarantee your results.  We deliver programs throughout the United States and Canada.  We provide expert leadership coaching and executive coaching services, based in Nashville, TN or globally.  We’d like to visit you ASAP.

Contact us here.  Today.

If you are based in the Nashville, TN area then we are neighbors.  See details for leadership training for your employees here.   We’d like to visit you ASAP.

What to Expect in a Leadership Workshop

why leadership training is worth it center for creative leadership ccl

Do you think that you a born leader?  That is a myth. 

The reality is that leadership skills can be taught and developed.  By definition, leaders influence the behavior of others by describing a better vision of the future.  The primary skill of effective leaders is public optimism.  Leaders tell great stories and share optimism.  

Those leadership skills can be taught in a workshop or program.  The most effective leadership workshops include training and coaching, then more training and coaching, to reinforce desired behaviors over time.  Repetition works.

Leaders must adapt to change.  At a recent leadership workshop one executive stated,  “We need to master this content in the next 3 days because we are each the CEOs of our business.  We need to create our future business.”   That urgency is common.

Many of the tactics that leaders were taught 10-20 years ago are obsolete today.  Management by Objectives (MBOs) and Forced Rankings are now considered manipulative, ineffective, and counterproductive. That kind of “leadership” will limit your career. 

We know that rigid managers and leaders prevent innovation and problem solving.  We also know that agility can be taught and developed.    We can teach agile leaders and managers to promote effective outcomes, efficiency, and employee engagement.  

Today, many employees demand fulfillment and purpose.  They want to feel inspired and know their place in society and their contribution to the world.  

We know that leaders need to practice leadership, just as physicians practice medicine and attorneys practice law.  All managers and leaders struggle. 

A great leadership workshop should provide:

  • Leadership exercises and experiential activities that encourage open communication and sharing of ideas
  • Profound breakthroughs in understanding how to influence others.
  • Lectures, digital workbooks, videos, powerpoint slides, and activities designed to model engagement
  • Pre-assessments and Post-assessments to discover your strengths and track the ROI of your investment
  • Leadership development coaching to help key leaders assess their strengths and define a meaningful outcome 
  • Group problem-solving tasks that encourage conflict resolution through a better understanding of human behavior and group dynamics
  • Customized apps with content to download and distribute your consistent messages throughout your organization

A recent client stated, “This was by far the most useful leadership development program I have experienced in over 20 years of forced participation in some kind of training.  The content was easy to understand.  All of the sessions were  customized for our organization.  All of the consultants were experts.  We were fully engaged in each session.  We did our work.  And now I have the skills I need to lead my team in a new and useful methodology.”  

All of our leadership workshops use our trademarked positive psychology AD-FIT™ process.  We typically include our leadership development coaching to assess your strengths and increase your probability of achieving your outcome-based results.

The best leadership workshops should ask you to take an honest assessment of your professional leadership style and define measurable outcomes.  We typically use both quantitative and qualitative assessments.   We offer both virtual and direct workshops with several exciting results-oriented topics to choose from.   See the list of leadership workshop topics here.

We provide services throughout the U.S and Canada.  We recently delivered programs in Chicago, IL, Charlotte, NC, Louisville, KY and Washington, DC.  If you are near the Nashville, TN area, an executive coach in Nashville can help you. 

If you are ready to learn more, please contact us.  Today.

We look forward to providing the outcome-based solutions you demand.  Call us today at 615.236.9845.