Laurie Maddalena’s vision is to create a place where people love to come to work. Gallup has found in its most recent workforce study, she says, that only about 34% of American employees feel engaged at work.
“Most people don’t enjoy their work and I think a lot of that has to do with leadership, the quality of leadership we have in our organizations,” says Maddalena, CEO of Envision Excellence, a leadership consulting firm that provides leadership development programs for managers and executives, keynote speeches, team building and leadership assessments.
As antidote, Maddalena recommends leaders look to be “modern” leaders, focused on facilitating people doing the work, not fixing problems themselves. Modern leaders get to know their employees and place high value on the people side of the business, she says.
New leaders sometimes struggle with taking a modern leadership approach because they have been promoted because they are technically adept—not because they have leadership skills. So instead of leading in the modern, they are more likely to lead as they were led, in a more traditional, directive rather than facilitating way.
According to Maddalena, new leaders often struggle with:
To overcome these challenges, Maddalena recommends that new leaders:
“I often say, ‘If it weren’t for the people, leadership would be easy,’” Maddalena adds. “Preparing yourself to be of service to people” is a key part of the job.
In the show, Maddalena says it’s hard for people to lead in a modern way. Leadership training is important both for new and experienced leaders to continue to evolve.
“We need active leadership” more than ever during the pandemic, she says, “meaning reaching out and checking in. People are really stressed. It’s going to take more energy and effort” than ever.
“Our job as leaders is to focus on the people and facilitate the people side of the business,” she underscores. “The technical side will get done. But the people are who put the effort in to get the results, so we need to make sure that’s a big focus.”
The show also gets into: