229 episodes

How do you build a high-performance team?
That question occupies the minds of most leaders.

Answering that question in today's environment is especially challenging.
You need to outperform previous years on a fraction of the budget.
Do more with less is the mandate.

How do you pull this off?
That's why we're here.

Each week we will interview executive and senior leaders in HR, IT, and Sales. They'll share their best practices and playbooks for empowering managers and building high-performance teams.

Engaged leaders empower managers to build elite teams.
Tune in every week for game-changing insights.

Engaging Leadership CT Leong, Dr. Jim Kanichirayil

    • Business

How do you build a high-performance team?
That question occupies the minds of most leaders.

Answering that question in today's environment is especially challenging.
You need to outperform previous years on a fraction of the budget.
Do more with less is the mandate.

How do you pull this off?
That's why we're here.

Each week we will interview executive and senior leaders in HR, IT, and Sales. They'll share their best practices and playbooks for empowering managers and building high-performance teams.

Engaged leaders empower managers to build elite teams.
Tune in every week for game-changing insights.

    The Power of Productive Confrontation: How to Foster Healthy Conflict in the Workplace

    The Power of Productive Confrontation: How to Foster Healthy Conflict in the Workplace

    Summary:
    Alfred Ishak, VP of People Strategy is an optimistic and consultative insights professional, and joins Dr. Jim to discuss how to build a culture that encourages productive confrontation. They emphasize the importance of trust, vulnerability, and accountability in creating an environment where employees feel safe to voice their opinions and challenge one another. They also explore the role of leaders in modeling these behaviors and the commercial benefits of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. Overall, they provide practical strategies for fostering a culture of productive confrontation in organizations.
    Key Takeaways:
    Building leaders at all organizational levels encourages a bias for action while maintaining accountability and psychological safety.Effective leaders nurture an environment where trust is the foundation that allows for productive confrontation and honest dialogues.Vulnerability and the ability to ask for help are portrayed as strengths that contribute to a cohesive team dynamic.Diversity and inclusion are not just socially imperative but bear significant commercial benefits and should reflect the customer base.Small moments of authentic interaction can have a profound impact on establishing trust and community within the workplace.
    Chapters:
    0:00
    Transforming HR Through Consumer Research and Global Insights
    4:42
    Empowering Junior Leaders Through Balance and Support
    9:31
    Building Trust to Foster Team Innovation
    14:31
    Fostering Trust and Accountability in Organizational Leadership
    16:06
    Mastering the Art of Receiving Feedback
    21:06
    Fostering Vulnerability in Professional Environments
    25:41
    Frameworks Defining Leadership and Culture in Organizations
    27:17
    Advocating for Inclusive Workplaces Amidst Sociopolitical Challenges
    30:50
    Diversity Drives Commercial Success in Global Markets
    33:00
    Cultivating Productive Confrontation in Organizational Culture


    Connect with Dr. Jim: linkedin.com/in/drjimk
    Connect with CT: linkedin.com/in/cheetung
    Connect with Alfred Ishak: linkedin.com/in/alfred-ishak
    Music Credit: Shake it Up - Fesliyanstudios.com - David Renda
    
    Join us at HR Impact to learn and connect with a community of HR leaders just like you. This is the space where top people leaders share actionable insights and practical playbooks in fostering a high-performing workplace of the future.
    Sign up as a member today for community updates on the latest HR resources and exclusive event invites: www.engagerocket.co/hrimpact
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Engaging Leadership Intro
    Engaging Leadership Outro

    • 40 min
    The Power of Care, Collaboration, and Justice in Educational Leadership

    The Power of Care, Collaboration, and Justice in Educational Leadership

    Summary:
    In this episode of the Engaging Leadership Show, host CheeTung Leong interviews Dr. Tara Taupier, superintendent of the Tamalpais Union High School District. They discuss the importance of values-based leadership and how to grow leaders from educators. Dr. Taupier shares her leadership philosophy, emphasizing care, collaboration, and justice. She also discusses the role of technology, data, and AI in education. The episode highlights the importance of aligning organizational values and offers advice for educators considering leadership positions. This insightful conversation provides valuable insights for leaders in the education sector.
    Key Takeaways:
    Consistency in staffing and strong community support allows for building a collective capacity that enhances student achievement.A leadership philosophy grounded in values—such as care, collaboration, and justice—is essential for effective decision-making that serves students first.Embracing public learning and collective problem-solving strengthens leadership teams and aligns vision within an educational institution.Technology and data play a significant role in education, informing instructional practices and helping teach students the ethical use of technological resources.Aligning with an organization that matches one's personal values is crucial for educators considering leadership roles, contributing to greater job satisfaction and effectiveness.
    Chapters:
    0:00
    Cultivating Leadership in Educational Settings
    2:42
    Servant Leadership: Values of Care, Collaboration, and Justice
    4:30
    From Classroom to Superintendency: A Leadership Journey
    7:24
    Fostering Care and Collaboration in Education Leadership
    9:41
    Balancing Humanity and Objectivity in Educational Leadership
    13:35
    Decision-Making Challenges During COVID
    14:29
    Cultivating Student-Centered Leadership and Decision-Making
    18:46
    Transforming Leadership Roles in Education
    20:55
    Linking Leadership and Student Achievement in Education
    23:44
    Data's Role in Educational Outcomes and Student Well-Being
    25:35
    Educating Students on Ethical Technology Use
    27:02
    Aligning Personal Values With Organizational Culture in Leadership
    28:18
    Insights on Leadership Journeys in Education
    Connect with Dr. Jim: linkedin.com/in/drjimk
    Connect with CT: linkedin.com/in/cheetung
    Music Credit: Shake it Up - Fesliyanstudios.com - David Renda
    
    Join us at HR Impact to learn and connect with a community of HR leaders just like you. This is the space where top people leaders share actionable insights and practical playbooks in fostering a high-performing workplace of the future.
    Sign up as a member today for community updates on the latest HR resources and exclusive event invites: www.engagerocket.co/hrimpact
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Engaging Leadership Intro
    Engaging Leadership Outro

    • 30 min
    The Long View: How Taking a Strategic Approach Leads to Startup Success

    The Long View: How Taking a Strategic Approach Leads to Startup Success

    Summary:
    Join Dr. Jim and guest Vanessa Gilardi as they discuss the importance of rethinking talent strategy and prioritizing employee experience in startups and scale-ups. They explore the need for a long-term view and the power of continuous learning in a rapidly changing work environment. Vanessa shares insights on building a strong onboarding process, maintaining communication and social skills, and the value of active listening. Discover how a shared responsibility for people and culture can lead to a five-star employee experience. Tune in for practical advice on creating a positive and sustainable work environment.
    Key Takeaways:
    Being part of a startup doesn't necessitate adherence to the stereotypical '80-hour workweeks' hustle culture; instead, it's crucial to focus on creating a positive employee experience and preparing for sustainable growth.Vanessa advocates for a "long view" approach which entails learning agility and being open to constant skills development, which is increasingly relevant in the face of technological advancements such as AI.The alignment of candidate and employee experiences is vital; inconsistency between initial promises and actual cultural engagement can lead to employee turnover.A successful onboarding process, coupled with sustained leadership engagement at various stages of the employee lifecycle, can enhance retention and strengthen company culture.The responsibilities of people and culture should extend beyond HR and be embedded within the ethos of the entire business infrastructure, with proactive and routine communication being a linchpin for ongoing employee satisfaction.

    Chapters:
    0:00
    Redefining Startup Success Beyond Hustle Culture
    1:31
    International Perspectives on Startups and Scale-Ups
    3:21
    Embracing Lifelong Learning in Professional Growth
    5:59
    Redefining Career Success Beyond Traditional Education Paths
    11:33
    Redefining Startup Culture and Employee Experience
    15:04
    Executive Cowardice in Company Layoffs
    15:44
    Cultivating Culture and Strategy Beyond HR Responsibilities
    19:51
    Bridging the Gap Between Talent Acquisition and Employee Retention
    23:44
    Cultivating Employee Experience in Startups and Scale-Ups

    Connect with Dr. Jim: linkedin.com/in/drjimk
    Connect with CT: linkedin.com/in/cheetung
    Connect with Vanessa Gilardi: linkedin.com/in/vanessa-gilardi
    Music Credit: Shake it Up - Fesliyanstudios.com - David Renda
    
    Join us at HR Impact to learn and connect with a community of HR leaders just like you. This is the space where top people leaders share actionable insights and practical playbooks in fostering a high-performing workplace of the future.
    Sign up as a member today for community updates on the latest HR resources and exclusive event invites: www.engagerocket.co/hrimpact
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Engaging Leadership Intro
    Engaging Leadership Outro

    • 29 min
    From HR to People: How Atlas Renewable Energy Transformed the Traditional HR Role

    From HR to People: How Atlas Renewable Energy Transformed the Traditional HR Role

    Summary:
    In this episode of the podcast, host CT Leong welcomes Marcela Pizzi, Head of People and Communications at Atlas Renewable Energy. The conversation pivots around the essential role of cultivating a people-centric culture within an organization and how it can spearhead the company's drive to be a force for good. As the episode unfolds, Marcela shares the origin of Atlas Renewable Energy and how her role evolved beyond traditional human resources, focusing on inclusive, safe, and growth-minded work environments.
    Marcela recounts the innovative strategies Atlas has employed from its inception to foster unity, diversity, and excellence - key pillars of the company's values. From implementing blind CVs and increasing women's representation in the energy sector to investing in community training and development, Pizzi narrates Atlas's commitment to "being a force for good" and leveraging cultural diversity for the company's expansion across LATAM regions and beyond.
    Key Takeaways:
    Atlas Renewable Energy is a pioneer in the clean energy sector, with a presence in multiple LATAM countries and focused on creating a people-centric, diverse, and safe work environment.Marcela Pizzi was the first HR hire at Atlas, where she has played a pivotal role in shaping the company's culture to prioritize sustainable growth and employee well-being.The discussion centered around the importance of moving beyond viewing HR merely as administrative or 'soft' work, and into a strategic partnership integral to business success.Atlas Renewable Energy's commitment to diversity and inclusion extends to their hiring processes, with initiatives such as blind CVs and insistence on a diverse candidate pool for all positions.The company's value system incorporates the principles of being united, excellence-driven, human, and constantly evolving, which weaves through every level of its business operations.
    Chapters:
    0:00
    Building People-Centric Companies for Global Good
    2:28
    Building Atlas: A People-Centric Culture from Scratch
    5:10
    Driving Sustainable Energy Transition as a Force for Good
    8:02
    Embracing Diversity to Forge a Unified Identity
    8:36
    Debunking HR Myths and Embracing Strategic Partnership
    12:04
    Cultivating Inclusive Culture in Atlas's Evolutionary Journey
    16:43
    Fostering Inclusion Across Multinational Corporate Cultures
    17:57
    Implementing Diversity Without Quotas in Global Hiring Practices
    23:05
    Embedding Corporate Purpose and Values in Business Strategy
    28:16
    Connecting With HR Expert Marcela Pizzi for Social Good
    Connect with Dr. Jim: linkedin.com/in/drjimk
    Connect with CT: linkedin.com/in/cheetung
    Connect with Marcela: linkedin.com/in/marcela-pizzi-56a32a15/
    Music Credit: Shake it Up - Fesliyanstudios.com - David Renda
    
    Join us at HR Impact to learn and connect with a community of HR leaders just like you. This is the space where top people leaders share actionable insights and practical playbooks in fostering a high-performing workplace of the future.
    Sign up as a...

    • 30 min
    Building an Employee-Centric Environment

    Building an Employee-Centric Environment

    Summary:
    Discover the relationship between customer obsession and employee retention in this episode featuring guest Sandra Scirpo. Learn how principles of customer loyalty and engagement can be applied to building an employee-centric environment. Explore the importance of clear communication, career pathing, and ongoing development in retaining and developing high-performing teams. Gain insights into bridging the gap between senior leaders and frontline employees and creating a culture of engagement. Join Dr. Jim and Sandra as they discuss practical strategies for building a loyal and motivated workforce.
    Key Takeaways:
    The longer an employee stays with the company, the more they contribute to the organization, akin to a loyal customer base.A focus on execution is crucial in realizing the vision and strategy of an organization, which requires strong, well-developed teams.Identifying and addressing points of friction through consistent communication can aid in smoother execution and employee retention.Creating an employee-centric environment entails regular one-on-ones, clear career pathing, continuous learning opportunities, and encouraging self-advocacy among employees.Building high-performance teams involves understanding the 'why' behind employees' tasks, clear role responsibilities, and integrating fun and recognition into the work environment.
    Chapters:
    00:00 Welcome and Introduction
    01:33 Exploring Customer Loyalty and Engagement Strategies
    02:35 Drawing Parallels Between Customer and Employee Retention
    06:13 Effective Leadership and Talent Management Strategies
    11:08 Practical Advice for Leaders at All Levels
    22:28 Implementing Customer Retention Principles for Employee Centricity
    27:37 Concluding Thoughts and Key Takeaways

    Connect with Dr. Jim: linkedin.com/in/drjimk
    Connect with CT: linkedin.com/in/cheetung
    Connect with Sandra Yang Scirpo: linkedin.com/in/sandrascirpo
    Music Credit: Shake it Up - Fesliyanstudios.com - David Renda
    
    Join us at HR Impact to learn and connect with a community of HR leaders just like you. This is the space where top people leaders share actionable insights and practical playbooks in fostering a high-performing workplace of the future.
    Sign up as a member today for community updates on the latest HR resources and exclusive event invites: www.engagerocket.co/hrimpact
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Engaging Leadership Intro
    Engaging Leadership Outro

    • 33 min
    Small Things, Big Impact: Fostering a Welcoming Community

    Small Things, Big Impact: Fostering a Welcoming Community

    Summary:
    Scott Foster, superintendent of the Northland Pines School District, shares his strategies for attracting and retaining educators in a rural school district. He emphasizes the importance of showcasing the unique benefits of the area, providing support and mentorship for new hires, and creating a culture of trust and collaboration. Foster also discusses the district's focus on professional development and flexible pathways for career growth. By investing in their people and building a strong community, the district has been successful in retaining and developing top talent.
    Key Takeaways:
    Employee retention in K-12 education is notably challenging, especially in rural settings, due to long hours, modest pay, and external pressures.The importance of the first 90 days: Onboarding and mentorship are critical in ensuring new hire success and satisfaction, leading to better retention rates.Community and support: Creating a welcoming, family-like culture and maintaining a supportive system around new hires strengthens retention and job satisfaction.Investing in people: Allocating resources towards professional development and individual career growth is crucial in building a successful district.Systematic adaptability: Programs and initiatives need to be systematically organized, yet tailored and adaptable, to support educators at varying career stages.

    Chapters:
    00:00 Welcome and Introduction to Employee Retention Challenges
    00:35 Spotlight on K-12 Education: Strategies for Building a Retention Culture
    01:06 Inside Northland Pines School District: A Success Story
    03:05 Recruitment and Retention Strategies in Rural School Districts
    08:35 Mentorship and Onboarding: Key to Retention
    11:36 Classroom Effectiveness and Educator Support
    16:46 Addressing Educator Burnout and Well-being
    19:49 Investing in People: Professional Development and Growth
    28:14 Building a Collaborative Culture and Leadership Pipeline
    33:54 Concluding Thoughts and Contact Information

    Connect with Dr. Jim: linkedin.com/in/drjimk
    Connect with CT: linkedin.com/in/cheetung
    Connect with Scott Foster: sfoster@npsd.k12.wi.us
    Music Credit: Shake it Up - Fesliyanstudios.com - David Renda
    
    Join us at HR Impact to learn and connect with a community of HR leaders just like you. This is the space where top people leaders share actionable insights and practical playbooks in fostering a high-performing workplace of the future.
    Sign up as a member today for community updates on the latest HR resources and exclusive event invites: www.engagerocket.co/hrimpact
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Engaging Leadership Outro
    Engaging Leadership Intro

    • 37 min

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