241 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 Collaboration: Creating a Non-Evaluative Teaching Culture

    The Power of Collaboration: Creating a Non-Evaluative Teaching Culture

    Summary:
    Dr. Jim and Charlie Urness chat about the vital role of effective coaching and mentoring in K-12 schools. With over 25 years of experience, Charlie shares actionable insights on building high-performing teams, retaining new teachers, and fostering inclusive practices. Learn about the impactful instructional rounds method and how using both evaluative and non-evaluative feedback can accelerate teacher development and improve student outcomes. Discover strategies to leverage in any educational environment, regardless of size or resources.
    Key Takeaways:
    Proactive Coaching and Mentorship: Using veteran educators to guide and support new teachers ensures they develop good habits early on, reducing the likelihood of turnover.Equity and Excellence: Embedding inclusive practices and an equity lens within educational leadership fosters a more effective and inclusive learning environment.Instructional Rounds: A powerful tool for observational learning and professional development, helping teachers see and replicate high-quality teaching practices.Non-Evaluative Feedback: Effective coaching should be non-evaluative, focusing on continuous improvement and self-reflection to build teacher confidence and capability.Leveraging Technology: Utilizing recording tools for asynchronous learning helps overcome logistical constraints and ensures consistency in training and development.
    Chapters:
    00:00
    Building Effective Coaching and Mentoring Programs in K-12 Education
    02:58
    The Impact of Mentorship on Early Career Educators
    07:26
    Equity and Excellence in Education
    10:49
    Building a Top School District Through Mentorship and Coaching
    13:54
    The Importance of Proactive Coaching in Teacher Development
    15:41
    Effective Teaching Strategies for Success in Education
    16:19
    Identifying Future Leaders Through Educator Effectiveness
    19:16
    Effective Coaching Techniques for Teacher Improvement
    21:22
    Accelerating Teacher Development Through Instructional Rounds
    28:44
    How Instructional Rounds Enhance Educator Development and Retention
    31:55
    Building a Coaching and Mentoring Culture in Organizations

    Connect with Dr. Jim: linkedin.com/in/drjimk
    Connect with CT: linkedin.com/in/cheetung
    Connect with Charlie Urness: linkedin.com/in/charles-urness-42288b66
    School District of Jefferson: https://www.sdoj.org/

    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...

    • 36 min
    From the Ground Up: Building a Mission-Driven Culture in Blue Collar Industries

    From the Ground Up: Building a Mission-Driven Culture in Blue Collar Industries

    Summary:
    Dr. Jim chats with Samantha Coker, the Chief HR Officer at Apache Industrial Holdings, discussing the importance of building a mission-driven culture for hourly employees. Samantha shares insights from her 17 years in HR, focusing on total employee health and safety. She emphasizes the key role of employee engagement and using technology to support mental health and resilience in field environments. They explore practical strategies to reduce churn and enhance worker satisfaction, benefits, and safety, highlighting the impactful results of a people-first approach. Join the conversation to learn how redefining employee support can drive retention and project success.
    Key Takeaways:

    Holistic Employee Support: Focus on the complete well-being of hourly employees can result in improved safety, performance, and job satisfaction.Mental Health Initiatives: Utilizing technology like the Headversity app for mental health can provide essential support and foster a resilient and focused workforce.Employee Engagement: Engaged employees, who understand their role in the company's success and are able to freely communicate, can significantly improve productivity and safety.Rehiring Advantage: A high rehire rate leads to better team cohesion, faster project ramp-up times, and substantial cost savings in hiring.Survey Utilization: Conducting meaningful employee surveys and acting on the feedback can drive positive changes and improve overall employee relations.

    Chapters:
    00:00
    Building a Mission Driven Culture for Hourly Employees
    03:06
    Psychology and HR: Elevating Construction Workforce Well-Being
    07:59
    The Power of Giving Opportunities and Hard Work
    08:56
    Transforming HR's Role in Business Success
    14:58
    Improving Employee Retention Through Mental Health and Resilience Training
    20:53
    Investing in Hourly Staff for Business Success

    Connect with Dr. Jim: linkedin.com/in/drjimk
    Connect with CT: linkedin.com/in/cheetung
    Connect with Samantha Coker: linkedin.com/in/samantha-coker-sphr-shrm-cp-hrpm-9363641
    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

    • 30 min
    Balancing Tradition and Innovation in Education Leadership

    Balancing Tradition and Innovation in Education Leadership

    Summary:
    In this episode of the Engaging Leadership Show, hosted by CT Leong, the focus is on navigating the intricate balance between culture and strategy in schools, and the age-old question of whether leaders are born or made. CT Leong, co-founder of Engage Rocket, sits down with Dr. Shawn Tennenbaum, the Superintendent of San Benito High School District, to explore effective leadership in education and its impact on teacher retention, engagement, and student achievement.
    Dr. Tennenbaum delves into the rich history and vibrant culture of San Benito High School District, emphasizing the importance of tradition coupled with innovation. Their conversation spans various aspects of leadership development, how early experiences in athletics and education shaped his leadership qualities, and the pivotal role of calculated risks and embracing failures in nurturing resilient leaders. Dr. Tennenbaum discusses the strategies he uses to create alignment within the school district, including setting clear parameters, promoting earned autonomy, and fostering a collaborative environment that touches on the vertical and horizontal integration of goals and strategies.
    Key Takeaways:
    Balancing Tradition and Innovation: The importance of honoring historical roots while embracing future-driven innovation within a school district.Leadership Development: How early experiences and role models shape leadership qualities, and the value of providing young leaders with opportunities to lead, fail, and grow.Creating Alignment: Techniques for ensuring vertical and horizontal alignment in educational organizations, and the significance of cascading goals and creating flexibility for teachers.Feedback-Driven Approach: The use of regular feedback loops to ensure continuous improvement and alignment, involving one-to-one rounding and anonymous surveys.Impact of Leadership on Students: The direct correlation between the stability and synergy of a
    Chapters:
    0:00
    Balancing Tradition and Innovation in School Leadership
    2:43
    The Journey of Leadership Development and Embracing Failure
    10:16
    Leadership Dynamics in School Districts
    16:14
    Strategic Planning and Feedback Loops in School Districts
    22:41
    The Impact of Leadership Stability on Student Success
    Connect with Dr. Jim: linkedin.com/in/drjimk
    Connect with CT: linkedin.com/in/cheetung
    Connect with Shawn: stennenbaum@sbhsd.k12.ca.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 Intro
    Engaging Leadership Outro

    • 28 min
    Influencing Without Authority: Lessons from A Project Manager Turned CIO

    Influencing Without Authority: Lessons from A Project Manager Turned CIO

    Summary:
    Shannon Thomas, VP of Technology at Hennepin Technical College, joins Dr. Jim to chat about leading an IT team without a traditional technical background. Shannon shares her journey from project management to CIO, emphasizing building credibility, fostering a culture of trust, and focusing on quick wins and relationship-building. She also discusses the significance of prioritizing people skills in management roles, offering insights into team development and retention. Tune in for leadership lessons on moving from survival mode to strategic growth, creating a high-performance team in the IT space.
    Key Takeaways:

    Relationship Building: Establishing strong connections and understanding team motivations are crucial for effective leadership without deep technical expertise.Quick Wins: Prioritizing easy, high-impact projects can quickly build credibility and provide momentum for longer-term initiatives.Trust and Empowerment: Trusting technical experts within the team and empowering them to take ownership can lead to higher engagement and better performance.Focus on People: Hiring for leadership skills and cultural fit rather than just technical ability ensures a more cohesive and forward-thinking team.

    Chapters:
    00:00
    Building Credibility and High Performance Teams in IT Leadership
    09:18
    Strategic Planning and Overcoming Team Challenges
    13:31
    Hiring for Leadership and Aptitude Over Technical Skills
    17:02
    Empowering Teams Through Failure and Collaborative Problem-Solving
    20:29
    Transforming Workplace Culture to Enhance Employee Retention
    26:08
    Lessons in Leadership and Quick Wins for Organizational Change

    Connect with Dr. Jim: linkedin.com/in/drjimk
    Connect with CT: linkedin.com/in/cheetung
    Connect with Shannon Thomas: linkedin.com/in/shannon-rm-thomas-mba
    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
    Transforming Schools Through Intentional Leadership and Culture

    Transforming Schools Through Intentional Leadership and Culture

    Summary:
    Dr. Jim chats about the impact of front-loading the hiring process on employee retention with Tim Widiker, Superintendent of St. Croix School District. They discuss how focusing on fit and standardized interview checklists can improve hiring outcomes. Widiker shares his approach to creating a leader-full organization through effective coaching, ongoing development, and fostering a culture of respect and collaboration. Takeaways include leveraging building leadership teams and ensuring continuous investment in employee growth. This episode offers valuable insights for leaders in both education and private sectors aiming to optimize retention.
    Key Takeaways:

    Strategic Hiring for Fit: Tim Widiker stresses the importance of hiring great people over purely skill-based evaluations, emphasizing the role of behavioral-based interview questions to ensure cultural alignment and better retention outcomes.Continual Professional Development: Systematic professional development, including monthly PD days focused on staff wellness and social-emotional learning, is critical in maintaining a high engagement level among educators.Leadership at All Levels: Promoting a belief that everyone in the organization is a leader, whether a bus driver or a principal, helps foster a strong, inclusive culture.Building Leadership Pipelines: The significance of early-stage talent identification through programs like the building leadership teams ensures a steady flow of capable future administrators.

    Chapters:
    00:00
    Leadership Best Practices for Educator Retention
    03:28
    A Journey from Educator to Superintendent Driven by Positive Role Models
    04:51
    Building a Leader-Full Organization Through Relationships and Visibility
    09:08
    Effective Hiring Practices for Improved Employee Retention
    16:50
    Innovative Compensation Strategies for Educators in Wisconsin
    18:05
    Building a Culture of Coaching and Development in Education
    23:03
    Optimizing Hiring and Retention Through Structured Interviews and Development


    Connect with Dr. Jim: linkedin.com/in/drjimk
    Connect with CT: linkedin.com/in/cheetung
    Connect with Tim Widiker: https://www.scc.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

    • 28 min
    Empowerment Mindset: Creating Owners, Not Renters, in Your Team

    Empowerment Mindset: Creating Owners, Not Renters, in Your Team

    Summary:
    Edward Carr, CIO of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, shares insights on establishing trust and leadership in technical teams. He emphasizes the importance of aligning leadership, empowering team members, and building a culture of ownership to drive success. Carr discusses his journey from developer to leader, highlighting the value of understanding team dynamics, fostering open communication, and implementing quick wins to build momentum. Join Dr. Jim and Edward Carr as they talk through how new leaders can connect with their teams and elevate organizational performance.
    Key Takeaways:
    Align Leadership First: New leaders should prioritize building alignment with their leadership team to ensure consistent messaging and coordinated efforts.Build Trust Through Transparency: Open, honest, and transparent communication is essential for fostering trust within the team and with business partners.Engage with Your Team: Regular one-on-one meetings and personal connections with team members help in understanding their motivations and aligning them with organizational goals.Quick Wins Matter: Identifying and addressing pain points early on can build momentum and demonstrate the leader's commitment to positive change.Ownership Mentality: Encouraging team members to take ownership of their roles fosters a more engaged and proactive workforce.

    Chapters:
    00:00
    Building Trust and Leadership in Technical Teams
    02:09
    The Importance of Trust and Communication in Leadership
    06:59
    Empowering Teams Through Ownership and Trust
    09:34
    Effective Leadership Requires Prioritizing and Aligning the Leadership Team
    13:50
    Building Trust and Momentum as a New Leader
    20:22
    Earning Your Paycheck Through Consistent Effort and Responsibility
    20:47
    Building High-Performing Teams Through Soft Skills and Engagement


    Connect with Dr. Jim: linkedin.com/in/drjimk
    Connect with CT: linkedin.com/in/cheetung
    Connect with Edward Carr: linkedin.com/in/edward-carr-a45037142
    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

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