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Employee Engagement: Gratitude and Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving day in Canada. There are so many people I am thankful for in my development in employee engagement. I offer this post to both acknowledge these people and to encourage you to think about who helped you be where you are. It is almost impossible not to be engaged when we approach our work with a strong sense of gratitude for the other people in our life who make our work possible.

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”  A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

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Here are just a few of the people that contributed to my development:

Susan Gerlach is my wife. We have grown together, produced 3 children and she is not only a terrific sounding board for my work she offers insightful and critical input. She also flies around the world with me as I speak and teach on employee engagement. Without her accompaniment, my work might be just a job and not a journey.

Jack Zinger, Katharine Zinger, and Luke Zinger are my three children and they have each helped me with projects. They also give me insight and perspective on work for young people in their 20’s.

John Junson is a pal going back to  junior high. He is a brilliant designer and cartoonist. He brings humor and perspective to my work. He encourages new initiatives and my websites, books and work would not be what they are without John. I look forward to his fresh weekly cartoon on work.

Peter Dyck has been a client, a mentor and a friend for many years now. He has taught me to flock with eagles! His belief in my work has been a great launching pad for my orbit into engagement. Peter is married to Aganetha Dyck, and her art work with bees, has helped me to think differently inside the hive.

Peter Hart has transformed from a connection into a friend and we wrote People Artistry together. He is a people artist who has taught me about the nobility of recognition and engagement. His support means much to me.

David MacLeod has done fantastic work in the UK on employee engagement. He hosted both my wife and myself in his home and his caring and work has been inspirational about employee engagement.

Gail Pischak and Jean-Francois Hivon connected with me originally to become very “Crucial” in my work and teaching Crucial Conversations, Crucial Accountability, and The Influencer. I learned a lot from each of them and learned a lot from teaching these courses. Gail keeps the rocks alive in my work and Jean-Francois added juice to what I do.

Geoff Ronaldson invited me to South Africa to present on employee engagement. He was a fantastic host and gave me a view of engagement in platinum smelters on the other side of the world.

Siddhesh Bhobe was a connection in Pune India. His work on gamification and his wonderful hosting is inspirational. He gave me an inside look at the challenges of engagement in the IT sector in India.

Lisa Haneberg, Rosa Say, Steve Roesler, and Phil Gerbyshak have all been blogging on management, leadership and work long before most people knew what it was and I have been enriched by my association with each of them.

Scott H. Young is a young blogger who I have known just out of high school and he embodies his work about learning on steroids. He fuses learning with both business and blogging in truly creative and helpful ways.

The 6400 members of the Employee Engagement Network. Each person who has joined, supported or contributed to the Employee Engagement Network has strengthened my views of engagement.

There are so many others and I will be thinking much about them and my gratitude today. Who are you thankful for?

David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker, educator, and expert. Who is both thankful and indebted to so many people who have contributed to his development and perspective on work.

Employee Engagement and Management Craft: 5 Cores to Great Leadership

Five Core Beliefs to Great Leadership

Thank you Lisa! Lisa Haneberg is an awesome writer and management educator. She wrote her last blog post on New Year’s Day. I have loved her perspectives and provocations at Management Craft. I will miss her wisdom and regular contribution while admiring her personal and professional decisions.

I was honored to work with her in Washington DC. I was thrilled to contribute a chapter on Engaging Management: Put an End to Employee Engagement in her, ASTD Management Development Book. I was helped so much in launching the Employee Engagement Network and launching two other projects by following the great framework she offered in Two Weeks to a Breakthrough.

I asked Lisa for permission to put her last post up on my site. I encourage you to read her five beliefs very carefully and then go beyond reading by practicing them. You could even pair the five beliefs with Two Weeks to a Breakthrough to make 2013 a breakthrough year for yourself in leadership.

Final Blog Post – The Five Most Important Beliefs for Management and Leadership

Lisa Haneberg

by Lisa Haneberg, January 1, 2013

This will be the last blog post I do for the foreseeable future.  I have distilled the essence of great leadership and management into five beliefs. Take on and act based on these beliefs and you will lead well. I promise! I have been observing and learning from the best leaders for 30 years, have held leadership positions for nearly 25 years and have written about management and leadership for 15 years.

I have seen great leaders transform organizations and I have seen terrible leaders suck the life out of workplaces. I know you want to be transformative!

These five beliefs reside deep inside the very best leaders I have had the pleasure to work with over the years.

Five Beliefs at the Core of Great Leadership

1. We are highly talented and highly flawed. This belief should lead to two actions – greatness and tolerance. 1) You are amazing – so go BE amazing. Your organization needs that and you need it (don’t be a Greyhound who never runs). 2) Chill out and be tolerant. You drive half the people around you a little nutty and others will irk you on occasion. Never let personality or style get in the way of working well with others. I am not suggesting you put up with abuse – but most of what irks us is just a clash in style.

2. Management is a social act – it occurs in conversation. Being able to cultivate and catalyze productive and progressive conversations is your currency for getting things done. If you are lacking progress, get people talking.

3. There is big power in small actions. Generating breakthroughs starts with tiny actions that reverberate, build, and then go BAM!! Almost every great outcome started with a tiny act. Take small actions every day in the service of your goals. You will make things happen. For more on this, see my post about the Butterfly Effect here.

4. Calm and persistent is the way to go. No one wants to follow a leader who runs around like his/her hair is on fire. No one wants to follow someone who does not follow through. Be strong, but don’t generate negative drama. Be like a redwood tree – strong, flexible, and a positive force.

5. Leading people is a privilege. You affect people’s lives every day – positively or negatively. Your actions can help people do their best work or send them to drink due to stress and boredom. Leading people is an awesome opportunity – act like you have won the job lottery every day (you have). Go forth and conquer with confidence and grace.

These five beliefs will help you with all the opportunities and challenges you face as a leader. These beliefs are the most important for us to take on and model, in my humble opinion. It all starts here. If you would like to refer back to the very best posts from the blog, or share them with others, please consider picking up a copy of my “best of” book called, Never Ending New Beginnings


Thank you Lisa, vroom….vroom…vroom

Zinger Associates

David Zinger is the leading independent global employee engagement expert. He believes that employee engagement will be integrated into work and management thanks to contributions from thinkers like Lisa Haneberg.  David offers exceptional speaking and education in engagement, management, and leadership. Contact him today at