1. Bernie, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a product of traditional Catholic upbringing and I actually attended seminary for a short time. I was taught to respect myself and others, and to assume the best intentions in others until proven otherwise. These personal beliefs carry over into my worklife and they underpin the four core beliefs I always talk about in my public speaking engagements. I have spent the last 40+ years toiling in the fields of Employee Engagement, Team Facilitation and Leadership Development, as an Operations Executive, Author and Consultant. My passion is to spread both the message and the methods of inspiring discretionary effort, creativity and enrichment in the workplace through conscious, visionary leadership.
2. How do you define Engagement?
For me “Engagement” is quite simple. It is a state of being in the workplace where we voluntarily immerse ourselves in meaningful work, because we enjoy the stimulation, the accomplishment and the sense of community created by banding together as a work-community to accomplish goals and objectives larger than ourselves.
3. Is it true that for the most of us we resist change?
I don’t think we resist “change” as much as we resist “being changed”. We all change, in a multitude of ways each and every day, but it is change we invite or accept. What we resent is being changed forcefully from the outside, for reasons we neither understand nor agree with.
4. Innovation, why is it important for us?
Innovation is not just important…it is absolutely essential. As human beings we are faced with constantly changing circumstances all around us. If we are not prepared to innovate and improvise we are doomed to fall behind and live in a state of ongoing frustration. As organizations, it is cliché but it is so true – If you are not moving forward, you are falling behind.
5. How is Humilty important to the success of the leader?
Humility is literally the key that unlocks the entry door to becoming a successful leader. If we are not humble enough to begin from a place of “not knowing”, we can never open ourselves up to introspection, development of self-awareness and eventual enlightenment, which are essential first steps to becoming a Level IV or Level V leader.
6. Does a good leader in today’s world need to balance both the goal achievement part with the people skills part?
For an aspiring leader, you can compare the need to balance Competence skills and People skills, to a symphony conductor standing before a grand orchestra of the greatest musicians. Without a musical score to guide the progress and interaction of the complex parts, the most advanced degrees, competencies, certifications and methodologies are absolutely worthless.