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Hurrah, it’s a new year! We all had our holiday celebrations, right?

Time to get back to work. But that doesn’t sound like as much fun. Or, depending on your industry’s seasonality, you might be trying to energize for a real grind ahead. I feel for you, tax people.

But let’s keep that sense of lightness just a little longer, shall we?

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By now you’ve probably heard the term “quiet quitting.” It describes an employee who’s just putting in the time and doing the bare minimum.

It’s not a new concept, though. I’ve known many disengaged employees (or volunteers or partners) over the course of my career. So I’m not sure if the number has increased.

Or maybe we just created a term for it.

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I’ve found that one of the hardest skills today is just listening and being with someone. We’re constantly barraged with things demanding our attention.

The biggest attention-grabber is that device in our pocket. As if it’s ever actually in our pocket.

But as humans, we crave to have relationships with other people. To be understood and appreciated for who we are.

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Last week I talked a bit about the sprint to the finish line, or other periods of gathering together to do the good hard work.

After that hard work, there should be time to celebrate what we’ve been through. Depending on the difficulty of the experience, we should take time to express gratitude and appreciation.

As a leader, this is one of your primary roles. People look to you as the heart of the organization.

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We often get entranced by new things. As a software engineer, I found myself drawn to every new computer, operating system and application for many years.

But that was just me. Everybody has different things that turn them on!

Why should we care? Because you have to realize that the things that get you excited may not at all be what thrills your employees. Or customers.

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I’m honored to be speaking for the Soulful Entrepreneur Summit in January 2022. I’ll be part of a panel on day 3, focusing on Soulful Messaging.

But what does it mean to be soulful? Sounds a bit woo-woo, right?

My approach is to help clients bring together the heart of their business and their own personal passion. In a small company, this is what sustains you to do the hard work, week after week, year after year.

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I was recently honored with the title of Golden Fish! Actually, it is a big deal – for me – even though you’ve never heard of it.

It’s something that we’ve been doing this year in Small Fish Business Coaching to recognize contribution and achievement. The best part is that it’s a recognition of my peers in the company, people I work closely with and deeply respect.

The emotional impact is the most important part. Which got me thinking …

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Leadership is about telling people where to go and what to do. Right?

Well, no.

The truth is that, as Marshall Goldsmith proclaims, leadership is 80% listening. How do we resolve this disconnect?

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Leading in business is about planning. Creating plans, executing plans, and monitoring progress against those plans.

Here’s the problem: creating plans is about the future, then everything after that is about living in the past.

When are we ever in the present? Here’s why that’s important:

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Here’s today’s headline from Gallup’s research: What’s Driving Record-High Employee Engagement in the U.S.?

This great company has been monitoring the trends for many years, so seeing an upward trend in employee engagement is truly important. And a bit shocking, really, after all the bad news we’ve been hearing.

So what’s behind it?

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