How to Bring People Together Like the Dalai Lama Can

Last week, I had the opportunity to see and hear the Dalai Lama.

It was indeed memorable. My best friend Sue joined me and 24,000 others to experience a star-studded event, dubbed the One World Concert, at my alma mater, Syracuse University.  The Dalai Lama was the headliner.

The setting, well familiar to me from my vantage as a 25-plus-year, season-ticket holder for Syracuse football, had been transformed from sports arena into mystical, magical and musical venue.

Although audience members were diverse in background, age, ethnicity, wardrobe and stage of life, we equally shared the anticipation and excitement to witness an extraordinary event. And we weren’t let down.

From on-time start, the One World Concert and the Dalai Lama advanced a message of sheer unity and inclusiveness.

The giant Carrier Dome became small—in fact, almost cozy. As the Dalai Lama’s message carried forth and captivated us, generational and other differences faded, replaced by a common focus and camaraderie. People came together in a way that most managers in companies large and small can only dream of.

How did the Dalai Lama do it? How did he bring us together? 

Don’t Wait for Marching Orders—Be an Innovator

If you need a reminder of what innovation can do for your business—look no further than Apple.

The software giant is on fire, all ablaze from record sales of the new iPhone 5. Forecasts project sales of 10 million of the new, sleek, smartphones by the end of the month. Innovation from the Apple crew keeps boosting customer appetite and market performance.

Much sought by businesses—big and small, innovation powers success. But the truth is, a lot of companies lack the workplace environment to inspire it. Instead of finding new and better ways to work, employees watch as spectators and wait for marching orders. No wonder 63% of U.S. workers are not fully engaged on the job, according to recent research.

Does your company have a culture where people expect to be told what to do? Or does the culture encourage employees to think on their own? Here are five ways to find out.

Linda Dulye's picture

Book Review by Linda Dulye, Speaking Volumes: Talk is one thing, but measurement and data tell the story.

About the book: Talk, Inc.: How Trusted Leaders Use Conversation to Power Their Organizations by Boris Groysberg and Michael Slind Harvard Business Review Press, 2012 256 pages

Take Your Employees to a Trade Show Without Having Them Leave Their Desks

Categories:

Now that summer is over – the conference season is back in full swing. I should know—my inbox is bombarded with emails on a daily basis promoting trade shows, expos and conventions taking place during the next few months.

And personally, I am speaking at a major employee communication conference in Pittsburgh in October.

Conferences are big business. Take Las Vegas for example. It’s the No. 1 trade show destination in the country. Last year, more than 19,000 meetings and conventions were held there.

In fact, a client of my firm is sending a management team to Vegas next week for one of their biggest trade shows. I am sure it will be a great learning and networking experience for those attending – but what about employees back at headquarters? Or field offices? How can they benefit from this show?

You can bring your employees to a show or conference without having them leave their desks.

Greeting Tips from the Main Gate

It’s been a busy summer!

I’ve made connections with hundreds of thousands of people. And not by the internet. Face-to-face.

I’m not on the campaign trail. I’m a greeter—a volunteer greeter at the majestic music venue in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, known as Tanglewood—summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

This weekend, Tanglewood concludes its 75th season. And I wrap up my third year as a volunteer.

The experience has allowed me to meet hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world, and at the same time, it has provided valuable lessons about communication.

Linda Dulye's picture

It’s Coming! Maybe. Six Steps to Prepare Your Workforce for the Fiscal Cliff

It’s like Y2K all over again. Only, this time, it’s your tax dollars…at work?

The mystery, alarm and unpredictability swirling around the approaching “fiscal cliff” brings back memories of the public chatter and media banter that advanced the new millennium’s arrival.
 
Threats of a fiscal cliff are magnified daily in blogs, commentaries, news reports and business conversations. The phrase, fiscal cliff, refers to the possible collision of new and significant U.S. federal budget cuts with some dicey changes in tax laws. It’s up to Congress to make the call (or not) to reverse automatic or “sequestered” spending cuts of $1.2 trillion before they kick in on Jan. 2, 2013. That decision would simultaneously occur with some noteworthy tax changes, including increases in federal income rates and the elimination of the 2% payroll tax reduction. 

London Calling: Lessons From the Triumphs and Defeats at the Olympics

Even though its first week is just wrapping up, these London Olympic Games have been full of truly memorable triumphs and defeats. Watching Michael Phelps take his place as the greatest Olympian ever was just one soaring milestone. On the flip side was the abyss created by world champion Jordyn Wieber’s failure to qualify for the individual all-around final in gymnastics.

For Team USA’s Wieber, it was likely her greatest personal defeat — ever. But it wasn’t the most consuming one, because in less than 48 hours, the resilient 17-year-old dynamo won gold, along with her fellow Fab 5 teammates, in the women’s gymnastics team finals. How did she do it?

Communication Lessons Learned from the Penn State Scandal

Penn State football received a monumental NCAA ruling Monday, hitting the university with $60 million in fines, taking it out of the postseason for four years and will cap scholarships at 20 for the next four years as well, below the normal limit. Once-revered coach Joe Paterno’s 14 years of winnings were also stripped away.

Despite its venerated athletic prowess, Penn State lacked a game plan for workplace communication.

Missing was a formal system for:

Direct, open, 2-way communication, where everyone feels safe to speak up and provides an opportunity for individuals to be heard
Personal accountability, where everyone feels responsible and takes responsibility for sharing timely information
Regular assessmentwhere everyone is honestly evaluated for his or her behavior to clear, consistent performance criteria.

The result is horrific.

How to Keep Learning as a Leader... on a Budget

In business, success hinges on staying current or risk falling behind.

That’s especially true for your learning process. Self-education becomes a personal requirement, as does taking on the role of a lifetime learner.

Time pressures make that a tall order – and few have the budget to partake in the executive education program at Wharton or Stanford. 

But learning can happen – and will happen – when you see everything around you as a classroom. We come in contact with situations every day that offer rich opportunities to learn and grow—without a high price tag. All you have to do is take a look around and observe.

Linda Dulye's picture

Restoring Your Reputation in the Court of Public Opinion

There's been a lot of reputation management lately of high-profile figures in the world of business, sports and politics. This week, Roger Clemens, one of the most decorated pitchers in MLB history, was acquitted on all charges that he lied to Congress when he denied using steroids to extend his career.

No doubt a huge legal victory for Clemens, but the court of public opinion is an entirely different beast.

Cyclist Lance Armstrong finds himself in a similar situation. The seven-time Tour de France winner is facing charges so serious that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is considering banning him from the sport.

For Clemens and Armstrong, there’s still an immense amount of damage control that needs to be done to restore the reputations they once had. Ditto for former Senator John Edwards, who last month was acquitted of one charge of campaign-finance fraud. Mistrial hasn’t cleared Edwards’ tarnished reputation.

Companies are also working overtime as well to restore their reputation luster. JPMorgan Chase is among the latest corporate casualties, thanks to a $2 billion-plus trading loss.

A withered reputation—whether personal or business—doesn’t have to be permanent. Turnaround takes time, relentless focus and rock-solid sincerity. These five steps can help get your rep back on track: