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Susan Drumm shares an episode from her podcast series, “The Enlightened Executive,” where she interviews Andrew Behar on the benefits of embracing a corporate sustainability model for long-term success. 

As individuals, many executives care about the big issues facing our world today, like climate change and racial/gender inequality. But as leaders, it can be tough to make corporate decisions that align with those big issues because the shift in operations would create a disruption to business as usual. And then, shareholders might jump ship after the potential short-term loss of that disruption — or would they?

Andrew Behar has data that proves the opposite is usually true: shareholders care deeply about corporate commitment to big issues, and won’t abandon companies who sacrifice short-term profit to uphold those commitments. In fact, most major companies are rewarded by shareholders for these types of decisions.

Andrew is the CEO of As You Sow, the nation’s leading non-profit practitioner of shareholder advocacy and engagement. Since 1992, As You Sow has used shareholder power to align investments with values and compel companies to reduce their material risk on issues including climate change; toxins in the food system; ocean plastics; diversity, equity, and inclusion; racial justice; and wage equity.

He shares his research on how companies who model transparency and commit to addressing the issues enjoy better business outcomes and longevity.

 

Key points include:

  • Company values
  • Persuading Kellogg to stop using a pesticide
  • Long-term thinking as a strategy

Listen to the podcast, Building Your Corporate Sustainability Strategy, on SusanDrumm.com.

 

Susan Drumm provides an article that explains how knowing your Enneagram can help you grow as an individual and as a leader.

‘Okay, I know I’m a 3 and that’s been really helpful,’ my friend says over a plate of roasted vegetables. She stabs a sweet potato with her fork and points it at me. “But then what? What do I do with that information? How does knowing my Enneagram type help ? How do I use that to be better at work and life?”

This particular conversation might have happened in the corner booth of an Italian restaurant, but it’s one I’ve had a million times—in boardrooms, with HR, with the person sitting next to me on the plane.

Sure, knowing your Enneagram type is great—it helps with managing conflict, improves communication, makes teams more effective, etc. But does knowing your Enneagram help you grow as an individual and as a leader?

The answer is ABSOLUTELY! That is the beauty of the model.

 

Points in this article include:

  • 2 ways to use your enneagram type for self-development
  • Example of how the enneagram works

 

Read the full article, The Enneagram Applied: Charting Your Path Of Growth, on the Meritage Leadership website.

 

 

As many of us continue to hold a business together through online meetings, Susan Drumm provides expert advice on how to maximize the effectiveness of the virtual workplace, including tips on planning and running online meetings.

Effective virtual meetings? Ha! If they exist, I’ve certainly never attended one.” If this was your thought process when you read the title of this blog post: I get it.

With the COVID-19 crisis and its implications for remote working, it’s more important than ever for leaders to run effective virtual meetings. Teams need leaders who can facilitate impactful meetings that create community and accountability across time zones.

A virtual meeting is obviously different from an in-person one and there are several specific things you’ll need to pay attention to. Otherwise, you are likely to see a fair bit of multi-tasking, surfing the web, phone-in only, or team members turning off their mics to have outside conversations, leaving the team feeling even more disconnected.

I’m not just talking about team members — leaders do it, too.  According to a Harvard Business Review study, managers who multitask during meetings are 2.2 times more likely to have direct reports who also multitask in meetings.

My own team is virtual and I’ve been facilitating leadership development programs virtually for years. I know what works and what doesn’t. Here are my best virtual meeting tips for executives.

 

Tips include:

  • Creating connection
  • How to handle tangents and derailers
  • Using the DIS framework

 

Read the full article, “Incredibly Effective Virtual meetings: 10 Tips to Plan and Run Them,” on the Meritage Leadership website.

 

Susan Drumm provides four steps to ensure you will get honest feedback from your team.

Do you think you can get your team to give you honest feedback? Like no-holds-barred honest?  

Many of my clients tell me they struggle to get real feedback from their direct reports and I’m not surprised.

Does this story sound familiar? One of my senior clients recently received the results of his 360 report and was surprised to learn that his team felt they weren’t being mentored effectively by him.

None too pleased with this, he walked out into the office and proceeded to go desk to desk. “Was this comment from you? Do YOU think I’m a good mentor? Do you have a problem with the way I mentor?”

 

Points covered in the four steps include:

-Create a culture of feedback and honesty from the outset.

-Dig in when asking for feedback.

-Be honest and genuine when asking for feedback

-Once you get the feedback, do something with it.

 

Read the full article, How to Get Honest Feedback from Your Team, on the Meritage Leadership website.

Susan Drumm identifies how conflict can achieve greater results when it grows from cognitive diversity and provides a few factors that can help you build a cognitively diverse team.

 

When you imagine an incredibly effective, successful team meeting, what does it look like?

For some people, it looks like this: One person talking while everyone nods. Someone is taking notes while muttering, ‘Yes, I think so too!’ The leader wraps the meeting by asking, ‘So we’re all in agreement?’ And everyone cheers, ‘Yes!’

Now, I love a smoothly run meeting as much as the next person, but I also know you do not want a completely conflict-free team. It’s not good for your company (or your clients or margins) to be staffed exclusively by people who share the same worldview, the same personality type, or the same approach to business.

In fact, every company would benefit from hiring for cognitive diversity — even if it creates conflict.

Why? Because the conflict that arises from cognitive diversity is good conflict.

It’s conflict that results in better products, happier customers, more effective systems, and fewer missteps.

 

Points covered in this article include:

-What cognitive diversity is

-Types of conflict that arise from cognitive diversity

-How to make sure you have a cognitively diverse team

 

Read the full article, Why You Need Cognitive Diversity on Your Team – Even if it Leads to Conflict, on the Meritage website.