The Turnover Dilemma

Most executives are well aware of the fact that turnover is very costly, and that it at times can be as high as 150% of the replaced worker´s pay.

A small reduction in turnover can have a high impact on your organization´s bottom line. Not every organization however, have a strategic plan on ways to reduce that – sometimes unnecessary high – cost. In today´s article, Matthew Kelly, talks about how you can work with your employee strategy – and employee engagement – to reduce retention. Read it here, Turnover Dilemma


Are you struggling in your leadership? You don´t need to anymore. There´s a way to further excel your leadership – and simplify your life. Get in touch with us here for an initial dialogue about how our successful 12-steps process can help you succeed too!

The Secrets To A Successful Organization

Do you know what it takes to create a successful organization? There are a few core activities that really successful organizations have in common.

In today´s video, we share the characteristics that separates successful organizations from the unsuccessful ones. Take a look at it here,

Are you struggling in your leadership? You don´t need to anymore. There´s a way to further excel your leadership – and simplify your life. Get in touch with us here for an initial dialogue about how our successful 12-steps process can help you succeed too!


1-Minute Playbook: This Is How Your Group Becomes A Team

teamwork-606829_1280As a leader you need to be a great team builder. You need to be the one who provides the substance that holds your team together, as you work towards your shared goals.

Your team starts as a group of strangers and they need to be synergized into a highly functional, high-performing team. For you as their leader, it means keeping the sense of team-spirit alive during any issues arising through your team´s development process. You play a significant part in defining a positive work tone and ethic for your team members from the very beginning by evoking a positive, teambuilding culture.

To understand the process of forming solid relationships to accomplish teambuilding, it is essential to track the process that groups go through while shaping their team. This group development process is generally understood by the four stages of forming, storming, norming and performing.

  • During the initial ‘forming’ stage, group members are polite, their roles are less clear and the group members rely on their leader to establish boundaries and explain expectations.
  • As roles and relationships become clearer, the group moves into the ‘storming’ stage. During this stage, individual group members and established roles are often questioned. As their leader you will most likely be asked to explain the foundation that is set for the group.
  • As the group moves forward, they encounter the ‘norming’ stage. During this stage, the team has a comfortably established hierarchy, friendships develop and relationships become stronger as the group realizes they have a shared vision.
  • Finally, in the ‘performing’ stage, the actualization of the team’s overall goals occurs. Hierarchy and culture are established, and team members have the ability to join or leave the organization or team without impacting its culture. The group members work together as a highly effective team.

During all four of these stages, building solid relationships becomes imperative for success. A balance of well-developed teambuilding and conscious leadership is obviously needed to construct strong, successful teams.


How To Lead During a Change Process

Progress means change. It’s not always comfortable, it may challenges our assumptions and it demands having faith in the still unseen bigger picture.

As a leader, you have a critical role to play in managing change. However, as a conscious leader you’ll see that in the process itself, lies a fantastic opportunity to empower your employees to accept and embrace changes in their environment. In our video, we talk about how to lead during a change process.


Gossip At Work – a Good or a Bad Habit?

What is it that really drives us to gossip at work? And is there any way to change the habit of gossiping?


1-Minute Playbook: How To Connect With Someone Instantly

You might know that a touch is the most primitive and powerful nonverbal cue. But did you know that by touching someone on the arm, hand, or shoulder for as little as 1/40 of a second creates a human bond?

Handshake communicationAt work, physical touch and warmth are established through the handshaking tradition. And this commonly used form of contact makes a lasting and positive impression. A study on handshakes by the Income Center for Trade Shows showed that people are two times more likely to remember you if you shake hands with them. The trade show researchers also found that people react to those with whom they shake hands by being more open and friendly. So, to connect with someone instantly – shake hands.

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Is Your Boss Creating a Toxic Work Environment?

boss-454867_1280As we all know, there are as many different leadership styles as there are leaders. The most effective leaders actually know how to adapt their style to the one that best meets the needs of a current situation.

Although advantages and disadvantages exist within each leadership style, there are a few styles that we definitely could do without in our work environments. These leadership styles do more harm than good, for everyone involved. And despite creating a temporarily false inflation of the ego of the leader himself, the one most negatively damaged in the long run is in fact the leader.

A toxic leadership style

One of these toxic leadership styles is the commanding leadership. Despite its name, this is not a well-functioning military leadership. On the contrary, some of my most successful clients have been former military leaders with a deeply rooted servant leadership foundation – learned and taught well in the military.

Interested primarily in her own image and advancement, a commanding leader’s main objective is to be saved. Self-preservation and personal image is at the forefront of most decisions and entitlement of the position is more important than its responsibilities.

For a commanding leader, co-workers are seen and treated as inferiors. Since its important for a commanding leader to create an atmosphere of dependence on her – using power of position to influence and positioning herself – her team members are rarely invited to participate in decision making or offered important information. If her team members get invited to join the discussion, their input is most often bypassed. The commanding leader’s need to “secure her role” is also the reason why she’s only easily accessible to her closest co-workers.

“You ARE going to listen to me, I’m the BOSS!” 

Contrary to the desires of servant leaders, a commanding leader wants others to first listen to her. She – most often aggressively – rejects constructive criticism, takes credit for accomplishments, condemns others for mistakes and very reluctantly accepts responsibility as for her, that’s a sign of weakness.

The commanding leader uses intimidation to silence critics – she’s defensive and aggressive in nature – and she wins support for ideas through deception, power plays and manipulation. Since her authority is not based on voluntarily followership from her employees, she needs to use external controls in the form of rules, restrictions and regulations maintained by force.

An important quality of a great leader is his ability to discover “in-house talents”. A commanding leader however has little to none interest in developing competent successors. On the contrary, she does everything to ensure her own survival, hence promotes individuals who are pliable. In fact, she rarely trains or coaches others to function effectively as she does not want “competition”.

A commanding leader is subconsciously controlled by her fear – fear of being disrespected, not having control, not being seen as “someone important/successful/talented”, being “found out” etc. Although she would not admit to fear based actions – her main objective is after all an image of being “perfect” – this fear is so strong it consumes her work life. Which is why you often see or hear her complain about being “stressed out” or having “so much on her plate”.

My boss is a commanding bully – what can I do?

It’s absolutely not a pleasant experience working for or with a commanding leader. Unfortunately there isn’t very much you can do about your boss or her problems. A commanding leader most often has a fantastic talent for manipulation, hence manages to stay in an organization until it becomes very clear to her superiors that the one common denominator for reoccurring “issues” – high turnover, employee and/or customer complaints etc. – is her and not all those other employees who either was terminated (on her suggestion) or resigned (as fast as they could).

For you, however, the best thing to do is to get out – leave the sinking ship – and find a good organization to work for! A top executive who do not have the awareness of noticing a commanding leader in his organization at an early stage, rarely have the courage to act on the toxic work environment until his leadership and capability to run the organization is questioned.

Although that breaking point is usually the time when we are contracted as consultants, it’s a long process and for you as an employee it’s rarely worth it. Start looking for something else – it’s always easier when you already have an employment -, approach this as a learning experience and move on to an organization and leadership that values its employees. There are plenty of them out there!


Change Management In 5 Simple Steps

time for a changeChange is hard for individuals. Change is not an event with an exact start and stop point; it is a process. Each step made towards change, even when small, is still a step in the right direction. This can be hard for many individuals to understand, and it will even cause them frustration.

As a leader it’s important that you are aware of the different stages of change, not only in order for you understand the actions and events happening with and within your group but also for you to be pro-active in your own actions.

We’ve made it easy for you and outlined the basic 5 stages of the change process:

Stage 1: Awareness – Individuals aren’t yet consciously aware that change is necessary or desired. Think of a change that you would like to implement with your employees. In your next meeting, create awareness of why the change is necessary.

Stage 2: Desire – Now there is awareness that change is needed, but no one has committed to making the change.
In your next meeting, go over the pros and cons of making the change. Ask your employees what they think the pros and cons are. Help employees by removing the barriers of the change (address the cons that are mentioned).

Stage 3: Knowledge – This is the stage where individuals start making plans to change.
Make sure that you give a clear picture of what the change will look like so that your associates are able to make an easy transition.

Stage 4: Ability – Here is where you will make the change. To stay successful, you will need strategies to maintain the changed behavior and resist old behavior.
Recognize employees for making the change and resisting old behavior. Provide coaching and help your employees associates stay focused on the new behaviors.

Stage 5: Reinforcement – In this stage, the new behavior remains stable and consistent. Coping strategies are strengthened or modified to make sure maintenance is sustained.
Continue coaching your employees as they strive towards the reinforcement stage.

Do you want to learn more about change management or do you need some support going through a major change in your organization? Get in touch with us for a dialogue about how we can help you through a successful process.


Keep Your Mission and Values Alive

stones-608373_1280Employee awareness of your organization’s mission and values is an important part of managing great operations in your organization. It has been proven that employees increasingly don’t care about what they do until they know why and how to do it.

As a leader in your organization, create opportunities to communicate and reinforce the culture. Make the culture come alive in your organization. It’s easy to do but makes a huge difference in leading a value-centered and performance-driven work environment.

Here are some easy-to-implement tips to increase awareness and employee engagement:

  • Document the mission statement and values and post them where your team members can read on a regular basis. You can even include a few examples of each value that you have seen in your organization and on how your team members incorporate these in their workday.
  • Posting values on the wall is a good start, but you also need to go above and beyond that. When recognizing your team, always relate their good work back to the mission and values.
  • Look for opportunities to reinforce the values. When it comes to providing constructive feedback to an employee, making difficult decisions, and dealing with resident issues always relate it back to the organization’s values.
  • Recruit for values because you cannot train values. When hiring new employees, look for your corporate values throughout the interview process.
  • When bringing a new team member onboard, instill them in the work culture. Be sure to include the mission and values into the new employee onboarding process to help create awareness.

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The Executive Program: Leading the Enterprise

It’s different at the top. We know.

Leading the Enterprise is a powerful — and humbling — experience. Top leaders play an enormous role in the success of organizations. And, they need to excel in new ways.

The challenges of leading at the top are far-reaching, complex and essential to get right. Based on extensive research, leaders at the top take on:
Business operations – the heart of all other challenges.
Strategic issues – setting and realizing vision, direction and goals.
Managing change – both in the day-to-day and in the long-term.
Boundary spanning – leading across levels, silos, cultures, backgrounds and interests.
Talent management – ensuring the current and future talent pipeline.
Individual impact – understanding and adjusting leadership style in effective ways.

“We understand – and know -that leading the enterprise gives you a different view and different responsibilities than any other role.”

Regardless of industry and context, leadership at the top requires different perspectives and skills. This program allows top executives to reflect on their leadership style, dissect their effectiveness and examine how to proceed. The Executive Program: Leading The Enterprise is a once-in-a-career opportunity to maximize personal leadership power to accelerate organizational commitment, alignment and results.

Delivered by highly qualified coaches, the Leading the Enterprise experience is dedicated to helping executives in the C-suite or on the senior executive team address the unique challenges experienced by those at the top of the organization. This program is best suited for a senior executive-level individual who is at a career and/or life stage in which an intensive review would be beneficial. They include very senior-level executives: CEOs, COOs, CFOs, CIOs, chairmen, board members, officers and ascending senior executives.

*To ensure participants have the optimum background to benefit from the program, pre-assessment and qualification are required for participation.

Why Leading the Enterprise?

Leading the Enterprise is an experience that allows top executives to maximize their personal leadership power and accelerate organizational goals.

  • A rigorous application process ensures participants are appropriately challenged and in the company of their peers.
  • Content is relevant and research-based, including comparative data and current research findings.
  • Individual leader development is placed in the context of advancing the business.
  • The experience is deeply personalized through assessments, dedicated coaching relationships and tailored activities.
  • Managing energy, fitness and health are addressed as components of effective leadership.
  • Coaches have extensive experience working as and with senior executives.

The program is tailored to the specific needs of each participant. This process begins weeks in advance of the program.

This program includes:

  • An exclusive five days long leadership retreat.
  • Highly relevant, research-based content to expand knowledge and address essential challenges.
  • Experiential activities to add depth to feedback and key ideas.
  • Media interview to assess executive image and presence.
  • Health and fitness assessment and daily activities to connect energy management to leader effectiveness.
  • A half-day, personal session with a Gusto Life Group executive coach to integrate the experience and plan next steps.
  • Twelve one-hour coaching sessions with your executive coach.
  • Extensive networking opportunities to provide connections, ideas and support.
  • Digital access to all materials, resources and personal information for easy reference.

What will I learn?

Leading the Enterprise focuses on the whole leader to meet the challenges of the enterprise. The program takes an inside-out approach to help top leaders meet the demands of the role and accelerate organizational goals.

Executives in the program concentrate on key leadership competencies: validating and articulating a vision, leading outwardly, communication, influence, self-awareness and executive image. They delve into their high-level challenges. They explore how managing energy, fitness and health are related to effective leadership.

Through the Leading the Enterprise experience, top leaders gain a clear view of their impact on the organization and:

  • Develop clear action plans around organizational challenges and priorities.
  • Validate or recast organizational vision.
  • Clarify their leadership effectiveness, within the organization and in comparison to other senior executives.
  • Improve external influence skills with boards, shareholders, partners and critical stakeholders.
  • Enhance executive image and communication skills.
  • Learn to balance and sustain energy for the work of leadership.

How does it work?

Leading the Enterprise is a six months long coaching program, starting off with five intense days on location.

During these five days, participants are immersed in their personal data, experiential activities and skill-building exercises. Led by a senior-level coaching team, typically composed of a male and female coach, the Leading the Enterprise retreat is a safe – but challenging – environment for learning, practice, reflection and goal setting.

Our exclusive groups of participants are kept small and confidential to ensure the best setting for a deep learning and growth experience.

The week includes:

  • Experiential activities and hands-on exercises for practice and deeper learning.
  • A half-day, personal session with a coach to clarify thinking and plan next steps.
  • Multiple feedback and goal-setting sessions
  • Peer learning groups to provide insight, suggestions and support.

    “Senior leaders apply and sustain their learning with a package of resources.”

When the Leading the Enterprise retreat experience ends, participants apply and sustain their learning by using the included ongoing support:

  • 12 one-hour phone coaching sessions with your coach.
  • Assessment to measure skills and behavior progress, completed three months after the program.
  • Optional, fee-based fitness coaching or media and executive presence coaching.
  • Optional, fee-based learning and support, such as extended coaching engagements, additional eCourses and/or ePrograms-packages and custom initiatives to connect individual development to organizational needs.

Length of program

Six months


Abisko/Kiruna, SWEDEN
Dallas, USA
Dubai, UAE
Hong Kong, HK (China)
Rättvik/Tällberg, SWEDEN


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