How to bond with your employees without compromising your authority

By Sadie Williamson

For any company, success is largely dependent on how well workers perform. I’ve long since learned that employees who perform the best are almost always those who are most engaged with their projects and teams. But you might be surprised to find out that one of the biggest contributing factors to the motivation and good feeling of an employee is often their relationship with their manager.

In a study by the OC Tanner Institute, 37 percent of employees reported recognition from management as by far the most important factor for employee motivation. A similar study found that 79 percent of people who quit their jobs do so because they don’t feel appreciated.

The most successful managers understand their responsibility for employee engagement and recognize how good employee relations contribute to a flourishing company.

Unfortunately, evidence also shows that companies are not taking steps to equip their managers to handle the softer aspects of the role. A CareerBuilder survey found that 58 percent of managers reported receiving no training for their current position. While there is no instruction manual or rule book on managing and leading people, my time in the corporate world has taught me that there are steps that you can take to navigate this complicated responsibility. Continue reading

Don’t Just Tell Employees Organizational Changes Are Coming — Explain Why


By Morgan Galbraith

Employees around the world are reporting that big organizational changes are affecting their jobs. From leadership transitions and restructurings, to mergers and acquisitions, to regulatory changes, there seems to be constant unrest in the workforce. But according to one survey of more than half a million U.S. employees, almost one-third don’t understand why these changes are happening.

This can be detrimental for any company trying to implement change. When employees don’t understand why changes are happening, it can be a barrier to driving ownership and commitment and can even result in resistance or push back. And employees’ resistance to change is a leading factor for why so many change transformations fail.

Executives and those responsible for leading change cannot assume that employees understand the reasoning behind them. You must spend time explaining the changes and why they are important. Based on my experience supporting organizational change initiatives, there are four key aspects to helping employees understand change, to drive commitment, and to ultimately contribute to your success.

Continue reading

The Three Principles of Wise Power

If you know how to harness the power of your mind, heart and soul, you will be wiser in the face of surprises and disruption.

One of today’s damaging and common leadership misconceptions is the confusion of power with external control. All too often, we think of power as the ability to direct or influence the behaviour of others, or to force the course of events to conform to a predetermined scheme.

But there is an equally necessary kind of power, which is exerted inwardly. It turns out that power is as much about the ability to adapt to the world around us as it is about shaping the world. As the global business landscape becomes increasingly complex, our ability to develop our presence and gravitas has become an indispensable companion of authority.

A harmonious balance of inward- and outward-directed power is what I call wise power. It is the embrace of dualities that helps us meet the world halfway: in between what we want and what is offered to us. Beyond the illusion of full control, wise power is an art of surprise.

So what is wise power? Fundamentally, it is the ability to master the deeper dynamics – not just the surface phenomena – affecting the world, an organisation, a team, an individual, a conscience. Leaders developing their wise power train their attention towards the underlying forces shaping their environment and themselves. They are not as easily blindsided by threats or challenges. As their thinking is not beholden to entrenched prejudices and patterns of behaviour, they can devise more effective and more meaningful solutions. Continue reading


As a part of our talent acquisition engagements, we ask our clients how they define “top talent” and how they would assess those traits in the interview process. Reflecting on the insightful comments we hear every day, we thought there would be great value in a new blog in which senior executives/thought leaders share their “Take on Talent.”

This is the seventeenth in a series of blogs/interviews with senior executives who are thought leaders in the areas of Talent Acquisition, Career Development and Leadership who will share their perspectives on this ever present question.


 Paul is the President of Thirdbridge, a high growth, private equity backed disrupter in the research space. Third Bridge provides institutional investors like private equity firms, hedge funds and mutual funds with the information that they need to make better investments.

Before joining Third Bridge, Paul was President of Axiom Law, the leading disrupter in the corporate legal industry, where he scaled the business and oversaw a six-fold increase in size. He also held senior roles at American Express and BCG, and has a wealth of experience across the US, Asia and Europe.

Paul has a Masters of Business Administration from Melbourne Business School.

Find out more about Paul on LinkedIn.” Continue reading

Should I stay or should I go?

The topic of counter offers is an interesting one. I am sure you have seen articles and thoughts about the subject and they are usually one person’s perspective on the topic. For a somewhat different approach, we’ve reached out to people in our network to gain their thoughts and perspective on the topic.



We asked:

You have just received an offer to join a new firm. You are giving notice to leave your current position and your employer makes a “counter offer” to keep you from leaving. You start to think about whether or not to take that “counter offer.”

Why would taking a counter offer can cost you more in the long run?

Read their responses below:

I won’t take the counteroffer once I have decided to move on and have a new organization offering me a job. There is obviously a reason why I started looking out and 99% of the time its not compensation. Having your employer offering you a better salary isn’t going to change your experience and decision to quit. I strongly believe that the extended relationship will not last long.

Sahil Arora, Leader | Entrepreneur | Management Consulting | Motivational Speaker | Investor | Mentor | Advisor


I had this very thing happen to me.  Six months out of college, having graduated first in my class with a Finance degree, I ended up working in the Purchasing department of  a large insurance company (Prudential).  A CFO of a manufacturing company had heard about my scholastic achievements, called me, and asked me to join his company (Keuffel & Esser).  He offered a starting position as an accountant, with the promise that he would move me into Finance and train me as his replacement over a period of a few years.    I joined the company, worked as an international accountant, but after 2 years, discovered that there was no discussion about moving into a finance role.  So, I went interviewing, and received an offer to be a financial analyst for another large manufacturing company.  I was very excited.  On my last day at K&E, the CFO came over to my desk, and said, “I heard you are leaving, please reconsider…I’ll give you any job you want.”  After telling him I was quite uncomfortable with that, having already excepted my new job, he said, “Let’s go to my office an map out a plan.”  He doubled my salary, gave me a new role, title and that very day, I started reporting to him.

I stayed with K&E, became a financial analyst, then Corporate Financial Manager and ultimately a Director in Finance handling mergers & acquisitions, investor relations, business planning, new business venture analysis, etc.  I handled the financial evaluation of all corporate initiatives, often working with the President of the company and presenting to the Board – all before I was 27.  The CFO was true to his word and got me involved in every aspect of his job.    The Company was eventually acquired before I could take over his job, but it certainly put me on a great path and was one of the best jobs I ever had.  And my salary increase five-fold over a period of 2 years.

So, in my case, taking the counter was definitely the better decision.   As a CFO, I look back and often think about what a great training that job was for me, at such a young age.

I guess you never know, but I wouldn’t dismiss the counter!

Lance Kirk, CFO/ CAO, MTM Technologies, Inc.


I think the reason few people accept counter-offers is simple, you have exhausted all avenues of resolution with no resolve.   If you are underpaid given the market, then either your employer isn’t in tune with the market or does not feel you are of value.  You shouldn’t have to threaten to leave before someone is willing to do something.  If you accept the counter, what is going to change, all of the same conditions still exist and it could be to your detriment as you could get pegged as a problem person.  Further I think the same thing could be said for any reason you would want to leave, career progression, problem co-worker, etc.  If you have a good people manager and a good HR department then your issues would have been addressed and you wouldn’t be looking for a new job.  And if your HR department and people manager can work together (or around each other if one of them is the problem) to remove appropriate obstacles then you don’t want to work there anyway.

Peter Magladry, Senior Director, Client Management at Willis Towers Watson

This is the second installment of this series. We hope you find these perspectives interesting. If you would like to share your thoughts on this for future blogs, please let me know.

Larry Janis, Managing Partner, ISSG,