best leadership insights of 2019

Leaders Share the Best Leadership Insights of 2019: A Frontline Festival

Welcome to the Let’s Grow Leaders Frontline Festival!  This month, our contributors share their Best leadership insights of 2019 which we’ve loosely organized in our Winning Well principles of confidence, humility, results, and relationships.

Thanks to Joy and Tom Guthrie of Vizwerx Group for the great pic and to all our contributors for an amazing year!

For 2020, we will welcome new contributors to join us by contributing articles, videos and podcasts. Each month, we’ll also include a special Asking for a Friend. to highlight new leadership authors. January’s topic is achieving better results in 2020.  Click here to submit links to your content!

Wise Words about Results

Sean GlazeSean Glaze of Great Results Teambuilding asks How Do You Create Buy-In and Get People to Go All-In on ANY Team? This is one of the great challenges of teammates who care or team leaders who are struggling to inspire commitment. Follow Sean.


Tony Mastri of Marion Marketing gives us Nine of the Best B2B Marketing Strategies and Examples.  Effective B2B marketing is essential to many businesses, but it’s not always intuitive. This article covers 9 of the best business to business marketing strategies that continue to work in 2019 and beyond. Use these examples to improve your own marketing efforts in the new year!  Follow Tony.


Jesse Lynn StonerJesse Lyn Stoner of Seapoint Center for Collaborative Leadership writes How to Create Shared Values that Guide Your Team to Greater Heights. These 7 guidelines will help you create shared team values that create a deeper level of trust, increase collaboration and achieve great results.  Follow Jesse.


Best Leadership Insights on Relationships

S. Chris Edmonds of Driving Results through Culture provides a Culture Leadership Charge: Work Culture is in the Leader’s Hands. In this short video and post, Chris emphasizes that the prime drivers of work culture are senior leaders – for better or worse. If senior leaders model respect and kindness, their work culture will embrace those qualities. Follow Chris.

 Ed KrowEd Krow of Ed Krow, LLC offers Using Organizational Development to Drive Culture.  Most people use the terms “organizational development” and “human resources” interchangeably. However, there are some notable differences between what an organizational development professional does on a regular basis and what an HR professional does on a regular basis. Follow Ed.

Paul LaRue of The UPwards Leader asks, Is it Ever Justified to Yell? We see business people, sports coaches, and other leaders yell at their teams. Is there ever a context where it’s acceptable? Or is there a better way? Follow Paul.


Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership provides Leadership: Things We Don’t Say Often Enough. We talk a lot, but there are some things we just don’t say often enough. Follow Wally.


Beth BeutlerBeth Beutler of H.O.P.E. Unlimited presents It’s Okay: A Powerful Word that Helps You Stay Honest … But that You Must Handle with Care. This one powerful word can help you minimize conflict while staying honest … depending on the tone with which you say it. Follow Beth.

Best Leadership Insights on Confidence

Ann Howell of Howell Leadership Science asks Are You a Shock Absorber or a Shock Amplifier? Emotional stability determines how you react to difficult situations and your effectiveness at work. Follow Ann.


Rachel Blakely-GrayRachel Blakely-Gray of Patriot Software, LLC  gives us 7 Staying Healthy at Work Tips.  Whether it’s flu season or not, staying healthy at work can be difficult for many employers and employees alike. Use the seven tips in this article to help you be more confident about staying healthy in 2020.  Follow Rachel.


Lisa Kohn from Chatsworth Consulting Group provides “I Shouldn’t Get Angry” and Other Myths that Can Negatively Impact Your Leadership and Your Life, a guide to acknowledging – and letting go of – your judgment and radically accepting what’s around and within you, so you can lead – and live – more powerfully. Follow Lisa.


Ken Downer of Rapid Start Leadership provides Change the Game: 7 Ways to Build Teammates Who Can Do More. Like playing a board game, as leaders, we often find ourselves simply accepting the players we have and moving them around the board as best we can. If we’re smart, we can change the game in a way that makes our players far more capable than when we began. Follow Ken.


Great Thoughts on Humility

Laura Schroeder of Working Girl provides Great Leadership Isn’t About You. Great leaders come in all shapes and sizes but they have ONE thing in common. Follow Laura. 



John EadesJohn Eades of Learnloft provides Why Bad Leaders Fall in Love with Their Title. There’s a good chance a title is hurting your ability to effectively lead. A title can be a distraction from the actual responsibility of leadership.  Follow John.


Eileen McDargh of The Energizer shares Raise Your Resiliency through Compassion.  Feeling compassion may go a long way to improving well-being, reducing stress and achieving better academic results, according to a study recently released by researchers from the University of Redlands. Follow Eileen.


David GrossmanDavid Grossman of The Grossman Group offers Trust in the Workplace: 6 Steps to Building Trust with Employees.  A leader’s ability to inspire and motivate employees is based on trust. Here are 6 ways that leaders at all levels can build trust in the workplace.  Follow David.



We are truly grateful to work with such amazing leadership thinkers to produce this Frontline Festival each month. We wish all of our contributors good health and happiness in the New Year.

27 Experts On Employee Engagement: April Frontline Festival

April’s frontline festival is on one of my favorite topics: Employee Engagement. We have a wonderful line-up of posts. We begin with this month’s graphic from Joy and Tom Guthrie of Vizwerx LLC (see below).

27 Experts On Employee Engagement: April Frontline Festival

Practical Engagement Practices

Jesse Lyn Stoner, of the Seapoint Center, offers her guest post on switch and shift, First Engage Yourself. It’s difficult to engage your employees if you yourself are not engaged. Here are 7 questions to assess your own engagement and suggestions for what you can do. Follow Jesse @JesseLynStoner.

Wally Bock, of Wally Bock’s Three Star Leadership, shares 10 Engagement Building Behaviors For The Boss. Study after study has shown us that if you’re the boss, you are the person with the biggest impact on the productivity, morale and engagement of your team. Here are ten things you can do to improve all three. Follow Wally @WallyBock.

Tune it to Tanveer Naseer Leadership to find out what 3 critical steps leaders should be employing to boost employee engagement levels in their organization. Read Tanveer Naseer‘s post Learning To Connect To Boost Employee Engagement. Follow Tanveer @TanveerNaseer.

Alli Polin, Break the Frame, brings us practical advice in her post  Are You A Negativity Carrier Or The Antidote?. There will always be negative people at work who like to create a crisis. Discover how you can transform their negativity and invite engagement. Follow Alli @AlliPolin.

“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.”
~ Simon Sinek

Mary Jo Asmus,, offers Where Do you Spend Your Time?. A recipe for failure in a new position: keeping your head down, not reaching out to others. This post offers tips to lead and actually lead your team to get them engaged. Follow Mary Jo @mjasmus.

Jim Ryan, Soft Skills For Hard Jobs, shares Morning Check-In Meetings – Maybe The Most Powerful Management Tool There Is. Making a simple addition of a quick 10-minute meeting before the day starts can have quite an impact on the engagement level of your team. I’m with Jim, I had certain roles where a morning check made all the difference. Follow Jim @jryan4.

In her post, Please, Thank You, and I’m Sorry – Words For Kindergarten & Leadership, Robyn McLeod from The Thoughtful Leaders Blog shares how these three phrases that we learned in kindergarten can pave the way for better relationships and communication at work as well as engender trust, respect, and a higher level of engagement from your staff. Follow Robyn @ThoughtfulLdrs.

“Dispirited, unmotivated, unappreciated workers cannot compete in a highly competitive world.”
~ Francis Hesselbein

Matt McWilliams, author of Life. Leadership. Love. Learned the Hard Way, offers Two Scientifically Proven Techniques To Be A Better Leader, Spouse & More. In this post, he shares two incredible techniques that will increase employee engagement and so much more. Follow Matt @MattMcWilliams2.

Chantal Bechervaise, Take it Personel-ly shares specific ways to offer support in her post, Help Employees To Believe In Themselves. Employees need to know that you have faith in their ability to do their jobs well. It also requires commitment to help support employees when times are tough. Follow Chantal @CBechervaise.

Employee Engagement Starts With Leadership

Julie Winkle Giulioni, of shares a sentiment I often feel. It’s not always about doing more to drive engagement, but by what we need to stop. In her post, Stop Driving Employees Nuts, Julie reminds us that employee engagement, motivation, and results are less about introducing new leadership behaviors and more about just stopping the stuff that makes employees crazy. Follow Julie @juliewg.

How important is heart to mental toughness? LaRae Quy, author of Empower The Leader In You, shares 5 Unconventional Ways You Can Lead From Your Heart. Mental toughness is finding a way to continue moving toward our goals, even in tough times. But if our heart is not the driving force behind those goals, failure will be enough to persuade us to give up and try something else. Follow LaRae @LaRaeQuy.

Martin Webster, of Leadership Thoughts, brings us 4 Reasons Your Team Is Frustrated With Your Leadership. Do you know if your team is frustrated with your leadership? Learn about some common team gripes and what you need to do about them. Follow Martin @tristanwember.

Building Engaging Cultures

Chip Bell, of, brings us The Leadership Echo. Leadership is an echo sounded through the actions of those under the leader’s influence. Customers get a peep-hole into the organization’s culture their experience created and delivered by the front line. Follow Chip @ChipRBell.

“On what high-performing companies should be striving to create: A great place for great people to do great work.”
~ Marilyn Carlson, former CEO of Carlson Companies

Steve Broe, of My Career Impact, shares Why Do We Need To Assess People to Build A Great Organization. Take the time to evaluate people working for you. Consider their strengths, look at how their strengths can best be deployed. Follow Steve @DrSteveBroe.

What are you engaging employees to do? Kate Nasser, of Smart SenseAbilities offers Engaging Employees to Succeed At What – Integrity. When leaders approach me to help them with employee engagement, I immediately ask them: “engage employees to do what?” If you want company-wide success, engage them to engage each other. This is how to build accountability and integrity throughout the company. Follow Kate @KateNasser.

Jennifer Miller, of The People Equation, shares the7 Moods Of Employee Engagement. Leaders need to learn to coax the troublesome types out of their moods in order to create the most productive and engaged work environment. Follow Jennifer @JenniferVMiller.

Michelle Pallas, at Fireside Chat For Leaders, shares a post on a life strategy I believe in deeply. Care Enough To Take The Time To Know People. Go first, get engaged. Show you care, make connections. It doesn’t cost anything to care. It requires energy and focus. Listening with heart and mind. Engage your workforce by taking the time to know them. Follow Michelle @MichellePallas.

Chery Gegelman, of the Simply Understanding Blog offers, Banging Pans & Throwing Fish In Corporate America. An under-performing, under-supported team that was feeling victimized, changed leadership, changed their focus, learned how to play together, built trust, began meeting and then exceeding their goals and a VIP customer said, “I don’t know what you’ve done with the place, it was a tomb, and now it is alive.” Follow Chery @GianaConsulting.

A powerful personal story that shows the impact we can make, when we invest in one person at a time. David Dye, of Trailblaze, shares The Leadership Question I Couldn’t Answer. How do you motivate a former gang member to succeed in school? David shares his surprising answer to that question and how it will help you lead motivated, energized teams. Follow David @davidmdye.

“Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.”
~ Stephen R. Covey

Brett Faris, of Feed Leaders, shares How To Be Great With People. This is a fun, short post on 3 lessons his golden retriever taught him on how to be great with people. Brett writes with the church leader in mind however believe it is applicable to all business owners. Nothing like taking lessons from a dog. Follow Brett @BrettFaris.

In this case study, Overwhelmed, Linda Fisher Thornton, of Leading In Context explains how a a caring manager is one of the key elements that drives employee engagement. So managers, let’s remove “It’s all important. I’m sure you’ll figure it out” from our vocabularies.

DATIS Delivers, Thought Leadership For Human Services Organizations, shares Employee Engagement: A Time To Give. Does your company have an employee engagement program? Empower your employees by using technology as a tool for success while building a foundation for solid communication in your organization. Follw Datis @DATISe3.

Artika Tyner, Planting People, Growing Justice shares Jumpstart Your Career: 3 Tips To Discover Your Strengths. Employee engagement can be fostered by supporting strengths development and developing the leadership capacities of your team members. This blog provides 3 key tips for strengths development. Follow Artika @DrArtikaTyner.

Michelle Cubas, of Business Influences, brings us Employee Engagement Is About Purpose. Why do people want to work—employee engagement is about purposeful action. Follow Michelle @CoachCubas.

Subha BalagopalFrom the Principal’s Pen offers For An Organization With People. This post is about how I engage with my organization and how I think employees might engage in a healthy organization that invites their voices. Follow Subha @PrincipalsPen2.

Call For Submissions

May’s Festival is all about Careers and Career Development. Please submit your posts using this link. New participants welcome.

frontline festival

Frontline Festival: A Leadership Carnival for Frontline Leaders

I am delighted and humbled by the response to the Frontline Festival. I asked my friends and colleagues to share their best advice for frontline leaders. Wow! Read these posts and you will emerge stronger. Perhaps read one a day, you’ve got enough for a month. I am pleased to share their gifts with you.

I open the Frontline Festival with thoughts on beginnings from Steve Riddle of Lead On, Lead In, sharing When Did Leadership Start to Mean Something To You? The post will make you consider your own leadership journey. The best part is his video, his accent alone may encourage you to inspire leadership in others. My favorite question, “are you the role model that others have been for you?”

On Building a Frontline Team

Jennifer V. Miller of The People Equation discusses how leaders can be pulled in multiple directions when dealing with a challenging employee in Leadership Seesaw – Balancing the One with the Many. The best question, “are you balancing the needs with the one with the needs with the many?” I ask myself just that every day.

David Dye of Trailblaze shares tips for that awkward situation of being promoted over your peers in, But I Thought We Were Friends? I love his practical example, I’ve had conversations that went something like this, “as a friend, I am so sorry that stinks. As the team leader, I can give you tomorrow to take care of the problem, and then we will need you back.”

Dan McCarthy of Great Leadership shares tactical advice for managing conflict in, How To Handle 3 Types of Conflict. I particularly like, “but if there is a problem to be solved, dealing with the emotions first sets the stage for problem solving.”

Leigh Steere of Managing People Better challenges us to move past stereotypes in finding talent and leveraging gifts in her Lead Change Post, 5 Uncomfortable Observations About Workforce Diversity She shares, “Our internal judgments come through, plain as day, in our facial expressions and body language.” Yikes, I do struggle with that one.

On Running Better FrontlineTeams

Dan Rockwell of Leadership Freak helps us decide when to help, in The One and Only Reason to Help. My favorite insight, “Real help takes people to the place they don’t need help.”

Jon Mertz at Thin Difference explores the concept of Infinitethink, how too many choices leads to indecision in his post,

Jesse Lynn Stoner of Seapoint Center shares a great model for running effective meetings in No More Boring Meetings. She shares a map energy flow in an ideal meeting (see left). Wow. I am going to strive for more of that in my meetings.

Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership, reminds us that you’re stuck with your company’s performance review system even if it doesn’t work for most people. And so he gives us practical advice in, Performance Reviews Made Effective. My favorite, “Spend time with your team members. Find out how they’re doing and have conversations with them. That’s a big part of how great bosses do their work, informally, “in the cracks in the system.”

Mike Myatt of N2Growth reminds us to involve the people closest to the work, when improving processes, and to consider what work we can eliminate in his post 100% of Companies Have a Process Problem. I resonated with, “Simplicity Matters: If your process isn’t simple, it’s going to be very expensive, not very usable, and probably not sustainable – put simply, it will fail”

Mark Miller of Great Leaders Serve reminds us that less is more when it comes to communciation in his post, One-Page Bias.  “A single page virtually always creates more buy-in and action than a 20-page report.”

On Frontline Trust and Integrity

Eric Dingler of EricDingler: Whole Life Leadership shares his techniques for building trust in both leaders and followers in his post, Nothing Leads Like the Truth. I like the line, “Nothing moves people more effectively then truth.”

Deborah Parker, of DPJ Training Group offers important and practical advice on establishing trust in her Lead Change Post, Commo Check: 11 Ways to Establish a Trust Message. Some great pragmatic advice, including “Know the audience by being alert and flexible to the circumstances.”

Gail Severini at the Change Whisperer shares her cry for more authentic, inspired leadership in Longing for the Endless Immensity of Great Leadership. “Real leadership is about who you are, what you stand for, and what you dream about.”

Joanne Corley of Management in Minutes reminds us to lead from who we really are in her post, It All Begins With You– You Are the Messenger I like her challenge “We start to live those roles so unconsciously that we lose track of what we really want in life and what role those roles play in that.”

What Motivates at the Frontline?

Robert Tanner at Management is a Journey takes a detailed look at the value of intrinsic rewards in, You’ll Need More Than Money and Benefits Who hasn’t faced a similar problem: ” Robert, I really need this employee to do his job! I pay him well. He has good benefits. I know he knows how to do the job because sometimes he gets it done. He just won’t do it! He has an attitude problem.”

Susan Mazza of Random Acts of Leadership share the importance of reinforcing positive behavior in, Catch Them In the Act. I like this post for it’s practical advice: Reward employees for “speaking up,” “stepping up,” and “standing up.”

Ed Rehkopf of Hospitality Resources International shares 7 specific ways to recognize in, Give Them More Than Just a Paycheck

Peter Friedes encourages us to engage in more “elaborative asking” on our team’s in his post from Lead Change Group, Managers Do You “Ask” Enough? He reminds us, “asking is enabling, telling is limiting, and ignoring is irritating.” Agreed.

On Facing Your Fears

Claudio Morelli also shares a Lead Change Group post about facing your fears to lead during tough time in Saddle Up and Lead. Claudio also recently started a blog of his own, Building Servant Hearts.

Lisa Kohn of Chatsworth Consulting Group presents Running is like leading – 5 key steps towards winning the race where she shares 5 steps for winning the race when faced with challenges of leading. As a runner, I just love the metaphor.

Jonathan Green of Monster Leaders encourages us to stretch outside of our comfort zones and learn across disciplines in his post Do You Know Jack: It’s Time to Become a Well-Rounded Leader? I am a big believer in cross-functional assignments, and this guy lives what he writes.
Next month’s Frontline Festival will focus on Feedback and Coaching. Be sure to tune back in. In fact, why not subscribe for your daily dose of leadership inspiration.

If you would like to be added to the call for posts, please send me an email at