Planners’ Picks — April 4, 2023

Planners’ Picks

A collection of resources from CSN planning committee members worth mentioning

April fools don’t develop themselves. As one participant in a recent CSN event stated, “I am addicted to education.” There are surely worse things to be addicted to! Let’s check out how to lead from all levels, manage our energy, and keep your remote workers engaged.


:: Image of the Week

It’s bigger and scarier and much better for swimming when you expand your horizons and step outside of your comfort zone.

It’s bigger and scarier and much better for swimming when you expand your horizons and step outside of your comfort zone.

“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” —George Addair


:: Resources on Mental Health and Self-Care

The Broad Benefits of Getting Active

Public health messages have long promoted the importance of physical activity, which can improve quality of life in the short and long term. Moving our bodies regularly promotes better sleep, protects from chronic disease, improves mental health and so much more.

While it might be hard to make time for exercise, incorporating physical activity can start with small tweaks in daily routines, according to Professor Kelly Evenson, PhD, and those changes can lead to longer, healthier lives.

“He who has a why to live for, can bear almost any how.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

:: Resources on Work Culture & Team Development

Why It Is Important For All Employees To Lead

Today’s world of work requires a more diverse skill set from employees than ever before. Employees must collaborate with more people, navigate matrixed structures, address rapid change, and lead in uncertain situations. This monumental shift in how work is done has created a strong demand for employees to demonstrate leadership skills at all organizational levels.

The World Economic Forum recently released its list of the top 10 job skills for 2025. A quick look at the list below reveals this new reality. You will see that the top 9 skills listed in their top 10 list were once reserved primarily for traditional leadership roles.

The #1 Strategy For Training Excellent Future Leaders

Robert Glazer knows he can describe a top performer at your organization. No matter what industry or company size, the people who stand out are the ones who can improve at a fast rate; they dedicate themselves to learning and want to excel at the role they’ll hold tomorrow, rather being satisfied with doing well today. And leaders can do a ton to help their people improve quickly, and create a team of people who can grow as their organization grows.

As leaders, how can get better at helping our people get better? Read Robert’s post and lead in to his new book Elevate Your Team.

Improving Ourselves to Replace Drama with Joy at Work

“Leadership is a journey.” You’ve heard this a million times in a million different ways, but it’s true. And it’s not always an easy journey sitting in first class with a cocktail in hand – sometimes it’s walking uphill in the snow barefoot. No matter the difficulty, you owe it to yourself and to those you lead to make ongoing progress.

The PeopleForward Network celebrates the idea of “improving ourselves.” Improvement can be personal or professional, and ultimately it affects both.

If you’re not already tracking toward self-improvement goals, this is our bread & butter so we have tons of insights and resources to recommend!

 “Good times create weak people, weak people create bad times, Bad times create strong people, strong people create good times.“ ― G. Michael Hopf

Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time

As the demands of the workplace keep rising, many people respond by putting in ever longer hours, which inevitably leads to burnout that costs both the organization and the employee. Meanwhile, people take for granted what fuels their capacity to work—their energy. Increasing that capacity is the best way to get more done faster and better.

Time is a finite resource, but energy is different. It has four wellsprings—the body, emotions, mind, and spirit—and in each, it can be systematically expanded and renewed. In this article, Schwartz, founder of the Energy Project, describes how to establish rituals that will build energy in the four key dimensions. For instance, harnessing the body’s ultradian rhythms by taking intermittent breaks restores physical energy. Rejecting the role of a victim and instead viewing events through three hopeful lenses defuses energy-draining negative emotions. Avoiding the constant distractions that technology has introduced increases mental energy. And participating in activities that give you a sense of meaning and purpose boosts the energy of the spirit.

The new workday rituals succeed only if leaders support their adoption, but when that happens, the results can be powerful. A group of Wachovia Bank employees who went through an energy management program outperformed a control group on important financial metrics like loans generated, and they reported substantially improved customer relationships, productivity, and personal satisfaction. These findings corroborated anecdotal evidence gathered about the effectiveness of this approach at other companies, including Ernst & Young, Sony, and Deutsche Bank. When organizations invest in all dimensions of their employees’ lives, individuals respond by bringing all their energy wholeheartedly to work—and both companies and their people grow in value.


:: Resources on Communication

Meeting Engagement Prompts

Maika Leibbrandt Consulting offers a meeting engagement prompt download on her website. It gives you some ways to start and end a meeting with your team in mind. Ask your team or an individual some inquisitive questions like “what’s in your mug today?” or “when we meet again, what question should we ask each other?” to make your meeting more valuable and enriching.

Download this form here:

When — and How — to Keep a Poker Face at Work

Maintaining a poker face doesn’t necessarily mean suppressing your feelings or being dishonest. It simply means practicing emotion regulation by being aware of your facial expressions and body language and using them strategically. In this piece, the author explains when to put on a poker face, or not, and offers practical strategies for how to interrupt your inner eruption. The better you can self-regulate, the easier it will be to express your emotions in a way you feel proud of.


:: Resources on Self-Leadership Development

6 Powerful Actions to Make You a Better Boss

What is a great boss, anyway?

Recent research found that direct managers impact their employees mental health more than doctors or therapists and as much as their spouses or partners. There is science behind the “people don’t leave companies, they leave bad bosses” statement.

A bad boss can seriously break you, and a good boss can seriously lift you up.

A bad boss can (literally) destroy your mental health, and a good boss can care for it together with you.

A bad boss can destroy your experience at work and make you feel miserable (by intentional action or just because), and a good boss can make your work experience the most remarkable, ever.

There is so much said about bad bosses, and even some images showing how they differ from “leaders”. But here is the true: while there are some bad bosses out there, there are many others that are truly remarkable.

What makes them so remarkable and exceptional?

Ultimately, it boils down to this: a great boss cares for you as a human, not just as a worker. And these are six ways in which they live up to that promise, on a day to day basis.

How to Develop and Improve Your Strengths

Discover your strengths. Then learn how to develop them into something you can depend on at work, at home and in every relationship — time and time again. CliftonStrengths has many resources around this idea, and you can take the assessment online. Not familiar with StrengthsFinder? Check out this link.

“No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.” ~ Voltaire

A Blueprint for High Performance with Guest Danny Langloss

Danny Langloss has been a police officer and chief. He is currently a city manager. In this Magic in the Room episode, he joins Hannah and Luke at Purpose & Performance Group to give a blueprint for high performance based on his experience leading through crisis and change. Listen for several key strategies, including inviting feedback, giving people ownership of the organization’s vision, and increasing employee engagement.


:: Resources on Hybrid and Remote Work

Employee Engagement in a Remote World: Best Practices for Keeping Your Team Connected

Remote work has become the norm in today’s workforce. Whether you’re a small business owner or part of a larger organization, chances are you have employees who work remotely at least part of the time. But how do you ensure these employees feel connected to your organization and its team members?


:: Take Five*

*Note : CSN has added “Take Five” articles occasionally to take you off the beaten path. Articles will be about local or regional areas of interest, but not necessarily focused on leadership development. The intent is for you to take a break from being a leader and relaxing for a moment!

How to Shop More Sustainably with Majid Sarmadi

“The environment is not a component of our life. We are a component of the environment,” says textile chemist Majid Sarmadi. “If all insects die, life really stops in this planet. If humans die, life flourishes.” For him, knowing not only how textiles are made but also how they break down is more important than ever. Acting sustainably does not have to be limiting. In fact, it is opening doors around the world for scientists, farmers, artists, and even corporations, to innovate and work to protect the planet.

Read this interesting article from a UW Distinguished Teaching Award recipient.