Planners’ Picks — November 28, 2023

Planners’ Picks 

A collection of resources from CSN planning committee members worth mentioning

The tryptophan is wearing off, and we’re ready to kick it into high gear before the next holiday break. Let’s explore more curiosity, get hygge with it, and figure out how to master work relationships.


:: Image of the Week

It was never a dress, showing the traditional icon for women (skirt) as a cape instead.

Women professionals often feel pressure to consistently overperform to demonstrate their capabilities, which can lead to burnout. From proving themselves again and again to get a seat at the table, to fighting implicit bias in hiring and promotions, it’s an uphill climb.

The silver lining lies in our robust network of women who understand and support each other. Yet, it’s when we forge teams rich in diversity and inclusivity, valuing the distinct strengths each member contributes, that we gain fresh thinking, innovation, and success.

“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” —Audre Lorde


:: Resources on Mental Health and Self-Care

Laughter is Medicine

“The American narrative dictates that Indians are supposed to be sad. It’s not really true and it’s not indicative of the community experience itself. … Laughter and joy is very much a part of Native culture.”1

Laughter itself plays an important role in wellness by bringing people together in a way that promotes healthy emotional and physical reactions in our bodies. This year’s Native November campus theme, “Laughter is Medicine,” is an invitation to look at how humor and laughter have played a role in our healing and resiliency as Indigenous Peoples.

1Nesteroff, Kliph. We Had a Little Real Estate Problem: The Unheralded Story of Native Americans & Comedy

“We’re constantly unearthing clues and evidence about how well-being manifests itself in the mind and body. It’s not a static “thing” — it’s a set of skills that can be learned and cultivated over time, just like learning to play a musical instrument or riding a bike.”  – Center for Healthy Minds

It’s Hygge Season: How to Embrace The Danish Lifestyle of Rest and Coziness

For many people, autumn is synonymous with hygge — the Danish concept often translated as a feeling of coziness. The cooler weather makes people want to snuggle up with a good book or watch a movie marathon under a blanket on the couch.

But it can be hard to slow down in our fast-paced world, says Tricia Hersey, author of the book Rest is Resistance: A Manifesto. Too often, we only let ourselves rest after we’ve checked everything off our to-do list and completely exhausted ourselves, she says.

Read or listen to this article on the art of hygge, and give yourself a break this season.


:: Resources on Curiosity

Cultivating Curiosity in our Youth (and others!)

I’ve often argued that we educators need to pause and re-evaluate what we’re trying to do on behalf of the kids we serve. I believe we should be trying to develop problem-solvers and critical thinkers to help address the challenges all around us.

One step toward addressing that goal is cultivating curiosity in our youth, and there may be no one better to speak to about how we would do that than today’s guest, development psychologist Professor @Susan Engel.

Whether you’re an educator, parent, policy maker – or all three! – there is powerful information here. Get your notepad ready!

Building a Culture of Curiosity

Curiosity is a powerful practice to infuse into a company’s culture. However, managers often limit their definition of curiosity to simply a way to get information. Curiosity, though, can be a more expansive practice — it is a force for connection. We need to move away from “shallow curiosity” and embrace “deep curiosity,” where you unearth stories, values, experiences, and feelings. When conversations go beneath the surface in this way, it can strengthen work relationships, foster a better understanding of yourself as a leader, and help you to navigate conflict or anxiety in the office.

Curiosity is an exceptionally effective tool that leaders have to lead diverse teams in an increasingly complex time filled with technological advancements and an ever-changing cultural pulse. But they need to do so intentionally. Four key phrases can help in this pursuit: “I don’t know,” “Tell me more,” “I understand that you’re more than your job,” and “Who else?”

“The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper” –  Eden Phillpotts

How to Help Others Be Seen and Heard

Scott Shigeoka is an internationally recognized curiosity expert, speaker, and author. He is known for translating research into strategies that promote positive well-being and connected relationships around the globe, including at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and through his popular courses at the University of Texas at Austin.

Scott implements his curiosity practices with leaders in the public sector, Fortune 500 companies, Hollywood, media organizations, education institutions, and small businesses. He is the author of Seek: How Curiosity Can Transform Your Life and Change the World*.

Often we think about curiosity as a way to get information. And yes, it does do that, but there’s a much bigger opportunity that many leaders miss — taking the next step with curiosity to actually help connect better with others. In this episode, Scott and Dave from Coaching for Leaders highlight four phrases that will help you do that better.


:: Resources on Work Culture & Team Development

Coaching for Leaders Podcast: How to Nail a Job Transition

In this conversation, Sukhinder Singh Cassidy and Dave Stachowiak discuss how to handle a transition in a way that works for both you and the organization you’re leaving. We discuss the value of proactive communication and clear timelines — plus some of the hidden costs of transitioning poorly. Finally, we made the invitation to consider transitions in the context of your long-term career goals.

Sukhinder is the author of Choose Possibility: Take Risks and Thrive (Even When You Fail).

Six Ways to Improve Employee Retention

You don’t have to start with Pay Raises to increase employee retention and performance. Here are 6 “Non-Pay” Ways to improve employee retention and performance! A quick post from Paul Haury on belonging and purpose.

“Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.” —Harold Green

Mastering Work Relationships | Gretchen Rubin & Kim Scott

Listen to this pre-recorded conversation between New York Times bestselling authors Gretchen Rubin and Kim Scott as they explore your most frequently asked questions about workplace dynamics through the lens of their respective frameworks—The Four Tendencies and Radical Candor. Expect a lively and thought-provoking discussion about how to bring out the best in ourselves and others at work, informed by years of research, observation, and hands-on experience.


:: Resources on Self-Leadership Development

5 Lessons in Leadership

Leadership is not a spectator sport.

That’s according to Bob Trunzo—and as CEO and president of TruStage (formerly CUNA Mutual Group), he knows a thing or two about leadership.

Trunzo joined the company in 2005 and became CEO in 2014. He calls himself the “least likely CEO”; if you had seen him 20 years ago, Trunzo says, you would have thought, “That guy will never be a CEO.” Yet over the course of his career, he learned to embrace active leadership, mastered the art of unlocking employee potential, and guided TruStage to greater success—helping customers build a better financial future along the way.

“At the end of the day, if you really listen and you ask the right questions, your customers are going to tell you everything you need to know about your products and about your business.”

Though his career is coming to a close with his planned retirement, he is eager to share his hard-earned wisdom with the next generation of business leaders. For an audience of Wisconsin MBA students, faculty, staff, and alumni, Trunzo gave his perspective on the importance of “leading by example” as part of the M. Keith Weikel MBA Leadership Speaker Series.

“We get to the future we want by practicing it now.” — Mia Birdsong

Tactics in Leadership with Dr. Malik Muhammad

The Elevate podcast featured a return guest, Dr. Malik Muhammad, founder of Akoben, educator, and expert on enacting organizational change. Malik and podcast host Robert Glazer explore the distinction between principles, strategies, and tactics in leadership, and discuss how to lead without tarnishing your values.

Malik is a true expert on mentorship, leadership, and how to bring about change in people and individuals. Listen on your favorite podcast app or at the link below.


:: Resources on Communication

Using the LEAPS Method to Start Conversations

LEAPS is a process used by teams and individuals all the time – and even in personal lives – to generate ideas and conversation.

Writer Dani Saveker shares a set of LEAPS each week in her newsletter, consisting of this model:

  • L: what have you learned?
  • E: what’s your energy/feeling word
  • A: what’s one thing you need to do?
  • P: what are you thinking / processing?
  • S: who or what can you shout out?

See how she does it at


:: Resources on Change Management

Evidence-Based Change Management Methodology

The approach at The LeuroLeadership Institute is informed by the constraints and possibilities presented by the human brain — how people take in new information, approach their work, and interact with each other. See their website for videos, case studies and more around change management. Across industries, they make organizations more human and higher performing through science.


:: CSN’s Book of the Week Recommendation

The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

Do people see you as the kind of leader you want to be? Are your strongest leadership qualities getting in the way of your greatness?

After decades of advising and inspiring some of the most eminent chief executives in the world, Lolly Daskal has uncovered a startling pattern: within each leader are powerful abilities that are also hidden impediments to greatness. She’s witnessed many highly driven, overachieving leaders rise to prominence fueled by well-honed skill sets, only to falter when the shadow sides of the same skills emerge.

In The Leadership Gap, Daskal reveals her proven system, which leaders at any level can apply to dramatically improve their results. It begins with identifying your distinctive leadership archetype and recognizing its shadow:

■ The Rebel, driven by confidence, becomes the Imposter, plagued by self-doubt.
■ The Explorer, fueled by intuition, becomes the Exploiter, master of manipulation.
■ The Truth Teller, who embraces candor, becomes the Deceiver, who creates suspicion.
■ The Hero, embodying courage, becomes the Bystander, an outright coward.
■ The Inventor, brimming with integrity, becomes the Destroyer, who is morally corrupt.
■ The Navigator, trusts and is trusted, becomes the Fixer, endlessly arrogant.
■ The Knight, for whom loyalty is everything, becomes the Mercenary, who is perpetually self-serving.

Using psychology, philosophy, and her own experience, Daskal offers a breakthrough perspective on leadership. She’ll take you inside some of the most cloistered boardrooms, let you in on deeply personal conversations with industry leaders, and introduce you to luminaries who’ve changed the world. Her insights will help you rethink everything you know to become the leader you truly want to be.


:: Upcoming Events 

The Leadership Development Mini-Summit

The NeuroLeadership Institute is offering a mini-summit to a select few. Join a group of your peers as we discuss the most pressing issues facing organizations today and equip one another with the necessary tools to thrive as leaders in a rapidly changing world of work.

We’ll discuss key topics such as:

  • Priorities, Habits, Systems
  • Adapt Faster
  • LEAD
  • A hybrid work model
  • Leadership Pipeline Crisis
  • Doing more with less

Wednesday, December 13, 2023 | Virtual

Register to be considered at:\


Coaching Course for Managers and Supervisors

Coaching Employees for Retention and Career Development provides managers and supervisors with the skills to retain and develop employees through coaching.

Upcoming open class dates are:

  • 1/19/2024 (9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.) virtual
  • 2/27/2024 (8:30-11:30 a.m.) virtual
  • More later dates too!


Also, see the Manager/Supervisor Compensation Resources, to support employees through compensation-related best practices.