Tag Archives: Mark C. Crowley

5 Friday Faves – a Mama’s Lament, Primary Physicians, Life in a Refugee Camp, a Deeper Happiness, and Community – and a Bonus

Blog - Friday Faves

Hello, Friday. We’ve had rain for days here, but it’s forecasted to be gone for the weekend. What are you up to? I’ve culled down my many happy finds of this week to these. Please share what enlarged your life this week (in comments)…and Happy Mother’s Day!

1) A Mama’s Lament“Slow Down”“I don’t know of a more uttered or whispered phrase from a mother of any age, about her child of any age, than ‘It’s going by too fast.’ I feel like I spend my life trying to slow time. Trying to celebrate the growth and the milestones of my children, and then secretly day dreaming about building a time machine in my garage, so I can return to rocking my babies at midnight. If you’ve ever looked at your child running across a field, or striding across a graduation stage, or walking down the middle aisle of a church clutching a bouquet, you’ll know why this song is special to me. Please enjoy the video below, remembering the moments we wish we could slow down, and sharing them with those we love most.”Nichole Nordeman

2) Primary Physicians – Without a lot of detail, I’ve been undergoing a series of medical tests (with their various new doctors attached) for a finding that is either nothing…or not. As frustrating as all this can be (with scheduling and preps and the waiting…the waiting!), I am grateful for specialists who continue to sharpen the focus of whatever this is that’s going on. Mostly, I am grateful for my primary physician who knows me and my history best. He occasionally checks in himself, as different reports come to him during this journey. What a blessing to know he’s putting the pieces of this puzzle together as each specialist adds his bit. Thankful.Doctor Talking with PatientPhoto Credit: UPMC

3) Life in a Refugee Camp– Our friend, Beth, is spending a couple of months in Greece, working in a Syrian refugee camp. She has been a great help there, I’m sure, and has given us a window into the lives of these displaced peoples. It’s hard to imagine living in a tent city, and yet, how wonderful that there is shelter for them in this place in-between. Homeless, and yet, for now, they have a place at least…where the kids play, the parents take English classes, and all the rest of their new normal life unfolds – cooking, cleaning, and preparing for an unknown but hopeful future.13001245_10156875941260061_7654249932579596614_n12985495_10156885038265061_4952602545456677851_n13055578_10156925512190061_3805858236358775882_n13082658_10156925508410061_1380861859098516687_n12993627_10156889362110061_8126408917090936937_nPhoto Credit: Facebook

4) A Deeper Happiness – You know, if you read this blog, that I love Kara Tippetts. She is with the Lord now. Still, her life and wisdom continue to impact my own. Her husband, Jason, wrote about a lunchtime together as she was nearing the day of leaving.

“The other day Mickey brought a grilled cheese to Kara for lunch. I didn’t have anything, so I just watched her eat. She offered me half of her sandwich. I said, Don’t you want it?

She replied, I do, but I want to share more.Blog - Mundane faithfulness - Grilled Cheese SandwichPhoto Credit: Woman’s World

First of all, yes, I did take half of a sandwich from my dying wife. Second, it occurred to me how Kara’s simple comment stuck with me: I want to share more.

What if I found more satisfaction in sharing than taking, more in giving than consuming?

Jesus says in Matthew 20:28, Even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve…

How beautiful that even as she fades, Kara’s selflessness reflects God’s character and ministers to our hearts.

He quotes Tim Keller: “Seek to serve one another rather than to be happy, and you will find a new and deeper happiness.”Blog - Need You Now Kara Tippetts & JasonPhoto Credit: Mundane Faithfulness

5) Community – Oh community! Sometimes you find it in the workplace or your neighborhood. Sometimes through your church (or other group of like-minded folks). Sometimes community comes through family and friends. We have experienced deep community in many forms over the course of life. I tried to find a definition for community but nothing really seemed adequate. Scott Peck has written about it with the words that resonate (I don’t agree with the whole piece but the defining words ring true) – vulnerable, honest, generous, inclusive, loving, safe. Community is where you know people genuinely care about you, warts and all…where when you’re not present, you’re missed…where help, laughter, understanding, and tears flow freely. Here’s to community – imperfect and human – more together than the individual parts. Hope you have one…otherwise, you are welcome.IMG_5754Blog - Community - English Conversation Class005IMG_4904

Bonus: A New Blog Find on the Workplace – I love to read about workplace culture and who leadership can make a difference. You’ll see that often in my Monday Morning Moment blogs. This week, I discovered an article by Ron Carucci interviewing Mark C. Crowley (wrote about it here). It intrigued me enough to seek out Ron’s website. He is part of the consulting team of Navalent, which focuses on business and leadership transformation. The blog is a huge resource for any of us in the workplace. Great stuff!

Blog - Blog on Business & Leadership - Navalent - Ron CarucciPhoto Credit: Navalent

Monday Morning Moment – What It Takes to Be the Leader You Think You Already Are – Fast Read

Blog - Lead from the heart - businessinsiderPhoto Source: Business Insider

You are going to be so glad you are taking the time to read this. None of us want to think we’re leading well and find out, too late, that we missed the mark.  To be successful as a process manager, or content expert, or vision caster is something to celebrate, for sure. However,  if you don’t genuinely love your people (genuinely. love. your. people), it will mark your leadership and your personnel over time. Mark and mar. Don’t miss that…for your own sake and that of your organization – each employee and all employees.

A friend of mine told me recently that he’s never met the CEO of his company. He is not sure the CEO has ever walked down his department’s hallway. That made me sad, because I know the caliber of work he does and the quality of person he is. He would be such an encouragement to his company’s executive leader. Maybe he was out the day the CEO came down his hall…surely he showed up…once at least. Surely.

My husband speaks several times each year on leading from the heart. I love to hear him speak; it’s a good reminder for me in my own area of influence. Besides my husband, my other go-to person on this subject is Mark C. Crowley, author of Lead from the Heart – Transformational Leadershp for the 21st Century.

In a Forbes piece, Mark was interviewed by Ron Carucci on 4 Radical Leadership Practices that Will Dramatically Increase Engagement. You should read this piece in full. Here are those four practices in brief:

  • Invest deeply. Crowley defines deep investment as this: “You are personally spending ample time ensuring people are learning, growing, and thriving. You have a high bar for performance expectations, and you are personally helping people reach it. Every. Single. Day.” [Not just your administrative team, but every single employee in your organization. Too often leaders, busy as they are, leave this to others who may not have their character or their sense of what could be lost/gained.] Blog - Lead from the heart - slidesharePhoto Credit: Slideshare
  • Connect personally.  Raising boundaries in relationships at work (keeping a professional distance) doesn’t lead to objectivity; more they lead to ignorance. You think you know how people are, but do you really? Have you talked to personnel? Have you sat down at their work station? Ever? “People we lead have big stories, and we are part of that story.” You aren’t interested in a popularity contest, of course…but are you an empowering force in your employees’ lives…or a devaluing force? Check it out.Blog - Lead from the heart - essentialsofbusinessPhoto Credit: Essentials of Business
  • Hire for heart. “You have to hire people who are predisposed to care. If you hire for technical competence, or a track record of hitting numbers, that’s all you’ll get” warns Crowley. Maybe your leadership team is already in place and entrenched. Do your managers really care about your personnel? Are they following your lead in their role? This isn’t about occasional free pizza or management tossing kudos from in front of the room. This is about investing in and building up employees…all of them, each one of them… helping them reach their maximum potential. Challenge yourself in this, and your management teams in this, all the way through the ranks.
  • Love well. Crowley “emphasizes the criticality of leaders having absolute certainty that the people they lead feel like they, and their work, matter deeply, and they are genuinely appreciated.” Not just the executive team feeling this way but a model is set throughout the organization to “love your people”.

If you read this far, you probably already lead in this way or you want to. I think of myself as being pretty savvy in this area, and that could be my biggest weakness in the workplace. Making such an assumption is dangerous. So…thanks for caring about your own leadership. For those reading thus far, and you don’t see yourself as a mover or shaker in your organization…rethink that. The fact that you are so invested that you’re reading leadership articles may mean you’re more engaged than you might think. You lead out in this area yourself, if you must. For that friend of mine who has never met his CEO…make it happen. You nor he will regret it. Light a fire that could potentially encourage a whole organization. For real.

Lead From the Heart – Transformational Leadership for the 21st Century by Mark C. Crowley

Employee Engagement Isn’t Getting Better and gallup Shares the Surprising Reasons Why – Mark C. Crowley

YouTube Video – How to Lead from the Heart – 4 Practices – Michael Hyatt Podcast

The Four Disciplines of the Heart – How to Fight Back When You Feel Discouraged – Michael Hyatt

What Is the Key to Great Leadership Today? – David Grossman

Heart-centered Leadership – Susan Steinbrecher – Slideshare

The Yellow Brick Road of Leadership – Jonathan Stutz – Slideshare

Manage by Mind, Lead by Heart – Usman Ahmad – Slideshare

Monday Morning Moment – Belonging and Going Deep and the Blind Presumptions that It’s Actually Happening When It Isn’t

Blog - Belonging 2 - forbesPhoto Credit: Forbes

“The culture you create or the culture you destroy will determine the success of your business.”Mark C. Crowley

As much as we might like, we can’t equate smiling and greeting folks we pass in the hallway with real community. Worse, just making a beeline to the elevator, conference room, or office  with a studied, problem-solving look on your face does not instill confidence or credibility to those colleagues in the wake of your path to organizational excellence.


I’m not sure how well any of us do at creating a community of going deep or giving those around us a sense of belonging. What could help is periodically wrestling with our presumptions about work culture and employee engagement (I write about this often in this blog’s Monday Morning Moment. if you’re interested, just search here). Then make the changes that would grow such a work culture.

Going deep with employees and helping them have a strong sense of belonging are too rarely on the agenda of executive leadership. I don’t understand how that is, really, given all that’s written about it in the leadership press and all we learn from the companies experiencing growth/success. It seems a wee bit short-sighted.

Here’s the heart of it: Employees know whether they are valued and whether their organization is invested in them. Occasional fun days and gift cards to Starbucks offer a bump in the workplace routine, but the outcome will have little impact on overall employee satisfaction, performance, customer service or product excellence.

A culture where executive management, department heads, and team leaders go deep with their employees is possible, once the blinders are removed . What does that mean? It means dealing first with our presumptions and marshalling our efforts away from crazy and toward a culture of transparency and inclusiveness. It may entail perks and benefits, but more than that, such a culture thrives when personnel are proud to belong to such an organization, and their leaders know their people and strive to develop and honor them.Blog - Belonging 3 - flickr Christian BourdeauPhoto Credit: Fast Company

If, as a leader or manager, you have known success in mentoring a few, a small tribe of cohorts, then you can enlarge that to an organization-wide campaign that resets values and encourages and equips employees at all levels.

It’s worth the short-term cost to you for the long-term benefit of the organization and the individuals that make up your work community.


Andrea Huspeni writes: “How leaders choose to implement culture is everything. Some may think having the occasional happy hour, yoga session or trivia night will cut it, and while these perks help, culture runs much deeper than that. It needs to ignite inspiration, motivate teams to outperform the competition and allow employers to grow and produce results for the business. A successful high-performance culture has much more to do with the not-so-exciting tactics like transparency, support and communication than with a Ping-Pong tournament.” – Entrepreneur

Blog - Belonging - slidesharePhoto Credit: Slideshare

Please don’t miss the links below. Also, writing this, I thought of how these concepts apply to organizations other than businesses – including churches and other non-profits. What a difference you can make if you leave off judging the health of an organization by assessing how those closest to you are doing…and take on the whole health of your organization. There’s a lot at stake and it’s worth the effort of checking out your presumptions…learned this the hard way.

6 Surprising Insights of Successful Employee Engagement by Mark C. Crowley

Create Pockets of Excellence at Your Workplace by Shawn Murphy

Clarity and belonging – More Ways for Developing Pockets of Excellence by Shawn Murphy

7 Practices of Leaders Who Build Healthy Workplace Cultures by Brian Dodd

By the Numbers – Here’s What It Takes to Be a Top Company Culture (Infographic) by Greg Besner

8 Companies Reveal Their Secret Sauce to a High-Performance Culture (Video) by Andrea Huspeni

5 Ways Leaders Must Build a Family Environment to Achieve Excellence by Glenn Llopis

Can’t-Miss Advice: 8 Business Leaders Share How to Cultivate a Successful High-Performance Company Culture by Kim Lachance Shandrow

15 Powerful Team-Building Quotes – SlideShare