Do the best leaders really live in San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif.?



Our friends at Gallup have invented yet another poll to help us understand employee satisfaction…

Top 10 Cities with the Most Content Workers

And the Winner is? San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles,CA.

No doubt a great place to live and work.

But here’s the catch…

“How workers were treated by their supervisors was perhaps the most meaningful indicator of a healthy workplace. According to Dan Witters, research director of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, workers were far more likely to give positive evaluations to other elements of their jobs if they felt treated like a partner at work. As a result, the cities with the best work environments were largely those where workers most often felt treated like a partner.”

So…is it really about San Luis or Kingsport or Roanoke?

Demographics, income and unemployment rates aside…the survey tells us what we already know.

The quality of the employee experience is largely dependent on the quality of leadership. Surprise?

“In fact, seven of the 10 best cities for work also had among the 10-highest percentages of workers who felt treated like a partner at work.”

The article doesn’t shed light on how the remaining demographic data correlates to the results…other than to note that it really doesn’t make a difference.

“If you have a bad supervisor, your work experience will be poor regardless of the level of your education and financial situation”

Do we conclude that there are just more enlightened leaders in these Top 10 cities?


Truth of the matter is you can survey this topic 15 different ways and come up with any number of correlations.

So the real value of this data might be to remind us that regardless of where we live, we have the opportunity to lead in a way that creates a great employee experience.


  • Treat employees as partners
  • Support a holistic view of employee well-being
  • Provide a positive work environment
  • Create challenging opportunities
  • Build trust

From Cleveland to California…everything rises and falls on leadership.



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7 Reasons Why Your Message Isn’t Getting Through



So here you are again. You thought you had your bases covered but nothing is changing.

Well crafted email sent to the team? Check.

Timely speech delivered in weekly staff meeting? Check.

Expectations clearly communicated? Check

One on one conversations with key team members? Check.

Why is everyone carrying on as if nothing was said? Weren’t they all nodding their heads during your PowerPoint presentation? Didn’t they get the message?

Clearly not.

So what’s the problem?

It’s probably not the message.

It’s might be you.

So take a look in the mirror and ask these 7 questions:

1. Are you believable?

It helps if people think you know what you’re doing. You need to demonstrate competence in your role and earn respect by getting results. This may come in the form of tackling a longstanding challenge on behalf of the team or addressing a complex problem others have avoided. You don’t have to save the world, just show people you’ve earned the responsibility you’ve been given.

2. Are you trustworthy?

The importance of trust in leadership has been discussed and expounded upon in countless books and articles. If you want people to act on your message they need to believe you will keep your part of the bargain and that you have their interests, not just your own, in mind. Hold yourself to the standards you expect from others. The bigger the ask, the bigger the balance you’ll need in your trust account.

3. Are you listening?

When you do all the talking, don’t be surprised when people stop listening. If you make it all about you, your idea, your solution, you as the smartest person in the room…you get the picture. People want to be heard. You don’t have to act on every idea but you need to open up to discussion and debate. To do otherwise is to invite passive aggressive behavior and a lot of head nodding and lip service.

“Listening is being willing to be changed by the other person.” Alan Alda

4. Are you inclusive?

When your idea becomes “their” idea, or better yet, “our” idea, which is better than your original idea anyway…well…that’s a home run. Then what if you just step out-of-the-way and let them drive the change? It doesn’t get much better than that. Spend the time to do this up front, otherwise, expect to do a lot of huffing and puffing because you have decided to pull the train up the hill all by your lonesome. You may get to the top, but it will take a lot longer and require a lot more energy.

5. Are you grateful?

If your track record is to reward a job well done by piling on more work or to take the public credit for successes the team accomplished you can expect a tough road ahead. Gratitude has a great way of reducing resistance. Make sure you are rewarding the right behaviors and attitudes, and that your gratitude is sincere, then be generous with your appreciation.

6. Are you humble?

Did you know you can be strong, confident and humble? In fact some of the greatest leaders in history were known for their humility. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be willing to admit when you are wrong, accept tough questions and talk to anyone at any level to gather input. When people sense that you are “with them”, that you are human, they will be more open to what you have to say and what you ask them to do.

7. Are you consistent?

Some leaders whip their teams around in a never-ending-merry-go-round of change; chasing after every shiny object that catches their eye. Other leaders set standards for change but then ignore those standards when the top sales person or star performer doesn’t follow through. If you are inconsistent, unpredictable and impulsive your team will begin to dig their heels in to restore some level of fairness, certainty and stability. Soon you’ll be going in circles by yourself.

If all else fails…ask. Sit down with your team and be vulnerable. Ask them why your message isn’t getting through and what you can do to get things back on track. They’ll tell you.

What are other reasons our message might not get through? What are other ways we can help ensure that it does?


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