Scott Eblin -- "Overworked And Overwhelmed"This post is excerpted with permission of the publisher, Wiley, from “Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative” by Scott Eblin. Copyright (c) 2014 by Scott Eblin. All rights reserved. This book is available at all bookstores and online booksellers. Eblin is a former Fortune 500 executive with a leadership development client list that includes some of the world’s best known private and public sector organizations. He is also the author of “The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success” and an occasional SmartBlog on Leadership contributor. Follow Eblin on Twitter and YouTube, and connect with The Eblin Group on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Happy Hour Starts at 6:00 AM

For Alanson Van Fleet, a senior executive in a global financial services company, happy hour starts at 6:00 AM. No, he doesn’t start his day with a Bloody Mary or a mimosa. Happy hour is Van Fleet’s term for the morning routine that helps him show up at his best for the rest of the day. (read more…)

Many organizations today are fighting a battle of the bulge. No, it has nothing to do with wellness programs, insurance premiums or weight-loss competitions. But it is a huge health hazard for business.

Over the past decade, many companies and institutions have suffered downsizing, right sizing, outsourcing, rationalizing and a whole lot of other “zings” that have changed the organizational landscape. Structures are meaner and leaner. Baby boomers are waiting longer to retire. The old corporate ladder has toppled.

Yet many organizations have continued to hire and set expectations with employees that, if they perform well, they’ll enjoy growth via perpetual promotions. Employees have done their part and now expect the organization to do its. As a result, there’s a bulge of talent in many companies — too many skillful, prepared employees for too few new roles. What’s an organization to do?

First, we must help everyone understand that it’s a whole new world at work. (read more…)

Sam Symonds is president & CEO of Co-Operative Industries Aerospace & Defense (CIA&D), a role he’s held for the past 15 years. Sam began his career in aerospace 35 years ago and has worked for companies such as Simmonds Precision, Hercules Inc., BFGoodrich Aerospace, and Amphenol Aerospace. In this post sponsored by CIA&D, Sam talks about the challenges his company is facing and how he plans to manage them.

Question: What is the biggest challenge your company is facing this year? The next 10 years?

Answer: The biggest challenge facing Co-Operative Industries this year has been maintaining the balance of controlling cost while meeting and exceeding customer requirements. Many times new programs require a fine balancing act of managing the necessary material and human resources needed to meet Just-In-Time (JIT) expectations, while avoiding having to carry excess resources that drive up costs. Successfully managing resources enables us, and our customers, to remain competitive. (read more…)

The Young Entrepreneur Council is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Read previous SmartBlogs posts by YEC.

If you enjoy this article, join SmartBrief’s e-mail list for our newsletters on small business and entrepreneurialism.

Q. What is the best (inexpensive) way to reward employees who are consistently great or who go above and beyond what you expected?

yec_Matt Ames1. Recognition

Recognition can do more for an employee than any financial compensation. Figure out a way to recognize their contributions in a public way. Not only in front of employees, but their friends and family as well. Take out an ad in the local paper, include this person’s contributions in the newsletter to all customers, or acknowledge them on social media. – Matt Ames, MN Pro Paintball

yec_Dan Price2. (read more…)

When I worked at Marriott, stories of Bill Marriott visiting hotels during his travels became legendary. He wouldn’t just check in for a night or two while visiting key clients and attending to high-level business concerns, he would walk the back of the house and the front of the house and talk to staff members at all levels along the way.

Through one-on-one conversations and small-group chats, he created real, personal connections with many of the nearly 200,000 people who made his business run and gathered valuable information about their work and the hotels in the process.

Of course, Bill Marriott also spent plenty of time with his big customers and clients, but he still found unique ways to stay connected with his employees — and not just the ones in management. And that’s part of what made him a great leader.

Why senior leaders must find unique ways to stay connected

One of the leading drivers of employee engagement is workers’ relationships with their immediate managers, but developing good relationships with upper management can boost engagement even further. (read more…)