Authorpreneur Dashboard – Margaret Graziano

Margaret  Graziano

Ignite Culture

Business & Investing

Learn how to Empower and Lead a Healthy, High-Performance Organization from the Inside Out in this Wall Street Journal Bestseller!

Sometimes corporate leaders forget that businesses are human systems. Revenue, innovation, and growth are all generated by human beings. Every organization is a human system, an amalgamation of personalities, behaviors, moods, actions and interactions. All too often, personalities when on overdrive, cause defensive aggressive or passive defensive polarities in how people work together. This causes relational friction, dysfunction, dissatisfaction and stress - all adversely impacting organizational culture.

Offering a unique combination of experiential coaching, evidence-based leadership tools, and actionable strategies, this book empowers business leaders with the wisdom and insights they need to assess how personality overdrive is causing relationship breakdowns and unnecessary conflict.

Ignite Culture gives CEOs, HR, and Business Leaders a first-hand view into what causes dysfunction in the workplace and what to do about it. You learn how to cultivate a healthy company culture, increase employee engagement and performance, spark innovation among teams and align people towards a common cause.

Inside, you learn to:
-Understand how important introspection and self-discovery are to personal and organizational performance.
-Learn the impact of our behavior on the spaces in which we work.
-Experiment with new ways to alter old behaviors that inhibit growth.
-Be equipped to coach and mentor others on owning their impact.
-Catalyze positive change across the organization.
-Inspire peak performance and achieve market leadership.

"Margaret is an expert in the field of culture change and development. Her work has helped thousands of people across companies heal trust, mend broken relationships, and create space for people to start working together more effectively. Her real stories and experiences combine with research to create an authentic and powerful resource. This is the book every leader needs to read!" -Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, #1 Executive Coach and New York Times bestselling author of The Earned Life.

Get Ignite Culture today!

Book Bubbles from Ignite Culture

Develop Rapport and Lead By Example

Developing rapport is essential to cultivating healthy and harmonious relationships with those you work with and those in your personal life. Rapport is about understanding and respecting the feelings of others and in doing so, strengthening your ability to work together. Developing rapport requires you to establish trust. To do that you need to be able to offer support, communicate effectively, and follow through with what you say. The number one way to break trust is to make promises you can’t or don’t keep. When you can’t keep a commitment, make sure to alert people affected by it as soon as you know. Life gets in the way sometimes. People will understand that a lot better when they are notified in advance of you breaking your agreement.

Be Present in the Room with Sensory Acuity

Sensory acuity is using all our senses to observe the world around us in order to gather detailed information about the present moment. This is especially important for communication because there are other factors that contribute more to understanding someone than just their words. In fact, words make up only about 7% of communication. Mastering sensory acuity requires using your other keen senses to expand how you see, perceive, understand, and communicate with others. Things like tonality, where their eyes are looking, what color their face is (i.e. blushing), the shape of their mouth, and how they are standing or sitting are all indicators of the way someone feels that is not communicated through their words. Developing this skill requires you to focus entirely on the person with whom you are communicating with. Mastering this not only allows you to read people at a higher level, but to also understand and relate to them in a deeper manner.

Another Key to Presence: Childlike Wonder

Childlike wonder is being completely immersed in the world around you. It’s about coming from an open/neutral perspective, getting curious, asking questions, and being aware of when you are judging and evaluating. Many people become entrenched in their perspectives, beliefs, preferences, points of view, etc. as they grow up. To be fully present with others, you have to let go of your inherent or historical biases. Otherwise, It’s as if you are viewing the world with orange tinted glasses. Everything you experience is tinted orange because that’s how you see and perceive. In this mindset, you won’t be able to accept new and different ideas, or engage with others you speak to. When it comes to childlike wonder, it’s about setting aside all biases, agendas, perceptions, and beliefs about how things are going to go and being curious so you can truly connect and interact with others as an “empty vessel”. When you are empty of perceptions, preferences, judgements, biases and beliefs, you are truly able to meet people where they are and enable them to not only feel like they are contributing, but to actually contribute.

Staying in the Moment for Optimal Leadership

The working world is full of things that can take you out of the present moment. Things like multitasking, keeping your cell phone on, constantly checking your emails, and having many open windows on your computer are all things that distract you. Cognitive overload is the result of these distractions, leading you to experience an inability to focus and stay on track, bouts of agitation, and increased distress, culminating in decreases in productivity and strained work relationships. No matter the skill or competence level, when a human being has too many things to keep track of, it's difficult to focus and complete tasks. One of the most important things to do to get present is to remove yourself from the world of distraction. Attempt to implement some liberating constraints, such as turning your cellphone off during periods of focus, signing out of your email account and only logging in during scheduled email sessions, keeping only 1 or 2 windows open on your computer, and blocking out time to focus on specific tasks or projects. Another way to keep yourself on track and in a present state of mind is to know, understand, and experience what your ultimate purpose is and define what it looks like to operate in alignment with that purpose. When you do that, you give yourself the opportunity to tune in to what is important and how to work in service of that purpose.

The Impact of the Energy We Emit

We are all emitting energy every day and in every interaction. Energy has the power to create, destroy or stagnate. Each of us brings our moods, behaviors and actions (for better or worse) to each interaction and each relationship. We are either catalyzing or constraining forward movement by how we operate with each other at work. All organizations are human systems and we each impact those around us. Understanding the components impacting the system is where it all begins. This is what happened to Tom. Tom is highly cautious, which has contributed to his success. He is systematic and a perfectionist. While these are traits that are very useful for leadership, if they dominate your thinking and actions, they can create disruptions, lead to micromanagement, and have a negative impact on a company's culture. In Tom's case, his perfectionism and desire to have things done exactly as they should be led him to be abrasive towards his employees. Instead of empowering them to perform their tasks in the proper manner, he was putting them off and leaving them discouraged and disgruntled. Like many other leaders, he couldn't see that he was the one causing this problem that was festering in the company's culture.

Discovering Blind Spots is Key to Growth

This book gives CEOs, HR and Business Leaders a first hand view into what causes dysfunction in the workplace and what to do about it. There is no quick fix. There is no system for culture that will make things better until people thoroughly understand who they are, what works about their behavior at work, and what is in the way of making a positive impact. In this excerpt, Cali is an example of stability. As a leader, she is consistent and measured. She sticks with what is working and continues moving forward with other like-minded individuals. The problem for Cali is that always sticking with the status quo will never benefit a company in the long term. Businesses are always changing and evolving. Cali didn't realize that was becoming an issue for her company until problems began cropping up. She was taking on too many responsibilities as a leader, while also neglecting to build the proper framework to support both herself and her employees, which caused employee turnover and missed deadlines. She didn't create a balanced team in her company, which led to her having many effective and productive people who were only focused on one aspect of the company. Hiring a variety of people with differing perspectives, knowledge, and talent would enable her to have a well rounded team that could grow the organization by seeing and doing the things that Cali couldn't.

The Unintended Consequences of Our Strengths

The unintended consequence of leading with our strengths on overload can cause us and others to engage in passive defensive or aggressive defensive behavior, all negatively impacting our organization's ability to navigate change and uncertainty, and acting as barriers to evolution, innovation and market leadership. In this excerpt, Donna is someone who moves fast and gets things done. As a leader, she's persuasive and inspiring. She's also social and outgoing. However, the consequences of these aspects of her personality are that she's always doing too many things at once and communicating with too many people at the same time. Despite her best efforts to do so, the human brain can't multitask, and this causes breakdowns for Donna and her team. Because of this, roadblocks occur that could have been prevented or fixed much sooner, and the team is less cohesive than they otherwise could be. For Donna, it's important to take the time to slow down and be present to each and every thing she does. Giving the person she's communicating with her full attention, and eliminating distractions enables her to complete tasks and delegate in a more effective manner, allowing for more work to get done and less problems to crop up.

The Dysfunction of Auto-Pilot

"Ignite Culture" is an inside out reflection of what is going on inside organizations and how to turn around what isn't working for the betterment of all. Everyone has personality strengths that serve us in making things happen and moving our careers and organizations forward. However, when we get into our subconscious autopilot, we often cannot see how these ”winning behaviors”cause deep dysfunction in our workplaces. In this excerpt, Sam Smith's greatest strength as a leader is his decisiveness. He's determined and resilient, he gets things done, and doesn't let anything get in his way. The problem for Sam was that he was allowing the weaknesses of being highly decisive to also run the show. Because of this, he had shaped a culture that caused his company to suffer from a lack of employee engagement, retention, and satisfaction. And he wasn't even aware of the impact he was having. To others, he seemed overbearing and aggressive. His people were afraid of him and likely working too hard to appease him, causing them to suffer from burnout in the process. To overcome this, Sam had to be willing and committed to self-reflect and take responsibility for the systemic implications of his behavior on the company's culture. That enabled him to begin the process of shaping a healthy, high-performance culture.

Awakening the Corporate Soul: A Radical Shift

In these tumultuous times, it's undeniable that our world is undergoing profound changes. As I reflect on the challenges we face, I can't help but think that this might be the wakeup call our corporate landscape desperately needs. At the core of every organization are people, and their well-being is the heartbeat of success. As President Abraham Lincoln profoundly stated, "Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital... Labor is the superior of capital." When crises strike in the corporate world, leaders often scramble for quick fixes, relying on external solutions. However, these remedies seldom address the root cause—the erosion of our organizational cultures. Businesses are intricate human systems, and genuine transformation must begin from within. I'm here to propose a radical shift in approach—one that nurtures the human spirit at work, sparking change from the inside out, one individual at a time. Links: Get a copy on Amazon and leave us a review: Get to know Margaret Graziano: Follow me on my socials and look forward for the release of the audible version is coming soon! Linkedin: Instagram: Facebook: Let’s liberate the human spirit together!

Igniting the human spirit at work

They say that adversity is the mother of invention. This has certainly been the case over the course of my professional life. In 2014, I was creating a revolutionary recruiting software when the code was stolen, forcing me to redirect my career. I decided to combine my coaching certification, decade of leading seminars and introductions for large-group, self-awareness workshops, and twenty years of executive search experience to launch an executive coaching business. To promote my new venture, I wrote some articles about the importance of healthy corporate cultures and the impact of the leadership team’s mindset, behaviors, and overall self-awareness on that culture. Today, the intent of my company, KeenAlignment, is to forever liberate the human spirit at work. And it is my truest honor and joy to watch this happen every day.

Ignite Culture - Masterclass Companion Workbook

Business & Investing

Book Bubbles from Ignite Culture - Masterclass Companion Workbook

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