About The Show
Great leaders multiply their vision into results that far exceed the resources they start with. Through interviews and discussions, Jeff Smith explores leadership issues and illuminates action points and perspectives to help teams in any industry. Jeff talks with experts who study these issues and shares some of his own wisdom from years as an executive leader and executive coach.
The show covers issues that are impacting real teams right now. These include mindfulness in leadership, shaping the right corporate culture and other tips and tools for leaders and teams.
Listen for Voltcast: Illuminating Leadership, live every Tuesday at 10 AM Pacific Time (1 PM EST) on the VoiceAmerica Variety Channel.
We all fall victim to communication mishaps.We think we are on the same page until we realize that the results that we are getting do not match our expectations. We will explore the DISC assessment tool, ways to use DISC for you, your team and your organization. We will also cover how to build trust on your teams and ways to set clear expectations. You will learn about activities that build trust [...]
September 20, 2016 - Episode 2: Conversational Intelligence of High Trust Teams
Trust is an essential element for teams. It takes times to build it but can be destroyed in an instant. When you have trust, a whole new level of performance, pace, creativity and innovation can occur. We will be talking to Jennifer Owen-O’Quill of Voltage Leadership Consulting about how to create and build trust on teams. We will be learning about a new field called Conversational Intelligence that was created by Judith E. Glaser. It is the intersection of neuroscience, coaching and leadership. Please join us for this thought-provoking conversation and learn some practical tips about building and leading teams. [Read Transcript Here]
September 27, 2016 - Episode 3: Your Workplace Culture, Does it work for you...or against you?
Change the Culture Change the Game Every organization has a culture, which either works for them or against them. Sounds obvious right? That being the case, why do so many organizations at times tend to ignore its impact on their results? In their excellent book Change the Culture Change the Game, Roger Connors and Tom Smith illustrate the foundational steps productive cultures are built on. We will be accepting live calls during the program to help your culture, its impact and ways to shape it to help your business. On today's Voltcast, we are going to be talking with Lee Hubert from Voltage Leadership about Culture, what it is, how it works and how to change it if needed to achieve the results you are looking for. [Read Transcript Here]
CALM. CLEAR. CONFIDENT. A hyper-connected, do-more-with-less approach to work and life leaves too many leaders feeling overworked and overwhelmed. The solution? Mindful leadership. Drawing on the research behind two best-selling books and the experience of working with thousands of clients in dozens of the world’s best-known organizations, Scott Eblin helps his clients arrive calm, clear, and confident. Jeff will be discussing with Scott best practices, tips and solutions for helping leaders achieve greater productivity while still living a good life. We will share stories from working with our clients and provide actionable ideas for our listeners to implement today. [Read Transcript Here]
October 11, 2016 - Episode 5: Engagement by Design
Hello leaders, yes I am talking to you! Engagement can't just be a buzz word you throw around. You can't just want your 'employees to be engaged' or 'your customers to be engaged'. It has to be a strategy that is embedded throughout your entire organization and this requires dedication, commitment and an understanding of what engagement really is -an emotion-. It also requires that you have the right resources to help them take your vision of engagement and make it a reality in every corner of the company. If you care about creating a company where your employees and customer are so engaged that they become brand champions you have to be intentional and focused on processes that lead to emotional outcomes. Please join us as we cover best practices and tips on creating an engagement culture. Joining Jeff on the show will be Marisa Keegan who is the host of the engagement focused podcast Utter Brilliance and wrote the book Culture: More than Jeans and Margarita Machines. [Read Transcript Here]
October 18, 2016 - Episode 6: Coaching for Peak Performance
How do we develop and retain high performing talent? By paying attention to our people. But how? Jeff and Jennifer will discuss ways to develop your skill at developing others so that you have successful employees and a winning team. From defining roles and setting expectations, to spotting success and sharing appreciation, they will share best practices for [...]
Are you a victim of drama? Ever wonder why there seems to be so much drama on your team or at your company? How much does drama cost your organization in lost productivity, turnover, absenteeism and low morale? When colleagues adopt one of three primary dysfunctional roles at work, the result is often what we term a 'Cultural Bermuda Triangle.' [...]
November 1, 2016 - Episode 8: Behind the Manager's Closed Door
Do you ever wonder what happens behind the closed door? Are you curious if you are having the right types of conversations with your employees? We will discuss best practices for 1:1 meetings, how to deal with a challenging employee, motivational ideas, disciplinary conversations, giving recognition and even effective team meetings. This practical conversation will help leaders become better at the challenging conversations and help them enter these conversations with more confidence. [...]
November 8, 2016 - Episode 9: Taking Time to be Present
Does it feel like there is never enough time to focus on what is really important to you? How would those around you, your boss, your direct reports, your family describe your ability to be present with them? If you have pondered those or other questions about how to best manage your time in order to be the best you can be at what you do, please join us! This promises to be a fast-moving practical discussion on time management with insights on how to design your time [...]
November 15, 2016 - Episode 10: From Teacher to Unexpected CEO
This week on Voltcast Illuminating Leadership we will be interviewing Jonathan Hagmaier who went from being a teacher to starting a software company that provided educational solutions. He grew the company to almost 100 employees before selling the company in February of 2016. We will be discussing his journey, how he created the Small Business of the Year in Virginia, why values and relationships matter so much to him and leadership lessons he learned along the way. [...]
November 22, 2016 - Episode 11: Coaching and Developing Serving Leaders
Have you heard the term Serving Leader and wondered what that means? Have you wondered if you are engaging enough with your team? What models and tips could I use to help co-create ideas with my team? Jeff Smith hosts Cara Wilson for a discussion about how to develop and coach serving leaders. Cara and Jeff both led leadership programs for Cleveland Clinic across the globe and they will be sharing their insights. [...]
November 29, 2016 - Episode 12: Driving Strategy and Awesome Culture at the Same Time
How often do you work on your strategy? Are you like most companies that do it once a year and then revisit at the next strategic planning offsite? Is it possible to talk strategy monthly and not be in meetings all the time? Jeff Smith will be talking with Amy Ankrum, President of Qualtrax, which is a compliance software company. We will learn about Amy and her team’s unique approaches to strategy, culture and achieving fantastic results while still having a good life. [...]
December 6, 2016 - Episode 13: Planning for Performance Excellence
To perform with excellence, leaders must be both prepared themselves and capable coaches of others. As the year comes to a close and we turn to the New Year, what new ideas and skills will you and your team need to add to succeed? Join us as Jeff and Jennifer share best practices for creating and shepherding Individual Development [...]
December 13, 2016 - Episode 14: Are You Ready to Compete for Talent?
Many organizations are now taking a fresh look at making Winning Cultural Moves in order to foster better workforce engagement and retention. As the economy creates better jobs, employers who are unprepared will pay a high price in turn over. There is an old business saying that says, “Culture beats strategy every time." What then should forward looking leaders be thinking about? [...]
December 20, 2016 - Episode 15: Best Practices From Leaders We Coach
We are blessed to work with amazing leaders all over the globe, and we are going to share some of the tools, tips and best practices from leaders we work with. These tips from CEO’s, CFO’s, Directors, Front Line Managers, Team Leads and Project Managers. This fast-moving dialogue will include stories, successes and challenges that our leaders have experienced [...]
December 27, 2016 - Episode 16: Lessons Learned from 2016
Wow, 2016 was a fast-paced, full of change and interesting year. We will be reviewing lessons learned from our own business and from our client’s experiences. We will be sharing thoughts on acquisitions, new product launches, hiring new talent, firing some talent, moving to new locations and other case studies that we worked with in 2016. [...]
January 3, 2017 - Episode 17: 2017...What are you going to be great at this year?
It is that time of year where we set goals, make resolutions, assess our life and profess our need for change. I believe many of us have good intentions to change but we do not really have a path that will lead us to change. Additionally, many of us try to change too much or too quickly to be successful. Okay, should I just give up now? No way! [...]
January 10, 2017 - Episode 18: How do we create a coaching culture inside our organization?
How do we create a Coaching Culture inside our organization? Culture can be loosely defined as the "connecting rod" that makes things happen. In other words it's, "the way we do things around here." It has a direct impact on a company's ability to deliver on its mission over the longer term. What is a coaching culture? A coaching culture is one that allows people to: take responsibility for their own actions [...]
January 17, 2017 - Episode 19: Got a minute...? How to best invest each minute of your day!
Time, the indefinite continued progress of existence and events that occur in an irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future. How many times have you been asked, "Got a minute…?” We can think of 10,080 reasons why this is an important question to answer. We all have 168 hours in a week (10,080 minutes.) How we spend them and who we spend them with often defines our success and quality of life. [...]
January 24, 2017 - Episode 20: Teams - Love Them or Dread Them? Ideas on Creating Great Teams
Today’s business world has us working in groups and teams more often every day. Some of you love this collaboration and get excited to learn from others, brainstorm and find creative solutions. Others dread going to team socials, team-building and the dreaded team meeting. Jennifer Owen-O’Quill and Jeff Smith will be sharing best practices for leaders [...]
January 31, 2017 - Episode 21: The Entrepreneur's Journey
Have you ever thought of starting your own company? Are you already there and need some inspiration and motivation? Are you a leader in an organization that needs to think more entrepreneurial? Host Jeff Smith and Jay Markiewicz, Executive Director of Entrepreneurship Programs at Virginia Commonwealth University will be talking about their leadership journey and sharing lessons learned from their journey. [...]
February 7, 2017 - Episode 22: Pushing for Results? Move the Needle with iPush
A fresh new year is well underway and we are into an intense time known as “Q1”. Are things unfolding as you had planned during strategy sessions at the end of 2016? If so, great and congratulations. If not, what actions should be taken and how should they be communicated? In other words, how hard should leadership push for results and how should they go about it? This is a question that all leaders face at different times. The answer to it often determines [...]
February 14, 2017 - Episode 23: Joyful Success: What Happens When Culture and Accountability Meet
Join us for a conversation with Cynthia Rancourt, CEO of Polymer Solutions Incorporated (PSI), named one of Virginia’s Best Places to Work. PSI is an independent materials testing lab and strategic resource for the testing of polymers, plastics, metals, gases, and much more. The PSI team shares a passion for great science! The team is one that loves a great challenge and is curious in nature. [...]
February 21, 2017 - Episode 24: How Do Choices You Make Impact Your Relationships
Can you believe what Ted said to me? Did you see what Janet did at our last meeting? What is your attitude when you walk into a meeting? What is your intention for your next 1:1 with your direct report? Please join us for our next Voltcast: Illuminating Leadership Radio show where we will be tackling these questions with our guests Nancy Smyth and Sharon Eakes. These authors wrote “Chocolate or Lunch—How Choices Impact Relationships. [...]
February 28, 2107- Episode 25: How to Use Outside Resources
Who are your Trusted Advisors? What do you intend them to do for your organization? Do you need a Coach, Trainer, Facilitator, Speaker, Onboarder, Mentor, Board Interfacer or some other type of resource? What are the best ways to use them? We know and understand the challenges in finding the role for the right "fit” for your organization. Clarity about roles, goals and expectations are a large [..]
When tensions run high because of high workloads, looming deadlines, or un-addressed conflict, people’s relationships suffer. And when relationships suffer, your productivity takes a hit. Join us for this week’s VoltCast Illuminating Leadership as Jennifer Owen-O’Quill, a certified Conversational Intelligence™ Coach, joins us to address the intersection between anxiety, civility and performance capacity. [...]
March 14, 2017 - Episode 27: How Leaders Can Use Storytelling to Inspire Action
As a leader, you set a vision and develop strategies to achieve goals, drive change, and create a successful organization. But what happens when those well-developed plans fail to come to life due to employee indifference or inaction. Dynamic leaders paint the picture of where the organization is heading, share why it matters, and then allow its members to write themselves into the organization’s success story. [...]
Studies have found that people who live, lead and work with purpose live up to 7 years longer, are 42% more likely to experience contentment in life and at work, and are four times more likely to be engaged in their jobs (Gallup, 2013; National Institutes of Health, 1998; New York University, 2015). In addition, organizations who have a strong sense of purpose are more profitable and outperform [...]
March 28, 2017 - Episode 29: Moving an Expert Leader to Strategic Facilitator
Many leaders were brought up to believe they had to have all the answers and rescue their employees when they were stuck. We often call this “heroic” leadership and it sets up the leader as the rescuer. This scenario can create resentment for both the leader and the followers. It can also lead to burn-out for leaders and disengagement for followers. Please join Jeff Smith and Petra Platzer [...]
We all have assignments that are better off shared. They may be too large for us to successfully accomplish alone, or they may carry the opportunity to develop our team. Perhaps we have a project or task perfectly suited for the talents of someone else. Delegation is the dance of prioritization, productivity, pressure, and people development: the art of developing both others and ourselves. [...]
April 11, 2017 - Episode 31: How's Your Attitude Indicator?
The attitude indicator on an airplane is very important. It informs the pilot of the orientation of the aircraft relative to the horizon, so it must be correct at all times regardless of the plane's movements. This means that the attitude indicator needs to be continually monitored to ensure a smooth flight and level glide path. It is likewise with us.We have heard it said that Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we respond to it. This means turning off our personal auto-pilot about what we thought we knew. [...]
April 18, 2017 - Episode 32: Hurry Up and Slow Down - WIN - What's Important Now?
It seems like we are surrounded by the need for speed. We want it and we want it now. Speed seems to be reinforced at every turn. We want that red traffic light to turn green, now, (What are they waiting for?) We want business results to come fast, (especially in Q1) and without much hassle. We want everything from our computers to our toasters to run fast, fast, fast. Maybe it's time to slow down a little. We tend to see more details when we slow down and really look at our surroundings, including relationships. [...]
April 25, 2017 - Episode 33: Leadership Lessons from Lincoln
We sometimes think we have things so rough. Our 16th President was probably one of the most revered and the most hated figures by his contemporaries. Abraham Lincoln was elected by what was then the lowest plurality in an American election to date. The country was disintegrating, military leaders and cabinet members questioned his leadership, and there were numerous threats on his life. In spite of it all, Lincoln’s approach to managing people and circumstances fostered innovation and engagement. [...]
What type of experience do you want people to have? How you show up and perform matters. Your entrance, tone of voice, and even choice of words design an experience for others. As a leader, your presence carries the weight of cultivating a certain experience for employees and clients. How do you facilitate the type of experience you intend for them? [...]
May 9, 2017 - Episode 35: Time, Energy, People and Communication
What separates our best days at work from the most challenging ones? What do they have in common? What might we have done differently? How can we improve next time? How do we make every day at work the best it can possibly be for everybody, including the end users of our work product? If you have ever asked yourself these questions, you won’t want to miss our next VoltCast: Illuminating Leadership [...]
May 16, 2017 - Episode 36: The Power of Influence
Who had the greatest influence in your life? What leader saw something in you that you may not have seen in yourself? What would you team say about your influence skills? Are you trying to leading change in your organization that requires influence skills? Please join Jeff Smith and Jennifer Owen-O’Quill in a conversation about influence and the impact of your leadership. [...]
May 23, 2017 - Episode 37: Going from Peer to Boss: Oh My What a Ride!
Congratulations! You have just been promoted and you will now be leading the people that were just your friends and peers! Or, maybe you are a 1st time manager in a new culture, company or department. This type of transition is one of the most challenging you will face in your career. Please join Jeff Smith and Maged Khalef as we discuss our experiences both as leaders that have gone through this transition [...]
May 30, 2017 - Episode 38: Give Back Time - Alla Breve...!
“Alla Breve” is Italian musical term for “cut the playing time” or play faster. There is some wisdom here to share as we are often faced the reality of “doing less”, ie cutting the time or “doing more” aka playing faster. How to apply Alla Breve in our professional and personal lives goes a long way to determining if the sounds we fill the air with are melodic and harmonious vs off pitch and in the wrong key. Are we habitually “out of time” running from one meeting to another? [...]
Change is both a constant and a challenging part of our professional lives. Leading change and managing change are different skills, and learning to navigate both processes successfully is essential to long term leadership success. Tune in to hear Jeff and Jennifer’s Top 5 Lessons Learned. With both Success Stories and Pitfalls to Avoid, these lessons in change are gleaned from Voltage Leadership’s most successful and challenging client engagements. [...]
June 13, 2017 - Episode 40: What I Didn't Do On My Summer Vacation
Remember when you were kids and anticipated summer vacation? The feeling of sheer joy, being “free” to do whatever and having the time to do! That kid is still very much alive and well, although with years of work – life conditioning, may need a refresher on how to really unplug. This means managing what we will not do on our summer family vacations and planning well to hold to that. Easier said than done? Should I take calls? Should I be available by email or Text? The challenge is to “Manage Out!” [...]
June 20, 2017 - Episode 41: Letter from Lincoln
We sometimes encounter challenging or difficult personalities in our professional or personal lives. Our 16th President was no exception. Abraham Lincoln had lots on his plate and was masterful at working through all kinds on people to meet the challenges of his day. How do we tap into and apply an individual’s strengths while navigating their weaknesses? What are the best ways to handle an emotionally upset person? [...]
June 27, 2017 - Episode 42: Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and Inclusion, what does that mean? How is it defined – is it Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Sexual orientation, Religious affiliation, Generation, Disability, Personality type, Thinking style? What does it mean for leaders? How is diversity turned into organizational strength? What are the economic and demographic implications? How is embracing diversity and inclusion a powerful catalyst for success? [...]
July 11, 2017 - Episode 43: AHA! to All In
Have you ever felt frustration at work and thought to yourself, how do I do better and make an impact? Jon Hagmaier certainly felt troubled as an educator who was trying to academically inspire “at-risk” students. However, what Hagmaier has always been passionate about is recognizing life’s Aha moments and going All-In to achieve a goal. From the newly released book ‘Aha! To All-In’, please join co-author, Jeff Smith, and author, Jon Hagmaier, as they discuss their experiences developing Interactive Achievement from a three-person startup into a multi-million dollar company. [...]
July 18, 2017 - Episode 44: Retention and Recognition Strategies
Which comes first, employee retention strategy or recognition? What do employees want and why do they leave? What are the drivers of employee retention and engagement? Does the employee or new hire” Fit” with the Team? How frequently are they given meaningful coaching and feedback? How often are the recognized for their contributions to organizational success and how are they recognized? Are “problems” known to the staff and largely unknown to managers and executives? [...]
July 25, 2017 - Episode 45: Feedback and Development are a Gift
Are you looking for a way to have motivated and engaged employees? Are you looking for the next leader of your organization? Department? Project? If so, feedback and development are two tools to help ensure you will the person ready when you need them. However, so many of are so focused on our day to day tasks, we never seem to have time for relationships and growing the people on our team. [...]
What does it take to get people to bring their best new ideas to the table? How can leaders foster creativity and innovation in ways that deliver results? We hear all the catch phrases and buzz words: Design Thinking, Creativity and Innovation Spaces, being a Great Place to Work, but the question I hear from leaders most often is simply, “How can I get started?” After being the opening speaker for the Valley Business Keynote, Jennifer Owen-O’Quill continues the conversation about the ingredients that drive creativity and innovation at work. [...]
Do you ever feel like your days are flying by and running into one another? Do you have good intentions about planning for your work but end up being consumed by e-mail and the crisis of the day? Have you wanted to start a work-out regimen but somehow never seem to get around to it?Host, Jeff Smith, will be talking with Dr. Alan Schlechter, who is the co-author of the book UThrive: How to Succeed in College and Life. He and co-author, Daniel Lerner, teach the most popular elective class at New York University, The Science of Happiness. We will discuss best practices around well-being, ways to grow your effectiveness and share case studies of leaders who have grown their skills while also enjoying their role more. [...]
August 15, 2017 - Episode 48: How to Ensure You Have the Right Talent at the Right Time
You work hard to get to know what your customers want and how much they are willing to pay for it. You define the right strategies for your business’ future. However, when you look around at your team, you do not always have enough of the right talent to fully implement and lead your strategies. Businesses in every industry face this growing challenge, especially as your organizational chart has holes caused by Baby Boomers retiring in greater numbers, and Gen X’ers and Millennials not quite ready to step into senior roles. [...]
August 22, 2017 - Episode 49: What Makes a Great Team?
What makes a great team? What are the factors that play into the recipe for a successful team? Why do some Teams gel and seem to have fun with the work they are tasked with while other do not? If you have contemplated these questions or have current challenges with building a successful Team, then you wont want to miss our next Voltcast. Please join us as Voltage Principal Consultant Lee Hubert and Special Guest Van Garnett, Training Program Specialist from Community Housing Partners (CHP) discuss practical tips and tools for building great Teams. [...]
August 29, 2017 - Episode 50: Strategic Planning
It’s that time of the year when organizations will usually hold forward looking strategy sessions to plan for the coming year. We have provided a unique opportunity for our clients and colleagues to listen in as we share our thought processes around strategic planning, ie What is working well with your current strategic planning process? Where are you struggling in your current strategic planning process? What are the biggest successes so far in the current year and why? What are the biggest obstacles anticipated during the coming year? What would “Winning Moves” look like for the coming year? If your organization is in Strategic planning mode,(or about to be), you won’t want to miss! [...]
September 5, 2017 - Episode 51: Strategic Planning Part 2
September 12, 2017 - Episode 52: Leadership Behaviors that Build Employee Trust
It is said that trust is a lot like oxygen. Everybody knows when its present and everybody seems to feel it when it’s not. It is also the main reason professional (and some personal) relationships fail. Trust is reciprocal like a two-way street. It is also like a seed planted that, over time, builds stable and predictable relationships. Conversely, Trust or lack of it, often shows up in increased “bad” turn-over statistics, low engagement survey scores and lots of gossip driven “noise” in the system. So how can Leaders help build up Trust on their Teams and in their organizations? [...]
September 20, 2017 - Episode 53: Millennial Mythology
What do you think other generations, like Boomers, think of Millennials? What part of that is mythology based on assumptions vs experience? What guidance is available for Boomers who work for Millennial managers? How can we all interface at work to tap each other's strengths and minimize misunderstanding? What are some of the false assumptions about Boomers as older people? Please join us Principal Consultant Lee Hubert (Boomer) and Voltage Office Manager Diane Nguyen (Millennial) as they discuss “Millennial Mythology”. [...]
September 26, 2017 - Episode 54: How to Think and Act Like Day One Executive
Do you ever feel like an imposter, posing as a leader? Do you have a lot of intentions for something you plan on doing but not as many results as you had hoped? Do you think in a couple of years, you will have more self-confidence and be a better leader, spouse, parent, friend, etc. Please join Jeff Smith and April Armstrong, Founder of AHA Insight as we tackle these types of questions. We will explain our philosophy, share our coaching cases and tips for you to design the life you are looking to live. [...]
October 3, 2017 - Episode 55: How To Take Great Notes and Get The Most of Of Your Meetings
You are in a meeting with the Team, the boss, a client or maybe colleague and want to make sure you don’t miss anything important. Later, as you review notes from the meeting, you struggle to understand what they say, (let alone what they mean.) How can that be? After all, you were the one taking the notes, right? Are there better ways to handle meeting notes? What do others do and how does that work for them? Should I even be in this meeting at all? If you have ever had this experience, join Voltage CEO Jeff Smith and Principal Consultant Lee Hubert will share tips and tools on How to Take Great Notes and Get the Most out of Your Meetings
October 10, 2017 - Cultivating Leaders During Chaos
When US Airways Flight 1549, or “The Miracle on the Hudson,” ditched into the Hudson River on January 15, 2009, Dave Sanderson knew he was exactly where he was supposed to be. The last passenger off the back of the plane on that fateful day, he was largely responsible for the well-being and safety of others, risking his own life in frigid water to help other passengers off the plane. Despite the hazards to himself, Sanderson thought only of helping others and emerged from the wreckage with a mission: to encourage others to do the right thing. Do you feel like you are swimming all day and are just trying to keep your head above water? Jeff and Dave will be talking about what leaders can learn about themselves during chaos. We will also explore how Dave has used his experience to influence and teach others. We will give lots of tips and suggestions for our listeners while providing an inspiration story on Tuesday at 1PM EDT.