How to maximize and engage staff and have them thank you for it!

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If you subscribe to a command and control style of leadership, operating from positional power, (“Because I’m your boss, that’s why. Now do it.”) and have no plans of changing your approach, I invite you to keep scrolling. This article is not for you.

However, if you operate from command and control, recognize its limitations and are looking for a new way to produce greater outcomes and abundance OR you already operate from a servant leadership model, this article is for you! I would also like to congratulate those in this category for the difference you are about to make in many, many lives!

We are collectively on the precipice of a sea-change, effecting all of us. The global economy is shifting from one of being industry-based to one of being knowledge-based. You may have heard the term, knowledge economy. Yes, we are in a knowledge economy. Therefore, our value is based on not what we can produce and machine, as it had been in the industrial economy but, what we know and how we can leverage relationships to achieve common goals.

Our technology has changed, our economy has changed, yet one thing continues to remain the same for the majority of organizations; the way we lead, develop and support our employees!

Organizations, continuing to operate from “we’ve always done it this way”, command and control style, whereby obedience and compliance are rewarded; we’ve found at best yield minimal compliance from employees and a severe lack of engagement in the company’s products and services leading to poor customer service and high turnover.

The Leadership style itself, sets the tone of the culture. Leaders leading from command and control signal to staff, you are valuable as long as you do what I say. The unspoken message given by this approach is “stay in the box or you face trouble”. Precisely, when we need “out of the box” creative thinking to be competitive in an ever-expanding knowledge economy. The result; employees are reticent to share and be authentic because the company norms have already been reinforced; speak up or out and you may face a response that shakes your security.

If the norms of leadership derived from command and control are prevalent still and the Company wants to continue or have a chance at growth and success, a new model of norms will need to be created, communicated and heavily reinforced.

The new model will then cooperate with the shift in the economy and provide space for knowledge and service to continuously expand with market expectations.

Very simply, what we are saying is that the majority of companies continue to operate in antiquated leadership fashions, not having made the shift and kept up with the pace of workforce evolution and now operating from a once appropriate paradigm actually serve as a detriment to profits, staff morale, community connection and humanity-at-large.

As the prolific, William Blake once said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.”

The model is “Conscious Capitalism”. An approach to commerce guided by four principles: Higher Purpose, Conscious Leadership, Stakeholder Orientation and a Conscious Culture.

Conscious Capitalism’s principles can be further understood this way:

Higher Purpose – exists to unite all staff to operate from a common purpose that transcends any one person and agenda, evident by a sense of “we are all in this together”.

Stakeholder Orientation – approaches capitalism from the stand point, we will operate in benefit to all whom serve as a stakeholder of this organization’s eco system and do no harm to any one stakeholder in benefit of another. The greater system is completely complimentary. No more decimating entire levels of management to increase shareholder value, yet disregarding the employee stakeholder and the impact to family, community and society.

Conscious Leadership – In order to create and operate from the above model, self-aware leadership is required. Leaders who are willing to question everything in order to ensure it serves the higher purpose of the company is just the type of flexibility and open-mindedness that will almost guarantee abundance for stakeholders. Primarily, Conscious Leadership is exhibited through a servant leadership model. Servant Leaders recognize their core purpose is to equip their followers to operate from their highest capabilities. This includes considerations of compensation, benefits, work/life balance and a daily work culture reinforcing growth and health, which brings us to Conscious Culture.

Conscious Culture – Culture is the flavor, taste, sense or feel you have as a result of interacting with the company and its employees. Culture is what the employees say about the company and its leaders when talking with friends and family. Culture is how we treat our colleagues, clients, suppliers and community. Either we create value (operating from giving) or we do not (operating from taking).

Employees are either a company’s greatest asset or most costly asset.   Certainly, the intended goal of companies is to ensure their assets yield greater revenue than their associated costs, therefore being profitable. If you want to maximize your largest asset, becoming more profitable than ever, then it’s evident, we must invest in making the shift to a model of Conscious Capitalism, providing a new culture of growth, adaptation and community-wide abundance. The model of Conscious Capitalism addresses and mitigates the challenge workforce is facing today with engagement, turnover, succession planning, employee growth and leadership development.

The Shift will take place. It’s just a matter of asking yourself, will you be on the leading edge and soon to experience the resulting abundance or will you go kicking and screaming, longing for the comfort of an old paradigm?

By: Ryan McShane

Ryan McShane serves as a Human Resources Consultant and Vice President/COO of Marc3Solutions, (, providing HR/Business Consulting, Career Transition Support, Leadership Development and Assessment services.

Ryan also serves as the President of CHRA- Chesapeake Human Resource Association, the largest local SHRM Chapter in the state of Maryland with 1,060 members. (

Ryan is passionate about helping individuals and organizations evolve to reach their highest potential. Ryan also enjoys preparing organizations to create Generational, Pro-active, Workforce Solutions to include capturing institutional knowledge, phased retirement, cross-training, job redesign, succession planning and career outplacement.

His professional affiliations and interests are serving as a Member of UMBC’s Instructional Systems Development (ISD) Advisory Board, Board member and Membership Director for the Hunt Valley Business Forum, member of Maryland State SHRM and York, PA Chapter of SHRM, as well as, the York County Economic Alliance.



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