The Best of L2L Blogazine 2013 (Top #4 and 3)

This week L2L is bringing you a recap of the Top 10 most popular blog posts over the last year. Enjoy Top #4 and 3!


#4 | Emotional Intelligence: The Leadership Difference-Maker | by Dr. Tom Cocklereece


A true story:

In March 2013 Susanna Rohm’s seemingly-healthy two month old baby had stopped breathing causing mom to go into a panic. She began screaming for help as loudly as possible.

In the panic Susanna had lost her cell phone and had the presence of mind to go get help rather than search for the phone. She ran outside and saw two boys playing across the street. Susanna yelled to them for help and screamed for them to call 911.

Ethan Wilson, age 11, and Rocky Hurt, age 9, immediately placed the emergency call but Rocky ran across the street to see what else he could do to help.

Noticing that Susanna was not administering CPR correctly, he coached the panicking mom to give proper chest compressions and breaths to her distressed baby.

Rocky later told a reporter, “I told her to push on the baby’s chest five to 10 times with only two fingers, tilt back the baby’s head, plug the baby’s nose and breathe into the baby’s mouth.”

Suddenly, the baby began crying at which point Rocky told Susanna, “That’s a good sign because it means the baby is breathing.”

Paramedics soon arrived and transported the baby to the hospital for further treatment but Rocky certainly saved the day. Rocky and Ethan said they had learned CPR from a restaurant poster.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence is the ability and presence of mind to make rational decisions and to take action that may be directly opposed to the inner emotional stimulus. More broadly is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups.

Emotional Intelligence may be explained best using stories in which it may be illustrated. The story about Rocky helping to save a baby illustrates a great human interest story but also Emotional Intelligence, also known as EQ or EI.

Rocky clearly did not panic as might be expected of a nine-year old boy. He maintained control of his own emotions, recalled memory of a poster describing CPR of an infant, and through his composure he calmed the emotions of Susanne so that she could follow the instructions and resuscitate her baby.

This is not to suggest that Susanne has a low EQ but rather that Rocky certainly is a good illustration of high emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence is the ability and presence of mind to make rational decisions and to take action that may be directly opposed to the inner emotional stimulus.

Emotional Intelligence is Leadership Intelligence

Rocky Hurt appears to have natural Emotional Intelligence at an early age, with limited education, maturity, or training. His presence of mind and control of not only his own emotions but also those of Susanne is compelling. Historically this is an ability of the best leaders.

  • Bvt. Maj. Gen. Joshua Chamberlain serving as a regiment commander in the battle of Gettysburg overcame the overwhelming sense of defeat by his soldiers on the second day of the battle. He ordered a bayonet charge of Confederate forces and took over 100 prisoners and restored confidence as his position on Little Round Top was held.
  • Lee Iacocca was an incredibly successful executive at Ford Motor Company in 1978. Even though the company posted a $2 billion profit that year, Iacocca was fired. While many people get down on themselves after being terminated, Iacocca quickly rose to the top again as the chief executive of the troubled Chrysler Motor Company and is credited with turning the company around.

True Control: Controlling One’s Self

Whether in the militarybusinesspoliticschurch, or any other endeavor, leaders with high Emotional Intelligence are able to change the moodmotivate the people, and lead the organization to success.

Emotional Intelligence is the difference-maker for leadership. It requires that the leader suspend their own mood and emotions and communicate optimism and a positive vision.

It is the difference between leadership that creates dissonance and leadership that creates resonance. There are many examples in history of leaders with high Emotional Intelligence.

Dissonance or resonance may be seen in the culture of a leader’s organization by how he or she motivates people. Dissonant leadership can motivate for a while but requires great energy to sustain. On the other hand, resonant leadership that is actuated by Emotional Intelligence coupled with effective leadership abilities is self-sustaining by the synergy of the whole organization.

Developing a Higher Emotional Intelligence

Many scholars of Emotional Intelligence believe that people can improve and grow in this area of development. The premise in virtually all of the books and resources on the EQ subject suggest that one may improve his or her Emotional Intelligence area.

However, developing a higher Emotional Intelligence requires determination and presence of mind.

It requires moving from:


The last stage shows the presence of mind that Rocky Hurt dad as he helped save that  baby.

For those of the Christian faith, actuating Emotional Intelligence is the realization of Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” It requires that one internalize the principle until it is lived value.

So what are some examples you remember of emotional intelligence from history? Why is it difficult to act contrary to emotional stimuli? Are you growing in emotional intelligence? Does your workplace exhibit resonant or dissonant leadership? I would love to hear your thoughts!


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Tom Cocklereece
Dr. Tom Cocklereece
 is CEO of RENOVA Coaching and Consulting, LLC
He is an author, professional coach, and leadership specialist
Email LinkedIn Twitter Web Blog Book | CoachingLeadership

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#3 | 35 Fun and Affordable Team Appreciation Ideas | by Sean Glaze

Team Appreciation

As an effective leader, you are likely always looking for fun and affordable ideas to show appreciation to your team.  Everyone enjoys recognition, and one of the most impactful ways to motivate your team is to reward behaviors that you want repeated.

As a basketball coach, our program had a “hard hat” award that was given each week to the player that had the most charges and deflections.  And just like in sports, whatever industry you work in, there will be important statistics that you can choose to measure and celebrate.

And no matter what field you work in, it is important to remember this quote by VCU Basketball Coach Shaka Smart:

“Appreciation is the currency of success.”

35 Fun and Affordable Team Appreciation Ideas

The following list of 35 ideas will hopefully inspire you to begin celebrating small victories along the way, instead of waiting until the end of your project or season.

Every team performs better when they feel appreciated for their efforts.

Consider adopting some of these fun ideas to show appreciation to people on your team:


1. Publish a “praise” column in your newsletter. Ask employees to submit suggestions for the honor to recognize their peers.

2. Bring in soft drinks and juices to stock the staff refrigerator for the week.

3. Use a dry erase marker to write a message to your employees on the window at the entrance of the building or office.

4. Purchase and inscribe a favorite book as a gift.

5. Create a “traveling trophy” that could represent excellence in your organization and be given to a team member to display it for a week

6. Begin meetings by recognizing accomplishments and highlighting employee successes.

7. Give a personalized coffee cup mug filled with candy.


8. Start a peer-nominated employee of the month award, and print a certificate to honor the teammate who is voted for and why they were selected

9. Publicize the praise. If you hear a positive remark about a person, repeat it to that person as soon as possible—perhaps via email, and copy managers as an especially powerful way to help employees feel appreciated.

10. Send a hand-written thank you note to the team member’s family, such as: “Please accept our sincere thanks for the support you have given to _________ as she (or he) has dedicated so much effort to our company. We are fortunate to have her (him) on the team and want you to know that she (he) is a great asset to our family as well…”

11. Photoshop a million-dollar bill with the employee’s face on it, and post it around the office with a note saying, “Thanks a Million.”

12. Post a birthdays and anniversaries Celebration Calendar in your office. Celebrate employees’ birthdays and employment anniversaries.

13. Give “honored” employees an extra-long lunch break.

14.  Complete a simple daily task for the employee – whether by surprise or as his/her choice, they will appreciate you “lightening their load.”


15.  Give the person a membership or subscription that relates to their work

16. Post a large “celebration calendar” in your work area. Tack on notes of recognition to specific dates.

17. Surprise the team with doughnuts or a breakfast buffet as they near completion of an important or difficult project.

18. Fill their office or workspace with brightly colored balloons and a card.

19.  Give a framed poem as a thank you.

20.  Send a gift card to the employee’s home, signed by a manager.

21.  Bring a baked gift basket (cookies, etc.) for an afternoon team surprise.


22.   Allow the team to flex their schedule or work adjusted hours if possible, to allow for more family time or errands.

23.  Award the teammate a coveted parking spot, set aside for the “most driven” employee of the month.

24. Give them a chance to connect with new people or learn new skills by sending high performing people to conferences or other networking events.

25. Loosen up the dress code for a day (teachers love jeans!)

26. As a manager or supervisor, have fun putting on an apron and serving THEM coffee one morning – taking orders as a “servant” leader.

27. Ask for their input and involve them in meetings that may impact them in the future to show you trust their perspectives and ideas.

28. Let them eat cake – for birthdays, or new hires, or met quotas, etc.


29. Get other employees to share a “what I appreciate about _______” sentence, and then frame and sign it as a gift.

30.  Call a meeting and have everyone give a 30 second standing ovation to the person whose efforts or accomplishments you want to recognize.

31.  Contribute to THEIR cause, and make a donation or participate in a worthwhile charity that they care about.

32. Send flowers to them at their desk, compliments of the company.

33. Put together a scrapbook that clients can see as an “album of all-stars,” and publish one new page for each all-star employee behavior, including a picture and description of the achievement.

34. Play their favorite music at the office during lunch (or an entire day!)

35. Send a very formal summons to meet with a manager – then surprise them with your praise for their efforts and a picture to be included in a company-wide email.


Doing it Right

While planning which of these 35 team appreciation ideas to use, keep in mind that if you think you provide enough recognition, remember that you can always do more.

It is nearly impossible to say “thank you” enough or be specific enough about what the employee did to earn your recognition. Great leaders outlaw saying “good job,” and are always specific with their praise – so teammates both feel appreciated and are motivated to repeat that particular behavior again.

If you are looking for an even more fun and impactful event to thank your large office staff or to help prepare them for a challenging upcoming project, consider the impact that a day of laughter and lessons from a team building speaker could provide.

Team development is an ongoing process, and the toasts and rewards you choose to share will have a tremendous influence on your organization’s morale and motivation.

What other creative ideas would you suggest for team appreciation? I would love to hear your ideas!


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Sean Glaze
Sean Glaze of Great Results Teambuilding
He Delivers Engaging Events that Transform Laughter into Lessons
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook Web | Book

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L2L Contributing Author