Associate Publisher’s viewpoint


    By Tim Lawlor

    Associate Publisher, Ottawa Construction News

    Here a few tidbits from our friend Eileen Chadnicks’ blog that I would like to share with you.

    In economics, the Law of Diminishing Returns states that the output of a workforce will decrease when a single factor of production is increased, with all other variables staying the same. If this was true during the Industrial Revolution, just think about the diminishing returns of today’s overtaxed employees.

    The Digital Revolution has completely rearranged every aspect of working life. Employees have seen an exponential rise in the demands on their time and an increase of duties, often for the same – or even less – pay than previous years. At the same time, workers are feeling less of a sense of loyalty to a single employer and are much more likely to bounce around positions.

    If you want to have (and keep) the best workforce around, you need good leadership.

    The leader who fosters a “we” culture will be much more successful than one who focuses on “I” (or “me vs. them”).

    People bring the best of themselves to work when they feel appreciated, recognized and valued for their contribution. The leader is responsible for creating and enabling a culture that appreciates and invests in its people – no matter how small or large his/her team is.

    He/she must have and show an authentic appreciation for his/her team. It’s important to truly get what matters to them: what they do, how they contribute and what they need to bring the best to their work.

    The leader is responsible for helping their people grow and learn as well. Leaders who fall short in these areas and focus exclusively on outputs, without due attention to their talent force, will compromise the long-term success of the company. They will shortchange their team/organization potential in many areas including: employee engagement, retention, innovation, productivity and more.

    Ten percent reported a positive outlook as their most important skill. How can leaders emphasize their positive thinking, to best motivate their team?

    Increasingly, science underscores the importance of cultivating positive habits. Those who cultivate authentic positivity tend to reach for higher goals, achieve more, foster better relationships and experience greater wellbeing across a spectrum of emotional, physical and mental factors.

    This is about much more than positive outlooks or positive thinking, however. This calls for a far more authentic and pervasive commitment to values, behaviors, and practices that will cultivate positive experiences for oneself and for their people at the workplace. The leader needs to model and support practices such as:

    • Giving meaningful feedback

    • Acknowledging wins and good work

    • Seeing and communicating the big picture and staying aligned with a vision

    • Identifying possibilities even in the face of adversity

    • Fostering a culture of trust and creating safety in learning, stretching, asking…

    • Milestones

    • Fostering collegiality

    • Inviting people to feel part of the bigger purpose (of the organization’s work and contribution to society)

    • Communicating regularly and honestly

    • And much more.

    In short, the leader needs to develop a positivity habit and model good practices to create a positive, motivated and productive work environment.

    Similarly, how can a leader keep their outlook positive, even when things seem uncertain? What are the advantages of focusing on a positive outcome, rather than avoiding the negative?

    Optimism is an important factor in the spectrum of emotional intelligence. The leader who quickly flounders when the going gets tough will fail. A leader needs to develop a range of EQ-i (Emotional Quotient Inventory) skills including resilience, adaptability, grit, perspective and more.

    Eileen Chadnick is a business coach and perpetual champion for personal, professional and organizational success and wellbeing. You can see more of Eileen’s work at Big Cheese Coaching and you can read the article in its entirety at of-leadership.

    OCN associate publisher Tim Lawlor can be reached by email at or by phone at (613) 669-2057 ext. 111.


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