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  • Writer's pictureJeff Orr, TEDx Spkr, MBA

Leaders, Do You Have E.D.?

Jeff Orr, MBA, MSL, TEDx Speaker, Author, Millennial Leadership Expert

One of the top concerns for leaders all around the world is E.D. Okay, not the E.D. you may be thinking. Top of mind with leaders is how to engage and develop their teams effectively. Whenever I pose the question of what are you doing to engage and develop your teams, I get the common answer of “nothing” followed up quickly with the excuse of “I don’t have time.” I get that. I have been there. I have days that I am running from meeting to meeting, call to call, with little or no time to develop anybody. Team engagement? Who has time for that?

You do.

Because if you don’t you will lose your best employees and leaders.

To your competition.

Or worse, they will stick around but be actively disengaged and sabotaging your brand.

So how do you engage and develop your team with the minimal time you have available? The harsh reality is that you are going to have to say ‘no’ to some good things to make the time available to devote to the great things. It’s okay. The world won’t stop spinning. Here are two quick ideas to get you thinking...

Idea 1. Meet with your team collectively and individually and ask about their aspirations and goals. What do they want to learn? What areas would they like to improve? What do you see as areas of improvement for them? These discussions don’t need to be hour-long conversations. They can be of the 20 minute variety if time is critical. Best is face-to-face but if you have to talk by phone, the conversation is better said than not.

Idea 2. Find a resource that addresses the team’s growth areas. Or, better yet, have one of the team members find the resource for the team to go through together.

Set a time on the schedule you can meet together on a regular basis to discuss what you are learning. Don’t waste time with an unproductive meeting. Keep it long enough to get to the heart of the matter but short enough to keep everyone from going insane. If you are going through a book, read a chapter per meeting. If it is a video, have everyone watch it and then discuss. Again, keep your time reasonable to maximize engagement.

Keep the learning relatively short-term. Can you go through the book / video series, etc., in 3 months? 6 months? You will see productivity and engagement rise in a shorter learning period as the team intentionally implements what they are learning week to week. If the learning time is too long, the team may forget what they wanted to implement 12 months ago when you started down this path.

As the top leader, you will need engage your team if you want them to excel. Engage and develop them intentionally. No blue pill needed.


Jeff Orr, a TEDx speaker, is an expert in leadership and he coaches executives, business owners, and individuals with the tools and skills to lead more effectively, build high-performing teams, and experience true success in their careers and personal lives. As a dynamic and energizing keynote speaker and corporate trainer to Fortune 500 companies, Jeff has helped thousands grow in their leadership to impact their organizations and communities. Jeff engages his audience through humor, real world stories, and a genuine care for the people he speaks to, helping them to build lasting success internally and externally. He is also author of the highly acclaimed book, Succeed In The New Normal. Through his coaching company, InDemand Leadership, Jeff empowers his clients to experience internal growth, which then translates into sustainable external success.

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