Leadership Anthropologist, Mentor, Coach & Business Consultant

Proactively helping business leaders engage, empower and grow!

Word of Work #1: Steps

“One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” – Neil Armstrong

Step Up to Work

When I was 4-years old living in Regina Saskatchewan and had nothing to do on sunny August days, my mother would hand me a can of water and a paint brush. With can and brush in hand I would paint our red wooden front steps. Before I got to the top step, the bottom step was already dry, so I would climb down the steps and start over, a four-year old version of Sisyphus. Yet, there was a childhood delight in seeing the dry red flakey steps glisten, albeit momentarily, when brushed with the cool water.

You see, I was a painter learning about the power of engagement.

The word of work for today is steps:

What are your steps at work?

Are you in step?

What is your next step? •

Are you ready, willing, and able to step up to your next challenge?

There are many steps we follow. We might use a 5-step method for serving customers and good teams synchronize their steps to create outcomes.

Let the word step seep into your sense of work today. Note the steps you are taking, reflect upon the steps you took yesterday, and ensure you take the vital step of moving from contemplation to action steps.

So, what’s your next step?

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Dawning of Career

A poetic nudge on your career development from John O’Donohue’s, A Morning Offering:

Dawn arrives at St. Vital Park in Winnipeg

May my mind come alive today

To the invisible geography

That invites me to new frontiers,

To break the dead shell of yesterdays,

To risk being disturbed and changed.

May I have the courage today to live the life that I would love,

To postpone my dream no longer

But do at last what I came here for

And waste my heart on fear no more.

A Fine Collection of Work Cartoons by John Junson

Today at Work in Winnipeg, it is -50 celsius with windchill. 

Now that’s cold. To keep warm I have collected the best cartoons by John Junson from his Today at Work collection from 2018.

When we laugh, we indulge in a short humor break and boost to rejuvenate ourselves and maybe even keep us warm!

John has created over 600 cartoons on work for the Employee Experience and Engagement network. I encourage you to use his cartoons today in your work.

To view the collection visit: http://www.davidzinger.com/wp-content/uploads/Today-at-Work-2018.pdf

The Secret Power of Moments for Full Engagement

I believe one of the biggest barriers to full engagement in work is fear. Fear arrives in many forms. One form I am familiar with is procrastination. We put off. We delay. We think we lack good time management or tenacious willpower.

What we lack is a way to tackle the fear that surrounds being engaged and the answer resides in moments. The fear can range from the idea that even if we do our best it won’t be good enough to not even knowing how to do a task and afraid to ask for help.

We can often do in moments what we can’t do in grand plans, big strategies, and “smart” goals because moments shrink fear to something so small that we are no longer afraid.

Here is a simple equation to explain this:

Engagement = Moments > Fear

The next time you encounter personal disengagement and you believe fear is lurking behind the scenes I encourage you to remember this statement:

Moments shatter fear into tiny fragments that can easily be managed and overcome.

Take your next moment, separate it from the herd of endless time, and focus your work in that moment. When you start to string or stack together many moments you may even surprise yourself about what you can accomplish. The poet, William Blake, encourages us to see the world in a grain on sand…

Engage along with me, our best is yet to be.

Conflate for Employee Engagement

Think “conflate” for employee engagement in 2019. To conflate is to mix together. We must strive to ensure our behaviors for engagement conflate results, relationships, wellbeing, and career.

As you offer performance feedback connect that to achieving results, building a relationship, to developing the other person’s career, and to increasing the wellbeing of both of you.

One input – many outputs.

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Engage 2019: Get More Into Your Work to Get More Out of Your Work

Do you know how to fully engage with your work so that both you and others fully experience all the benefits of your labor?

In 2019, I am devoted to helping educate others to get more into their work to get more out of their work. If you or your organization would like to learn more to fully engage please take the next moment to contact me: david@davidzinger.com. We can discuss possibilities around coaching, keynotes, workshops, or internal consulting.

Engage along with me, our best is yet to be.

Good work requires more than sheer effort, it requires knowledge and skills. It require an acuity to the moment and recognizing each moment invites us to engage with the work in front of us. It means embedding our moments within a bigger story as we string or stack moments for a momentous career.

I decided to make a video to sum up my 25,000 hours devoted to work engagement, personal engagement, leadership engagement, and employee engagement.

Below is my 23 minute 56 second video that was done in just one-take to share with you the future of engagement in 2019 and what I believe about the power of moments in igniting, enhancing, and build work engagement.

Below you will find the key points from the video.

If you prefer a wonderful and colorful PDF document containing these key points, click here.

The Portara

Here are the key points from Engage the Moment:

  • The
    secret: We are looking in the wrong place to improve employee engagement.
  • Engagement
    is to be found in the moment and moments are the fundamental building blocks of
  • There
    is no stress in the present moment.
  • When
    we fully engage, we are also enhancing our wellbeing and lowering our stress.
  • Ask
    yourself this great time management question: What is the best use of my time
    right now?
  • Drivers
    and levers are poor fit concepts to explain a personal responsibility for
    engagement approach.
  • Engagement
    is an invitation.
  • Engagement
    can be defined in 8 simple words: good work done well with others every day.
  • Trying
    to achieve and proclaim Great Work often isn’t so great.
  • The
    way to achieve great work is to do good work every day.
  • Good
    work can literally make us well.
  • We
    are responsible for engagement while we influence others’ engagement.
  • Some
    of us are more engaged with our smart phones than the tasks and relationships
    right in front of us.
  • Can
    you treat engagement as well as you treat your smart phone?
  • Do
    you charge both your smart phone and yourself up every night?
  • An
    excellent engagement trigger is after you use your phone to ask yourself: What
    can I do right now to improve engagement for myself of someone else in the
  • Engagement
    is not about PowerPoints and survey results it is about actions and
    interactions. There is no way to engagement, to engage is the way.
  • Four
    focuses for engagement are ABCD: Achieve results | Build relationships | Cultivate
    wellbeing | Develop career
  • Attach
    your moments and small actions to the bigger story or strategy of your
  • Add
    spice to moments so that you focus on results: keep asking yourself and others
    “what you want, what you really, really want.”
  • Engagement
    is not an extra it is the core of work.
  • Prevent
    iatrogenic disengagement – our attempts to engage employees that instead end up
    disengaging employees.
  • Anonymity
    can be a killer of engagement yet we rely on anonymous surveys.
  • Disengagement
    should not be a punishable offence it should trigger dialogue, conversation, and
    connection or re-connection.
  • Engagement
    is the diamond in the heart of work and wellbeing
  • Engagement
    is not something we do to people or for people it is something we do with
  • To
    get everyone on the same page, follow the Positive Deviancy dictum: never do anything about me without me.
  • Determine
    your Engagement Zone or E-zone: How long can you stay engaged.
  • David’s
    fine-tuned E-zone if eleven minutes and eleven seconds.
  • David
    offers 3 suggestions on how to determine the length and efficacy of your
    personal E-zone.
  • We
    have 20,000 possible moments every day.
  • When
    will you turn engagement around? How about the next moment?
  • Recognize
    or support someone else at work right now.
  • Study
    the academic focus on work engagement by Arnold Bakker and others to infuse
    work with vigor, absorption, and dedication.
  • Learn
    why snakes and ladders is such a vital metaphor for engagement at work.
  • A
    powerful leadership question to ask in many situations: What stood out for you?
  • Prevent
    and manage setbacks — can you make a ladder out of snakes?
  • Study
    John Gottman’s relationship moments composed of bids and turns.
  • Bids
    and turns are very predictive of engagement and relationships.
  • Make
    lots of bids and keep turning towards others.
  • Engagement
    thrives on strong relationships, good friends, and effective connections.
  • High
    quality connections occurring in the moments of time between people is a huge
    source of personal and organizational energy.
  • There
    is no secret in engagement. The real requirement is to step up to, and into,
    the moment of engagement.
  • Mindfulness
    is related to personal engagement.
  • Authentic,
    powerful, personal engagement is only a moment away.
  • What
    are you going to do in the next moment?
  • Keep
    on asking: what can I do right now to improve engagement for myself or someone
    else in our organization? Turn your answer into an action or interaction that
    contributes to achieving results, building relationships, cultivating career,
    and developing career.

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Engage: Peace of Mind or Piece of Mind

Here is a little bit of Christmas cheer from my good friend John Junson who has now completed 601 cartoons on work and engagement.

Cartoon 601 from John Junson

If you are looking for cartoons of customized cartoons for your work I highly recommend John. His work just keeps getting better and better.

To see a ton of samples do an image search with this phrase: ‘John Junson today at work’. Here is a screen shot of what you’ll uncover:

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What we can do as organizations to alleviate or prevent Burnout

Resilience should not be a cover up for work that causes burnout.

Understanding burnout can teach us a lot about work.

Are your 7 needs at work being met?

The need for (1) autonomy (2) belonging (3) competence (4) positive emotions (5) psychological safety (6) fairness, and (7) meaning?

For over 36 years, I have appreciated and been influenced by the work and research of Christina Maslach on burnout. I credit her work, specifically her book – Burnout: The Cost of Caring – for keeping my love of work alive and preventing a permanent hardening of my human heart. Her presentation in 2018 on burnout may not be slick or even riveting but it is solid and certainly essential. Not everything we need for good work has to glitter and be under 2 minutes.

The presentation may help you prevent burnout, understand burnout if you have experienced it, or engage in small steps to co-create a better workplace for all.


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Join me at the Eclectic and Exciting Free HR Virtual Summit – Thursday November 8

I am so pleased to be part of such a great and eclectic group of speakers at the HR Virtual Summit #HRVirtual18 on Thursday November 8th. Look below to see the amazing groups of speakers, titles, and topics.

My session is at 12PM Pacific Time. To register for my session or any of the sessions below visit: https://www.bamboohr.com/virtual/?utm_source=Ev-DZinge–HRVirtSum18

Keynote: Ben Peterson — 3 Steps to More Influential HR

8:30 PT

Jon Wolske

Culture and Service – How to WOW in all directions

Kimberly Jones

Be a Talent Acquisition Superhero

Leela Srinivasan

EX meets CX: The Rising Partnership between HR and Marketing

Dana Brownlee

The Unwritten Rules of Managing Up: Surviving (and Thriving) the “Difficult Boss”

Bindu Lokre

Consciously Unbiased

Katrina Kibben

How to Write Better Job Descriptions

Dr. Tanvi Gautam

Narrative as a Powerful Tool for Digital Transformation

Toni Thompson

Culture Adds: Attracting the Best Talent with Your Employer Brand

9:00 PT

Kevin Kruse

AI for Manager Training: Lessons Learned Building a Leadership Coach with IBM Watson

Dean Pichee

Changes, Challenges and Choices: The Future of Workplace Learning

Stephanie Angelo

Mastering Intentional Strategic Thinking Skills for Maximum Impact in Your Organization

Michael Bungay Stanier

The Five Real Reasons Managers Don’t Coach

Sonya Sepahban

Workplace Diversity and Inclusion: Raise the Bar with a System Approach

Costa Michailidis

How Creative Problem Solvers Save the World

Jack Altman

Performance & Engagement. Better Together

Cassie Whitlock

Culture + Total Rewards = Winning EVP

9:30 PT

Keynote:  Adam Grant — How to Navigate a Culture of Diverse Thinkers

10:00 PT

Len Strazza & Andrew Norton

The Importance of Getting New Hires Ramped Up Quickly

Josh Tolan

How To Supercharge Your Hiring with Video Interviews

Keri Ohlrich

Be an HR Warrior

Dr. Susan O’Malley

Three Leadership Lessons from an Emergency Room Doctor

Kelly Charles-Collins

Out of Many, One Workforce: How Diversity & Inclusion Unlocks Innovation and Drives Market Growth

Lydia Frank

2018 Compensation Best Report Findings

Ryan Sanders

Caring for the Whole Employee

Julie Ann Sullivan

Catalysts of Culture – Visionary Leaders Activating the Employee Experience

10:30 PT

Aaron Huang

4 Tips to Scaling Employee Communication in the Modern Tech-Enabled Workforce

Leah Brown

Staying Power: How to Keep your Employees Longer

Tina Robinson

Technology is not the ONLY Solution: Bust the Myths about HR Technology that Keep HR Transactional, Disempowered, and Longing for Radical Transformation

Margaret Spence

We Need You to Lead Us: Radically Transforming Your Approach to Developing Women Leaders

Jason Shen

Using Case Studies and Take Home Projects to Reduce Bias in Hiring and Recruit Diverse High Performers

Stella Grizont

How to Master Difficult Conversations at Work

Amanda Haddaway

Your Employees Hate Your Performance Review: Here’s What to Do About It

Julie Jeannotte

How to Build an HR Team People Actually Want to Come To

11:00 PT

Keynote:  Julie Coucoules — The Evolution of Modern Recruiters

11:30 PT

Graden Hudson

Using Communication Apps to Engage Employees

Maisha Cannon

Strengthen Your Sourcing with 3 Simple Strategies

Amy Gallo

4 Steps to Decide How to Handle a Conflict

Lori Kleiman

Lets Talk Leadership: 5 Steps to Making an Impact

Stacey Gordon

Inclusionomics: The Cost of Unconscious Bias

Erica Pepe

I Usually Never Respond to These

Neil McKinnon

Embracing the (Virtual) Reality

Srinivas Rao

Designing Your Environments to Increase Your Productivity and Creativity

12:00 PT

David Zinger

Engage the Moment: How You Can Make the Most of Moments at Work for Yourself and your Organization

Kuba Kucharski

Refactoring Tech Recruitment: Tips From an Engineering Leader

Liz Weber

Become the Strategic Business Partner Your Organization Needs!

Dawn Cacciotti

Strategic HR Leadership: Yielding Positive Business Results

Simone Morris

Don’t Ignore me: How to be All-Inclusive when Building Relationships

Tracy Stuckrath

Discrimination in the Workplace: What’s Food & Beverage Got to Do with It?

Jamison West

Nurturing Purpose Through Performance Development

Dan Schawbel

Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation

12:30 PT

Keynote:  Julian Treasure – How to Create a Listening Organisation

Keynote:  Johnny Taylor – Writing our Own Future

1:00 PT

Dr. Erika Tierney Garms

Building Brain-Friendly Workplaces

Amy Berman

Achieve Your HR Goals and Grow Your Business By Leveraging AI, Text Message, and Live Chat

Liane Davey

The Good Fight: Productive Conflict in Day-to-Day Business

Dr. Marcia Reynolds

Building a Coaching Culture

Jose Velasco

SAP Autism at Work

James Lord & Rick Palaia

Transitioning Candidates to Employees: How to Maintain a Positive Experience

Robert St-Jacques

Uncovering the ROI of Your Performance Management Program

Rich Fernandez

A Future-Ready Mind: Useful Mental Habits for an Age of Uncertainty, Complexity, and Disruption

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Be A People Artist #beapeopleartist

I need you to be a People Artist. I need you to draw out the best in others at work. I know if you do it will make a difference for the person who receives the expression and it will make a difference to you, too.

Yesterday I expressed and appreciation of a colleague from Singapore on LinkedIn. I wanted to let him know how much I appreciated him in a public way. I had no idea how public it would become.

I looked at the post today and saw that it had 12,810 views. It made my day.

Whose day are you going to make? Be a People Artist #beapeopleartist.

If you don’t know how to proceed I will send you a free e-copy of my last book co-authored with Peter Hart, People Artist, Drawing Out the Best In Others at Work

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