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Otherwise Engaged

How Leaders Can Get a Firmer Grip on Employee Engagement and Other Key Intangibles

by John Guaspari, Jim KouzesMaven House Press / 168 pages / February 2015

Ask leaders what their biggest challenge is, and they re likely to say: It s the people part of the job... the soft stuff... the so-called intangibles. And for years, honorable, intelligent leaders have been making good-faith, well-funded efforts to address this challenge. But they invariably come up short. And when they do, they try again. And then again. And yet again.

Otherwise Engaged shines a bright light on the cause of this challenge: a fundamental misunderstanding of the true nature of the intangibles. It s a how-to book in that it focuses on the too-often overlooked first step in any such effort: How to stop doing the things that cause people to dis-engage. Once leaders gain a better, deeper understanding of the true nature of the intangibles, they ll discover that they already know what to do in order to be more effective in this domain. No need to master new knowledge or techniques. No need for the excess baggage that comes with big, organization-wide programs or initiatives.

Otherwise Engaged shows leaders how to get a grip on the intangibles. Through a story told in a light, humorous style, the author helps readers discover what the problem is. In the process, they ll develop a felt need to challenge the assumptions under which they ve been working and to become more open to the possibility of considering a different way.

Readers will discover:

-How to recognize and embrace the fact that the Intangibles are... intangible

-Why employee engagement can be a trap and how to avoid it

-How to create a culture where employees feel empowered

-Why leaders so often do the wrong things to elicit trust and respect

-Why good faith efforts to promulgate values throughout an organization can be ineffectual and, in some cases, even damaging

The book offers specific, prescriptive steps to more effectively deal with the intangibles, showing readers how to become Otherwise Engaged: by adopting an approach to engagement that s other than the traditional one, and by insuring that this approach has a laser-sharp focus on how what s done (and not done) and said (and not said) affects the other person.

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