The Bullseye - April 2012

Sunday, April 1, 2012

In This Issue:
Adaptive Leadership: What Is It And Why Does It Matter?,
Alumni Update,
Easy Ways to Save Money,
Congratulations to This Month's Winner,
February Jobs Report,
Connect with Orion

Adaptive Leadership: What Is It And Why Does It Matter?

Every year, there are new “buzzwords” that emerge into the fabric of our workplace. For the past several years a key word that has been heard, but not truly understood, is adaptive leadership. What exactly is adaptive leadership?

Let’s start with the definition of leadership. Leadership is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the act or instance of leading” or having “the capacity to lead”. So how is adaptive leadership different?

Adaptive leadership was born in the mid-nineties based on the teachings of Ronald Heifetz and his book, Leadership Without Easy Answers (Belknap/Harvard University Press). Since the publication of this book the adaptive leadership style has slowly but consistently found it’s way into the American workplace. Adaptive leaders are those that apply behavior and patterns that allow the whole workplace or system to adapt to an ever-changing and challenging work environment. CLA defines Adaptive leadership as, “a practical leadership framework that helps individuals and organizations adapt and thrive in challenging environments. It is being able, both individually and collectively, to take on the gradual but meaningful process of adaptation. It is about diagnosing the essential from the expendable and bringing about a real challenge to the status quo.”

Adaptive leaders like to get their hands wet. They ask questions and continually evaluate the workplace and world around them. Typical traits of adaptive leaders include: open and clear communication, an ability to calmly but directly react to others in moments of intensity with thoughtful and insightful direction, self-awareness and understanding of their own behavior, the ability to take a clear stand on issues and ability to contribute to the overall health and direction of an organization. Adaptive leadership, done correctly, can help strengthen company dynamics and increase productivity.

So why is adaptive leadership important? It is important because the younger generations, who comprise the future of this country, respond better to adaptive leadership. They also are naturally adaptive leaders who like to question authority, have firm opinions but are able to look equitably at those around them. They value human relationships and differences in individuals more than their predecessors. They have also lived in a dynamic world that changes technology as quickly as lightening strikes the earth. They are the future of our workforce and it is important to recognize and value their natural leadership style.

Some people think adaptive leaders are weaker or less capable, but that is simply not true. It is a different style of leadership, one that challenges convention, but it is ultimately as effective, if not even more so, than traditional leadership styles.

Alumni Update

Orion International Alumni Update

Business Systems Analyst, EJ Gallo Winery
U.S. Army, Career Counselor, Master Sergeant

Orion placed me back in 2006 as a Team Leader with EJ Gallo Winery. Previously I was an 79S54A4, E-8, in the Army assigned to 11th ACR, Fort Irwin, CA.

My job at EJ Gallo Winery has been a great experience, and I firmly believe Gallo is one of the best civilian employers. I started out in a basic level leadership position, where I led a team of 35 drivers who shipped wine every night, five nights a week. From there, my knowledge enabled me to take a position in Inventory Control as a Business Systems Analyst. The opportunities are endless here, as well, as they have great retirement benefits and an annual pay raise based on performance. All of this makes for a great employer.

Do you have an update to share with us?  Did you get promoted, have a new addition to your family or any other news you’d like to share?  Click here to tell us about it

Easy Ways to Save Money

All signs are pointing towards a more stable economy. We’ve all learned something during the Great Recession. The past four years have brought with them a refreshed viewpoint on money management. More than ever, we are like the penny pinchers of older generations and those that survived the Great Depression. Even with a promising future, we appreciate the value of money more.

Financial experts and everyday savers are on the forefront of the lean spending movement. They’ve identified several easy ways to save money, some with almost no effort at all. Here are some of the simplest ways to save money as identified by the experts.

1. Bundling Services
– all it takes is one phone call to combine your Internet, phone and cable bills. Be sure to ask about any “specials” your communications company might be offering.
2. Not Letting Food Go to Waste – Americans throw away up to twenty-five percent of their groceries every year. American Wasteland, a book by Jonathan Bloom states, “For a family of four, a pretty conservative estimate is that they’re throwing away $2,200 a year in food.” This is a lot of money to the average American consumer. Imagine the savings! Sitting down for a pre-grocery shopping planning session can make a huge impact on your bottom line. Outline exactly how much is needed for the week and come up with recipe ideas to use leftovers efficiently.
3. Schedule Automatic Payments – Late fees and interest can be brutal if you forget to pay your monthly bills. Instead, opt to pay your fixed monthly bills through automatic payments. Just be sure to remember when and how much is withdrawn so that you can deduct it from your checking or savings account.
4. File Your Taxes on Time – If you file your taxes on time, you will avoid expensive penalties, fees and interest.
5. Change Credit Cards – If you must have a credit card with a balance, then shop around for the lowest interest rate and no annual fees. and will help you compare rates and choose the best card for your needs.
6. Memberships – If you have a large family, sometimes it’s better to buy in bulk. Look into a membership at Sam’s Club, BJ’s or Costco. Also, look into memberships with AAA, AARP and credit unions. There can be excellent membership benefits and great discounts.
7. Hold Off on Purchases – If you want a new piece of furniture or an appliance but can probably wait, it is best to do so. Most payment plans for furniture and appliances add on interest, so you wind up paying more. This is also true of places that allow you to rent-to-own.
8. Bad Habits – Smoking, alcohol, gambling, shopping and even drinking soda can really add up. Try limiting or quitting any of these habits to save a bundle.

Put together, these little changes can make a dramatic impact on your financial health. Be creative and always take the time to ask for a discount…it can’t hurt!

Congratulations to This Month's Winner


Alfred won the Job Seeker Referral monthly drawing and is the winner of a $50 gift card.  
Ready for your chance to win a $50 gift card? You’ll receive an entry into our monthly drawings for Client and Job Seeker referrals for each referral that you submit – good luck and thank you for the referral!

February Jobs Report

The February Jobs Report is out, and The Bureau of Labor Statistics is reporting that 227,000 jobs were added to payrolls during the month of February, more than the 210,000 forecast.

The unemployment rate remained at 8.3 percent, after dropping for five consecutive months from 9.1 percent in August. There were 233,000 new private-sector jobs, and the number of people who are long-term unemployed, or those who have been out of work for more than 27 weeks,  fell from 5.5 million to 5.4 million. Average hourly earnings are up 1.9 percent.

Some of the highlights of the February jobs report include:

  •  227,000 jobs created (233,000 private sector jobs; less 6000 government jobs that were eliminated)
  •  8.3 percent unemployment rate
  • Total number of unemployed is 12.8 million (this is unchanged)
  • Long-term unemployed is 5.4 million or 42.6 percent of total unemployed
  • Average unemployment duration is 40 weeks, down from 40.1 weeks
  • The average workweek remained unchanged at 34.5 hours
  • Average hourly earnings were up $0.03, to $23.31
  • Employment rose in professional and businesses services, health care and social assistance, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, and mining

While the jobs report was a step in the right direction, the US economy still has a significant uphill battle to recover to the full pre-recession unemployment rate. But, overall, the February jobs report was seen as a positive sign that the economy is indeed on the road to recovery.

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