Discretionary Effort Leadership Programs

Discretionary Effort Leadership programs can transform companies by building a culture where employees make amazing contributions on a daily basis. The work environment includes the physical, social, rational, emotional, and authentic frameworks for increasing discretionary effort illustrated by the management levels displayed in the RossBrandau discretionary effort pyramid below.

In-house programs built on the RossBrandau Discretionary Effort Leadership model are targeted and customized for the leadership team and all levels of managers. The material can be extended to team leads and supervisors. The programs teach the tactical and practical skills of management while taking participants to the next level of leadership capabilities.

Training programs are delivered as stand-alone programs or as a series of life-changing workshops distributed at set intervals to match your pace of business.

In-house Programs

After being delivered to the leadership team and top managers, live in-house programs can be extended to entire workforce. The programs are aimed at developing discretionary effort in all employees, modeled by the leaders. The goal is for every company employee to practice giving discretionary effort on a daily basis. The results are remarkable.

The programs include a full compliment of assessments. Click here to view the options. 

The Practice of Discretionary Effort 

The modules outlined below are an outline of what discretionary effort is and what it looks like when implemented in the company. The curriculum includes how to:

  • Implement the Practice of Discretionary Effort
  • Improve morale and increase the amount of discretionary effort in the company
  • Transform the company culture using Power Triad Leadership Conversations

Introductory Module: 21st Century Leadership

Discretionary Effort Leadership is cutting edge and geared for the 21st century workforce. As your leadership team comprehends and internalizes this new style of leadership, you will be amazed at the difference it makes in the entire culture of your organization.

  • Discovering the principles of Discretionary Effort Leadership
  • Contrasting Taylorism, Maslow and Discretionary Effort Leadership
  • Understanding past and present social contracts
  • Evaluating the difference in Discretionary Effort Leadership and other leadership styles

Module 1: Building a Work Environment of Integrity & Trust

This module outlines the development of discretionary effort in the work environment. At the heart of a work environment of integrity and trust are three basic concepts: Disclosure, norms and accountability. Disclosure is about surfacing the truth. Norms are the clear and simple standards of conduct in an organization that are universally understood. Accountability is the ability to communicate expectations and consequences. The exercises and content help participants build trust with employees.

A robust program of Workplace Power Triads help your leadership team and managers focus on the elements of integrity that put the entire organization on a solid footing of transparency. Leadership teams:

  • Learn how to build a culture of integrity and trust
  • View three components of Integrity: Individual, System, and Organization Integrity
  • See integrity as competitive strategy
  • Make the connection between integrity and Discretionary Effort Leadership

Module 2: Ensuring Physical Safety and Well-Being

The program provides checklists to ensure your environment is safe from physical harm to any employee. The well-being programs focus on the total well-being of employees, not just insurance coverage and exercise programs. Personal physical, mental and social safety in the workplace is a productivity and profitability issue, not just an occupational health issue that concerns OSHA. When employees feel safe in all ways, they are free to focus on being productive. Leadership teams:  

  • Ensuring an environment safe from physical dangers for employees
  • Evaluating the well-being of the entire group
  • Caring about the well-being of individuals
  • Creating safe space for discussion and surfacing the truth

Module 3: Creating Social Acceptance

People are at the center of everything social in a company. As they interact and relate in meaningful ways, they create the culture of your organization and their social interactions become windows where observers can view the heart and soul of your organization. When employees feel socially accepted and know they have friends in the company, turnover is reduced. This program focuses on team building, working together, and having each other’s back. Leadership teams learn how to:

  • Make Social Acceptance a pillar of company culture
  • Help employees reach collective and meaningful co-existence
  • Develop employees to their full potential
  • Understand the links between social acceptance and Discretionary Effort Leadership

Module 4: Implementing Rational Alignment

Rational alignment is the underlying common sense that explains how the organization aligns employees with their values, vision, mission and major goals, thus creating value. In order to create the most value for not only the customer but for the employees and to maximize discretionary effort, an understanding of the five core competencies of positioning, integrating, standardizing, coordinating and improving is essential. The outcome will be new leadership competencies to improve discretionary effort and thus value creation. Leadership teams learn how to:

  • Connect the present to the future with rational alignment
  • Implement the process of cascading your vision, values and mission throughout the organization
  • Get employees to buy-in and contribute to long term goals and objectives
  • Increase discretionary effort by rationally aligning employees with goals and objectives

Module 5: Generating Emotional Commitment

Emotional commitment is one of the biggest challenges for all organizations.  The framework for sustainability of your company is the beginning of a new dialog in your organization that addresses seven stages when implemented create long term, committed work relationships. An understanding of these seven emotional stages of relationships makes unpredictable and puzzling actions by employees more predictable and understandable. This gives your leadership team and managers a framework to deal with the emotional aspects of the work environment and to keep employees engaged and productive. Leadership teams:

  • Discover what emotional commitment looks like in an organization
  • Understand how emotional commitment affects loyalty and retention rates
  • Learn techniques for engaging employees and gaining emotional commitment
  • Learn how to increase emotional commitment and thus Discretionary Effort

Module 6: Understanding Authentic Contribution

When the first four levers are executed properly, this fifth lever, authentic contribution happens naturally. Employees and the leadership team mesh together and all work for the greater good of the company. This is “flow,” an experience that is one of the most enjoyable and valuable experiences a person can have. Flow is natural and ordinary. People commit to being present, to showing up, to listening and paying attention to the continuous movement forward of the business. Activities include how to expand creative thinking and mentor the entrepreneurial spirit in employees. Leadership teams understand that authentic contribution happens when:

  • Employees have the owner mentality, not the renter mentality
  • Team members work together in cooperation and collaboration
  • Leadership teams release the renewable energy of employees

Module 7: The Practice of Discretionary Effort

Discretionary effort is a gift of energy or effort that is freely given above the ordinary effort required to do the job. The practice of discretionary effort uses gifts of energy and effort in the work environment to create a new management competency built on acceptance and gratitude. Discretionary effort as a gift has two parts: First the employee who gives the gift of discretionary effort and second, the one who receives the gift, the employer. This symbiotic relationship. Gifts of discretionary effort can be physical, social, emotional, rational or authentic contributions of time, and talent.

Components of the Program

This materials and supplementary material include:

  • How to Earn the Gift of Discretionary Effort book
  • Reference manual
  • Power Triad Leadership and Accountability Conversations
  • Access to a closed LinkedIn Group for discussion
  • Membership to the Discretionary Effort Leadership members only site
  • Additional reading materials and videos
  • Questions answered by Douglas Ross or Karla Brandau via email
  • Follow-up webinars

Earn the Gift Discretionary Effort Leadership Certificate is Awarded at Conclusion of the Program

Detailed Information

For a complimentary consultation on the perfect programs for your company and to receive in-depth curriculum descriptions complete with objectives and descriptions, call Karla Brandau at 770-923-0883 (based in the United States) or Doug Ross at 519-807-4132 (based in Canada). You may also contact us with the simple form below.