Posts Tagged ‘Jack Smalley’

Learning about Leadership and Community

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Learning about Leadership and Community at an Express Pros Webinar

Written by Tony Mussari, Sr.
Edited by Kitch Loftus-Mussari
Copyright 2016
The Face of America Project
Mussari-Loftus Associates, LTD

A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be. —Rosalynn Carter

Destination: Dickson City

On a beautiful August morning, our Face of America journey took us to the McCann School of Business in Dickson City, PA. We went there to participate in a webinar featuring JackMcCannSBDC Smalley, the director of HR Learning and Development for Express Employment Professionals.

The event was organized by Amy Clegg and her staff at the Express Pros office in Scranton.

When we arrived, Brittany Pagnotti, Rameika Jones and Nikki Schake were attending to all the little details that would make the event a success.

In our opinion, the venue was perfect. The atmosphere was welcoming. The food was delicious, and the sense of community was genuine.

At the appointed hour, Evan Miller, the Campus Director of the McCann School of Business, welcomed everyone with these gracious words; “We are happy you are here.”

A Very Special Moment

It has always been our pleasure to celebrate the accomplishments of Amy Clegg and her Alexis Shotwellteam, but this time she turned the tables on us with an announcement that took us by surprise.

By nature, Amy is a giving person. She likes to help others get ahead. On this special occasion, she introduced Alexis Shotwell to the audience. Alexis is a student at the McCann School of Business. She wants to specialize in early childhood education.

When Alexis came to the front of the room, Amy told the audience that Alexis would receive the first annual Dr. Tony and Mrs. Kitch Mussari Leadership Scholarship. The moment belonged to Alexis. The surprise belonged to Kitch and me. No words can accurately describe the expression of delight on Alexis’s face, and the feeling of gratitude in our hearts for this honor.

Priceless Thoughts from Patricia L. Camayd

Being a good listener is central to employee engagement, retention and productivity.

Patricia L. Camayd is the Business Manager for Oliver Price & Rhodes Attorneys at Law. When she was a child she overcame shyness, and she became a good listener. Today shePatricia fully appreciates the importance of being a good listener. It is central to employee engagement, retention and productivity.

What is not said is often more important that what is said.

At the same time, she understands the importance of effective communications with employees. It is more than texts or e-mails. Effective communications is deeply rooted in the art of listening which requires these important elements: the elimination of distractions; the ability to read between the lines; eye contact; the ability to ask the right questions; showing respect; avoiding commentary or interjection; and matching the employee with the proper training and educational programs.

It is important to recognize and express gratitude to employees.

To move forward with employee engagement and aligned goals, it is important to think win win. Celebrate your joint and continued success. Say thank you as many ways as you can imagine is always a good idea.

Employees cherish personal letters that recognize their accomplishments.

Patricia Communication

These are a few of the things Patricia does to build effective employee relationships.

Establish mentorship programs.

Hold regular individual meetings for professional development.

Establish recognition programs, wellness programs, health and relaxation techniques.

Conduct team building exercises.

Encourage employees to write attributes about others which contribute to the organization to be read publically.

She ended her presentation with an excerpt from the poem Desiderata:

With all its sham drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy. Max Ehrmann

Jack Smalley’s Sage Advice

We are defined by who we are after we make a mistake.

Jack Smalley is the Director of HR Learning and Development for ExpressJack Poster Employment Professionals. For more than a generation Jack has been doing all he can to improve the workplace environment. He is best described by this observation from Brian Tracy:

Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position.
On this day, Jack addressed The Top 5 Leadership Mistakes.

Mistake 1

Do not assume that your best employees do not need recognition. According to Jack, your best employees need and deserve recognition. Employees and supervisors should be given credit where credit is due.

Mistake 2

Don’t accept mediocre performance from C employees. Lowering the bar for the C employees who make up about 50% of the workforce will not move the organization forward. Overloading the A performers who make up 20% of the workforce is not the answer. There is no such thing as a good employee with a bad attitude.

Mistake 3

Dictator Decision Makers will not improve the work environment.

Referencing a famous quote by Sir Francis Bacon, Knowledge is power, Jack made the case for embracing people who think differently. He believes that great leaders know the value of maverick thinkers. Great leaders enable people to be different.

Mistake 4

Great leaders know how to communicate effectively.

Jack Smalley

Employees need to know what is going on. An employee deserves honesty. When it comes to leadership, everything is on the table.

The messenger is as important as the message especially when the message is bad news.

The top communication mistake is not telling the truth.

Mistake 5

The failure to mentor employees is a critical mistake.

In a compelling way, Jack used his own experience to demonstrate the importance of mentoring. His grandfather advised him to find something in life you enjoy. His father was his best friend. As a fire chief, he lived by these words: Don’t ask people to do things you are not willing to do yourself.

When Jack was 12 years old, he admired the quarterback of the high school football team. Every Saturday, he would meet with Sammy Dugger who mentored Jack. This was a priceless experience. It enabled Jack to become a successful football player in his own right, and it documented virtually all of the characteristics of successful mentoring.

Relationships matter. There is not a leader on earth who can succeed without employees_1 sharing information. You must surround yourself with good people, and you must be credible. Avoid anonymity. At all cost, take a personal interest in people.

Jack’s greatest mentor is his wife. She taught him the greatest lesson. Live family first.

When Jack mentioned David Cottrell’s book I thought about a famous quote from Monday Morning Leadership. It is a perfect description of Jack Smalley’s leadership philosophy:

Leadership can’t be claimed like luggage at the airport. Leadership can’t be inherited, even though you may inherit a leadership position. And leadership can’t be given as a gift – even if you’ve been blessed with an abundance of leadership skills to share with someone else. Leadership must be earned by mastering a defined set of skills and by working with others to achieve common goals. David Cottrell

The Express Employment Professionals Webinar event was an excellent example of what Jean Vainer wrote about community:

One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing.

On this special day we experienced America at its very best, and for this wonderful learning experience we want to thank:

Amy Clegg;
Amy Staff

Nikki Schake:

Brittany Pagnotti;

Rameika Jones;

Evan Miller;

Patricia L. Camayd:

Jack Smalley.

You are the Face of America on its best day, and we are in your debt.

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The Next Great Employer Challenge

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

Highlights from Jack Smalley’s Visit to Scranton

Written by Tony Mussari, Sr.
Edited by Kitch Loftus-Mussari
Photographs by Tony Mussari, Sr.
Copyright Mussari-Loftus Associates, LTD 2015
All Rights Reserved

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. Albert Einstein

An Express Lead Event

Our Face of America journey took us to Scranton, Pennsylvania, on an overcast Thursday morning. Our destination was the Radisson Hotel. There we would have a reunion with two of our favorite people, AmyIMG_1_5668 Clegg and Jack Smalley.

Amy owns and operates the Express Employment Professionals office in Scranton. For six years she has been helping people find employment in Northeastern Pennsylvania. She and the members of her staff are caring, competent, innovative, and willing to do whatever they can to serve the best interests of their clients. Amy is a woman of dignity and class, and everything she does reflects her many qualities.

Jack is the Director of Human Resources Learning and Development for Express Employment Professionals. He is a perfect fit for this position. He is a good person who personifies the attributes of character-based leadership. He is genuine, personable, kind and loyal. His presentations are interesting because they are thoroughly researched. He is an effective speaker who speaks to the heart, soul and mind of the people in the audience.

On this special occasion, he addressed the complex issue of attracting and retaining the best talent for the company. He called it “The Next Great Employer Challenge.”

The Recruiting War of 2015


At the appointed hour, Amy walked to the podium to begin the session. She welcomed everyone in the audience, and she introduced her staff. She introduced the MC for the event, Marty Wolf, a radio talk show host, and he introduced the featured speaker, Jack Smalley.

Jack introduced his topic with a Power Point slide that read, The Recruiting War of 2015. He followed that attention getting statement with these facts:

This is the most volatile job market in years. The retention of top talent is a CEO’s greatest fear. Eighty percent of employees willIMG_5707_2 consider a job change. Forty percent will actually change jobs.

For the remainder of his presentation, Jack Smalley mesmerized everyone in the room with his low-key, fact-based, non-histrionic, storytelling style. These are some of the starred thoughts from his presentation:

The average company experiences 40 percent job turnover.

There is a great generational tsunami about to hit the American workforce. In the next few years, about 50 million employees will be transitioning out of the workplace. Most of them are baby boomers. The will be replace by 50-60 million millennials.

Connecting with Millwnnials

The millennials think and act differently. Their world is a social media intense world. Companies that want to employ and retain millennials must rethink their social media policy.

Millennials want to be judged on the work they get done. This creates a situation Jack calls the end of the 40-hour work week. Employees are no longer disconnected, and millennials want to work in companies that have and use the latest technology.

Even the signing bonus must change. Millennials prefer a technological device or an all-expense paid trip. To attract and retain millennials, the company must make the interview process and the first 90 days of employment a memorable experience. Another incentive would be a $1,000 first year anniversary gift.

One of Jack’s starred thoughts caught my attention. He put it this way, “Narrow the front door.” The cost of anIMG_5698 unengaged employee is 150 percent of the first year salary. Because 80 percent of turnover can be attributed to poor hiring practices, he advocates a much more careful and deliberate hiring process that considers fit first and culture second.

Attitude is another critical element in the hiring process. For Jack Smalley, there is no such thing as a good worker with a bad attitude. You cannot have good external customer service until you have good internal customer service. Effective internal customer service is deeply rooted in making employees feel special. Enable them to express their opinions. Provide them with access to the boss. Understand that the employee is the first customer!

To do this, make the employee performance survey more than an exercise. Use it to communicate honestly with employees and make it a platform for growth and development. Make sure the employee fully understands the company expectations, and let employees know how important they are.

All companies have a silver bullet. Jack identified it clearly and effectively as the supervisor. He also suggested making the supervisor a participant in the hiring process.

Engaging Millennials

For millennials the top two factors are the relationship with the Untitled-1boss and relationships with others. In 2025, 75 percent of American employees will be millennials. They are self confident, politically savvy, experts in global communication and social media. They enjoy social interaction at work. They do not enjoy weekly meetings. They prefer collaborative leadership. They want their opinions to be solicited and heard. They enjoy a challenge. They question authority. They want transparency. They want to interact with their boss, and they want to be measured on how they get the job done.

When he discussed the Millennial Generation, Jack made a very interesting point: “Millennials challenge what I am doing. They do not threaten me. They are going to make a great contribution to American companies. They are going to take us where we have never been.” Earlier in his presentation he made this statement: “Most employees don’t quit their companies. They quit their boss.” That comment reminded me of this insightful thought, “Never push a loyal person to the point where they no longer care.”

Jack was candid about the most obvious weakness of millennials.Mentors They need to get experience in face-to-face communication. They need to be mentored, but the mentoring process in the Millennial Era must be up and down. Jack believes that subordinates can bring you back to reality.

In his closing remarks, Jack made a very interesting point. Be the company that is on the cutting edge. Today, technology provides data, and data is the gold of the new economy.

Closing Thoughts

Jack’s presentation was interesting, informative, challenging and thought-provoking. While he was speaking, memories of IMG_5712relationships Kitch and I have had with superiors in the field of education, the corporate world, the small business world and the media world flashed through my mind. Then something he said triggered 7 words that provided the foundation for his presentation. We are all the same, he said. We are all looking for the same thing.

In my opinion that thought can be summarized with these seven words: Respect, Empathy, Kindness, Gratitude, Discipline, Safety and Compassion.

Yes, we want a better world for our children, but we also want a better world for ourselves.

Jack Smalley is on a mission to see to it that the construct for that better world is on the table in each of the 750 Express Employment offices across America and Canada. He is a master at communicating this message with diplomacy, dignity and tact. His presentation in Scranton left a permanent mark on my heart and soul, because it reflects the spirit of America at its very best.

Leaders like Amy Clegg and Jack Smalley give us hope. They reflect the light of the beautiful comment of President Harry S. Truman:

I doubt if there is any problem in the world today-social, political or economic- that would not find a happy solution if approached in the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount.

Thank you, Amy for your kind invitation to the event.

Thank you, Jack for your memorable presentation.

Thank you to the staff of the Scranton office for all the work you did to make this event a success

Thank you, Express Employment Professionals for the services you provide employers and people who are looking for work.

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