Employee Engagement is critical, find out why your employees are quitting.



Women “Support the Cause” and Bring “Passion” to their Role in Non-Profits

Paragon Leadership recently conducted a poll of women leaders to discover their views regarding participation in non-profit boards and public service activity.  We were interested in learning the motivations for serving on a non-profit board and whether gender differences impacted these motivations.  Are there gender differences?  If your initial reaction to this question is “yes”, that is what we found when polling an audience of women leaders from both the profit and non-profit sector.

When asked the #1 reason women serve, or desire to serve on a Board or non-profit/public service, the overwhelming majority responded that women are driven to support the cause.  The results of the poll were as follows:

What is the #1 Reason Women Serve on Board or Non-Profit/Public Service?

71%   Support the Cause
19%   Networking
10%   Advance Career
0%    Learn New Skills

When asked the #1 reason men serve, or desire to serve on a Board or non-profit/public service, the women we polled believed men were most interested in networking and advancing their career.  Clearly the women in our poll thought men were more motivated for their own advancement than support of the non-profit cause.  The results of the poll were as follows:

What is the #1 Reason Men Serve on Board or Non-Profit/Public Service?

50%   Networking
45%   Advance Career
5%     Support the Cause
0%     Learn New Skills

Although the response above is from one group of women leaders, the results are aligned with what gender research tells about how men and women differ when it comes to motivation.   Management Research Group (MRG) did a study regarding how motivation was influenced by gender.*  They  found that women tend to be lower on “winning” and “controlling” than men.  Women were less motivated by being competitive and needing to be in charge than men.  Women were also higher on “expressing” and more compelled to share their “inner-self” without filters.  The research also found women to be higher on “giving” and “receiving”.  Women were less motivated by “maneuvering”.   Overall, women gain greater satisfaction with “affiliation”, being nurtured and being able to share their feelings and are less motivated in an atmosphere of competition.

*IDI Technical Consideration Reports, MRG
As heads of talent, business executives or other leaders who manage people, what does this all mean and why should you care?

In the leadership work that Paragon does with emerging talent, high potential and executive leaders, we find it is critical that managers understand differences in gender motivation and how it impacts the workforce.  This should be taken into account when:

  • Assessing “fit” of an individual to a role or company culture
  • Wanting to become or remain competitive by creating a highly engaging culture, one where employees are not only desiring to stay but are spreading the word to other possible recruits
  • Creating a diverse and inclusive culture to compete in the global economy
  • Attracting and retaining millennial associates, in a culture that is seen as socially responsible

Below are the other survey results our poll with women leaders showed:

In this poll question, we were interested in learning what might be holding women back from participating in non-profit or public service and found the answer divided between lack of right connection and no time.  The results of the poll were as follows:

What is the greatest obstacle standing in the way of women getting more involved with non-profit or public service?

50%   No Time
45%   Lack of Right Connection
5%     Little Interest
0%     Limited Knowledge

Finally we surveyed women on the most important attribute they feel women contribute to a board or non-profit organization.  The majority felt women brought passion to the position, followed closely by skills then influence.  The results of the poll were as follows:

What is the #1 attribute women can offer a Board, non-profit organization or the public sector?

45%    Passion
30%    Specific Skill
20%    Influence
5%      Fundraising Ability
0%      Networking Ability

What do you think about the findings?  We would love to hear any reaction you may have and how this plays out in your organization.

Want to learn more about Paragon Leadership and how we can help your emerging leaders?  Check us out at www.paragon-lead.com or email us at futureface@paragon-lead.com.

How to keep your young talent….Invest in them!

Paragon new offering Q4 and 2013: Career Development for your Millenial Leaders. This recent article offers the business case you need to develop your young talent.http://www.3creek.com/newsroom/blog/entry/the-one-way-to-keep-your-young-top-talent


Leadership and Workforce Trends – Top 12 for 2012

Paragon Leadership is a future-centric executive and leadership development firm passionate about developing the future face of leadership. Whether it is at the senior level or early in career, we believe that we can thrive as a country while winning the war on talent.  These top 12 trends were developed by several of Paragon’s most forward-thinking associates, who believe in encouraging leaders to consider future possibilities and act accordingly for success.

  1. The world of co-operation will continue to rise. Leaders will need to find more ways to ‘cross lines’ when developing consortium, partnerships and networking opportunities across functions, companies and industries.
  2. Social media will continue to play a large role in how leaders communicate and act.  To stay up-to-date in a tech-savvy world, leaders must turn to mediums like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. to increase direct communication at all levels and around the globe.
  3. The squeeze on middle managers to do it all will continue.
  4. We will see companies rely on consumer input and behaviors more than ever to shape strategy, product development, and overall operations.
  5. Attitudes, beliefs and values of consumers and future generation leaders will perpetuate changes in company behavior.
  6. Companies will continue to look for ways to save money, even at the expense of employee development. At the same time, companies will be forced to reconcile with and adjust to accommodating satisfaction-seeking next generation leaders.
  7. We will see a decrease in formal training and an increase in action-based learning. Work roles will provide new challenges and satisfactory work experiences.
  8. We will continue to be challenged by how to support global work mobility with non-restrictive boundaries, while trying to attract the best talent.
  9. We will see an increase in company efforts to return to locally made products.
  10. We will see companies continue to pursue sustainability initiatives at all levels of production to further social responsibility efforts as well as draw in consumers.
  11. We will continue to see a rise in “the man’s place at home”, including a potential increase in stay-at-home dads.
  12. Pure is the new natural. Future talent, as well as consumers, will continue to seek companies that are real – pure and strong-valued in a mission that goes beyond pushing profits to satisfy shareholders.

Compiled by Paragon Associates, Janice Krupic, Diane Ring, Kevin Sulaiman & Deb Peters


After years of dealing with inflammatory issues and connecting with various medical specialists, I am grateful to have been introduced to Dr. James Dowd, Founder & Director of both the Arthritis Institute of MI and the MI Arthritis Research Center.  With the help of Dr. Dowd, who is also certified in Interactive and Holistic Medicine, I was shocked to find immediate relief through dietary changes.

Growing up as an athlete and continuing a very active lifestyle of tennis, running, yoga, etc., I always took pride in the healthy lifestyle I live and encourage for my family.  However, what I learned from my visits with Dr. Dowd and his book, “The Vitamin D Cure” was not only new learning, but required a paradigm shift as well as lifestyle change.  Dr. Dowd writes that “Vitamin D deficiency is rampant in the United States today.  It’s mind-boggling how many health problems have a D deficiency element.”  Further, when Dr. Dowd put me on an elimination diet, which consisted of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats and water, to explore what foods I might be reacting to, I have to admit my first reaction was “What am I going to have for breakfast?”.

After picking up on my initial reaction (or dare I say resistance), he asked what I did for a living.  When I told him I was an executive coach supporting leaders in improving their leadership effectiveness through behavior change, he indicated my profession was no different than his.  It’s funny…I had never compared our profession of executive coaching and organization behavior to human medicine, but the correlation is uncanny.   Whether we are trying to help others modify behaviors at work or change behaviors to better one’s health, it really is applying the same type of medicine . . . that of changing human behavior which starts with the openness and motivation to do so.

I am pleased to report that after the past month or so (and over the holidays at that!) of modifying my diet and removing those elements that were causing harm (i.e. gluten), I am nearly symptom free.  What better way to ring in the new year for our clients and anyone who may be reading this, than opening up to lifestyle changes that really can be a ‘solution’ to good health.   It is for this reason that we have chosen to highlight Dr. Dowd’s book as Paragon’s first book of the month for 2012.

Written by:

Janice Krupic (Janice is CEO, Executive Coach and Food/CPG Co-Lead for Paragon Leadership International, a MI headquartered executive coaching and leadership development firm).


Collaboration vs. Competition . . . Can companies share a seat at the table or just shelf space?

Recently Paragon Leadership had the privilege of partnering with Ahold,
one of the largest food retailers in the U.S., in developing their first ever
Sustainability Summit.

When interviewing executives from large food manufacturers prior to the
Summit, the one resounding hope communicated was the “collaborating and
committing [of leaders] to specific actions around game changer ideas to help
all of the participating companies thrive while at the same time contribute to
a sustainable environment for all”.

It’s tough to collaborate if you don’t sit at the same table, so on September
28/29 that is exactly what occurred.  Executives from well know brand name
food manufactures checked their competitive spirit and ego at the door and got
to work.  While in small ‘work out’ groups with their peers, Ahold
representatives, and in some cases their direct competitors, the executives came up with “game changer” solutions to complex global issues like hunger relief, childhood obesity and food waste.  Very quickly it became apparent that collaboration can be a healthy, prosperous and lucrative way to engage all parties where everyone wins.  This includes not only the retailer and manufacturer but also the consumer and perhaps most importantly, the world we will leave behind to future generations to come.

What if we could model this same type of collaborative behavior and
spirit at the city, state, and national level?  Perhaps the concept of
‘isles’ (i.e., dividing political lines) would no longer exist outside of those
you find in the grocery store.

Tell us your experiences of how you or your company
has put collaboration into action where it has lead to one of your business’  greatest outcomes.

Janice Krupic (Janice is CEO, Executive Coach and Food/CPG Co-Lead for Paragon Leadership International, a MI headquartered executive coaching and leadership development firm).

For more information about the work Paragon does with Food and Consumer
Product companies and their leaders, or if you are wanting to learn more about
what they have done in support of Supplier Conferences and Summits, please
call/email us at futureface@paragon-lead.com.

One year later: Update on Food Safety Modernization Act

One year ago, Paragon did a report on the state of food safety and how legislation and leadership in the industry needs to increase regulation and accountability in all stages of the supply chain. We talked with Jerry Wojtala, the executive director of The International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI), who outlining the Food Safety Modernization Act that was in the process of being reviewed by the House and Senate and the impact the legislature would have on the food industry as a whole.

“With regard to changes to the food industry in general, we can expect all food companies to be required to have a hazard food plan in place and available for inspection (ex: HAACP), food traceability requirements for all raw and manufactured food, food performance standards will be used during inspections, and on-farm regulations will be established.” Jerry Wojtala

In January 2011, President Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) into law. Six months since the law passed, what changes have been made? The FDA recently reported on the progress of implementation of FSMA.

The new law gives the FDA more power to demand full-disclosure of the source of food and also the power to detain food that could be potentially harmful to humans or animals. The first phase of the law also includes building food safety education through training.

“Very importantly, the FSMA calls for the strengthening of existing collaboration among all food safety agencies whether they are Federal, state, local, territorial, tribal, or foreign. Among other provisions, the legislation directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to improve training of state, local, territorial and tribal food safety officials and authorizes grants for training, conducting inspections, building capacity of labs and food safety programs, and other food safety activities. Building and leveraging the capacity of these food safety partners is how we can have a well-integrated, national food safety system that is as effective and efficient as it can be.” Margaret A. Hamburg, Commissioner of Food and Drugs

References:                                                                                       http://www.foodsafety.gov/news/fsma.html                                       http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/FoodSafety/FSMA/UCM261733.pdf