Sharon Tunstall

Sharon Tunstall

Sharon Tunstall is a Consultant at Connect the Dots, a leadership solutions consulting company.

Managing a Career in the Era of Diversity and Work-Life Balance

In previous articles we've discussed topics as diverse (but related) as the prevailing desire to stay relevant, working way beyond what traditionally was considered “retirement age,” and managing in a diverse and multigenerational workforce. While baby boomers seem to have the most trouble (or opportunities) adapting, there's another trend that must be reviewed in order…

Culture Fit or Culture ‘Adds’? Embrace the Chaos

How many times have we been advised to find the “right cultural fit” when involved in a hiring process, regardless of industry? Historically this is usually the place a hiring manager begins when embarking upon a hiring process. Often organizations default to evaluating talent in terms of similarities in background, experience, interests, etc. However, research…

Engagement Matters: But What Exactly is Meant by Engagement?

We noticed in the January/February 2019 Harvard Business Review there was a short article about “the limits of empathy.” Since we've been writing extensively over the last year about the importance of self-awareness and empathy, this caught our attention. The gist of the “argument” is that the idea of taking someone else’s perspective doesn’t necessarily…

Leadership: The Art and Challenge of Getting Out of the Way, Part 2

Effective leaders articulate a vision, create an environment in which people can succeed, hire the best talent for the tasks at hand, give them support and tools, instill their importance as part of the organization, and simply GET OUT OF THE WAY.

Leadership: The Art and Challenge of Getting Out of the Way, Part 1

Many of the organizational research reports argue that the best managers/leaders empower their people and focus more on giving them the tools to do their jobs rather than telling them exactly how to manage the tasks at hand. This is common sense but not quite as easy to implement as it is to proclaim. We've…

The Role of Luck in a Leader's Success, Part 2

Luck does not just happen but taking advantage of situations with a new or challenging perspective can lead to luck. Parents of the Baby Boomer generation came out of a major Depression and World War II. Those were difficult times yet people, particularly in the Western world, emerged from the 1940’s with incredible optimism and “hope” for a better life.

The Role of Luck in a Leader's Success, Part 1

In 2015, the Harvard Business Review ranked Lars Sorensen, CEO of Novo Nordisk, as the best-performing CEO in the world for that year. When most CEOs are asked what makes them and their companies successful, they usually point to a brilliant strategy with hard-nosed, diligent execution and great leadership. Not Mr. Sorensen. When asked what…

Making Hiring Decisions Should Not Be This Hard, Part 2

This is the second and final part of a two-part series. Part one ran last week.  It Gets Worse as We Age According to Gregory Samanez-Larkin, co-director of the Scientific Research Network on Decision Neuroscience and Aging, the way we make decisions changes on a fundamental, physiological level as we age. The brain begins to…

Making Hiring Decisions Should Not Be This Hard, Part 1

It has always been the case that the process for deciding on external hires and even internal moves seems to take a lot of time, particularly for those on the receiving end of these decisions. However, several of our colleagues have recently lamented that the trend towards indecision has become a far more obvious problem…

New Hiring Paradigm Sets Expectations for Immediate Results

In the past, most organizations considered at least the first three months to be a “honeymoon” period where new leaders absorbed the business and navigated the company culture. This seems to have shifted, particularly among the Fortune 100. A senior HR executive at a major automotive manufacturer recently summarized her view on the acculturation period for new leaders: “My honeymoon period for this job was, at best, two weeks. Our expectation is that we hire leaders and expect them to come in and make an immediate impact.”

Leadership and Corporate Responsibility Challenges in 2018

In our previous articles we explored the possibilities of and methods for co-existence of millennials and baby boomers, the value of an older workforce, the importance of corporate culture, and how the explosion of social media is affecting everything we do and everything we think. In 2018, the social media climate is showing no signs…

Managing Corporate Culture and Responsibility in an Era of ‘Explosive’ Messaging, Part 2

Cultures can “drive” organizations in any number of ways with any number of outcomes. American Apparel was built on a culture undergirded by poor management and unhappy employees who, after a promising start and a "60 Minutes" profile, had little, if any, commitment to the health and strength of the organization. The brand grew quickly and, for a time, was admired for providing low cost, “cool” made-in-America apparel. It hit a cultural nerve.