The Ordinary Leader: 10 Key Insights for Building and Leading a Thriving Organization

The Ordinary Leader: 10 Key Insights for Building and Leading a Thriving Organization

by Randy Grieser




An ordinary leader is someone who leads a small organization or team that is doing great things. They manage the majority of the world’s workforce, but they don’t lead large corporations or big government agencies. Ordinary leaders are rarely written about in books or quoted in magazines. They are, however, important. Maybe not globally, but in their own realm of influence, their leadership makes a difference. The term “ordinary” is also used to highlight the belief that no one ever arrives as a leader. In fact, if someone thinks of themselves as extraordinary, they will not be a very effective leader. Author Randy Grieser presents 10 key insights for building and leading a thriving organization. These are the principles he identifies as instrumental to success as a leader. Writing for leaders everywhere, he inspires, motivates, and explains how to make each insight a reality in your organization. Become a more passionate, productive, and visionary leader by exploring and embracing these 10 insights: 

​Motivation and Employee Engagement: Organizations flourish when employees go beyond what is expected of them. 

Passion: A passionate, inspired workforce begins with the leader. 

Vision: Visionary leaders energize and inspire people to work towards a future goal. 

Self-Awareness: Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is vital for leading any organization. 

Talent and Team Selection: The right employees must, first and foremost, fit the workplace culture. 

Organizational Health: Employees are most engaged when leaders are committed to the emotional well-being of everyone.

Productivity: Focusing on how and what things get done increases efficiency. 

Creativity and Innovation: Building processes for innovation puts creativity to work. 

Delegation: As you free up your time, you will also increase employee engagement. 

Self-Improvement: Personal development makes all the other principles easier to achieve. 

Also included are the perspectives of 10 ordinary leaders from a range of professions, survey feedback from over 1,700 leaders and employees, and a resource section that provides detailed guidance and examples for putting these ideas into action.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781988617008
Publisher: ACHIEVE Publishing
Publication date: 04/16/2018
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Randy Grieser is the founder and CEO of ACHIEVE Centre for Leadership & Workplace Performance and the Crisis & Trauma Resource Institute (CTRI). He is a visionary leader who, together with a team of employees and trainers, has positioned these organizations to be two of the premier providers of professional development training in the industry. Randy gives presentations on leadership and management principles to a wide range of audiences in business, education, health, and government settings. He believes leadership requires us to always be intentional about what we do and how we do it. Find his latest thoughts on leadership at

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Ordinary but not average

Who are ordinary leaders?

The extraordinary leader myth

Insights and guiding principles

Origins of The Ordinary Leader

My story

The making of a leader

The identity of a leader

Leadership survey results

What lies ahead

Motivation and Employee Engagement 13

What matters most

Motivation 101

Progress is my motivation

Sustained motivation

Disciplined and continual effort

"A" is for attitude

Employee motivation and engagement

I was just thinking

The disengaged

Assessing engagement

The number one culprit

Characteristics of engagement

Autonomy, mastery, and purpose

What about money?

Financial bonuses

Finding meaning in the mundane

Talent motivates talent

Engagement as viewed by employees

Passion 31

A vocation of passion

Why passion matters

Passion is rooted in purpose

Start with why

Building passion in employees

Passion for a positive work environment

Warren Buffett and passion

It's finally Friday

Life, not work-life

The problem with unbalanced passion

Glimpses of passion

Vision 42

The future

Visionary leaders

Seeing things early

Visionary leaders take risks

Seeing things that impact your future

Changing visions

Communicate your vision

Making vision a reality

Using strategy to achieve vision

Strategy in action

Our vision

Be a visionary leader

Self-Awareness 56

The confident leader

Mindful leadership

Self-awareness matters

Relational and operational domains

My relational strengths

My relational weaknesses

My operational strengths

My operational weaknesses

Strength in vulnerability

Finding strengths and weaknesses

Focus on both strengths and weaknesses

Mitigating weaknesses

Blind spots

The issue of power and feedback

Who are you?

Talent and Team Selection 71

It's about the people

The talent shortage myth

Quality over speed and cost


Focus on culture

Assess cultural fit

Talent and task

Hiring for both culture and task

Interviewing for fit

Keep the focus on core values

The likability factor


Hiring for senior positions

Keep the talent

Talent is key

Organizational Health 90

Worst summer job

The human impact

The cost of unhealthy organizations

The three big culprits

On employees' minds

The case for organizational health

Liking where we work

The rotten apple effect

Always an ambassador

From unhealthy to healthy

A better place to work

Productivity 104

Work smarter, not harder

I'm so busy

What's important

The to-do list

I'm not available

Procrastination and resistance

Be realistic

Pings, pongs, and multitasking

Email time-suck

The dreaded meeting

The hours we work

The idea? amount of work?

Sleep and health

Leading for productivity

Driving productivity

Creativity and Innovation 112

Moonshining - Embracing your inner child

What's next?

Filter ideas

Start working

Keep working

Move on

Creativity and innovation

Types of innovation

Incremental innovation example

Major innovation example

The innovative culture

What problems are people having?

What do people want?

What do people need?

What's bugging you?

Innovating together

Focused innovation

Marketing innovations

Authentic innovation

Leading creativity and innovation

Delegation 140

What comes next

My head hurts

Eliminate first

Four-hour workday

Why delegate?

What not to delegate

The list

The specifics of delegation

Be available

Barriers to delegation

Delegation saves money

Free time

Changes in what is most important

Delegating what we like to do

Delegation requires trust

Self-Improvement 154

Sharpen the saw

Becoming better

Our life story

Living in the moment

Halfway there

Places of solitude

Taking time to think

Leaders don't arrive

Reading for improvement

Meeting people where they are

Authentic leadership

Focus on integrity

Be better

Conclusion 169


Our approach to leadership

Parting thoughts

Survey Responses 172

Leader survey responses

Employee survey responses

Book Recommendations 177

My top 10 leadership books

Resources 182

Employee engagement assessment

Conflict resolution and respectful workplace guidelines

Mission, beliefs, vision, and core values

Organizational health assessment

Leadership strengths and weaknesses assessment

Sample job posting

Sample interview questions

Creativity and innovation discussion questions

References 198

Acknowledgments 201

Speaking and Training 203

Randy Grieser



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