Monday, May 23, 2016

Relationships and Values: The Essentials for Success

I speak often of the importance of relationship power in today's business world. The way people buy into effective change in a corporate culture is dramatically different than it was just a few short years ago. The top-down model of directional/positional relationships does not appear to lead to the employee development and results that we desire.

Trust me, I work hard and am committed to practicing what I preach. More than anything, I value building dynamic and results-based relationships with exceptional people. Over the years, I have been blessed to have a number of key mentors who have coached and guided me in the principles of success.

One of those is Dr. Larry Senn, chairman and founder of Senn Delaney, a Heidrick & Struggles company. I was honored to be a partner with Senn Delaney and for almost 20 years worked with and learned from some of the most talented leadership consultants, who believed strongly in the Senn Delaney values-based approach of creating solutions for organizations, their leaders and employees at all levels of the organization.

Senn Delaney refers to them as the "Essential Values Set." They are:

  • A performance value, which has a results focus, high expectations and an emphasis on personal accountability.
  • A collaborative value, which promotes cross-organizational teamwork, mutual support and decisions for the greater good.
  • A change value, which encourages innovation, openness to change, individual and organizational coaching, mentoring and learning.
  • An ethics/integrity value, which provides an essential foundation for all else.
  • An organizational (individual and team) health value, which creates and energized, open, trusting, respectful, positive, hopeful and optimistic environment.
It is through the implementation of allnot just someof the above values that organizations can achieve lasting, positive change and approach the future with confidence. I worked closely with Larry Senn over the years, and traveled with him on many sales and consulting calls. I know the Essential Values Set worked because I saw them in action. Larry and our team lived by them, and taught me to live by them as well.

Today, I utilize those values in the practice of Leadership Transitioning. They have made a difference not only for me, but for hundreds of corporations and organizations the world over. I know they will help you, too. To learn more, please visit my website at, or call me at (330) 754-5767.

Jim Ondrus pioneered the management concept of Leadership Transitioning. He is president of JA Ondrus, LLC, a Canton, Ohio executive coaching firm.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Leadership Transitioning: At Your Service

In a nutshell, it's my elevator speech. It's my response to the question, "So, Jim, what do you do?"
I educate people in the skill of Leadership Transitioning, which focuses on three areas: leadership development, coaching leaders, and a focus on health and wellnessboth personal and organizational.

To elaborate, Leadership Transitioning™ is the ability to embrace change, envision success, adapt to the environment and surround ourselves with others committed to their own personal success. It's the ability to be disciplined and passionate on our leadership journey to develop the personal skills and capabilities necessary to achieve excellence in an environment of constant change. It's the ability to actively navigate the chaos and constant change of our modern worldand win!

How is it achieved? Three ways.

  • Leadership development recognizes that we all have God-given skills that need to be honed and developed in order to maximize our leadership success..
  • Coaching leaders reinvigorates willing leaders, builds effective teams and enables a team to capitalize on their capabilities and opportunities using their corporate culture as a base. The coach and the "coached" relationship is critical and special. Respect, trust, caring, honesty, commitment, perseverance, clear goals, work ethic and personal attitude are the key to success.
  • Health and wellness focus recognizes that nothing is possible without a sound mind and body, and that balance is different for each individual and organization. It involves a mental toughness and proper mindset to be the best at achieving health, spiritual, mental and financial goals.

In a nutshell, that is what I do. Over the past 30 years of my career I have successfully worked with numerous leaders at all levels of organizations in the US, UK, Canada and South Africa. The industries and size of companies that I have worked with have included: manufacturing, energy (electrical, natural gas, governmental, international and support companies), major insurance companies, non-profits, universities and small family owned businesses.

Leadership Transitioning™ is the culmination of more than 30 years of learning, listening and sharing the principles that create high achieversin both the professional and personal sense. Please visit my website,, to learn more. Then give me a call and I'll be happy to help you transition to the level of success you desire and deserve.

Jim Ondrus pioneered the management concept of Leadership Transitioning. He is president of JA Ondrus, LLC, a Canton, Ohio executive coaching firm.

Monday, May 9, 2016

A Five-Star Lesson in Leadership

When I was a young officer in the United States Army, I had a number of unforgettable experiences. Perhaps none made more of an impression than my encounter with the legendary General of the Army Omar Bradley, one of the truly towering military figures of the 20th Century.

Gen. Bradley commanded troops in North Africa and Western Europe during World War II, and after the war headed the Veterans Administration, became Army Chief of Staff, and later was appointed the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Harry Truman. He is one of only nine people to have held the rank of five-star general.

1st Lt. Jim Ondrus (L) meets Gen. Omar Bradley
So you can imagine my excitement when he visited Schofield Barracks, where I was stationed in Hawaii in 1976. I had the opportunity to meet this remarkable leader and have my photo taken with him. I was a 1st Lt. and Executive Officer of the Headquarters Company of the 2nd Bridage, 25th Infantry Division, and one of my responsibilities was the Dining Hall in Quad C. General Bradley was adamant that he wanted to see the troops. As he put it, all he wanted to do was spend time with the soldiers, to greet them, encourage them and see how they were doing. As luck would have it, the "Soldiers General" met with about 50 of our great soldiers in "my" Dining Hall that day in 1976.

I’ve shared that story many times over the years as an example of true leadership. Despite having risen to the highest rank possible in the U.S. Army, and to the highest military position under the Commander-in-Chief, General of the Army Omar Bradley knew the importance of building confidence and trust with the people who were on the front lines—the troops who had to get the job done and perhaps even make the ultimate sacrifice if necessary.

It’s a great reminder to executives, managers, supervisors and anyone else in a position of responsibility in a company or organization. People matter. Relationships are the key. And nothing good happens when morale is low.

Take stock of your organization by examining the relationships you have with your staff. See where there’s room for improvement, and commit yourself to doing something about it. When you do, you’ll see a change in their performance—and yours—and in the overall effectiveness of the organization as a whole.

Jim Ondrus pioneered the management concept of Leadership Transitioning. He is president of JA Ondrus, LLC, a Canton, Ohio executive coaching firm.