Episode 16: Become a Better Leader by Connecting With Employees with Shona Elliott

Are you a leader who feels unmotivated? Have you lost your passion when it comes to your business? If so, then this edition of the Get Unstuck and On Target show was made for you.

In this episode, Mike O’Neill interviews Shona Elliott to discover how connecting with your employees and walking in their shoes makes you a better leader. Shona has 15+ years of experience as a senior leader in healthcare, IT, supply chain, and ISO quality systems certifications in both Canada and the United States.

Listen to this episode now to get Shona’s expert advice.

In This Episode, You’ll Learn…

  • The basics of strategic planning for businesses and why it’s so important

  • How connecting with your employees makes you a better leader

  • How to determine what you should be focusing on so you can reset your priorities

  • How a multipurpose strategy helps you build your culture and increase engagement

  • The value of senior leadership walking in the shoes of their employees by periodically doing the jobs they do

  • How walking in the shoes of your employees can renew your sense of purpose and help you find your why


  • “As leaders, we’re really busy. We have lots of priorities, budgets, board reports, KPIs to hit, and we sometimes get lost in terms of what’s really important.” – Shona Elliot

  • “Through my own kind of ups and downs in leadership, I really began to understand that the more I connected with employees, understood their experience, engaged them in decision-making prior to decisions being made, the more likely our organizational strategy was to work.” – Shona Elliot

  • “I think as leaders, including myself in my career, that I say I’m too busy to spend time with employees. I’m too busy to connect with them. I’m too busy to engage them in the decision-making in advance, and that’s all kind of a myth.” – Shona Elliot

  • “As leaders, in my experience, we sit in board rooms and meeting rooms all day and we hear the same stories, just spun a little bit differently, and we never really fact check it with what’s really going on in our organization.” – Shona Elliot

  • “The more I was able to engage in the organization and really see what employees were doing, experiencing their challenges, that really created a shift in what I was prioritizing as a senior leader.” – Shona Elliot

  • “The typical 3-5-year plan, in my view and the people I’m working with, it’s just not a feasible planning process. There’s nothing wrong with having overarching visions, but you want to design your plan for the next year too, but the landscape is changing hourly almost these days.” – Shona Elliot

  • “We can’t really focus on 3-5 years when we really don’t know what tomorrow brings.” – Shona Elliot “I think you can really cover a multitude of different goals and objectives through a single planning process.” – Shona Elliot

  • “I really believe in the value of senior leaders walking in the shoes of employees.” – Shona Elliot

  • “When I was feeling stuck like that, at some point I would realize that I hadn’t walked in the shoes of my employees in a long time. And so I would schedule the shift and every single time I did that, I walked away with a renewed sense of purpose.” – Shona Elliot

Links & Resources Mentioned…

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