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The People Dividend Podcast

Oct 4, 2022

“You have to look at everything as a system. You have to have all of your elements in place,” explains Dr. Kevin Gazzara, Founder and Senior Partner of Magna Leadership Solutions. Dr. Kevin spent 30 years in the corporate world before retiring and starting his new career helping businesses better their leaders, increase employee retention, and put systems in place to ensure long term success. Today, he has created the Leading Forward Academy which provides a six month training program that addresses necessary cultural shifts while improving leadership skills.

Dr. Kevin shares that he sees two main issues when it comes to the businesses who inquire about his services. The most common issue is with employee retention due to lack of good management and leadership. People are less likely now to stay in a work environment where they do not align with the culture of the organization or their direct management. The other issue he explains, is when companies do not have a problem with retention, but have hit a plateau in their growth. This usually implies a need to further develop the employees that they already have in order to break through and find growth. Dr. Kevin explains that learning is a process and it requires systems to be in place to ensure everything goes smoothly. In order to sustain lasting progress, there must be continual feedback available. 

In order to make true cultural transformations, employees at the highest levels of your organization must be completely bought in. They must lead by example and see the value in changing the systems that have been in place for so long. When organizations focus on dedicating resources, time, and money to furthering the development of their current employees incredible growth can be achieved. 


“If you don't have really good managers and leaders that will drive people out of the organization. So typically, we get a lot of inquiries where people can't retain their best, people are leaving, and they can't hire new people because of their culture.” (6:44-7:07 | Dr. Kevin)

“The key to growth is looking at everything as a system. You have to have all the elements in place. You have to have learning, the opportunity to apply it, and you have to have a feedback mechanism.” (13:12-13:23 | Dr. Kevin)

“The one big difference that we find where organizations really kind of screw up is that they see their feedback as a performance tool. And the minute that the feedback system becomes a performance tool, or HR kind of latches on to it, bad things happen. Then people try to figure out ways to work the system and so forth.” (18:51-19:15 | Dr. Kevin)

“If you're in an organization, and you're not spending any money, or resources, or time, or focus on developing your individuals, that's the very first thing you need to do.” (21:56-22:07 | Dr. Kevin) 

“The best leaders are aggressive. They go after the task and they hold people accountable. And they do it in a way that you get the buy-in.” (40:14-40:24 | Dr. Kevin)


Mentioned in this episode:

Learn more about Mike Horne on Linkedin

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Find more about Leading People and Culture with Authenticity


Learn more about Dr. Kevin Gazzara:


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